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 Post subject: 10 years!?
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 2:46 pm 
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i came across this article dealing with PAWS

http://www.tlctx.com/ar_pages/paw_part1.htm

"People recovering from long term opiate and stimulant use often have PAW symptoms for no apparent reason for up to 10 years after they have stopped using their drug of choice."

Are you kidding me? TEN YEARS? That makes me want to give up right now.

This entire article is really depressing. It makes it seem that even after you get over PAWS, it still recurs throughout the rest of your life in one form or another. It does mention on the second page that for some people it goes away completely, but jeez, it really makes the outlook seem bleak.

Is this true? I dont think I can deal with PAWS for the rest of my life.


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 4:15 pm 
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Hey Eric,

I'm gonna suggest you stop obsessing over PAWS. I know it's hard to do, I was in you shoes once and it wasn't easy to do. After a few months off of Suboxone, I was just like you, I was wondering what in the hell was wrong with me, why I wasn't getting better, yada, yada, yada. I searched and searched the internet, only to keep coming up with shittier and shittier news regarding PAWS.

You already know all you're gonna know about PAWS, searching and searching the internet for more bad news about PAWS is only gonna drive you nuts.

Try to refocus your thoughts onto something else. Find a hobby, find something you're interested in and pursue it with the same vigor you're pursuing knowledge of PAWS. Listen, I promise you, your PAWS will get better over time, you have to start believing that. If you start believing you're never gonna get better, then you're pretty much screwed. Are you doing any recovery work?? I'd suggest you do some recovery work because a good portion of PAWS is learning how to live with the stress of normal life. Recovery will help you in this area.

BTW, I have NEVER heard of PAWS lasting 10 years. Most of the opiate addicts I know who got off either had zero PAWS or, the other end of the spectrum, it lasted for about 6 to 9 months.

As far as PAWS recurring for the rest of your life, I'm pretty sure they're not talking about full blown PAWS. I've had mini episodes that last a few minutes or trouble sleeping some nights, but it's nothing like full blown PAWS.

Until next time......suck it up princess!! :D (Somebody needed to give ya a little kick in the butt, I guess it was me!)

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 5:03 pm 
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yeah, i know i shouldnt focus on it. The problem is the reason I was able to wean off suboxone in the first place was exercise and keeping busy. Now that I'm off completely, somehow the ability to do those things has become almost impossible. I get tired SO easily. Like if I try to lift weights or do any exercise other than walking, i get the worst anxiety later that day - the type where thoughts just wont ease up and everything is out of proportion. And unfortunately I dont have a steady job right now, I'm working out of my house and occasionally doing some work for my friend who does household repairs when I have the energy. So theres no real consistancy a lot of the time.

And i do notice I'm getting better, mostly in terms of sleep, but damn, it's hard to go through stuff like this for such a long time. Especially when the environmental factors arent pleasant. So sorry if I'm whining, which I obviously am, but things suck and then i see 10 years of PAWS on a website i didnt even mean to come across.

Thanks for the replies though Romeo, i do deeply appreciate it, this board is about the only contact I have with people who know about opiates/ suboxone and it's really given me a lot of insight and helped keep me thinking positive.


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 5:32 pm 
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Hey Bud, the only reason I gave ya a kick in the butt is because someone else did it for me and it helped me a lot. We get stuck and sometimes we need a good, swift kick in the ass to get unstuck.

I'm thoroughly impressed that you are man enough to take the kick in the ass I gave ya without whining like a little baby, to me, that says a lot about you.

I completely understand the whole getting wiped out so easily thing, it plagued me for a long time. I wish I could tell you how to get over it, but other than what I've already posted, I don't know what to tell ya.

Be strong and don't give up hope.

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 11:23 pm 
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no problem, i guess i was just seeking that kick in the ass more than anything else.

BTW, did you enjoy the latest season of beavis & butthead?


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 7:47 am 
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Eric, I must agree with Romeo. Try your best not to live in the future and obsess over something that might not even happen to you.

I would also suggest that you consider the source when you read articles/posts from other sites. That PAWS article was from a treatment center. I didn't read the whole site, but they do have some treatment program to SELL. So consider the source - they are selling something and part of that could be that they are trying to scare a potential client into buying their product. So take what you've read with a grain of salt and consider the source. Usually PAWS lasts from some months to a couple years at most.

Romeo has been through PAWS so I'll leave what he said alone and let it stand. But remember, PAWS doesn't even happen to everyone. And it depends a lot on how you taper off the opiates you're still on. Do a long, very slow taper and that will help to reduce your chances of both ACUTE and POST-ACUTE w/d. REMEMBER THAT: YOU DO HAVE CONTROL OF SOME OF THIS!!!

Relax, sit back, work on YOU right now and don't fret over the future. You can't do anything about it anyway. Pay attention to today, not yesterday and not tomorrow. Worry and anxiety come from living in the future.

Hang tough and we're here for you. :)

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 10:23 am 
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Yeah, I absolutely caught this most recent season of B and B. I couldn't believe that Mike Judge was actually resurrecting the little knuckleheads, I wondered if it would be the same. I was astonished at how similar to the original it was. Not every episode was fall off your chair funny, but B and B, for me, are kinda like eating pizza, when it's good, it's REAL good, when it's not so good, it's still pretty good. :D

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 3:50 pm 
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alright, thanks for the reply hatemaker.

think i'll watch some beavis & butthead now, that should take the edge off.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 4:20 pm 
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I had heard that before and, like you, I was scared shitless.. Like Hat said, someone stands to benefit financially from our fear..

Are you feeling PAWS from the subs or from your DOC? I felt mild PAWS from subs but VICIOUS PAWS from my DOC.. Prolly cause I tapered from the subs and when I quit the Roxy's (all 2 million times-lol) it was usually pretty much cold turkey.. Unless you count snorting 20 per day instead of 25 for 36 hours a taper..;-) PAWS sucks at times but it gets less & less as the days go by.. Before you know it you'll be back to working out.. What's walking today will turn into a quick jog, then a sprint and before you know it you'll be working out even better than ever.. Just gotta start- that's the hardest part..

Keep up the good work- you're kicking ass..


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 10:31 pm 
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thank you nogroovin, that made me feel even better about it. Great people on this message board.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 4:04 am 
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I wouldn't be too concerned about that article. But I did find it really interesting how they brought up the "moon cycles" thing. It sounds quite mystical. However, this is exactly what I experienced when I first got clean. Initially things are incredibly difficult. By day 90 I noticed that things were beginning to settle, and I no longer was freaked out and afraid of myself whenever a craving surfaced. Then gradually those "challenging" periods became less frequent. And I do remember they seemed to come up around the "milestone" periods of 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 6 months, one year. Perhaps it was psychological.

The main symptoms of those difficult times were stress, reminiscing about drug use, drug dreams, nervousness etc. They'd gradually get worse over a period of maybe one week, and if I managed to work through it without using, I'd wake up one day and the feelings would be gone! And it was as if I'd find a new level of contentment and stability in myself. Kinda like graduating to recovery level 2 or 3 or 4.

As for the whole 10 years thing. I will agree with that. Is it something I'm afraid of? No not at all. After the initial PAWS period, of which the first 90 days are the most challenging, people still get periods of cravings. And I believe when people talk about long term PAWS that's generally what they're talking about. Cravings, reminiscing of our drug use.

Instead of viewing PAWS in a medical light, look at it another way. If a person endures some kind of trauma in their life, be it physical or psychological, there is a period of recovery required. How long it takes depends on what kinda person they are, what they're recovering from. However once they've recovered as much as they ever will, that trauma still leaves residual scars. They may still experience flashbacks decades after it happens. That experience also moulds who they are, and influences their behaviour. "Ripples" of that trauma may be felt for the rest of their life.

I think our addiction is no different. I'd go as far to say that addiction is one of the most traumatic things a person can endure, because they're not much else in life that can cause someone to smash their own morals against the wall and pawn their own grandma. Recovery from addiction is a LIFE LONG process. The concept of PAWS just pathologises that process, and makes us feel like we're powerless of it as well, which we aren't. How well we want to recover and how much we let it affect us in a negative way is completely up to us.

What the article is saying, IMO, is that you may still experience cravings decades after you stop using. But I tell you, if you experience a craving at 20 years clean, it will be nowhere near the intensity of those in the first year or two of recovery. Most people I've heard said they noticed themselves thinking about using one day, realised what they were thinking, then went "oh wow that was funny! Haven't had a thought like that for a while!" Then carried on with their day.

As for the cognitive issues... well we HAVE really done some damage to ourselves. It does take a while for our brain to grow new connections to make up for the ones we've fried.


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