Have cut way back on alcohol consumption but looking for advice

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Hi folks..looking for bit of advice here. My background is I definitely have drink problem but always drank vodka. Was sober for many years but started drinking vodka again couple of years ago. About 18 months ago decided to stop suddenly which was very foolish & had very bad withdrawal with dt's etc. Anyway for last 5 or 6 months I have been drinking Rose wine (9.5%)  every day..I am working & holding down my job no problem. I find that I don't have shakes/sweats/nausea etc next morning that I had when I drank vodka. I have been drinking about 5 glasses of Rose a day (well afternoon & evening after work). I can get up next morning & go to work & I'm ok..then I come home & do same again. But I am just wondering if I were to stop would I get bad withdrawals again even tho'  I don't get shakes etc next morning & am fine in that respect. It's just when I get home the craving is there & I have a few glasses every evening. Last 3 days I only had 3 glasses..it's now the weekend & I find that I have had 2 already today & will probably have 2 or 3 more if I'm honest this evening. I suppose my main question is does the fact that I don't have any physical symptoms next morning or any time nxt day really mean that I'm not physically dependent on it like I was with the spirits ? Sorry for rambling..! Would appreciate any replies..I live on my own and I actually quite enjoy the few glasses of wine whereas with the vodka I really was not enjoying it & it was making me so sick

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Cherry 

    I quit cold about 4 months ago I was drinking 1.5 liters of wine a day. I saw the doctor and he helped me with a med for 4 days. I had a couple of slips at the 3 month mark but...now the last 3 days I have found my self drinking again.

    To answer your question I suggest you see a doctor and go from there.

    Best of luck to you.

    Keep strong we can beat this smile

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply Sue..I have used librium from doc couple of times over the years too when I've been coming off.  It's just that any time I drank before  (which as I say was always vodka) I felt so sick next morning -sweats/shakes/nausea etc & only thing that helped was another drink. Now I don't have any of that since I started drinking the few glasses of Rosé..I do have the psychological craving for it mind you but no physical symptoms & am able to go to work for full day with no problem and no drink..but when I get home I still want to have a few glasses
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  • Posted

    hi cherry , you dont say how much vodka you were drinking- when i was drinking- if i stuck to drinking beer, i could drink 5-6 pints and have no problems the next day- when i was drinking heavely i would drink more than 1 1/2 bottles of whiskey- the next day i would be shaking and sweating and physically sick until i drank - i would have to drink nearly half a bottle before i could function again- it was no way to live - i have been sober since 2005 - your hangover / WD's depend on what your body is used to - as you probably know the longer you drink the more tolerance you build up - so you need more and more alcohol to satisfy your cravings- just be careful the amount you drink doesent start to creep up - it happens very easily - best of luck
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    • Posted

      Hi..thanks for your reply.  When I was drinking vodka some days I would only drink about a quarter bottle but more often than not I would drink a half bottle a day. When I was really bad about 18 months ago I was probably drinking a bottle a day. I certainly do agree it can creep up very quickly and very easily..funnily for last couple of months and still today I have no interest in vodka or any other spirits..I'm just enjoying the few glasses of Rose every evening but still would like to know (if I do decide to) can I stop straight off as it's so much lower in strength than what I used to drink or would I be better weaning myself off it slowly? I know about the option of going to the doc for Librium..as I said I have done that before..but would b grateful for advice on the 2 options of stopping or weaning. Thanks everyone
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    • Posted

      HI Cherry. Perhaps your GP can gie advice and beeing honest is the best way forward. I am not a medical person and do not know IF you will get withdrawal symptons, Like you, I was driniking Vodka and a lot most days and stopped stone cold 2 1/2 yrs ago and nothing since then. No problems at all but perhaps I was lucky? This is probably not something everybody should do...However, your rose seems lower alchohol and you might be ok but I just do not know. Best of luck
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  • Posted

    Hi Cherry,

    I am picking up on the interesting contrast you are making between the psychological symptoms (the craving) and the physical sign (the sickness, nausea, etc..) of the day after.

    If you had the time to read others, you have probably noticed that every person addicted to alcohol all experienced the cravings in an identical way. What ever their social background or social history, this urge to have alcohol will be the same for everybody. We all know that in fact we do not want to drink but we feel so bad and obsessed that we cannot stop ourselves.

    The cravings is our brains not working properly. This dysfunction is the same for everybody addicted to alcohol : brains scanns shows how alcholic brains (neurons) fire up violently when the person is in front of a glass of alcohol compared to a non addicted person which shows "normal" reaction.

    Today doctors can make a diagnosis of alcohol addiction just by looking at the brains scan (it is expensive so they don't  :-)).

    So the answer to your question is : as long as you have these cravings you are extremely physicaly dependent to alcohol.  The day after symptoms are irrelevant, they are a consequence of your body not succeeding of getting rid of ethanol quickly enough (vodka is much stronger than wine).

    The next question is : can these cravings be help by cognitive therapy?  Yes, but for only about 5 to 10% of people.

    I thought that the cravings were a matter of "will power" until I realised that much stronger peoples than I were unable to fight it.  They would show extraordinary courage and resolution for others and for themselves, but when the cravings were there, they would have that drink. 

    That was depressing : what were my chances?  And here my self esteem going down the drains together with my liver......:-)

    To cut a long and painful story short : I went on medication for over a year (baclofen).  After 1 month the cravings stopped completly:

    If I had a though of having a drink, I would easily decide not to and, once the decision made, the thought would vanished and not come back, instead of keeping bumping in my head every 30 seconds and driving me mad.

    In fact alcohol does not interest me very much anymore -except Meursault-.

    So I think that, as long as you have cravings, you are addicted.  And, except if you are a very bad person, there is no reason to suffer if you can help it.

    Good luck

    PS baclofen is available in the UK but not yet widely prescribed as the clinical trials demonstrating its effect anti-craving (BACLAD, BACLOVILLE and ALPADIR)  are very recents (April 2015) and, for the 2 last ones, not published yet.  This should be done by the end of the year.  Namalfene is available but the clinicial trial shows a much smaller anti-craving effect compared to baclofen.

    Oh and I forgot : these compounds are non addictive : so you do not need to increase the dosage; when you reach your cravings blocking level (average 180 mg) this is it.

    Your choice.


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