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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:16 pm 
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My experience was a 3 time shot at sub. w/d I finally did it at age 58 or so after being on it 3.5 yrs. I`M 63 now and clean . My w/d lasted 6-8 months with flu type sickness hardly any sleep basically 1-2 hrs. a night I ,think severely depressed hardly anything could hold my interest even tv made me bored not bored but did not offer any comfort or interest total loss of energy tried to exercise to no avail I could not eat, some tea and toast maybe, I tapered to a speck of a 2mg no film at that time and cold turkey after that. I really wanted to die but needed to get off the subs for my age and in case my ins. cut me off, this med. is very expensive also my sponser advised me I was still an addict addicted to suboxone ! My age probably had something to do with my w/d ,body fat, circulation and just a slowing of my metabulism actually I`m writing this for older addicts or anyone who has this experience that it can be this bad but can be beaten and I stress that this is my experience and we all are different this is very important. Also tapering is a science of it`s own I`ve read of some Dr.s who advise to stop a taper at 4 mg because it stays in the body and helps the w/d instead of minute taper and the skip a day method, be aware that some M.D.`S don`t know shit about w/d only how to presribe it try to find an addiction psychiatrist specialist (very rare) but this is a life and death deal also this will get some serious feedback but if this type of horrendous w/d happens to you and if I had to do it again ,I myself for me would consider an opiate taper under medical supervision not the rapid detox but a slow tablet type by seeing a Dr. each day or possibly now a Naltraxone injection ,the opiate taper is only for the type of w/d that I experienced which is possibly an exception than most . I didn`t intend to put all this down but as i started to write I realized how important it is to know the extreme`s to which a half life opiate can take to leave your system good luck from an old addict and your life will only get better and the good news is there are new meds coming out and possibly a cure in the near future !


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:38 pm 
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How helpful of your sponsor. You realize that PAWS can occur with any kind of opiate use. Not just an opiate with a long half life. I assume you had some history of abusing opiates before you got on suboxone to stabilize your life, right?

I agree that PAWS can feel differently for different people and maybe a slow metabolism that often comes with age does affect how long it takes the body to metabolize sub out of the body. But I don't believe that suboxone could possibly take 6 to 8 months to leave your body. Do you know what else causes sleeplessness and the inability to find anything enjoyable? Depression. Did your sponsor also suggest that you not talk to your doctor about anti-depressants? Because then you wouldn't be abstinent? I suggest that the last 5 to 7 months could have been very much improved by visiting a therapist or psychiatrist who could have offered therapy as well as appropriate medication.

Whether we agree or not, you are welcome to your opinion and this forum. :)

Amy

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:41 am 
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I went through PAWS for six months after inpatient rehab and being on oxycodone and morphine for yrs. I was a complete mess with cravings, depression, anxiety and couldn't sleep. I agree with Amy that PAWS can happen with any opiates, I went through it and after six months I relapsed because I couldn't deal with it anymore. After that relapse I went on suboxone treatment and have been since. But I do know that any opiate can absolutely cause this and each person is different.

Welcome to the forum!!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:14 am 
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I personally have suspicion that PAWS takes a lot longer than previously thought. This is due to my own experience, and that of the people I met in NA who have significant amounts of clean time under their belt. Among those I spoke to who have over a decade clean or thereabouts, most of them said that it took them 5 years before they felt that the ripples of their addiction had subsided. Mind you, those changes aren't just the neurobiological changes to the brain caused by chronic substance use. It's also the changes to personality and thinking that come from a result of persistent anti-social behaviour one is compelled to do to fund their addiction, suspiciousness of other people that comes from being ripped off and ripping people off in the "drug scene", becoming accustomed to the relatively small amounts of pleasure you experience in a drug-free life etc.

A lot of those antisocial behaviours and thinking can be addressed and resolve while on Suboxone, as long as you don't use. But I will admit that last time I had a period of recovery off Suboxone, the low-level anxiety that hummed in the background was with me up until I relapsed at 18 months clean. It was so persistent that I didn't really notice it. It just became a way of life for me. I only really noticed I had it after I went back on Suboxone, and it went away. I feel much more "normal" now on 6mg of Suboxone a day than I did at 18 months clean.

I've been reading a bit lately about epigenetic changes that occur as a result of addiction. It seems that addictive drugs change gene expression in the reward pathways in the brain. So it can be argued that opiate addiction changes our brain at the genetic level. While it hasn't been proven, it would probably take quite a long time for these changes to revert back to normal after a period of abstinence.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:25 pm 
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I'll put up a definition of epigenetics:

Epigenetics is the study, in the field of genetics, of cellular and physiological phenotypic trait variations that are caused by external or environmental factors that switch genes on and off and affect how cells read genes instead of being caused by changes in the DNA sequence.

Most people know that our DNA is coiled, like very tight figure 8s. Some areas of DNA on the surface are exposed, and some areas of the DNA is hidden. The exposed parts can be activated and the hidden parts can not. The differences in where the exposed surfaces lie along the DNA, can cause one identical twin to develop cancer, and the other twin not to, even though they have the exact same DNA. Or, one identical twin to be an addict and the other not to be. The field of study is incredible and there is so much to understand, and investigate. But epigenetics is what makes it possible for close relatives to potentially be very different.

Amy

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 8:42 pm 
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Here's an article that goes into more depth yet stays very layperson friendly. It emphasizes the ability of epigenetics to provide a means for "genetic memory" - in this case a Grandma's traumatic childhood could alter gene expression in her grandchildren.

http://discovermagazine.com/2013/may/13-grandmas-experiences-leave-epigenetic-mark-on-your-genes

And here's an incredibly advanced article on addiction and epigenetics. I only understand bits and pieces. Maybe Dr. J can provide a synopsis?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2753378/

Here's a more reader friendly one:

http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/38258/title/The-Epigenetics-of-Drug-Abuse/


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 8:49 pm 
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Thanks for the info, TJ!

Amy

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:56 am 
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I was depressed long before my addictions began so I can't even tell if I have PAWS or not. I am on an SSRI (lexapro) and an NDRI (wellbutrin). I would recommend seeing a Doctor and really talking to them about what you are experiencing.


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