Weaning off alcohol - advice re: dosage

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Weaning off alcohol - advice re: dosage

Postby anon951 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:08 pm

Hello everyone,

Thank your for creating a place for people to get advice on the issue of alcohol abuse. I'll jump straight to the point.

The situation:
As I have been a heavy drinker for 2 years, there is a need for me to wean myself off alcohol in order to avoid the horrible withdrawal effects. There is also additional emphasis on anonymity and as such I shall not be using support groups, doctor's advice, friends or family to help me quit. I created this problem and I will fix it, by myself. But first I need some advice.

The specifics:
I'm a male in mid 20s. My poison of choice is super-strong beer in 9% strength. For the past 24-28 months I have been consuming at least 10(UK)/5.64(US) units per day, however most time I will drink 13.5(UK)/7.61(US) and sometimes exceed that even further. This has been happening every single day for the last couple of years. For example, yesterday I drank a grand total of 18.9(UK)/10.7(US) units.

The plan:
Plan is simple - keep drinking but decrease the dosage over time to a point where I can stop completely and not feel withdrawal effects. I intend to fix myself within 6 months, this is my deadline but obviously the sooner the better.

The question:
I want to avoid the withdrawal symptoms using (ideally) smallest dosage possible, but have no clue how to go about working out the dosage. Is there a formula or rule of thumb for working this out?

I'm about to go and get my daily dose, today I will drink 9 units and see how that makes me feel. But in mean time, if anyone with experience in this could give me some pointers I would really appreciate it.

Thank you!
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Re: Weaning off alcohol - advice re: dosage

Postby ann2 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:16 pm

This is a matter of your health. We're not doctors. We just have a lot of opinions.

Ask a medical professional. Find out what kind of help your body can make use of.

Try reading some literature online here aa.org to get more information, the kind we feel qualified to share.

Ann
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Re: Weaning off alcohol - advice re: dosage

Postby Feeya » Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:22 pm

Get a doctors advice. Doing it by yourself could have severe effects on your body, mind and soul!
Good luck!
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Re: Weaning off alcohol - advice re: dosage

Postby anon951 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:44 pm

Thank you guys for the advice. I want to hear opinions of ex-alcoholics who have successfully weaned themselves off, but I will not consult a doctor no matter what. I'm not going to go in details as to my motivation for not using a doctor, that being said - there's a far more important reason than privacy and it is very likely that a doctor will make my problem worse. I will keep researching.
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Re: Weaning off alcohol - advice re: dosage

Postby tyg » Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:11 pm

There is no such thing as an ex-alcoholic. Once an alcoholic always an alcoholic. My sponsor loves this saying, "Once a cucumber is pickled, it can't go back to being a regular ol' cucumber." The hard part will be staying sober permanently. I believe everything in the book Alcoholics Anonymous and maybe worth a reading while weening off. I've had been able to quit drinking several times for long periods, longest was 6 years but sooner or later...I always drank again.

"This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can
experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope
of his recovery.
On the other hand—and strange as this may seem to those
who do not understand—once a psychic change has occurred,
the very same person who seemed doomed, who had so
many problems he despaired of ever solving them, suddenly
finds himself easily able to control his desire for alcohol,
the only effort necessary being that required to follow a
few simple rules." (Pg xxix)


Psychic change is a result of taking the 12 Steps and applying these spiritual principles continuously to keep spiritually fit.
~The secret to the AA program is the first three words on page 112~
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Re: Weaning off alcohol - advice re: dosage

Postby anon951 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:57 pm

tyg wrote:There is no such thing as an ex-alcoholic. Once an alcoholic always an alcoholic. My sponsor loves this saying, "Once a cucumber is pickled, it can't go back to being a regular ol' cucumber." The hard part will be staying sober permanently. I believe everything in the book Alcoholics Anonymous and maybe worth a reading while weening off. I've had been able to quit drinking several times for long periods, longest was 6 years but sooner or later...I always drank again.

"This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can
experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope
of his recovery.
On the other hand—and strange as this may seem to those
who do not understand—once a psychic change has occurred,
the very same person who seemed doomed, who had so
many problems he despaired of ever solving them, suddenly
finds himself easily able to control his desire for alcohol,
the only effort necessary being that required to follow a
few simple rules." (Pg xxix)


Psychic change is a result of taking the 12 Steps and applying these spiritual principles continuously to keep spiritually fit.


Hi. I completely agree with the above and understand that there is a great need to change the whole mindset and perception, in order to succeed. This is something that I have applied to smoking and is in fact the reason why I finally managed to admin that I need to fix myself. I am not there yet, but I truly believe that the process of my mental transformation has begun and I will reach it. I'll get the book and read it whole, thank you!
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Re: Weaning off alcohol - advice re: dosage

Postby Spirit Flower » Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:15 pm

the books can be read free online here:
http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/read-the- ... traditions
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Re: Weaning off alcohol - advice re: dosage

Postby Irish777 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 4:23 pm

Let me make a quick comment. There is a site I have used and it's this.

HAMS: Harm Reduction for Alcohol(Just google it)

It worked well for me and I weaned from a 12 pack of beer a day down to 0. I posted on this site when I was sober 48 hours and then never posted again. Why? because the 3rd day, (didn't take long) I drank again 12 and 12 since then so it was a dismal failure. I lurk here while drinking waiting for the day I can get the balls to go to AA or do something as my days are spent in a buzzed state.

Don't do what I did. Listen to the people here.

Irish
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Re: Weaning off alcohol - advice re: dosage

Postby anon951 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:13 pm

Thank you for the advice. I will still try to stick to my original plan of weaning off, even if it fails - this is something I need to try myself first.
I've had my dosage of 9 units (UK units for reference), now waiting to see how it will go tomorrow - if no signs of withdrawal then I shall try 7.2 units. If that works well then next step will be 4.5 units, then 2.7 and so on. I'll have to see how I feel over the course of next week or so, if it all works out then hopefully I'll be in a position to not feel withdrawal within 3 weeks. Once that goal is reached, I can concentrate on complete abstinence and see where it takes me.

In case I stop posting here, I am creating a reminder to come back in exactly one year from now and make an update on my progress and experience, regardless of the results.

I have read HAMS in the past and I do think that lowering my consumption gradually is important, there is simply no way to go cold turkey as I see it right now. I do like the 12 step program, and I will follow it, however I take an issue with step 2. There is no greater power than me. If there is one - it should have kept me from alcohol in the first place, but it didn't - because it is not greater in any way, it doesn't exist. Instead I will replace it with "I am the greater power, and it is only up to me. If I can't control myself then frankly I'm weak. But it doesn't mean that I will stay weak, as a result of clear choices and self-motivation I will push myself to improvement and ultimately - abstinence". Something like that.

Another part of me immediately says that this is just me trying to justify not going cold-turkey. We will see after a while.
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Re: Weaning off alcohol - advice re: dosage

Postby Noels » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:35 pm

Good morning Anon and welcome :D your post remind me of a show we watch here on our side called - Columbian airport security. Its mainly about drug carriers getting caught. The interesting thing is that many of these carriers when they are caught first denies carrying altogether, then when the drugs are found they say " Oh, how could God do this to me?". The similarities are pretty simple and quite obvious - God didn't swallow the pellets that caught on x-ray in their tummies, He/She/It did not strap any drugs to their bodies nor did He/She/It pack their suitcases. Yet He/She/It is blamed for them being caught? I bet you if they didn't get caught they would have smilingly and joyfully told their friends how THEY fooled the security and got away with it. Then God would have been nowhere in the picture :lol:
Be that as it may I do wish you good luck. I just wonder who went to the bottle store and bought and paid for those beers - God or you? And who opened the first, second, third and fourth beer? And who chugged it down whose throat and and and.
Humans is the only species who received the enormous and beautiful gift of choice and a most amazing and incredible mind to ponder over things so please do take 5 minutes to ponder over this.
Why make it difficult for yourself by trying to do this alone? You've already reached out for help to our forum. At AA we don't insist that you believe in the exact same Higher Power I do. Why don't you take the easy way and just go to a meeting, have a chat with an experienced alcoholic who is in recovery with a decent period of sobriety under his belt and take it from there? That is the beauty of AA - we will help you and be with you through the tough times. We will share with you and show you what have worked and is still working for us. What do you have to loose?
Have an awesome day and all the best
Love and Light
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Re: Weaning off alcohol - advice re: dosage

Postby Brock » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:59 am

Thank you for the advice. I will still try to stick to my original plan

I have done that many times, first day shaking until can't take it anymore, two beers every four hours with a 10 mg valium, second and third day drop the beer valium only, fourth day feeling very much better valium one morning one night, by the fifth day you are good to go go. Or rather good to “abstain” from drinking, done it for a few weeks many times to keep the wife hopeful, and once for a whole year because of a sensitive job that paid a lot of money.

Could have stayed at that job, but no amount of money could compensate me for the downright crappy life, that comes to the alcoholic who abstains only.
There is no greater power than me.

Come back and tell us how that works out for you, you are not the first by a long shot who says they don't believe in a higher power, and the book goes to great lengths to explain, you can even choose the group, really I think it pointless to keep trying to convince someone who is dead set against it, but I do wish you the best of luck.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Weaning off alcohol - advice re: dosage

Postby anon951 » Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:37 am

Thank you for the kind words Noels. Your example is spot on.

The reason why I am resistant to accepting higher power is laid out in your example. This situation I am in is the result of my own choice, my denial, my unwillingness to accept that I am weak. I started taking drugs and drinking to "cope" with certain events in life, because at the time I was too ill-equipped to actually address the underlying issue so was trying to escape instead. I messed up completely by myself, thus I will fix this by myself.

Free will is truly a great gifts as you say, and like with anything great it needs to be controlled in order to be a force good. Some people have a need for a belief system that allows them to infuse life with meaning and purpose, to allow themselves to submit and be "managed" by a higher power by living according to a certain divinely-inspire standard. I don't think that this is something I need, or in my case want. What I need is to push myself the hardest I can to develop an iron will and overcome this challenge, many barriers have fallen on my quest for this. Alcohol is next.

Having had my reduced dose yesterday I feel ok at the moment, if I do not develop bad shakes by the end of the day then I'll lower it again and see where that takes me.


Come back and tell us how that works out for you, you are not the first by a long shot who says they don't believe in a higher power, and the book goes to great lengths to explain, you can even choose the group, really I think it pointless to keep trying to convince someone who is dead set against it, but I do wish you the best of luck.

Agreed. I'm one of those difficult-types who just won't listen until he fails himself, that's just the way it is. I understand that I may fail, it is important to recognize that if I truly had the greater power in me then I would not be in this situation. But it doesn't mean that I can't draw it out, we'll simply have to wait and see whether I am right or now. I am committed to this and will muster the strength to overcome.
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Re: Weaning off alcohol - advice re: dosage

Postby avaneesh912 » Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:47 am

HAMS: Harm Reduction for Alcohol(Just google it)

It worked well for me and I weaned from a 12 pack of beer a day down to 0. I posted on this site when I was sober 48 hours and then never posted again. Why? because the 3rd day, (didn't take long) I drank again 12 and 12 since then so it was a dismal failure. I lurk here while drinking waiting for the day I can get the balls to go to AA or do something as my days are spent in a buzzed state.

Don't do what I did. Listen to the people here. Irish


Irish, so nice of you share your experience. Some people may awaken reading your experience. Of course most alcoholics will have to do their own research, there could be one like the OP who can relate. Looks like its already helping him. We appreciate your honest share.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Weaning off alcohol - advice re: dosage

Postby Feeya » Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:52 am

Irish777 wrote:Let me make a quick comment. There is a site I have used and it's this.

HAMS: Harm Reduction for Alcohol(Just google it)

It worked well for me and I weaned from a 12 pack of beer a day down to 0. I posted on this site when I was sober 48 hours and then never posted again. Why? because the 3rd day, (didn't take long) I drank again 12 and 12 since then so it was a dismal failure. I lurk here while drinking waiting for the day I can get the balls to go to AA or do something as my days are spent in a buzzed state.

Don't do what I did. Listen to the people here.

Irish


Thank you for sharing!
One day at a time.
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Re: Weaning off alcohol - advice re: dosage

Postby avaneesh912 » Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:10 am

my own choice


This is what Eckhart Tolle has to say about choice, and thats exactly the Big book Talks about being powerless:

I know that the word choose is a favorite New Age term, but it isn't entirely accurate in this context. It is misleading to say that somebody "chose" a dysfunctional relationship or any other negative situation in his or her life. Choice implies consciousness - a high degree of consciousness. Without it, you have no choice. Choice begins the moment you dis-identify from the mind and its conditioned patterns, the moment you become present. Until you reach that point, you are unconscious, spiritually speaking. This means that you are compelled to think (Drink), feel, and act in certain ways according to the conditioning of your mind.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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