Amino Acids for Opiate Withdrawal: Can Amino Acids Help?

Amino acids may help those who are struggling with opiate withdrawal. So, how does it work?

How Amino Acids for Opiate Withdrawal Work

Does amino acids for opiate withdrawal help? But what is Opiate in the first place?

Opiates and Opioids are commonly recommended as a form of medication for pain. Opiates are derived naturally from opiates while opioids are derived synthetically from opium. The most damaging and problematic side effect of Opiates and opioids is that is highly addictive regardless of it being prescribed or illegally utilized.

In this article, we will look at what Opiate addiction is, its symptoms and the possible health benefits of amino acids for patients struggling with opiate withdrawal.


Opiate Addiction And Its Symptoms

Opiate and opioid withdrawal occur when the substance leaves the individual’s body resulting in physical and psychological effects and symptoms. These symptoms can be highly uncomfortable and difficult to manage on their own.

Some of the more common symptoms of Opiate and Opioid addiction are sweating, sleep disturbances, drowsiness, pains and aches, irritability, and anxiety. Advanced symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps, and chills. Some of the psychological issues may linger even after the aforementioned physical symptoms have subsided and this may include sleep problems, depression, and anxiety.


Amino Acids Benefits and Opiate Withdrawal

People who are familiar with exercise and muscle building may have heard of amino acids and the critical role they plan in the aforementioned bodily functions. These amino acids help in the development and maintenance of healthy tissues and muscles. Amino acids are currently being tapped as a possible treatment option for people struggling with various forms of drug and alcohol withdrawal, including that from opiates.

But are Amino acids being identified as a possible treatment option for patients suffering from different kinds of withdrawal? This is because amino acids are also neurotransmitters that are present in the body different from proteins. These neurotransmitters and their balance may be altered due to excessive alcohol and drug intake. The same neurotransmitters are responsible for the transporting nerve impulses from the brain and throughout the CNS or the Central Nervous System. As such, experts believe that achieving balance in the neurotransmitters present in the body can lead to normal thinking and behavior.

Various Neurotransmitters or amino acids within the human body serve a different and specific purpose. Enumerated below are some of these neurotransmitters:


It is a neurotransmitter that plays a critical role in the body’s functions such as sensory perception, appetite, and mood. Serotonin found in the spinal cord can be pain inhibitory.


Norepinephrine acts as both a hormone and a neurotransmitter. As a hormone, it is responsible for the human body’s reaction known as fight or flight. As a neurotransmitter, Norepinephrine is responsible for mood or emotion regulation. Norepinephrine is also considered excitatory but can also be inhibitory.


Usually utilized by neurons, Glycine is found in the spinal cord. This neurotransmitter is mostly inhibitory in its core function.


Glutamate is considered to be one of the most common excitatory forms of neurotransmitter in the human brain.

Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid or GABA

Found in the brain, this neurotransmitter is considered as the primary or major inhibitor of the human body.


Commonly released by the reward system of the brain.  This neurotransmitter can function in multiple different ways depending on where it activated in the human brain. Dopamine is also considered as an inhibitory form of neurotransmitter.


It is considered as a neurotransmitter that is excitatory. Used by neurons in the brain to regulate memory and the spinal cord to control the movement of the muscles.

Experts theorize that amino acid imbalance can lead to substance abuse such as drugs and alcohol, and for the purposes of this article, opiates. In other instances, the amino acid imbalance may be the direct result of substance abuse. Individuals who consume more of the said substances will have greater amino acid and neurotransmitter imbalance. The body will require more intake of the substance resulting in what is called increased tolerance.

During the process of detoxification, an addict will experience various withdrawal symptoms and even cravings due to the imbalance of neurotransmitters and amino acids in the body. In fact, the aforementioned imbalance can still be felt even after the process of detoxification has been completed. To speed up the process of neurotransmitter balance restoration, the patient may be given amino acid supplements.


Can the Amino Acid Detox Really Help Patients?

IV or intravenous Amino acid detox works by having the patient directly introduced to amino acid supplements through the brain and help in restoring amino acids and neurotransmitters lost due to opiate or substance abuse. This intravenous introduction of amino acids will directly influence the brain to undergo rebalancing and stimulation during withdrawal. The patient’s body can then go on to naturally restore its overall health if and when the right amount and mixture of amino acids are used for the above-mentioned detox.

It must be noted that amino acid detox does not have the same level of opiate withdrawal reduction as that of traditional and medical detox. However, this amino acid detox is way better than doing it cold turkey. It is also important for patients to note that any form of detox program should be under the supervision of a medical professional for it to be successful and sustainable.

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