Tag Archives: American Journal of Psychiatry

The Relationship Between Addiction and Adrenal Fatigue

Addiction Causes Adrenal Fatigue

Addiction is a serious problem, addiction is the genesis of many health issues and it is even complicated to know that it is one of the wars that few people win. In the past addiction to drugs and other substances have been linked to myriads of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and other neurodegenerative disorders. This explains why addicts are not always on the good side of health, when a person is addicted to drugs and alcohol he will begin to feel sick, generally an addict is never in good health and that is why most of them may have certain strange behaviors such as irritability and even slurred speech. The reason for this is that when a person takes drugs that are rewarding in nature he will be compelled to increase the doses day by day so as to get the euphoric feeling they seek in drugs. Even the drugs that are used in pain management like the opiates have specified dosages beyond the patient will not only get addicted to the drug but will suffer other diseases that come with overdose of such drugs. Drugs of abuse majorly affect the neurotransmitter and this will be extended to the central nervous system (CNS) which is composed of the brain and the spinal cord. The brain is the engine that drives all the activities in the body of every human being but these drugs will interfere with chemical balances in the brain making it unable to perform normally. In some instance even the neurotransmitters that work to transmit signals so as to provoke certain necessary responses may get debilitated hence everything will be messed up. As expected when the neurotransmitters are affected and the entire nervous system is adversely altered then the proper coordination within the nervous system is tampered with and this is what causes a series of health complications.

Adrenal Fatigue

Recently researchers have shown that substance addiction may be linked to adrenal fatigue. Adrenal Fatigue refers to a stress-related condition that is suffered when the adrenal glands, hypothalamus and pituitary gland are functioning below their optimal level. Adrenal gland is the source of various neurotransmitters that are very vital in our nervous systems. These neurotransmitters include; cortisol, DHEA and epinephrine. These neurotransmitters are used to regulate your heart rate, immune system, energy storage and improve the general health and stability. When the adrenal glands have malfunctioned and fail to release these neurotransmitters in good amount then it will not be easy for any individual to have good health.  It is suspected that prolonged stress on the adrenal glands is what causes adrenal fatigue.

Some drugs of pleasure not only affect the dopamine but also the release of other neurotransmitters like adrenaline which is the fight or flight neurotransmitter. Even an addiction to caffeine does this. Ralph T. Golan, ND, in his book, Herbal Defense explains how using caffeine for prolonged periods can exhaust your adrenals:  “Caffeine forces your glands to secrete when they don’t have much left to give, and they have to keep digging deeper and deeper, making you more and more tired over time. And over the years, it takes more and more coffee to get the same result. Some people reach the point of drinking half a dozen or more cups of coffee to get the same result and it’s barely keeping them awake. That’s severe adrenal depletion.”

Role of adaptogens in addiction

Adaptogens are herbs that help in enhancing your immunity and ability to deal with stress, anxiety trauma, and even fatigue. Some adaptogens have been used as anti-aging herbs and have been found to have a capacity to rejuvenate the body and aid longevity. They also work to correct defects that the body is subjected to as a result of long term use of drugs of abuse.

Siberian Ginseng also known as Eleutherococcus senticosus root. This adaptogen is known for its ability to combat lack of appetite, correct insomnia, and improve memory. Siberian ginseng also increases mental alertness that is known to be lacking in those who have been addicted to substance use for quite a long time. This adaptogens also helps in healing nervous disorders and enhances energy. This adaptogens increases the body’s ability to adapt to metabolic stress and helps in recovery from substance abuse.

American Ginseng also known Panax quinquefolius root. American Ginseng is known to be a superior tonic herb with an immense ability to strengthen metabolism and the entire endocrine system. Like other species of Ginseng, the American ginseng also has adaptogenic properties, and is quite useful for the recovering addict. American Ginseng combines well with Siberian Ginseng and can be used together to heal an addict.

Adrenal Fatigue

Astragalus, also known as Astragalus membranaceous root. This adaptogens helps in promoting overall body function by strengthening digestion among other core benefits.  This herb can be used to help in restoring energy and balance the immune system in recovering addicts. It is good for some of the withdrawal symptoms of addiction like stress, colds and even chronic fatigue syndrome. It is also safe and be taken on a daily basis without it having negative side effects.

Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil. In the past this herb was used for treating such illnesses as stomach upsets and bronchitis. This herb has been found to be effective also in reducing stress that most addicts battle with. It has been found to reduce mental confusion that is common with most addicts using cannabis.

Here at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center we are committed to availing the best integrative approaches to treatment of diseases. We advocate for dietary as well as natural healing to diseases wherever possible. Visit as at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) will be of help.

Addiction Causes Adrenal Fatigue



Intravenous B Vitamins and the Addiction Disease

Nutrition plays a major role in keeping us safe from diseases of all kinds and even making our bodies able to fight these diseases when attacked. However addiction to certain drugs depletes some of the most crucial vitamins and other important nutritional components that are supposed to make us healthy and be safe from addictions. B vitamins are some of the most important vitamins in our bodies as they are very essential for the proper functioning of our brain and the entire nervous system. Supplements with natural vitamin B can help with drug addiction, stress, and depression. This is because most drugs are suppressants to the nervous system and in the long term they leave the nervous system incapacitated to work efficiently.  Like sated earlier B vitamins are very crucial in our bodies but are often depleted by drug and alcohol use. To show how important B vitamins are let’s look at their roles in our body.

Intravenous B Vitamins

The roles of vitamin B in the body

One of the most important functions of B vitamins in our bodies in relation to addiction is that they can help in fighting addiction.  Vitamin B3 or niacin are an effective bunch in treatment of addiction especially addiction to alcohol as they metabolize alcohol out of your body and regulates part of the stress-related hormones of the adrenal glands. Therefore in case of deficiency in these vitamins an IV supplementation of these vitamins will help. Another serious withdrawal symptom is Insomnia, this can be resolved by Vitamin B6 which is essential in production of the chemical serotonin, which helps in restoring calmness in case of anxiety and depression and also helps in regulation of melatonin levels to induce sleep. Brain is a victim of most drug of abuse, Vitamin B9 is crucial in restoring cellular as well as brain health. researchers have found out that when vitamins B3, B6 and B9 are given intravenously in higher doses they help in reducing alcohol cravings and anxious tension, as well as insomnia and mood fluctuations that are common symptoms of withdrawal.

Other important B vitamins include Vitamin B1 also known as thiamin, and vitamin B2, known as riboflavin. these two vitamins helps in  maintaining cell health by processing nutrients from foods and converting carbohydrates, fats and proteins to usable energy.  Thiamine supplementation is a recommended treatment in alcohol addiction treatment as it helps in reducing fatigue, maintaining mental clarity and decreasing disorientation. Riboflavin helps in reducing the severity of headaches and hand tremors associated with alcohol and other drugs withdrawal.  These two vitamins can be intravenously supplemented in addicts to help them through the withdrawal phase of the addiction treatment. Owing to its importance in the body, it’s better to discuss thiamine in detail.

Thiamine in Detail

Thiamine or Thiamin also known as Vitamin B1 is a water-soluble vitamin of the B complex. This vitamin is needed so that our bodies can use carbohydrates as energy. It is a necessity for glucose metabolism. Thiamine also plays an important role in nerve, muscle and heart function.

Thiamine is found in many foods such as yeast, cereal grains, beans, nuts, and meat. It is part of vitamin B vitamins with which it is often used in making vitamin B complex products. Vitamin B complexes generally include vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin/niacinamide), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), and folic acid.

There are situations when a person will be required to take Thiamine, thiamine deficiency syndromes such as beriberi and neuritis that may arise during pregnancy require supplementation of thiamine. It is also used to treat digestive problems which may include ulcerative colitis, diarrhea and even poor appetite.

This vitamin has many uses, some of its uses include; it is used in vision problems like cataracts, it is also used by HIV patients as an immune booster, used in treating brain damage and in prevention of cervical cancer. It can still be used to enhance learning abilities and to enhance positive mental attitude. It also increases energy and is also useful in preventing memory loss.

Despite its many uses thiamine is widely used in treating a memory disorder known as Wernicke’s encephalopathy syndrome which is common in those addicted to alcohol. Therefore it has been found to be effective in fighting alcoholism which in itself is an indication of thiamine deficiency.

Intravenous B Vitamins

Generally deficiency of B vitamins has been found to be responsible for much of the fatigue, skin irritation, memory loss and depression experienced by people who are newly recovering from an addiction to alcohol. Therefore recovering addicts can benefit from IV B vitamins supplementation. Vitamin B in general, and particularly vitamins B1 , B3  and B5 have a role in ensuring there is enough energy in the cells as they are primarily responsible for turning sugars into energy. B6 and B12 play important roles in producing blood cells and the health of the nervous system. Naturally the B vitamins can be found in foods we eat particularly in pork, nuts, cereals, salmon, grains (whole grains), liver, egg and milk.

As can be seen above the functions of the B vitamins in fighting addiction are numerous and the effectiveness of having an IV B vitamins regimen cannot be underestimate as it is through the restoration of the normal levels of the regimen that we can heal the nervous system and provide the cells with enough energy throughout the addiction treatment and beyond.

Finally, Here at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center we are committed to availing help to addicts by availing some of the most integrative approaches to healing an addict. We advocate for natural healing to all kinds of addiction. Call on Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for help.

Intravenous B Vitamins and the Addiction Disease



Gabapentin and Alcohol Dependence

Gabapentin Is Useful In Fighting Alcohol Dependence

gabapentinGabapentin also known to many as Neurontin is an anticonvulsant and analgesic drug. This drug was  originally developed to treat epilepsy however it also works well in relieving is neuropathic pain and is now used for pain relief in most hospitals worldwide. It is recommended as a first line agent for the treatment of neuropathic pain arising from diabetic neuropathy, post-herpetic neuralgia, and central neuropathic pain. This drug may also be prescribed for other off-label uses such as treatment of restless leg syndrome, anxiety disorders, insomnia, and bipolar disorder. There are, however, concerns regarding the quality of the trials conducted and evidence for some such uses, especially in the case of its use as a mood stabilizer in bipolar disorder. More research needs to be conducted to ascertain the use of this drug as a mood stabilizer in bipolar disorder.



Gabapentin Versus Chlordiazepoxide for outpatient alcohol

Benzodiazepines are used to treat alcohol withdrawal (AW) but they are known to cause cognitive impairment, sedation, and ataxia, and interact with alcohol. Nonbenzodiazepine anticonvulsants are promising and possibly safer alternatives for the treatment of Alcohol Withdrawal.

There several studies that have been conducted on this area especially comparing gabapentin and Chlordiazepoxide. In one of these studies the objective was to find out which of these two medications was safe and effective rather the objective was to compare the safety and effectiveness of these two medications. In this study the patients were divided into two groups. The first group was given gabapentin while the other group was given chlordiazepoxide. The subjects were then monitored after 7 days alcohol abstinence, withdrawal severity scores, adverse events including ataxia, sedation, cognitive function and alcohol craving. The results of this study however were never published. To others it may seem useless speaking about a study whose findings was not even published but the very existent of the research speaks volumes. For a fact it shows that chlordiazepoxide that had been used in the past in dealing with patients of alcohol withdrawal had some inefficiencies or had some serious side effects that needed to be corrected therefore a better medication was indeed needed to replace it. However, this is the authors own opinion lets proceed to other research studies that had been done on this subject.

There is also another study whose objective was to compare follow-up measures of Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), Penn Alcohol Craving Scale (PACS), ataxia rating, and Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol revised (CIWA-Ar) symptoms between alcohol-dependent individuals randomized to treatment with gabapentin or chlordiazepoxide. In this study it was found that in ambulatory veterans with symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, gabapentin treatment resulted in significantly greater reduction in sedation (ESS) and a trend to reduced alcohol craving (PACS) by the end of treatment compared to chlordiazepoxide treatment. Although limited by the small sample size, the suggestion of reduction in sleepiness and less craving warrants replication of the study with a larger sample.

Gabapentin with Naltrexone for the treatment of Alcohol Dependence

In the fight to overcome alcohol dependence various strategies are used. In some cases a single drug maybe used successfully in fighting alcohol while in other cases two or more drugs may be combined for the same course to help fighting alcohol dependence more effectively. Gabapentin can be used singly to fight alcohol dependence but it can also be combined with naltrexone for more effective action against alcohol dependence.

There are some research studies that have been done on this subject and findings published. In a July 11, 2011 Raymond F. Anton, MD, professor of psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina, and colleagues reported their findings in the July issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

The report indicated that the addition of gabapentin to naltrexone improved drinking outcomes compared with naltrexone alone in heavy drinkers during the first 6 weeks after they stopped drinking, but when the gabapentin was stopped the effects became the same in both groups, so this shows that gabapentin was indeed responsible for the positive effects.

“From work in mice and rats we know that the underlying biology of alcohol dependence, particularly alcohol withdrawal, is mediated by two neurotransmitters — GABA [gamma-aminobutyric acid] and glutamate. Alcohol use causes these neurotransmitters to be abnormal and, particularly during alcohol withdrawal, to cause significant symptoms,” Dr. Anton told Medscape Medical News.

“We knew that the drug gabapentin works through these systems to normalize the balance of the glutamate and GABA systems in the opposite direction to what alcohol does, and we had done previous studies with gabapentin in mice and in humans showing that it reduced the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. That led to our hypothesis that using gabapentin, particularly during the first 6 weeks of attempts at abstinence, might improve the efficacy of naltrexone,” he explained.

gabapentineThis study used randomly selected 150 alcohol dependent individuals who were put on a 16-week course of naltrexone, 50 mg/d alone; naltrexone, 50 mg/d, plus gabapentin up to 1200 mg/d for the first 6 weeks; or to double placebo. They also received medical management. Most of these participants were in their mid-forties. They were dependent on alcohol and drank 12-13 alcoholic drinks per day before the study entry. By week 6, about 50% of the individuals randomly assigned to placebo or naltrexone alone had a heavy drinking day, compared with about 35% of individuals who got naltrexone plus gabapentin. But by week 16 of the study, there were no differences between the groups. This show that gabapentin works better when combined with naltrexone than when naltrexone is used alone.

Dependence on alcohol and drugs is vice that has crippled societies and that is why here at AWAREmed we are dedicated to finding the best solutions to addiction and dependence on substances. Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) is always in the mood of helping any patient to be addiction free. Do not hesitate to call on her for help in managing any sort of chronic pain as well as other diseases.

Gabapentin Is Useful In Fighting Alcohol Dependence