By: Reilly Johnson
One of the biggest reasons people fail in addiction says the American Society of Addiction Medicine…
“Addiction is not about drugs, it’s about brains. It is not the substances a person uses that make them an addict; it is not even the quantity or frequency of use. Addiction is about what happens in a person’s brain when they are exposed to rewarding substances or rewarding behaviors, and it is more about reward circuitry in the brain and related brain structures than it is about the external chemicals or behavior that “turn on” that reward circuitry.”
If you’ve used opiates for longer than a few weeks then there is a good chance you’re lacking in natural “feel good” brain chemicals and neurotransmitters. Your brain’s primary four neurotransmitters are dopamine, serotonin, GABA, acetylcholine.
The right question is, what do they do for you?
- Serotonin regulates sleep and appetite
- Dopamine is the feel good chemical, plays an important role in mood, energy, attitude, motivation.
- GABA acts as your calming neurotransmitter, helping you relax
- Acetylcholine for processing information and memory
- Endorphins are feel good chemicals our bodies release under extreme pain. They are considered the bodies own opiates.
When opioids, heroin and other prescription pain medicine are abuese these neurotransmitters get disrupted greatly, one crucially important point is,
Opiates release 2 to 10 times the amount of dopamine that natural rewards do.
What do you do if the volume on the stereo is too loud? You would turn it down, right? Well our brain does that same thing when it adjusts to the overwhelming surges of dopamine (and other neurotransmitters) sent from opiate and drug use. Your brain begins to automatically produce less natural dopamine to compensate for the surges of artificial dopamine being released from opiates and drugs.
What that means is that when you stop using drugs your brain’s naturally occurring “feel good” neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine) will be well below normal healthy levels. As a result you may feel flat, lifeless, depressed, nervous, anxious, queasy and unable to enjoy things that use to bring you pleasure.
Behavior like this is a common sign of a neurotransmitter deficiency or imbalance. This deficiency often appears during and after opiate abuse especially if used for a long time. Some costly mistakes in my experience have taught me that you won’t have to suffer from this imbalance forever, because there are natural ways to raise depleted resources and nutritional deficiencies.
Supplements that Can Rebuild and Replenish Depleted Dopamine and Serotonin Levels After Opioid Addiction
Mucuna Pruriens (extract) – A deficiency of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain can result in depression, sadness, lack of focus and low motivation. Can help rebuild neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. This improves mood and makes more chemical messengers that act in the brain to produce mental alertness and energy. Mucuna Pruriens can rapidly replenish depleted dopamine stores.
5-HTP (hydroxyryptopan) – 5-HTP is the precursor to serotonin and helps your brain manufacture more serotonin. It is also the precursor for melatonin, the hormone involved in sleep patterns of the human body. It can improve mood, help you sleep, and instill feelings of relaxation and calmness.
GABA – In a healthy, well-nourished person, the brain produces sufficient amounts of GABA and supplementation may not be needed. However, since many people abuse opiates and other drugs, eat poor diets and are over-exposed to environmental toxins, GABA levels can easily fall below optimum amounts. Low GABA levels are associated with a range of problems, including anxiety, depression, irritability and sleeplessness.
One of the very best ways to increase neurotransmitters is to use supplements. There are many specific natural ingredients that have shown in study after study to aid withdrawal symptom relief and rebuild dopamine, serotonin and endorphin levels in the body and brain. The OFC’s new System provides the natural materials needed, helping you to feel better, faster after opioid abuse.
Your body needs to rebuild its natural neurotransmitter systems and reset opiate production in the body after opiate addiction. Our new system helps relieve withdrawal pain and reduce the number of days you experience symptoms. This proprietary combination contains 23 ingredients designed to improve attitude, ease painful body aches, reduce stress and encourage restful sleep.
Natural Ways to Rebuild Neurotransmitter Systems in The Body and Brain
- MUSIC – Music is powerful and can move you emotionally. When you’re coming off opiates you’re body probably feels like it’s thawing out. Your bodies probably more sensitive to touch and sound. Good music can absolutely help your mood and get those brain chemicals working again. Try and listen to mostly upbeat music.
- MEDITATION – Meditation helps the nervous system operate at its best; when done properly this produces optimum levels of serotonin and endorphins. If you’re interested in learning meditation without all the hard work, check out Holosync here.
- LAUGHTER – Watch a good comedy movie or have a laugh with friends to release endorphins.
- SUNLIGHT – bright light increases the production of Serotonin in the body. Spending time in the sunlight can absolutely improve your mood and also soothe muscle aches. Tanning beds can be helpful if no sun is shinning.
- SEX – is a powerful producer of endorphins. A long session can dramatically increase endorphins. When you’re in withdrawal sex can be a very nice escape.
- ACUPUNCTURE – acupuncture increases circulation and stimulates the release of endorphins. If you haven’t looked into acupuncture while in withdrawal – you might want to try it out, it can be VERY helpful during healing.
- MASSAGE – stimulates the release of endorphins. Massaging your own scalp and shower massager’s can provide an affordable alternative to expensive treatments. Massage therapy can feel wonderful.
- HERBS/SUPPLEMENTS – St John’s Wort, 5-HTP and L Tyrosine all can increase serotonin, dopamine and in the brain. Thus easing withdrawal symptoms and shortening withdrawal duration.
- EXERCISE – is one of the best natural ways to produce both serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. Vigorous exercise is best because the stronger the physical demand you place on your body, the greater the release of endorphins. You should try weight training and high and low intensity exercises. Work out as long as you can.
Naturally Increase Serotonin and Dopamine through the Food You Eat
You can also increase serotonin, dopamine and GABA by eating the right foods, including:
- Eat carbohydrate rich meals and lots of vegetables. Healthy choices include whole grain breads, whole grain pasta, rice, brocolli, spinach lettuce, etc. Eating fat processed foods will do the opposite. Eat better and improve how you feel. (now to contradict myself)
- Eat sweet foods like chocolate (sparingly), only a couple squares of good quality chocolate with a high percentage of Cocoa in it can raise these chemicals.
- Serotonin is naturally occurring in foods like pineapples, bananas, nuts and plums.
- Get an adequate supply of B vitamins, folic acid and vitamin C because these vitamins play a role in transmitting brain chemicals.
- Spicy foods like Chile’s, peppers and jalapenos. The heat triggers the release of endorphins, so the spicier the better.
- Weight bearing activity builds dopamine and releases endorphins. Try lifting weights or doing a difficult workout, many begin to feel very good and amped up.