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When trying to quit....
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When trying to quit....

I was curious to know (My father was an alcoholic so I avoid alcohol because of the fear) when we read about people getting of Oxycontin, Percoset, other strong narcotics you are weaned slowly through a doctor so that you dont have the terrible side effects that accompany quitting.
My question is this, why isn't alcohol treated in the same way? I know this probaby a ridiculous question but I read how so many suffer while trying to quit that I was wondering why one could not be tapered off the alcohol slowly until they tremors and D.T's did not happen anymore?

Sincerely,
Shelly.
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There are several reasons alcohol is not tapered.  First, it is much easier to taper pills because of the ability to know exactly how much of the drug is being taken.  Second, the pills generally have a longer half-life which makes them stay in the system longer.  Third, alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous and even life threatening whereas narcotic withdrawal is far less dangerous (although very unpleasant).  Finally, drugs such as benzodiazepines and clonidine are used to control the withdrawal symptoms in a safe way.  If someone you know has DT's when stopping alcohol, they should seek medical attention to safely withdraw.  Approximately 10% of persons going through alcohol withdrawal will suffer seizure(s).  They also need to be worked up for potential damage done to the liver, heart, etc.
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One of the main reasons for quitting alcohol cold turkey but with the help of medications from addictions Doctors is because alcohol is legal, cheap and easy to obtain. One can give into their cravings too easily as soon as a little discomfort arises. Other drugs are harder to get, more expensive and I am not quite sure if the craving works the same way or not.

The mosr famous saying about true alcoholics is to never pick up that first drink, because there is no such thing with a real alcoholic!!!! I know from experience.

All addictions come with their own set of problems, struggles and sufferings.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have quit alcohol many times with very little physical side effects.  The last two times were in the hospital detox ward and I never asked for more than aspirin to cope with the withdrawals.  However,  some of the others needed benzo's or other meds for the shakes.  I was a very heavy drinker and could easily consume a case of beer or quart of Gin during a normal day.  To my knowledge I've never had the DT's.  I have seen people in them and they obviously needed something to keep them from hurting themslves.  Certainly, detox from any addicting substance in an individual thing. If your father has shown any signs of seizure, DT's, excessive tremor he should be detoxed under medical supervision.  Just falling out of bed or down the stairs could be fatal.  I've seen this happen and it is not funny.

Good luck---- John
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Avatar_n_tn

If you never needed more than aspirin, then why did you need to take up bed space at a detox ward? Obviously your addiction is more psychological rather than physical or you would have felt much more discomfort.

There is no doubt you never had the DT's. If you did, you would know it and never forget it!
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I was put into detox by order of the police.  Both times I was in a blackout and couldn't remember how I got there when I sobered up.  Both times I was held for four days and had to see an addiction specialist for evaluation.  He was the one who would order the meds and like I said I asked for nothing more than aspirin.  I probably do have psycological problems that have caused me to relapse so many times.  I've tried everything from AA to religion to geographical changes and always seem to go back to alcohol.  Maybe I'm one of those poor unfortunates who cannot get honest with themselves.  I'm sorry that my post made you angry but I do consider myself an alcoholic and have been practicing for over 35 years now. Thanks for any advice that you may give me!

Best regards,  John
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I did not mean for my response to your statement to sound angry, I was not angry as many alcoholics experience different side effects. Everyones body chemistries are different and the reading materials for symptoms of withdrawal are only generalizations of the overall averages taken.

There are also two main kinds of alcoholics, those that simply abuse alcohol on a regular basis and those that are physically dependant on alcohol. You may not be so much physically dependant as others but still drink alot. You have to really want to quit to able to stop drinking.

It sounds as if you are not quite ready to quit yet. Either poor health or circumstances will eventually bring you to that point, let's hope you don't wait too long. Good luck.
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I appreciated what you had to say.  Presently, I am on my usual alcoholic binge and am desperately trying to stop.  My wife has terminal lung cancer and I am very depressed about hte fact that she may only be around for a few more weeks.  I started last Friday when my grandchildren stayed here for the long Fourth of July weekend.  Maybe you can get the picture.  It was all I could do to keep from crying constantly.  Luckily the kids didn't see me in my drunken state and we had a pretty good time.  Now I am wracked with the pain of guilt and feel like I'm just copping out.  Also, I have health problems of my own that are pretty serious(Hep C, Cirrohsis and Diabetes). You sound like you are right on and a good person.  Thanks for the kind words!

John
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Don't kick yourself in the butt too much. If I was in your shoes I probably would do the same thing. Physical or emotional pain is hard to deal with and when it is at the crisis or absolute distress level, nothing can seem pleasurable or able to stop it  except those extreme steps of using even, though we really don't want to and may hate ourselves for it. Sometimes it is the only way of getting through a situation, because at least then once you are through it there may be a glimmer of hope. I wish you luck and hope things improve in your future.
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