S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAMe) for Addiction Treatment and Depression?

Sometime ago, someone brought SAMe or S-Adenosyl Methionine to my attention and stated that they used it as a treatment for addiction.  Having never hard of this alleged treatment before, I decided to do some research.  Is SAMe or S-Adenosyl Methionine a potential treatment for addiction?  Does it alleviate heroin withdrawal symptoms associated with dependence?  Does it promote physical, mental or emotional health and wellness related to recovery?

What is S-Adenosyl Methionine or SAMe?

S-Adenosyl Methionine or SAMeS-Adenosyl Methionine or SAMe, is an essential amino acid that naturally occurs in your body. SAMe assists with the formation, activation, or breakdown of other chemicals that can be found in the human body, such as hormones, phospholipids, proteins, and certain drugs. It also is used to make certain chemicals in your body that can play a role in pain management, depression, and liver disease, among a few things. Some people may not generate enough SAMe in their body naturally, so this can be assisted by taking a SAMe dietary supplement as this can be recreated in a laboratory.

SAMe as a supplement has been available over the counter in the United States since 1999. However, it has been available in prescription drug form in Italy since 1979, Spain since 1985 and in Germany since 1989.

What is S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAMe) used for?

drug-dealerSAMe or S-Adenosyl Methionine can be used for alleviating symptoms that are associated with depression, fibromyalgia, anxiety, heart disease, dementia, abdominal pain, as well as increasing overall mental performance, just to name a few. It can also be used for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Multiple Sclerosis, seizures, and migraine headaches.

Occasionally, women may take this to assist with symptoms associated with Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). This is usually taken orally in a pill form, however, it can also be taken intravenously for depression, osteoarthritis, AIDS-related nervous disorders, fibromyalgia and liver disorders. It is also available as an injection for fibromyalgia, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.

While the pill form is available over the counter, the IV and injection forms are administered by a trained medical professional. However, S-Adenosyl Methionine is most effective for alleviating symptoms associated with depression and osteoarthritis, regardless of the form it is taken in.

There have been some studies that have shown that taking SAMe may even be as effective as some prescription medications one may take for depression. It can also be taken for those that do not traditionally have good responses to medications typically prescribed for depression. However, it is important to note that this should not be taken in conjunction with other antidepressant medications without the tutelage of a prescribing physician. This is due to the fact that SAMe causes an increase in serotonin, a chemical that naturally occurs in the brain. Some medications used for depression can also cause an increase in serotonin, which, if both are used together, could potentially cause heart problems, anxiety, and shivering.

In regards to taking this for osteoarthritis, taking SAMe or S-Adenosyl Methionine appears to have the same effect as aspirin or similar medications with reducing the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis. However, the one drawback is that this can take approximately one month before users have reported feeling relief from any symptoms.

Can S-Adenosyl Methionine Treat Addiction or Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms?

drug-dealerSome of the above reported symptoms, namely depression and anxiety can be found in those suffering from addiction.  Whether or not depression, anxiety and/or others started before or after the onset of the disease of addiction may depend on the individual.  But it’s possible that treating depression and anxiety with SAMe could make conquering addiction and/or making the recovery process just a little bit easier.  After all, people sometimes start using drugs due to anxiety and depression so using SAMe may reduce the desire to escape reality and use drugs.  See “Addiction Vs. Using Drugs: Why Addicts Can’t Just Stop Using Drugs

Depression and anxiety are two very serious cognitive conditions that can influence one’s decision on whether or not to use heroin, opiates or other drugs.  Someone who is depressed or suffers from anxiety is more likely to try anything to escape their current reality, even if it’s temporary.  Heroin and other drugs provide a temporary feeling of euphoria, an escape from reality that’s appealing for those who suffer from depression and anxiety.  Thus, it is important for people who suffer form depression and anxiety to talk to their physician and perhaps a counselor on the best ways to handle and deal with their condition.  Some symptoms of depression and anxiety are circumstantial while others are strictly chemical.  A physician and a licensed counselor can help to determine which one you are experiencing and then provide adequate professional and/or medical advice on what to do to treat it.

S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAMe) Side Effects

Just as with most medications and supplements, there could be potential side effects if one chooses to use SAMe. Occasional side effects can occur and are reported as being in the form of gas, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, dry mouth, headache, insomnia, anorexia, sweating, dizziness, and nervousness. This appears to typically occur at higher doses. S-Adenosyl Methionine should be taken on an empty stomach, and should typically be taken earlier in the day if one experiences issues with mild insomnia.

How Long Do I have to Commit to Taking S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAMe)?

How long and how much the dosage is of SAMe is contingent upon what it is being used for, and which form is being used, whether it is oral, intravenous or injection. If taking orally, it is usually taken anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months. If taken in injection form, it is typically taken for 2-4 weeks. If you are taking this, or considering taking this for depression, this is usually taken for 8 weeks in oral form, and 2-4 weeks via injection form.  However, we strongly recommend consulting with your doctor before taking S-Adenosyl Methionine in either form.

Where Can I Buy S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAMe)?

SAMe, in pill form, can be purchased at an online retailer such as Amazon. It can also be purchased over the counter at a health supplement or drug store. Other forms one would need to consult with their prescribing physician.

A few things to consider

There have been conflicting studies on the use of this for people diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. If you are diagnosed with this, please consult your treating physician before taking this. This also has not been tested on safety for women who are pregnant or nursing, or on children. As with any supplement, whether it acts as a replacement for a naturally occurring substance in the body or not, it is always best to consult with your treating physician prior to taking this. It is also of importance to note that there have not been extensive studies done on this yet, in regards to effectiveness and possible long term, more serious side effects, so please use caution if using this and be sure to educate yourself on this substance.

Conclusion

Many men and women suffering from addiction also suffer from depression and anxiety.  While S-Adenosyl Methionine or SAMe may not do anything directly to stop heroin withdrawal symptoms or help people conquer addiction, those who experience depression and anxiety may benefit form using SAMe.  However, we strongly suggest consulting your primary care physician before using S-Adenosyl Methionine.

Sources

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-786-same.aspx?activeingredientid=786&activeingredientname=same

https://www.verywell.com/same-what-should-i-know-about-it-90004

http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/same/background/hrb-20059935

https://www.amazon.com/Doctors-Best-Strength-Enteric-30-Count/dp/B0011FTJZ0?th=1

Written and Published By,

William – Publisher and Founder of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™
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2 thoughts on “S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAMe) for Addiction Treatment and Depression?

  1. Have any studies been done on addiction to the methionine. I was reading the to see what was my cats ingrediance is because my cat seems to want them all the time and I’ve talked to other people who have had the same experiance. It’s like they are addicted and constantly meow pleading for these treats. One of the ingredients Is methionine as well as taurine found in many energy drinks such as monster. I’m pleased If it helps heroin addicts and must be safer then heroin but is my cat addicted to his treats so the company can increase sales.. I know it may seem a bit silly but shouldn’t we be concerned.

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