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Hey, Matt Finch, here and welcome to the training video. In this particular video, I’m going to talk about what I believe are the two opioid withdrawal symptoms from both acute and post-acute withdrawal that I’ve seen leave people to relapse more than any other symptoms.
Especially when you have both of these concurrently, which is typically what happens.
Phases of Opioid Withdrawal
So the acute withdrawal is the serious phase where you’re just quitting, you’re just getting off whatever opioid you’re taking, and you got the real serious acute withdrawal symptoms.
The post-acute withdrawal is the phase that comes right after that, it’s typically less severe symptoms, but they’re persistent.
They linger on for typically at least a few weeks and more often a few months to maybe even three to six months and even longer.
But with the post-acute withdrawal symptoms, there are two main symptoms that I’ve seen lead to people just saying screw it, they throw in the towel, they can’t take it anymore, and they get back on opioids, and it’s not what a lot of people would think.
So everyone’s different in the way they experience post-acute withdrawal and recover from it, depending on someone’s personal biochemistry, how much opioids they were taking, which ones, for how long, their individual constitution, psychological issues, life stressors, and a number of other factors.
But here’s what I’ve seen at least in the tens of thousands of people that I’ve corresponded with now over the last gosh, probably eight years since I got off opioids. But I knew other opioid addicts for years before that when I was using and learning how to detox from home.
So really about 11 years, I’ve been actually doing personal research on myself and seeing other friends and drug dealers that I got my stuff from do this.
But especially in the past eight years since I’ve been helping people one-on-one, both as a counselor and then as a recovery coach.
So here are the two symptoms that I’ve seen. Number one is something called anhedonia; anhedonia is the technical term for the inability to experience pleasure.
I’ve heard Dr. Kevin McCauley, he’s the person that put together this great DVD called pleasure unwoven, and he calls it pleasure deafness.
So we’ve got all these different senses, we’ve got the sense of touch, the sense of smell, the sense of hearing, the sense of sight, the sense of intuition and then there’s also our sense of pleasure.
Pleasure is a sense, and our brains are literally wired to seek out things that increase dopamine because that was how our brains were geared together for survival.
So anything that can lead to our survival increases dopamine; for instance, eating, mating, and having sex, those things increase dopamine a lot.
Especially if it’s certain types of foods which are high salt, high sugar, high fat type stuff, especially high salt and fat, you get a bigger of a dopamine kick.
So it doesn’t sound too bad from the outside, right?
So what, so they’re not experiencing pleasure who cares.
The word pleasure and the term pleasure has a lot of kind of stigma associated with it, but the thing is, since our brains are literally wired for dopamine, if you can’t experience any sort of pleasure, any sort of motivation, any sort of reward coming in soon.
It’s like all of a sudden; you almost feel suicidal; some people do feel suicidal.
When you have absolutely no sense of even the smallest most tiny minuscule pleasure, just none of that, and that goes on for weeks and especially for months.
It is detrimental because our brain craves to get that dopamine kick, that’s like otherwise what’s the point of even living, it’s just how our brains are.
And so here’s the other symptom that I’ve seen, that’s usually coupled with that almost pretty much 99.999 bar over a percent chance it always comes with this, it’s extreme fatigue.
Now I’m not talking about being tired; I’m not talking about being burnt out.
What I’m talking about is the most extreme fatigue and exhaustion that anybody’s ever experienced.
It’s like the fatigue during post-acute withdrawal; the extreme exhaustion is so debilitating that I’ve had clients hire me that we’re going through post-acute withdrawal, that we’re so tired they couldn’t even go from bedroom to the kitchen to get something to eat.
So they were able to go on their computer on the laptop and say hey, I need help right now.
So when you combine extreme severe exhaustion like just being so depleted, it’s ridiculous, when you combine that with anhedonia also known as pleasure deafness or the inability to experience pleasure.
So then you’re exhausted, there’s no point of life like everything is depressing, and it’s not even only that it’s depressing, it’s just that it’s like you’re just completely, you can’t get happy at all.
It doesn’t matter if you get a raise at work; it doesn’t matter if your kid wins a sporting competition and gets a trophy. It doesn’t matter if you get a promotion and go to Disneyland, once your dopamine set point goes from regular to way higher from the repeated administration from opioids, then it’s really hard to feel pleasure after you quit because your normal dopamine baseline used to be right here.
And then the opioids brought it up here because they spiked dopamine in massive amounts. So then when you quit doesn’t go back to here, it stays up here.
And so if you go to Disneyland it doesn’t register up at this new spot, promotion doesn’t register, wonderful day with family doesn’t register.
When you’re going through that severe anhedonia, which is a real thing, especially during post-acute withdrawal syndrome, you never get to the dopamine set point to experience pleasure.
And you’re fatigued, so you’re going through life, and it’s much more stressful than it has to be.
You feel like giving up all day every day when you’re feeling that awful, and that combination brings people up.
Anhedonia & Exhaustion Often Lead to Relapse
I really believe that when it comes to opioid dependence and people quitting, I feel like those two symptoms are the ones that make it to where probably 95 percent of the people don’t even make it past the first 90 days.
And I remember going through this myself many years ago; I would make it a week or a couple of weeks or maybe a couple of months at the most.
I would always get back on opioids because I still was tired, I still just didn’t feel good in life and the only thing I knew how to do at that time to make me feel that energy, that motivation, that pleasure, feeling like I was able to do stuff in life.
The only thing I knew to get me that at that time was opioids.
Remedies for Anhedonia and Fatigue
And so I want to make this video because to let you know that not only is anhedonia and fatigue such a detrimental combination but also that there are actually things you can do naturally and medicinally too as far as prescription medications, nootropics but certainly naturally as well which is safer.
There are things that you can do to counteract both these symptoms.
Now you may not counteract them 100%, that’s probably not going to happen.
I wouldn’t ever tell someone that they’re not have any fatigue, and not have any depression.
But if you do the right strategy, it can be maybe a 2 out of 10 in severity instead of a 10 out of 10 in severity.
So some of the main things that can help with this are supplementation. If you’re using the right supplements, they can really help to uplift your mood, give you natural dopamine, natural feelings of motivation and pleasure that counteract anhedonia or at least mitigate the severity of it.
There are also prescription medications that some people take, I mean some people think that I’m all about just natural stuff, but I’m about alternative medicine.
So that’s utilizing the best of both natural therapies and also western pharmaceutical therapies, and other types of medical therapies and so.
And I’m not recommending that you take these, what I’m saying is I’m providing you information and education on what some people do, and what some people have benefited from, then you go talk to your doctor and make your own educated decision with your doctor, with their approval and supervision.
But one of the things that counteract both the depression, the anhedonia, and the fatigue, the extreme exhaustion is low dose Adderall, low dose Vyvanse or low dose Ritalin.
Now again, those can be drugs that people will just get addicted to, or maybe take them too long and get a physiological dependence and have withdrawal symptoms coming off of that; that’s not what I’m recommending at all.
What I’m saying is that some people the supplements and other natural therapies still aren’t enough to make them be able to go to work.
Let’s say if they stop to go to work, they have a high; maybe they’re the CEO of a company.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong at all with using low dose Adderall Monday through Friday for two weeks after you quit opioids, and then stopping.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that; I would do that if it was myself.
But there’s also natural stuff as well, so anything that increases dopamine, my favorite one that I found is a twenty to one extract of Mucuna Pruriens, that stuff’s absolutely amazing.
Another one that has a lot of dopamine enhancing nutrients, as well as other neurotransmitter nutrients and other nutrients as well, is BioRebalance.
That’s my business partner, Chris Scott’s company; he just came out with it pretty recently.
It’s a powder organic active vitamin, and this stuff really repairs your brain and helps with the anhedonia, fatigue, and many other symptoms as well.
So those are my two favorite supplements currently, and other things you can do besides supplements, obviously exercise I just did a video on that I think yesterday or the day before, and a lot of people were commenting and complaining like well I’m so tired and depressed, the last thing I want to do is exercise.
So I get it, I’ve been there in the same exact situation, it’s really hard.
So what some people do is they’ll take a low dose Adderall or a low dose Ritalin, or if they’re worried about that, you can go online, or you can go to a nootropics website, my favorite is Nootropics.com. I’ll put a link to all these resources by the way in the description box, but Nootropics.com.
They’ve got something called adrafinil that’s a 12 hour to 14-hour dopamine reuptake inhibitor, and it gives you motivation.
It knocks away fatigue, it knocks out anhedonia, and it typically works that very first day, it’s not one of those drugs that need to get absorbed in your system a whole lot like an SSRI.
So it gives some people anxiety, but if you’re exhausted and depressed and you take even like a half an adrafinil to start, that can give you the energy and the motivation just enough to be able to go take care of business. To be able to go to the gym, to be able to think clearly enough to where you can make good decisions.
Create a Solid Plan
So those are just some of the things you can do, but it’s really good, and I really encourage you to formulate a really effective post-acute withdrawal plan before you’re going through with it.
You want to be proactive instead of reactive, so while you’re going through it depending on your symptoms, depending on how things are going, you’ve got like I’m talking like a workbook plan, and having all the resources that you need just in case you’re feeling things too bad.
Just maybe your first line of defense against anhedonia and fatigue are dopamine supplements and other types of natural remedies.
But if that’s not enough when you’re going through post-acute withdrawal, if you don’t have anything else that’s a backup, you’re screwed, and that’s why a lot of people get back on opioids. Maybe you get some adrafinil and/or some other nootropics, and you don’t need to use them, but you have them just in case you need to bring out the big guns.
And if those aren’t powerful enough, and you’ve got to take care of kids, and you need to go to work, and you’re just busy.
If you have a good relationship with your doctor and you tell him what you’re going through, maybe they’ll prescribe you a really small amount of a week or two worth of some type of stimulant.
Or even Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin is a serotonin, norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor.
I know a lot of people that have benefitted from taking Wellbutrin for the post-acute withdrawal, and that seems to get people because it gives you that noradrenaline, that gives you energy that kicks out depression.
And so maybe you’d use that a week or two.
So just comes down to being really safe with all this, really intelligent about it.
Working with a Professional
If you’re not an expert in it or know a lot, it’s good to get someone’s help like an addiction doctor that specializes in this or a recovery coach. A recovery coach, there are some other really good ones too.
Out there, I don’t know any other ones that have probably put in as much time studying as myself, as far as helping people quit opioids more comfortably, mitigate symptoms and really get rid of cravings and rebuild their lives.
But if you’re not already super self-disciplined, and really have an immaculate detailed plan to be able to go through with this.
And if you don’t already have a support system and accountability, I strongly encourage you to work with someone.
It could even be like a Suboxone doctor, if you’re trying to come off Suboxone just really work with your doctor into having them help you in these certain ways, go see a therapist that specializes in addiction.
But someone even if it’s your wife, even if it’s your husband, if they’re supportive of your process and they’ll hold you accountable, that can help a lot.
And of course, you can learn all the stuff on my YouTube videos, on the podcast, on my website, and my online courses.
But it’s a lot of research and even doing all that you probably still won’t have as quite of an effective as a plan as if you worked with somebody that does this day-in-day-out.
That lives breathes, eats, and sleeps this stuff.
So yes, a lot of people just decide for the peace of mind to work with me, so I can help them create what they know to be the absolute best and most effective plan possible.
And I do a lot of other things as well as just a plan, so the coaching system is very powerful.
But anyway, yes, let’s see, yes, that’s good for that topic.
Thanks for watching the video; I got a lot of new great ideas for videos coming out soon.
So if you have them already, make sure to subscribe.
Hit the like button if you got any value from this, be awesome, and I’ll see you on the next video.
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