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 Post subject: Re: Cure/Regained Control Time Frames
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 6:59 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:54 pm
Posts: 1204
This is a great post, one we should all be familiar with. Newlife

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Newlife
started 3/3/15
Pre-TSM 26 - 30 US Units/week

Month 1 16/wk av 4AF month
2 17/wk av 5 AF
3 18/wk av 6 AF
4 NT
5 NT
6 NT
7 17/wk av 4 AF
8 17/wk av 5 AF
9 13/wk av 5 AF
10 & 11 NT
Beginning tracking again Week 48
Wk 48 18/2 49 14.5/2


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 Post subject: Re: Cure/Regained Control Time Frames
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:27 pm
Posts: 1691
Reading this thread really does give me hope ! I am at week 22 which in the grand scheme of things is still early days - ad my attitude is changing although it is hard to make my body go along with that - but this is good reading and does help! thanks for Badger sending it to Newlife who then posted it again!

Hugs, Maggie x

_________________
Pre Nal 40-45 wk


Month 12: 4 drinks TOTAL (Dec '15)
13: 2 drinks (nearly) for Jan '16 !!!
None since Jan '16 I feel that I can safely say that I am cured!


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 Post subject: Re: Cure/Regained Control Time Frames
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 6:08 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2015 5:32 pm
Posts: 3
Reading your posts in this topic settled my doubts and gave me confidence that I'm heading the right direction. I didn't track, but guess I was at more than 100 units a week before TSM, week 1- 83, week 2- 85, week 3- 106 and week 4- 102. So I was feeling that I'm not gaining ground as I'd hoped. In week 5 now, and realized I have to help in this battle, the pill can't do it all. Thank you so much for posting on this site. Your experience is a comfort to me, knowing that I'm not the only one trying to get this monkey off my back with the aid of meds. My Dr. refused to prescribe, so I've ordered NAL from alldaychemist.com.


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 Post subject: Re: Cure/Regained Control Time Frames
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:14 pm
Posts: 44
Thanks for this post. It is so encouraging to know that it works differently for different folks. I was so discouraged this past week. I was sure it wasn't going to work for me and that I would kill myself with alcohol. I am at week #16 and I see there is hope. Thank you thank you thank you for this important data.

_________________
Pre TSM 7 drinks/day 50/week
Started Naltrexone 3/25/15
Wks 1-4 Did not track
Wk 5 43/0



“There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.”

― Leonard Cohen, Selected Poems, 1956-1968


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 Post subject: Re: Cure/Regained Control Time Frames
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:44 pm
Posts: 15
So helpful and encouraging. It makes so much sense for us older drinkers (I'm 53 and have been drinking almost daily since I was 17). These neural pathways have taken decades to form! It does not seem strange at all (in fact, pretty fantastic) that it would take ONE or even TWO years to undo FORTY years of damage. I am in my 3rd month and am going to relax a bit and wait in happy anticipation of the cure...not IF but WHEN.
Thank you!

:D


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 Post subject: Re: Cure/Regained Control Time Frames
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:54 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:28 pm
Posts: 1646
Nice find, derien!


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 Post subject: Re: Cure/Regained Control Time Frames
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:58 pm
Posts: 46
Fascinating and encouraging post. Thanks. And thanks to everyone who's posted feedback over the past few years as this is helpful also. I currently have a 4 month supply and this is getting me off my a** to be sure I have more on hand before I run out since I'm only in week 3!

Here's a link about "extinguishing negative behavior" that some may find helpful. I did. It's a bit of a hard read but if you're a bio geek like me, you may be willing to slough through it. I'm sure all the vets and old-timers on this board already know all this. But for new strugglers, perhaps it will be of some assistance.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extinction_(psychology)

I'll summarize two pertinent points if you're not in the mood for a long read.

One applies to people who start on nal and then find themselves drinking even more for a certain amount of time before they begin to regain control. This, in behavioral science terms, is known as an "extinction burst" and it sometimes occurs when the subject is first denied reinforcement (read: reward) for a behavior.

Let's take an animal study example first. A pigeon has been trained to press a lever because she'll get a treat if she does. If suddenly the treats stop coming when the pigeon pushes the lever, she may react by trying any other behavior she can think of to bring that treat on. And the first one to try is pushing and pushing and pushing that lever hoping that, finally it will work again and she'll get the treat. That's the "burst". The pigeon doesn't understand why there is no treat. And she WANTS it badly enough to try whatever she can think of to get the reward going again.

In our cases, the example would be: after starting to take the nal, a drinker suddenly is no longer getting the reward -- that euphoric feeling associated with dopamine release that comes with alcohol consumption. So they just keep drinking and drinking and drinking -- even more than usual sometimes -- hoping, on an unconscious level, that at some point that reward will return. That's the 'burst' that sometimes happens. Until, finally, the brain figures out this ain't gonna work. No reward is coming. And, slowly, things start to calm down.

So 'extinction bursts' are a normal part of the re learning process for some people. And it's good to know that, if you're one of these, you just have to hang in there and don't worry about this too much. Keep taking the nal and after a time -- which varies by subject, of course--the brain begins to understand that drinking even more just isn't going to work, reward-wise.

And, over time, provided the subject continues to, in this case, take the nal, the 'burst' will subside and a more orderly schedule of behavior extinction will begin to take place.
******

The other point mentioned in this and other behavioral science articles concerns what is known as "intermittent reinforcement".

As newer readers will have noticed already from so many other postings here, it is CRITICAL to never lapse with the nal. And, again, there is a scientifically proven reason why: If you start and stop, you're creating a pattern called "intermittent reinforcement".

Meaning sometimes you are rewarded for a behavior and other times not. And it has been totally proven that this type of sometimes rewarded and sometimes not behavior takes even longer to unlearn. And you can see why, right?

To again refer to the old pigeon here, suddenly she's not getting a treat every time she pushes the peddle. Only every 3rd time or every fourth time. So she's become accustomed to being patient knowing that, sooner or later, that treat is going to come down the chute. And that's why it takes longer to eliminate the behavior. And this is the reason everyone rants so much about being very consistent in taking your nal.

If you lapse occasionally and have a drink without it, you'll get the euphoria award again. And, on an unconscious level, this will lead you to expect to get it again at some point. And it slows down the whole unlearning/'extinction of behavior' process tremendously.


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 Post subject: Re: Cure/Regained Control Time Frames
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:44 pm
Posts: 15
TheOptimist wrote:
Fascinating and encouraging post. Thanks. And thanks to everyone who's posted feedback over the past few years as this is helpful also. I currently have a 4 month supply and this is getting me off my a** to be sure I have more on hand before I run out since I'm only in week 3!

Here's a link about "extinguishing negative behavior" that some may find helpful. I did. It's a bit of a hard read but if you're a bio geek like me, you may be willing to slough through it. I'm sure all the vets and old-timers on this board already know all this. But for new strugglers, perhaps it will be of some assistance.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extinction_(psychology)

I'll summarize two pertinent points if you're not in the mood for a long read.

One applies to people who start on nal and then find themselves drinking even more for a certain amount of time before they begin to regain control. This, in behavioral science terms, is known as an "extinction burst" and it sometimes occurs when the subject is first denied reinforcement (read: reward) for a behavior.

Let's take an animal study example first. A pigeon has been trained to press a lever because she'll get a treat if she does. If suddenly the treats stop coming when the pigeon pushes the lever, she may react by trying any other behavior she can think of to bring that treat on. And the first one to try is pushing and pushing and pushing that lever hoping that, finally it will work again and she'll get the treat. That's the "burst". The pigeon doesn't understand why there is no treat. And she WANTS it badly enough to try whatever she can think of to get the reward going again.

In our cases, the example would be: after starting to take the nal, a drinker suddenly is no longer getting the reward -- that euphoric feeling associated with dopamine release that comes with alcohol consumption. So they just keep drinking and drinking and drinking -- even more than usual sometimes -- hoping, on an unconscious level, that at some point that reward will return. That's the 'burst' that sometimes happens. Until, finally, the brain figures out this ain't gonna work. No reward is coming. And, slowly, things start to calm down.

So 'extinction bursts' are a normal part of the re learning process for some people. And it's good to know that, if you're one of these, you just have to hang in there and don't worry about this too much. Keep taking the nal and after a time -- which varies by subject, of course--the brain begins to understand that drinking even more just isn't going to work, reward-wise.

And, over time, provided the subject continues to, in this case, take the nal, the 'burst' will subside and a more orderly schedule of behavior extinction will begin to take place.
******

The other point mentioned in this and other behavioral science articles concerns what is known as "intermittent reinforcement".

As newer readers will have noticed already from so many other postings here, it is CRITICAL to never lapse with the nal. And, again, there is a scientifically proven reason why: If you start and stop, you're creating a pattern called "intermittent reinforcement".

Meaning sometimes you are rewarded for a behavior and other times not. And it has been totally proven that this type of sometimes rewarded and sometimes not behavior takes even longer to unlearn. And you can see why, right?

To again refer to the old pigeon here, suddenly she's not getting a treat every time she pushes the peddle. Only every 3rd time or every fourth time. So she's become accustomed to being patient knowing that, sooner or later, that treat is going to come down the chute. And that's why it takes longer to eliminate the behavior. And this is the reason everyone rants so much about being very consistent in taking your nal.

If you lapse occasionally and have a drink without it, you'll get the euphoria award again. And, on an unconscious level, this will lead you to expect to get it again at some point. And it slows down the whole unlearning/'extinction of behavior' process tremendously.



Thanks for this!
It's funny, for me, I don't think I ever felt different when I drank after taking Nal...I still get buzzed. The reason I think I had the "burst" is that now that I knew I was starting a cure, I felt I didn't want to hold back. I wanted to see the accurate results. Kind of like taking a picture of your stomach before starting a change in your eating habits. You don't; want to hold your stomach in...just let it all hang out so you will see what you've actually lost.


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 Post subject: Re: Cure/Regained Control Time Frames
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:58 pm
Posts: 46
I hear you! and that's so true.

And since you mentioned eating....that's what I'll tackle next year of 6 months from now or whenever I get the alcohol issues sorted out. No way I'm going to try to lose weight AND deal with the drinking at the same time.


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 Post subject: Re: Cure/Regained Control Time Frames
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:15 pm
Posts: 27
Hi, Just wanted to provide an update. It is now been 5 years since I started using Nal, and it has taken a long time, but even this past year I noticed an improvement and have totally stopped drinking Mon-Thu under normal circumstances. The bottom line is that the reduction in drinking has been quite gradual but noticeable.

So I'm down to about 15 drinks a week. Now that I'm not drinking Mon-Thu, I've also noticed that I can't drink as much at a sitting over the weekend.

Definitely worth sticking to it! I wouldn't dream of having a drink without my Nal.

_________________
_________________
Pre TSM, binge drinker, 70+ USA Units/Week
On TSM since 10-Feb-11
Weeks: Units/Week
1-4: 56,49,54.5,46
5-8: 46,35.5,44.5,47
9-12: 61,41.5,33,46
13-16: 47.5,51,58.5,53
17-20: 49,49,56,44
21-24: 51,47,45,47
25-28: 47,


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