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Mitigation of heroin withdrawal syndrome by administration of high-dose vitamin C

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Mitigation of heroin withdrawal syndrome by administration of high-dose vitamin C

Conventional heroin withdrawal approaches involve the use of synthetic or semisynthetic opioids, with or without accompanying behavioral therapy. A study conducted in New York City in the 1960s showed that by administering increasing doses of ascorbic acid salts orally in water or juice during withdrawal, vitamin C blocked opioid receptors in the brain and attenuated withdrawal symptoms, encouraging heroin addicts to end their dependence on heroin.

A 1978 field visit to Seattle, Washington, by officials from the U.S. National Institutes for Health’s (NIH) National Institute for Drug Abuse and Alcoholism (NIDAA) confirmed its efficacy, but the agency has to date failed to provide funding to support further research on this promising treatment.

Despite serious reported side effects, pharmacotherapeutic approaches are gaining acceptance in the treatment of heroin addiction with the support of NIDAA, while nutrient-based therapies that could help break the cycle of addiction are being disregarded.

Attenuation of heroin withdrawal syndrome by the administration of high-dose vitamin C.

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