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 Post subject: New meds: I feel so different (in a bad way)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:13 pm 
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I'm on this drug, Naltrexone, that somehow (they don't know exactly how) makes you not crave alcohol. It has something to do with targeting the part of the brain that perceived pleasure from alcohol. It also keeps things like morphine from working, so I have to have an emergency card in my wallet so they don't try that if I ever end up in the hospital. I've read a lot of things online about how people had bad experiences with this stuff and that they couldn't feel joy anymore at all... blabla. I always read up on the complaints people have about medication and then take it anyway without any problems.

This is different. I feel completely different. I don't feel like myself. I do things without thinking about them. I feel like insulting people and hurting their feelings. I haven't done anything like this, but I want to. That is so unlike me. I feel like I don't have fear anymore. My patience is much less. I sent a message to someone on Facebook (someone I used to know a few years ago) and it's like in the back of my mind I can hear myself saying "don't do that! you'll regret that!", but I'm just lalala-ing through it. I don't feel alive. Things happen. I guess. I do what I know I'm supposed to do, but I don't want to do it. It's not depression, I know depression, I just feel completely distanced.

I have however had a pretty doable time not touching alcohol since I started it. It seems to actually, well... work! I'm obviously going to bring this up with my doctor, but I know what she'll say - I can stop it, or I can keep going. There's only one alternative for this and that'll take two weeks to kick in and I'll have to take 6 pills a day for it. I'm scared to stop taking this. I think I'm too fragile to not have anything for two weeks and have to go grocery shopping. Even though I'm dealing with it okay, I still see alcohol opportunities everywhere. I don't know how much this stuff is doing for me. Maybe I'll be okay, but what if the cravings explode? If I relapse badly it'll be a fuckload worse than feeling distanced...

I guess my question is, what would you do?

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 Post subject: Re: New meds: I feel so different (in a bad way)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:39 pm 
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I'd try to build up a support system and non-drug treatment for alcoholism as fast as possible (AA, outpatient treatment, etc...) and then when I felt secure in that, I might try and wean off of the drug. It doesn't sound like much fun, but on the other hand, you need your liver in the long run, and this sounds like short term discomfort for a long term benefit. Is the other drug the one that makes you barf uncontrollably if you drink any alcohol? Cause that one doesn't sound like fun either.

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 Post subject: Re: New meds: I feel so different (in a bad way)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:39 pm 
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I don't suppose you could start the other stuff that will take two weeks to kick in while still staying on this stuff for those two weeks, then go off the old med once the new one is working?

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 Post subject: Re: New meds: I feel so different (in a bad way)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:42 pm 
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I probably don't have any good advice because I don't have any experience with this and I don't know you, but I just thought I'd give my support as you seem to need it.
I'd ask the doctor, if maybe this is some kind of adjusting period? It might get better/easier after a while. There must be other people experiencing these side effects and the doctor might know how they coped.
For how long do you have be on this medication? I mean, is it a long-term thing? If it's not and you know it's going to help you I think you should take it even with these side effects, unless you feel it could make you harm yourself or other people (but from what you wrote, it sounds like that's not the case and you'd do yourself more harm by not taking it).
Did you tell this to people in your life? So that they know what's going on. If I had a friend who was suddenly distant, not being nice/hurting me and I knew they were going through something like this it would make it much easier for both of us.
I know you've probably heard this a million times and it's a little cliche, but it's great that you've decided to get help and do something about this. :)


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 Post subject: Re: New meds: I feel so different (in a bad way)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:54 pm 
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I am really sorry that you're not feeling great Dr. Horrible, but I'm really proud of you for doing what you need to to stop drinking. Alcoholism is a really hard disease to have and you're doing a great job managing it.

I agree with rabidchild about going to my support system as often as possible. I know friends who went to three or four AA meetings a day when they started to get sober, and those places are totally unjudgemental, so you can say what you need to even if you think it will offend people and still get support.

Much love and good luck to you <3

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 Post subject: Re: New meds: I feel so different (in a bad way)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:54 pm 
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rabidchild wrote:
I'd try to build up a support system and non-drug treatment for alcoholism as fast as possible (AA, outpatient treatment, etc...) and then when I felt secure in that, I might try and wean off of the drug.

I went to AA four or five times... but the religious stuff just got so in the way. I tried to make my own higher being and think of it as just someone who's more powerful than me who I look up to and who I can think of in bad times (it was Russell Brand - I know), but it literally says in the big book that unless you surrender yourself to a spiritual being, you won't get sober. I can't get over that. Plus I disagree with the fundamental statement that I can't control my own life. fork yeah I can. Watch me.

(I know that a LOT of people get lots of support and help through AA and I respect that totally! I'm really happy it's there. It's just not for me.)

I have outpatient treatment, but it's once a week, which is just not enough really. I think I might have decided on stopping the drug more easily if I just had friends in my neighborhood, but I don't.

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Is the other drug the one that makes you barf uncontrollably if you drink any alcohol? Cause that one doesn't sound like fun either.

Heh, no, I actually asked for that but they won't give it to me because the chance for relapse is way too big this early in my game, and if I drank while on the drug they'd have to ship me off to the hospital in an ambulance and what not. Someone I was in rehab with was telling me about his experiences with it: "Yeah and then I drank anyway, and then I threw up a lot, and then I drank some more". I'd be capable of that.

Rhizopus Oligosporus wrote:
I don't suppose you could start the other stuff that will take two weeks to kick in while still staying on this stuff for those two weeks, then go off the old med once the new one is working?

That's an interesting question. I'm pretty sure they'll say no, but I'll definitely ask.

Someone else suggested that the personality changes could be simply because of the new sobriety, and that it'll get better on its own. I'm really hoping for this now, but I'm not sure. I'm seeing my doctor in a week and a bit and I hope by then it'll be less. If not, I'm still going to ask about the drug and my other options. I hate this.

ETA: Two new posts as I was typing! Thanks guys. I haven't really told the people around me because I wasn't sure of what was happening. Plus I don't think I've actually acted different, I just wanted to. Or maybe I did and I don't know it. I'll try to bring it up.

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Yeah it’s two R’s, h-o-r-r... yeah, right.
"So something ripped him open and ate out his insides?" "Like an oreo cookie! ... well, except for, you know, without the chocolaty cookie goodness."
DON'T WARN THE TADPOLES!


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 Post subject: Re: New meds: I feel so different (in a bad way)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 6:41 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: New meds: I feel so different (in a bad way)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:18 pm 
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Dr. Horrible wrote:
rabidchild wrote:
I'd try to build up a support system and non-drug treatment for alcoholism as fast as possible (AA, outpatient treatment, etc...) and then when I felt secure in that, I might try and wean off of the drug.

I went to AA four or five times... but the religious stuff just got so in the way. I tried to make my own higher being and think of it as just someone who's more powerful than me who I look up to and who I can think of in bad times (it was Russell Brand - I know), but it literally says in the big book that unless you surrender yourself to a spiritual being, you won't get sober. I can't get over that. Plus I disagree with the fundamental statement that I can't control my own life. fork yeah I can. Watch me.

(I know that a LOT of people get lots of support and help through AA and I respect that totally! I'm really happy it's there. It's just not for me.)

I have outpatient treatment, but it's once a week, which is just not enough really. I think I might have decided on stopping the drug more easily if I just had friends in my neighborhood, but I don't.

I have a good friend who couldn't find the help he needed in AA, he disagreed with all the things you mentioned basically, and is now successfully using cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) to deal with alcoholism. Have you looked into this type of therapy specifically?

lots of strength, you're doing something really difficult but worthwhile

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 Post subject: Re: New meds: I feel so different (in a bad way)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:21 pm 
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your situation sounds like a challenge! I can't offer advice on the medication but wanted to congratulate you and encourage your sobriety!


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 Post subject: Re: New meds: I feel so different (in a bad way)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:18 pm 
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Would it be possible to just get a sponsor from AA and not actually attend the meetings? Someone you could call 8 times a day if you needed to? I've known people for whom having a sponsor was the valuable part of AA, not the meetings. What about other alcoholic support services or meetings? The different drug treatment programs in our area have groups a few times a day that aren't AA based. (I'm a social worker so I refer people to stuff a lot)

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 Post subject: Re: New meds: I feel so different (in a bad way)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:11 pm 
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Dr. Horrible wrote:

I guess my question is, what would you do?


I'm not sure, but I would probably keep using the meds in order to get through this period. In the mean time I might explain to (some) friends/contacts how things are and that I therefore can respond differently than they are used to, hoping that a real friend will understand.

I might also start to choose to err on the safe side and not send certain messages.

How long do you have to use this?


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