623065 tn?1275503695

How long it takes your brain to heal after drug abuse.

I was wondering how long it will take me to feel normal again. I havent felt that way in over 13 years im 49 days clean today :) I figured i would be ok by now but after looking at this website www.amenclinics.com/brain-science/spect-image-gallery/spect I found out other wise. Take a look kind of scary to think my brain looks like this and that i have done it to myself. All i can do now is pray that it doesnt take that long.
15 Responses
1801781 tn?1461629469
This is the first reply I received after posting about my addiction.  It really helped me to understand why the brain needs time to heal.

You have to remember how opiates work, and why you feel depressed etc. when you quit taking them and after you are over the withdrawals.

Opiates bound to the opioid receptors in your brain and body. They release their artificial endorphins to them, and block the bodies natural endorphins. After a while the neurons that produce the body's natural endorphins disappear. There is no need for them so they just don't rejuvenate like they would normally.

When you stop taking the opiates,  they leave your opioid receptors bare, and they are calling out for your body's natural endorphins, but there isn't any there at first. You body has to repopulate the neurons that make them, and this takes time.

Endorphins like dopamine  control your moods, anxiety, sadness, anger, happiness, pain etc.

You will slowly get your "old self" back as these neurons repopulate and begin increasing their endorphins production. After being off the opiates for a month, they should be about 45-50% of normal, and be back to normal within a year.
So hang in there, you will feel better and better as the months roll by.

Try keep busy and keep your mind focused on positive things instead of dwelling on the depression, anxiety, etc. that are only temporary and will disappear as your endorphins return to normal.

Does that  answer or help you understand your questions?
Avatar universal
That's an excellent post.    In lesser technical words,  I've been posting like that in this forum saying that when you ingest these drugs (artificial chemicals),   they disrupt the brain's production of its own natural chemicals.   Doctors don't seem to be concerned about the issue when they prescribe Rx's since they do the same thing illegals do.    Its at the root of why addiction develops and why the withdrawals can be so bad.    There's a lag time between stopping the use of drugs and when your brain kicks in again to produce its own natural chemicals that control body functions.    
Avatar universal
Hi it can take a wile to get better 90 days is really a realistic goal for most habbits and thats not cured that better 6mo is even betteer and a yr I felt recovered its not to say you dont feel better 1 mo after you stop most do but to fulluly recover can take up to a yr for PAWS up to 2 yrs keep in mind most of us here have been abusing most of our lives and over the yrs have don some damage to our brain chemistry forchanetly it is reversible it just takes time remember recovery is a lot like addiction it dosent happen overnight
stay away from adding new drugs and you will recover just fine good luck and God bless......Gnarly  
Avatar universal
Congrats on 49 days clean! Keep it up! I'm only on 5, and have alot of respect for those strong enough to do this! You're awesome!
Avatar universal
congrats on 49 days thats awesome i'm proud of you !!
1831920 tn?1320857757
Even though your brain chemistry isn't completely back to normal for months I feel better as far as the "brain fog" goes. (24 days clean)  I used to walk around in a fog (knock things over, drop things etc.)  Congrats on your clean time.  49 days is huge!
2018394 tn?1328463578
Wow just reading you guys post is inspiring I've been clean from heroin sense Jan. 13 2012 sense my clean time my Wife left me my bother betrayed me, ect... but I'm still clean. Darryl
Avatar universal
I am so scared to quit I am trying to stop drinking and taking my prescription pain meds the drinking is my main concern well both are but I am so scared that I am going to drink myself to death I don't want to but it is so hard to stop I always slow down but never quit I'm so scared to just quit because I feel so dull and eneryless and depressed how long will it take after I stop drinking for me to have some sort of happiness and joy after I stop drinking
3060903 tn?1398565123
Welcome to Medhelp Tattoo ~ it's great to see you asking questions to help yourself. This post is quite old, and the original poster may have moved on since there's been no activity. L:ikely this thread is buried for them by now i'm sure. You have a great question, and you'll find much support if you copy your comment and post it as a question on the Alcoholism forrum.

In answer though to your question, it took me a few months to start getting more energy back. I walked into a 12 hour shift 7days a week job when i quit and managed. I just had to push myself out the door. In the beginning , i went to an outpatient rehab, and group and individual counseling helped me alot to deal with the issues, like being drained, and feeling dull.

Interaction helps to bring us out of our dulldrums, i think. You've found us here, and you can make friends here that truly care.  My suggestion would be to get to closed same sex  AA meetings, and  find a great sponsor, and make a few friends. It helped me alot to be able to go and visit another clean and sober addict, knowing that it was going to be  safe rendevous.  Make sure you health is otherwise good, through blood tests, and make sure that you have an exercise program, it will help you immensely with the dullness you're talking about. Get a new hobby, ( my latest is pyrography which is wood carving and burning) and don't expect too much of your brain, it takes time to heal .
Avatar universal
Hi All,
new to this forum.  What a Godsend batch of information.
I started Fentanyl 50mcg every 72 hours, and have been on 30-40 mg Oxycodone for about 9 months.  I had/have a rare bone cancer called "Chordoma."  The primary tumor has been removed, but I felt 20 times worse after the surgery.  The consensus among my many docs is that the surgeon either nicked a nerve or there is still residual tumor causing the pain.
I am only 5 patches into my first month.  My PM doc told me to avoid my BT Oxycodone med whenever possible, but I still take at least 10 mg of Oxy once per day.  I also take an occasional 350 mg Soma, mostly to help sleep.
I know this is not very much medication, as compared to others on this and other forums, but I hate this patch more than anything and want to get off of it.  My next PM appointment is in 2 weeks and I would like some help on what to say to my doc.  I am tired (literally) of feeling like I'm "not here" and really want to re-assess my pain level without narcotics.
Question:  what would you do?
8202874 tn?1396992951
I used meth for 1 1/2 years, alcohol for 2 years, marijuana for 4 years, and opiates for 6 months off and on. I've been clean for 4 years and i gotta tell you it takes a while to not have the mental addictions anymore. for the first 8 months it was the hardest when it came to the cravings and thinking about it. But i after that it got a lot better. Not perfect but easier to have self control and be strong and not do the stuff. And the biggest advice i can give is to completely 100% break off all ties completly to your drug using friends, associates, family, and anybody who has a drug problem especially if they are using it around you.  
Avatar universal
Yes, it helped me quite a bit. I've been clean only one month and a week and I feel alot better already. But I know that I'm not out of the woods yet. My focus is already noticeably better. So your answer gives me more hope. I will stay strong and focus on the positive things that matter in my life. Thanks.
Avatar universal
i was on benzodiazepine for almost 3 and half months and I had to leave the drug, now im on 2 months since my last dose. Its not easy, withdrawal symptoms sometimes are terrible, but now im only experiencing Anxiety and stomachs problems(gas,cramps,heart burns and reflux).I just want to ask ,is it possible for one to fell better today and tomorrow feel horrible, its like its an exchange of days. What exactly will be happening, does any one going through the same process?
Dude I was on benzos at 4mg a day for 3 years, with meth, coke, heroin, alcohol, and copious amounts of pot. Your withdrawals ain't ****. Appreciate that. Sober 7 months here.
Avatar universal
I am a 66 year old man who was on benzodiazepine for 17 years from the age of 19 to 36 years old. When I stopped using I felt like a landed on the moon. nothing made sense. I would cry everyday for a good 60 days I was in the hospital for 10 day and was very sick for the first six months, then I started to feel better. Everyday after that got better and better. After a year I was on what I call a pink cloud. I started to really enjoying life again. I have been sober from benzodiazepine for many years now and I can say to you that if you stay sober your life will get better and better truth me that is a promise. The key is not to use no matter what.You could also try going to some AA meetings they help me a lot in the beginning. Good luck and remember you are not alone.
Avatar universal
I have been abusing opiates (moderate) for about 7 and added adderall (lots) for the last couple years. I’m about a week clean. And the first week is brutal. I work 4 12 hour days and then I’m off 4 days. I changed my up all night habits to bed at 8 up at 4am. Dragged myself to the gym every day off. Ate ultra healthy (lots). Started indoor tanning 5 minutes a day. I felt really good today. It’s day 9. I walked 10 miles on the track and was literally singing. I look better. Especially my eyes. But still looking a little grey. I feel most of the healing was getting sleep my poor body did without for so long. I can’t believe I’m actually sleeping at night.  So that’s my withdrawal cures.

Good food
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