One characteristic of actue withdrawal is a hyperactivity of the Locus Coeruleus; a portion of the brain (which is involved in stress response and panic) inhibited by opioids.
During opioid withdrawal, neurons in the Locus Coeruleus fire frequently, with increased synaptic levels of norepinephrine (noradrenaline), leading to rapid heart beat, high blood pressure and a high level of anxiety and stress. A portion of these symptoms may be relieved with the off-label use of Clonidine; an anti-hypertensive agent which inhibits activity of the Locus Coeruleus in a way similar to opioids, relieving many of the symptoms of withdrawal by what is believed to be up to 30 percent. Clonidine alone will at best, make acute withdrawal much more tolerable.
Providing straightforward information pertaining to drugs, drug use & drug policy. The Grey Pages promotes drug-related literacy and advocates a system of viable and tolerant drug policies. This is my personal collection of commentaries, essays, tid-bits, and other such writings on everything ranging from drug use, drug policy and drug-myths, to drug-science, addiction, human behavior, and the workings of the human brain. I started this blog with a particular focus on opioids, and over the past year have found my interest gravitate toward the intriguing, ever-changing world of designer intoxicants (i.e. "research chemicals" or "designer drugs").