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The End of my Addiction

"Drinking through the switch" on BAC?


EraserHead
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Hello everyone...

I am rather new here, and am on day 100 of titrating up on BAC. I've reached 360mg now, and I'm drinking a lot less than before, but and have yet to feel anything like a "switch" to indifference. In fact, at a dinner party last night I managed to drink a substantial amount of wine, followed by more when I got home while watching late-night TV by myself! So, still the typical me-type of behavior...

I was working under the theory that I should go ahead and drink while going up, so I would know when I hit that "indifference" switch. But @Molly78 suggested perhaps it's better to quit drinking while titrating up. I've read a few reports of people who believe it's possible to "drink through" your switch, and am wondering if I should titrate back down to 200 or so, then quit drinking, titrate back up, and see if that works better.

So I'm wondering what anyone thinks about this idea that you can somehow miss the switch by drinking through it?

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Wow, this titrating down thing is NOT fun... I think I am going too fast. Was at 360 last Wednesday, and was dropping 10mg per day to reach 300 yesterday. This morning I have a TERRIBLE hangover. (One thing I haven't seen mentioned here is that, by my experience, hangovers pretty much disappear on BAC.)

But, yeah: headache, sweating, worrying about everything, disappointed that this whole BAC thing hasn't "worked" for me. And the last thing I need is to turn into one of those people wandering around the park screaming at trees!

I'm going to go pop 100 right now and see if I feel any better.

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OK, did that, but then vomited 20 minutes later, so not sure how much got absorbed! 

I had big plans for today, too: hit the gym for some HIIT, call the insurance company and yell at them, call an attorney and bitch about the insurance company... All that fun stuff will have to wait until tomorrow!

Will someone please let me know if I start spewing paranoid rants? (Not that there isn't plenty to be legitimately paranoid about these days.)

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@EraserHead, sorry I missed your previous post! 

"Drinking through your switch" usually means that a person has reached their "switch" and stopped drinking, but then adjusted to their switch dose and started drinking again. It's one of the reasons to really try to work with the switch and not "push back" against it.

If you are still drinking and haven't hit the switch yet, you most likely haven't drank through it. 

Titrating down 10 mg/day is probably too fast. You were most likely having withdrawal symptoms with the headaches, worrying etc. 

I'd suggest staying at a level dose for a while. If it is possible for you to stop drinking during this time, it will be really beneficial. You may find that after a period of time with no alcohol, you might not need to go any higher. If you're still having cravings, you can titrate back up at a reasonable level (@ 10 mgs every 4 days or so).

Sorry this has been such an ordeal. Keep us posted on your progress.

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Thank you, @Felina, for that clarification... I thought perhaps the fact that I was continuing to drink caused me to somehow miss it!

It just seemed to me like 360 was awfully high, and I haven't read anywhere of people going any higher. If anyone has gone higher than that, I'd love to hear about it.

Yesterday I took 320, drank only a few glasses of wine in the evening (no Sake!), and today is a much better day. On my game and fired up to call insurance companies and attorneys....

Maybe I was titrating up too fast to notice anything, as the SEs were pretty manageable for me. I think I will stay at 320 for a week or so, and then maybe eek back up more slowly.

Funny thing, however: Yesterday evening around 6:30 when I would normally reach for the wine in the fridge, I grabbed a Coke Zero instead, because that was just what I felt like having. (Not a normal thing; that can of Coke Zero has been in there for ever.) Kids wanted to record a song, so I just drank the Coke while playing audio engineer, and when I went back to the fridge later, I really just felt like having another Coke! But I had just drank the last one, so the cork came out of the wine bottle instead.

Which brings me to a point: I think I also need to change my mental model of what BAC is supposed to do: Seems like it is not so much a magic bullet that will suddenly extinguish your desire to drink no matter what else you're doing, but rather a "willpower aid" that can help curb cravings if you're willing to let it do that. I was thinking about how Amiesen allowed himself an extra 20-40 to take when he was getting into a situation that called for an extra willpower boost. So maybe if you come at it with the attitude, "I am going to stop drinking, and this stuff is going to help me do it" (but you still need to modify your behavior), rather than, "This stuff is going to take care of everything by itself"... things will work better!

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On 3/8/2017 at 6:31 PM, EraserHead said:

Which brings me to a point: I think I also need to change my mental model of what BAC is supposed to do: Seems like it is not so much a magic bullet that will suddenly extinguish your desire to drink no matter what else you're doing, but rather a "willpower aid" that can help curb cravings if you're willing to let it do that. I was thinking about how Amiesen allowed himself an extra 20-40 to take when he was getting into a situation that called for an extra willpower boost. So maybe if you come at it with the attitude, "I am going to stop drinking, and this stuff is going to help me do it" (but you still need to modify your behavior), rather than, "This stuff is going to take care of everything by itself"... things will work better!

I couldn't agree more!  I read a lot on here about people reaching "the switch" while just keeping on drinking, but I don't think it works that way for a lot of us - well, let's face it, we're all different & we can all use meds in different ways to our own advantage.

I love it that you reached for  Coke Zero!  Now you know what to stock the fridge with.  My go-to drink post-alcohol has been Orangina Lite - not sure you have it over there, it's common in Europe & reminds me of family holidays in the sun.  Oh, & Red Bull - but I only allow myself 1 or 2 cans a day.

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On 3/8/2017 at 9:31 PM, EraserHead said:

Thank you, @Felina, for that clarification... I thought perhaps the fact that I was continuing to drink caused me to somehow miss it!

It just seemed to me like 360 was awfully high, and I haven't read anywhere of people going any higher. If anyone has gone higher than that, I'd love to hear about it.

Yesterday I took 320, drank only a few glasses of wine in the evening (no Sake!), and today is a much better day. On my game and fired up to call insurance companies and attorneys....

Maybe I was titrating up too fast to notice anything, as the SEs were pretty manageable for me. I think I will stay at 320 for a week or so, and then maybe eek back up more slowly.

Funny thing, however: Yesterday evening around 6:30 when I would normally reach for the wine in the fridge, I grabbed a Coke Zero instead, because that was just what I felt like having. (Not a normal thing; that can of Coke Zero has been in there for ever.) Kids wanted to record a song, so I just drank the Coke while playing audio engineer, and when I went back to the fridge later, I really just felt like having another Coke! But I had just drank the last one, so the cork came out of the wine bottle instead.

Which brings me to a point: I think I also need to change my mental model of what BAC is supposed to do: Seems like it is not so much a magic bullet that will suddenly extinguish your desire to drink no matter what else you're doing, but rather a "willpower aid" that can help curb cravings if you're willing to let it do that. I was thinking about how Amiesen allowed himself an extra 20-40 to take when he was getting into a situation that called for an extra willpower boost. So maybe if you come at it with the attitude, "I am going to stop drinking, and this stuff is going to help me do it" (but you still need to modify your behavior), rather than, "This stuff is going to take care of everything by itself"... things will work better!

Reaching for the Coke Zero is what baclofen makes you do.  I noticed in the middle of a binge lasting months, and then getting onto high doses of baclofen, my wife reached for a glass of Gatorade instead of  the vodka sitting next to it.  She was so fargone at that point that it had to be neurological because she was incapacitated with drinking but all of a sudden she wanted something else. It had never happened before but that is what then continued to happen even though she was in the middle of a binge and she had vodka in front of here.  It's like the Adoloratto experiment with the rats. We think it's will power.    It's bizarre when you see it happen.  Is it will power?  It's such a unique and incredible shift of mindset and so new that really....hey, call it what you want.  It's amazing any way you look at it.

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On 3/8/2017 at 1:31 PM, EraserHead said:

It just seemed to me like 360 was awfully high, and I haven't read anywhere of people going any higher. If anyone has gone higher than that, I'd love to hear about it.

From the Baclofen Research page on EOMA:The use of very high-doses of baclofen for the treatment of alcohol-dependence: A case series. (abstract) (full-text)

FWIW: I wouldn't want to titrate up that high - I'm very glad I found indifference at 280.... and it really was an "off" switch for me - I didn't feel much effect until I hit it. As I have titrated down, however, I have come to understand baclofen as somewhat of a "dimmer" on craving. Lowering my dose over the years has never opened a floodgate of thirst - it's more like incremental levels of awareness or thoughts of alcohol, plus a greater palatablility of the few beers that I have on occasion (a slippery slope to be sure, especially if my dose goes too low).

Also, I very much agree that decreasing by 10mg/day is *much* too rapiid... I am especially sensitive (going up or down) and 10mg a week is all I can manage (up or down), see: What to do if you are running out (or low on) Baclofen.

-tk

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On 3/9/2017 at 0:22 PM, Molly78 said:

My go-to drink post-alcohol has been Orangina Lite - not sure you have it over there, it's common in Europe & reminds me of family holidays in the sun. 

OK, when I was 15 I went to the south of France as a summer exchange student and started drinking Orangina... Then when I got back to the States I found a fancy bookstore in the next town where I would hang out on Friday evenings, order an Orangina and a piece of cheesecake and sit reading mostly-brit magazines from the "Imports" section like The Face and NME and feeling like the most sophisticated high school kid in the country!

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On 3/15/2017 at 4:03 PM, terryk said:

From the Baclofen Research page on EOMA:The use of very high-doses of baclofen for the treatment of alcohol-dependence: A case series. (abstract) (full-text)

Thanks for pointing me to that study; I hadn't seen it. So I guess some people do go up to 400 or slightly beyond; albeit the ones in the study seem to be kind of screwy people who may have had some compliance issues!

I have actually been keeping a pretty meticulous record of the dosages & times, but it's interesting to me the degree of variability in people's experiences. There are the obvious factors of people's body weight and history (duration/severity) of drinking, but I am not seeing an obvious correlation among those and the switch dose from the reports here, which makes you think about what other residual factors may lead to that dose number: Timing of doses throughout the day? Spending longer or shorter at each dose level, maybe allowing the bac to "sink in" a bit more? Another obvious one is drinking vs. not drinking while going up. It stands to reason that if you can hit a switch, but then eventually drink more so that you drink through the switch and have to move up higher again -- as I've seen reported a number of times -- the same could also happen while moving up to the switch in the first place; that is, you get to what would be a switch dose, but you are continuing to drink and somehow miss it. Though @Otter's wife seemed to hit it anyhow. (I haven't heard of the "Adoloratto experiment"; I agree that willpower is a difficult concept to get your thumb on.... We experience that we have exerted our own will when we choose to do something we want to do, but then what made us want to do it in the first place? Alas, armchair philosophy...)

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