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Dopamine and recovery question about brain chemistry


Nyte
Passion
Dopamine and recovery question
Drugs screw up the brain chemistry so ... Here is the scary question--
Do their brains ever go back to normal? Or some semblance of it?
or does it get so messed up that even clean and sober they can never again achieve pleasure to the degree they did when doing drugs?

In which case, those sitting around hoping and waiting for the reward of clean and sober relationships with the addict are basically screwed...  
     Replies...
danimal
55
Re: Dopamine and recovery question
I hope my brain doesn't go "back" Sher.
And lets kick "scared" out of our vocabulary, fear is poison in any form and feeds on itself.
With that said, yes our dopamine levels do rise back to near "normal" levels.
As Loraura has kindly indicated our dopamine is restored to 80% after 18 months of abstinence.
But...nutrition and activity are essential building blocks if we hope to have a healthy neuro-chemistry, the brain must feel a need to release dopamine and the other associated "feel good" neuro-transmitters.
Keeping in mind that there are a LOT of people who don't feel good that have never fried their brains on meth or destroyed their dopamine reserves.
Healthy and fun thoughts and activities are required to release dopamine and "again feel pleasure"...no matter how much our brain has in reserve.
We're only "basically screwed" if we think we are. 

Lisa Re: Dopamine and recovery question
Hi Passion,
Well, I can only speak for myself.  At almost a year clean (January 19th is my clean date), I feel about 15% better than I did at two weeks clean.
I feel like my brain will never function again, I feel like I'll never feel any happiness again, and I quite often am suicidal.
Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln...
I'm holding on to Loraura's eighteen-month date like a lifesaver. Hope is the only thing that keeps me going.

So, I hope I brightened up your day a bit!

Sfj Re: Dopamine and recovery question
I'm no neurobiochemist, but this I can guarantee, you'll never get the same amount of dopamine release as you did when using speed.
That is, unless you used very small amounts. Small amount is a hundredth of a gram. Normal activities that give pleasure, things like sex, winning a ball game, watching your kids succeed, and other things that bring pleasure will not release dopamine in the amounts that injecting or ingesting methamphetamine will.
luve
piphany
Re: Dopamine and recovery question
Well,  Thinking on your question NytePassion, which I do a lot....I figure that it's best for me to stop and repeat the little ole' saying, "Expectations are premeditated resentments" and "Expect a Miracle" both-I know it's kind of a schizophrenic thing to do, but believing that God can do anything works for me. Of course, then I remember that I have to quit telling Him what I think the best course of action is....

See also:

Effects of Drugs on Dopamine Levels


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