Discussions that mention dopamine

Addiction & Recovery board

Hello ALL,

I feel like I know many of you even though this is my first time posting. I have been lurking on this board for over a year trying to prepare myself for my own personal detox and rehab process and I have appreciated very much everything I have read from all of you, very insightful and very encouraging.

BACKGROUND: I finally made the decision almost two weeks ago to quit. I tapered from a 5 Vicoprofens/day that I maintained for about a year to nothing in 5 days. Now I am on Day 7 of no pills at all. I have been using a much lower dose for about 5 years (1 Vicodin 5mg about every few days) but only just recently started the higher dosage I mentioned above. Its been very difficult but not as bad as I was expecting, probably due to the dosage I was at. Just can't sleep but a few hours a day.

Many of my friends and family now know that I had the habit. Some were surprised others had a feeling. Everyone was very supportive which was a huge relief, but some of them were also skeptical as to whether or not this is truly the end of my drug use. This both surprised me and disappointed me because in my mind there was no question that I was going to quite and NEVER use again. I hired a personal trainer 6 months ago and got many of the supplements on the SAMPLE DETOX program and set a specific date and took two weeks off of work. Failing never crossed my mind would be a possibility. Well, obviously I am missing something because as I read past posts of people who have quite, I am surprised that there are many people who have relapsed after being off the drugs for 1 month or 3 months or even 18 months. I can understand if it was Day 4 or 8 or even Day 14 but how in the world do people intentionally use again after months of not using.

This scared me so I started to ponder the different reasons for a person to relapse: 1) Still having chronic pain 2) Type of friends 3) The principle of "Once and addict, always an addict" is true and not just an excuse 4) Drug fills a void 5) Drug helps deal with the pain of life. 6) Empowers and makes you a better person in every aspect of your life and you need that because you are in a performanced based environment at work or at home. If I left out any just left me know, but the point I want to make is I am sure that there is more than one reason why people relapse and for someone like me who is coming here for strength and encouragement through this whole rehab process it is very discouraging to see that people actually fail even though they have been off the drug for a 'long' time. The only one that I can understand and accept personally as a legitimate reason is the relapse due to chronic pain. The others are ones that I fear that I am suseptable to myself. I feel like I will fail myself if I underestimate the beast.

Since I don't have chronic pain issues I feel like if I make it to 90 days then I will pretty much be home free from this drug forever. I have seen PET scan images of the brain's dopamine levels after 1 month and then after 1 year and I know that it will take 1 year at least for the dopamine levels come back to normal. I am fully prepared for the next 365 days to be a dark time and I have accepted that, but by 90 days I feel like if I haven't relapsed then the habit will be in place for me to cope in ways other than using. So then why would I relapse? Right?


I need to have a realistic expetation of what the next year is going to be like or this rehab process will probably not work. Am I going to have to deal with this addiction issue for only 1 month or 3 months or 18 months or the rest of my life. Will I fail 5 times before I make it? Is there anyone out there that has quite and stayed quite that can encourage me and give me hope that I can make it?