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How long does it take to restore natural dopamine neurons?

Discussion in 'Opiate addiction' started by Nostalgic, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. Nostalgic

    Nostalgic Silver Member

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    This is the only thing I care about. I can take all the physical withdrawal symptoms. In fact, I'm already over all of them. Today is day 10 I'm clean and I don't feel anything physical anymore. But now I'm once again depressed and unmotivated. I take blues on and off as a form of self medication for just being unhappy all the time.

    It's very hard for me to distinguish if I'm still "down" because the roxys messed up my brains natural dopamine transmitters, or if I'm just naturally depressed. If I'm still depressed because the of the whole dopamine thing, then I'll be more motivated to wait it out. Otherwise, I just want to do one once in a while - like today when I have a craving. And I have the self control to only do one once a week or so (I've gone months doing that, and I can have self control to keep it that way).

    So do you think it's alright to take one on the weekend when I go out to improve my social life? Or should I wait because it takes more than 10 days for my brain to naturally produce dopamine? And does doing one completely reset the replenishing of dopamine or does it barely effect it? To give you an idea of the amount I'm taking - it's been very inconsistant over the past 3 years or so. I'll go months without doing any, then a month doing 1 a day, then a month doing 1 a week, then a month doing none. It's very sporadic but it's never been very bad.
     
  2. Diabolicaldoll

    Diabolicaldoll Titanium Member

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    It takes a lot longer than ten days before you start feeling "normal" happy feelings. Just because you don't use everyday of every week of every month doesn't mean you're going to recover quickly.

    If you're so desperate to feel normal again, to acatually be happy and satisfied with the small things in life without drug use then it's quite simple, there should be no drug use. Not even one pill of a weekend. You seem as if you're wanting to be happy with life naturally, so I'm not going to advise you to "just use at weekends". It never really just works like that though does it? I know it and you know it. More often than not those "just weekends" slowly start spreading into Monday, then eventually Tuesday or you may even have a "long weekend" by starting in Thursday.
     
  3. Nostalgic

    Nostalgic Silver Member

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    Thanks.

    If you had to guess, how long would you think it takes for your brain to be completely back to normal in terms of naturally producing chemicals after you take the last pill? I'm a very analytical numbers guy, and knowing an amount like say "21 days" will help me and motivate me and will definitely make me stick to being clean.
     
  4. Frmrjunkie

    Frmrjunkie Titanium Member

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    According to Dr. Richard Rosenthal (internet source - pain management doctor in Provo, UT)

    "Some people recover fairly quickly (as soon as 2 weeks). Some take longer, up to 6 months. It depends on the medication taken, the dose and how long it was taken"

    linked to: https://www.healthtap.com/#user_que...opamine-levels-stay-abnormal-after-opiate-use

    Stick it out Nostalgic, it WILL get better! Try taking up some exercise & even hobbies that you enjoy to supplement your own, natural dopamine levels.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013
  5. Nostalgic

    Nostalgic Silver Member

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    Thanks. I work out every day. It's just a bug out not knowing if I'm depressed cause of this chemical shit or if I'm depressed because of other reasons.
     
  6. outside365

    outside365 Titanium Member

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    Your thingy up there says your 22, so your young. Your body can still bounce back. If you eat and get exercise. Btw sex is good exercise. Anyway all I'm saying is I bet in 30 days, maybe less, you could be getting into that normal range. Maybe be prepared for the occasional depressed feeling. Once one enters opiates' lovely, warm house, its almost impossible to not come back to visit once more. Expect to maybe, have cravings indefinitely. My advice, stay out of that house. It will get better. Maybe, look at the big picture too. Example if you stay clean, in one year you'll be proud and back to normal. I can tell you, first hand, long term opiate abuse is ugly and it Fucking sucks. Sorry to swear but I'm being honest about things. These are only suggestions man. Hope you stay clean. Good luck.
     
  7. Nostalgic

    Nostalgic Silver Member

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    I appreciate it, this is motivating. I think the only way to not have cravings anymore is to maybe forget what it feels like which may take 3-4 years.

    Anyway, I'm gonna set a mark of 30 days for myself until my brain is totally replenished (true or not) - today is day 10.
     
  8. Frmrjunkie

    Frmrjunkie Titanium Member

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    Do not intend to be Debbie Downer" here, but I'm 2 months shy of three years & have yet to forget. Although I'm a hell of a lot older than you. There is some new speculation that long term, low dose Naltrexone can repair opiate receptors back to zero.

    All in all, you're doing fantastic & you should keep your resolve...stay away from that dope man! You'll get better every day. Took me a couple months, but I got there; got my energy back & ability to be happy sans opiates. If a 38 year old (then) fart can do it, so can you :D

    Will edit in thread about Naltrexone shortly...
    http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=137577

    Also searching for supporting articles
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013
  9. outside365

    outside365 Titanium Member

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    You can do it. Frmjuncky is right, it will always be a part you. All I'm saying is once you have a plan go for it. I some did h for a few years and quit. And haven't looked back. For me, dwelling on the facts of withdraw, made me more depressed. I think you have a great head start and keep going. You got ten days, that's great. You won't always be up but the end game never changes. Good job man.
     
  10. imquittingforgood

    imquittingforgood Newbie

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    My dog just wants to tell you that he used pills for the same reason as you. He was able to use controlled for two years until one day it started to be all the time. It sneaks up in you and then your screwed. If I were you I would just not use them.
    When my fig only used them on the weekends if he skipped a weekend he always seemed to get his spark back in about ten days.
    My dog has depression/anxiety though And that is something he will always deal with. It is one if the main reasons the pills did so much for him.
    If my dog could go back in time he would punch himself in the face before letting him try one of these horrible life suckers!!! The Hugh is not worth the road it can and sooner or later will bring you down ..
     
  11. c4nucKsens8tioN

    c4nucKsens8tioN Silver Member

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    One of the times I rehabbed I went to a counselor that I knew on a personal level very well. We trained in martial arts together. He worked with many addicts over the years. He told me 3 months, that's the point when your brain either starts to really heal or is healed depending on how much you've used.

    I used for 10 years and it took about 6 months before I felt like a human being again. And about a full year before I could say I felt "normal". Still think about opiates, its just finally gotten to the point where its not all day every day.

    Hope this helps man.
     
  12. BitterSweet

    BitterSweet Titanium Member

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    Congrats on the physical accomplishment. But with any drug, I feel like holding the thought of just doing it once in a while in your thought process is not going to end up anywhere good. It seems you have established you are not able to be a recreational user, and your use has ended up getting to the point where you are extremely depressed. Although this is largely a result of the brain's chemical process, and that there is a finite time for the brain to get back to normal, there will still be depression past this time, except that it might be more manageable since your dopamine levels aren't as depressed during your heavy use.

    It sounds like you are falling into the pitfall that many of us, including myself, have when we think we have managed our drug use very well and that in your example, this 10 day progress and mental progress may seem like you can be at a point to control the use. You are better off just making a once and for all decision that you won't need to touch the stuff again. There are other ways to be social on the weekend (although I am not sure how it can make you social, but I suppose drugs really do affect everyone differently). I think you should look at the risk-reward side of trying to use once in a while. The risk, based on past behaviour, is high for developing extreme dependence again (they say the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour; makes sense). The best way that helps me to cope is taking it one day at a time - probably the only good piece of advice that came out of the 12 step program for me. When you look at the word forever, it's daunting, to never do something again. Also, if you give yourself permission to use once in a while, I can't imagine how you won't be counting down the days until you get to use.

    This is how recreational use turns to something worse. You will be thinking about it so much if you tell yourself that on the weekend you will do it. Eventually you'll just tell yourself you can do a little bit before the weekend comes. For the social factor, the only "reward" from the risk-reward concept is being more social, but there are so many other ways to be social, and I think you are trying to find something good that can come out of the drug when deep down you know it is an excuse. And the risk side of it, like I said, is high. So if we were talking about investing in stocks, you could be a conservative investor, which would be ideal if on limited funds, or an investor that is not risk-adverse, who might end up losing everything.

    I used dilaudid recreationally for 2 years before I started using opiates a lot more. After being a heavy user, there is no way a person can return back to the state of recreational. That one time on the weekend of feeling the euphoria of the drug will be enough to destroy a lot of your progress.

    Do you know why your use pattern has been so strange? Such as using it sometimes for every day in a month to not using at all for a long time? I have a friend like that with alcohol - he will go a month without drinking, but when he does, he goes on a weekend bender. I don't really know what to make of such a use pattern. He knows he is an alcoholic, and he is depressed even if he isn't drinking. I suppose it just comes down to wanting to be happy. The way he abuses alcohol is a sign that something in his life needs changing.

    Also, a lot of opiate users are honest about the amount of time it has taken them to really get back to normal, sometimes taking months or years. I say it is different for everyone in that don't get too consumed with the idea that it will take a very long time for you to get to a good state, but just taking it day by day is a mental process I like. Instead of looking at what you have to give up, look at what you are gaining. Addiction is always about quitting this and not having that; perhaps look at the things you can have now, regardless of how big or little you think your drug use is. I think the fact that there have been times where use has been up to daily use is enough evidence to see that happening again if you don't avoid this drug completely.

    Best of luck, and best to do this when you are young.
     
  13. halo99

    halo99 Silver Member

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    also keep in mind that its not just dopamine but also serotonin that gets out of whack... the problem is that newest studies seem to point that opoid, dopamine and serotonin systems are interconnected and long term opiate use tends to throw everything out of whack to a certain degree...

    the other thing that people dont really want to talk about is that fact that many people that use opiates may have actually gone to opiates *because* of pre-existing issues with their dopamine/serotonin pathways (e.g. depression)
     
  14. oxyblue30

    oxyblue30 Silver Member

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    Dear sir or Ma'am,

    Your brain is always producing dopamine as long as you are eating some very basic nutrition. That doesn't mean your baseline brain-dopaimne levels will make you feel normal.. I would recommend 3 months drug-free before expecting baseline dopamine levels to be sufficient to your liking (depending on which drug you are taking, as well as the equation (dose taken)*(time taken). But 3 months often does it. Great job on getting the first 10 days right. Great luck in the future!!! You're on the right path :)

    -BLD
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2013
  15. Diabolicaldoll

    Diabolicaldoll Titanium Member

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    I'm sorry but it would be stupid f me to give you n exact number of days, I simply cannot, nobody can.

    The good thing is though you'll gradually start feeling better, it's not like you just wake up one day "cured", it's a progress. You'll slowly see yourself improve which in itself will give you motivation.
     
  16. Jumpbunny

    Jumpbunny Silver Member

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    As very newly recover my friend JB wants to say:

    I find this topic interesting, not wondering specifically the number of days before your dopamine and seratonin replenish, but the roller coaster effect I seem to get - one day I'm depressed and moody, the next I'm laughing and happy. I'm sure it's probably because my system is just trying to get "reset" so to speak but you'd think your body and mind would just get slowly better instead of experiencing such highs and lows. I wonder what part of the process of getting clean controls that and why it fluctuates?
     
  17. Frmrjunkie

    Frmrjunkie Titanium Member

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    If you're having days of happiness already then your brain is doing well to recover! I had fleeting moments of happiness the first few months without heroin with a lot of depression & lethargy the rest of the time. Little by little I noticed changes in my demeanor & really one day I hopped out of bed with a brand new outlook.

    I'm no neuroscientist. It has something to do with the opiates flooding our brains with endorphins & seratonin, artificially. It just takes time for your brain to adjust to making & dealing with its own natural levels. Everyday your brain heals a little more. Though I'm not sure it ever completely recovers. 2 months shy of three years clean & I still occasionally think about getting high & I think if I were to relapse it wouldn't take long for my tolerance to become astronomically high again. Hopefully I'll never prove this theory!

    Help yourself & brain produce & learn to love it's own feel good endorphins. Get exercise, eat well, pick up a hobby (as dorky as it is, a good crossword or jigsaw puzzle makes my day,) have sex, get a pet, go hiking, fishing, shopping...whatever piques your interest & makes you feel good. Look into the past, farther back than drugs, remember what you did for fun? Try it out again, you might be surprised how fun a snowball fight can be! Have also heard 5-HTP helps stimulate your brains natural healing process.
     
  18. ChronicSmoker

    ChronicSmoker Newbie

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    Man I hear you I went through a 4 year roxy/heroin addiction and quitting was pure hell and sometimes i would lose hope. But what kept me going was probly once a week id think, "wow, look at my much better im doing now, haven't snorted pills, socializing, not withdrawing, actually got 2-3 hours sleep last night" and 2 weeks later itd be 3-4 hours sleep and a little happier. And when I noticed I was making progress slowly but surely it really boosted my confidence. After about 4 months id say is when i started feeling mostly normal, woth more progress to go. I started working out at this point on a bowflex, and it took a while to kick my body in gear, but once it did, and i seen myself starting to have muscle tone, instead of look like a skeleton, i started feeling great. By 6-7 months after quitting, exercising, socializing, I was happier and more confident than I've ever been in my entire life. Quitting the opiates made me actually feel stronger, happier and more confident because the 4 years i did them i felt hopeless and thought i would never be clean. All of my friends were the same way. And once i quit and got my natural happiness back, it was just like i appreciated it so mich more than i used too. Nature looked so beautiful, music sounded awesome, i could actually enjoy having conversations with my mom and i wasnt a recluse anymore. Let me add things i did that eased and sped up the process. First and foremost: idk if you're a weed smoker but i credit that to be my number 1 aid in quitting. Helped every aspect of withdrawals. Supplements: these things work man. Like crazy. Get then from a known supplement store not walmart, quality counts. 5-htp restores serotonin. I remember on a withdrawl day i took like 3 of them and smokedand was listening to music and my mom thought i relapsed because i was too happy than how she previously seen me. L-tyrosine increases your energy like crazy i remember id take 2 of these and a b6 vitamin and felt speedy and happy, non axiety. Sam-e, i think this may habe been the key one honestly. Its one that takes awhilw to build up before it works, so give it about a week, take 200mg twice a day. Get good brand and store in refrigerator. Finally l glutamine calms anxiety and drug cravings. Remember taking more at one time doesn't make them work faster. Take them with b6 vitamin it helps them absorb. It took awhilw for me to find a combo and time of day/dosage of the supplements thing you gotta play with them. Takw them on empty stomache and wait an hour before eating. Take each of them twice a day. Try to not eat too much, eat just enough healthy snacks not meals, helps your body focus more on healing your brain than digestion, but nutrients are required to do that. Also take multivitamin. Use benydyl/nyquil and marijuana to help with sleep. Try to socialize with positive people, especially ppl who know what you're going thru so they understand if ur a bit cranky, tired, ect. Do those things, excercise, socialize, and 6 months you'll be ready to start working. This right here will be the peak of your life. You have to start working though thats a huge role. Unfortunately for me im reliving my happiness as i am now addicted to coke/amphetamines. And xanax. Stay away from all drugs man. Except weed. I ruined what i just told you you will have, i had it, and ruined it. And my brain at this point is so much worse than the first go around. I can't believe i went thru all that and have to do it again. Just with more brain damage. Ive kicked an alcohol addicrion already too. I hope i can have the feeling like when i first quit opiates again, but doubt it :( amphetamines, cocaine, xanax and alcohol all destroy your brain so much worse then opiates and im doing all at one time . After previous trauma. Dont be like me in that aspect.
     
  19. smith1985

    smith1985 Silver Member

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    Hey Nostalgic. I'm on day 10 now since me last dose of Methadone and I feel great (check out my post if you like). My advice would be to start the gym and make sure your diet is on point - it doesn't have to be perfect but cut out all of the shit from your diet (if you haven't already). If you do this and start going to the gym in the evenings (or another physical activity if you'd prefer), your body will naturally produce dopamine and you will also sleep easier, which in turn will help you recover more quickly as well. Main thing though is stopping any other drugs you're taking - they aren't helping you. if you don;t do anything to stimulate your dopamine levels, it could be months before they fully return to normal (but it's different for everyone) Best of luck mate!
     
  20. Leeloo

    Leeloo Silver Member

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    Have somebody positive experiece with L-Tyrosine? Could it help to restore the dopamine system? I know that my recovery time is 3-4 weeks after last dose of meth.
    It s a counterproductive to smoke weed during dopamine system recovery? Thanks.