Tapering

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Hi guys

Does anyone have any advice on how to taper off without medical assistance.

I'm currently prescribed valium.. 2ml and 5 ml 5 times a day which I rarely take, only ever at night.

I attempted to taper yesterday and just had half a drink in the morning then half in the afternoon and a 2ml valium inbetween until later in the evening when I had around 4 drinks.

I literally felt like my body was just going to give up on me, it was very scary.

I'm still trying today but I'm scared I'm doing it wrong as I feel seriously ill

Any advice would be much appreciated x

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  • Posted

    Water and lots of it. Fills you up and not much room for anything elseĀ smile
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    • Posted

      Yeah I'm drinking water but my withdrawal symptoms are scaring me as I don't know how much I should be drinking alcohol wise and how much to reduce by as I've been reading about possible fits, heart attacks and even death
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  • Posted

    Hi Chantelle

    I'm sorry to hear that you're having problems with alcohol. If you don't mind me asking, why do you not want any medical help? It really is the safest way to manage an alcohol detoxification.

    However, you may have your own reasons (don't need to say!) so yes, you can do it yourself but it depends on so many things - the amount you drink, any medication you're on (e.g. it is not good to combine Valium with alcohol), any other medical conditions, age etc.

    You could start with an alcohol diary and work out what your 'baseline' alcohol intake is. From there you can work out a safe tapering system. You need to drink enough to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay though - as you probably know, it is dangerous to reduce too quickly as you could have a seizure, develop hallucinations and other effects. Sorry to be so dramatic but severe alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a medical emergency.

    Also, are you taking thiamine and vitamin B co-strong? If you are drinking at dependent levels you should be taking these supplements. They will help to protect your brain and nervous system (alcohol tends to stop you from absorbing some essential nutrients).

    I'm sorry if you know all this stuff already but you sound like you really want to get to grips with your alcohol problem. My advice would be to ring the local alcohol service - there are specialist alcohol workers/mental health nurses with alot of experience in helping people safely reduce and/or stop drinking. You can contact them directly without having to go through your GP - just Google 'Alcohol Services' in your area and there should be a contact number.

    Good luck, well done for making a good decision for your health smile

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    • Posted

      I can't risk them reporting me to social services.

      I'm 40 and drinking maybe half a litre of vodka a night.sometimes some in the day.

      I'm taking thiamine and milk thistle and usually only take the valium (5ml) of a bedtime.

      I thought if I tried not drinking in the day and using 2 ml valium every couple of hours it might work but it's clearly not, I'm shaky. Dizzy, anxious and feel pretty scared to be fair :-(

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    • Posted

      I think lots of people worry about Social Services and then don't get the help they need. Mostly that worry is unfounded but totally understandable.

      But think of it another way, if you get sick through drinking that is far more of a problem. Social Services would only be involved if there was concern about the welfare of the children. Seeking help early with an alcohol issue would actually be seen as a positive rather than a negative.

      I'm so sorry you are feeling so scared. I think it sounds like you have tried to reduce too quickly. You CAN do this, it sometimes just takes a bit of time to get it right. If you have come as far as posting in this forum you have obviously made up your mind to make a change. Try treating the alcohol like medication - drink enough to stop the withdrawal symptoms and no more. That might mean sipping at a drink when you need it rather than drinking down a whole glass. Dilute it well, drink plenty of water in between.

      You could try ringing alcohol services anonymously and telling them about your concerns re: social services before you actually commit to seeing anyone. They may be able to reassure you.

      Good luck! smile

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    • Posted

      That's the problem, I went to action for change last year and only agreed to speak if it was entirely confidential and within 2 hrs of leaving them had a call from social services which eventually ended up my kids being on the at risk register.

      My father payed for me to go into a private facility and I proved to them I was sober so the children were removed and they left me alone.

      Obviously I fell off the wagon for one stupid reason or another and I'm back to square one.

      My children are not at risk, I never down drinks ever or end up in a state where I'm staggering all over the place.. Nevertheless I'm very aware it is a big problem and it's very regular and needs to end.

      I feel helpless and pretty useless :-((

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    • Posted

      That sounds like an awful experience! It is a shame, in the service where I work, a phone call does have to be made to social services but usually after a couple of checks the case is closed 'no concerns' - if there are none of course smile

      I'm sure your kids aren't at risk, you sound like a person who needs help and doesn't want to lose them. As I said before, so many people don't get the help they need because some professionals go about things the wrong way. Going on the 'at risk' register seems to be totally over the top!

      Have you tried AA? I know it puts people off because it is associated with spiritual things but it really isn't all about that. You would meet people who totally understand what you're going through and they will also have advice about services locally that really are confidential. It's worth a try!

      You are not useless! It is one of the hardest addictions to overcome (and unfortunatley one of the easiest to fall back into because it is everywhere). Try and block the negative thoughts and keep thinking about one day at a time. Nobody is perfect, trust me on that. Although I work in this field I got into a bit of cycle with alcohol about 6 years ago - I didn't seek help (for similar reasons to you) but I was lucky that I managed to pull it back in time before I became completely dependent.

      I hope you do decide to get help because trying to manage the tapering on your own is sooooo difficult. It is so easy to slide back. Keep going smile

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    • Posted

      Yeah I was in AA for a long time and did service at several meetings but I live in a very small village where there are not many meetings and unfortunately I experienced sexual harassment from 3 regular members so decided to out one of them in front of his wife at a meeting and never went back as it's all the same small group of people.

      Plus I never received a single call from any of the females after and decided that there was no such thing as a ' fellowship '

      Not in this town anyway!

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    • Posted

      Hi why do you drink, so much ask yourself that and fix that reason first then start to cut down, l use to drink just like u but found out it was bcz l was depressed, solved the depression now l drink once a week, cheers good luck.
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    • Posted

      Oh God, it sounds like you've had lots of bad experiences! Poor you sad

      I really hope you stay strong and keep trying to find a way to beat this thing.

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  • Posted

    That dose of Valium is way too small to help anybody stop drinking if they are physically dependent on alcohol.

    You can TRY to reduce your drinking slowly but it is close to impossible to get off alcohol that way. You start with good intentions and do well for a couple of days and then end up back to square one.

    You MUST get a proper alcohol detox. It can be dangerous to go cold turkey or even to reduce too quickly. Speak to your GP and ask for a detox, Chantelle.

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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear how badly you are suffering. I had post natal depression after all three of my kids. Having the youngest ( now 26) was by far the worst. I didn't drink while pregnant, but with 3 kids under 5 I found it very difficult. My health visitor called round uninvited one day, the house was a mess and rather than phone my husband at work as I asked, she phoned social services, saying my kids were at risk so they went on the at risk register. I ended up in the mother and baby unit at a physciatric hospital.

    My husband came tearing home after I phoned him at work. He was furious with the health visitor and social services, as he was unaware of what was happening and pointed out that they were his kids as well and if necessary, would give up work and look after them himself.

    i went to the mother and baby unit with my baby and family and friends helped with the other two. I was unable to be with my baby on my own, nappy changing, feeding, bathing all had to be supervised. I was not allowed to have any medication for the first 4 weeks and it was the worst time of my life.

    i saw a Dr twice in the whole six weeks I was on the unit. I was allowed home with my husband for 3 hours and had to return to the unit by a set time. After 4 weeks I was given antidepressants and finally allowed home. The kids remained on the at risk monitor for 6 months. I had numerous unannounced visits from social services and my health visitor.

    I realise that things have changed dramatically since then, or thought they had, so I fully appreciate your reluctance to involve social services. I suffered dreadful withdrawal symptoms with no advice or medication at all. I didn't realise how dangerous it was to suddenly stop until I joined this forum.

    on balance, I think I would choose to have librium and taper off gradually, as I feel in the long term, you are less likely to relapse. Do you have any family or close friends that could help out with your children.

    You obviously care about your kids, and the fact you have asked for advice here, shows that you want to change. I wouldn't want anyone to suffer like I did, but that was years ago, and it obviously didn't solve the initial problem. as to why I chose alcohol to deal with my anxiety. I can remember feeling completely out of my depth and was made to feel useless and my kids would be better off without me.

    I would contact alcohol services, or look online, as mentioned already, you don't need to be referred by your GP, even if it's just to see what services they offer, you could remain anonymous to start with.

    Good luck and keep posting how things are going for you.

    On

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    • Posted

      Ty vicky,

      I totally empathise with everything you have been through and appreciate the advice.

      I have no family or friends here, my family are back home, mum died of cancer when I was very young and dad is 64 and just had 2 major ops on his lung..even though he doesn't smoke or drink so I couldn't dare worry him with my self inflicted rubbish.

      I wouldn't even consider the thought of the doctor after the last time they reported me although I think it's totally unfair as my children are spotless and well fed and very very loved, my house is clean, I overcompensate so they have more than any other kids I know.

      I know I'm possibly putting myself in danger with the tapering but today has been better than yesterday, I have eaten and kept it in, went shopping and I didn't take a drink or a cigarette until around 7 -8 pm..without valium! I've had 3 drinks and each I've sipped for 2-3 hours. My body has not been feeling too clever, I ache a lot mainly, headaches and hot and cold. Dreading bed which is very uncomfortable and full of nightmares and waking up several times, but again I will take water instead of a drink.

      I might be getting it right.. Fingers crossed x

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