To abstain or not to abstain, that is the question?

Posted , 11 users are following.

I read a book some years back (I will look it up if anyone asks) by a psychiatrist specialising in helping people with Alcohol Use Disorder. His guidance for deciding if you should abstain completely was to ask his patients to set a limit for how much they drink on any single occasion. If they broke this more than two or three times in a year, then he advised they should consider abstention as the only option. Is this setting the bar a little too high, and if you think it is, what would make you consider abstaining completely from alcohol?

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  • Posted

    For me personally, without a doubt my health.  When you start really looking into the workings of the liver and how hard its output is non stop, you realise that the abuse you are subjecting it to is unjust and unfair.
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    • Posted

      Hi Gwen. The health point is interesting. I'm not sure if health information works or not but I find it contributes to changing my attitude to alcohol. So whilst we would all agree that 'too much is bad for you', more specific information stays with me. For example, If you drink about 5 or 6 units of alcohol each day for about 10 years, your chances of developing cirrhosis double. If you drink about 8 units every day, your chances of developing cirrhosis are increased ten times. Amazing what a difference just 2 to 3 extra units makes!                           

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  • Posted

    If I was ever told by a dr that one more drink would kill me, then I would stop.

    I was abstenant for four years. No medication, no counselling. First six months were hard, as were birthdays, holidays and Christmas. Shame I drank the wrong drink at a party. Asked for lime and soda, but one sip told me I'd got wine and soda with loads of ice and limes.

    no good saying "if only" I drank it, enjoyed it and had another couple

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    • Posted

      I decided to stop completely as I was drinking far too much and I had three kids under 5 at that time.

      I am an all or nothing person in most things. I would rather just have soft drinks than one glass of wine. If I was only having one glass of wine it's far easier to have none. The only medication I was offered was Antabuse. Only took one tablet and ended up in hospital. Wasn't told to wait at least a week after my last drink. So the 4 years,was,without medication.

      The second time I gave up for a year, but took campral which was great, no cravings after the first 5 days. Then just drank socially, no hidden bottles and no spirits.

      Now back on campral again, as so many social occasions with alcohol on offer, and realised the amount was going up, so decided to have a break.

       

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  • Posted

    People are different of course. I realised that my drinking was out of control and my health would probably suffer. I was 61 when I stopped after years of excess. I managed to stop completely without medication, but you need to get advice about this as it can be dangerous. Good luck. 
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    • Posted

      Thanks John. Did you find stopping after 'years of excess' difficult? I have dry days without problems so I'm not thinking of medication. Just interested in whether I should abstain. I don't think I would look forward to quite so much if there was no booze involved. 

       

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    • Posted

      It was hard at first. 'One small drink won't hurt' sort of feeling. But I counted the days and when it got to quite a few, there was no way I was going to start again from zero! I am still tempted at times like celebrations etc, but this forum has helped. I don't think the temptation will ever go away. 

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    • Posted

      Great achievement John. I also stopped drinking completely like you and without medication but do not think this is for most people. Like you, I give advice to seek medical advice and use medicine since it is safer. not looking back after 4 1/2 years and thriving. Back to Thomas: strange advice and not clever I think since drinking even more than you normally do is really dangerous whether you do it once or 4 times a year. Somebody might already be drinking a lot..how much are drinking Thomas? Robin
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    • Posted

      My drinking used to be around 30 units weekly. Now moving towards 40. If I'm on holiday, I can drink around 10 daily. If I don't stick to my personal limit of 5; then I sail past to drinking units in double figures. That is what I really enjoy but it is classed as binge drinking. I can't say it feels like binge drinking (wine with food) but that is what the experts say.

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