Need advice please

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Hi I am new here and hoping someone can help me my dad is an alcoholic he's been into rehab twice but each time he's stayed of alcohol for a few weeks then gone back to it I went to an appointment at the hospital with him and they said his liver enzymes are 1023 so my question is what does this mean and how bad is it as I am so worried about him thank you

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  • Posted

    It's not good, basically in the stratosphere above where it should be. In fact, not good is an understatement.

    Being detoxed is only half the job, there is either follow up medication needed or a different type of medication that can help rein in the drinking.

    The question is, would he listen to you and would he take the medication and give it a chance?

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you you're right I've told him he needs to go to the AA meetings and he never dose he was also on medication baclofen I think it was called but he started drinking again a 70cl bottle of vodka and day but I believe it to be more

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    • Posted

      My personal belief is that AA meetings help very few people, especially when they are at the stage that your father is at, where alcohol has basically taken hold of the body and brain. Relying on moral fibre and believing in a higher power just doesn't cut it at this stage.

      Baclofen does work, but it must be prescribed in huge quantities to begin with (and then tapered down a bit) and most doctors don't prescribe anywhere near the quantity needed for it to be effective.

      He has two options, try Selincro which should diminish his thirst down to almost nothing or being detoxed again and put on Campral at the same time, which resets the brain's neural pathways and in most people stops them thinking about alcohol.

      Both of these options rely on him wanting to stop. Of course the third option is for him to carry on as he is, with the known consequences. The trouble is, when people get to his stage, they don't always have the willpower anymore to try to stop and just accept what is happening.

      It is possible to pull it back, in 2014 at the grand old age of 48, I was admitted to hospital for liver failure due to alcohol. I had one wobble in 2015, but touch wood, it's going well so far.

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    • Posted

      Thank you very much for your reply I can't believe how well you have done how fantastic I think deep down he only says he wants to stop because he has five of us on his back he is suppose to be going back into rehab and he's already taking campral while he's drinking if you don't mind me asking does the liver enzymes being 1023 mean he may be close to cirrhosis

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    • Posted

      Well, as Paul has said, it is a snapshot of how hard his liver is working at the time. So on its own, it can't tell you a lot. But having been a very heavy drinker over many years myself, I know that generally it isn't just a level that has peaked over a weekend, but something that has been happening for years.

      I'm not medically qualified (Paul is) just qualified by experience having been through the system, hospitals, detoxes, alcohol recovery charities etc. I hate to guess these things, to give me an idea, how much and how long (heavily) has he been drinking? He should have an abdominal ultrasound which will show the state of his liver and what stage it is at.

      If he is drinking then Campral won't help, the alcohol just overrides it. Although if he is going back into rehab for detox, then he should keep taking it so it is in his system. When he has rehab, where does he have it and how long does it last for?

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    • Posted

      He goes to a rehab unit in hospital for about five days I just need to know what I am dealing with its so hard because he was an amazing dad and grandad before he started drinking
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    • Posted

      Okay, that is just for detox then. That is where they will give him a benzo such as Valium so that he doesn't have any withdrawal symptoms. It also cuts out most of the usual cravings and you are in an environment where you are not near alcohol. So no passing the pub or off licence, so no temptation.

      You tend to have a fixed regime, maybe tests first thing like BP, pulse and temp. Breakfast at 8.00, tea and biccies at 10.00, lunch at 12.00, tests again, tea and biccies at 2.30. dinner at 5.00, tests, visiting times and then a few hours before bed.

      Ideally that sort of thing should be a month long, with some decent counselling, but it costs far too much, there is just no budget set aside for it. You are lucky that the hospital has done one detox, let alone a third, nothing is on offer around my way. Also my GP would not prescribe Campral to me, not interested.

      The issue you are dealing with is two fold. One, is habit, if he has a local he goes in each day and has mates, or an off licence and then has a routine where he likes to go home, drink and watch day time TV, it has to be broken. The second is that the alcohol has messed up his brain and I don't mean being drunk a lot. It has changed the way his brain reacts and now if he doesn't have alcohol, his whole body and brain crave it and his system does not function normally. The only way to solve this is by consuming alcohol, to feel normal again.

      Campral works for most people (it helped me), but it takes a week to take effect and when he comes out of detox, he has to leave the alcohol alone for a week to allow the Campral to work. He then has to want to allow it to work, to reset his brain functions and stop him thinking about alcohol.

      The other method to look at is the link in Paul's post, the Sinclair method, that has helped an enormous amount of people.

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  • Posted

    I am assuming that the liver enzyme you are referring to is the gamma GT. Depending on where you look, a normal one is 0 to 45 or 0 to 52 so his is considerably raised. However, this just indicates how hard the liver is having to work. I have seen them above 2000. A few weeks of not drinking, or drinking in a controlled way (if he used The Sinclair Method) would see it fall quite quickly and it is quite possible to get it back to normal levels.
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  • Posted

    Thank you very much for your reply they have been so helpful in regards to the sinclair method we are in Liverpool so how would I go about getting this for my dad ?
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    • Posted

      I have sent a message to Joanna, who is our resident expert in knowing what options are available in what areas - it differs around the country depending on what health authority you come under.

      Hopefully she will be along later to answer.

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    • Posted

      Aww thank you very much if you don't mind me asking what did it for you as I do understand its an addiction but don't understand why he can't do it for his kids and eleven grandchildren

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    • Posted

      My story is a little bit different to everyone elses. The same day I went into hospital, I also had a massive brain haemorrhage, partly due to high BP and partly due to the drinking. So I ended up in hospital for about two months. And when I came out, I still wasn't very well, so thinking about alcohol didn't even feature on the radar, plus the medication used to make me zombified and sleep a lot of the time.

      I managed a year and then a few things happened in my life and I had a wobble. Which is why I found this forum. I had detoxed and then gone straight back on the alcohol after two or three weeks. I suppose 'what did it for me' was that I wanted to stop, I just didn't know how.

      I'd been to an alcohol recovery centre, who were no help at all.

      Here I learnt about the psychology, pharmacology and general help from both qualified people and those with experience of escaping alcohol.

      After Christmas, I got myself detox medication from my GP, detoxed, made an appointment with another alcohol recovery charity (after having spoken with their director about my disappointment at the other branch), got myself prescribed Campral (my GP wouldn't prescribe or get involved) and carried on with the course.

      The counselling sessions were a complete waste of time, but I had to endure them to keep getting my Campral prescription. Campral worked for me, after about a week it kicked in, but I wanted it to work, I imagine if you don't want it to work, it won't.

      You are correct, it is an addicition, but unless you are addicted to it, it is very hard to understand. It is no different to a heroin addiction, nobody would expect a heroin addict to just give up one day and say, right, that's it for me, a bit of willpower is all it takes. The only difference between heroin and alcohol is, cold turkey from heroin will not kill you, cold turkey from extreme alcohol addicition can.

      Ideally, people with alcohol addiction, need to be given medical help, which most aren't. They need to be taken out of their routine/environment to break the circle and they need decent counselling from people who really understand what alcohol addiction is really about and how it affects and changes the brain. It changes the brain so that it can not function properly when sober.

      Unfortunately there is no budget for this and in the main, the alcohol recovery centres don't have a clue and are not interested. My counsellor had not even heard of Campral and knew nothing about it or how it worked. I agreed to attend one of the group sessions (under duress) one day and asked the question, why is the place so geared up for drugs and not much for alcohol.

      The reply was along the lines of; we get paid for dealing with the probation service. Most court cases involve drugs not alcohol. People with alcohol problems tend to be self funding, i.e. they pay for their drug (alcohol). Drug addiction is street funded, i.e. by crime, therefore the system pays to try and keep a lid on it.

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    • Posted

      Thank you very much i really appreciate you telling me you're story as it's helpful to hear from anyone who has been through it is am very pleased that you came out the other side you must be very proud of yourself just hope I can say the same to my dad one day

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