Use of micronutrients attenuates cannabis and nicotine abuse as evidenced from a reversal design: a case study

J Psychoactive Drugs. Apr-Jun 2013;45(2):168-78. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2013.785840.

Abstract

Prior research shows that micronutrients, particularly amino acids, can assist individuals with substance dependence to quit various drugs of abuse, including cannabis, alcohol, and cocaine. As part of a wider investigation of the impact of micronutrients (mostly vitamins and minerals) on psychiatric symptoms, such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), depression, and anxiety, we observed that many participants reduced or eliminated use of alcohol, cigarettes, and cannabis. One case using a single-case reversal (off-on-off-on-off) design is presented and shows not only on-off control of psychiatric symptoms as micronutrients are consumed or withdrawn, but also simultaneous on-off use of cannabis and cigarettes, despite not directly targeting this substance use as part of the treatment protocol. This case adds to a growing body of research supporting the use of micronutrients in the treatment of psychiatric symptoms and suggests it may extend to substance dependence. Micronutrients, by assisting with mood regulation and reductions in anxiety, may assist with successful cessation of drug use. Alternatively, they may directly impact on the brain reward circuitry believed to be involved in the expression of addictions, thereby providing the appropriate precursors and cofactors necessary for adequate neurotransmitter synthesis. This case should continue to stimulate researchers to consider the role of nutrients, in particular vitamins and minerals, in drug treatment programs and encourage more rigorous trials.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Affect / drug effects
  • Anxiety / drug therapy
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Behavior, Addictive / drug therapy
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology
  • Depression / drug therapy
  • Depression / psychology
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Combinations
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse / drug therapy*
  • Marijuana Abuse / psychology
  • Marijuana Smoking / prevention & control*
  • Marijuana Smoking / psychology
  • Time Factors
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / psychology
  • Trace Elements / administration & dosage*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage*
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Drug Combinations
  • Trace Elements
  • Vitamins