200+ units a week - an honest appraisal

Posted , 6 users are following.

I drink upwards of 200 units a week - not always, but certainly over the past 12 months. I have been drinking excessively for the past 20 years or so. I'm now in my late 30's. COVID lockdown (I struggle being told what to do at the best of times), the death of someone closer to me than I can describe and my wife miscarrying twice in the space of 12 months have exacerbated this problem. I'm under no illusions now (not have I ever been at any point getting here) that I have a real alcohol problem.

I'm well educated (1st class BA from a top uni and numerous post-grad quals). I have a stressful job with responsibility for many people. I'm very well compensated for that stress - top 1% of earners in the UK. My earnings will continue to increase - I'm on track for promotion again this year (none of this is any kind of self-aggrandisement, I just want to paint the picture). If I retire earning less than £500k a year, I would be surprised. Again, please don't mistake the talk of money as me playing the big I am. I grew up on the worst council estate in my city. My family was dirt poor. My dad's family all career criminals. Thankfully I was raised my my mum and her family. Very respectable, but poor.

I exercise daily. I'm physically fit (touch overweight) and strong.

I am a loving husband and father to 2, and I'm good at it. I dote on my family and spend a lot of time with them and both my own family and extended inlaws.

People are naturally attracted to me as a person (I'm nothing very special to look at), but attention naturally focuses on me, which is odd because I tend to avoid people / social situations - I prefer to stay at home. I'm a natural empath - I put people at ease very quickly. I have 2 friends (like brothers really) that I've known all my life - everyone else is an acquaintance.

I'm extremely observant - I don't miss a thing. My mind is constantly active. A lot of what I see (of people, events etc.) doesn't please me if I'm honest. I have a natural propensity towards learning and really trying to "understand" how people, societies, history and relationships work. I find emotional lack of intelligence hard to understand - it comes back to being truly empathetic. I genuinely like to help people where I see them suffering.

However, I have an alcohol problem. I know I'm high-functioning. It fills me with guilt on so many levels. I need to stop.

Anyone willing to give their honest appraisal and/or advice? I would really value it.

Thank you.

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  • Edited

    There are many new clinical studies around the world on the treatment of AUD.

    The alcoholic brain shows atrophy on scans and yes, it does appear on a CT scan as dark patches. Opiate receptors are only lit up in scans craving signals for alcohol in full mode as shown on CT scans.

    Google 'alcoholic brain atrophy' see the difference between normal brain and the brain with addiction ON LINE.

    The alcoholic brain effects the balance of your system leaving logic centers and other decision centers shut down. The brain and nervous system has a set of brakes and accelerators which function much like a car. When these operate correctly it is a smooth ride. Alcohol upsets the smooth running of the system and shuts down all other centers of the brain as seen on scans.

    For example, alcohol acts as a brake leaving other parts of the brain acting like an accelerator to compensate, only it gets caught in the remaining over sized opiate receptors and remains stuck.

    When alcohol is stopped the brain is still running at full speed with opiate receptors cravings controlling the brain. This is why anyone that regularly drinks heavily, stops for a day, finds they can't get to sleep because the brain will not shut down, it has still got the accelerator floored wanting the opiate receptors cravings filled with alcohol.

    This through the neural pathways connects to the central nervous system, which is what gives many the shakes withdrawls in the morning and worse, possible siezures in extreme circumstances. THE alcoholic brain is unhappy running at full speed and it causes anxiety, the way for the body & brain to stop this reaction is to consume alcohol and then the system returns to normal.

    We are now in a situation where the brain & body only feels normal when we have alcohol in our system. This is why virtually everyone that gives up alcohol fails, because their system is thinking about alcohol from the moment they get up in the morning. It is relentless and it wears people down until even the toughest person gives in.

    This is called ALCOHOL USE DISORDER . Which is now accepted as a physical and physiological illness and is to be treated no different than diabetes or heart disease.

    Medication like naltrexone and acamprosate helps restore the natural balance so that the brain returns to its previous state where it is normal. Calming the over whelming cravings for alcohol thru every thought and shuts down the triggers in the brain to that constantly craves alcohol.

    Acamprosate is recommended for 6-12 months and Naltrexone is up to each individual thru counseling and management .

    Vivitrol is an injection lasts a month so the alcohol dependent does not need to take a pill which is generally the biggest problem why treatment fail they are not taking the meds to slow down and titrate off alcohol as the brain and body adjusts. This illness is a two part treatment with medications used to get thru detox, meds used to calm and stop the cravings thru time and seeking daily or weekly counseling.some may need in house treatment for up to a year or more.

    C3 Europe is a organization to help those who want to cut down or stop their alcohol intake.

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  • Posted

    This level of drinking is harmful to your health and I am sure you want to be able to enjoy your life, and your family, later down the line.

    I would suggest a full medical check up so that you have the information you need in order to make an informed decision about your drinking - now and in the future.

    Do that very soon and you probably won't need to stop drinking completely. Harm reduction is a powerful tool at your disposal if you choose to use it. Don't wait until harm reduction is no longer an option because your body and brain can no longer handle any alcohol at all.

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  • Posted

    How on earth do you manage to drink 200 units weekly and smell of alcohol and get found out? How do you drive, if you drive, and then over the limit I think. I cannot see how you can function and cover so much responsibility with that many units. I have seen 100s of cases here for 7 years and your case is very unusual. Probably time to stop yes. I was a heavy drinker for 30 years+ and stopped stone cold 9 years ago. However, this is not recommended and very dangerous. You need medication in my opinion. I will come back with a recommendation later this weekend. Great that you are honest. Regards Robin

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  • Edited

    The Sinclair Method is very good and Joanna will guide you well. Check out their website and success rate.

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    • Edited

      I was one of those people, By that I mean that many people didn't have any faith that I could stay sober- even for a short amount of time. I was asked if I had a death wish by the doctors and therapists. I tried vivitrol (like the the Sinclair method, It's the same drug only I got mine in once a month shots). The vivitrol shots were a condition of being on an alcohol commitment order. Three people needed to sign a paper saying I was a danger to myself or others, and one of those three people needed to be a doctor.. I have so many good things to say about vivitrol. It worked like a charm!!

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  • Posted

    You sound SO MUCH like me except that I was able to stop drinking at 28 and I started at 18. It was a horrible horrible downward fast spiral. But the way you describe yourself is exactly like how I would describe myself, to a t!

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