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Opiate addiction Support for coping with Opiate addiction and Opiate addiction treatment.

 
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  #1  
Old 11-05-2012, 05:17
DeeJ DeeJ is offline
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How long without opiates before sex drive returns?

SWIM is a 29 yr old male who has been taking relatively low doses of hydrocodone and norco recreationally for several years. SWIM almost never took more than about one 500mg/5mg hydrocodone pill or 1/2 of a 325mg/10mg norco pill in a 24 hr period (generally taking the dosage in the evening). When he stops for a day or two he doesn't much in the way of physical withdrawal symptoms. However he does take that dosage virtually every night and achieves an opiate high from it.
My question is, how long after discontinuing opiate use can he hope to feel a return of his sex drive? He has noticed that it is drastically diminished from what it was a few years ago. He feels like he could have naked women walking right in front of him and has had a couple bad experiences with them in the same bed with him. He simply doesn't feel any drive for sex. He doesn't know why in terms of neuroscience that this happens but read that it may be a result of dopamine receptors being filled with opiate transmitters resulting in a feeling of being totally satisfied w/o sex.

Any thoughts or feedback would be very much appreciated. Thanks!
DJ

DeeJ added 3 Minutes and 22 Seconds later...

also, it's not only while high on opiates that he feels this way. he feels a libido void during all other times too.

Last edited by DeeJ; 11-05-2012 at 05:17. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  #2  
Old 11-05-2012, 13:56
textosteron textosteron is offline
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Re: How long without opiates before sex drive returns?

I know exactly where you are D.

Even a single dose of opiates can lower your testosterone levels for a longer period (and i'm pretty sure they affect the levels of some other hormones too which may have something to do with sex):

Quote:
A single injection of morphine to fight persistent pain in male rats is able to strongly reduce the hormone testosterone in the brain and plasma, according to a new paper published in the journal Molecular Pain.
The study, led by Anna Maria Aloisi, M.D., of the Department of Physiology -- Section of Neuroscience and Applied Physiology at the University of Siena, Italy, Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia, University of Siena, and the Human Health Foundation in Spoleto, Italy, showed that opioids had "long lasting genomic effects in body areas which contribute to strong central and peripheral testosterone levels" including the brain, the liver and the testis.

The study showed increases in aromatase, an enzyme that is responsible for a key step in the biosynthesis of estrogen. The findings are particularly important since testosterone is the main substrate of aromatase, which is involved in the formation of estradiol. Both testosterone and estradiol are important hormones, engaged in cognitive functions as well as in mood, motor control and in many other functions, such as bone structure remodeling.

"Our lab became interested in gonadal hormones several years ago when it became clear that there were many differences in pain syndromes between the sexes," says Dr. Aloisi. "In looking at differences, it was immediately apparent that these changes were introduced by different treatments, opioids in particular."

"The research findings are very relevant to the management of patients with chronic pain," said Marco Pappagallo, M.D., professor and director of pain research and development, Department of Anesthesiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY. "Today, primary care physicians, pain specialists, and a variety of health care professionals are asked not only to treat pain but how to manage side effects of drugs and to strive for the best possible comprehensive care and wellness of patients who experience chronic pain. Opioid induced hypogonadism can cause health complications to which patients with pain can be overly susceptible, including chronic fatigue, loss of stamina, emotional and sexual disturbances, as well painful skeletal and muscular complications."

It has been known that patients treated with opioids for short or long periods show low levels of gonadal hormones. Hypogonadism was already described in opioid users and applied to pain patients as OPIAD (opioid induced androgen deficiency). It is also known that patients treated with opioids, including newer drugs (fentalyl, tramadol) have a high probability to be hypogonadic, with menopausal symptoms occurring in women and andropausal symptoms in men.

"The use of opioids puts a 'physiological' block on the reproductive system and can induce a long lasting absence of these essential hormones from the blood and the brain," says Dr. Aloisi. "The normal effect of opioids to restrict reproduction in stressed subjects is multiplied by the higher levels/ long duration of opioids in the body."

"Until a few years ago this condition was completely unrecognized by physicians although some reports clearly showed it in many kinds of patients," notes Dr. Aloisi. "Today there remains some ignorance on this condition but gonadal hormones are more commonly cited as responsible for many chronic degenerative pathologies."

Despite the side effects of opioids, Antonio Giordano, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, warns that the study's message is not meant to limit the use of opioids for pain. Instead, he suggests that doctors should "take into consideration this side effect, since it is very easy to find hormone replacement therapies. Using HRTs, patients can get relief from their pain, and improve their quality of life."
Source: Single Shot of Morphine Has Long Lasting Effects On Testosterone Levels, Study Finds

While you can expect your libido to come back to some extent in a few weeks, maybe less, maybe more (everyone's different), you also need to be aware of the fact that in your age, testosterone levels are probably already in a mild decline (it begins around 30, but again, everyone's different). Your libido will simply never again be like it was 10 years ago. When you couple that with the above-mentioned effect of opiates on testosterone, you get what you get.

While it's off course best to let things go their own way with a bit of patience, you can always boost your T levels with some natural remedies, such as Tribulus terrestris or similar herbs, which are proven to effectively raise T levels.

If your quality of life is really compromised, i suggest you go to some clinic and test your testosterone etc levels, after which you may be prescribed with testosterone supplementation therapy in form of T gels or IM shots (but i really suggest you try the herbal remedies first), or something else

After all this being said, i must add that i really hope you'll manage to stay clean, this is much much more important at the moment than sex. Things will get a bit better with time on that field too, just hold on and you'll see! If you're still not happy after a while, you can always go with the routes i mentioned above.

Wish you all the best man

Post Quality Evaluations:
Great read, awesome contribution

Last edited by textosteron; 12-05-2012 at 15:21.
  #3  
Old 11-05-2012, 15:13
DeeJ DeeJ is offline
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Re: How long without opiates before sex drive returns?

Thanks so much for that quality post. I was tested recently and scored in the normal testosterone range though I might consider boosting it. Is the drop in sex drive from opiates all about testosterone and none about dopamine receptors?
  #4  
Old 11-05-2012, 23:32
textosteron textosteron is offline
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Re: How long without opiates before sex drive returns?

No prob, i'm really glad if it helped some!

Off course, it's not only about testosterone, there are also other hormones involved, such as prolactin, which totally kills the sex drive (for example, prolactin levels go way up immediately after orgasm/ejaculation, preventing you from having another round right away).

As i said, I'm pretty sure there are other hormones involved too, but i'm not that much into body chemistry, hope someone with more knowledge can chime in with some valuable info too!

textosteron added 482 Minutes and 24 Seconds later...

Heh, funny, i mentioned prolactin...i just googled this out:

Quote:
Abstract

The administration of a dopamine antagonist, chlorpromazine, and two opiates, morphine and methadone, resulted in a significant rise in serum PRL (prolactin) within 90-150 min. Prior administration of dopamine receptor agonists (apomorphine, levodopa, aand bromocriptine) blocked this effect. In contrast, cyproheptadine, a serotonin antagonist, did not. We suggest that the opiates induce hyperprolactinemia in man via dopamine receptor blockade.
Source: Opiates, prolactin, and the dopamine receptor

So, there are other important things beside testosterone involved. According to this, if one would for example take bromocriptine before opiates, sex-drive would still be there. This seems quite interesting, well to me at least...

If i understood correctly, you have zero sex-drive even when you're clean for longer periods of time, and your testosterone levels are normal? Who knows, maybe you should test your prolactin levels too? Prolactinomas, benign (non-cancerous) tumors of the pituitary gland cause high prolactin levels. Stress can cause high prolactin levels too. But hey, i'm no doctor, who knows whats really going on...

Anyway, a visit to the specialist seems like the best possible thing you could do, no one should be completely without desire for sex, sounds so bloody scary to me!

Stay well man, i really hope you'll figure out whats going on!

Last edited by textosteron; 14-05-2012 at 15:20. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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hydrocodone, libido, norco, opiates, sex drive, testosterone levels, withdrawal

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