nalmefene for 9 days now and no change to desire to drink.

Posted , 11 users are following.

Hi everyone

This is a long post as its my first ever. I’m looking for some advice and information from anyone who has been in my position. Apart from short breaks I have drunk alcohol every evening of my life for over 35 years now and I recently decided that it is time to tackle it. I drink about two bottles of wine a night, and sometimes a couple of Gin and tonics etc. I drink on my own while making dinner and don’t really then stop.  This is of course way over the suggested limit, and though I don’t get hangovers, I do become argumentative and unreasonable quite soon after starting drinking, in fact after about three glasses of wine. I almost always end up asleep on the settee and then going to bed much later on and not remembering what happened after a certain amount. I’m fed up with myself and hearing my husband tell me  we have discussed something I’ve forgotten, or knowing we have had an argument, probably started by me but not remembering it. I’ve lost count of the number of parties and events I’ve been physically present at but too drunk to remember and we don’t invite people over as I know I will drink too much and be embarrassing. I have a great job, home, husband and stepchildren and I want to sort this out while that is still the case. When I’ve stopped for a few days deliberately in the past I have no physical withdrawal symptoms but I did get bored!  I can’t at the moment see myself going teetotal though that is probably the end plan. After  reading a lot about stopping  alcohol and potential relapses and withdrawal if you do it too fast etc I have decided to cut down over four to six months with the aim of being under 14 units a week by Christmas. I don’t want my doctor or employer to know about this and got hold of nalmefene on line.I had read about all the side effects of nalmefene and to be honest don’t like the idea of meds  but do like the idea of breaking the pattern and desire to drink too much. I did experience sleeplessness, night sweats, heart palpitations in the first three days but persevered and now on day 9 these are all reduced. I’ve been drinking mindfully,  I do wait the full two hours before drinking, and I’ve found the effects are reduced if I eat and drink quite a lot of water. I’ve read here that sometimes you can start increasing consumption when taking nalmefene and that it can take up to four months to notice a lessening of wanting to drink. Well I am not drinking more, but I am drinking the same, and feeling the effect even more. I’m also a bit spaced out til about 11am. I’m a bit worried I will end up drinking and also taking nalmefene every day so adding to the problem (and expense!). Has anyone charted their journey and found this and come out the other end and if so when and how did you start noticing you wanted to drink less? Looking back my father was an alcoholic, and his brother committed suicide being depressed and an alcoholic too so its always been in my life. My husband is a normal drinker as are many of my friends

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  • Posted

    With the fact that you have drinking issues in your family and the fact that you have a pathway in your brain that has been reinforced over the course of many, many years, it is quite possible that your drinking will be quite stubborn and this process may take quite some months for you.

    You are doing everything correctly in terms of taking the tablet and waiting etc, so assuming you used one of the UK-based online pharmacies for this medication, then that side of things is all genuine and taken care of.

    Next:

    Have you tried having a glass or two and then putting the drink down and interrupting your usual drinking pattern? 

    The tablets are a tool that will stop the endorphin reward that means we continually keep drinking.  It's a two-way process in that part of the mindfulness is actually about us learning to break the habitual part of our drinking.  That isn't going to happen overnight, so it's a case of start chipping away at the edge of the old habits. 

    Try anything that will slightly interrupt/delay your next drink by maybe 10 or 15 minutes.  That is a good start and can be anything that works for you - ring a friend, go for a quick walk around the block, take a bath, and one of the good ones is as simple as cleaning your teeth!

    Also, please google C3 Foundation Europe and you will the website that I run to counsel and support people through this method.  It's free as C3 is a charity organisation, so if you take a look through the website and then if you feel you would like some one-to-one support to chat things over, then just drop me an email using the contact page.   I am also sure others will reply to you in due course as many are using this method, sometimes with nalmefene and sometimes with it's sister medication, naltrexone, but I know they will be willing to give you some of their experiences of what worked for them.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the very quick and helpful reply. All makes sense and I'm especially aware of the log term pattern to break and I have the patience to take a long time over this. No for some reason it had not occurred to me to interrupt my usual habits mindfully for a period in the evening while drinking - I have been doing what I usually do which is keeping going once I've started, even when everyone else has stopped and is on to the coffee.  I do walk my dog but often that ends up in a trip to my local pub!! And I would have carried on drinking while chatting on the phone, and while reading a good book or watching a video and often do. Have also been known to take a glass of fizz to the bath so I'm seeing more and more now that my 'habits are subtly different from 'normal' drinkers and all involve alcohol. I've also realised a lot of what we do involves people who drink. Anyway  I'm going to try changing my dog walking route, teeth brushing, putting the bottle in  a different fridge rather than keeping it on the counter top, having water in between drinks (something I never do), spending time in a different room while reading. 

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    • Posted

      sorry, Joanna I should have said yes I used a UK based line service and did complete a two-week drinking diary. I've ordered a second subscription now, and I will go look at the  forum and will drop you an email

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    • Posted

      Yes that all sounds good.  As regular long-term drinkers, it is difficult for us to learn new ways of more 'normal' drinking....

      Just be sure not to set your goals too big.  There's nothing worse than setting a goal that (in reality) is pretty much unachievable.  Like losing weight, most of us would love to lose a stone in a week, but it's not really possible!

      So, make each small change separately.  Then when you achieve that it is a good confidence boost.  After you have the hang of that small change, then move onto the next one and so on and so forth....

      )
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    • Posted

      Hayley, also:

      1. Make sure you're tracking your drinks, it really seems to help.

      2. Keep an eye on when you tend to drink more quickly (like when you're on the phone or watching televison) and resolve to keep only a NA drink by you at those times. 

      The 10-15 minute task is a great suggestion and one that I used myself, especially in conjunction with leaving the drink in another room and only going back for sips. Mindful pushback on this addiction really does help and any tricks along those lines you've used in the past can really be helpful while Nalmefene is giving you a bit of "power assist" on the boozing "brake pedal". 

      It's kind of like being taken Prisoner of War, wherein it's your duty to find some way to escape. If the one way doesn't work that well, the guards will lead you back to the bottle, so remain vigilant and look for another way. 

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    • Posted

      A quick update in case anyone is on my journey. it is now July 19 and I'm still drinking every day and taking the selincro exactly as suggested. The side effects have gone now thank goodness and I'm drinking just wine, no spirits, and starting later i.e. About 7.30pm and stopping by 10.30pm.Am drinking less, six instead of twenty units, am arguing a lot less and haven't blacked out or hidden alcohol for a week or two. Started going to the gym again. So haven't got anywhere much yet but I always said I was prepared for a three or four month journey as my habits had built up over 30 plus years.  It's very expensive but will be worth it

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    • Posted

      This is all good news, Sue, though I am a little confused by how you are listing benefits and then seem to contradict yourself a little when you say that you haven't got anywhere much yet....  I don't think you are giving yourself enough credit! 

      6 units, instead of 20

      No blackouts

      No hidden alcohol

      Much less arguing

      Started getting positive endorphins from the gym again.

      All sounds right on track to me biggrin

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    • Posted

      This is really good to read Sue , you are doing so well and have already come such a long long way. As Joanna said in an earlier post the medication is a tool to get us where is where we want to be on this journey and we have to work with that tool being mindful and compliant to achieve. Be proud of yourself that you are doing all the right things.You know its working as you have reduced your drinking by an incredible amount .To be sure you will gradually see more changes over the coming weeks and you will be amazed .

      I am on month 7 of my journey and its no longer an issue being around alcohol although I am very aware I shall aways be on this journey and have to be mindful in the choice of whether I drink or not ( always with medication of course ) Keep updating , I am so interested in how your journey progresses x

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    • Posted

      Good update Sue.  Good you are going to the Gym.  I find exercising really does wonders; also deep breathing several times through the day - I didn't realise until I have read this book on it, but breathing, apart from multiple other things, detoxes the body.

      I love not feeling hung over in the morning - I get up at 6.30am and do my first round of stretches and floor exercises - weights later on.  When downing my wine big style, there was no way that was possible, my head would have been spinning trying to do a sit up.  It gives you a real kick.  Well done Sue - you are so on the right track (hey and the weight starts sliding away also) what is not to love.

      Keep posting your progress of success - we love it smile x

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    • Posted

      Joanna Thanks SO much for this I have just re read what I posted in light of your answer and you are right there has been more movement than I had thought, I guess a bit of me is still expecting to suddenly not want to drink so I was disappointed with myself that I'm still over the official recommended limit but I do recognise that I have a 30 year pattern to break and am willing to give it the full six months, bit by bit. I read a book yesterday called the slight edge by Jeff Olson and the message of going small things every day having a long term effect hit home. Even just a bit more water, a bit more sleep, a bit more exercise, a fewer glasses of wine less arguments (!)  and better food.  Other things I'm noticing - I actually watch to the end of a tv programme rather than forget or fall asleep and tape it. I realise I have a low boredom threshold and part of the reason I was drinking was to speed things up/make them more interesting and edgy....for example I talk to a lot more people after a few drinks when we are out.  No one in my life knows about this plan apart from this forum

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    • Posted

      Thank you Gwen (and just to reiterate sometimes I come up as Hayley and sometimes Sue but I'm the same person!!!)  co incidentally I've realised recently that I am a shallow breather and yes I was aware of the benefits of proper breathing and I'm going to look up an old breathing/meditation DVD I have and have a listen today. I've also found a hypnosis tape I got a long time ago that talks about drinking in moderation so I'm going to have a listen to that too. Thank you for caring and  suggesting this

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