The Addictions Coach: Amino Acid Use in Recovery. Guest Post from Rose Lockinger
The team at The Addictions Coach understand that each client is a unique individual. We utilize many ways to offer help in the road to addiction recovery. Read on for valuable information on amino acid replacement therapy. Visit The Addictions Coach or call 1.800.706.0318 to learn more.
Amino Acid Use In Recovery
Due to the mounting drug addiction epidemic in this country, the treatment community has had to employ every possible means to combat the problem. This has led to innovations in the field that seem promising for helping drug addicts and alcoholics achieve their goal of sobriety. Gone are the days where traditional psychotherapy and the 12-step model of treatment are the only means we have to help treat drug addiction. Scientists are looking to develop vaccines for certain drugs, helping to counteract their effects on the body and reduce cravings. Holistic treatments are being used in more and more treatment settings, these include Amino Acid Replenishment and any other form of treatment that could potentially be helpful is being investigated.
One such new innovation that is starting to gain wider acceptance in the treatment field is Amino Acid Replacement Therapy. This form of treatment is being used in particular to help with relapse prevention and the results that it is producing seem to show that it is working.
So what exactly is Amino Acid Replacement Therapy and can we expect it to become a staple of the treatment industry in the future?
What is Amino Acid Replacement Therapy?
Amino Acid Replacement Therapy is exactly what it sounds like. It uses amino acids in order to help curb unhealthy habits, such as compulsively using drugs or alcohol. The way this is accomplished is through the neurotransmitters in the brain that contribute to a person’s overall feeling of wellness and pleasure. When a person is abusing drugs or alcohol they affect these neurotransmitters because the drugs or alcohol are actually doing their job for them. This means that with enough time the brain actually stops producing neurotransmitters that communicate with the pleasure centers of the brain, and so the only way that a person can experience pleasure is through drug or alcohol use.
When someone stops using these substances the brain does not instantaneously begin to produce these chemicals but rather it takes some time for the brain to catch up to the change and start production again. During this time period, which occurs in early sobriety, depression and other physical ailments can occur because the brain is no longer functioning with the drugs or alcohol and is not functioning properly without them.
This is where Amino Acid Replacement Therapy comes in because the amino acids used are “the precursors that our bodies use to create neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for well-being and pleasure.” This means that with the introduction of these amino acids a person’s body can adjust to the sudden change a lot quicker than if no amino acids were being used. It can result in the production of positive hormones and give an overall feeling of wellness that the body could not accomplish on it’s own at that moment. By allowing for a quicker return to normalcy Amino Acid Replacement Therapy helps those in early recovery avoid a relapse due to feelings of hopelessness and depression that are beyond their control. Early sobriety is never particularly fun, but when having to deal with a mind that is not allowing you to extract any enjoyment out of life, it makes it increasingly more difficult. By introducing these amino acids into the body and allowing neurotransmitters to begin working again, this form of therapy has the potential to give those people teetering on the edge of relapse the extra push they need to stay sober.
Which Amino Acids Are Used In This Therapy?
There are 22 amino acids known to man, but only five of them are used in Amino Acid Replacement Therapy. These amino acids are all linked to particular neurotransmitters that either have to deal with cravings related to drugs or alcohol or the creation of pleasure in the brain. The five amino acids used in this therapy are:
L-Tryptophan- This amino acid is involved in the production of serotonin and it works as a sort of anti-depressant. By introducing this amino acid into the body during early sobriety it can help the individual overcome some of the initial depression that follows getting sober and increase the amount of serotonin present in the brain.
GABA- When there is a lack of GABA in the system a person can experience elevated levels of stress and anxiety. This can, in turn, lead to a desire to drink or drug in order to alleviate those feelings, so by giving GABA to a person in early sobriety it can reduce anxiety and help to curb cravings.
DLPA DL-Phenylalanine- This amino acid is known to increase the longevity of endorphins in the body. Endorphins act as natural pain relievers and so utilizing them can help to reduce cravings for opiates and help to reduce physical pain.
L-Tyrosine- is an amino acid that is used to produce noradrenaline and dopamine. This amino acid is known to give a person more energy, increase clarity of thought, help motivation, and also reduces depression and anxiety. When just getting sober having the energy to do what is necessary to stay sober is important and this amino acid is a useful tool in allowing this to happen.
L-Glutamine- is used in other parts of the medical field in order to help counteract side effects of medical treatments such as chemotherapy. It is known to help protect the immune system and also help balance out the mind. L-Glutamine also is used in regulating blood sugar and is known to bolster energy. Having a boost to the immune system, energy, and regulating the mind are all extremely important during early sobriety. So this amino acid is an integral part in helping those just getting sober avoid a relapse.
As promising as Amino Acid Replacement Therapy is, hopefully, more treatment centers will begin to use it in the future. It is not that expensive, its side effects are almost non-existent, and its benefits speak for themselves. Any and all help that can be given to the newly sober individual should be used in order to help them get over the hump of early sobriety and on their way to a healthy whole life.
Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.