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Addiction & Recovery Message Board


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Best of luck to you. Make sure you keep tabs on your blood pressure and pulse. Alcohol withdrawals are some of the most dangerous because of the risk of seizures and the wildly fluctuating BP and HR. If you were to tell a doctor that you had quit drinking cold turkey, he would most likely tell you that it is much safer and much more comfortable to alcohol detox using valium or a similar drug for a few days. They regulate the central nervous system that is going haywire, yet they don't have properties that will prolong withdrawals. They are pretty much standard medical procedure.

Now, if you are anything like I was, after reading this your anxiety will soar and you will be convinced you are about to stroke out. Don't worry about it. With the length of time you have been drinking, it's pretty rare. Most of the serious or fatal effect of alcohol withdrawal occur in people who have been drinking for years and years. Their nervous system does not know how to function without alcohol. Since you are a binge drinker, that is not the case. So calm down. (I know, that's next to impossible at the moment. My heart goes out to you.)

I wish you the best of luck, and all I can tell you is that for me, the anxiety and panic lasted about five days or so. I also had problems getting to sleep and night sweats when I finally would fall asleep. From the day I started turning the corner to the next two weeks or so, I intermittently dealt with super short episodes of ataxia (wide, uneven, lumbering gate that is common in CNS depressant withdrawals) and another quick feeling of being suddenly "unbalanced." Like the room was moving. Or rather, like my brain was moving. That lasted about 10 days, but was totally bearable compared to the panic and hysteric tears of the first 5.

Seriously, if you can get your hands on some kind of benzodiazipine like Valium or klonopin, you will be amazed at how much they alleviate the symptoms.

Oh, I couldn't fall asleep without benadryl for more than two weeks. Your drinking history sounds alot like mine, and those were my experiences.

Mine might have been different because I had been using benzos to prevent w/d symptoms the day after drinking (cause I hate drinking in the day) and drinking later that night. The drug I was on, Klonopin, is very long acting, and was still very much in my system when I began drinking. I thought I was okay waiting 6-8 hours. Instead I created a cross tolerance in myself. It would take more and more booze to get me drunk, and more and more klonopin to get me back to normal the next day. The progression was much more rapid than run of the mill tolerance building. So when I quit drinking, I quit both cold turkey. That's why I couldn't use them during my withdrawals.

I also drank to self medicate anxiety and depression. I still deal with panic and being down in the dumps on occasion, but it's much better than it was. I found that the alcohol actually treated AND increased my anxiety and depression. It is a cycle, and if you can break it, you will feel a difference immediately. I still take benzos very sparingly (it takes me 3-6 months to use 60 tabs of a low dosage depending on the stressors of the time.

Best of luck to you. I know where you are coming from. You hang in there, okay? You are in the worst of it now. It probably won't get worse than this. It will only get better. Okay? Keep us posted.





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