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View Full Version : Cold Feet and Opioid Withdrawal/Abstinence



Matt
01-29-2012, 07:47 PM
What is it with having ice-cold feet while in the state of withdrawal or an absence of an abundant amount of drugs in the system?

My heroin-kick attempt seems to be a perpetual cycle of being clean for a week or slightly longer and then using again, clean again then back. During the clean periods, my feet are always freezing and I know you all know this feeling. I know the body's functions are going haywire during withdrawal/adjustment to the lack of opioid presence, but I always wonder what is the exact cause/reason for the cold extremities.

JUNKYJAY
01-29-2012, 08:04 PM
Something about being a junkie fucks up our internal temperature regulator and makes us cold just be glad your that close to Mexico try doing a kick in -20 weather it always makes me cave sorry I don't have an answer but I also get super cold while in WD I always wonder about the junkies on the street jonesing when we have an extreme weather alert cause it -20 out I'd off myself hate being cold in WD

bl4cklabel
01-29-2012, 08:21 PM
I always attributed it to bad circulation from IV use combined with WDs.

alowishus
01-29-2012, 08:23 PM
Something about being a junkie fucks up our internal temperature regulator...

Same as my thoughts... the drugs raises your temp, it seems.
I get the same dealy, ice cold feet even when in 80', now as to why or how the mechanism works, fucked if I know.

entropy
01-29-2012, 11:05 PM
My feet don't get cold when I'm in WD. If anything, they get hot.

I have less of a problem with being cold than being hot. Maybe it's because I live in Florida.

When WDing, hot flashes come in waves. It feels like my skin is on fire. Hot to the touch. Obviously opiates have an effect on body temperature and it varies from person to person depending on the person's genes.

This is a really miserable part of WD. Being too hot, then too cold. Especially when trying to get some sleep.

OP8world
01-30-2012, 12:21 AM
I have also experienced cold feet (and cold hands) during WDs, but I undoubtedly have massive problems with temperature regulation, and perception of temperature.

As I enter my 2nd decade of opiate use, my ability to feel comfortable with any temperature is compromised. I nearly always feel too hot or too cold, even when I don't have WDs.

In general I tend to feel too hot while on high doses of opiates and too cold when on low doses, or when I'm completely sober.
When my hands or feet are colder than they should be I usually do not notice, but my girlfriend does.

I believe that longterm opiate use changes the way we perceive temperature and creates a more narrow window of what we would classify as "comfortable."

Circulatory system damage may exacerbate this issue, but I do not IV, so I think the experience of cold extremities (and temperature regulation issues in general) can easily occur independently of venous damage.

Fat Pie
01-30-2012, 12:36 AM
I always attributed it to bad circulation from IV use combined with WDs.

Wouldn't that cause more of a pins and needles feeling?

Matt
01-30-2012, 12:45 AM
I believe that longterm opiate use changes the way we perceive temperature and creates a more narrow window of what we would classify as "comfortable."

Circulatory system damage may exacerbate this issue, but I do not IV, so I think the experience of cold extremities (and temperature regulation issues in general) can easily occur independently of venous damage.

Getting to know what withdrawal is has left me permanently screwed in my mind; when I get a chill/goosebumps it just reminds me of WD even when there's no reason that I should be in WD. Before I got to know heroin withdrawal, all those little withdrawal symptoms that aren't too bad were things I wouldn't have thought too much about, I'd just tough it out but now these days knowing it is withdrawal and I could easily fix it with drugs has turned me into a big wuss. It's the mental anxiety that makes it worse, so when the mind is at rest you aren't bothered as much and you have more of an ability to cope with pain and discomfort.

I too would always get cold hands/feet even before I was sticking myself.

bl4cklabel
01-30-2012, 12:59 AM
Wouldn't that cause more of a pins and needles feeling?
That is a symptom, but I'd think it would depend on the degree of loss of circulation.
I'll do some research on the subject when I have time tomorrow,
I remember some scientific literature explaining the temperature phenomena, I'm sure I can find it again.

Fat Pie
01-30-2012, 01:00 AM
I worry sometimes about getting that feeling in the arms, hands and fingers in bed. Hope I haven't fucked up my veins that badly.

OpiatedChronically
01-30-2012, 01:11 AM
Having cold feet in WD is a constant annoyance for me, and I don't IV, so I know the two aren't related.

The cold feet actually don't bother me as much as the general body temperature fluctuations from hot to cold, literally hot one second and then cold the next second, so you don't even have time to get warm before you're cold again, and vice versa.

It's the one symptom that guarantees I'll relapse, because no matter how long I stay sober, EVEN when all the other symptoms have subsided, my body temp never seems to return to normal, and I know the surefire cure is a good dose of opiates.

I cannot fucking tolerate trying to sleep, and turning on my fan, only to cover up with 2 blankets and then throw them off a few seconds later to cool down, and then immediately becoming frozen by my fan.....wash, rinse, repeat. Relapse? Please and thank you.

OP8world
01-30-2012, 01:57 AM
The cold feet actually don't bother me as much as the general body temperature fluctuations from hot to cold, literally hot one second and then cold the next second, so you don't even have time to get warm before you're cold again, and vice versa.

I agree 100%. My experience exactly. I have found that morphine and fentanyl are the two opiates that have the most profound adverse affect on perceived body temperature.

Nagelfar
01-30-2012, 06:48 AM
I thought this thread was going to be about "having cold feet" (as the turn of phrase) concerning going into a period of opioid abstinence or quitting cold turkey. To which I was going to reply "that's simply dependency/physical-addiction."

Matt
01-30-2012, 01:36 PM
I thought this thread was going to be about "having cold feet" (as the turn of phrase) concerning going into a period of opioid abstinence or quitting cold turkey. To which I was going to reply "that's simply dependency/physical-addiction."

This is something most of us would have "cold feet" about, saying we're gonna quit but never actually getting it done for however long. Funny enough, everytime I smoke weed it shines a light on the "reality" of everything and makes me feel a little disgusted with myself for shooting the shit and reinforces my decision that I need to quit.

smokey
01-30-2012, 01:41 PM
This is 1 thing I hate, I would wake up with ice cold feet, wear wool socks, and really warm slippers. After an hour my feet were colder than before, I noticed what makes this symptom even worse is because the feet sweat like crazy, making the socks really wet, and feet more cold. These past couple days its been alright, but my 1st month of not using cold feet I mean freezing cold feet were a norm.



I cannot fucking tolerate trying to sleep, and turning on my fan, only to cover up with 2 blankets and then throw them off a few seconds later to cool down, and then immediately becoming frozen by my fan.....wash, rinse, repeat. Relapse? Please and thank you.

JUNKYJAY
01-30-2012, 01:45 PM
Matt I think the same way work 8 hours I'm physically tired and yawn and think oh shit I'm in WD or go to work in the morning -20 out and I'm freezing and think shit I'm dopesick not thinking everyone is cold

Drugs are awesome spend all my $ on them can't shit always cold have bad tracks noone trusts me gotta take maintenance drugs just to function lol

SAY NO KIDDIES

--- auto merge ---

Me to Matt I smoke a joint feel the exact same all disappointed in what iv become and I'm gonna end up with a limb missing from IV pills ( geuss tars just as bad)

Matt
01-30-2012, 01:54 PM
Yeah after a while I find that losing the socks helps more than keeping them on does. My feet always stay warm in bed but after I get up, they freeze. Weird. It's crazy how my upper half is scorching hot right now, yet way at the bottom it's like the arctic. Guess that just sticks true to physics, heat rising and all that :p

--- auto merge ---


Matt I think the same way work 8 hours I'm physically tired and yawn and think oh shit I'm in WD or go to work in the morning -20 out and I'm freezing and think shit I'm dopesick not thinking everyone is cold

Drugs are awesome spend all my $ on them can't shit always cold have bad tracks noone trusts me gotta take maintenance drugs just to function lol

SAY NO KIDDIES

--- auto merge ---

Me to Matt I smoke a joint feel the exact same all disappointed in what iv become and I'm gonna end up with a limb missing from IV pills ( geuss tars just as bad)

I'd say the experience of withdrawal is pretty traumatic and it just about ruins you for a good while.

I like how weed enhances the effects of opioids, but it makes me think about things either too clearly or maybe with less of a laid-back view. Last night I wasn't high on weed but I just started thinking about things and realized that dope has just been a big waste and too great an influence. I've been trying to quit since November to no avail, and I've wasted all my money in the process when I've been meaning to pay a warrant I have and I'll probably end up drying out my unemployment before I get the warrant paid, then I'll really be regretting shit when all along I could have just said NO! Heroin chews you up, gets you all warm and gooey, and then it spits you the fuck out to dry off alone on the ground. Nobodies fault but mine, so I need to tame this beast way more than what I've already had some success at.

Matt
01-31-2012, 10:29 PM
This is weird, my toes have been ice-cold the last couple of days and my hands have been nice and warm. But today my fingers are all cold and my feet are warm.

blue_heron
02-01-2012, 10:19 PM
The temperature thing is awful. i don't think 'normal' people know what its like to feel hot and cold at the same time, sweating buckets but not wanting to pull the blanket up cuz it's gonna make you sweat more. i don't really know if it is an actual temp change or if it is just perceived... maybe i'll do an experiment... once you sweat bullets, yawn and sneeze at the same time and get those cold shivers down the spine - somethin's gotta give. usually it's the moral compass that does the most bending.

the best feeling in the world is to go from that sweaty unstable awful death to that instant warmth that envelops the body. then the taste [at least i get that like taste/smell] after a good shot. i know that soon the sweat will dry and i can actually get some rest - as opposed to flipping on the couch/bed/floor/car seat/whatever like a fish out of water - blanket on/off on/off leg kickin like jackie chan etc etc

i do think that at least some of these WD symptoms are psychological though - like when i get a huge craving with massive anxiety, heart rate increase etc. but i wait it out. maybe it takes 30mins, maybe an hour but i have calmed down after that panic attack and even though i'm soaking wet and still feel like shit - the anxiety does subside.

the worst thing i've ever had was taking 8mg sub while doing MMT at about 120mgs - shit sent me into instant fetal position 10x worse than any dope-kick... now i just think of that whenever i get mild WDz. [by the way it was the first time i ever took sub, never knew a thing about how it works and my buddy gave me one and said 'you might get a little buzz off it'... he had no idea what was happening & had to drive my car home w/ me in the back seat

TheTalkingAsshole
02-01-2012, 10:41 PM
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9110415

in this study they administer naloxone to cats and it shows an increase in activity in the medulla
which is responsible for things like breathing, heart function, and is heavily effected by opiates
so arguably you could say that all the opiate use, followed by symptoms that mimic the induced withdrawal they use in the study
causes you medulla to be overly relaxed and within 7-24hrs be thrown into complete madness
thus causing the problems with circulation and temperature regulation

the medulla is also really important in control of the blood flow to sensory neurons in the spine, which connect to the higher levels of the brain through the medulla,
and as im sure most of you are aware there are quite a bit of sensory nerves in your hands, as well as you feet
its also responsible for all of those other nasty flu-like symptoms of withdrawal

blue_heron
02-02-2012, 02:14 PM
the hypothalamus in the brain contains a major 'pleasure center' of the brain, where effects of drugs and alcohol are thought to affect this portion. This part of the brain is also responsible for temperature regulation as well as appetite, thirst, sleep etc. Not sure if this would be responsible for cold feet specifically but probably explains the feelings of warmth when using opiates and the temperature changes during withdrawal.

Cold feet specifically could be caused by poor circulation, perhaps due to anatomy or vascular damage - the lower extremities are always a problem when improper blood circulation is an issue. Many small vessels and capillaries are located in the legs and feet and are often damaged easily through IV drug use...

This is an experiment with rats that shows proof of temperature changes [increase] when morphine was administered, and a decrease in temperature when naloxone - an antagonist - was administered...

Opiate receptor mediated hyperthermic responses in rat following Ca++ channel antagonists.

Pillai NP (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=%22Pillai%20NP%22%5BAuthor%5D), Ross DH (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=%22Ross%20DH%22%5BAuthor%5D).
Abstract

The effects of morphine sulfate on rectal temperature and on Ca++-stimulated Mg++ATPase activity in crude synaptosomal fraction (P2) of cortex, hypothalamus and cerebellum were investigated in rat. Morphine (3-15 mg/kg, SC) produced hyperthermia at 30-120 min after the drug administration. The Ca++/Mg++ ATPase activity in hypothalamus and cortex was decreased while there was no change in Mg++ ATPase activity. The enzyme activity in cerebellum was not affected. The opiate antagonist naloxone hydrochloride (5 mg/kg, SC) antagonized the effect of morphine on rectal temperature and Ca++/Mg++ ATPase activity. The effects of different calcium channel antagonists (nimodipine 1 mg/kg, verapamil 2.5 mg/kg and diltiazem 10 mg/kg, SC) on the changes induced by morphine were also investigated. These antagonists not only antagonized morphine hyperthermia, but also the inhibitory effect of morphine on Ca++/Mg++ ATPase activity in hypothalamus. The calcium channel agonist BAY K8644 (3 mg/kg, SC) produced hypothermia and also stimulation of Ca++/Mg++ ATPase activity in hypothalamus. Naloxone failed to alter these effects of BAY K8644. These studies demonstrate that Ca++ transport in hypothalamus, as indicated by Ca++/Mg++ ATPase activity, plays an important role in thermoregulation and thermoregulatory changes induced by opiates.

opi
02-02-2012, 03:01 PM
I don't exactly know what causes it but I think it correlates with blood pressure. In withdrawal blood pressure fluctuates a lot.

I have been fairly clean for a couple of months now and I still get the occasional chills, especially in the mornings. They seem to happen more frequently when I am anxious. The chills are coming less and less often, I also get sweaty arm pits.