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Meth Flashbacks?

imlostinky Meth flashbacks

Is there such a thing?

Talking with my husband again this weekend, he said that sometimes when he is at work or messing around the house, he will get these flashbacks where it feels as if he has just smoked meth- heart racing, whole nine yards.

Anybody else? Any ideas on how long these flashbacks will occur?
He doesn't get them often - just every now and again.

Re: Meth flashbacks


I got them alot the first couple of years I was clean.

Someone told me, someone who said they learned this at an inpatient rehab facility for meth, that meth can accumulate in certain areas of the body, just the way cholesterol does.

As you clean your body out, pieces of it will break free and distribute throughout your bloodstream, so you feel like you just did a line, or whatever.

That is what someone told me when I would get those feelings. I don't know if there's anything to this, because it is second hand information, but I did experience a flash back like feeling for the first couple of years.

Re: Meth flashbacks

some guys have all the luck!

imlostinky Re: Meth flashbacks

I wouldn't call it luck Suz. He is pretty shook up by them.

Now that he has some clean time under his belt, it is hitting him what he really was doing to his body and what was really in it.
He was pretty taken back with the one site I had found that said something about the meth being a yellowish color having urine in it
Hell, I don't know- I guess it could.

At any rate Lori, nice to know he is not crazy and neither am I.
I would see these flashbacks sometimes - they never last any real length of time and never where 2+2 = 4 (as in use but just less type deal)
Just a brief speedy moment- glimpses.
For Hubby though he had really began to wonder if he hadn't done permanent damage.
He'll feel better to know he isn't the only one this has happened to and it does go away.

TnSkye Re: Meth flashbacks

Anything that we repeatedly put into our body makes 'deposits' to our tissue-under the skin, to muscles, etc. Over time these do break free and are released and can cause ex-users to feel some effects. I read that they still argue about whether or not this can cause a positive test at this time.

Seems like water and exercise help to speed up the process of releasing these deposits.

Re: Meth flashbacks

That sounds like anxiety to me,and common in people withdrawing from a drug. My sister, an alcoholic, gets anxiety attacks when she tries to get sober. An anxiety attack is a rush of adrenaline, similar to the way you feel when you do meth.

le grumps Re: Meth flashbacks

I am able to "induce" meth-like feelings by just fantasizing about shooting dope.

It is so stong that it actually warms my toes when my feet are cold.

It lasts a very short time, and I feel totally dirty, but that is what's going on.

Loraura posted something once about how dopamine can get released by thinking about the drug effects.

If a healing brain recaptures more dopamine by me thinking about drug effects, isn't that a /good/ thing?

Another thing I noticed is that if I am playing computer games too long, my muscles get tight and I get that same feeling like I did from tweaking - muscle tightness.

That kind of trips me out.

I'm sick.

imlostinky Re: Meth flashbacks

I don't think with Hubby it is an anxiety thing- but could be the adrenalin rush of sorts.

All I know is for that moment he acts high and he feels as if he is high.
You can see him literally jump back a bit because it catches him so offguard- puzzling.

When he would smoke, he would expect that high, that energy rush.
He doesn't expect it just goofing off after not doing it for so long.
Yes, sometimes it will hit when he is engrossed in what he is doing- sometimes it will just come out of nowhere.

Here I was thinking I had lost my mind - getting thrown by these glimpses - and there he was thinking he was crazy feeling high when he knew he hadn't done anything.

Just so happened to hit this weekend -long weekend when there was no room for doubt , no room for me to 2nd guess.
That's what brought the subject up later that night during our time.

Just a glimpse - a momentary thing.

Loraura Re: Meth flashbacks

Well, there's two things going on with a "trigger" like thinking about it or imagining it.

1) If good feelings are still associated with using, like desire, excitement, longing, then the brain releases dopamine.
2) However, if the brain is still accustomed to GETTING dope, it will start going "in reverse" if possible, to combat what it knows is coming -- a hit. Human bodies like to be static, nice and even, no roller coaster rides of chemicals. It's called homeostasis.

What I think might be the real reason, and I'm just hypothesizing based on what I've learned and read, is that the person feeling this "meth like rush" is actually getting a rush from norepinephrin. A third neurotransmitter. It's the chemical in the brain responsible for "fight or flight". And it can, indeed, cause a person to feel power and strength and energy that they do not normally have. It causes the blood pressure to rise and the pulse to increase. This is so we can save our own arses should we be faced with some sort of threat.

I could see how this natural resopnse could definately feel similar to a rush of dope. If the person is now fearful of using, or being high, thinking about it could elicit this response. think of it like your brain's internal computer going "NOOO YOU IDJIT!!! RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNN!"

For us humans to have normal emotions and reactions (whatever normal is!) the three neutotransmitters -- dopamine, seratonin and norepinephrin -- all need to be in balance.

When a meth user depletes their dopamine, then seratonin and norepinephrin are way too high for the amount of dopamine in the brain. Seratonin has a hay day making you hungry and tired and depressed. Norepinephrin gets to have fun making you anxious and nervous and afraid. Lovely, isn't it?

It's like a love triangle gone terribly wrong.

If a healing brain recaptures more dopamine by me thinking about drug effects, isn't that a /good/ thing?

Unfortunately, it's the same dopamine being recycled over and over, with new dopamine addig in as it's made. However, the more dopamine you use, the more "priority" your body will give to making more. So, in a way, ya. Use that dopamine!

Rah, rah rah? hehehe

Re: Meth flashbacks

Umm, well...

First I just wanted to say that meth really doesnt build up in deposits in your body. It just doesnt. I would be happy to read any medical information stating otherwise, after all, I've been wrong before but from everything I know about meth it is impossible for it to leave buildups of meth in your body.

On the other hand. yeah... I get meth 'flashbacks' so to speak from time to time. I think it's just that our brain chemistry is still outta whack and goes and flips out from time to time. It's kinda funny... cause my best friend has drug tested me when I have them sometimes.. cause suddenly I'll be all energetic and well.. bouncy.. and strangest of all my pupils will be *huge*... but I always tested negative for meth. LOL

But yeah.. it happens...

imlostinky Re: Meth flashbacks


is that the person feeling this "meth like rush" is actually getting a rush from norepinephrin. A third neurotransmitter. It's the chemical in the brain responsible for "fight or flight".

Is it "normal" to get this when it isn't a fight or flight situation?
Literally he will just be goofing off, doing nothing, just standing there talking and it will hit.

Space, I have thought more about having him tested these past few weeks than I did when he was first quitting.
It just never added up to being anything real- it never fitted into use- just a glimpse , lasting no more than a look or 2.Just enough to perk my ears so to speak, sharpen my look a bit - make sure I'm not slipping back into complacency and denial- missing what I should be seeing.
Never ever did it ever have a 2nd link- or last more than just a moment.
No taking anything to sleep , no sleep disturbances, no speech change, no nothing - just a momentary wire feel.
Just for that moment.

Off the wall kinda thing.
And like this past holiday weekend, he was with me continuously so I saw him like every minute and I knew - everything was just normal - and then there he is just talking to me about nothing in particular and I could see his surprise when it hit.It took him by surprise.Like where is this coming from look.
Just a glimpse - a moment thing.

He really thought he was crazy - I was beginning to think I was nuts - for real this time

timcrane Re: Meth flashbacks

I think it is just your subconscious attempting to drive you back to the drug. I feel the subconscious may be trying to help you by relieving your pain. It wants you to feel O.K. right now. That is where I feel the conscious mind needs to become knowledgeable in the application of genuine recovery. This will ease the subconscious and help it to see the long term damage. Once it sinks in to the subconscious that you ARE doing what is best to relieve your pain, your addictive thinking and obsessive thoughts will be lifted and the desire to use will leave you. Just make sure you don't stray from recovery and slowly slide into the old thinking.

Hemetchik Re: Meth flashbacks

The only thing I am allowed to induce on a meth fantasy is an anxiety attack along with a strong desire to take a crap.

Always before a score, I had to take a shytey. ewwwww Iknow

imlostinky Re: Meth flashbacks

Could be a valid point as well Tim.
It was this time last year when he was using the heaviest - it is winter, boredom is setting in , not warm enough to do anything outside to burn that energy off, nothing worth watching on tv- could be Tim.
It is also the time when I have to battle the winter blahs the worst so not a good time for me to get comfortable either.
Old habits die hard.

Re: Meth flashbacks

Umm, huh, see, it lasts for hours for me sometimes.

I don't get them as much now that I'm taking welbutrin.. which is a dopamine and norepinephrin reuptake inhibitor. And yes, I've always thought Those flashback feelings were very closly associated with those specifice neurotransmitters.

Especially since things like the pupil dilation that I had is an indicator of an adrenal response in my experience.

But no.. you don't have to be in a fight-or-flight situation to experience these things... I can actually dilate my pupils at will. I've never been able to explain how.. but I can actually force a small dump of adrenalin in my body.

I don't think it's just adrenaline though.. cause I get extra chatty when these things happened too. Though that was more when I started taking wellbutrin which could very well have resulted in more of both in my system.

I dunno.. but you arnt crazy.

Loraura Re: Meth flashbacks


Is it "normal" to get this when it isn't a fight or flight situation?

Normal for a non user? Well that depends on what they are thinking, or associating environmental triggers with. Phobias aren't normal, per say, but people who have them have a "fight or flight" response to something the rest of us think is no big deal, and have no resopnse from.

Hights, bridges, flying, spiders....

His brain is still healing and coming closer to a balance as time goes by.

imlostinky Re: Meth flashbacks

I can't remember what we were talking about.
It didn't stand out in my mind as anything other than ordinary- maybe it did to him?

Space, never more than a minute or so - 5 tops if ever that long.
I didn't bring it up to him - quite frankly because if it was use ,I didn't want to tip my hand
Just waiting until I either could dismiss it or confirm it before I brought anything up.
He brought it up that night when I was talking to him about what was going on here.
Asked me if anyone had ever had that happen.
I think it was more out of fear that he asked - like maybe he really had messed up his brain kinda thought.

Loraura, I am glad to know that it also could just be a natural step in the healing process.
If it continues or increases in frequency, I may send him to the doctor just in case.
So far it is just a once in a blue moon thing- nothing even in the same week.

TnSkye Re: Meth flashbacks

Ok, it was worded wrong.

These metabolites (the substances the body converts the meth into) although removed rapidly from the blood stream, become trapped in the fatty tissues. The problem that needs to be addressed is that these meth residues remain for years. Tissues in our bodies that are high in fats are turned over very slowly. When they are turned over, the stored meth metabolites are released into the blood stream and reactivate the same brain centers as if the person actually took the meth. The former addict now experiences a drug restimulation (or "flashbacks") and meth craving. This is common in the months after an addict quits and can continue to occur for yers, even decades.

TnSkye Re: Meth flashbacks

I know there aren't many fan of Narcanon, but this is why they use the sauna.

Part Three: The Narconon New Life Detoxification Program

The Narconon New Life Detoxification program utilizes sweating in a dry sauna to eliminate drug residues from the body.

This step of the program removes drug residues and other toxic substances from the body. These residues remain locked in fatty tissues of the body and can be released into the blood stream years after the person has stopped taking drugs. The residuals can cause cravings for more drugs and thus need to be eliminated from the body which is accomplished through an exact regimen of exercise, sauna and nutritional supplements, ridding the fatty tissues in the body of drug residues.

Penelope Re: Meth flashbacks


Always before a score, I had to take a shytey. ewwwww Iknow

Hookah, WTF WAS THAT ABOUT, ANYWAY? I just had to be on the phone with my connection and BAM! IT'S CRAPPIN TIME! And then, of course, after you actually got the dope, you had to take the "Aftershock Crap."

Anyone who doesn't believe in mind over matter has never had the experience of the "I'm gonna get some .. DOH... I GOTTA CRAP!"

Glad to hear I'm not the only one.

Hemetchik Re: Meth flashbacks

hookah, I thought maybe you would know being a f u c ing nurse. Chemistry reaction of mind and azz

Loraura Re: Meth flashbacks

I believe in proper medical terms, this phenomenon you both describe is called "Shitheaditis" although it is commonly confused with diarhus dopaminicus.

Penelope Re: Meth flashbacks


nycinaz Re: Meth flashbacks

i have done some research and apparently meth stays in the fat cells from 5-7 years after use. anytime that fat cells are burning up, especially during excersise,sex included, the fat cells release to the brain. the suggestion that they give is timed-realeased niacin, before a hot shower or excercise, for 30 days. it must be timed released or it can affect the liver. the dosage is 1 tablet a day, the milligrams are standard. i hope this helps.

Penelope Re: Meth flashbacks

I take niacin every day - my doctor told me to. Thanks for the info, nycinaz!

Re: Meth flashbacks

One time, about 6 months after I quit using, I was at work and we were busy so I was rushing and all of the sudden I felt high. It lasted a few hours and it really un-nerved me. Mostly because at that point in my recovery, I had lost the desire to use, I didn't want to feel high. I told a co-worker (also in recovery) that if I wanted to feel high, I would get high. I haven't felt that way since. Thank God.

Once when I quit smoking, I was experiencing some anexity and it reminded me of the paranoia. That wasn't cool either.

See also:

Paranoia, Hallucinations and Meth Psychosis

Paranoia, Hallucinations and Meth Psychosis

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