Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Long term effects of opiate addiction ( does the brain recover )

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Ohio
    Age
    45
    Posts
    59
    Gender
    Male

    Long term effects of opiate addiction ( does the brain recover )

    I was addicted to opiates and cocaine for about 5 years! I was a daily user and have been clean for almost 13 months. I am experiencing depression and social phobias from time to time and I'm wondering if I may have done permanent damage to my brain and it's ability to produce serotonin? If anyone has any information it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  2. 03-22-2009, 07:14 PM

  3. #2
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Age
    24
    Posts
    2,083
    First off, I'd like to say that it is great that you gathered the strength to quit.

    What opiates did you use during these five years?

    A couple years ago I read about a theory that cocaine 'wears out' your dopamine and serotonin receptors...I don't know if that's true but it sounds likely.

    Check out these excerpts:
    Although main hypothesis as to why cocaine is so pleasurable, is that it alters levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and seratonin, some scientists report that cocaine effects approximately 90 different parts of the brain, not just the two main regions of the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens. However, it is interesting that it is these two regions of the brain that remain active after the cocaine has left the system, and the powerful, uncontrollable desire for the drug has set in. (http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1846)
    It was recently discovered through newer imaging techniques that cocaine hinders blood flow. This is why is it can cause brain damage or defects. Recent research demonstrates that if a cocaine user even thinks about cocaine, the blood flow is altered . This suggests that the addictive nature of the drug is stronger than we think, because simply thinking about it produces similar results in addicts' brains' (4). This is likely to be a result of the way in which cocaine changes the structure of an abuser's brain. For example n experiments done with lab rats, scientists reported that after repeated exposure to cocaine, the rats' dendrites changed by becoming bigger and denser. This means that an increase in synaptic connectivity results from cocaine use which triggers people and animals to work harder to attain the drug (6). (http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1846)

  4. #3
    Platinum Member Jeen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Within myself.
    Age
    44
    Posts
    1,137
    Gender
    Female
    Amphetamine and cocaine induce drug-specific activation of the
    c-fos gene in striosome-matrix compartments and limbic
    subdivisions of the striatum.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/87/17/6912.full.pdf
    In everyday there is time to cry, smile, hope, believe, live, work, think, forget, love, dance, play, help, ask, 我不懂!and a million more.

    "I just have to do it"

    Sometimes we have to move on thanks to everyone.

  5. #4
    Platinum Member BeStrongBeHappy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    7,348
    Gender
    Female
    Well, lots of people go thru depression etc. around age 40 or so as a mid life crisis when they've never used cocaine.

    Even the brains of people who've had traumatic brain injuries show some ability to reroute themselves over time, but it takes time.

    And you most likely spent 5 years being overstimulated, so it is not a surprise that life is going to feel flat for a while, until you really learn to live as a person unmedicated by coke and opiates...

    I hope you are in therapy and getting help and medical advice with this. If you are truly depressed antidepressents may help, and they don't make you feel high so you don't need to worry about addiction. Perhaps you'll need them for a while until you're fully adjusted.

  6.  

  7. 03-22-2009, 07:55 PM
    Reason
    Language

  8. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Ohio
    Age
    45
    Posts
    59
    Gender
    Male
    Thank you for all of your input!

    What opiates did you use during these five years?
    I heavily abused Oxycontin and other opiates such as, Hydrocodone and oxycodone for 5years! I believe I am bi-polar as I have every sympton with the exception of thoughts of death and suicide! I felt completely normal untill about the age of 25 and then I began to notice a change! I believe I took the drugs to cover up how I was feeling as shuttlefish described! I really enjoyed the effects and they seem to make me feel " normal ", but only for a while! My biggest fear is that I may have permanately altered my brains natural chemistry. I'm hoping that with time I will begin to feel better. Just feel real hopeless, depressed and blah right now!

  9. #6
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Age
    24
    Posts
    2,083
    My biggest fear is that I may have permanently altered my brains natural chemistry. I'm hoping that with time I will begin to feel better. Just feel real hopeless, depressed and blah right now!
    I don't really know much about those, but I know that OxyContin is basically a synthetic derivative of opium. Depending on your method of attaining the high you can have all sorts of damage. From what I've read, OxyContin when taken orally causes damage to your liver and kidneys.

    My biggest fear is that I may have permanately altered my brains natural chemistry. I'm hoping that with time I will begin to feel better. Just feel real hopeless, depressed and blah right now!
    You should have a doctor check you out.

    If I may ask, how did you quit?
    Last edited by MetallicAguy; 03-22-2009 at 10:02 PM.

  10. #7
    Platinum Member BeStrongBeHappy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    7,348
    Gender
    Female
    where you have to start from is it is what it is. by that i mean, hindsight is 20-20 and would have been better for you to never has used, but whatever has happened, you need to deal with and not spend your time worrying about something you can't change if it did do damage.

    but more important, if you are bi-polar or depressed, those are both treatable conditions that need treatment, and you should go to a doctor to get help. what you may be feeling may be not only the flatness that takes a while to pass after coming off drugs, but also the unmedicated feelings from depression or bi-polar disorder.

    You shouldn't suffer or wait it out if you haven't consulted a doctor. go get checked out as this may have nothing to do with your giving up drugs and may be fixable.

  11. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Ohio
    Age
    45
    Posts
    59
    Gender
    Male
    If I may ask, how did you quit?
    I got busted for possession after an overdose and was incrcerated in jail and a halfway for a total of 8 months! I don't think I would have quit had that not happen. I snorted and took the oxy orally. Never injected!

    You shouldn't suffer or wait it out if you haven't consulted a doctor. go get checked out as this may have nothing to do with your giving up drugs and may be fixable.

    I just went to a psychiatrist last Wednsday and was put on wellbutrin. So far I have felt nothing, but I am going to try it for a couple of weeks. If this does not work, we will be trying something else. I just want to feel normal again!

  12. #9
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Age
    24
    Posts
    2,083
    Aside from your brain, I think you most likely have damage to your nose, kidneys and liver. If wellbutrin or another medication doesn't work, you should look into therapy as an effective means of treatment.

    I hope you reestablish a sense of well-being again.

  13. #10
    Hey according to Managingwithdrawals.com here are a list of vitamins you can take to help with that wort of thing. These have really been helping me. One thing I've added to the list is St Johnson's wort which has seemed to help my mood a lot.


    Supplements

    A key component in reversing the damage of long-term opiate use is amino acid, vitamin, and mineral supplementation.

    Amino acids are the “building blocks” for neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and many others that are manipulated by opiate use. There are 3 amino acids that you will want to begin taking when you start your detox. You should take 1000mg in the morning, and 1000mg in the evening, for a total of 2000mg per day. Amino acid capsules generally sell for $10-$15 for a bottle of 100 capsules, with each capsule containing 500mg.

    1. L-Glutamine: Building block for GABA, which is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. L-Glutamine also helps heal the gut. (You’ll probably notice that GABA itself as a supplement, but you won’t want to take it – GABA is made inside the brain when in the presence of L-Glutamine, but GABA molecules themselves don’t cross the ‘blood-brain barrier,’ so the most effective way to produce GABA is to take plenty of L-Glutamine.)

    2. L-Methionine: Used for the production of SAM-e, which is one of several factors needed for the production of serotonin, dopamine, and a handful of others.

    3. L-Tyrosine: Useful in naturally boosting your energy levels, as fatigue is one of the most common symptoms. And, like, L-Methionine, L-Tyrosine has a positive effect on your serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters. Note that L-Tyrosine requires additional Vitamin B-6 for proper absorption.

    A very important, but commonly overlooked, consideration when taking amino acids is that you must take them on an empty stomach. You should take them with a glass of water, and not with any other drink. Why? Amino acids compete with each other for entry into the brain. If you eat or drink anything with protein in it with your amino acids, those amino acids will prevent your chosen amino acid supplements from doing their job properly!

    Vitamins and Minerals

    A good multivitamin is an important component of your nutritional therapy. Find a good one that contains 100% (or more) of your RDA (recommended daily allowance) of a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals, preferably in capsule form, like these. This is a great starting point for improving your health in general, but it is particularly important during a detox.

    In addition to your multivitamin, you’ll want to take additional doses of Vitamin C for the antioxidant support. Vitamin C supplements are very inexpensive and usually come in doses of 500mg or 1000mg. The ‘upper limit’ of Vitamin C in most adults is set at 2000mg per day (doses above that level can cause gastrointestinal problems), so you won’t want to exceed that dose. Taking 1000mg to 2000mg of Vitamin C per day, in divided doses (half in the morning and half at night), reduces the number of damaging free radical molecules in the body. Other antioxidant vitamins, such as Vitamin E, are very helpful as well and should also be taken. Another inexpensive antioxidant are the Acai Berry Capsules. Remember, your body will be going under a significant amount of oxidative stress during detoxification. While taking antioxidants is a good idea for those not undergoing a detox, it is an even better idea if you are.

    Melatonin is a useful supplement, both as a sleep aid and as an antioxidant. Typically, melatonin supplements are sold in tablets of 2.5mg to 5mg. It’s safe to take more than that dose, but low doses have been found to be just as effective. Melatonin only lasts in the body for a few hours or so, so if you wake up in the middle of the night (which you probably will), it’s fine to take another one. The room should be dark when you take melatonin, as this is how the hormone is released naturally.

    For more natural ways to induce sleep you might try Kava Kava (either as a tea or in capsules), or Valerian Root supplements. If that doesn’t help, over-the-counter sleep aids like Unisom (diphenhydramine) can be helpful, in doses of 25-50mg. If you have a prescription (I do not condone taking prescription medication that isn’t prescribed to you), a benzodiazepine such as Xanax, Valium, or Klonopin can help you fall asleep if nothing else will, as well as reduce anxiety. Just take care not to take them too often (why go to all this work just to substitute one addiction for another?), and do so only under the supervision of a doctor. Valium or Klonopin are the most useful of the benzodiazepines, since they also have muscle relaxant qualities. If you are dependent on opiates as the result of an injury for which you are also prescribed a skeletal muscle relaxant such as Flexeril or Soma, these medications can help with your muscle cramps, and also help you sleep.

    Fish oils (Omega 3, 6, and 9) are some of the most important supplements you can take, as these fatty acids lay the foundation for several important body functions. Fish oils are needed for the functioning and repair of cellular membranes. Of these, Omega 3 is of particular importance. You should also take Vitamin E supplements with your fish oils, as fish oils cause an increased requirement for fat-soluble antioxidant vitamins.

    Liver Detoxification

    Milk Thistle, N-Acetyl Cysteine, and Alpha-Lipoic Acid are important supplements to restore full liver functionality. Whole Foods sells a product called Opti-Liver, which contains all three, plus more. It’s important to take these supplements with food to ensure proper absorption. As with most supplements, it’s a good idea to spread your dose throughout the course of the day. You’ll want to take in 1200mg of milk thistle, 400mg of Alpha-Lipoic Acid, and 600mg of NAC each day. If you eat three meals a day, you could divide those doses by three to take with each meal.

    Special Note about NAC: Vicodin and Percocet users sometimes take N-Acetyl-Cysteine capsules with their pills, as NAC helps the liver break down Tylenol more easily. NAC actually helps break down many drugs in the liver, not just analgesics. It can really save lives by reducing stress on the liver. In fact, very high doses of NAC are given intravenously in hospitals to patients suffering from Tylenol overdoses.

    Adrenal Health

    Fatigue is one of the most common and the most persistent of the opiate withdrawal symptoms. Fortunately, there are ways to combat it, and restore your energy levels gradually back to normal. Adrenal support is vital in this process, as opiates are particularly hard on your adrenal glands. Take two capsules a day for at least 3 months, as fatigue is a long-lasting PAWS (post acute withdrawal symptoms) symptom.


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------


    P.S. I'm not a doctor and I do not have anything to do with the medical field. I do not claim that anything I say should ever be done or even considered.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Related Articles & Books
by Margarita Nahapetyan
According to the findings of a recent study, married women may find themselves drinking a lot more alcohol than single or divorced women, while ...
by Margarita Nahapetyan
It turns out that, when under stress, men tend to be attracted to women with a more curvaceous body type, found a new research, according to which ...
by Margarita Nahapetyan
Marriage and divorce are linked to weight gain among both women and men, and especially those who are over age 30, found U.S. sociologists. However, ...
 

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •