Successful IV Amino Acid Treatment for Addiction

After his second day in the intravenous treatment program, Jerry was surprised and delighted by his progress: “I have been through detox four other times, and I feel as clear now as I ever did after 30 days! My mind is quiet, I can think clearly and I am not craving a drink or a toke.” Partway through the program, to augment the IV, we gave him oral supplements, which he has continued.

He went on to make excellent progress and today, a year later, he is still clean and sober, working at a steady job, not craving and has also noticed that his sex addiction cleared along with the other ones. He sees his therapist on a regular basis, and sees me every two months to check in, and adjust his supplements, currently Brain Recovery AM/PM and Brain Cell Support Plus. We both note that he is remarkably “normal,” with none of the drug-related behavior that he’d exhibited in the past.

It’s hard to believe that a few days into a program of sitting in a doctor’s office getting an IV vitamin therapy/amino acid treatment, someone detoxing from an addictive substance would feel so physically well, mentally clear, alert and with no cravings- and that the progress continues throughout the program. How does that work?

It starts here: Brain cells send signals to one another using a variety of chemicals called neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. A neurotransmitter emitted by one cell is picked up by specialized receptors on neighboring cells.

Alcohol and mood-altering drugs (prescription or illegal) work by either mimicking the action of neurotransmitters or artificially stimulating or suppressing them. Different drugs affect different neurotransmitters and their receptors. Continued use of these substances can gradually decrease the brain cells’ natural ability to send or receive signals. The nervous system then becomes physically dependent on the substance, continuing to rely on it in an attempt to maintain feelings of normalcy and to avoid withdrawal. This is the basis of addiction.

Abrupt withdrawal can be a dangerous shock, while gradually cutting down can be a very slow and painful process. As we know, either method often results in failure, relapse or in lasting anxiety, depression, insomnia and other unpleasant symptoms. The substances have dug their own hole, which now only they can fill. This chemical dependence adds another problem to any issues the person may have had before using the substances.

The reason drugs and alcohol can so easily alter the brain is that it is not designed for this type of prolonged or heavy chemical exposure. The brain develops very slowly during childhood and adolescence in a carefully balanced way, and these substances throw off that important balance. The body does not always have adequate quantities of protein repair materials available to repair this type of damage.

I have had counselors express concern that the IV form of administration would trigger cravings and other undesirable responses. Then there are clients who are afraid of needles. We handle both of these quite easily: it’s really a non-issue. 

Why the intravenous route? Because we can attain much higher levels more quickly with faster and more complete results. Besides, most addicts have poor gastrointestinal absorption after years of substance abuse, In fact, the IV nutrients help to repair the gastrointestinal tract, allowing enhanced absorption of oral supplements going forward.  

The IV Solution to Restore Brain Chemistry

Developed during more than 20 years of research with hundreds of patients, these intravenous formulas combine specific amino acids and vitamins that assist the brain’s natural healing processes. Even with the person stopping alcohol and current drugs often abruptly, the formulas bring about rapid restoration of brain functions with minimal withdrawal symptoms, all in a 7- to 10-day period that otherwise would take months to years to occur, if at all. The particular formula the doctor chooses for a patient and how many days of treatment will be required depend on their substance use history as well as lab tests.

Abstinence, psychological support and switching to prescribed medications are the accepted protocols in drug treatment, in hopes that the brain will gradually recover on its own from the chemical damage. The truth is, very often the natural healing is minimal, and the person suffers with continuing emptiness, anxiety, depression, insomnia, cravings, pain, brain fog or fatigue.

Amino acid therapy directly addresses the chemical changes that drugs or alcohol have caused in the brain.

This program involves 3 to 10 days of daily intravenous treatment, usually without interruption. The IV formula is given as a slow drip, requiring about eight hours each day for the first few days and fewer hours as treatment progresses.

The prolonged daily exposure to high levels of amino acids designed to effectively penetrate the brain allows the patient who is still using drugs or alcohol to safely stop these substances completely (“cold turkey”) on the first day of treatment (methadone being the exception). While they may experience minor withdrawal symptoms, most patients find that it is much less severe than doing it without the assistance of the formula. Prescription medications are generally tapered, but on a more rapid schedule than usual, and with far less problem.

They also find that the major negative effects of drug or alcohol use, such as cravings and anxiety, are gone by the fourth to sixth day of treatment. The second phase of restoration takes over at this point – getting back their enthusiasm, memory, mental clarity, sleep quality and energy. They can begin or continue with a psychosocially oriented treatment program, while continuing to take oral supplements that help maintain the brain chemistry balance. Here’s where my line of special nutrient formulas come in.

This method is also very useful in non-addiction cases needing brain balancing: anxiety, depression and related disorders that reflect a brain chemistry imbalance, with a three-day program generally being sufficient.

We are excited to bring this highly safe and effective method of treatment to our collective awareness.


Learn more about intravenous vitamin and amino acid therapy

As a psychiatrist, I am part of the medical team at the International Sportscience Institute in West Los Angeles (near the 10 and 405 junction) along with our medical director Murray Susser, M.D. who, like me, is an alternative medicine specialist. This is the first center in Los Angeles to provide this treatment. We are accepting client referrals to the program. They can continue with their existing program during and/or after this care is complete.

We would also like to partner with a treatment center(s) that can work with us to create a specific program to best support the clients during their course of IV treatment.

Other IV treatment centers will open soon.  There is an opportunity here to incorporate this method into existing treatment programs, creating a fully integrated program that will offer more complete success to your clients.

There are many possibilities to use this powerful and successful method for those we serve, and to help stop the cycle of recovery and relapse.

For more information on the program, visit


If you are interested in co-creating a program to accompany our IV program, or in adding this IV method to your own program, or simply would like more info, please email me at with the subject line: IV Addiction Program.



To refer clients for care:

International Sportscience Institute

3283 Motor Ave. (at National)

Los Angeles, CA 90034

(310) 559-6900 (ask for Allison) or

To learn more about the use of oral nutrients in addiction, you can read my ebook, The Addicted Brain and How to Break Free. For more general information about nutrients and the brain, download my free special report, Reclaim Your Brain.

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