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Quitting Alcohol - physical side effects?

I started drinking about a half liter of vodka a day around 2 years ago. 3 months ago I decided I want to stop, but I decided I should cut-down to avoid any withdrawls, so I stopped drinking vodka completely and now I drink 3 - 24 oz. cans of beer a night, a 6 pack.

I read that if you stop cold turkey, you can go through DT's and seizures.  The thought of this makes me feel like having a panic attack.  Is your body dependant on the amount of alcohol or alcohol period?

Should I continue to cut-down since I'm having success with this method? Maybe cut down to two beers, for a week, and then 1 beer, and then stop? Is cutting down slowly a good way to avoid side effects? Is my body getting used to not having alcohol? My stomach now feels better, less gas, and my apetite has increased.

I'm not going to have any psychological withdrawls, I feel good without drinking, I'm just worried about the physical withdrawls.

I know some people are going to mention to go to a hospital, but I have a thing about hospitals and don't like them, besides I'm broke and unemployed.

165 Responses
Avatar universal
i drink much more than that every night and i can go days without drinking....if it's just a 6 pack a day shouldn't be much problem.  might get a little shaky in the evening, might be hard to sleep but no DT's you should be ok.  and i have been drinking everyday for 27 years or so.  do you drink in the morning?  if you don't need a drink to get out of bed you should be fine
Avatar universal
personnally I would cut back a beer every 2 days or so. Until you are down to 0. My parents are recovering alcoholics for 23 years and I can remember when they stopped ct....it wasn't pretty so tapering may be your best bet....but again that is my opinion....Good Luck
Avatar universal
I used to drink in the morning as well as evening when I was drinking vodka, I used to wake up in the middle of the night and drink if I sobered up, since being sober would wake me up, since I have insomnia. Then I stopped drinking vodka and only drinking beer in the evenings.  I drink before I go to sleep, around 9pm drink for a couple hours and go to sleep.  Since I stopped drinking vodka, I haven't gotten any shakes.  After I stopped drinking vodka, I had some kidney pains, but then they went away.  

Many people have suggested to just cut back, so I'll drink 2 cans for about a week, and then 1 can, and then stop.
Avatar universal
have you ever tried Nyquil instead???If you are just looking for alcohol to sleep maybe after you cut back to like 3 cans you can try nyquil instead....just a thought
Avatar universal
I have tried Nyquil before and it has worked in getting me drowsy, but I guess since I've been drinking, I forgot about that, thanks for the suggestion!
Avatar universal
take the nyquil and a very hot bath and go directly to bed after and keep me posted good luck
209656 tn?1272297065
Hi there,

I just absolutly could not let your post go by without it catching my eyes.

I am 38 years old, and I have finally been able to maitain sobriety for 3-1/2 years now.

Trust me on this..I was a chronic acloholic, to the points of death. I always pretty much drank beer, with the execption of weekends. In my 30's I was no longer able to quit without medical help. I had got to the point from drinking from sunup to sundown and my daily average was 30-35 beers a day. I had been in the hospital for detox 17 times, I had liver failure and turned yellow, I also had a seizure in trying to quit cold turkey after 4 days, I had tried every program and everything known to mankind to quit. I had to drink in the morning before work, then I had to drink at work, and I had to drink on breaks just to get me through the day. Then I was fired, and my drinking continued as I battled to get off. I had DT's, shakes, had to drink in the morning, when I woke at night, and all day and night almost to the point when one day after 39 beers I could not pass out...I hit detox again, and after that they kicked me out and told me to find another hospital..but I was broke, had to sell my house and lost everything.

I have learned how to self detox with medication and also how to detox alcohol with alcohol itslelf (but if is very tricky)...the thing is, is you never feel when a seizure is coming your way, and if you cut back to fast, then out of no where..you'll wake up somewhere only to find out that you had a seizure. So I will tell you I was able to quit by detoxing alcohol with alcohol.

This is just the way I did it. From 35 beers a day, I would take the count down by 2 beers at each time, and let my body adjust. Being up in the 30 count I was usually able to take down 2 beers every 3 days...until it got into the 20 a day count. Then I would take it down 2 more, and let my body adjust...until there was no, shakes or w/d's and then I would hit the next 2 and so forth until I got down to 6-8 and I would level off there and STAY there for a month, then take it down 1 beer at a time, and letting the time tell me when to proceed to the next.

So the basic principle behing this, is to cut back, give your body time to adjust, to where you do not have any w/d's or shakes of anykind...before you take it down another beer.

My personal advise, from coming of hard liquor - just to a six pack so quick...is to make sure that you are 100% stable and your body has no discomfort at a 6 pack a day...until you take it down just by 1 only!!!!! Then just keep following the process, and when your down to 3 a day and it has been plenty of time since you drank the hard stuff and you have no w/d's - Then you should be able to walk at ease! You can also pick up some benadryl in this process to help you sleep.

Well that is it, for you question of the physical part. Just be carefull and do not rush yourself, if it is to soon and your body is not adjusted!

Hope this helps, and keep us up to date!

God Bless,
Avatar universal
Hi...I wanted to let you know that my BF is an alcoholic and I was able to get him to detox and while he was there they put him on a new drug called CAMPRAL. This is a fairly new drug that helps with CRAVINGS not the detox..you need to be detoxed before you start the drug.

I believe you stated that you are unable to go to detox so I recommend what KTODD said and do a gradual tapering. And once you are detoxed your general practioner can prescribe the campral for you. As with any drug you need to be monitored and if you want more info regarding the campral just google it and there is lots of info out there so you can make an informed decision.

I do realize that tapering can be extremely difficult but I think with KTODD's tapering schedule you can be successful...the key is to let your body adjust so that you aren't hurting and you will be less inclined to abuse. I wish you the best...Godspeed.
Avatar universal
Well, I finally, after 30 years of alochol addiction got honest w/myself and knew I could not control it, could not quit on my own either.
My doc, when I finally admitted the above to him prescribed campral....wow.
I haven't had a drink, or a craving in 5 days....I have NEVER done that before.
Avatar universal
my 25yr old son ask for help to detox off alochol he also has been in muliple detoxs and rehabs he has had a herion addiction in the past but is now in a methadone program but for the last 2 yrs the alochol has been his drug of choice  he has no insurance he ask for me & his girlfriend to taper for him i read k todd advice but that takes a long time & my son has 2 small children serious financal problems to the point of being homeless they are coming here to live with me as of feb i have been living with addiction in those i love for over 30 yrs alot of sober times but alot not i am afriad for him physically see my oldest son, his brother died two yrs ago from alochol withdrawal he had a seizure in the shower his girlfriend was sleeping in a different part of the house and didn't hear anything he was 27yrs old he wanted to stop in the worse way  
Avatar universal
hey sweety, i just wanted to let you know you posted this on a very old thread, so it may not get seen.  if you want some feedback, it's best to repost it on a new thread...

i'm so sorry for your troubles.. :-/   i sure hope things turn around.

Avatar universal
i am happy to hear that i can safely detox....  it's been 8 days, but i went throgh some serious dts
Avatar universal
i mean i went through dts in july
Avatar universal
i quit pretty much cold turkey after a year and a half of heavy drinking since the last time i was sober. usually about 3 days of bad sleep and night sweats i start to feel better.  this time the first 3 nights i pertty much didnt sleep and sweated all night. last night was the 4th night and slept a little with a little less sweating but still soaked pillows and shirts. i didnt know there was a medical danger to do this. my last drinking was sat night. so i didnt drink sun thru wed night. its now thurs and i feel slightly better. how long before the risk is over? thank anyone for any help.
Avatar universal

I had been drinking Regularly (meaning at least 3 to 4 nights a week and usually 7 to 9 beer's a night) for about 7 years. In all honesty, i don't even know if i had so much on a regular basis as i mostly drank ALOT during parties or social gatherings... hardly ever really drank alone and never have felt deppression or etc.. I have been drinking alcohol off and on since aroun 1999 but alot more since 2003. Usually mostly always beer with the occasional whiskey and or wine. I noticed i was putting on some extra weight and im sure its due to the alcohol. WHen i would drink, it would be no time at all before i was STARVING! lol.. and so id eat anything i could find... Its now 2009 and i had gone from 200 lbs in 2003, to 225lbs now... i recently decided i HAVE HAD ENOUGH!!! While drinking is fun and we all have our great times and fun times and laughs we all have to Grow up sometime..... I quit drinking the day after Halloween of this year and havent had ANYTHING with alcohol in it since!!!!  I really don't feel like ive even been tempted to drink anything either... ( and thats with me being as honest with myself as i can be) .. The only things that ive noticed is that within 2 weeks i lost 10 lbs!!!!!! YAY!! ;)  and i have more energy during the day!!! SO much in fact that people think ive had 8 pots of coffee! ha ha... the other thing ive noticed however is a loss of appetite... i can eat 3 egg whites for breakfast, take my multivitamin and have some grape fruit juice (the kind with NO SUGAR)  and a cup of coffee or 2 and, unless i make myself eat, i can go almost until 8 or 9 o'clock before i even get a hint of being hungry!!!! Is that normal????? i know i have to eat so im making myself eat something throughout the day even if i have to choke it down! lol.. but why is this happening??? I sleep fine... i don't crave the drink... but i went from wanting to eat all the time to having to force myself to eat.... weird.... i also know that i need to "listen to my body" and thats what i do.... i never liked sweets that much and still don't but i know that Beer has TONS of sugar in it and so if i ever do get to feeling weird or awkward then i go and grab a milkshake from Hardees or whatever, i give my body what it wants.... just without the alcohol!!! Im in control here!!!! Not the substance and thats the way its going to be!!!!!!!! lol.... But im glad i caught it in time... im 29 years old and was told by a doctor once that as long as your mature about the partying and as long as i stop over excess of alcohol before i hit 30 and don't have more than 2 a day after 30 then i should be fine... im listening and the next 30 years are going to be clean and dry! Plus people say im more enjoyable to be around when sober... lol... they say that im actually more fun than when we all were drunk... and i think they are too.. any comments are welcome.. Thanks!!

Avatar universal
Hi, Im new here. Anyway, I got laid off 2 years ago, and havnt found work as of yet. I started drinking Jim Beam along with 6 packs of beer a day since I got laid off. Last Sunday, I was drinking my usual beverages, and noticed a pain shooting up from my stomach area. I scares the hell out of me, and I poured the rest down the drain. I have not had a drink since then, but my body still hurts with occasional chest pains. They have gotten a little better, but I cant slowly stop, because it effected me to drink physically, so I had to stop all together. Can some one tell me about how long it could take for the pains to go away? Thanks,,,
Avatar universal
Alcohol can be very very deadly to detox on your own. If you stop cold turkey, when you`ve been drinking a lot, for a long period of time, it can be fatal. It messes with your heart rate, and it has been known to either skyrocket your blood pressure, or drop it significantly, leading to cardiac arrest and heart attacks. It destroys your organs as well, so there`s many ways for fatalities to come. I suggest a treatment center. Drug withdrawals may feel like you`re going to die, but you won`t. Severe alcohol withdrawal very easily will.
Avatar universal
I had the same question and thank everyone here for the advise. I absolutely do not want to drink anymore, but am afraid I will die if I quit cold turkey. The anxiety is killing me...but so is the alcohol.  Someone also suggested Librium to me. Does anyone know about that?
Avatar universal
im 30 and i have been drinking sence  was a kid in recent years i have been drinking every day just at night when i get off work any where from 6 to 15 beers recently i have had alot of diarrhea and im wondering if my drinking is the cause has anyone else had this happen to them? and if it is the cause should i cut back slowly or cold turkey?
Avatar universal
hi  i  have a boyfreid that im trying to  helpm  he ust to  drink  up  to  a liter of  100 proof a night. not once stoping. now hes acting funny. he already had a seizer from  stoping cold turkey. but know he says he blacks out. he doesnt remember thing and can be very mean, drozy and barely can tlk. he said its part of his withdrawls is this true?
Avatar universal
I drink about 1/2 to 1pint a day of 80 proof whisky. I don't mix it. just shots. I am only 23 years old. Do I have a problem? yes I do! So you ask if the pain you will find from stopping C.T. or over time witch will be greater? that depends on you! First why do you drink? Most people that drink a lot have something heavy on there mind something there trying to forget, change , undo, This is where you should start. Look at why your drinking. Is it to just have fun? If so the you can do a lot of stuff with your friend's with out drinking. Now if your drinking for one of the other thing I listed before then you will not stop till you solved that.How ever if you don't stop soon you will fill pain all the time drunk or not! Take my self I wanted to stop I did for 2 years. How ever look at me now I drink every day. I can not solve my other problems that cause me to want to drink (i.e) get away. So now I will tell you what you will fill if you don't stop. If you are with someone that loves you you will lose them. are if they love you to the point they will stay with you. you will make them suffer. in turn so will you. 2nd the pains you will feel your self will be  sleepy all the time. You will feel week,sick. Your **** will have blood in it. your lower back i.e (kidneys) will hurt all day. you will forget things all the time? what did you do the other day at 6pm you don't know. Look to ceep me from going on and on if you can stop. stop now. the pain that I have felt is most terrible. Please don't subject your self to that pain.    
Avatar universal
About 4 years ago my husband said he was going to leave if I didn't stop drinking and about a month later I got up one day and stopped. I had no problem or desire to drink again. That is until my husband told me this morning he was going to leave me and then I wanted a drink--lol. This shall pass too.

Avatar universal
Hi ,i have noticed since i have been on venlafaxine for bi pola,my drinking has gone through the roof,at least two bottles every night of white wine,for the past 2 years,i have decided to stop today for loads of reasons,has anyone else had this problem with this medication
Avatar universal
Hi ,i have noticed since i have been on venlafaxine for bi pola,my drinking has gone through the roof,at least two bottles every night of white wine,for the past 2 years,i have decided to stop today for loads of reasons,has anyone else had this problem with this medication
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