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The End of my Addiction

Abstinence or moderation?


Chuck
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Hi everyone, I'm new and I'm Chuck. I was an extremely heavy and problematic drinker for six years and thank God I've now gotten it under control. I live in the United States where society and medicine's knee-jerk reaction to any sort of drinking problem is that the user must abstain permanently. I never thought that was right for me, and so I was left without many voices of support or direction. That in turn just made my drinking worse.

I'm wondering, what are your goals? Do you want just to reduce drinking to moderate levels, or do you want to abstain permanently? Do the medicines highlighted in this forum work with a moderation approach, or are they only for abstinence?

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Chuck, I started baclofen on 12/12/12 and my goal was to drink moderately and mostly with friends. I was a nightly bottle of wine plus sit alone at home drinker. 

Baclofen did work for me and I guess I took it about 3 years or so. I stopped taking it because it made it difficult for me to exert much physical energy outside in the heat. 

I don't so much have the desire to over drink now because it messes with my running schedule. But I do have to make the conscious choice to not drink or to only drink a little. I can see if I had nothing to do or nothing that mattered I could easily start overdoing. 

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Hi Chuck.

My drinking was very similar to Missykc's. I started taking bac properly in Dec 2013, & since then I have benn able to drink in moderation - usually within the recommended guidelines (14 units a week, or a bottle & a half of wine, which is what I was drinking everyday before!). A lot of my drinking now is habit, a reward at the end of the day, but I'm getting to the point now when that is fading out. I want to be able to just have a drink on special occassions to be sociable, & that is certainly doable with bac.

I don't have any cravings now, & I'm much less anxious, though not everyone finds that bac helps their anxiety.

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Hi Chuck

Thanks for your post

Moderation or Abstinence - Now that is a question..... - This Forum was set up by people with varied methods of dealing with their alcoholism - But all with the same view on the promotion of allowing others to express and receive opinion on dealing with the disease - (AUD)

Personally, I am an abstainer, however I have time for anyone trying to find their way to rid themselves or at least control or keep this illness at bay - I am an abstainer because (at the current time) I do not feel that I have the self control to regulate my drinking until such a time that I can control the desire to drink - I cannot control the desire until I have overcome the desire, which in my case is due anxiety and the demands this places on my brain activity

I am a stubborn bastard and as such there is no way I am going to jeopardise the in excess of six months that I have been AF -That is AF, consecutive days - So in reality I am scared to risk this feat for the sake of a drink - Whilst I have the UPMOST respect for those who can successfully moderate (drink within recommended levels), it is just a long way away for me - I used to wake up some mornings and HAVE to drink just to function - That is just to function - To clean my teeth, to make a coffee - To Function - That is one fucked up place, I never want to revisit

There are loads of people on this forum in various states of recovery - For me it is abstinence, for some it is moderation - Above all, it is what you feel comfortable with - If you want to moderate and feel that is good for you - Go for it, you will be supported all along the way by forum members into moderation and abstinence alike - It is your journey and anything has got to be better than the way it is? 

Regards

 

Bacman 

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That is great to hear, I'm glad to hear not only that baclofen has worked for you but that it can be used for those with a goal of moderation. I may look into it myself.

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We're here if you have any questions, Chuck. The Sinclair Method, using the medication naltrexone, is an option if your goal is to moderate, or drink until you quit for good. Baclofen is a different thing altogether. It is generally used to quit drinking, but you can drink while you titrate up. 

 

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Hello, again, Chuck. 

Here's some info about naltrexone and the Sinclair Method from one of our members who is getting ready to start the process:

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi, @Chuck! I’ve had problems for decades with the booze, and am just starting with baclofen.  I totally relate with abstaining not being right for me, which does generally put one in an isolated situation, which is one reason why this site is a life-saver!  It provides support and acceptance no matter if your goal is moderation or abstainance.  We’re each of us unique, after all, so we all deserve to be respected.

 

I’m early in my bac experience, and only just got permission from my doc to titrate up, so I’m just starting that after a month or so at 30mg/day.  I’m really excited about it! I intend to check in here on occasion to keep track of my progress so it’s here for me and others interested in this alternative journey. 

 

I’m glad for you that you’ve gotten your drinking under control!  Do you care to share how you were able to get there? I’d certainly be interested.  Glad you’re here, and I hope you continue to experience your success in moderation.

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Ooh,just found this thread.

I am 7 weeks AF tommorow and I've not had a drop,

Im one of the ones that had a definite "switch".....one day drinking up to 3 bottles of wine a day to the next day  not drinking at all.

Not sure about drinking in the future,but for now I just don't want to

 

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Hi everyone, thanks for the welcome, I really do appreciate this group and its support no matter what path I choose. I'm curently a moderation drinker, after 6 years of drinking in extreme excess. I went for 90 days abstinent this past spring. TBH, my drinking does sometimes nowadays go into excess territory, some days I don't drink at all. But on average, it's less than half what I used to. I used Dextromethorphan to get control of my drinking. My drinking wasn't much of an addiction to ethanol itself - even at my worst I never had cravings - it was more of a behavioral pattern (self-esteem issues, lack of self-control, lack of structure in my life, etc). Dextromethorphan is a euphoric and dissociative drug that allows you to access your subsconscious and semi-conscious thought patterns, and it is highly neuroplastic - it literally allows you to rewire your brain. It's amazing stuff that I've devoted the rest of my life to studying. It's great because it's not just a drug that modulates the chemical pathways of ethanol, it allows you to access the root of your overdrinking habits - the underlying issues, the triggers, etc. That, combined with its terrific antidepressant and "empowering" effect, allows you to make major changes in your life. I trip on DXM 2-3 times a month. I've met dozens of others who have similarly used DXM to kick alcohol and opioid addiction. I'm not out of the woods yet, I still drink more than I wish, and I'm open to whatever I need to do and whatever strategy necessary to get there. But it's like night and day since I've started Dexing (that's the verb), regardless of the quantity I drink, I have a control of it like I never used to.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm an abstainer.

I used The Sinclair Method to get to a point where I could decide to quit. Prior to TSM I'd tried just about everything, including high dose baclofen. Nothing worked. When I started TSM my goal was certainly not to continue drinking, that wasn't why I chose it. I chose it because I would have done anything to remove the hold alcohol had over me, if drinking with naltrexone was the answer then despite my hatred of booze I'd do it. Once I got on TSM the novelty of being able to drink fairly safely, with less consequences, much lowered intake meant that I didn't quit totally for another 2 years. During this time I did have extensive periods of very little, or zero alcohol intake.

Finally just over 3 years ago I realised I no longer enjoyed even one glass of alcoholic drink, hated being even slightly tipsy, and wasn't prepared to have any risk of the process reversing. Alcohol in excess had threatened my life and caused me a lot of long-term consequences.

 

So I quit totally and haven't had a drop in 3 years and just over 1 month, not even at Christmas, not even at my own wedding, not even at the very expensive exclusive restuarant where I celebrated my 1st wedding anniversary.

 

Abstenance makes it all much simpler, however I do have issues with binge eating, which go as far back as when I started drinking  and this returns whenever I'm AF. I'm currently working on resolving these issues, for a while I thought I'd cracked it, but have relapsed with food. The pattern with food, my mood, emotions, behaviours is exactly the same as my relationship with alcohol pre-TSM. Whilst it is thought that the naltrexone type of meds can be used to help with binge eating, personally I prefer to not have the meds, and they aren't currently available anyway. I did try to get onto the group researching this type of treatment but couldn't get a place. I have tried naltrexone and nalmefene when I feel a binge coming on, but without success - I actually couldn't tolerate forcing myself to binge for the amount of time the deaddiction process could take. I've done a lot of personal work and know where these tendencies come from, know why it happens, have taken action to heal some of the hurts and learn to deal with life, but it's not totally taken the urges away.

 

One day perhaps!

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Thanks for sharing your story here, @phoenix. Sorry to hear you're still struggling with food. Cliche though it is, living a healthy, contented life is always a work in progress. Glad you're taking steps to work through this issues. 

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