A vitamin D deficiency increases the craving for opioid drugs – if the vitamin is given as a tablet, the addictive pressure decreases. This is the finding of an international team of researchers led by U.S. scientist Professor David Fisher.
Another observation of the researchers: those who lack vitamin D are better helped by opioids against pain. Scientists also see this as a danger of slipping into addiction.
Alcohol also plays around with the so-called opioid receptors in the brain, as researchers now know. So it’s likely that the scientists’ observations also apply to alcohol addiction.
The research team also found: opiate addicts are more likely than average to have a vitamin D deficiency.
“Vitamin D deficiency is common, but can be treated safely and easily with inexpensive supplements, Fisher emphasizes. Although more research is needed, he believes treating vitamin D deficiency could offer a new way to reduce the risk for addiction and support existing treatments for the disorder. “Our findings suggest that we have an opportunity in public health to impact the opioid epidemic,” he hopes.
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