Friday October 31st 2014

What happens to the body after you stop drinking alcohol?

What happens when heavy drinkers stop drinking?

The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are caused by an acute over activity of the autonomic nervous system, the part of the nervous system that helps manage the body’s response to stress. When you drink excessive amounts of alcohol, the central nervous system (CNS) has self-adjusted to the constant presence of alcohol in the body. The CNS learns to compensates for alcohol’s depressive effects on both brain function and the communication among nerve cells by acting in a hyperactive state. This is why when you stop drinking alcohol, and blood-alcohol level suddenly lowers, the brain remains in a hyperactive, or hyper-excited, state, causing alcohol withdrawal.

What is alcohol withdrawal?

Alcohol withdrawal manifests when regular, heavy drinkers stop drinking or cut down on drinking. Withdrawal occurs only in people who are physically dependent on alcohol and whose bodies are accustomed to regular alcohol intake.

Symptoms of withdrawal after you stop drinking

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal usually appear in regular, high-dose drinkers as soon as blood alcohol level decreases significantly. Withdrawal from alcohol usually occurs within 5 – 10 hours after you take your last drink, but withdrawal symptoms have also been known to occur several days after the last drink.

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can range from mild to severe. Withdrawal can even threaten lives.  Alcohol withdrawal symptoms and how long alcohol withdrawal lasts vary by individual, but will generally be more intense the longer and harder you drink. If you keep reading, we explain how the body processes alcohol, and what happens during alcohol metabolism. Read on to learn how alcohol metabolism varies and why it is important for drinkers.

What is alcohol metabolism?

Alcohol metabolism is the way the body breaks down and eliminates alcohol from the body. Because each of our bodies is different, the way that we break down alcohol is different. But more importantly, individual variations in alcohol metabolism influence drinking related problems. The better your body can break down ethanol (the chemical name for alcohol), the more you are prone to drink, and to develop alcohol problems.

Alcohol metabolism 101

Alcohol is broken down and eliminated from the body in separate steps. The liver is the main organ used in the metabolism of alcohol. However, the brain, pancreas, and stomach also metabolize alcohol.

1. During step 1, chemicals called enzymes break ethanol (the chemical name for alcohol) into smaller compounds. Specifically, an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) breaks down ethanol into a toxic compound called acetaldehyde (CH3CHO) in the liver.

2. In step 2, another enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) breaks down the acetaldehyde into a less toxic compound called acetate (CH3COO-), also in the liver.

3. Acetate then is broken down to carbon dioxide and water and eliminated from the body.

4. Small amounts of alcohol also are removed by interacting with fatty acids to form compounds called fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs).

More on what causes hangovers here.

Why is alcohol metabolism important?

The body can only metabolize a certain amount of alcohol every hour. However, the amount of alcohol you can process varies widely between people and depends on a range of factors including body mass, environmental factors, liver size, and genetic differences in metabolizing enzymes. In other words, if you metabolize alcohol efficiently, you may be at higher risk for drinking problems.

Please let us know if you have any questions by leaving them in the comment form below. We answer ALL relevant questions personally and promptly.

Reference sources: An update on alcohol metabolism
Treatment of Alcohol Withdrawal and Introduction to Alcohol Withdrawal publications from the NIAAA

Photo credit: Alvaro Carrilho

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241 Responses to “What happens to the body after you stop drinking alcohol?
SELVAKUMAR
9:36 am August 12th, 2011

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am an alcoholic for last 15 years and an heavy drinker, I went to Doctor and asked his help to withdraw immediatly.

He prescribed me Librium 10mg morning 2 and night 2 for 10 days.

Let me know whether I come out of this habit.

Thanks

12:38 pm August 15th, 2011

Hello SELVAKUMAR. Most times, people going through alcohol withdrawal get it out of their bodies in 7-10 days. But in severe cases, withdrawal may last a little longer.

Alcohol withdrawal is different than recovery from alcoholism, though. You can get the alcohol out of your body and still want to drink. So once you are no longer physically dependent on alcohol, you need to figure out a way to stop drinking.

There are a few approaches to help you stay out of the alcohol habit. Psychological counseling helps, as does participation in 12 step groups. There are face-to-face meetings, or online 12 step meetings like A.A. Other alternatives include taking medications which make you sick if you start drinking again.

Please email us with more specific questions, and we’ll try to help.

Nick
8:23 pm August 15th, 2011

Firstly, good luck to Selvakumar, I hope you find the happiness you deserve by confronting your issue.

Dear addiction blog, I’ve been drinking heavily for 20 years. Over the last ten years I have on average drunk 6-8 beers every night without fail with a poor diet of having no breakfast, maybe a sandwich for lunch – then Id have the beers and eat just before bed. I know this is not good so I decided to change my habits about two weeks ago. I’ve been exercising by playing tennis, going to the gym and swimming every other day. I’ve read up on nutrition and am eating a balance of carbs (fruit, veg and smoothies and vogel bread), proteins (Chicken and fish and good fats (Nut’s and oily fish) all within the suggested calorie intake for a male. I have vitamin B supplements and drink plenty of water. So I feel I’m doing what I can naturally. But the thing is I go two days without a drink and I have such a severe headache, I have a couple of beers to take the edge off which I don’t want to do, luckily I generally have the will power at the moment for this not to turn into a binge. The headaches seem to occur when the alcohol has left my system. From what I’ve read on the web my logical conclusion is that I’ve become physically dependent on the sugar that you get from drinking alcohol. Obviously there are psychological things going on as well but I have support in place to deal with that, I’m lucky to have a good family to help me through. I’m more concerned about these headaches. Are they headaches likely to go away within a week or so if I carry on eating well and exercising with no alcohol at all?

Any help or guidance you can offer asap would be gratefully received.I’m off work at the moment and really want to get back asap. Thanks in advance, very kind of you to help.

Best wishes,
Nick.

Shane
12:23 am August 18th, 2011

I went through withdrawal, which caused extreme anxiety and panic attacks. I had been drinking for 20 years. For the past 10 years close to 18-20 beers every other day. When I finally stopped drinking, can’t really remember headaches, but as sick as I was I wouldn’t have remembered them anyway. A change in diet and sudden exercise could be the cause of headaches. Alcohol withdrawal as well will cause headaches, and all sorts of other aches. Of course I started feeling better about a week afterwords. But, I had the panic attacks for little over a year. I would sweat alot, was sick to my stomack alot, and my blood pressure was high for several months. Doctors tried xanax, and ativan for my panic attacks. They both worked, but coming off of them was just as bad as coming off the alcohol itself. Same withdrawal symptoms, and worse even though I was only on them for a few months. Try not to go that way if you can. Now, after 14 months I feel great, anxiety attacks come around a little bit. However, not nowhere near as bad as they did when I first stopped. It gets better with time. Drink lots of water, and if necessary find AA meetings. Regular asprin should help with any pain you may temporarily have. Oh, do not take my advice on xanax or ativan! My doctor understood my situation and I was under his care the whole time. Especially coming off of alcohol those things can be extremely dangerous and should only be taken under the direction of a real doctor. So, if you have to see a doctor be 100% honest with them about your condition. I thought I was having a hear attack everyday, and got to where I didn’t even want to leave the house. It was extremely scary. Then again, I was drinking like a fish when I stopped. And, the medictaion was necessary from what I was told from a possibiltiy of going into shock. 14 months later I feel great , and wonder sometimes why I ever drank to begin with. Most imporatntly, stay stopped once you stop. It’s alot easier to keep from drinking than to put it down once you start. Good luck.

Mo
9:25 pm November 25th, 2011

Hi, I quit drinking alcohol 2 months ago.. Since I’ve quit, every morning I wake up, i feel like i drank excessively the previous night. I experience hangover like symptoms, feel like throwing up also. I just wanna know if this happens because of the withdrawal..
Thx

5:31 am November 26th, 2011

Hi Mo. Congratulations on your decision to stop drinking. Acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually resolve within 7 days. Post acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) tend to last longer.

I would recommend that you see a medical doctor who specializes in alcoholism and addiction issues and get a full health check up. Nausea can be a sign of many different medical conditions related to the internal organs and it is imperative that you rule out physical reasons for these symptoms before knowing that morning nausea may be related to former drinking.

Joe from the Philippine Island
6:08 pm December 11th, 2011

I am 33 and was a heavy drinking for about 15 years.. I am not much of a beer drinking but more on the hard drinks like rum and coke, tequila, vodka etc. and also a heavy smoker. I would drink daily sometimes, 6 days a week. in 1997 my gallbladder was removed because of gallstones.

I quit drinking 2 months ago and smoking 12 days ago. I haven’t experience withdrawal symptoms for the alcohol. I am not craving for it. Smoking sometimes, but I am proud that I have not had a single cigarette for 12 days and I wanna keep it that way.

My problem is, I am overweight, I feel like my liver is pressing upward on my right rib, I dont know if its my liver or the incision made when i was operated. it’s like a 4 inch long incision.

Is there anything I can take for my liver to help it detox. I dont want to hurt it anymore.

11:46 am December 14th, 2011

Hi Joe. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

That is really an accomplishment. Stopping drinking and smoking is a milestone in life. Now…how to stay stopped

I’d suggest that you see a doctor about the pressure and pain that you think may be originating from your liver. There are some juices that people have used to detox the liver (http://addictionblog.org/top-10/top-10-juice-fast-recipes-for-alcohol-abuse-and-liver-detox/) …but I’d suggest that you check this with your doctor before proceeding.

lafcam
3:31 pm December 15th, 2011

Dear Sir/Madam,

I have been a heavy drinker for two years and finally stopped 3 days ago. I started to get those spasms and restless sleeps at night (common for me if i withdraw for a week) until my body moderates itself without alcohol.
But my major concern was that when i would drink heavily for weeks, some days I would be so sick, that I would vomit white-nothing stuff out of my stomach and it smelt bad, but then I would be fine 12 hours later and just start drinking again and proceed the process for weeks out. i looked it up that i would be starting to get stomach and throat ulsers or whatever is why I would vommit the nothing.
Since i stopped for 3 days, and i got restless nights, etc., I’m afriad to assume a normal diet as I dont want to vommit again. The vommiting can occur if theres sudden change in temperature, or if i eat too much or drink too much water, etc. too fast and i vommit that white stuff. is my body telling me that i havent recovered yet?
I have been drinking a lot of water since my first sobriety, but picked up smoking 2-3 ciggarrettes a day and i know those dehydrate you so i drink more water on top of that. im in no mood for exercise just yet cuz im afraid ill vommit. any help?

lafcam
3:36 pm December 15th, 2011

i just woke up and drank a bunch of water and ate a raw egg for protein, i started to feel the nausea again so i cant eat for a few more hours cuz im afraid of the white vomit, so i had a cigarrette a second ago.

11:03 am December 16th, 2011

Hi lafcam. It sounds as if you need some medical advice. My practical advice would be to stay away from dairy and animal products like eggs while you are feeling stomach discomfort and nausea. Perhaps start with dry toasted bread or plain rice in order to get food in the digestive tract. But definitely see a general physician and report these symptoms to get professional advice and treatment, if necessary.

Jack blakitis
4:04 pm December 20th, 2011

I always thought that at the end of a drinking bout , sometimes called ” hitting the air ” , the person’s BAC actually rises for a time and then begins to decrease . This is manifested by the person staggering gait , disorientation etc on the way home when at the bar he/she was not exhibiting these manifestations of inebriation . You’re article states that the BAC lowers after stopping drinking . Does this short BAC rise occur ?

7:09 pm December 21st, 2011

Hi Jack. This article tqrgets heavy, long term drinking. Let me look into your question about BAC levels during acute intoxication and get back with you. Great question!

Chuck-a-lug
8:12 am December 31st, 2011

I have been drinking very heavily for about 15 years, and I’ve finally decided to quit. Cold turkey. I basically drink a fifth of Vodka, and a six pack of beer, DAILY. I’ve tried feebily several times to no avail, and now I feel I have all the right reason make this permanent. (Shame, Guilt, and a desire to live.) Take that how you will. For me it’s my health, and family. I have very high blood pressure, have developed Type II diabetes, and so on. And through it all, I’ve continued to drink.

The most difficult thing for me to work through are the voices I hear as I try to go to sleep. I don’t mean crazy voices, but the voices of dreams trying to get in to be heard as I used alcohol to drown them out over the years. I can’t remember the last time I made a conscious decision to put myself to bed. I just black out, and wake up the next day. No voices. Now my dreams are so intense that I suddenly jerk, and practically fall out of bed. It’s called REM sleep, and that’s what I’ve been missing for so long.

I’m getting more restorative rest, but feel tired, and now I know it’s the lack of sugar, in part. I used to be very athletic, and I believe that that’s something that I’m missing out on.

I not typing this for you to read, I’m typing it because I need to get it out. I’ve tried AA, but it’s not for me. I feel that AA focuses way too much on what’s wrong with us, what we’ve done wrong. I want to focus on what I need to grow, and how I can do things right. I don’t want to dwell on Shame and Guilt, I want to put it behind me, where it belongs. Who the hell ever read a book backwards?

1:16 pm January 2nd, 2012

Hi Chuck.

Thanks for sharing. Have you ever tried SMART Recovery or Rational Recovery? Both are AA alternatives that use self-help and psychological methods to make a switch to abstinence from alcohol as a lifestyle. Something might click there for you.

For the dreams, I’d suggest that you continue talking with someone. Either a psychologist, counselor, or even dream therapist. Our subconscious tries to digest and make sense of what happens in waking life, and perhaps disturbing dreams are a sign that it’s time to resolve what has happened in the past.

As difficult as it seems, you are not alone. And there is help out there. Just keep asking questions, looking for guidance, and it will appear. Let us know how we can help…and please update!

Chuck-a-lug
3:04 am January 3rd, 2012

Will do, and thanks. By the way, I’ve seen info regarding “This is what is happening to your body 6 hours after your last cigarette”, 24 hours, 48 hours, 7 days, 30 days etc. Do you know if there is anything out there like it regarding alcohol abstinence? This is something that I am mightily interested in. I’ve been damaging myself for many years, and now that I’ve found the courage & conviction to stop, I’d like to have a way of “tracking” my internal progress.

4:12 am January 4th, 2012

Sure thing. Where have you seen these trackers? Can you send a link to a website…I’ll look into it.

Passin thru
3:11 pm January 18th, 2012

Hi guys, well done to all the people who have stopped drinking, and good luck and best wishes for those that are about to or doing there hardest to stop!
Ok, i’ve been drinking about 15 years nearly every day, i had a few breaks, longest was 3 years.
I found that Milk Thistle is good for your liver as its a natural herb tablet and triples the time for your liver too recover. Doctors wont tell you about this(For some reason)! Google it. I got mine in holland and barret. I had a liver function test the 1st said i had a fatty liver and if i kept drinking would turn into something much worse. I took milk thistle and had another blood test 6 weeks after drinking and it came back 100% good.
Another thing i take, which is good for the liver, it takes toxins out of everything alcohol, water, the air etc is called LIV 52. It is also taken by steroid users to protect the liver if they are on a tablet form of steroids, as steroids in the stomach are toxic for the liver.(Doctors wont tell you about LIV 52 either for some reason, it is also a herbal natural tablet – goggle it)
I have again stopped drinking, got a blood test 2moro, and my doctor prescibed me diazapam(Valium)for my with drawals. I aint had a drink for 10 days. I would drink in between 8 – 12 pints a day and more on the weekends! I hope this helps guys and gals.

lisa
4:15 am January 20th, 2012

I have had a problem with drink before and now my liver is bad , i stopped for over a year as i had a bleed (vommiting blood) i have been having a few drinks lately my last being wed evening although now i cant sleep and my whole body feels strange and im feeling like im panicking , i dont know what to do , should i have just stopped outright? I saw my doctor on tuesday and he gave me tablets in case i got the shakes but i have the other problems

Shawn
7:12 pm January 30th, 2012

Hi my name is Shawn I drank for twenty years everyday. I drank on average of a twelve pack of beer to an eighteen pack daily. Depending on the day and depending on when I passed out. This was my daily routine after work. I decided one day that I was going to stop. So I did. I had a lot of help from my wife when the cravings got hard. I didn’t go through withdrawls that I could remember. I had some sweats at night for a couple of days but that was it. Now that I’ve not drank now for almost two years I’m noticing my hands are extremely dry and are forming puss bobbles on my fingers and palms. They look like ant bites but they aren’t. Then the bobbles go down or away and the skin around the bobbles die and peels off. I guess what I’m asking is has anyone experienced this?
Thank you
Shawn

John
11:39 am February 2nd, 2012

Hello my name is John. I am 30 years old, and have been drinking everyday since I was 19. I have had breaks, Jail (7months) in 2003-2004, and I quit for a week about a year and a half ago. Last time I couldnt sleep hardly at all when I stopped, but I wonder If the large amounts of coffee had anything to do with that. lol Reason why I wonder is because, I haven’t had a drink since 9:30pm Monday, and sleep has been alot better. I have been taking a dose of nyquil before bed, and reading. Im having some crazy dreams, but I always kinda liked that, ecspecially now, never really dreamed much while I was drinking. Anyway what concerns me is alcoholism is common in my family among other addictions like opiates. My dad has seizures while going through withdrawl, and usually has to be hospitalized whenever he stays away from the stuff. This really scared me into thinking if I stop I will go through the same thing, but here I am. So far so good I hope it continues to go smoothly. I do smoke marijuana daily, about a gram a day, just to keep the edge off. Do you think symptoms of withdrawal will or are still able to get worse? Right now ive just experienced sweating and Ive been a little irritated, also my urine has been really foul. I wish the best to everyone here, and I thank you in advance.

2:48 pm February 3rd, 2012

Hi John. I’d suggest that you check in with your doctor, regardless of the symptoms that you present right now. A family history of acloholism, and severe withdrawal symptoms, is enough to warrant high risk of the same. Additionally, your daily intake seems prolonged enough to cause you some problems. Either way, it is best that you seek medical help during withdrawal to prevent any complications, and to have peace of mind.

Does this help?

Dangermouse67
2:41 pm February 8th, 2012

I thought I’d chime in with my own experience. I only started drinking alcohol at the ripe old age of 27. For the first 5 years, it was moderate – perhaps the equivalent of a 125ml glass of wine a day. Then from the age of 35 onwards, I started to drink more – mainly for the buzz/intoxication. Not every night mind you – usually at weekends. But then, when I hit 40, the alcohol tolerance I had built up meant drinking more or less three quarters of a bottle of wine + a shot of spirit to get into ‘the zone.’ Needless to say, I suffered hangovers the following day. Swore to myself I wouldn’t allow myself to do it again. But a few days later, I would be at it again. I made several attempts at going teetotal – but these usually lasted a matter of days at best. The xmas/new year period usually resulted in over-indulgence.

I woke up on the 1st of January 2012 with a hangover. I watched the New year’s day concert from Vienna on TV and realised that everything I really enjoy in life – watching old episodes of Stepto & Son, Only Fools & Horses, playing squash, badminton & cricket, photographing daffodils in spring, laughing out loud at old Monty Python sketches did NOT involve alcohol. I went through my old school exercise books (yes, I still keep them!) and I went through my old school photographs that showed a sparkly-eyed, bright kid who used to tape every Duran Duran & Spandau Ballet song off Radio One! I revelled when I saw a teacher give me A+ for homework. I even pulled out my old science-fiction drawings that I used to do in school. And then it hit me – ALL of these things had NOTHING whatsoever to do with alcohol! I went to University, got a first class BSc (1990) and then a PhD (1993) – ALL of these things were achieved BEFORE touching a drop of alcohol. There was nothing alcohol was doing to me now that was making me achieve any highs in life. If anything, it was doing the opposite. It was taking me away from everything that I loved and enjoyed before.

So, that day in January I decided enough was enough. A few days of abstinence became a week, a week became two, then a month – and as of time of writing, a full 6 weeks of ZERO alcohol. It hasn’t been as difficult as I had first imagined – probably because I wasn’t dependent on it. But it could have easily gone that way.

So that’s my story regarding my brush with alcohol. Although I wasn’t what you might describe as being a chronic alcoholic, there is no doubt that it had a hold on me. For the last 6 weeks, it hasn’t. And I feel great. I still play squash and badminton – but now for pure pleasure of the sport rather than “this is my punishment for drinking.”

If you need to look for inspiration guys and girls – take out your old books, photographs and drawings. Look at the young bright kid who used to BE someone and wasn’t afraid of it! Now look at that cheap bottle of wine sitting on your kitchen table. And ask yourself – is THIS what that kid in the old photos wanted when he grew up ??

2:49 pm February 8th, 2012

Hi Dangermouse. Thank you for your ideas. I especially like the idea of looking at older photos. That strikes me as a really good mirror.

Dangermouse67
3:28 pm February 8th, 2012

I just realised this article is mainly concerned with the physical effects on the body in the period immediately after abstaining from alcohol. In my experience so far, I have suffered no serious withdrawal affects as described by some of the othe rposters in here. The main changes have been:

1. Improved sleep. I fall to sleep more easily and can sleep undisturbed for around 7 hours, without the need to get up a couple of times during the night to (a) empty the bladder! and (b) take paracetamol for the headache.

2. Much more focussed at work.

3. Less anxious in traffic or busy supermarket (no joke!)

4. Considerably calmer at work in dealing with problems.

5. Increased alertness through the entire day.

6. 2kg loss of weight over the 6-week period, without dieting – though I’ll have to watch this one more carefully.

7. Less prone to snap at people, less irritable, less moody.

8. Various niggling pains at the base of the neck and shoulder blade have reduced considerably.

9. Tongue, mouth, teeth and inside of cheeks looking cleaner and feeling healthier. No damage to tissue.

That’s the main ones for now.

elsie
6:58 pm April 10th, 2012

Hi, guys. I just wanted to comment on helping with.the liver. I have been a regular drinker for about 9 years now. Last year, i was feeling so saturated with alcohol and disgusted with myself so i did something called a gallbladder/liver cleanse which involves apple pectin and shocking the liver with the fat from olive oil to flush out stones and toxins. You can find details on the process if you google it. It was the best decision ive ever made. I flushed out so many stones and toxins that 2 days later my vision was clearer, i felt my body humming with energy, and alcohol was the last thing i wanted. Unfortunately, i started drinking again thinking i had it under control. Stupid mistake but im glad that i at least cleaned my liver out. I also have done the master cleanse. I did muscle aches and hallucinations, but at least no itchy, tingly crawly skin and no trouble sleeping. Hope this helps!

1:08 pm April 11th, 2012

Hi Elsie. Thanks for sharing about the efficacy of these cleanses. I did the Master Cleanse and it is great. But there is some level of self-mastery and emotional preparedness required. How are you doing with the drinking now? Are you ready to stop?

Mike
2:53 am April 12th, 2012

I have been drinking for about 8 months straight everyone night besides about 3- 4 days. I would drink anywhere from 6-8 beers to 10-15 shots of Bacardi. (Either or)Before this I drank for about a month or 2 straight and I quit for about a week. I have always been a drinking but it has became a Dependent now for me to sleep or just not to feel bad. I am trying to drop drinking a least durning the week days and just drink a few beers/ shots on occasion. My question is does anyone have a soultion and are the withdrawals going to be real bad? Now it has came to the point were I wake up when my drunk wears off in the middle of the night and I have started feeling bad recently. Occasonally i have even hit the bottle at 3 or 4 in the moring to go back to sleep. I used alcohol for strees and what ever else because it seem like it clears my mind.

3:28 am April 12th, 2012

Hi Mike. Do you want to stop drinking totally or just cut back?

elsie
7:31 pm April 12th, 2012

I want badly to stop but dont seem able to. The stresses of life get so overwhelming that i end up feeling the need to “check out”. Alcohol is so so readily available i dont know how to stop…

12:05 am April 13th, 2012

Hi Elsie. One way would be to seek the help of medical professionals who can walk you through stopping drinking. Have you considered seeking the help of a drug rehab or alcohol treatment center?

Mike
12:18 am April 13th, 2012

I just want to cut back I mean I still want to drank1 night a week or just on random. I just don’t want it to be a dependent anymore and I think is has messed my stomach up.

Mike
1:36 am April 13th, 2012

I have been really depressed lately too so it helps me when I drink. I just don’t want to talk to a doctor or take any medicine.

1:21 pm April 17th, 2012

Hi Mike. There are ways that you can cut back on drinking on your own, or using the techniques of a self-help group. Abstinence isn’t the only requirement when you want to control your drinking. But I think that a doctor can really help refer you to resources in your area because s/he knows more about what is in your town. Still, check out SMART Recovery to learn more about how to stop drinking. And check out local psychologists who you can consult about cutting back.

Tom
5:24 pm April 17th, 2012

Is it really possible to remove alcohol cravings from you thoughts? For instance I don’t smoke and have not desire to smoke. Is it possible for me to look at drinking like I look at smoking. Can I remove the desire of alcohol?
I’m 45yrs old and I’ve been drinking heavy now for about 12 yrs. Prior to that I was a one night drinker maybe 3-4 times a year. Mainly a night out with the guys. However, around age 33 I started drinking everyday about 8-10 lite beers a night. The last 5yrs I got introduced to rum and coke and fell in love. I’ve always been healthy and workout everyday and the low carb high intrigued me. I started out with drinking a 1.75L bottle of rum every two weeks and quickly moved up to about a bottle every 5-6 days along with a 12 pack of lite beer. I was basically drunk or buzzed at all family outings or school functions. I don’t drink before or during work and don’t really crave it while I’m working. Nights and weekends I was drunk. I guess you can say I was a functioning drunk.
Well I am at the point were I want to stop but I can’t. I don’t know how to be sober anymore. The idea of coming home or going out in public sober scares the crap out of me. I’ve tried to quit before but the cravings are too great. All I think about is booze. My mouth salivates just thinking about it. And trying to sleep is impossible. My mind is like an engine that as long as you keep the gas pedal holding at 2k rpm the engine stays running, but try to relax (let the engine idle) my mind starts knocking, pinging, and sputtering out of control. Like it needs a tune up. I want to stop drinking but it’s grabbed a hold of me and I won’t let it go. My wife and kids deserve so much better.

3:35 pm April 18th, 2012

Hi Tom. Yes. It is possible to get past the cravings and stop for good. It takes a combination of willpower, faith, and psychological understanding in order to stop drinking, especially when you’ve become emotionally and mentally dependent on alcohol to deal with life. But it’s totally possible. It may be OK to stop drinking, but how do you stay stopped? That’s the topic on many people’s minds….And there are many options to help you treat both stages. These include (but aren’t limited to):

* medications to help during detox
* inpatient alcohol detox & rehab (30 days)
* outpatient alcohol detox
* psychological counseling
* self-help programs
* 12 step support groups

Also, check out these articles to start and see if you can relate:

http://alcohol.addictionblog.org/coping-with-urges-and-cravings/
http://alcohol.addictionblog.org/relapse-prevention-strategies/

Also, do you prefer inpatient or outpatient treatment for dealing with alcohol? This will give me a general feel for where to refer you.

Tom
1:09 pm April 19th, 2012

I prefer outpatient. I went to my regular doctor last Friday and she put me on a drug called Traxodone to help me sleep through the night. I haven’t had a drink since Saturday (4-14) and I haven’t experienced any DT’s. No headaches, sweats or trembling. My biggest problem is all I think about is alcohol all the time. I just have a tremendous craving for it. Also, I’ve tried AA before and I it was not for me.

10:36 am April 24th, 2012

Hi Tom. Yes. The craving to drink can be persistent. Have you heard of SMART Recovery? Check it out online to help assist you with outpatient treatment. Also are you open to psychotherapy?

Jim
3:14 am April 27th, 2012

I have been sober for just about a month now after 10 years of steady and sometimes very heavy drinking. I did not experience true withdrawals but I am curious if there is a correlation between the abstinence and my current inability to stay well hydrated. It seems no matter how much water I currently drink, the outcome is neon orange(not really but close). Is my body using all this water to heal what alcohol has damaged?

12:32 am April 30th, 2012

Dear Jim. 1.5 – 2 litres of water is a good goal for keeping anyone hydrated. If your urine is orange, I would recommend that you see an MD and seek a diagnosis. I wonder if the kidneys or liver require investigation.

justin
12:42 pm May 14th, 2012

I am 24 and been drinking heavily for 5 years i dont remember what it was like to be sober and happy. I have quit and am on my 10th day sober and i still dont feel normal and feel like shit in the mornings. Can someone please help and let me know how long i will feel bad. Anxiety, depression, and i still have eyelid tremors, how long until i feel normal, i feel like this is a list hope. I am committed and will not drink anymore, i just want to know how long i will feel like this.

11:57 am May 16th, 2012

Hi Justin. It can take weeks to months to start feeling better after drinking. There are physical reasons for this, as well as emotional and mental reasons. Check into your thiamine levels, and consider asking for help for depression. Short term therapies (3-6 months) of antidepressants can really help you find your feet again during early sobriety. So, see your family doctor to address the physical reasons behind these symptoms and then ask for a referral to see a psychiatrist or psychologist if you would like to address the psycho-emotional reasons you are feeling so down. Good luck! You’re asking the right questions and starting down a new road to a wonderful, fulfilling life without drinking!

Mark S.
5:56 am May 18th, 2012

It’s great to read and share our experiences. I’m 45 and have been drinking since my early 20s. I’ve stopped and reduced a few times in the past. Now, I’m so fed up with drinking. In fact, I haven’t had a drop of booze for a month now. I’ve reached “the” point of not looking back. Not everyone can do this and it’s different for each person. I’m not in AA because I feel that I’m responsible for myself. My advice? If you’re scared of withdrawals, taper off. Skip days of drinking with in between days increasing. Drink less when you do. Start eating healthier, take a b complex vitamin every day. And most of all, educate yourself, understand yourself. Exercise more. If you have some demons, try to confront and deal with them. Find out what alcohol does in your body and brain. If you can, get a physical and talk to your doctor. Then, make the break. And get ready to feel like crap. During this time, you won’t sleep well, you’ll have anxiety, etc. Learn some breathing and meditation techniques. Learn to find non-drug remedies for this. Pursue activities you’ve put off because of drinking. And you’ll probably want to not hang out around other drinkers for a bit. Above all, don’t feel guilty about your drinking. Just accept it, deal with it and let it go. And don’t forget, you’re not alone. There’s so many of us in this boat.

angel
3:15 pm June 7th, 2012

What can you give someone to fall asleep without harming them,or without them knowing? Some people keep talking and talking and even gets a bad behavior,but they are just oblivious to what time it is and if you have to work the next morning. I know you shouldn’t fuss with them when they are drunk,but there must be something that they can take with their own free will that would make them sleep.
HELP

8:47 am June 13th, 2012

Hi Angel. When people get intoxicated by alcohol, the brain loses power to reason…and “free will” is questionable in this state. Mixing drugs with alcohol is very, very dangerous. The best thing to do if you are with s drunken friend is to bring them safely home. And ask that they limit their drinking the next time you go out together…or don’t go out with that friend!

hope
8:06 pm July 3rd, 2012

Dear Chuck-a-lug, I felt you where exactly describing my case, i totally know how you feel.

Dear Dangermouse67, THANK YOU!

15 years of alcoholism.
I used to drink a letter of vodka daily, i stopped recently.
I truly feel better reading some of the cases here, i’m not alone!

thanks :)

Chris_SW_1982
4:06 pm July 9th, 2012

Hi guys. I stumbled across this article via Google, by accident.
I really cannot believe how much I can relate to these posts.

I won’t bore you with my story (maybe I will at a later date) but I’m in need of some advice.

Firstly, I’m an Alcoholic.
I only came to that conclusion recently, when I realised that 90% of my thoughts unfortunately revolved around ‘drinking’, or ‘when the next drink was gonna be’.
I carry a certain amount around with me, everywhere I go, in case of a Panic Attack.

I became addicted to drink, NOT because I wanted to get ‘high’ or ‘messed up’, but sadly because I used it to self-medicate for Anxiety, and now it’s gotten completely out of control.

I’ve been a Vodka drinker since I was about 20. I used to ONLY drink at weekends. I used to binge at the weekends, and not even think about it during the week.
I drunk it ‘neat’ for a lot of years, and now I only drink it with Coke. (For some reason, I just can’t handle it ‘neat’ anymore.) I think my Liver is trying to tell me something. :(

I have been diagnosed with a Fatty / Bulky Liver, High ALT, Acute Hepatitis etc, last month.

These are the key points that I need analysing, to see if I would be in any immediate danger if I ‘stopped completely’.

Example of a day / night for me:

I’ll finish my last drink of 37.5% Vodka & Coke at 11pm.
(On average, 20 units of Vodka consumed per day)
(8 throughout the day, and around 12 throughout the evening.)

I go to sleep. I wake up feeling a little emotionally flat, (but not fully hungover like when I drink a lot more.)
I’ve stopped that, as the next day, the despair / panic / nausea I feel is too unbearable.)
I feel physically ok-ish until about 3-4pm, where EVERYDAY, I feel like there is a general feeling of everything being accelerated. My brain feels ‘wired’ and everything seems faster and there is obvious hypervigilance / hyperarousal present. I can’t think straight, I can’t concentrate, there is slight nausea plus underarm and forehead sweat etc. … but NO SHAKES / Shaky Hands.

Is that a sign of classic withdrawal symptoms from Alcohol, or does that sound more like an underlying Panic Disorder / Vitamin & Mineral deficiency?

I just don’t understand why I don’t shake like the majority of people.

Also, I read that usually after 6 – 8 hours, if you’re Alcohol Dependent, you will know about it, as that is the rough time lapse, where things will get nasty.

If I have my last drink at 11pm, I can usually go about 17 hours (sometimes a little bit longer) without any physical effects, but then I notice all of the above mentioned symptoms, and ‘give in’ and have a drink, purely because I feel my body is crying out for it, physically.

What I would also like to include is, I WANT TO STOP / cut down, but I feel those symptoms are what’s genuinely preventing me from stopping. I have the mental desire to do this, but I’m scared if I just ‘put up’ with those symptoms for a bit longer each day, and don’t touch a drop of drink, that I’ll maybe have a full-blown seizure.
Is that likely?

Thanks to any of you that have taken the time to read this and/or respond.
It’s really appreciated. I wish you all the very best on your own personal journey.

~Chris.

5:30 pm July 9th, 2012

Hi Chris. You totally don’t need to struggle alone. In fact, there are medications that can treat the symptoms that you describe and make withdrawal from alcohol more tolerable. Also, if you think that you may seize, it’s best to seek help at a professional detox center to stop drinking. So, my recommendation to you would be to seek advice from an MD and to ask for medical supervision during withdrawal. You don’t need to do it alone! Medical science can help!!!

Sober 10 years!!!
9:21 pm July 10th, 2012

Chris,

You are experiencing classic addiction to alcohol. First you have to understand the difference between self medication, and addiction. Self-medication does not turn into addiction. As it is no suprise to your-self, you have a boda fide case of alochol addiction. It is a coping mechanism that has some genetic roots. Where other people would have stopped, you did not. Seek out help in a treatment center. What will work for you is up to you. How hard you work on obtaining sobriety will determine how successful you are. Unlike “professionals” in AA, many MD and PhD do not believe addiction is a disease, but rather a learned behavior based on reward. You have to change this way of thinking, called thought distortions. Treatment is expensive. If you can get through the acute detox phase, try and go to IOP at the minimum, and get a foothold, than you have a good chance of beating this. Over 80% of people who once qualified as “addicted”, have quit on thier own, without treatment. You can do this, you just need a jump start.

Debbie
9:28 am July 11th, 2012

I have tried to read all the posts and responses, obviously, there are too many for me to sit here and read them all. I cannot find anything that addresses some sort of psychological addiction. I feel no need to drink because of physical withdrawal if I don’t, nor do I have any physical reaction if I don’t drink.
I drink every night, at least 12 beers, usually more. Right now I have had 13. I have been drinking for 30 years, and how much I drink nightly has escalated greatly over the past 10 years. I know how bad this is for my heatlh. But I don’t do it because my body craves it. In fact, I think my body would love it if I just stopped. I drink as a social crutch, it allows me to express myself more freely, and can’t tell you how much funnier and entertaining I am while buzzed. (THAT is not my opinoion, but comments others have made to me and about me). Not to mention the freedom I feel during sex, not feeling self conscious about my body or what I am doing.
I moved recently, was a little slack on getting the cable transferred in a timely matter, so I had to go 3 weeks with no tv,and no computer, which is really my social life. So, I didn’t drink. There really was no point, I came home from work, went to bed, and read a lot. Other than taking a long time to fall asleep, I felt no physical reaction to this huge change. I didn’t feel better, I didn’t feel worse. I missed being online, but didn’t miss the beer. As soon as I could get back online, I felt the need for the alcohol. Kind of like, well, I really can’t possibly have anything interesting or fun to say unless I have at least 6 beers.
Soo, I was just wondering if anyone had anything to say about that. I do not drink and drive, I have never missed work because of drinking, I don’t even get hangovers. I will skip drinking if my kids need me to do something for them, doesn’t bother me. But, if I am in a social situation, I am the most awkward, noncommunicative wallflower……..until I get some alcohol. I relate better, play pool better, seem more relaxed, don’t freeze up, and have a much better time. And now it is like a crutch for anything that refers to socializing……even email, or doing something like this.
Just wondering if there is a response out there for me. Thanks for listening.

1:44 am July 12th, 2012

Hi Debbie. Thanks so much for your openness and honesty. I can speak to you directly from my own experience drinking. I am an ex-problem drinker. My drinking was more about boredom and rebellion. I would “open up” when on a buzz, but didn’t really dazzle a room with my wit and charm. I DID drink too much and experience negative life consequences, including health, family, job, etc.

I can’t really tell you if you are a problem drinker, or not. You can check out an online survey from A.A. (http://www.aa.org/subpage.cfm?page=71) or other groups to quiz yourself if you’re interested. But I can tell you that if you’re reaching out and looking for answers about drinking…it’s likely that your conscious and subconscious mind feel that something is off. And that little doubt is worth exploring.

Does that help or make sense to you?

Brett
11:14 am July 22nd, 2012

i was a regular drinker for 7-8 years. i would drink excessively sometimes mixed with cocaine use. i would drink beer and hard liquor up until i started noticing the morning after i would wipe after pooping and my toilet paper would be just covered in blood. So i cut out hard liquor and just drank beer and had no problems for about 3 years. than i noticed the same problem started occurring after i would drink a few tall cans. So i cut beer out of the picture. I’ve had great BM’s since i’ve stopped drinking up until today. Its been seven months since i last drank a beer and i just ran into the same issue. Now i do not experience any pain at all when i’m going to the bathroom and that problem is occuring. i do get heart burn alot and i will take generic acid reducer to battle it. i would take the same pills when i was drinking to counter the heart burn i would get from drinking. is this my body reacting to acid reducing pills, or does it have to do with the former drinking habit?

6:05 pm July 23rd, 2012

Hi Brett. I am not a medical professional, but given your description, the symptoms that you report seem similar to those experienced during irritable bowel syndrome and/or hemorrhoids. I’d suggest a trip to a family doctor to seek a referral to a GI specialist. And to rule out any possible connection with the acid reducer/diet/alcohol use.

bruised
12:12 am July 27th, 2012

I’ve been drinking daily for over a year. I’ve cut down in the last two weeks to 6 beers or less per night. Will I experience alcohol withdrawal? Should I cut down more for the next two weeks before stopping altogether?

12:26 am July 31st, 2012

Hello bruised. Yes, after daily drinking of six units of alcohol or more for more than a year…alcohol withdrawal is likely. And your body can ease into withdrawal by cutting back on a daily or every other day schedule.

I’d suggest that you work with a medical doctor to discuss a tapering schedule that is right for you. Your body, weight, body mass, etc. will all play a part on how you withdraw from alcohol. Plus, there are medicines that can help you manage the symptoms. But you need a prescription for these medications, as well as medical supervision.

mina
4:55 am August 18th, 2012

I have been a heavy drinker for 15 years now. My poison has always been beer. For many years I drank between 15 and 30 beers a day, but cut down to 3 to 6 a day over the past 2 years or so. Recently, I have just had no desire to drink, so I haven’t had anything for about 2 weeks now. I didn’t experience any shaking or sweats like usual, but I did have horrible pains in my kidneys for the first few days. Does anyone know why this is?

3:58 am August 19th, 2012

Hi Mina. I’d suggest that you check in with your general practitioner ASAP to monitor and start to diagnose these symptoms.

Kay
11:01 pm August 23rd, 2012

I have been a heavy drinker for a few years now. I used to drink wine, then that turned to vodka. I would drink at least a pint of vodka every night, sometimes two. I gained 40 pounds in two years and just hated myself.

I started the master cleanse two weeks ago and have not had the desire to drink. It is amazing. I guess the lemonade drink for the cleanse with the cayanne pepper helps because it feels like I am drinking alcohol. Anyway, it is working for me.

diane
1:17 am September 4th, 2012

Ive always been a drinker since about 13 years old. However, through the years it has increased significatly. I use to drink to the point of being drunk and hungover, now I drink on the regular, stick to just 1 type of spirit (vodka) and beer. I can’t recall when my pattern of drinking started on the regular. I used to drink occasionally during the week a beer or two or go to the bar. Most of the time when I would get hungover, I wouldn’t wanna drink for a while. My pattern is weird because I was drinking about 1/2 gallon every 3 days. Then 1/2 gallan every week. Now its like a fifth a weekend with beers during the week. It dosen’t seem that I have to consume a certain amount of alcohol because often times I’ll have a couple of shots left in the bottle or maybe even 1 and I’ll be fine with that. The desire to drink more would be there but, I can just chill. Either way, I have come to grips that I am an alcohlic and want to stop. I am in fear of my organs and just noticed some blood in my stool. SCared to go to the doctor, just want to stop drinking.

1:07 pm September 4th, 2012

Hi Diane. It sounds like you’ve got a really good understanding of the effect of tolerance and the amount of alcohol that gets you “right where you want to be”. I know that seeing a doctor is difficult. But you need an ACCURATE assessment of your health as a baseline for treatment. And your doctor can refer you to alcoholism treatment alternatives. NOT seeing a doctor is staying in denial. But if you are ready to stop drinking, you can overcome this fear by thinking of the long term benefits to your health and well being that can come from abstinence.

Does this help?

diane
2:09 pm September 4th, 2012

Yes this does help. I know I have to have an assesment done. Just so darn scared. I have come to terms of being an alcoholic but I can’t come to terms yet if I have seriously damaged myself. That is eating me up and actually making me want to drink more. But I will stop and try and monitor myself that I don’t go into withdrawals that can kill me and also will go to the doctor. My next concern is my withdrawal. I’ve been drinking everyday for a while on and off but even when I call myself chilling out, I have only went about 6 days or Like Sun – Thurs cause I will definetely drink on the weekends. Do you think I should consider treatment for withdrawals. Last week I went about 4 days without and I felt fine just a little headache and irritability. I took an ibprofen and felt better.

7:40 pm September 4th, 2012

Yes, the fear of having caused permanent damage can drive us to drink! It may help to consider this, “I cannot change the past, but I can take responsibility for my future.” Ask you doctor what s/he suggests about treatment for withdrawal. It’s possible that s/he prescribes medication for home treatment, or that in-patient treatment is a better option for you, because you’ll have round-the-clock medical attention. What do you think and which option are you favoring at the moment?

diane
10:59 pm September 5th, 2012

Definetely if possible, treatment at home would be best. More because Im a single mom with two small children and have no one to really care for my kids. One of my other issues is, I don’t really want to stop drinking. I just want to become sociable or drink way less. I want to be that 1 -2 drink person vs 15 in one night and not drink as frequent. Mayb Im in deniable about that as well. I was goin to try to see if I can do that b4 I start a treatment program or are you able to still do that after treatment. I really do believe most of my drinking stems from boredom, lacking a mate and just having to much time on my hands. I love the essense of drinking or the socialiability that I get from it so anotherwards, in my life my only concern about me and my drinking at this point is my health. BEcause I have a high tolorance and don’t tend to get drunk or have black outs or even arguments or violent or extra emotional like some. However, that I kno that dosent make me better. My tolorance is extremely high and thats what really scares me. When I look at my journal of how much I drink and have been drinking, Its a lot and way over the recommended amount for a woman. I just learned of this. Didn’t know how dangerous alcohol when taken in large amounts really was. So this is really tuff for me. The social aspect of drinking for me is really going to be tuff if I can’t ever drink again. So mayb I need to come to terms with that. I suggested treament only becaus as I read other peoples stories, they said withdrawals at its worst can take several days or weeks. Ive only been about 6 days the most in the last 6 yrs. In that time of 6 days, I felt ok its just that my habit is already set. Like I know on this day, ima drink or it just became something to do. I know this is alot but Im just getting it off my chest.

Jennifer
8:39 pm September 17th, 2012

Have a ?..
I’m 32 and have been a severe alcoholic for almost 20 years. To make matters even worse, I’ve also been a severe bulimic for the same amount of time, so I’m obviously not that healthy. I’m scared to death that my liver and my other organs are shot. The doc took blood and the tests came back abnormal, but she said that my liver function was “normal”….I don’t believe that. I’ve drunk enough hard liquor throughout my life to drop a herd of elephants!! It’s so hard to quit these addictions. It’s almost as if they’re they only things I have to hold onto to even get through every day. Been through therapy and rehab several times, but they just keep coming back to haunt me. Any advice?

Sick Man
12:46 am September 24th, 2012

Wow, a lot of info out here. My problem started very young, like maybe 3 or 4. My Grandmother and Mother would have Bridge night, you know the card game. Always had some Mixed drinks sitting on the table and I was a cute little kid so they ignored me drinking the drinks. Now I am 59, and for the last 45 years I have pounded myself booze. All the way from 151 to just beer at the present. Like about 8 to 20 a day for years. Yes, almost every day I feel sick, I shake and can’t eat so I force myself. Now after being on Vacation for over a week, and drinking at least 12 beers a day, I know I have to stop. The shakes are getting really bad but drinking a few beers seems to fix that but we all know that is not the solution to the problem. Actually after about 6 I feel pretty normal, at least normal for me. Well this is going to be interesting as I decided that Tomorrow I will stay busy with something other than Beer. I am a bit scared cause I have already, well this morning before I got a beer, seeing things, shaking, nervous, can”t think, have no energy, ect. and am wondering just what I can expect for tomorrow with no beer, and for the next couple weeks.. Physically I am fine, nothing more than a little High Blood pressure, but I am not right in even the least sense of the word. We will see how we do tomorrow. Thanks Guys and Girls. A prayer might be a good thing right now. God bless all of you for being here……

Me

Rich
8:36 am September 24th, 2012

My Doctor told me I have a rare medical condition, a compromised metabolic system, which disallows the accurate testing of alcohol in my system. This medical condition gives an alcohol screening resulted in a false positive blood test. My Doctor confirmed this in a separate and independent setting. I had three oz’s of alcohol and waited three hours. Then he took a blood test. I was four times over the limit. He told me to stop drinking and I have been very good about doing that. (over three years) However, I did have two drinks with family at a party. Two oz’s total and did not drive until four hours went by. I was pulled over and was given a test and my BAC was .025. One would think I would not be able to walk at that level. I will never do it again. How many other peple have you heard of that have this condition. Thanks, Rick

sylvia
5:33 pm October 14th, 2012

ive been reading your posts trying to see how many people have same area of addiction, ive been drinking heavily for last 8 years non stop 12 pack a day every single day but been drinking since i was 14 im afraid to stop cause i see people who do, somthing always happens an illness pops up it seems, maybe its just my excuse , i want to quit so bad, im so tired of drinking im way over weight, my ritual get up work look forward to get off work to have my beer sit at computer then eat then immediatly go to bed every single day im so tired of it i want some help but dont have the money for all the help groups and drs aa not for me i want to stop im tired of alchol just tired of but afraid of the affects went to dr they gave me a counsilor but he stopped calling me so i guess if theres other things to try naturally , like that milk thistle is there other plants vitamins to ease the withdrawls and cure the crave,,, thank you

10:06 am October 15th, 2012

Hi sylvia. You have got to really want to stop drinking and be ready for a major lifestyle change in order to succeed. Try to connect again with the counselor, check out SMART Recovery, and check in again with your doctor. Many people who drink chronically like you do have to try a few times before they succeed. But if you are willing to really go to any length, sobriety is possible. Also, call the national drug and alcohol abuse hotline at 1-800-662-HELP to talk to someone about local options that won’t cost alot. There are clinics, detox centers, and treatment centers that will accept sliding scale payments for treatment. But you must be willing to show that you are ready to stop, and be committed to sobriety in order to be successful!

Dangermouse67
2:49 pm October 15th, 2012

I just thought I’d offer an update on my own situation: I am happy to report that after 10 months (and 15 days) I have never once been tempted to go back to the “bad old days.” I have read all the posts on this blog since I last posted. In cases where alcohol addiction/dependency is very high, more professional help is needed and Addiction Blog offers good advice.

But for those of you who are not quite at that stage yet, there are many many ways to beat the drink demon.

You may recall from my first post here in Februaury (2012) that I had stopped alcohol consumption on New years Day. Since that time, I have taken the occasional sip – for example at a recent trip to a Port wine brewery, or had the odd sip of champagne to toast an event – but it ALWAYS stopped right there – when I wanted it to. In the end, the decision to continue drinking, or to stop – was entirely mine. And it felt good to be able to exercise control over myself and not give in so easily.

In May, my wife and I attended one of those archetypal drinks parties – ones which go on almost all night with alcohol aplenty. We got there mid evening – and already saw several people slumped into a sofa, or a chair in the corner – probably been drinking since late afternoon, probably started with some friends in a bar, then made it to the party. And I though to myself “this was me a year a go – I was the one who would start early and arrive at a party already inebriated – then continue drinking at the party, often making a fool of myself, often saying things I regretted a few days a later. But not this year – this year I saw the whole thing from the other perspective – and I was GLAD I no longer had the drink demon on my back.

Though my alcohol dependency was nowhere near as bad as some cases in this blog, I was able to beat it by using my past as a happy reference point. Dangermouse, Bagpuss, John Craven’s Newsround, The Police, Blondie, Madness, Big Country, Elvis Costello, Gary Numan & The Tubeway Army, playing cricket with the other kids in the deserted school par park until dark, going on a school trip, Live Aid…all those places and names and faces I still remember (some of whom I have recently managed to re-establish contact with) – what a fantastic time I had! There was no Alcohol in my life then. Full stop.

I spent the summer scanning in many of my old photos from school days from albums still in the family home. I want copies of these for myself – for my own family now. I want my children to look up at me from my photo, and say “wow dad – apart from a few greys and shorter hair, you haven’t changed THAT much!” I don’t want them to say “wow dad – what happened to you ?!?”

I think too many people dismiss the past as being something no longer useful to them now – after all, they have moved on – what’s the point of looking in the past ? But what if it was a happy past ? What if you can look back and take the best from it ? You CAN! Leave the bad memories by all means – but take the good ones – and run with them! You can’t time-travel back, but you can bring something forward into your own time.

Take out that old photo album. Look at a picture of yourself aged 10, or 12. You’ll understand what I mean.

kim valenzuela
2:02 pm October 16th, 2012

Hi, I need a quick response to be positive. My sister in law has been drinking four lokos for over a year now. She recently was diagnosed with anxiety and refuses to take pills to help her. But she also hasn’t stopped drinking the made drinks. Can she be suffering from withdrawal which is why she got diagnosed and hasn’t stopped drinking these horrible things? What is the best thing to do to help her with this?

5:13 am October 17th, 2012

Hi Kim. It’s possible that you sister-in-law is an alcoholic and simply cannot or does not want to stop drinking Four Lokos. It has become her drug of choice. Unfortunately, you cannot make someone stop drinking until they have decided to stop drinking. Or until prison, legal, social, work, etc. consequences compel them to stop. Check into Al-Anon for yourself or seek help from and addictions counselor/psychologist who specializes in family addictions and alcoholism. You are not alone and the answers that you seek are out there!

mumma31
6:46 am October 20th, 2012

hey all
my mum ws alcoholic all my life i hated it the humiliation of it all-so to become an alcoholic myself is crazy but has happened-i only admittede i was one a few days ago have been going to 2 AA meetings a day and am now proud to say i am 4 days sober.

the withdrawal is AWFUL!! i slept 4 hours in the last 5 days and the hallucinations and dreams is awfrul and scary. i am determined to ride this out one day at a time. im exhausted but filled with positive. had so much angedr issues to sort out but i think they gonna be easier when my head is clear from vodka!!

i lost all my 4 children and they cry their eyes out when they go from seeing me this is so harde but i have to face up to what i have done adn deal with it. i have a disease which mite as well be called SELF PITY!!!!!!!

Gd luck to everyone going throu this it helps to know we doing the same things or suffering nbecause of same subject

Gina
4:34 pm October 23rd, 2012

My boyfriend is a heavy drinker. Since we been together he has cut back a lot. He still goes on binges which causes problems with our relationship. Well his last binge he did something really stupid and almost broke us apart. I gave him the ultimatum to stop drinking or i was done with the relationship. He has stopped drinking and now is very distant and very moody. He will not go to a doctor or any meetings. I’m really worried he won’t snap out of this funk or will just start drinking again. Any advice would be great.

7:38 am October 24th, 2012

Hello Gina. Yes, it sounds very much like the cycle of an alcoholic. And I wouldn’t be surprised if your boyfriend started drinking again. To be honest, I’d suggest that you bolster yourself up for a change of life. Sometimes we need to lose more (relationships, money, security) in order to get a life of sobriety. But don’t think that by staying with an alcoholic, you can save them. It seems like you’re a level-headed enough thinker to know this.

I’d suggest that you start seeing a psychologist or counselor for guidance in this area. Also, Al-Anon will help. You need support and counsel from people who have been there. But it is NOT your responsibility to make your boyfriend better. You have a life to live, and though it may break your heart, you may need to move on.

Ginny
12:21 pm October 24th, 2012

My husband is in the ICU for very low blood pressure and for passing out, He has been drinking starting at the age of about 14 yrs old. He was told at the hospital that he had kidney failure. The Doctors have pushed IV after IV to get his kidneys to start working on there own. He is not taking all of this very serious, I have tried to tell him he wil have to go on dialyiss but he doesnt see that its that bad.He say;s he feels good. What would happen to him once he gets out of the hospital and starts drinking again? Could this be the end for him or is there hope for some kind of treatment. We have a 7 yr old son and he;s only 48,can some one who;s been through this give any advice? He’s been through every treatment out there but nothing seems to help.

8:23 am October 25th, 2012

Hi Ginny. Chronic drinking can result in liver disease of liver damage. Check out this article about the effects of alcohol on the liver:

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh21-1/05.pdf

For you and your son, I would recommend that you seek help immediately from an addictions counselor who specializes in family addiction issues. And you can also seek support from Al-Anon, an anonymous group of people who help one another move beyond their loved ones’ drug and alcohol problems.

neerajtripathi31
5:37 pm October 25th, 2012

i was a heavy drinker, from last 4 years i have stopped drinking few days before i took 1 glass of beer sudanly my BP was very high , what could be the reason

9:27 am October 26th, 2012

Hello neeraj. Drinking frequency (rather than drinking amount) has been found to have a positive effect on both diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Changes in blood pressure may be attributed to a number a factors, including mixing alcohol with medications. Perhaps it is best that you schedule a check in appointment with your family doctor.

David
10:07 am October 26th, 2012

I am 24. I used to drink a on weekend for continuously 4 years and also used to smoke 12-14 sticks..(Cigratte)… But since 6-8 mnths I have tried hard to stop intaking alcohol. I feel like my memorising power has decreased. I cannot remember properly my course books. Also I cannot concentrate…

9:28 am October 27th, 2012

Hi David. I’m not clear about the situation. Can you please clarify. Are you still drinking? Or have you abstained from alcohol for a period of time?

Lush2012
6:55 pm November 3rd, 2012

I have been drinking MOST of my life. I am now 40, have been through a marriage, have had really bad relationships, do not think I’ve ever been intimate with someone wile sober and have a history of rehabs since 17 years old. I was actually in hospital on my 16th birthday getting my stomach pumped as I was so drunk I passed out and was unable to come to. I am now off the alcohol for a bit less than a month. I have had several “breaks” where I have gone a year or more without. The last decade or so I have only managed to go in spurts. I was a daily drinker in my teens and at my worst was in rehab at 19 with what was called the MOST SEVERE DEPLETION OF ELECTROLYTES AND HIGHEST BAC THEY HAD EVER SEEN IN ANYONE THAT WAS ABLE TO SURVIVE. I had to be in an ICU to detox with BAGS of diazepam keeping me unconscious for a week and IV fluids to replenish my electrolytes and fluids. At that time I went about 9 months without eating anything substantial but the odd piece of pizza or small thing or two, and I smoked two packs of Marlboro 100′s per day and drank at least two fifths of vodka a day. I may add I am a 5ft2 female.

After that I only ever went on “binges” and this was largely controlled with many years that there was just a weekly or monthly HEAVY night and the rest of the time no drinking. In the last 6-7 years I suffered some major issues which led me to going on VERY long binges, like a week to ten days at a time. It was usually not hard alcohol but rather it was wine now and I justified drinking a bottle or two and then it turned into a week or two of just 24/7 drinking of two bottles per day of wine and waking at odd hours and drinking to get back to sleep.

Well I had my last drink about 3 weeks ago and I am hell bent on quitting for good. I have alienated most of my family and friends in one way or another but like some others I REALLY WILL NOT GO TO AA. I know it is a good way to “meet sober people” and I do agree with that being needed but the whole AA concept is really too religiously spiced and also for me it is completely a cult. People actually make me want to drink with their “drinkalogues” (personal stories) as it makes me feel like there were many “GOOD TIMES” when I was drunk-and truthfully there were as much as it was dangerous, damaging and there were as many miserable times if not more miserable.

I am unfortunately very medically knowledgable and have self-detoxed so many times after binges that I cross-addicted to benzodiazepines which I am now weaning myself off as well–even a harder detox and longer than alcohol btw.

I know there are other “groups” but I do not think they are large enough that they offer great support and they also do not all condone complete abstinence. I also think that alcoholism is a MEDICAL disease, a disease if brain and body and to treat it with a religious organisation (which AA is and say what you will, it was started as such and it is based on a belief in helplessness and handing yourself over to a higher power). I have had some success with Naltrexone to modulate my drinking but inevitably have gone off to resume the binge drinking. I will tell you that it does work but I would really need a doctor to give me an implant and more than that I need to get to the issues as to why I am able to come off drinking but want to drink to get drunk anyway and start living in my own skin.

I am worried about liver damage but too worried to go see a doctor. I know this sounds bizarre but this is just how I am–I am too afraid to know. I know I have had at least one incidence a few years ago where I was pretty sure I had hepatitis–though I never had pruritus, jaundice or any other symptoms other than what I perceived as mild hepatic encephalopathy-which does not make any sense in the absence of ascites, (fluid accumulation in the abdomen), asterixis (flapping of the hands when held out) and any signs of more than “drinking induced” bruising. Just so you know, I am ironically a hypochondriac as well.

Having said that I have taken breaks but then I went on a pretty bad binge on and off again for the last three years. Most of the time it was a week or two sober then a week to 10 days drunk. It was not and is not good for me and going this far into my “drinking career” I really see now I cannot drink EVER AGAIN.

I am currently and always have (even during my drinking) on many supplements such as Liv52, Milk Thistle, Vitamin B complex, C, E, multi-vitamins, Soy Lecithin (to counteract fatty liver and cholesterol levels), N-acetylcysteine (Glutathione pre-cursor), Fo-Ti Root, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Tumeric, Dandelion Root, and probably about 30 more I have not recalled. I can explain each one for anyone interested but most are to protect or to replete the liver–oh and I also take many probiotics.

That all said I am now struggling with the withdrawal from my benzos which is not fun but I am now down from 40mg of Diazepam and 2.5-7.5 mg of Lorazepam to a mere 15mg of Diazepam and 5mg prn when symptoms are too severe. I am sticking ONLY with Diazepam as well as using Valerian, Rescue Remedy and increased Magnesium as well as some ayurvedic and homeopathic remedies for anxiety.

I am struggling with pretty severe agoraphobia at the moment, which is common in both alcohol and benzodiazepine addictions due to the GABA rebound effect. I also am taking diphenhydramine (50mg) and Melatonin (20mg) for sleep-which is working quite well.

I am sharing like one of the other posters to get this out really but also because I think this can help some people and hopefully I can also hear some inspirational stories but I am quite worried about my spleen, liver and gallbladder as well as pancreas (all of these are sore on my reflexology points as well I will add. I have spent the last week in bed really and have only left my home to go food shopping and felt like there was a major sensory overload. I am currently not employed so it is hard but I have actually managed to save quite a bit as when i was working I was very productive. My main phobia is actually that I ruined my liver. I was very lucky and ODDLY did not even have abnormal liver enzymes when I was 19 and admitted to the rehab where they had me in a basic state of complete unconsciousness for a week–they tested my enzymes and were shocked that nothing was elevated. I also had them tested in 1998 and they were normal but since then I have not had them checked. My concern is that as I have drank more often and I am older it may have done too much damage.

I am really pleased with my decision and I am hoping that once and for all I will stick to it and I have every reason to because my life has always been better when I have had bursts of not drinking (albeit I do feel it is harder to meet people).

I just really am resolute this time as I need to be as it is time my life gets put together. I will not get into why I drank, but I was not a born alcoholic, I was a “pickled” alcoholic as I drank so much so long over one period of time (when I was 19) that I believe it was then my very brain chemistry changed. I do think more research and treatment based on the brain chemistry and physiological changes need to be done as I believe the true cure is to get to “re-setting” or preventing the brain chemistry that leads to alcoholism and abuse.

I am actually quite interested in Ibogaine and Flumazenil (high doses intravenously) to re-set brain chemistry. Very few studies have been done on Flumazenil but it may well be a way of resetting the brain. I do know for me I believe in the THIQ theory and thus that is why I believe that Naltrexone worked for me and can work for “true chemical” alcoholics. I think AA works for “circumstantial alcoholics” (people who drink too much but are not yet past the brain chemistry changes that cause the TRUE alcoholism) and also for people who are highly religious or–and please nobody get offended-but less intelligent people. I say this because the success rate of 2-3% is the worst for any disease I know and from all I have seen it is those who drank fleetingly over a period of time or those who are from religious families or those who are able to embrace religion and “collectivism” rather than others who seem to be part of that small 2-3%.

Sorry this was so long but I did want to share and get feedback.

PS GINNY:

Have the doctor take your husband to see patients with end stage kidney disease or liver disease. It is ultimately what has scared me to really quit having seen a person younger than me with complete liver failure, albeit in THE NEWS not even in person, and feeling the symptoms of some alcohol related diseases/damage. These are pretty gruesome deaths.

dave
1:03 am November 4th, 2012

Hi there. I just need some help with some questions. I’m a 41 year old who started drinking back in the college days. I mainly binge drank. I was only a social drinker so it was only mainly 2 weekends a month. Then when I got into my 30′s, I started drinking at home before I went to sleep. It was usually 1-2 drinks. That slowly morphed into 2-3 drinks daily…however whenever I would go out to a social event it would be more. I’ve been working lots the last 5-6 years so I haven’t had much time for social events…but the 2-3 drinks before bed have remained constant. My question is: Does anyone know if this is considered heavy drinking? I’ve recently gone cold turkey after I got scared one day after having bloody diahrea. I don’t know if the constant drinking over the years was the cause of it…but I got scared none the less. My withdrawl symptoms have been quite interesting. Mainly anxiety attacks, always light headed and stomach problems. I HATE IT!!!! I haven’t started having hallucinations yet… but I wonder if I should start drinking again just so I can wein myself off safely instead of going cold turkey. I’ve read somewhere that cold turkey is very dangerous. I’m on my 6th day now. What should I do? I’m afraid I’m going to lose it. I know everyone is different… but does my drinking history mean I will eventually get the more severe side affects of quitting? Any help would be appreciated.

8:29 am November 5th, 2012

Hi Dave. That’s a great question. So what is the definition of an alcohol problem for men and for women?

Moderate alcohol consumption is defined as having up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men. However, this definition refersr to the amount consumed on any single day and is not intended as an average over several days. For men, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming an average of more than 2 drinks per day. And men who have 15 or more drinks a week are at risk of developing alcoholism.

Cold turkey is most dangerous for people drinking excessively over the period of months to years. Fortunately, you have not yet arrived at the realm of 5-10+ drinks per day. And most cases of delirium tremens are usually provoked in the first 72 hours of alcohol withdrawal. However, I’d suggest that you check in with a detox clinic or your doctor to monitor symptoms. A check-up will set your mind at ease and you can also ask for other referrals to mental health clinics, psychologists, therapists, or resources that can help you.

If you’re taking a good hard look at your drinking, Dave, I’d suggest that you face it head on. Go for a physical with your family doctor. Talk about your concerns. See if there may be some lifestyle changes that you can make. And be willing to examine possible underlying causes (pscyho-emotional) which compel you to drink.

Does this help?

Lush2012
11:31 am November 5th, 2012

Hi Addiction Blog moderator-

I think I have a good answer to this question actually. There is a line between dependence and addiction. I, as someone who has experienced both, know exactly when I became an “addict” to alcohol rather than dependent.

When I was 19 I was drinking at least 1 if not 2 Fifths of Vodka per day. I was able to go home on break from Uni at Christmas and craved but did not have to drink. At this point I had little actual physical withdrawal.

After I returned to UNI and basically quit all my classes and just sat 24/7 drinking I was admitted to rehab and at that point and thereafter whenever I drank I was PHYSICALLY addicted. There was also a change that had happened in my brain, which is why I am convinced the THIQ theory is true.

I have noted this with people I have seen with the same addiction as I have (from many rehabs and choice of friends over the years). I can safely drink a glass of wine. I feel nothing but relaxed and warm. At two glasses (one glass of white) I get my “trigger” and my GABA is not the only thing reacting but my “pleasure centre” of my brain is now reacting. This is why I believe the THIQ theory as Naltrexone dampened this effect and enabled me to drink a few glasses of wine and NOT want a drop more (and this is an opioid antagonist).

I believe that people with real alcoholism have this override switch. People who are merely dependent fair better and do better with psychological counselling and, IMHO, self-help groups. They generally just need to make “sober friends” and stop using. A drink eventually probably will not trigger addiction again.

Friends of mine whose parents are alcoholics and who demonstrate “genetic” alcoholism” seem to be born the way I drank myself to becoming; pickled (which is an AA term but one I agree with).

Many people will argue that anyone who wants 1-2 or 2-3 drinks per night is alcoholic but I think this is just a way they have become accustomed to “coping” or “relaxing” and they just are hesitant to give it up.

I personally do not think there is any danger in Dave’s drinking but if he wants to stop certainly respect that. Daily drinking is not, in itself, alcoholism, even if slightly over the limit, but new studies (UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH-cited in the Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine) have shown there is actually less likelihood of damage from binge drinking than daily sustained drinking. So on the other hand it is NOT great to not have days off.

BUT again, as for TRUE alcoholism I always see in myself and others this ability to drink to a point at which point the override (opiate receptors) take over. My friends who were “born” alcoholics show the same as those of us like me who acquired alcoholism through drinking sustained high amounts and building up THIQ (which can never go away). They actually seem to drink fine then get glassy eyed and look distant and you know tomorrow they will not remember anything from that point on.

JUST my observations and opinions. I am very interested in the science of alcoholism more than I am in the social apparatuses that have been the gold standard of care as I find them fundamentally flawed.

12:03 pm November 6th, 2012

Hi Lush. Totally appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to write in. And I can agree with you on most points. Abstinence isn’t for everyone. I just know that for myself, personally, I don’t even care to play with the tipping point. I prefer to let well enough alone. And I don’t miss the alcohol that much. It makes life much more simple. And where I live (SE Europe), I also think that it’s a bonus to be able to relate to people from all types of religions and backgrounds who don’t drink. There’s some kind of camaraderie among people who don’t drink or use drugs that makes life more clear. Does that make sense?

Lush2012
1:15 pm November 6th, 2012

I completely understand. I actually also live in SE Europe. I have mentioned I think that I do wish there was some alternatives like just meeting sober people. I think that would help a lot. I am also of the mindset now that I AM NOT ABLE TO DRINK. I do think it is a medical issue and not a psychological issue with my drinking and believe the THIQ theory and believe that there are several types of alcoholism; I call them situational (depression/mood/personality/mental health issues or avoidance issue) which can lead, as it did in my case to the next type; acquired THIQ alcoholism. Then I think there is habitual alcoholism, just someone who habitually drank and finds themselves addicted, akin to someone who is given anxiety medications and then eventually finds it hard to let go-though actual physical addiction may or may not be present, which is the next stage, dependent alcoholism, where the body depends on the alcohol and withdrawal will be felt but excessive 24 hour or binge drinking upon taking a drink are not part of this “model” and finally there is the genetic alcoholic.

The genetic alcoholic is easily explained as the longer any society has been exposed to alcohol the less alcoholics are in that society/gene pool. Northern Europeans are more susceptible than Southern and most susceptible is INUITS/ESKIMOS/AMERINDIANS (NATIVE AMERICANS). These groups got alcohol last so it is clear they have highest addiction rates. One great way of seeing this is going to Denmark and if you are in Copenhagen in the early morning you will see many natives of Greenland (who are Native “American”/Inuit) who will be drinking at 7-8 am or loitering outside the shops to get their alcohol. It is pretty remarkable.

I am very interested in studying the actual medical aspects of alcoholism and thus my reason for sharing my own story as well and posting.

Abstinence was always “unfeasible” for me but now I admit it is a necessity. Unless I had an understanding doctor who knew addiction medicine without AA and was cutting edge willing to implant the Naltrexone in me I could never consider drinking again. I just cannot because, try as I may, my glass of wine, which I DO miss because I love the taste, turns into bottles and shots of after dinner drinks and sleeping with the wrong men and forgetting everything I do, and neglecting my obligations and alienating people, embarrassing myself etc. So I respect anyone’s path they choose that reduces these consequences and I urge anyone on the “tipping point” (LIKE DAVE) to get help before you are past the point. If you deal with the underlying reasons you drink and are not yet alcoholic, then you have a good chance at recovering the ability to live a normal social drinkers life-IF YOU SO CHOOSE.

As for the camaraderie, I think you would find you can say the same conversely–but I would rather be on the sober side of that as you are.

12:27 pm November 7th, 2012

Hi again, Lush. There are also alternatives to A.A. out there.

SMART Recovery
S.O.S.
Life Ring

I especially like SMART Recovery because I worked with their Coordinator on a series of articles here on Addiction Blog. You can check them out here:

http://addictionblog.org/author/smart-recovery/

But it is important for people to know that there are alternatives to A.A. I think A.A. is a great program but it’s not for everyone.

Lush2012
1:56 pm November 7th, 2012

Hi Again “Addiction Blog”-

This will be a very short one as I am actually doing a bit of work, as I have been all night as I work doing some freelance journalism at present. So it has been a big night/day for me with no sleep.

I think that having been in and out of AA for the time I was I felt like the “war stories” caused me to crave the “excitement” as I feel it glamourised alcoholism and especially the alcoholic bender; which a true alcoholic is very familiar with, sadly.

I do know that there is SMART Recovery, RR and many others. I also know one facility in FL uses the Sinclair Method (Naltrexone) and Ibogaine is used at clinics in Mexico.

I think a lot of the issue I have with the “support groups” is that the main one is AA and it is highly unsuccessful, no matter how anyone cuts it. I always felt people who were hardcore AA’ers would get nasty toward people who relapsed and say things like, “WELL YOU WERE NOT WORKING A PROGRAMME” etc. It is the myriad of cliches, some of which are useful actually, and the judgemental people who do exist and the deep religious overtones in AA as well as huge failure rate that makes me dislike it.

The other ones are great but small. I wish some would get larger NOT because I believe they are a “cure”, as I am of the very staunch opinion that alcoholism needs to be medically treated like any other disease of the brain (schizophrenia, depression, manic-depression, personality disorders, etc.) and do believe that this has been an abject failure in the medical community to not treat it as such. The need for the “support groups” really lay in the fact that people who want to stay “sober” or “abstinent” need to have friends that do the same and it is not so easy to come by. If the underlying problem was treated, the chemical issues in the brain, then we would probably not be on this board discussing this. Unfortunately medicine wrote alcoholism off as a disease of will and believed that the best cure was Bill W.’s cure and only now are re-examining the biological and pharmaceutical options to treat the brain chemical issue.

I certainly would go to a SMART recovery meeting or group if it was readily available but they just are not like AA meetings which are everywhere but are revolving doors-everywhere. To think 97% +/- people who go there do not stay in recovery speaks volumes. I would go there again “to source” friends but you cannot do that as people who stay sober there are often rather militant and insist you “work a programme” to be accepted.

Finally-(I write very fast)-I definitely will come back later and read the articles as I an fascinated by all articles dealing with addictions and addiction medicine as well as psychology of addiction.

KARISHMA MOHAPATRA
7:02 am November 21st, 2012

HI,

I am karishma,my boyfriend is alchoholic (i think last 6 years)it my be more the 6 years bcoz we r in relationship(live in relationship) last one an half year we r getng marraied also.he is takes rum evry day minimum 6 pegs,when we go to the disco n pubs he was take 7-8 pegs n more…..last one week he takes 4-5.and he wants to stop drinking he is trying to stop drinking but slowly but thing is he is bocoming vry irritate, angry & wht i do..i dnt understand n his doing breakfast,lunch & dinner on time,he is litle bit fat(means he had tummy) wht i cuk for him…how to stop his drink….pls help me….

Dave
12:00 pm November 22nd, 2012

Hello! What a great site!

Without boring you, I’ve been drinking since my teens.I have previously had 3 months off the booze but stupidly fell into the trap of thinking I could ‘just have one’-doesn’t work (!). I can now finish a 70cl bottle of vodka a night & know its harming me. Worryingly, I don’t feel too bad the next day. I had 3 days off a week or so ago & wrote down all the positives of how I was feeling-but had not not got a plan in place to carry it on. My aim is to quit-I don’t enjoy it at all now.

Good thing is ther only ‘acute’ physical withdrawal is on the 1st night my sleep is a bit rubbish-after that things settle fast. No other physical withdrawals at all-which is a releif. I do look after myslef with supplements-slow release vit b complex + vit c, milk thistle, l-glutamine (powder-help really well-seems to stop any cravings), omega 3/6/9, multi-vits, & i drink a lot of water.

I’m starting today-is there anything that you can tell me about how the body recovers in 7 days of no drink-this would really motivate me?

PNW2012
3:56 am November 24th, 2012

LUSH2012, you are a very talented writer and I’m interested to read about other problems with addiction to alcohol. You are a binge drinker, I am a maintenance drinker. In college, I started drinking 2-3 nights a week, probably more of a binge drinker. But I devolved over 25 years to a everyday drinker. Young college grad making good money, I was tasked with entertaining our clients, many of which were from Japan. In their culture, you must drink or they don’t trust you to make a deal.

Fast forward to now, I got a DUI conviction in 2005 and was court ordered to do 4 days in jail, pay USD1,000 fine, paid a lawyer about 2,000 and go to treatment school and AA meetings. I am not an AA fan either, to much Godliness. Plus half the people in there were recovering hard drug addicts which chain smoked and chugged crappy coffee. More power to them, if it works for them. But Ii don’t really have anything in common with them. I had to quit here for a year (mandatory random piss tests at school). That was my first mistake.

Then in 2007 I was drinking heavily every day and night, liquor. Loved those screwdrivers. I got very sick, had to have 3 pints of fluid removed from my abdomin and was diagnosed with liver inflammation. I swore off alcohol for another year. I lost 30 lbs, everyone told me how good I looked, but I felt emotionally unattached to any of these people. It was lonely.

So in 2008, I thought “I can have a pint every now and then in a social setting”. That became 4-5 pints a day and went up from there. Since I worked from home, no one to tell me not to crack open a beer at noon. I was under the erroneous assuption that if I drank only beer, I could control it.

2012, I’ve gained the 30lbs back, I’m single again, and I’m unemployed. Not a stellar record for a college grad. I rarely drink to the point of being drunk, but I must drink every day or I get sick. I truly want to quit, but the stomach cramps, sweats, diarreha, insomina make it intolerable and me unemployable. I would like to talk to my doctor about it, but I signed away my confidentiality rights to get on govt. health care (yes, U.S). I can get Vallium, but isn’t that substituting one problem for another?

Lush2012
1:00 pm November 25th, 2012

PNW2012- This may come through as several posts as it is saying it looks like spam. So last try:

Thank you very much for the compliment. I actually am aspiring to be a writer but it is a very hard industry to break into when you have little resources available and no formal “journalism” education. It is about banging on a lot of doors and I have written and peddled my own autobiography to no avail thus far, but never give up. I also have written quite a bit in newspaper editorials and contribute to blogs quite often.

Now I have not told most of my story but my job was peripherally in journalism/sales and I actually ended up in USA for a while and was actually also jailed for 48 hours for DUI in one of the worst jails in all of USA after totalling a rental car while my car was being repaired. I actually was extremely lucky as I did not merely total the car, I ran off the road into the median with a .24 BAC and recall precious little. I had a cop that did the road side testing and a marine and his girlfriend who were state witnesses. At the time I too was working from home and other than the hell of the two days in jail-due to the cop lying to me (which is probably why the story goes as it does)-I got of with NOTHING. I was lucky as I had money and hired a very good lawyer and waited for the court date after already having won back my license because the cop did not show at that hearing. Almost a year later I had the court date and was shaking. Naturally I lied to the lawyer and said I HAVE NO IDEA HOW I HAD SUCH A HIGH BAC-I WAS WITH THESE GUYS AND HAD A FEW DRINKS AND THEN I LEFT AND EVEN WAS COMPUS MENTUS ENOUGH TO KNOW MY METER WAS GOING TO EXPIRE.

My lawyer was very thoughtful and kind and really looked at me like a woman who had just probably been plied with drinks and left and then they kicked in, as I do carry myself very intellectually and very “proper” when I am not inebriated. I also claimed, which I know not to be true, that they made me blow several times because they were not getting their result. The truth was I had known enough and was sobered real quick when I ended up at the precinct that I was taking shallow breaths and trying to blow minimally into the machine. Truthfully I can bet you it was far higher than a .24 as I had already come down significantly by the time I was at the precinct. The mistake the cop made was he and his female companion had walked down the hall and left me alone waiting as I prepared to be tested and later laughed after making me take the test 3 times (because I was not blowing into it correctly) and said, “You blew a high enough BAC for all of us to go to jail-you are more than three times over the limit.”

Then when I asked if I needed to call anyone to bail me out he told me know as he was taking me to central booking. He advised me to leave my things, including my mobile/cell phone with jail “property” and that I would be in for an 8 hour hold. This was not true and as I was arrested on a Friday evening I would not go into the court until Monday morning to be released on my own recognisance. I did end up calling a friend who I was lucky enough to know was working on Sunday and I could call her as I never memorise numbers anymore but knew the employer so was able to call and get her number.

Days later I hired a $6K lawyer and basically he was a very big name in the DUI circuit and when the cop did not show I had three options-take a deal which would give me a record or plead guilty to a lesser charge and be sentenced by the judge, or take my chances and continue my plea of innocence and wait until the state either brings charges again or the statute runs out. Due to the law where I was arrested there was a 90 day statute based on my rights to a speedy trial and I literally was walking on eggshells as the law was that if they served me within those 90 days I would then be back on the waiting game and do it all over but if they did not then it was over. Turns out my lawyer basically knew the female prosecutor and she had dropped the charges but he could not have told me that in the court, though he did say, ‘YOU MADE A WISE CHOICE’.

Lush2012
1:02 pm November 25th, 2012

Now back to your situation, I completely understand where you are coming from and I will tell you my own personal advice without meaning to offend the moderator by giving advice on someone else’s forum.

You are far from alone and I find it a shame that we cannot seem to organise and all make things work with just the power of mutual support and some leading others. There are so many of us that for a long time I was part of another board and was amazed to see how many of us are out there, especially women-though that is a bit skewed as I think women generally speak more than men and are more communicative online as well.

You ask about what to do about the valium and if it is replacing one problem for another and I will say NO. I did that and at present I am unemployable as well as I am going through the last of my valium withdrawals. I am almost there but this actually is so hard and makes alcohol withdrawal seem like a cake walk.

Alcohol, barbiturates and benzodiazepines are the only three things that can really kill you from withdrawal. This is because all three have a potent effect on GABA receptors, which we replace with alcohol/benzos/barbiturates.

Lush2012
1:06 pm November 25th, 2012

The cross tolerance though is something that makes them uniquely able to help people get off the other ones as each has a slightly different area of the receptors they affect and as such cross addiction for purely weaning is not only good but the preferred medical method of detoxing any person. You only run into problems when you are like me and have access to benzodiazepines and abuse them because you are using them to constantly come off the alcohol, and in my case, cigarettes as well. I was always drunk then weaning from one the latest binge or smoking, which I often relapsed to during a binge and then got hooked on.

If you are certain that you are ready to stop, and you have had hepatitis (swollen liver) and ascites (fluid in your abdomen) so you really need to consider quitting for good for your long term survival, then I will recommend however you get the valium to get some. To be frank, and I am not meaning to scare you, but you seem to already have significant liver disease and it is not going to get better. You are lucky you survived this long as am I and many others.

So your next question probably is how do you use it the valium and I will explain that, again at risk of over-stepping my bounds on someone else’s forums and must also say I am not a medical doctor but do realise that people do this whether or not they have an MD and what I am about to say is text book addiction medicine so better you get it from someone then just go on your own.

Lush2012
1:07 pm November 25th, 2012

First acquire the diazepam (generic Valium, which is just the original Roche brand). You should get a limited supply and from somewhere that is reputable. I would recommend places but I am worried that this may not be appropriate on here. I recommend you get 10mg tablets, preferably scored (with a line to halve them) if at all possible.
You initially need what is called a “loading dose”. A loading dose is the amount needed to make you feel perfectly comfortable if not a bit drowsy. The first dose should be when you begin to feel symptoms. Start with about 20-40 mg and if that is not enough keep taking an additional 10mg every 45 minutes until you are comfortable if not drowsy with no signs of shaking or other symptoms. As I am not sure how much your current daily intake of alcohol is nor your body weight I cannot tell you exactly how much but you should have no palpitations, sweating or other symptoms. Rehabs and detoxes purposely use the “one size fits all” method because if you are unpleasant they feel that it is a deterrent to you and that you will think twice before drinking again when sadly, as you have expressed, the opposite is true; namely you think twice about quitting again. So the key is comfort and the loading dose is meant to make you feel comfortable.

Depending on what your loading dose was you should then take the same dose minus 1/3 the next day but space it out into three doses if possible-morning, afternoon and bedtime. If ever you feel discomfort just take an extra pill until you feel comfortable. Each day for about 7-10 days you should slowly be cutting one third of your dose out and eventually just STOP and at that point you should be on one 10mg tablet to make you feel normal or even one half of a 10mg-(5mg’s) and then just stop. Due to the half-life 50-200 hours, the former being the immediate half life the latter being the half life of all the metabolites, the natural decrease happens in your body and you will feel little or no withdrawal. The key is to reduce as quick as you can and remain comfortable. What you are doing is letting your GABA receptors come down gradually and preventing seizures, tachycardia (heart palpitations/racing) and all the other awful feelings that alcohol withdrawal entails.

IF you cannot follow this or are too afraid that you will substitute one addiction for the other my advice is two fold; 1. I would rather be a benzo addict than be dying of liver disease–though ideally neither. 2. There is an alternate choice for you that may “extinguish” your need for alcohol.

The two is called the Sinclair Method and basically involves you getting Naltrexone tablets and taking them while you continue to drink. It is a process that has proven to be highly effective in true alcoholics and I do recommend it but it has the tendency to make people, unless they use the implant, feel like they can say,”Screw it-I want the high”.

I would recommend Naltrexone to be taken if you really cannot do the valium detox or feel like you will transfer addictions.

Lush2012
1:16 pm November 25th, 2012

Sorry I wrote so much again but I am fascinated by the topic and also know the struggles people have and the fact that most sites are geared toward pushing people toward a sober life when they feel like their lives are quite empty without alcohol and the all or nothing approach is not realistic. I think more sites should look at harm reduction and assisting people to get where they want to be with an objective to get people off alcohol for as long as they can and as easily as they are able to stop. Ongoing support should really be something that the sites also gear themselves toward with people able to reveal their locations on closed forums and meet up with like-mined people and forge real life friendships with people who are striving toward the same goal without enlisting AA or other “established” groups that seem to diffuse. The difficulty is that it would risk becoming just yet another diffuse group.

I propose we should start a group of mentoring and “friending” people and cut the judging out and the demand for adherence to anything and just try and help each other–which is what AA and other groups try and do but are just missing some ingredient that I have yet to find. I think the internet and a forum may be that ingredient. Something like ‘ALCOHOL ABUSE PORTAL’ or something of the like that is able to share, help people honestly and realistically and reach out to others and get back. I know I am still alcohol free now and have mitigated my alcohol abuse in the past ONLY by sharing and being active online as there are times an alcoholic just cannot even go out or face new people and hope to connect when you are afraid you will have to give a commitment to stay free of all drugs/alcohol and will be held accountable by the people meant to help you.

In either way good luck and if this does get printed you can feel free to reply and I am happy to reply back as I get my iPhone ring every time I get an email so I will know and I am pretty good at answering things straight away.

Huge hug and know you are not alone.

Jing
1:50 pm November 26th, 2012

I just wanted to say for those of you that can legally use marijuana, it helped me a lot with symptoms when I quit drinking. I can not promise it will work for anyone else, but it worked wonders for me.

Mike
2:19 am November 29th, 2012

Hey all,

So I would have about 10-12 drinks a day for about 3 years (college never kind of ended). I agree with Jing, marijuana was incredibly helpful in getting through withdrawal. It helped me sleep, calmed down my headache, and helped me the first couple days (couldn’t really stop eating after 3 days though, didn’t realize how many calories i was getting from alcohol). This may draw some fire, but marijuana use has kept me from going back to binge drinking. It still helps me sleep and relax but without the damage to my liver and my life in general.

Jim Atwood
2:29 pm December 2nd, 2012

I have a history of alcoholism in my family (father). I have been a steady drinker for the last 45 years (though in small doses and have never lost a job or a relationship, DUI due to alcohol). I would call myself a functioning alcoholic.

I quit (for the most part) drinking beer as it was gaseous to me. I would occasionally have mixed drinks. Within the last 25+ years I have enjoyed a glass of wine or “3″ most daily. Generally I would drink a bottle of wine in 2 days and now it has often got to 1 bottle a day.

In being tired of “smelling of merlot”, eyes bloodshot and having that drunk look expression on my face while taking photo’s, I’ve decided to quit.

I have been free of wine all together for 6 weeks. I’m obviously proud of this and feel better. However I’m often tired, sleep for 8 to 10 hours most evenings, short on stamina .. probably need some exercise.

I’m looking for a support force or blog I can visit with. Care to help or recommend?

Thanks.

diane
6:25 am December 9th, 2012

Yes, I would say your doing a smart thing on trying to seek out different options in helping control the whole motive for drinking. Thas pretty much where I am. I have always been a drinker on and off since adolecence and now I have built up such a tolerance that even when I call myself chilling out, I still manage to push back at least 8 – 10 drinks in one single day and this is without really feel what you would call “BUSSED” UP. So I have alcohlism on both sides of my family and I could go figure why I would drink so much. I can go days without drinking but seems like once I do start, I cant stop. So I was recently diagnosed with H pylori wihich is pretty much a stomach ulcer but it has a whole host of symtoms that include abdominal pain, extreme body itching with no rash, bloatedness and the list goes on. Lucky me and yes, Im a god fearing individual so I say nothing but the lord looking over me cuz, this thing could have been so much worse. Granted, there are so many other things that could have caused this but one ofthe main triggers is excessive alcohol and I just happen to be a heavy drinker. So I have to take a series of 7 different medications to get rid of this stomach infection or parasite in my intestines . Its all about lifestyle change. You got to be ready, willing and commited to making a change. Wish all of you the best of luck. Im just sharing my story.

Dangermouse67
11:19 am December 10th, 2012

Well done Jim!! 6 weeks is impressive. You have demonstrated that you are able to exercise control over your craving for alcohol. The craving was perhaps less for the taste or particular flavour of wine – rather it was more for the intoxicating effect of ethanol in the drink. If you read this blog from the start, I have posted a couple of times regarding my own experiences – not that dissimilar to your’s in terms of daily quantity of alcohol imbibed.

I haven’t researched fully whether the alcoholic “condition” is inherited. My own parents (and grandparents and ancestors thereon) are of the faith that strictly forbids alcohol. (You know the one!) :-) So my own craving for it was more likely learned, rather than inherited – and bear in mind, I didn’t even start drinking until I was into my late 20′s. So in my case, environmental factors played a role. So when people say “alcoholism runs in the family” the idea that this MUST be a genetically inherited condition at the embryonic stage may just be only a part of the story – used as a convenient excuse to explain what might in fact just be learned/acquired behaviour. The actual gene (or sequence of nucleic acids coding for this behaviour) has yet to be identified. It would explain why I found it quite easy to quit – since in the absence (or redundant/reduced role) of the gene, my craving never got to the stage where I needed the alcohol for survival.

Anyway, assuming that genetics plays a role in encouraging alcoholism – which is then compounded by environmental factors (availability of alcoholic drinks, parties, celebrations etc), the fact that many people are able to kick the habit – and still live for many years afterwards, shows that at least the condition is not essential for the survival of the organism. The real picture is probably more complicated than that as there will be different degrees of alcoholism.

But we do have one thing in our armoury that we CAN use – before resorting to pharmaceutical aid: Will power. While neurologists have not yet empirically defined what will power is, it doesn’t matter from the point of view of giving up alcohol. If you read my other contributions in this blog, you’ll know how I did it. And it worked well for me. There are many similar tales elsewhere on the web. Your 6 weeks will soon become 8, then 10 – and during this time, your mouth and gums will heal, your liver will recover, your brain will re-adjust, your stomach lining will repair. Think of it as a 10-year old car getting its oil changed, all the filters getting replaced, new brake pads, new tyres, new exhaust, new spark plugs, etc etc. And it will cost you NOTHING. And the only reason why a complete stranger would spend time writing this for you, is because he/she genuinely wants to help. Isn’t that worth more than swigging down half a bottle of cheap supermarket wine ? If your answer is “yes” then you have it in you to fight the addiction and slay the demon. Do it!! :-)

Lush2012
1:51 pm December 10th, 2012

I appreciate that worked for you and I can also say by my own experience–”will power” has got me off–BUT IT NEVER TREATS THE UNDERLYING ISSUES. You may be a situational alcohol (my “invention” I believe) but you cannot be a genetic THIQ alcoholic and expect a life of sobriety from that. It is far too bio-chemical. I still applaud you but it is like telling someone with the “blues” SNAP OUT OF–exercise, run, you will feel better, as opposed to a chemical depressive. One size does not fit all

tim
9:29 am December 14th, 2012

i never liked red wine, shor a few beers form time to long time enough time to not really remember that i/we had a good time, man red wine made me feel heavey not until the doc told me that i should not drink have i drunk so much. honestly i have no intentions of dieing before my time, but it seems that i have put my hand up to indulge in a subsance that slows down wiv so much that i have volintarily knocked my self out for the 7 years nights. luckly i shifted out of the awakening in the position i passed out in some time ago. like water does this solvent get so close. how did these lead shoes become pleasant. is this how i planned to die, known body unwillingly plans to di, so thats why i get my doctors liver/ kidney when

chris
5:55 pm December 16th, 2012

Hello,

I had been a drinker of beer for about 6 years and am now 27, i would have anywhere from 4 to 6 beers a day (not lite beer). I now have been sober for a little over two weeks, my health is getting better but my mind is still in a heavy fog off and on during the day and i have had some rough times with my mind thinking about how bad things are, no work, no insurance, bills, ect… and this usually makes me feel very, very anxious about life in general. I know that it will pass and I know that it can be worked out. But my main concern is that when I worry like this I tend to make myself sick / nauseous and have problems with eating for fear I will just puke it all up. Is this natural? I really want to feel better with not having to take any pills….. Any tips for dealing with this? Good luck to all who have had the courage to take a step to not drinking.

john
8:04 pm December 19th, 2012

I am a 36yr old man who is seeking advice about continued drinking. I was single for most of my adult life which lead me to going out socially 3-5 nights per week. Outside of the occassional vacation I would only drink at night on the nights I went out. In June 2010 I relocatted for work and settled down in an area without much night life. I began drinking between 8-12 beers every night which I know is not healthy. Three months ago I was promoted at work and with it came much more stress. I began to develop some anxiety and I realized that the drinking did not help. I did not know if I would have any detox affects from quiting cold turkey so I went to my Dr. and explained my intentions. The Dr. gave me anxiety meds and blood pressure meds. She ran all kinds of tests and said I was perfectly healthy.When I detoxed I didn’t want to take the meds and felt the anxiety and experienced increased blood pressure which scared me. I then did not drink for two months and felt great. Last week I decided to have a couple beers which led to me going out for the evening. What followed was several more days of drinking in a row. Because of my fear of taking medication I checked myself into a detox facility. They gave me valium and vitamins every four hours the first couple of days. I had no withdrawal affects except a little elevated blood pressure. I do not want to drink everyday again but am curious if I can retrain myself to go out for drinks once a week if I so chose.

Thank you for your time!

Donnie
2:27 am December 31st, 2012

I just quit about a week ago, xmass to be exact . i have extream anxiety and smoking alot and cant sleep any suggestions ???

Lush2012
9:45 am December 31st, 2012

Cut the smoking down–it is a stimulant. I would seek a doctor who can prescribe you a quantity of valium (diazepam) that can safely detox you. You should take one LOADING dose (a dose that makes you not feel shaky and nervous or agitated) and then take about 10-20 mg every three hours, then taper to every four hours, then every 6 then lower the dose to 5 mg every 8 hours then stop. The loading dose and a PRN (as you need) is the best way. ALCOHOL WITHDRAWAL CAN KILL YOU.

Anna
11:03 am January 5th, 2013

Hey everyone
name is Anna
I am 20 and I drank heavily for 8 months, daily, now I wonder can my self recover in a period of time, I really want to quit it, I am sober for a week already, no panics, no attecs, better sleep and feeling, no cravings for a drink and never drank before.
But now my concern is will my body be fine and recover itself as I want to have a child in a year or so. I wonder can body self recover at my age and with 8 months of heavy drinking.

melisa
11:10 am January 5th, 2013

hey
i began drinking regularly at 18 before that just 3times a year or not
but now i have been a regular binge drinker for a about 2 years the last 9 months been drinking heavily, I am 20 now
Quited for 3 days now, no withrowal symptoms and I feel fine, think I don;t have psysicall dependance from alchohol.
Just wanna know can my organs and nervous system selfrecover and what amount of time will I need for it?

Lush2012
5:09 pm January 10th, 2013

Anna and Melissa sounds like the same story or similar and I want to answer both of you if the moderator does not. I can tell you that the amount you drank would have had to be very extensive to cause permanent and lasting damage. You likely have fatty liver, this will resolve itself with ongoing abstinence. I would recommend you take some B-vitamin, eat healthy, (a lot of raw vegetables and fruit no fatty or fried food or processed food) and eat lots of soy products and if possible take Milk Thistle, Liv-52 by Himalaya, AND MOST IMPORTANT Soy Lecithin (which cleanses the fat from the liver). I would NOT pick up another drink because you do not seem to be “pickled” yet as you are not having withdrawals at present which means you did not establish a physical addiction.

I am not sure what country(ies) you are from but I would be glad to address you in your native language as I speak quite a few languages and it seems you may feel more comfortable-I am suspecting either Spain or Northern Europe (North-Eastern)? Either would be fine for me to address you in those languages.

Long story short it is best you stop now. The good news is the liver is very resilient and recovers from most things if it is not perpetually damaged and if the source of damage is removed, in this case alcohol. I think you both (or you) have a good chance of a full recovery and even can resume drinking normally if you so desired after dealing with the reasons you drank excessively to begin with–IF YOU CHOOSE. If you can live without it that is naturally better.

You would know if you had hepatitis that was serious or if you had any advanced liver disease but for your peace of mind I would refrain for 3 months then get some liver enzyme tests run and if need be ask for more testing if there are any abnormalities present.

To also allay your fears, it has been shown repeatedly in recent studies (University of Glasgow most recent) binge drinking is less harmful than daily drinking. So in other words going on a binge or even a bender with days or weeks off in between is better for the liver as it gives it some chance of repair as opposed to daily drinking that perpetually harms the liver and never gives it an opportunity to recover.

So all in all you are in good shape for making full recoveries BUT must remain committed to abstinence and know once you start to get withdrawals you enter a new phase of alcohol addiction that you can never return from.

Christi
6:09 am January 12th, 2013

I have a friend that I am very concerned about. He is 70 years old, only eats less than 3 ounces of food per day, and drinks several pints of vodka per day. He is a veteran and has been put in a nursing home for alcohol before. He chain smokes and has emphasema ( sorry on spelling) and COPD. He is my best friend and he is going to die I am afraid. He has chirrosis of the liver and was told that if he went back to drinking he would die. Any advice? Thanks

Lush2012
10:35 am January 14th, 2013

Christi at 70 with his lack of will to stop I can only say he is killing himself and will. You may want to discuss the option of Naltrexone shots and see if the Sinclair Method will not work (it allows him to drink but he will drink less and eventually not want to drink–I would explain in detail but I write enough on this board). The other option, if you have permission to discuss things with his medical team is to ask about giving him sulfasalazine. It has promising results even among active alcohols in reducing and reversing cirrhotic and fibrotic tissue-EVEN IN THE ABSENCE OF THEIR QUITTING.

That all said, I would brace for the worst as doctors tend to write people off at a certain age and with his laundry list of ailments he would be a medical “write-off” to all but a very sympathetic doctor. The death by cirrhosis is horrible and perhaps you could take him to an ICU and see if you could arrange for him to meet an alcoholic dying of cirrhosis, it will leave a HUGE impact and will give you some insight as to what you have to look forward to if he does not get help. I am sorry you are in this position and sorry for your friend.

Anna
11:35 am January 14th, 2013

Thank you for the information Lush, it helped me and supported a lot, it;s the 9th day of mine without any alchohol, feel better everyday, better sleep no nightmares, I will surely have to totally reduce fast food and all the fried stuff, thanks again once Istopped this is for good, good luck to everyone.

jimmy
8:35 am January 22nd, 2013

hey I drink 24 hrs every day,am 56 and been doing this for 6 yrs,I drink a 1.75 bottle vodka every day and a half I want to stop but about 8 hrs is as long as I gotten,I live alone and need help……jimmy

Lush2012
4:42 am January 23rd, 2013

Jimmy you need a chemical detox. On that level of Vodka or alcohol at all you need to get “weaned” and comfortably. I would call around and ask a doctor if they are willing to COMFORTABLY detox you. This may mean Ativan or Xanax (lorazepam or alprazolam) and then slowly to valium or librium ( diazepam and chlordiazepoxide) . You are physically addicted and it is necessary you do not stop without medication now. PLEASE consult an addiction specialist or feel free to contact me via this site and I will try and find one wherever you are. YOU CAN DO IT.

Bellinghamster
11:13 am January 23rd, 2013

I read almost this whole page and words like “stomach bleed,” “fatty liver,” “bloating,” “vomiting,” etc, kept repeating themselves. I can identify with several of these symptoms of alcohol abuse having drunk a six pack a day for 7 years and however much when I was younger and even dumber. I am in awe at how casually we drunks torment (or have tormented) our bodies. It’s been 2 months today since I quit drinking, I’m feeling much better, and I can’t believe how long I eagerly and ritualistically poisoned myself.

There have been many excellent replies by the administrator of this blog to the question, “what happens to your body when you quit drinking.” I would simplify the answer to this– your body gets healthier. Period. Even though your emotions are wild and fluctuating, you’re freaking out, twitching and losing your mind, your body is healing. I still have powerful cravings, but every time they hit I remind myself of how good my stomach feels, how much weight I’ve lost, and how much better my skin looks and feels. There are a hundred particulars, but simply put, your body gets stronger when it isn’t being daily poisoned with alcohol.

By the way, I have gotten to 2 months sobreity with a lot of help from herbal teas. There are a million flavors, you get hydrated and they help you relax. Best of all, you can’t abuse them. All they will do is cause you to pee alot.

2:36 pm January 23rd, 2013

Hi Jimmy. Seek help with a detox clinic. The medical staff there will evaluate and treat you personally. With a long history of drinking a high volume, you want to be sure that you are in the best hands, should you be at risk of delerium tremens or seizure.

Jezzie
4:00 am January 24th, 2013

Hi,I just stumbled on to this site by reading a book on my kindle about synthetic pot.i do not smoke ( I use to but made me wacked out), but I do enjoy my evening cocktails.i will have about 5 a nite ( I measure with a shot glass 1 shot. But of course times when off for a couple days ,I will drink more.i don’t let myself get out of control anymore.( drank alot with ex an got to wasted ), but I worry of course about this daily drinking. I mean I work 2 part time jobs an go to school ,well working on real school,goin thru a unemployment program for a grant. But anyway,I’ve been told i have a fatty liver as well.ive been drinking since in my 20s an am now 52. I don’t want to go thru rehab ,just afraid of what will I go thru if I stop. No health insurance now.ive quit for almost a year about 8 years ago,didnt have withdraw an felt good.so any suggestions?

Bob
5:34 am January 24th, 2013

I have been drinking whiskey heavily for the past week, in general I have been drinking whiskey more than usual for the past month, before that I was only a moderate drinker or social drinker but now I’ve reached the point where I drink simply because I like how it feels at night when I’m home. I’ve been scaring myself for the past few days because I would say I’m not going to drink tonight but inevitably I did. Tonight I actually made it to the point where I went over 24 hours without a drink. I am scared of the idea of alcohol withdrawal, but I’m not sure if I experienced any other than a couple of times thinking i want a drink but then id occupy myself with something and forget about it. As I dont want to be an alcoholic or experience alcholic withdrawal, I also don’t want to give up the occassional drink for the rest of my life. My question is: Could this temporary heavy drinking be just a phase and it’s not too late to get it back under control? That way I can enjoy a drink or two at a club or friend’s house but have it not go back to a regular routine?

1:56 pm January 24th, 2013

Hi Bob. Some drinkers can become moderate drinkers. It really depends on the person. Getting honest with yourself is the first step. Perhaps you would benefit from visiting an substance use specialist and going in for an evaluation? It doesn’t take long and can be very informative and a good step towards meeting your goals.

jimy
1:49 am January 25th, 2013

2 months ago I had this pain in the lower left side by my ribs. Went go see the doctor, he said i probably pulled a muscle and come back in two weeks if it’s still the same. Went back but the same pain was worse. He sent me to get X-rays done, they came back negative and nothing showing was wrong. Went for an ultrasound and a C.T scan came out negative waited two weeks for a gastrologers. He suggested i should go on a diet but i refused and insisted on an endoscope. Waited a week to go for that test, they took tissue samples went to the doctors to get the results everything came back normal. But he stated that i cut back my drinking. I haven’t had a drink in well over 3 months. Does anyone have any answers for me?

Lush2012
10:54 am January 28th, 2013

Left side is really more indicative of an intestinal issue or appendix. If all tests are normal it is likely not anything to worry about. Liver pain and even gallbladder or pancreas would present mainly on the right upper quadrant or centrally located (like between the very bottom of the ribs where they come together). In the latter case you would be considering stomach, pancreas and liver issues as possibilities but you have had lots of tests and it seems all is well. I would be proud of being off the booze for 3 months and just try and lose some weight if they advised you to do that. Minimally try and take in more fibre and see what happens. Good luck to you but I would not be so worried.

Brian
4:08 pm January 30th, 2013

My wife and I are both 27 and we have been drinking 8-10 beers every night for the past 2-3 years. We’ve both gained weight and our committed to stop drinking 7 days a week. It’s only been 3 days since we’ve stopped drinking and we want to stop drinking during the week. It’s hard because it’s just become a routine, it’s what we do. Drink beer and watch TV every night. We both know realistically we are never going to drop drinking all together. But we both have started working out and eating healthier as well. I guess my question is for someone who drank 8-10 beers every night for the past 2-3 years is it REALISTIC and POSSIBLE to stop drinking during the week and just drink on the weekends out with friends. Or will drinking 1-2 days on the weekends make it harder to stop during the week? Please advise, thanks!

Terry
8:54 pm January 31st, 2013

I have drank alcohol almost every day since the beginning of 2000. Liquor occasionally but mostly beer, averaging a 12 pack a day. I want to quit cold turkey now and get my body back to just having a drink on the weekend or something. Is this safe and possible? I already feel withdrawal after 12 hours or what I assume is withdrawal.

Lush2012
10:16 am February 1st, 2013

Brian it sounds like you are more psychologically addicted to alcohol than physically. It seems to have become a “habit” rather than an addiction. I cannot make that decision though only you know whether your body NEEDS alcohol or whether you are both just in a routine. I would guess the latter as it has only been a couple of years and does not sound like you get inebriated as you probably have built a tolerance and the number has stayed steady (usually if you are addicted you will go to harder alcohol or seek more to get the “feeling” you started to get as an “addict”). So in short, yes you can probably change this habit and it sounds like you are starting some better habits. If either of you find a craving or need then you may be getting or may already be physically addicted and then abstinence is probably best or limiting drinking to VERY special occasions. Good Luck.

Terry, YOU SHOULD NEVER STOP ALCOHOL ON YOUR OWN COLD TURKEY. It is the most dangerous drug along with benzodiazepines to quite cold turkey as it can AND DOES kill people. I would either cut back slow using the oldest method, beer, or seek medical advice and get some medications like diazepam or chlordiazepoxide to get you off safely.

connie
3:05 pm February 1st, 2013

Hello im connie my hubby shawn i just wanted to say he was and still a alcholic for over 20 yrs ..when he and i got together 3 yrs ago he stopped or i was leaving i wasnt going to have to be the one driving and wasting money on it.so he quit …he still has his moments but when he does i let him talk to me and i try to make it easier for him but he has gone 3 yrs with no help but from me without a drink….i hope everyone finds the support they need and sometimes just having someone who listens and says nothing helps alot too.. Blessings

Tony
11:41 pm February 3rd, 2013

Hi AB and Lush2012, I’ve read almost every post on this blog and can relate to many here. I’ve been a maintainence drinker for well over ten years now. I started drinking heavily, after I had retired from my amateur boxing career, when I was 25. I had transferred from my community college to a University and had some emotional setbacks. I had always dealt with depression and finally sought help with a counselor that was available for free because I was attending the University.
I was initially put on Zoloft and it worked wonders for two years until I graduated and had to start purchasing it on my own. The counselor warned me that alcohol would always win over any anti-depressant; the zoloft fought the good fight for a few years. The drinking never stopped, and without the zoloft I had increased anxiety and a few panic attacks, which I medicated with vodka, to watch my caloric intake.
I generally drink and smoke cigarettes every night to go to sleep. I have a sensitivity to cigarettes that hieghtens my buzz and makes me sleepy/dizzy. I am the ony person that I know of who has this weird relationship with cigs/alcohol.
I have tapered down from a fifth of vodka every night to a pint of vodka. I love craft beer, but I cant drink much of it because I live with chronic gout as well. I want to eventually taper down to just beer, as my livelyhood depends on my knowledge and ability to taste craft beer and share with my customers (I am a bartender).
I dont drink at work, but I have always experienced severe anxiety until I am well into my shift. Sometimes I have trouble maintaining eye contact, as it feels as if I am eye-ball-fucking people when I do look at them. They see the fear in my eyes and it makes them uncomfortable.
I am also so sensitive to alcohol, that when my “morning fog” wears off in the afternoon, and I taste a sip of a new beer at work, I have an instant “fogginess” which is more like pressure in the head that makes it hard for me to stay mentally focused. It will generally wear off in 20 minutes, but it is distracting to say the least.
I think that my social anxiety is the reason I started self-medicating. Marijuana would be a great alternative to go to sleep if it didnt casue severe anxiety… I guess I would like to know more about tapering off with valium. Thank you in advance :)

Lush2012
8:52 pm February 4th, 2013

I think you have Candida Albicans and need to quit cigarettes, alcohol, at the same time using Valium, and do a Candida cleanse. I think this accounts for the sinuses being stuffed, the fact you likely have bowel issues, feel the same symptoms after certain meals, have anxiety etc. Especially the brain fog and inability to look at people (watery eyes that tear up and feel they cannot focus and give you a phobia of people).

I will gladly expand.

Cheryl Brown
10:51 pm February 4th, 2013

what happens if you drink again before your BAC has dropped to zero?

Tony
7:02 pm February 5th, 2013

Thank you Lush2012. You are spot on. Can you please expand?

DANANTHEMAN
10:12 am February 6th, 2013

HI all I’m Danny

well im a seasoned drinker been drink since i was 13… it started off with a strong can and a few joints with my dad at weekends (dunna smoke that crap now tho)… then when i moved out from home i started on the cider (the stuff thats never seen an apple in its life) then pretty much drinking most nights..i did quit back in 2004 for a month well i had to as went prison i could have had some of the moonshine they were brewing but i enjoyed having my sight more… once i came out of prison pretty much on the train home i got wasted and started all over again… in 2008 i was was in a relationship that i didnt want to be in but stayed as i loved my son more than anything… but was depressed so drank every night usually a bottle of wine and a can…. we split over a year and half ago and share my son 50/50 so the nights i didnt have my son i would drink altho last xmas i drank quite alot as i had family down…. which has then led to me drinking quite alot after xmas (i could drink a bottle of vodka and still feel fine) so i decided that i need to stop,

on the 26th of jan was my last drink and not touched a drop since. I experienced for the first 4 nights, sweats! where i could wake just dripping wet and would have to towel myself off… i still have broken sleep at the moment but is getting better.

The problem i have is shakes, if i try to concentrate my hand on doing something ie tightening a small screw with a screwdriver my hand will shake uncontrollably but can hold my hands out and they wont shake only while trying to do something… has anyone else experienced this and did it stop?

Happy
9:28 am February 7th, 2013

Terry,
I have been a heavy drinker for 20yrs the last 7 of them, I was drinking a doz 8% bourbons a day, + a bottle of jager or tequila a week. I am female, I have cut down to twice a week in the last 2 months, by cutting down 1 can a day eg 11 then 10 etc, I am now drinking only on weekends and its only a doz and I feel great, have more money and to be quite honest I don’t miss it, I think it became more of a habit than a nessesitie. However I do enjoy a drink and did not want to give it up full stop, just on occasions or weekends. And all these years I have never enjoyed the drunk feeling I just like to be mellow. I have 4 children and they never new u was drunk, I would always cook dinner, clean the house organise everything, what I use to call a functioning alcoholic, but I recommend bit by bit so it’s not so overwhelming and your body dosnt go into shock

James
3:54 pm February 10th, 2013

Hi I am wondering if you can help me, I am 37, male. I have quit drinking after a scare where I had pain in my kidneys and my face swelled up a lot after a heavy night of drinking. I’ve noticed that I have a constant drained look all the time, dark eyes and poor skin, I don’t look well at all. I was wondering if it’s possible to recover your healthy look after quitting drinking, or is the damage permanent. I never used to look like this until I started drinking heavily, and I know it’s a result of heavy binge drinking.

I have only been off the drink for a week, and don’t expect miracles, but it would be nice to know that I will look healthy again one day if I stay off the drink.

Mick
8:59 pm February 10th, 2013

I have been drinking heavily for quite a while, hitting scotch pretty hard. I started getting some pain in lower left abdomen so I cut back for a week and now I have almost stopped completely, the scotch has gone, just a couple of beers in a few days. My organs around the waist area feel really heavy and bloated, not sure if this is liver, kidneys or what. is this normal withdrawal symptom and will they naturallly feel normal or do you need medication. Also the original pain may be a stomach ulcer, although this has subsided a lot since stopping, will an ulcer heal naturally or does this need medication.

Lush2012
12:26 pm February 12th, 2013

Hi all and to start with Tony let me address your issues. Firstly alcohol is mainly sugar and yeast, depending on what you drink, but these two do a great job in disrupting your intestinal flora, these are the microbes and bacteria that fill your gut. When you drink and interrupt this it kind of leads to a vicious cycle where you are feeding the bad bacteria and starving the good or not replenishing the good. In turn alcohol is craved as are colas and sugary or carbohydrate laden foods. The issue is that this leads to brain fog, a feeling of panic and anxiety and then in turn you think you only feel normal when drinking but in a way you are only using the alcohol to calm yourself down, like a valium would do.

What you need to do Tony is take probiotics at the same time you quit drinking and smoking. Both smoke and alcohol converts to acetaldehyde which in its turn converts to THIQ in the alcohol brain and can never be removed and accounts for that feeling of being able to drink a bit but then going into overdrive at some point like you drink two glasses then get a certain feeling and know you will not stop until you are passed out or completely drunk. If you get this feeling then drinking is not really going to be possible. It may eventually if you choose to try a Naltrexone implant but getting on a strict alcohol free diet and candida cleanse is the most important thing. I will next address the Valium detox.

Hi Tony, I am writing smaller bits so if you have more questions please let me know and I will answer as I can. Candida seems to be really a major problem for you and is a huge problem for most alcoholics and also gives that nervous, shaky, watery eyes and sinus issues, constipation and loose bowel movements and general feeling of being in a brain fog. I recommend going to any health food place and asking for a colon cleanse and more specifically a Candida cleanse. You will also need to avoid all sugary foods, drinks and adhere to a pretty strict diet, which incidentally will help your body recover from the abuse as well.

Now HAPPY I am very glad for you as a fellow female alcoholic I completely understand how you feel and know that the amounts we drink shock people.

As for everyone who is worried about symptoms and want to know if it is too late and the damage is done? Well yes and no. You may have done serious damage but if you are alive and walking around and choose never to drink again you will only get better, not worse. You should get the issues assessed if you feel you really sickly but I recommend anyone wait, unless they feel acutely ill, for about 3 months as things tend to get better by then but do require a good diet, nutritional supplements such as a multi-vitamin, vitamin B (multi) Milk Thistle, N-acetylcysteine, Tumeric, Selenium, Liv-52 (Liver Support by Himalaya), and some vitamin E. There are others but these do a very good job. By three months most of what will reverse in the immediate should show on tests as improving. If you go now you are going to just panic as 99% of all alcoholics (and most people nowadays who do not even drink) have fatty livers and anytime anyone says LIVER to an alcoholic early in the “recovery” process is just going to scare them back to the bottle. This is why I recommend waiting. Suffice to say there are people with serious cirrhosis that are living 20+ years after diagnosis because they quit drinking. So yes you will heal to a degree and minimally halt progression of disease.

Now people always ask about valium detox and how it should be done. Well I am not a doctor but I know more than most of them as I have been on the other end of it with many doctors some kinder than others and also have administered it to myself.

The issue about the detox is that most doctors tend to under prescribe the valium needed to comfortably detox an alcoholic thinking only of preventing seizures rather than your comfort. To the person who is still shaking it is not unheard of and sounds like you may have had a mini seizure as well. I recommend, for everyone, they seek medical assistance detoxing. I would recommend and you are welcome to bring what I suggest to your doctor as it is used often in compassionate detox clinics and I personally have used this a lot.

You should start the detox by getting rid of all alcohol and if you smoke may as well give that up now too as you are going to be on enough diazepam, valium, to help with symptoms of both withdrawals. As alcohol is similar in its actions as benzodiazepines you will find as an alcoholic you will need higher doses of diazepam to feel comfortable. The initial dose is called a loading dose and should make you feel comfortable when the first symptoms start to appear. This dose may be frighteningly high but the lethal dose for diazepam is almost non-existent. Take about 10mg every half hour until you feel comfortable. Once this dose is achieved and you are comfortable I would recommend taking one half that dose as your next dose and going up only if you feel discomfort. Over the next 10 days you should slowly taper the dose by 10 percent every day and space them out from every 2-3 hours to every 4-6 with your last dose being about 10 mg or 5mg if possible on the last day. You should comfortably come down from alcohol and also be able to kick smoking if you want, which I recommend to all alcoholics since it too tends to feed alcoholism via acetaldehyde which is converted to THIQ. (THIQ is a controversial substance and cause of alcoholism but in all my experience and the fact that Naltrexone seems to really work I am convinced true alcoholics do have issues with THIQ which is a natural opiate like substance that is what some alcoholics are born with giving them instant addiction and others acquire after drinking over long periods of time).

The valium detox is very valuable to all alcoholics and I more than just recommend it I almost believe it is necessary for all those who are truly addicted, even after a binge sometimes, to safely and comfortably get off alcohol. As I have shared and will share again, IT IS NOT something you should keep on hand to enable you to have binges and come off after the binges as it is cross-tolerant to alcohol and I PERSONALLY have become addicted and can assure you detox from alcohol is NOTHING in comparison to detoxing from benzodiazepines (valium/xanax/ativan etc).

My recommendation is that if you do use valium never use it, even under a doctor’s supervision, for more than 10 days.

Sean
4:36 am February 14th, 2013

Hello all! I recently read a book called the easy way to stop drinking by Allen Carr but was scared to death to go cold turkey as it says at the end of the book as the fear from withdrawls. I started drinking as a late teen and weekends mainly, then at 21 alot more for years! I have been off it for a week or so at a time then with no withdrawls at all, but the recently last 6 or 7 years nightly I would have Two Icehouse 24′s and then another 24 of light beer for a few years! Recently it is a 40 of Icehouse a night and 24 of Icehouse (Which is 5.5 so stronger than regular beer and sometimes another 24 or a little less! Light beer namely as the third drink. I am guessing that is about 7.5 beers a night! This for a while now on end.

Do you think this will cause withdrawl or should I continue to cut back slowly as I have been doing lately? With this in mind I want to down one beer every week or so until I am down to a good amount where withdrawls will probably not be severe or just be mental and NO PHYSICAL! Was I drinking enough for years for withdrawls? I don’t want to suffer any as I have not taken days off like some have to see if I get them or not but around 11 or so at night I start to want thsoe beers after work as if it is a habit! I feel it is habitual and therefore harder to break.

I would like to know if I should just cut it down slowly and then kick it or cold Turkey? I don’t want to just quit and get severe withdrawls as I have to work and that would or could make me look nuts lol.

Thanks, Sean.

Lush2012
8:09 am February 14th, 2013

Sean I hate to say it but you likely will get withdrawals with that intake and I would not ever recommend cold turkey. You will not be down to “a beer a week” that is not sufficient for withdrawal. By the time you get down to one every other day you will be able to just withdraw when you go to one every third night. I would sooner, if you can, recommend a valium withdrawal. Many GP’s will respect you for wanting to kick the habit on your own and will listen to your input regarding the desire to be on a benzodiazepine (Valium/diazepam and possibly Xanax/alprazolam to function at work) to control withdrawals and enable you to work.

I am sorry for this scathing comment but I do not like the Allen Carr book and have seen many a drunk read that, vow to quit “and cease control” and then just end up back at the beginning. It is a scare tactic/self-empowerment book that does not address the serious underlying issues and pathologies of alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. Just my honest opinion. Good luck.

wendy
8:26 pm February 18th, 2013

Hi – does being a diabetic really worsen the scenario, and though not drinking every day my friend drinks heavily 2 or 3 times a week – spirits/wine/beer he weighs about 18 stone (was 22 but lost weight when diagnosed with diabetes) and doesn’t appear drunk for ages then suddenly ‘goes’ incoherent/passes out.
Is there any point in my trying to help him? In the past I’ve confronted it – big rows and I had to persevere to keep the relationship going, I’ve given him space to ‘sort his head’ – carries on drinking, I’ve not mentioned it (carries on drinking) his daughter was heading the same way (stealing drink etc getting so drunk, but she has a boyfriend now (shes 32) and the 2 like to tweet their blame on me – eg if I’ve visited it’s my fault when he drinks 4 hrs later – as i write this I’m beginning to see my own answers…

Lush2012
4:56 pm February 19th, 2013

Wendy-It is two fold with diabetics medically speaking. First alcohol is very high in sugar so the sudden onset you describe could be related to an alcohol spike but not necessarily. I say not necessarily as I know alcoholics who, like your friend, (and at times I myself) will drink only on “drinking days” but when we drink we will be ok UNTIL a certain point. I have described what I firmly believe to be the cause of alcoholism; acquired accumulation or inborn presence of THIQ. Very simply put a normal person is only effected in the GABA receptors (this is like taking a tranquiliser) and as a result most people feel relaxed and get slight euphoria from drinking. Alcoholics feel this was UNTIL we hit a certain level of alcohol intake at which point we go into override as the THIQ is activated and is now an opiate response and we lose control of our ability to resist or say no or even stop. Most drinking episodes end with passing out or waking up remembering nothing. I had a good friend, yes we tend to find each other, who would drink and at some point she would get a vacant look in her eyes and they would glass over and you knew everything from that point on is not going to be remembered.

As for the blaming, to us we blame everything on everyone so this is very normal behaviour for an alcoholic.

kaz
3:19 am February 20th, 2013

This sucks. I am about to drive away my beloved man as he is not an alcoholic. And all I can think about is how we would’ve worked forever if he just drank more.

I am pathetic.

How do I go about life without booze? I hit him last night. I was drunk after swearing I wouldn’t get drunk and we ended up fighting (we only fight when I’m drunk, I’ve only seen him drunk once). I slapped him in frustration. I would never even contemplate such a thing if I wasn’t drunk. I hate me, I wish there was some way where I could wink myself out of existence so as to stop hurting the people who love me without hurting them forever.

Rapunzel
3:37 pm February 20th, 2013

I have been a drinker for over ten years. I have had multiple drunk driving offences, as well as many many other poor decisions. I have always been on and off…drink heavily for a few months, then back off and not even have a drink for 6 months. The last 2 years have been pretty tough on me, and 8 months ago I started drinking again. It got to the point that I would wake up at 5am feeling like crap, so I would knock a few back. I get the shakes, I get antsy and crabby when I am sober. Pretty sure I was up to a 12 pack a day. The company I worked for for 10 years closed down in December, since then I have gained about 15 pounds, have wicked anxiety, and just over all feel like my entire world has fallen apart. I have tried again to take it easy, I know my weight gain is from drinking and being totally inactive, but the anxiety and mood swings are so bad if I dont chug a few down. Reading this blog has made me feel a lot better about my situation, it gives me hope seeing so many other people have gone through the same thing and are able to better themselves. I sure hope I can make it through as well….if I dont have a heart attack from the anxiety first!!!!

2:50 pm February 21st, 2013

Hi Kaz. I remember starting a fight with a friend while drunk and blacked out. I stopped a week later. But I did it with the help of a psychologist and cognitive behavioral treatment.

Alcohol becomes the way that we feel good about life. But you can learn other ways to live. Just keep reaching out and look in your community for a psychotherapist who specializes in addiction. Part of giving up any behavior is surrender.

Wendy
9:03 pm February 21st, 2013

Makes sense Lush2012, Many thanks for the reply. Not sure it’s helps tho’! Stories sound so similar – that certain point when the gin/wine/beer whatever is running low leads to frenetic bemoaning of no more to drink – sometimes going to amazing lengths to procure just 1 more bottle – then falls ‘asleep’ before it arrives or after first drink from it. It’s painful but…. bloody interesting……. x

Lush2012
2:17 am February 22nd, 2013

Kaz-been there done that. I am currently taking a break from men due to the fact I have been so bad at relationships-nobody likes a “hot mess”. I was married and had times my husband would cower from me beating him and I am a petite woman and he was a massive rugby centre. I was very young then and actually just out of my teens and was pretty sober for me actually most of the time.

Rapunzel do not beat yourself up, we are sick we are not our sickness. I basically went the same way you did I was moved to USA then lost my job and then was stuck on the wrong side of the pond-which I am visiting now-and actually I lost my job due to a stupid thing I did while on a drinking episode. You are definitely having withdrawals and I would recommend you try and come off as the anxiety is part of the alcohol withdrawals. Just be kind to yourself and patient. In my experience 12 beers is not much but I was pretty hard core so Just take a beer a day away and then slowly come off. That may work best with you just drinking beer.

onsiri
6:04 pm February 22nd, 2013

It is my 5th day here and i’m going through hell. I have a bad stomach cramp eevery 15 mins. I hoep this will going away. I hope tomorrow I will feel better. I just don’t want to go to the doctor and get to take on another medicine. I just want to get back in to my normal state again. This cause me so much pain that I would never thinking of drinking again.

missy
12:10 am February 23rd, 2013

Hi Addiction Blog,

Have read some of the questions and answers and relate to a lot of them. I have been drinking since my early teens and now almost 35. I dont think I am physically dependent but emotionally although I do have some physical reactions. I seem to live life by extremes and suddenly stopped drinking a week ago after a six month bender. I have suffered forom depression most of my adult life that was left unnoticed for a long time and started to get help for but I found it to difficult to confront these problems as it felt they were getting worse once i tried to. I started recently on hangovers to get panic attacks where I thought I would die from my bodies inability to cope anymore. I have stopped for one week now and feel incredibley lucid and together to an extreme which is great but I am afraid that i am going to go back to it! I really cant tell how much I really do not want to, I am scared. The thing is my friends no me as the fun party girl who lives life on the edge, I try and communicate them as best I can but it is difficult when they drink al ot. I dont know really what my question is except that I need reassurance that I am doing the right thing and I will feel even better and be in control of my life, I guess I am worried that if things go wrong then I will go back to my care free ways and I think they could hurt me or worse.
Much respect to you for this blog it helps me to just read other peoples stories. all the best to you and all of you that are struggling like me

2:35 pm February 25th, 2013

Hi Missy. You are starting to sense something in your self that is asking you to stop. While your friends may not understand it, the call for sobriety is about getting connected more to yourself and your life.

I applaud you for stopping drink for a week and asking for help. Now, I’d suggest that you follow up by finding a counselor or psychologist who specializes in treating drinking and start to learn WHY you drink. What does it do for you? And what do you want in your life? The more you talk it out, the more your life can start to change.

Does this make sense?

Lush2012
3:52 pm February 25th, 2013

Missy-I hate to say this in such a “been there done that” way BUT stop now. I was where you are and you know what, I am now just over 40 (do not look it and was out being hit on by 19 year old still last year at this time–whilst drinking) but I promise it gets old and you, like me, were the life of the party, but the party ends. The problem is that we are always the ones to get the party started and then in the end we wake up one morning and all the “audience” we had has moved on and we are all alone drinking our way around to younger crowds. It is sad and hard but we have hang it up and be really resolved and it may mean get new friends but I promise that as I approached my late 30′s and then finally in the last years as I turned 40 and now 41 it is hard not to be honest with yourself and admit that you have to grow up and stop pleasing others. I promise all of a sudden all your friends that are depending on you to be the party-girl will suddenly start dropping off and settling down and you will be left alone and I assure you it is lonely and you try and see if you can salvage your life. That is where I am and hope you never get but rather you do it better than I did and leave this disease in its place and find inner and outer happiness.

missy
5:16 pm February 25th, 2013

Yes it does make sense. It is now day 10 and feeling better each day although not suggesting it is easy. I will be starting treatment for this this week also, staying positive although there are ugly moments and things to sort I am feeling more ready than ever before…I thank you for your help.

Curious1
1:38 am April 8th, 2013

I am not physically addicted to alcohol, but psychologically. So I decided to retrain my brain for the next 30 days to not just instantly grab a beer at the end of the day, or as a “reward”, or if I felt stressed. I havent had a beer in 8 days. ( I only drink Amstel light which has 3.5 % alcohol per volume….no wine, no spirits)
The first 4 or 5 days were great ( although 3rd day tough) … But now I feel really tired even though I’m going to bed at a normal time and I’m very irritable and emotional and have shortened patience. How long will that last? I can’t find ANY links on the Internet strictly dealing with withdrawal symptoms for people who are strictly psychologically addicted…. Can you illuminate some info for me? Or send me some links? Would be so incredibly helpful. Thank you :-)

Gibsheet
6:43 pm April 9th, 2013

If you’re only drinking Amstel light, you probably aren’t physically addicted. It’s been my experience, that I had to keep my BAC around 0.05 -0.10 or I would start to get physically sick. Stomach cramps, the runs, pretty much like food poisoning. I like to drink good high alcohol micro-brews, but the added calories were catching up to my mid-section. So after pretty much being on auto-pilot for a decade, I was able to wean myself down switching to lower alcohol beers and eventually I was able to quit without getting too sick. It’s been five weeks now and yeah, everytime I drive by a brew pub, I want to stop in, have a cold one, meet some new friends. I just have to think back to that great quote Dean Weaner told Belushi in Animal House: “going through life fat, stupid and drunk is no way to live!”.

Curious 1
4:56 pm April 10th, 2013

Thanks Gibsheet. Glad you’ve been so successful :-)
I know I’m not physically addicted, but was/am psychologically addicted to the “escape” part of drinking. I would never get drunk off the Amstel… Just very tired next day, sometimes hungover and lots of guilt (cuz that’s what my mind does…beat myself up) … So the worse I felt about myself the more it made me want to have a beer to distract those negative voices… But of course it just kept reinforcing them. So I figured it was time to resurrect the old me who didn’t need a beer to distract o r have fun….been 12 days now and it’s getting easier…. My brain is resetting :-) . George Carlin talked about addiction once in an interview and said that basically when you decide to stop or make a change its because the pain has now taken over 90% of the “party” … The pleasure had or imagined from alcohol or drugs is now so usurped by the pain and recovery the day after that its not serving any purpose but harm now :-)

Gibsheet
3:05 pm April 11th, 2013

Good on ya. Ole George did more than his share of partying in his day. Imagine what kind of peer pressure a guy like him would be under to party all the time.. if he can say no, should be a piece of cake for us.

Neva
1:59 pm April 22nd, 2013

My niece recently quit drinking after I’m guessing 10 years of hard alcohol drinking, within a couple of days she was experiencing severe stomach pain and her skin had a slightly yellow tint to it, she went to the hospital and they ran tests and eliminated liver damage, what I’d like to know is in your opinion was her liver flushing all the toxins from 10 + years of abuse and that is what caused her pain and skin discoloration

Gibsheet
10:48 pm April 24th, 2013

I do have liver damage, but it does not show up on a blood test. You need an ultrasound to see that. It shouldn’t kill me if I stop drinking now (two months now), but I’m only a beer drinker. Liquor is far more damaging. I think you were just experiencing withdrawals, which is sort of like being seasick. It’s awful and I only need to think of that whenever I want a beer.

Chuck
2:41 pm May 6th, 2013

I wanted to say thanks to the people that started this blog and a big thanks to all the people that have posted. It has been 22 days since I had a beer. I did not think that I would have a problem since I only had a 6 pack of beer a day during the week a few more than that on the weekends. I have been doing this for 10 to 12 yrs. Last night I actually slept good and had a decent appetite to eat. My body feels like it might be coming around a bit. I been to the Dr. and had a cpl of blood test done and all was well but I still felt terrible. The mornings and Nights being the worst. It has been so relieving to come here for the last cpl of weeks as I would find my self reading all these post over and over again. Thanks

Dangermouse67
8:02 am May 8th, 2013

Well done Chuck! 22 days is good going. You’ll notice how quickly 22 becomes 20, then 30 becomes 40…and before long you’ll wonder what on Earth it was that made you go for a six-pack a day!! The only thing you need in the morning, is a nice strong coffee – and at night, If you’re at home, watch something on TV (or online) that you enjoy. When I started my 100 days without alcohol last year, at nights I would David Attenborough Wildlife programmes, or a couple of episodes of Meerkat manor. Basically, watch something that takes your mind off the problem – and transports you to another ‘environment.’ Sometimes I would watch old episodes of Have I Got News For you – or one of those car restoration shows (like Wheeler Dealers). It really helped me to take my mind off the need to have an alcoholic drink at night – and before I knew it, it was time to brush teeth and get ready for bed!

After my 100 days, I never went back on alcohol dependency (though with me the problem was not quite as severeas some posters here). Nowadays, I may have one (ONE!) beer with friends on a saturday if we’re all watching football together – but I don’t have the craving anymore. Too busy planning a family – and looking for a better job! :-)

Keep up the good work.

Gibsheet
9:54 pm May 8th, 2013

Keep up the good work Chuck. I didn’t intend it this way, but I happened to adopt a cat the same day I decided to quit drinking (again). Yesterday was the hottest day of the year here and I went out on the deck, looked at that beautiful sunset over the water and I thought “man, I’d love to have a pint of ice cold IPA right now”. Then I looked at the cat, sat down and figured out that since I’ve had her (and quit drinking) I’ve saved: over $1,000, 65,000 calories, lost 13 lbs,I don’t worry that my fridge is empty at 10pm on a Tues, and I don’t shit myself every time I see a cop car. And I know, deep down inside, it wouldn’t be just one pint. It’d be two, tomorrow four, and the whole thing starts over. I don’t care much for the “meetings” so I appreciate you guys writing in.

Shey
2:12 am May 12th, 2013

Hello, I am an alcoholic of 15 years. I decided to quit cold turkey. I am in my second day. It’s so bad yet. I do feel anxiety and irritability. Been grinding my teeth a lot. Is there any herbal products or over the counter products from the health food store that can ease the withdrawal process?

Thank you

Gibsheet
3:48 pm May 13th, 2013

A certain popular herb which is now legal in my home state (Washington) works quite well.

Gary
11:13 am June 3rd, 2013

How long does it take for your enzymes to return to normal after drinking a pint of vodka?

Gary
1:40 pm June 3rd, 2013

I am having a physical in five days and am anxious about what the results will be because I have been foolish.

Danial
4:59 pm June 23rd, 2013

This is one of the best explanations I’ve read yet. Sites like ChaCha only simply reiterate the persons question by simply saying it’s the DTs which most people already know. Even though there is a ton of data on the internet their is too much lax, ambiguity, and vagueness from sites that are supposed to be informative. Anyway that said I would like to add that I’ve seen people shake and withdraw even if they usually don’t drink alocohol. You know if someone only drinks every few weeks or months even. But they still shake and show withdrawals and these are people who are not alcoholics however 90% of the answers I see from Yahoo, ChaCha, and other info sites all make the assumption everyone that shakes is an alcoholic. Which is sad really, again this illustrates a lack of viable and informed data. Though I do understand that withdrawal is much worse and dangerous for true alcoholics.

barney
10:19 am June 25th, 2013

I am recovering from alcohol after 20 years of drinking. I am on Day 27 clear and free, except for the fact that since I quit drinking, I have major pain in my feet, ankles, and lower legs. The swelling usually goes down after propping feet up all night….However, after 10 minutes of being up, my ankles and feet are swollen like grapefruit and very painful. I can barely walk at all. Is this part of recovery? It is very scary, as I am a 42 year old female, 5’3″, 112 lbs. Is there anything I can do? —-or just suffer through it and pray that it goes away? Thank You!

That kid named Lisa
7:18 pm July 3rd, 2013

Hi Barney,

You’ve probably got what is called “edema” – google that so you get some information. But, in the meantime, make sure you are watching your salt intake, drink a TON of water each day and maybe throw in a B12 or B Complex tablet plus 2-3 capsules of Milk Thistle.

Also, try to eat as much Organic fruits and vegetables as you can. I say Organic, and I know it’s more expensive, but your liver has been filtering out all of the bad stuff all of these years and it’s taxing.. Time to baby your liver.

I am only on day 3 of tapering off, but I have quit before in the past 31 years of my drinking, so I kind of know what to expect.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

Gibsheet
7:45 pm July 5th, 2013

My GI doctor prescribed for me for edema (swollen ankles) floresimide and Spironolactone which are diuretics to flush the excess fluid. I only drink microbeers which I need to stop doing because it’s too many extra calories and I have a weight problem, diabetes in the family. This last try, I made it for 3.5 months but failed when I went to a close friends college graduation party. I’ll try again now that the 4th of July is over.

barney
9:49 am July 6th, 2013

Lisa… Thank you so much! I have been doing so much research and I saw that about the “edema.” It has been going on for five weeks and now I am scared. I really didnt think something as cheap Natural light could take that kind of effect on me! We live… We learn, I suppose! Do any any idea How long this might last? Thank you So Very much!

jeanine
5:36 pm August 11th, 2013

My husband had to quit drinking about 3 months ago due to pancreatitis. He has not had a drink since the dr told him he will die if he does. My question is, is how he is acting now normal? He pretty much stays to himself, he hasn’t really talked to me in the past two weeks. He is eating sugar like crazy when he has never been a big sugar eater. He just seems withdrawn. I don’t know if it’s just something he is going through or if he is mad at me cause he had to quit drinking or is this normal for a person to do after they quit drinking? I don’t know how to handle this. I have never had to go through this and don’t know what to expect.

jeanine
5:57 pm August 11th, 2013

I forgot to add that the dr put him on Paxil. I am wondering if it’s the Paxil that is making him act weird. Anybody else have problems with Paxil?

chuck
12:39 pm August 12th, 2013

Jeanine, A Dr. Put me on Paxil several years back. After the 3rd or 4th Day I was totally zoned out of life……I think I could have sat and stared at a blank wall all day long. I quickly quit taken it. All those type med’s effect EVERYONE different. I am 120 day sobor and I to have never been one to eat sweats untill these last 90 days. I had a real hard time after quiting drinking with really bad anxiety so it took me a month to get a appetiete back. I would say see if your husband will go back to the Dr. and take you with him. I know some Dr.’s apprectiate a spouse coming in……this way they can read between lines. Hope this help………THANKS TO EVERYONE THAT POST HERE!!!!!!!

chris hay
7:38 pm August 17th, 2013

I quit drinking my beverage of choice, wine, 6 years ago. Was a moderate drinker. Was any damage done to me? I don’t have any desire too drink wine…which is what I use to drink. I do however have a beer occasionally. never went through withdrawals..but i did drink for 25 years. just wondering overall any damage done?

ANDTBH
6:16 pm August 22nd, 2013

I’m 63 i quit drinking and smoking 6 days ago, i’m a woman, now my back hurts so badly i can’t walk or sleep. All this pain is in my lower back, i went to the doctor they found nothing wrong with me. Will never drink or smoke again, i could afford to buy all that i wanted. I knew that i was killing my self, and i stopped.

MaryAnn
1:01 pm September 5th, 2013

Does drinking 3 to 4, 40 oz bottles of beer everyday, constitute one an alcoholic? My husband doesn’t seem to think so. He’s been doing this everyday for most of his life. He’s now 55. He has stopped for a week or two, after we argued greatly about it. Or if he’s had a particular ‘rough’ night after drinking. But other than that, he says its how he ‘copes’ and how he’s able to get to sleep. Latest update: He stopped drinking beer 3 days ago!! Not sure how long this will last. I asked him why he wasn’t drinking and his answer was: ‘I just don’t feel like drinking beer’. Hmmm Somethings up. Like waiting for the other shoe to drop. On one hand its nice to see him not ‘buzzed’ and speaking like a normal human being. But on the other, I have to deal with a very somber, hardly talking, unaffectionate person when he doesn’t drink. This is so difficult to deal with. I myself, am not a drinker, a real light weight. Just once in a great while I’ll have a drink socially. So, its even more difficult for me to deal with. I try to understand but just can’t. When I met him 11 years ago, I thought (really did believe this; that he was drinking because he was depressed and going through a divorce) But, I was wrong. Other than his drinking, he’s a good man, works hard, pays the bills, etc. Do you have any suggestions?

Robert
3:54 am September 11th, 2013

I drink 3 to 4 rum and cokes every night but due to finances I am quitting cold turkey will I have withdrawls? I always function through-out the day with out alcohol its just in the evening. what can i expect? Kind of nervous been drinking like this as long as I can remember.

damon
12:07 pm September 15th, 2013

Dear sir/madam, I was a binge drinker then sometimes i would not drink for three or four weeks. I would be fine. I would wind up drinking this last time (mixed drinks) did not sleep well that night after drinking. Since then it has been 5 or more weeks since i totally quit. I went through the shakes after i got out of the ER, the first time after three days without a drink.Could not rest well. Still having that problem of not resting. Have been their 2 more times Since then.They do the test of taking your normal stuff they do. Could not find anything. I still hot and cold at times. I have been taking Multi-vitamins,B-complex,B-6,Magnesium, Niacin. I have been told by other Doctors i have Anxiety and i am trying my best to calm my mind. It is the hardest thing to do. Can you still go with withdrawal this long? Sometimes I can snooze at times it is hard. I am wanting to know if it happens tobe a chemical imbalance that can be corrected properly.

Loyd
2:41 pm September 16th, 2013

It has been 31 days since my last drink, I have been drinking lots of water but my urine is very dark and when I urinate it feels very warm and kind of thick????? not sure whats going on…anyone???

Karl
10:03 am September 25th, 2013

I have been a really heavy drinker for about 9 years, on 7.5% wine, like lambrini. I tried quitting a few years back but failed after 12 days, I seen my consultant last week and explained to me that I had cirrhosis and explained what that meant, He said I would die if I didn’t stop immediately, I basically shit myself coz I have a 5 year old son and I thought of him and myself as I did not want to believe this could happen to me, I drank due to stress and boredom but unfortunately got addicted to the oint I wanted it as soon as I woke up. Anyway I’ve stopped with the help of chlordiazepoxide tablets to help with the withdrawl symtoms and its been 8 days now n im feeling great and my jaundice has practically gone, eating has improved dramatically. I suggest if anyone who maybe suffering in this way and has the strength to go through with stopping to see gp and they can give u amedication to help dramatically with withdrawl, its only the first 2-3 days that r the worst but if you want to live its worth doing. TRUST ME!

Gerald Grealish
4:59 am October 22nd, 2013

I have a friend who is an alcoholic, and he has told me that because he is an alcoholic that if he stops drinking he will die. I would like to know if that will happen or is he just telling me that so he can keep drinking?

David
5:43 pm October 24th, 2013

Remember those charts we used to see about when people “Stop Smoking” and it does a day by day and week by week chart of how the body and lungs heal after? Why can’t we find a chart for Alcohol? Most these only give examples about the first few days but never about a week, month, or year later. How come? And if there is such a chart why is it so extremely hard to find on the internet?

7:52 pm October 25th, 2013

Hi David. That is a great idea. I’ll start working on an infographic with this theme, and get back to you when it’s prepared. Lee

DB
2:09 am October 26th, 2013

For Jeanine – When you quit drinking and are going through withdrawals, you not only don’t feel well, your nervous system is on over load, you are anxious, you can’t sleep, your digestive system is readjusting. You crave sugar because alcohol is a high calorie fuel and your body is compensating for lack of that. You feel alone – most of your friends are drinkers, many of our best memories include alcohol, and we can’t imagine ever feeling that happy again without it. Give him encouragement, tell him how proud you are of him. Point out the positives to him. In my case, I do the math: 1 six pack micro beer per day @ $8 x 365 days = $2,920/Year. That’s not counting bars and restaurants (cut your dinner bill in half with no alchohol). A six pack of beer (or a bottle of wine) per day is about 1,000 calories/day. My DUI in 2005 cost me over $20,000. I’m a smart guy, I have several college degrees, why would I be so stupid as to subject myself to such madness?

Sam Simmons
4:43 am October 26th, 2013

Hello. I just stopped drinking yesterday when I got hospitalized and they gave me some anti-anxiety medicine to calm down. I got over most of the jitters, but I still have a jacked up heart rate and I started urinating blood twice today. Is this normal?

Juana wooldridge
9:00 pm October 29th, 2013

Very informative

odette
1:55 am November 13th, 2013

I drink either scotch,tequilla or vodka in a cup of tea- and will finish half to 3/4 a bottle a night. Have been drinking like this for far too long. I know I need help, although I describe myself as a functioning alcoholic, I know Im doing myself great harm. If I just stop will it be safe for me? I have a husband and 5 kids that depend on me and deserve the best of me not just a bit of me. Some advice please
thankyou

Susan
12:03 pm November 14th, 2013

I just quit drinking about 2 weeks ago. I had been prior drinking 2 bottles of wine a night or sadly a liter of vodka a night. I was laid off recently and not because I couldn’t function, I could no problem. I went to the job search place and was sitting there and a few days prior binged because of the stress of needing a job etc and I had a seizure. I had been having hot and cold sweats for a few nights but had those before when I would days without drinking so thought nothing of it. I awoke just as they were putting me in the ambulance and the EMT asked me if I knew where I was and what day it was etc.
They ivd me with a bag of vitamins and anti anxiety med. did a brain scan and blood/urine etc The Dr told me I had beginning stages of liver damage and he held my hand and told me I needed to be honest with myself and God of my problem. I was annoyed at first because they didn’t ask me what else I took as I have been drinking dieters tea for 2 yrs daily and live off of bendaryl and excedrin. But it scared me straight and I’ve not drank anything since then.
The anti anxiety med zombied me out but did make the week a lot easier.
Now I am eating sugar stuff and I never have and I know the alcohol but I was wondering what is the best foods?
I am taking a daily and magnesium and eating kale and spinach and tofu but is there certain things to NOT eat?
Also when I had my seizure I hadn’t slept in a week or eaten due to the job loss and possibly getting evicted,
Any suggestions? Thanks!

Diane
12:21 am November 19th, 2013

Hi, I am a ex alcoholic, working on sobriety. I have been drinking for a long time. But then lately I started to drink a lot more without eating. Not good to do. I quit drink ing alcohol about 3 weeks now. But I have notice that I am gaining weight. Never happen before when I was drinking. Why now?

karthik
5:54 pm December 5th, 2013

hi. i have been drinking since ’97. i drink almost everyday. i don’t exceed 360 ml of indian made rum / whiskey (half bottle in India) per day because that is my limit. I started eating very little, started sleeping 15-18 hours a day, became weak, lost concentration, fingers started trembling, used to vomit digestive fluid since there was no food to digest. i hope these condition’s fairly explain my state.
But all this was about 20 days back. i stopped drinking – thought i would enroll myself in a de-addiction center – consulted one of the best in India (TTK) and they said that i have to go through a 25 day in-house program. That day i came back home and said to myself – let me stop and see what happens – i did – what happened – upside is that i am more active, appetite is improving, the trembling of finger stopped/reduced, not vomiting anymore. downside is – i am not able to sleep now, got some basic lab test done Cholesterol level is high, LFT (SGOT / SGPT) is quite abnormal – consulted a friend who is a Doc – he said cholesterol level & LFT abnormality is because of alcohol and poor eating habits. He added that if i stay away from alcohol and eat the right food in the right time, then the body will slowly repair most of the damages that has happened.
He is an ortho Surgeon and a well wisher – he finally said that if i have any withdrawal symptoms then i need to consult a specialist.
But for the sleeping problem, i am ok as of now & confident that i am out of it. The only thing that bothers me is – what happens to the damage that i have already caused to my body.
Any word of advice for me Bro??

Sharon
4:44 pm January 22nd, 2014

I began drinking 13 years ago, I am now 57 years old female. I began drinking because of all the heart problems in my family and thought it would help. I start drinking in the evening until I go to bed and usually drink a box of wine in 5 days! Yesterday the 21st I said no more drinking which I did good but this morning a headache. I will stop drinking but I am worried about detox symptoms, can you give me some answers as to what I should watch out for and how to handle them? Thank you!

Dan
12:14 am February 16th, 2014

Hello, i would like to know something i experience when i stop drinking. I can hardly sleep at all and sometimes i have like racing thoughts and dreampictures in my head before i am asleep. Can that be related to alcohol? I find it quiete annoying.

chuck
1:36 pm February 17th, 2014

Dan…..In my experience back in April 2013 when I stopped drinking…..When I stopped drinking my body was use to a six pack of beer a day for some 16 yrs….when I stopped I too stopped sleeping and started having anxiety issue’s like the ones you are describing. Took me about 2 months to get an appetite back and to also be able to get my sleep back to normal. Hope this helps!!!

DB
4:37 am February 18th, 2014

I wanted to all give you some words of encouragement. Today makes five months I have gone without a drop of alcohol. For me, this is a stellar feet because I’ve drank pretty much non-stop for 30 years. Recently, I had only drank beer and wine, and told myself that wasn’t as bad. I still wanted a beer at every holiday party, football gatherings, etc., but I told myself that if I continued with my behavior I was going to die an early horrible death. Now in five months I have dropped over 30 lbs and I feel great. I’m getting more active every day. I know I can’t go back to being a social drinker, I’ve tried that before. Yes, the withdrawals are awful (and could be dangerous, so be careful). Sometimes I wonder if I’m completely over them, my short term memory is still not great. But I sleep well now, no nightmares, no sweats or insomnia. Just give your body a chance to be normal.

Austin
2:47 pm March 24th, 2014

Hi Everybody, what a pleasant surprise to come across this blog ! What a relief actually to find out I am not alone. For a long time now I have felt I was way out at the extreme end of the drinking spectrum and that my recovery was not going well – the Psych symptoms I went through made me think or rather convince myself that I was in mortal danger.

Here is my story. We bought a holiday home in the south of France a few years back and I was doing 2 on 2 off, so it became second nature for me to become a functional alcoholic. I would return to my home and my office for 2 weeks and clear my desk and deal with all day to day life things like normal folks, then I would return to our holiday home and become quickly bored. Then the drinking started, at first it was evenings only, then it started in the afternoons and as time passed it was quickly when I woke up – a little white Russian or two to clear my head, Rose and white during the day and a bottle or 2 of red at night to send me to sleep. This went on for 4 or 5 years consistently. Needless to say I was not eating properly. Prior to this I had always been a sociable drinker and the first to say yes to a party / dinner out or some other gathering where drinking was involved. I guess the day time binging really started about 10 years ago when I and my golf buddies started travelling round the world for a week a year playing golf and getting wrecked at night. My friends and family are scattered around the world, so there would be meetings in the middle east, the Philippines, Australia etc. which inevitably involved flying out for a week and getting absolutely smashed. About four months ago, I had been at it for 10 days nonstop, then missed my flight home – during the sobering up process I stopped drinking immediately and started to plan the rebooking and get home…Then it hit me like a train – At first I thought I was having a heart attack, then brain just went haywire and I had what I thought at the time was some kind of seizure – it was extremely unpleasant and extremely scary and I had no idea what was wrong. After a few days the worst had passed and I had a very miserable trip half way round the world to get home constantly in fear I would have some kind of seizure again. I did not and I made it. Pretty quickly I was back at my desk and all was the same – then I headed down to France after xmas and was very quickly knocking myself out with booze every night, once again I stopped abruptly on the day I was heading home and it hit again. It was then I realized something was very very wrong and I started to look into seizures on the internet. A month ago I was in France once again and soon at 3 or 4 bottles of wine a day – my wife was due down for a few days on the Sunday so I stopped on Saturday morning very early and tried to get myself together. I barely made it to the airport to get her and I knew what was in store, we got back to the house and then it really hit – the worst of all the hits I had taken and I knew then I was finished – my wife god bless her managed to get an ambulance up to the house and pretty soon I had intravenous Valium pumping through my system. I was minutes from respiratory failure and I could literally feel the life slipping away slowly. If my wife had not been there, I would not be here today – it is as simple as that. I had no idea how little it takes to kill yourself this way. It took nearly 2 weeks to get over the worst on a super high dosage of vitamins and minerals. After the major trauma of this event my wife and I started to look into what could be wrong. It was then I discovered the whole concept of AWS and DT’s. I had absolutely no idea at all that this could happen just from binge drinking and I had absolutely no idea at all just how fatal it is with some 30% to 40% of people who go through ending up dead. I was very lucky and I am eternally grateful to my wife who has stood by me whilst I have been going through this hell of an illness for a long time. I am 42 years old, we own and run a successful series of companies, have 2 beautiful boys and a beautiful wife, the best life ever and I almost threw it all away because the drinking makes you a selfish, self-centered horrible human being. I am out of it nowadays, and I have sworn to all concerned that I am done wasting and risking my life. The point of all of this story is to try and let people know that DT’s ( Delirium Tremers ) are lethal and by absolute far and away the most frightening and unpleasant experience of my life. I would not wish it on anybody, when going through it you are literally under the belief that you are finished. Take caution it is absolutely horrendous. The second point of my story is that sadly, no matter what my friends, family or anybody else for that matter said about my behavior – I did not care I was under the false belief that I was doing no one any harm as I was alone. It took a life threatening event for ME to wake up to what I was doing and the risks I was taking – I am under the opinion now that to treat this widespread problem, it must be the user that gets it, no amount of advice or threats from others will work, it is has to be yourself that decides it is time. I just wish I had “seen the light” earlier, but life goes on and now I am becoming hysterical with healthy eating and tracking my health.
I really hope this helps people who are struggling to pack it in, but you need to realize that I have been there and I took the idea of binge drinking to the very edge of the abyss and there is no way back once you go over the edge. I was lucky, 40% are not. There is just no way I want that molecule in my system anywhere near my brain and other organs again. If I doubt myself at any time, I just remind myself that I have partied all around the world and had more parties and drinks than most normal folks. I drank more in a week than people have in 6 months – so I have had mine and now I need to get on with the rest of my life. I will not miss it. I shiver at the DT experiences, even today I am scared to death by them.
Hope it goes well for all the brave people who say no more and I really hope that none of you have to go through a severe withdrawal event that I suffered.

Cheers / A.

Maria R.
11:48 pm June 23rd, 2014

My father is recovering alcoholic. He went through a great deal of withdrawal. Now 2 months later he’s back in the hospital people are saying it’s because he’s drinking again. But no ones knows for sure. He has a bad kidney infection. Is that one of the symptoms of drinking again?

doyle
2:09 am July 4th, 2014

Hi, I am only 24 years old and I have been drinking heavily for probably the last 5 or more years (like right now i just had 7 shots of vodka in less than 2 minutes and probably more), it all began after I had a few brains surgeries, which caused me to have a severely impaired short term memory problem. After all of this I started becoming severely depressed, (slowly losing weight due to this stress) and stopped caring for my life, wanted to end it but I care more for others than I do myself so I couldn’t (and probably never will due to how much I care just to inform people :), and also will never ask a girl out cause I think I am a waste of time; there are much better people out there than myself). Then I started to drink more and more, and I mostly started cause I have a very tough time sleeping so I decided to have a few drinks before sleeping, then before I knew it I started feeling almost an addiction to it (wanting it all the time before going to bed but never jurying the daytime), and pretty much since then I do almost get drunk every night (I occasionally don’t but that’s only like 1- 2 nights at the most and that’s not too often, mostly just to attempt less drinking, and been trying to find hobbies to do but I mostly don’t think I am capable of most things or just can’t continue something, (I have epilepsy, which restricts me from a bunch of things I would like to do, but not my excuse I am used to it). Overall I am trying to stop but, live by yourself and have nothing to do, I get bored then next thing ya know I am pretty much drunk. I know there is much worse drinking problems , but since I saw this site I randomly thought I might as swell write something and see how it goes. Sorry and thank you (I know this may not be the type of site to write my story)

DB
4:12 pm July 4th, 2014

I have now made it 9 months without alcohol. Today is a big holiday in the U.S. and I will be going to a party where lots of alcohol including my favorite I.P.A. micro brew will be toasted by all my close friends. I will want to participate in this very badly. But I will tell myself that I am not like they are – I cannot raise a toast to America’s birthday like them, and then tomorrow, put it down and return to a normal work life. I am different, and in this respect, I must deal with alcohol like I’m allergic to it. For me, it causes a negative reaction in myself which severely affects my ability to cope. It is not unlike someone who is allergic to peanuts – I must avoid this substance at all costs, because it will kill me. And then I think of the other positive things that have happened to me since I quit drinking. I almost wrote “when I realized” instead of “quit drinking” because they are two quite different things. I realized a long time ago, but I ignored it and did nothing about it because I didn’t think it would make that much difference. Boy was I wrong. I have a new job which I could not do if I was drinking. Even though I have given myself some liver damage, my doctor has taken me off all drugs. I am getting in better shape every day, lifting weights, playing soccer, running, and I feel so good it is unbelievable. I am physically five years younger than I was nine months ago and this reversal is continuing. People, listen to me: If someone asked you “if I could make you ten years younger in one year, how much would you pay for that?”. “And further, how about I pay you $5,000 (my estimated savings per year on alcohol)”. That my friends, is a no-brainer.

Bellinghamster
12:35 pm July 6th, 2014

I posted on this site about a year and half ago after achieving 2 months sobriety. That streak went on to 5 months. About 7 months later I quit again, for 3 months. Today is day 3 of my 3rd attempt.

If you want to know what, in detailed physiological terms, happens to your body when you quit, then by all means knock yourself out. But you know already that you will be healthier. Alcohol is a poison. Who’s health wouldn’t improve if he stopped drinking poison? For the purposes of the would-be sober person, that’s probably enough.

The hard part about quitting drinking is what happens to your mind (which is like identifying changes in the body since your consciousness arises from the brain). You have to identify and disrupt alcohol-seeking patterns of thought. You have to avoid places and people, and welcome new influences. Mostly, you have to face– and OWN– your past. You have to evolve.

I failed before because I couldn’t let go of certain patterns of thought and behavior. But after two strong attempts, I think insight and experience are on my side now. And at any rate I will never give up, It is like a war between the person you are and the person you know you can be, and the victory goes to the side that endures the longest.

gary
10:00 am July 7th, 2014

Hi, I’m not a big drinker far from it, I drink socially on weekends because I work through the week. But recently I went abroad on a holiday and three days later had cdt tests and reading was 4.6. Would that cause levels to be high? Thanks

Lorraine
5:13 pm July 14th, 2014

I’m Alcoholic and have been sober for 6 days. So far I have only had the swets when asleep and got and cold feelings. Very emotional. Will this get worse? Will I get worse withdrawals ?

Viv
4:50 pm July 16th, 2014

Hi I have been drinking from a really early age am now 57 on day 3 of no drinking bad head Acke and feel a bit woosy going it alone :(

Tony
11:56 am July 28th, 2014

Congratulations to everyone for your choice to quit, I am on week three after 20 years drinking every night. I never thought I would be able to do this. It took me making a drunken fool of myself in front of stone-cold-sober fellow dinner guests to make me realize that I can’t hold it together anymore, I’m 48. I have never felt as good and clear headed as I have in the last week. I guess this is how healthy humans are supposed to feel, I never knew…I’ve never been so relaxed and calm. I had some anxiety while hung over and it was an effort to conceal it.
Any old how, here’s some stuff I have been through in the last two weeks. I am hoping that sharing will help others feel as though they are not alone:
-1st week slept about 14 hours a day and had constant sugar cravings which I indulged!
-Second week lots more chocolate but, generally eating better and thinking about what I am eating with an eye to healthy food, trying to drink lots of water but it doesn’t seem to be easy to drink much at a time, lots of peeing and it seems to be yellow no mater how much water I drink. Could be because I have been taking vitamin B, I don’t really know why the vitamin B, except that it was recommended for alcoholics going through withdrawal by many different Internet sites. Speaking of the Internet, it’s been a life saver, reading other people’s experiences has been like support from a group of caring friends who know what I’m going through, even though I just read not post until now. Anyway, I’ve always had a great memory but the last couple of weeks I’ve forgotten what I was talking about mid conversation more than once, hopefully that will not last but it could be worse I suppose. My skin looks way better and face gloating is all but gone. I’m a single guy but I defy anyone to keep their house as clean as mine has been in the last couple of weeks, I have a constant need to be busy and organized. The sugar cravings are finally subsiding, I’ve been pigging out on chocolate and sweet tea for the last couple of weeks so I haven’t seen a decrease in belly weight yet. I’m a slim build and started to look pregnant the last 6 months. I’m pretty sure it’ll go soon enough, hope this helps someone feel better. Stay sober and feel alive! Tony from N.Z.

Jack
4:43 pm July 29th, 2014

Heavy drinker since my teens, I am now 45. Last night was my first night on the wagon…I have stopped drinking before, but it was due to surgeries, so there were still substances coursing through my veins……
I had nothing but wild anxiety, rapid heart beating, fear and when I would fall asleep for a few moments, I would have horrific nightmares….it was so bad that I am afraid for tonight! I still feel like garbage now, but I have activities that take my mind off what’s going on….but I am petrified of what will happen when the night comes. Any suggestions….?

Jen
9:39 pm August 3rd, 2014

I’m a little afraid to write here, since I’m kind of on the other side of things. I started drinking a while ago – maybe 6 months or so. I only drink at night before bed, but I always drink to get drunk. And I like the feeling…a lot. I’ve figured out about how much I need to drink to get nicely drunk, and after a few unpleasant experiences, I have it down to very few “hangover” symptoms (a little tired or sometimes a little shaky the next day, but usually drinking plenty of water helps with that). It probably sounds weird, but I use one of those online BAC calculators to keep track of my drinks and estimate when I’ll be “sober” again the next day. I don’t usually do this every night – it’s more hit & miss, depending on what I have going on the next day (if I can afford the “fuzzy” feeling), but every now and then I will have a run of several nights in a row. This past week, I did three nights in a row – got pleasantly drunk every night, but also slightly increased the BAC each night (I think the 3rd night I got up to 0.15 – of course, it’s only an estimate). According to the online calculator, my BAC should have been back to 0 by about 11:45 AM after the 3rd night. However, later in the afternoon (around 3:00) I was showering and thinking about the previous night(s) and found myself feeling kind of “drunk” all over again. Not as much as the night before, but just that lovely pleasant feeling kind of washed over me — so I was wondering: Was I still a little drunk since I had done this 3 nights in a row? Did the alcohol build up in my body after 3 nights of drinking so that I could still feel it on that 4th day after? Or was it just my imagination conjuring up the feeling just from thinking about it?

I hope I can just ask the question and not be judged here. I already know that this probably is not the best behavior I could do for myself, but there are a number of factors going on in my life that led me to look for something that would make me feel good…even just for a while. Please don’t lecture me on finding a better method to feel good or seeing a therapist – not really interested. I’m simply looking for information so I can keep an eye on things. Thanks.

stephanie
2:45 am August 5th, 2014

Hi..I been drinking for 6 years every day in my house..first 3 years liquor n I experienced random acts of blackouts n stupid acts toward my oldest grown daughter..then I got pregnant n switched to malt liquor n continued to drink moderately but daily throughout my pregnancy n again with my last pregnancy n my kids came out perfectly fine n continued with monthly acts of stupidity n my house..I never went out n drank…well 3 nights ago I had a random act with my oldest n since I don’t want nor feel urge or withdraws…how am I suppose to feel about it all? Thx for reading..please respond

Roger
12:47 pm August 5th, 2014

I’ve been drinking for 50 years, now 66 yrs of age, I wouldn’t describe myself as a heavy drinker but certainly a regular one. In my younger days I was mainly a beer drinker but in the past 10 years or so I would drink beer, wine and spirits. 3 months ago I went to my GP with pain to my right side, a ultrasound scan revealed that I had 2 spots on my liver, however, a follow up CT scan did not show anything suspicious on my liver.
Since the ultrasound scan, over 2 months ago, I have given up drinking, initially I had no problem but recently I have been experiencing some anxiety, slight shakes and aches and pains in various parts on my body including shoulders, back and legs.
I just wonder if anyone else has experienced likewise after giving up drinking after such a long period of time? Thank you.

William
9:24 pm August 7th, 2014

I want to share something with all of you Alcoholics. I am an ALCOHOLIC too!!!! :( I am a raging ALCOHOLIC with 16 days clean after 30 years drinking and the last 14 years extreme!! Drinking did not get in the way of my job but any time I was off, I was drinking. I fooled my dumb ass for decades until 16 days ago I acknowledged a sad truth. I was “THAT GUY”. “THAT GUY” gets plowed every night and weekend. I drank a 12 pack plus after work and even more on my weekends. “THAT GUY” was…….. my dad sitting on the couch passed out with a can of beer in his hand or being at other kid’s homes seeing one or both of their parents drunk and acting like an idiot being “THAT GUY”. I remember as I got older looking at even my friends drunk, them not realizing their buzz and them being “THAT GUY”. Being at parties and some random stranger (20 years old than us) drunk passed out next to the bonfire being “THAT GUY”. I went my first day sober because a friend and I were talking about how hard it would be to go to sleep sober. Oh Crap, I am THAT GUY

William
5:27 pm August 8th, 2014

Hi Jen~ Good job on working on being aware of yourself! Do you drink every night, 7 days a week, for the past 6 months? Have you tried to stop or reduce your drinking but are unable to control it? Do you give up things you used to do in the evenings to stay home and drink? You said you have learned how much you need to drink to get the buzz without over doing it. Be aware tolerance will grow with time. Try not drinking for 30 days and see how that goes. Good luck.

Hey Stephanie~ wrestling with addictions and parenting is a tough combo! A possible way of looking at this is not how you should feel but more of how “do” you feel. How you do you feel about it all? How do the people around you feel about it all? Just some ideas from one recovering parent to another! Good Luck

Hello Roger~ I would immediately defer any medical issues to trained Doctors. Please try and connect with your Primary Care Physician to discuss these symptoms. I noticed you reported being sober for the past 2 months after the ultrasound. Most of us multi-decade drinkers have had experiences that scared us sober for a while but that devious beast worked its way back in our life. Some of the anxiety may be the health scare wearing off and some of the old alcoholic self-talk creeping back in. Hang in there! Stay aware of your self-talk and good luck.

* I hope I helped someone with this posting. For decades, I have been Social Worker by day and hard drinker by night (&weekends). Good Luck Everyone!

DB
1:01 pm August 9th, 2014

I’ve been reading and writing on this blog now for several years and it’s good to see it is breathing new life into a lot of people – for me better than any higher power meetings. I’ve now gone 46 weeks without a drop of alcohol, my second real attempt. For those of you going through withdrawals, think about it like having a burst appendix. You gotta fix it, it’s going to be unpleasant, it’s gonna hurt, you’re going to hate it, but if you don’t fix it, it will kill you. IT WILL KILL YOU. So now I’m not going to tell you the angels came down from heaven and everything is peachy, but its a lot better than it used to be. And I know that even if the new job or girlfriend doesn’t work out, it doesn’t matter, because those last 10 months I am getting back – by quitting drinking and starting a regular exercise and diet program, I gotten at least ten months younger. I’ve lost 35 lbs, my mind is clearer, I’m calmer, blood tests are good and I’m off all my prescriptions.

In my opinion, there are three critical phases to breaking free of alcohol.
1) Getting past the withdrawals – for this you might need professional help, be aware that seizures are dangerous.
2) The bad stuff is mostly over after about two weeks, except insomnia and nightmares still can be a problem. In this phase you need to find new things to keep busy and make them physical, move, get your body in shape.
3) This is where I’m at now. I went to a fourth of July party with all my friends getting sideways and it was hard for me to not feel left out. I have to find other outlets like running the grill, keeping busy, just trying not to think about it. When it gets too much, I leave early. This part I’m struggling with. More on this later.

william
1:40 pm August 12th, 2014

Makes me feel like “if alcohol can take a man like Robin Williams, what hope do I have?” It is truly a sad day.

DGS
12:36 pm August 13th, 2014

My son who is 24, in good physical health (i think) weighs abt 165lbs, drinks on wknds with his friends. I noticed one day after a night of drinking, he was sweating and appeared slightly irritable. That same day, we went out to eat and he drank one glass of water after another. Was his body craving more alcohol? And how many drinks is too many. His drink of choice appears to be beer. Thank you!

Donnie
1:15 pm August 13th, 2014

Hey db you sound a lot like me. I’ve was sober for about 9 months and then relapsed . Drunk every day since then ,about 8 months .stopped cold turkey Sunday it’s now 9am weds and I just got up feel like I got a hang over and I didn’t even drink. does this ever happen to you?

joseph
9:57 am August 16th, 2014

I have a question I was drinking earlier and now I feel light headed when I stand up and I’m non stop urinating and my stomach hurts like I wana throw up and my head feels fuzzy and I’m tired ./is it OK to go to sleep like this or is it not OK ??

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
11:05 am August 19th, 2014

Hi Joseph. Is there anyone around who can help you or drive you to the hospital? You might need to get your stomach pumped and take an IV for all the flids you’ve lost.

Dennis
10:19 pm August 19th, 2014

I’m 62 yrs old and have been drinking since I was 16 yrs old in high school. The most I ever went without drinking was one (1) year and that was back in 1976. I’ve drank everything you can imagine and was told by friends that I should have been a bartender because I knew how to make ‘every drink’. Over the past 8 years I narrowed it down to Red Wide, Cabernet. Love having it with food, or without food. About 6 yrs ago there were times that I found myself drinking 2 liters of red wine ‘per night’, every day after work. Job related stress caused most of it, but I still enjoyed my wine regardless. AND, I heard red wine was good for you so I had another ‘good reason’ to keep drinking. LOL

Then last month something weird was happening to me that I couldn’t explain. I would drink a 1/2 of a glass or a full glass of wine and “I WAS OUT” ! Whereas I was used to drinking just about as much as I wanted ‘every day and night’ and I’d still be up late watching TV or doing whatever around the house. But not anymore! That’s when I decided to quit, 2 weeks ago. I don’t know what was causing me to pass out like that after a ‘small glass’ of wine, vs an entire bottle as I had been doing. But I knew my body was telling me to QUIT. So I did 2 weeks ago.

My mother, father and grandparents were big drinkers too [and smokers], and looking back at it now, I realized that they all quit drinking when they got in their 60′s too – some of them sooner. They’re all dead now, from smoking mostly. I don’t smoke. My mom died of a heart attack at 62 from smoking all her life, and my dad died from a stroke initially, then a brain aneurysm later. He was 61. I’ve already outlived him by one year so far.

My question is; what caused me to pass out after only one (1) small glass of wine?

DB
6:42 am August 23rd, 2014

Dennis, you should ask a doc which I am not. But my experience, my liver shut down at one point and I got mild jaundice. The doc told me he thought I was a gonner and that was 5 years ago. In my case, my liver stopped processing period – in your case, yours probably was losing its ability to metabolize alcohol, so your BAC spiked. That’s the first time I quit for almost a year, it scared the hell out of me. But when I lost weight, everyone told me how good I looked, I started to believe that I could go back to just being a social drinker. The cycle started over again and one day, while on a business trip, I had a dinner meeting that night. I felt anxious and the only way I could get “normal” for the dinner, was to down three pints of strong Ale before I went.
Dennis, I quit for good a year ago and I once again, I was anxious, nauseous, dry heaves sometimes, and constant insomnia. But eventually it will go away, I found herb helped relieve some of the symptoms. I am 53 now, and I know I have done damage, but on the path I was headed, I had to decide whether I wanted to live for maybe 10 more years or maybe 30.
DB

john dagenbach
4:41 pm August 23rd, 2014

I’m up to a liter or more a day. On my second day.ct. Shivering a bir. No sleep. Im not gonna give up. Tomorrows crucial. I’ve been going sober two days, binging three.

Jen
12:01 am August 24th, 2014

Hey, William, thanks for the reply. No, I don’t drink every night – maybe once a week or so, but just every now and then I might do several nights in a row. I wait until everyone has gone to bed, so I’m not “giving up” other things to make room for drinking. It’s just kind of my own thing for myself – I’m never drunk around anyone and I don’t EVER get in the car (another reason I do this at bedtime, I guess). When I drink, the goal is to get to that lovely, warm, happy drunk place where everything is fun and feels good. Once I’m there, I usually just enjoy it for a bit and then go to bed to sleep it off. The only surprising thing is sometimes later in the afternoon the next day, when I expected the alcohol to be gone from my system by then, I will kind of have a hint of that feeling again – I’m not still drunk that many hours later, am I?

joyce
8:10 am August 25th, 2014

My son has been an alcoholic for years. 4 days ago he started AA but now he is complaining about severe stomach pain. What can i do to help him? Would a wet hot towel give some relief? Thank u

john
5:14 pm August 25th, 2014

After around 24 hours sober a after a half gallon of vodka binge all awake, I broke and got three hours of sleep. The next day two or three. Tomorrow the big hurdle, going grocery shopping without going to the liquor store.

Healthy Lady
6:35 pm August 26th, 2014

Vitamin B3 (niacin) is said to help people stay off alcohol. I didn’t have cravings after stopping following an 8 yr period of far too much drinking, but I take the B3 as it has a good effect on mood. I also take B1, B12, B6, B complex, Magnesium, zinc, omega3s, multivit, folic acid, selenium, vit E, Vit C. I take milk thistle for my liver and plan to do a liver flush soon. These vits are a prop for me. I’ve read up on vitamin therapy and this is how I give myself a crutch. I’ve abstained for over 2 months and at first I had a very low mood and felt empty and purposeless. Not having a bottle of red wine to turn to every evening felt strange. It was like losing a friend. The full bodied red wine gave me a warm contented feeling, but obviously I’d started to feel anxious about the effect on my liver. I could see it was having a massive effect on my size.

I sleep very well now and I’m trying to get used to socialising without drink. I now find myself feeling shy sometimes at social events. And the party is not so much fun with a glass of fizzy water. I feel flat and a bit boring. Also life feels boring. I’ve yet to get my highs from a nice walk or whatever. In fact I do feel I’ve lost some personality as an abstainer. Hopefully this will pass as my intention is to abstain forever. I also feel a sort of loneliness and purposelessness without the booze. I get anxiety attacks occasionally and I know a glass of wine would really help but as I seem unable to drink in moderation I’ll stick to teetotal.

jane
3:12 am August 28th, 2014

My friend is a chronic alcohol and was in hospital only 5 weeks ago to get his stomach rained due to fluid his body and legs he has been told he has second stages of choris of the liver as soon as he came out of hospital he started drinking he drinks all day every day vodka and strong cider his stomach is now swollen and his legs due to water retention he is also on medication from the doctor which is dhycodene and temazpan to help him sleep hew taking amphetimines to keep my self awake the specialist in hospital says I have 1 to 2 years to live and that was 8 months ago please can someone give me their opinion or any experiences they have had in this situation thankyou

Paul
5:30 pm August 28th, 2014

I stopped drinking 10 years ago after getting hammered for about twenty-five years. I quit cold and without help. It was not easy, but I believe I would have died had I not stopped the abuse when I did.

It can be done! Have faith in yourself. Life without alcohol is great!

sue
9:49 pm August 28th, 2014

Hello I have been drinking for 13 yrs I’m 43 now my story is a little different since I really had to quit drinking today is my first day sober Bacause I was so depressed that alcohol made it wven worst I wanted to kill myself on Sunday so I had an wakening about having to quit or I’d really succeed on suicide thoughts I went through horrible withdrawals I started shaking horribly and felt things crawling on my skin also 3 days vomiting but today I feel better and looking forward to being clean I didn’t drink all day everyday but when I feel down and scape like I binge and totally lose myself and lastinght I was thinking wow and to think stupid alcohol almost made me do it I wouldn’t have another chance to live again. I would live A lot of people in my life devastated I can’t just be selfish need to make better

Karl
12:28 am August 29th, 2014

I am 29, drank heavy since the age off &
18 but suddenly stopped as I went very yellow and my eyes did too! Only been totally clean for 9 months and have had liver function tests which reveal have and are dropping dramatically, consultant states that I have no signs if chronic liver disease but got to have a camera up to rule out anything else! I don’t understand if that means I’m lucky or I will still need a transplant! But Luke they say. How long does it take to knock a house down to what it takes to build it! That’s the way they describe to me! My body is sort of regenerating! Muscles tissue bowel bladder stomach all got to go back to normal which does cause pain as I’m going through all that now!

kris
8:11 am August 30th, 2014

i need help for my ex partner (we split up Friday) he desperately need help to give up the beer but refuses to take it – he even went on a detox programme in June – up to Thursday it was great then he went on one and i left after he was physical to me – is there any help for him or do i carry on and make a new start ?

Patricia
3:07 pm August 30th, 2014

I am taking Effexor for anxiety but have been drinking 1-3 glasses of red wine forever. Is the wine preventing with the Effexor in doing its job?

Healthy Lady
10:09 am September 1st, 2014

Joyce, your son needs to be supervised medically because you say he has been an alcoholic for years. Sudden withdrawals are potentially dangerous for alcoholics. Call the doctor for advise.

Shelley
1:21 am September 2nd, 2014

I will give some backround first because it may make a difference. I knew about the dangers of drinking to that extreme but I was able to function and for most of the time I didn’t think it was a problem. I started drinking every day more and more and noticed when I didnt have it I couldnt handle stress and whould get very ill. This happend over quite a few years. I knew it was time to quit but didnt want my kids to miss me or anyone that would be horriable to me to know so rehab was kind of out of the question. I had quit drinking mostly on my own I was able to call an officer to drive me to the hospital (I wasn’t made to go) and the officer said that this was a first and that he will remember this and how polite I was. I was brought to the hospital where they did some tests and gave me something for the stress. I requested that nobody was allowed in my room because I didn’t want anyone to talk me out of Detox. They checked my health and liver and then called someone to get me from the detox location that was the only one open at the time. It was very dirty and very scary and I am guessing the people that worked there where used to really angry people and on all types of drugs so a lot of the time I didn’t get treated very well. I have not had a drop for 4 months and am under doctor care and emotional care that I took care of myself. I found out that I had Pernicious Anemia and that I started taking vitamins for as soon as I found out. About another month and a half after taking good care of myself not drinking and seeing the doctor regularly I had 4 seizures or more in less than 24 hours. I was obviously treated shitty at first because they thought it had to do with the alcohol. They ran their tests and figured out there wasn’t a drop of alcohol in my system not even tylenol and none of the other alcohol seizure symptoms were there. My doctor instantly assumed I was a drug seeker and refused to be my doctor and I am getting treated worse by almost everyone including my family since I admitted to drinking and I was quitting. Is there another reason for the seizure related to the alcohol in the past? And is there anything I can do about how badly I am being treated for doing the right thing and being strong enough to stick with it. Can you be labled a drug seeker just because of that? I have never in my life abused medications and so now when I hurt myself they give me ibuprophen that I cant even take. I am just wondering if there is something I can do about all of this.

linda
8:42 pm September 8th, 2014

just curious, i was a binge drinker , but never had a drink in the morning, i could go on a bender for a few days, and then stop for a couple of days, i have now completely packed in the drink, by myself, with no help, i am not craving for it, it don,t even enter my head. but the thing is i have always be slim, but since packing in, my stomach has swollen, where i look pregnant, and i,m not happy, because it,s un comfortable ,can this be the latter stages for not drinking,

Deejay
12:22 am September 11th, 2014

First let me state that I was a drinker since I was 13, binging during college and in my 20s and fully realized my alcoholism in my 30s. I just turned 40. I’ve manage to avoid the major pitfalls associated with this amount of drinking. I ‘lawyered up’ and bargained down my only real contact with a DUI, but I drove countless times fully loaded. I landed a computer related job where I work from home (so coworkers didn’t really contact me directly to see my condition). I kept this job for a long time, and established over 40 days a year paid days off. So, if I took it too far, I could just call in sick. My wife is also a drinker. We love/fight all of that. Nothing physical, but we mentally abused each other on our worst days. We have our great times too. Lucky is the word I would call my alcoholism. Before you think this guy doesn’t really need to be here, understand by the end I was drinking 2 magnums (4 bottles) of wine each and every day for 2 years. Non stop. I mitigated this with the downgrade to beer for necessary outings (family etc). Then I stopped. At age 37, I had my first bout of withdrawal. It was horrible. Everything posted here happened to me in one way or another. Lasted about a week. Didn’t sleep for close to 3 days. When I did I experienced horrible nightmares. Finally, when I came out, I felt like I was high on coke. But it was false. I think it was just the high of real food. When I evened out I started thinking about my cause for all this drinking. I was told anxiety or a variety of other things could cause this. I was told the visit my doctor (don’t have one – lucky again). Here is the point – how in the hell can I see a doctor and NOT tell him about my drinking. I need to know what of my liver is left. I know I have caused severe damage (at least compared to not drinking for almost 30 years). If I got to a doctor, should I pay him without using my medical insurance provided by my employer? Is that even possible? I really want to be honest with the doctor, but I don’t want a history of alcohol abuse to taint all future transactions with my employers medical insurance. Anyone else out there with a similar situation? I want to stay sober, and I WILL NOT ATTEND AA. That is not the answer. I want to know what damage I’ve caused and adjust my life accordingly. I did the crime, I’ll pay the time. I just need to know how much of that time is left.

stan
1:12 am September 12th, 2014

Once I turned of age I fell in love with beer. I’m 37 now and have been in denial for a very long time. I’ve had 2 dui’s and many ruined relationships. In March- April I went 42 days no drinking or smoke. I’m trying again as my last drink was on Sunday. Easily a 12 pack on each sat and Sun and probably 4-5 tall cans each weeknight. The anxiety and headaches the last 2 days have been difficult. I don’t recall this back in April and not sure why. I wish I really could be a casual drinker but not sure if that’s possible or not. Like others on here I’m not up for AA, tried it yrs ago and I just didn’t like it. Are there services available either online or by phone if I wanted some. Encouragement? Similar to a sponsor without the preachy god antics of AA. I’m ready to give it up for good but I’m going to need some help along the way.

2:44 pm September 12th, 2014

Hi Stan. Look into SMART Recovery; they have online meetings are a really tight, evidence based method for drinking abstinence or harm reduction in drinking. They have online meetings regularly.

Bev
12:32 am September 21st, 2014

Im here fpr a loved one my husband, he is an alcoholic , of course he knows he is but he is not doing anything about it in 2012 he was having a terrible time with his stomach (couldnt go to the bathroom) and was having some terrible pain i couldnt even touch his belly with out him saying it hurt well he went to the dr and the dr then reccomended he get a colonoscopy which he did and they only found one polyp but it seemed his stomach cleared up but he was on a medication for cholesterol which is a statin drug and he swears up and down that it was causing his problem and he has quit taking so that may have been his problem but it scared him enough he cut back on his drinking from 3 -30 pks a week to 1 plus a six pack and i was so proud of him and he was doing alot better but then he gradually picked up some more and is now drinking 2 – 30 pks a week . but he had a blood test come back that said his liver function was off so that is why he cut back then he had another blood test and it showed normal so that is when he started drinking more ! he continually finds excuses when he has something come up that I know is caused from his drinking . he is on meds for blood pressure and when he drinks his blood pressure actually gets really low so therefore he thinks the drinking is helping his blood pressure problem and i know that is not true but how do i make him believe it ? I worry myself sick about this . but dont know what to do ! any suggestions?

grant
5:54 pm September 26th, 2014

I’ve been a heavy drinker for 15 years…….a mickie a day and 2 or 3 26ers on the weekend……….I quit cold turkey 2 months ago………..no withdrawl systems………just a few cravings to get drunk once in a while……………other than that I feel great!!

Noelle
10:40 pm September 26th, 2014

I recently stopped drinking five days ago without any alcohol consumption. I went to bed and when I woke up found the entire lower half of my body bloated looking. My legs a little thicker, my ankle and feet thicker and even my vagina looked bloated! The upper half was not effected at all. Not sure if this. Sudden weight gain was water, fat, or something else. I have been eating only good foods and water. Of course also with an extensive new vitamin collection. What is happening and will it go away??? PLEASE HELP!

It’s cause me not to be able to flex, walk stairs, climb a stood or even from a squatting position, I have to pull my self up with much labor

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
1:07 pm September 29th, 2014

Hello Noelle. I’d suggest you see a doctor and get medical help ASAP.

karthik
3:46 am October 4th, 2014

I drank everynight one or two for 2 months and I was running everymorning 4 km on a average or exercising. I wss fine and never had any body pain. Now I stopped the drinking part in the night for last 1 month. I have bodypain when I wake up which I never had when I was drinking and even my running performance . Is alcohol good for recovery and should I start drinking again and is it good foe me.

carl
7:55 am October 12th, 2014

My son is 24/5 he started drinking approx 19 soon became heavy and now drinks daily to black out we seem to be helpless anything we try is futile we try lots different help groups but to no avail it seems we simply have to sit around and watch our boy die we pester doctor’s and mental health team’s just get passed from pillar to post and go round in circles with no direction maybe the help we seek just isn’t there ,do people really have to sit and watch helplessly as there loved ones die drinking booze?

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
9:54 am October 13th, 2014

Hi Carl. Maybe your son can benefit from a rehab center or a psychological and behavioral sessions, following detoxification in a clinic. That can be a great chance for him to get away from everything, including the things that compel him to drink. In facilities such as these, the medical staff can monitor and help your son round the clock.

Grant
6:13 pm October 14th, 2014

I found the elimination of alcohol not really over intense at all.I’ve been a heavy rye drinker for 20
plus years.I drank daily and every day until the weekends or binges then I would be drunk all day for days on end.I finally quit almost 3 months ago and its like I never had a drink.There are no ill effects and I feel like a million bucks on top of all the money I’m saving!I finally got the message from AA that I can’t pick up that first drink and I don’t intend to!I The treatment is quite simply, we have an allergy to alcohol and cannot drink like normal drinkers-end of story!!! I wish you all a speedy recovery and get help from your higher power. its quite easy to eliminate booze from your life, you just need the right mentality!! Take Care!!

Healthy
5:01 pm October 15th, 2014

After over 100 days of abstaining I decided to drink at a social gathering where the wine was free. I wanted to just have one and sipped it so slowly that when I went to get another (not intended) it was time to leave. That night I drank another 2 glasses of wine because someone I’d had staying here left 2 mini bottles in the bedroom.

3 days later I was at a very boozy party with free cocktails and drank 4 very very slowly. My friends who were with me and are drinkers were very drunk. I didn’t feel tipsy even. I’m not happy with myself because I was testing myself to see if I could just stick with drinking one drink at a social event. Obviously not.
Since then I haven’t drunk anything. There is no booze in the house and I am not buying any. At the 90 days booze free mark I went on holiday for a week. My son came with me and drank wine every night and had a few beers at lunch. But I didn’t. I had a half sip of his wine one night because he said it was a good one and I was curious about the taste.

I am going to a party tomorrow with a friend who doesn’t like alcohol much. My plan is to have 1-2 glasses and to sip slowly. Am I sipping slowly or slipping slowly?

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