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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:18 pm 
I've been off subs almost 4 months and am fully aware of how long PAWS can last and how long it takes for our seratonin levels to reach "normal" again. I have read stopping long term suboxone use can damage our brains for life. The source were just some random youtube people. Not exactly a lock, but when you read it 4-5-6 times.... makes you think about it. I honestly believe our brains are very adaptable and time will arrange it back to its natural state. But, shit...what do i know. All i can atest to is that this drug is new and the medical community is not as familiar with the long term effects of this drug as opposed to drugs that have been around for decades. Drugs that they have documented all types of side effects over the years. We are all testers of this medication. And there is a lot we don't know about it. Thats just the plain truth. Hopefully someone can shed some light on this topic because I bet everyone on Suboxone has asked themselves this question.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:18 pm 
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I've never really thought about Suboxone causing permanent damage to my brain or any other organ. There are a lot of tests to be done before the drug is approved for the masses. If it did, wouldn't it be posted on the information pamphlet? Maybe, maybe not.

And even if it did it has to be minor or we'd know about it already. Back in my using days I didn't give a rats ass how many brain cells I killed to catch a buzz. Took so much LSD that I ended up with minor and temporary brain damage after having a grand mall seizure. Woke up in the hospital with a needle full of Thorazine coming out of my arm. Was whacked out for a few weeks but still recovered enough to keep doing drugs. Of course being older now I do care about this subject and would not like any more damage to be done. Shit, nature does a good enough job of losing brain cells when we get old, don't need any help from drugs.

I wouldn't put much faith on something you saw on YouTube. Read the medical articles for the truth. It may be boring but at least it's based on science.

The only thing it may do is change the way I think regarding opiates. It just might possibly re-wire my brain to not operate normally unless it has an opiate to satisfy it. Just a guess, I'm no doctor or professional.

That's my take on this subject. Let's see if some others post good solid test results. It is information we all need to know. Thanks for bringing up the topic.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:23 pm 
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Suboxone is not new. Not by anyone's standards. Long term effects are pretty much the same as other opiods.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:58 pm 
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nogroovin wrote:
Suboxone is not new. Not by anyone's standards. Long term effects are pretty much the same as other opiods.


Word..

A couple of things.

There are so many opinions on the internet, that if you search for any one in particular, you will find 4-5-6-7-50-100 matching opinions. Especially fear based opinions seem to be the strongest and most prevalent (ie conspiracy theories, anti-semitic pages, anti-drug opinions)

Another thing. Of course Suboxone changes the brain. We've taking a drug every single day that sits in our synapses 24/7, and our brain has to adjust around having that drug in our system. Will our brain ever 100% return to normal? No I don't think so. There will always be some mild residual hyperalgesia, sensation of body temp outta whack, mild cravings for opioids that will rear their head now and then. This is the result of having an exogenous opioid sitting in our brain 24/7 for months / years on end. In a sense this could change our brain more than active addiction, as (at least for me) I woudn't have gear in me 24/7/365 days a year like I have Sub in me 24/7/365.

But other than that, Sub is no different to other opioids. The only other real difference is that it sticks in our tissues and fatty deposits much longer than other opioids, so the recovery (PAWS) process is significantly longer than for shorter acting opioids.

After using a lot of psychoactive drugs, be they street drugs, psych meds and narcotics ... I've come to realise that if you take ANY psychoactive drug 24/7 for months on end, your brain adjusts "around it". And never does the brain 100% return to normal. This is just the way of life. Break someones arm and they're always going to have a weak spot for the rest of their life.

People whinging about Sub causing permanent brain damage are a bit outta touch with reality IMO, because LIFE is one long brain changing journey. With each person we meet, thing we experience, year we age, drug we take ... changes our brain which in turn changes our personality. The changes are can be positive or negative, but they mould who we are. Dwelling on any one change as being negative only diminishes one's belief in themselves. A person who expects jumping off Suboxone to "turn back the clock" to how they were 5-10 years ago ... is as unrealistic as a 60 year old wishing they could be 30 again.

Our brains (and thus ourselves and our personalities) are kinda like a tree in a way. You know how they cut a tree and they can see all the rings. From examining those rings biologists can tell that "80 years ago there was a bush fire" and "120 years ago there was a dry spell". Each of those episodes influence and change how the tree grows to this day. Our period on Sub will forever have some influence over who we are, but over the years that influence will become more distant as we pile more life experience and more maturation and growth over the top. Neuroplasticity is a wonderful thing. Even if we do permanently alter parts of our brain, neurons still grow in other areas to adapt and we change.

Damage is such a negative word. I only save it for the most extreme circumstances, like that dude who impaled his brain on an iron rod (Phinease Gage?) and survived, but became an asshole.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:20 am 
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Neuroplasticity is a wonderful thing. Even if we do permanently alter parts of our brain, neurons still grow in other areas to adapt and we change.

Most Excellent Tearj3rker! I used heroine 24/7 for 20 flipping years ... yah, needless to say my brain has a hard time functioning without opiates. But guess what? Even though I have revolted against taking meds, I am SO glad I found Suboxone - it was the FIRST & ONLY drug that does NOT remind my brain of dope. Been on Meth & Subutex & MORE

I can't imagine that this Suboxone pill is worse for me than shooting an unknown powder bought from a man I can't trust using a rusty nail.

It's only been 3 months with Sub. But even my family sees a diff. compared to the other meds i mentioned.

If loving Sub is wrong ... I dont wantto be right!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:08 am 
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You've noticed a difference between subutex and suboxone?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:03 am 
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At (nearly) three years off Suboxone I feel pretty much normal. My sleep is good, I don't have any temperature issues. Cravings are rare and are usually a vauge feeling of just not wanting to deal or wishing for escape. My pain tolerance is normal and when I've needed pain meds they worked great at the doses prescribed for "normal" people.

More than that, I am also off all psych meds. I'm not taking antidepressants, which I used pretty regularly for 20 years. I'm not on anti-anxiety meds either. My depression (for the time being) seems to be managable with diet, exercise, meditation and other self-care strategies. My migraines are also gone (for the past 8 months or so) after a lifetime of struggle. The only medication I take on a regular basis now is for my thyroid.

I think we can heal a lot of the damage we've done to ourselves, but it's an ongoing cultivation of health. It's not like recovering from a cold where one day you're better. It's a process, it takes discipline and compassion, and there are ups and downs...but it's doable for sure.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:27 am 
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That's heartening.

When I was "clean", I got 13 months with no opioids, 7 of those months I lived without any psych medications. However at 13 months (in the fall to winter) I relapsed into a paranoid depression. To this day I don't know how much of that relapse was to do with living in the environment I'd moved into (a recovery house with a lot of negative behaviours) ... or whether it would happen anyway. I did learn from that though that with enough stress, my bipolar does return, so I will require medication indefinitely.

At that 13 months I did feel my cravings had diminished a LOT. This was the only real residual symptom of my PAWS / addiction that was left, these mild cravings that would come and go every few weeks. But they were getting a lot better each month. However when I fell into that depression I lost complete insight and value of my life. Because in the past I'd always used to medicate those feelings, I felt like I no choice but to return to using, even though I didn't crave it. I did it by reflex rather than desire. And it was because of that I am today on Suboxone.

The main residual lingering thing I know I suffer (and many others in NA) is that I'll always be at more risk of addiction than I was prior to ever using a drug. I'll never be able to "turn back the clock" so to speak, so my brain was like it was prior to my using. Even if it gets better and better over time, it will never be exactly the same. When I see a needle and a spoon on the TV, I'll never feel the indifference I felt about it before I'd used.

Same goes for the other opioid related residual things. While they get better and better over time, there is never a point where one can say with certainty that they are 100% normal, or as they would be had they never been on opioids or Suboxone.

I don't wanna get philosophical about it, but the same kinda goes after any significant life changing event, like a breakup, or being in a plane and flying for the first time. A person moves on and the memory fades and loses significance, but it still influences the person in some way until they pass away.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:34 am 
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I noticed a difference between Suboxone and Subutex.....they're spelled differently!!! LOL!! For real though, I did notice a huge difference between Suboxone and Subutex when my pharmacy accidentally filled my script with Subutex, instead of Suboxone. I noticed the difference in the pills immediately and called the pharmacy, they said it was generic Suboxone and I went ahead and took my dose. About 1/2 hour later, that shit hit me like a 2 by 4 being swung by a gorilla. It was so intense I actually called the pharmacy and told them to put me back on brand name Suboxone, pronto! It wasn't until after I joined this forum that I finally figured out that I had taken Subutex, not Suboxone.

To the original poster, I think too many people equate addiction soley with taking drugs. Addiction is so much more than taking drugs. Taking drugs is merely a symptom of our disorder. IMO, these people who claim to have permanent brain damage because of Suboxone or opiates think that because they stopped taking drugs, their lives were gonna magically become rainbows and fairy dust. WRONG!!! Addiction is a brain disorder. Just because we stop taking drugs doesn't mean we're gonna be healed.

IMO, this is where recovery comes into play. Let's face it, all those years we spent taking drugs taught us some pretty fucked up ways to live our lives. Not taking drugs, but living the same old lifestyle is what folks call "whiteknuckling it" (I think?). Sure, they don't have any drugs in them, but they're still a mess because the rest of their life is being lived just the same as when they were doing drugs. As long as they keep doing this, they're gonna think they're permanently brain damaged.

Recovery is hard work, make no mistake. Do I wish I could just sit around, not take drugs and be fine.....hell yeah I do, but that's not how it is for me. I have to work at my recovery, I have to learn how to live a happy life without drugs and that takes time. Also, for some folks, recovery comes pretty natural. For stubborn asses like me, it's a lot more work. I suspect that a lot of these stories you're hearing about permanent brain damage are coming from addicts who refuse to work some kind of recovery.

Lastly, I've been off opiates for a couple of years now and I don't think I've suffered any permanent damage. I took massive quantities of opiates, in one form or another, for 13 years. If anyone was gonna have permanent damage, I would think I would be a good candidate.

You're 4 months into your journey off of opiates, it's completely normal to be worried that you've permanently damaged yourself, I know I worried about it too. Just know that, IMO, you have not done any irreversible damage.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:27 am 
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Dear Romeo,

Amen.

We should have the mods put that shit on the front page.

At the top.

:)

-gb


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:15 am 
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Dear glen bee,

Thanks!

I thought I did a pretty good job of hitting the nail on the head with my astute observations of there being a spelling difference between Suboxone and Subutex too.

Maybe the mod's should post that on the front page? :lol:

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 Post subject: Nice!!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:56 am 
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Diary of a Quitter wrote:
I think we can heal a lot of the damage we've done to ourselves, but it's an ongoing cultivation of health. It's not like recovering from a cold where one day you're better. It's a process, it takes discipline and compassion, and there are ups and downs...but it's doable for sure.


I am nowhere near where you are yet, however I share these same beliefs. I have some tough days ahead as well as some great days to come. I came off of sub 2 months ago (3.5 yrs on), poppy pods 1 month ago (1 month on) and kratom (9 days on low-dose, more of a stimulant effect for work) 3 days ago. Next week at work will be caffeine as needed in the form of Guayusa or Yerba Mate tea.

Currently, I take temazepam for sleep....hopefully for the short-term and Zoloft, which hasn't built up yet after 20 days. I am confident that if I keep going at the rate I am with a healthy lifestyle (eating right, supplementing right and exercise, exercise, exercise) I will eventually be in a good place; it will just take time. 7 years of heavy everyday opiate use can sure take its toll.

There are moments where I see a light at the end of the tunnel and there are moments of doom and gloom. I think life is like that for a lot of people though, not just us.


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 Post subject: Oh Yeah...
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:27 am 
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and the things bothering me right now are RLS (even though I sort of had this back in high school before even using), moderate anxiety (debilitating at work, have to get up and move a lot) and that empty feeling in my head, i.e. boredom and lack of motivation stemming from a type of mental "blankness".


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:49 am 
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Give it time it gets better.


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 Post subject: Wow
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:16 pm 
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Some really good stuff written on this topic. I will humbly sit in the back and continue reading. Thanks TJ and Romeo for some real insightful stuff.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:37 pm 
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Rule,

You beat me to the punch.. I just sat down to type that this short thread contains a wealth of fascinating, interesting, info and should be required reading for everyone on this forum..

Great stuff- I learned a lot reading the replies


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:35 pm 
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Quote:
I don't wanna get philosophical about it, but the same kinda goes after any significant life changing event, like a breakup, or being in a plane and flying for the first time. A person moves on and the memory fades and loses significance, but it still influences the person in some way until they pass away.


For the record Tearj3rker, I totally agree with what you're saying here. There's no rewind and erase function on our brains and everything we do, our life experiences, what we ingest, the environment we live in - it all leaves it's mark on our brain. And there's also the wiring you're born with that you have to learn to work with to whatever extent. Not to mention the health of all your other bodily systems. The flip side of this of course is that the positive things we do also leave a lasting effect, so there's hope.

I'm also pretty sure that there was something wrong with my brain long before I ever did opiates, or any other drugs for that matter. Since early adolescence I've tended toward depression and a strong desire to get the fuck out of my own head via chemicals- I just have more life experience and better coping skills now than at pretty much any other point in my life.

As far as I can tell though I'm not suffering any lasting bad effects due to being on Suboxone for 2 years. I think the break from all the crazy ups-and-downs of addiction and mental illness combined with a lot of effort in various areas of my life actually resulted in a net positive effect. But like our wise (ass) Romeo pointed out, if you just take Sub and don't change anything else the end result isn't going to be great.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:42 pm 
I learned so much from you all. I'm glad i posted this topic because I sure got some truth out of it.

It's very true. Coming off suboxone/opiates and expecting to be normal soon after would be like loosing a loved one and expecting to be how you were before they passed soon after. Recovery is something that needs work. Gotta learn to live again outside of the "addict behaviors". Which is so much more than simply using.

Romeo, Tear, Rule, Glen all you dudes. thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:00 pm 
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Diary of a Quitter wrote:

I'm also pretty sure that there was something wrong with my brain long before I ever did opiates, or any other drugs for that matter. Since early adolescence I've tended toward depression and a strong desire to get the fuck out of my own head via chemicals


Same here. Sounds cliche but I was always trying to fill an emptiness inside myself. Before I found drugs and alcohol, when I was a youngster I would use food as an escape. I also became a teenage Hare Krishna, robes and all, which is an interesting story on its own and one which has had a positive impact on my life but goes to show I was really searching for something. Once I started drinking and pills, they were my new god for the next 14 years.

-gb


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 Post subject: Wonderful Read
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:38 pm 
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I really got a lot out of all the replies. I must admit that prior to the reading of all the replies, I had my own opinion about whether or not I have suffered permanent damage or not to and from opiate abuse...I think I did.....as anytime I did indeed do without any opiates (abstinence) a year here and there...I was still dealing with withdrawal symptoms and cravings plus the worse...I never got past the low energy and low pain tolerance (hyperalgesia). LOW TO NO ENERGY and NO PAIN TOLERANCE, but when I think it way way back..........I never did have a lot of energy or any ability to tolerate pain and that from the beginning played a large part in why I ever fell in love with opiates it gave me lots of energy and took away my pain.

But back to the real reason I am posting....I just wanted to say GREAT REPLIES from everyone that went in to details regarding this....I will forever from this point forward look at this issue a bit differently than before.

ROMEO.....Your comment>>>>>>Not taking drugs, but living the same old lifestyle is what folks call "whiteknuckling it" (I think?). Sure, they don't have any drugs in them, but they're still a mess because the rest of their life is being lived just the same as when they were doing drugs.>>>>>>In AA they called that being a "Dry Drunk" lol

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