8 Best Nootropics For Alcoholism In 2022

Written on August 29, 2022 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci

Disclaimer: This is not meant to be a substitute for professional help or treatment. If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, please seek help from a qualified healthcare provider.

In this article, I'll take a closer at the 8 best nootropics for alcoholism. I'll also cover the potential risks and side effects you may run into, as well as the benefits you can expect.

Nootropics are most commonly used to improve cognitive function, but they can also help treat other conditions.

For example, some nootropics have shown promise in treating addiction and substance abuse.

Let's take a look at the 8 best nootropics for alcoholism, as well as the potential pros and cons associated with each one and what the science has to say.

The best nootropics for alcoholism in 2022, according to scientific evidence, are:

  • Mind Lab Pro
  • Noopept
  • Piracetam
  • Aniracetam
  • L-Theanine
  • N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
  • Phenibut
  • Modafinil

1. Mind Lab Pro

Although Mind Lab Pro is marketed as a "universal nootropic", it may be particularly well-suited for those struggling with alcoholism.

Mind Lab Pro contains 11 clinically-proven brain-boosting ingredients, including:

  • Vitamin B6, 2,5 mg
  • Vitamin B9, 100 mcg
  • Vitamin B12, 7.5 mcg
  • L-theanine, 100 mg
  • Citicoline, 250 mg
  • Bacopa monnieri, 150 mg
  • Organic lion’s mane mushroom, 500 mg
  • Phosphatidylserine, 100 mg
  • N-acetyl L-tyrosine, 175 mg
  • Rhodiola Rosea, 50 mg
  • Maritime pine bark extract, 75 mg

This nootropic is so effective for alcoholism because it targets all of the key areas that are affected by alcohol abuse.

For example, Mind Lab Pro can help to:

  • Support cognitive function and memory
  • Protect the brain from damage caused by alcohol
  • Improve mood and reduce anxiety
  • Increase motivation and energy levels
  • Reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms

Mind Lab Pro contains L-Theanine, an amino acid that can help promote relaxation without drowsiness. In fact, L-Theanine is often used as a natural treatment for anxiety and stress.

It mimics the relaxing effects of alcohol without the negative consequences, such as impaired judgment and motor function.

This nootropic also contains N-acetyl L-tyrosine, an amino acid that's been shown to decrease reduce alcohol-seeking [1]Lebourgeois, Sophie et al. “Effect of N-acetylcysteine on motivation, seeking and relapse to ethanol self-administration.” Addiction biology vol. 23,2 (2018): 643-652. doi:10.1111/adb.12521, reduce withdrawal symptoms [2]Schneider, Ricardo Jr et al. “N-acetylcysteine prevents behavioral and biochemical changes induced by alcohol cessation in rats.” Alcohol (Fayetteville, N.Y.) vol. 49,3 (2015): 259-63. … Learn more, reduce the teratogenic effects of alcohol [3]Parnell, Scott E et al. “Reduction of ethanol-induced ocular abnormalities in mice through dietary administration of N-acetylcysteine.” Alcohol (Fayetteville, N.Y.) vol. 44,7-8 (2010): 699-705. … Learn more and prevent alcohol toxicity in animal studies [4]Tomko, Rachel L et al. “N-acetylcysteine: A potential treatment for substance use disorders.” Current psychiatry vol. 17,6 (2018): 30-36, 41-42, 55..

Mind Lab Pros:

  • A natural nootropic blend for overall brain health
  • Contains 11 clinically-proven brain-boosting ingredients
  • Supports cognitive function
  • Protects the brain from damage caused by alcohol
  • Improves mood, reduces anxiety and cravings

Mind Lab Pro Cons:

  • Can be a bit pricey for some people
  • Not as effective as drugs like Acamprosate

Mind Lab Pro in Summary:

Mind Lab Pro is one of the best natural nootropics for alcoholism, as it can help to support cognitive function, protect the brain from damage and reduce withdrawal symptoms. That being said, it's not as effective as prescription medications.

2. Noopept

Noopept is a nootropic drug that's often used to treat cognitive impairment and memory problems. It's structurally similar to Piracetam and is thought to work in a similar way.

Regarding alcohol, Noopept is interesting because directly influences the NMDA receptor. This is the same receptor targeted by Acamprosate, a medication commonly used to treat alcoholism.

Acamprosate is a weak NMDA-receptor antagonist that has been shown to modulate NMDA-receptor subunit expression [5]Rammes, G et al. “The anti-craving compound acamprosate acts as a weak NMDA-receptor antagonist, but modulates NMDA-receptor subunit expression similar to memantine and MK-801.” Neuropharmacology … Learn more.

NMDA receptors are important for alcohol withdrawal because they affect the brain's ability to form new memories. Specifically, chronic alcohol consumption decreases NMDA receptor activity, leading to learning, memory, and cravings problems. Thus, noopept can have a direct influence on alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Noopept Pros:

  • Can help to improve cognitive function and memory
  • May help to reduce alcohol cravings and withdrawal symptoms

Noopept Cons:

  • Not sold in stores
  • Hard to find high-quality noopept

Noopept in Summary:

Noopept is a nootropic drug that has been shown to improve cognitive function and memory. It is structurally similar to Piracetam, and is thought to work in a similar way. Noopept also appears to have some anti-alcohol properties, as it targets the NMDA receptor, which is also targeted by Acamprosate, a medication commonly used to treat alcoholism.

3. Piracetam

Piracetam is a nootropic drug that has been shown to be effective in treating alcoholism when combined with chlormethiazole [6]Dencker, S J et al. “Piracetam and chlormethiazole in acute alcohol withdrawal: a controlled clinical trial.” The Journal of international medical research vol. 6,5 (1978): 395-400. … Learn more

Piracetam works by improving communication between the left and right sides of the brain which leads to improved cognitive function.

This increased communication helps to reduce cravings and improve impulse control. In addition, Piracetam also targets the GABA receptors, which are important for reducing anxiety and stress [7]Naftalin, Richard J et al. “Piracetam and TRH analogues antagonise inhibition by barbiturates, diazepam, melatonin and galanin of human erythrocyte D-glucose transport.” British journal of … Learn more.

As a result, Piracetam can help to reduce the symptoms of alcoholism and improve quality of life.

Piracetam Pros:

  • Can help to improve communication between the left and right sides of the brain
  • Targets the GABA receptors to reduce anxiety and stress
  • Can help to reduce cravings and improve impulse control

Piracetam Cons:

  • Limited evidence to support its efficacy

Piracetam in Summary:

Overall, Piracetam is a promising nootropic for alcoholism. It can help to improve communication between the left and right sides of the brain, which leads to improved cognitive function.

In addition, Piracetam also targets the GABA receptors, which are important for reducing anxiety and stress. While there is limited evidence to support its efficacy, Piracetam may be worth trying for those struggling with alcoholism.

4. Aniracetam

Aniracetam is a nootropic compound that has shown promise in treating addiction and cravings.

While the exact mechanism of action is not fully understood, it is thought to work by modulating the neurotransmitter systems that are involved in addiction and cravings.

For example, Aniracetam has been shown to increase dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain [8]Nakamura, K et al. “Site-specific activation of dopamine and serotonin transmission by aniracetam in the mesocorticolimbic pathway of rats.” Brain research vol. 897,1-2 (2001): 82-92. … Learn more, which are known to be involved in the reinforcing effects of drug abuse.

One study on rats found that Aniracetam could mitigate cognitive deficits caused by alcohol withdrawal [9]Vaglenova, J, and V Vesselinov Petkov. “Can nootropic drugs be effective against the impact of ethanol teratogenicity on cognitive performance?.” European neuropsychopharmacology : the journal of … Learn more.

Aniracetam Pros:

  • Modulates neurotransmitter systems involved in addiction and cravings
  • Increases dopamine and serotonin levels
  • May help to mitigate cognitive deficits caused by alcohol withdrawal

Aniracetam Cons:

  • Limited data on its efficacy
  • Not sold in stores

Aniracetam in Summary:

Aniracetam is a racetam. It's a promising nootropic for alcoholism and works by modulating the neurotransmitter systems that are involved in addiction and cravings. While there is limited data to support its efficacy, Aniracetam may be worth trying for those struggling with alcoholism.

5. L-Theanine

L-theanine is a nootropic amino acid that is derived from tea leaves. It is structurally similar to glutamate, an important neurotransmitter in the brain.

L-theanine has been shown to promote relaxation without causing drowsiness, and it has also been shown to reduce anxiety, stress and cognitive impairments [10]Hidese, Shinsuke et al. “Effects of L-Theanine Administration on Stress-Related Symptoms and Cognitive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Nutrients vol. 11,10 2362. 3 … Learn more. In addition, L-theanine has neuroprotective properties and can help to protect the brain from damage caused by substance abuse [11]Deb, Satarupa et al. “Neuroprotective attributes of L-theanine, a bioactive amino acid of tea, and its potential role in Parkinson's disease therapeutics.” Neurochemistry international vol. 129 … Learn more.

Research has also shown that L-theanine can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms in people addicted to nicotine and trying to quit smoking [12]Di, Xiaojing et al. “L-theanine inhibits nicotine-induced dependence via regulation of the nicotine acetylcholine receptor-dopamine reward pathway.” Science China. Life sciences vol. 55,12 … Learn more.

These studies suggest that L-theanine could be a helpful tool for people who are trying to overcome addiction. The supplement may help to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, making it easier for people to stay on track with their quit attempts.

L-Theanine Pros:

  • A natural and safe nootropic
  • Shown to promote relaxation without causing drowsiness
  • Reduces anxiety, stress and cognitive impairments
  • Neuroprotective properties
  • Can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms

L-Theanine Cons:

  • Not as effective as Acamprosate 

L-Theanine in Summary:

L-Theanine is one of the most common and safe nootropics available. It is effective in reducing anxiety, stress, and cognitive impairments. L-Theanine is also neuroprotective and can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms in people trying to overcome addiction.

6. N-acetylcysteine (NAC)

Oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and dysregulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission are all believed to play a role in alcohol use disorder. Similarly, oxidative stress is known to contribute to Alcoholic liver disease (ALD).

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is an antioxidant with glutamatergic modulating and anti-inflammatory properties that has shown promise for treating alcohol use disorder in the presence of liver disease.

Preclinical and clinical studies have investigated the use of NAC to reduce alcohol consumption. NAC is low cost, well-tolerated, and could have promise for the treatment of alcohol use disorder in the presence of liver disease [13]Morley, Kirsten C et al. “N-acetyl cysteine in the treatment of alcohol use disorder in patients with liver disease: Rationale for further research.” Expert opinion on investigational drugs vol. … Learn more.

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) Pros:

  • An antioxidant with glutamatergic modulating and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Shown to reduce alcohol consumption
  • Low cost
  • Well-tolerated

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) Cons:

  • May not be effective for all people 

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) in Summary:

Overall, N-acetylcysteine is a promising nootropic for the treatment of alcohol use disorder. It is low-cost, well-tolerated, and has shown to reduce alcohol consumption. However, more research is needed to determine its effectiveness for all people.

7. Phenibut

Phenibut is a nootropic that is structurally similar to the neurotransmitter GABA. It was originally developed in Russia in the 1960s as a way to treat anxiety and stress.

In one study on animals under conditions of voluntary chronic alcoholism, the effect of Phenibut on locomotor activity and alcohol and food motivation was examined [14]Tiurenkov, I N et al. Eksperimental'naia i klinicheskaia farmakologiia vol. 68,3 (2005): 42-5..

Phenibut was shown to decrease the manifestations of alcohol-induced behavioral disorders and reduced alcohol motivation. This suggests that Phenibut may be useful in the treatment of alcoholism.

Phenibut Pros:

  • A powerful nootropic for anxiety and stress
  • Shown to decrease manifestations of alcohol-induced behavioral disorders
  • Can help reduce alcohol cravings

Phenibut Cons:

  • Hard to find high-quality Phenibut
  • Not sold in stores

Phenibut in Summary:

Overall, Phenibut is a promising nootropic for the treatment of alcoholism. It decreases manifestations of alcohol-induced behavioral disorders and reduces alcohol cravings. However, Phenibut can be hard to find and is not sold in stores.

8. Modafinil

Modafinil is a nootropic, or cognitive enhancer, that has been shown to be effective in treating narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders.

It is also used off-label to treat ADHD, depression, and fatigue. In addition, Modafinil has been shown to have potential as a treatment for alcoholism. One study found that Modafinil helped reduce impulsivity and relapse and increased abstinence in patients with alcohol dependence [15]Schmaal, Lianne et al. “Effects of modafinil on neural correlates of response inhibition in alcohol-dependent patients.” Biological psychiatry vol. 73,3 (2013): 211-8. … Learn more.

This may help to reduce the reward associated with drinking, making it easier for people to abstain from alcohol. In addition, Modafinil has been shown to increase motivation, alertness, vigilance, and executive function, which may also help people stick to their sobriety goals [16]Walsh, James K et al. “Modafinil improves alertness, vigilance, and executive function during simulated night shifts.” Sleep vol. 27,3 (2004): 434-9. doi:10.1093/sleep/27.3.434.

Modafinil Pros:

  • A powerful nootropic for energy and focus
  • Shown to reduce impulsivity and relapse in patients with alcohol dependence
  • Can help increase motivation, alertness, vigilance, and executive function

Modafinil Cons:

  • You'll need a prescription from your doctor

Modafinil in Summary:

Modafinil is a wakefulness-promoting agent with potential as a treatment for alcoholism. It has been shown to reduce impulsivity and relapse in patients with alcohol dependence and can help increase motivation, alertness, vigilance, and executive function.

What Are the Best Nootropics for Alcoholism?

The best nootropics for alcoholism are those that can help to reduce cravings, impulsivity, and relapse. In addition, nootropics that can help to increase motivation, alertness, and executive function may also help treat alcoholism.

image

Some of the best nootropics for alcoholism include:

  1. Mind Lab Pro
  2. Noopept
  3. Piracetam
  4. Aniracetam
  5. L-Theanine
  6. N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
  7. Phenibut
  8. Modafinil

Keep in mind that the list contains both natural and synthetic substances, so you'll need to consult with your doctor before taking any of them.

If you need a good place to start, I recommend Mind Lab Pro. It's a complete nootropic that can help reduce stress, anxiety, and impulsivity while increasing motivation, alertness, and executive function. Plus, it's all-natural and has no side effects.

How to Choose the Right Nootropic Supplement for Alcoholism?

Choosing the right nootropic supplement for alcoholism can be tricky. There are many different options out there, and it's important to find one that is right for you.

image 1

Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a nootropic supplement for alcoholism:

  • The severity of your alcoholism
  • Your age
  • Your health history
  • Any other medications or supplements you're taking
  • Your budget
  • Your goals

Once you've considered all of these factors, you'll be better positioned to choose the right nootropic supplement for your needs.

Remember that some of the nootropics on my list may interact with other medications (such as Acamprosate, Disulfiram, and Naltrexone). So, it's always a good idea to consult with your doctor before taking any of them.

What Are the Benefits of Nootropics for Alcoholism?

Nootropics may help to protect the brain from some of the damage caused by alcoholism. In addition, nootropics may help to reduce the craving for alcohol, making it easier for people to give up drinking.

There is still much research to be done on the effectiveness of nootropics for alcoholism, but the early results are promising.

The benefits of nootropics for alcoholism are:

  • Can help reduce cravings
  • They can help protect your brain and prevent cognitive impairment
  • Nootropics can help control impulsivity
  • They give you energy, motivation and focus
  • They can help with anxiety and stress

What Are the Side Effects of Nootropics for Alcoholism?

Nootropics for alcoholism can have several side effects, depending on the substance used.

Some nootropics can cause agitation, anxiety, and insomnia, while others can lead to headaches, nausea, and vomiting.

In some cases, nootropics can also interact with alcohol or other medications a person takes, leading to further side effects. Speaking with a doctor before taking nootropics for alcoholism is important to ensure they are safe for you and will not cause any adverse effects.

Do Nootropics Really Work for Alcoholism?

Yes, some nootropics work for alcoholism. However, there is limited scientific evidence to support the use of nootropics to treat alcoholism completely.

image 2

That being said, some research has shown that nootropics can help reduce alcohol cravings and prevent relapse.

Additionally, nootropics can help protect the brain from damage caused by alcohol abuse. Even though more research is needed, the evidence and data look promising.

Final Thoughts

So, do I recommend trying nootropics for alcoholism? Yes, I do.

There are many different types of nootropics out there, and each one can help in its own way. I recommend starting with Mind Lab Pro. It's a complete nootropic that can help reduce stress, anxiety, and impulsivity while increasing motivation, alertness, and executive function. Plus, it's all-natural and has no side effects.

If you're looking for something a little more targeted, I recommend N-acetylcysteine (NAC). It's a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect the brain from damage and also helps to reduce cravings.

No matter what nootropic you choose, always speak with your doctor first to ensure it's safe for you to take. And, be sure to start with a lower dose to see how your body reacts before increasing the dosage.

References

References
1Lebourgeois, Sophie et al. “Effect of N-acetylcysteine on motivation, seeking and relapse to ethanol self-administration.” Addiction biology vol. 23,2 (2018): 643-652. doi:10.1111/adb.12521
2Schneider, Ricardo Jr et al. “N-acetylcysteine prevents behavioral and biochemical changes induced by alcohol cessation in rats.” Alcohol (Fayetteville, N.Y.) vol. 49,3 (2015): 259-63. doi:10.1016/j.alcohol.2015.01.009
3Parnell, Scott E et al. “Reduction of ethanol-induced ocular abnormalities in mice through dietary administration of N-acetylcysteine.” Alcohol (Fayetteville, N.Y.) vol. 44,7-8 (2010): 699-705. doi:10.1016/j.alcohol.2010.05.006
4Tomko, Rachel L et al. “N-acetylcysteine: A potential treatment for substance use disorders.” Current psychiatry vol. 17,6 (2018): 30-36, 41-42, 55.
5Rammes, G et al. “The anti-craving compound acamprosate acts as a weak NMDA-receptor antagonist, but modulates NMDA-receptor subunit expression similar to memantine and MK-801.” Neuropharmacology vol. 40,6 (2001): 749-60. doi:10.1016/s0028-3908(01)00008-9
6Dencker, S J et al. “Piracetam and chlormethiazole in acute alcohol withdrawal: a controlled clinical trial.” The Journal of international medical research vol. 6,5 (1978): 395-400. doi:10.1177/030006057800600508
7Naftalin, Richard J et al. “Piracetam and TRH analogues antagonise inhibition by barbiturates, diazepam, melatonin and galanin of human erythrocyte D-glucose transport.” British journal of pharmacology vol. 142,3 (2004): 594-608. doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0705798
8Nakamura, K et al. “Site-specific activation of dopamine and serotonin transmission by aniracetam in the mesocorticolimbic pathway of rats.” Brain research vol. 897,1-2 (2001): 82-92. doi:10.1016/s0006-8993(01)02096-0
9Vaglenova, J, and V Vesselinov Petkov. “Can nootropic drugs be effective against the impact of ethanol teratogenicity on cognitive performance?.” European neuropsychopharmacology : the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology vol. 11,1 (2001): 33-40. doi:10.1016/s0924-977x(00)00129-2
10Hidese, Shinsuke et al. “Effects of L-Theanine Administration on Stress-Related Symptoms and Cognitive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Nutrients vol. 11,10 2362. 3 Oct. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11102362
11Deb, Satarupa et al. “Neuroprotective attributes of L-theanine, a bioactive amino acid of tea, and its potential role in Parkinson's disease therapeutics.” Neurochemistry international vol. 129 (2019): 104478. doi:10.1016/j.neuint.2019.104478
12Di, Xiaojing et al. “L-theanine inhibits nicotine-induced dependence via regulation of the nicotine acetylcholine receptor-dopamine reward pathway.” Science China. Life sciences vol. 55,12 (2012): 1064-74. doi:10.1007/s11427-012-4401-0
13Morley, Kirsten C et al. “N-acetyl cysteine in the treatment of alcohol use disorder in patients with liver disease: Rationale for further research.” Expert opinion on investigational drugs vol. 27,8 (2018): 667-675. doi:10.1080/13543784.2018.1501471
14Tiurenkov, I N et al. Eksperimental'naia i klinicheskaia farmakologiia vol. 68,3 (2005): 42-5.
15Schmaal, Lianne et al. “Effects of modafinil on neural correlates of response inhibition in alcohol-dependent patients.” Biological psychiatry vol. 73,3 (2013): 211-8. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.06.032
16Walsh, James K et al. “Modafinil improves alertness, vigilance, and executive function during simulated night shifts.” Sleep vol. 27,3 (2004): 434-9. doi:10.1093/sleep/27.3.434