Thursday October 2nd 2014

How long does alcohol withdrawal last?

Why do people go through withdrawal?

Alcohol withdrawal is caused when you interrupt constant exposure of alcohol to the central nervous system.  Sometimes, withdrawal can be confused with a hangover, especially when hangover duration lasts more than a couple of days.  However, withdrawal is distinct and separate from a hangover and occurs after long, heavy periods of drinking.  But how do you know when alcoholism, alcohol abuse, and addiction have become problems?

People who drink more than a few drinks every day, or who drink large amounts of alcohol consistently over time end up affecting their brain chemistry. In fact, regular alcohol intake “slows down” some brain cell activity and responsiveness, making others work harder to keep up normal functioning. So when you remove alcohol, the brain becomes hyperactive until these parts of the brain (the neurotransmitters) balance out again. This period of balancing out is called withdrawal.

Duration of withdrawal symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal severity and length vary by person. Experts thinks that the different factors contribute to withdrawal include:

  • age
  • central nervous system mechanisms
  • coexisting illnesses
  • genetic influences
  • neurochemical mechanisms
  • pattern of alcohol use

Most people are able to reduce or stop drinking with only minimal withdrawal symptoms. And although the symptoms of withdrawal vary, the time course for withdrawal symptoms can be predictable. Withdrawal usually begins 6 to 8 hours following a reduction in alcohol use, peaks 24 to 28 hours after the last drink, and can last up to 7 days. After you withdraw from alcohol, however, you can and may experience disrupted sleep patterns or changes in attention and concentration days to months after the last drink.

Some people stop drinking on their own (how to stop drinking alcohol on your own). But if you are thinking about detox for alcohol, SEEK MEDICAL HELP. If you stop drinking cold turkey, you can provoke serious side effects in the body such as seizures, hallucinations, or you may even become temporarily delirious. Also, there are medications that can help ease the discomfort of withdrawal.

Alcohol withdrawal questions

Please ask any other questions about alcohol detox or withdrawal below. We are here to help.

Reference sources: NIAAA publication on Alcohol Withdrawal and Alcohol Withdrawal Protocol for Treatment

Photo credit: Catherine

Leave a Reply

243 Responses to “How long does alcohol withdrawal last?
Jennifer
1:24 am June 27th, 2011

Hi, I used to be a heavy weekend binge drinker years ago. After my kids became the occasional social drinker. Maybe once every 1-2 months and usually not getting totally wasted. The last couple weeks or so, under stress I have been drinking one or two drinks a day- fairly strong enough to get me buzzed and shut up my mind but not enough to get drunk.
Anyway my question is could I be going through some sort of withdrawal after not drinking one day? I don’t think I drink often or hard enough to need detox or go through withdrawals but I’ve experienced headaches, rapid heart rate, anxiety and irritability.
Most online sites say withdrawal occurs after a long period of time of heavy drinking. Just trying to figure out if this is alcohol related or just mood related (I have anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder too). Thanks for the help. Guess what I’m really asking is if it’s possible to be addicted when I don’t drink that much and haven’t been drinking consistently for very long.

Eric
11:51 am July 20th, 2011

Hi Jennifer,
My drinking pattern was much different from yours, but several of my friends (especially women) experienced what you described when they quit their customary 2-3 daily drinks. I’d imagine this would be even more true with an anxiety condition like you mentioned.
The headache, elevated heart rate, and irritability may be a prolonged hangover as much as anything– a hangover is just abbreviated withdrawal symptoms. You probably will not need to worry about severe withdrawals like delirium tremens, seizures, etc.
As for whether or not you’re addicted, are you able to stop completely without help? And once you start, do you often drink more than you meant to? Those are indicators that it’s becoming a problem.
If you can stop for six months without help and are comfortable, you probably do not have a chronic problem.

Kevin
4:27 pm August 21st, 2011

Hello, I was a heavy social drinkier – two or three very strong drinks a night plus a couple times a week of binge drinking – for several years. I started goiing through withdrawal and wound up in the hospital in November. I tried to quit slowly and finally quit for good in March. The first month was absolutely terrible as I had run out of medication the hospital gave me. The second month I felt better than ever, and the third month was back to feeling terrible. It seems to come in waves now of about week long periods, much milder than before but still with anxiety and depression, weakness, general feeling of being unhealthy. I got checked out to make sure there wasn’t something else wrong with me and luckily I’m ok. So my question is how long will these recurring symptoms last? It’s really getting me down thinking it will never end.

5:17 pm August 22nd, 2011

Hi Kevin, Congratulations! And keep it up. Do you have a support network of people going through a similar experience? It really helped me.

There is a phenomenon called “protracted withdrawal” wherein it can take months to years for the body (and the neurochemistry of the brain) to sort itself out after heavy alcohol or drug use. The symptoms you describe may be a result of this (for more info search Google for a great Power Point presentation by Kate Speck, PhD, MAC, LADC called: “Substance Abuse Protracted Withdrawal”. I’d suggest that you both seek a support group, and help from a medical doctor. There may be medications or other treatment recommendations that an MD can refer you to.

James Cagney
11:10 pm September 30th, 2011

Hi,

I have been reading these posts of 2-3 drinks a day for two weeks and then having withdrawals. Most medical experts say that one must be drinking for several months, at an amount of about 500ml of hard alcohol per day, which is about two bottles of wine, or 10 beers. I used to drink that much, and did have all the symptoms, however the small amounts described above, sound more like just irritability symptoms.

barrett
2:17 pm November 2nd, 2011

I’ve read all these statements and I feel for all of you. For the past 2 years I have been going through all these, I got laid off from my job and began to drink heavily for 7 months strait! At least on case of beer a day, then 7 months later I began to feel panic attacks in the morning. I started drinking early in the morning to get rid of this feeling. I couldn’t take it anymore, I just had my first daughter and I wasn’t going to let her see me go through this so I quit cold turkey, which I landed in the hospital thinking I was having a heart attack, but with no inshurance I. Had no other choice! All said in done, I still have high levels of anxiety, it just is part of it. So what I’m trying to say is that if your going through something simmaler don’t kid urself, you have crossed the line and you can never go back, never to even be a light social

barrett
2:27 pm November 2nd, 2011

Drinker, but get the help u need because its worth it! I went through terrible withdrawls, and started drinking little amounts socialy months later and just a little bit brought on more withdrawls, remember once u crossed the line, this will always continue to occure, and in my case the withdrawls were twice as worse, and lasted twice as long. I hope my mistakes and problems can help somebody in this situation, remember, its not the end of the world to never be able to drink again, it does get easyer as time goes on, and I can be done. Good luck and good fortune friends.

Patty Jae
8:03 pm November 17th, 2011

I have been sober for one month and am experiencing extreme fatigue in the early afternoon ..After lunch, I sleep for aproximately 1 to 2 hours…Is this nornal? Will it ever stop?

6:16 pm November 18th, 2011

Hi Patty Jae. Thanks for your question!

In my reading on the energy rhythms of the body in conjunction with daily rhythms of the sun, it is actually quite common to feel sleepy for 1-2 hours after noon and lunch. The sun affects us in many ways, and this is actually a time of DECREASING energy, a time when rest is appropriate and when we should not really start something new or something that requires a lot of “forward moving” energy. I personally nap for 30-45 minutes on days when I can. Usually between 1-2 PM. And this is years after I stopped drinking.

Given that you’re in early recovery, your body may also be sending strong signals that you are picking up on. Good for you! As the brain chemistry re-wires itself after alcohol dependence.. your physical body, mental body and even spiritual body may be seeking internal balance. As long as the resting is not interfering with work obligations or other commitments, I think that an afternoon rest is very healthy.

Maybe others could share their experiences, as well.

How does this sit with you?

Pink
7:56 pm November 19th, 2011

This is my first day of tapering off (again – from 3 years ago) and I am wondering if I drank 1.5 – 2 liters of red wine each night, how much should I start out with in order to take this slow? Also, my dr. said that even if I feel better in 3 days or so (that’s usually how I am, and I have been drinking for probably 27 years) that I can still have dangerous withdrawals after 10 days or so. Is that true? Thanks for any input. Good luck everyone! This surely isn’t an easy feat.

8:54 pm November 19th, 2011

Hi Pink. Congratulations on your decision to get sober. Yes, alcohol withdrawal after chronic, long term drinking can be dangerous. This is why (from what I’ve read) doctors always recommend medically supervised alcohol detox withdrawal periods for heavy drinkers. By medically supervised, I mean in a clinic. Do you have the willingness and ability to go to a detox center?

Pink
9:27 pm November 19th, 2011

Our insurance company is no longer providing inpatient care for detox. When I went to my dr. and asked him for the ‘detox kit’ with the stuff to help with the anxiety (I think Valium or something like that) he refused to give it to me saying that he wasn’t comfortable with home detox. He told me to just taper, but I am unsure on how much to start out with. It’s very disappointing because I know I need help but I think my dr. is sick of me trying and failing. I have been on Campral and Naltrexone, gone to meetings, gone to counseling, and I feel I have run out of options. Trust me, I’ve tried everything. What’s different now? I am extremely sick. I have been diagnosed with gastritis and ulcers, and for the past week I can barely swallow water. It’s just time for me to quit since my 22 year old son is my favorite person in the world. I cannot leave him.

1:32 pm November 21st, 2011

Hi Pink. Perhaps the step that you need to make is to pay for detox out of pocket. Sometimes having financial incentive to succeed makes it more real and makes us more responsible for the outcomes.

Genie
9:44 pm November 25th, 2011

I have a friend who is being assisted to give up after years of heavy abuse as of last thursday, and I’m wondering how best to help. Have tried to contact him to see how he is but it looks like I’ve been shut out (which happens alot when he is drinking too).
Other sites have said to extend your love and support as this helps them to get through. I feel more inclined to keep away and wait for him to resume contact.
What do you think? I’d really appreciate some insight cos I don’t want to do the wrong thing. Thanks, G.

5:35 am November 26th, 2011

Hi Genie. I think that you instincts to stay away may be right on. If you’ve left a message (or two or three) to let your friend know that you are available…that’s about all that you can do. If you practice a religion or have a spiritual practice, perhaps the best thing that you can do is to hold your friend in your heart and say prayer for him. This kind of support takes faith but can increase your connection with your friend on another level.

Genie
3:16 am November 29th, 2011

Hi again,

Thanks for your reply. I followed your advice and he was in touch over the weekend, still drinking as his appointment last week was a false start. He starts Antabuse today though, assuming he carries through.
I am a believer of positive energy. I keep him tucked up in my heart and my thoughts high for his recovery. Thanks for that last sentence in particular, I’ll keep that with me when times are tough.
I have another question now though. He’s been quite a serious heavy drinker for more than 10 years, what might I expect will happen to him over the next week (or several!) and what further adivce for me to help him ( and myself – he can get very dark and twisty when drunk) as he adjusts to being sober?
That’s a big question – sorry – but I’m a complete novice at this and would like to be prepared if possible, I seem to be his only friend now.
Thanks again for your help, Genie.

12:10 pm December 1st, 2011

Hi Genie. If your friend is serious about getting sober, you might recommend a support group like AA, SMART Recovery or Rational Recovery. These groups address the underlying emotional and psychological issues of WHY alcoholics drink. Until he clears this up, he will probably be a “dry drunk” or generally unhappy in life. So prepare for lots of blaming, self pity and general discord until real change happens.

Marci
7:48 pm December 3rd, 2011

My mom has been a heavy drinker for years, she was sober for about 3 months, then off and on drinking from there. She would drink about 4-5 strong hard alcohol drinks a day. when she finally decided to quit on Saturday, she started getting her worst nightmare. delirium tremors. It started slow, she knew her surroundings, she just was seeing and hearing things she knew was not there. we took her to the hospital, where she is being carefully monitored, and given medication to help. Now visiting my mom… she doesn’t know who we are, or her surroundings at all. she is now on day 7. when will the delusional stage stop? i know the whole process takes months, but is this normal?

4:34 pm December 8th, 2011

Hi Marci. Symptoms of delirium tremens can occur up to 7 – 10 days after the last drink. How is your mother now?

Genie
11:50 pm December 9th, 2011

Hi, Thanks again for your reply. And you are right again, unfortunately. He’s not had a drink for nearly two weeks and is on the antabuse still. When we last discussed the drug and alcohol clinic and counselling he was still in denial about needing it. I’m distancing myself now because I’m feeling drained and useless about being to help him further. Before he was miserable because he was an alcoholic and now he’s miserable because he’s a recovering alocholic. So, it is as you say. I feel he has to ‘man up’ himself now or else all he will achieve is a longer life, not a better one.

To Marci, I hope your mum is doing better now. More still, I hope you and your family are OK. Take care of each other and try to fit in some happy times to help keep your thoughts and spirits up. lol

10:50 am December 10th, 2011

Thanks for checking in, Genie. Talk about draining! It’s smart to keep a bit of distance from a “dry drunk”. I wish you the best as well as your friend. Hopefully he will come around to believing that treatment can help.

survivor23
12:55 am December 13th, 2011

Hi Pink. I drank the amount have, about 50 oz of wine a night, or 24 oz, and vodka. I’ve been doing this for five years now. I attempted to quit about two years, and my withdrawals symptoms were horrific, shakes, tremors, nausea, headaches, tingling in my fingers at night, and horrific anxiety. It was absolutely horrific. I think I stopped drinking for about a month. Then, I started up again, drinking 2 glasses a day, then a bottle of wine a day. That lasted until about now. Now, I am day 5 going without, and my symptoms have been mild, so far, with the exception of dealing with a headache that seems to rear its ugly head in late afternoon, and continues on and off until bedtime. What helps me alot is the following protocol

1) for anxiety and sleep, I take Gaba 750 mg, Valerian, and Melatonin. It does wonders. I sleep really really good, and wake up refreshed. Sometimes I will take St.Johns Wort with it too.

2) I juice spinach juice.carrots/wheatgrass in the morning, make sure I have a complex carb breakfast.

Ever since i stopped drinking, I have a crazy appetite, especially for CARBS! I did not eat that much at all, come to find out. I could get buy on a salad, or one meal a day.. now, I am eating all the time!

The headaches are driving me crazy. I dont understand, I feel more energetic and more fatigued at the same time. one moment I feel happy, and the next I am irritable as heck!

I was forced to really stop drinking because I literally no longer have the budget for it, and I know that the time is now. I know that I am poisoing my body, and I actually feel like crap when I drink anyway. So finally, I had to stop.

But these headaches are driving me crazy!!!

Jason
8:48 pm December 13th, 2011

I have some questions regarding alcohol withdrawal. About 8 years ago I was hit with a panic attack and subsequent “days of walking nightmares”.. i slowly came out of it. Before, during and after i drank. Not a lot, not a little, just an average amount. Drinks withs friends on Friday, maybe 3 or 4 on a Tuesday. after the panic attack I developed these strange anxiety issues. These would be easily controllable sometimes, to out right dreadful. I found that having a few drinks calmed my nerves and it all went away.. I continued on this course for 8 years. I dont feel I was drinking too much at all. I would never black out, never vomit, rarely have hangovers etc.. Recently, Ive been dealing with back to back flu’s i believe. I was sick, cough, phlegm etc.. both lasting a few weeks, about 2 weeks apart. During this time I hardly drank at all. When I started to feel a little better I decided to have some drinks..I didnt get drunk.. but the next three days were like the same “walking nightmare” 8 years ago. I felt as if my mind was not my own. Everything scared me, Insomnia, it was 3 days of unbearable dread like i lost my mind. This isnt normal for me when i drink but is noticeable now and feels just like 8 years ago. I continued to lay off for a bit and went to a wedding recently. Still feeling under the weather, I got drunk. That night, again insomnia, anxiety, then 3 days of hell again. The symptoms are mainly mental. I dont have tremors or chills or sweating. just “FEAR”. I couldnt drive, watch tv, walking around was hellish…anyway..a week or two went by and I had 2 beers with dinner.. and again!, feeling paranoid and fearful for three days..off 2 beers!.. and they were over a 3 hour period. Im confused to what this is!. Ive been drinking for years without this happening. It also hapened once and went away…was it a weird virus? will I ever be able to drink socially again? It feels like if i dont drink ill be anxious, if i do (to calm my nerves) ill suffer days of hell. I havent drank in a while now, I dont feel as if im going through withdrawal. Im just scared to try and go through hell. I just want to feel normal again if i drink.
So the question is.. if this IS alcohol withdrawal, is it reversable? meaning if i am sober for a while (how long?) and chemistry rebalances, can i go back to have a few drinks a week? Or is this something that means you can never drink alcohol ever again EVER? (I keep reading this scenario everywhere, however this happened 8 years ago and WENT AWAY…. im just scared to think it was a fluke and im broken forever)

10:35 pm December 13th, 2011

Hi Jason. I think that you may want to see a general doctor, and potentially ask for a referral to see a psychologist or psychiatrist.

From what I understand, withdrawal occurs after periods of heavy, chronic drinking. Which does not match your description of occasional drinking which is sometimes excessive.

Certainly, it’s best to avoid alcohol totally if you feel these symptoms are related to drinking. But there may be some underlying issues that a counselor or medical doctor can help you with. And there is no shame in asking for medical help for a medical problem. Anxiety that does not permit you to live your life normally can be treated with pharmaceuticals (prescription meds) or even cognitive behavioral therapy (learning how to cope).

I do hope that you can seek out medical help. I think that your questions can be better answered by a medical professional.

barrett
3:13 pm December 14th, 2011

Jason, sounds to me like ur going through withdrawls, sorry man. We have all been there. Stopping and setting urself up with some good support would be best for u. I’ve toyed with that for 2 years, and the answer is that somewhere u crossed the line and once u do that you can never go back to any type of drinking! Every alcoholics fantisy is to go back to social drinking, but we can’t cause just a small amount of alcohol can bring ur withdrawls back, mostly be worse than the ones before. So I hope I was helpfull to you and goodluck

marci
4:44 pm December 14th, 2011

Thank you! My mom is now almost at week 3 of not drinking.. I haven’t seen her look and feel this healthy is years! She is still gaining a lil strength back but its wonderful! I have my mom back! She is very happy too!

The dt did hast for about 9 days.the worst dayd of my life. She doesn’t remember a lot about it, but the thought of it scares her enough not to drink anymore. Thank you guys for all your support, and posts!

Oh! She has been home from the hospital for about a week, and she starts weekly classes this week,which she is excited about!

10:37 am December 15th, 2011

Hi Marci. I’m so glad to hear that your mother came through the delirium tremens and is not feeling better. Are her weekly classes on the topic of alcohol recovery? She may want to supplement this with support groups like AA, SMART Recovery or Rational Recovery. Have you ever heard of them?

Alcoholic male 40
2:20 pm January 27th, 2012

I’m once again in the middle of fighting the sweats, shakes, unbearable panic attacks, vomiting, restless legs and arms, diorrea, strange sound and visual distortions and, and and….
First of all I’d like you to know that english is not my native language. Please ignore my misspellings and grammatical misstakes.
Thank you all for your stories. It feels good to know that I’m not alone in this struggle to get my life back.
I’ve allways liked to drink and in my late teens I drunk several times a week. I’ve very seldom been overly drunk. I liked to have a “good buzz” while staying in control. In my 20:s and early 30:s I had some alcohol 4-7 nights a week but I never experienced any severe withdrawals. Sometimes a bit sweaty and edgy the next day but I had no problems to stay sober during the days at work. When 38 I’got unemployed and at the same time inherited some money. My drinking slowly started to escalate. I woke up at night within a few hours of my last drink and I started to drink around the clock. I still never got really drunk but I kept a “low” but steady alcohol level in my blood 24/7 for almost a year before I decided to quit. Since I never had too much withdrawals before, I didn’t expected it to bee so bad. I was WRONG! After lying on the bathroom floor for a day or two the symptoms just got worse and worse. After convulsing, constantly vomiting and having a pulse rising above 140/ minute I ended up in the hospital. They told me that in the future I will get physiologically dependent much more quickly for each withdrawal and relapse in drinking. Stupid as I was I thaught that I could at least drink a little during a christmas holiday. It took less than two weeks to get me back to what the first time took 20 years. Please don’t think that you are immune to becoming dependent and DO reduce your drinking before you start to feel really bad withdrawal symptoms. Good luck and love to you all!!

4:03 pm January 27th, 2012

Hi Alcoholic Male. Thanks so much for sharing about the real effects alcohol has on the body. I hope that you can find happiness outside of the bottle. Please let us know how we can help support you in your recovery.

Alcoholic male 40
1:27 pm January 30th, 2012

I’m finally out of it and I’ve promised myself that this was the last time.
NEVER AGAIN!!! (I know… one day at a time)
Since I’ve only been drinking heavily around the clock for less than a month this time I managed to get through this by myself, and a friend, without hospital care. I tried to copy the hospital’s method, but I used alcohol instead of diazepam (Valium). The idea is to give the patient a dose of sedative that makes the withdrawals endurable but not to totally eliminate them. In that case you’d just postpone the withdrawals or get a benzodiazepine dependence instead.
I waited until it was really rough: about one and a half day. I then drank 8 beers a day for 1 day, 6 for 2, 4 for 1 and 2 for 1 day and thereafter no alcohol at all. It was not easy and I still had a medium severe+ withdrawal, but it was manageable. I had an old reliable friend who gave me the “doses” of alcohol and she also took care of my wallet and bankcards for this week. I do not think that I would have managed to make these 26 beers last for 5 days without help. Its now 3 days since my last 2 beers and I’ve been out skeeing several hours this afternoon. I still feel a bit sweaty and jumpy but this is nothing compared to what I felt like a few days ago. I do not recommend this method to everybody but it might be working for some people with a lower degree of dependence and an unproblematic social situation. As I said before: good luck and all my love to all you fighters out there!!!! It’s never to late to change our lives!

Bill Vaughn
4:37 pm February 1st, 2012

I’ve not had a drink now for 14 days but a couple of times now my wife says she can smell alcohol on me this has led to one big arguement is this common

2:16 pm February 2nd, 2012

Hello Bill. Thanks for your question. I’d suggest that you go and see a doctor. From what I’ve read, musty odor or sweet breath can be a symptoms of hepatic encephalopathy, a worsening of brain function that occurs when the liver is no longer able to remove toxic substances in the blood. It’s a good idea to get some blood work done just to rule out the chances of liver problems.

Vee
10:29 am February 7th, 2012

I am wondering if it is likely that I am experiencing alcohol withdrawal. For the past month I have been drinking excessively everyday, with a minium of at least 4 litres of cider a day but at times could include large bottles of spirits, wine, and lager. I havent had a drink now for 2 days but yesterday became increasingly ill experiencing intense nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, sleeplessness, heart palpitations, cold shivers and headache. I dont know whether this could be just a stomach bug, but no one around me seems to have had these symptoms. If so, how long will it last and is it wise to stay off the alcohol for the near future? Thanks Vee x

2:19 pm February 8th, 2012

Hi Vee. I see the problem. The symptoms that you describe seem to be related to alcohol withdrawal or a flu/virus. Alcohol withdrawal can last for several days, but is relieved by resumed drinking. So you can always test that theory by drinking again. However, I’d suggest that you see a general physician and get a nose/throat culture to rule out bacterial infection and to discuss the symptoms.

Are you planning to drink again? Do you want to stop? Because given your description of drinking quantities, it seems that you have a drinking problem.

Alicia
10:57 pm February 10th, 2012

Hi,

I have ben 16 days sober, i have been drinking since i was 15 it went from 4 beers a night to now more than 15 beers or until all the alcohol is gone. i am now 22 years old. i forgot about detox & since i’m a heavy drinker & would drink fives times out of the week, i’m starting to have anxiety about not doing detox, after 16 days of sobriety am i in the clear or should i still go do a detox? i haven’t had withdrawals i don’t think i just can’t sleep but thats nothing new & i am diagnosed with agoraphobia so i don’t know whats normal anymore.

Alcoholic male 40
11:57 am February 13th, 2012

Strange smell of the breath can have many causes. When caused by severe liver disease the “foetus hapaticus” = smell of liver, usually doesn’t appear until the patient has other severe symptoms of liver failure such as jaundice, bleedings, confusion etc.
The perhaps most common cause of changed smell of the breath is an undetected diabetes. In this case the smell is somewhat like nail polish remover and sometimes it can be like over ripe apples. If you have experienced abnormal thirst and increased urination diabetes is very likely. In any case you should see a physician as soon as possible.
The acute alcohol withdrawal usually is over within 5-8 days but some people suffer from depressions, sleep disturbances and other diffuse symptoms for weeks or even months after a long period of drinking.

2:15 pm February 13th, 2012

Hi Alicia. Good for you! Congratulations on getting sober.

As I understand it, the most uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol occur in the first week, or so. The more serious symptoms of delirium tremens or seizures occur later in life, after prolonged chronic and heavy drinking. But it may be worth the money to just go and check in with a doctor. You can get some peace of mind and also ask for suggestions on a lifestyle without alcohol.

John
9:02 pm February 21st, 2012

Hi, I’m on day 14. I have drank beer daily for 20 years. I had little in the way of withdrawal symptoms, but now I’m feeling very anxious. A little research indicates PAWS, which can last up to a year or more. My blood pressure is now high, over the 140/90 maximum allowed for my job, which will be measured for a renewal certification due in about 60 days.
My question…..since my body is so used to it, should I start drinking 2 beers(max) a day to lower my bp?
Will it lower my bp?
I’d rather not start again, but this job is very important.
After the certification, I can stop alcohol again and work through the anxiety before the next renewal. I do want to quit completely.
What do you think?
Thanks

11:50 am February 22nd, 2012

Hi John. Congratulations on your decision to stop drinking! That is a major life milestone. Good for you!

I’d suggest that you see a doctor to address long term withdrawal from alcohol. The questions that you ask are really best answered by a medical professional with experience in alcohol detox. But please, let us know how it goes and what the recommendations are.

Dallas
10:12 am February 25th, 2012

Hi, I’ve recently experienced some mild anxiety, insomnia, blood pressure up around 140 and numbness and tingling in my hands, feet and parts of my face etc. It’s only started in the last week and six days ago I gave up alcohol. Until I read this blog I didn’t think that would be the issue but now I’m not so sure. I drink one standard drink (1/4 bottle of wine) about six nights per week for about the last 10 years with a few days off here and there. Could that be enough alcohol to cause withdrawal symptoms? I don’t feel the urge to drink or anything and have never drunk more than two standard drinks in one night in 10 years. It really been to relieve stress at the end of the day. Just the numbness and tingling is really annoying, I run about 5km 4 times a week and that takes most of the symptoms away, but then they return at night when I’m tired. If it is alcohol withdrawal, how long can I expect the symptoms?

11:42 am February 26th, 2012

Hello Dallas. I’d suggest that you check in with your primary physician to report these symptoms. There are many neurological and systemic conditions that might cause the symptoms that you describe…so I hesitate to peg them to alcohol withdrawal. Still, your doctor can run necessary tests, refer you to a specialist and provide you with overall peace of mind as a result. Please let us know how it goes!

Ali
10:40 am February 28th, 2012

I am trying to stop the drinking, and have been successful up until Saturday!

I haven’t touched anything for 6 weeks or so,..and then when out and got wasted!

I used to drink most weekends,heavily,…but then cut right back after having some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

The thing, is, I haven’t been “resisting urges” for the 6 weeks or so that I haven’t had a drink,..I genuinely haven’t been interested in drinking,..it really hasn’t been an issue..I have been doing other things.

The Sun popped out on Saturday, and i went off to the pub full of smiles and got hammered!..really drunk!..I hadn’t eaten before I went and it was just ridiculous,..I got back circa 03,00 am, after about a 10 hour session in the pub!!

That is insane!
I was 42 yesterday, and i wish this to be a true Watershed in my personal development.

Can anyone else here, relate to what I am saying?

I don’t think I am an alcoholic…but I know that when I do drink, it can be a very unhealthy practice.
Has anyone got any advice?…has anyone else been through anything similar?

I don’t wish to go to AA or anything similar,..I know that it works for some,..but it’s not my thing..but any other advice would be greatly appreciated.

cheers

2:00 pm February 29th, 2012

Hello Ali. Good for you for the self-awareness and recognition of what’s going on. I can totally relate. Right before I went to see a psychologist about my drinking, I drank enough to get drunk.

One think that might help is to take an alcoholism screening test. You can find some basic ones here:

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh28-2/78-79.htm
http://www.alcoholscreening.org/Home.aspx

The next thing is to look into self-help programs like SMART Recovery or Rational Recovery, which teach you principles of psychotherapy to make decisions about drinking that are right for you. You might also want to look into harm reduction techniques for alcohol. These are all alternatives to 12 steps.

Does this help?

Question
10:16 pm February 29th, 2012

My husband and I drink red wine regularly. We will often split a bottle and sometimes even drink 2 bottles. We decided to trade our wine for exercise and now 4 days later i have a terrible headache. I don’t feel like its a coincidence. Is it possible to have no withdrawal symptoms for three days only to develop them on the fourth day? Should I be concerned about this? Additionally-if you have alcohol dependence to the point where you do have withdrawals does that mean you should never drink again?

2:27 pm March 1st, 2012

Hi Question. Usually, the more serious symptoms of alcohol withdrawal appear 3-5 days after the last drink (seizure, DTs, hallucinations, etc.). But is a terrible headache 100% coincidental to stopping drinking? It doesn’t seem so to me.

I’d suggest that you schedule a general physical exam with your family doctor as a baseline. Talk about your alcohol consumption (more than one drink per day or four servings per sitting for women is “problem drinking”) and get some more information. Your decision to abstain from alcohol or cut back is a personal one. But generally, people who develop alcohol dependence are encouraged to stay away from drinking.

Ali
10:06 pm March 1st, 2012

Thanks for the advice and i will look at the self help programs.

The after effects of this bout of drunkeness were intersting to observe and feel.
For the past few weeks as I mentioned, I have not been drinking at all, and I have been running everyday..and along with my CBT everything was pretty sorted.

Post drinking, I felt a real low,..not just hangover low, but as if all the healthiness and balance that had prevailed over the last weeks had been suddenly tossed to the waves
This, is of course, the depressent effect of alcohol..but I have never been able to measure this against a prolonged spell of balanced exercise and healthiness..
They are two Polar opposites without doubt, and this experience has furnished me with a new awareness.
In CBT the aim is to swap negative core beliefs for positive ones,…well, I have made a decision to swap my unhealthy habits for healthy ones..

12:14 pm March 2nd, 2012

Glad to help, Ali. You sound motivated and positive. Please let us know if there are other ways that we can support you in your choice to stop drinking.

Dallas
2:58 am March 10th, 2012

Thanks for the suggestion about seeing my doctor. I’ve done this and reported my symptoms and she sent me off for blood tests and an MRI and all came back normal which I was pleased about.

As far as the symptoms went that I reported, they had peaked at around 10 days which had me quite worried but have gone completely now. I had also had high blood pressure along with it and that’s returned to normal.

My doctor said it could have been from alcohol withdrawal but more likely stress as the blood tests were all normal.

I have decided since then to avoid alcohol completely as it hasn’t really contributed anything positive to my life. Thanks again for the advice :)

4:01 am March 10th, 2012

Thanks for the update, Dallas. I am do very glad to hear the you are doing well and that the symptoms could be attributed to short term stress. Congratulations on your decision to stop drinking. I have found increased energy, health and well being as a result in my own life. And if someone asks you if you want a drink, just be prepared to say, “No, thank you.” Why you don’t drink? Health reasons.

Alley
9:18 pm March 30th, 2012

I am years 23 years old. I have been drinking whiskey everyday for close to 2 years. I am 140lbs, i dont see the connection between age n health or whatever for detox symptoms! Im on day 5 of detox, it took 2 days just to start feeling them. Lost my vision, tremors, sweats, insomnia, fatigued, nauses. Dam near hospitalized. Never underestimate ur detox symptoms. Cold turkey sucks.

4:38 am March 31st, 2012

Hi Alley. Thanks for sharing more about your experience with alcohol detox. It sounds ike your symptoms are pretty severe. How muhc were you drinking daily? And do you have a plan for staying away from whiskey? Many people can not do what you are doing! Good job!

Faydra
10:28 am April 16th, 2012

Wow. This is very disturbing information! I’ve been a lifelong member of AA since age 24. Never touched a drink for 20 years till I had such insomnia going thru a nightmare divorce at age 44 that I thought maybe wine would help so I could put my kids off to school. Well slowly I fell of the wagon for 4 years and nearly died.
In the meantime I have very severe back problems which the last few years I’ve needed narcotics for. My grown kids have been pill addicts and this monthim very short. And last month my Pain specialist forgot to send them and went on a weeks vacation! I got so panicked I’ve been drinking again for 2 weeks. I hate yself.
I am 28 hours w/out any drink at all, but I was hoping just getting chills was it and I’ll be over it tomorrow! Now. You all have me panicked! I refuse to go to hospital.
PLEASE, SOME ENCOURAGEMENT,
P.S. I’ve never heard of tapering…is that better than cold turkey?
Love to all,
Faydra

4:45 am April 17th, 2012

Hi Faydra. In terms of chronic, heavy alcohol use (just as with any drug), tapering is a way to try to minimize the severity of withdrawal symptoms. But it concerns me that you refuse medical intervention during detox. There are pharmaceutical interventions that can ease symptoms. Plus, if you have a history of heavy drinking, DTs and/or seizures are always possible. Instead of hospital, is there an inpatient detox in your area?

Gino
12:06 am April 21st, 2012

Hey all,

Just wanted to share my story and see if anyone has some helpful info.. Im 23, have been a binge drinker since 18 but really didnt start to binge drink heavily until 21. Within the last 8 months I really been drinking a lot. I have went a week or so in between binge drinking episodes but never more then 2 weeks. I am finally serious about getting sober and have now been alcohol free for 9 days. I suffer from alcohol induced anxiety because of my heavy drinknig. I feel pretty good today and really havent experienced many withdrawal symptoms over the past 9 days. Some anxiety and nausea, and some depersonaliztion but nothing I havent experience before. Just wondering if I should expect withdrawal symptoms to worsen or if I am out of the clear?

6:42 pm April 24th, 2012

Hi Gino. Thanks for your question. Yes, it’s most likely that the worst of the symptoms of withdrawal have passed. Do you have cravings to drink? Also, what’s your long term strategy for staying away from alcohol?

Gino
3:10 am May 3rd, 2012

I have had some moderate cravings but nothing that I havent overcame. It has now been 20 days for me without alcohol. I still feel a little strange at times but overall I feel much better than I did when I was drinking heavily. I have been staying away from the bars and partys. I have really found my strength in a relationship with God. I know that He has provided me with the strength to overcome my drinking problem. This 20 days is the longest I have been completely sober for over 3 years and it feels amazing. I can tell my body and my brain are still adjusting to sobriety. I think for someone who has a history of heavy binge drinking that these strange feelings come along later than someone who drinks every day because my body has been used to going 5 to 7 days without alcohol on occasions over the past few years but it has never went more than 10 days. I feel like I am no in the most crucial part of my sobriety because around the 15 day mark I started having more anxiety but the past few days it has diminished. Would you agree with that self-assesment, that my body is still adjusting to sobriety?

Chris
1:28 pm May 6th, 2012

I drink about 10 beers a night I make it threw the whole day
Just fine but by 6:00pm I feel strange I can’t sleep unless I have a beer
Sometimes if I try not to I wake up with what feels like a hangover. I’ve been sick for 4 days haven’t had a beer yet seems like I’m sicker then I’ve been ever befor seems like the flu but do you think the stop drinking is making the symptoms are worse because of not drinking? Maybe this is a good time to stop.

12:16 pm May 9th, 2012

Hi Gino. Yes, I agree. Chronic drinking can take a while to recovery from physically. You might look into testing the thiamine levels in your body, as alcohol depletes the body of thiamine we get from our diets. And look into a thiamine rich diet. Also, SSRIs might help in early recovery, which are usually prescribed for depression, but which might help balance out serotonin levels in the central nervous system. I’d suggest that you schedule a physical check up with your primary physician to address these issues, and to get a professional opinion about other ways to enhance the way that your body feels. Healthy body, healthy mind!

And congratulations on this long without taking a drink! Do you have A.A. in your area? You might really benefit from working on the 12 steps of A.A. If this doesn’t appeal to you, check into other psychotherapy models such as SMART Recovery, or Practical Recovery.

12:26 pm May 10th, 2012

Hi Chris. It sounds like you might be drinking enough to provoke withdrawal when alcohol is not in your body. This is one sign that you may have an alcohol problem.

Yes, it might be a good time to stop altogether. If you decide to stop drinking, be sure to inform your family doctor, and seek advice from about where to find resources for stopping drinking. Although you may not feel comfortable with the idea of being an “alcoholic”, the first step to getting help is admitting that you have a problem.

Please let us know if we can help direct you to local resources.

Karen
6:44 pm May 22nd, 2012

Hi, Have completely stopped drinking wine (only good wine) for almost two weeks. Yesterday and today have begun to experience some strange feelings-agitation, headache, and irritability. My question is: how long can I expect these symptoms to last? About a year ago, I stopped drinking wine for about 5 months and gradually begun having one or two glasses per night. You know the rest of the story. I do not drink more than 3 glasses of wine in any given evening. Give me some feedback…need to hear from others who can relate. This is very cool to be able to talk to people with similar situations. Thxs, Karen

10:15 am May 23rd, 2012

Hello Karen. Welcome!

One of the symptom that you mention – headache – can be caused by a number of different factors, and may not be attributed directly to alcohol withdrawal. So, you may want to look into other possible medical reasons for a persistent headache.

As far as irritability and agitation go, these behavioral/emotional symptoms can persist for some time after you stop drinking in people who choose to get sober. It might help to talk with a counselor or psychologist with experience treating people who choose to abstain from alcohol, seek out self-help groups like SMART Recovery, Rational Recovery or AA, or speak with a spiritual advisor or guide. The underlying cause of these symptoms is often belief based or attitudinal and can be relieved with cognitive behavioral therapy or other shifts in perception.

Dallas
8:53 pm May 23rd, 2012

Hi Karen, glad to hear from you. I used to have 1 – 2 glasses of wine most nights for about 10 years with a few breaks along the way. While I can’t comment from a medical perspective I can say that on the occasions I stopped, I was fine for a few days but after a week or so I started to get symptoms like headaches, insomnia, raised blood pressure, mild anxiety and the most annoying was tingling in the extremities. This would subside a few days to a few weeks so anecdotally I blamed alcohol directly but also after speaking to my doctor about it, she said that it may also be stress and anxiety symptoms that had been relieved by the alcohol surfacing. She stressed that this wasn’t a reason to drink but to stop and deal with the stress in a healthier way like exercise etc. I took her advice and feel a lot better and now just have a glass of really good wine on special occasions.

However for me, nothing relieved stress at the end of a long day and as quickly as a glass of wine so I sometimes want to reach for this but have trained myself (slowly) to use other methods so I don’t get back into the regular drinking habit.

Jan
7:12 pm May 28th, 2012

I have a dear,dear friend who stopped drinking July 14th of 2011.WE home detoxed with Librium over a two week period and she was fine.She went to the park–SOBER-and was hit by a truck-11 broken bones in R tibia.THEY the Hospital put her on dilude?? a very,very strong narcotic and in 24 hours started to hallucenate.After FOUR days of IV Librium,….no change.Hallucenations were worse.I FORCED them to take her off the Diluded and in 20 hours she was FINE.The so called Hosptal swears it was a delayd D.T episode..but I saw the rapid changes with four 25 mg Librium in her at the ER.The D.Ts STOPPED in an hour.
Is this true about the “dalayed D.Ts.?I have Never heard of anything like this before and I used to be a Lab Tech and do drug and alchohol testing daily/Jan

Mike
8:06 am May 29th, 2012

im going on 6 days without a beer. been drinking for over 10. about 2 yrs everyday. 4 to 6 beers a night. i feel pretty good for the most part, except i experience anxiousness, irritability, and hard to fall asleep at night. my worst withdrawl symptoms have been being hungover and coming down. panic feeling, fear, bad dreams,rapid heartbeat, diareha. In December of last year i went 10 days w/o drinking and felt good then decided to have one beer at a restaurant with my dinner, and started drinking daily again like it was nothing and a part of my routine. I realize i have an addiction. It runs in my family. I love beer, but dont like the side effects of it. im drinking a gallon of water a day and taking multi vitamins daily. i dont want to drink daily anymore but on a social basis. What should i do?

3:09 pm May 29th, 2012

Hi Mike. Some people decide to abstain from alcohol totally when they know that they have a problem with alcohol. Others decided to set a drinking limit.

I’d suggest that you talk with a counselor or psychotherapist who specializes in treating drinking problems in order to come to the decision about how much to drink, or not. You can also check out the SMART Recovery and Rational Recovery programs and learn more about cognitive behavioral self-help that you can apply to drinking.

Are you willing to seek help?

4:25 pm May 29th, 2012

Hi Jan. I have heard that DTs can be delayed, but 14 days seems a long time. It’s more like within the first week of the last drink. I winder if the hospital is just trying a CYA approach?

Jan
6:32 pm May 29th, 2012

Addiction Blog..That is exactly what we thought,as a malpractice siut is in action.Due to medical negligance her right leg HAD to be amputated in Sept of 11.Thankfully in another Hospital.Her Mom and I had her keys and all access to any money so she would not be tempted to drink again.HER decision,not ours and she no desire to drink any longer.CYA,yeppers..I have never heard or a delayed D.T episode in my medical life.NEVER!!

Karen
1:34 pm May 30th, 2012

Hi Dallas, Thanks for the reply!! I loved your response!! Very similar pattern. It has been almost 3 weeks, (no wine at 5pm to unwind) and feeling great. I really didn’t understand that I needed to get a hold on this evening ritual!! Love to cook, so with a glass of wine and the cutting board (music included) it was so easy to pour a glass of good wine. I agree with you…stress and anxiety symptoms, were perhaps the reason to reach for a glass of w. Exercise is better than ever, always kept in shape, realizing how it helps overall!!! Doing great, do not even feel anxious any longer…this blog helped me tremendously!! Will stay in touch, thanks addiction blog!!! Will recommend to others!
Karen

Scott
8:33 pm June 2nd, 2012

I found myself looking for this information about the question, we all seem to ask? How long? and it is somewhat re-assuring to us, when we share common ailments from the personal hell we put ourselves through when we are “lucky” enough to make that choice for ourselves.I was a functional alcoholic for 20 years, lost my wife, my family job,ground zero, not so functional anymore! I quit,a year after the split, became a regular at AA, and collected my coins, 24 hrs, 1 month 2 month 3month, 6month, and 1 year. The withdrawl, was bad,curled up in a ball like the flu for a week, but then felt much stronger with no physical impairments. Shortly after my 1 year, I let myself slip,had 3-4 beers on my Birthday, felt guilty the next day, so went to the next week-end and had another 3-6 beers one night, and bang-it was back as my old “friend”daily. Two years of daily drinking, 6-8 beers after work, week-ends lost count, always beer, but alcohol is alcohol, I just always preferred beer.One Monday morning, called in sick, tried to tapper with a 4 pack of coolers and 2 beers, 1 beer and 1 cooler still in the fridge. I have been 32 days sober.But I need to tell,the utter complete agony of a second self detox, I consider myself fortunate I did not end up in the hospital or worse. Rightly so according to the forums (that helped immensely) I took an awful risk not going to emergency.Day 2 was when it appeared slowly, by Day 3, never had a headache, but heart palpitations,huge emotions of fear and anxiety, which would come in waves….oh terrible.this lasted intensely for 7-10 days, scary.Unlike me detox 2 years ago, I did not escape unscathed this time, my vision is horrible,and like my arms from the elbow down to my pinky and ring fingers feel damaged as a result of the damage the alcohol has done to my nerves. I can only hope it gets better with time. Bottom line, never say never, with this cunning “friend” always calling your name.If you are luck enough to get through one detox….just remeber the second one will be living hell.

9:45 am June 4th, 2012

Hi Scott. It’s true that people who have been through bad alcohol withdrawal episodes are more likely to have worsened episodes during future detoxes. The risk of DTs and seizures increases if you’ve had them before, as well. I wish you ALL THE BEST of luck and happiness during this term of sobriety. And please let us know if there is any way that we can help refer you to programs, services or support.

Alex
1:52 pm June 6th, 2012

I would like to say to those who have made it through, congrats on coming this far and remember why you decided to quit. It is MISERABLE living as a slave to something. Freedom is wonderful and i hope i can post on here in a month or two and claim i have regained mine. I am 36 and have been drinking since i was 17. I drink daily, 12 beers, 7 days a week and have not missed a day in 3 yrs. I have quit drinking twice in the past, both cold turkey. The first time i felt flu like symptoms, the second time i felt depressed, anxious and couldnt sleep for the first 3 or 4 nights. I would lay there and it felt as though i was staring at the back of my eyelids but come morning i would fall asleep and nap for a few hours and this lasted maybe 3 or 4 days then i slept like a log and felt like i was getting sleep i had deprived my body of for years.. I only stayed sober for about 4 months and relapsed. This was 2 or 3 yrs ago and since then i have been back to daily drinking. Today i will begin to taper myself off at home and tonight is my first night to start. I have battled anxiety problems for many years and i think the anxiety and the drinking go hand in hand, i drank to relieve it but the drinking is what was causing it so i have lived a life enslaved to alcohol which caused my problems then offered itself as the solution. I have no choice but to quit and quit for good, i of course fear the possible anxiety i may face… I have 2 valium as a just in case for when i taper off to zero alcohol. I would appreciate any prayers and good wishes. Its time to face the music for me. I hope the song is short lived and not too terrible. Good luck to you all and i wish you all the best.

8:18 am June 7th, 2012

Hi Alex. You have my prayers and support. I might suggest that you let a doctor know your plans. Perhaps there are also some other medications which can help during withdrawal. And get your thiamine levels checked. Also, do you have friends or family who can help support you?

Tony
3:51 am June 15th, 2012

How long does it take for a high BP (160/100, sometimes higher) to return to normal after abstaining? I have been drinking nearly everyday (all day) for more than a month, but abstained 4 days ago. I take naldolol (and have for years) which sometimes works and sometimes doesnt. I am also dealing with extreme levels of anxiety about this, so that does not help. I went to the clinic today, and got a higher dosage and some SSRIs for the anxiety. In the past, my elevate BP lasted a few days, but im going on 4 now and its high even with a lot of naldolol. Im not sure what to do, but i will be looking for a new Dr tomorrow. Hopefully, one that is more alcohol friendly than all the Drs i have had in the past. I should mention that this withdrawal did not involve any risk signs of liver problems (no liver pain, no yellow pee), just high BP. Im fairly concerned now and having a beer in hopes that it brings down my BP.

Jeff
9:10 pm June 15th, 2012

I have been a daily drinker for about 3.5 years. I have drank on and off all my life. After my 18 year old daughter was killed in a car wreck I developed a habit of drinking everyday. Not using that as a crutch, that is just when it started being daily. This week I have only drank one beer every evening. Yesterday no beer and won’t drink anymore until I am ready or confident I don’t have a problem. Sounds contradicting but I am not sure if I am addicted to the habit or the alcohol. Guess I will find out. Not having any side effects and it has now been 47 hours since I drank my last beer. My question is, if you are an alcoholic or do have a drinking problem, does that mean you should never have a drink again? I only ask because I enjoy beach vacations and there is not much better than a white sandy beach and a margarita. Just curious. Prayers and thoughts are with everyone. By the way, I also quit smoking 48 hours ago. Been taking Chantix for 2 weeks. They got to where they tasted terrible.

1:22 am June 20th, 2012

Hi Jeff. You ask a really good and honest question. The truth is that each person is different and while some people can control their drinking, others cannot. So, if you want to explore this issue some more, you might talk with a professional counselor who can guide you through a “motivational interviewing” process to help you identify how you drink, if it’s a problem and what you want to do about it.

Does that help?

Jeff
12:30 pm June 20th, 2012

Yes, any supportive comment is always helpful. The last alcohol I had was 7 days ago and the last cigaratte was 6 days ago. The withdrawels from quitting cigarettes are worse than I ever imagined. Just head/chest flu-like symptoms. Seeing how I always smoked more when I drank, I don’t see myself drinking for at least a couple months. Just not worth the risk of “what if”. I am just so thankful for sights like this. I took medication for anxiety for 20 years. I quit taking it cold turkey. Wow, the withdrawels were scary. Check out what they say about getting off Paxil. Anyway, my doctor was the one who told me I could quit cold turkey. Thankfully, I got on several sights like this and realized my others had suffered the same symptoms I was having and that in time they would pass. IF YOU KNOW ANYONE TRYING TO QUIT A HABIT OR DRUG, PLEASE ENCOURAGE THEM TO READ INFORMATION FROM SIGHTS LIKE THIS!!! THIS IS THE REAL DEAL, NOT WHAT DOCTORS ARE TAUGHT.. Thanks, again and if you are thinking about quitting smoking, look at a picture of healthy lungs compared to a smokers lungs… After looking at those pictures, there is just no way I can inhale smoke again and subject my lungs to more damage.

7:26 pm June 20th, 2012

Hi Jeff. Also, another good resource is SMOKEFREE [dot] gov. THey have a 24 hour hotline, and great tips on how to stay quit. I’m proud of you for what you’ve accomplished! You’re doing a great job!

Curious
9:03 am June 25th, 2012

I’ve been doing some reading and I would like to understand something better. What I’m curious about is tapering and how it would apply to me and my situation.

After a two year sobriety (prior to which I was a 24/7 drunk), I decided my life was in a better place and it was ok to have a few drinks here and there if I went out with friends. But over the last month my drinking has increased to having a drink every night (mostly just to help me sleep as I’ve been a chronic insomniac my whole life). But I don’t drink during the daytime (like I have in my past). Unfortunately, over the last week or so I’ve been going through withdrawals during the daytime when I’m not drinking. Also, it’s affecting my ability to do my job well.

Going to the doctor is quite simply NOT an option. But apparently tapering off is much better than going cold turkey? But since I only drink at night, how should I be tapering to avoid the withdrawals? Am I really expected to change my drinking time to include daytime but spread out through the day? In order to eventually drink less I need to drink more often? I don’t drink beer btw (it’s vodka and I drink it straight). In short, what should I be doing?

1:00 am June 26th, 2012

Hello Curious. How many drinks are you drinking at night? IF you are physically dependent on alcohol, you will go through withdrawal regardless of tapering. And it might be best to schedule withdrawal for a long weekend, or at least 4-5 days of simultaneous rest so that you can recover. If inpatient detox is not an option, how about consulting a doctor anonymously and asking about medications that can help you during withdrawal? You don’t need to make alcohol withdrawal more difficult that it already is…and you may benefit from medical help!

Curious
5:38 am June 26th, 2012

I have about a pint and a half on average per night. But if I go out with friends (like on a saturday night) it’s probably about a fifth when all is said and done. But like I said previously, this has only been for the past month (and I’m being honest about that). So this leads me to a couple other questions.

Is it really possible to become physically dependent (again) after such a short time? I’m quite familiar with withdrawal and I’m having many of those symptoms. But can some form of fatigue combined with a heavier hangover feel the same? If so, what should I possibly be doing?

I didn’t want to write an overwhelming post but I’ll share a little more info that may help. I think another part of the problem is the fact that it’s been so hot lately and that I work in a hot kitchen. So I’ve also been extremely dehydrated. To combat this, I drink a good amount of pedialyte. This seems to help some. Is there something else along these lines I could do to help?

As for the tapering, the past two nights I didn’t want to drink. But I went ahead and had a little. It seemed to help (oddly). I really don’t want to drink during the day. But if spreading it out like that on a couple days off would help taper, I would do it. I would like to know more about that. Either way, thank you for the quick reply.

Jeff
11:51 am June 26th, 2012

Hey Curious. I totally get going to a doctor not being an option as I am in upper management for the company I work with. Thankfully, I have not had a drink or cig for 12 days. Withdrawals were a lot worse than I imagined as far as the quitting smoking withdrawals. I am sure not in the medical feild but I think it is safe to say you have a problem with alcohol. That said, you have two choices. Try to beat it yourself or try to beat it with help/support. Beats the heck out of all the possible negative alternatives if you continue to drink. Just my thoughts. I wish you success in beating this. Life has enough ups and downs without adding being addicted/enslaved to something that can kill us.

7:29 pm June 26th, 2012

Hi again Curious. The frequency and length of time one has been drinking does affect the severity of alcohol withdrawal and its symptoms. The central nervous system eventually loses its ability to adapt to alcohol. So even though you’ve only been drinking for a month, two years before that you were drinking excessively ALL THE TIME. So, physical dependence is very possible.

We really cannot advise on how to taper alcohol for withdrawal. This is really a medical domain (and we are not medical experts). Can you make an anonymous phone call to seek help? If not, check out this manual which outlines protocols for alcohol withdrawal:

http://pathwayscourses.samhsa.gov/aaap/aaap_4_supps_pg11.htm

Hope this helps!

Scott
12:04 am June 29th, 2012

Hi, I recently went to Portugal, was supposed to go for the summer, I ended up drinking far too much, long sessions everyday, I had one day off in 3 weeks, I started have rushes of andrenyln sort of things going through my body, sweating, anxiety, strange dreams late in the night. I ended up flying home early, which was my second night off in about 3/4 weeks, I had sort of same symptoms but no where near as bad, its been 3 days now and I don’t have so much sore head or rushes, but my stomach is quite sore, which has caused me to get a bit of anxiety again. I just wanted to know if this is normal or if I’m just really hungry even, (diet is different back home to what I ate on Portugal?)
Thanks.

12:36 am June 29th, 2012

Hi Scott. Alcohol can change the ph+/- in your body and cause an acidic reaction in the stomach (heartburn, or reflux). However, I’d suggest that you see a family doctor just to do some basic diagnostic work, because it may also be possible that you’ve caught a stomach virus/bacteria from fruits or vegetables or during your trip. It’s better to rule out all medical possibilities and understand the cause of a symptom than to wonder about it and not get treatment, if necessary.

Lee
4:18 am August 11th, 2012

I was a heavy drinker for the past 7 months. At least 4-5 “servings’ of some type of alcholol per nite. Last week, I decided I wanted to get sober for many reasons.
This is the end of day 6 of detox for me, and I feel horrid. Leg spasms, anxiety, vomiting, diarhea, severe mood swings, depersonalization, etc. My family doc put me on 1 mg. of Klonopin every 6 hours, and over the phone today-through his nurse- told me I could take 5 mg. of Flexaril for leg spasms and shooting pain.
I’m just wondering if this is normal. I feel like I’m not getting the correct care. Am I just being paranoid as a result of the detox?
Thank you for any insight you can give me.

3:35 pm August 14th, 2012

Hi Lee. Check out these government-issued treatment guidelines for alcohol withdrawal to learn more about the basic (and accepted) protocol for alcohol detox. And if necessary, seek help at an inpatient clinic where you can detox under 24 hour medical supervision.

http://www.chce.research.va.gov/apps/PAWS/pdfs/pugetsound.pdf
http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh22-1/38-43.pdf

Jeff
4:15 pm August 14th, 2012

First, Congrats Lee!!!! While I cannot relate to all your symptoms I can relate. I quit smoking and drinking at the same time. I must say that with God’s strength, anything is possible. Not trying to make this a religious reply but I do give him the glory for giving me the strength to stop. There were days I really considered going back just so I would feel better. It took about 2 weeks for me for the withdrawels to not be as intense. I am sure everyone is different.

Mario
6:40 am August 18th, 2012

I have suffered with social anxiety since I was a kid. I am 37 now and I quit drinking 9 weeks ago. About a month before I quit I was stressed out about a bunch of stuff work, getting older, love life… and I started having anxiety attacks at home which scared the crap out of me cause they feel like you are or are about to have a heart attack, very scary. So I decided to stop drinking and start living healthy. After two weeks the attacks continued and I went to the Doctor he gave me 30 day meds for anxiety and the attacks stopped. Now my body still does not feel normal and I’ve noticed my hands shaky a little bit some days my heart beats faster than normal and those are the days my hands shake. What is this? Is this normal and should I get checked for other health issues?

11:52 am August 20th, 2012

Hi Mario. Thanks for your question and your honesty.

What meds were you prescribed? Perhaps the shaky hands are a side effect of the medication. This could be a very real possibility. Also, have you reported these symptoms to your prescribing doctor? Finally, what are your long term plans to staying away from alcohol? How’s it going with living a sober life?

Jeff
12:49 pm August 20th, 2012

Hey Mario, I am not a doctor but I think it is a valid concern that your doctor gave you 30 day meds for anxiety. Meds for anxiety are not something you just jump on and jump off of as far as taking. I had anxiety when I was young and took generic Paxil way too long and getting off on the meds about did me in but it was my fault because I just decided enough was enough and I quit taking them cold turkey. Now I know I should have “weened” myself off the meds. Anyway, hang in there and know that there is a lot of support out there and more people than you could imagine have struggled with anxieity at some point in their life. I can assure you not being a slave to alcohol is such a great thing!!! My life is better, my health is better, my marriage is better, and you will soon start enjoying the freedom!!!!!!!

Dallas
9:03 pm August 20th, 2012

Hi Mario,
I’m not a doctor but I had also suffered from anxiety issues and had some panic attacks about 3 years ago so thought I’d share my symptoms with you in case that helps.

My doctor gave me some diazepam for a few days which stopped the panic attacks but for a few months afterwards I kept getting some shakes and and nervous problems that weren’t alcohol withdrawal related as I hadn’t quit drinking at that stage. I also had irregular heart problems that I went to see a cardiologist for, which I was worried about. I felt that my body didn’t feel normal and sometimes it was like I was not inside it correctly – if that makes any sense. With other medication and exercise, this slowly improved over about a year and have had no irregular heart problems or nervous problems since then.

The main issue for making it worse was any kind of stress. I found that the panic attacks had left me with a lower ability to cope with levels of stress that others cope with relatively normally. This made working and being married very difficult but it all improved over time as I learned to deal with stress, improve my health and avoid alcohol.

angela
4:22 am August 21st, 2012

Need help. I have been married for 23 years. My husdand has been a beer drunker, drank almost everday 6 to 24 a day. He has been drinking since he was 15 years old, now 44. He has been sober for a year and a half. He did not go for any treatmet. Jesus Christ helped him heal. Did not seem to go though DT’S or anything. Since he was addicited to beer for so long could he be addicited to another women. He said he still loves me very much and that there is ONLY a emotionally affair with her. So, could it be in his head about being addicted to something other then the beer?
Thanks

11:50 am August 21st, 2012

Hi angela. “Addiction to other women”…hmmm. That’s a tricky one. While clinically, you can act out impulsively or compulsively in an attractiveness manner, I know very little about “love addiction”. It might be worth exploring this issue as well as your feelings of betrayal and hurt with a couples therapist. Your husband must be willing to end it immediately with this other woman, and to work on your relationship before you can start to look into possible reasons why he has sought comfort outside of your marriage.

Jan
1:51 pm August 22nd, 2012

I have a freind who swears she had been sober for about a month after being weaned off booze over a three week period with Librium.Said person stole my scooter and had a severe crash,broke her leg so bad it had to be amputated.
Here is my question.How can you be sober foe 27 days and at the ER have a BA of .20?That is almost three times the legal limit,isn’t it?
And then had severe hallucinations for over four days at the Hospital.And I mean SEVERE.She was given IV Librium and Halidol(sp)and was a gonzo.One Dr.said it MAY have been that her liver could not process the alchohol,but a .20 really has me wondering and NO I am not suing her for the scooter incident.Only curious as to hiow her BA could have been so high within an hour of being alone for the first time within that 27 days.Her Mom and I had ALL her money,cards and car keys-her chioce toreduce temtation-but we found she had wiped out her Piggy Bank the day of the accident and had around $10 dollars..

11:52 am August 23rd, 2012

Hi Jan. You are correct to be suspicious. Alcohol in the blood points to recent use. Alcohol metabolizes very quickly in the body and does not store in fat cells, like THC or other chemicals. It seems like your friend was not able to stay sober, and did binge drink during her hour’s escape.

Jeff
1:09 pm August 23rd, 2012

Hey Angela, awesome that you give God the glory and praise for your husband getting free from being a slave to alcohol. Do you not think the same God can give him the power to conquer other addictions? In my humble opinion we can be addicted to anything and yes your husband could be addicted to other women just the same as someone being addicted to looking at porn. As the “Addiction Blog” said, there is additional support available but bottom line is we have to admit we need help/support before we can recieve it. Good luck and I know you and your husband can have such an awesome marriage if that is what you both want.

Jeff
1:16 pm August 23rd, 2012

Good luck Jan!! Seems like you are a true friend. Stay strong for her but stand firm with her in her desires to be free from alcolhol.

Mario
10:04 pm August 23rd, 2012

First thank you guys who replied to my post! Second I want to update you. I have felt better everyday as far as the shakes and anxiety go so that’s good. This Saturday will mark 3 months sober for me so I’m happy I made it this far but It hasn’t gotten any easier alcohol was such a huge part of my social life and with Football coming up wow sooo hard. I want to start working out again because with the anxiety attacks I could not work out or have intercourse for a while because my heart would race and my anxiety would elevate. I have had intercourse recently with no abnormal heart rate so that’s great now I think I’m ready to gradually start a workout routine. Lastly I have one thing to ask I know my social anxiety is still inside me, waiting…, does anybody have any advice for what I can do to treat/overcome this I have suffered all my life with this and I am sooo tired of it. It makes no sense to me I am a confident, intelligent person but if I’m in a group like a work meeting my body goes nutts heart races, face begins to flush, sweating, ect… I appreciate any and all advice. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE! :)

Mario
10:09 pm August 23rd, 2012

Oh forgot to add some wanted to know what meds I was given I was given BUSPIRONE 7.5MG for prevention and if I had an attack I was to take HYDROXYZ HCL 25MG. I never took the second as it was not needed.

Jeff
12:28 pm August 24th, 2012

Good to hear from you Mario… I am a professional businessman who has been very blessed financially and many other ways. I tell you that so you know that more people than you could imagine suffer from some form of anxiety. Take advantage of the knowledge/wisdom your doctor has. We all need some help now and then. Hopefully your doctor has your longterm best interest in mind and will consider that when he presribes something for you. Also, I just have to encourage you to build your relationship with God.. He is there and will always be there. I am telling you from first hand experience in both anxiety and alcohol. Life is great and you will one day get to enjoy it like you never thought possible!!!!!

angela
6:05 pm August 29th, 2012

This is Angela again. My husband father has been sick and my son just moved back in from when he moved out a year ago. And now this pass Saturday my father in law passed away and these two things I did not tell you before. Sorry. I feel like I am on a roller coaster. Up and down. My husband has still seeing or talking to her about once a week, he seems to have his fix with her and then he is done for a while. have to go he just got home.

I just don’t know what I should be doing. He is going to another counsellor, if they ever call back.

You said the above about a act to a $exu@l manner, not understanding that, Sorry.

She is also married with an 12 year old.

I have been kind to him, he keeps telling me to give him time.
I just don’t know whta to do.

THANKS!!!!

Denise
3:28 am September 2nd, 2012

It is a relief I was able to find this blog and read everyone’s comments. I recently tried to quit drinking. Thursday was a week with no alcohol but I suffered from headaches and anxiety plus difficulty breathing so I drank Yesterday and my symptoms seemed to go away so I know I have been suffering from withdrawls. I feel like crying and feel really low. I drank two drinks today because I felt hungover from my binge yesterday. Does anyone know how long these headaches last? I will start trying to quit tomorrow again and hopefully will make it 8 days instead of 7.

7:28 pm September 2nd, 2012

Hi Denise. If you think that you’re going through withdrawal, you can seek help at a medical detox clinic or with your doctor. Also, there are support groups like SMART Recovery or AA that can help you during this difficult time.

Jan
8:26 pm September 2nd, 2012

Thanks for your answer.Now I KNOW to stay away from this friend until she can be honest and really sober up-or DIE from withdrawel.Do you drinkers-not being mean here at ALL,just caring and honest-can DIE from alchohol withdrawel.It IS the only DRUG you can die of withdrawel if not medically treated.PLEASE SEEK MEDICALL HELP IF YOU DECIDE TO STOP after YEARS OF DRINKING.I CARE ABOUT YOU and WANT YOU TO HAVE A HAPPY HEALTHY GOOD LIFE!!!Jan

Jeff
3:08 pm September 3rd, 2012

Denise,

You are on track but just not there yet. Read your blog to yourself. Your goal is to make it 8 days instead of 7 days. You can beat alcohol, I KNOW YOU CAN.. I am not a doctor but I think what you are doing to your body might be worse than drinking like you were. I think, and I stress I think, stopping/starting on a frequent basis conditions your body and makes it that much harder to quit every time. I was so very fortunate to quit without medical help but looking back I would have gotten help to ensure my life was not at risk. I also, had the withdrawels you describe. You are stronger than alchohol!!!! Another thing that helped me is every morning to read what the effects of alcohol does to your body.. Fill you mind with negative thoughts about alchohol. I don’t have anything magical but I can tell you my strength came from God and I finally turned it over to him!!!!

Jeff
3:12 pm September 3rd, 2012

Don’t have to stay away from her Jan, just be strong for her. Your friendship might just be the one thing that can help her turn her life around. Good friends are very hard to find!!!!!!

Jeff
3:20 pm September 3rd, 2012

Angela, I do not know your circumstances but I do know that you have to take a stand. No, I am not saying to tell him you are going to get a divorce if he doesn’t get it together. I am saying you need to start working on Angela. Start finding your inner strength. No one deserves to play second fiddle.. If at all possible and if this is what you desire, tell your husband you love him. You love him enough to give him time to work through this but you need to move in with “someone”, family member? Hopefully that makes sense. Bottom line is don’t sit around waiting on him!! Hopefully, he will get it together but whether he does or not, ANGELA still needs to find ANGELA.

Jan
11:01 pm September 3rd, 2012

Jeff,you are right about her needing friends,BUT,everytime I have her visit,I have LOCK all of my meds up.I had major surgery on my left arm-twice within two months-and she constanly manages to pinch ten or so at evrey visit.The last visit I set her up and caught her.I/ME am the one who had major surgery and yes,she is an addict,but if she cares so little that every visit,I am playing Easter Bunny hiding pain pills I just can not do it any longer.I talk on the phone but I just can not trust her any more.HOW she gets into my safe is beyond me.No marks no broken lock and I have one key,my Son the other.Can’t keep playing crazy…

Denise
12:01 am September 4th, 2012

Thanks Jeff for your reply. Well I started to quit again. I can only try to add days of not drinking rather than say I quit and be done with it because I still get these urges to drink several times a day. It has been a year since I tried to quit which lasted only 5 weeks. I can go 3 days no problem but I never suffered headaches before or the anxiety that I did this past week… I drink wine mainly but i I buy miniatures at least 2 times a week between 2-4 because you have to buy 2 to get them for .99 every time I stop for gas I wanna get them. It’s been going on for far too long and I am not 40 yet so I can see it becoming a major issue if I don’t stop.

angela
2:02 am September 4th, 2012

Jeff, Thank you for caring. My husband has moved to our rental home. ” that is where he sleeps”. I have told him I love him and he told me he loves me. Not to make excuses, but with him being a hard drinker ( beer) for about 30 years, we feel that yes he may be in LIKE with her, That he my be addicted to her. Once he talks or sees her, he is better. I know i have to fouse on me and I do, but it is hard. I do stil have that chance to be with him again. He has something in his mind that is not working right. Maybe we have grown aprat with all the drinking for 23 years that we have been together. that is all I knew, that is how my life was and then when he stopped drinking, he could see his life was differnet and alone, that is what I have been for so long, a lone. While he had been drinking for so long. He did say tonight that he loves me and that he want’s to make it work with us, but not sure on what he should do about the THING! (Her)

survivor23
3:47 am September 4th, 2012

I just wanted to follow up. I posted here about six months ago, complaining about headaches from withdrawal.

What has really worked for me is tapering off. Its been six months since I wrote here last, and I have found that the symptoms dont last. They do finally get better with time. I dont drink every day like I used to. I finally made the connection that drinking makes me feel worse. As long as I only have a few a few days a week, that seems to work for me.

Now, the only symptom I have is the night after which I think is a step in the right direction. They say that tolerance is the tell tale sign that your body is changing to accomodate the alcohol. When I was drinking huge amounts of wine and vodka, I thought I could handle it, since I never really “got drunk” could still work, function, etc. But when I would stop, I would experience horrible withdrawal symptoms.

Now, I dont think my body runs on alcohol fuel anymore. Like a normal person, my body detoxes the next day. For some strange reason, this regimen did wonders for me.

1) juicing fruit in the morning, (either 1/2 apple, grapefruit or orange)
2) Heaviest meal midday, with complex carbs, like rice, high protein.
3) light salad, soup, and dinner.

Something about juicing, takes away my cravings, and seems to give my body what it needs. I am calmer, and when hit with a stressful event, I no longer go running compulsively for my martini for releif.

The cravings are getting better, although if I do see someone drinking wine at dinner on TV, its a trigger. I remind myself how I will feel afterwards.

It gets better…I’ve been tapering for six months now. Withdrawal symptoms become more mild, and then, subside. Next I am going to go dry. They say that alcohol symptoms can appear after 8 or so months, of not drinking. I hope I dont go through that.

I think stopping slowly is really the key to managing symptoms, while including other healthy things in your diet. That seems to work for me. Cold turkey is just so brutal on the body.

survivor23
3:57 am September 4th, 2012

Mario,

Your anxiety attacks remind me of myself. You may be putting too much pressure on yourself, and possibly trying to reach some impossible standard. I really dont know your situation, but that was mine. when I used to suffer, I would have attacks over really stressful deadlines at work. Then, when I started drinking, and slowly drinking more and more, I noticed that my moods started to become darker, and I was more anxious drinking. (which I used to drink to calm down, and later this turned on me).

Then, the withdrawal from alcohol produced MORE anxiety.

Alcohol, it really sneaks up on you, I guess as all drugs do. It seems like they work in the beginning, but drugs are a short term type of fix. Eventually your body tries to accomodate the drug, and then the drug does more harm than good.

Alcohol wreaked havoc on my nervous system. i was already high strung as it was. Then, I started to have health problems, high blood pressure, etc. I noticed that it would come down when I stopped drinking. (they say that alcohol constricts your blood vessels).

I would start out by writing in a journal, and making note of triggers, and what you are feeling. You may find that your beleifs are too rigid, or not true at all, or come from a place that is now outdated and doesnt suit you. Again, I dont know what the issue is, but keeping a journal is a start.

11:43 am September 4th, 2012

Hi survivor23. Thank you so much for sharing your experience about getting through alcohol withdrawal, and your positive suggestions! I am so happy that you’ve been able to emerge from the experience with gratitude and understanding.

Jeff
12:14 pm September 4th, 2012

Hey Denise… You have accomplished what so many only wish they could!!!! You acknowledge that alcohol has control of your body. You are dealing with it in the best way you can right now. I commend you for your past successes and celebrate with you your future successes. The awsome thing about this site is we all share our successes and failures but we all have the same goal, TO BE 100% IN CONTROL OF OUR BODY!!!!

Jeff
12:18 pm September 4th, 2012

Angela, sounds like you and your husband are potentially making progress. If you really stop to think about it, life is very short. Don’t waste it!!! Embrace it and embrace each other if that is what your heart desires. Just please remember that there are people out there who can help if you and/or your husband want it. Stay focused and strong in yourself and I hope he does the same.

Alex
2:10 pm September 4th, 2012

Sad to report that my post about quitting in June was a failed attempt. I actually had gotten much worse between then and now. I started suffering terrible anxiety and for the first time ever i began drinking when i woke up and would continue throughout the day to the point i was drinking a case of beer daily for about a month until i was soo tired, anxious, sick that i had a week of major panic attacks and breadwowns.. Thought I was losing my mind. I went to my Dr. Last Friday and was honest about everything. He put me on Ativan to help taper off and I am supposed to go back this friday to see him. I have lowered my drinking from 24 to 9 as of last night. Tonight I will drink 6. wed i will drink 3 and thursday with the help of the meds and God i will have my first night without ANY alcohol.. My fear is without alcohol and without my the medication that I will be left with terrible anxiety since the alcohol and ativan are both calm the nervous system. I guess i wont have the anxiety broght on by drinking.. I dont know, just worried. Also fear that being on ativan for a week may cause its own set of withdrawl.. Im moving forward, just a bit uneasy and worried but FAR better off today than i was last month and will be alcohol free by the end of the week. I apprectiate all the prayers and thoughts

Jeff
2:46 pm September 4th, 2012

Denise, one more thing I want to add. This might not be a popular response or even correct but I think it might help you. When I drank, I drank beer EVERYDAY. My last beer was on June 13th. At that time I also quit smoking. Anyway, for 8 weeks I would not even consider having a drink for fear I would want a cigarette. Now twice, after that 8 week period I have enjoyed a glass of wine. Just two different occassions and I was 100% in control of the amount and the desire. I tell you that to say it is possible to beat your addiction and someday be able to enjoy a drink but the difference is YOU ARE IN CONTROL and not the alcohol. Hang in there!!!

Jeff
7:10 pm September 4th, 2012

Alex, at this point you could not be doing any better.. You have God in your life and you have a doctor assisting you. Kind of like getting caught in the middle of nowhere in a major snow storm.. All you can do is put on your chains, make sure your car/truck is full of gas, get your map out and start driving. With time and following your map YOU WILL GET OUT OF THE STORM!!! Hang in there brother. There are some very smart doctors out there who actually think about the side effects before they put you on something or take you off something. By the way, if you have any children or anyone you hold close to your heart, put several pictures of them where you used to drink. They love you and need you!!!!

angela
7:16 pm September 4th, 2012

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: TRUST IN THE LORD, ask God for help.

7:38 pm September 4th, 2012

Hi Alex. You are in my thoughts and prayers! DO you have anyone to call during this time? A friend or family member to support you?

Jeff
9:35 pm September 4th, 2012

Guys and Girls I have an announcement to make!!!! As much as it pains me to tell you this, NO ONE IS PERFECT!!! Some will have succcess easier than others!! Some of you might get “turned off” by me saying this but I am telling you from experience. With God’s help, you CAN AND WILL BEAT THIS. Where do you think the doctor’s get their wisdom from?? I was once a slave to alcohol and cigarettes but no more. Doesn’t mean some days I couldn’t smoke a carton or drink a 12 pack. What it means is I have the power to resist… Life is so much better now. I don’t mean to sound any stranger than I already do to some of you but we all need support and I can assure you there are more people than you can imagine who have some sort of struggle going on right now in their life. If you really want some power, read Proverbs…

Denise
9:53 pm September 4th, 2012

Wow Jeff you quit smoking and drinking at the same time…that’s great! I want to get to a point where I don’t feel like I need to drink to have a good time or out of boredom or out of despair or the many other reasons I make excuses for my drinking. For me now one drink is too many and a thousand is not enough. 1-2 bottles of wine is just too much especially since I have been saying I don’t have a problem. I know it’s not true because the headaches and I’ll feeling I had last week really upset me. Thanks for your replies they are comforting.

Jeff
12:26 pm September 5th, 2012

Good morning Denise. Sounds like you are a very wise woman. Your comment that one drink is too many and a thousand is not enough really puts in words what I think each and every one of us felt at one point or another. Very insightful!!!!!!!

angela
7:04 pm September 5th, 2012

Jeff,Howdy. You are so right, about trusting in the Lord. If you read my few blogs before, you can see that my husband had drank for about 30 years. He did try to stop a couple of times before. no luck, But when he ask God to help him, he was saved by the drink. But, as i said before about him being addicited to another person, Since he was addicited to the drink.so you think Proverds, would or may help with other struggles. Should i read the whole book on Proverbs?
Angela

Alex
7:57 pm September 5th, 2012

Thanks. Luckily during this time I have my ex-wife, current gf (touchy subject lol) and my two sons here with me. It is going slower than i hoped and than it needs to be. I think im dragging my feet but the difficulty sleeping is just sometimes too difficult. Last night i had 6 and a half. As long as what i have each day is less, even if it takes an extra few days i believe i am heading in the right direction. I just can never go backwards and hope on a day i never stall and repeat the night before. I just have to keep the momentum, less and less. The Ativan has been a life saver i am sure. The doctor prescribed me to take 3 mg a day but there is NO WAY i could have done that. I took 1/4 the first day when i was at 12 beers and got a bit sick. Now that the alcohol is less of course i take a bit more but like i said i did not want to completely substitute and stay messed up on pills so i take about 1 total a day broken into 3 or 4 different times during the day and have managed to get to 6.5 beers. I think though I will have no choice in the upcoming days to take more ativan just to sleep, last night was a bit rough. Still fearing the day im off BOTH and wondering how my body will react. Time will tell. I huge difference i think is also the fact i have always had a poor diet of fast food, never ate breakfast and rarely lunch. Now i make sure i eat 3 meals a day and have been taking fish oil, a daily vitamin, etc,, Getting vitamins back into my system I believe has helped a great deal as well and also have been excersizing a min of 20 mins a day.. Just trying to do what I can think of to help.

Jeff
12:30 pm September 6th, 2012

Angela, I actually think once you start reading Proverbs you will read the entire book. Great hearing from you and I hope your day is full of LIFE!!!

Denise
5:18 pm September 6th, 2012

Well Jeff it is absolutely true. The only thing that stops me from getting that 3rd bottle or 1/2 pint of vodka or Jack is fear of a dwi. But if someone will go get it for me I’m down. It’s terrible. I think I want to start AA. Not sure though. I have heard negative things but perhaps it is because the negative people didn’t really want to quit…?

Jeff
6:17 pm September 6th, 2012

Well wise one, (Denise), you already know the answer(s). You reallly do!!!! Oh don’t get me wrong, I have pretty much drank all my life but daily for almost 4 years until June 13th, 2012. I knew alcohol was in control and not me. There are so many things that “seemed” to be more fun when you drink, beach vacations, casinos, outdoor grilling, etc. Denise, you know if you really want to quit you will need to change your lifestyle, at least temporarily. If we are trying to quit something we just cannot put ourselves in an enviroment to fail. I have never been to AA so cannot comment on that but I can tell you that while all the support you can get is great, the bottom line is do you really want to quit or are you going to quit? I wanted to quit for several months and then it hit me like a brick wall and I made up my mind I was not going to be a slave to that anymore. Keep me posted but I know, when you are truly ready, IT WILL HAPPEN!!!

angela
7:18 pm September 6th, 2012

Jeff, Yes. I started last night and I will tell my husband to read it too.
Thanks,
Angela

Gina
4:27 pm September 7th, 2012

My friend is 47 years old and is currently in the hospital with liver failure. She has been drinking since she was 15 yeas old and then at 40 started to take Vicoden. She was taking up to 150 v’s per month and drinking 1 1.5 gallons of wine per night. We all tryed to get her to stop. Her Husband said he was going to leave her, her son begged her to stop and finally her Doctor after 7 years, took her off Vicoden. But I am afraid its too late.

Please get help if you have problems with addiction. There are people out there that love you and what you to be around.

survivor
8:39 am September 9th, 2012

I just wanted to comment about sleep issues, as this was very very huge for me. Sleep disturbances made it nearly impossible it seems to keep a clear head and the energy needed toward NOT drinking the next day. So now, I take care to make sure I do whatever I can to get a goods night sleep, which helps me be successful for the next day. I noticed, that not getting sleep, is as bad as suffering from a hangover from drinking vodka all day. The too feel one in the same for me. Here are some strategies that worked for me.

1) I take valerian one hour before I goto bed. I notice a difference in the quality of sleep I get. There are a lot of sleep supplements and drugs, but by far, I find valerian to be the most useful and safe.

2) I try not to eat before bed, in fact, I try to goto bed on an empty stomach. If I must eat, I eat something light, and something raw, like a salad. You will notice the quality of your sleep to go way up, since your body is not fighting its resources to digest food. a good rule of thumb, at least three hours in between bedtime and dinnertime.

3) a calming tea, like Nighty Night, tea, chamomile, valerian in it, etc.

4) cardio exercise during the day helps ALOT!. the more the better, but even 10 minutes of jumping rope may do the trick!

5) I refuse to watch the news or have stressful conversations before bed. When this does happen by chance, I find my anxiety in the middle of the night just goes up 10 fold, and the next day is a battle. I have a little calming ritual before bed that seems to help.

It gets better. One of the milder symptoms of withdrawal is night sweats, which used to keep me up. During the early days of withdrawal, I would have these extreme nightmares, and my hands would tingle, and that would keep me awake. It does get better, but to speed up the process, trying a juicing regimen, which will help you safely detox.

They say when you dont get the sleep you need, your body craves carbs, so maybe this is what is behind the craving. I notice if I juice fruit in the morning, I dont have the same type of cravings for alcohol that day, and maybe its natural sugar that does it.

I am not a slave anymore, and you can do it too. I think there is definitely more to this, than just will power. Doing little things to help your body along will bring relief a lot faster.

I used to beat myself up over my continued “failed” attempts, but even if you back slide, its not failure. Each time is better. I went through multiple cycles of abstaining, and noticed that each time became more manageable. My first attempt was the worst. I went cold turkey after drinking huge amounts of vodka for a very long time, and that was very stupid to go cold turkey like that. After that, I tapered, and it was a lot better.

Denise
4:44 pm September 9th, 2012

Sorry to hear about you friend Gina. It is a terrible painful way to die. My prayers to you and her loved ones.

D Pine
9:23 pm September 10th, 2012

I wish that all alcoholic beverages were illegal. I myself am a drinker and I’ve quit many times. When I look back I realize that it doesn’t make me feel as good as I wanted, it costs too much, and it tends to lead me to hang out with people that aren’t good for me. Also alcohol use only encourages people to excrement with other drugs such as speed. I think that technically alcohol should be a controlled substance just like anything else. It should not be sold in stores to the public. Besides it only encourages people to be obnoxious neighbors. Most neighbors I’ve had that are drinkers are annoying, rude, and noisy. I bet if they weren’t consuming alcohol that they would not be as annoying or at least not as bad. Sure I’d miss alcohol but I can stand to go without it. I also feel the same way about a lot of prescription medications even if they are not being abused still cause dangerous altering of a persons cognitive abilities. Take Paxil for example. I personally would not trust getting into a car with someone that is driving a vehicle if they are on Paxil. I believe in therapies and not throwing pills at the problem. Anyway, like I said I believe that Alcohol should be made illegal.

Jeff
7:43 pm September 11th, 2012

Hey Denise, how are things going??

Denise
9:27 pm September 12th, 2012

Hi Jeff. Its going ok drank on Sun. So it was the 8th day still getting headaches though and it is hard not to think about it. Crave sweets too and I never eat sweets. Been drinking club soda with lemon or limes kinda making pretend cocktails. Walking past the wine aisle @ grocery store is tough too. Been going to alcohol free gas station too so making a bit of progress. No binge on Sun. Either just 1 miniture and 1 glass of wine. How are you doing?

Jeff
8:57 pm September 13th, 2012

WOW! Very quiet on here lately. Hope everyone is doing great!!!!

angela
7:18 pm September 19th, 2012

Jeff, Angela here. I will be back with you soon.
Angela

Jeff
2:51 pm September 26th, 2012

Hey everyone!!!! While I have never been to AA or anything like that and I am confident that one on one would be more powerful, we all need to realize that when we share our stories it is a great thing. Great to admit to ourselves and great for other people to realize they are not alone… I enjoy the updates and encourage you to be honest with yourself daily. I wanted to quit and knew I needed to quit but until I made that commitment in my heart, I was never going to quit!! God is GREAT and you can share that ultimate peace also.

Alcoholic male 40
4:49 pm September 26th, 2012

As I wrote about 100 mails ago it is possible to avoid really severe withdrawals if you can manage to slowly reduce your drinking over a period of 4-7 days. Drink 8,6,5,4,3,2 beers a day and then stay away from all alcohol. You will still experience nervousness, disturbed sleep, pounding heart, headache, nausea and other symptoms. I’ve managed to detox my self this way, with the help from a trustfull friend, three times after beeing detoxed as an inpatient several times during the last ten years before. The acute symptoms are usually gone within five to eight days but less severe symptoms like sleep disturbances, depression and anxiety can last for weeks or even months after a long period of hevy drinking. Good luck to you all and thank you for your posts!

Carol
7:53 pm September 30th, 2012

Today Sept, 30 marks 123 days without drinking or smoking. My health has been haywire since I stopped. I had anxiety thinking about dying all the time, gas, bloating, nausea and heart racing at night. It subsides over time but comes less frequently. It doesn’t take 10 days like most websites says, it takes months for you body to recover especially if you drank heavily everyday for years like I did. I’m going to the doctor tomorrow to get checked out but its been a tough road ahead but I’m glad I did it because I feel better generally speaking. The symptoms are going away but very slowly. I will never drink or smoke again. Good luck everyone!

Sarah
6:51 am October 3rd, 2012

Hi everyone,
Have just found this site and just wanted to say thanks for all of your insights, feeling hope for the first time in a while.
I’ve known I was an alcoholic for a while, have been drinking 2 bottles of wine a night for almost 3 years. Fully functioning for the most part and able to maintain a good job but in the past 2 months have been getting to the point where i’m passing out on the couch each night and waking with no memory of the several hours beforehand. I’ve tried half heartedly to quit in the past but have never felt as out of control and anxious as I have in recent months. On Monday night I had only 1 glass of wine, wemt to bed sober and woke up feeling better than I have in years and really positive about the future. By yesterday evening though I felt so anxious that I drank an entire bottle. I still went to bed semi-sober so i’m still pleased that its an improvement.
I know the time has come to take control of my life, i’ve only just turned 27 and don’t want to live like this. I’m hoping that with my husbands support I can gradually reduce over the next few evenings with sunday hopefully being my first completely sober day. I know enough to expect some withdrawal symptoms but I have some time off work to hopefully make the process a little easier.
I feel a determination and a positivity that I haven’t felt before so hopefully this is my time!

Kris
12:52 am October 5th, 2012

hi,
I’d love some help (I think) dealing with addiction. I am a 27 year old female who has abused nicotine, alcohol and drugs since I was 15. I had a child recently and quit everything during pregnancy and breastfeeding…but now as life creeps in I realize it’s much harder for me to have ONE single glass of wine etc…my son goes away and I have binged for three days. Am I an addict or can I somehow manage to be a social drinker (everyone I know drinks)

Kris
12:57 am October 5th, 2012

Also for those quitting…(I’ve gone through some withdrawal stuff..like sweats, chest tightness. anxiety, insomnia. A glass of milk with honey helps…jumping jacks during the day (I always say mommys in a bad mood shes gonna do jumping jacks to fix her mood-this is not bc of withdrawal) hot yoga and exercise…

Kris
12:59 am October 5th, 2012

d pal…I am in control over myself, as you are, there is no reason to ask the gov. to control the world because a certain few cant control themselves

C
12:13 pm October 5th, 2012

Hi I been drinking only for a year but daily like 6-8 beers a night. I quit drinking for many reasons because I was waking up feeling like shit and being rude to my girlfriend when it wasn’t her faul I’m 13 days sober. The first day I got the worst cold sweats, anxiety , and couldn’t go to bed till one in the morning. The rest of that week I felt good that I quit but I felt depressed and couldn’t eat dinner till late nights I think because I use start drinking at six p.m. then ate after then went to bed. The second week I feel happier but sometimes I feel sad, mad, and anxious to do something, like I was bored. Now I feel a little better but still get mood swings go to bed early and wake up dizzy and anxious but it goes away in ten mins after I brush my teeth and settle down. But my body feels fatigue and weak now but I rested a lot. And I eat a lot during the day but don’t eat dinner till later that night. I feel a lot better though then drinking like a fish I guess some people can’t quit without medical treatment. I guess I didn’t drink a lot or drink for many years just one year so it was kinda easy for me. Now I’m trying to quit dipping, I think it was easier to quit drinking then quitting nicotine lol

12:46 pm October 5th, 2012

Hi Kris. Thanks for reaching out. I was 27 when I started questioning my drinking, too. I believe that a “drinking problem” for a woman is defined as one or more drinks per day, 6 or more days a week (so up to 7 drinks in a week, total) and a binge drinking session is more than four drinks in one setting. Other questions that you can ask yourself include:

Do I ever drive when I have been drinking?
Do I have to drink more than before to get drunk or feel the desired effect?
Have I felt that you should cut down on my drinking?
Have I ever had any blackouts after drinking?
Have I ever missed work or lost a job because of drinking?
Is someone in your family worried about my drinking?

The way to move forward is to take an alcohol screening quiz and then talk with your family doctor about the results. There is help out there, and good for you for noticing and taking action!

Jeff
1:49 pm October 5th, 2012

Hey Kris, congrats!!!!! You quit TWO habits for a GREAT reason!!!! Your son needs his mom to see him graduate from high school. He needs mom to see him become a man and display all the great qualities you instill in him as he grows up. I quit smoking 4 months ago and oh so wish I would have quit sooner. I also used to drink daily. My “excuse” was I lost my eighteen year old daughter in a car wreck. While I was able to function at work when I got home I just wanted to lose touch with reality through alcohol. About 3 months after I quit drinking beer I did enjoy a couple of glasses of wine with my wife. So far so great but everyone is different and only you know your limitations. You said everyone you know drinks. Think hard about that. Not that they are bad people at all but possibly you could be the start of something great. Maybe some of them deep down wish they had friends who didn’t drink. Anyway, praying for you!!!! The ultimate experience in life is letting God be in control. Hope that helps and makes some sort of sense to you.

Jeff
1:55 pm October 5th, 2012

Congrats C!!!! I quit drinking and smoking at the same time. Just wanted to encourage you not to use the patch or gum while trying to quit dipping. If you use the patch or gum you are still getting the nicotine. As long as you are still getting the nicotine the tobacco companies still “own” you… That is what they want. You quit drinking so you sure have the strength/power to quit dipping. Just stand tall and be in control of yourself… One other thing, spend some time daily looking at pictures of people who have suffered from dipping. I looked at pictures of smokers lungs daily and that was powerful!!!!

Jeff
1:59 pm October 5th, 2012

Sarah that is awesome!!!! So thankful you have the support of your husband… My wife put up with me quitting drinking and smoking. She was my rock!!! Might want to try some alcohol free wine. Still get to sit down and relax with a glass of “wine” but without the poison of alcohol. By the way, God is a pretty good “person” to have supporting you also. :)

Amber
6:00 pm October 11th, 2012

If I dink 500ml a day of Jim Beam how much should I cut down a day to get sober without having severe DT??

3:21 pm October 12th, 2012

Hi Amber. The more severely you drink, the greater the chance of withdrawal. You can gradually taper alcohol use to lessen withdrawal effects, but in your case of high volume drinking, you can really benefit from a medical detox, intervention and assessment. I’d suggest that you talk with your family doctor or go to a detox clinic ASAP and seek medical supervision as you withdraw from alcohol. The risk of seizures and delerium tremens is present. More diagnostic information here: http://pathwayscourses.samhsa.gov/aaap/aaap_4_supps_pg11.htm

JMD
4:19 pm October 13th, 2012

Stopped drinking on September 11th after drinking 1/2 to 1 pint of Jack Daniels 3 to 5 days a week for 5 plus years. The first week was brutal. Each day gets better. I started having panic/anxiety attacks after a few days of sobriety. I had the hardest time entering large buildings and going to the higher floor levels. Sometimes I could not even enter the building. I detoxed on my own which was not the smartest thing to do. I still don’t have my energy back. It’s unbelievable what alcohol can do to your mind and body. Started juicing in the a.m. Using fresh fruits and the afternoon with kale,spinach,lemon and ginger. The vegtable drink is horrible but it has seemed to help significantly. I am on my way back to being the person I was.

10:48 am October 15th, 2012

Hi JMD. Thanks for sharing more about your experience of detox. Yes, you’re right: you don’t have to do it alone! But kudos to you for trying and succeeding! This is a wonderful example for others. You might want to look into possible thiamine deficiency and schedule a general check in with your family doctor just to go over urine and blood sample test results. I’d fully disclose to my doctor what was happening, and ask for not only medical advise, but psychological and social resources as well. More on thiamine deficiency here: http://alcohol.addictionblog.org/thiamine-deficiency-alcohol-and-alcoholism/

JMD
2:06 pm October 15th, 2012

Thanks for the suggestions. I just returned from my doctors this morning and I went in with an open kimono, I let him know everything. Overall he said I am a very healthy 49 year old. I currently am on no medications and would like to keep it that way. He should have my blood work results by Wednesday. Thanks again. Sober life is much clearer.

John
4:08 pm October 16th, 2012

I typically only drink 2 days out of the week. I never drink from sunday-thursday. I have noticed recently that sunday or monday night I have trouble sleeping. I will sometimes fall asleep then wake up an hour later with slight nausea and be extremely delirious. On friday and saturday I do drink quite a bit so I was wondering if the lack of sleep on sunday/monday night is caused by alcohol withdrawals? If so, is there any way to help myself fall asleep on those nights? Maybe melotonin…

5:05 am October 17th, 2012

Hi John. To test your theory, you might try a weekend without drinking and see how it affects your sleep.

Christopher
1:23 pm October 25th, 2012

Hi Everyone

I am an alcoholic. I am 48 years old and have only been sober now for 16 months. I regularly attend AA meetings and follow the steps as best I can. In the years leading up to me stopping, I too like many of you, wrestled with the various methods that we use to try and hold on to my addiction – like, only drinking beer, only drinking wine, only having three drinks, only drinking on weekends or special occasions or cutting down. Truth is, none of these has worked for me. Inevitably I once again got drunk and the too familiar vicious cycle once more came into effect.

I once had a beautiful wife, house, business and many “so-called” drinking buddies that I constantly entertained with lavish dinners and booze parties. Currently all I have left is my sobriety. I live in a separate entrance on the property of a family that has become very dear to me. Everything I once owned is gone. I am deep in debt and will probably never get out of it. And this, is almost entirely due to drinking.

I too suffered the terrors and anxieties of which people speak on these chats. Everything become the plot of a horror movie and I played the starring role. I became delusional, paranoid and terrified!

I couldn’t eat, sleep or function rationally. Music I once loved sounded macabre and dark. Everything became a “monster under the bed” scenario. In fact I started searching under my bed for one, like a frightened little child! It sounds funny now I admit, but at the time it was so real that I begged God to have mercy on my soul!

I felt like tearing off my clothes and running down the road. My panic escalated to such a degree that I would have a wave of terror sweep over me when I suddenly realised that I couldn’t jump higher than I could or that I couldn’t touch the tip of my nose with tongue no matter how far I tried to stick it out of my mouth! And all this due to alcohol!

Christopher
1:45 pm October 25th, 2012

But to continue, initially I thought that I was going insane and losing my mind until I contacted AA. Here I found people who experienced the same or similar experiences and the cause was alcohol and how if affects are brain chemistry. Heavy and binge drinking depletes us of any “good emotions” and leaves only the “bad”, thus the anxiety and overwhelming depression runs riot!

To my immense relief, I learnt that I was in fact not mad, but the victim of a disease called alcoholism and that if I would continue to drink I would certainly go insane and/or die. Here I found my Higher Power whom I call God, who rescued me from the depths of my private hell and led me to the light of sobriety. I now function as a perfectly normal human being and can take my place in society again.

I have, on a much smaller scale, tried to get my small graphic design business operating again. I am a glorified one man show, but I can sustain myself a bit financially again and that is a blessing.

I don’t want to impose my story and experience on anybody partaking on this blog, but if deep down inside you know that your drinking is problematic and you can see a hint of skid row staring you in the face, ask for God’s help and seek medical attention and advice.

Call Alcoholics Anonymous, somebody will come out to you and take you to a meeting. You have nothing to be ashamed of. There are thousands of people like you and me in the world as there are diabetics and any other sufferers of all kinds of medical conditions.

Seek help my friends and God Bless you!

Christopher

Jeff
2:42 pm October 29th, 2012

AMEN CHRISTOPHER!!!!!! AMAZING HOW SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO BE 100% HUMBLED BEFORE WE CAN TRULY KNOW WHO LOVES US TO THE DEPTH OF NO OTHER AND THAT IS OUR LORD AND SAVIOR!!!!

Christopher
2:44 pm October 30th, 2012

Absolutely Jeff, I believe that God in His great wisdom allowed me to become an alcoholic, because He could use me to help those who still have to accept what they are and to lead them into recovery through my experience be it what it may.

Alcohol was my God. It kept me bold, courageous, confident and egotistical. It then turned on me and completely consumed me.

I lost material accumulation, but found spiritual wealth!

Mollie
5:29 pm November 10th, 2012

Hi. I have been drinking almost every day for 2 years, vodka as my drink of choice. It’s gone up to about 8 or 9 drinks a day. I am 26 years old, female.

I tried to stop a few months ago, but my 3rd day sober, I had a pretty bad seizure. I am prone to seizures anyway, even before I began drinking this way.

I have a few questions. I went to my “family doctor”/ PCP last week and she said I have to get professional detox because of my history of seizures. She gave me a list of numbers for facilities. I called them all, and none of them had beds until this morning. So, I explained everything, and the person on the phone for the detox center said my symptoms were too severe for them to admit me, and to go to the ER.

My MAIN question here is: will they admit me to the ER even though I am not having symptoms yet? I usually start trembling about a day and a half after not drinking, but I just drank this morning. It seems counterintuitive to WAIT until I start having dangerous withdrawal symptoms before I am admitted for detox– what do I say to the people when I walk into the ER? Do I explain that I drank recently, thought I’m not totally drunk, but that I have a history of withdrawal seizures even though I’m not showing any physical proof of this???

This just seems so backwards to me. That I might have to WAIT until I have a SEIZURE until the hospital will admit me?

Does anyone know if I can check myself into the ER without having visible withdrawal symptoms?

Also, I have Medicaid, which makes it even worse, because I don’t have my old private insurance which covered any and every health cost. I just don’t know. Help?

Rick
7:44 pm November 12th, 2012

I have a friend who has been drinking heavily as long as I have know her, at least 14 years. She recently told us all that she was going to stop drinking on her own. After looking at information on line I was set for the worst case possible. Instead she is pleasant, calm, helpful, even chipper !! She says she has not had a drink in a week, is this possible. Can a heavy drinker (every day for 14 years) really quit so easily or are we being played? I can’t help but wonder if although she is not visible drunk like before, can she be doing something to fool us.
We really want to help her.

12:39 pm November 13th, 2012

Hi Rick. In my (non-professional) opinion, it sounds like something is up. It’s possible that your friend, while not drinking, may have found a new drug of choice. Or perhaps a doctor has prescribed an anti-anxiety medication like Xanax, Valium, or Ativan? I wonder if she was treated in a medical clinic as she detoxed for alcohol, because withdrawing after regular chronic drinking does bring the possibility of seizures or DTs. If she is willing to submit a urine sample for a drug test, this is the most clear and accurate way to assess what she’s been taking.

RubyBlue
11:54 pm November 15th, 2012

I’ve been a daily beer drinker for approximately 3 years. I drink anywhere from 4 – 8 beers everyday. I am now wanting to stop COLD TURKEY? Will stopping cause me to have withdrawls?

Linda
11:32 pm November 17th, 2012

I am wondering how to differentiate between alcohol withdrawal and benzodiazepine withdrawal if someone has a history of taking both. I was put on benzodiazepines following a panic attack, which I believe might have been provoked by a combination of prednisone and binge drinking. For the next 4.5 years, I took benzodiazepines but continued to binge drink all weekend long on most weekends. On a few occasions during that time I went to the ER with these symptoms: extreme light-headedness, feeling faint, shallow breathing, and heart palpitations. These occasions generally occurred 2 days after a weekend drinking binge. Twice, I also had waves of these symptoms for about 3 days after the onset, with additional symptoms of heightened sensitivity to sound and fear that I was dying. Most of the time though, I could binge drink on weekends without any severe symptoms the following week.

After the last episode of the symptoms I mentioned, I was diagnosed as having an adverse reaction to the benzodiazepine (my doctor was unaware of my degree of binge drinking) and I tapered off the benzos. During my taper, if would binge drink then I would have severe anxiety, panic attacks, agitation, erratic breathing, fever, high blood pressure, etc. for about 3 hours the next day. This would occur about 10-14 hours after I stopped drinking. On one occasion, I had one dilated pupil for about 10-15 minutes, and smelled smoke.

That’s when I decided to investigate. I learned about “tolerance withdrawals” and “inter-dose withdrawals” to benzos, as well as alcohol withdrawals and kindling. I also learned that alcohol can “rev up” benzo withdrawals. I’m now wondering if those first ER visits for faintness, or the later problems with panic, were associated with tolerance withdrawals or side effects of benzos, or alcohol withdrawals. Finally, I learned about protracted benzo withdrawals and protracted withdrawal syndrome from alcohol.

Now, I’ve been off benzos for 4 months and I’m still having distinct symptoms from that (throat spasms and cramps, sinus issues, metallic taste, feelings of electrocution and other strange sensations that I’ve never experienced before). I’ve also noticed that if I drink alcohol, I can experience EITHER the “elevated” CNS symptoms (anxiety, panic, agitation) OR the depressed ones (faintness, shallow breathing, weakness). In addition, I had two occasions, in absence of other symptoms except visual haziness, where people I was talking to became visually distorted. It was not a hallucination — I did not see anything that was not there. It was more like I was looking at them in a fun house mirror. Visual distortions are a known, but less common, symptom of benzo withdrawals. On the other hand, could I have had alcoholic hallucinosis?

I am part of a support group for people with benzo withdrawals and some of them also binge drank while taking the benzos. Most people, whether they binge drank or not, have reported that any amount of alcohol has revved up their benzo withdrawal symptoms during their taper and, for some, for over a year after they stopped taking the benzo. I would appreciate any feedback on this from this group, which is primarily concerned with alcohol withdrawals.

Clara
1:17 pm November 22nd, 2012

Hi, I am just starting to taper off alcohol and am sooo nervous that I am going to have withdrawal symptoms or get really sick. I am 30 years old, female and have been drinking between 7 and 10 standard drinks a night for about two years. I saw my doctor and he told me to slowly reduce my alcohol intake over a period of several weeks to avoid withdrawal symptoms, but I am freaking out that I will get sick anyway. Is my drinking history severe enough to put me at risk of DT’s? Will tapering prevent that from happening? Help!

Jess
8:05 am November 27th, 2012

hi i was wondering how long after your last drink its safe to know ur not going to die, im anorexic and in the past 2 days all ive had really is a bagel but over the course of 7 hours yesterday i drank a mmickey of rum but now i feel like crap and im having a panic attack cause im scared im going to randomly collapse, i doubt it but im still freaked so i was just wondering how long after your last drink before you know ur safe basically. so far its been abouot 8 hours

Christopher
11:09 am November 27th, 2012

Hi Jess

I have no medical related answer for your question, however my panic attacks after a binge of drinking would last for days accompanied by anxiety and dark, depressive moods. However it soon dissipated if I did not resort to drinking again thereafter, which sets the cycle in motion once again.

So my advice is don’t drink again, live through the panic and please try and eat something. The alcohol rages havoc on empty stomachs.

Jess I have seen the darkness of alcohol, because I have lived it. Read my two entries that follow each other above dated the 25 October 2012.
I truly hope and pray that you will find peace in all areas of your life, so that you don’t have to depend on alcohol for escapism.

Forgive me for having been frank, but drinking ruined my life and any encouragement I can give, I give 100% and mean it!

Christopher

D
12:22 pm November 28th, 2012

I am 31 and have been drinking for the last 10yrs. I would drink at least half to a bottle of whiskey/vodka and smoke around twenty cigarettes every night living in my comfort zone trying to digest the pathetic world around me. My whole world changed upside down following a recent incident and this is my fifth day without alcohol or cigarettes. Last night I struggled a lot and couldn’t sleep at all. Had nightmares the day before. Now have a massive headache, feel like I am catching a cold and my throat is sore. I dont remember the last time I have been ill to a cold or flu. I had four packets of crisps today and ate more than I would normally eat but I am still hungry n feeling miserable. I am determined to stay sober and hope this feeling goes away.
p.s English is not my native language therefore sorry for any mistakes

Sherry
10:29 pm November 28th, 2012

I’ve been drinking a bottle of wine every night for 5 years. I have developed hypertension (just found out today) in spite of eating properly and exercising on a daily basis (normal weight). I know that the wine is the main source of my hypertension and I need to stop. I would like to taper down, but I start a new job in a couple of days and can’t be going through withdrawals on the job. Any advice on how I should taper? Should I just cut back and see what happens in a couple of days? I’m scared right now.

Thank you

jennifer
8:39 am November 30th, 2012

hi im 29 been drinking for about three years, first year i was a bartender and thats just what i did then i became pregnant quit drinking for 10 months then i just picked up where i left off i have been drinking about a fifth of whiskey a day for the last year. i didnt drink for a day and i ended up at the walk in clinic he told me to taper off but he would rather me go to detox. my symptomms are nausea and panic attacks i cannot afford detox point blank but i have failes at tapering off once i start when i wake up i dont stop till i go to sleep. any advice for self detox i plan to suffer through it this sunday

jimmy
5:20 pm December 3rd, 2012

keep the faith,when you bye booze you are just buying pain in a glass.

jimmy
5:31 pm December 3rd, 2012

hi jennifer my names james i am also 29 and have drank alcohol for the last 12 year it could be for 7 days inarow or two weeks inarow i drink till i cant drink no more but when i decicde to pack in i always get six cans and drink them very slowley just to take the edge off i find it works and u still get a good sleep.and also just be with somebody who cares for you and try to keep busy.i havent drank now for 9 months i have gt my job back lost weight and things just seem alot clearer these days booze nearly destroyd me.

Jeff
1:17 pm December 4th, 2012

Everyone, I am no doctor but I was/am an alcoholic… I have been sober for 5 months. I quit cold turkey as well as quit smoking… The withdrawels are real!!! Thought I was going to die!!! My withdrawels lasted for about 6 weeks. If you are tired of being a slave to alcohol you can quit. You might not be successful the first time and if not, don’t beat yourself up. Just set your new target date and stick to it. I am not a preacher but I am a Christian. Reading Proverbs will truly give you strength. Another aid was to look at pictures of the damage alcohol does to your body.. Google it and you will be amazed. My prayers are with each of you!!!!

cesar
5:25 am December 15th, 2012

Well guys mine last 2 weeks and first timer. so horrible.!!! so horrible..

Suzi
4:50 pm December 18th, 2012

Hello everyone. I decided to quit drinking after years of drinking. I am doing this alone. I’ve been through rehabs before, went to AA, was sober for 5 years and then one time just decided to pick up a glass of wine to see if I was normal. HOW WRONG I WAS! I went on a heavy binge of beer and wine for about 2 months now. I am on day 2 of self detox and I am going through hell. My blood pressuree is high, my nightmares seem so real and I can not sleep a solid hour at a time at night. I get up, walk around, toss and turn. I also get horrible leg cramps which make me walk around. Everyone thought I was doing so well and looked so good yet no one really knew what I was doing. I was too ashamed. I do not really have the tremors but I have hot and cold spells, headaches, insomnia, nightmares ETC. I am going on vacation with my family in two days. I wonder if I will show any signs of detoxing? I am so mad at myself for thinking I can be a social drinker.

bob
9:17 pm December 18th, 2012

Mr Booze, Mr Booze
Mr B O-O Z E don’t ever choose.

Yeah 96 hours down here

JMD
9:34 pm December 20th, 2012

Jeff, I see your withdrawels lasted for six weeks. what type of withdrawel symptoms were you having?

Adam
3:13 pm December 29th, 2012

Hi all,

I’m asking for advice from a spectators perspective.

My Girlfriend decided to quit drinking on Christmas Eve after a very open discussion about her drinking. (80 units per day sometimes).

Since Christmas Eve she has been in bed vomiting and sleeping whilst having Hallucinations and complete body pain. We went to A&E on Boxing Day to see why she was so ill but no answers, her blood & liver has been checked and is all clear. She is eating small amounts and is on Librium starting detox on the 7th Jan which she is really excited about.

My and her biggest question is how long does the sickness & total fatigue last? She cant get around unaided & passes out mid conversation yet the docs think she is safe enough to be at home, I am a bit worried as have no formal med training and have been left with a very sick person with no clue as best to help her.

She is still consuming small amounts of drink whilst taking Librium (She says she needs it). Since Boxing day she has gone from 500ml vodka to 250ml today not through choice or administration because she cant drink or isnt waking for it, but when she drinks it makes her sick. I’m hoping her body is telling her not to drink and her brain will follow suit.

Any advice will be really appreciated, the NHS have been pretty useless.

Lisa
3:50 pm December 30th, 2012

Dear Adam,

This is great news that your girlfriend is so dedicated to address her drinking and that you are so supportive of her.

I am also glad that you mentioned what she drinks and how much. Hence, I am not a medical doctor but have been through what she is going through as well. Withdrawals can last between 3-21 days from what I have heard. Usually, when I have quit drinking, I feel pretty good within 7 days. Hence, I am a beer/wine drinker, so it’s not as potent as vodka.

Here are a couple of things that make withdrawals easier for me: 1. Coconut water. It is full of electrolytes that help to keep you from dehydration and some how stabilizes the nervous system. Look that up on the web. 2. Exercising. Breaking out a sweat can help ‘rid’ the body of the alcohol that is continuing to make her sick. 3. Hot bath. Same with the exercise. 4. Vitamin B tablets. Look this up on the web as well, to know how important this supplement is in our bodies as alcohol does not allow them to be absorbed and we really need this. 5. GABA – this helps to create a sense of calm. 6. Valerian and Melatonin. These are natural sleep aids that are non addictive and even though you say she is sleeping a lot, alcohol totally messes up our REM sleep patterns in our brains. This is why when we are withdrawing, nightmares and hallucinations seem unbearable. She is probably sleeping a lot because her quality of sleep is so poor, her body/brain is exhausted. Natural sleep aids will help her to get on track. This may take 2-4 weeks depending on how long she has been ill with alcohol.

She is going to be tired, because her body is exhausted from what she has been putting into it. The body doesn’t like change, but once it gets used to it, it is welcomed. Let her sleep, but watch over her to make sure she does not start to have seizures.

Last thing I can say is that she really should be in a hospital to be monitored. I can’t tell what country you are from, but here in the U.S., they encourage people to NEVER quit drinking on their own because unlike withdrawals from other drugs, one can die from alcohol withdrawal. Strange, but true.

There’s more I can say, but hopefully these little tidbits give you something to research on. Thank you for being there for her. The hardest thing is to go through this alone. It’s scary because our bodies do some crazy things when we are detoxing. It is troubling to hear that she is drinking while taking Librium. That combination is probably what is making her so sick and it’s a deadly combination. If she has to drink at all, see if she would drink something with less alcohol content, like a light beer and have her taper off that way and not use the Librium until she is clear.

Best of luck, my friend. You are a good man for helping her through this.

Lisa
5:26 pm December 30th, 2012

I forgot to mention one other thing: Have plenty of fruits/vegetables on hand. Particularly grapes and apples. Grapes are known to simulate the alcohol effect and apples add roughage to help her rid of the poisons in her stools.

Kay
11:54 pm January 3rd, 2013

Hi, I have been drinking for 10 years socially, however the last 2 years I have been drinking daily 4-12 (sometimes more) and occasionally binging on an all day session. 28th December was the last major binge, 12 hours continual drinking lager. I have been dry for 3 days now and I feel very lethargic during the day, irritable and very tired. But come bed time I am awake until 2-3am: I am sat here at 11.49pm tired but u able to switch off. I have fleeting thoughts of going for a beer to “settle me off” but I’m determined to kick this habit. My girlfriend doesn’t understand that I need her support and seems annoyed that I have finally admitted I have a problem. She rarely drinks and thinks that getting to this point is entirely my own fault and I shouldn’t need encouragement and a pat on the back, for not having a drink. I love her dearly, and through wanting to be a better person for her and my children seems to be insignificant to her. Is it normal to feel like I’m over heating when lying in bed? Sorry this is coming out as a bit all over the place but I am typing it how I feel. Anyone else been here?

Jeff
3:53 pm January 4th, 2013

Hey Kay, see if you can get her to read some of the post on here… Sad but true as far as her not understanding. As you probably read, withdrawels for some of us lasted several weeks. It does get better but rough journey for sure. No magical answer other than burn in your mind how you are feeling now so once you get past the withdrawels you will have the strength to not go back. Will say a prayer for you and I know you are stronger than the addiction!!!!

Jay
7:29 pm January 4th, 2013

Thanks for your reply jeff, it’s jay again (it came out as Kay last night) day 4 of no alcohol, I managed to get to sleep by 1am last night, which I guess is a slight improvement. It’s my first Friday without alcOhio tonight, and I’m not that bothered. The acid test will be tomorrow, my football teams first game since my last “binge”. I have made excussss to not travel to London with friends to watch the game, because the whole day (away days) are a drink fueled mess. The normal itinery for tomorrow wil usually consist of up at 8, a 12 pack of beers for the train, hitting the cheap bars at 11 in London and drinking until kick off, beers at half time, and then back to the bar for beers post game, before getting the train back and again, into a local pub for more beers. Drink until closing and then heading back to a to a friends for a night cap, before heading home in the early hours. I shall listen to the game on the radio, but whilst doing that I will start writing a business plan for my ultimate goal of being self employed. If I can stay dry I can do anything. The smoking will be the next habit to go. But I will give my full attention to the drink first, because this is the biggie for me, in that although smoking is just as damaging physically, drink is ruining my life on so many levels socially, financially and emotionally. Not to mention the affect it has in my relationships.

Jeff
2:18 pm January 5th, 2013

Hey JMD… Sorry for just now replying. Hard to identify what symptoms where from what as I quit drinking and smoking at the same time. I went to the emergency room with all the syptoms of a heart attack, I felt I had no reason to live, I gained weight, I could not sleep, I was very emotional, the thought of suicide did not enter my mind but the thought of running away did for sure.. Anyway, still to this day I sometimes think that I felt better when I smoked and drank but deep down I know that is not true. Hope everyone is doing well and know that none of us are perfect but the difference is some of us desire to be perfect. :)

jacqueline williams
11:10 am January 8th, 2013

Hi, I “gave up” alcohol on 14/11/2012 because I could feel something pressing on right side of my back and thought it was my liver. The doctor didn’t think it was but I gave a blood test which confirmed my liver has been damaged (she didn’t tell me how badly). I have been drinking alcohol for the last 30 years ( 20 units a days for the last 20 years). I have had a couple of drinks 3 times in the first couple of weeks but have been completely dry since 29th December. I feel OK and am actually used to having an orange squosh instead of alcohol with little cravings. My biggest problem is sleeping. I “slept” 11 hours the other day and could have still stayed in bed if I could. I am forever extremely tired and have constant headaches. I have read about natural sleep remedies. Could anyone advise me of these.

This is a great site. It’s good to know others are trying too. My doctor has offered me councelling (which I have refused) and 50mg thiamine a day. No other treatment. I told her about my sleepless nights but she refused medication and when I asked for antibuse to help me get over the first few weeks was refused that too as she said I could easily just “stop” the antibuse to start drinking again!!

Cheers, Eline

Laura moss
2:22 am January 10th, 2013

I began drinking wine before bed about 12 years ago. Over time it went from one glass to 2 bottles…always at night. Recently my hands trembled and I was shocked. I vowed to try to change and know I need to detox. For many reasons I want to first try on my own. Over the last two weeks I have cut down to 3 glasses (units) before bed. I am going to continue slowly to zero. I exercise daily, take all the B vitamins, a multivitamin and meds for hypertension. Is this safe?

1:19 pm January 10th, 2013

Hi Laura. It’s a good start to try to taper alcohol doses over time. But you really need to consult an MD for best results and follow up treatment. You don’t need to withdraw from alcohol alone!

Jeff
2:03 pm January 10th, 2013

Congrats Laura!!! I am no doctor but everyone’s body is different. The most important thing is if you do go to a doctor make sure he understands your symptoms ARE REAL. My doctor did not have a clue the nightmare I experience was directly tied to my withdrawels. The only way I knew this was after I found sites like this and read other people having the same symptoms. Stand firm and I encourage you to read Proverbs… Some awesome words of wisdom!!!

Laura moss
11:12 pm January 10th, 2013

Thank you for replying and your support. I take it this will be harder than I understand now. My plan is to continue to taper off, albeit more slowly than I thought before your advice. At the first sign of difficulty I will consult a doctor. I am concerned that this could endanger my life insurance policy, but life is more important than insurance. I will also stay with this blog. I appreciate that the advice is skillfully given.

Jim
7:45 pm January 12th, 2013

Hello All;
I’ve been drinking almost daily for 35 years and decided to quit on January 2nd. Fortunately over time I’ve slowly reduced my early 20′s heavy consumption to just two beers a night for past five years. However still felt powerless to stop, and the few times I tried the withdrawl effects were uncomfortable enough that I resumed my nightly routine.

But I was determined this time, and tapered with one beer for first four days, and now been dry for past six days with very managable side effects. Also, instead of completely removing the process/habit of drinking beer, I just substituted with N/A lager beer and that seemed to help smooth the transition. This isn’t easy, but doable.

As for nutrition/supplements I would suggest Milk Thistle for liver regeneration, Magnesium ( very important) for general health & calming effect, a supplement combination of GABA-Seritonin ( health/sleep), a good multi-vitamin and Tylenol PM ( or anything with Diphenhydramine HCI 25Mg) for sleep.

I also scoured the web for books on the subject I might enjoy & relate to. For my personal taste, I’ve ordered “AA-Not The Only Way” by Melanie Solomon, “Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down, 50 Things Every alcoholic & Addict In Early Recovery Should Know”, and “The Roadmap To Resilience”, Meichenbaum. Its only a $50 investment for these books, and feel like they’ll be a priceless resource for me during recovery.

From what I’ve learned, long term alcohol dependence alters the brain/central nervous system functions. And once we stop, the withdrawls are created by the brain/body “readjusting” itself to being starved of the drug-

Best to all who are trying to kick/cure a disease/dependence. Love that this forum is here to share with others, and knowing your not alone, and that their are plenty of resources to cull from to help beat the withdrawls is encouraging-

margaret
3:58 pm January 15th, 2013

hi, my partner is a drinker, he drinks constantly, he takes a bottle of cider to bed even, i hear him in the night drinking, im worried sick about him, he dont listen to me when i try an talk to him about it, he will admit he as a problem, the problem is, it is putting a huge strain on our relationship, where we are arguing a lot, i just dont know where to turn, i even leave numbers an leaflets about the house for help with his drinking problem, i know he sees them, but he chooses to ignore them, i dont like getting on him all the time about it, but i feel in the long term i will loose him, either by the drink or by the relationship breaking down because of his addiction to alcohol, i just dont know wat to do anymore.

margaret
4:13 pm January 15th, 2013

its not just the drinker thats suffers its there loved ones too, seeing them go through it, i hate it when he will do anything to try an get a drink an the pain he go’s through when he dont have a drink.

Mike S.
4:14 am January 18th, 2013

Hi. I’m drinking right now as we speak. I’m trying to taper down at home with the support of my wife. I gave her all my money and credit cards. I think I could say no… just not after that first one. Nobody ever asked me to quit, and I never hit rock bottom. Nobody else knew, but after many years of drinking a 12 pack a day alone at night, I tried to re-integrate into the world (I’m a hermit because I’ve been arrested for being in the wrong places with the wrong people), and I’d still drink my 12 pack, along with whatever else I’d been given in my travels.

Recently though, with the increase, I’d been blacking out every night, and waking up every morning guilty over what I may have or may not have said or done the night before. The guilt was literally driving me insane and I was literally eating myself from the inside out. Nobody else knew, but you can’t hide from yourself.

I’m 36 and I’ve been drinking since I was 14. It has been daily now for like 10 years at the 12 packs, and has often doubled that amount in the last year. Previously, I had decided to cut down and did quit for weeks without any withdrawal symptoms. However, I’m glad I looked it up this time as it can kill you and I can feel my body is breaking down.

Speaking of that, I lost like 50 lbs. in a year, and everyone was telling me how great I looked, figuring loss of beer belly= less beer. Nope, I wasn’t eating sometimes for days on end. Even early in my taper, I am starved. I had 6 healthy meals yesterday.

Anyway, I will be on my journey, but I wanted to share something I learned through my research this time around. I’m not trying to scare people, but I thought it was worth mentioning that each time you do detox your system, you put yourself at greater and greater risk of seizures and dt’s with each subsequent withdrawal. I’m not saying that if you already withdrawn to just keep drinking, but it might be incentive to keep from drinking again to know that it’s only going to get worse and worse each time you have to do it. I know that’s what’s running through my mind.

Oh, and a question… I HAVE noticed that when I was a kid, I was really outgoing. Now, it seems when I’m sober I’m almost lifeless, and when I’m drinking, I’m “like my old self” again. I’m figuring this has to do with an imbalance in serotonin, and I’m wondering if there’s a way to raise my serotonin levels again?

Thanks.

Mike S.
4:44 am January 18th, 2013

LOL. After I was finished here, I decided I wanted answers quicker than I was going to get them. It would seem that an alcoholic craves carbohydrates because the sugar masks the lower serotonin, while protein actually increases it, according to the following link…

http://scienceblog.com/community/older/2000/A/200000173.html

It’s not peer reviewed, but I’m sure he knows more than I do.

Ross Glackin
4:49 pm January 21st, 2013

I am 22 and I and a heavy drinker at the weekend sometimes i drink during the week, I want to quit and I know that I can do it but i am scared
due to reading about how bad alcohol withdraw symptoms are and it’s bad enough already from all the panic attacks, missed heart beats and anxiety all the time.

jay
11:52 pm January 22nd, 2013

hi i am jay, i use to drink everynight, after dark , i used to drink bourbon readymade, and sometimes bears, i had been drinking for say 2-3 year everynight, now in sep 2012 , someone said there was gonna be an earthquake, and then i was driving on the motorway and then suddeenly felt the earthquake, but there was no earthquake, checked with the doctors they said it was anxiety , went through medical teast and everything was fine, became fobic to driving, and many other things, i stopped drinking from october 2012 and anxiety still persited , and i am not drinkind from that time till today, so i can say 2 and half months i never had a drink. i fconsulted people who been through depression and anxiety before, talking to them made me 100 better for 1 week , but mild anxiety seems to have come back , since last 1 week again. , evening times i am ok, but day time it peaks up. i don’t feel like drinking anymore, since the day i quitted, only 1 or 2 times i felt like having some drink, but i never go ahead with it. so quitting is not seemed to be a problem to me, but i wanna know, did this all happen because i was drinking every night in the past. also how long it will take to get detoxed . help please……

Jim
7:06 pm January 25th, 2013

Hello All;

I would strongly encourage everyone to incorporate exercise into your recovery. Its helped me tremendously. The benefit list is virtually endless. Exercise releases “endorphins” ( feel good), it warms the blood which gives the brain/body a calming effect, its purported to generate new nerve connections in the brain that may fast track healing & repair, increase personal confidence, help “cope” in a healthy way, take mind off worries/cravings-

I’m tellin ya, its the best thing YOU can do for yourself- Start a simple/easy 30-40 minute walk/run program – or go for a walk if your feeling anxious- I even tried hula-hoop & juggling- it all helps-
Best of luck to all trying to get straight

Martha
7:37 pm March 7th, 2013

2 glasses of wine each night, maybe 3. I have not had a drink in 4 days and have had a headache for all 4 days. Is this normal? I get up each AM and teach Boot Camp or Spin, I try to consume lots of water thinking it may be dehydration, but it just seems weird that I have had this headache for the 4 days I haven’t had wine.

Donna Fischer
1:12 am March 11th, 2013

I am a alcoholic but have not had a drink in 3 months. I have had several detoxs and fairly long withdrawal periods. I am going to a wedding and am wondering if I limit myself to 3 glasses of wine will I get the severe withdrawal symptoms that I had after months of drinking heavily. My husband who does not drink will be making sure that I don’t have more than 3 glasses. I do not intend to drink on a daily basis after that !

jay
9:30 am March 11th, 2013

ya that’s normal , dopn’t worry about it, have some panadol, or aspirin, you will do fine. and keep up with the withdrawl , don’t give up , you will be better in a week or so. don’t drink excessive water, drink as normal , just act normal you will be fine.

angela
2:21 pm March 11th, 2013

How long is the brain chemical messed up after drinking for30 years?

Christopher
9:07 am March 12th, 2013

Hi Donna

If you are an alcoholic as you say and confess you are, then it is my strong and loving opinion for you not to drink at all at the wedding!

As an alcoholic myself, I have come to terms with the fact that I can never drink again as a “normal” person, but rather total abstinence is what I should hold onto instead. Because, when I have my first drink it sets off a chemical pattern that sweeps through my brain and body that screams for more. Perhaps you know what I mean?

Regards
Christopher

ann simpson
5:11 pm March 13th, 2013

my botfriend started detox for alcohol on tues 12/13.2013 he is doing that in the house he cut down on alcohol quite a bit before staring this this the second day will he be worse than the firstand when will he start to feel a bit better

ann simpson
5:19 pm March 13th, 2013

my boyfriend gut down his alcohol limit before starting detox at home yesterday this is the second day will he be worse today and when will he start to feel a wee bit better im really worried about him

Droors
12:18 am May 27th, 2013

I am 28 years old. I have stopped drinking about 8 times now in a year. I have become an expert on withdrawals. I did a detox clinic the 1st time. I have used Ativan the rest except this last time. I was a heavy functioning drinker for 6 years. After I stopped the 1st time I became a binge drinker. I would drink hard for 10 days then stop. I never seeked help after I detoxed which is why I kept going back. Alcoholism goes from bad to worse over night. This time I am in a good out patient program and not going back. I have advice for those who are worried about detoxing. If you are in fairly good health and a younger age. Do not freak out, I drank a 26er a day of rye. Stay away from the meds, I became addicted to them. And had two problems. Stop cold turkey but have a diet in place. Avoid to much water it raises the blood pressure, vitamin water and gateraid

Droors
12:29 am May 27th, 2013

It cut me off.. Gatoraide salads, lots of b vitamins and sleep. By day 4 you will feel a lot better. Go get the help after though. Go intoout patient. I found the 1st 12 hours the worst, the 3rd day I would feel intense anxiety and blood pressure. All I wanted was Ativan. I did it without and now feel great 10 days later. I found Ativan was just replacing my drinking. Anyone can detox safely with good diet, chicken salads vitamin water and b vitamins. Eat eat right away I know it’s hard but the sooner you eat the sooner you recover. Day1 hell day 2 hell day 3 better day 4 I was on a plane home and this was after 10 days of a 40 a day and was found passed out in a motel room in another city. If I can do you can. Dont let a the online withdrawal symptoms scar you. I have never herd of anyone my age dying of withdrawals.

John
2:52 pm June 22nd, 2013

I took my last drink two months ago after a lifetime of drinking alcohol. I didn’t have any withdrawal problems but now I find that I have an extremely heightened sense of self awareness almost to the point of hypochondria. has anyone else experienced this?

Anna
4:59 pm July 8th, 2013

Hi, I have been drinking 1-2 bottles of wine a day for the past week. My last drink was 7 hours ago. I am 43 and in good health and was wondering what I should expect withdrawal-wise. I have an ativan scrip handy for anxiety because that’s been my main experience from previous withdrawals. I also get loss of appetite. I wanted to go on a retreat and am supposed to leave tomorrow afternoon. Do you think I’ll be well enough to go?

JMD
12:59 am July 11th, 2013

John, I have had those similar symptoms due to alcohol withdrawal. I went and had a complete check up with my general practioner, had a complete eye exam and dental check up. This made me feel much better knowing everythig has checked out well. This sense of heightened awareness is just reality. Your body was use to being desensitized due to the alcohol induced brain fog. Staying away from caffiene and alcohol and choosing a healthier lifestyle has definately helped me alot. I am working out daily. I started Juicing using Kale, spinach, apples,carrots and lemon (tastes ahhhkay but definately is an energy and brain booster). I also have incorperated DDP yoga into my new lifestyle. Stick with it John, You can do it!

John
7:58 am July 12th, 2013

Thanks for that JMD and for the encouragement. As time progresses I’m beginning to enjoy this new found (or regained) reality more each day. But I’m angry at myself now that I didn’t kick the demon many years ago, but better late than never I guess.

Family and those close can see the massive difference kicking the habit has made in me and this too is great encouragement to stay dry.

May I wish you all the very best of strength and good luck also in your efforts to permanently kick it.

Pam
4:24 am January 16th, 2014

My advice to all. DO NOT DRINK. It almost killed me and I watched my husband die right before my eyes from alcohol. He got up off the couch were he had been sleeping, walked into the bathroom to the sink, threw up, turned around and fell down in front of me onto the floor and died.
So please don’t let alcohol still your life and or take the life of someone you love. I’ve been sober for one year, three months and eight days. I did with Gods help and the prayers and support of my family and friends.

Ricky Ward
3:08 am April 29th, 2014

Hi. I used to drink to every day but its just for a good night sleep. I only give myself sometimes a jigger, and sometimes half a liter of Jack D. It’s like my body welcomes this drink as a sort of water and I love it. I crave for it every night. Am I considered alcoholic for this? I’m on a broken family, my Dad died last year, I’m an only child. And from that, will I have this withdrawal if I decided to stop this ??

Ricky Ward
3:13 am April 29th, 2014

Hi. I used to drink to every day but its just for a good night sleep. I only give myself sometimes a jigger, and sometimes half a liter of Jack D. It’s like my body welcomes this drink as a sort of water and I love it. I crave for it every night. Am I considered alcoholic for this? I’m on a broken family, my Dad died last year, I’m an only child. And from that, will I have this withdrawal if I decided to stop this ???

travonedge
1:51 am June 4th, 2014

How long do withdrawal from alcohol and marijuana last

Mike
4:54 pm June 4th, 2014

Hi I really want to stop drinking. I am 34 and an alcoholic. I’ve been drinking for 20 yrs on and off with periods of sobriety. I was on some severe pain medicine because all my joints are deteriorating but detoxed feb18th from the opioids. I recently began drinking heavily to compensate for the lack of euphoria I was getting from 8 30mg oxycodone, 2 80mg OxyContin, 8-8mg dilaudid, 2-12 mg exalgo, 4 10mg of Valium daily. I’ve been tapering my alchol intake daily. Today I’m ready to quit. It’s been 12hrs since my last drink I’m just wondering how long it takes to feel normal again.

mary
10:37 pm June 4th, 2014

hi im sober 28 days now went cold turkey! physically feel better but mentally drained. very tearful ashamed and cant bear negative people around me. will this stop soon! im getting help and trying to stay positive but its sooo hard!

Jodee
5:47 pm June 9th, 2014

My daughter is a alcoholic she has been off the alcohol for 12 days but her whole body aches how long until these body aches go away

Mikey
8:48 pm June 10th, 2014

Anybody who quits cold turkey is an idiot or incredibly naive. not only are you risking your immediate health but your health down the line. A bad cold turkey withdrawal will often lead to PAWS (Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome)

Either…

1) Go to a detox clinic
2) taper down as low as you can at home and then stop. Going staright from drinking 2 bottles of wine an evening for 5 years to nothing the next day is INSANITY

Manny
4:03 pm June 15th, 2014

Hi I have been drinking for aproximately 16 years, I am 31. I have had my short periods of not drinking ,but would smoke a massive amount of weed during those intervals. I have tried to constantly quit but have failed multiple times,Went to AA numerous times and just never worked for me,went to therapy which helped a little.I have always been somewhat of a loner, just stick to myself kinda guy. Really humble dont bother no one, I mean dont get me wrong ,I like to interact and hang out. Just started piicking the habbit of drinking alone in my late 20s. Luckily I have a wife and 3 kids. So im not completely a hermit I guess. Well I started getting pain in my right abdomen like 2 years ago and went to docs, had ultrasound blood work, nothing was found they just said I had a mild case of pancreatitis. So continued drinking anyway. The pain kept coming back after my binge scattered weekdays. I have had this pain checked 5x thinking it was cirrosis or something like that. I finally said forget this alcohol madness. I have been so hypochondriac. and stressed that I finally quit. I have been sober for 14 days now. and the pain comes and goes very mildly. but I think its from all the years of my abuse that my organs are like STOP! I have gone cold turkey and signed up for the gym.taking milk tgistle,turmeric,multivitamins,and alot of sweat,and jesus christ. I love my family and alcohol demons were in my blood, curropting my mind. I only wish I would have quit many years ago. You can do it! ask god for help. Commit yourself.

Monica
4:26 am June 23rd, 2014

Does anyone have experience with detoxing from alcohol using valium? My husband is taking it but it seems that, even when he does not take it , he’s groggy, sleepy, he mumbles instead of talking, he forgets things (he took off his glasses and put them in the pile of branches that was then taken and “chewed-up” but the garbage people), he’s very unstable when he walks and often doesn’t make any sense when he talks. He took one yesterday evening and today he was still as I described it. Can valium last so long?

Sola
10:43 am June 24th, 2014

My husband quit drinking about a month ago with the help of Valium, but the symptoms continue (memory loss, weakness, sleepiness, he’s sometimes convinced someone said something when they are not); I am afraid he is suffering of what they apparently called warnicke encephalopathy; anybody dealt with this and can help? Is it reversible? We are going to the doc today (neurologist).

DeeDee
12:34 pm June 24th, 2014

My fiance is currently being detained for a few weeks before being released. He’s an alcoholic , his consumption of alcohol consists of 24+ cans of beer per day. It was rare to see him drinking anything but beer. Waking up in the night…and also, his morning drink with hot sauce and pickle juice. Long story short, we speak on the phone and he seams to be okay. I have not asked him how he is feeling . He is now ten days with no alcohol. He always said he could quit if he wanted to, this, however, is not his choice but being detained he cannot drink and has no access to alcohol. I will ask him today how he is feeling as I know at home it was a routine vomiting every morning. I do not want to call the facility and alert them to watch him. He would be furious as he is shameful of his habit already. That being said, he’s ten days dry, should I be concerned about withdrawal symptoms? What questions should I ask him about his health and tell him to watch for?

isaac pedraza
7:13 am June 25th, 2014

I drank mikeys 40 ounce, started from two 40 ouncers till I tolerated 3 some times 4 if I smoked. I had that cycle for about 4-5 months took Xanax, like 5 bars a day for a whole week, I decided to stop drinking and stop taking those pills. I stayed sober for a hole day but at night I couldn’t sleep and the next day at night I felt like passing out, i got a deja-vu feeling every 2 to 5 seconds, and I’ve been dealing with anxiety after that. I’ve been sober for 3 moths and I still get anxiety. PLEASE!!! Help me by answering my question is this anxiety gonna be Permanent????

Tara
5:25 am June 28th, 2014

My boyfriend of 5+ years has recently decided to “not drink at all for 2 weeks straight.” The 2 weeks began on Monday (last drink was laaaate Sunday night – technically early Monday morning) and it is now Friday night. He has been, for lack of a better word, a complete jerk for the past 3 days and I was just wondering if this is a typical side effect of alcohol detox or if I’m just finally seeing the real him. Also, if it IS the detox talking, how long should this symptom last?
I’m hoping after 2 weeks he’ll realize he feels much better (physically but more about life in general) and will continue his sobriety.
If anyone has experience with this situation and can share some insight with me, I’d really appreciate it!!!
Thank you!
T

Coly
12:49 am July 4th, 2014

My boyfriend is suffering from alcoholism. He has not drank in 5 days, I think. He is very off. Seems confused, slurry, with no direction. Appears mentally ill. Is this normal for coming off the alcohol? Can someone appear drunk but be sober, after long term use?

Amelia
3:54 pm July 13th, 2014

How can I help ,y son go through the dts

nathan
3:02 am July 16th, 2014

I have been drink heavily for the past ten year a 24 pack a day plus wine and some times liquor I quit a week ago after I died of an alcohol/ drug over dose I have been drinking kava tea and taking kava capsules which really help after I finished tapering off I could not do anything barely made it threw work after research I tried kava I still feel somewhat sick but no shakes or puking I get a full nights sleep and I’m not all pissy I would recamend people who are trying to quit to research it and see if they feel it is right for them I have tried many things in the past year never making it past two days this is the furthest I have ever made and feel as if I will really make it this time

Robin
2:45 am July 17th, 2014

I am 7 days now sinc my last drink. For years I have consumed liquor or wine usually daily. Sometimes up to 5-6 drinks each day. I experienced hangover type headaches every morning since I quit. My question is; why am I so thirsty? To the point that my lips and tounge feel like they are drying out. I can’t drink enough water to make this go away.

mike
8:13 am July 21st, 2014

if someone does quit cold turkey and starts having siezure and halluci.ations shortly after how long would they have those symptoms and are they fixable

Eg
1:13 am July 28th, 2014

Been drinking heavily for nearly 3 1/2 months. Im 23. I used to drink heavily as a teenager for almost 2 years and stopped cold turkey. 4 years later I started up again. I started off only needing like 4 beers to get a good buzz, but after 3 months im up to 15 beers or 1 pint of hard alcohol, with only 1 day breaks in between. How could someone reach that tolerance in such a short amount of time? It amazes me.

David
2:05 am July 28th, 2014

@Mike I usually rarely comment on this things, but I wanted to send you a “thataboy”. Getting off the amount of opiates you were taking is a huge undertaking, especially considering you still have to pain! I realize your post was well over a month ago, but I hope you have been as successful with booze. As a recovering drunk myself, I know what your going through, you will feel “normal” soon. Your body has been through a s*** storm, but it will recover, hang tough! I didn’t have a terrible problem with physical withdrawal as much as learning how to do things sober. After a decadeish if drinking close to a liter of whiskey a day, 5+ days a week I didn’t remember how to live. Even after being a multi-decade experienced (and very proficient) guitar player I felt like I was learning to play all over again, which sucked. I didn’t know how to watch TV without a big glass of Four Roses, pay the bills, do dishes, clean, etc. Hell, for a long time I couldn’t carry a phone conversation as they had all been done drunk (remembering about 50% of them). But, eventually I figured out how to live again. And by far my favorite thing to remember was getting in the shower at 5:30am before work and not be be a shaking worthless mess. Keep trucking, it gets better! Carpe Diem!

Brian
9:02 pm August 6th, 2014

Hey folks I was a long time heavy drinking alcoholic, I have now been sober for coming up on 2 years and still sometimes feel sort of withdrawal symptoms. Anyone who is quitting I can tell you it is well worth the effort, it is very trying at times but worth sticking with it. I have spoken to people who just stop by themselves and this I would not recommend as dangers of seizures are very real always seek medical help, Alcohol is legal and the most dangerous drug there is withdrawal symptoms can kill. Going cold turkey from other drugs i.e heroin will make you feel very unwell but will not kill you alcohol will. If I can help anyone going through a hard time or be of any help please feel free, take care and god bless.

kell
12:21 pm August 21st, 2014

Hi,im a strong beer drinker for almost 5 years…and now i stop drinking for over 2 months..im suffering anxiety,how long it takes the anxiety to go away?thank you..

jane
2:54 am August 28th, 2014

I am a chronic alcholic I was in hospital 5 weeks ago and found out that I am at the second stages of chorisis of the liver I had my stomach drained of fluid since coming out of hospital I have carried on drinking I drink from the minute I wake up to the time I go to bed I drink k cider at 8.4 percent plus vodka and also the odd shot of whisky my legs are now swollen again and so is my stomach Ip

judy
12:34 am September 1st, 2014

do you get the sweets real bad

peggy
5:13 pm September 3rd, 2014

Can sombody remember that they say and do if they in a state of delirium tremens

peggy
5:15 pm September 3rd, 2014

My friend swear at me will he remember that. Call me very ugly name as well

James
3:46 pm September 4th, 2014

I’ve been drinking at least a pint of whiskey every day for the last 20 years. I was always able to maintain, I never drank during the day or afternoon, only in the evening. And I drink a lot of water to counter balance the booze during the day. It slowly caught up to me and wore me down more and more and I was 50 pounds overweight too. I quit about two months ago.

I was different than other people in that alcohol kept me awake. When I was drinking, I would feel tired at 8pm and start drinking, the tiredness would go away and I would stay up until 2am.

First thing that happened when I quit was that I would sleep at 8pm and I was tired and exhausted all the time. All day long. My dreams and nightmares the first few nights were astounding. Very vivid and real. Going to bed was an adventure. I didn’t really have any physical withdrawals other than feeling tired and groggy all the time. My stomach feels better, no more heartburn.

Every time I felt like a drink I would just repeat to myself, “It’s only a beverage. It’s just a beverage.” and sometimes I would pour myself a fresh cold tomato juice to sip on while I watched TV or a movie.

I am still very exhausted and tired, it might take me a while more to catch up on my sleep. I think alcohol disconnects you from your body. My body was screaming I’M TIRED all those years but I drank at night and couldn’t feel it.

Just put the alcohol away, it’s no way to live. It’s just a beverage. Be done with it.

Rachael S
10:11 pm September 10th, 2014

Is this formum still going? I have some questions.
My husband has been a heavy drinker for a long time. Has had 3 seizures within a span of 8 years from alcohol withdrawl. He’s recently had the last one a week ago after binge drinking for 4 days straight. The doctor said that he could have 3 to 4 beers a day and that would prevent him going thru the withdrawl and seizing…
It makes me nervous when he drinks bc I’m not understanding how drinking those 4 beers a day wil help when he’s been drinking mostly liquor for a while now. Will that really prevent him from having the withdrawl that brings him to having a seizure?

Brian
7:27 pm September 11th, 2014

Hi Jennifer, everyone is different but I have spoken to people who have had withdrawals from having 2-4 drinks every day and if the alcohol was strong then you were probably having some mild withdrawals but to be on the safe side I would have a few lower alcoholic drinks over a few days and then you will be fine hope that this helps.

Melanie
2:21 pm September 21st, 2014

I am a woman of 51 who has never been a drinker before although I have had other addiction issues ( mainly opiates). In the past four months, after the unexpected death of my 56 year old husband, and then my father soon after, I suddenly started drinking these very fruity tasting drinks I discovered. I have always hated the taste of alcohol. Anyway I recently was shocked to learn that these 23.5 oz cans were the equivalent of 4-5 shots of 80 proof alcohol, and I have been drinking 2-3 a day. My question is this: will suddenly stopping this amount make me suffer any ill effects–eg. DTs, withdrawal, etc. Thanks for any help I can get.

jr
2:21 pm September 24th, 2014

how do you know if you are withdrawing from alcohol or xanax

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