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  2. Checking In - July 2018

    Hi there I'm just popping by, it's coming up to my 5 years AF date. For anyone who doesn't know I did TSM for almost 2 years which got my intake right down, before I decided it was time to quit totally. Not had a single drop since 21st July 2013. In that time I've gone back to uni, done a post grad to qualify as a psychotherapist, decided to take further specialist training in eating disorders and obesity. It's not uncommon for EDs and food issues to go hand in hand with addiction/substance abuse - which I know through my own experience (and suffering). Now hoping I can offer the sort of help I didn't receive. I've also been able to do very well in the sport I wanted to be involved with, and very interested/involved with various alternative health practices - yoga, cold water therapy, various other things I use to help reduce anxiety and handle stress.
  3. The French position, fighting back

    It's a shame the prescription of bac has to be associated with all the psychotherapeutic/psychosocial stuff, since it is a stand alone treatment as many of us can testify. Still, it's progress & yes, good news!
  4. Earlier
  5. The French position, fighting back

    That's great news!
  6. The French position, fighting back

    It seems that the French have decided to allow the use of baclofen in the treatment of alcoholism. After hearing from baclofen users and supporters the scientific commission set up to consider the issue decided that baclofen treatment needs to continue. Here is a report of the recommendations of the commission, I've underscored the important passages: "Following the filing of a marketing authorization application filed by the Ethypharm laboratory concerning the specialty Baclocur® (baclofen in the treatment of alcohol-dependence) following the modified RTU which limited to 80 mg / day the maximum dosage of baclofen in this indication, the CSST (Temporary Special Scientific Committee) mandated by the ANSM had delivered a negative opinion on the benefit / risk of this treatment because of various signals of concern regarding the safety of use of this drug especially high doses. The concern of the patients concerned, their entourage and caregivers was therefore major because this opinion could lead to the refusal of the AMM, the termination of the RTU and thus the withdrawal of baclofen in this indication! An unbelievable new episode in the already (too) animated saga of baclofen. However, following the mobilization of patient associations, prescribers and professional federations and aware that baclofen met a real expectation and that the problem posed a real societal dimension beyond the conventional evaluation of a drug, the Director General of the ANSM decided for the first time to create and convene a "Joint Ad Hoc Committee", bringing together members of the three regular commissions of the ANSM to give an opinion on the evaluation of the use of baclofen in the treatment alcohol-dependent patients. YES to baclofen! This commission, chaired by Professor Nicolas Authier, met on 03 and 04 July, the day of 03/07 being devoted to the hearing of stakeholders, associations of patients, prescribers involved, learned societies, professional federations of which the Addiction Federation represented by Drs. Aram Kavciyan and Xavier Aknine (under MG Addiction). These hearings and the rich debates that followed allowed this commission, despite the CSST's opinion, to decide in favor of the use of baclofen in alcohol-dependent patients and therefore against the withdrawal of this drug. in this indication. NO to the AMM "Baclocur", in the state On the other hand, the Commission is against the marketing authorization application proposed by the Ethypharm laboratory. Unlike a RTU for which a mere presumption of effectiveness may be sufficient, a marketing authorization requires that the benefit / risk ratio be established, which, in the opinion of the Commission, was not the case solely with regard to elements produced in the dossier submitted by the laboratory. YES to a refurbished prescription setting: Following the hearings and the latest international data, the Commission proposes that the use of baclofen may continue, in particular under the following conditions: in the indication of alcohol use disorders after failure of available therapies with the objective of reducing alcohol consumption to a low-risk consumption level; prescription by any doctor up to the dosage of 80 mg / day. Beyond this dosage, specialized multidisciplinary management should be systematically proposed, given an increase in the frequency of serious undesirable effects with increasing doses; no contraindication in case of associated psychiatric disorders but need guidance for advice or follow-up to a psychiatrist; the prescription of baclofen must be associated with psychotherapeutic and / or psychocorporeal and / or social, systematic management; the prescription of baclofen must be accompanied by a booklet for monitoring and promoting the proper use of baclofen. Advances In the end and despite the negative opinion concerning the AMM dossier for "Baclocur ® " , the Commission is calling for the continued use of the baclofen indication in alcohol use disorders and even proposes to make the possibilities more flexible. prescribing the current RTU by no longer limiting them to 80 mg / day and not retaining the contraindications for psychiatric disorders proposed for example in the laboratory file . Lastly, it recalls the need for a global approach, not exclusively for medicine, to deal with such a complex problem. A consensus on baclofen, is it possible? Faced with this health problem of such a large scale and the difficulties of specialized access in certain territories, the Addiction Federation had for its part proposed a greater involvement of primary care medicine on the basis of ad hoc training. and strengthened links with addictology structures, reserving specialized intervention for complex cases regardless of a dose threshold. Similarly, the use of a specialized device beyond the dose threshold of 80 mg / day can only be done in compliance with the therapeutic alliance created with the patient. Nevertheless, it welcomes the real progress achieved by this important work of consultation, especially as the convergent positions of all the professional organizations, including the Addiction Federation, helped to influence the debates in order to better meet patients' expectations. . It is now up to the ANSM to make a decision, we do not doubt that it is part of the dynamic consensual thus launched!" https://www.federationaddiction.fr/communique-commission-baclofene-a-lansm-un-pas-en-arriere-deux-pas-en-avant/
  7. Checking In - July 2018

    Logged on just now, and so happy to see all this activity! @Nicnak it's nice to hear that things seem on an upswing, and congrats on your week! You know the first days and weeks are the toughest, but 7 days is a big deal and I'm glad you're not oppressed by cravings. @Molly78 your son sounds like he's in a tough place. I remember when bac (or in his case, nal) promised to be a miracle cure and at the same time permission to go all out and drink as much as I could. Beginning to think even that may be part of the long, ongoing process. Hope he finds his way. And here's to you, and your concern. Genetic dispositions are a b*tch but try not to carry too much guilt for it - no one ever makes anyone else drink. @Felina you are rockin' it these days. Awesome about your job, the challenging and rewarding part. And @Reggie! Good to see you, brother. Hope you're doing well. Would be great to hear from Ne, last I heard she's still alive but that's all I know. Miss her and worry about her. Sober is till going ok more or less for me, just the way things are. Still counting the months when the 8th rolls around, which is today, which is 19 months. Went to a wedding yesterday, and that was fine. I still think about drinking almost every day, but not exactly cravings. It's been so, so hot here the last couple days and I remembered the misery of sweltering hot days when I was in the depths of booze, how much it sucked to be sweaty and lethargic and still needing to pour buckets of liquor into myself. Man, glad it doesn't have to be like that today. To deal with stress I've been getting high every night for the last few weeks - since school ended, really. Sometimes a little earlier than "night," but I hate being high during the day. I've cancelled all the ways I watch TV - Netflix has been gone for a while, Amazon Prime ends today (after catching up on Game of Thrones ), so the options for getting high and vegging out to TV will be extremely limited. That's the point. The job situation is pretty dire - the job I thought I had a real good shot at turned me down on Friday, and now I'm not sure about the chances to stay in LA. Something is bound to work out, I know, but the waiting and the stress and the distraction of it all is really messing with me this year. Haven't worked much at all on my writing - the only thing that truly matters. I have all this time, but find it near impossible to do any sustained work. It's a daily struggle, one that I hope will improve without the escape of wallowing in front of the television. That's about it here, hope y'all are having a good one.
  8. Checking In - July 2018

    Yes, congrats to @Nicnak Just heard my son has discharged himself from the Priory as he was "fed up with the 12 steps bollocks". He has a script from his GP for naltrexone & has read up on TSM so fingers crossed. He had a go before he went to the Priory but Like a lot of people he thought it meant he could push his drinking to the limit & somehow be miraculously cured. As I think @BarrelChested has said - medication helps you to help yourself but it won't work if you're not working with it.
  9. Checking In - July 2018

    Oh my goodness @Molly78 I am so sorry about your son. I'm glad you're taking care of yourself with the increased bac. I imagine it would be too easy to drink away your troubles. Self-care is so important! I hope your son can find some relief soon. Congrats on the AF time, @Nicnak. Glad to hear that the Nal is working for you.
  10. Going back to baclofen

    Stevo I can recommend this......... it works for me. try it 30 mg Bac 300 mg gabapentin ( which is a low dose) kills anxiety which i believe is the main reason we drink
  11. Checking In - July 2018

    For Ne I know you love prince
  12. Checking In - July 2018

    Hi all sorry to hear about your son Molly.Its always something I’m looking for in my eldest and although he’s only 22 I worry he will inherit my and his dads alcohol problems. As some will know I gave up bac after multiple tries.The last time due to the ongoing constipation problem and nearly having an accident after falling asleep momentarily at the wheel.I started TSM 10 weeks ago and decided that I had to diet before my holiday in sept so vowed to go AF.Didnt have much faith that I could do it because the cravings were still quite strong(drinking about 1.5 bottles of wine a day). well I’m now into my 7th day AF and have hardly any cravings.I do think naltrexone is working for me,fingers crossed
  13. Checking In - July 2018

    Hello been a while happy chappy here just wanted to make sure NE is ok im missing you darling Please please as the beatles song goes let us know you are ok :😊 Good to see you molly And stuck you are buff sober (wonder what that looks like) Off to count my blessings
  14. Checking In - July 2018

    Hi everyone - I thought the site had finally crashed! Still no word from Ne, then. Having got down to 80 mg bac I have experienced a series of family disasters which have left me stressed & anxious - & therefore liable to drink. Have gone back up to 150 mg currently. Likely to stay there or maybe keep going up. Depends what happens. I have one son moved back in with me following his divorce. He has now found his own property & is slowly moving in. The ending of the marriage was hard for him (& me!) but I think he can now see that he is rid of a poisonous relationship & he has established regular contact already with his 4 children which is going well. My youngest son has severe issues with alcohol, drugs & marital breakdown. He is currently in The Priory, North London. There is a saying that as a mother you are only ever as happy as your most unhappy child. Which puts my happiness levels at rock bottom right now. I don't feel I can discuss his issues online - he might want to use this website one day after all. In fact I hope he will as that would indicate progress which is not happening at the moment. Bucketloads of guilt here. He has inherited these problems from me & as parents we were hardly good role models when it came to alcohol. Meanwhile, the UK has a heatwave, which is what I hoped for during my first summer of retirement. The evolving issues with my sons have prevented me from full enjoyment of it. Or of anything at the moment. Thank God for bac.
  15. Checking In - July 2018

    Hello all! Just back from a beach vacation. Had a lovely time. Still hanging in there with 60mg of Baclofen. I’m glad to see the site back up.
  16. Checking In - July 2018

    Happy July, @StuckinLA! I'm doing well. Glad the Fourth of July is behind us. My dogs become absolutely terrorized during fireworks season. I spend the entire time comforting them. Sigh. Good to see the site back up again. What's the news on your job situation? My new-ish (two years) job is going really well. I am at an agency where I feel appreciated. The work is challenging and sometimes exhausting, but otherwise no complaints. Still on 140 mgs/day of baclofen, and I've resigned myself to the fact that I will probably be on that dosage for the rest of my life.
  17. Checking In - July 2018

    Well, looks like the site's back up after a couple days. So, happy July everybody! How are we?
  18. Going back to baclofen

    @Stevo I'm in a similar boat. I've been off high-dose baclofen for 4 years or so now, and wouldn't you know, my drinking continued to get worse. I hit bottom about 3 weeks ago. Family left, lost my job, hospitalization, great times. I had a medically-supervised detox and have been sober since, which has been great, but certainly reminded me why I turned to baclofen in the first place - I’m a profoundly bad fit for AA, and it’s likely only a matter of time before I start drinking again. I feel awesome, I feel strong, but I’ve felt this way before. I look forward to bitching about side-effects with you.
  19. Checking in – June 2018

    Just wanted to pop in and say hello to everyone. @Mom2JTx3 I absolutely agree with you and am also very happy you are not drinking! Abstinence is the only way for me now. I also have a new added incentive not to drink now, my doctor put me on 300mg Wellbutrin to go with my daily dose of 30mg Lexapro. Wellbutrin and alcohol simply don't mix and if I were to drink I would be risking seizures or death- not cool! I have only been on the Wellbutrin for 10 days but have noticed a remarkable difference which is amazing because the full effects don't start until about a month in when it has saturated your blood stream. I still have crazy "thoughts" but they don't drive me into a depressed mess like they did before. They seem to just dissipate quickly and I'm able to focus on whatever task I'm doing. The other upside is that I am totally unable to sleep/nap during the day now. Since I work from home this has been awesome because I used to try to bury my depression by taking long naps during the work day. Other good things are happening as well. I totally stopped smoking pot. I realized that it was just gluing me to my couch and I was missing out on life. I'm also starting my own Digitial Marketing business. I finally realized that I've been settling for to long and want to take control of my own financial future. I'm still doing all of the training, setting up my business and learning the process but I plan to start prospecting and working with clients within the next week. I am very excited about this! My goal is to be bringing in enough income from this to be able to finally quite my job by October 1st and go full time. @StuckinLA Sorry to hear about being out of work. I'm positive something will come around for you sooner rather than later. I wish you the best and empathize with your situation. I've only tried Kratom once and I can't really describe the feeling now because it was so long ago. You might also want to try Kava Kava. This is an island drink from the Kava plant that causes almost instant relaxation along with a slight buzz (or a major buzz if you use a lot). People in places like Fiji and other island area's use this instead of alcohol because it's not addictive, leaves no hangovers and is totally natural. If you decide to try this, I suggest Googling "Instant Kava Kava". Kava comes from a root and if you buy the actual plant you have to do a ton of work to make the drink. I've actually heard that their are Kava bars popping up all across the US. If you want to try a sample you can go to any Vitamin Shoppe and pick up Kava tea bags.They are only about $9 but very weak. Let 4 tea-bags steep for 5 minutes then gulp it down. You will feel it very quickly. I would not suggest using the tea bags regularly as they are cost prohibitive when you can go online and get a full time of instant for about $25. I wish you the best and empathize with your situation.
  20. Checking in – June 2018

    Just a quick hello, have been quite busy with life of late!. @StuckinLA I hope those cravings pass. They are no fun. Had a bad time with depression last week, which seemed to lift over the weekend. Started to make jokes etc with the family. I'm not fixed, but it's been nice to come up for air. I have started to see how my behavior and thinking is pretty screwy when depressed. It's not a bad thing, more just an awareness of how powerful this thing is. Still not drinking. That's def a good thing.
  21. Checking in – June 2018

    OMG I'm so bored of myself. Major TV binge the last week+, like watching ALL of Game of Thrones. Oh how I will soon complain again about not having enough time, after wasting all of it. Hope y'all are doing well out there, and not in the same post-semester crash spiral I'm trying to climb out of.
  22. TSM

    Barbara glad I've been able to help, for the record I know a whole range of drinkers who've had good results from TSM - every day, lower intake, higher intake, binge drinkers all sorts. Another observation I've made is that it tends to work best for those who keep it simple, and don't try to out think it.
  23. Checking in – June 2018

    The job search is F'ed, as always. Got a COBRA notice in the mail, that's sure a heck of a way to learn you're not being hired back at a place (for our friends who have universal healthcare, COBRA is a program that allows you to purchase at full price your insurance benefits that you had at work for a short period of time after you lose your job). So looks like one of my schools won't be inviting me back. Haven't heard from the other one either way, and I've never been the sort to believe no news to be good news. I keep on throwing applications at just about every job that's announced. Even far afield, like Wyoming and North Dakota, like really out in the midst of nowhere. The only positive lead thus far is an automated email from one school, which said there's a possibility for classes but it may take a while for their budget to sort itself out. No idea what "a while" means in this case, but it's at least a hope to hold on to. Waiting and uncertainty just make everything else harder. Instead of sitting down to work really hard on writing that I want to work on, I'm constantly checking my email. Instead of focusing, I'm distracted. Guess we're only a week or two into the summer, so there's still time to turn that around though, and believe me I'm trying. Anyway, thanks for asking @Mom2JTx3. Probably told you a bit more than you meant to learn . What's Kratom, again? I've been having thoughts of drinking just about every day for the last four or five months. The whole first half of this second year of sobriety has been an annoying bitch, and lately I've just been getting high and watching a lot of TV. Better than drinking, but I totally shut down and zone out when high - not conducive to being around other people or even getting anything done here on my own.
  24. Checking in – June 2018

    @Jetsman32 I’m glad you posted. I was wondering how you were doing. It is my belief that if you want to go very low or off of Baclofen then abstinance is the safest choice. @Otter Thanks for the update. I’m glad things are going well! @StuckinLA How’s the job search? My family is heading to Hilton Head soon for a week of vacation. I’m looking forward to some beach time. Hope everyone else is doing well. BTW, I’ve been dabbling with Kratom on a few occasions when I’m going out and everyone is drinking. I’m giving it a thumbs up.
  25. Checking in – June 2018

    All is well here. My wife is still on a combo of 40 mg of baclofen a day and Campral. Seems to be the right medication for her. It's also changed her from being irritable in the morning to being even tempered, which is great. I've taken some of the same combo and it seems to have a generally calming effect. Trouble is I'm so chilled I fall asleep in the afternoon and then end up awake all night. I think with coming off baclofen you have to be a bit careful not to think you can't slip back into a drinking binge. It's easily done but the great thing is you can then reinstate your dosage and get though it. Over the years, my wife went from seeing baclofen as a pain in the bum because of the side effects, to realizing it worked at the right dosage, but not engaging properly, to relapsing and then taking it more seriously, to taking it routinely but finding it didn't hit all of the psychological problems she had, ie., anger. Then, with some pretty horrendous but short relapses and with getting onto Campral, she's now come to the conclusion that it just is not worth drinking and that it's too easy to get a false sense of security. We are in year 9 of this after a twenty year addiction. The family have now come around. They are all here working and over the past couple of months everyone is again talking, which makes life easier all round. I heard from the French side and it seems the court decided it was not going to overturn the decision of the ANSM without full hearings but they did allow high dose baclofen, I think for anyone who wants it, but the RTU at 80mg is still in place. I'm not sure of the exact situation but hearings are scheduled for over the summer. It's really impossible for a court to made a decision to allow prescribing when the government's own advisors have made a decision. They've got to hear evidence on all sides as to what the basis of he decision is. My own feeling on it is that the decision to reduce dosage is a result of a fundamental problem with how baclofen is delivered and overseen by doctors. Sure, users have ended up in hospital and some have committed suicide. Suicide is very high among alcoholics in any event so I wonder what the comparative statistics are. The problem I see is that the way baclofen is taken,on a daily, divided dose basis, is impossible for a doctor to manage for a patient who takes it at home, unsupervised. Alcoholism is such a serious illness. Severe alcoholism seems to respond best to alcoholism. Severe alcoholics are most in need of in-patient treatment. Baclofen is not administered on an in-patient basis. So, it's a mess, to put it bluntly. Doctors hand out the pills, and say, "get on with it". How do they even know the patient is taking the drug? It's not properly monitored and it needs medical backup if it can result in hospitalisation. Are medical back up procedures being put in place? I doubt it. The French ANSM who decided to reduce the daily dosage did so in exercise of their pharmacovigilence role in ensuring safety of drugs. This idea of looking at drug safety arose out of the thalidomide cases back in the 50's. In that case, the only issue was the safety of the drug and whether the deformities were worth it for the benefit of the drug in making deliveries more comfortable. There were no wider public health and social issues like there is with alcoholism which need to be weighed. Taking thalidomide didn't reduce the crime or family breakdown rates, for example. All of that needs to be looked at in a risk/benefit analysis. Also, the fact that there are deaths associated with a drug is not a reason for denying it to patients. I looked into chemotherapy and found that there are a lot of deaths among patients just from the toxicity of chemotherapy itself, nothing to do with the cancer, and they don't suspend or limit the use of those drugs. Anyway, it's an interesting time. I've taken a bit of a break from it as we've had lots of other things going on. I've been offered a position here and I'm working on some legal problems for an organisation I belong to. We're also trying to set up a business to give us a steady income and my wife has done all the work on that, which is a huge change from several years ago. I didn't actually ever think I'd see this day. It's such a shame that stories like this are dismissed by the academics and politicians as anecdotal. I thought we were in a more compassionate and intelligent world but we still seem to have to suffer with people who really don't care and don't want to know, but hold power over us. Such is life. You just have to go forward.
  26. Checking in – June 2018

    @MJM Congratulations on both the smoking and the 3 months of sobriety. I know that doing either is hard but to do them at the same time successfully truly shows how dedicated you are to change. Things are going fairly well here for me. Today marks two weeks that I have Baclofen free! When I was at 310 I never thought I would be able to come off of it completely but here I am. So far the urges to drink have been minimal. However, on Saturday night I did take part in to much rum however, I set a time to stop and stuck to it. I'm beginning to think that I can't drink at all anymore. It's strange but every-time I drink (the last 5 times at least) I will wake up in the middle of the night with severe anxiety. So much so that I need to take Klonopin to calm myself down. I find this weird because it feels like withdrawals but that doesn't make sense if I'm only drinking one night per week or every two weeks. Pretty sure that being on Bac for so long changed something related to Gaba in my brain and now alcohol has serious consequences for me afterwards. It's that or God just decided that my drinking days are over! I've decided that I'd like to make some changes in my life and have been reading a lot of self help books. I started with Tony Robbins Awaken the Giant Within and while I found it enjoyable it seemed way to long and didn't give clear directions on how to change my mindset and form new habits. The book I am reading now, and really using is called You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. So far I love it. It talks a lot about positive affirmations and gives a near perfect outline of how to form new lasting habits. For instance, last week, every morning I got up 90 minutes earlier to study for my PHR exam and to ride my exercise bike for 25 minutes. I've also started taking very cold showers every morning. I read a ton of articles that talk about how it makes you more alert throughout the day while also helping to control anxiety. So far doing all of these things has really just made me feel like a more productive person and I plan to continue to build new habits on top of these. The last thing I wanted to mention is that if anyone needs baclofen please feel free to personal message me. I might know a way for you to get some for free.
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