Alcohol withdrawal

Posted , 14 users are following.

I recently visited my doctor and after a number of tests it seems I have a fatty liver and (occasionally) high blood pressure. As a 34 year old man I know this isn't a good sign. I am already taking 10mg Citalopram a day for anxiety and I'm not stupid - I know that the anxiety is probably linked to the booze I drink (between 13-25 units daily in the evening) and I know that if I don't do something about the drink now it will only get worse. I have been a heavy drinker for 15 years. I never drink in the morning and very rarely during the day.

I'm getting little help from my GP in terms of withdrawal decided to cut the amount I am drinking as I know that completely stopping isn't something I am going to do straight away. To do this, I've found a low alcohol beer (1.2 units a can) which means that I'm reducing my units down to 4.8 if I only have 4 cans a night. I know this is still above the recommended daily amount but it's a start. So:

Sunday night: I drank 4.8 units

Last night: I drank 3.6 units

This is dramatically less than I have been.

I managed on this and was able to sleep without any sleeping pills but the problem is that I feel so groggy in the morning - I can't wake up (after 8 hours of sleep) and I feel really 'heady' today. I just find it really hard to get going.

Can anyone give me any ideas has to what is causing this feeling?

4 likes, 49 replies

49 Replies

  • Posted


                   I can see your primary concern,but four cans a night is NOT over doing it.

    Depends on the cans and alcohol volume you didn't specify this.

    Some people on here kick the day off with a Bottle of Vodca !,I was that person.

    Yeah you did specify that you drink 1,2 units per can,hardly a travesty.

    Hey good luck.

    • Posted

      Thanks Joshua.

      It's not the amount I have been trying to reduce to (from 20+ units a day) it's the way it makes me feel the next morning when I haven't drunk much.

      Basically, I feel worse the morning after a drink a little, then when I drink a lot!

  • Posted

    Hello Raymond, you are doing very well. I think perhaps you reduced a little too quickly and have been suffering alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Reducing is very difficult, as is coming off alcohol altogether, using alcohol itself to detox. Most people find it easier to have a detox using Librium or similar because alcohol consumption can easily creep up again. However, you have made the choice to do it this way and deserve congratulations for achieving what you have, so far. The grogginess will go away over a few days if you can avoid your consumption increasing again. Good luck!
    • Posted


              Librium/diazepam are more addictive than alcohol.

      Ramond I advise you to see your Dr at the outset,he will script you the above drugs.Benzodiazepines do more harm than good !

      These drugs are very addictive so a short course would be advisable.

      Good luck

    • Posted

      Librium (Chlordiazepoxide) and Valium (Diazepam) ARE highly addictive and should not be used, as Joshua says, on a long-term basis. However, they are very effective over a short period of about a week, on a reducing scale, at combating alcohol withdrawal symptoms, making it possible for an alcohol detox which is safe and comfortable. You won't get addicted to either of these drugs in a week while doing a detox.

      Going cold turkey from alcohol can be seriously dangerous, it can even kill, so these drugs, if used correctly and with supervision, can be life savers.

    • Posted

      Thanks. I tried Diazepam once before, but ended up just taking them with drink to get more of an affect. I've a history of mild benzo abuse from my late teens so I need to avoid them.
    • Posted

      Yes, that does complicate things Raymond and medical staff would be reluctant to give you benzodiazepines which could be misused. However, if there is a way, in your area (it's a postcode lottery) to have a supervised detox, it wouldn't be ruled out because of your past issues with benzos. You are doing ok so far with your current approach so see how that works out before thinking about any other approach. You may not need to consider it.
    • Posted

      Hi Paul I have just joined this website and have read some of your comments I am really scared I am due to have a home detox on Monday the 10 the Nov I have got to go and get my blood work done tom it is not till late afternoon and I know that I would of had a few pints of cider by then as I can not go all day without a drink I am also being started on a tablet the same time as the detox to help with the cravings after detox not only scared of detox I am scared of facing reality if that's the word I lost someone very close to me a couple years ago now and I have not been outside my home in all that time just been drinking myself into ablivion I have also got alcohol neuropathy which is very pain fall I can't feel my feet and my coordination is bad I have muscle wastage to as I have done no physical exercise for a few years due to not leaving my home I have not eaten for a few days now and I am scared that the not eating and alcohol will have  a impact on my blood work I can't eat as the thought of leaving my house to have the test  is making me very anxious in deed can you please help me thanks 
    • Posted

      Hello jsvkie smile

      Sorry to hear that you have been going through a difficult time the last couple of years.

      As long as you don't go for your blood test drunk and incapable, don't worry about it. The blood test is NOT to check your current level of alcohol but to look at various aspects of your health such as your liver function. Those results won't be any worse because you have had a few ciders. The purpose of the blood test is to get a picture of your current health. If you had serious irreversible liver damage, your skin would be bright yellow and they wouldn't have agreed to do a home detox. You must not try to stop drinking tomorrow, but try and keep it to what you need to avoid alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

      With regard to your recent poor diet, I would expect that your doctor will give you some vitamins along with your detox medication. That is normally the case.

      With the correct level of Librium (or an equivalent drug), alcohol detox is very safe and comfortable. You should feel no physical withdrawal symptoms at all. Your anxiety will also be alleviated by this medication and you should feel more relaxed than you have in a long time.

      I imagine that the ani-craving drug is something like Acamprosate (Campral) which helps to reduce your craving for a drink after detox itself.

      Try and see the positives. You are doing something to start fixing your problems, alcohol detox is easy, you WILL feel massively better in yourself within a couple of days of starting alcohol detox (everyone is amazed how much better they feel) and the blood test is just to get a snapshot of your current health, not to check up on you (you have already told them you have been drinking too much, they know that.)

      Most of your physical health problems will be alleviated by a decent diet and the alcohol out of the picture. When you feel better, during or after your detox, please post again so that other people can see the difference in you. It can be quite miraculous.

      I wish you all the luck in the world with it smile


    • Posted

      Thank you Paul for your reply I feel a little easier now I know what to expect at my gp appointment I will post again when I feel up to IT 
    • Posted

      Hi Paul. I've tried to kick drinking 4 times now. A lot I know. Embarssing actually. I know Librum is the go drug for alcohol detox. In 2009 i went to rehab for 30 days but they have Librum. They gave the patients there klonopin which I'm already prescribed. Then i went to a 7 day detox they only gave you phenobarbital. If your heat rate was over 100 they would give you Librum. Then I went to er they admitted me. For 5 days and gave me all sorts of stuff. Ativan Librum and Klonopin. I'll admit klonopin is one pill I wish I was never prescribed been on it for 9 years.
    • Posted

      Klonopin is Clonazepam, a benzodiazepine like Librium and Valium. It is shorter-acting. It wouldn't be good practice to detox a person using a drug they already take. To only give an anti-convulsant (Phenobarbital) is like operating without an anaesthetic, basically doing nothing to prevent your suffering but ensuring that you don't have a fit and die. It's cruel! You can't take one measure (the pulse) and give Librium based on that.

      Ativan is Lorazepam, also a benzodiazepine. I imagine they watched you closely while on THREE benzodiazepines. Not sure why they did as one is always sufficient (or two, in your case because they can't complicate things by stopping the Klonopin.)

      You should really discuss coming off the Klonopin with your doctor. It could take a LONG time, but a very gradual reduction would work.

      What's the situation with your drinking at the moment?

    • Posted

      Well that was the 4th time yesterday. Like I said embarassing. A friend took me to er. They didn't do much of anything no iv fluids. They did give me 1mg of ativan. I was there for 6 hours but was hardly seen by anyone. I saw a nurse maybe 3 times. Take my blood. Check on me and the shaking was so bad I thought I was going to have a seizure (I've never had one so I don't know) right before I eft they gave me the ativan. And sent me on my way. They gave me a prescription for Ativan but I don't see the point in filling it if I'm already taking klonopin with prevents seizures as well. They wanted me to go back to the detox place I told you about here but I declined. All they did was put me on phenobarbital for 7 days and took me off the klonopin cold turkey. I was miserable. They only belive in Librum if your pulse is over 100. Mine never was. At the er yesterday it was but but they didn't give me anything till I left. I'd like to get off the klonopin but I started at 24 I'm 33 now. I just don't agree with how that detox place here just abruptly stopped it when i take 3mg a day.
    • Posted

      Jason, do a Google search for 'Withdrawal from Clonazepam'. The first site listed wheni search is from the Tranquilliser Recovery and Awareness Page (TRAP). Have a read of that page. I am not putting the link as this post would then need to be moderated and that would delay it going live.

      Maybe print out that page and take it to your doctor. He/she may have their own withdrawal regime, but it is clear that you should NOT just stop a benzodiazepine drug, it MUST be reduced slowly and it takes months.

    • Posted

      The side effects of klonopin is memory loss, it's permanent. Once off your memory can repair itself.  Take a half dose for 2 weeks then a third dose for another 2 weeks. It usual effect is sleepiness. Migraines and headaches can be a issue when coming off to fast.the body builds up a resistance to it a more is needed to receive the effects many are using this as a sleep medication.  You should be safe off clonazapam/klonopin from 3 mg. dose.  My son was on the many drugs you have been on. He went off clonazapam in three - four weeks and did fine. There are ther drugs like OTC asprin, Tylenol that can help if needed. Never should stop abruptly as you said about detox. That's when problems start. Going off gradually or titraiting down will not be a issue.
    • Posted

      Thank you Paul for your help. I live in the U.S so took me a while to find TRAP but I did. I know the withdrawal can be scary cause seizures and even death. My next appointment is next month. I'm going to print some things out to show him but wait until I see him to see how he wants to go about tapering me off. I know it's a long process. Has far as the alcohol withdrawal goes I just felt like I waisted the er's time. Like I said I was there for 6 hours but one nurse said the more important patients to take care of. Since they didn't even give me the iv drip with all the vitamins I went to the drug store today and bought thiamine, magnesium and a multi vitamin and been drinking lots of gatorade coconut water and just plain water. I did read all the vitamins were supposed to be giving in a banana bag through iv but they didn't do that at all. Hopefully the oral tablets are sufficient enough. I feel somewhat better today. Still have a headache and had crazy dreams last night. I'm not even sure if I really slept. Good news is I haven't drink anymore and I seriously don't want to. This last time around has been pure hell.
    • Posted

      Hi hope4cure. Thank you for your advise but i really want to see my doctor next month rather then try to ween myself off. I just think it's safer that way seeing I've been on the medication for 9 years. I don't take it for sleep. I take it for generalized anxiety, panic attacks and social phobia. I've never taken it if i drink. He put me on ambien for sleep but only as needed
    • Posted

      I hate that attitude some health care professionals have towards people who drink too much. That nurse needs firing!

      The most important vitamin for you to take is the thiamine. A deficiency of thiamine (which happens when you drink too much) is the main cause of alcohol-related dementia, so it is important to put that back.

      You might also consider Vitamin B Compound Strong, but the crucial thing is that you get back to a healthier diet and put these nurrients back naturally through your food.

    • Posted

      Hey Paul. I agree what you said about the nurse. There was a patient across the hall from me going through alcohol withdrawal and he got treated the same way. Today I did what you suggested and got the strong vitamin b compound pills with electrolytes included. The pharmacy did tell me not to start taking them until tomorrow since I already took my thiamine this morning and the both have 6,667 % of your daily value in them. She also could not belive they didn't give me any vitamins through an iv drip. She asked were they crazy. I want to think you for all your help Paul and I will continue to listen to you.


    • Posted

      Over a short period of time (maybe a month) taking a little more than the recommended dose of vitamin supplements won't do much harm, particularly if you have a deficiency. I agree with the pharmacist that you shouldn't do it longterm.

      We prescribe Thiamine and Vitamin B Compound Strong for a month for people undergoing alcohol detox.

    • Posted

      I've been eating good. Can u tell me the difference between high potency b vitamin complex and vitamin b compound strong. I got the complex. At the pharmacy they said it's about the same as the compound just with added electrolytes which i thought would be helpful. I've been feeling better everyday just sleepy at times but that comes and passes. You can inbox me if you prefer.
    • Posted

      Hi Paul

      Just a quick line to say that I found tyour posts in this thread really helpful and interesting.  I drink most nights and am doing well cutting down slowly, having days with no alchohol and others with less units than I used to.  I just love the taste of a bottle of wine in the evening and I want to get back to a position where I can enjoy a social drink  or just say half a bottle of wine instead of the whole 8 or 9 units in an evening.  

      I am also bipolar with a coplex cocktail of meds so realise that I must cut down opr the alchohol will will ruin the therapiutic effect of the meds.  Incidenatlly, one of my meds is diazepam but I have a rule now , never to drink alchohol and take diazepam on the same day, which works for my anxiety

      Thansk again


    • Posted

      Glad that you found my posts helpful, Lizzie smile

      The easiest way for you to reduce your drinking over time would be with Nalemefene (Selincro) which has been discussed at length in this forum. If you search 'The Sinclair Method' and do some reading about that, that is the most effective treatment method to get you back to controlled drinking.

      You are right about drinking with diazepam. Drink causes anxiety which Diazepam relieves (although it is rarely prescribed for anxiety anymore because of its addictiveness and the fact that there are other drug  options for anxiety these days.

      Alcohol WILL affect the effectiveness of medications for any mood disorders as it is a depressant.


    • Posted

      Just get of Citalopram, go for Mirtazapine or Tricyclic, if these things give you alcohol cravings.  Not sure if this is the problem... But a bottle of vodka in the morning?  agghhh..........  get off the drugs causing the craivings.

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