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 Post subject: Dopamine & Suboxone
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:14 pm 
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Hi. I am new 3 weeks new to suboxone. I am so thankful for the rut it has gottten me out of, thus far.

I have done, literally, tons of research on suboxone; but am still left with many questions.

This site (which I found through Dr. J's youtube videos) has answered most of all my questions concerning suboxone. Dr. Junig, I would like to personally thank you for taking so much time to put accurate/easy-to-read information (concerning suboxone) on the web. You are a fabulous writer and I enjoy your blogs so much! I hope to donate to the site as soon as my financial situation improves.


Now that that's stated. Here is my question:

If someone is taking suboxone for a prolonged period (over a few months), is that person interfering/blocking normal neural activity?

To be more specific, and to address more my concern:

From what I understand Suboxone effects the levels of dopamine released in the brain. Dopamine has also been shown to be released during periods of physical exercise. If I am on suboxone, and exert myself in an athletic fashion, is my brain unable to produce (or up-take) the dopamine because the suboxone is blocking the receptors?

Are activities that would normally produce an natural neurochemical reaction, inhibited/changed because of my using suboxone?

I hope this is clear.

This has been a concern of mine, as exercise is becoming very important to me, from a recovery standpoint. I still feel good after I exercise, which means obviously some of the good stuff gets going in my head (endorphins).

Thank you for any help.

:D


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:12 am 
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I am not an expert or dr but from what I understand all narcotics... including suboxone, replace the bodys natural production of endorphins which I think can be our biggest problem when we stop taking subs.

It's hard for non medical professionals like us to clearly understand how Dopamine and Serotonin are produced and transmitted within our central nervous system and into brain receptors... any how this is affected by narcotics use and abuse. Here is a definition of endorphins from: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Endorphins

endorphin (n-dôrfn)
Any of a group of peptide substances secreted by the anterior portion of the pituitary gland that inhibit the perception of painful stimuli. Endorphins act as neurotransmitters in the pain pathways of the brain and spinal cord. Narcotic drugs may stimulate the secretion of endorphins.
A Closer Look Endorphins are long chains of amino acids, or polypeptides, that are able to bind to the neuroreceptors in the brain and are capable of relieving pain in a manner similar to that of morphine. There are three major types of endorphins: beta-endorphins are found almost entirely in the pituitary gland, while enkephalins and dynorphins are both distributed throughout the nervous system. Scientists had suspected that analgesic opiates, such as morphine and heroin, worked effectively against pain because the body had receptors that were activated by such drugs. They reasoned that these receptors probably existed because the body itself had natural painkilling compounds that also bonded to those receptors. When scientists in the 1970s isolated a biochemical from a pituitary gland hormone that showed analgesic properties, Choh Li, a chemist from Berkeley, California, named it endorphin, meaning "the morphine within." Besides behaving as a pain reducer, endorphins are also thought to be connected to euphoric feelings, appetite modulation, and the release of sex hormones. Prolonged, continuous exercise contributes to an increased production of endorphins and, in some people, the subsequent "runner's high."


Again I'm not exactly sure how Dopamine works but the following is an easy to read explanation

http://metzelf.info/information/Stopping.html

Here is a part that may interest you:

Behavior and feelings are regulated, among other ways, by the brain. Brain cells, called neurons, communicate with each other through certain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Prescription (as well as other) narcotics change neurotransmission. The brain tries to neutralize this change. For instance, so-called antipsychotics reduce transmission of the neurotransmitter dopamine by blocking dopamine receptors. To compensate, the brain steps up production of dopamine. When the antipsychotic is abruptly withdrawn, the blockage is suddenly removed, allowing the brain to become flooded with dopamine. The effect is similar to taking a shot of cocaine. Cocaine stimulates dopamine (among other neurotransmitters) in the brain.


The following website has a more technical explanation of how Dopamin works... good luck understanding it:

http://changingminds.org/explanations/b ... pamine.htm

With regards to natural production of these [while on subs] as a result of exercising... I've not heard anyone say... but I suspect it will be more difficult

Hope this helps...


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:29 pm 
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Hey Bubble,

Good questions. Damn good. From what my doc says, others have said, and I've experienced your body still creates dopamine while working out. Also, when you work out your brain clears out all the bad amino acids allowing the dopamine into the places it's supposed to be.

I'm sure there's some conflicting opinions on this but I work out every day and credit working out with my success with suboxone. I'm down to .3mg's per day, feel pretty damn good, and think I'm doing good. After I work out I feel great for hours. I'm about to work out now.

Good job getting on suboxone. There can be some sucky days early on especially when your dose is high. So tough them out, taper down, and you'll be happy you did.

DC


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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
  • Asst Clinical Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

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