Problem drinking

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Hi all.. I joined this group needing some advice from someone who may have been in a similar situation the what I am currentky in. I am not an alcoholic in the sense that I do not drink every day. Sometimes I can have diner and 2 wines and be fine, however sometimes when I go out with friends I drink to excess and I get to a point of no return. I change into a completely different person.. my drunk self is a totally different person to my sober self. Most times when I have big drinking sessions,I wake up the next day having had back outs and not remembering the night, and I have an overwhelming feeling of guilt and feel extremely anxious. I am cuurrently trying to cut down, and on many occassions I have stuck to my word, however some times I haven't been able to and I just leave a trail of self disruction through the self-loathing. I have done some pretty terrible things when drunk and have caused injuries to myself, and am starting to really have psychological repercussions but worse of all I have hurt some people in my life that mean a lot to me! My question is, do I just bite the bullet and quit altogether, or do I have one or 2 every now and then.. It's just a whole mental thing knowing I can drink. I'm usually fine for ages, then I have a night out and I don't know why I bothered touching alcohol in the first time. 

I'm really looking for some insight from someone who has been through this, or if someone is going through this now too feel free to comment. 

smile 

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  • Posted

    I'm sure Paul will come and give you some sound practical advice on your drinking habits and the medical aspect - but I think you know yourself that this is not normal drinking behaviour. I am married (45 yrs) to an alcoholic, (he says he's not an alcoholic, just a drunk)  and he doesnt drink "every day, or even every week- BUT when he does, its like a different person is living with me. The kind loving man has gone, and a cruel selfish man moves in.  Please do something about your habits before you get to the point of no return as far as drinking goes, at the moment, you can choose to drink or not, but if you keep on this path, that choice will be taken away from you  xx
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    • Posted

      Thank you for responding to me so quickly.. Sorry I am new to this website, who is Paul? 

      Yes I think I am really noticing that my drinking is not normal. Can you have the alcoholic gene without being a every day drinker or relying on alcohol? Both my parents (who are both now sober) were alcoholics. So I know there is a higher chance that I could have the gene. I am unsure as to how I can determine if I actually the gene. Is it the way I react to alcohol psychologically? I think I have known for a long tie that I need to quit, but I do find it difficult to accept. xx

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    • Posted

      And I hope your husband is starting to do better? I know what it's like watching someone you love change due to alcohol consumption. I think youre right to stop while I have the choice, and while I stll have the people I love around me. 

       

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  • Posted

    Stacey, I am Paul smile

    Yes, you CAN have a susceptablity to alcohol dependency. Some people are far more at risk than others. Of course, nobody is at risk if they never start drinking, but, considering most of us do, that risk can often turn into a real problem for those with that inherited condition.

    Alcohol problems come in a number of different forms. There are those people who drink more and more frequently until they have to drink all the time to avoid withdrawal symptoms and there are those that don't drink all of the time but, when they start, they can't stop until they are totally drunk and incapable of making the right decisions.

    You have recognised that you have a problem so you have dealt with the first stage. It may be good advice when people tell you 'you can't keep your drinking under control so you mustn't drink at all.' The problem with that idea is that, the longer you don't drink, the worse your need for a drink will be and the more you will drink when you do, inevitably, decide to 'just have one to be sociable.'

    You are an ideal candidate for Nalmefene (google it, or have a read of the posts about it on this forum). It is also called Selincro.

    It is not easy to get your GP to prescribe it, it's a bit of a postcode lottery. Because of the high cost of the medication, you can't get it prescribed in many areas. It is also recommended only with psycho-social support, so it also depends on the alcohol counselling resources available in your area, how likely you are to successfully get a prescription for it.

    It's definitely worth a try though.

    Good luck! smile

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    • Posted

      Hi there thak you so much for your response. Yes this is exactly right.. I have been able to quit for 3 months blocks twice, but then when I go back to drinking I continue in the same cycle.. start with a few drinks with dinner then a crazy night out not being able to stop drinking. I looked into that drug and it says it's used for people with alcohol dependence.. do you think I would be able to stop without this? I live in australia.. there is a bit of alcohol councelling but I am a bit reluctant to seek help.... I don't know if that's me not wanting to believe my problem is big enough, or becasue I may be able to do this on my own?

      Do you think in my case it's best to stop altogether?

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    • Posted

      I think that, without using Nalmefene, you are likely to find it extremely difficult to drink in moderation. I am not sure when Nalmefene will be available in Australia. I think it's important that any alcohol problem is taken seriously as soon as possible because they ALWAYS get worse and the sooner you recongise the problem and begin to deal with it, the less difficult it will be to overcome.

      There are many people who believe that once you have got into trouble with alcohol, abstinence is the only way to deal with it. They often right, but with medical help, there IS another way.

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    • Posted

      You make so much sense of everything!! I was thinking earlier, I quit drinking for 3 months to raise money for cancer and it was easier than it is now to even think of quitting. I definitely feel a bit more anxious. I never took the problem very seriously, but when you actually look back at all of the issues that arise after being on the influence it's easy to see how bad it really is. I think it has been easy to ignore the problem because in the society I live in it is very acceptable to go out and go crazy and all of that, more acceptable than to go out and not touch a drink. I have seen in my life how badly alcohol can affect someone as they get older. I didn't think it would get worse, but as I begin to see the destruction in my life again and have gotten to a point where I want to quit, I am finding it a lot harder. I haven't touched a drink since starting this discussion, however I'm still contemplating what to do, even though I know I need to stop...
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  • Posted

    I only joined with site yesterday so i dont really feel i have a right to advise others but i think there are some similarities between me and what you've written.

    I have never drunk alcohole every day. I usually have a couple of drinks with dinner 2 - 3 times a week. But at the weekend i will get hammered/ drink until i black out. I have always told myself a few good excuses as to why i dont have a problem; 1. because i dont drink every day then i dont have a problem; 2. i dont think its effected other parts of my life; 3. i dont have a problem i'm just a bit greedy with the drink! Recently the excuses i give myself have become to ware a bit thin so i decided to keep a drink log last weekend. When its down in black and white just how much i was drinking it was a shock and i couldnt excuse it anymore. Perhaps you shopuld do the same. Personaly I cant cut down because i've tried and failed so my only option is to make the effort to stop. I dont know if this reminds you of your drinking or if it helps.

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    • Posted

      Hi there Trev, 

      Thank you for taking the time to respond. That is exactly me.. I seem to have a couple of drinks at the beginning of the night and then I get to the stage where I have the inability to stop.. Apparently all I want is to continue drinking when I get like this. And then the next morning I find myself trying to piece back my memory from the night before... usually forgetting most of the night. I don;t go out wanting to get p*ssed.. I just can't help myself once I start. I do think it's a great idea to log my drinks though to see how much i'm actually drinking. I just don't know if i will remember how much. 

      I wish you all the best in your journey smile

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    • Posted

      Hi both,

      I'm a little relieved that I'm not the only one with this problem when it comes to consumption. I only drink once a week but when I start, I'm on a mission and even when most of my friends call it a night I crack on. Sometimes I call people I don't particularly like just to carry on getting on it. 

      I often wake up with little recollection and a feeling of overwhelming guilt - not to mention I smell of alcohol for the rest of the day. This in turn affects other plans, normally because I am unable to drive or curled up in a ball of self-loathing pitty. 

      My mid-week is fine though. I don't crave alcohol until I have a drink. 

      I don't know if it's just escapism from the Mon - Fri mundane life or a genetic thing. Either way, it's affected my relationships and my opinion of myself. 

      I'm going cold Turkey and getting back into the gym. I've had to put rugby on the back burner (as you can imagine it's probably the most difficult scenario in which to abstain!). 

      What techniques have you used so far (if any) or planning to use to quash the temptation? I'll be giving away all the alcohol at home - including a few beloved single malts ;( and avoiding certain friends at least till I can figure out how to kerb it. 

      Just being able to get that out on this forum has made me feel a tad better!

      Cheers,

      Paddy 

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    • Posted

      Good Luck going cold Turkey!! 

      Well I haven't really done really well with my techniques, I guess I haven't really had any. I've still been going out which smetimes i was able to abstain, and other times not so lucky. I've had good intentions just haven't been able to follow through and resisit the temtation so far.. so what i'm going to have to do I guess is just say no for a while, stay out of the 'scene', watch some movies etc. I think I will have to meat friends for breakfast and day things.. Until I too have learned to not feel the temptation... It's hard I have to say... 

      But I have to admit its good being able to speak to other people going through the same thing. Firstly it helps me to accept that I have a problem, and secondly it gives me the motivation to continue. 

      Thank you both for sharing. I will be looking forward to hearing how your journey is going!!

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  • Posted

    A person who is physically dependent, but not psychologically dependent can have their dose slowly dropped until they are no longer physically dependent. However, if that person is psychologically dependent, they are still at serious risk for relapse into abuse and subsequent physical dependence. U decide when u need to attain medication and pro help to slow down and or when it's time time to quit.

     

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    • Posted

      Yes, Hope. The first stage, detox, in which the physical dependence on alcohol needs to be eliminated safely is actually very easy, compared with the challenge of remaining alcohol-free, thereafter, for the rest of a person's life.
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    • Posted

      Hi there, thank you for your response. Yes I think I know deep down I need to do something about it.. I just don't know what to do and how to do it. 
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    • Posted

      Paul I think that is the exact thing i am struggling with.. once I quit do I need to stay alcohol-free for the rest of my life. It sounds so daunting. I know there are many benifits... but I am travelling around Italy next year ad it's a daunting thought not being able to drink at all. I know that sounds really silly.. it's just a daunting thought..  
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    • Posted

      There is a reason for that thought being so daunting Stacy smile It is that your body has a dependence on alcohol at least to some degree. I just want to say that my point to Hope, about a person staying absitinent for the rest of their life is a traditionally accepted view which I am currently questioning while studying some research into a new method. I don't want to say more until I have finished reading and discussing with colleagues and coming to a firm conclusion about the validity of this method.
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    • Posted

      I haven't really thought about it in that way to be honest.. Maybe subcontiously I am using it because i need it... I just thought that because I wasn't an every day drinker I couldn't be dependent but it does make sense what you are saying. I'll be looking forward to hearing your response once you have studied some research.. 
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    • Posted

      It is entirely sub-conscious, Stacy. It is a physical illness, the 'need' to drink. Although it is up to people to deal with the issue if they have an alcohol problem, it isn't their fault that they have the problem in the first place. Just like it isn't a diabetic's fault that they need to control their blood sugar, while other people are lucky enough never to have to think about that.
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    • Posted

      Paul, I am struggling o agree with your opinion on this! I have Diabetes, had it for 10 years, , but I didnt choose to have it!! My husband CHOOSES to go to the supermarket, buy vodka, decant it into empty water bottles, hides them all over the house, and glugs out of them all day! At any stage of that, he  could have made the choice NOT to continue, but he does, even having vodka for breakfast, and no food most of the day. HIS choice. But the biggest problem of all is that he doesn't see that there's a problem here! 
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    • Posted

      You don't have to agree with my opinion Olivo, it would be a boring world if we all thought the same smile

      Just to explain.... I am also an insulin-dependent diabetic and have to control my blood sugar, which I manage to do well and am never ill with my diabetes.

      Your husband DOES choose to go and buy alcohol, to an extent, but he never chose to have an alcohol problem in the first place. You or I could choose to eat lots of cakes and not care aboui our blood sugar but we don't. That, therefore makes it look like your husband has a bad attitude and is inflicting this problem he has, on himself.

      Hiowever, there is a difference. You and I might like to eat sweet things, but we don't have a physical addiction to them. We will not suffer awful withdrawal symptoms if we don't have them.

      Almost everybody tries alcohol at some point in their life. Most people get away with it and are able to drink socially as and when the opportunitry arises and then not drink for days, weeks or months before the next time an occasion comes along when we drink again.

      A small percentage of people do exactly the same, they try alcohol but, for them, it is very different. They get more of a reward from the effect of the alcohol. This is a physical reaction in their body. They find themselves drinking more and becoming more tolerant to alcohol, which means they need even more to get the same effect. Eventually, they reach a point where their body screams at them to drink, even if they don't have the more severe shakiness of alcohol withdrawal, they crave and that craving gets stronger and stronger, the longer they go without a drink. Imagine it like trying to hold your breath. You can do it for a while, but when you find that you have to breathe, you have to breath, you don't choose to breathe, you just have to. A person with an alcohol problem can feel almost as uncomfortable as that when they don't drink. The willpower necessary to avoid alcohol is stronger than anything us lucky people, who can control our drinking, have ever needed to find.

      I understand how you feel about him not accepting that there is a problem. That is extremely frustrating for you, but I would bet that he knows that there is a problem and the reason he won't admit it to you is that he fears having to stop drinking.

      Try and see it as an illness. I know its difficult because it DOES look like he is choosing to do this and most people would see it the same way. I promise you that he isn't choosing to be that way.

      There ARE answers to the problem but the idea that it is just a case of him just choosing to resolve it by changing the things he is doing, won't work.

      I don't mean to come across as being hard on you. I know how awful it is to be in your position and you are as much a victim of your husband's condition as he is, but he needs you and he needs you to know that he doesn't mean to be hurting you.

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