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Old 11-07-2012, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
6,814 posts, read 11,408,921 times
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Someone is asking me due to my law enforcement background but I was stumped. He has a grown kid who is going through recovery for Opiate and alcohol dependence. He's having trouble sleeping and wants to use OTC items such as Melatonin. From what I've read (using Google) Melatonin is considered very safe. Would anyone here have any knowledge on something like this?
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:23 AM
 
Location: On Earth
399 posts, read 622,335 times
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Meatonin is good for some people. Other people it doesn't do squat. It's a hit and miss and worth a try. It's a natural product so there is no harm in it unless you try to overdose on it. LOL. Wouldn't recommend that on anything. Best of luck.

JMHO
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
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As mentioned Melatonin doesn't work for everyone but it's definitely worth a shot. It's a natural product and won't give him a buzz that could affect his recovery. There is no risk of abuse with Melatonin. It's a very good option if it works for him. If it doesn't work he could try Benadryl (which has the same active ingredient as OTC sleep aid Unisom but is cheaper). Benadryl works well and is safe to use for a longer period of time. It shouldn't effect his recovery either.

Insomnia is very common in people recovering from opiate dependence. Regular use of opiates will cause your brain to stop producing enough endorphins (the body's natural morphine) and the endorphin deficiency will linger even after the opiates are stopped. The lack of endorphins will make it hard to sleep and can also make you more sensitive to pain and cause deep depression. Fortunately the brain will eventually fix itself if he stays clean long enough. However, and please let him know this, frequent long term use of opiates can damage your endorphin system permanently which can be extremely hard to live with. Since this is a young guy he should get better in time though.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Bangor Maine
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I know someone that Melatonin did just the opposite and made his insomnia worse. In addition to a sleep aid - a good 90 minute walk might help.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
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Thanks. Seems to line up with what I read on Google.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Houston
7 posts, read 21,316 times
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Melatonin in addition to a natural sleep aid like Valerian half an hour helps. Hot shower too prior to going to bed. Exercising every morning will help relax the body by the time he goes to bed. His brain just needs time to recover. There are vitamins out there for helping the brain repair itself.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:51 AM
 
1,135 posts, read 1,901,933 times
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I've had trouble sleeping for years and last year a friend suggested melatonin. 3mg put me into a nightmare filled "almost coma" with hangover-like feelings after. So, I tried half a pill a few times. My family finally informed me I was sleep walking & talking. A couple of times I had thought I drove in my sleep so then gave my keys up on the nights I HAD to sleep. ( I never told the family about the driving). I did tell a friend about it and she informed me that her son, a pilot, had been forbidden to use melatonin. So....I'm back to about 3 hours of sleep but feel much safer.
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:26 AM
 
Location: Location: Location
6,519 posts, read 8,202,568 times
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Several years ago, I asked my doctor about melatonin, after one of my sons had used it with some success. My doctor advised me to take 50 mgs. of benadryl at bedtime. (He prescribes it for his hospital patients instead of the usual "sleeping pill". I take it nightly. It isn't habit-forming and it doesn't leave me feeling groggy in the morning. (Well, no groggier than usual).

Benadryl, (diphenhydramine) is sold OTC in 25 mg. It costs relatively little and if you have a Sam's or Costco card, it's incredibly cheap.

As with anything, your doctor is your best source for advice because only he/she knows your medical history and what would be best for your individual circumstances.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:31 AM
 
Location: Maine
2,272 posts, read 5,912,594 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theatergypsy View Post
As with anything, your doctor is your best source for advice because only he/she knows your medical history and what would be best for your individual circumstances.
I agree with this advice. He should talk to his physician/addiction specialist, who should be helping him with the issues that arise secondary to recovery from a substance.

Benadryl can help some people. Me -- it makes me wired like nothing else -- I have a paradoxical effect.
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