Alcohol detoxification...

Most of us who recovered with AA's program did so with the help of a "sponsor". But what is sponsorship? How do I get one? Who can be a sponsor? What makes a good sponsor?
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Re: Alcohol detoxification...

Post by Mike O » Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:54 am

John Boy wrote:I'm no doctor but in my experience in a actual detox they will give you Librium for for 3 days and that is it.

What they do specifically is not the point - that's up to them as medics. We trust that they do the right thing.

The point is there is medical supervision for a medical condition.

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Re: Alcohol detoxification...

Post by Lali » Sat Jul 30, 2011 4:34 am

Just a note: There is speculation that Amy Winehouse died from seizures due to stopping drinking suddenly. This doesn't add up though unless she just quit drinking 3 to 5 days before she died. And the family was saying that she had quit everything 3 months ago.
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Re: Alcohol detoxification...

Post by leejosepho » Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:34 am

I think it is Clancy I. who says no human being can actually remain "drunk around the clock" for more than 48 hours or so before the body "passes out" and detoxifies itself at least partly all on its own.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
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Re: Alcohol detoxification...

Post by Duke » Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:22 am

Great stuff here as usual. I know it sounds simplistic, but when I'm working with someone who's really battling the addiction, mentally or physically, I offer to set up a regular time each day to talk. I've done this with a few people, and it seems having that planned call at the same time every day really helps to get them past the hard part. Of course it also helps me focus on the folks that really want it, because the ones that are just playing it don't call or answer their phones. Good luck to you.
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Re: Alcohol detoxification...

Post by Tosh » Sun Jul 31, 2011 5:16 am

Duke wrote:Great stuff here as usual. I know it sounds simplistic, but when I'm working with someone who's really battling the addiction, mentally or physically, I offer to set up a regular time each day to talk. I've done this with a few people, and it seems having that planned call at the same time every day really helps to get them past the hard part. Of course it also helps me focus on the folks that really want it, because the ones that are just playing it don't call or answer their phones. Good luck to you.
I've never been a fan of the 'call me everyday' brigade, but I do like that tip fo setting up a regular time each day to talk to those people who're going through the tough time; and the observation about those who are 'just playing' not answering their phones.

Thanks.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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Re: Alcohol detoxification...

Post by leejosepho » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:33 am

Tosh wrote:I've never been a fan of the 'call me everyday' brigade ...
I once questioned David A. (Texas) along a related line, and he used to tell people, "Don't drink ... and be sure to call me before you do!"

Funny story: He once asked me which part of my ego drove me to smoke tobacco ... and then I happened to notice him grabbing a pinch of snuff just before the next meeting got started!
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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Re: Alcohol detoxification...

Post by Blue Moon » Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:04 am

Lali wrote:Just a note: There is speculation that Amy Winehouse died from seizures due to stopping drinking suddenly. This doesn't add up though unless she just quit drinking 3 to 5 days before she died. And the family was saying that she had quit everything 3 months ago.
Key word: "speculation".

Of course, what a family knows or believes isn't always correct. But I think think such speculation will prove to be wildly inaccurate.

I was listening to a radio call-in show last Monday. Callers were questioning how it is, with all this apparent "love" surrounding her, she apparently died alone. It was clear to me that not one of then understood the untreated alcoholic. We do die alone.
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Re: Alcohol detoxification...

Post by Lali » Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:29 am

Sad, isn't it.
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Re: Alcohol detoxification...

Post by Duke » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:55 am

Tosh wrote:
Duke wrote:Great stuff here as usual. I know it sounds simplistic, but when I'm working with someone who's really battling the addiction, mentally or physically, I offer to set up a regular time each day to talk. I've done this with a few people, and it seems having that planned call at the same time every day really helps to get them past the hard part. Of course it also helps me focus on the folks that really want it, because the ones that are just playing it don't call or answer their phones. Good luck to you.
I've never been a fan of the 'call me everyday' brigade, but I do like that tip fo setting up a regular time each day to talk to those people who're going through the tough time; and the observation about those who are 'just playing' not answering their phones.

Thanks.
I agree Tosh. I'm not really a fan of the "check in with me every day" club either. The key for me is I offer it, never promote or require it. The only people who've ever wanted that kind of routine are the ones fighting the daily thoughts of drinking and sincerely want to whip it.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa

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Re: Alcohol detoxification...

Post by MyNameisVictor » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:45 pm

I have some experience with this. Alcohol, as we all know, is a depressant that slows down the central nervous system, which in turn regulates every automated function in the body, including pulse rate, breathing, bp, the rate at which you perspire, etc. The CNS also regulates the flow of neurotransmitters in the brain. So, if you drink enough booze for a long enough period of time, your CNS becomes accustomed to operating at a lower then normal pace. The problem is that when you suddenly stop, your CNS goes haywire. That's why you often see alcoholics sweating and shaking abnormally. It's like running all of the programs on your computer simultaneously - that will result in your computer crashing. When someone suddenly stops drinking, they often suffer a petit or a grand mal siezure as a result - their brain simply crashes. That's dangerous. It's what British singer Amy Winehouse died of.

So Tosh, your doctors gave the exact wrong advice every time. Depending on the patient, I typically administer a regimen of Chlorodiazepoxide (Librium), or lorazepam (Ativan) to a patient as part of the detox treatment. If the patient has suffered a siezure, I might be inclined to also administer diazepam (Valium).

The advice you got from these doctors is way off the mark. First of all, lorazepam and diazepam are benzodiazepines, are highly habit forming, and should in no way be administered to a patient unless the patient is under close medical supervision, and trained personnel are there to keep a close eye on the patient's vital signs.

These drugs act on the CNS much in the same way alcohol does, so the idea is to administer a heavy dose of at least one of the aforementioned drugs toa patient during the acute witdrawal stage, and then (again under close medical supervision) gradually taper down the dosages until the patient's CNS can stabilize on its own and the patient is not facing an immediate threat of dying from withdrawal (and that isn't a joke, by the way). Bottom line, no competent doctor in their right mind would prescribe benzos to an alcoholic and simply tell them to "go home and take as directed".

As far as gradually decreasing your drinking on your own-well, I think everyone on this site has probably tried that (myself included) and knows firsthand how that goes.

One more thing that may be of help: contrary to popular belief, medical detox does not get rid of withdrawal symptoms. It only ensures that you won't literally die from withdrawal. My hands didn't fully stop shaking until I had ben sober for two months. It normally takes a good 3 months for withdrawal symptoms to fully dissipate. That could be why Dr. Bob placed an emphasis on the first three months of sobriety in the BB.

Anyway, I hope that helps.

Tosh wrote: My doctor told me not to stop drinking (I took her advice and continued for another two years) and referred me to alcohol counselling, which didn't work for me.

One doctor said to taper off at the rate of 1 can of lager per day (the guy was a vodka drinker); he's back out drinking.

Another doctor said to take the diazapam and to just stop drinking; the doc said the daizapam would prevent fitting. (he took the diazampam washed down with alcohol, and is still out drinking).

And today, for the guy I'm currently working with, the doctor prescribed diazapam and said to 'cut down' on the alcohol. I pushed for a clearer course of action, and even explained how we crave for alcohol even more once we start drinking it, but she still insisted that the guy I'm helping has two-or-three cans of lager per day.

Sigh!

It's not easy is it. I'll phone my sponsor tomorrow morning (he gets to work an hour early to read e-mails and take phone calls from sponsees) to see what advice he can offer, but if anyone can share some experience of getting guys - who really seem determined to stop drinking - stopped safely so that we can start working with them, I'd be grateful. The guy in question does really seem to have a desire to stop drinking (but I also know how quick this can change too), but he's going to all the meetings he can, he has been trying to cut down (with the exception of yesturday), he answers his phone when I phone him, and he listens too; he knows I understand the problem from my own experience.

But when I stopped drinking, in the end, I just STOPPED. I'd tried the tapering off thing, and just couldn't do it; I'd taper straight back on drinking even more as if to make up for what I'd denied myself on previous days. But I also understand the risks of stopping drinking the way I did it.

As I say, any experience of getting guys of alcohol would be much appreciated.

(P.S. If the mods deem this post to be too 'medical' you're welcome to delete or move it into the Registered Discussion area; I'm no doctor and have just regurgitated the advice the doctors have given from my visits with alkies).
Last edited by MyNameisVictor on Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alcohol detoxification...

Post by leejosepho » Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:30 am

MyNameisVictor wrote:... under close medical supervision, and trained personnel are there to keep a close eye on the patient's vital signs ...

... medical detox does not get rid of withdrawal symptoms. It only ensures that you won't literally die from withdrawal.
Yes, yes. I used to work as an aid in a detox, and that is what detox is all about ...

... and you appear to be one of the *good* doctors as mentioned within "A.A.", the book! :wink:
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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Re: Alcohol detoxification...

Post by MyNameisVictor » Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:07 pm

Thanks. You know, those beer and liquor commercials always show young, attractive people having great times at parties with a drink in their hands. Maybe they can show those same kids AFTER the party ends. They are welcome to roll their cameras in to the ER of Mt. Sinai hospital, where at least 50% of the patients are there for some alcohol-related reason.
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Re: Alcohol detoxification...

Post by Mike O » Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:34 am

MyNameisVictor wrote:Thanks. You know, those beer and liquor commercials always show young, attractive people having great times at parties with a drink in their hands. Maybe they can show those same kids AFTER the party ends. They are welcome to roll their cameras in to the ER of Mt. Sinai hospital, where at least 50% of the patients are there for some alcohol-related reason.
You said it, Victor.
Thanks for your input in this thread.
:D

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Re: Alcohol detoxification...

Post by PaigeB » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:16 am

The only other help I found was in AA. I really threw myself into it - got a sponsor and started working the Steps, drove other gals to meetings... went to 4 or 5 meetings a week easy... and I talked... I share my experience and they shared theirs. I was finally home. I am finally comfortable and I think I can do this program every day.

Today I didn't drink. I haven't found it necessary to take a drink since August 1, 2009. I am humbled and grateful that AA works to repair my life after I set down the drink.
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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