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does opiate addiction perminently change brain chemistry?
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does opiate addiction perminently change brain chemistry?

I have been using some form of opiate several times a day for almost 20 years.  I am now 36 years old and really sick of it all.  Its hard to believe that I have been like this for so long.  I guess you could call me the ultimate functioning addict. (house, job, husband, children etc.)  There is not a day that goes by that I dont wake up swearing to myself that I will not use, but we all know how that goes.  I did try detox/rehab back in 1995. I was in a 30 day treatment program.  They introduced me to NA but I didnt continue that after I got out. My question is this...  Since I have been using so long, is it possible that I could need opiates for the rest of my life to function normally?  The 30 days in rehab were miserable.  After detox I was seriously emotionally unstable.  I cant handle the way I feel when I am not using..... I am irrational, unstable, suicidal etc.  Is it possible that I have altered my brain chemistry to a point of no return?  I guess I really have not been clean longer than 30 days to find out (I am anticipating some of your reactions so I already said it) But 30 days is more than I can handle.  I have thought about going on MMT but thats a joke.  I have made numerious inquires to clinics only to be put on an indefinite waiting list or told that I need a doc to refer me.Could someone please give me some input on what I should do? If anything? I am at the point where no matter what I do, no matter how much I do. I am still miserable.  My D.O.C. is "H" which I cant always get and I also talke pills everyday, ie; Vicodine, oxy's, perks,  etc.
vicki
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There is research that says yes, you might be permanently changed.  They are still researching it very extensively.  There is also research that states your brain can heal and chemistry can return to normal.  It has been shown in some individuals that damage is irreversible and it has been shown in some that it is reversible.  I think that is about the best I could state it.  Personally, I believe in some individuals it is permanent if taken for a very long time.  I have no problem believing that at all.  It would definitely go on a case by case basis.
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I see the drs not in yet and I know that I dont have the answer but I see that noone got back to ya yet so I wanted to let you know that there are tons of people in here just like you.I am one of them(although I dont have that much time under my belt)I dont know the facts about the brain chemistry but I know drugs can screw it up(receptors and what not)My guess would be after that amount of time there could be some damage.Dont underestimate MMT though. Funny thing about that is thats the drug Im running from.But I have no legit reason to be on it either. You could benefit from it,Ive read from alot of people that methadone saved their lives.Trust me you're not alone,the doc will get to you and you will probably never meet a bunch of nicer people than the people you will find here.Good luck,Melissa
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Good mornong MrM.
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Hello Melissa.  I hope today finds you doing better.
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welcome to the junkie hard case club. I've still got you beat by a decade, but 20 years is certainly worth a gold watch or plaque.

As Mrm said there are studies that suggest irreversible damage in some while other suggest that some can recover normal functioning.

Based on my own experience, I believe long-time chronic users like us will never return to a pre-using state. In liew of other solutions, I tend to think Methadone is the best course for us. I should say, however, that I have never used Methadone, so I'm basing my conclusions on incomplete evidence.

I hesitate to adopt MMT for a number of reasons. The main one is I object to the present laws and philosophy that govern the methadone clinic system. It is still conducted too much like a chemically based criminal parole system. Additionally, methadone's extreme withdrawal syndrome implies that, once dependant on methadone, one surrenders all power over one's life to the employees, high and low, of the clinic system. That is something I will never do. If I could receive MMT in a private medical setting, I believe I would have at least tried MMT by now.

I'm surprised at your reception at the clinic. The ones I contacted were more than anxious for me to enroll, albeit for their pointless 21-day detox. To go straight to MMT, I needed to prove I'd been clinically treated for opiate addiction and had failed. Not too hard to do after 30 years of using. Perhaps you should call a few more of them.

Thomas
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Can an addictionologist(sp)precribe her methadone for opiate addiction from a private office. Ive never been to a methadone clinic but have heard of others personal stories and I would not subject myself to that envionment either.But if she could get a monthly prescription maybe she could balance out her life a little.Just a thought.Melissa
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i agree with what the others have already stated. it takes quite some time to get over opiate withdrawls to begin with. even after the physical stuff is over you have all the mental/emotional **** to get through. it takes a great deal of willingness to get through to the other side. MMT is a better choice for many addicts. but i have to say that thomas hit the nail on the head with the way he describes the entire clinic environment. it is pretty awful, i have been on MMT but over 20 years ago. i do work next door to one now and i see them come and i see them go... businessmen, addicts, crack head looking addicts (sorry guys, but we can get to looking pretty rough!) old and young... it is amazing. and each time i see one person walk through those doors day after day after day i thank god/dess that it is not me today... private clinics don't give take homes until you have jumped through firey hoops... michael, i know you just switched from clinic to private patient. how did you go about doing that? a friend of someones? anyhow... keep posting! we get tired of each other sometimes and a new "face" is always welcome! lol, i have only been hear about two months, tops!!

peace,

amber
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Sorry other thread was closed. I just read your reply to Amber and I didn't relize you had a problem going out I thought it was depression and lack of energy. If it causes panic attacks or anything by all means don't go out, Until you see your doc again and if he doesn't already, have your b/f go to the docs with you, maybe the doc can fill him in, or does he know?? I guess I should educate myself in past posts better. Sorry about that... Terri
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OMG - I cant believe how fast everyone responded. Thank You!!!
Thomas, I dont believe I can do this another 10 years like you. You sure give me some hope. Is your story posted here somewhere? What made you change? I still have this constant internal tug or war going on inside. The "me' that wants to get clean and the "me" who would love to stay loaded.  What changed that for you? I have also heard about the MMT clinics and how your controled by the idiots that run the clinics and your dosed when they feel like it and it determines whether you bow down to them or not. Sounds like some dealers I've delt with in the past.
Do you know anything about buprenex or buprenorphine?(not sure of the spelling) Can a doc give you a script for this?
I have so many questions. I hope that I am not imposing on this message board but there is such little real help out there and you guys sound like you know what your talking about.
thanks
vickie
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Day 20 and i feel good today..just had a bad day yesterday...so glad to be clean...i know i feel a change in my body and brain. daily it's a little better...this has been the toughtest thing i have ever been through and there is no way i will go back now, after going through all the hell i have been through...that would be shame to go back now...every one out there going through w/d just hang in there...it gets better...yes it will, soon..you will see...Jack
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Congrats on 20 days. Nice accomplishment!  Last year I made 6 months and said never again. Unfortunately, thru need for pain control and the pull of Morpheus (greek god of morphine) I slipped back.  Your winning and you sound like your going to stay that way.  Just remember the battle is now indefinite and you need to keep your guard up at all times. Remember how you felt back then usining and how you feel now.  

My hats off to you!  Keep winning!
Nod
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Melissa,
I didn't realize you weren't leaving the house either.  I feel so bad for you.  I agree that maybe you should take your b/f to the doc with you. I do have a little experience dealing with agoraphobia. My sister was a full blown agoraphobic, she did not leave her house at all in 2 years.  I know you say yuk to the paxil, but honest to God, it changed her life. They gave her severe migraines at first too.  They went away for the most part, she takes imitrex for the flare ups.  She felt like **** for the first 3 months she was on it, but then it all just seemed to kick in.  With those meds, buspar for bad panic attacks, and some counseling once a week, she's almost fine now.  She also says that forcing herself to get on a treadmill every day helped her immensely. If you think that might help, drag one into your bedroom if you have to.  I don't know if any of these things will help you, I just wish there was something more helpful I could do. I'm sure you have tried to calmly explain to your b/f how bad you feel, just keep assuring him that you will get help. I'll be thinking of you.  Keep us posted.
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Im not sure if bureprophrine(sp)is for those currently on high doses of narcotics or if it is used to help with the last part of withdrawls.MrM would know the answer to that.But I have heard good things about bup. and am looking into it myself.Check to see where the nearest dr. qualified to presribe bup. is to you? someone on here has the site to check on the drs. in your state that are qualified.Dont give up,you have alot of options right now.Everyone chooses their own way to get clean. Find out all of your options first and then take the route that is best suited for YOU.Melissa
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bup in the form of Suboxone is now available for maintenance. Unlike methadone, you can get suboxone from a physician licensed to treat addiction. The doctor need not be an addictionologist. Each doctor providing suboxone is restricted to treating a small number of patients -- I think it's 20. So, you'll need to search for someone if you want the treatment. If I ever get medical insurance again, I will almost certainly try it.

suboxone physician locator:

http://buprenorphine.samhsa.gov/bwns_locator/index.html

Thomas
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Sorry I haven't posted and I wish I did Doner! I have to tell you I did the taper thing with the methadone and I got off it so don't you quit girl! Listen to your man! I thing it is unhealthy for you to stay in that long hun! But at the same time I know how you feel! Can you agree to say just a short time and increase it little by little as you take the paxil? Have faith I am praying for you! Don't give up! I did it and you can too! The L-TYROSINE with vita B6 is great as I am also detoxing and tapering off ultram! So I am still doing great! Hang in there and I need to get off of this as well to spend time with my hubby. It is easy to get addicted to this! Bless you all and congrats Jack on another day!  KimH
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Thanks for the information.  I went to that site you gave http://buprenorphine.samhsa.gov/bwns_locator/index.html
and found one right around the corner.  Fate brought me to this message board today.
When I call what do I say? "I am a junkie looking for buprenex?"
What would be the best approach?
I hate when docs treat patients like **** as soon as they find out they are an addict....its like we are poison to them.
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this doc won't treat you that way. After all, he/she has taken special training just to be certified to treat addiction. Just tell them you've been addicted to [your drug] for x amount of years/months and you're seeking treatment with suboxone. You don't have to go in to detox vs maintenance til you talk to the doctor. If maintenance is what you seek, I'd come up with some rough dates and places that you underwent medical treatment for opiate addiction and failed, the more the merrier. The doc might want those records, so include at least one that actually happened. LOL. If you can't, I don't think it will be a barrier to maintenance. 20 years of struggling with opiate addiction should in itself get you into maintenance.

Remember, this is not the time to hold back on your doctor. Tell the doc the truth about how much you've been using. If you enter suboxone treatment, come back and tell us how you're doing. I'm particularly interested. Medical treatment isn't in my financial picture now, but somewhere down the road I want to try bup, too. Good luck!

Thomas
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this site has some good info on suboxone and what constitutes good practices.

http://www.etfrc.com/SuboxoneResources.htm
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Thank you for those nice words of encouragement.Its nice to know Im not the only one whose gone through this sort of thing. My b/f does not understand at all. He thinks I am willing myself to stay in the house deliberately to agitate him.When I started feeling this way he was the only person I would talk to...at all.Now my feelings are changing where I just want him to stay away from me. I dont want to talk to him or for him to try to tell me whats best for me. I dont even like him in the house with me He walks around the house and it makes me anxious and aggitated. I tried to politely tell him I needed space and he went on to tell me that that is my problem. He thinks I spend too much time alone. I just want to be left alone ya know.Again thanks for the encouragment,Melissa
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Hi my name is terri and have been here for a couple months, I started Bup a couple days ago, I can tell you what my visit was like if it helps. After finding docs in my area I called and asked if the doc treated opiate addiction she said yes and I got an appt the next day. I filled out a form which asked ques. and asked that I be totally honest or I could be dropped from the program. The doc was real nice and said what can I do for you. I told him every detail, 20 a day Hydro habit for 3 years and he wasn't shocked. He told me about the bup. and not to worrie about w/d b/c thats his job. my ins. paid for it as a medical visit which would have cost $150.00 I had to pay for my perscription 128.00 which varys with how strong and how much. b/c what the pharmasist said when they make a compound they don't have a DEA # to put in the computer so they gave me a voucher to get reimbersed. But as Mr M put it thats not the only kind available. The dosage is relied upon by the amount of opiate used the kind and for how long so be real honest. The Bup. does not get me high but I feel normal for now and I forgot how that felt. I think it will be more difficult when my dosage gets lower, but I have no experiance with that. I hope this helps. Terri
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may I ask if you are or recently were on any kind of benzodiazepine? They include valium, xanax, ativan, librium, halcion, klonopin.

Benzo use, tolerance and addiction can cause profound feelings of anxiety and fear. When it happens, many of us do not identify it with drug use. In fact, many doctors miss the signs.

Thomas
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valium and xanax always made me severly depressed the day after i took them, when ever i stopped taking them i would go into a deep funk.  the only way to avoid it was to take more or take pain meds. or taper down off them .
i know if you take them for a long time it can be deadly
getting off them cold turkey, it is advised to see a doc to get off them after prolonged use.
peace   hippy
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Day 20 clean..From 12 years of Oxy...everything is great but for 2 days now I having bad headaches...it's like coming up the back of my nick...has anyone else had this problem? Or is it just me, because this sucks..Now I
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Just wanted to post my own experiences with benzos, as I've taken them for 3 months last year (cold turkey withdrawal which was HELL) and also for the last 7 months now.  I know I shouldn't have gotten back on them, but I was having panic attacks because of what was going on in my life.  My Mother-in-Law passed of cancer (my Mom was just diagnosed recently with this same thing - I'm not sure how I'm going to cope with this), my dh and I were having horrible marital problems, my daughter was going through some pre-teenage angst and I felt I couldn't deal, and I also used the benzos to quit opiates and didn't just use them for 4-7 days as I should have.  

I was up to about 2 mg. of Klonopin daily and 2 mg. of Xanax at night, now I'm down to about 1/8 of Klonopin 2x a day and 2 mg. of Xanax in the evenings.  I'm weaning SLOWLY - but I will say as soon as I started taking the benzo's, I had immediate depression which I didn't realize was occurring until later.  Aren't benzo's central nervous system depressants?  Anyway, they may not work that way with everyone, but they did with me.  And I also developed agoraphobia and I couldn't drive when I was coming off of them.  I don't have that with the slow taper method that I'm going through now, but I hope as I get down to a lower dosage that it doesn't happen.  Tolerance can develop after taking benzos for a long time while you're on the same dosage and you can experience withdrawal symptoms while taking them even without decreasing your dose (read a lot of stories on the yahoo.benzo board about this occurrence).
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Wanted to clarify that I 1st took benzos for 3 months not last year, but year before last (sorry for taking up extra bandwidth).
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MrMIchael's information notwithstanding, I'm talking to you as a recoverying Xanax addict. My xanax use lasted about 2.5 years. Here's my take based on my experience:

The immediate and overwhelming symptom of Xanax withdrawal is anxiety and fear. Ironically, anxiety and panic disorder are frequently what people start taking Xanax to treat. Xanax has a short-half life in the body of about 10-11 hours, that is, it leaves your system quickly relative to other drugs of the same class. With the development of tolerance and dependence, you can indeed experience withdrawal symptoms between regular doses. This is what happened to me.

Being ignorant of those facts, I assumed that the anxiety condition I started Xanax to treat had gotten worse. So I asked for an increase in my Xanax dosage. The symptoms went away for a while, but eventually returned worse than ever.

Sensing that my doctor didn't know enough to really help me, I sought out experts in benzo treatment and addiction on the internet. By doing a google search on Heather Ashton, a world-class expert on benzo addiction and recovery, I found the info I needed. Many of her writings are on www.benzo.org.uk

Based on my experience, I believe you'd benefit from switching to Valium, a benzo with a 100 to 200 hour half life. I switch ed to Valium and found that I was much more emotionally stable on it. I was eventually able to slowly taper over many months, until I broke free for good.

I wrote to you because I experienced feelings that amounted to agoraphobia while on Xanax. Anyway, food for thought.

Thomas
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Hey Jack,
Congrats on your ever-expanding success in slaying the demon!
I read a post you made further up in this thread regarding your use of Tylenol.
I'd suggest going to an alternate.  Tylenol, if taken for an extended period of time can cause damage.
As an alternate, I'd consider Ibuprofin.  It's available over the counter, but (in my case) a prescription of 800mgs is better and more cost effective, provided you have insurance that covers such frivelous things as "medicine".
Here's to your brighter future.
Peace,
Methman
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Hi,
I just want to echo what mrmichael said about methadone clinics, that some are good and some not as good. The clinic I work in seems to strive for excellence, and considers counseling a VERY important part of Methadone Maintenance Treatment. (It's considered Treatment, not just getting a drug.) In my experience, the people who complain the most about our clinic are the people who are not interested in being clean, just want to use the clinc so they won't get sick in the morning etc, and do not want to keep their appointments, nor dose during the regular hours, or they want to keep using other drugs, or try to falsify their urines etc. In our clinic if you come with an open heart and really want help, you will not be one of the complainers. We also have a great take home schedule. Some people come to the clinic once every other week only. After a year of that, you can come just once a month to pick up 27 bottles. We do require continued counseling, and some people who have been there awhile do complain about that.
H.
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Outstanding!  Thank you for sharing your 'other-side-of-the-glass' experience with us.
I use to go to methadone clinics for well over a decade and have a couple questions.
Why are methadone clinic settings always in the "bad" part of town?  In my experience, I've been to 4 different clinics in four different towns over my tenure as a pink juice junkie.  Each one, the client has to drive into the economic war zone for dosing.  I can understand that setting a clinic in a ritzy part of town would never wash.  After all, who would want to have to bump into a (god forbid) addict on his way to Starbucks in the morning?
Second question:  I've always wondered why it was so easy to get an increase in dose levels simply by asking.  In each clinic I've been in, all you have to do is tell the person that takes your green that you would like X mgs more.  That's it.  Seems to me, if the client's best interest was paramount, at least a nurse would call you back and ask, "Why".
Third question: If someone that has, say... a two week takehome privlege, comes in and says, "Uh.. I am sorry, but I am a little short this week.  I get paid on Friday.  Can I make it up to you next time I come in?"  gets his/her takehomes dropped to daily until the funds are coughed up?
Fourth question:  I was on monthly takehomes.  They started that about a year before I got off methadone.  And as a monthly customer, it was part of my agreement that I had to attend a councelling session every other month.  During those councelling sessions, the only questions I was asked was;
a. Are you working?
b. How is your home life?
c. Are you using?
IMHO, that ain't much of a councelling session.  I'm not suggesting that they solve all of life's problems.  It was like they have this bullet list in front of em;
* Ask about work
* Ask about their home life
* See if they'll volunteer they are using
I'm not trying to down meth clinics at all.  There are different people with different needs that come to a methadone clinic.  I'm sure after being inside one for a period of time, you can kind of tell that the guy that FELL into the waiting room holding a kit and smoking a doob ain't gonna be interested in talking detox THAT particular day.  Adversely, there are the pain patients that come in the door.  Wonder why "da man" makes them go to such places to help them live a decent life?  For that matter, why do they put clinics in parts of town that offer more drugs per square inch than New York has hotdog stands?  I mean... don't you think that the poor heroin addict that's TRYING their best to get off junk has enough on their plates without having temptation shoved in their face every time they try to "do right"?
Please consider this post a "constructive rant", nothing more.  I am just trying to put a few things in front of you that kind of bother me and see if there is a simple answer that I may have overlooked.
Next week, my Andy Roonie-esk rant will be on the shrinking meat in Wendy's hamburgers since the demise of Dave.
Peace,
Methman
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re: your mom's anxiety attack after quitting Klonopin, read my post above to doner about xanax. It basically applies to klonopin as well. Your mom cannot go cold turkey off of klonopin, with or without the lord, and avoid withdrawal. She should find a dose sufficient enough to make her comfortable, then slowly taper. Klonopin is a long acting benzo and will allow her to safely detox.

Thomas
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Hey Jack!!

When i got off the percs last summer, i got the worst headaches every day(for almost three weeks).  They were so bad, i would lay on the floor by the tub and few times puked.  I've never been one to get headaches, so i knew these were the rebound variety, whereby the opiates were detaching from the receptors.

They were one of my worst withdrawal symptoms; BUT thankfully, like all the other ones, went away..........and they will for you too.

Great job on making it to day 20 friend..
Take Care and continued strength to you.


percs
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Hey guys --- don't want to take up a lot of space, so please see my post to hippee on the thread above!!!  Could use support and advise, either on the forum or e-mail me @ ***@****.  Thanks, I love you both, Lisabet
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Yes,I take large doses of xanax as  it seems to be the only thing that helps me sleep.But I also use it througout the day. I had no idea that it could cause depression,my dr.even presribed me a script of my own(.25 what a joke)for the anxiety. Good catch Thomas,Doner
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If you are still taking the xanax, I don't think it is causing your problems.  It would be a lack of it that would cause it.  A doc can't treat more than 30 patients at one time and they have to take an eight hour course and get a special dea# to prescribe bup.  Your GP could prescribe it or the pain doctor you mention....if they are qualified.  There may be docs not on that list that can prescribe it.  You never know, he might be willing to write it for pain.  That is the big loophole, if he is willing.  The same thing for methadone.  Methadone and buprenorphine can be written by ANY DOCTOR for pain.  That is how I get methadone.  I got lucky as my mom is friends with my doc and I do have a pain syndrome.  He never hesitated.  Methadone can be prescribed out of the office (OBOT).  That is office based opioid treatment.  I know of two in New York City.  There might be more.  One requires you are on mmt for five years with clean urines.  It costs $120/mo.  I was paying $280 per month.  And, the horrors I am hearing about mmt treatment are not across the board.  My clinic was an excellent one and I would recommend my old clinic to anyone who qualifies.  You do have your bad ones, but you also have your good ones.  As far as deciding when you can dose.....never heard of that one.  The clinic system does suck.  But, is death a better option?  For some, that is reality.  Death, or going on with the way things are now.  I better say this again:  I do not think everyone should go on mmt.  It is case by case.  I would not recommend it to a vic user taking 20 a day.  That is small time by mmt standards.  But, it works for many that need it.  The alternative isn't too attractive.
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I wanted to bring up one more point.  Most of the bad stories you hear are from a VERY SMALL PERCENTAGE of the total number of people going to a given clinic.  Sometimes, you have to stop and consider the person telling the story.  Maybe they aren't being totally up front about what they were doing.  Now, that is not for all cases.  I do know there are some really bad clinics out there.  I am not ignoring that fact at all.  But, there are some really good ones as well.
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Those qualifications are to prescribe bup for opiate dependence.  I just wanted to be clear on that.
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Last night I typed in addiction+agoraphobia on a search just to try to get you some insight from an article or something and the only thing that came up were several pages pertaining to benzos and feelings of agoraphobia they can cause. Imagine my surprise when I got on here this morn and found Thomas and Mr. M had already addressed this issue. How did you guys get so darn smart!! I'm sure you both probably already knew that without even a computer search.
Anyway, what I found were pages and pages of case studies where people withdrawing from benzos (mostly xanax)were feeling the exact same way you are. Apparently if you withdraw from them and not even necessarily quit taking them, it can cause that. Even if you are just having mini withdrawals between doses. Maybe that does have something to do with it?? I have absolutely no idea what to suggest you do with that information, but I wanted to pass it along. If you think it might help you, go to google or probably any other search and just type in addiction+agoraphobia and read what comes up. Or I can send you some links if you want, maybe you can read up on it and know what to say to your doc when you go back?
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Sure, a reduction in dose could cause that.  I was going on what she wrote and just using xanax doesn't cause that depression.  It is a lack of it....either none or a reduction in dose....just the way it works with opioids.
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This is very interresting! I talked to my mom last night and haven't been here much lately, spending time w/family who feel I may be getting addicted to the computer! It's just that no one understands as you all do and frankly they are sick of hearing about my addiction. Not in a bad way, they love me and tell me there is so much more to me than my addiction and feel I dwell on it. Anyway, my mom just told me after years (get this) of being in benzo's (klonipin (klonopin)) she found God and has been off her stuff for a little over 2 weeks. Then she said a weird thing happened to her. She was shopping and suddenly felt a surge of anxiety and HAD to get out of the store. She said she is AFRAID TO LEAVE THE HOUSE! wow! if you guy's do find info, I'm gonna let her know, I never heard of that until now! She got herself down to 4 vikes a day. She had breast cancer and ended up addicted to them. THIS DISEASE SUCKS! thanks KIMH
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It sure does!
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Good morning,
Thomas, I was so happy to read that post this morning about benzos.  I have been off of Xanax for about 15 months now and besides the ultram is was the worst experience I have ever been through.  I can't believe it,  I came on here just to write KimH about her mother so I was so happy to see your post. Sometimes, those withdrawals don't hit until way later and you can really get sick from them.  If you have any questions or doubt what I'm saying go to benzo.org.uk forum like Thomas suggested.  Donor, one of my main w/d symtoms (symptoms) I had was I did not want to leave the house and I didn't want to talk to anyone and that is so not me. I'm thinking of you, because you seem to be going through so much. KimH, please keep any eye on your mother and anyone else using benzos, be careful.  The withdrawals can be awful without help.  I don't mean to scare anyone, but benzos are not to be taken lightly. This is not medical advice by any means, it is just from personal experience.

Good luck to everyone and have a better day!
Take care,
Sandra
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I am laughing out loud at Thomas's " with or without the Lord" comment.
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ya gotta be able to laugh at this stuff from time to time ...

Thomas
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Okay Methman! I had to print out what you wrote because I wouldn't have been able to remember it all! Thanks for your response. It feels good when someone answers.
Well, #1 Why are all Methadone clinics in a Bad part of town.
Um, well, I've only worked in 2 clinics in 2 different cities. At the first one the clinic moved from a good part of town to a better part of town, within a hospital. The neighbors were up in arms! The most frequently expressed fear that I can remember would be that the addicts would toss used needles into their yards and the children would find them and get diseases. The clinic got moved there anyway.
In the clinic I work in now, the clinic is in kind of an isolated industrial area, not residential, not a drug area...with a lovely auto-junk-yard across the way. (But you can't see most of the junk cars.) Another clinic I know of is in another industrial kind of area
A third one is in a hospital. So I guess I can't really address that question. Except that I guess people in richer neighborhoods might have more political power than people in poorer neighborhoods. Zoning and all. Ya know how it is.
and #2, why is it so easy to get an increase in dosage. I don't know...that doesn't sound like our clinic. The person who collects the money doesn't have anything to do with dosing. After the first month (when it is done through the medical staff), the patient discusses it with their counselor, and he/she submits the request. Everytime someone goes up or down, the patient's reaction to the dosage is checked about a week later by the dosing nurse. Above 120 mg, to increase dose, you have to have a medical consult. Then a plan is made, after if you need more, another consult. I consider being able to go up easily, progress. In the older days, which you may remember, it was considered BAD to be on a higher dose, and so some people weren't getting therpeutic doses, so they kept using. And the clinic would wonder why.
and #3, yes, the financial reality of a moneymaking clinic is a bummer. People say to me, "Oh, you say you care so much about us, but, boom, as soon as we don't pay, you detox us off at breakneck speed." I think the administration has learned to be very careful about people's promises...just like most other businesses. You can't go into a department store and say, "I'll take this shirt and bring you the money in a few days." I wish we could dose all needy people for free. But then I wouldn't have a job.
#4 About your lousy counseling experience: is that the way your counseling sessions were when you first started? Maybe your every-other-month counselor didn't think you needed counseling if you'd been at the clinic for a long time, just to  be checked on, just to see if you were still on course. Me, I am trained as a therapist, as well as having drug and alcohol abuse certification, as well as personal experience. The kind of counseling that the every-other-month counselor was giving you seems totally boring to me. I'd rather work at McDonald's. I do therapy with my patients that allow me to, and the more interested they are, the more interesting it is for me, and the more they grow and change. It occurs to me to ask you if you had Wanted more counseling? If you had, would they have given it to you? And, also, some counselors haven't had good training and, duh, they don't know how to do anything but ask that kind of questions.
#5 re pain patients: we have people in pain on our clinic, but we say we do not treat pain, we only treat addiction. They have to go to a pain clinic to get their pain treated. This part is still confusing to me. I'm trying to figure out how, for example, if a person is an addict, but hasn't used in a long time, and methadone really helps him pain, he goes to a pain clinic and told he can't use methadone for pain control because he is an addict...go figure. Maybe that's just around where I work.
(I worked in a half-way house once which had a crack house accross the street!)
Well, if you've got any more comments, I'd be glad to respond!
Lee
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Thanks to you both for a good hearty laugh.  Sometimes we really do have to laugh at circumstances (however pathetic or sad they are) to just get through the day. Thanks for reminding me of that. I've been in my own "pity party" the last couple of days and I really needed the nudge.  Love ya both, Lisabet
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Thanks for the laugh!!Serious statements but funny!!Love ya..Jerri
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My clinic is (or was since I no longer go there) in a nice part of town also.  I guess since a few or so are, they all are, right?
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What?
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hey guy's/gal's! i have a ? 4 ya all i used opiates 4 seven year's,and i just quit cold turkey 4 day's ago,with withdraw systym's being pretyy light on day 1,2,but on day 3 they kicked in,the feeling of freezing and actually i'm sweating like a pig,and i can't control my jitters very we'll,can anyone plzzzzzz tell me how long it take's for these symptom's to ease up,Now i will tell u exactly what i used and when! I had back surgery in 2000 after i left the hospital from that of course i had a script in my hand for vicodin 750 es.And that doctor that did the surgery kept giving me them for about almost 2 yr's straight or when i ever i wanted them,then outta the blue he cut's me off,of course by then i was addicted to them,so i did what i had 2 to get them,so i started buying them off the street! I got to the point were i was spending about a grand a week on vicodin from 2002 until the end of 06,at the end of 06 i hit rock bottom,i had spent every dime i had,i had to file bankruptcy and i lost everything including my gf of 5 yr's,which we were about to be engaged,and yes she new i was using she just kinda ignored it,but towrds the end when i wasnt paying our bills,the question's started pouring out,and i fessed to everything i was doing,and she packed and left,which i don't blame here one bit So after all that happened i went into a detox program at the beginning of 07,and that doctor put me on suboxone,400 dollar's up front and 200 dollars every month just to get the suboxone,ok that went on until i got my last script over a month and a half ago, so basically what i reallalized i had done was switch one habit for another cuz suboxone still has a opiate in it it's just a milder form then the vicodin,so the withdraws aren't as bad as coming off vicodin (tremors,diaeriah,restless legs,sweating,etc....but still i had got addicted to the suboxone,i took my last suboxone 4 day's ago,so like i asked in the beginning how much longer do i have to go through this bs! thnx all,and by the way i did read every post from top to bottom,and i wanna say to all of u that kicked the habit cold turkey (grat'z) cuz the withdraws blow bad,as i'm sure u all know!,so again thnx to all who do respond!     rick,in michigan!
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hey oxic got a ? 4 ya,when u got off the percs,did ur headache's start right away or did it take so many day's after u stopped for the headache's to start up! Reason i'm asking is because i just quit vicodin and perc's,and i haven't had headache's yet,,or i'm in for a rude awakeing in a few more day's! Let me know!
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hello...you have posted to an old thread..from year 2003..you should repost your question to start your own thread, you may not get many answers here
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350867_tn?1208245609
this sounds like why i haven't wanted to go out.
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does long term use of oxycodone   for 10 years affect your brain long term? meaning it cannot get back to before you starting taking the oxys???
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What is MMT ?
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I too have been addicted to opiates for 20+ years. Like you, I am very concerned about my brain/body chemistry being permanently altered. I have been clean now for 8 months. I was eating oxy 80's 2-3 a day, plus 10-15 hydrocodone/oxycodone a day. At first, I tried the methadone clinic. That lasted about two months. I felt that I would never get clean on that stuff. I met people there that had been going for years. I asked people if they knew anyone who had sucessfully stepped down and gotten off of methadone. No one did. I researched it a bit further and found that less than 1% had sucessfully weened down and then off of methadone. This was not the route for me. I then tried suboxone. It was great. I felt "normal" and didn't really crave opiates anymore. It took me 14 months, but I was able to ween down. Which brings me to the whole "brain chemistry" thing. I haven't had any drugs or alcohol (quit drinking 8 years ago) for 8+ months. Honestly, it blows. But to be fair, I haven't done all I can do to make things better. I still need an exercise regimen and  
A dietary overhaul. I read somewhere that it takes about a month of being clean for every year of abuse to start feeling "normal" again. I believe it. So I'm giving myself 2 years. If at the end of that 2 years I don't feel like I think I should, I will assume my brain chemistry is permanently altered, of course exercise and eating habbits will be the next thing I focus on.
If that don't work, I'll weigh my options then. I sure was alot more productive on drugs. Lol. People that don't use drugs and alcohol are the true "hardcore" people in this world. I miss it, but I am functioning ok. Good luck with your journey.
Brian
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Hey, i had been "LOOKING FOR ANSWERS" like soo many of us have certainly done- when i came across this!! yes, great question!! im 24/m began W/ opiates at 16-18 (sports injuries 3 broken arms, 5 surgeries, tendonitis severe in both knees- i WAS a hardcore athlete). at 18 when i ran out of hydrocodone i couldn't take the suicidally severe depression..... so 18-24.5 yrs= 12 psychiatrists, 4 therapists, trial and error of 95% of all pills prescribed for severe depression and anxiety AND AND still today i had to pick my way into a dbl lock safe to get some tylenol 3 and klonopin DUE TO how insanely horriffic i was feeling!! no, no quick fix- as we know. I have done much research on EDS (endorphin deficiency syndrome) and have concluded that for the maaany genetic and environmental factors (2 alcoholic parents- history of suicide and mental illness... esp. anxiety/depression) our BRAIN CHEM. REMAINS F'ED UP FOR YEARS AND YEARS... what we did using to get by (SELF MEDICATION- opiates or alcohol) burned up natural DOPAMINE AND MUCH OF THE DELTA AND MU OPIATE RECEPTORS which pump out endorphins in times of stress and during excercise. it is still insanely difficult.... however take my word for it: SUBOXONE IS NOT ENOUGH, TRAMADOL WORKS BETTER BUT has WORSE WITHDRAWAL, AND METHADONE IS WORSE THAN HEROIN TO KICK IF YOU'VE TAKEN IT 6 MNTHS PLUS. regardless of it all we are still here when many times we did not AT ALL WANT to be!! choose to not give in to the cravings utilize anything and everything non-illicit-drug related.... distractions.... substituting my bad addictions for video games/ TV/and excersice (which i cannot advocate more for)!! EXCERCISE can be the answer your looking for and try that first when in need of help, gotta just do it!!
     please read this!!! OH YEAH, research does prove that consistent moderate excercise regiments DO INDEED increase natural endorphin levels OVER TIME!! so give it time and go easy on yourself and be PATIENT!!
HOPE this HELPS!!
sincerely, Cory  :)
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P.S. i care not to hear about "how many/ how much you used" INSTEAD SIMPLY STATE: circumstances if needed, the num of years, consistently or on+off, mild-moderate-OR-severe addiction lvl. I have read entirely too many blogs/comments that had Too Much Info of "WAR STORIES" OR WHO TOOK HOW MANY OF WHAT!! PLEASE SAVE THAT FOR PERSONAL TALKs
This was in no manner meant to insult anyone...
As i too need support myself
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333612_tn?1302886990
Welcome!! The original post you replied to is almost 8 years old. These people are not here anymore. Go to the TOP of the addiction forum page and hit the green button that says 'post a question'. if you are in this specific comment and not on the main forum and would like to go there, to see the current postings, go to the top of this page and hit the 'back to forum' link (it's blue letters and sits next to the green button). Both of these links are at the top of this page. Start your own post to join the current community. This post will get archived and your post will be lost.

Start a new post and join us all in recovery in the present :-)

Stay strong,
Greatgreebo
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Hi Dindin: I am a nurse who is currently in recovery for 5 months.  The brain does take time to heal but healing is possible.  Right now I take Buspar, Cymbalta, Lamictal and Wellbutrin to keep my brain functioning and keep the chemicals producing until my brain can function again.  I was addicted to Vicodin, Oxycodone and Percocet for 20 years after 12 surgeries.  I do go to meetings (not as many as I did in the beginning" but at least 1-2 a week and they help considerably.  I hang out with people in recovery and that helps.  I see a counselor who specializes in addiction once a week.  I keep cose to God and He is turning my chaos into order.  It is worth it,  Not easy at all but well worth it!  I literally take it one day at a time and I still have cravings but I think it through to the end- losing my job, or yes, even dying.  I came close in June with Percocet and Alcohol.  That is not what I had planned for my life.  You can recover.  Just be patient and let your brain heal.  It will begin producing the feel good chemicals again!!  That's a promise.  PJ
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Hello i need help and some advice would be great my husband and i have been addicted to roxy 30 Mg for a couple yrs now and hes been wanting to quit it seems so much easier for him and its like im totally stuck idk what to do as bad as it sounds pills are what we do for fun we dont hang out with friends and going out and partying is not our thing i despratly want to stop this cycle of chasing the drug And habbit what do i do how do i get to be like my husband that is strong enough to just quit its quite frankly ruiening our marriage and life our sex life is nonexistent and idk what to do i want to feel normal again but im scared to death please help on what i cAn do ive always been a full time wife so bordem is one of my biggest problems any advice is appreciated
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi just wanted to let your know you are on an old post.  
Go to top of page.  Click the orange post a question. And ask your question.  
You will have more people help you.
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Thanks new to this not sure how to get around the site
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I have a question. I used to use subs to help my withdrawal and it helped 100% of the time. It never let me down. And now if I use a sub after a binge it makes things/ withdrawal symptoms waaaaaay worse! Sweating constantly, cold, restless leg, itchy bones the whole nine yards. Why? Why did it help me before but now it counter reacts and makes things worse?  
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480448_tn?1403547723
This is a very very old post.  You would be better to start your own thread.  Top right of the page, click the orange "post a question" button.  Keep in mind that this is a site for people looking to recover, not for tips on how to manage their addiction or binges.

Suboxone isn't intended for the way you're using, and most likely you're not waiting long enough after your last opiate dose and you are throwing yourself iunto precipitated w/ds.

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