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The End of my Addiction

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  2. guardian

    Checking In June 2019

    Hi Otter. I'm also surprised at how little traffic comes through here as well as the old meds forum. I suppose part of that is my fault as I've had experiences that were probably worth sharing since getting under control with baclofen and could very well serve to help others.
  3. Otter

    Baclofen for benzo withdrawal

    I got hooked on Benzodiazapine. It took a long time to come off it, long before I took any baclofen but I felt lousy for years after I stopped taking it. I then took baclofen starting about 8 years ago for anxiety and got up to over 100 mg a day but it made me very drugged at that level. I got off baclofen after few years and then took it intermittently as and when. As time goes by taking baclofen, you find it doesn 't feel as though it's doing anything and you ramp up the dose, but now I could take any level and it wouldn't have any side effects so I just take enough to deal with occasional episodes of stress, maybe 20 mg and that works well. My experience with baclofen for my anxiety made me feel that it is very good at allowing me to think through things without getting stressed about them. After a while, I felt it had made a permanent change, that I became used to the idea that worrying was just a bunch of garbage and if I just calmed my mind, I'd think about how to deal with issues and then do what I needed to do. I'd certainly never take benzos again. I don't stress about anything and if I feel something coming on, I take a couple of baclofen. Hope that helps.
  4. Gunieagirl

    Baclofen for benzo withdrawal

    I'd be curious to see if it can work too
  5. Otter

    Checking In June 2019

    Hi, it's a bit quiet here. Glad to see you are ok. Baclofen is a muscle relaxant, by the way. I wonder whether your back pain is because the baclofen is making a lot of muscles relax, ie., all of them, so you are now finding you are putting strain on parts of you back that are being allowed to move around in a different way. Just a thought but I'm no doctor. You are right when you say it is a rough road. That was something we were discussing several years ago. The big mistake in all this is to take what Olivier Ameisen said about baclofen working "effortlessly", the wrong way. What he meant is that it means you don't have to exert willpower. When it works, it just stops your cravings in their tracks. But, what is no "effortless" is dealing with the administration of the medicine and dealing with the other effects and aspects of the medical treatment regime. Any idea where everyone is?
  6. Thanks for sharing Terry. How do you recommend finding a doctor who will prescribe Baclofen? Are they usually psychiatrists?
  7. Otter

    New to the Forum, not new toBaclofen

    Baclofen is used to treat muscle spasm. It loosens off the spasm so it's more likely that if you get stiffness in your leg at night, it's because the baclofen is wearing off. That's my guess. I find I tense up from stress a lot and that baclofen eases it off.
  8. guardian

    New to the Forum, not new toBaclofen

    Tony, During my 1st run-up in baclofen dose (many years ago) I experienced extreme tension in my lower trapezius. This coincided with a significant bout of hypomania and associated sleep deprivation. I think it was more related to the "always on" nature of mania than that of baclofen.
  9. Hi @soulfine99, I take both baclofen and gabapentin. I am currently on 100 mg baclofen and 400 mg gabapentin per day, with zero side effects. I was previously on a much higher dose of baclofen, but have tapered down over the years. The baclofen keeps the alcohol cravings at bay, and the gabapentin helps me to stay asleep throughout the night (I used to have horrible early morning insomnia). I have zero side effects from the combo, and have never had any problems with it. I think I added the gabapentin around 8 months ago. The baclofen is prescribed by a doctor, but I ordered the gabapentin online to escape the headache of trying to negotiate it with the same doctor.
  10. Tony

    New to the Forum, not new toBaclofen

    Hi -- I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with tight muscles. I've recently developed a super tight left hamstring that causes me to wake up in the middle of the night. I am getting a poor night's sleep as a result. I'm not sure if it is connected, but I wanted to know if anyone else had the same experience.
  11. Otter

    New to the Forum, not new toBaclofen

    Hi MJM Yes, our lives are good. We've had some difficult times but who hasn't. Our life now is entirely due to baclofen. It's unlikely my wife would be alive without it. Life was unimaginably bad without baclofen. It treated/cured her. Without that, nothing else was possible. Before my wife began treatment with baclofen we were under supervision by the social services for several years because of her long-standing alcoholism, previous marriage breakdown and loss of her children from that marriage, and we were eventually taken to court to have our son taken away from us as well. That didn't happen until shortly after my wife found baclofen and started her treatment. She got baclofen by telling her doctor she needed it for stroke. At the time, 2009, there were no doctors in the NHS prescribing baclofen for alcoholism. We were taken to court, not because my wife had done anything in relation to our son, but because of an incident where she was going through severe DTs because she had not taken her baclofen for a few days and I, therefore, had her admitted to hospital. While in hospital, she went into a kind of manic, hallucinatory state and grabbed hold of a nurse which resulted in the police being called and, instead of my wife receiving treatment, she ended up in court...the court where I worked as a prosecutor. One thing led to another and that incident was reported to the social services, who then assigned a social worker to come to our house to observe my wife's behaviour. After the hospital incident, my wife was in a terrible state, going through withdrawals and totally devastated by being taken into police custody with inevitable consequences. Since I had instigated her admission to hospital, and she was suffering from having neither baclofen or alcohol for several days, she was in an extremely volatile and depressed mood. On top of it all, the social services took the position that they were going to insist that my wife and I separate and that my wife have no further involvement in my son's upbringing. They told me to organize getting my wife out of the house, or they would. Effectively, at that point, our family was finished. That was in 2010. When we got home after all of this, my wife was very upset. I had to explain the whole situation to her. By way of background, my wife had been having problems with taking baclofen from when she started taking it in the spring of 2009, because she did not like the side effects. I was trying to get her up to the dosage which I'd figured out was correct based on Dr. Ameisen's own experience and I was trying to get her to take 270 mg in a few doses a day. That was too much for her and she wasn't taking it and relapsed frequently into drinking. As a result, I got Dr Chick involved, and then a local gastroenterologist, and then started essentially forcing my wife to take small doses regularly until she stopped drinking within a few days. I took time off work to oversee this regime. Her condition at that point was so bad that she had relapsed into daily drinking of about 1.5 litres of vodka a day. She was so drunk she was like a zombie and I had to put the pills in her mouth. It was impossible if she was out with the count, difficult if she was awake but very drunk and more difficult as she sobered up because she resisted my giving her pills every few hours. When she did stop drinking completely, on the weekend, I couldn't get her to take any baclofen at all, because she hadn't been dealing with the doctors, I had, and she did not realize she was supposed to take small divided doses throughout the day. She'd been too "out of it" to understand what was going on. By the Monday, she was in a terrible state of mind because by the she was withdrawing from baclofen, as well as alcohol and she went into a total meltdown, the end result of which is that I had to have her taken off to hospital in an ambulance. There's more, I've skipped over about a week of horrors. So, there I was in a desperate situation, facing my marriage ending and with no idea of what was ahead. I remember being in our bedroom and my wife being in a rage. My only thought was to phone Phil Thomas, who is a former doctor and alcoholic who runs his own baclofen rehab business. I phoned on my mobile and handed it to my wife. She at least agreed to speak to him. After a few minutes she calmed down and then she started to laugh and joke with him. That initially calmed the situation down and, after the advice and support she got from Phil, she started taking baclofen on her own, without my forcing her. That was the first time she'd really taken the treatment seriously. She'd been on the drug for over a year but she constantly used "side effects" as a reason for not taking it, and constantly relapsed. The relapses would then make her say "see, it doesn't work". It was a viscous circle. Because of this incident, the social services sent a social worker to supervise us. They probably thought they could get the evidence they needed to split us up by having someone in our house and confirming that my wife was a full-on alcoholic. The social worker came once a week for a period of three months for a few hours at a time, to our house, to watch my wife. Instead of finding a falling down drunk, incapable of caring for her family, she found my wife was not drinking at all and was able to discuss parenting. They became good friends. After three months, the social worker wrote to us saying she was going to stop visiting because there were no problems and the social services had no further interest in us. However, the policy of social services is not to just give up. Instead, while the social worker was visiting us, the lawyers who oversee child protection filed an application with the court, called a "Childrens Panel", to have our parental rights as parents taken away. It took several months before we received a hearing date. The day of the hearing it was raining very heavily and we parked at the far end of the car park, up a bit of a hill. As we walked through the car park, my wife slipped in the rain and went down very heavily. She grabbed hold of me and I went down too, landing on her leg. The result was that she fractured her ankle. She had to have a plate inserted and was in a wheelchair for six months so at that point she actaully was incapable of looking after out son. Needless to say, the lawyers for the social services would have said her fall was due to alcohol. I defended the case against us and filed a court application to stop the whole procedure. That hearing was adjourned by a judge who was annoyed that I should have the impudence to try to delay a child hearing. After the hearing I spoke to the lawyer for the social services and realized she hadn't even seen the letter from the social services. I realized then that she had no case so I decided to just let the process come to a final hearing. As we left the court I turned to her and said "you'll never get an order against us" and turned away and walked off. What was most disturbing about this particular hearing, with that lawyer, is that she had been at the hearing when my wife broke her ankle and when we spoke, at the time, she knew about baclofen. In fact, her own mother was taking it for MS. She'd read all my submissions about baclofen treatment as well. She just had no interest in it or in whether anything I was saying was true. I decided not to pursue the court hearing and let the case go forward to a final hearing, where the Chidrens Panel was being asked to take away my and my wife's rights as parents. When I got to the final hearing, in front of a the panel of three people, the same lawyer attended and asked the social worker who attended to give evidence what she felt should happen. I knew what was coming. The social worker said that she had no concerns about my wife, because she was receiving treatment under supervision of her doctor, on baclofen, and as far as they were concerned, her treatment was working, and she was a fit to look after our son. She said they had nothing they could offer in addition to that, nor could they point to anything which had been detrimental to our son. In other words, they had no role to play in supervising us and could not criticize my wife as a parent since they had been to our house every week for three months and my wife was not drinking at all and was a devoted mother. What this meant was that they had no evidence at all. At that point, the lawyer started trying to persuade the Panel to keep us under a supervision order, which we had lived under for about 9 years or so, purely on the basis that it was "too soon" to leave us alone. One of the Panel said she agreed with the lawyer and, almost mockingly towards me, said something to the effect that "we don't usually let alcoholics off a supervision order this soon". In other words, she had no interest in the evidence and if my wife was an "alcoholic" that was good enough for her. The other two members of the Panel then proceeded to throw out the case, since there was no evidence in front of them to make any order. The lawyer was left sputtering. One Panel member said she had been there on the previous occasion when my wife broke her leg. Maybe she realized that the social services had caused my wife to fall in a slippery, rainy car park just to go to a hearing which should never have taken place, and made our lives massively worse. Had we not discovered baclofen, had it not worked, had it not been prescribed by a pre-eminent doctor and had it not been supervised by two local doctors, a GP and a gastroenterologist at the local hospital to the court, there's no chance we would have won that hearing. If we had lost, we would have lost parental rights to our son. If we had decided to leave the country, which we later did, we could not have taken our son and if we did so without permission, we would have had an arrest warrant issued. That's how serious this was to us. Without baclofen nothing we have done have would have been possible. We're now living in a beautiful house, on the Mediterranean, and my wife's two daughters, who were taken away from her when they were aged 12 and 8, are now living here too with their partners and our grandchildren.
  12. Hello, hope everyone is doing well. Newbie here - family member perspective. Advocating for my loved one as am his primary agent. Current doctor is indicating that you cannot mix Gabapentin and Baclofen -- he has to choose to be on one or the other. Another psychiatrist indicates that they indeed can be used in combo effectively? This is for a person who has been on Gabapentin and Campral (has previouslytried Naltrexone), and continues to suffer greatly despite therapy etc. Any advice overall and/or on a regimen/dosages that worked for you? Already has cirrhosis so that's a factor too. Thank you so much in advance for sharing your experiences.
  13. Hello all (or few), I had tritrated off Bac and had been off it for about 2 weeks, noticing a big ramp up in cravings. I have had many ' minor' nights (ie < one bottle) and a couple of heavy nights on AL. It has not been pleasant. It takes me a full day, sometimes two, to get over a big night on AL. There's a sense of doom surrounding it all when sober too. I am now tritrating up, day 2 of 12.5mg. I was pretty sensitive to the titrating off Bac, so am trying to be a bit careful going back on. The dread I felt this week, knowing I had a work trip and that the AL would be flowing fairly freely... and that I knew I'd have cravings. Not great. So fingers crossed that this wonder drug will work for me again. The main motivator for going off Bac was my back pain. But I have had a few instances where the back pain has been terrible, without Bac in my system. So I think Bac may have some influence there, but I'm not able to give it a red hot go of assessing it w/out Bac. I can't wait that long, because of cravings. There's rhumatoid (sp?) arthritis in my famly, a fairly strong strain of it (my grandmother, my mother and my sister). I think I might have the same thing. My knees randomly threaten to give way and my lower back pain and weakness is such a regular (yet random) feature of my life now. So frustrating. Complicating things a little is depression. I see a good psych Dr who last week proscribed Lexopro, which I am yet to fill. He is not totally convinced I need it, because of what is going on in my life that is causing stress. I continue to use a recumbant exercise bike, trying for at least 3 x 30min per week. Maybe not enough. Anyway, take care all. Baclofen can be a miracle drug for those who suffer alcohol addiction. It is not always smooth sailing though.
  14. Mom2JTx3

    Checking in May 2019

    @Lor if your struggling, I would agree with MJM to increase your dose.
  15. Mom2JTx3

    Checking in February 2019

    @Tony in my case, Baclofen didn’t overcome the habit, just the cravings. I had to make the decision to just stop for 30 days as I knew my doc was going to test me (she figured I would take Bac until I stopped for good. I didn’t bother to argue or discuss moderation). That was a helpful step for me. Making the decision to abstain for awhile broke that habit. I would recommend it :)
  16. Otter

    New to the Forum, not new toBaclofen

    Hi, Sorry I didn't reply to this sooner. I've been very busy recently with other things. I feel awful about what you went through. We have been there. It's horrific. You have no idea how powerful this drug until you go through something like what you went through. We are in Cyprus and we get Novartis Lioresal over the counter with no prescription and it's very cheap here. We are in the north. If the pharmacy is out of it, they get it delivered the next day. It's in every pharmacy but no one seems to have any idea what it is used for. Certainly not alcoholism. We've had some dealings with a senior psychiatrist who claims to be the most popular and experienced psychiatrist in the country and he had no idea, nor did a top GP. I can't really help you with the dosage or tapering as I'm no doctor. I myself got up to a high dosage just for stress and then decided to come off it and I did it over the space of one day. I held off taking it until I felt really bad, then took a pill to calm myself down, then waited again until I felt bad, took another pill and repeated that process again and again. Each time it was longer before I felt bad and by night time I was ok. I still take it from time to time, and I feel absolutely no side effects from it. It seems only to have an imperceptible ability to make me feel "ok". That's the only way I can describe it. I just fee normal. I do get stressed from time to time, and that just goes away by taking 20mg. I feel no effects at all, one way or the other. It just gets rid of any anxiety and I feel fine and think clearly. I suppose taking it for 10 years now on and off has made my brain used to it. I have no desire to drink whatsoever. My wife is the same. She also takes Campral, which is also available over the counter. Most things are here. She also has no side effects of any sort, and has no desire to drink at all. Sometimes, we go out for some event and drinks are available. I might have a glass of wine, and then wonder why I bothered. It has no effects either. In the long term, baclofen is a real game changer. If you can get a handle on it, and get out from all the problems that alcohol brings, you can start living all over again, absent all the garbage that people lay on you as a result of being a pathetic, lost soul or an enabler. You end up, instead, being the ones who aren't drinking heavily while everyone around you is sloshed and thinking that drinking at every opportunity is just fine. It's not been easy though. It wasn't until my wife got onto Campral as well as baclofen that a lot of issues cleared up. She had a very sharp temper every morning until she started on the Campral. Now she's pretty much 100% normal and the only thing that gives away that she has ever had a problem are the dozens of self inflicted knife wounds on her arms from years of self harming and suicide attempts, all of which stopped with baclofen. Again, everyone is different. My wife was probably at the most serious end of the spectrum of alcohol disease and is lucky to be alive. She was a real basket case for about eight or nine years and in the end, rarely got out of bed from week to the next during binges that lasted a month at a time, and sobering up only when she was too ill to drink, then relapsing after less than a week. We had a lady living with us who died in October and our dog died a few weeks ago. Our son is going through A levels and my mother-in-law is in a care home with Alzheimers, and all the stress isn't having any serious effect on us. I'm getting back into work again and my wife runs a business in the UK which provides our income. We have family here and after many years of being shunned, they are now getting used to the idea that my wife isn't drinking. That's the worst of it, that people stop seeing you and assume you are still drinking, no matter what, because it plays into their justification for treating you like dirt. lol
  17. Badass23

    Baclofen for benzo withdrawal

    Hi all - new here! i have been taking baclofen to assist with benzo withdrawal. So far I’m on 55mg but it doesn’t seem to be helping all that much. When I first started out it was great but as the weeks rolled on it seems to have stopped helping. can anyone else relate? Is 55mg too low? Any thoughts would be great thanks
  18. Tony

    Checking in February 2019

    I was fortunate that it didn't ruin my personal or professional life. It certainly wasn't healthy. And I agree. I don't enjoy alcohol like I used. But that's good. I'd very much like to give it up for a while.
  19. Lor

    Checking in May 2019

    Hi MJM, yes IT was kind of dificoult down here in México but I have a doctor who was in charge of a small study with Vivitrol and he said to me that bac and naltrexone combo was very good but I dont like pretty much the idea of that mix and I hacen seen him but am steel alcohol free for 3 months with just one beer last week so im tiratering very slowly and am taking 60 and 70 mg a day of bac maybe its a better bit the kratom I dont know
  20. MJM

    Checking in February 2019

    You're on the right track if you can put the beer back in the fridge. For me though, over time Bac ruined my drinking.Only sometimes has it given me much of a buzz in the last year or so. Mostly it has made me feel sleepy. You might need to pull up altogether for a while, because as you say it's the habit too. It might feel very strange not drinking at first, but you get used to it. Then I guess it would be a treat to have the occasional drink. That's not the way I think about it though, AL has created too much mess in my life for me to want it to be a part of it.
  21. MJM

    Checking in May 2019

    If you mean you still have AL cravings then you may need to increase your Bac dose; there is no set dose that will make one reach indifference, it seems. Or you might try to spread out the existing dose you're taking during the day to most effectively counter the cravings. Also, I suggest you have a look at this if you haven't already: https://baclofentreatment.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Prescribing-Guide-for-Baclofen-in-the-Treatment-of-Alcoholism-Don.pdf For me, I titrated up to around 270mg per day and eventually settled on a maintenance dose of 150mg per day. I had been taking Effexor for depression and when I titrated off that, I found the Bac MUCH more effective. Before I did that, I would have cravings and drink for weeks on the Bac, almost every night, then seem to be able to be craving-free for a few months. Certain anti-depressants like Effexor can increase or even introduce cravings. I consulted with my Dr before coming off Effexor though. Do you have a GP or psych Dr you can consult? I know it's a bit like the Wild West out there getting good medical advice about Bac -- but it is really important if you can get some direct advice.
  22. Lor

    Checking in May 2019

    Hi I have been taking baclofen for about 7 months with only one relepse of 20 days of very heavy drinking almost 2 bottles of Vodka a day but that was on january so I decided to stay with baclofen but im taking 50 ro 60 mg a day and I want to drink so wath do you recomend me to do
  23. Tony

    New to the Forum, not new toBaclofen

    My last dose is between 4 and 5 pm. No matter what, though, I wake up around midnight. Last night, I stayed up reading for 3 hours. I'm enjoying the reading, but am a little sleepy during the day. I similarly feel like the effects of drinking seem wear off quickly. I almost go to bed now feeling fairly clear-headed. My insomnia has abated over the last few days. I think the medical advice I got to be patient was good. If I can start getting good sleep again, I will be in an excellent place.
  24. Tony

    Checking in February 2019

    I was drinking twice as much or more. I also stretch it out more, so I don't get inebriated like I used to. My goal is not total abstinence. Although I continue to drink daily, it's mostly out of habit. I do not feel the same pull and no longer have that feeling that I'll feel even better if I have just one more beer. Even when I open that third beer, I often put it back in the fridge after a sip or two. My goal is to drink infrequently, only socially.
  25. katallus

    New to the Forum, not new toBaclofen

    Hi Mom2JTx3, Thanks for writing and discussing your experience and passing on tips and signposts. I must try getting some L-Theanine if it truly does work for the anxiety. I have had several Melatonin preparations which contained L-T but I have never tried it on its own. I think that I am perhaps in a similar place to you with alcohol, not that I have ever had DT's to my knowledge. I just have reached a point where I know that drinking would be catastrophic and my brain seems to have quietened down so that I am seemingly no longer incapacitated or overwhelmed by the desire to drink. I know that I simply cannot imbibe as I am fully aware where it leads so I just use logic to tell myself I cannot drink. I am not sure how sustainable this is as sometimes I might crave alcohol and at the moment I just tell myself I cannot have it and I ride it out. I guess it would be better if I could manage my drinking but I don't trust myself. The effect of this is that my social life has suffered as I isolate and don't attend social functions at all. I am divorced and live alone and I get mighty lonely at times and the loneliness seems to exaggerate my anxiety. Instead of drinking to take away my anxiety I have started thinking about using Baclofen again as a way of managing my state of mind, which can sometimes be a little dark with intrusive thoughts and unpleasant feelings. I sometimes go to AA meetings but if I am honest the reason for this is mainly for human contact. With the greatest respect to the good people of AA this is not the most ideal social club for a lonely person. Four days ago I gave in again and I tried taking some Baclofen to see if it helped manage the anxiety. I took a single 25mg tablet in the morning and I did feel, along with dry mouth and a little dizziness, some respite from the tyranny of the feelings. I took 25mgs the next day and yesterday I took two pills, one morning the other afternoon. Today I have had a pill in the morning and will probably take another in a few hours. What concerns me here is that I can see that I am leading myself back into the cycle of addiction. Do you ever crave Baclofen or do you feel it is behind you? May I also ask how long did the end of your taper (the bit where you got the anxiety back) last? Do you take anything now to cope with feelings/anxiety? Obviously, I know that exercise is the best way to deal with my generalised feelings but I have zero motivation. I spend long periods alone watching videos or reading, procrastinating and generally feeling isolated. I guess I just need to force myself to get out more and to mix with people, manage my expectations and stop beating myself up. At the moment this is easier said than done. I would love to hear more about your coping strategies. Wishing you a productive, tranquil and fulfilling Sunday. I am going to finally get dressed (it's 3.00pm!) and head off to the supermarket as a way of occupying some time.
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