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Do opiates cause brain damage?
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Do opiates cause brain damage?


I have read that long term use of alcohol/drugs can shrink the brain & cause permanent brain damage.  How long is long term use? Anyone know for sure if opiates cause brain damage? I’m really curious about how the brain has been affected by opiates.  For me, after 2.5 years straight on oxys, I had serious inability to concentrate & focusing issues and I had very impaired memory as a result…..I also was becoming paranoid, and I knew my thought process was not accurate. I once was a very high functioning person even on the meds for a while, but later could really see that I had become very low functioning. Has anyone else had similar experience with the brain?

Thanks
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11 Comments Post a Comment
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401095_tn?1351395370
its hard to say about memory loss..i dont feel ..in fact i know i do not remember as well as i used to..but then again neither does my mom and i am not getting any younger! (:
there r changes that take place in the brain of an opiate user tho..a chronic user ..whenever u supply the body with a chemical from the outside the body will either cut down or possible cease making that chemical as it senses it is getting it from another source,,,this is why when u take a prednisone pack u taper off of it during the therapy..u can see changes that opiates make to the brain on certain types of scans

Opiates provide endorphins and the brain stops making as many or can shut down cvompletely if doses r heavy..hence the depression we feel after quitting...the brain will heal and catch up again but it takes time and many relspse before that time has passed due to fatigue and depression

The changes are permanent as well....we actually flood the brain with more endorphins than the brain can handle, so it builds more receptor sites to handle the overload..hence tolerence occurs..these receptors never go away and this is why when u use again it is not like starting over cos ur tolerence is back to where it was before u quit very quickly...when we first quit all of these receptors/the normal ones plus the new ones we built, are screaming to be fed...eventually the xtra receptors will go into remission/like go to sleep/and the person feels much better mentally...but this is also why an addict should never use again...when u start using again u r at a severe disadvantage compared to people who have not abused

This is why people who snort and shoot drugs up, even chewing them and even those who take large quantities at one time, have a harder time as a rule quitting than those who took smaller doses thru the day and as prescribed...ie swallowed them...the massive endorphins produced when a person floods their brain heavily at once makes it tougher than someone who did not
off my soap box and to work!  (:
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Avatar_m_tn
I was on percs for 5 years and could not focus on anything. I quit a high paying job becuase I  was afraid I would hurt or kill someone driving home every night. I did not snort but I did chew the pills for the last 2 years of my addiction. But I was on percs not oxy that chewing is whole different ballgame as there is no or minimal time release effect with the percs.

But I went thru a 64 day Sub taper and now I am into my 7th week off subs, My brain is still not 100% but I am probably at 95% and improving. During the time I was on percocets and subs and the early weeks of w/d I also felt I was losing brain cells, especially the last year or so. But I am happy to report that although I am sure I did my brain no favors I now can function at a high level, and I am aggressive again, something I lost years ago when this all started. I am not aftraid to make decisions which I deferred to my wife for many years as I did not trust my brain,. I now trust my brain.

I am no doctor or have anytype of medical training so I am only telling you how its gone for me. I believe you can and will get much better once you get opiates out of your system. However you may have to settle for slightly less than 100%.    Steve
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Avatar_m_tn
It deff effected my thinking and memory, What was the question!!!! For real there is alot of things i dont rememeber and I still that way and i dont stay focused for very long, also I have sufferd heaing loss, family is always telling me to turn tv down, if its not at least half way i cant hear it well enough to make out the words. My father died of Alzhiemer, and I wonder sometimes if maybe I have helped that to take hold on me now. There was friends of mine that has passed and I have run into thier family and asked how the one that passed is doing. YEA I SCWERED MY SELF with pills.
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Avatar_m_tn
uH  wHAT wAS tHE qUESTION aGAIN
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Avatar_n_tn
Not a soap bow--that was great--good info--much needed for me. The highest dose I have ever taken is 30mg vicoprofen in a day but it has been 6 years of that. Was going to do a slow taper and then not and then yes again. On one hand I still feel controlled by t he pills in doing the taper but on the other hand it kind of sounded like if you taper slowly you give your brain a chance to recover so to speak. Did I read that right?
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401095_tn?1351395370
supposedly a long slow taper can let the brain heal a bit and cut the wds a bit/some cant taper and some can..depends on ur discipline and other factors..people who r not addicts can usually taper very easily/most addicts can not/i could not and it can be a slow torture for some vs getting it over with via CT.....but 30 mgs a day is not alot..unless u took em all at once or snorted, chewed etc....u are going to have an easier time than u think and alot may be mental altho a bit of physical as well..everyone is different...some take 80 mgs and more at a time/habits over 300 mgs a day are often seen especially when people snort cos it is a fast buzz but doesnt stick around long so the person uses more than others that do not snort as a rule......someone who uses 10 mgs 3 x a day has not built near/if any/extra receptors cos the brain can handle that dose usually/but we r all different and anytime u use sumpin long term there is gonna be some rebellion from ur body be it mental or physical or both..and the mental part is the hard part but u r a step ahead in the game cos u have not built tons of receptors//meaning u probably wont have the depression and fatigue to the extent others here do..u r obviously a very disciplined person or u r not an addict cos u have kept a dose of 30 mgs and not gone up and up like most woulda done..so u can lick this..odds r in ur favor so keep us posted
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Avatar_n_tn
im comin out of a 11yr opiate haze did the methadone clinic for 5 yrs @ 150mg. a day then went to jail 4 30 days i got out and started usin again basically any opiate i could get my hands on but im bout to go to rehab and i hope all things work out
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Avatar_f_tn
I took tramadol (about 3 times stronger then vicodine) for about two years i would take 30 pills a day no lie! Because of my pill addiction i spent 4 months in jail with horrible withdrawals.i been clean now for about 2yrs but just last year i started having bad anxiety,not sure why but i'm guessing it's from opiate abuse.
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Avatar_f_tn
Congratulations Steve;  I need some answers though;   my nephew just graduated high school;  has been a normal kid forever until the past 2 weeks;  He will say people are talking about him; stares into the ceiling; paranoid; wakes up abusing his brother (punching him in the face);  I guess he is depressed;   However, my question is he advised his uncle that he took a pill, stronger than a perc 30 mg and began with letter D;   all i can think of is dilaudid;  he says he only took 1 pill and this is the outcome from that?   I'm just not sure i can believe that because he is like schizophrenic, hears voices, always thinks someone is talking about him and just strange as heck;  I'm actually afraid of him by myself and he is only a 19 year old kid;   Would you think he mixed something with this pill he apparently took?  He went to the Dr. yesterday and was put on depression medication?   WTF is that;  they just substitute 1 pill for another;    My nephew was never heavy pill user; smokes pot (but i haven't seen him do that for quite some time)  I know he purchased coke previously but he was still normal like he used to be;  I'm just confused and my entire family is worried about him especially my husband;   do you think opiates only taken 1 time or dilaudid can cause schizophrenia?   I want to help him even though I'm not a DR either but I feel so bad for him;  He was/is such a good kid;   He was working but he cant even do that any longer because he cant even carry on a conversation; laugh or have fun or any of that.    He is completely a different person?   Do you know of any Doctors in Delaware that may be able to give an accurate diagnosis to the family?    Also your wife deserves a medal even flowers for putting up with your addiction for so long;  LOL   She truly is your best friend!!   Once again congratulations on your sobriety;    
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6910793_tn?1386014123
Have him or you give me a call.  Email me first.  I don't wanna give my number to the world.  ***@**** .  Reference this topic so I know not to ignore you.  Hope to hear from you soon.  :)
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5392063_tn?1390322754
You have commented on a very old post. If there is a question or help needed, you should create a new post. If you're just trying to offer help, I would try to pay attention to the date on the posts. Just an FYI... :)
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