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The End of my Addiction
Lostinspace

Complete Freedom from Alcohol Thanks to Baclofen

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Lostinspace

My decline into alcoholism didn’t happen slowly. I took to alcohol like a fish to water because of its perfect anxiety-relieving properties. Drinking was the only time I ever really felt OK in my own skin. I began drinking alcoholically when I was 16, drinking almost every night to oblivion just to relieve the anxiety, depression, and insomnia I was going through at the time. It was a dark time in my life. I dropped out of high school. I just didn’t care about anything. Following a personal tragedy when I was 19 going on 20, I started drinking all day, every day, making sure to dull my consciousness at all times. Even after the pain had lifted somewhat, the habit was there, so this pattern of drinking continued for the next 16 years, with the exception of numerous short breaks following inpatient (or sometimes outpatient) detoxes and rehabs, as well as several successful tapers (usually with the help of my husband, who would hold on to my wallet and car keys, and take me every where I needed to go, while doling out smaller and smaller amounts of alcohol to me each day).

Somehow I managed to stay semi-functional through it. I got my GED, then a college degree. I never came close to reaching my full potential, though, and I’ve been fired from jobs a few times when I started to drink too much during the day, to the point that it was noticed. I was usually pretty good at regulating myself, though, and was more of a maintenance drinker during the day, getting heavily buzzed or drunk only at night. It was no walk in the park, though. Besides the job losses, the problems in my marriage, and the legal problems brought on by my drinking, there was the every day misery. I was so physically exhausted that it drove me to tears on a near daily basis, and I threw up at least once a day. I had to master the art of silent puking so as not to be questioned by everyone around me. It was all so exhausting. I wanted to be sober more than anything else in the world, I just could not stop drinking.

When I first heard about baclofen, I was elated. I had tried AA, rehabs, counseling, meditation, exercise, etc., etc., and nothing ever helped. The constant cravings were agonizing and I could never last more than a couple months before I’d start sneaking drinks again, and eventually end up in a full-blown relapse. The idea that I could simply not care about alcohol was intriguing to say the least, even if I didn’t quite believe that it would work.

Anyway, my baclofen story is a little atypical. When I started on baclofen, my marriage was falling apart as a result of my drinking. I vowed that I would taper off of alcohol and quit drinking as I titrated up on baclofen. Over the course of two and half torturous weeks, I managed to reduce my alcohol intake from a liter and a half of vodka a day on average down to nothing. Problem is that the cravings were still overwhelming and I didn’t last. On day five AF I went to the liquor store and picked up just six or seven (can’t remember!) shot’s worth of vodka and bourbon on my way home and, much to my surprise, I didn’t feel that desperate need to run back out to the liquor store to get more like I had in the past when buying a small amount. I was actually satisfied. I don’t remember what dose I was on at the time. I know I titrated up pretty quickly in the beginning, then went very, very slowly through most of my titration. In any case, the next day the same thing happened, and the next, and the next. I never started to spiral out of control, but continued just drinking that much smaller amount each day.

I continued on at that lower level of drinking for a very long time. I saw no further improvements as I went up in dose, probably at least in part because my titration schedule was so very damn slow. But then something happened while I was at 275 mg (and had been staying stagnant at 275 mg for months, for reasons I won’t go into), and for reasons personal to me, I decided to stop drinking entirely. Even though I was still experiencing cravings at that dose, baclofen had muted the cravings just enough that I was able to do it. Plus, the much smaller amount that I was drinking at that time, with AF days sprinkled in here and there, meant that I was no longer physically dependent and had the option to just stop.

I started titrating up on bac as quickly as I could manage to get to my switch at that point and at 360 mg, I began to notice that I hadn’t thought about alcohol in days. And even when I did start to think of it, I had no interest in it whatsoever. These days I live my life effortlessly (essentially) alcohol-free. Alcohol is not on my mind, I just don’t want it. But sometimes, there are those occasional social outings where I will have a beer or two, or a glass of wine. There’s no compulsion to keep drinking whatsoever. I just enjoy my drink, enjoy my food, enjoy my company, then I leave and go on with my life. I have no desire to buy some on the way home and keep drinking when I get home, nor do I think about drinking again the next day. Baclofen has given me a freedom I never thought possible. It has made me a non-alcoholic :)

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Ne1

You know, I don't think I knew your story before now. Thanks so much for sharing it Lis. We have a lot in common...

I've got more to say but my husband is home, the day is beautiful and the to-do list in the yard is long. Or rather, tall. As in the weeds are overtaking everything I planted and spent way too much money on last year. So I gotta run. But I love you and really appreciate you sharing your story. 

More tomorrow. 

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terryk

Holy crap LIS, what a great story. I am very proud of you and so happy that you stuck through it all. Really amazing.

-tk

Edited by terryk
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Ne1
On 3/28/2016 at 4:54 PM, Lostinspace said:

My decline into alcoholism didn’t happen slowly. I took to alcohol like a fish to water because of its perfect anxiety-relieving properties.

...I was so physically exhausted that it drove me to tears on a near daily basis, and I threw up at least once a day. I had to master the art of silent puking so as not to be questioned by everyone around me. It was all so exhausting. I wanted to be sober more than anything else in the world, I just could not stop drinking.

When I first heard about baclofen, I was elated.

...

I started titrating up on bac as quickly as I could manage to get to my switch at that point and at 360 mg, I began to notice that I hadn’t thought about alcohol in days. And even when I did start to think of it, I had no interest in it whatsoever. These days I live my life effortlessly (essentially) alcohol-free. Alcohol is not on my mind, I just don’t want it. But sometimes, there are those occasional social outings where I will have a beer or two, or a glass of wine. There’s no compulsion to keep drinking whatsoever. I just enjoy my drink, enjoy my food, enjoy my company, then I leave and go on with my life. I have no desire to buy some on the way home and keep drinking when I get home, nor do I think about drinking again the next day. Baclofen has given me a freedom I never thought possible. It has made me a non-alcoholic :)

Lis, I totally relate to finding and loving alcohol the minute I tried it. I didn't drink every night, or even that regularly as I recall, when I was a teenager, but I don't remember every drinking "normally". If I drank, I got drunk. Very often too drunk. Sometimes WAY too drunk--dangerously so. 

And I can definitely relate to being completely exhausted by my alcoholism. I didn't throw up everyday, but I was sick every day. I'm pretty sure, looking back on it, that I was having serious blood sugar issues and on more than one occasion fainted or came close to it in the mornings. Terrible, terrible times. I feel really badly for myself back then. Ya' know? It was a terrible way to live. 

Of course, I remember all too well what it was like to be indifferent and non-alcoholic. I hope beyond hope that I can get back there. Soon. 

I'm curious, how did you find out about baclofen? 

Thanks again for sharing your story. :75_EmoticonsHDcom:

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Lostinspace
9 hours ago, terryk said:

Holy crap LIS, what a great story. I am very proud of you and so happy that you stuck through it all. Really amazing.

-tk

Thanks, tk. You're pretty amazing yourself :)

Ne - I know what you mean about feeling badly for yourself back then. It’s pitiful what we come to view as normal. And you will get back to indifference. It's not a matter of if, but when. Hang in there. As for how I found out about baclofen? That’s kinda embarrassing and there’s a bit of backstory there. During one of my brief dry spells, I started using phenibut for anxiety and insomnia relief - and became massively dependent on enormous amounts seemingly overnight. I took to the internet to find out how to best wean myself off of it and found people discussing switching to baclofen, then tapering down and off of baclofen. One person in one of those dark forums mentioned that he used baclofen to control his alcoholism. I was intrigued because I did notice that while taking phenibut my cravings for alcohol were greatly diminished, and baclofen was chemically similar, but offered the benefit of no increasing tolerance. I fell back into active alcoholism very shortly thereafter, but began obsessively researching everything I could get my hands on about baclofen and alcoholism. I eventually asked my psychiatrist for a prescription, which got things started. And here we are . . .

Edited by Lostinspace
I'm absent-minded and left something out
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Baclofenman

Thats a inspiring OP there LIS - Thanks for sharing

Regards

 

Bacman

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Alexendra

Thanks to share your story !!!! Hope everyone in this community will become aware of the side effects of addiction from your story.

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Pamela Parker

Recovering from any kind of addiction takes time but fortunately you did it. Addiction is the dependence of a drug in excess. Everyone has a potential for developing
addictions, and it starts when they take fun as a habit because these habits result in addiction. Many addicts that come to rehab centers have family backgrounds where there is no one with
drinking problems which means the habit can’t be inherited. Anyone can develop the addiction, and it has to be treated. Medically, “addiction” itself is a one-word definition, which refers to a state of mind of a human, which wants something for a normal 'day-to-day' functioning, and without which the mind is restless and remains to be so, till the particular substance is administered into the system.

 

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