5 Best Nootropics For Addiction Recovery
Some nootropics may help ease the pain of quitting addictive substances
Depending on the substance, nootropics may be useful for controlling cravings
Some nootropics could counteract the negative mental effects of withdrawal
Nootropics are over-the-counter and do not require a physician to take
You should consult your doctor before using nootropics as part of your recovery plan
Overcoming addiction and dealing with withdrawals is never easy.
The most critical factors in getting and staying clean are always going to be the same: A good support network, getting the professional help you need, and time to heal.
It’s also essential to take care of your body holistically, with proper nutrition, exercise (if you are able), hydration, and sleep.
These processes will help your brain and body eventually reset to its natural baseline.
However, there may be some over-the-counter nootropic substances that may help ease the pain and support a healthy transition into sobriety.
Best Nootropics For Withdrawal
Nootropics were initially developed as neuroprotectants, so it would make sense that they might have used for addiction recovery.
These supplements come in many different forms. Some of them might be able to heal the brain after abusing it through other chemicals.
They might clear out oxidative damage or help the regrow neurons.
Others might be useful for softening the cravings and lowering the chance of relapse.
5 Best Nootropics For Addiction Recovery
Mind Lab Pro
Mind Lab Pro is a preformulated Nootropic "stack" that includes 11 cognitive-enhancing ingredients that work synergistically to deliver next-level brain optimization.
As opposed to taking just one, or even a few individual nootropics, Mind Lab Pro's formulation is designed to give you the right doses of each nootropic to deliver the best results.
To help addiction recovery you want something that boosts neurotransmitters, while lowering your body's stress response and neuroinflammation.
Mind Lab Pro includes a number of nootropics that work together to check these boxes.
You also get B-vitamin co-factors to better optimize absorbability.
I love this stack for nootropic newbies and experienced nootropic users alike.
Check out our Full Review of Mind Lab Pro
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L-theanine is an amino acid found in tea leaves, and it’s the compound that’s responsible for tea’s relaxing effects.
This might be valuable for recovering addicts, who may appreciate l-theanine’s non-habit forming chill-out effects. According to research, it can lower anxiety through its action on the GABA, dopamine, and serotonin system.
This process could help calm you down during the stressful period while you are detoxing. L-theanine helped addicted primates stay clean from opiates during one trial.1Laura E. Wise, et al. L-theanine attenuates abstinence signs in morphine-dependent rhesus monkeys and elicits anxiolytic-like activity in mice, Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2012
Quitting any substance is always going to be tough and stressful. Withdrawing can trigger your body’s fight-or-flight response, which can cause a lot of anxiety and may cause a relapse.
Luckily, l-theanine may reduce these symptoms and help you stay calm as you detox.
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Aniracetam is a nootropic in the racetam family and is known for its powerful stimulating and cognition-enhancing effects.
Although there has yet to be clinical research, there is some anecdotal evidence that it can help with addiction recovery.
Aniracetam has a subtle effect on mood, through its action on the acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin systems.
It can increase feelings of wellbeing and decrease anxiety somewhat, which could potentially offset some of the depressive symptoms of withdrawals and recovery.
Although it can make you feel good, it is not known to be addictive itself, which is a positive.
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Citicoline is an excellent source of choline, a nutrient that could be valuable in fighting addiction.
It is also a precursor of dopamine, which could have therapeutic use. Researchers are taking note.
Although there are not many current studies, one meta-analysis saw that citicoline had promising results treating a variety of addictions.
They concluded that citicoline had “promise for alcohol and cannabis dependence and in reducing food consumption.”2Wignall ND, Brown ES. Citicoline in addictive disorders: a review of the literature, Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2014
Citicoline also has a minimal side-effect profile and is extremely safe. We highly recommend it for any detox stack.
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Adrafinil is essentially an over the counter version of modafinil, the prescription smart drug.
It is a mild stimulant that can increase arousal, wakefulness, and cognition, although it is not nearly as intense as other stimulants like amphetamine or cocaine.
It has a low potential for addiction and may be useful for helping treat other addictions. Because it is a mild stimulant, it could be a possible replacement for other, more dangerous substances.
Similar to the way suboxone can treat heroin abuse, it could keep cravings under control and help keep people sober for longer periods. There is some initial clinical evidence that this is the case.3Ann L.Anderson, et al. Modafinil for the treatment of cocaine dependence, Drug and Alcohol Dependence
Withdrawals are also associated with brain fog and cognitive problems.
Adrafinil could help cut through the mental fatigue and allow people in recovery to be more motivated and productive as they go about life during their withdrawals.
However, be aware that there is a small chance that adrafinil could become addictive. We would recommend checking in with a physician or counselor before trying adrafinil as part of your detox regimen.
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L-tyrosine is a common amino acid found in foods like cheese. It is an essential building block of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, which are critical for regulating mood and motivation.
People struggling with addiction often have imbalances in these transmitters. Many drugs use up dopamine stores and downregulate dopamine receptors.
So, when you stop using them, you suffer from the effects of low dopamine.
Symptoms include depression, anxiety, and intense cravings for the dopamine release the drugs provide.
Theoretically, taking an l-tyrosine supplement could boost levels of dopamine naturally and help curb some of the withdrawal symptoms.
L-tyrosine may also improve focus, reduce stress, and support healthy brain chemistry during the stress of withdrawals.
If you want to go this route, we recommend taking NALT, which is a more bioavailable form of l-tyrosine.
Although there is currently no clinical evidence to support this use, many people have reported success kicking opiates by using l-tyrosine.
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Substance use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically significant impairment, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home.
We highly recommend you explore substance abuse counciling along with any supplement regimen.
If you need help immediately, we recommend reaching out via Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services National Helpline.
Do you have a recovery story or strategy to share? Tell us about it in the comments!
About the author:
Erik Levi is a co-founder of HolisticNootropics.com and a certified holistic nutritional therapy practitioner.
As an NTP Erik takes a nutrition first approach to health. He has worked with many different people to help them use nutrition to optimize their quality of life.
Erik believes that mental health is a physiological process and cognitive enhancement is not something that can be achieved by just taking some pills with good Amazon reviews.
Instead, true cognitive enhancement comes with the right balance of nutrients, movement, and gratitude. Erik continues to stay up to date with the most current nootropic and holistic health research and promises to deliver the best solutions possible.
You can check out his personal health blog/podcast/YouTube Channel all under the name Holistic A-Hole.