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 Post subject: Greetings. Drinking without Nal, and then starting again.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:47 pm
Posts: 6
Hi everyone
I'm brand new to this forum.
I started on TSM before Xmas 2016 and I stuck to the guidelines religiously. I left Australia to travel and took a year's supply of Nal with me because I knew it would be difficult to find. I never once drank without Nal and after 7 months of meticulous drink recording I hadn't really reduced my weekly drinking. Then after a heavy drinking session I lost my bags on a flight along with all my medication. I only had the few pills I kept on me.
I tried unsuccessfully to get more from doctors and pharmacists, but it's very tricky when you're travelling from country to country, and when I ran out of the few pills I had I started drinking without it.
Even though I hadn't cut down on drinking while on Nal, I had a positive side effect in that I didn't seem to black out while drinking on it. then when I started drinking without it (I didn't want to I just literally couldn't get any) I started having the worst blackouts ever (in duration and severity). I think I might have messed my brain up. It's was a horrible experience and I'd urge everyone to stick to the golden rule.
Now I'vew settled in Spain and got a new supply of Nal. I've read that some people up the dose so after one week I changed from 50mg to 75 because after 7 months before I hadn't seen a reduction.
Now I get the similar effect of not blacking out, but also I get very wobbly (even before drinking) and unless I drink a lot I have a real hard time sleeping, with a racey mind.
Q: does anyone else experience uncoordinataion and sleeplessness on naltrexone?
Q: Has anyone had a period of drinking without nal after having been on it? Or do you know of anything I need to be aware of starting for a second time?
Thanks for reading my story appreciate all your input
Charles


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings. Drinking without Nal, and then starting again.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:28 pm
Posts: 1490
Charles, I have gotten the feeling of disequilibrium from drinking on Naltrexone, it just seemed to come and go.

How long has it been since you started taking the Naltrexone again?

A number of people have started drinking without the Naltrexone for a while and from what I've read, some have found it's harder to make progress.

Are you taking any other medications besides the Naltrexone?


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings. Drinking without Nal, and then starting again.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:01 am
Posts: 12
Welcome, Charles!

I am taking nalmefene. However, I do notice both the feeling of sleeplessness and discoordination that you are describing, as well as other side effects.

I was drinking on nalmefene for 1 1/2 months. The biggest difference was that I seemed unable to want to drink enough to black-out, and the next day I didn't feel like drinking. When I tried to drink to 'numb' feelings, I would simply end up nauseated, eventually throw up and then I would go to bed. This is definitely not in line with the mindful-drinking part of the program. My drinking otherwise seemed to drop a little over time, but the biggest effect was in limiting the number of drinking days, and reduced craving for alcohol.

After 1 1/2 months I stopped because I felt the side effects were too severe, and I started having false beliefs about my drinking: That it was to escape the pain of certain feelings, and that I could control it better now. Big mistake. The first three times or so, my drinking was probably in the range of normal binges. Then, after not drinking for weeks while I was studying, the craving exploded into a binge that lasted 3 days or more, and that has happened 3 times this fall. That's why I figured I'd have to deal with the side effects by simply accepting them and hoping they will dissipate over time. To my surprise they were less severe than what I had remembered. I believe what will make it easier to succeed than last time, is to be more mindful about every mouthful, every craving and also the lack of craving. A lack of craving means I wait with the next mouthful until I have one.


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings. Drinking without Nal, and then starting again.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:47 pm
Posts: 6
Thanks for your replies
SixPack, I'm not taking any other medication and I'm a reasonably healthy 40 year old. I followed TSM for 7 months, then I drank without naltrexone for 3 months and I started again on TSM 2 weeks ago. First week with 50mg, second week with 75.
And Fred, I'm not too concerned about the side effects of naltrexone because they are more than compensated by the reduction in black out.
I'm more concerned that using naltrexone, then stopping, then starting again, might have somehow messed my wiring up so that it will no longer work.
So I guess what I'm doing differently this time is upping the dose and keeping informed, ie joining this forum.


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings. Drinking without Nal, and then starting again.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:28 pm
Posts: 1490
It will most likely work fine if you stick to the protocol and wait till you crave to have a drink. The initial drop some get is what's referred to as a Honeymoon effect, the required changes in your brain haven't been made at that point. It's more of a "preview", but not everyone experiences that and they may not see any substantial reduction till a month or two out. TSM actually reverses the neuroplastic changes that drinking brought to the addicted part of your brain and that takes time. We're talking actual changes in gray matter here, so the horizon is months away. Weekly results are typically up and down, month over month results are along a downward trendline. Most people take 6-12 months to get to the point of indifference to alcohol, from what I've read here and in the Options Save Lives forum http://optionssavelives.freeforums.net/

What you can do if you're not seeing a reduction is to push back here and there and see if you can find a soft spot in the addiction and your habitual drinking. Putting your drink in another room while keeping a NA drink close by would be one example of that. Any tricks you've learned along the way that helped you quit only have to help you reduce now, so try them out again. Try to separate craving (which won't leave you alone) from habit (chain-sipping, taking the drink out with you when you have a smoke, etc) where you can make a change that cuts your drink numbers and stretches out each drink. In short, TSM will help you with passive reduction, but see what you can do about active reduction too.


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings. Drinking without Nal, and then starting again.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 1:06 am
Posts: 17
Hello Charles

I ve experience of taking Selincro for several months , then stopping it , then restarting and stopping again . I m now back on it and back on forum

I can very much identify with your worries re ' wirinpag messed up'
My own stop start problems initially seemed to me to be due to two things : 1. initial reduction followed by increased intake and a huge disappointment and disillusion with this . I had read about the method , looked up Dr Sinclair and read Roy Eskarpas book and I think , due my impulsive nature , I was too enthustiastic and then too disappointed .
I also did not take the medicine correctly , ie 2 hours before hand but when the craving comes . I was taking it with the planned intention to drink . I mistakenly took it one hour before hand (genuine mistake ) and often took it as I started drinking .


2 I grew to dread the pill . I got very scared about what might be happening in my brain . I love to run , I love music , I love wind and landscape and rain . I noticed that I wasn't sleeping , that the buzz had gone out of other things as well .

I gave up after about a year ,, not exactly sure now , could have been less . The great thing though was it completely ruined my drinking , I started to think seriously about stopping about not being able to stop . several comments on forum about mindful drinking , about the pill being a tool , had sunk in .
I was reading books , always have done about meditation , habit improving , etc and I started looking at what I was doing more carefully . I noticed that I was now drinking spirits , gin and whiskey , rather than wine and always neat .
a quick swig . when something annoyed me or I got overloaed work or family wise . I could no longer stomach more that half a glass of red wine , which I had loved .
I mentioned this once on the forum and it did look like I was switching to harder liquor . but I also thought it was to do with the Selincro In some way I had developed an aversion to wine but not to spirits
(I had to take tramadol for dental surgery some years ago and to this day , I come out in sweats thinking about tramadol - I got a high off it followed by an awful downer and to this day have never taken it since )

So something similar happened with wine , mildly and then with Selincro majorly . I dread it . I restarted recently . this time I am quietly sure I will be able to use it in a way that will work for me .

I intend to have more AF days . I will take Selincro 2 hours pre the days I drink . I will take only a small measure of alcohol , just to get the extinction effect
I will put up with the insomnia , the low empty mood , the sweats , the anhedonia ,it gives me as it also gives me security of not overdrinking and incentive to have AF days .

Today I have to visit a friend , will have a meal and go to a music session . I will definitely take Selincro today and am confident I ll have a half glass or so of wine and perhaps a half glass of spirits if offered the latter .

Finally beginning to see some light . I had considered switching to Naltrexone , its cheaper too here but decided the side effects and dislike of selincro can work in my favour .

cheers to all . Thanks Joesixpack for your support .


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings. Drinking without Nal, and then starting again.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:31 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:28 pm
Posts: 1490
Thanks for letting us know how you're doing, Rosekid!

You might yet consider giving Naltrexone a spin, it could be that it would be more effective for even though the side effects may not be as bad. It works with the opioid receptors a bit differently than Selincro and in your case might make compliance easier.


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings. Drinking without Nal, and then starting again.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 1:06 am
Posts: 17
Hi there Joe . I did wonder about Naltrexone last time I stopped taking Selincro . It was complicated by knowing that side effects and concerns re the Selincro were not the whole picture though true . I did get very worried . In my head I said ; here you are taking this stuff you heard about on the internet , not widely lauded and you re getting all these side effects almost like being bombed on a mood altering drug ( which of course it is !) . And I wanted my oown fucked up brain not a chemically controlled one.
the ginormous elephant in the room of course was the liquor !
and I did admit to that .
but I said to myself ,I ll stick with the booze and concentrate on getting that in hand and building other good habits .
before long I was noticing bi weekly shopping for bottles of gin and its true , what Generic said ( think that's his name ) : it s very easy to consume large units of alcohol in spirits .
I got worried . seriously worried as opposed to ' need to drink less , feel and look better'
I got the selincro again and this time around , I seem to have the hang of the programme .
The reason I switched to spirits was because I can no longer drink more than a quarter glass of wine and even that I don't like
I hate beer
I reckon the distaste for wine was because the selincro was working
now I want it to work for spirits
but am advised against using spirits so will try taste of wine
I'm way more interested this time in AF days
and in telling the difference between habit and crave
do you think Naltrexone works better in the people who have eating disorders or are impulsive ?
I had anorexia as a young teenager ,then bulimia en route to ongoing anxieties and difficulties with food and alcohol through to this point

Didn't get to travel today to meet friend so I'm here drinking cocoa instaed . going to go AF for today .
I did get thoughts about alcohol with my toasted sandwhich , my usual evening treat but I just had tea . not sure if that was a crave or a habit ...
cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings. Drinking without Nal, and then starting again.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 1:06 am
Posts: 17
Also forgot to mention ( imagine ) that I wanted to stay with the buzz .
I was so afraid of giving that up ...
This came to me slowly and now I feel very ready
Very ready . To avoid spirits and drink the minimum wine required to get extinction . I have it already for wine , beer , its real . Not sure why not for spirits but maybe I m only using the spirits for the physical release of anxiety and stress at the end of a long hard day . I remember someone saying that the small area possibly resistant to selincro / naltrexone would be anxiety driven drinking . different part of brain ?
sorry to be so long winded .


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings. Drinking without Nal, and then starting again.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:43 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:28 pm
Posts: 1490
The thing with spirits is that it numbs the frontal area of your brain so quickly and that's the part you rely on for the STOP signal:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibR4zCH-_qQ

Now, in time you might get over anticipating the buzz of spirits, the trick is in stopping before you incapacitate the part of your brain that, well.... helps you stop. Which would mean drinking one very slowly (perhaps in a mixer) and doing everything you could to not have drink #2. Wine doesn't hit as hard, so I'm not surprised TSM worked better for you with that.

Are you using any other medications besides the Selinco?


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