Stopping without support

Posted , 10 users are following.

Hi all

Have been here before but now back......!

Am drinking roughly 1 bottle of wine a day with maybe 1 or 2 large vodkas. Have been doing this for several years (10+ on & off).  I drink 2ltrs of water every day and my diet is salad and fruit with a cooked meal in the evening.  

I desperately want to stop but I’m all or nothing!  Have tried ARC (really not my thing) and tried reducing to either stop or do the Sinclair Method but no joy.   

So, my question is.....can I ask my GP for some medication (Diazepam?) to give me short term so that I can stop immediately and limit my risk of seizure?  I don’t think I am physically dependant as there are no signs but am definitely mentally dependent. 

Really want to just stop immediately but worry about risk of seizures. 

Any advice please?  (Am in UK - Gloucestershire, if that helps!)

Many thanks 

Rach

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    You can ask your GP, but most will say no, go to an ARC. A detox will stop you in the short term, but you are virtually guaranteed to return to drinking, unless you go onto Campral, to reverse the changes that alcohol has done to you neurologically. But he is even less unlikely to prescribe Campral.

    What medication for TSM did you use, where did you get it from and did you follow the instructions on how to take it, to the letter?

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  • Posted

    I do not understand the UK at all...Europe has the most prevalent alcohol problem in the world.

    I have take Campral in the past as RHGB suggested and it absolutely DID eliminated the cravings and thoughts I had about alcohol.

    Literally when I was taking it I might find myself at rest at the end of the day thinking WOW...I didn't think about alcohol at all.

    The only problem I had with Campral was I didn't like taking so many pills daily...I think I used to take like 3 pills...3 times a day...and that was too much for me...but even at 1x a day as discussed with my Dr. was working for me.

    As far as "reversing" damage we have done to our brains with ANY drug that is just not a true statement.

    From what I understand about the mechanism involved in Campral action, the changes only affect the cellular calcium uptake by interfering with the glutamic acid (or glutamate) pathway.

    That means that Campral prevents MORE damage to be made by excito-toxicity, but will not reverse any previous damage.

    However, there is a clinical study - that would be relevant to your SLEEP situation with Campral which found:

    Acamprosate reversed alcohol-related changes in SLEEP architecture in humans.

    But with that said...the amount of time it takes for you all to get a prescription for anything in the UK...by then your sleep pattern will have repaired it self.

    Good luck in your journey to be free from alcohol. 

    A natural mineral you could use in the meantime for sleep which really helps me...Is Magnesium Citrate.

    Of course a benzo like Diazepam does have a better effect but if it is not available to you...try the Magnesium.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for the replies so far! 

    I have not tried TSM as when I looked into it my alcohol intake is too much.  This week I have reduced to 5 drinks per night, a mix of vodka & wine, which I will aim to reduce further next week.  Am hoping that if I do a slow reduction then it will result in abstinence. Even if I reduce to 1 or 2 drinks a day for the foreseeable future then surely this is better than the quantities I have been consuming?!

    I cannot bring myself to face ARC again, where it is located in my town is not particularly good plus it was mostly drug users attending - took me way out of my comfort zone.  I recognise that I should just get over this but I can’t!  

    I believe I can just stop dead (this would be my preferred way) but am worried about seizures which is why I asked the initial question about Diazepam from the GP to reduce risk during the first week. Is it worth even approaching my GP about it?

    Many thanks

    Rachel

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    • Posted

      You could sure ask but like RHGB has mentioned, it is very rare for a GP to prescribe detox-related medications.  There are complications that can happen so GPs tend not to prescribe it but refer you to the ARC for them to prescribe and monitor your progress.

      Even if you could stop dead, the issue is more about staying stopped.  So few people can manage it, hence high relapse rates.

      An alternative that your GP can help you with is nalmefene (for TSM though your doctor will just know it as nalmefene to help lower your alcohol consumption).  You are very lucky in that Gloucestershire is one of the very few areas that have nalmefene (and hence TSM) listed as a medication that can be prescribed by your GP without referring you on to the ARC.

      Nalmefene can help you continue your reduction gradually and at the same time, weaken and breakdown the pathways in your brain that has learned the reward associated with drinking over the years.  You can slowly reduce down to abstinence if you wish and then remain so without cravings.

      The criteria for this medication for a woman is around 5 units a day so you have probably now reduced your drinking enough to meet the criteria for it.

      If you wish to try this route, let me know and I will PM you the link that shows your local health authority have instructed GPs to assess and prescribe this medication, so that you can take it with you to a GP appointment.

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    • Posted

      TSM is the Sinclair method, which you seemed to indicate you had tried, in your first post?

      Stopping is the easier part, staying stopped is the difficult part. It might be worth approaching your GP, you have a better chance if you have another responsible adult in the household, to watch you. Your GP will already know, because the ARC will have contacted them - you would have signed a bit of paper.

      The issue with reducing and stopping, is that your brain is now used to its daily 'fix' and it won't just let go that easily. Which is why medication is recommended to reverse the changes.

      I know what you mean about ARCs, the first one I went to was in the nasty part of town and seemed to have rather a lot of unsavoury characters and mostly druggies.

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    • Posted

      Sorry, poor communication on my part.....I tried reducing to either stop completely or do TSM but no joy with either as I did not reduce enough for TSM. I am going to try this route now though as I have reduced already so I will pm Joanna as she has suggested. 

      Many thanks 

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    • Posted

      I would thoroughly recommend campral. I’m one of the lucky ones whose gp is happy to prescribe campral.

      The percentage of AUD sufferers who succeed in remaining abstainant without medica, is very low. 

      I could never taper successfully, as once I’d had a couple, common sense went out the window and I’d just carry on.

      Campral is an anti craving drug which helps reverse the changes in the brain. It takes 5/7 days to kick in and it really worked well for me. Hard to describe, but you stop thinking about alcohol.

      As has already been said, stopping is the easy bit, remaining so without medication is the hard bit.

      I agree with the comments regarding ARCs. Far more help for drug users and usually in a ‘rough’ area. However, if that’s the only way to get help, then you have to swallow your pride and go. Not nice, I admit. My first time of using campral was through an ARC and prescribed by my gp.

      My gp would NOT prescribe any drug for TSM, and the staff at the ARC hadn’t heard of TSM!!

       

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    • Posted

      Good idea. You are lucky to live in one of the few areas that an ARC doesn't need to be involved.

      Joanna will give you good advice, my own advice is please listen to it and follow it, it's amazingly simple, but it is amazing how many people don't follow it and things go wrong and they are then surprised by this.

      She will probably give you advice on how to deal with your GP, plus she will most likely send you something to print out to take. If she does, please print it out, it is important, so many don't bother and then get fobbed off by their GP.

      If/when you are successful in getting the medication, Joanna will give you guidance in taking it. Please follow it, it is quite simple and it will make life a lot easier taking it and it ensures a high success ratio and it minimises chances of any side effects.

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    • Posted

      Hi Rachel.....I have a story for you...but first I want to say that if your Dr. is aware of you having prior seizures...I think they would prescribe for a brief time but then again..your in the UK.

      You mentioned that drug users take you out of your comfort zone:

      Story: I have had a severe drinking problem for years. When I was working I would look out the window in the morning and see all the cars going by to make it to work on time and I was already drinking at 7am and had probably called in sick at 2am.  I did this MANY mornings.

      One morning while doing this...I saw the girl across the street from me (a well known person in the neighborhood...and well known for doing drugs. I actually caught her in my driveway one year asking my oldest SON if she knew where she could buy some drugs. 

      I kindly TOLD (not asked) her to NOT ask my son to do something like that, she was completely wasted and stumbled on her way.

      I always looked at this girl as lower than me...."what a drug addict".  

      But, one morning looking out the window drunk...I saw her walking in her pajamas...to the corner...I watched her...she was cold...she looked ragged....and I saw the car pull up and deliver her drugs and I watched her walk back home.

      That was the first time I realized...I was no better than her...just because I had my drug of choice in the house...I was still in my pajamas...I looked ragged...I was home from work.....and I was hooked...as badly as she was.

      Addiction is the same....it changes us...drugs or alcohol...or gambling or sex.....its the boss.

      That girl died...she was sent to prison for a long time after being caught selling drugs again. When she got out...like 2 years later....the first night out she over did it and overdosed. sad

      We are no better...drugs in my opinion only kill quicker now due to all the "unknown" chemicals they are laced with. 

      They were all in the hopsital wanting the same thing you wanted....Recovery

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    • Posted

      Hi Missy

      Thankyou for your response.  The reason it takes me out my comfort zone is exactly because of what you say.....I am an addict and that brings it home to me which is what doesn’t sit comfortably with me because I already know this. I didn’t mean to imply that dug users are below me - as I am aware that we are both addicts but just with a different drug of choice!

      Thankyou for your replies Missy - is much appreciated. 

      Kind regards 

      Rachel

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    • Posted

      Rachel...like me...when you get sick of being sick and sick of battling with addiction...you will DO ANYTHING you can to stop...including going out of your comfort zone.

      12 years ago..I had enough....and was willing to do ANYTHING to get better....went to a detox/rehab facility for 2 weeks...and I did not drink for 8 years.

      I was ready...I was really ready.....there were years and years that I thought about BEING READY....and you will know when you are ACTUALLY READY...cause that is the point that you will not care or think about anything else except getting better.

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    • Posted

      Misssy that is a very valid point. Yes I hated going to an ARC, but the thought of losing my three kids was far worse. Paled into insignificance compared with losing my kids. I had to get better, I wanted to. Therefore however unpleasant attending was, police were called daily, was offered drugs, propositioned, harassed by drug users for money, I had no choice. The worst that could happen was having my purse nicked or verbal abuse.

      I soon got used to going, report to reception, sit down, spoke to no one, didn’t make eye contact with other addicts, read a magazine until my name was called. I had a taxi door to door each time so I could avoid being followed or mugged or harassed.

      Says a lot about how addicts are treated in the uk, and the lengths we have to go to. Remember RHGB’s saga of what he went through to get campral.

      If you want to get better, as you rightly say, you’ll do what it takes, no matter how unpleasant. Depends on how badly you want to get better. At the end of the day, for the majority of addicts in the uk, ARCs are the only way to get the medication needed to succeed. It’s not a quick fix, they don’t hand out drugs like sweets. You’ll have to fight, stick up for yourself, and above all, go armed with as much info as you can, printed off. Joanna will help and advice, it just depends how badly you want help. It’s not an easy journey. 

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    • Posted

      Misssy, I might be wrong, but from what I understand from Rachel, she hasn’t had seizures before. She’s worried about the risk of having them without any medication. That’s why she wanted Diazapam, just in case.

      Mind you, as you rightly say, the potential crisis would have passed by the time she got a script lol!

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  • Posted

    Hi Rachel, I have tapered down slowly for several months now.  I dropped from 2 bottles of wine (20 units) down to 2 Monday to Friday and have started doing also Saturday on 2 units.  Sunday I will have wine with my roast and in the evening.  I enjoy knowing that within a couple of hours of stopping my second glass that the alcohol will be leaving my body.  I still sleep rubbish and enjoy a good night of zzzz's on a Sunday.

    I am in the UK and when I fessed up to my doc about my drinking, she referred me to ARC.  I did not go as would be way way out of my comfort zone.

    When I went back for another issue, I told her I was not going to ARC and because I had come onto this site and read about Diazepam to stop seizures - which is what terrifies me - I asked her for a 2 week supply to have 'just in case' ; she said no she could not give them to me.  So I told her that she previously several years ago had given me a pack for panic attacks (I never took any and eventually lost the pack) but that this is what would happen because I was so worried about seizures.  I asked her again to give me a script and she had a little think then said yes ok fair enough.  I still have not taken any because the taper went really well and is still going strong. 

    If, for some reason, the taper goes up again and I can't get in under control, I will use the TSM route.

    Keep strong and keep in touch.

    G.

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