Alcoholism

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Phrygian77, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    This is my personal take on my loved one struggling.

    I did not respond to the above individual who is at wits end though because statistically and also in my own experience, when family keeps helping us get through our poor choices to keep using, it enables us to continue using longer.
    This tends to make the using individual sicker and also does more damage in relationships with the loved ones, often resulting in bridges too badly burned to ever rebuild.

    What brought me to the point where I was willing to take all the suggestions the professionals made rather than my selected list, was when all my loved ones told me to stop calling them for help.

    I know how to get clean and sober.
    I can pass the information on to anyone who is willing and ready to do it.

    I do not know how to get anyone else to get clean and sober, and do not know how to get a family to get their loved one to get clean and sober.
    I've seen how "helping" hurts though.

    And yet I cannot turn my back on a loved one.
    This is not a strength, more of a weakness.
     
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  2. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    No one can get someone else sober. That is true.
     
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  3. stepvan

    stepvan Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Took several tries to finally get sober and this last time I was able to domit with inpatient help and support. you can do it as long as you truly want it. good luck man you can do it
     
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  4. Neener

    Neener Tele-Meister

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    I know it's hard to see now, but life is WAY easier sober my man. Be brave, have some faith and take that next step into a new and better life, I PROMISE it gets better.

    I struggled with alcohol myself, as well as Heroin, so I can relate with your hopelessness. I was basically homeless, on the brink of death, multiple stints in Rehab and Jail.

    I couldn't stop until I realized I had no choice. Either keep doing what I was doing and die or live. I finally decided "I don't want to die, I want a better life" (seems like a no brainier right?)

    If you are sick and tired, there is hope. I promise you there is light at the end of every tunnel, no matter how dark it is right now.

    Take that step and don't look back no matter how scary or painful it is. IT WILL GET BETTER I PROMISE YOU.

    You are not alone

    Peace and love brother and don't give up
     
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  5. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't know if Campral would work for every alcoholic, but it sure seems to be working for me, with some mild side effects (some of which may be because I'm still in the withdraw phase). I don't know why my primary care doctor never suggested it over that whole 18 month period when I was struggling to quit.

    Apparently, there was no generic of it in the US until 2013, and even the generic is expensive. Probably the same cost as a months supply of alcohol though.
     
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  6. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I was on a very mild dosage of Zoloft for the first year or so after I quit drinking, it was basically just to deal with periodic anxiety while my system was resetting itself. Other than that, I wasn't taking anything else. We're all wired differently, though, so whatever works for each person is "the best" for that particular situation!
     
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  7. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Tele-Afflicted

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    Question to those who have quit alcohol: how long did it take for your system to "reset" itself? I know it will be different for everybody, how long and how much you were drinking, etc., but I've heard (and Dick van Dyke says it in the vid I posted earlier) that in can take a year? I would guess that exercise would shorten this interval, but interested to hear lived experiences.

    To the OP: I hope you get back there brother!
     
  8. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    About a year sounds right. Your body has to adjust to a pretty significant chemical imbalance, and it takes a while for everything to come back to normal.
     
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  9. Teleposer

    Teleposer Tele-Holic

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    First off, no judgement on my part. I'm not a professional so you may just want to skip these words I'm about to post. It's also very long so I'm going to post in two parts.


    Part 1:

    Lorazepam (ativan) is one of the most powerful benzos you can get. It works by depressing the central nervous system and is a sedative, but it is also psychoactive in the sense it plays about with your GABA receptors in the brain. You may like to have a quick browse through these google searches:


    "gaba receptors and benzodiazepines" -


    https://www.google.com/search?clien.....0.2..0.0.0.......0......gws-wiz.6Gp9M7mW4cw


    "gaba receptors and alcohol" -

    https://www.google.com/search?clien...2......0....1..gws-wiz.......0i71.0dpKZ4xsuA8


    In fact, benzos, be they Lorazepam or Diazepam (valium) or whatever, are more addictive and harder to kick than alcohol itself, which is saying something. Depending on how far along you are on your alcoholic journey, you should be able to kick it within a few days (probably no more than a week of heavy withdrawal), but things get complicated with concepts like 'kindling' where each withdrawal wreaks more havoc on the system and results in ever more horrific 'cold turkey'. Not everyone gets the 'DTs'. But everyone will experience some kind of discomfort whether life-threatening or not.

    After a 'few days' then the real hard work begins and as others have already noted, you want to count on months if not a year or two to get your body/brain axis back in to whack.

    Benzos can provide very short term relief of course. And in the case of severe alcoholic withdrawal and the person experiencing life-threatening fits, drugs like Lorazepam can literally save the person's life by calming and reducing the seizure. The problem is, these drugs are very very nice, especially if you already have a taste for alcohol, because they work on the same brain reward system, just times 10.

    But I'm sure anyone prescribed this stuff had it doled out by a doctor that knows what they are doing. Most doctors won't give out more than a couple of weeks worth of pills and you are lucky to get that. You will probably only get a week or a few days supply at the most. At least where I live (UK).

    So benzos have their place, but pretty soon it's back to the real world. They will help you to sleep, but it's a false dawn. You only want to use these drugs at the most for a few days just to counteract a life-threatening acute withdrawal. After that you are on your own.

    Some people find solace in smoking a little herb. It helps if you didn't smoke it before. Of course you can take tinctures and other things. It works for some but not for others. Again, for a few days, to help readjust, it can be a boon. For the lucky few.

    There are other herbal remedies as well that work. One is Valerian. Again, this acts on the GABA receptors in the brain and is very powerful. It has all the sedative and anxiolytic effects of alcohol and valium. That's the good news. The bad news is that it is hepatotoxic. That means it can wreck your liver as much as alcohol can. Oh, and also the benzos like valium. No free lunch. Your body has to cleanse itself somehow. Whether Valerian Root or Vodka or Valium, your liver will be the one paying the piper...

    Beware those that try to sell you herbal remedies because it's "nature's pharmacy" and all that claptrap. Most drugs come from plants. Plants can kill. Valerian is very powerful and in very small doses won't do you any harm, but don't overdo it. There are other herbs as well. This one was just a pertinent example.

    But yeah, you've done your cold turkey and you got the night jags and you just want to sleep - a bit of herb in whatever form can help, sometimes.

    Now you are at stage three of your recovery. You've avoided death by severe withdrawal (stage one), you've avoided possible suicide by being being able to get at least one night's decent sleep in a weekly time frame (stage two)...

    Stage three is the hard part. You're alive, and you are hopefully semi-functioning.

    The days will be long, you will suffer anhedonia (the inability to take pleasure in anything - a kind of numbness where you experience a mild form of dissociation that makes everything seem surreal). Your life is probably not in the best of shape at this point anyway due to the alienation resulting from the abuse (of yourself and possibly others). It's a hard road.

    Some find comfort and solace in AA or God. Again, it's a good trick if it works for you. All the more power to you. Some people are lucky enough to have a friend. Many have no one at all. There is still hope.

    Each man's suffering is his own. And each man has to find his own way out, if he can...



    That's my little take on it anyway. What do I know?

    I will just say this though, and even though I'm not a professional, I do know a thing or two about certain things with regard to this. Again, don't listen to me. This information is just for entertainment purposes...


    When you drink alcohol it really disrupts just about every single part of your whole brain/body make up, and the ways that the brain/body talk to each other via neurotransmitters and hormones. Sometimes alcohol does this by biochemical means on the cellular level, sometimes it does it by physical means. It doesn't matter.

    The biochemistry of alcohol and alcohol abuse

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2727660



    One thing you need to do if you are abusing alcohol or if you are recovering from abusing it, is to eat properly. Good nutrients that will feed your mind as well as your body.

    One of the major ways that alcohol wreaks havoc on your system is to deplete and stop bioavailability of certain vitamins. These vitamins feed your organs such as your liver and strengthen it to help process out the toxins. If you don't eat, you won't get the vitamins. If you drink, even if you DO get the vitamins, alcohol will still destroy them. Things like the B vitamins are essential to maintaining a healthy liver and metabolism. If you wreck your gut lining with a solvent like alcohol (a merely physical process in this instance) then you won't be able to produce 'intrinsic factor' which is a precursor to metabolizing these vitamins you should be getting from food. The body turns certain foods/vitamins in to other foods/vitamims for the body. If you are poisoning your system this can not take place.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intrinsic_factor

    And also other things can deplete these essential life-saving vitamins. Do you take antacids for that bile your stomach is bringing back up because you drink too much? Well, that depletes B12 even further.

    https://www.thejakartapost.com/life/2016/11/25/five-vitamins-you-need-to-support-your-liver.html


    https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/vitamin-b-regenerate-liver-4602.html

    Once cirrhosis -- which means severe scarring and fibrosis -- develops in liver tissue, the cirrhotic part will never regenerate. B-complex vitamins can help with effects of cirrhosis such as memory loss and nerve damage if you have liver damage, especially if you drink heavily. If you have liver inflammation without cirrhosis, your liver can regenerate if you remove whatever is causing the damage. Simply taking B vitamins without removing the source of damage, however, won't regenerate your liver cells.


    B Vitamins and Your Liver


    Liver disease can cause vitamin B deficiencies. The B-complex family comprises eight different B vitamins. Vitamin B deficiency most often occurs in alcoholics as a result of poor diet. B-complex vitamins often affected by liver disease include B1, or thiamine; B-6; and B-12. For instance, according to a 2014 article in "e-SPEN Journal", poor liver function diminishes B-12 stores and metabolism. Alcoholics with liver damage develop B-1 deficiency because they either don't consume enough B-1 in their diet or they don't absorb the vitamin well enough in the intestine. Alcohol also interferes with folate absorption.



    ...
     
  10. Teleposer

    Teleposer Tele-Holic

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    Part 2:


    But it's not just your liver you need to watch out for, it's your whole body. If you drink too much you can get peripheral neuropathy where you basically burn out your nerves, this results in tingling in the extremities such as the hands and feet, sometimes pain, sometimes numbness.

    Taking Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) can prevent this, and also to an extent cure it.

    All the B vitamins play a role in a healthy sub system of the body. Some are more important than others. Some just help to maintain healthy hair and nails (B7 - Biotin). Others like B12 you will die if you don't have enough of (pernicious anemia). B vitamins help to create energy from the food you eat. They alleviate depression.

    If you drink alcohol you absolutely need to supplement with B vitamins. All of them. It will help you to get through withdrawal. It will help you to sleep and it will help you to not get so damaged in the first place by maintaining a healthier liver function. But there is only so much they can do. Prevention is better than cure as always.

    If you drink, you need to take B vitamins. If you are withdrawing from alcohol, you need to take B vitamins. If you are rebuilding your life after a long period of alcoholism, you need to take B vitamins.

    But it's not just B vitamins. Alcohol also reduces Zinc. Zinc is absolutely essential to the human body. It will get depleted if you drink. Also Magnesium - absolutely essential again.

    If you take Zinc and Magnesium when recovering it will lift your mood as well as repair your body. You can feel it within hours of taking it. Not only does it help to rebuild your broken down body, it helps to rebuild your mind.

    Then there is Vitamin D as well. Another essential.

    And don't forget good old Vitamin C. Another thing that helps reduce inflammation in the body and a powerful anti-oxidant. I take the maximum dose each day with added bioflavinoids.

    https://www.healthline.com/health/bioflavonoids

    Bioflavonoids are antioxidants. You may already be familiar with antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E and carotenoids. These compounds may protect your cells from free radical damage. Free radicals are toxins in the body that can damage healthy cells. When this happens, it is called oxidative stress.

    Other antioxidants, like flavonoids, may not be found in high concentrations in the bloodstream alone. But they may affect the transport or activity of more powerful antioxidants, like vitamin C, throughout the body. In fact, some supplements you’ll find at the store contain both vitamin C and flavonoids together for this reason.


    But you don't want to go overboard with this stuff and you don't want to take too much for too long. This is for people who are drinking and for people recovering from the drink. After a year or so you should be getting these vitamins from your diet. The good news being, by this point your body should be able to synthesise these 'chemicals' now due to a healthier metabolism.


    You have to work out what works for you. Don't expect a doctor to know anything about this. Doctors are very very clever people, they have a broad range of knowledge to keep most people alive in most situations, but nutritionists they are not.


    If you drink too much, or are recovering from alcoholism, these are the vitamins and minerals you need to take (as a rough guide):


    Vitamin B1 100mg
    Vitamin B2 100mg
    Vitamin B3 16mg
    Vitamin B5 500mg
    Vitamin B6 50mg
    Vitamin B9 Folic Acid 400mcg x 240 tablets, - ONE A DAY (folacin)
    Vitamin B12 TABLETS | 5,000mcg | [5mg] Vitamin Methylcobalamin

    VITAMIN C+ 1000MG 120 TIME RELEASE WITH CITRUS, ROSEHIP + BIOFLAVANOIDS

    Vitamin D3 Strong 3000iu

    Magnesium Glycinate 500mg

    Zinc
    Gluconate 30mg


    Should cost you about a $100 for a few months supply, working out at a few bucks a week - what you spent on ONE beer!

    Take the B vitamins in one go as soon as you get up. They will give you energy and they absorb better. Give it half an hour before you have breakfast if you can.

    Take the Vitamin D3 with your breakfast.

    Take the Zinc an hour after breakfast. This will give you energy as well. Taking it on a totally empty stomach results in a bit of discomfort for some people. A bit of food in your belly helps.

    Take the Vitamin C an hour before your main meal of the day (usually in the evening after work for most people - this helps to absorb all the nutrients in the food better). High doses can cause the runs for a few days but you will adjust.

    Take the Magnesium an hour before lights out. It will promote long-phase sleep so you don't wake up after an hour or two.

    That is my regimen anyway. You need to do your due dilligence. Some people react bad to taking Zinc on an empty stomach. And don't take Zinc with Magnesium as they fight for bioavailability in the body. Start off with low doses and check your tolerance. Even though these are safe to take, some people still react badly sometimes. I am not a doctor or nutritionist, so don't listen to me!

    Some need to be taken on an empty stomach because they are water soluble (B vitamins) some need to be taken with food because they are fat soluble (Vitamin D). Magnesium is best taken at night before bed. It promotes healthy sleep patterns.


    I just want to say I'm not a 'quack' and it makes no difference to me if you heed this 'advice' or not. And I must also add that I've been out to the furthest reaches of human experience when it comes to withdrawal and depression of all kinds. I'm probably not alone in that. But it is worth mentioning.

    These vitamins are not a cure all. They are not a panacea. They are not a quick fix.

    What they are is a way for you to help heal your body so it can start being nice to itself again (perhaps for the first time ever) and to help the body and mind to join together so it can heal itself.

    If you are so far gone you can not feel your fingertips anymore (peripheral neuropathy) and you have had to give up guitar, take a 100mg of Thiamine a day. Within a day or two the pain should have subsided and you should have the use of your fingers back. Almost like magic. But... and it's a big 'but', if you have really damaged your body, then no vitamin will heal you. This stuff only works on people that are borderline.

    This stuff can really work. It's safe compared to antidepressants. And it's something anyone can do (after some due diligence). It can heal your body and heal your mind.

    The hard part (healing of your spirit/soul - if you believe in such things) is then down to you...
     
  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Well that's a tough question!
    If you can separate the mind from the body, the question is a little easier to answer, yet still almost impossible.
    WRT exercise shortening the interval, IME lack of exercise shortens it even more because (attempting to) spend the first year clean and sober sitting around doing nothing physical will return us to the booze much quicker.

    Then looking at the long posts by @Teleposer (which I have not yet read in full) we note that the body is more complicated than we might presume in setting a time for the alcoholic to become normal.
    In AA there is a saying: "Once you're a pickle, you can't turn back into a cucumber".
    For me I chose many solutions including taking better care of myself in all the ways I'd been slacking.
    Physical exercise is certainly helpful and needed, but it is not the cure all.
    Craving the rush of endorphins and/ or adrenalin was a big part of what drove me to use for a better feeling.
    Recovery is not about finding new ways to get a rush.

    For those who get sober young (I did at 16, but relapsed at 18) the body hasn't been altered much, but by 30 or so we've made some changes and each individual will have done their own version of internal demolition derby.

    Back to separating the mind from the body, I don't think we can and in the '90s medical research discovered that the two were even more linked than we thought. The mind can actually alter our DNA, and for example not dealing with depression for a long time sort of sets the mind/ body into hard to change depression, like leaving a guitar neck warped for years.

    To my observation anyone at any depths of the sickness of substance dependency can return to a good life without the substance abuse, but some require an awful lot of work, and none who are truly the sick version (as opposed to the folks that used to drink and quit when they noticed it was inconvenient) get all better with little time or effort.
    Recovery is not about waiting!

    I may seem like a Debbie downer in these discussions of what does it take to get clean and sober; but what I've seen in my really not very long 21 years is that at one year we are the most vulnerable to relapse, precisely because it is a date that seems so significant.
    We made it a whole year, so we are out of the woods.
    But that doesn't mean we no longer need to take the measures that got us out of the woods any more.
    In fact it means that statistically we are closer to our next drink, which only makes sense after some years of making new friends and seeing this very same thing: "Got a year so I'm better now and don't need to work as hard on getting and staying well".

    The tricky part is that getting sober or getting clean appears to be the hard part when we're on the other side of it.
    But the bigger reality is that getting clean or sober was the easy part, where staying that way is what's hard.

    For the few who find staying clean and sober was easy, my guess is that those are the individuals who really just partied a little too much and quit. If it was easy stopping and staying stopped, we are probably not the sick variety.

    But for many in early recovery, it seems easy for quite a while.
    What is really easy is going back to drinking and drugging after some freedom.
    It surprises the best of us.
    At any number of years.
     
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  12. Teleposer

    Teleposer Tele-Holic

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    @telemnemonics


    I just wrote a long reply to someone that started a conversation with me. I was just saying the same thing:

    If you can separate the mind from the body, the question is a little easier to answer, yet still almost impossible.

    Or rather, you can't separate the two. When you learn how the body/brain works, the two are very obviously inextricably linked. If the greatest philosophers in mankind's recent history can't come to a conclusion, and if the the greatest doctors at the outermost point of cutting edge research can't agree either, well...

    Not even getting in to that whole 'duality' debate. The body creates chemicals (hormones, neurotransmitters) such as serotonin (80 percent of it produced in the gut) that effect the brain and general wellbeing very much. But the Pituitary Gland (in the brain) regulates sleep and hunger by signalling with the adrenal glands (above the kidneys). Both inform and feed the other. Then feedback again.

    But there is a distinction between the 'mind' as you put it, and the brain. Let's not get too deep here. No one has ever solved that one...


    As for "Once you're a pickle, you can't turn back into a cucumber".

    Otherwise known as 'The needle and the damage done'.

    Heroin addiction is a lot more glamorous than alcohol addiction - mainly because you 'live fast, die young'. But I won't argue the toss here.


    Back to separating the mind from the body, I don't think we can and in the '90s medical research discovered that the two were even more linked than we thought. The mind can actually alter our DNA, and for example not dealing with depression for a long time sort of sets the mind/ body into hard to change depression, like leaving a guitar neck warped for years.


    In the young formative years of a child's development, how he/she is exposed to stress and in what kind of environment and with what kind of outcome can permanently forge the neural pathways that make up the human body/brain system. I forget the research on this now, but I have it somewhere.

    For example, parents can really turn a young child in to a man by providing certain scenarios, then again, they can permanently break that child by providing bad scenarios.

    In future life, the way that child responds to stress, as an adult, will determine if they become self-sufficient, or become withdrawn and unable to cope. We all know someone who is good under pressure and can lead, and we all know someone who buckles quickly under pressure and runs away. Nature and nurture. Both play a part.



    The alcohol issue is a very complicated one to solve.

    But I'm not being trite or glib when I say it's not too late to contemplate a life without alcohol. It takes a bit of real pain to start with, then it takes some real willpower to maintain, and after that it takes a whole new building and restructuring of your life, in the long term. But it can be done.

    And I'd venture further to say that if you are reading this forum, there's a good chance you are some kind of musician, a guitar player perhaps, or maybe one not so gifted and just a mere keyboard player, or god forbid, perhaps you are a drummer! :) But we are all brothers and sisters here, of a kind. The wonderful world of music is a hallowed ground and anyone that ever strummed some strings or spanked some planks or beat up on some old pots in their granny's kitchen, well, you have access to a whole new universe and portal to let go into and enter...

    It's well known and accepted wisdom in the rehab field that it's just not possible to 'just stop'. The addiction always needs to be replaced. The focus always needs to be placed elsewhere. It really helps to get out from your immediate environment, but this can be hard for people who have become sedentary and have limited options. So we need to change the space around us, if we can't travel far and wide.

    Music, guitar, keyboards, drums, singing, can lift and elevate and transpose and transmutate.

    It's a hard trick to do. But it's doable.


    ...


    Good and honest post, telemnemonics.

    Much wisdom in there to unpack.

    For the interested reader...
     
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  13. tlp123

    tlp123 Tele-Meister

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    All the best to you. You will be successful if you truly want it.

    It's fantastic news that you've taken the first steps and are staying the course.

    Never forget, its always a choice, and most important of all, your choice.

    I've struggled with many harmful things, and made plenty of mistakes. We're all a work in progress. True happiness starts within, and within you. You can get there. The magic is in your spirit. It's in all of us. Sometimes it seems not, but it's there. You have it. We all have it. Sometimes we have to dig deep to find it.

    Don't get side tracked by endless suggestions and judgments. All that will always be there. You've taken the first great step in ownership of this struggle. One huge component of success is finding what works for you. None of us are the same, one size does not fit all.

    We are all more powerful many times than we realize.

    Hang in there, I'm pulling for you.
     
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