It is currently Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:08 pm



All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Our Sponsors





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:23 am 
Offline
Average Poster
Average Poster

Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:11 am
Posts: 7
Some info.. I'm currently 27. I'm in great shape and I'm an all around healthy guy.

Long story short, I've read all about how our brain becomes addicted and our reward pathways change when you start using and so on. Is there any hard evidence that the damage opiates cause to our reward system is permanent?

This question is vital to me starting Subox. Because it seems to me like it's ALL or NOTHING. Either I am taking this for my whole life, because I have admitted my brain is permanently damaged, or I am focused on repairing my reward pathways so I can live normally once again (with no subox).

A little history.. I used for about 8 months when I was 24 (30mg oxycodone/day). I stopped for about a year and I still had cravings after 6 months clean. I never really felt like the same person.. just not as outgoing (I'm a very outgoing, extroverted guy). But even a year clean, I was out with people and not very happy. This makes me think the opiates forever changed my brain chemistry or have done a number on me and it may take me years to recover.

EITHER WAY.. I relapsed about 3 months ago. I started upping my dose to about 60-80mg/day and I FELT LIKE MYSELF AGAIN! I started talking to women (something I hadn't done in a year). Suddenly I was feeling like me.

But I knew this rollercoaster had to stop. So now I'm here. About a week clean. Most of my physical withdrawls are gone. Hell, they were never that bad. The worst part is that I'm not the same happy individual that I was before. I'm dreading that I will be depressed forever.

Do I make the jump? I could never imagine myself being on a DRUG for life. Is it possible to taper off slowly till you are comfortable not being on SUBs? Or is this all or nothing.

Also.. can our brain's reward pathways heal while on Subs? The fact that SUBs are actually an opiate leads me to believe that they can't..

Thanks guys..


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:49 pm 
Offline
Average Poster
Average Poster

Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:00 pm
Posts: 12
Hey Rman, I've only been on Sub a week so I'm def no expert but from reading your post if it was me I'd give it more time before I went on Subs. You're pretty young and from what you said about your history it doesn't (to me) seem like your drug use was too extensive or for a wicked long time. I know you said even after a year you didnt feel like yourself but it could be for other reasons besides permanent chemical changes in your brain.

if I were you I'd stay clean and try to make a conscious effort to get my spark back & actively work on getting back to myself. Maybe push yourself to do stuff and be social even if you don't feel like it. Kind of fake it till you make it.. Therapy could be helpful as well. An important thing too is try not to dwell on that you don't feel like yourself, and try not to analyze every little feeling, symptom etc. That definitely can make things seem worse.

Also if you haven't already read some articles on this site about the chemistry of subs etc. Hopefully someone who knows more about it will reply too;

Anyway that's what I'd do if I were you, try to give yourself a chance for a while and see what happens.

Good Luck whatever you decide!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:17 pm 
Offline
Average Poster
Average Poster

Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:11 am
Posts: 7
Layla wrote:
Hey Rman, I've only been on Sub a week so I'm def no expert but from reading your post if it was me I'd give it more time before I went on Subs. You're pretty young and from what you said about your history it doesn't (to me) seem like your drug use was too extensive or for a wicked long time. I know you said even after a year you didnt feel like yourself but it could be for other reasons besides permanent chemical changes in your brain.

if I were you I'd stay clean and try to make a conscious effort to get my spark back & actively work on getting back to myself. Maybe push yourself to do stuff and be social even if you don't feel like it. Kind of fake it till you make it.. Therapy could be helpful as well. An important thing too is try not to dwell on that you don't feel like yourself, and try not to analyze every little feeling, symptom etc. That definitely can make things seem worse.

Also if you haven't already read some articles on this site about the chemistry of subs etc. Hopefully someone who knows more about it will reply too;

Anyway that's what I'd do if I were you, try to give yourself a chance for a while and see what happens.

Good Luck whatever you decide!


Thanks for the reply.

Looking back on my last post, I was definitely in much worst WD than I am right now.. LOL. My typing was frantic and just reading it gives me anxiety.

So it's good to know I'm getting better.

I think you're right. I haven't used extensively for a long period of time, so I think suboxone maybe be an extreme step right now. However, I do think I will need some sort of program or therapy to avoid tripping up again. Not saying I'm not confident I won't trip up.. I am VERY confident, as I went clean for a year with little to no hitch after my first long stint. But you can't argue the relapse rates of opiate addicts. You may be Lance Armstrong, but that shit doesn't even matter.. it's a matter of our brains tricking us.

Come to think of it, I've been doing a lot of introspection over the past week in W/Ds and I've come to an epiphany. I've always had addictions.

First it was Basketball. I would play in my backyard 12PM - 8PM every day I got a chance to as a little kid. Days I didn't get to play, I was supremely pissed. Then I really got involved with computer games.. so much so that my parents had to 'limit' my computer time. I played like 6 hours/day! Then I went off to college and LOVE was my next drug. I was absolutely obsessed with my girlfriend of 3 years and just being around her/going through breakup/makeup was enough to make it an addiction. Then she cheated on me and I went to alcohol. I drank heavily through college till I was eventually blacking out 5-6 days/wk to ease my pain. Then I turned to opiates.

It's so weird it's all becoming so clear to me now that I'm in WD.

I know it's not good to trade one addiction for another, but at some point we have to admit addiction is a disease. I crave endorphins.

I just need to find moderate ways to get me there while keeping a life balance.

I will stay clean. I can't tell you how close I was to doing that 2mg sub strip I had sitting on my desk today. Then I remembered a powerpoint I read last night that basically told you what opiates do to your brain long term/permanently. And I remembered that Subs are opiates. For a lot of people, I think it's a wonderful drug to continue with normal life.

But for me? I'm hoping I can get back to normal the old fashioned way. Exercise, diet, vitamins, love, human interaction, and spontaneity. Add some spice to my life.

I'll let you guys know how it goes.

Thanks!


Top
 Profile  
 
Our Sponsors
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:11 pm 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:42 am
Posts: 4133
Going on suboxone is a big decision, but it's a smart decision for a lot of addicts. The doctor who runs this forum, Dr. Junig, recommends that people stay on suboxone at least two years. For some people it is necessary to stay on suboxone for life. We have several members here, however, who have tapered off suboxone and have stayed clean for various periods of time. The reason behind staying on sub at least two years is that by that point you've had time to completely turn your life around. You have steady employment, new friends, you've had time to get addiction therapy or have a solid foundation in the 12 steps or other meetings. You've had enough time to work on your recovery to the extent that you have a fighting chance to stay off opiates if you taper off the suboxone.

Dr. Junig says that over time your receptors will heal to where they will accept the endorphins produced by your body. Addiction does change your brain in somewhat permanent ways, but it can heal. Your job while you are on suboxone is to work on yourself and your recovery. If the result is that you can someday come off suboxone without relapsing, that's great!

Welcome to the forum!

Amy

_________________
Done is better than perfect!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:07 am 
Offline
Average Poster
Average Poster

Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:11 am
Posts: 7
Hi Amy,

Thanks for the reply.

I guess I'm a 'functioning' addict because I already have all those things going for me right now.. Great friends, a great job, and family.

So I guess I'm wondering if it's best for me to try to kick the habit without Suboxone or if I should begin Subox so I don't risk hopping back onto opiates?

It's a tough decision, because I'd like to begin the healing process by clearing my system of Opiates long-term. With Suboxone, I'm just delaying this.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:37 am 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:42 am
Posts: 4133
Well, Rman, nobody can make that decision for you, but I want to bring up a couple of things about the nature of addiction. Addiction is a chronic, progressive brain disorder that is characterized by relapse. That is the latest scientific definition of addiction. (They actually call it a brain disease, but I prefer the word "disorder".) What this means is that you may only be 1/5 of your way through a lifelong addiction. However, the pathways of addiction in your brain have already been set. If you were to relapse after 1 month, 1 year, 5 years, etc., you would most likely start using as much as you had when you stopped cold turkey. Your addiction would progress to higher amounts and higher tolerance of opiates. This could happen multiple times in your life as you go in and out of active use, especially if you never address the reasons you were susceptible to opiate abuse in the first place.

I'm not telling you this to say that this is your definite future if you don't go on suboxone, not at all. But statistically speaking, there is a 90% or better chance that there is a relapse in your future. You've got some great things going for you right now. You are, as you say, a functioning addict. But imagine how many hard-core junkie addicts started out as functioning addicts. Way too many.

I'm not speaking from a vacuum. My experience as an addict was as a functioning addict too. I asked for help before I had very many consequences. I haven't alienated my friends or family. I didn't bankrupt us or get into legal trouble. I don't think I'm a special case because I've "gotten away" with addiction, however. Instead, I've focused on putting my addiction into remission by staying on suboxone for a couple years. I'm not focused on the short term goal of normalizing the receptors in my brain. There is possibly time for that later after I've worked on my recovery enough to really know that I'm ready.

I promise I'm not trying to piss you off by what I'm going to say next. I think that part of you does think you're a little better than some other addicts. Our addiction wants us to think that because it makes it easier to think we are in control, when addiction can actually rear its ugly head when we least expect it.

So, if you need to try recovery without the tool of suboxone, I don't blame you one bit! I wish you every success in the world. However, if you find yourself relapsing despite trying your best to stay off your drug of choice, please consider utilizing suboxone in your recovery. You're always welcome here no matter what you decide to do. God bless!

Amy

_________________
Done is better than perfect!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Our Sponsors
Suboxone Forum latest topics RSS feed Subscribe to the entire forum
 

 

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

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

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group