Learn / Does IV Drip Therapy Really Help With Detox and Recovery?

Does IV Drip Therapy Really Help With Detox and Recovery?

Kayla Gill
 October 11th, 2022|   Clinically Reviewed by 
Rajnandini Rathod

IV drip therapy is a new—and controversial—way to treat addiction. Treatment is just what it sounds like: clients receive vitamins and nutrients intravenously. The goal is to speed up detox, and help with ongoing addiction recovery. And while it sounds promising, there’s some debate about whether it actually works.

Some experts say it relieves the symptoms of detox and withdrawal. It might also ease the other physical side effects of addiction. But many doctors call for more evidence, saying this treatment isn’t worth its high price. You can try IV drip therapy at several luxury rehab centers—but make sure you understand the pros and cons before you get started.

What Is IV Drip Therapy?

During this treatment, a medical professional administers a vitamin solution through an IV.1 These solutions consist of various vitamins and minerals, like amino acids, vitamin C and B, NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), and more. You’ll sit and relax for 30-60 minutes while the infusion enters your system. Different rehabs offer various types of IV drip therapy. They might even tailor each treatment to address your specific symptoms. 

Vitamin Infusions

In vitamin IV therapy, you’ll receive a specific combination of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Various treatments can target different physical symptoms. For example, studies show that the Myer’s Cocktail,2 a mixture of magnesium, calcium, B vitamins, and vitamin C, helps prevent migraines, fatigue, and respiratory issues. If you have more specialized concerns, FHE Health offers customized vitamin IV infusions.3 

NAD+ Treatments

NAD+ is a naturally occurring coenzyme. It heals and creates new cells, effectively boosting your energy levels. It also protects against stress. Experts say that NAD+ IV therapy alleviates detox symptoms.4

Some providers also use it to treat mental health issues. The Sanctuary at Sedona offers NAD+ therapy5 to clients with depression, PTSD, and anxiety, as well as addiction. Mary L. Deluca, psychiatrist and Medical Director, says that treatment improves clients’ cognition, energy levels, and sleep habits. 

Is IV Drip Treatment Effective?

The effectiveness of IV drip therapy1 is up for debate. People usually get enough vitamins from a balanced diet, and adding extra vitamins may not actually boost your health. On the other hand, some experts recommend it for detox and addiction recovery.

Reported Benefits of IV Drip Therapy

Some rehabs recommend IV therapy during recovery, especially during detox and withdrawal. Treatment may also help you heal from the physical impacts of addiction. Supporters of IV drip therapy cite several positive effects.

Experts Call for Evidence

Like most treatments, IV drip therapy has pros and cons.1 And some experts think it doesn’t work at all. Columbia University professor Dr. Ariel Igal calls it “the placebo effect.” Others say it has unnecessary risks. 

  • “There’s no actual data” to support IV drip therapy,10 addiction psychiatrist Emily Zarse told NPR. And any experimental treatment may have unforeseen side effects. 
  • Excessive vitamin intake can be dangerous.1 Water-soluble vitamins, like vitamins C and B, don’t stay in the body. The excess is immediately flushed from your system, making treatment a waste. But excess fat-soluble vitamins— like A, D, and E—are stored in the body for longer periods of time. And they can be harmful in large amounts. 
  • The high cost of IV treatments1 probably won’t be covered by your insurance. The FDA has yet to approve this type of therapy. And each 30-60 minute session can cost $100—or much more. 

Fitting IV Therapy Into Your Recovery Plan

As controversial as vitamin infusions are, they’re very helpful for some clients. But this treatment is just one way to approach recovery. If you’re interested in IV therapy, talk to your medical providers about whether it’s safe for you.

Compare treatment options at luxury rehabs, including their pricing, insurance coverage, and other complementary therapies.

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