Discussions that mention dopamine

Addiction & Recovery board


Note:
The Sample Home Detox (w/OTC WD Coping Options) has been established by the Moderator as a sticky post and can be found as the top "sticky post" at the top of each list.

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Following are the various discussions regarding it and detox in general.
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My personal experience with the OTC Coping Options List:
3 times----first with Vicodin, Xanax, and then Tramadol. It has been a year since I last detoxed. And, I am having surgery again in a month and came to the Boards to find information on managing post-surgery concerns. Several people were on the same board in the middle of detox and on bridge of aborting so I went digging for all my personal journal notes on how I did the home detox. It is a compilation of home detox suggestions from various people on various boards, and as written represents my own personal detox plan. I thought I would post it here to help others. I was sooooooo greatful to find OTC relief to help me get through it that I wanted to give thanks by giving back to others. The more that we can help others get off this crap the better. It is a horrible demon to have on your back-----as we all know, you transition from painfree euphoria to an imprisoned Vicodin haze that blunts and controls everything in your life where nothing else begins to matter except counting and splitting pills to get to your next RX date:(

For me, each time I used almost everything on the list. The only thing I didn't need was the Immodium; never had the runs that most do...so that shows that everyone will not experience WDs exactly the same, but there are universal things as stated on the list. For me the Xanax and the Tramadol detox was far worse and longer than the Vicodin. Though let there be no doubt that Vicodin is difficult as evidenced by the fact that so many end up having to professionally detox to be successful. However, with this list and self-dertermination folks can do it. The worst of the Vicodin detox is usually days 2-4 for most people where you are definitely not functioning well, and not sleeping hardly at all. After Day 4 things start stabilizing where you can at least sleep some and that helps. I definitely was not able to work during that time. As to what works, everything on the list collectively helps. For what works best, if I had to single any one thing out I would have to say hot baths. Almost always when I was absolutely at the end of my rope I would run a bubble bath of water as HOT as I could stand it as that would settle nerves and leg twitches, but only temporarily. For the first 4 days I probably took somewhere between 6-10 HOT baths a day. Next, would be the hot rice socks to settle the same symptoms whenever I was too waterlogged or exhausted to get in the tub. It is really hard to single any one thing out though. For example, sleep deprivation is horrible and all the things that helped induce sleep also helps. But then there is the 20-30 min day exercise----sooooooooo critical to get that body working for YOU again...it takes 20-30 min a day to get your endorphins jumpstarted and producing natural dopamine. When that kicks in the WD joint pain subsides considerably. Now, I can tell you that the Zinc/Magnesium part of the formula is a recent addition, and that was not part of my original formula, but based on the experience of others it seems extremely critical. Every last one of the people that added it, and they were in the middle detox, felt some relief right away and said the relief built everyday. From their experience we concluded that if you were to start the Zinc/Mag 1-2 weeks in advance and build up that it would make a major difference. It not only helps w/WD pain and depression, but folks after detox stated it helped them with pain management since they were no longer on RX pain meds.

When I did my detoxes I researched and prepared well for it as I was terrified to detox at home, but there was no way I was going through the open humilation of professional detox center. I am sure I spent over $200 for everything I bought to do the detox. Sounds like a lot, but pales in comparison to what I had been spending for years on medications....so, I reconciled it with myself that it was my insurance policy to ensure success of ridding myself of that tether to a pillbottle.

As to percentage, I have not detoxed without using the formula so its really hard to say on that. I have no doubt though that without the formula, for me personally I am not sure that I would have made it through the Xanax or Tramadol detox without it. I would have likely made it on the Vicodin detox but I think it would have been twice as bad. I can tell you the most recent gal to do it, just got her Vicodin RX for 120 pills filled last Wed and by the following Tues she had only 1 pill left. She was forced into this because no more pills....cold turkey from 120 pills in one week type habit to 0, OUCH. I gave her the list to help as she was terrified as to what to expect and could not tell her husband what she had done. Well, today is Day 3 cold turkey for her which is usually one of the worst days, and she remarkably states she feels pretty good and thusfar is having minimal WDs---pretty phenominal, but things could be delayed...who knows, bless her heart. I know the principal thing from the list of what she is using that she seems to be crediting the difference to is the Zinc/Mag (must be taken w/food or it will make you sick). I know that she is also using Immodium and other things from the list to help, but she has not yet specified exactly what things. She was thrust into detox with no planning so no time to plan and shop in advance so she is having to use things that she already had at home, and fortunately she had Zinc, Immodium, and a few others. I will ask her specifically what she has.

Once you cut that pillbottle tether rope, the rope wraps tightly around the pole for a few days while in WDs, but then it loosens, lets go, and hangs straight giving you control of YOUR life back....FREEDOM. It is a wonderful feeling to be a full functioning memeber of my family again and not thinking of pills the first thing when I wake up in the morning. Anyway, hope I have answered your questions; am happy to help.
Syzy, many of us have felt what you feel. You have taken a hard first step, the decision to make a change in your life. You CAN do it. It won't be without a challenge, but with determination and courage you WILL prevail. Look at it this way, sooner or later in life you will HAVE to take this step anyway, it is inevitable for all. Life is truly very short, so whatever the bad parts are for any of us it is best to muster up the courage to stomp through the worst parts to shorten them as much as possible and fill your life with the quality good parts to the greatest extent possible. In doing nothing, we are in fact choosing to stay in the bad parts for longer than necessary whatever reason, and in my opinion that is truly when professional help is needed because we are incapable of truly helping ourselves. You, however, have recognized that you need to make a positive change and improve your quality of life. And, you will be so glad that you did.

I think that most failed detoxes are the result of not having a plan where when the worst part hits it is easier to allow yourself to abort. If you are prepared, know what to expect and have coping options to assist you to ride it out you will get to the other side of it. Read back through this thread to familiarize yourself with the detox cycle; plan and shop for your OTC detox coping options. Make sure you note times, what you take and in what combinations, and effectiveness for you....everyone's chemistry is different so you have to somewhat experiment with what combinations help take the edge off for you. Vicodin has a half-life of 4-8 hours, so that means that 8-16 hours after last dose is when the effects of WDs will begin....they will progressively increase and peak about days 3-5, lasting between 24-48 hours, varies based on individual chemistry. Some people feel WD relief between Day 4-5. Basically what you can expect is feeling like you have the worst case of the flu you have ever had. Symptoms vary among individuals, for example, many get diahhreah with fewer numbers reporting vomitting---I never had either of those, just some nausea for me....I had horrible joint aches, extreme "coffee jitters", headaches, and sleeplessness....a feeling that I just couldn't be "still with myself" ...the leg syndrome with cycle of restless legs/heavy legs/restless legs again.....difficulty concentrating....very easily aggitated....emotional roller coaster feeling from irritable to easily angered to weepy.

Just know that when it seems that it is at its worst is when you are about to turn the corner and reach the other side. Even after reaching the other side where the worst subsides your body still has to rebalance and build itself back again through good diet, supplements, and EXERCISE.

Plan your detox where your worst days will be days off from work. While some people have posted early in their detox that they are still working , my guess is that most if not all of them end up aborting the detox when the worst starts because I just can not imagine a person being able to continue working during that phase so for some they have no choice but to abort in order to be able to continue working. I know there is no way I personally could have worked during it....but, detox WDs are not exactly the same for every person. All of us have our own unique chemistries and state of health conditions so it affects us to greater and lesser degrees. Also know that many folks on another board have posted profound WD relief was obtained by taking Zinc/Magnesium, but make sure you eat food before taking it or it WILL make you very sick on your stomach. Also they say to get maximum benefit from it you really need to start taking it a week before commencing the detox. For those who have already started detox and looking for coping options, know that others who were already in detox before starting the Zinc posted they still received some relief with it so it is worth a consideration to start it.

Envision the process much like cutting loose a ball tethered to a pole.......when you cut lose your Vicodin tether bottle, your rope is going to wrap tightly around the pole for a few days w/WDs...then it will loosen, let go, and hang straight.....you just have to hang on while your body re-regulates itself again and kicks up its own natural production factory of endorphins to deliver natural dopamine from your internal source....it will work....you are designed by nature......you can prime the pump to get it working sooner and more efficiently by placing a demand for it on the body through exercise....very hard to do until you are through the worst of WDs however, but do as much as you can, it will help...even if you are only able to do resting position muscle tightening/relaxing exercises....just tighten muscles as rigidly as you can for as long as you can to place a demand signal from the muscle to the brain to get working damnit.
You have to wretch control back from the drug demon that has hijacked the operation of YOUR factory. You can do it. If I can do it, trust me, ANYONE can do it. I was absolutely terrified to detox on my own...wondering if I could do it without having to tell anyone.....I was just too humiliated to tell a soul about what I had allowed to happen to me so I was determined. That being said, there are people who MUST tell others in order for them to be successful where they need to have external pill controls or emotional support. I knew that was not me. My situation was that I had become drug dependent with RX through my doctor...my situation was not recreational at all....in fact I had been on the RX for so long that there was no euphoria effect at all and I never increased levels or bought sources elsewhere chasing that euphoria....for me it was about pain management and over time became about dependency managagement....fortunately I never evolved to the next level of abuse management...thank God....my heart sincerely goes out to all who are in that situation and still find the internal strength to fight and come back. I can only imagine how hard of a struggle that must be.
Hi Shelley, I am happy to offer suggestions for you to consider and decide for yourself on your best options as I am not a medical professional. I am very sorry about your bout with cancer, prayers are with you. Very glad you recognized dependency signs and commenced a taper reduction...good for you!!! congratulations!!!

Now, first regarding the symptoms you describe. They sound exactly like what would occur with drug withdrawals (WDs). According to the quick online research, Norco is a combination opiate derivative of both Hydrocodone (vicodin) and acetaminophen (tylenol). While WDs can vary from person to person based on individual unique chemistry balances, the typical universal WD patterns are the same as the worst flu one could imagine. In particular, the back and joint pain you describe would be very consistent opiate WDs. For some people days 3-4 are the worst and for others it can be days 5-6. The taper reduction you followed sounds like you may have tapered too quickly. Drug taper recommendations seem to vary greatly depending on the source. I have read varying taper dose recommendations that include, but are certainly not limited to, the following.

Taper dose by 20-25%:
-every 3-7 days (total taper elimiation would equal approximately 30 days)
-every 30 days (total taper elimation would equal 4-5 months)

So, it sounds like you did the total taper, 100% reduction, in about a week if I am reading your post correctly. If correct, then that sounds like a very fast taper, and would not likely eliminate or perhaps even lessen WDs. None of that is neither here or there since the good news is that you now at 4 or 5 days off:) Shelley, hang tough girl....you are going through the worst....know that when it is at its worst is when it is about to turn the corner and get better....do NOT abort....you have come too far.

Next phase is that you go through your central nervous system and muscles transitioning from the drug-deadened state they have been in as a result of external blocking.....your legs will at first feel very heavy....like they are on somebody else's body....it will be hard but not completely impossible to motivate....just rest as much as you can...it will pass in about 12-24 hours.....but, it will be replaced by restless legs where the nerve endings and muscles are coming to life again....you may experience lil electrical sensory tingling where at times it feels like you are having difficulty just being still with yourself....HOT BATHS....AS MANY AS YOU WANT TO TAKE AND AS HOT AS YOU CAN STAND IT.. (I took 6-10 hot baths a day), Use ASPERCREME if you have it and if not...heating pad or fill cotton socks with rice and make hot rice packs ...2 min in microwave....once the heavy legs stop and the electric legs start you MUST exercise...hard I know because you will be exhausted but you must.....it takes 20-30 min a day to jumpstart your body's own natural endorphin system to produce its own natural dopamine which is the body's defense chemistry against pain, depression, and supports sleep cycle. The vitamin/nutritional mega-dose supplements are intended to only help bridge the process until your body can start producing for itself. The human body is truly a miracle....it WILL produce what it needs when it is not interfered with by external factors. What has happened is when we introduced external products (painkillers) into our body's factory our brains read the signals and therefore responded by shutting down the factory since the supply was being externally provided. When you abruptly withdraw the external supply, and whoaaaaaaaaaa, the ole body jumps up and down, alarm bells start clanging like mad...aka WDs.....all signaling alerts.....heyyyyyyyyyyy she quit taking the s**t!!!! All your lil internal workmen are kicking the crap out of each other and YOU and running around looking for their equipment....they are not used to functioning together after the longggggggggggggg coffeebreak they have been on for months or years, however long you have been providing the external supply. But, they WILL get their act together and get back on the job and start producing what your body needs. The event that coordinates them is EXERCISE....it places an external demand on the system for more gojuice and fast....the more the demand (exercise) the more quickly organized they will get....it develops an internal rhythm for them where they function to the beat. It may all sound crazy, but it is true. If you can make yourself exercise for 20-30 min a day....it can be only walking.....we are not talking marathon running here.....start out gradual and build up...begin as soon as you can with the muscle tightening/relaxing exercises outlined in the Detox post ....then begin exercises as soon as you can even if only 5 min at time ...just do it 6 times a day and build up...just do what you can and as much as you can. After you are able to reach 20-30 min you will feel a difference within an hour of stopping. Once you start to feel it, and you WILL---I guarantee it, your own personal experience will motivate you to do more. You are sooooooooooooo close to victory lane Shelley!!!! Reread the Vicodin Home Remedy Detox post I did...there are many OTC options and suggestions.
Calforney, you are very welcome. Day 2 usually starts the onset of WDs since it takes 8-16 hours for the last dose you took to fully leave your system. You will just need to experiment with the WD coping options to discover what works for your chemistry. Hydrate, HOT baths, and sleep as much as you can....walk as much as you can even if only around the house...blaze a constant trail, you will be glad you did....it primes the pump of your endorphin factory where it will start your body generating natural dopamine to cope with WDs. Days 4-5 are usually the worst for most folks. By Days 5-7 you should be feeling better, but usually folks's adrenal glands and entire body is flat exhausted from the sleepless nights and adrenal gland exhaustion of fighting WDs.....just need to rest and exercise as much as you can. Hydro detox is not nearly as awful as Benzo detox. With Benzo detox you think you might actually die; with Hydro detox you just sometimes wish that you would. I agree with you about BENZOs...truly HELL IN A BOTTLE. Should be taken off the market in my opinion.

Maybe you won't get the runs; I never did though most seem to. All I can think is there must be a little something different with my chemistry than most where I never got it.

I'll check in ya later and see how you are doing. You are gonna be fine. Hydro detox is like the worst flu you have ever had in your life, but this detox is a cakewalk compared to what you went through with Benzo detox!!! So, you know you can do it. Just keep reminding yourself throughout...."this too will pass in time"....."it is only temporary"....and it is going to feel sooooooooooo wonderful to not be tethered to that damn pillbottle....total freedom:)