LuLamb

HOW DOES A "SLIP-UP" OR BRIEF RELAPSE AFFECT THE RECOVERING BRAIN?

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Now that I'm focusing more on the biochemistry of my addiction-damaged brain and not my "moral failings" (after watching NOVA: Addiction),  I'm wondering how different things help or hurt my healing brain. For example, I've had a few "slip-ups" with Adderall over the past five months since I quit. I'm guessing these don't RUIN the progress my brain has made, but wondering, what - exactly, the affect might be.

Also wondering about things like "TOTAL ABSTINENCE" (like from everything: I still smoke, use marijuana, drink some alcohol, caffeine, occasionally take cold/allergy meds that contain pseudoephedrine, and have tried Kratom) vs just abstinence from Adderall. Sometimes I feel like I SHOULD abstain from EVERYTHING, but most of the time I feel like it's all i can do to get by without Adderall and tell myself I'll worry about the other substances in due time...

 

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you're right in that a slip-up here or there doesn't reverse all your progress - in a biochemical way. as long as you are not flooding your brain with dopamine on a constant basis, you are still on the path to repairing any damage caused by the neurotoxicity.

but even an isolated incident of taking a pill one night can open up the negative reward pathways that you've worked hard to shut down. and that's the thing about total abstinence - it's less about the biochemistry and more about containing addictive behavior. a sober you may be fully in control of your desires. but a drunk or high you might just "fuck it" and pop a pill.

of course i'm not saying avoid those things - just keep it in moderation and more importantly understand how those substances affect you. 

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On 3/15/2020 at 1:08 PM, LuLamb said:

Also wondering about things like "TOTAL ABSTINENCE" (like from everything: I still smoke, use marijuana, drink some alcohol, caffeine, occasionally take cold/allergy meds that contain pseudoephedrine, and have tried Kratom) vs just abstinence from Adderall. Sometimes I feel like I SHOULD abstain from EVERYTHING, but most of the time I feel like it's all i can do to get by without Adderall and tell myself I'll worry about the other substances in due time...

I am a strong believer it total abstinence from adderall and all other stimulant drugs.  I also kicked cigarettes when I quit adderall because I felt they were horribly linked, somehow, and I needed to quit nicotine for my health anyway.  But alcohol, coffee, and weed?  I still use them all, almost daily.  The key word is use but not abuse them.

12 hours ago, sleepystupid said:

but even an isolated incident of taking a pill one night can open up the negative reward pathways that you've worked hard to shut down. and that's the thing about total abstinence - it's less about the biochemistry and more about containing addictive behavior. a sober you may be fully in control of your desires. but a drunk or high you might just "fuck it" and pop a pill.

This is why I believe in total abstinence from Adderall (and nicotine).  I know if I take even one drag from a cigarette, I will seek future opportunities to sneak a smoke again, so I use all the willpower I have not to take that first toke.  Just the other day, I had a social "non-smoke" with my friend and I went through all the motions of smoking with an unlit cig in hand and I kind of enjoyed it.  That same friend is meth recovery and he is also an alcoholic.  He absolutely knows that he cannot get drunk because it causes meth cravings he cannot control.

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