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.
What Are The Best Nootropics for Addiction Recovery - Quick Answers
|Blood Sugar Breakthrough||Stabilizes and promotes healthy blood sugar levels||Learn More|
|Mind Lab Pro||#1 Nootropic For Beginners||Learn More|
|Reishi ||A staple in Eastern medicine||Learn More|
|Magnesium||#1 Magnesium Product||Learn More|
|Qualia Mind||Most Nootropics Per Serving||Learn More|
|L-theanine||The all-natural "chill pill"||Learn More|
|Aniracetam||One of the most popular nootropics for focus and mood||Learn More|
|Citicoline||Supercharged source of choline for your brain||Learn More|
|Adrafinil||A legal over-the-counter version on Modafinil||Learn More|
|NALT||Effective, natural way to support dopamine||Learn More|
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
Stabilizes and promotes healthy blood sugar levels
Dysregulated blood sugar levels have been associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline, development of depressive symptoms, and formation of addictive behavior patterns.1Lynette C. Daws, Malcolm J. Avison, Sabrina D. Robertson, Kevin D. Niswender, Aurelio Galli, and Christine Saunders, Insulin signaling and addiction, Neuropharmacology. 2012
Studies also suggest that people who have had a history of substance abuse are at an increased risk of development of metabolic syndrome and diabetes due to increased cell damage and the adverse effects of opioids on glucose homeostasis.2Omorogieva Ojo, Xiao-Hua Wang , Osarhumwese Osaretin Ojo , Jude Ibe, The Effects of Substance Abuse on Blood Glucose Parameters in Patients with Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Int J Environ Res Public Health. 20183C Taha, A Klip, The insulin signaling pathway, J Membr Biol. 1999
Blood Sugar Breakthrough can help to bring the blood glucose levels back into balance and thus assist the process of addiction recovery.
#1 Nootropic For Beginners
- Mind Lab Pro is my top nootropic choice for overcoming addiction.
- This stack includes 11 high potency ingredients that build neurotransmitters, which helps with willpower and feeling good.
- The adaptogenic herbs add support by reducing brain inflammation and stress hormones.
- There's also B-vitamins and phosphatidylserine for added support.
- The supplements themselves are 3rd party tested and free of excess fillers and toxic ingredients.
- I love this stack for nootropic newbies and experienced nootropic users alike.
A staple in Eastern medicine
Reishi mushroom is a medicinal mushroom that helps both addiction recovery and mitigate harsh withdrawal symptoms.4Huihui Wu, Shanshan Tang , Zhaoqin Huang, Qian Zhou , Ping Zhang , Zuohong Chen, Hepatoprotective Effects and Mechanisms of Action of Triterpenoids from Lingzhi or Reishi Medicinal Mushroom Ganoderma lucidum (Agaricomycetes) on α-Amanitin-Induced Liver Injury in Mice, Int J Med Mushrooms. 2016
It has immunomodulating effects that keep your body's defense mechanisms calm, balances hormones, and promotes hepatic health, which are all crucial for successful addiction recovery.5Huihui Wu, Shanshan Tang, Zhaoqin Huang, Qian Zhou, Ping Zhang , Zuohong Chen, Hepatoprotective Effects and Mechanisms of Action of Triterpenoids from Lingzhi or Reishi Medicinal Mushroom Ganoderma lucidum (Agaricomycetes) on α-Amanitin-Induced Liver Injury in Mice, Int J Med Mushrooms. 2016;
This mushroom contains many essential macro- and micro- nutrients, which will help you from feeling tired, dizzy, and lethargic during the recovery period.
Reishi also promotes neuroplasticity, and enhances antioxidant status in the body to keep you feeling sharp and healthy while abstaining from substances..6Sissi Wachtel-Galor, John Yuen, John A. Buswell, and Iris F. F. Benzie., Chapter 9Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi), CRC Press/Taylor & Francis. 2011
Freshcap Mushrooms provide the highest percentage of beta glucans and fruiting body nutrients, making this mushroom product my preferred choice for Reishi.
#1 Magnesium Product
Research suggests that the intake of Magnesium in supplemental form may assist in the reduction of the intensity of addiction to alcohol, cocaine, opiates, amphetamine, and nicotine.7Mihai Nechifor, Magnesium in drug abuse and addiction, University of Adelaide Press. 2011
The underlying mechanism for magnesium’s potential role in addiction recovery may be attributed to the fact that drug abusers and alcohol consumers often have relatively lower levels of magnesium concentration intracellularly and also in their blood plasma when compared to non-drug dependent individuals.8Mihai Nechifor, Magnesium in addiction - a general view, Magnes Res. 20189Kari Poikolainen & Hannu Alho , Magnesium treatment in alcoholics: A randomized clinical trial, Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy volume 3. 2008
Not only does magnesium help in emerging from addiction and dependency, it may also help in reducing the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and managing stress in drug-dependent individuals.10Mihai Nechifor, Magnesium in addiction - a general view, Magnes Res. 2018
Magnesium Breakthrough contains is a good amalgamation of various absorbable forms of dietary magnesium. Hence, it is highly recommended as a useful supplement in addiction recovery.
Most Nootropics Per Serving
- Qualia Mind's comprehensive formula contains several amino acids and nootropics that work synergistically to calm the mind while boosting dopamine and motivation, which is essential when dealing with recovery and withdrawal.
- You also get several adaptogens and B-vitamins to alleviate the stress response and keep you cool in tough times.
- Vitamins B6, C, and D3 improve the conversion of Dopamine to Norepinephrine, which is vital to help your brain appropriately utilize these neurotransmitters.
- Caffeinated and non-caffeinated versions are available
The all-natural "chill pill"
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.11Laura 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.
One of the most popular nootropics for focus and mood
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.
Supercharged source of choline for your brain
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.”12Wignall 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.
A legal over-the-counter version on Modafinil
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.13Ann L.Anderson, et al. Modafinil for the treatment of cocaine dependence, Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2009
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.
Effective, natural way to support dopamine
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.
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 counseling 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!