In this article, I’m going to teach you how to use L-Tryptophan for opiate withdrawal. There are many different opiate withdrawal symptoms, and while L-Tryptophan won’t help with all of them, this natural supplement can offer some relief from anxiety, insomnia, depression, and fatigue.
I’ll soon explain in simple terms how it can alleviate these symptoms.
Let’s begin by covering the L-Tryptophan basics.
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L-Tryptophan is an essential amino acid. The term “essential” means that humans cannot produce the amino acid on our own, so we must obtain it from our diet, supplements, or both.
Many of the foods and beverages that we consume are high in L-Tryptophan.
Some of the highest food sources of this essential amino acid are:
- Turkey and other poultry
- Red Meat
Note: To check out a comprehensive list of the foods that contain the highest amounts of L-Tryptophan, click here.
In the US, L-Tryptophan is sold as a dietary supplement. It’s commonly used as a natural antidepressant, anxiolytic, and sleep aid.
This is due to L-Tryptophan’s ability to increase levels of the neurotransmitter known as serotonin.
Serotonin acts as an “emotional relaxant” in the brain, and you can definitely benefit from having optimal levels of this neurotransmitter while detoxing from opioid drugs.
L-Tryptophan works so well that in some European countries it’s sold as a prescription drug.
Here in the US, you can find over-the-counter L-Tryptophan products nearly everywhere supplements are sold.
L-Tryptophan Mechanism of Action
Many people have used L-Tryptophan supplements as a natural alternative to Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s). This is due to L-Tryptophan’s mechanism of action.
After consuming foods or supplements containing L-Tryptophan, the amino acid goes through a conversion process in the body.
The following formula will show you visually the step-by-step conversion:
L-Tryptophan → 5-HTP → Serotonin → Melatonin → vitamin B6
Serotonin is important for mood and behavior. Melatonin is necessary for sleep. And vitamin B6 is essential for energy metabolism.
As you can see, consuming foods that are high in L-Tryptophan and taking an L-Tryptophan supplement can offer numerous benefits.
L-Tryptophan For Opiate Withdrawal
Countless individuals have used L-Tryptophan supplements for opiate withdrawal. The natural boost in serotonin levels in the brain can lead to a reduction of opiate withdrawal symptoms.
Using L-Tryptophan for opiate withdrawal may help to alleviate:
Increasing serotonin levels with supplements like L-Tryptophan or 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a popular method for reducing withdrawal symptoms.
In a study from 2012, the combined administration of 5-HTP and a few other nutrients were shown to help alleviate insomnia, depression, anxiety, and fatigue in participants going through heroin withdrawal.
The study concluded that “the neurotransmitter-precursor-supplement intervention is effective in alleviating the withdrawal and mood symptoms and it may become a supplementary method for patients’ recovery from heroin addiction.”
How To Use L-Tryptophan For Opiate Withdrawal
Now that you’ve learned about the myriad benefits of supplementing with L-Tryptophan, you may want to use this amino acid for opiate withdrawal.
The following guidelines will help you successfully use L-Tryptophan for opiate withdrawal:
- Always consult with your healthcare provider before using any new supplements.
- Make sure you educate yourself on the L-Tryptophan side effects and interactions before using this supplement. (The most common interactions are with SSRI’s and MAO inhibitors).
- Take between 500 mg and 2000 mg at a time.
- It needs to be taken on an empty stomach to be effective (taking it with meals, especially meals containing protein, competes for absorption of other amino acids).
- Take your first dose first thing in the morning at least 45 minutes before breakfast.
- Take your second dose at least 3 hours after breakfast.
- You can take a third dose 3 hours after lunch if needed.
- Use the biggest dosage 1-2 hours before bedtime, as this will help with sleep.
- I recommend using L-Tryptophan with additional opiate withdrawal supplements such as CBD Oil to get the most symptoms relief during withdrawal.
- Opioid withdrawal causes the fight or flight response to go into overdrive which leads to anxiety and insomnia among other symptoms.
- L-Tryptophan supplementation and eating foods high in L-Tryptophan can help to relieve anxiety, insomnia, depression, fatigue, and other symptoms of withdrawal due to the amino acid’s ability to increase serotonin, melatonin, and vitamin B6.
- The most powerful way to use L-Tryptophan for opiate withdrawal is to combine it with other opiate withdrawal supplements such as CBD Oil.
- L-Tryptophan supplements can also help with the post-acute withdrawal symptoms that linger on for weeks to months after the acute withdrawal ends.
- L-Tryptophan can also assist with relapse prevention as many people go back on opioids to self-medicate underlying mental disorders such as anxiety and depression.
If you have any comments or questions on the use of L-Tryptophan for opiate withdrawal, please post them in the comment box below.