Time to Stop Drinking

Posted , 11 users are following.

Hi, I have been a heavy drinker now for 2.5 years and on average I have been consuming 2 bottles of wine a night. Doctors have confirmed that my liver is a great risk if I don’t stop soon. Normal liver level readings are around 38 and as of 5 weeks ago mine were sitting at 144. I have been trying my hardest to cut down but tapering off hasn’t worked for me. A couple of weeks ago I self referred myself to a group called CGL and I have my first appointment today. The locum I saw at my doctors surgery has suggested that I may need a medicated detox. Feeling a little scared about this to be honest and really don’t know what to expect! Has anybody here been through a medicated detox either at home or in hospital? 

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  • Posted

    Hi Jayne!

    Your first appointment with CGL will be an information-gathering appointment, at which (unfortunately) you are not likely to see much forward progress.  You are highly unlikely to even meet a doctor at this appointment.  You are likely to be assigned a 'keyworker' and another appointment made to discuss the way forward.

    You may or may not need a medical detox but even if you do, nothing works quick with regards to the NHS arranging this for you.  I would suspect that you are likely to have more discussion about tapering down, talk therapy, and attending group sessions.  Working out a plan to try and taper down a certain amount every week is usually the way they will go.  Medically-detoxing people costs a lot of money!

    Remember that unless you are sat in front of a doctor or other medically qualified person, no-one can discuss anything medical - whether that be a medical detox or any of the medications that can help you with your alcohol issue.

    Before you attend, please read the NHS Choices page of alcohol misuse (google NHS Choices Alcohol Misuse to find it) and pay particular attention to the part about treatment.  There are many options available to you which include group therapy, individual therapy etc, but there are also medications that can help you reduce your alcohol consumption too.  Sometimes (most times!) the keyworkers steer people away from this possibility so after your initial appointment, if you wish to talk with a doctor about if these may be a good fit for you, then request/insist on an appointment with the doctor at CGL.

    Good luck with your appointment!  Let us know how you get on.

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    • Posted

      Hi Joanne, have you been through all this before or are you trained in this area. I desperately want help as I’m now losing friends because of my addiction. I avoid going out when I’m not going to be able to drink! 
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    • Posted

      There are lots of people on here who have experienced your situation so you are not alone!

      I had a drink problem, yes, and almost 4 years ago now (after many, many years battling the issue) I found what worked for me - which was the option on the NHS Choices page I mentioned using naltrexone to help me gradually reduce my drinking, and help weaken and break down the pathways in my brain that had been changed by drinking.

      We call it The Sinclair Method, but the CGL don't call it that.  If anything they are more likely to prescribe the 'sister' medication of the one I used, which is called nalmefene and is also on the NHS Choices page.

      Go to your appointment, listen to what they have to say and then if you want to see a doctor, insist on an appointment with one.  This is your right under the NHS Constitution.  Then come back to us here and we can all help guide you with the next step.

      I am now an accredited alcohol abuse counsellor and so I've come into contact with many who have been let down by the NHS keyworkers not telling them about all their options for treatment.

      Plus, I know later when others see your post, they will also offer you some good suggestions.  There are a lot of good people on here who can ensure you don't feel so alone.  But for now, go to the CGL with an open mind and get the process started.

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    • Posted

      I feel that this afternoon went a lot better than I ever dreamt it would. Finally I feel I’m being listened to after countless failed attempts at the doctors! 

      I have a further appointment on the 25th of this month with a triage nurse who will then set me up a pre detox session. I have to attend 2 of those before my week on diazepam begins. 

      I have been advised to try and keep reducing my intake but if I start to feel ill I have to increase it again to a level where I feel ok 

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    • Posted

      Hi Jayne and welcome.  I am quite sure you will get this sorted and feel really good about yourself for it.  You have taken the first step which is very hard - and now the second in attending Recovery - thumbs up to you smile

      I am the 2 bottles of wine a day girl also.  Drank for years but not two bottles, that happened over the last 12 - 18 months.  I have tapered down over the weeks slowly to 2 small glasses Monday to Friday, it has worked for me with no ill effects because I have done it slowly.  I do have a pack of Diazepam the doc gave me if I want to stop abruptly.  Apart from being tired from lack of sleep (and a blooming noisy owl outside the bedroom window every night which I would normally not hear lol) I look and feel much better. 

      If this detox works, then you are on the road to a new you; if it goes pear shaped, then there are alternatives that do work wonders. 

      Either way, this is your time to change up gear and go for living a clear headed life - IT IS GOOD Yaay.

      Keep updating, we all love to hear and we never judge.

      Best to you.

      G.

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  • Posted

    Dear Jayne. Good thoughts and great plan. You can reduce gradually. We will help you
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  • Posted

    Yes, I’ve de-toxed many times in hospital units and at home. This was around 25 years ago. There is so much to tell but do not be afraid of detox in hospital. If at first you don’t succeed.................... good luck.
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  • Posted

    Well done for admitting you’ve got a problem. You’ve done the hardest bit and I’m glad your appointment went well.

    Ive had a home detox before with Librium which went well. If you get the correct dosage, withdrawal from alcohol can be relatively pain free. You start on a high dosage and decrease gradually over the next 5/7 days. Do you have a responsible adult at home with you? Or someone who can call and check up on you?

    Tapering never worked for me as all sense and logic went after a couple of drinks and although I started with the intention of only having a couple, I’d end up drinking the same amount as before.

    Great advice from Joanna and Gwen as usual. I didn’t use TSM, but many people on here say it’s working for them.

    There is another medication called acamprosate (campral) which is what I used and gave me back my life again. Ideally you start taking it immediately after or during detox. It is an anti-craving medication which stops the desire to drink. You remain abstainent, you don’t drink alcohol, unlike TSM. It takes about a week to kick in, and I’d thoroughly recommend it.

    Unfortunately we don’t live in an ideal world. Some people on this forum, myself included, have had bad experiences with places like CGL. My keyworker claimed not to know anything about TSM or campral. I would concur with Joanna about being armed with information about the medication available, particularly after your detox. Also as Joanna pointed out, you have the right to request and get an appointment with a doctor. Please don’t be fobbed off.

    Good luck

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  • Posted

    Well done Jayne for making the brave decision and seeking out the help you need. Many of us here have been there and understand the soul searching you have gone through to decide you need to do something about your drinking. You will always find plenty of good support and sound advice on here so keep posting and let us know how you are doing x
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  • Posted

    Thank you all so much for your messages - it’s been a manic day at work. 

    I find gradually reducing really hard as by the time I’ve had a couple of glasses all sense leaves me. 

    The biggest mistake I made was starting to add lemonade and having my wine as a sprinter! I’m not so much addicted to the tast - more the feeling of not caring! 

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  • Posted

    Hello all, I’m so sorry I’ve not been on here for a while now, but I wanted to provide you with an update as to where I am at this point. 

    As you may know I self referred myself to a drugs and alcohol centre in order to get help for my addiction.  Through the month of December I was still drinking 2.5 bottles a night. On the 8th January I began my community medicated detox which involves taking Diazapam in various quantities throughout the week. Each day I had to attend the clinic in order to pick up my next prescription and we would sit and talk as a group about how we are going to deal with the day ahead! It was not an easy thing to and I nearly broke on several occassions, but I am pleased to confirm that I have now been dry for just over 2 weeks!! I am still on medication to fight the cravings (Acamprosate) and another that will make me violently ill if I did attempt drinking (Disulfiram).

    I really wasn’t in a good place when I was drinking and I can actually say that I am noticing a change in my Mental Health already! My Venlaflaxin (anti anxiety/anti depressant) was being drowned out by the wine daily! Now they are finally being given the chance to help me! 

    I am still only at the start of a long journey but to have made it this far - I feel proud! 

    Take one day at a time and I promise you will get there. Take care x

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    • Posted

      Hard, long but fruitful journey! Worth it for certain! You will also have problems sleeping, sweating and then sugar cravings when not drinking. All worth it. Never felt better after 5 years sober. I wish you all the best on your journey Jayne
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  • Posted

    Hi,

    Firstly I will advise you please stop drinking. I know, it is a difficult process to get rid of alcohol but not impossible.

    Detox is the process by which drugs are eliminated from a person’s system. In medicated detox, a person will stay in a specialized facility for an average of 3-7 days while receiving supportive care and encouragement. Medications are used to reduce and manage the possible side effects of drug withdrawal.

    Thanks!!

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