IV Detox For Substance Abuse: Does It Work?

Last Updated: June 3, 2020

Intravenous (IV) detoxification, also called detoxification therapy, is an effective method used in substance abuse detox centers for safe withdrawal from drugs of abuse. Detox IV therapy purges out these drugs and toxins from the system while also replenishing the body’s depleted stores of fluids and nutrients. Consequently, it lowers withdrawal symptoms, reduces cravings, and energizes the body.

What is IV Detoxification?

IV detox treatment involves introducing nutrients such as amino acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and, in some cases, oxygen, directly into the bloodstream of a recovering addict through a vein. Delivering these nutrients help to purge out drugs and neutralize toxic substances in the body.

For instance, heavy alcohol consumption depletes the body’s stores of vitamin A, thiamine, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid. Furthermore, alcohol consumption triggers prolonged vomiting and diarrhea, which cause rapid fluid loss and dehydration.

These nutrients, therefore, must be administered to expedite the withdrawal process and lower the severity of withdrawals. Why not take oral vitamins, one may ask? Oral administration of these nutrients leaves only about 30-40% of the nutrients absorbed, unlike detox IV drips where almost 100% is absorbed. And for alcohol recovering addicts, vitamins are not significantly absorbed in the gut because of the effects of prolonged alcohol consumption on the gut’s absorptive capacity. This 100% bioavailability of nutrients makes nutrient drips effective as IV medicine for alcohol detox.

How Does IV Fluid Detox Work?

There are different types of IV detox fluids for substance abuse detox, with each having various components. These include amino acid therapy, antioxidant therapy, and NAD therapy, each of which has a different mechanism of action.

IV Amino Acid Drips

Amino acid infusion works on the principle of neurotransmitter imbalance, which underlies drug and alcohol addiction. These substances alter the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine and serotonin, resulting in psychological and physical symptoms that characterize drug and alcohol addiction.

man with IV drip in bed

As a result of this neurotransmitter imbalance, the body requires more and more of the drug or alcohol to maintain a false balance, leading to tolerance and dependence. During addiction treatment, this wrong neurotransmitter balance is removed, and the body is exposed to the severe, underlying imbalance, which results in intense cravings for the drug and acute withdrawal symptoms.

Intravenous amino acid drips provide fast recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, requiring only 5-7 days of daily drip treatment for complete relief. This may be administered as part of an inpatient medical detox or outpatient treatment. While medicated detox may require several weeks of treatment, detox IV drips with amino acid take less than a week.

IV Antioxidant Drips

Detox drips with glutathione have been popular in recent times for the treatment of substance abuse disorders. These drips deliver glutathione – a powerful antioxidant – directly into the bloodstream, where it neutralizes free radicals released by alcohol and psychoactive drugs.

So these drugs deplete the body’s natural antioxidants and cause an oxidant imbalance that results in several adverse changes, including cognitive impairment and neurological toxicity.

As an essential part of the weaning-off process, glutathione is delivered to the brain through the bloodstream, where it restores this balance, potentially reversing many of these oxidant-induced changes. This helps to expedite the detoxification process.

IV NAD Drips

Intravenous detox with NAD, or Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, is an effective therapy for drug and alcohol addiction. It not only flushes out all toxic drugs from circulation, but it also energizes the body and reduces the intensity of withdrawal symptoms during treatment.

NAD is a naturally occurring co-enzyme in the body that plays a crucial role in energy production within cells. It is an essential cofactor required in the metabolic pathways that convert food to energy. NAD is also vital for DNA repair and brain function. With drug and alcohol addiction, the body’s store of NAD is significantly depleted.

nurse holding an IV bag

Detox IV drip therapy with NAD typically requires one infusion per day for ten days, where NAD is slowly infused into the bloodstream, with an immediate boost in energy levels and improved brain function. Furthermore, NAD drips restore cellular function and reduce the craving for drugs and alcohol.

Most patients need 6-10 drips to get complete relief. So Intravenous NAD treatment may be administered every day, one infusion per day, for up to 10 days. After an initial IV detox treatment, the patient may receive follow up injections a month or two after.

How Detox IV is Administered

These outpatient drips are administered in rehabs for drug addiction. A trained nurse administers the drip on each day. First, the nurse cleans the IV site (usually in the arm or wrist) with an antiseptic liquid, then inserts the Intravenous line into the vein. Once in the vein, the nurse secures the cannula before administering the infusion.

Each of the IV outpatient detox drips can last for an hour or more depending on their constitutions, and a patient may need to have repeated drip infusions for optimal results.

The drips may also be administered in mobile IV units as a detox home remedy in acute cases. However, it is crucial to check the medical license of the person administering such detox, as far as some fraudulent organizations claim to provide such services.

Is IV Fluid Therapy Effective?

Does rapid detox work? Yes, it does. Intravenous nutrient therapy detox is useful for lowering the severity and duration of withdrawals and achieving successful treatment.

In one case, a recent FDA report describes NAD drip treatment as the best solution for opioid abuse, prescription drug abuse, and post-acute withdrawal syndrome.

The report reveals the effectiveness of drip therapy containing NAD and amino acids in a patient with prolonged stimulant use. The patient, a 34-year-old woman, had used cocaine and Ritalin for several years. She had also commenced Suboxone, one of the detox drugs for opiates.

After just 7 days of NAD-amino acid accelerated IV detox drips, all cravings resolved, brain fatigue from withdrawal stopped, and anxiety and bone pain accompanying Suboxone disappeared. The report notes that she texted a month following the treatment that she was sober and relapse-free.

man receiving IV treatment in a hospital room

A recent pilot study evaluating the effectiveness of intravenous KB220IV amino acid drips in a residential addiction treatment program found that it improves treatment outcomes significantly. About 23 patients in the program received the treatment, receiving at least five drips over seven days.

Pitfalls of Drip Treatment

IV therapy medical detox is generally safe, and complications are rare. However, a small percentage of patients may experience side effects associated with intravenous drug administration, such as swelling, discomfort, and tightness of skin around the IV site.

Some patients may also develop phlebitis, an inflammation of the veins used for the infusion; however, this rarely happens.

The other possible outcome is an allergy to some of the compounds. Always inform a healthcare provider about any food or medical intolerance before the procedure.

Finding Help with IV Therapy for Drug Treatment

IV drop detox is a safe, standard procedure to treat substance dependence. Intravenous therapy delivers essential nutrients, fluids, and energy while ridding the body of free radicals and drugs. This offers a fast recovery, increased immune and brain function, leaving no complications. Contact the best IV vitamins and detox centers or mobile IV units to get started on the road to recovery.

However, note that IV detox is not a foolproof remedy for addiction. Body cleanse is just the first step in the treatment procedure. If no other therapies were used, the chances of relapse increase. Contact drug detox centers for additional information.

Page Sources

  1. Sepideh NABIPOUR, Mas AYU SAID, Mohd HUSSAIN HABIL. Burden and Nutritional Deficiencies in Opiate Addiction- Systematic Review Article. Iran J Public Health. 2014 Aug; 43(8): 1022–1032. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4411899/
  2. JOHN E. HUMISTON, M.D. Pharmacy Compounding Committee Review: Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+). https://www.fda.gov/media/113016/download
  3. Merlene Miller, Amanda LC Chen, Stan D. Stokes, et al. Early Intervention of Intravenous KB220IV- Neuroadaptagen Amino-Acid Therapy (NAAT)™ Improves Behavioral Outcomes in a Residential Addiction Treatment Program: A Pilot Study. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2012 Nov-Dec; 44(5): 398–409. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4074362/

Published on: October 25th, 2019

Updated on: June 3rd, 2020


Leave a comment

  • Teanna
    Is this good treatment for alcoholism
  • Thea
    Is this good for alcoholics
  • Catherine
    I need to pass drug test for employment. I have a medical marijuana card but was refused a job because I tested positive. Will this IV therapy help me cleanse from marijuana use?