Alcohol withdrawal any advice pls?!?

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Hi 

Ive had a problem with alcohol on and off for the past 7 years but for the past 2 years ive had good periods of total sobriety.

Last week Friday I relapsed and drank continously 24/7 (every waking moment anyway) for a week, im not proud of this infact im very disappointed in myself!!  But its almost like when I get around the 4 month sober mark I start to literally believe im ok to drink a few now.  But I always end up going on an awful binge and having to be detoxed inorder to stop.

Well my dad took me to hospital on nFriday just gone so i drank for a week in total.  They kept me in overnight, put me on a drip, gave me 2 diazipan and the next day said I could go home.  I told the doc I felt as if I was withdrawing and didnt feel well enough to go home, however he said to go home and cut down on the drink slowly, but he didnt think I could withdraw after only a week of drinkining!

Ive been home since Sat (3 days) with just painkillers and vitamin B prescribed when leaving the hospital.

The thing is I do feel as though im withdrawing!! I have pins & needles all over my body, hot sweats, im having heart paplpatations, panic attacks, im crying at everything & my whole belly and back hurts, I feel extremely drained!!

Pls help Ive had at least 3 days of detox in the past but feel as though ive just been left to deal with the symptoms on my own. I wandering after 4 days since mmy last drink is this still withdrawal? When wll it stop? I really dont want to take that docs advice and drink again, bcus I know I want stop or be able to cut down gradually.. 

Any help will be highly appreciated!!!

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  • Posted

    My dad died of drink I was the only one helping him and I felt useless as couldn't get no help off no 1
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    • Posted

      Thanks Derek, and I am sorry to hear about your dad! Younare right there is no help for ppl who become addicted to alcohol!! Alcohol is a drug yet it is sold legally for the government to make profit. Yet I think its terrible that when ppl like myself have problems with that drug, there is no help or we are looked down upon.  My drinking started after my baby died in 2008 it just kind of krept up on me during the grieving stage, I have really good periods of it but that a horrible binge, which I know is dangerous. Ive booked in for some group thearpy 2mz I dont know if it will help but its worth ago x
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  • Posted

    You ARE withdrawing. I see this happen often. Detox is a procedure which should be carried out over 5-7 days. What hospitals do is have a person in, give them medication for withdrawal symptoms while they are there (to make sure they don't cause a problem by being too ill during their stay) and then kick them out and tell them to drink again but reduce slowly which we all know is almost impossible to do.

    If you are having severe withdrawal symptoms (shakiness, sweating, agitation) then you MUST drink. Alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous. I am appalled to see yet another example of the NHS not caring at all about a person who has an alcohol problem.

    You haven't mentioned if you have been drinking anything since you left the hospital, Tar4. If you haven't, you may be near the end of the period of withdrawal now. However, even after withdrawal, cravings can creep back in. You should search 'The Sinclair Method' (there are a lot of posts on here about that and the drugs used for it (Nalmefene and Naltrexone) ) but search Google too. It's worth watching the video 'One Little Pill' and reading the book 'The Cure For Alcoholism' by Roy Eskapa. This is the most effective method of treatment for alcohol addiction in the world with a published success rate of 78% compared to less than 10% success for any other method in the world. You will also find information about The Sinclair Method at the C Three Europe website and the person who runs that site (JoannaC3) often posts in this forum.

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    • Posted

      Thanks all of that information I will definately try them all (anything to help).. 

      No I havent drank since leaving the hospital, bcus as you said that is almost impossible, and I know one will lead to two then another then another and ill be back to square one before I know it, and I dont want that I really do want to get back on track.. But Im scared of the symptoms im getting which is why i came on here for some advice.. The shaking seems to have calmed down & I can hold down food now (as I coudnt when I left the Hospital) I explained to them that I was a type 2 diet controlled diabetic, and told them if I cant hold down food it would be very dangerous. I also had 2 hypos while there where my blood sugars were extremly low so they had to give me glucose, but they just gave me one anti sickness whille I was there and then still discharged me. Of course once this wore off I was being sick again! The sweating is really bad, I had a panick attck earlier where I literally felt like my heart was beating abnormally, I keep having weird nightmares, and the pins and needles are like being stung by a thousand bees (which ive read is my central nervous system).

      You are right the NHS do not care about ppl with addictions they just judge us, its awful I wouldnt treat an animal the way some of them treat addicts!! I have always been a hard working member of society who got lost followig the death of my son, I think there should be more help and understanding instead of judgement and critisism. x

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    • Posted

      I agree with you Tar4. The awful thing is that alcohol addiction is a physical illness, your body reacts to alcohol in a different way to that of others, which is why you got into difficulty. I'm sorry to hear of the awful event in your life and I understand why that led to you drinking more. However, it may have been that which triggered your illness, but you would have already had that pre-disposition to alcohol addiction.

      The Sinclair Method is a medical treatment which treats the actual illness. Counselling and therapy cannot successfully treat a physical illness. Yes, you can stop drinking, but you would then find yourself 'white-knuckling' through every day trying desperately not to give in to your cravings for alcohol. The Sinclair Method is a far easier way to recondition your body not to need a drink and that is why it has so much more success than any other method.

      If ever you find yourself in trouble again, please do not try to struggle through the withdrawal symptoms. They can kill you.

      If your shaking has stopped, it looks like you are past the worst, now. Withdrawal symptoms normally last about 3 days, although you may have some milder ones hanging over for a few more days.

      The pins and needles will be improved by taking thiamine. You can get this over the counter at a chemist. It is also called Vitamin B1. I would advise that you get some and take 100mg twice a day for about 3 months. When people drink excessively, they get a deficiency of thiamine. This can lead to central nervous system issues as you have already realised. It can also, in the long term, lead to alcohol-related dementia, so it is important that you fix this deficiency. The vitamin B that the hospital gave you is likely to be a mixture of the different B vitamins and will not contain sufficient thiamine, so get the proper stuff yourself.

      Again, I have to say, it never ceases to amaze me the lack of competence and bad attitude of health care professionals towards alcohol problems.

      I should also tell you that I am an alcohol treatment specialist so I am not talking from the point of view of a person who has personally suffered a problem. I no longer work in the NHS because there is no way I could get a job doing what I do these days. They simply don't provide a service in most parts of the UK.

       

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    • Posted

      HI Tar. This is a good forum and you have had two professsional replies from Paul who has much experience. We fully understand how traumatic experiences can lead to more drinking and how hard it is to stop. I do think that this is opportunity to stop completely and gradually heal. Do not drink less and less as the doctor said since that could become the opposite and drink more and more.. I would....however, next week i am 3 yrs sober since I also drink too much and had most certainly hit rock bottom. I was a simply choice, loss my family and I had been warned many times by my wife and parents for many many years and this was it and I managed. Best of luck!! You can do it.. all the best from Robin
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  • Posted

    Hi Tar4

    I am sorry to hear about your tragic loss and the subsequent effect it has had on you.

    I really dont think I can advise you, only to say that I have recently started the Sinclair Method ( Although I didnt realise it was called that when I started) and am taking Selincro.

    It doesn't suit everyone as some posters on here will tell you, but it seems to be helping me........

    Worth looking at though.

    Good Luck, I hope you feel better soon.

     

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  • Posted

    I would NOT drink either...You have made it past the 72 hour mark for the dangerous DTs....No one has any pills for you like xanax or diazepam? The benzos are really helpful.  I have a friend who takes Benadryl during her withdrawals (because she doesn't have access to benzos either)...she said it takes the edge off for her and helps her sleep. 

    ​Other than that..I had a really hard withdrawal period the last time about 2.5 weeks ago...I ate a bland diet...drank Gatorade (they say the dehydration is what makes us feel the worse)....you did have a "drip" so be grateful for that...they wouldn't have released you if you were in danger of your health.  I'm sure they monitored heart and blood pressure (although those go up on day 2 and 3 of detox). 

    ​I think if you manage to drink LOTS of fluids today...and get appropriate rest...and small amounts of food..and a possible shower..you will start feeling better tommorow.

    ​I know for myself...I wanted to drink during withdrawals because I was SO SCARED too...but I didn't....and I'm grateful I didn't because I KNOW for ME...I would just continue.  You eventually have to be "sick" to get better...so just keep going!

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  • Posted

    Thanks everyone for all the support.

    I haven't had a drink still..

    My pins & needles & hot sweats seem to be settling down which is good!

    Although last night even though I was completely drained I couldnt sleep one bit! Which was horrible I was & am getting very irratible, my heads racing etc.. but strangely today I can't stop eating, I've been cleaning like mad , but have literally just collapsed crying & tired, I feel like I'm cracking up constantly switching moods, feelings & state of mind :-(

    Paul you are a wealth of knowledge and it's a privilege to have your advice.

    I have looked up the sinclear method and it sounds very interesting, however I'm wandering is this used mainly for initial recovery or for long term abstense? ? I do need help now but I feel after a binge I'm quite able to remain sober ut it's at the 4-5 month stage that my feelings of being able to drink normally kick in & then within weeks I've relapsed :-( .. I know it sounds crazy and I can't explain my actions myself bcus I should know by now from past experience that the outcome will NOT be 'a few' but yet I still believe my own lie!! Also does the sinclear method mean ppl can drink if they want? Bcus that's the impression I got..

    Well done 6Missy2 on your withdrawal & no I can't get any diazipan, I have some pregabalin in the cupboard for previous anxiety but not sure if that's good for withdrawal etc?

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    • Posted

      Hi Tar4, this is Joanna from C3 Europe.

      The Sinclair Method is used to reduce drinking down to safe levels, and then at that point you can make the decision to either go completely abstinent like a lot of people do, in which case you only need to carry the medication with you 'just in case', or to drink occasionally.  As long as the tablet is taken one hour or so prior to drinking, you are protected from re-learning the compulsive over drinking.

      Over the course of the treatment, with the reinforcing cycle of reward broken, the brain resets itself to its pre-addicted state.

      In your case, my initial thoughts would be that you would begin The Sinclair Method when your cravings begin to return, but before they are so bad that you are unable to wait the hour or so between taking the tablet and drinking.

      Your brain things thinks it will get the reward it is used to from drinking.  Under the method you will basically disappoint your brain because when you do drink after taking the medication no reward is forthcoming.  Repeat this over some months (each time you are craving) and your brain will eventually give up craving something that no longer satisfies it.

      It can take some months depending on how often you drink and various other factors, and during that time you must listen to your brain when it tells you that it is pointless and that you've had enough, but without the constant 'more, more, more' going on in your brain when do drink, that is not a difficult thing to do if you are mindful.

      There is a very basic breakdown of the method here

      https://patient.info/health/sinclair-method-for-alcohol-use-disorder

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    • Posted

      Thanks Joanna.

      This sounds like a good plan of action, as I'm ok for months then say for example there's a wedding or an occasion coming up, a few weeks before I start convincing myself that I'll be OK to go and have a few. I'm not sure if it's bcus I can't imagine attending without alcohol or if I'd feel to left out if I didnt go, or went but didnt drink. But by the time the event is a few days away I've thought about alcohol so much over the last week's that on the night I just drink loads & the next day I don't see a way out so I carry on normally for between 1 or 2 weeks.

      I didn't used to be this way I used to drink socially without any problems. But after my son died I guess alcohol became a coping mechanism, then as years passed on and I grieved alot and didnt use it to cope, I've tried to go back to how I drank before however, I just can't as much as I try.

      Anyway I'm rambling. Shall I just go to my doctors and ask for the medication?

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    • Posted

      Yes, the medication used for this in the UK is called Nalmefene (brand name Selincro) and was approved on the NHS.

      Who prescribes it depends on your local health authority, though.  In some places a GP authorised to prescribe, whereas in other parts of the country only the area's alcohol specialist team is authorised to prescribe.  Even though it was approved on the NHS in November 2014, I am sad to say that some physicians claim to have never heard of it.  If needed, you can take that link I just gave you to your appointment as most UK doctors also have access to exactly the same document on this website.

      Which town and county do you live and I will look it up for you?  If you don't want to say on this public forum, pm me and let me know.  You do this by clicking on my profile pic and then clicking the message button.

      The medication is only prescribed along with some additional support to ensure you get the best out of it.  If this is an issue for your health authority to provide this to you, then we will tackle that later but basically I am trained to provide the required support so you would inform your prescribing physician that you have organised seperate support.  I do this for free so no issues there!

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    • Posted

      HI Joanne. I like your professional reply and can only assume that your work for a support organisation. Do not know C3Europe but thanks for the insight. Robin
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    • Posted

      Thank you Robin! 

      I run and operate C3 Europe yes, along with a couple of other wonderful people.  All three of us help and support people right across the workd actually, along with providing information and resources, but we do this completely voluntarily.  C3 Europe is a not-for-profit organisation.

       

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    • Posted

      Yea, pregabalin also known as Lyrica is also used for seizure control and pain.  I take it for pain...and yes, it is an option for you...When you feel shaky take one and see if it helps.

      ​Another indication for pregabalin is anxiety and it can make you sleepy...I would take one tonight if I were you...may help you sleep better.

      ​Glad you did not give in to a drink...days should be getting better.

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    • Posted

      No, I didn't :-(

      Are you happy just to reply on here with the town that you live?  I should be able to find the details just on that.

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    • Posted

      Oh brilliant that's good to know. It's a week tomorrow since my last drink. I'm also glad I hung in there as ive been out shopping with my dad today & probably would have drank straight through Xmas had I not of stopped last week smile
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    • Posted

      Ok, thanks.

      In the Birmingham area, doctors are not instructed to prescribe nalmefene UNLESS they are experienced in substance misuse and can provide the additional support I mentioned.

      For Birmingham, prescribing initiation lies with Reach Out Recovery (CRI) and you can contact them for an appointment on 0121 227 5890.

      For Sandwell, it is Swanswell on 0121 553 1333.

      For Solihull, it is SIAS on 0121 3013600.

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    • Posted

      Sorry, that should say 'doctors are instructed not to prescribe....'

      It's been a long day - that's my excuse for mis-typing and I'm sticking to it lol

       

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    • Posted

      Well that's good as I have a CRI worker. I haven't spoke to her for a while but will contact her after Xmas.

      Do I just say I'd like to be prescribed it and explain the reasons why & she'll do it??

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    • Posted

      Pretty much, yes.... BUT make sure you take the following into account....

      1.  Though the local authority say they can prescribe, it is sad (and shocking to me!) that a lot of these people in the CRI and others are not up to date and know nothing about this medication - you may well need to educate THEM.

      2.  Read NICE guidance TA325 on nalmefene - a google search will easily find it.  It shows what the criteria is for the medication.

      3.  If you CRI worker is not able to prescribe medication, you may need to ask to be assessed by the prescribing physician.

      4.  A lot of these places seem to only believe in abstinence is the only way!  Don't let that deter you.  If you read about this medication and believe it might be suitable for you, let them know that you know that you have a right to be assessed for it!!  It IS available on the NHS and as a result, the NHS has a legal responsibility to assess you for it.  Don't let either their lack of knowledge or their personal beliefs get in the way of getting the help that you feel will benefit you best.

      Lastly, take with you the link that I quoted in my first response on this thread.  They may need to look up what all of this method is about.

      Good luck, and if you need anything else, just ask :-)

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    • Posted

      OK I will give it ago. I have watched some videos on this treatment method this week and think it would be very suitable for me.

      Thank you again.

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    • Posted

      Please don't get upset or panic if your dr won't prescribe it. My experience was dr didn't know about the drug. I went back following Joanna's advice with literature and still wouldn't prescribe and said alcohol referral team would prescribe. They wouldn't and said go back to your GP for prescription!! If you can pay no problem and you will get the medication. Hopefully other areas are more helpful. Where I live, the only way to get this medication is to pay. Totally unfair, but hope you are luckier. Good luck
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    • Posted

      This is not untypical vickylou, it wasn't just you.

      Once NICE have approved a medication on the NHS, then your local health authority have a LEGAL responsibility to have a system in place to assess you for it.  If there is a medical reason you can't take it once they assess and find you meet the criteria, then fine.

      If anyone is in the same position as VickyLou, then complain to the NHS using the NHS complaints procedure.  This can be found by googling 'NHS Choices Complaints'.

      Each local authority had to have a procedure for assessing patients for this drug within three months of November 2014, when it was approved.

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