Revolutionizing Addiction Treatment: Discover the Power of DHEA at Our Rehabilitation Center
What is DHEA?
Understanding DHEA: The ‘Master Hormone’ and Its Vital Role in Our Bodies
DHEA, short for Dehydroepiandrosterone, might not be a term you hear every day, but it plays a pivotal role in our body’s functioning. This naturally occurring hormone, produced from cholesterol, is part of our body’s endocrine system, which is responsible for producing hormones that regulate numerous bodily functions.
In simple terms, DHEA can be seen as a kind of master hormone. Why? Because it helps create other important hormones like testosterone and estrogen. Also, when DHEA is produced in our brain, it functions as a neurosteroid, playing a significant role in maintaining brain health.
If DHEA were a factory, its busiest years would be between the ages of 7 and 25. During this period, DHEA production is at its peak, but like any good factory, it slows down over time. By the time we hit 75, our body’s DHEA production operates at about 20% of its peak capacity.
An interesting aspect of DHEA and its sulfate ester, DHEAS, is how they interact with addiction. Studies have found that people who are addicted to certain substances have altered levels of DHEA and DHEAS . Even more striking is the observation that individuals who relapse after overcoming addiction have significantly lower levels of DHEAS .
Understanding DHEA is not just for the sake of knowledge. This ‘master hormone’ is a critical player in our health and wellbeing. By getting to know how it works, we can better understand how our bodies function and how to take care of ourselves.
How can DHEA help with treating addiction?
“Redefining Addiction Treatment: DHEA as an Epigenetic Medication”
While not technically a pharmaceutical drug, DHEA is gaining recognition in the medical field as a potential treatment for addictions. This hormone, which our bodies naturally produce (particularly in the brain), has been found to be an effective tool against addictive behavior when administered under specific regimens.
In places like Israel or USA, DHEA has already made its way onto the health market. However, its significance goes beyond being merely a health product. DHEA stands out for its ground-breaking role as the first epigenetic medication used to treat addiction .
So, what does it mean when we say DHEA is an ‘epigenetic medication’? Epigenetics refers to changes in gene activity that do not involve alterations to the genetic code but still get passed down to at least one successive generation. Essentially, DHEA can ‘re-program’ the genome, helping to restore an individual’s ability to make decisions regarding drug use.
This epigenetic impact, as illustrated in recent studies, is what sets DHEA apart. It represents a new and promising frontier in the fight against addiction, allowing for the restoration of impaired decision-making abilities in those battling substance dependency. By harnessing the power of DHEA, we might be able to offer more effective, targeted treatment options to those struggling with addiction.
How does Heritage Home Treatment Centre use DHEA?
Our Center’s Approach: How DHEA Treatment Works for You
At our center, we offer an innovative treatment program using DHEA, a process that has shown significant success in addressing addiction. Our program is supported by the Israeli Startup Preddict AI, who we’re proud to work with. Preddict AI provides us with their advanced scientific research and technical support, which are invaluable to our unique addiction treatment program. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and considering DHEA treatment, here’s what you can expect from the process:
Initial Consultation: The first step is to meet with one of our specialists for a consultation. During this meeting, we will discuss your overall health, your addiction history, and any other relevant factors. This allows us to determine whether you’re a good fit for the DHEA program.
Admission to the Program: If you don’t meet any of the exclusion criteria, you will be admitted to the program. Exclusion criteria could involve certain health conditions or circumstances that might make DHEA treatment unsafe or less effective for you.
Blood Donation and Cognitive Evaluation: Upon admission to the program, our trained nurses will draw a blood sample from you. This sample will be used to measure specific parameters that play a vital role in determining the efficacy of your treatment plan. You will also be asked to fill out cognitive evaluation questionnaires. These assessments, along with your blood test results, are processed through a proprietary algorithm developed by Preddict.ai. This sophisticated algorithm not only gauges your addiction level, but also allows us, and the team at Preddict.ai, to gain a deeper understanding of your overall condition and response to treatment. This invaluable insight is integral to tailoring an effective treatment plan for your specific needs.
DHEA Prescription and Initial Treatment: Once we have the results from your blood test and cognitive evaluations, our doctor will prescribe an appropriate dose of DHEA. Once the DHEA arrives at our center, you will start your treatment under the guidance of our healthcare professionals.
Follow-Up and Adjustment of Treatment: After a month of treatment, we will repeat the blood donation and cognitive evaluation. We will assess how well you’re responding to the DHEA treatment and adjust the dosage accordingly based on the results of the second set of tests.
This personalized and carefully monitored approach helps us ensure that the DHEA treatment is as effective as possible, and that it’s tailored to your unique needs. Our ultimate goal is to provide you with a supportive, science-backed pathway towards recovery.
What extra benefits can DHEA as a dietary supplement offer me?
“Beyond Basic Health: DHEA as a Life-Enhancing Dietary Supplement”
DHEA, has a reputation that extends far beyond its role as a steroidal hormone produced by the body. This powerhouse hormone not only contributes to the production of other essential hormones but also moonlights as a dietary supplement with a range of impressive benefits.
One of the key roles DHEA plays in the body is maintaining a healthy immune system. Studies have shown that it can help fend off a variety of health issues, from high blood pressure and diabetes to autoimmune disorders. However, DHEA’s benefits extend to more than just physical health.
Ever felt your energy levels dwindle as the day goes on? Or perhaps struggled with fluctuating moods? DHEA could be the boost you need. Evidence suggests that this supplement can enhance energy, lift mood, and improve overall well-being [4, 5]. It has been linked to decreased levels of depression and anxiety, contributing to an overall sense of emotional balance.
But DHEA’s powers don’t stop there. In the realm of mental health, DHEA and DHEAS (its sulfate form) levels in the bloodstream have been associated with numerous conditions, including depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, and dementia. This hormone also plays a role in memory function and overall cognitive ability in aging individuals [6, 7].
The benefits of DHEA even extend to our skin, particularly for the elderly. As an anti-aging supplement, DHEA can help improve skin health, promoting a youthful glow and combating the visual effects of aging.
In short, DHEA is more than just a hormone – it’s a natural supplement with a variety of potential benefits that can help us maintain both our physical and mental health as we age.
What are the Safety Concerns, Side Effects, and Interactions of DHEA?
DHEA: A Safe Treatment with Extensive Benefits
As beneficial as DHEA can be, it’s crucial to be aware of its potential side effects and interactions. While studies have generally reported no adverse effects from DHEA use [8, 9] there have been instances of mild side effects. These may include a temporary increase in liver enzymes, increased perspiration, oily facial skin, increased facial hair, abdominal pain, sleep disturbances, skin rashes, or breast sensitivity.
These transient side effects tend to occur when DHEA is taken in higher doses, typically between 100-200 mg per day over a period of 12-24 weeks [10, 11]. However, for extended periods of 10-12 months, particularly when DHEA is consumed at lower doses like 50 mg per day, the adverse events reported are either slight or non-existent [12, 13].
For treating addiction, DHEA is usually administered at higher doses. This requires vigilant supervision, including weekly data collection and analysis, and possible modifications to DHEA dosage as required.
In certain jurisdictions, such as Canada, DHEA is a controlled substance. It is advised that anyone considering its use should first consult with their healthcare provider. This cautionary step is in place to manage any risks associated with DHEA, whose effects can vary due to factors such as diet, genetics, and hormonal levels.
While DHEA is considered a weak androgen, studies indicate that using up to 100mg a day does not result in side effects . In postpartum cases, doses can even reach up to 400mg a day without noticeable side effects. For addiction treatment, DHEA is typically used at 100mg a day. Moreover, DHEA is reported not to affect lingering hormonal fluctuations .
It is essential to approach DHEA use with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Despite its benefits, it’s crucial to ensure its consumption aligns with your personal health circumstances.
How does DHEA's regulatory status compare between the USA and Canada?
Navigating DHEA Regulations: What You Need to Know in the USA and Canada
regulatory status of DHEA, also known as prasterone, varies significantly between the United States and Canada, affecting its accessibility and usage.
In the United States, DHEA is considered an over-the-counter supplement. This means anyone can purchase it without a prescription, much like vitamins or other dietary supplements.
The situation in Canada, however, is quite different. Since 1992, DHEA has been listed as a controlled substance under Schedule IV, item 23 (36) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). Because of this designation, it’s subject to specific regulations detailed in Part G of the Food and Drug Regulations.
What does this mean for Canadians? Unlike in the United States, you can’t just pick up DHEA at your local supplement store. It can only be prescribed and administered by a licensed practitioner as per the CDSA. Moreover, only certain individuals — pharmacists, hospital administrators, or practitioners — are allowed to sell or provide DHEA under the CDSA.
At Heritage, we understand these regulations, and we’ve ensured compliance. We have physicians on staff who are authorized to prescribe DHEA to our patients. Furthermore, we’re proud to report that we have already successfully incorporated DHEA into our treatment programs.
These differences underscore the importance of understanding the regulatory context of health supplements like DHEA in your specific country. Always ensure you are aware of and comply with your local laws and regulations when considering such supplements. And remember, professional facilities like Heritage are here to guide you through the process.
How is Israel pioneering the Use of DHEA in addiction treatment?
DHEA’s Groundbreaking Role in Addiction Treatment: Pioneering Research from Israel
DHEA has recently emerged as a promising addition to the arsenal of treatments for addiction. This development comes from Israel, where innovative methods using DHEA to treat poly-drug users have been pioneered.
The genesis of this groundbreaking treatment was a collaboration with Professor Gal Yadid, head of the research laboratory at the Multidisciplinary Center for Brain Research at Bar Ilan University in Israel. The collaborative effort stemmed from a conference in 2012, where Professor Yadid presented a decade’s worth of research into the effects of DHEA on cocaine-addicted rats.
In a compelling demonstration, Yadid showed a video of a rat in a cage. The cage had two pedals: one released food, while the other released cocaine. Over time, the rat preferred the cocaine over food, to the point that it would forgo eating entirely. When the rat was reintroduced to the cage a month later, it immediately returned to the cocaine pedal.
Yadid posited that addiction is a function of memory. To test this theory, the researchers repeated the experiment, but this time they administered DHEA to the rat when it returned to the cage. With the addition of DHEA, the rat no longer sought the cocaine. It was a significant breakthrough, suggesting a powerful link between addiction, memory, and the potential for a food supplement like DHEA to disrupt this destructive cycle.
Listening to Yadid’s presentation was Rabbi Eitan Eckstein, founder and manager of Retorno, Israel’s largest addiction prevention and treatment center. Inspired by the research, Eckstein proposed trying the DHEA treatment in humans.
Over the course of seven years, several rehab centers, including Retorno, conducted experiments under the auspices of Israel’s Ministry of Health. The Department for the Treatment of Substance Abuse within the Israel Ministry of Health not only granted approval for the use of DHEA but also advocated for its incorporation as an auxiliary treatment. The results were astonishing: DHEA treatment had an 88% accuracy rate, and, most excitingly, over 30% of patients who received DHEA not only completed their treatment, but also remained clean three years later.
A parallel experiment led by Dr. Roy Admon from the University of Haifa affirmed these findings. Using brain imaging on patients who received DHEA and those who received a placebo, Admon found that DHEA appeared to normalize decision-making functions in the brain, aligning the mind back to its state before addiction.
These impressive results marked a significant step forward in addiction treatment, opening the door to new possibilities for patient recovery with the use of DHEA.
Interview with Professor Moshe Szyf
Expand to view
- Buydens-Branchey, L., et al., Perturbations of plasma cortisol and DHEA-S following discontinuation of cocaine use in cocaine addicts. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2002. 27(1-2): p. 83-97.
- Shoptaw, S., et al., Participants receiving dehydroepiandrosterone during treatment for cocaine dependence show high rates of cocaine use in a placebo-controlled pilot study. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol, 2004. 12(2): p. 126-35.
- Lax, E., et al., A DNA Methylation Signature of Addiction in T Cells and Its Reversal With DHEA Intervention. Front Mol Neurosci, 2018. 11: p. 322.
- Yadid, G., et al., The role of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in drug-seeking behavior. Neurosci Biobehav Rev, 2010. 35(2): p. 303-14.
- Vinson, G.P. and C.H. Brennan, Addiction and the adrenal cortex. Endocr Connect, 2013.
- Schumacher, M., et al., Steroid hormones and neurosteroids in normal and pathological aging of the nervous system. Prog Neurobiol, 2003. 71(1): p. 3-29.
- Strous, R.D., R. Maayan, and A. Weizman, The relevance of neurosteroids to clinical psychiatry: from the laboratory to the bedside. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol, 2006. 16(3): p. 155-69.
- Yadid, G., et al., Dehydroepiandrosterone and Addiction. Vitam Horm, 2018. 108: p. 385-412.
- Sah, C., et al., Effects of Long-term Administration of the Antiaging Hormone Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate on Rat Prostates and Testes as Androgen-Dependent Organs. Korean J Urol, 2013. 54(3): p. 199-203.
- Chang, D.M., et al., Dehydroepiandrosterone treatment of women with mild-to-moderate systemic lupus erythematosus: a multicenter randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Arthritis Rheum, 2002. 46(11): p. 2924-7.
- Flynn, M.A., et al., Dehydroepiandrosterone replacement in aging humans. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 1999. 84(5): p. 1527-33.
- Brooke, A.M., et al., Dehydroepiandrosterone improves psychological well-being in male and female hypopituitary patients on maintenance growth hormone replacement. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 2006. 91(10): p. 3773-9.
- Villareal, D.T. and J.O. Holloszy, DHEA enhances effects of weight training on muscle mass and strength in elderly women and men. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 2006. 291(5): p. E1003-8.
- Strous, R.D., et al., Hormonal profile effects following dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) administration to schizophrenic patients. Clin Neuropharmacol, 2005. 28(6): p. 265-9.