Industry Coalition Reminds Consumers, Retailers, and Product Marketers that Dietary Supplements Cannot Claim to Treat Opioid Addiction

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 20, 2017—The dietary supplement industry is aware of growing concerns regarding significant negative health impacts associated with opioid addiction and abuse. The leading trade associations of the dietary supplement industry support the responsible marketing and use of health-promoting vitamins, minerals, herbs, sports nutrition, and other dietary supplements. We are unaware, however, of published scientific research that supports the use of any dietary supplement to treat opioid use disorder or to mitigate opioid withdrawal symptoms. Furthermore, federal law does not allow dietary supplements to claim to treat or cure any diseases, including opioid addiction, and the industry trade associations have been consistent in taking strong positions against marketing dietary supplements for treatment or prevention of diseases – whether for anthrax, SARS, avian flu, swine flu, Ebola virus – or for treatment of opioid addiction.

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the Natural Products Association (NPA), and the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) are therefore endorsing the following unified advisory for manufacturers, marketers and retailers, as well as for consumers, of dietary supplements:

  • Retailers of dietary supplements, including online retail portals, should refuse to stock or sell any dietary supplements that claim to treat or cure opioid use disorder or addiction or claim to reduce the symptoms of opioid withdrawal.
  • Manufacturers, marketers and retailers should refrain from promoting any dietary supplement as a cure or treatment for these conditions.
  • Anyone in need of treatment for opioid abuse or addiction should contact a healthcare professional immediately. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has information on currently available effective medical treatments.

Many dietary supplements have much to offer in terms of enhancing general well-being, providing essential nutrients and promoting good nutrition. Therapies for the treatment of opioid use disorder or addiction should only be recommended by qualified healthcare professionals or public health authorities.

The organizations supporting this advisory represent the majority of dietary supplement ingredient suppliers, manufacturers and product marketers. Each of the associations and its member companies remain committed to providing the American public with high-quality products for supporting personal health and wellness, and empowering self-care choices, when appropriate.


The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the national trade association and voice of the herbal and botanical products industry. AHPA is comprised of more than 300 domestic and foreign companies doing business as growers, processors, manufacturers, and marketers of herbs and herbal products, including foods, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and non-prescription drugs. Founded in 1982, AHPA's mission is to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products. Website:

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the 136-year-old national trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system $6-$7, contributing a total of $102 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to empowering self-care by preserving and expanding choice and availability of consumer healthcare products.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing 150+ dietary supplement and functional food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, and companies providing services to those manufacturers and suppliers.  In addition to complying with a host of federal and state regulations governing dietary supplements and food in the areas of manufacturing, marketing, quality control and safety, our manufacturer and supplier members also agree to adhere to additional voluntary guidelines as well as to CRN’s Code of Ethics. Visit

The Natural Products Association (NPA) is the trade association representing the entire natural products industry. We advocate for our members who supply, manufacture and sell natural ingredients or products for consumers. The Natural Products Association promotes good manufacturing practices as part of the growth and success of the industry. Founded in 1936, NPA represents over 2,000 members accounting for more than 10,000 locations of retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids. Visit

The United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) is an international association representing more than 100 leading natural products, dietary supplement, functional food, and scientific and technology and related service companies that share a commitment to provide consumers with natural health products of superior quality, benefit and reliability. Founded in Utah in 1992, UNPA was instrumental in the passage of the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) and continues to take a leadership position in state and federal regulatory issues and industry best practices. Visit