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Long term side effects of withdrawal
  1. #1
    Jasmine79 is offline New Member
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    Default Long term side effects of withdrawal

    I've googled and researched and read, and every semi-authoritative source I have examined has described opiate withdrawal as lasting "about a week."

    My personal experience, and that of my friends in a similar situation, is that the worst of the anxiety, diarrhea, and physical pain is over in a week... but there is also a long term disruption to your reward mechanism that results in depression, fatigue, inability to set goals, interpersonal issues, and even some apparent memory problems. But this is purely anecdotal.

    What is the science? Will my opiate cycle/reward system eventually "reset" itself? I used to be a workaholic, happy, busy, and social, and now I feel like a lump of coal. How long is this going to last and what mitigative therapy is available and effective?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    newyorkgal is offline Advanced Member
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    I believe youre describing something called PAWS - Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome. When they talk about one week, they are talking strictly about the phsyical symptoms or the acute withdrawal symptom. Symtoms of PAWS include increased irratibility, depression, cravings, sleep disturbances, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and other symptoms. The brain is most affected by drug use. There is a chemical imbalance and as the drugs make you feel better, your brain stops making those chemicals that make us feel good naturally. The brain takes its sweet time reverting back to its original state. Although you will feel progressively better, it can take months to feel 100% normal after addiction.

  3. #3
    Catrina is offline Diamond Member
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    You said it well Gal. Sad but true. We have to be in it for the long haul. Maybe this is simply because if it was so easy to come clean, we wouldn't work so hard at staying that way! Motivation the variable..and I truly mean variable!

    Hang in there. It will eventually get better. Promise.

    Cat

  4. #4
    newyorkgal is offline Advanced Member
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    I think PAWS is the suckiest thing imaginable though. I mean, withdrawal is hard enough. Then to have lingering effects that are so varied you don't even know what's Paws and what's not, it isn't fair. BUT, life ain't fair and that's a fact. People deal with adversity day in day out, alot worse than we do. Sometimes I think I'm a whining little baby, when I look at pictures of people in Haiti for example. I think PAWS might be God or Mother Nature's way of saying "if you continue to f up, I will continue to make it hard for you"... For intellegent people, we're really pretty dumb because we try and try and always get the same result, w/d followed by PAWS. Do we really think it will get easier? This addiction thing is really really tricky.

  5. #5
    intelmetal is offline Senior Member
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    Default Paws ! It is 100% Real.

    A few of you know my story, long term methadone ABUSE (not use) ! Tapered my methadone down over a 5 year period, switched to subs, tapered my sub down to zero over 75 days. After finishing up the sub taper, there was a small honeymoon period followed by awful PAWS. It lasted about 5 months, at least 90% of the symptoms were gone by then. I am just over 6 months off subs and still, frikkin still have some lingering affects. They seem to come and go. I might have 6-7 days of feeling almost 100%, and then I feel fatigued, slightly depressed, little anxiety, not completely motivated, for a few days and it goes away. So weird ! I would say that I am at about 96-97% normal. I hope to be 100% all of the time soon, but PAWS can last up to 2 years in severe cases. I was in pretty deep and consider my recovery phenomenal. I am very lucky to have escaped my living nightmare with little permanent damage. I still have short term memory problems, but I am still pretty sharp. Everyday gets better, even with the fluctuations I described earlier. It has been a long, long journey, but it was worth the suffering to get my life back ( not that it was that bad when I was abusing ).
    Like I used to quote after every post " I WANT OUT, to live my life and to be free !
    I hope that you all beat your addictions and live happy lives.
    Steve
    Depressednguilt247 likes this.

  6. #6
    rickstarr is offline New Member
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    Default paws is not a god or mother nature

    these effects are the reminder of exactly how stupid an addict can be..
    Depressednguilt247 likes this.

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