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The End of my Addiction

Please please help me


Alcofree
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Hello, everyone. I am a woman in my mid thirties. I have struggled with overcoming my alcohol problem for over 10 years now. I live in the UK and all the GPs I went to see refuse to prescribe me Baclofen point blank. I have tried everything else. I tried to self-medicate with Baclofen. I just don't know exactly how to take it. Does anyone have a step by step guide, please. I definitely suffer with anxiety. I believe my alcohol is anxiety-related. Does anyone know a doctor in the UK who will be willing to prescribe me Baclofen, please? I really can't take this addiction any more, it cost me relationships, jobs, health issues and got me in a massive debt financially. My "norm" is two bottles of wine. I normally binge on this "norm" for three- four days e week, every week. I ended up in A&E two weeks ago having suffered a severe anxiety attack, following a tree day binge. Can someone please help me! PLEASE! I MUST stop drinking! I don't seem to be able to get help from either GPs or even charity organisations who offer support, but they do not prescribing power. PLEASE HELP ME.

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Hi @Alcofree and welcome to the forum!

I'm sorry to hear you're struggling. You have come to the right place.

Here is a step-by-step guideline to take baclofen: https://www.dropbox.com/s/am8xfri1eqykbq3/Prescription Guide.pdf?dl=0

I started taking baclofen in 2010. My prescribing doctor had me taking 5 mgs/day for the first 3 days, then 10 mgs/day for 3 days, then 15 mgs/day. Eventually I was titrating up by 20 mgs/week. I think the above-linked guidelines are preferable to my methods, because I believe that the side effects are worse when  you go up by 20 mgs at a time. I was always overcome by nausea and dizziness when I'd go upwards in dosage.

I know that Dr. Jonathan Chick will prescribe baclofen in the U.K. Not sure there are other physicians who prescribe baclofen there, but you can always buy it online and consult with the rest of us.

I hope you continue to post here. Please share with us any questions you have and any struggles you face. We are here for you. Hugs from the U.S. to you.

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Dear Felina, thank you very much for your reply. I was literally crying when posting my plea. I currently have some Baclofen 10mg, maybe 40 tablets.  They were left from the time when I tried to self medicate. I have just ordered another lot of 100 tablets 10mg online. So I will start on these, as per the guide you kindly provided.In fact, I have already taken one tablet. I have another delivery from abroad of Baclofen 25mg. I cannot believe my luck finding this site. I cannot describe in words how happy I am to have people out there who truly understand the struggle. I will definitely be a constant on this site! May I ask you on what dosage you are now? And does it help? I really want to come off booze completely. I shall be sticking to the guide and will let you know how I am doing. To be honest, to me personally any side effects would be better that the ones from alcohol. Many thanks for your help again. Kindest regards. 

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50 minutes ago, Alcofree said:

May I ask you on what dosage you are now? And does it help? 

Hi Alcofree, 

I have been on a maintenance dose of 140 mgs/day for several years now, after hitting my "switch" to indifference (at 190 mgs/day) in early 2011.  It has worked very well for me. I still drink on occasion, but baclofen gave me an "off-switch" that I never had before. It's amazing to me, even now, how little alcohol matters anymore. I used to be a crack-of-dawn daily drinker.

Most people can tolerate the side effects from baclofen. There are a few who find them intolerable. My advice would be: work your way upwards in dosage slowly. If the side effects become troublesome, stay at your current dosage until they subside. Then go up slowly. This process can take some time. Don't try to rush upwards. Some people can get completely floored by side effects when they go up in dosage too fast. Slow and steady is the name of the game!

 

:75_EmoticonsHDcom::hug:

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1 hour ago, Alcofree said:

I definitely suffer with anxiety. I believe my alcohol is anxiety-related.

I forgot to mention this: baclofen can be hugely beneficial for anxiety. I found it to be a godsend. About 80% of my chronic, lifelong anxiety seemed to dissipate when I got up to a certain dose of baclofen. Here is a comprehensive collection of anecdotes from our old forum re: baclofen and anxiety: http://www.mywayout.org/community/medication-research-and-support/46718-baclofen-anxiety.html

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Oh my God, thank you, thank you, thank you. I will stay on 10mg till Wednesday, then up it to 20mg for a few days, and then up it by 10mg again to 30mg. And take it from there. I really hope that doctors in the UK will eventually introduce Baclofen as a treatment for people like me. For the time being, I will get it online and with the help of kind people on this site, will start on my path to freedom. Thank you again. I have been a crack-of-dawn drinker as well for the last six-seven years. It would be so great to break free from this. I will keep in touch! My kindest regards to you, thank you! 

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12 minutes ago, Felina said:

I forgot to mention this: baclofen can be hugely beneficial for anxiety. I found it to be a godsend. About 80% of my chronic, lifelong anxiety seemed to dissipate when I got up to a certain dose of baclofen. Here is a comprehensive collection of anecdotes from our old forum re: baclofen and anxiety: http://www.mywayout.org/community/medication-research-and-support/46718-baclofen-anxiety.html

The man is amazing. I read his book on Baclofen use for alcohol dependency about three years ago, that's how I got to know about Baclofen. There was an article about Dr Olivier Ameisen in our paper here, The Telegraph. I just wish I found this site earlier. Thank you very much for your help, Felina! I have never felt so happy about my progress to get rid of alcohol in my life. I am determent to make it work.

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Interesting that you mentioned that @Alcofree, because it was an article from a UK paper that led me down my own path: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2010/may/09/alcoholism-health-doctor-addiction-drug  - the second I read this article I knew that baclofen would be the drug for me. I quickly found my way to the My Way Out forum (which has, sadly, become overrun by trolls - it was a great forum in its heyday). 

 

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Sorry, yes it was The Guardian! I just remember a few years back after a bad binge typing "How to stop drinking alcohol" into Google and that article came up. I printed it off and took it to my doctor. Well, we know now how that went. Then I bought his book. And I started my research into Baclofen. And it was then when I first bought Baclofen abroad. But without any guidance I failed. Only recently, in September I think. I heard about Baclofen and its use to treat alcohol dependency on our BBC 4 Radio. It is definitely coming to the UK, I think. I just cannot wait any longer. British people are known for being very careful about trying new things. It's incredible how strong the evidence of Baclofen working is. And it is not a very expensive drug either, considering how much my drinking cost me. I just paid £20 for 100 tablets 10mg, including the delivery. Then again, freedom is priceless indeed! 

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@Alcofree

Regrettably, GP's are not specialists in alcohol addiction and tend to err on the side of caution - In that they are not keen to prescribe "off label" - That said there are GP's as opposed to Alcohol Specialists who will prescribe Baclofen for alcohol abstinence -  I would like to see it is that GP's needing to weigh up the benefits of Baclofen against the comorbidities and reliability of their patients but this is folly on my part

I am not sure which article in The Guardian you are referring to but if it is the most recent (US Online) version this resulted in me sending a rather critical (unanswered) email to the author - The Radio 4 article with Anne Lingford-Hughes prompted a (again unanswered) email - It concerns me as to the extent of research into Baclofen, both in the media and research field - These people seem happy to "highlight" Baclofen but reluctant to pursue anything concrete - Of course Baclofen being a generic has nothing to do with the research side!

If I were you I would correlate some of the case studies and important information on Baclofen and take it to your GP - I can help you with this if you would like?

Stick to the titration schedule Felina linked to above - It is my opinion that a high proportion of people who leave Baclofen during titration due to side effects do not follow the schedule correctly - This schedule has a proven track record (I know, I am one) - Do not get the urge for instant results - It will not happen - Do not run out

Anyway, I am in a bit of a rush this morning, I may add something else tonight

Regards

 

 

Bacman

 

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2 hours ago, Baclofenman said:

Regrettably, GP's are not specialists in alcohol addiction and tend to err on the side of caution

My GP refused to prescribe anything. So, I found one that would. Most people on this forum take Baclofen. I'm taking Naltrexone. It's slowly (I think) doing its job. Some have suggested that the two (Nal and Bac) can be taken concurrently. I don't know. I only know that I'm sober, tonight. Usually when I'm in a drinking phase (lasts 2-3 months, followed by a few weeks off), I drink every day. With Nal, I'm finding that booze isn't as much fun (this is precisely the point of the drug), that the hangovers are wicked, that I don't have to drink every night, and that I drink roughly half of what I usually drink (probably due to the diminished enjoyment/anesthesia).

My start with Nal was terrible. It sounds like Baclofen also has a nasty adjustment period.  Stick with it. Try to get plenty of sleep. Good luck.

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/05/13/312152578/meds-can-help-problem-drinkers-but-many-doctors-dont-know-that

Edited by BarrelChested
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Welcome @Alcofree.  As you can see (by the flag next to the name) some of us are from the UK & are buying online because GPs won't prescribe - nor will most so-called addiction specialists come to that.  If the people who should know about specialist meds aren't interested, it's difficult to blame GPs for not prescribing off label!

Keep posting & we will try to support you.

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5 hours ago, Molly78 said:

 If the people who should know about specialist meds aren't interested, it's difficult to blame GPs for not prescribing off label!

Exactly

Fortunately my GP is either not caring of what the "higher powers" may say or is more pioneering and interested in what is best for the patient than the regular GP

This is why I find it ridiculous that one of our members was only prescribed 30mg a day and told to self prescribe the rest - Either the GP is in it or they are not - Prescribing Baclofen is not a "toe in the water" medication

I do feel a little for the GP's mind, prescribing Baclofen (which can seriously fuck a patient up if abused) to an alcoholic is a hit and miss mission, in view of their "apparent" unreliability, adding to this existing comorbidities and current medication makes it a minefield they probably do not want to step in

Regards

 

Bacman

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@Alcofree Welcome to the forum!  I was drinking 24/7 and couldn't go even one day without alcohol before I tried Baclofen. I'm now sober and happy and it saved my life.  Best of luck to you.  I'm glad you found us!

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Welcome , @Alcofree i was just where you are a few months ago, 2+ bottles of wine per day and just couldn't stop. Baclofen has changed that and it did it pretty quickly. Although I have had lots of side effects and am still struggling it's far from the pathetic state I was in a few months ago.  So just listen to the good advice here and take it slow.  You will start to feel better soon. 

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@Alcofree

hi and welcome to the forum.Please stick with Baclofen because it WORKS.

I to was drinking in excess of 2 bottles of wine a day till I reached indifference.I am now drinking about 2 large glasses a week.

I am in the uk and order from Goldpharma.Try to order 25mg as they work out much better value

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On 11/28/2016 at 11:30 PM, Nicnak said:

@Alcofree

hi and welcome to the forum.Please stick with Baclofen because it WORKS.

I to was drinking in excess of 2 bottles of wine a day till I reached indifference.I am now drinking about 2 large glasses a week.

I am in the uk and order from Goldpharma.Try to order 25mg as they work out much better value

Hi Nicnak, thank you for your advise re Goldpharma. I recently ordered from Sunshine Pharma. Have you used/heard of them. They seem a bit ..strange. The item out of stock, then it's back in stock, then ask me if I can provide another method of payment as their card processing system doesn't work. Weird. May I ask you what dose you are now? And how long have you been on Baclofen. Mane thanks. 

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On 11/27/2016 at 4:09 PM, Molly78 said:

Welcome @Alcofree.  As you can see (by the flag next to the name) some of us are from the UK & are buying online because GPs won't prescribe - nor will most so-called addiction specialists come to that.  If the people who should know about specialist meds aren't interested, it's difficult to blame GPs for not prescribing off label!

Keep posting & we will try to support you.

Hi Molly78. Thank you for much needed support. May I ask you what site you buy your Baclofen from. Also what is your maintenance dose, please? I am asking about the dose just to see how much supply I need approx so I never run out. Many thanks. 

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On 11/27/2016 at 9:35 PM, Mom2JTx3 said:

@Alcofree Welcome to the forum!  I was drinking 24/7 and couldn't go even one day without alcohol before I tried Baclofen. I'm now sober and happy and it saved my life.  Best of luck to you.  I'm glad you found us!

Hello! Many thanks for your support. My only issue at this time is how to get Baclofen on regular basis. Looks like for us here in the UK the only option is getting it online. So I am just asking around for trusted sites. How long have you been on Baclofen and what is your maintenace dose please? Many thanks. 

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On 11/28/2016 at 11:30 PM, Nicnak said:

@Alcofree

hi and welcome to the forum.Please stick with Baclofen because it WORKS.

I to was drinking in excess of 2 bottles of wine a day till I reached indifference.I am now drinking about 2 large glasses a week.

I am in the uk and order from Goldpharma.Try to order 25mg as they work out much better value

Hi again. Goldpharma is asking me to forward the following : Yes, I have a valid prescription and I will forward it either by fax, email or post mail. Or:No, I do not have a prescription. I like to complete a tele-medical consultation in order to receive the requested treatment. What is the best way, please? I do not have a prescription, that's the whole point of purchasing online.  

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I use Sunshine Pharma UK - it's been very easy & reliable to date (yes, I got the not in stock then in stock shit) but if it's now got problems with credit cards then it's like a number of online pharmacies recently.  Inhouse was very good, then started to need you to pay by OrbitRemit, which is a pain but doable, so have a look at that one.  There are other pharmacies listed on this site - I have used Mydrugsbasket, which despite the dodgy name was fine, & at the time they were accepting credit cards.

I've never used Goldpharma or River simply because they ask you for clinical details or want a telephone consult.  This is covering their backs I guess, but I don't need the hassle.

My maintenance dose is 150 mg daily, which I have been on for about a year.  I was on a lower dose for a while - 100-120 mg, but I kept reading about this miraculous state of "indifference" which is much discussed here, & I felt I wasn't quite there as I still enjoy a few glasses of wine at the weekend.  Anyway, I have now settled for just that - having a few units a couple of times a week ie drinking within current recommended guidelines, & I'm more than happy with that.

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Hi @Alcofree. I always used Goldpharma, and yes you just do the online consultation and they don't care, they just sell you the pills. Go slow when you increase your dose - just every 4 days or so go up 5 or 10mg. Then you're cured.

Please update us on your progress or just whatever is going on in your life.

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Hello StuckinLA, thank you for your support. I have just got confirmation from Goldpharma that my request was approved. I am very relieved! I have started on 10mg once a day. Cannot sleep at night since Monday. But it's fine, I can live with that. I am not abstinent (as we speak poured myself a small G&T), but was sober since Sunday. Little steps, I can be patient when I need to be. I want to succeed and have a life. What is your dose at the moment? And what was the drinking pattern. I don't know why I ask everybody these questions.. maybe because for the first time in years I've found people who understand and support through understanding. Kind regards. 

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3 hours ago, Molly78 said:

I use Sunshine Pharma UK - it's been very easy & reliable to date (yes, I got the not in stock then in stock shit) but if it's now got problems with credit cards then it's like a number of online pharmacies recently.  Inhouse was very good, then started to need you to pay by OrbitRemit, which is a pain but doable, so have a look at that one.  There are other pharmacies listed on this site - I have used Mydrugsbasket, which despite the dodgy name was fine, & at the time they were accepting credit cards.

I've never used Goldpharma or River simply because they ask you for clinical details or want a telephone consult.  This is covering their backs I guess, but I don't need the hassle.

My maintenance dose is 150 mg daily, which I have been on for about a year.  I was on a lower dose for a while - 100-120 mg, but I kept reading about this miraculous state of "indifference" which is much discussed here, & I felt I wasn't quite there as I still enjoy a few glasses of wine at the weekend.  Anyway, I have now settled for just that - having a few units a couple of times a week ie drinking within current recommended guidelines, & I'm more than happy with that.

Molly78, thank you for the info. Very useful. I am still overwhelmed with all the support I get on this forum! How do you take 150mg- three times 50 mg during the day? 

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19 hours ago, Nicnak said:

I think I just just completed the online consultation and said I wanted it for spasms.Im on 170 mg a day at the moment

I was honest and said alcohol dependency.. and they just approved. Waiting for my tablets now!

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My drinking pattern is daily, often morning-to-night. I try to maintenance drink during the day with beer, usually 4 or 5 in the morning. Then I get drunk at night, a half to three-quarters of a fifth of hard liquor. And more beer. On days that I have to go to work, I try to abstain until evening but it is difficult. I have had periods of abstinence in the past - the longest was 7 months. Up until last weekend I had been alcohol free for about 2 weeks. I am hoping to return to that again soon, but it's not looking promising.

I am not taking baclofen at the moment. Long story. But several years ago I did go up to 240mg/day, and believe that I was indifferent to alcohol at that point. My side effects are unusual and not the norm - I get very bad nerve pain in my legs that I find intolerable. Again, that is not a common side effect so you shouldn't have to worry about it.

Just go slow, try to cut down on drinking if possible. Sometimes that isn't possible, and we all understand here. Being alcohol-free helps make the whole baclofen process easier, but it is not necessary for it to work.

I am actually day drinking at the moment, out of booze in the house, and heading down to the bar for the afternoon. Not everyone here likes to hear me talk about that, but it is what it is right now.

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Anyone can relapse. I certainly understand. Everyone has their own path. My personal worry is since I am in the UK and no one prescribes Baclofen, I am worried how I will be able to afford purchasing mine online. It will cost me considerably more per month than my booze. Then again it depends on what my ideal dose will eventually be. At the moment, since I am only just starting very slowly, it's fine. So I think I should worry about future when it comes. But I am determined to be booze free, that's my main priority. 

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8 hours ago, Alcofree said:

 My personal worry is since I am in the UK and no one prescribes Baclofen. 

Fortunately this is not correct - However there are multi factors involved in persuading your GP to support you

I would not expect any GP to support you (His first Baclofen patient) from scratch - This is for the reasons I highlighted earlier

It is a long term effort and In my opinion it involves nurturing the GP and convincing them you understand the benefits and theory behind the medication (how it works) along with the complexities and ramifications of its use (side effects/titration and the importance of running out) - You HAVE to know your subject matter - "Someone on the internet said it was great" will not install confidence

Spend some time reading the stuff here;

http://www.theendofmyaddiction.org/forum/77-research/

Initially you need to "suss out" your GP's attitude to Baclofen - They will probably say they have never heard of its usage with alcohol, and start the ball rolling from there - Tell them you will email them some clinical trial information - What can they say? - Either "Yes do so and I will have a look" or "Sod off and find a new GP" - In a way each is positive, you have either got them interested and on side or you know you need to find another GP, preferably one with a addiction bent

I would ask them to weigh you and get a liver function test - This way you have records to show your current situation which hopefully will improve when you reach indifference, which should be the time you would expect them to offer support by means of a prescription

I am due to see my GP in the next couple of weeks at which time I am going to ask her to speak to @Nicnak GP as she has now reached indifference as a result of self medication - Unfortunately Nicnak's GP is not as progressive as mine, I fear, but they do know she is self medicating

To answer a question you posed before - My maintenance dose is 150 mg a day, 30 mg, 5 times a day - 08.00/11.00/14.00/17.00/20.00 - There is a conflict of opinion of how many times a day one should split your doses but this works for me, based on my understanding of half life

Regarding On-Line purchasing, I think all of those mentioned are fairly reliable - I have used mydrugsbasket and River on more than one occasion, both supplied Zaclofen, River will send you a paypal payment request - Zaclofen gave me constipation, I now use Mylan which gave Nicnak constipation so it a bit like Statins, you may need to try a few different genetics to get the one which gives you the least side effects - There is information in the link above of the sensible way to transfer from one generic to another

Regards

 

Bacman

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@Alcofree to answer your question about how I take the 150 mg bac - I take 40 mg at 9 am, 50 mg at 12 md & 60 mg at 3 pm.  That way my blood levels rise steadily during the day to a max at about 5-6 pm (the danger period for me, wine o'clock), then fall off before bed as bac can really mess with sleep.   I doubt if the timing would matter now, but I think it does when you first start.  Probably small doses often during the day are best right at the beginning until you find out what your own particular response is.  As said above, everyone is different.

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