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The End of my Addiction

Neos progress and my story


neophyte
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long time poster on MWO but new here glad we can regulate the trolls here.

my story is as follows, when when my hormones hit when i was 12 i suddenly had problems with anxiety and depression that did not abate at all until recently. I got into drugs at 16 smoking cannabis at 16, party drugs mdma, amphetamines also, then 18 booze but i was never addicted until much later on. my first problem with addiction started when i was at university, at that time the anxiety, mainly social anxiety manifested itself in panic attacks. I knew I had to do something so i went to the dr and went on zoloft (SSRI) aged 21 i think, which did not address the problem fully. I soon developed a codeine addiction which at the time seemed to address my anxiety that SSRIs seemed to not address.

Years later I graduated and became an office worker, the social anxiety became much worse and even though i was taking codeine, i found respite in alcohol. from age 24 or so to 29 i was drinking daily, mainly 350ml of scotch whiskey daily. It ended up making my mental health much worse and when I changed jobs in 2013 I was a mental mess, i was paranoid of that people were orchestrating plans against me, I was combing through conversations for insults and had zero confidence. I realised that alcohol was responsible for this as it made my mental health worse, so i searched the internet for answers, initially naltrexone looked to be the answer but i soon found MyWayOut and saw all the chatter about baclofen, i researched this heavily and in no time i started on my regime. At the beginning of 2014 i reached indifference, however my mental issues did not abate until i found the right medications. I currently take lexapro instead of zoloft and im testosterone replacement therapy in which i feel much better. I have little anxiety despite my current alcoholism.

I recently went off baclofen where i was on a stable 225mg maintenance dose so i could go on a thailand holiday and go on a bender. Now im back and im looking to stop drinking again. Currently im on 125mg, i just increased the dose from 100mg to 125mg today, side effects are minimal. But im still drinking, around 250ml of scotch whiskey daily or more.

I must admit however i am a drug user in general and will not stop for certain chemicals, i take LSD often and take benzodiazepines on occasion though i have often abused them, i take etizolam which is lighter on addiction side compared to xanax or valium.

currently im on 125mg of baclofen, looking to go back to limiting alcohol consumption, i was never Alcohol Free, mainly i just had a glass or two of wine on occasion. 

I plan to go up to 300mg if needed which was my original "switch dose", but hopefully my drinking will stop at 225mg.

I notice that baclofen rather than being a "switch" is more like a light dimmer, the higher you go, the less enjoyable alcohol is, right now i could force myself to go Alcohol free without the level of cravings that 0mg of baclofen would give, but im weak willed. so i will continue to go higher, i think i will go alcohol free once i reach 225mg.

right now the side effects are minimal, the usual culprits day time sleepiness is minimal and insomnia non existent, though i experienced the worst of the side effects at 200mg+

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Good luck @neophyte.  I hope you reach indifference quickly.  Someone posted recently that the SEs were greatly dismissed after being off Baclofen and then titrating up again.  I think it was @Nicnak?  If I remember correctly, I think @Ne1commented on it as well.  I've seen people post that their switch was higher the second time around, and one or two where it was lower.  You just never know.  

Let us know how it goes.

Mom2

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Yes,my SE's this time round are much better but still have terrible constipation.Cant go at all if I don't use the water enema thing I bought from Amazon.

Im one of the ones that had an almost instant switch both times,was drinking the day before and the next day I didn't want to drink.Havnt touched a drop for 40 days.

I do wonder what would happen if I had a glass of wine but don't want to risk it 

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i have noticed my SE are much more tolerable this time round, between 0mg and 100mg i got minor sleepiness during the day but insomnia at night, at 125mg im sleeping quite well. 

so far cravings to day drink have gone completely, i no longer have a hair of the dog in the morning and when i was off baclofen completely i was day drinking, now im drinking at night. im on a ketogenic diet so im drinking spirits which doesn't help regulate drinking easily, but ive found over the past few nights get my fill and stop at around 8pm, and i don't come back for a night cap, nor think about it. 

If i white knuckled it, I think i could go AF, but i think i wont try that until my last maintenance dose at 225mg, theres no rush as far as im concerned, alcohol is not impacting my life negatively thus far. so, so far so good.

this time round going up is a lot less mentally fucked up, i had huge anxiety problems which i worked on and resolved the first time around which involved finding the right meds to treat my anxiety. im generally calm and collected during the day, so i haven't been drinking long enough to let it mess with my head. like i said, i mainly went off baclofen for a 1 week bender in thailand. so hopefully the damage is minimal.

glad to see side effects for most people coming second time round is more tolerable. it was unpleasant to say the least when i went from 200mg to 300mg first time round. hopefully i don't need to go that high again, but the way things are going, i feel i wont have to.

In a few days time ill bump up to 150mg

I notice the anti craving effect comes into about 3 days after a dose bump up. Even when i started on 50mg i noticed that alcohol didnt have the same kick. like I said before, i think baclofen is more like a light dimmer than a hard "switch"

as far as going off baclofen then on again, i find this an interesting experiment. i know that might note bode well with people, but i have a morbid curiosity. Coming off baclofen really made me realise that i need this medication to stay sober. The exception to this, is if you come off baclofen, do not touch a drop of alcohol if you plan on staying AF without the aid of baclofen, i believe this can be done if thats your long term goal. baclofen breaks the cycle of addiction and allows the reward center (nucleus accumbens) to recover. but this work is quickly undone when drinking is resumed. 

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On August 4, 2016 at 5:56 AM, neophyte said:

 

Years later I graduated and became an office worker, the social anxiety became much worse and even though i was taking codeine, i found respite in alcohol. from age 24 or so to 29 i was drinking daily, mainly 350ml of scotch whiskey daily. It ended up making my mental health much worse and when I changed jobs in 2013 I was a mental mess, i was paranoid of that people were orchestrating plans against me, I was combing through conversations for insults and had zero confidence. I realised that alcohol was responsible for this as it made my mental health worse, so i searched the internet for answers, initially naltrexone looked to be the answer but i soon found MyWayOut and saw all the chatter about baclofen, i researched this heavily and in no time i started on my regime. At the beginning of 2014 i reached indifference, however my mental issues did not abate until i found the right medications. I currently take lexapro instead of zoloft and im testosterone replacement therapy in which i feel much better. I have little anxiety despite my current alcoholism.

 

This mirrors my story right down to the ages and years. My career pretty much unraveled between 2012 and 2013 and it was only by starting to string together days of not drinking and getting off of abilify that it uprighted again. Being paranoid about insults and conspiracies is something I relate to- and the worst feeling of all is realizing that things have gotten so bad that it's actually true. 

 

I would say at this point that any pattern of drinking that exceeds three days in a row per week would place me at risk of getting like that again. You don't realize how much it affects you until you string together AF days and become familiar with what "normal" actually is.

 

 

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fredson, the paranoia was completely debilitating, along with the depression and anxiety, there were so many nights i wish i just wouldnt wake up the next morning. 

I find the same thing regarding drinking 3 or so consecutive nights, im a nervous wreck the next day. 

Ever since i start drinking again that hasnt happened this time though, i think its because mentally im much stronger, my anxiety and depression did not go away when i stopped drinking, drinking just made it worse. I went to a psychiatrist and also found i had low testosterone, im on testosterone replacement therapy and lexapro. imo the testosterone has done more for my mental health, im relaxed, have way more confidence and generally dont give as much of a fuck about what people think about me. usually when someone harbours some weird resentment or is generally a dick its because they themselves are unhappy, and often its quite obvious why. 

It took me probably 15 years to find the right meds for me, its a difficult puzzle to solve mental health issues. therapy helped a little, i know CBT techniques that i still use and i think everyone can benefit from. but ultimately it was the medications that really did the trick. 

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i just went up to 175mg today, im still drinking daily, usually when i come home ill have some whiskey until ive had my fill, this has gone down from 1/3 of a bottle to 1/4 of a bottle, which would be around 175mls of whiskey which is roughly 5-6 std drinks (australian definition). even as i get to the last few drinks i dont really feel like it, but i still do it.... alcohol euphoria is definitely down. I'm hoping my old maintenance dose of 225mg is enough to keep me off the alcohol. we shall see.

side effects wise.... basically nothing, quite interesting second time round i have virtually no side effects. though i notice im sleepy in the late afternoon but this happened before, usually after i eat lunch, i get tired. sleeping like a rock at night but generally feeling like i dont get enough sleep so waking up is tough sometimes, especially if ive done high intensity exersize the night before.

I've always thought it would be a good idea to have nap rooms in offices, after a 30 min power nap, even 15mins with my eyes closed lying down i feel so much better. We actually have disabled toilets in our building so i go down a level, close the door and use my jacket as a pillow and cover my eyes with the sleeve and have a bit of a cat nap when its bad. not comfortable, but it helps.

 

 

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so not really an update but ive got the flu, worst is i did brazillian ju jitsu yesterday so my body feels like its on fire, hot, cold flushes, headache, couhging constnatly

#end whinge

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interesting, never heard of tamiflu https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oseltamivir sounds like something more for true flu, i think i just have the common cold, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_cold

i like reading about medical stuff

i puked my guts up yesterday, that was fun. i find vitamin c, electrolytes and ibuprofen and paracetamol helps easy the symptoms.

just musing... but interesting this time around i dont really have a  sore throat, which i normally always get, perhaps it's because i started vaping since the last cold. maybe propylene glycerol in the juice has something to do with it. 

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on day 4 of 150, i think its either the side effects or the flu that are disrupting my sleep. I wake up in the middle of the night once or twice. i just read until i feel sleepy again. i woke up this morning and was dizzy after my baclofen dose, took a 3 hour nap. lucky im off sick today at work.

alcohol wise, im pretty much still drinking the same, about 7 std drinks which is about a bottle of white wine. i feel i can stay away from it, but ill keep going up in dose and let baclofen do its thing. I'll put in an AF stint when i reach 225mg, though i might be going up more slowly now with these side effects. 

on the good news the flu is getting better, this one really kicked my ass. its really going around, half the people i know in sydney seem to have it.

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Glad you're feeling better! I didn't really have any side effects when I went up the second time, either. I'm having to go above my switch dose to find indifference, which is VERY frustrating. I wish you better luck!

On 8/13/2016 at 8:38 PM, neophyte said:

... paracetamol helps easy the symptoms...

Careful with paracetamol (Tylenol, acetaminophen, Panadol). It can create or exacerbate liver problems.

I thought there was recent research that showed that it could be seriously toxic at therapeutic levels, but a quick google search didn't show anything more recent than 2009. That information suggests it takes an overdose to induce liver toxicity. I could swear, though, that I read something more recent and more dramatic. I'm not going to search for it right now, though. Anyway, for people who drink too much, it's better, in my opinion, to take a different analgesic. 

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re: paracetamol - it does take an overdose to destroy your liver, but the danger is that some people are extremely sensitive, so o/d can be as little as 10 pills! Other people are still alive with a healthy liver after taking 30 or 40. Not possible to predict which category you fall into.

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@Molly78, Yes! What I remember is that people with perfectly healthy liver function can develop life-threatening liver disease in a matter of days. (Maybe it's renal disease? I can't remember.) And as you pointed out, there's no way to know whether or not it will affect someone this way until it's too late. 

@neophyte, how are you feeling? What's new over on Reddit? 

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just an update

still recovering from flu, this one is really kicking my ass, dont know if i should see a doctor but generally my understanding is that there isnt much you can do medication wise. staying steady at 175mg, ill go up when i feel better

still drinking but much less, the baclofen is working, after a few drinks i dont want to drink anymore due to unpleasant alcohol side effects. so there is progress, i think my switch will be my maintenance dose of 225mg, yet still not AF

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Neo, 9+ days is an awfully long time to be flu-like-sick. If it is the flu, Tamiflu shortens the duration of the symptoms. But it's not flu season, so I'm kinda concerned for you. 

Glad that you're noticing a difference in your drinking and looking forward to being indifferent again. Thanks for the update. 

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thanks for the concern ne1, im mostly better but energy levels are still recovering, i have a nagging cough and im pretty sure ive got bronchitis, the constant coughing gives me a headache, i looked up on wikipedia  not much i can do it seems apart from waiting it out and taking anti NSAIDS and paracetamol.

ill have to get some tamiflu for the next time this comes around, though i havent had the flu in probably 6+ years, minor colds i get rarely also.

its definitely flu season in sydney, its winter here and 1/2 the office came down with the same thing

Edited by neophyte
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Oh, right! You're in Australia. My bad. ha! 

Hope you feel better soon, Neo, and that the cough goes away without becoming something more you have to worry about.  

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  • 2 months later...

i havent posted an update in ages, well i mentioned i was sick with the flu, that lasted two weeks then that developed into bronchitis, i was sick for roughly 10 weeks all up, 4 weeks of probably acute bronchitis and then it slowly got better. theres not really much you can do about it medication wise, you just have to ride it out. i had it pretty bad, so during that time i didnt go up in baclofen at all. then i had a bucks overseas for a week and my baclofen usage was lax. I was drinking heavily there. since i got back ive managed to get up to 250mg of baclofen, i noticed as soon as i hit 225mg my old maintenance dose my drinking reduced greatly, but im still drinking 2/3 bottle of wine a night, not too bad compared to drinking 2 bottles of wine a night like before, and i dont wake up with a hangover. but i think ill go bakc up to my old switch dose of 300mg and go alcohol free.

its just that first night where you decide to not buy any alcohol and commit to not drinking for a period of time. its a bit daunting because when ever i did this without baclofen the cravings were so bad, so i always have that fear in the back of my mind, but i know ill be fine. ill probably do this soon

i knew baclofen was working again when i start drinking, there is a bit of relaxation but if i continue to drink i get unpleasant side effects from the alcohol and i just dont want to drink anymore. i think at this stage its probably more of a habit / routine rather than true cravings

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Bronchitis is evil, & as you say, virtually untreatable.  I had it last winter for the first time & couldn't believe my inhalers were no use at all!

11 hours ago, neophyte said:

its just that first night where you decide to not buy any alcohol and commit to not drinking for a period of time. its a bit daunting because when ever i did this without baclofen the cravings were so bad, so i always have that fear in the back of my mind, but i know ill be fine. ill probably do this soon

I think you're right to make that commitment - it helped me no end the second time I tried to get sober on bac.

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On 10/29/2016 at 11:13 PM, Mom2JTx3 said:

@neophyte. I'm curious.  In hindsight, would you do it again?  Go off Bac for the trip?

undecided about that, maybe once every 2 years, though i had a blast on that holiday, its only taken me this much time to get to switch territory because of sickness and another holiday

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/28/2016 at 4:33 PM, neophyte said:

...its just that first night where you decide to not buy any alcohol and commit to not drinking for a period of time. ...

YES! It's scary not to have any booze in the house, even with 7-11 down the street!

Did I see elsewhere that you were taking phenibut? Might've been a different person on the other forum. 

How's Reddit? 

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17 hours ago, Ne1 said:

Did I see elsewhere that you were taking phenibut? Might've been a different person on the other forum. 

Wasn't you, obviously. It's someone with the username Neo.

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