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How to Stop Addiction
Of all the things my husband and I have ever lived through, the experience of loving someone who was addicted to drugs was probably the most painful. John and I have been foster parents. We’ve lost children to stillbirth and miscarriage, but when a young adult or teen you love is doing drugs, the pain is excruciating and it just seems to go on and on.
Drug Addiction in Teens and Adults: Part I – Supplements
If you don’t know what to do if your child is addicted to drugs, you’re not alone. There’s nothing more terrifying than having a loved one who’s addicted to a drug like heroin or meth. Below I talk about supplements that we used to help my son-in-law cure meth addiction, but I also talk about plant medicines that work to cure narcotics addiction, nicotine addiction, alcohol addiction, and even social media addiction, video game addiction, porn addiction, and smartphone addiction.
Here is an introductory list of anti-addiction supplements that work for methamphetamines, heroine, alcohol, and really anything addictive (because all addictions stem from issues with dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain):
- Mucuna pruriens – 6,000-15,000 mg per day
- Kudzu – (use this in addition to Mucuna for alcohol addiction) – 2000-3000 mg per day
- 5-HTP derived from the plant Griffonia simplicifolia
- NAC / N-Acetyl-Cysteine (detoxifies the brain and quells compulsive thoughts and behaviors)
- Resveratrol (in small doses, it potentiate the Mucuna pruriens)
- Coenzyme Q10 (in high doses it helps detoxify the brain)
- Vitamin B6 and the other B Complex vitamins (these are necessary for the body to properly metabolize the other supplements listed above)
- Super Balanced Neurotransmitter Complex
- Melatonin – (for sleep)
- Magnolia Bark – (for sleep–this supplement is especially important for heroin addicts)
Ultimately, addiction is a behavior that happens when the brain is depleted of dopamine. Two things happen in addiction: 1) the substance or activity causes a burst of dopamine to be released in the brain and 2) the dopamine receptors, as a result, are reduced in number making it harder for the addicted person to get a dopamine rush (tolerance). The burst of dopamine and the resulting reduced number of dopamine receptors in the brain is what causes the cravings and compulsive behavior of seeking out of the object of addiction.
I began my search for a cure for addiction by looking at the scientific literature and by reaching out to people who had once been addicted to meth to try to understand how meth addiction feels and what they did to quit. One of the first plant medicines I found to help with overcoming addiction was Kratom, a plant that can also be addictive.
A lot of people would use Kratom to cure a heroin addiction or addiction to narcotics because it behaves physiologically in the body like an opiate. And people would try to keep themselves from becoming addicted to Kratom by cycling day-to-day from red vein to green vein to white vein and then taking a day off and then cycling back through these different plant strains again. This was intriguing to me. I was able to find instances where people used Kratom for meth addiction too. And often, they were successful.
So, I kept reading and eventually found a plant medicine called Akuamma. This is a seed that grows in Africa. It has effects that are similar to Kratom, but it’s still legal. Akuamma users say that it’s good for pain-relief, but it doesn’t work as well as Kratom for opiate addiction. I’ve tried Akuamma and I agree with what I’ve read online: it helps with pain-relief, but it doesn’t make a big change in mood.
Kudzu is another important herb for addiction. Apparently, when an alcoholic is given high enough doses of Kudzu, they drink 20% less than they normally would even if they have no desire or intention to quit drinking.
Kudzu research is important because it demonstrates that an addicted person could take a specific plant medicine that would help them quit their addiction whether they wanted to quit or not. And the thing is, Kudzu is relatively harmless. It’s not addictive itself and it doesn’t hurt the people who take it to quit drinking. In fact, this medicine can be used to help alcoholics who are struggling with liver issues to ease up on their drinking even if they don’t consciously want to.
That day, I looked up Kudzu in a botany book that I have in my library and found a plant named Mucuna pruriens.
Mucuna is a plant that has changed our lives.
As I mentioned above, Mucuna is related to Kudzu. It’s known as Velvet Bean or “Nescafe” (as a joke) in Central America where people eat the bean as part of their daily diet. After having studied cancer cures for many years, I knew the politics that keep valuable natural cures like this hidden from my work with cancer cures and it immediately became clear that many people were confused about Mucuna pruriens and the natural form of L-Dopa that it contains because pharmaceutical companies had created a smokescreen wasn’t easy for a lot of people to decipher.
Basically, by referring to Levodopa, a pharmaceutical used for Parkinson’s Disease, “LDopa”, Big Pharma has been able to keep people from finding information about natural L-Dopa, the dopamine precursor that exists in Mucuna.
It isn’t hard to see the difference between these two substances. Pharmaceutical Levodopa contains two substances: L-Dopa and Carbidopa. Mucuna contains only L-Dopa. Natural L-Dopa by itself has never been problematic, but the combination of L-Dopa and carbidopa leads to side effects with Pharmaceutical Levodopa is taken over the long-term. The same is not true for the L-Dopa in Mucuna. Indeed, many broadleaf beans contain L-Dopa and consuming these beans it good for our mental health.
So, if you’re worried and wondering what to do if your child is addicted to drugs, consider getting Mucuna pruriens supplements or Kudzu supplements (depending on your child’s addiction).
Treating Addiction at Home: Part II – Diet
Again, it doesn’t matter whether your child is addicted to drugs or social media. Addiction is a problem that has to do with dopamine levels in the brain combined with downregulated dopamine receptors (the receptors die-off as a result of over-exposure to dopamine). With that in mind, as a parent, you can help a child who’s addicted to drugs, alcohol, nicotine, or even videogames or their smartphone to overcome the problem by changing their diet.
For people suffering from addiction, a diet high in protein and amino acids is better than vegetarian or vegan diets. Also, diets that are low in refined sugars are preferrable because sugar, itself, can set off an addictive cycle.
Of course, it was easy to see that the effects of L-Dopa in Mucuna pruriens and the role of amino acids in addiction were related. L-Dopa is made from amino acids like phenylalanine and tyrosine. To summarize, what I’ve found after a year of heavy research, without the right amino acids in the diet, people become susceptible to addiction. The object of the addiction varies from person-to-person. While one person may get addicted to meth, another person may become hopelessly addicted to porn. But the susceptibility to addiction starts with a diet that’s too low in certain amino acids.
For an addict, the most dangerous type of “healthy” diet is one that’s vegan or vegetarian. Addicts need a LOT of amino acids and they also need B vitamins, especially vitamin B6. Meats like chicken contain not only the amino acids they need, but also the B vitamins. But for someone who has already become addicted to something, it’s important to take supplements in addition to eating a diet that includes meat.
If your child was raised as a vegan or as a vegetarian, you might consider putting chicken and other animal products on the menu again. Check out the Budwig Quark recipe as another important add-on that contains bioavailable omegas and fatty acids that help the brain rebuild itself.
Even if your child isn’t technically vegan or vegetarian, if they only eat highly processed foods and a lot of refined sugars, they’re going to be prone to addiction. Refined sugars are more addictive than cocaine and they can perpetuate low dopamine levels in the brain even if you provide your child with a lot of healthy amino acids in their diet.
And don’t think that serving chicken will fix an addiction in progress. If your child begins eating animal products, give them a proteolytic enzyme to keep their pancreas healthy and give them Mucuna supplements in addition to their high-amino diet. But remember that when a person consumes animal products or amino acid supplements, the bigger amino acids may sometimes inhibit the smaller ones like the L-Dopa in Mucuna from making it past the blood-brain barrier. So the supplements are still essential and they should be taken at different times of the day from meals that include animal products.
I recommend that recovering addicts take the Thorne Research multivitamin because it contains a high dose of vitamin B6 (which is essential for the brain to make dopamine) and the proper proportion of vitamin K2 and D3 (to help rebuild bones and restore the heart to a healthy condition).
What to Do If Your Child Is Addicted to Drugs: Part III – No One Wants to Be Addicted
Finally, I work off the assumption that no one likes to be controlled by a substance or an object of addiction and that addiction is a manifestation of deeper physiological problems. There are theories out there that addiction is caused by trauma or that it’s a manifestation of a lack of willpower, but while some of that may be true in some cases, it’s been my experience that having adequate dopamine in the brain is the starting block for overcoming addiction. And that addiction is a person’s attempt to heal the problem of having a lack of dopamine in the brain.
It can take a year or longer for the brain to rebuild the dopamine receptors that should populate the synapse in a normal, healthy brain if the addict does NOT take Mucuna. But scientific research has shown that it takes about 5 months for these receptors to rebuild when the addict takes about 6000 mg of Mucuna per day (taken 4 times per day, about every 3 hours in 1500 mg doses).
After people start taking 6000 mg of Mucuna per day, the whole view of the world changes. Day-by-day, they became more and more easy-going. Every day they got a little better, but the results are visible literally 4 hours after they take that first big dose of Mucuna. And suddenly, after 5 months of taking Mucuna every day, people start to make jokes, and laugh again. They became more open-minded about everything. It’s a miraculous recovery.
Staying sober is much easier with Mucuna, Kudzu, and amino acids. But I also believe that the likelihood of relapse is significantly reduced when a person eats a diet that contains no refined sugars and that’s high in amino acids and healthy omega fatty acids. Parents who are worried that their teen is addicted to drugs need to know about Mucuna and how diet affects addiction. You can treat addiction at home.
And remember, Mucuna is a bean, so you can eat it like a food. Add it to chili or nacho cheese. Cook the Mucuna powder the way that you would cook dried beans.
The supplements that you’ll find most helpful in overcoming any addiction are:
- Mucuna pruriens – 6000 mg per day (taken every 4 hours)
Mucuna must be taken with B-complex vitamins and zinc in order for the body to convert this plant medicine into neurotransmitters to diminish withdrawals. Taking this supplement gives your body all the necessary materials it needs to manufacture the most important anti-addiction neurotransmitters: dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine.
- 5-HTP – 100 mg up to 4 times per day, as needed (taken every 4 hours)
5-HTP can be extremely helpful during the withdrawal process, but some people respond better to this amino acid than others. Try it at a low dose at first and note whether you feel better or worse in terms of mood, ability to sleep, irritability levels, etc. This supplement gives your body the necessary materials to manufacture serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in depression.
- St. John’s Wort – 300 -1500 mg taken in divided doses every 4 hours
If 5-HTP benefits you during the withdrawal process from addiction, St. John’s Wort may add another layer of support to your protocol. This plant medicine will help your brain make more efficient use of 5-HTP. But you may or may not need St. John’s Wort depending on the biochemical reasons underlying your addiction. Take a low dose of St. John’s Wort with 5-HTP to see how it affects you. You may or may not need it to overcome your social media and smartphone addiction.
- N-Acetyl-Cysteine / NAC– 100-600 mg every 4 hours
NAC is an over-the-counter antioxidant that helps the body regulate glutamate levels in the brain. As such, it regulates the levels of glutamate and GABA in the brain. These two neurotransmitters balance neural excitement with neural relaxation. Taking this supplement at 100 to 600 mg several times throughout the day will help control obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.
- L-Theanine – Take on an as-needed basis
L-Theanine has a calming effect on the body. It can influence the production of serotonin and dopamine and can help you enhance your mood, reduce cortisol levels and stress levels (as a result), making it easier to rest and relax.
- Multi-vitamin (take 1 dose per day in the morning)
Take a multivitamin that contains zinc, and vitamin C.
- Magnesium (take 400 mg in the morning and 400 mg right before bed)
Magnesium will relax your muscles and facilitate all the chemical reactions that are necessary for you to overcome addiction.
- Vitamin B Complex (take 1 dose per day in the morning)
Choose a vitamin B complex product that contains at least 25 mg of vitamin B6 per dose. Without the proper amount of B vitamins, your body won’t be able to make use of any of the other supplements you’re taking for withdrawals, so B vitamins are a vital part of successfully overcoming any addiction!
- Super Balanced Neurotransmitter Complex (take 1 dose daily; take it separately from Mucuna pruriens )
This supplement provides you with a high dose of vitamin B6, a vital nutrient in overcoming smartphone and social media addiction, along with an array of neurotransmitters that have been scientifically proven to positively affect mood and brain health.
- Amygdalin (Take 500 mg of this supplement at night, right before bed).
Amygdalin will help your body and brain rebuild neurological structures that may have been depleted as a result of addictive behaviors.
- Lugol’s Iodine (Purchase a 2% solution and start with 1 drop on the wrist in the morning every day adding 1 daily drop every 7 days until you get to 20 drops total per day.)
Lugol’s iodine contains the nutrients your body needs to be able to produce thyroid hormones and reproductive hormones in appropriate quantities. It helps to increase your norepinephrine levels (a neurotransmitter that plays a strong role in preventing relapse). If you consume bromine-containing items like breads or soft-drinks (check the ingredients on your bread and soft drink products for BVO’s – bromated vegetable oils) or if you swim regularly in a pool that’s sanitized using bromine, your iodine levels may be dangerously low and you may break out in a rash when you use this supplement as the bromine leaves the body during the initial stages of supplementation.
- Honokiol/Magnolia Bark – (take 400 mg 1 hour before bed)
Magnolia Bark is a plant medicine that will help you sleep. It has the ability to change its shape in the brain to provide your brain with whatever it needs to rest.
- L-Tryptophan – (take 1500 mg 1 hour before bed)
This is the amino acid in turkey that makes people feel sleepy after a big Thanksgiving dinner. L-Tryptophan is another serotonin precursor. You can take up to 15 grams of L-Tryptophan to relieve insomnia, but most people take between 1000 and 5000 mg before bed to help them sleep.
- Melatonin – (take 3 mg 1 hour before bed)
Melatonin will help you sleep and it will also help you maintain adequate serotonin levels in the brain.