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  1. #1
    catastrophe is offline Junior Member
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    Unhappy 2 years clean, still feel like ^&$&$%#

    I went to rehab in July of 2010 after a ~4 year heavy poppy tea addiction. You guys probably know how hard it is to detox from opium, since it has so many active alkaloids in it. I am/was a regular member at the poppy dot org forum, and used more per day than even the heavy hitters over there, to give you an idea of the size of my monkey - I'm not trying to do that weird ex-addict bragging thing, just providing background to give you an idea that I used A LOT of opiates for a few years.

    Other relevant background: I started using after a couple of months in the hospital for an intestinal infection that doctors could not figure out, eventual iliostomy surgery and 6 months later had it taken down (so I had most all of my large intestine removed surgically). Because of the infection, I was severely malnourished for a couple of months before the surgery. After the first surgery, of course I had take home opiates, but after they ran out, I couldn't function, the fatigue was so bad. Pain was moderate, I could handle that, I was just so worn out that getting out of bed and taking a shower drained me so badly that I had to go right back to bed. Anyway, I figured out that opiates covered it up, and relied on them to go back to work.

    Fast forward four years, and typical addiction problems, I go to rehab. Got clean. I have stayed clean for almost two years now (from everything, not just opiates - no alcohol, weed, etc.). The detox was horrific. PAWS was awful. But by now, I (and my therapists) expected my body to have rebounded.

    I want to ask you folks who have been clean for a while after a bad addiction, how long until you got back to feeling 100% physically? Or did you ever?

    I've forced myself to get lots of exercise, even though I'm extremely fatigued all the time and have all kinds of soreness/pain that won't seem to heal (for example I overdid a muscle in my rear end a couple of weeks ago and it is still as sore as it was the day after). Before all this happened, I loved to exercise, and felt pretty good from day to day. Right now, I am unable to keep a steady job because of the amount of fatigue I feel (when I've kept a 40 hour + job for the last 20 years no problem). I'm so drained that my functioning is severely limited. I need to sleep all the time, and getting up is particularly hard.

    I suspect that it is due to something other than opiate recovery - that something went wrong with my body and the opiates helped hide the symptoms. I do have mild sleep apnea, but I have had that for years before getting sick then addicted, and it never made me feel near this bad! Also, I do smoke cigarettes, and am a little overweight. But same thing with those, they were present before I got sick as well, and I never felt this awful.

    I am finally getting treated for the apnea, and working on losing weight. Quitting smoking is in my near future as well. I eat much healthier now than I ever have in the past. I'm in treatment for depression, and have had pretty good results. So I'm trying to get myself feeling better. I just want to rule out everything that I can.

    So my question (sorry for the long overly detailed background info) is, after 2 years of sobriety should my body have healed up from the addiction? I'm working on fixing my health problems, I need to know how much of this is due to opiate recovery and how much is due to the other issues. I'm 38 years old, btw.

    TIA for reading all of this and for your advice!

    Cat

  2. #2
    movazi's Avatar
    movazi is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: 2 years clean, still feel like ^&$&$%#

    I was on raw opium for many years, I assume the effect is similar to brewing opium tea (that is a fancy one :- ) . I once quit for a year and energy level was back to normal after six months or so. But talking to others who have been smoking/eating opium it is common for fatigue or depression to linger for couple of years or even longer.

    Cigarettes though are probably more of a suspect. Being overweight may also have something to do with it. Chronic fatigue syndrome, still a mystery, may also be the cause.

    Quitting Sube though brought on severe fatigue in ways I have never experienced. This time my energy level is still not normal. My doctor suggested shots of steroids but I rather go on for few more months and see if the body will re-adjust on its own. Sube is known though to cause this severe fatigue. You are correct that raw opium contains all the opiate alkaloids but 90% of it is morphine and the other effective alkaloids are in the 1% or 2% range. The mechanism of action though is more or less the same, so I am not sure if lingering effect of quitting raw opium should be any different than various derivatives of it or even synthetic opiates.

    First time I hear someone using Poppy tea. How did you prepare the tea ? I thought it is prepared by using the seeds or the pod, which is not an easy thing to get unless you are right next to an opium farm.

  3. #3
    JamesF is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: 2 years clean, still feel like ^&$&$%#

    No offense Movazi, but trading Poppy Tea recipes might be better suited for Erowids Vault or something. lol No need to make the natives restless or send them to "Jones" Town.

    Catastrophe...Movazi is right about Suboxone. It really is the Energizer Bunny of Opiates. The "gift that keeps on giving" so to speak. However, after 2 years, I don't think Suboxone PAWS alone would account for fatigue that severe. You should get a full workup, and maybe check out some other causes. You may find there's another culprit. You should keep trying to push through them, although I know sometimes that only goes so far.

    I wish you luck. I know long-term fatigue really starts to rob your spirit and mess with your head. Try to stay positive. I honestly think that eventually, at your young age, you'll begin to feel better. God's speed

  4. #4
    catastrophe is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: 2 years clean, still feel like ^&$&$%#

    Yeah, I probably shouldn't post a method to get high on here

    I didn't mention it in my initial post, but I WAS on Suboxone for about a year during that time. My money ran out and I couldn't afford it anymore so I went back to drinking poppy tea, eating opium for several months to stave off WD. When I went into rehab, the detox was bad enough that they gave me the smaller (2mg) subs for three days - I think that saved my life, I don't know if I could have done it without it! Certainly something I never want to experience again.

    Suboxone, especially when I started out on 20mg, was really speedy. Didn't feel much like an opiate. But I learned to cut down until I was around 2mg, which actually worked better, kept me feeling more human, than the larger doses did. So my body was quite used to both Suboxone and opium when I kicked.

    I am working with several doctors now: the sleep specialist who prescribed me a cpap machine a few days ago to help with sleep apnea, a psychiatrist to help with the depression and anxiety I've had all my life, and a general practitioner to help investigate/treat other possible causes. It is a matter of ruling things out more than anything - fixing the sleep apnea first. I also had several blood tests done to check serum levels of various things - they can get a decent amount of info from that. We found that I am in the 'danger zone' for developing diabetes, although my blood sugar levels are not high enough to get diagnosed with the disease, it is something that I need to adjust my lifestyle to prevent from developing (and may have some impact on my current symptoms).

    I think that along with quitting smoking, the things I am doing should help immensely. It is actually kind of good to find that some of the lethargy and feeling like crap may be just lingering effects from addiction - because I know that will continue to get better with time.

    Thanks for calling me young, James! Although I am at that stage in life where my body stops being able to instantly rebound from all of the bad things I do to it, so I'm having to learn to actually take care of myself instead!!!

  5. #5
    JamesF is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: 2 years clean, still feel like ^&$&$%#

    That sounds like a number of things that could possibly contribute, perhaps in combination with extended withdrawals. Sounds like a fairly lengthy history with opioids. Opium eater, poppy tea...man that's OLD school. lol

    If you do a few things to get healthy, I really think your body will forgive you and come around. And seriously, 38 is young in all 50 states. I was still actually young enough to know better at that age!

  6. #6
    movazi's Avatar
    movazi is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: 2 years clean, still feel like ^&$&$%#

    catas

    If you were on Sube for a year of that time (by That Time I assume you mean the last two years) then your fatigue is Sube related. Read other posts on Sube and the predominant common factor is severe and prolong fatigue that can easily last over a year.

    James, question about poppy tea was simple curiosity, it is always good to know all about your enemy :- )

  7. #7
    peacenik is offline Administrator
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    Default Re: 2 years clean, still feel like ^&$&$%#

    I didn't mention it in my initial post, but I WAS on Suboxone for about a year during that time.
    bingo.......agree with Movazi. My experience was with methadone, another long acting opiate and after having been on methadone maintenence for a year the withdrawal syndrome I went through was very long with extended PAWS. This carried over to subsequently trying to kick heroin. Long long withdrawal unlike what it had been before, I was foolish and eventually went back on methadone. I finally toughed it out six years later and yes, I didn't feel 100% for about two years.
    Dave

  8. #8
    spring is offline Administrator
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    Default Re: 2 years clean, still feel like ^&$&$%#

    Just a thought...I heard that a Dr told a friend that methadone depleted testosterone levels in men and is why my friend was told to get replacement shots.

    I'm wondering if Suboxone or for that matter ALL opiates help deplete testosterone? This would certainly account for the severe fatigue.

    And since women also have smaller amounts of the hormone, maybe it would help them as well?

  9. #9
    movazi's Avatar
    movazi is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: 2 years clean, still feel like ^&$&$%#

    Yes, Sube is the same and probably same can be said about all opiates.
    My doctor has also recommended shots of steroids for the fatigue.
    I wonder though why sex drive zooms through the roof upon discontinuation of opiates ? Doesn't that mean that testosterone levels are rapidly produced by the body as soon as opiates are cut off ?

  10. #10
    SapientJewel is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: 2 years clean, still feel like ^&$&$%#

    I am a registered nurse and, yes the opiates over time deplete our "brain spark", but the funny thing is that it may feel better on sub, but still depleting our "brain spark". I'm going thru a mess myself and with the knowledge in my head or was, you'd think I had this licked. ugh!!!!

    I do highly recommend going thru a full physical, CBC, etc... ASAP. I felt like that when I was on fentanyl, yuk, 2 yrs. Good luck, I may be trudging right along with you. My detox has lasted almost a month so far.......
    Best Wishes

  11. #11
    Bonita's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2 years clean, still feel like ^&$&$%#

    Working with addicts I have learned a few things. I suggest to everyone vit d regime after detox. Start off with 50,000 units q2weeks x4 then lab work to follow. 4,000 units after the labs or what ever labs show is needed.
    I also suggest full work up, be sure to include vit d levels.
    I am 3 yrs clean after 35 yrs of doping.....I feel pretty darn good theses days. I did go on vit d regime for two yrs, now I eat well, rest as needed, still need to work on excerise regime, finally joined a gym. Hurts like he'll but that good hurt.

    Ps...not suggesting anyone to do this vit d regime...but strongly suggest labs to see where you stand. Just how I treat long term opiate addicts.
    omission is not honesty, only a different way of lying.

  12. #12
    spring is offline Administrator
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    Default Re: 2 years clean, still feel like ^&$&$%#

    Quote Originally Posted by movazi View Post
    Yes, Sube is the same and probably same can be said about all opiates.
    My doctor has also recommended shots of steroids for the fatigue.
    I wonder though why sex drive zooms through the roof upon discontinuation of opiates ? Doesn't that mean that testosterone levels are rapidly produced by the body as soon as opiates are cut off ?
    I think the sex drive shoots up during detox (and in early recovery) because everything seems to go into overdrive (except the energy). I assume it's because everything has been asleep for so long. I dont think it has anything to do with the testosterone levels cuz I know plenty of men who have had to have testosterone replacement therapy for a time after detoxing from opiates, but if I remember correctly all those guys were coming off of methadone. Even so... they still has a powerful sex drive with low testosterone levels ..

    Interesting question, maybe a nurse can answer this one?

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