still struggling

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bit confused - went to see doctor who said she couldn't prescribe any meds. Went to see alcohol worker who had conflicting details about how long it takes to get meds and that he can;t make a referral to doctor to do prescription - and that you don;t need to be free of drink for 2 weeks to take selincro

so its a struggle     after 4th appointment with alcohol worker starting drink diary but couldn;t for the first few days due to amont i was drinking now done 6 days recording amount and am at 120 units.   he seems to think that i need a home detox but  i cant have time from work      and all i wanted was selincro but after 9 weeks, no closer      he s set my goals as it being ok to have 15 units per day and some free days instead of 35 and some free days   but not really hitting my goals     was aiming for 60 units per week but maybe 90 is more realistic for first few weeks    then with selincro would it be 7 a day - say a few days off and target of 35 per week ?  its not easy        

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  • Posted

    Hi Jamie,

    Oh dear I do feel for you. Really doesn't sound like you're getting the right advice at all. I'm gobsmacked as to why these alcohol counsellors won't just spend a couple of hours on the internet researching how Selincro and The Sinclair Method works. They must know from experience that giving people reduction targets and goals just doesn't work for most and yet they still keep suggesting it.

    If you do manage to get Selincro I think the idea would be to just take it an hour before you drink each day. And that's it! No targets for units (although I would def recommend keeping an account of your units). Eventually over a period of months you may then find your units reducing more and more.

    I'm only on day five of Selincro but last night I was amazed how much quieter the 'more drink!' voice was. I was actually able to rationally think about whether to go to bed or stay up with another bottle of wine. I decided I was tired and should sleep. Previously the more wine option would always win and I'd wake up on the sofa at 4am (and finish any remaining wine!)

    It's such a subtle slow change and isn't the same every night but as long as you always take Selincro before booze then you're doing ok.

    I think your doctor is the one to work on as they have to give the prescription. Do your own research and take along the NICE guidelines on Nalmefene, that's what I did.

    Good luck and keep posting.

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    • Posted

      Hi    this is really re assuring   Thank you    I m usually one to constructively complain if i think things should be done properly and have felt like doing so to my doctors, i.e that the system is letting me down although they know i have a problem, so NICE guidelines it yes, thank you [ had considered this but you have given me some confidence now].

      Do you think it comes down to cost of the drug selincro?  Are they not willing to prescribe due to cost ?

      Can  i just ask though, [ you don;t have to respond to this..] but how much were you drinking ?   My pattern has been 2-3 binges per week and when bad continuing in the morning - bottles of wine too,   3.5 yesterday and 2,5 today    

      my alcohol worker said ' imagine you are on a crossroads and there is a lion at one turning, a jungle at one and a clean road at the other   which one would you take....i said the jungle as i like a challenge - thats his style and just shows that there must be other ways of doing counselling.....its the 4th ADS worker i ve had and 7th time in counselling

      also, sorry to ask but what are the physical changes like with selincro, nausea etc??

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    • Posted

      I think it probably has a lot to do with the cost. If only they'd think of the future savings if many people cut down!

      I was a social binge drinker in my 20s then as the night clubbing reduced so the wine at home began. I used to have two or three booze free days a week but then went through a stressful ten month period with an employer and started drinking every night. Then I went on an antidepressant which helped amazingly with the depression I was having but it has an unfortunate side effect - a strong craving for alcohol! It's not in the leaflet but when I thought I was going mad I Googled it and many were experiencing the same.

      Anyway, now I average two bottles of wine per night. It's really good to keep a record. I find the NHS Drinks Tracker app easy to use. Occasionally I have had three bottles. I was also very reliant on CoCodamol to deal with the hangovers and so work wasn't affected.

      The first two days on Selincro I did feel awful. Angry, agitated, a bit sick, couldn't sleep, restless legs, night sweats. But it has literally reduced each day. If you get them I would say try and do at least five consecutive drinking/Selincro days to get it in your system.

      Hope that helps and ask away, we're all in the same boat here!

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  • Posted

    Does anyone keep a drink diary ?  is it worth it ? Does it work?

    I tend to have such big binges that i can't. so after 2-3 days and 90 units its only when sober that i manage to try and write down what i have had; and the triggers, then for 3-4 days i m sober.

    Sorry lots of questions, is this something you do as well?

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    • Posted

      Hi Jamie

      I have tried to keep a drink diary, I use my mobile phone notes facility and note when I either come back from the bar (everyone fiddles with their phone in the pub.....) or when I pour a drink out at home. I dare say I have missd few, but I would ever be able to remember the drinks next morning let alone 2-3 days later.......

      Does it work.......well it gave me an idea of what I was drinking and then I realised why I felt so rough

      Good Luck

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  • Posted

    Hi Jamie,

    I think you are between a rock and a hard place on this one.

    Where are you in the Uk - town, city (PM me if you don't want to say on here) and I will look up for your what the exact instruction are from you local health authority in terms of who is supposed to issue the prescription.

    In terms of detox etc, I can understand why they want your units down before prescribing....

    Firstly, they have the NICE guidelines to stick to.  Although this medication was shown to work just as well for very heavy drinkers and moderate drinkers alike, the NICE guidelines say it is for mild-to-moderate alcoholics.  If they are sticking to the regulations, then you don't really meet them as it stands today with the units you drink.

    In addition, another regulation says that it is not suitable for those in need of a detox or someone who suffers from withdrawal symptoms.

    If they issued the Selincro and it immediately killed your desire to drink or reduced your drinking levels drastically (which it can do for some people) then you run the risk of unintential alcohol withdrawals and that could be very dangerous.

    It isn't easy, I know, but I would think that if you can show any reduction in your consumption that would go a long way in helping the situation


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