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Drinking is more of a habit than an addiction for me. Hate myself when I drink. Really don't know how to break this cycle. I know I have more energy and feel so much better when I dont drink. Doesn't make sense why I keep doing this to myself

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  • Posted

    If you hate doing something and can't stop doing it then it's not a habit, it's an addiction.

    ?Bit of tough love for you there, because once you've realised you have an addiction you can start doing something about it!

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    • Posted

      Yeah your so right. I just don't know how to break out of it tho. I've called AA. Least its a positive step

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  • Posted

    Over a long period of time, daily or almost daily drinking produces a change in the brain. We feel out of kilter when we don't drink, suffer anxiety and insomnia, plus possible other symptoms, including boredom.

    For most people, the way out of this spiral is medication that resets the brain, so it is balanced without alcohol being present. For most that have been drinking for a long time, that do not use medication, they get dragged by into drinking, by their brain unable to stop thinking about alcohol.

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  • Posted

    Thankyou for your reply. I definitely suffer from boredom when I haven't had a drink for a few days. Do I have to get medication from the doctor or can I buy it online?

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    • Posted

      Joanna has given you some good info, it takes awhile to type out a comprehensive reply like that. I suggest you contact her with the area where you live and she can look up how available the medications are in your area.

      As for obtaining the medication, the following are the options. Go see your GP - Joanna will give you an indication of how likely they are to say yes. However, there is a high chance that they will refer you to an alcohol recovery centre, who might not know about the medications or be reluctant to prescribe them. Again Joanna can give you a copy of the paperwork that shows you that you have a right to be seen by a doctor. Some persistence is needed.

      There is at least one online pharmacy that offers it with a consultation, but they appear to turn down a lot of requests.

      You could go to a private doctor consultation - expensive but likely to succeed.

      You could buy from abroad - this carries some risk.

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    • Posted

      Both Joanna and RHGB have given you excellent advice. Not a lot for me to add, other than the benefits of medication.

      I gave up alcohol for 4 years, without medication. Ok I didn’t drink, but thought about drinking constantly. It was a daily battle and eventually I caved in and ended up far worse.

      Roll on many years with umpteen unsuccessful tries at stopping, I eventually got prescribed campral with excellent results.

       

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  • Posted

    Phillipa,

    The pathways in your brain learn what feels good, and what doesn't.  When subjected to alcohol (or any drug) the pathways get reinforced with the message that alcohol gives it a good chemical reward.  This happens every time you drink, and each time you drink, it only makes that reinforcement get stronger and stronger.  Your brain basically misses it when it isn't there, and this pathway nags you to either drink and/or feed it more alcohol chemical reward than you want when you do drink.

    If you are drinking too much when you don't want to, or feeling compelled to drink when you don't want to, then it isn't that you have an addiction in the physical term BUT it does mean that you are somewhere on the spectrum of alcohol dependency issues.  These days, alcohol dependency is recognised as a spectrum ranging from mild to moderate to severe dependency and also includes binge drinking.

    Stopping drinking is difficult because the longer you don't feed your brain the chemical reward it is expecting and wanting, the more it will nag you for it.  Think of dieting as a good example, when someone is trying to lose weight, the one thing that tends to consume their thoughts is the one thing that they can't have!  It's basically a very similar thing.  You are depriving your brain of something it has learned to want.

    So, as RHGB mentions in his post above, many people need medication to help weaken that pathway in the brain, and eventually break it down.  There are a few medications that can help.  The first, which RHGB and Vickylou here used very successfully is called Campral.  It will help put your pathways back to how they were before they got reinforced by repeated alcohol usage, but it only works when someone doesn't drink at all.  It can take a little while to weaken those pathways and someone must not drink during the weeks and months that it can take.

    The second does a similar thing in that the end goal is to weaken and break down that strong pathway, but it is used an hour or so before drinking alcohol.  This is the treatment that I used. This works by stopping that chemical reaction when you do drink, and over weeks and months of this medication, your brain stops nagging you for that chemical reaction because it knows it is pointless and alcohol no longer gives it what it wants.  If you are in the UK, the medication officially approved for this reason on the NHS is called nalmefene (brand name Selincro).  There is another similar medication called naltrexone, which is generic, but depending on where you live, it can be hard to get naltrexone on the NHS.

    If you want to know more about what medications are available in your area, please send me a message via PM of the town and county that you live in and I can send you back the list of medications available and which NHS doctor to see.

    As far as AA goes, there is no harm in trying it, but do remember that it doesn't suit everyone and around 90% of people will relapse back to drinking in the first 4 years (as per research studies done by NIAAA in the US). If it suits you and helps you, then great. There are many ways to recovery and I am for whatever works for the individual.  But you won't hear anyone in the meetings talk about medications that can be used as AA uses a program designed in the 1930's that has not progressed in terms of acknowledging that scientific research and treatment has advanced so much since the 1930s.

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  • Posted

    HI,

    A lot of people don’t know this, but there I S now evidence to support that addiction can an be a genetic inheritance. If your determined,there is plenty of help. Utilise public D&A workers, attend AA meetings etc. You should also make your Dr aware of your addiction. Most people drink/take drugs because of an underlying problem, so seek the services of a Counsellor if you can. But we all love that feeling we get from drugs & alcohol, and that’s what makes it addictive. You may also have no choice - so to soeakas you may have inherited an addictive personality.  It’s not easy, but sobriety is so wonderful. Good luck

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  • Posted

    It's hard to break away from it my sister was an alcoholic I watched her suffer over three and a half years before passing away last July she left behind two beautiful children but I watched her as her liver shut down your kidneys shut down her body swells so much all the time being that her kidneys were not functioning properly she went from weighing 145 2 weighing almost 300 pounds and that was just in water weight gain because the water was not exiting her body like it was supposed to the final decision with my sister is when they had to rush her to the hospital from dialysis her blood pressure bottomed out and when we get to the doctors the hospital in Cleveland the doctor gave her two options keep her comfortable but 9 times out of 10 she was going to die by the next day or put her on the surgery table nine times out of 10 she wasn't going to make it off the table those are the worst options ever in the world so you see I can't condemn anyone for what they do but drinking destroys your body your kid needs your liver my sister before passing away that a horrible death please if you can give it up give it up it's an enemy it's not a friend God bless you all praying that one day you throw your hands in the air and say I'm done

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    • Posted

      Thankyou for sharing your story. Im so sorry for your loss. I totally agree with you that it ruins lives. I got to the point that I thort it was just me that had a problem with this. It's overwhelming how many lives it affects. I called AA yesterday and was so touched how helpful and down to earth they were. They put me in touch with a local lady and she is meeting me on Wednesday to take me to a meeting. Hopefully listening to people and getting support will be my saviour. I know I can't do this alone

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    • Posted

      You are an inspiration to us all. Thanks for sharing your story with us. You were there trying to help and could only do so much. Our thoughts are with you.
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