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    How much is this going to suck? (alcohol withdrawal) 
    #1
    I'll get right to the point: I'm 24 years old and I'm an alcoholic. Daily drinker of 12-24 units per day. I'm at the point where my hands are noticeably shaking every day (people ask why all the time), and waking up without a little bit of a hangover is a distant memory. I want to know what it's like to detox at home. I've done the AA thing but it just didn't stick and now it's worse than ever.

    What should I expect when I stop? I do have a script for .5 MG alprazolam 3x daily prn, but I am very hesitant to just stop since I've never had the shaking thing happen before and I'd like to avoid a seizure. The shaking has been persistant for 4 months now.

    In your folks opinion, should I bite the bullet and go to a medical detox, or is this something I can do at home?

    I'm just a bit concerned about my hands shaking like a Mexican space shuttle since it's a new symptom for me, and I'm wondering both why they do this and how bad it will suck when I stop boozing.

    Thanks in advance... long time lurker but a n00b when it comes to post count.

    Also, I just started a new job managing a bank so I was wondering if they need to give me time off to go to detox if I choose to. My Dr. will give the appropriate paperwork to my employer but I wanted to hear everyone else's advice first.
     

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    #2
    Bluelight Crew sonic's Avatar
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    I think that the xanax will be clutch in helping you get past the physical and psychological parts of alcohol withdrawal. It should help with your tremor as well. It's probably going to be hardest for you to stop taking the xanax when you run out. Going from alcohol to benzos might not be too hard, but the transition from benzos to taking nothing is going to be the real challenge for you. Alcohol and benzos are both GABA agonists, but they do bind to different locations. Don't expect to feel like a million bucks, but you should be physically safe at least.
    I've gone through alcohol withdrawal once before. I was drinking daily for about 6 months. It was really easy for me to quit. I just substituted my alcohol for weed and valium. It'll probably be harder on you since your tolerance was twice that of what I had, but I think you'll be okay since you have xanax to take 3x per day. You won't have to worry about seizures at least.

    Edit: I edited your thread title for clarity so more people will know what it's about without having to open it.
     

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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by sonic
    I think that the xanax will be clutch in helping you get past the physical and psychological parts of alcohol withdrawal. It should help with your tremor as well. It's probably going to be hardest for you to stop taking the xanax when you run out. Going from alcohol to benzos might not be too hard, but the transition from benzos to taking nothing is going to be the real challenge for you. Alcohol and benzos are both GABA agonists, but they do bind to different locations. Don't expect to feel like a million bucks, but you should be physically safe at least.
    I've gone through alcohol withdrawal once before. I was drinking daily for about 6 months. It was really easy for me to quit. I just substituted my alcohol for weed and valium. It'll probably be harder on you since your tolerance was twice that of what I had, but I think you'll be okay since you have xanax to take 3x per day. You won't have to worry about seizures at least.

    Edit: I edited your thread title for clarity so more people will know what it's about without having to open it.

    Thx for the edit, I just have never had the tremors before and I'm wondering if this time is going to be worse than the last. I'm not planning on getting off the Xanax, and weed is always present in my drinking so weed without booze is going to be kinda weird. What if I just give up the drink and weed at the same time and stick with alprazolam? Does Xanax help with lessening my probability of a seizure?
     

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    #4
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    when you say units do you mean the british measurement or the american "drink" which is .5 oz of pure ethanol?

    as for why your hands are shaking, that is a sign of alcoholism. it's usually associated with withdrawal but i think it can happen to people even when they are drinking.

    the xanax should help a lot with withdrawal symptoms and prevent seizures, so you could probably do it at home but i have never detoxed from alcohol before so i'm just speculating.
     

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    #5
    Bluelight Crew sonic's Avatar
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    Yes, xanax will help prevent you from having a seizure. It's not the strongest benzo for preventing seizures though. Clonazepam, diazepam (valium), and other benzos work better. Your benzo addiction is probably more serious than your alcohol addiction. How long have you been taking xanax daily for? The bad thing about xanax is that it's short acting and it has a short half life, so if you aburptly stop taking it, it has the potential to cause serious withdrawal and seizures.

    Personally I like to quit one thing at a time, but I have successfully kicked multiple drugs at once (temporarily at least). You could quit the weed at the same time, but it'll take more willpower. If you want to be off it bad enough then you can do it. I used to quit weed while going through opiate withdrawal because weed would just give me an anxiety attack almost every time when I tried to smoke while in w/d.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mantis28h
    Thx for the edit, I just have never had the tremors before and I'm wondering if this time is going to be worse than the last. I'm not planning on getting off the Xanax, and weed is always present in my drinking so weed without booze is going to be kinda weird. What if I just give up the drink and weed at the same time and stick with alprazolam? Does Xanax help with lessening my probability of a seizure?

    yes, one of the things benzos are prescribed for is precisely to prevent seizures (both in general and seizures related to alcohol withdrawal). a longer acting benzo would be better, but xanax will work fine as long as you make sure not to go too long between doses. 3 times a day should be enough.
     

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    #7
    Ex-Bluelighter phr's Avatar
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    Does Xanax help with lessening my probability of a seizure?
    Nah, it won't.


    Get yourself a benzo that's an anticonvulsant. Clonazepam, diazepam, and lorazepam come to mind off the top of my head.


    I don't know much about alcohol withdrawal. Do a search here, or use Google. I'm sure you could find a list of commonly prescribed meds to help you out.

    Good luck.
     

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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by sonic
    Yes, xanax will help prevent you from having a seizure. It's not the strongest benzo for preventing seizures though. Clonazepam, diazepam (valium), and other benzos work better. Your benzo addiction is probably more serious than your alcohol addiction. How long have you been taking xanax daily for? The bad thing about xanax is that it's short acting and it has a short half life, so if you aburptly stop taking it, it has the potential to cause serious withdrawal and seizures.

    Personally I like to quit one thing at a time, but I have successfully kicked multiple drugs at once (temporarily at least). You could quit the weed at the same time, but it'll take more willpower. If you want to be off it bad enough then you can do it.

    I've been on benzos for 9 months now. So pretty much as long as I have Xanax I will avoid any seizures?

    Edit: saw the post ^^ so I'll retract my post.
     

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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by burn out
    when you say units do you mean the british measurement or the american "drink" which is .5 oz of pure ethanol?

    as for why your hands are shaking, that is a sign of alcoholism. it's usually associated with withdrawal but i think it can happen to people even when they are drinking.

    the xanax should help a lot with withdrawal symptoms and prevent seizures, so you could probably do it at home but i have never detoxed from alcohol before so i'm just speculating.

    My drink of choice is beer, so 12-24 beers a day. I'll do a bottle of vodka a day but I try to stay away from liquor unless I don't have any $$ for enough beer.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by phrozen
    Nah, it won't.


    Get yourself a benzo that's an anticonvulsant. Clonazepam, diazepam, and lorazepam come to mind off the top of my head.


    I don't know much about alcohol withdrawal. Do a search here, or use Google. I'm sure you could find a list of commonly prescribed meds to help you out.

    Good luck.
    i think you're wrong here, i think all benzos have anticonvulsant properties so xanax would lessen to the likelihood of a seizure. the reason xanax isn't used as an anticonvulsant is probably simply due to its short half life and has nothing to do with it being a non effective anticonsulvant.

    my question would be, since he's ALREADY been taking xanax, doesn't that mean he will already have a benzo tolerance and thus the xanax (or any benzo) won't really be replacing the alcohol. in other words, does he need to raise the dose of benzos hes taking in order for them to still be effective at relieving the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal?
     

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    #11
    Ex-Bluelighter phr's Avatar
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    I was under the impression that Xanax isn't a very good anticonvulsant, and hardly used for such things.

    I could certainly be wrong.


    As for the tolerance question, I'm not sure how benzodiazepine tolerance affects their anticonvulsant properties.
     

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    #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by phrozen
    I was under the impression that Xanax isn't a very good anticonvulsant, and hardly used for such things.

    I could certainly be wrong.


    As for the tolerance question, I'm not sure how benzodiazepine tolerance affects their anticonvulsant properties.

    like i said, i think that's only because of the short half life. none of the benzos with a very short half life make good anticonvulsants because as they wear off you're seizure threshold is probably elevated. that doesn't mean they aren't effective while you're on them though.

    can anyone correct me if i'm wrong?
     

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    #13
    I don't have health insurance, but my Primary care doc is cool. Should I just call him and let him know what my plans are? I just don't want him to discontinue my benzo script if he knows I am drinking on it. I just want to avoid taking time off of work as well as the seizures I am fairly certain I will experience when I stop drinking. Cold turkey was going to be my M.O. but I want to make sure I don't die in the withdrawl stage. I live alone so if something bad happens I won't have another person to help me.
     

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    #14
    The last time i picked a patient up for transport back home from a regular hospital who was admitted for status post seizure 2nd to ETOH withdrawal, they had him on a benzo, lorazepam, and antabuse....not sure what the antabuse is chemically but im sure its to stop alchohol related w/d symptoms. I would try and do this on your own, yet keep in mind.....when its too late to reach for a phone is there gonna be anybody there to call 911 for you if u need it???
     

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    #15
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    that's a bit of a problem. if he doesn't know you're an alcoholic and you suddenly tell him you're so much of an alcoholic that you're afraid you're going to have seizures from the withdrawal, he may be hesitant to prescribe you more benzos. he will also almost certainly want to see you before prescribing anything. i highly doubt he will say "no problem man, i'll just call in double your dose of benzos and let you detox by yourself".

    if you insist on doing it by yourself, maybe your best bet is to ask for a dosage increase of your xanax without mentioning alcohol. tell him you're tolerance has risen or youre going through something stressful and you really need a higher dosage, for at least a little while. that's if you can't afford to see him and do things the proper way.
     

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    #16
    Ex-Bluelighter phr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by burn out
    like i said, i think that's only because of the short half life. none of the benzos with a very short half life make good anticonvulsants because as they wear off you're seizure threshold is probably elevated. that doesn't mean they aren't effective while you're on them though.

    can anyone correct me if i'm wrong?
    I don't think the half life is why. Its half life is similar to Ativan's, which is commonly used as an anticonvulsant. Especially IV Ativan in a hospital.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by octoparrot
    The last time i picked a patient up for transport back home from a regular hospital who was admitted for status post seizure 2nd to ETOH withdrawal, they had him on a benzo, lorazepam, and antabuse....not sure what the antabuse is chemically but im sure its to stop alchohol related w/d symptoms. I would try and do this on your own, yet keep in mind.....when its too late to reach for a phone is there gonna be anybody there to call 911 for you if u need it???

    antabuse has nothing to do with stopping alcohol related wd symptoms. all it does is react with alcohol to make the person extremely sick so they won't be able to enjoy drinking on it and thus they won't be tempted to drink.
     

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    #18
    Also, do some research on the DT's (dellerium tremens) which are what your shaking is... your not the only one with a problem like this so im sure there;s abundant self-detox info that can SAFELY be conducted outside of a medical facility.

    If you live alone, have a friend stay with you man....seriously. If something happens whats next?
     

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    #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by phrozen
    I don't think the half life is why. Its half life is similar to Ativan's, which is commonly used as an anticonvulsant. Especially IV Ativan in a hospital.
    isn't that simply because it works better IV? i really don't know, i'd like to see some sources.

    also, lots of times what they use medically isn't necessarily the most effective thing. it's just the "standard" treatment.
     

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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by burn out
    antabuse has nothing to do with stopping alcohol related wd symptoms. all it does is react with alcohol to make the person extremely sick so they won't be able to enjoy drinking on it and thus they won't be tempted to drink.

    OK, thats good to know...well hopefully his willpower is enough to get him thru the detox period safely, then if needed he can consider it along with some AA
     

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    #21
    Ex-Bluelighter phr's Avatar
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    Alprazolam could be iv'ed as well.


    Alright though, I'm gonna stop debating this. Hopefully someone else will chime in.
     

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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by octoparrot
    Also, do some research on the DT's (dellerium tremens) which are what your shaking is... your not the only one with a problem like this so im sure there;s abundant self-detox info that can SAFELY be conducted outside of a medical facility.

    If you live alone, have a friend stay with you man....seriously. If something happens whats next?

    Can a 24 year old experience DT's?
     

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    #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mantis28h
    Can a 24 year old experience DT's?

    of course. it all depends on how much and for how long you've been drinking. i had a friend who was an alcoholic, he had DTs after quitting from one year of drinking all day every day. i think he was about 24 when it happened too.
     

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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by phrozen
    I don't think the half life is why. Its half life is similar to Ativan's, which is commonly used as an anticonvulsant. Especially IV Ativan in a hospital.
    Has anyone seen House.. "he's seizing! IV Lorazepam, stat!"

    IMO, quit the xannies and keep drinking.
     

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    #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by phrozen
    Alprazolam could be iv'ed as well.


    Alright though, I'm gonna stop debating this. Hopefully someone else will chime in.

    i thought there was a separate reason they didn't use it IV though, i know when people go to the hospital and are having a severe anxiety attack they are generally given IV lorazepam, not alprazolam.

    anyway, i did a search and alrpazolam definitely has anticonvulsant properties. however, i couldn't find anything directly comparing it to other benzos in that regard though. anyway, i'm not trying to argue, i just want to know the answer because first of all it's very relevant to this guy's question and secondly i have access to both alprazolam and clonazepam and i always assumed both would work about equally well as anticonvulsants assuming that the alprazolam was re-administered quickly enough. if this is not the case, i'd like to know so i can save some clonazepam specifically to use as an anticonvulsant should the need arise.
     

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