ASK THE EXPERT:
Question: How long does it take to restore natural dopamine neurons and serotonin after opiate abuse?
Answer: Cali Estes says: If you ask 10 opiate addicts what the worst part of their detox is or was, 9 of them will tell you its the many days, weeks and sometimes months of that horrible feeling of “no energy”, “depression” and feeling “unmotivated”. Most opiate relapses are based solely on the opiate user not being able to get through this stage of getting clean and quitting opiates.
So today we ASK THE EXPERT, CALI ESTES. How long does it take for the user’s brain to restore natural dopamine neurons and serotonin after the opiate use stops? This, in turn, allows the ex-user to feel energetic, motivated and happy again. There is not a “set” time period that covers everyone, as each persons body responds differently. One opiate user may feel normal again as early as 2 weeks after quitting opiates and for another, it may take up to 6 months to feel normal. So why such a huge window for recovery time? It depends on the drug, the way the drug was taken and how long it was taken. For example, a user that orally took morphine sulfate for 30 days will recover much quicker that a user that injected heroin for 2 years.
Now, there are ways to influence the body to replenish natural dopamine levels while the opiate user is going through the detox stage. EXERCISE is the best way to increase dopamine in the body but this is a “catch 22” because most opiate users have no energy at all to workout or exercise. This takes self discipline and the recovering opiate user must really push themselves to exercise. But doing this will only help the body recover at a quicker pace. I have crossed paths with ex-users who have taken up martial arts to help with the process. SEX is also a great way to replenish dopamine and serotonin in addition to exercising.
So to reiterate the answer to the above question, it takes a person who has completely stopped using opiates as few as 2 weeks to start feeling normal again and for some it takes as long as 6 months to feel normal. And going in to a detox, the person getting clean should know that this part of the process is the most grueling and leads to way more relapses than the 3-5 days of physical sickness that comes with most detoxing.
Everyone in Recovery deserves a coach. Call Cali at 800.706.0318 or visit www.theaddictionscoach.com