IV drug detox, also known as NAD IV therapy, is touted as an answer for people struggling with addiction and difficult withdrawal symptoms whenever they try to stop. Detoxing from drugs or alcohol is never easy, and fear of painful withdrawal is enough to deter some people from entering much-needed treatment.

It’s tempting to bypass challenging withdrawal symptoms, but is IV drug detox all it’s cracked up to be? A quick online search produces countless examples of businesses eager to take your money, but their lofty promises may be too good to be true.

What is NAD IV Therapy?

NAD is the acronym for Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide, a naturally occurring compound that helps the cells produce energy from food. Drugs and alcohol can deplete the amount of NAD in the body, thus limiting the body’s ability to convert food into energy. There’s also a possibility that some people don’t produce enough NAD naturally, making them more susceptible to substance abuse and addiction.

Proponents claim that NAD IV therapy is beneficial because it allows NAD to bypass the stomach and go directly to the bloodstream and the brain.

IV Drug Detox: How Does it Work?

If you decide to give NAD IV therapy a try, a physician will assess the severity of your addiction and your overall health. Once the doctor has determined the best course of treatment, you’ll receive IV therapy for 10 to 14 consecutive days. In addition to NAD, the IV may also contain other substances to help prevent infection and regulate nerve function, such as vitamins C and B12, magnesium, and zinc.

You’ll be seated in a comfortable chair while NAD IV drip is administered slowly through a vein. You can watch TV, nap, work on your laptop, read, or eat during the treatment. The first couple of sessions are lengthy, generally lasting between two and 10 hours. After that, treatments are shorter in duration, typically between 45 minutes and six hours. The doctor will probably ask you to return for a follow-up in a month or two.

Side effects, including mild nausea or chest pressure, appear to be mild. A slower NAD drip usually prevents symptoms, and discomfort usually goes away when the session is completed. Also, there is always a slight risk of infection when needles are inserted into the body.

NAD Drip: Lofty Promises

According to NAD IV therapy providers, treatments flush drugs out of the system and allow the body to produce energy naturally while minimizing withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Additionally, some clinics claim that IV NAD therapy will:

  • Enhance mood and energy,
  • Promote weight loss
  • Boost metabolism
  • Slow or reverse the aging process
  • Reduce chronic pain and inflammation
  • Prevent or delay certain diseases, including diabetes and heart disease
  • Lessen symptoms of fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis
  • Improve athletic performance
  • Improve mental clarity and concentration
  • Reduce fatigue
  • Restore energy levels and endurance
  • Improve appearance
  • Provide an overall sense of wellbeing
  • Reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Repair damaged DNA
  • Promote restful sleep and ease insomnia
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Relieve symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Treat symptoms of schizophrenia
  • Help with autism

NAD IV Therapy: Good Medicine or Expensive Snake Oil?

In 2019, National Public Radio (NPR) reported that such claims aren’t supported by scientific research or evidence. Not only that, but unsubstantiated claims may indicate false or misleading marketing of medical treatments.

Addiction treatment professionals express concern that quitting alcohol and benzodiazepines suddenly is dangerous and may result in psychosis, hallucinations, tremors, or grand mal seizures, which can be fatal. Tapering the drugs slowly, with a physician or treatment center’s support, is safer and more likely to result in long-term recovery.

Medical experts have called NAD IV therapy “bogus” or “quackery,” which takes advantage of vulnerable, desperate people struggling with substance abuse or addiction. NAD IV therapy is expensive, ranging from a few hundred dollars per session to $1,000 or more. Don’t expect your insurance to pay for unproven treatment.

The Bottom Line: If It’s Too Good to Be True…

The bottom line is that NAD IV therapy shows promise, but more research is needed before we know if treatments are safe, effective, and dependable. If you think the treatments may help, talk to your doctor or a treatment professional first. Ensure IV therapy is administered by registered, trained nurses who will monitor your vital signs throughout the IV drip treatment.

Avoid popular IV bars and clinics that make unrealistic claims or promise miracle cures. NAD IV therapy is likely to be more successful along when combined with regular treatment or support groups.

Remember that you can boost your body’s level of NAD by exercising more and by eating more raw, nutritious, protein-rich food. You can also buy over-the-counter NAD supplements, but so far, there is no evidence they help with substance abuse and addiction.

Traditional Therapy May Be Your Best Hope of Recovery

Many experts think that NAD IV therapy prevents people from engaging in regular treatment using counseling, education, support, group therapy, and relapse prevention. Also, NAD IV therapy generally doesn’t address depression, anxiety, and other mental and emotional issues.

Reputable treatment centers and rehabs make sure you are safely detoxed before treatment begins. You will receive medications to prevent seizures and ease nausea, pain, headaches, and other difficult withdrawal symptoms.

Many treatment centers and rehabs also offer medicine-assisted treatment (MAT), which is highly effective when used in conjunction with traditional therapy. Medications such as buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone are proven to be effective and FDA-approved. The meds work by minimizing withdrawal, curbing cravings, or blocking the pleasurable effects of drugs and alcohol.

Reach Out for Help Today

Quality treatment for substance abuse relies on a range of tools and methods that can help you say goodbye to addiction for good. There are no miracle cures for addiction, but at 1st Step Behavioral Healthcare, our compassionate professionals are ready to answer your questions and discuss your treatment options. Give us a call today at (866) 971-5531, or contact us here.

Jump to a Section

Call (855) 425-4846