Could someone give me some advice about detoxing please?

Posted , 11 users are following.

I have been consistently drinking every evening for the last 15 years and desperately want to stop but am struggling. I generally drink a bottle of wine and up to half a bottle of vodka or just vodka, about 2 thirds of a bottle (70cl). I drink alot of water through the day and don't start drinking alcohol until about 5pm. Can I just stop or should I gradually cut down or go to the GP? Its really getting me down as I'm not in control,....it controls me! Although I don't drink till teatime, I am thinking about it all day and I suffer every night/ morning with numbness in my arm & fingers. Any advice / support would be really appreciated. Please help!

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  • Posted

    Please go to your GP.

    Detoxing may be very dangerous for some, so why take the risk?  Also, if the doctor thinks it is necessary, then he/she can prescribe you medication to make it a little easier.

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    • Posted

      I am a little anxious about prescribed medication that I don't really want to be on and wondered if I cut down my alcohol intake gradually then I'll naturally detox. What length of time should I do it over though?
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    • Posted

      I am not medically trained so I cannot answer that, I am afraid.

      Any reduction in drinking that is too quick for your brain and body could result in seizures and death.  No one who has been drinking so much, for so long, should underestimate the risks.

      Please see your GP for help.

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  • Posted

    Hi Rachel,I don't have advice,but have similar problem,I don't drink until 8-9 pm but always manage to drink half bottle vodka.I need it to relax,and get to sleep.Got a fright last night,as I did not fall asleep attall,and did something I never did before,over an hour later I got up to have another vodka,a large one,and I did fall asleep,and had peaceful night,but I realise I just can't DO that.I can't just stop,but I have to cut back,I realise I,m going to have sleepless nights,but can't just keep drinking more and more.I am on an island,but when I return to my mums house,I am going to attend an addiction clinic,I got a leaflet from GP who clearly wasn't going to help.
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    • Posted

      About half a bottle of vodka (70cl) a night is around 12-13 UK units a night.

      When you attend the addiction clinic, and if they are assess you and deem you as not needing a detox, but perhaps help in reducing your alochol consumption with their help, please explain to them that you have struggled to do this.  They will no doubt ask you to complete a drink diary to confirm that you cannot reduce on your own.

      However, this would mean that you meet the criteria to be assessed by a medical pysician at the clinic (you may need to insist on this!) for a medication called Nalmefene, brand name Selincro.

      This medication is for those who do not need immediate detox, are not in danger of suffering withdrawal sytptoms and for women, regularly drink more than 5 UK units of alcohol a day and cannot reduce on their own.

      It will help you to reduce the drinking by effectively 'cutting' the reinforcement circuit in your brain that drives you to need to drink half a bottle of vodka a night. 

      Please read this link before you visit the addiction clinic so you know a little more information.  Please also google NICE guidance TA325 Nalmefene, so you can see what the NHS says when it approved this medication.

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

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  • Posted

    Please go to see your GP. It's the first step and they can help you.
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  • Posted

    Well done for wanting to stop and for finding this site? Lomg term, fo you want to stop drinking completely, or stop drinking at this level? I would advise against just stopping completely straight away without medical advice as it can be very dangerous. You could try cutting down gradually, though it's not easy. I would say do go and see your go. On this site there is very good information. You can find out about the Sinclair method for cutting down, the drug campral for cravings and about detox. Good luck, let us know how you get on.
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    • Posted

      Thankyou. I am making a GP appointment in the morning. I think I need to stop completely as its kind of all or nothing for me! It frightens me to think of a life without alcohol but it's frightening me more when I think about my 12 year old son and what kind of role model I am to him. I just need to find my strength :-\
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    • Posted

      Well done, Rachel!  I am glad you have made the appointment.

      Just be aware that over such a long period of drinking, the pathways in your brain have learned that alcohol provides chemical relief.  Over the last 15 years, your drinking has reinforced this belief.

      If the pathways have become too strong, then it has nothing to do with strength or willpower.  You can be strong, and stop drinking, but after a while those pathways are screaming at you to provide the relief it got used to, and relapse may well happen.  That doesn't mean that you weak or anything - it is just the way our brains have learned to respond to alcohol.

      If you find it difficult to stop and stay stopped, then there is no shame in admitting that you MAY need some medication help, to give you the upper hand.  This medical help can be in 2 forms.  Either to help prevent cravings if you wish to try and remain abstinent immediately (which would be a medication called Campral) or a medication that aids you in reducing your drinking consumption.  Of course, this reduction can be reduced right down to ultimate abstinence over a number of months and this medication is called Nalmefene.

      The point is that I would suggest you do a lot of research so that you can chose what might work for YOU best and then have an informed discussion with your GP and/or alcohol services if that is who your doctor has to refer you too.

      Good luck and as I say, I am very relieved to hear you have booked the appointment.

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    • Posted

      Thankyou for your support. I do really feel that abstinence is my only option as I don't really trust myself to reduce. Have googled neuropathy and recognise that this is what I have :-(
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    • Posted

      Then for immediate abstinence, Campral should help you with that.  It will help will your cravings which is really important during the crucial first many months, when your brain and emotions will take a little while to learn to live without alcohol as it's usual 'crutch'. Anything that can help with that period of adjustment should be considered with an open mind. 

      Why try make life harder for yourself than it needs to be?  There really are no medals for who has the 'toughest' road to recovery!!

      If you need to have a conversation with someone who has personal experience with Campral then please send a PM to RHGB on this forum and I am sure he will be happy to let you know some details of how it is working for him.  Like me, he is not a physican, but he has so much information and experience on how Campral has been helping him stay sober that you can take into consideration and decide if it is, or is not, for you.

      smile

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  • Posted

    Hi rachel

    well done for admitting you need some help and taking that first long hard step.

    Due to the amount you're drinking on a daily basis, my advice would be go see your GP and ask for a home detox. This involves either chlordiazepoxide (Librium) or diazapam (Valium) . I know you said you're not keen on medication, but believe you me, it's safer than the amount of alcohol you're consuming.

    I'm not judging or criticising you, we've all been there. IMHO I don't think cutting back gradually is an option for you at the moment. You need to detox ASAP and then assess your options.

    Youre already starting to suffer from what sounds like alcoholic neuropathy (pins and needles) another warning sign. So please try and get this detox..

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