Nowhere to turn to.. safe to do this alone??

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I've been needing to reduce my alcohol consumption for years but it's now critical I take action. I know I'm drinking myself into an early grave and I can't bear the thought of leaving my kids young without a Mum. 

I'm 53 and have consumed alcohol EVERY evening for about 8yrs, a bottle of white wine sometimes nearer two, there is never a night off. I know I am self precribing to blank out unhappiness/ depression/ stress. I have suffered multiple extreme grief and loss and am stuck in an unsupportive & often hostile relationship. 

I persuaded myself to consult a GP but then got cold feet as I didn't want the world to know my business and i didnt want 'alcoholic' on my medical record in case it was looked at for job reasons.

So I purchased Selinco Nalmafene online and decided to give it a go. But then I panicked. What if I got ill taking it at home on my own, nobody would help me. I had a severe reaction to Dicflenic when in hospital after an Op. Extreme dizziness, confusion etc - what if I reacted badly to Nalmafene?

And what if I was highly dependant was it safe to cut down drastically? I'm less fearful on this scoring 13 on the high dependency self - check questionnaire. I never drink in the mornings and rarely at lunchtime. I have no shaking hands. 

Going round in circles. I did nothing!  The tablets have sat in the cupboard for more than 6 months. 

Today, I decided to explore the GP route being safest but to my dismay I found the NICE recommendations for my region via Google They categoricaly say that Nalmafene must not be prescribed by Primary Care. I would need to be referred to the nearest alcohol /drug unit !

I wil not go there. I know where it is and what people go there. Call it snobby, or cowardly, I know it's both. I can't go there. I don't want group support, I dont want to be alongside hard drug users and I dont want to lose the last ounce of dignity I have left. 

I am scared of the side effects of Nalmafene and want to try Naltrexone. But scared to try either without a liver check and proper medical support.

I'm scared to do this alone. 

I am desperate for 1:1 support and a way of using medicine to help me rid myself of this curse. 

Can anyone suggest how I can achieve this support maybe privately / on-line without having to be residential away from home without it costing a fortune ? 

I know I'm asking for an impossible magic wand sad 

Thank you so much for listening, 

With love, Kentish Lady x 

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  • Posted

    It's amazing that you are trying to seek help and better your life and your famalies. This forum will help you immensely. After having landed myself in the ER twice last year I started taking Naltrexone three weeks ago. I had already detoxed but knew I would drink again. Sunday I had about 6 or seven units spread over all day then last night I had half a beer. Can you believe only half a beer. I've never done that. Tonight I'm planning on only half a beer or maybe not even that. I'm not saying these results are indicative of what happens to everyone that takes Naltrexone but I know it has helped me. Fortunately in America it's been much easier to get help and no records of myself having an alcohol problem is listed anywhere. It's all private. If you have a chance I implore you to start taking it. I only had a few days of mild nausea for side effects and didn't miss any work. Now I have no side effects. Please stay on here and many people here will give you advice and words of knowledge. Good luck on the new path that you are trying to take. Keep trying.

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    • Posted

      Hello and welcome.  Don't despair.  I have confessed to my doc who promptly referred me to ARC.  I feel the same as you - not going to happen - not prepared sitting  around in a group bemoaning how I struggle.

      I have drank every day for 40 years and am still here by the grace of god and, without a doubt, being health conscious (sounds ridiculous I know) but healthy food and supplements to support immune and liver functions have saved me.

      I have chosen to taper down - I don't want to stop completely.  I have done so with this group on here.  My first Xmas day 2016 was the first sober and not hungover.  That is because I now drink 2 small glasses of wine a night.  (The little diddy bottle!).  I was very proud of myself and felt good healthwise after a bit of a dodgy start with headache and foggy  head but day by day it passed.  I then ruined it all over Xmas due to hubs filling and completely stocking up his bar.  Talk about tempting.  I gave in.  Too many friends round and too many drinks ruined it.

      So I am back with a  vengeance now to tapering.  I normally would have up to 15 - 20 units of wine nightly.  So I dropped slowly to say 10,9,8,7,6,5,4 and now 2.  Tonight it is 7pm and I don't actually want to have my first glass yet.  And I am even tempted not to have any at all.  But I do think because of the years behind me of alcohol, that would be dangerous.  So I will wait another hour, then sip my wine.

      I understand your fear of exactly what you have said and cannot argue with you at all - awful to feel trapped in this way but so desperate for help - but from where????  You will find it here - you can taper like me, or with the requisite meds the guys will tell you about.  So don't feel alone, you are with  family now.  We totally get you.

      Keep positive - I am doing - not going to leave anyone just yet thank you very much.

      Hugs your way smile

      G.

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    • Posted

      "I have confessed to my doc who promptly referred me to ARC.  I feel the same as you - not going to happen - not prepared sitting  around in a group bemoaning how I struggle."

      Oh Gwen, you have missed out on one of the delights and great experiences of life, by not sitting in on a group session. You will not feel complete until you achieved this.

      I agreed to do one session in return for them swapping my bi-weekly prescription into a monthly prescription, which they then promptly reneged on.

      I promptly settled down into our group of about eight people and was offered a cup of coffee. This surprised me, because whilst sitting in reception previously, I had overheard a member of staff say, that the reason they didn't have a kettle, was in case one of the druggies grabbed it whilst full of boiling water and poured it over someone.

      So, we went around the group and introduced ourselves. It was pretty much how I would imagine an AA meeting would be, except without the higher power bit. Hi, I'm John/Jane I'm an alcoholic and I haven't had a drink for two years, at this point I was tempted to quote them the dictionary definition of alcoholic, but didn't want to be disruptive - well actually I did, but manners prevents me from doing so.

      It gets to me and I say, hi, I'm RH and I have an issue with alcohol (I didn't use the alcoholic word). At that point I felt that I had committed heresy and the Spanish Inquisition were going to enter the room at any moment. But, it is let go and people are invited to talk about themselves and one guy says he has been taking antabuse for six months and he drank on it and made himself really ill. But he was going to ask for another six month course.

      At this point, I start looking around for a ligature point but then realise that I'm not wearing a belt. I check the windows,but as we're on the fourth floor, they are those type that will only open a couple of inches. I am fast realising that some of these people have become institutionalised, much like some long term prisoners that don't want to leave jail, because it is all that they know. They have swapped the addiction of alcohol for the addiction of sobriety.

      The whole point of these places is that they should be helping people to get their life back on track and live a normal life. And then it was my turn, I've never bit my tongue so much in my life. I wasn't going to rock the boat, I just said that there was medication that worked and people should ask about it. I explained some of the medical side to some of them and explained that the shakes in the morning were to do with the central nervous system and the changing of the neural pathways.

      Then the hour was up, there was another session (awareness something or other) in an hour straight after lunch and I believe everyone of them was attending it, unfortunately I had to make my apologies as I had to get home and cut my toe nails. Sadly I was unable to make any future sessions.

      Gwen, I hope my story has convinced you that you would enjoy one of these sessions.   smile

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    • Posted

      Oh good grief is this what they put you through if you go to ARC ... I tried AA in the past but I was no good at that as I couldnt bring myself to  'share ' with all those strangers ! I used to come out feeling like I wanted a bloomin drink!

      Well thanks for sharing this lovely  entertaining  post , gave me lots of smiles and tears !   I  was thinking of seeing if I could bypass the GP and self refer to ARC so I can get the meication on NHS ,,,,think I will ponder a while lol  rolleyes

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    • Posted

      In the same position as me then Nat sad 

      If only more GPs were confident and budget able t prescribe these meds. 

      I will pay for it privately I believe and weig th ecost against what I'll be saving on teh dozens of bottles of wine! 

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    • Posted

      Well hey mate - you have just sold it to me good style - never never ever ever will I smile

      p.s.  You  tell a bl....dy funny story though - you could write a book.

      Thanks for responding......G.

       

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    • Posted

      One thing for certain is that the meds will probably be cheaper than all that booze..I couldn't afford all the wine I was drinking ...Crazy isn't it !

      Keep.posting and let us know how you are getting on.....Good Luck 😊

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    • Posted

      I just loved that post Gwen. Our family here sure needs some smiles like that

      Well sure looks like I really have something to look forward to if my GP insists on me going to ARC before he prescribes aghhhh

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    • Posted

      Gwen, I've told him to write a book about his exploits and experiences with arc's. He's got a great sense of humour. I remember him posting his experience of his first group meeting last year. It was hilarious, basically taking the pxxx, but not in a nasty way. Having had to attend a weekly group meeting for a year, I could relate to his discription which was spot on

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    • Posted

      What I will say about ARCs and this is important.

      I WOULD attend an ARC again if necessary and the reason is:

      I did NOT have to attend a group session, I attended out of curiosity. I was repeatedly asked, but never forced. Although they didn't keep their promise about changing to a monthly prescription.

      I attended an ARC because my GP point blank refused to prescribe and it was costing me £120 for a month's supply to order it in from abroad. I wanted it on prescription to save money. Because of all the other medications I take, it is cheaper to buy an NHS prepay card that covers me for a year's prescriptions, so it didn't actually cost me anything.

      Going to an ARC is a pain in the @rse, but for many it is the only way you will get an NHS prescription and therefore at a decent cost. However, it will go on your GP record, they told me right from the beginning that they would write to my GP and also make them aware of any prescriptions. This may be a deal breaker for some of you. As I had already had a long stint in hospital - alcohol related, my GP already knew, along with my entire family and inlaws, so there was nothing for me to hide really.

      It's pot luck with ARCs. You may get a good one, where you end up having a 45 minute chat each month and pick up a prescription or you might end up in a hell hole. I went to two, one in the rough end of Leamington Spa, where some bloke was drinking a can of white cider in reception and then I went to one in Stratford upon Avon, which is actually located in the hospital (run by the same company as the Leam one) and that was just like going to a doctor's appointment in hospital.

      BTW, the bit about the kettle in my other post, that is true.

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    • Posted

      Well bud, just don't give in mid way through the sesh to go home and cut your toenails (had to say this RH) a laugh is needed when you are feeling down,  You have to go to report back.  In fairness - some must be better than others.

      Go for it - I would if I had someone to go with just to test the water.

      Hugs lovely smile x

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    • Posted

      Bless you Gwen 😊I have to do something as can't keep paying for the meds and don't want to end up without any and back to square one ...Can't decide whether to see a GP first or try and self refer to ARC ..the thought makes me feel a bit sick !

      I will have to go on.my own as not telling anyone , the only people who know are you guys on here .. fact ! ....I live in a small town so dreading bumping into someone I know at the ARC lol I need a decoy ! Oh well I'm getting too old to worry about what people think but will take my nail file and varnish just in case 😄hugs back x

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    • Posted

      Personally I would self refer, in fact all you do is ring them up and make an appointment and most of the bigger ones will handle walk ins.

      If you go via your GP, they will probably put it on your record straight away. If you go to the ARC, you can see for yourself what it is like and whether you think they will help. They will ask you to sign a form so that they can contact your GP, you can delay them if they ask for this right at the beginning and just say, I want to hear a bit more first. Or when it gets to the end of the session, you can either agree and sign it or say, no thanks it is not for me.

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    • Posted

      Thanks RHGB for your sound advice... What you say makes perfect sense to me and yes I think I will take the more direct route to ARC and self refer ...As you say at least it gives me an option if I feel it's not for me ... I am not drinking much now due to the nalmefene so I wonder what sort of light that will be viewed in and if I get the help I am after ..... I best make that call soon .!

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