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Alcohol Withdrawal......

PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:55 pm
by JasonD
Hi, my name is Jason and i'm a hardcore alcoholic. As of today though, i have decided to quit after an embarrassing drunken incident with my family last night. During my teenage years, i was actually a strong anti-alcohol person. After finishing school, i attended many parties where alcohol was provided and i slowly pick it up due to peer pressure. That's the beginning of it. I started drinking twice a month, then twice a week and now, basically everyday. I can polish off a 1L whiskey or gin in two days. First i started drinking because it was "fun" to get high with friends. Then i started drinking alone in my room to suppress my depression. Now, i just have to drink whether i am sad or happy. Well not anymore.

I have a question though, i am really worried about alcohol withdrawal. I would like to quit cold turkey but will that increase the chances of alcohol withdrawal? A friend told me, i shouldn't quit immediately, instead have a can of beer every once awhile and reduce the amount slowly till none. Would appreciate it if you guys can give me some advice on this.

Re: Alcohol Withdrawal......

PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:14 am
by whitmore_fan
Hi JasonD and welcome to the forum.

First of all I would consult your doctor and be totaly honest. In the most part alcohol withdraw is not dangerous but it can be and therefore we always advise you consult a medical expert. As for the can of beer every couple of weeks, personally I cannot understand the logic behind that suggestion. If I had taken this approach I don't think I woud have ever quit drinking. Either rehab or straight to AA is the typical approach and your doctor will be able to advise on this.

I was a daily drinker most of my life but I didn't go into rehab, I called the AA helpline and a kind gentleman took me to an AA meeting that very day, I have been sober every since. I suffered withdrawl obviously and it was a tough time but I came through it as we all do. Typically sleepless nights, headaches, nausea, unable to concentrate, depression and of course alcohol cravings are withdraw symptons but we are all different and experience things slightly differently.

Good luck Jason, see your doctor straight away if you have concerns and start a program of recovery such as that offered by AA. There is a lot of help and support on this forum, we have all been there and as a group have experienced just but everything that this terrible affliction can throw at us. The good news is that there is a solution, we have all chosen to follow the solution as suggested by AA. It works, you will find a lot of people of this forum with many years of happy sobriety.


Re: Alcohol Withdrawal......

PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 8:36 am
by avaneesh912
A friend told me, i shouldn't quit immediately, instead have a can of beer every once awhile and reduce the amount slowly till none. Would appreciate it if you guys can give me some advice on this.

For an alcoholic this is a big no no. Once an alcoholic always an alcoholic. Like Whitmore-Fan suggested, seek medical counseling. Go with whatever he suggest. The issue with alcoholics generally is, we don't admit to anyone how much we really drink/drank. If get got, we always claim we just had a couple. :evil:

But in the meantime, look up the Book called Alcoholics Anonymous, try to understand the disease. This board is there to help new-comers. there are other web-sites which carry free work-shops on the Big book. I will send you an email with details.

Try to identify with Bills Story. See how he peaks and then the struggle and then the recovery. If you have doubt about GOD or HP (there is a chapter for that too, we agnostics) to help start some were.

Re: Alcohol Withdrawal......

PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:59 am
by kim
Hello JasonD and welcome!

This is a great place to be - not only for seeking advise and encouragement, but for allowing others to learn from you too. Stay close and keep us posted. Welcome and get ready for the ride of your life!! I am new as well - but am finding each day without a drink is sooooo worth it! Its getting better.


Re: Alcohol Withdrawal......

PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:32 am
by martin08
Abrupt withdrawal is best done under medical supervision and/or advice. As Avaneesh has stated, be honest about your intake amount.

Tapering off sounds inviting. It was simply impossible for myself. Once I took any alcohol whatsovever, I continued all night. Cold turkey was the only avenue available for me as I was physically addicted.

Re: Alcohol Withdrawal......

PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:44 am
by Chris S.
Welcome Jason, you are headed in the right direction.

There can be medical complications from alcohol withdrawal. However, in most cases these present themselves in individuals that have more or less always had alcohol in their systems for some time. The symptom most associated is delerium tremens. The real danger found in this typically is with older people that have consumed alcohol morning noon and night for a considerable period, in these cases, yes, the danger is real.

I know for me, in the last couple of years of my drinking, I too could finish of a liter in a couple of days. In fact it was more like a litre and a half. I more or less had to quit cold turkey for legal reasons. I did not experience any real serious withdrawal symptoms.

The problem with the "tapering off" idea is that the alcoholic experiences a thing called the "phenomonen of craving". This is the very thing that defines us as alcoholics. Once we introduce alcohol into our system, we cannot stop. This is why we get insanely drunk and do those humiliating things that cause even our dogs to be leery of coming when we call them the next day. Tapering doesn't really work very well, I tried it and the result was that my drinking just got worse.

Just try not taking a drink today. If 24 hours seems like an eternity, then try not taking a drink for the next hour. If you're still alive, try it again for the next hour, and so on. This is what finally worked for me, but, I needed the experience, strength, and hope from some friends in AA to get me through.

Re: Alcohol Withdrawal......

PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 9:49 am
by JasonD
Thanks everyone for the very kind words and advice. I will take the advice provided and seek professional medical help but i would like to try one week first. I have tried quiting before for about 3 weeks early this year. I experienced some weird stuff like the feeling of rat crawling up my leg while sleeping which i found out was one of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. avaneesh912 gave me some audio to listen to and i am very thankful for that. It's been slightly more than 24 hours since i last drank and right now i don't have any craving for alcohol yet.

Atleast now i know tapering isn't the answer to quit drinking. Once again, thanks for the support, every time i read all the posts over and over, i am encouraged even more to stay away from alcohol. I'll keep you guys updated on my progress. Thanks!

Re: Alcohol Withdrawal......

PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:37 am
by happycamper
Welcome to the group Jason !!
You have read some great esh here and it makes me smile to come here and see the help offered to new ppl. This is what its all about ... one drunk talkin to another.

I am not a doctor and dont claim to be one either. I have heard tho from a friend that works at a detox facility that withdrawl from alcohol can be more dangerous than withdrawl from drugs. So yes, I would highly suggest seeking some sort of medical opinion if you really want to do this.

You mentioned that you had some sort of family problem and blamed it on your drinking. If you believe you are a real alcoholic then that type of stuff is just the beginning of your problems ( if you continue to drink alcoholically ) there could very well be more trouble in your life . Such as ... dui offenses, loss of jobs, homes, family members, loss of friends, medical problems and the list goes on and on. Not to mention the loss of self respect and esteem. The list goes on and on and on. Booze is a taker. AA is a giver. The choice is yours . What are you willing to do to stop drinking and change your life ???

I can promise you 2 things --- 1) If you stop drinking, work the AA program and follow its path completely Your life will improve dramatically.
2) If you continue to drink, Your life will get worse .. guaranteed.

Locate AA meetings in your area. Attend a few of them , sit and listen.
Come back here and let us know what you discover.

Re: Alcohol Withdrawal......

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:06 am
by Joe H
Jason, good to have ya here.

I was a daily drinker, the doctors said I was probably "normal" when my BAC was around a constant .1 bac.

I did not intend to stop but just did all at once when I just couldn't keep going on and on. I stopped cold turkey and was almost dead two days later suffering from the DTs.

I like others here do not see any success in tapering off (it only fuels the obsession and kicks in the craving for the real alcoholic like myself). In early AA until the 80s many AAs carried a small flask when helping a newcomer until medical care could be arranged.

I think you are on the right path, seeking a solution. There is a solution that has worked for many of us and I believe it will work for you also. But we need you alive to be able to work the solution with us as an equal. Please get medical attention for detoxing and go to a meeting to start the solution.

Good luck and thanks for being here.


Re: Alcohol Withdrawal......

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:33 am
by JasonD
Thanks happycamper and Joe H. I am glad i found this place, so much support compared to my close friends. It's true, only an alcoholic will understand another alcoholic. I decided to tell some of my friends about my addiction and they dont seem to understand. Some just laughed at me for my poor will power while some suggested i should stop for few days and continue drinking at Christmas parties. Btw, i'm a "home drunk", i only drink at home, not many knows about my addiction. The reason i stopped was because my mom caught me when i ODed on gin. First time ever she saw me like that. She thought i died and started crying till my sister saw the whiskey and gin bottles under my computer table. I am glad my parents are very supportive of me and have been "controlling" me since that day. I am 25 but i think i really need that.

Are there any AA groups in Malaysia? I've been looking around for any sort of self help group but i cant find any.

Btw. it's been 5 nights since a drink. I feel great!!!

Re: Alcohol Withdrawal......

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:44 pm
by Joe H
Yes, there are AA meetings in Malaysia. ;)

here ya go...

Re: Alcohol Withdrawal......

PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:28 am
by tasman
Hi Jason
Kerie here, I'm an alcoholic.
Good to hear you haven't suffered to much through the detox process...
I found talking to alcoholics about my problems with drinking was way better than talking to my friends - even my best friends couldn't relate to what I was feeling. I still sometimes think it's weird that I can't just control the amount I drink; that I should have will power..... maybe I do have will power? Argghhh! that's the alcoholic part of me talking.
Life is WAY easier now that I just don't drink at all. It's not perfect, it can be hard but I HAVE to stay away from that first drink.
I wish you well.

Re: Alcohol Withdrawal......

PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:17 am
by JasonD
Thanks Kerie. I had the same problem, i always convince myself i can control my drinking, that i will have my first and then stop. That never happens, gotta avoid the first drink!

Unfortunately, i cant attend both the AA venue, i have relatives working or attending there. I would like my alcohol problem to stay anonymous for now, a promise to my mom.

Re: Alcohol Withdrawal......

PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:12 am
by kim
Hi Jason,

Just wanted to congratulate you on your almost first week! I agree with Kerie too that often friends who mean well, simply cant understand what it feels like to be one of "us" and try to convince us we are really not. There is no shame I am learning, but what we do with that knowledge, now that we have it, is key. You are doing great and you have a supportive mom. Stay close!!

Re: Alcohol Withdrawal......

PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:49 am
by avaneesh912
i always convince myself i can control my drinking, that i will have my first and then stop. That never happens, gotta avoid the first drink!

There is a great sentence in our big book:

The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death.

The book also talks about the subtle insanity which precedes the first drink......that makes us take that first drink......hence the book says:

Therefore, the main problem of the alcoholic centers in his mind, rather than in his body. If you ask him why he started on that last bender, the chances are he will offer you any one of a hundred alibis.

And the defense MUST come from his HP.

And one gets connected to the HP by working the 12 steps of AA.