Avatar universal

Trying to understand...

The adult son of a family friend recently died in jail of heart problems related to acute alcohol withdrawal.  He was only in his early 20s, and his mother swears that he had been sober for months before having to report to prison for a very short sentence (just a couple of weeks).  Naturally, we're all very upset by this, but I'm also trying to understand some things.  He was in the detox unit of the jail, so presumably they tested him on arrival and put him in that unit?  How common is heart failure related to alcohol withdrawal and why does it happen?  And presumably, he had to have been drinking quite a bit before he arrived at prison.  I know no one can comment on specifics.  I'm just looking for some general information.
17 Responses
Avatar universal
Sorry, this is not a question re: this subject but no more questions are being taken,

I am starting my second clean from a 40 a day addiction to Lortab 10mg.  I am feeling pretty great mentally, seeing things and smelling smells I have been numb to for the 8 years I was on them.  I have only a couple of hot flashes physically and thats it EXCEPT:  Insomnia.  My legs get restless still, although no even close to what it felt like during my first few days detoxing(went c/t with a few darvocet)My doctor tried Ambian while detoxing, nothing...Serax helped a tiny bit for the next couple of days but the last two nights even on the Serax 30mg I cant sleep...the RLS is bearable but I cant sleep.  Hotshowers, soft music, stretching, deep breathing...nothing.  I just lay there for a while, cant sleep, go take a warm bath.  Nothing.  Well now my Dr. wants to give me Valium 5mg. before bed fro the next 3 mights.  But I had a very bad experience almost overdosing on Xanax.  I know they are in the same chemical family.  Is Valium stronger that Serax?  What about Xanax?  I have no wish to take Xanax ever again...but I have to sleep to function.  Knowing everyone is different, has anyone taken valium while or after detoxing to help sleep?  Would you take it if you had a bad experience with Xanax...not allergic to it...just took 14 in a 2 hour period, thought they would take away my w/d symptoms from opiates a while back.  But now I am past the horrible w/d's and just need to sleep...suggestions?
Avatar universal
Congratulations on getting clean!!!

I'd go easy on the valium.  I got dependant on it without meaning to and now have to taper off it since I'm finally clean from opiates.

I've been having a VERY hard time sleeping, even with the valium, but my Doc gave me trazadone, and though it leaves me foggy headed in the morning, it definately let me sleep through the night like a baby.  I also take 300mgs of neurontin, which my detox doc is trying on me for my chronic back pain. It doesn't do much for the pain so far, but it might be helping me sleep a bit better. I know very little about neurontin, so if anyone has info about (like, is it addictive?) please let me know.

Good luck, and think about trying the trazadone.

Also, take minerals with zinc and potasium for the restless legs, or just eat lots of bananas. It helps, I swear.

Avatar universal
there are a lot of educated people here that can answer your ques. better then I but my exper. is I too took darvacette to Tapper, I had a vic habit for almost 3 years of 20 a day depending on supply Its been 9 days clean but I'm lucky to be sleeping I can tell you what I've heard from others about your ques because mine was the same, While I dont have an exper. with Zanax I can add that if you feel you might have a problem with Valuim then stay away, I have heard it does help with sleep, I was told that some people try Benadryl 2 before bed, When I went through c/t before and couldn't sleep the doc gave me Ambien for a short period of time. The doc here said sometimes a sleep aide helps to break the cycle, but then again Ambien can be addictive and withdrawls from that are whatelse but no sleep. I hope someone here can give you more info on Zanax. You seem to be doing great so far, good luck -TER
Avatar universal
Yeh, I had a major problem with Xanax...when I was detoxing my my previous tries, I took a Xanax to help the w/d symptoms from the opiates.  But that time I was taking them by myself...this time I give all medication to my mother and if I need it I call her and she questions me, and then if she is sure I am not going to kill myself she will give it to me...this is what I did with the Ambian(wont work) and Serax(not working)  So my mother would give my a valium to sleep but I am very cautious...but the problem is nothing is working and I have falling asleep at 3 or 4 in the AM only to have to get up at 6 AM for work.  I have some Neurontin here at work but know very little about how it would help me sleep.  The dr. said that the valium is a good relaxer, but does that mean sleep?  Oh man this is the worst part for me getting clean..not sleeping.  It is horrible. But thankfully I have not had one once of thought to pop into my old habit.  Those days are gone.  Does anyone else know about Trazadone...does it help you sleep?
Avatar universal
Trazadone *definately* helps you sleep. Knocked me right out last night, and I'm only two days clean.

It is prescription only, and is one of the old style antidepressants that used to turn people into zombies.  It is not addictive, and in low doses does help folks in our situation sleep.  Elavil does the same thing.  I took a 50mg trazadone last night and slept like a baby.  I'd give it a try. My Doc told me that getting enough sleep in early recovery was very important to help prevent relapse, as sleep deprivation tends to be a huge cause of relapse.

He told me to never get too Hungry, Angry, Tired, or Lonely (HALT) and to get support from recovering addicts as much as possible.  Part of his routine treatment is suboxone, prozac, trazadone, and if needed muscle relaxers like robaxin or *very* short term valium.  

Good luck, and check into trazadone!
Avatar universal
Hi T
you mentioned you used Darvocet to taper from Vikes can you tell me how you did that like your dosing schedule? I have darvocet and am interested in doing that. Thanks Baddgirl
Avatar universal
I used Darvocet N-100 to help get off of a 40 a day Lortab 10mg addiction.  I started the first day 2 every 6 hours, then 2 every 8 hours, then 2 every 12 hours...it helped and I am clean but it was still a living hell, even with the help of the Darvocet.
Avatar universal
Hi Girl, Its kinda funny how I got the darvocette and ended up taking it but I'll give you my schedule, My work comp doc said I needed to get off vics and Ultram and gave me darvocette so I just started taking it not knowing it would help, this is what I did. First I was taking them like the vics the first day but I relized they weren't working but I could sleep no diareha so I decided to try and tapper, second day I took 6 for the day and I was still sleeping from then on I would take 4 a day for the next 7 days I had no energy and depression hit a bit, then the last day I took 2, If I had a better plan I might of tappered with 4 a day for longer but I wasn't sure it was working and I thought I was prolonging the w/d but low and behold my first day of withdrawls I had minor diareha. spelling!!! I had broken sleep for about 3 days then I started sleeping It would take me a few hours to fall a sleep but 6 hours isn't bad. I had a minor slip with cough syrup on the 2nd day of w/d and I was afraid I might have screwed up but it didn't, Thank god. This plan worked for me but I would try to take as few as possible without being to uncomfortable then tapper from there, I was taking about 20 7.5s daily sometimes more sometimes less depending on supply for almost 3 years. If you need to talk one on one you can e-mail me at ***@**** lots of luck and I hope this helps - Ter
Avatar universal
I had Xanax (for sleep), but I liked it a little too well. Instead I took Ambien. I know, and have read horror stories about Ambien (here), but one 10 MG Ambien put me in a sound sleep (didn't soothe me like Xanax, or make me want to take one mid-day.) I did that (Ambien) for a week and haven't thought of them again since, yet the script was for 30 w/ a refill.

I have been clean 9 weeks, w/ one accidental (sm) dosage of narcotic cough syrup midway.... since the dosage was truly accidental, and didnt set me back, I simply am not counting it. I still have cravings and bouts (sm though) of depression. They pass.

Woman's perrogative (ignoring my cough syrup slip). Good luck to you.

If it helps, a lot on people here on the board (at my request) told me "wonderful recovery" stories that first weekend of my recovery hell which helped wayyyy more than the Ambien, the Thomas recipe (if Nothing else, the Imodium is a must!), exercise, or the rest.. (though all of those helped, maybe the exercise the most (besides the Ambien)- just walking on the beach slowly, VERY SLOWLY, with the mutt is how I started)

Just hearing, from others here who had reallllly made it, how good it was after a life of no pills helped sooo vvvvv much..

Mystere, how's it going for you? WOOOHOOOO... 9 more days of work and then 80 days of none:) YEAH BAYBEE! rwc~
Avatar universal
I have an awful sleeping problem which is magnified when i go cold turkey.  Over the pasy 8 years, I have tried every sleeping pill known to man.  Trazadone did absolutely nothing for me.  Seconal also didn;t work whatsoever.  Ambien kept me up and gave me short term tempoary amnesia.  Valium and xanax  did nothing.  It also amazes me to hear that people love benzos.  They do nothing for me whatsoever.
  I am hoping to get off the opiates soon, cut the caffeine and better my life.
  Also, one little cold turkey ritual that helps me I want to share.  I have a rocking chair.  I place it in front of tv, music, window, and I gently rock back and forth.  This, for me at least, really does alleviate sme miserable feelings.
   Just some thoughts...
Avatar universal
Hey G
A doc gave you seconal? was this recent? I did not know docs rx'ed seconal anymore, man I used to love those Baddgirl
Avatar universal
Hey G - you know, I'm like you, benzos just doesn't "rock my boat" either...smile  (But offer me a vicodin and I'm putty in your hands)...heh-heh.  Guess it's just our genetic makeup. But unlike you, when I DO take them (valium or whatever) I'm out like a light.  Maybe you just need someone to hit you over the head with a mallet or something?..... :)  Just a suggestion?...Seriously, I sympathize with your inability to sleep; I know for myself, when I don't sleep, I'm grumpy as a bear.  Your little ritual sounds comfortening...I may try it myself. I remember when my son was a baby, he and I both loved to rock.  I'd sit in front of the TV for hours and rock with him. It was as comforting to me as it was for him.  Guess I'll have to do the rocking thing alone; since he's 16 and twice as big as me he probably wouldn't want to sit on my lap and rock anymore (even though he's still a big baby in many ways-so who knows?) smile.  Take care Gman; wishing you sound and peaceful sleep.  Love, Lisabet
Avatar universal
I was given Seconal in July of 2000.  I am not joking or bragging, it did NOTHING for me. I even remember one night I was on business in Los Angeles and I took it at midnight.  I stayed up all night and took a short nap at 8 am.  So sleep is very precious to me.  I do sleep better between 5 am and 8am.

  Lisabet, the rocking has always worked. Actually it has soothed me all my life.  But when I am going through withdrawals, it comforts me to rock back and forth.  Some peopel may find t his silly, but hey! It works for me!
Avatar universal
DAY 4 OF ULTRAM CLEANUP. NOT SURE THE FOG WILL EVER CLEAR. Funny, the worst part is I have goosebumps 24 hours a day (i'd rather be vomiting)

I have no other addictive behavior that i am aware of - but i sure did like using the drug. The only problem is that nothing good has happened in my life since i started using it. I have gone from making a ton of dough to making almost none. I told myself that I would rather be addicted to this drug than live my life with chronic pain - but now after a few days of w/d I realize that if I don't quit now I never will.

I reduced my dosage over the last month to 100mg daily - which only gave me 1-2 hours of feeling normal. Now I struggle to work - talk - think. The one thing that has helped the most was reading the forum. I used to think that people who needed help from their addictions were weak, flawed, dependent people - I was a Hypocrite and I was Wrong!  Now I see that this is a disease best treated by human empathy.

Thanks to everyone for sharing - my prayers are with you (and me) that we can fight off a creature that i don't believe any of us asked for or deserve.
Avatar universal
I have been clean now for seven days.  ct was bad enough but getting these out of my system was most important.  Stick with it and keep reading this forum.  It helped me make it, I did not want to go to detox again.  Best of luck!
Avatar universal
the thomas recipe for detoxing is as good as it gets in my opinion.

like two of you, benzo's don't do a damn thing for me! i do take klonopin for anxiety but the anxiety has to be really horrible for me to even remember that i have klonopin! lol!!

i am five months off of narcotics today!! since i have hep. C i don't sleep well and this is what i take. NEURONTIN, i take between 800 and 1200 mg. each night. i also take an antipsychotic called seroquel, 100 mg. i take both of these drugs and i fall asleep w/i 30-45 minutes... to me this is quite a bit of meds to take to get to sleep but this is what works for me. NEURONTIN does not appear to be "addictive" in the physical sense but i would think there could possibly some psychological or emotional dependence. i don't really know this for a fact but it is used for mood stability also (another off-label use) since it is supposed to be good for back pain, nerve pain, bi-polar disorder, grey hair, fungal toe-nail problems (j/k) i guess i am happy to be on it!! they do have an awful lot of off-label uses for this drug, which makes me kinda wonder... (i WAS just kidding about the grey hair and fungusy nails)the SEROQUEL is used for insomnia much as trazadone and even remeron is. i don't have the hang-over effect with seroquel that i have had with trazadone.

going back to valium... i would take the valium if i ever ended up having to detox again (hopefully NOT) but if you are uncomfortable with a benzo than don't. why put yourself through it? there are other drugs... klonopin isn't much "fun" and is long acting, maybe you could take that.

anyhow, getting long-winded here! good luck to all of us!


Avatar universal
I'm on day 5 coming off ultram.  I spent alot of money in Tijuana buying those.  They probably could have rebuilt the city with the money I spent.  How are you doing now?  Also, are you having "brain zaps"?  Like big pulsings in the ears?  I hope they go away soon.  Goose bumps, yep!  It was almost 90 here in Orange County today and I still had em.  I feel OK.  I just wish this bloody headache would go away!

Any Ultram recovery stories would be gratefully welcomed!

Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Addiction: Substance Abuse Community

Top Addiction Answerers
495284 tn?1333894042
City of Dominatrix, MN
Avatar universal
phoenix, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Is treating glaucoma with marijuana all hype, or can hemp actually help?
If you think marijuana has no ill effects on your health, this article from Missouri Medicine may make you think again.
Julia Aharonov, DO, reveals the quickest way to beat drug withdrawal.
Tricks to help you quit for good.
Chlamydia, an STI, often has no symptoms, but must be treated.
For people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the COVID-19 pandemic can be particularly challenging.