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Mentium

Naltrexone question

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Mentium

I'm posting this in the Nal sub-forum rather than the 'general discussions' area. Not sure if that is right but the forum isn't locked so I'm assuming that is OK. Learning as we go..

I have a question about the effectiveness of Nal and the Sinclair method. If anyone can offer advice I would be grateful.

I am still drinking 'problematically' though I really do want to stop. Recently had a month 'off' and a while back put almost a year together.

My question is this. I don't drink until I can't drink any more. I am 'functional' as it were and booze has not completely wrecked my life. For this I am thankful - as well as lucky.

An old AA friend of mine many years ago suggested that I was addicted to the initial buzz and euphoria when I pick up the first drink in the evening. A bottle and a half of wine later and that has gone and I stop drinking.

(Sorry this is a bit long winders!) The point of the question is this. If it is the initial buzz that really hooks me and Naltrexone nullifies that buzz so that you get no pleasure from drinking, why don't people simply stop taking Naltrexone to get the buzz back? It sounds a bit silly I know, but there you go.

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Ne1
On 3/26/2016 at 9:06 AM, Mentium said:

The point of the question is this. If it is the initial buzz that really hooks me and Naltrexone nullifies that buzz so that you get no pleasure from drinking, why don't people simply stop taking Naltrexone to get the buzz back? It sounds a bit silly I know, but there you go.

From what I've read, Mentium, compliance IS a problem when it comes to taking Nal via the Sinclair Method, because it must be absolutely consistent that you take a pill one hour before the first drink. (And I think that's one of the reasons that doctors may be reluctant to prescribe it that way--that and it seems rather ironic to encourage someone with alcoholism to drink. But anyway. That's a different story.)

I guess there has to be some real motivation to not want to drink, or at least not want to drink too much and/or too regularly. 

I haven't seen that any of the people who have taken Nal to get sober have joined yet, but they're coming. I'll send word out and ask them to answer your question and let you know how it worked for them.

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phoenix

Mentium

Some people do drink without the nal to get the buzz back, some past cure and all appear to then relapse and go back to square one. Dr Eskapas book graphically demonstrates what happened to rats who drank without nal. The readdiction curve was steeper than cure. 

For this reason once I started TSM I never drank without nal. I needed alcohol out of my life, wanted it so much that I have done whatever is required. 

 

I know people for whom alcohol did not have the impact on their lives, that my drinking did on mine, no serious effects who gave found success with nal. I think it's desire to be rid, more that where your stop off point falls. My stop off was quite a long way down, but soon enough to make a full recovery. 

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Mentium

Thanks for the response Fledgling. So pleased it worked so well for you. Rather than ask dumb questions I think I should do some background reading and buy the 'book'.

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Ne1

Mentium, the free PDF of the book is actually in the naltrexone section below! 

I'm taking nal, in addition to baclofen, and I absolutely have noticed a difference in how much I drink per session. It's early days yet, but I'm excited by the prospect. 

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Maggie1929

Mentium - I consider myself 'cured' (for want of a better word) and I took naltrexone.  The thing is, I feel that if someone WANTS to  get the monkey that is AL off ones back, then they WILL comply.  If they do not comply then they really do not want to be cured.  That is just my opinion of course - but not once did I ever drink without taking the Nal at least an hour before.....

To me, Naltrexone was an absolute miracle - I was a highly functioning alcoholic - I rarely got drunk, (because I did not 'do' hangovers) and many people would argue that I did not really have a problem - but to me I did - because I drank daily!  The Nal took me 11 months which is longer than it is 'supposed to'.  But I never gave up. 

Oh and I would most definitely read the book - it explains all the logistics so helps you understand the whole thing much better!

 

Wishing you all the best with it,

 

hugs, Maggie

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phoenix
10 hours ago, Maggie1929 said:

Mentium - I consider myself 'cured' (for want of a better word) and I took naltrexone.  The thing is, I feel that if someone WANTS to  get the monkey that is AL off ones back, then they WILL comply.  If they do not comply then they really do not want to be cured.  That is just my opinion of course - but not once did I ever drink without taking the Nal at least an hour before.....

To me, Naltrexone was an absolute miracle - I was a highly functioning alcoholic - I rarely got drunk, (because I did not 'do' hangovers) and many people would argue that I did not really have a problem - but to me I did - because I drank daily!  The Nal took me 11 months which is longer than it is 'supposed to'.  But I never gave up. 

Oh and I would most definitely read the book - it explains all the logistics so helps you understand the whole thing much better!

 

Wishing you all the best with it,

 

hugs, Maggie

I couldn't agree more with this. If someone is messing with it, I'd question their true motives.

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Mentium

Fledgling - did you do this via your GP (or other medic) or did you buy the Nal and go the do it yourself route? I ask because of the lengthy of time it took to kick in, in your case. Patient doctor..?

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Maggie1929

Mentium - I am not sure if you are asking me?  I did do this via my GP - sort of anyway - I went to him and asked him for the nal and told him that I knew he couldn't tell me to take it and drink - I went armed with info about TSM and he was fine with it.  When I went back 11 months later to get another RX (he had given me 3 months worth with 3 refills initially) I was JUST at my cure point - but didn't know it yet - but he was fine with giving me another RX - then I went back 2 months later and told him of my success - he was thrilled for me.  Also said that he had given it to a few others and that one had had success like me but the others had not followed the Golden Rule!  I wish you all the best with this .... it truly IS a miracle!

 

Hugs, Maggie

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Mentium

Thanks Maggie. That was my question, exactly. It may have seemed odd. I asked because some people taking a meds approach buy things like baclofen on-line as it is very hard to get a prescription for it for addictive drinking.

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Maggie1929

Mentium - If I could not have got it from my GP I would have bought it on-line.  I had tried a couple of other things and to me this was my last hope!  Can you get it from your GP ?


hugs, Maggie

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phoenix

We are both Fledgings Maggie and I!

I obtained mine from a Dr who prescribed, followed by my GP once I could show I was doing well with it. Far, far easier to get it that way if you can, and also cheaper.

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Ne1

Mentium,

The usernames are actually in the black line above where it says Fledgling! So you're responding to Phoenix and Maggie, both of whom have used nal and TSM successfully to cure themselves. (And that's the way many, many people describe it when it works for them.)

I'm fairly new to learning about naltrexone in general and TSM in particular, but have recently read a lot because of the book A Prescription for Alcoholics and from visiting the two sites dedicated to TSM. (That information is located in the forum "Other Resources".)

The thing about nal, and it's latest reincarnation, which is still under patent, is that it is one of only three medications (well, now four, with Selincro) which is approved for AL addiction in the US and Europe. In other words, you should absolutely be able to get it from your GP. And if you decide to do that, and you have any trouble or want to go prepared, then I can post or direct you to a ton of information about how to go about it. 

I'm not totally sure, since I don't know everyone here yet, but I think one of these women is in the US and the other is in the UK (I don't want to say if they don't want to tell) but one of 'em should be able to help you where you are...

Rest assured it's a very different approach from baclofen! And even the "daily method", which is how most doctors will prescribe it, has more than a little research to show efficacy. Just some thoughts for you to ponder... ^_^

Edited by Ne1
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phoenix

Just to prevent any confusion, Selincro is the new reformulation of Nal, and should be used in the same way. Here in the UK it is prescribed (Selincro) with drinking, for moderate drinkers wishing to cut down. Psychological support is recommended, but I know from the experience of a friend it's not essential for a prescription to be written(he wasn't offered it!). My GP told me that she'd be happy to change me to that, but since I was at cure point I couldn't see the point, and then I went totally AF.

The way both Selincro and Nal work in TSM is that if you don't drink you don't take it. I don't need to take anything because I'm no longer drinking, and there's been no return of cravings. Sure I get the urge but I have the choice, and I don't see any benefit in drinking.

 

I also want to say it is so refreshing to hear someone so open to learning about Naltrexone, I feel it's a tool which can help some people. I had to go it alone and fight a small section of a forum, still do a bit, to get onto TSM, but it worked really well and also had done wonders for Maggie, who was quite a different drinker to myself, but who stuck with it and got her well deserved rewards.

Edited by phoenix
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Mentium

Thanks for all the responses. I am aware that Nal is available by prescription here Ne. I am however hesitant about going to our local GP for a couple of reasons. To begin with our local lot seem to be pretty conservative and what is more you never see the same one twice in a row - in my experience anyway. The second is that the only time I have gone to our local practice about my drinking I felt I was dismissed. The doctor's eyes lit up because all he needed to do (he appeared to realise) was signpost me in the direction of our local drug and alcohol advisory service. I was in there about five minutes and felt let down. I duly attended - sober as I had been for a couple of weeks by then - to be told I didn't need them because I was so 'highly motivated'. I had to  press for a second appointment, but that didn't lead to anything.

Anyway I don't wish to be overly negative here. Will read the PDF properly and consider my next steps.

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Maggie1929

Mentium, just my tuppence worth - but I would order it on line if I were you.  The thing is it is not cheap from what I hear - but if it sorts the problem then I feel it is worth it.  Oh - and I am from UK, living in USA..... so Mentium and I are both Brits!

 

Hugs, Maggie

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Maggie1929
4 minutes ago, Ne1 said:

Maggie, I didn't know you were an expat! 

LOL Ne - yes I am!  My hubs says that you can take the girl out of the country but you can never take the country out of the girl - I have not lost my British accent and STILL, after being here for many many years, still say  things that people at work look at me and say "what does THAT mean?'  LOL  My drink of choice was Guinness .....never drank anything else!

 

Hugs, Maggie

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Ne1

Ha! That's funny. My husband says the same thing...That is, "You can take the girl out of the country but you can't take the country out of the girl." But that's when he's making fun of me because I lived for 6 years in southern, western Virginia, considered the South and definitely out of the way...And every now and then, especially when I'm in a group of southerners, I start talkin' all suthern y'all. That and I still have a penchant for old country music and I LOVE the fiddle (known as a violin in the rest of the world) and can't resist a banjo...or a banjo player, especially the ones with beards down to their chests. lol. But don't tell anyone, because that's my deep dark secret. ha!

And in direct conflict with my middle-aged, suburban-white-chick love of rap music! :)

So glad you're here, Maggie. You make me grin. Thank you. :) XO

(We don't have a hug OR a heart emoticon, yet. I consider it the worst aspect of this new forum, quite frankly. But the technical-wizard-behind-the-curtain does not seem to understand the urgency of the need for better emojis. ¬¬ So XO--a hug and a kiss--will have to do. <sigh>) 

Edited by Ne1

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Ne1
28 minutes ago, Maggie1929 said:

LOL Ne - yes I am!  My hubs says that you can take the girl out of the country but you can never take the country out of the girl - I have not lost my British accent and STILL, after being here for many many years, still say  things that people at work look at me and say "what does THAT mean?'  LOL  My drink of choice was Guinness .....never drank anything else!

 

Hugs, Maggie

Hmmm. I can't seem to edit to quote your post, Maggie, and add it to my post, and I can't delete the second post...Woops. 

So many things to learn/change on this venue... Change is hard. :(

Edited by Ne1

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Ne1

Hmmm. I can't seem to edit to quote your post, Maggie, and add it to my post, and I can't delete the second post...Woops. 

So many things to learn/change on this venue... Change is hard. :(

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Ne1

Sorry to totally hijack the thread about Nal, Menty! 

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Mentium

No problem Ne. I was looking in the wrong place for the posters' names (as you helpfully pointed out)!

I have been reading more this evening and find myself attracted to the Sinclar thing. I also think I would do it off my own bat (to use an Englishism). I have lost a lot of faith in the medical profession over recent years. 

 

Anyway thanks again. Nice to have fellow Brits around!

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Ne1
44 minutes ago, Mentium said:

I have been reading more this evening and find myself attracted to the Sinclar thing. I also think I would do it off my own bat (to use an Englishism). I have lost a lot of faith in the medical profession over recent years. 

Anyway thanks again. Nice to have fellow Brits around!

You know, I thought you might like the idea of the Sinclair Method. It wasn't something I was initially attracted to back in the day when I decided on baclofen for many reasons...But that's much beside the point. I will say that there was a lot less documentation back then about naltrexone then there is now. It works really well for some people. (And according to my new favorite book, A Prescription for Alcoholics, the efficacy may have a lot to do with genetics. Success or failure, particularly with TSM, might also have to do with how long--and how consistently--one sticks with it. As both Phoenix and Maggie will tell you, I'm sure.) 

I am absolutely sure, as of today, that naltrexone makes a big difference in how interested I am in drinking and how much I drink in a session. I had to experiment and make it pseudo-semi-scientific, by taking it vs. not taking it for a couple of days, with no other changes. The results, for me, are conclusive. If I take naltrexone an hour before, or even the night before (non-TSM method) I drink a lot less...It's actually disconcerting, honestly. 

And for the record, at the moment, I think there are more Brits than Americans here. I'll try to use the Queen's English so as not to confuse you guys. 

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Ne1
45 minutes ago, Mentium said:

Anyway thanks again. Nice to have fellow Brits around!

Oh, and I don't know why you wouldn't just take the info to the doctor and get a prescription, Menty. It's got to be A LOT cheaper and I really don't think it's that hard anymore. At least according to what I've read recently... Just FYI. Of course, I have no preference either way! ha!

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Maggie1929

From what I have heard Ne - it is not easy getting an RX for Nal in UK - depends on your doctor!  Like here I suppose..... some docs just want to send everyone to AA - others think you should do it with will power unless you are in the gutter!!  I was so lucky with my doc - have been all along as I also tried Topa and Antabuse too!  It is worth a try Mentium at least to ask your GP, but go armed with info re TSM - however doctors cannot tell you to go forth armed with the nal and DRINK so if he says that he wants you to abstain - say yes of course, smile and be on your way!  There are a few pages in the back of the book for professionals - so you could always print them out and take them with you if that might help.

Let us know what you decide to do ...... it truly is worth it - and the only reason I stuck with it as long as I did (others that I knew gave up) was to me, there was NO alternative!  My mantra was to have faith and patience!  And it worked!

Hugs, Maggie

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phoenix

I would encourage you Menty to find a GP in the practice who you do feel is sympathetic, and stick to them even if it means waiting weeks to see him or her. That's what I did, and it was definitely worth it. My usual GP who'd known me since a small child had problems seeing me struggle and I felt worse as a result so I set about finding someone at the same place who was better placed. 

Also Dr Chick will prescribe and a trip to him + private prescription is still cheaper and more reliable than online ordering. 

Health service prescription cost is however peanuts once you get it. 

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Mentium

I've more or less decided to see my/a GP about this.

Can anyone point me to a good summary of the Sinclair method to take to my GP? There is some contradictory stuff (as ever!) on the web. One site I looked at suggested one should be abstinent for 5 days before taking Naltrexone, whereas the Sinclair method clearly insists one should not be abstinent to begin with. I don't want the doctor thinking I am having my cake and eating it...as it were.

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phoenix

Yeah there's no need to be abstinent with TSM because the whole idea is that it reduces your intake slowly. Can't help you with the info, although there used to be a very good 'letter' for other parties on the sinclairmethod.net forum.

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Ne1
1 hour ago, Mentium said:

I've more or less decided to see my/a GP about this.

Can anyone point me to a good summary of the Sinclair method to take to my GP? There is some contradictory stuff (as ever!) on the web. One site I looked at suggested one should be abstinent for 5 days before taking Naltrexone, whereas the Sinclair method clearly insists one should not be abstinent to begin with. I don't want the doctor thinking I am having my cake and eating it...as it were.

I'm glad you decided to see a GP. It should make things easier in the long run. And even in the short term.

TSM is not (in general) a medically approved use of naltrexone in the UK. You have two options. The first is to try to convince your doctor to prescribe it a la TSM. The second is just to get a prescription and then take it the TSM way. 

My doctor (in the US) prescribed it in the traditional way. That is, take one pill before bedtime and remain abstinent. I told her about TSM and she said that it didn't seem like it really mattered because she knows I am still drinking...But that's not necessarily something doctors want to hear, you know? 

If it were me, I would just tell the doctor that I was having problems with AL and that I wanted a prescription for Nal and leave it at that, then follow the directions (which are fairly simple) for TSM. But that's me. :)

There ARE doctors who will prescribe for TSM, but they're few and far between and I don't know enough about the geography of the UK to find one near you, unless you want to go see Dr. Chick in Edinburgh. He will call your GP to get him/her to write a script after that, but again, I doubt that TSM would come into the conversation...Why would it? 

Good luck! 

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