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  1. #1
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    How to taper alcohol to prevent DT's

    Hi. I am new to MWO, and planning to "do" program, sans topiramate. I am a 58-yr-old nurse practitioner, have been drinking a fifth of 80 proof liquor every two days for quite a few years. Fairly high functioning, considering the incredible amount of ETOH! What are the chances I can just jump into this, without major withdrawal symptoms? I have looked for protocols recommending ways to reduce consumption gradually, but only find dosing schedules for medical detox, reducing doses of benzodiazepines. My husband is aware of problem, but naive about amount of alcohol and long-term effects. Don't want to put him in the position of calling 911 for seizures! Any advice out there from the Real World? Sara

  2. #2
    Registered User. Allie's Avatar

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    How to taper alcohol to prevent DT's

    Sara,

    I certainly am not a medical professional, but know that because you have consumed large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis does not mean that you are going to go through DTs in the form of shaking and seizures. I didnt. I too consumed large amounts. When I first started this program I was drinking one of those BIG bottles of red wine every night... ya know the one you buy for company when you have two other couples over and you are going to serve wine with dinner?

    But I too have been a highly functioning person during the day as I have kids who need me to drive them places, etc, have run my own business for years.... so I think if you are able to go the day (or your nursing shift) without alcohol and do a good job a work, then you are not going to experience DTs to the extreme of shaking or seizures. I think what you will find most annoying will be fighting that "desire" or "craving" to fix a drink at your normal time that you would. So you may find yourself getting: ANTSY, IRRITABLE, SNAPPY (isnt that all the same thing? LOL!) and most of all, possibly a difficulty in going to sleep at night without being half snockered! Even if you do fall asleep well, many find themselves waking up in the middle of the night awake, and unable to get back to sleep. This is a point when many give up, and say, "Well I have to go to work tomorrow and I have to get my sleep, so...."

    That is where this program really comes into play! The supplements and plan here really help to offset that.

    Many are successful without Topamax, but you have to step it up a few notches in the willpower dept I think. (my personal experience) But the program DOES work great with and w/o Topamax. Topamax just really helps curb the craving, tolerance and desire for alochol, making this whole program work better for many. Personally, I take Topamax, and it makes a huge diff for me. Like trying to reach a vase on a top shelf that is just a little too high....but I have all the ladders underneath me with the supplements and support, but for ME personally, it was just a tad out of reach without the Topamax.

    All the best to you!!! Let us know how it goes for you. Post under this and General Discussion... you might get more feedback under General Discussion once you get started.

    Welcome!
    Allie

  3. #3
    Registered User. Allie's Avatar

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    How to taper alcohol to prevent DT's

    Sara,

    I certainly am not a medical professional, but know that because you have consumed large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis does not mean that you are going to go through DTs in the form of shaking and seizures. I didnt. I too consumed large amounts. When I first started this program I was drinking one of those BIG bottles of red wine every night... ya know the one you buy for company when you have two other couples over and you are going to serve wine with dinner?

    But I too have been a highly functioning person during the day as I have kids who need me to drive them places, etc, have run my own business for years.... so I think if you are able to go the day (or your nursing shift) without alcohol and do a good job a work, then you are not going to experience DTs to the extreme of shaking or seizures. I think what you will find most annoying will be fighting that "desire" or "craving" to fix a drink at your normal time that you would. So you may find yourself getting: ANTSY, IRRITABLE, SNAPPY (isnt that all the same thing? LOL!) and most of all, possibly a difficulty in going to sleep at night without being half snockered! Even if you do fall asleep well, many find themselves waking up in the middle of the night awake, and unable to get back to sleep. This is a point when many give up, and say, "Well I have to go to work tomorrow and I have to get my sleep, so...."

    That is where this program really comes into play! The supplements and plan here really help to offset that.

    Many are successful without Topamax, but you have to step it up a few notches in the willpower dept I think. (my personal experience) But the program DOES work great with and w/o Topamax. Topamax just really helps curb the craving, tolerance and desire for alochol, making this whole program work better for many. Personally, I take Topamax, and it makes a huge diff for me. Like trying to reach a vase on a top shelf that is just a little too high....but I have all the ladders underneath me with the supplements and support, but for ME personally, it was just a tad out of reach without the Topamax.

    All the best to you!!! Let us know how it goes for you. Post under this and General Discussion... you might get more feedback under General Discussion once you get started.

    Welcome!
    Allie

  4. #4
    Registered User. MonaCat's Avatar

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    How to taper alcohol to prevent DT's

    Sara, can you take some valium for a couple of days? I think that's pretty much what you get in detox, or librium. Ask you doctor for some valium to take for sleepiness nights. Be careful not to get addicted to the valium! Good luck.
    Meow, Meow,
    Mona Cat

  5. #5
    Registered User. Bambino's Avatar

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    How to taper alcohol to prevent DT's

    Librium

    Hi there Sara

    I am currently taking Librium. I am on day seven of abstinence and was prescribed Librium in decreasing incremental doses over a period of 10 days. I suffer terribly with severe withdrawal as I have tried to go cold turkey in the past and was hospitalised after 4 days with severe hallucinations and all the other nightmares that come with it - they gave me Librium in the hospital and the symptoms disappeared .
    I started taking the Librium on wednesday - tuesday was the last time I drank - I was drinking 4 bottles of 12 % proof wine per day and would shiver and shake and vomit every morning. Librium irradicated ALL of these symptoms and it also enables me to sleep like a baby for a full 8 hrs every night. Cravings come and go but have not recd my supps yet so when they arrive that should be addressed.
    I put off giving up because of the withdrawals, but as I mentioned I have had none this time.
    I don't know whether this will be right for you, as I don't know how bad your withdrawals are. Different strokes and all that. But I just wanted to let you know of my experience.
    Good luck and keep chatting. Theres loads of wonderful supportive people here and loads of advice.
    Lots of love and hugs
    Bambino xxx

    :w

  6. #6
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    How to taper alcohol to prevent DT's

    Thanks from Sara

    Thanks so much to Allie, Mona Cat, & Bambino for the good suggestions to use valium or librium to treat short-term withdrawal symptoms. I have no experience with coming off alcohol....always preferred to keep using! But I do know on the rare days I can't manage to start drinking by late afternoon, I do get extremely anxious, testy, snippy (but like you said, aren't those all the same thing!), and really have difficulty sleeping if not sedated with booze. I got the CD's and the book yesterday, and have a small supply of 5 mg. Valium, so have plan to half the amount of vodka I drink each day (16oz, 8oz, 4oz, 2oz, zero), making it to abstinence after 5 days....then use the valium in decreasing doses for a few days. Also started the supplements yesterday. So wish me luck! Sara

  7. #7
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    How to taper alcohol to prevent DT's

    saramiller wrote: Thanks so much to Allie, Mona Cat, & Bambino for the good suggestions to use valium or librium to treat short-term withdrawal symptoms. I have no experience with coming off alcohol....always preferred to keep using! But I do know on the rare days I can't manage to start drinking by late afternoon, I do get extremely anxious, testy, snippy (but like you said, aren't those all the same thing!), and really have difficulty sleeping if not sedated with booze. I got the CD's and the book yesterday, and have a small supply of 5 mg. Valium, so have plan to half the amount of vodka I drink each day (16oz, 8oz, 4oz, 2oz, zero), making it to abstinence after 5 days....then use the valium in decreasing doses for a few days. Also started the supplements yesterday. So wish me luck! Sara
    Good Luck Sara, and keep us updated on how things are going.

  8. #8
    Registered User. MonaCat's Avatar

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    How to taper alcohol to prevent DT's

    Sara,
    Try to get an RX, or you can otain meds on the internet, for Campral. It has very few side effects, can be taken with anti dpressants, and works well at decreasing the cravings. Take it, after the withdrawl symptoms are gone. Some docs say three days abs, other say a week. If you are in the medical profession, becareful who you confide in about your problem, or soon you will have your license board showing up at work asking for a urine test!
    Keep us updated, and feel safe here.
    Meow,
    Mona Cat

  9. #9
    Registered User. MonaCat's Avatar

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    How to taper alcohol to prevent DT's

    Sara, just for your information, Campral is manufactured by Forrest Labs, maker of Lexapro, and for some reason, they just don't detail it much, or even speak about it?
    Meow,
    Mona

  10. #10
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    How to taper alcohol to prevent DT's

    saramiller;50409 wrote: Hi. I am new to MWO, and planning to "do" program, sans topiramate. I am a 58-yr-old nurse practitioner, have been drinking a fifth of 80 proof liquor every two days for quite a few years. Fairly high functioning, considering the incredible amount of ETOH! What are the chances I can just jump into this, without major withdrawal symptoms? I have looked for protocols recommending ways to reduce consumption gradually, but only find dosing schedules for medical detox, reducing doses of benzodiazepines. My husband is aware of problem, but naive about amount of alcohol and long-term effects. Don't want to put him in the position of calling 911 for seizures! Any advice out there from the Real World? Sara
    That is a tough call but I have had periods of time without drinking even though I usually would drink about a pint or more a night. When I would stop I would have shakes, paranoia and have presently developed confusion. The important thing that I need to work and we can work on together on is stopping right now before the symptoms get worse. I have read that the longer periods of drinking the worse the complications, but it depends on the person. Many people have none but it is better to be safe.

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