Alcohol

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Paranoid MisterE

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#1
Hey all, im posting because recently i have been struggling with my alcohol intake. Im just starting to feel better after a 24hour drinking session last weekend. I know alcohol and depression/anti psychotics shouldnt really mix but i love the buzz you get from a few drinks getting merry. My problem is i rarely stop at merry. I mentioned in the OCD thread that i have an addictive personality and alcoholism runs in my family.

I know i should stop, i have broken bones, nearly been sacked, nearly destroyed close friendships and made a fool of myself all because of my love for a "few pints" yet part of me wants to be "normal" and enjoy a few drinks at family meals/special occassions etc. I know i can stop as i recently did for 5 weeks but i felt miserable, i had removed the only joy in my life.

Just wondering if anyone else is battling the drink demons?
 
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Apotheosis

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#2
Drank alcoholically for 17 years, & took a lot of drugs. Finally stopped with 12 step groups.
 
schiz01

schiz01

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#3
Best thing to do is stay away from it all together.
I stopped a few years ago now and dont miss it at all....even the smell of the stuff makes me cringe these days
 
bluenomore

bluenomore

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#5
If I can't concentrate I get frustrated.
If I get frustrated I get the urge to anaesthetise.
Then I will go outside and buy alcohol.
Then I will drink it... continuously
Because 'moderation' is not in blue's dictionary :(
 
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diddypinks

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#7
right in AA they would tell you that you are an alcoholic you are not alone and to get to a meeting. there are people who can go out have a few drinks and stop and then there is the alcoholic an ILLNESS. i urge you to go to the doctor or get councelling there are specially trained lacohol councellors you can see you can just chat with them they will give you advice if you get the dts thats why its important that you go to the doctors first. i did it i got arrested an it scared the shit out of me. dont wait for things to come unbearable to stop do it for you its not easy and the cravings in the beginning are terrible. you can do it! good luck and believe me i as a hopeless drunk really bloody crap:D
 
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diddypinks

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#8
oh and sorry this might not be hat you want to hear but you have to give up all booze you cant have one cause that will just start a craving in your brain. the way i see it is i can do anything i want in the world the only thing i cant do is drink life is sometimes shit but you learn and grow from dealing with that shit. (y)
 
BadBuddha

BadBuddha

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#9
I gave up drinking 18 years ago - having nearly killed myself drinking up to 3 bottles of vodka a day - by going to 100 AA meetings in 100 days. It worked for me. Unfortunately, I relapsed a couple of years ago and drank intermittently until a recent disastrous binge. Went back to AA and I've now been dry for a bit over 3 weeks. It's not easy, but it's better than drinking. AA claims a success rate of 50% which is lot higher than any other kind of treatment. It can be hard work at first - it's the only time I've sweated from the effort of not doing something - but it gets easier. Drinking makes nothing better, really. It's not for everyone but I find the meetings positive and friendly and a good kind of group therapy.
I never found psychiatrists helpful or sympathetic but psychiatric nurses and some counsellors can be very constructive and full of good ideas.
My drinking was set off by depression which I researched a lot on the internet and worked out which anti-depressants I should be taking. That's helped a lot.
Anyway, good luck! Even if you're not an alcoholic AA is worth trying.
 
bluenomore

bluenomore

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#10
AA claims a success rate of 50% which is lot higher than any other kind of treatment.
Where do AA claim this?

And more importantly... HOW can AA claim this since no attendance records are ever kept and no success rate is ever scientifically measured?

Sorry, but there is no proof that AA is any more effective then any other self-help group. In my experience of 12 step recovery (AA, NA, CA), a 50% success rate is a gross overestimation of their effectiveness.
 
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Apotheosis

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#11
I would estimate that there are millions worldwide recovering in 12 step fellowships; but it is admittedly very hard to get any kind of accurate figure.

Things are very different from the early days of Bill Wilson & Dr Bob. Back when AA was first formed; there were very high success rates in the beginning. These days there are many variables that make looking at success very hard to measure. Things have not been helped with CA, MA, & a plethora of every kind of 12 step group that you can imagine; it has fragmented things. Alcoholism, & drug use is now so rife & endemic within our societies, & the ways/lifestyles in which people get high; that no one size fits all. There are indeed many ways in which people can get clean & sober. I would, however say that 12 step is one of the more successful & easier ways of doing so.

I know the religious undercurrents; & some of the religious basis of 12 step, I know the history, Carl Jung was also instrumental in the forming of AA. But the fact still remains that the program can be worked by Atheists; & I know some of them in the fellowships. NA especially focuses on the Higher Power - or God as We understand Him - God can be Good Orderly Direction - or the Great Out Doors, it can be the Group - or Anything in fact. There doesn't have to be any faith of any kind, or any belief in God to work 12 step recovery. In fact the norm from people I have have met in these programs are in general that they are anti religions, often very anti them.

It would probably be a good idea to remove the word God altogether from all the literature.

In the area that I live in; there are around 7 treatment centres; one of the local towns is a Mecca for people trying to get into recovery. It is a revolving door. When I first got clean here, I met some people with a few years recovery; I relapsed for 8 years; & when I returned; there were very few that I knew from before that had stayed clean - a handful. Over the past 8 years that I have been following recovery again (despite a small slip) - I have seen a massive amount of people come & go. Admittedly a percentage are probably staying clean & moving area; but most are not. I would honestly say that those who get fully clean, stay in long term recovery, & don't go back to a life of using; is no doubt less than 2%; & that is being generous. Very very few people overcome addiction.

I don't think that things are wasted though. The first period of recovery that I had at 21 for around 6 months of sobriety; changed my perspective on things. The fellowships are made up of people who are often chronically ill; generally trying to improve who they are as people.

I know all the accusations levelled at 12 step - it's a religion, it's a cult etc etc. OK - so what? If it works for some, then what does it matter? I do think that a lot of the accusations are open to interpretation & different perspectives anyway. But for some people; nothing they have tried has worked apart from 12 step. Even if one person recovers in 12 step - then surely that is success? - if just one person can be taken from the Hell of addiction/alcoholism. There are of course many more than one that are.

I know that 12 step is very far from perfect. I wrestle with it all myself. But all I see it as is one tool - one system that can help me stay clean, & has got me clean when nothing else worked (& I tried many things). I take from it what I want, I attend for me. It is but one part of things; it is not an end in itself; or a be all & end all. There are things I disagree with members on, & stuff in the literature that I disagree with.

Statistically, & on balance; I would say that more recover with 12 step; than those that recover without it using other means. Would we be better off without 12 step groups? For me the answer to that is No.

Addiction; as some of us know; is powerful, devastating, & it kills us. Until someone wants to stop the use of all substances to change the way that they feel - then they won't; whatever system they use. & I see it all the time; few there are that find a genuine & lasting recovery (Clean / T-Total) - whatever way they do it.
 
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BadBuddha

BadBuddha

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#12
Blue, I read that claim in a medical book which also cast doubt on it. You're right, it seems impossible that they could collect the information so it's just a claim. But if you inore that, they're still very successful for some people. Doctors tend to dismiss AA's whole approach, of alcoholism as a disease and allergy, but they still recommend it, presumably as a kind of support group. I was just saying it might be worth a try.
 
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diddypinks

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#13
i dont think its important

i dont think that success rates are important when it comes to AA. because its the quality of life for the people that it does help that is the good thing about AA. it offers people who are in a VERY bad way a community of other people who are just as mad been just as bad and stuggle too in a non judgmental way. desperation is usually what brings people to AA its where they go and they will do ANYTHING to get better. so if people dont take to it thats up to them but its a lifeline for a lot of sick people.:mad:
 
bluenomore

bluenomore

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#14
I do agree that the self-help group-support model can be a good way of people going through the same issues to try to help each other. It's a comfort to know that there are people experiencing the same problems as yourself.

What I do have a problem with is the emphasis on religious practices, and also the fact that there is an element of brainwashing built into their organisation.

When someone goes to their first meeting they are usually in a pretty bad place, and are feeling very vulnerable. I believe that the X. Anonymous organisations capitalise on this fact.

As you might have guessed by now, I had a bad experience with this organisation - but I do admit that it's better than having no help at all. I just with that there could be more groups that operated without ANY religious aspect to it.
 
DiagnosisBipolar2

DiagnosisBipolar2

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#15
As you might have guessed by now, I had a bad experience with this organisation - but I do admit that it's better than having no help at all. I just with that there could be more groups that operated without ANY religious aspect to it.

I have an amazing alternative group to AA in the area where I live. They are a totally unique charity which have drop in support groups run by counsellors (many of whom are recovering alcoholics themselves). I have found them to be invaluable as I knew AA wasn't for me, though I appreciate it's horses for courses though and there is no doubt that AA works for many.

At the end of the day unless you really want to give up drinking (and you've got to really really want it) no group will give you the "magic cure".
 
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Apotheosis

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#16
What I do have a problem with is the emphasis on religious practices, and also the fact that there is an element of brainwashing built into their organisation.
DiagnosisBipolar2 said:
At the end of the day unless you really want to give up drinking (and you've got to really really want it) no group will give you the "magic cure".
Blue - Do you mean the prayer & mediation; as in religious practices?

Earlier on in my recovery, I had some attention from a number of born again Christians in the fellowships; & they used the group to further their agendas of trying to convert others; it was very wrong of them, IMO. I am far more assertive these days; & I can argue them round in circles if I so choose.

But the norm hasn't been people telling me what I need to do, nor imposing any kind of beliefs, or practises I should be having/doing. I have a sponsor, I meet up with them as a friend more than anything; & for someone to chat with. I am doing the steps; but far more it has been about practising certain principles. I haven't done any formal step work for well over a year. I do very few meetings; I have been to only around 10 this year.

When I got clean; I decided to read most of all the AA & NA literature, & make up my own mind about things. I don't follow any one set practise or religion. The main component for me has been a place that I can go to find social support, people trying to stay clean & helping others to do the same. That has been the biggest help for me. I am free to meet as many people as I like; that are a support & genuine help to me with overcoming addiction, & I have met a large amount of people through the rooms. My recovery practises are not confined to '12 step' - far from it.

As for brain washing - what isn't brain washing these days? My brain no doubt needed washing. Destroying myself with alcohol & drugs, was hardly displaying healthy cognitive function. & what I have found, is that 12 step doesn't have any kind of monopoly on the truth or spirituality. 12 step is to my understanding, based on sound spiritual principles - & not a religion, although I know that is debatable as to how much like a religion it is. But these principles can be found in many systems, philosophies, practices & ideas. 12 step is simply one of many many systems; that has been specifically adapted to help people who are substance dependant. To those desperate enough; that it works, is all that is important.

But I do understand that it is not for everyone - far from it.
 
BadBuddha

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#17
I've been looking up medical references to alcoholism. There's no agreement about what it is, whether it's a disease or how to solve it or even whether it really exists as a condition separate from regular heavy drinking. The common definition of addiction is dependence, tolerance and withdrawal. As for AA's success rate, I found this on a medical website called the Cochrane Collection:
"Summary
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is self-help group, organised through an international organization of recovering alcoholics, that offers emotional support and a model of abstinence for people recovering from alcohol dependence using a 12-step approach.

As well as AA, there are also alternative interventions based on 12-step type programmes, some self-help and some professionally-led. AA and other 12-step approaches are typically based on the assumption that substance dependence is a spiritual and a medical disease. The available experimental studies did not demonstrate the effectiveness of AA or other 12-step approaches in reducing alcohol use and achieving abstinence compared with other treatments, but there were some limitations with these studies. Furthermore, many different interventions were often compared in the same study and too many hypotheses were tested at the same time to identify factors which determine treatment success."

Good news if you don't like AA. As for it being a cult, it was started in the 30s (I think) in the US and assumed that everyone was a Christian. I do have a problem with this. At meetings the most successful people seem to rely partly on prayer to their "Higher Power". Not being a Christian, I do have a problem with this which is why I've never done the 12 steps.
 
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Apotheosis

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#18
Good news if you don't like AA. As for it being a cult, it was started in the 30s (I think) in the US and assumed that everyone was a Christian. I do have a problem with this. At meetings the most successful people seem to rely partly on prayer to their "Higher Power". Not being a Christian, I do have a problem with this which is why I've never done the 12 steps.
I don't get how prayer & a Higher Power must be exclusive to Christianity? :confused: There is no exclusivity to any religion, or lack of one. In other countries I'm sure there are as many Muslims, Buddhists & Jewish at AA meetings. As well as a majority that practise no formal religious practices at all.

I am not aware of the name 'Jesus Christ' - being used to promote Christianity in relation to the 12 steps in any NA/AA/CA Literature.

There is a Christian 12 steps - 'the overcomer's course' I think it is called. It's noddy as far as I'm concerned.

There is Atheist Anonymous (nothing to do with 12 steps) -

http://www.geocities.com/atheist_anon/

Atheist 12 step recovery -

http://www.living-sober.net/articles/12steps-for-atheists.cfm

http://www.positiveatheism.org/rw/naway99.htm

I don't do AA any more, & I know that some of them can get more into Jesus than the NA'ers - But from who I know, it isn't the norm. 12 step recovery is a set of principles, those principles can be claimed by any number of religions & other systems; But they can just as easily be claimed from an Atheist & Humanistic perspective. It's inclusive of anyone & everyone.

Pray to a plant or Mekon - it matters not. I know Atheists that work 12 steps, & it isn't a problem. Pray to your 'inner self', or don't bother praying at all.

I have every reason to abhor religion; I don't understand people getting so hung up on the word 'god' & the 12 steps having being influenced by a certain amount of Christian practices - it's not Christianity; it's not about any set belief of any kind whatsoever. It has been coloured by certain social & societal norms of the time it was formed, but the founders were very specific in it's non religiosity. Among the stranger concepts of a 'Higher Power' that I have heard - have been cupboards, ash trays, & a rock.

The main component of a Higher Power (~ Or ~ God as We Understand Him) for me is other people - nothing esoteric or religious at all.
 
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diddypinks

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#20
a power GREATER than yourself

many athiests/agnostics are in AA all they ask you to do is find a power greater than YOURSELF it doesnt have to be religious at all it can be nature, anything you chose. the god word just means an actual god to a few people. i think its fantastic that there is a place where vulnerable people CAN go worldwide, a group in most towns its a big force aa. it also teaches you to straighten out your negative thinking through the steps and learn that you can let go of the mental conditions that lead us to drink in the first place.