Once an Alcoholic,always an Alcoholic ?

Posted , 8 users are following.

Have already posted for the first time this morning regarding my wind,since starting my Alcoholic rehabilitation program. On a more serious note,10 years ago i had a full Detox ,beat the drink,life back to normal(so i thought). Went 14 months without a drink. Decided to have a couple of Shandies(Big Mistake). Shandy got boring,fancied the real thing.Afterall i'm in control now,should be ok. Yes one lead to another,before you know it,drinking regular but not out of control. By the way,i am 49 and 1 of what was 4 brothers.Lost my youngest brother Paul(29),then had the unfortunate pleasure of finding my next eldest(41) Brian,having took his life(also an Alcoholic),and then Dad(64),i know what your thinking,bet he was an Alcoholic,no, cancer and heart failure took him. My way of dealing with this was drink. So spiralled out of control. Told myself, nip it in the bud,too late.Told myself get the weekend out the way,and start afresh from next week. Weeks,months past,time to seek help again. i am currently undergoing an Alcoholic Rehabilitation Programme,as i sit her typing(10-11 weeks dry),yes its early days, courtesy of the magic pill Disulphiram/Antibuse. Don't think about drink,don't crave for it. The wife has the occasional glass of wine in the house(you will say thats wrong,shes not helping),but in actual fact i dont mind,after all she dosn't have a drink problem. Been out for pub meals,being around drink didn't bother me.Anyway what this is leading to is the burning question,Once an Alcoholic Always an Alcoholic ? Is there anybody out there able to have the occasional/social drink after Detox ? I know most of you will say with my history,don't do. Thanks for reading and look forward to feedback

1 like, 11 replies

11 Replies

  • Posted

    You have been on Antabuse a LONG time..do not even think about drinking on that...if you are going to drink...make sure it is out of your system for more than 1 week...I drank on it after a week off it and still ended up in the hospital.

    Yes, once an alcoholic always an alcoholic...I myself have been told alcohol is a life or death situation with me...if I continue to "play" and "test" alcohol...I am going to spiral and probably die.

    Doesn't matter how many detoxes I have been in...how much damage has been done to my body...I still was drinking occassionally and it always turns to binges..and most of the time lands me back in the hospital.

    In all my years of drinking and recovery..and being on all kinds of support boards and having family members that are alcoholics..I have never met ONE alcoholic..who was a "real" alcoholic that was able to return to drinking safely.

    You have lost many family members sad and I'm sure the rest of them do not want to lose you...the thought of me drinking makes my family shutter...I hate that I have this problem and would love to have the occasional drink..but its not possible for me and probably not possible/safe for you either.

  • Posted

    Am pleased antabuse is working for you but it isn’t a long term solution for most, and it can’t be taken forever.  It’s a prevention medication that doesn’t do anything for the long term condition, and isn’t doing anything curative in your brain at all.  At some point you will likely face thoughts of drinking again.

    As you are currently not drinking, I would suggest that you discuss a medication called Campral with the prescriber who is prescribing you antabuse.  It is a medication that over some months, when taken correctly whilst remaining abstinent, resets the pathways in your brain that have become changed by repeated drinking.  In time, the question of whether to drink or not will not even come into it as your brain no longer has this (currently dormant) pathway that gives you these thoughts.  You may at some point have fleeting thoughts of drinking but it becomes easy to dismiss once the pathways in your brain are reset.  I am not sure if it can be taken whilst also taking antibuse so that needs discussing. 

    Many here are taking this medication and have had great success with it.  Am sure they will come along soon to let you know more.


    That would be my 1st suggestion for you to consider looking into.

    I couldn’t use this because I was caught in a relapse after relapse situation and so struggled with staying sober long enough to allow the Campral to do it’s thing properly.  Instead, I used a medication called naltrexone – prescribed as per The Sinclair Method – to help stop the reinforcing on the pathways in my brain when I did drink.  If you think about what alcohol does – the endorphins released from alcohol create a circuit, or a cascade, of chemical reactions within the brain that reinforce our brain’s learning mechanism.  Alcohol feels good so your brain learns that and seeks out more. Even when you are not currently drinking, those pathways are dormant until you experience a trigger, which might for example be a nice cold beer on hot sunny day.  Then the pathway all fires up and you find it difficult to not have that beer.


    The naltrexone short-circuited that reward mechanism when I drank and the pathway eventually weakened and broke down over some months of drinking without the endorphin release causing that cascade of chemical changes.  In a similar way to Campral, the end result is that I no longer am bothered by alcohol anyway.  In the example I gave, and am perfectly content to have a nice, ice cold glass of water or cola.


    This would be something for you to consider IF you relapse back to drinking.

    • Posted

      Thanx Joanna for your feedback. i will chat with with my keyworker,regarding campral.
  • Posted

    do not start again with one small drink...i plunged in since I was an idiot...had stopped completely for many months and just one small drink was not enough and my life spiralled completely out of control. Vodka, strong cider, brandy and hiding bottles anywhere in the house, car or garden...did not do drinking and driving since I had very small children in the car but did drink in the evenings a lot...had to stop and mangend to do so 31st Dec 2012...4 yrs+ only Coca Cola, the and coffee and happier for it...my father was a secret drinker and so was his dad....my dad did join the AA at the age of 61 and died at 79 after 18 years of sober...Altzheimer...not liver failure....best of luck!! Robin
  • Posted

    Hi Tony. My advice is the same as some others. Don't! I was tempted after quite a long time sober to try just one drink to see if I could stop at that, but with the help of this forum, I didn't give in. I don't trust myself and would be very disappointed if it led to my old excesses. I'm talking of half a litre of whisky in an afternoon. I'm really pleased I didn't try even just one sip. Best wishes. 

    • Posted

      Thanx John, Don't think I could trust myself. Being dry at the moment,and not missing it,why start again ? Have already lost the last 15 years+, making drink my priority,how sad,and wot a waste of my life ! Focusing on making the next 15+ productive. Hate to think how it has cost me(Frightning). So going to make use of that spare cash now,Holiday sounds nice. Booze free of course. Havefound,occupying my spare time helps,taking the dog for longer walks,reading. Also enrolled the Grandson(10) for our local rugby club,going this morning. Its nice to have something to focus on,rather than that next drink ! Loving life at the moment,even the Wife likes the new melol Is it worth losing all this for the Demon Drink.Definitely not I tell myself


    • Posted

      great action and great day you are having Tony..children and grandchildren are the saviour I found..i stopped for ONE main reason: if I stopped drinking completely I would have much higher chances of living 5 to 10 years longer to see my children grow up!! you think about it....Robin
    • Posted

      Yep, the money spent on booze mounts up! Every anniversary of my decision to stop, my wife hands me a piece of paper with the estimated total amount saved so far. I won't tell you here, but it's certainly impressive! Enjoy your new life. biggrin

  • Posted

    Hi Tony, well done on being sober now 10-11 weeks. Once an alcoholic, always an alcohol, I do believe that, I've been sober now for around 2 years after a life time of drinking, I clearly had an addiction problem, but was in self denial. If you can't stop at 2 drinks, you won't be able to moderate, so like others have said, zero drinking is the only way forward for you, after reading your post. Losing members of your family must have been very hard for you, emotional stuff is often when we think of drinking. I know if I had one glass of wine, it would gradually turn into a bottle within a couple of weeks, that's why I'm not drinking ever again. Continue as you are, look for other things to do to keep your mind occupied and enjoy life. Throw yourself into exercise, (this has helped me), and your mindset will gradually change and you will feel better about yourself. I like myself much better now than when I was drinking, wished I had done it years ago, but better late than never. The best to you Tony.

    • Posted

      Thanx for support and honesty. Just interacting on here helps. Interesting to talk to people who have been in the same boat.

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