With New Treatment Method, BrainSpark Health Targets Addiction at the Source
BrainSpark Health provides revolutionary NAD IV treatment that targets addiction and its underlying cause.
Our devastating national opioid epidemic is a public health emergency that does not discriminate. As this widespread crisis grows, it reaches into all corners of our region, increasingly into younger populations. One of the fastest growing areas of opioid dependency is among teenagers and young adults, particularly on college campuses.
“It’s a family disease,” explains Clinical Director of BrainSpark Health Ciara Levine, MSN, RN, PMHCNS-BC. “It ripples out into the entire family.” Most often, it is not the adult child that realizes they need help; instead their family gets involved after witnessing their child’s addiction, and suffering by proxy.
Ciara Levine has been in mental health for over two decades, and came on board at BrainSpark Health after seeing the frustration of patients in recovery who wanted to get better, but who were not succeeding under the current standard of care. In fact, conventional treatment currently available is proven to have a failure rate over 85 percent, according to the Center for Disease Control.
As Ciara Levine describes, patients go into treatment such as conventional group therapy, but the debilitating symptoms of withdrawal create a brain “fog” which impedes recovery and makes relapse more likely. “Their brain just isn’t ready to heal or absorb it, so people say ‘they failed treatment,’ whereas treatment really failed them.”
BrainSpark provides a revolutionary alternative that targets the source of the dependency and craving first, jump starting the brain with a chemical “spark,” and combining holistic, alternative medicine, and social reprogramming. The goal is to treat the underlying issue in the brain first, allowing patients to be better equipped to then enter a more traditional treatment program.
This is accomplished through NAD IV therapy, which replenishes the metabolic co-enzyme Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) through daily intravenous treatment.
As the brain becomes addicted and a person experiences stress, NAD is depleted, which leads to problems like anxiety and lack of sleep. As withdrawal symptoms begin, this impedes recovery and increases the likelihood of relapse.
During NAD IV therapy, a patient receives one infusion for about eight hours per day; on average treatment lasts 10 days. BrainSpark develops an individualized treatment plan for each patient, including the precise NAD mixture, and helps advise them on after care (for example, intensive outpatient therapy or regular group meetings). In addition to the NAD IV therapy, patients will receive holistic treatment—such as reiki massage, acupuncture, and organic meals—during their time at BrainSpark Health. The result is an approach that treats the whole person.
“We feel we have something that can really help people that no one else is offering,” remarks BrainSpark Health’s COO Marc Levine. “We’re healing the brain, restoring and rejuvenating it to a state prior to being addicted so the fog goes away, your mood improves, and you’re able to get better.”
This is starkly different from current standard treatments, which generally utilize either abstinence or another addictive substance like methadone, neither of which treats the underlying chemical issue of addiction. Also, because the therapy takes 10 days on average, patients do not have their lives disrupted as dramatically. For their youngest patients, this means not having to make the decision to drop out of college or work in order to get sober.
Once the treatment is done, patients find their recovery much more manageable. “Recovery is a lifetime journey. We are not a silver bullet,” explains Marc Levine. A patient is not “cured” in 10 days, but their brain is restored such that they are then able to go to outpatient recovery meetings, put the work in, and absorb the help.
Some reports indicate that NAD IV therapy can reduce withdrawal symptoms by as much as 80 percent, and patients typically report feeling better with increased mental clarity just a few days into the treatment. “The first three to five days of detox, I’ve had patients say to me ‘I haven’t felt this way in 20 years,’” Marc Levine describes. “They are smiling, laughing, and optimistic.”
BrainSpark Health is located at 649 W. Germantown Pike, Suite 200, in Plymouth Meeting. You can reach them over phone, email, or contact form on their website.
Written by Laura Swartz. Photos by Abbe Foreman Photography