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Understanding and Treating Vitamin Abuse

Understanding and Treating Vitamin Abuse

Understanding and Treating Vitamin Abuse

Grocery stores, pharmacies, and even gas stations sport shelves stocked with bright vitamin and supplement bottles that are supposed to help users achieve better health.

While approved doses of vitamins may help many users pursue better health and there are even important vitamins to take in early sobriety, people can take things too far. Taking high doses of vitamins, known as a megadose, can be dangerous and even deadly. Some users may even become addicted to their multivitamins, vitamins, or supplements.

What Is Vitamin Abuse?

  Vitamin abuse is taking more vitamins, multivitamins, or supplements than recommended. It may also mean ingesting vitamins more frequently than suggested. For some, vitamin supplement abuse starts innocently enough. They may take higher doses of vitamins because they want results from the supplements faster, or they didn’t even bother to read the label because these easily obtained bottles seem so harmless, they even seem helpful. But taking doses too frequently or taking megadoses of vitamins can be dangerous.

The Dangers of Vitamin Supplement Abuse

  People who take doses too frequently or take megadoses of supplements and vitamins may run the risk of developing supplement addiction. In one reported incident, a young patient was prescribed Vitamin D to treat a deficiency and they soon became addicted to injectable calcitriol.1 Melatonin abuse is also a growing problem, with prolonged use of the hormone causing habitual use behaviors. The long-term effects of melatonin use aren’t widely understood, as this sleep-regulating hormone was only discovered in 1958. 2

There are substantial dangers associated with abuse of supplements such as Vitamin A and Vitamin C. User’s kidneys and liver may be stressed by prolonged high-volume supplement use. For example, one Harvard study found that taking high doses of Vitamin C increases a man’s risk of developing kidney stones. 3 Other dangerous effects of Vitamin C megadoses include:

  • Heartburn
  • Cramps
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

While some vitamins, hormones, and supplements may be safe in the recommended doses and frequencies, these health risks of vitamin abuse show how dangerous taking too much can be.

Those who have completed drug and alcohol treatment without addressing the full scope of their propensity for addiction may find themselves facing vitamin abuse or other types of addictions. Full sobriety and recovery hinges on effective support for all your struggles. At our Boca Raton drug detox center, we offer effective treatment for patients who are ready to build healthy, happy, and sober futures. We offer detox, inpatient care, and services such as our SMART recovery program.

Call 888-280-4763 to learn more about our services and programs at Banyan Treatment Centers Boca Raton Detox.


  1. Journal of Academy of Medical Sciences - Addiction to vitamin D: Unusual, unexpected substance abuse
  2. WebMD - As Melatonin Use Rises, So Do Safety Concerns
  3. Harvard Health Publishing - High-dose vitamin C linked to kidney stones in men

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Understanding and Treating Vitamin Abuse
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