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Old 05-26-2012, 09:47 AM   #1
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Choosing the "lesser of two evils"

I have a general question that I'm hoping to gain knowledge about: When stopping drug/alcohol abuse, what would be the best to come off of first, Vicodin or alcohol? I hope this isn't a dumb question but I appreciate any response. JB

 
Old 05-26-2012, 11:06 AM   #2
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Re: Choosing the "lesser of two evils"

I dont' think it's a dumb question. Personally I'd do both at the same time, so that I didn't have to go through the whole withdrawal thing twice, I like to keep my suffering to a minimum and if your body is going through hell anyways, well why not. Some folks will tell you it's too dangerous...I guess it depends on how much you drink in a days time....I'm semi-familiar with how many pills you use, unless that's changed drastically.

I'm just of the theory that when your quitting an addiction you quit all the addictive substances...it doesn't make much sense to stop taking the pills that you use to make you feel good, if you can just get sloshed each day to achieve the same effect, I mean what are you actually fixing at that point? ...but that's my opinion.

Kat

 
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Old 05-26-2012, 04:46 PM   #3
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Re: Choosing the "lesser of two evils"

Hello Jackbeanstalk

Drugs and alcohol go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly or hot dogs and mustard.

I have to go with Kat;I'd advise working with both at the same time.

From your post,you're dually diagnosed.
One could argue that alcohol is a gateway to drugs and vice-versa.

If you view it as the lesser of two evils,you're probably going to choose alcohol but you don't want drugs to be the greater of the two evils;it'll be he** trying to do one after the other.

Now i'm not saying it can't be done or never has been tried but if you go the route of one opposed to the other,it'll be twice or even three times as difficult to address while you're recovering from the other.

Whether you address either one or both you'll be considered in recovery,which means you won't be fully rid of either one you choose first.

Recovery takes time;which is why viewing both as equal would be beneficial to you,as there is no time limit when it comes to recovering from either of the two evils.

Respectfully stated
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Old 05-27-2012, 03:16 AM   #4
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Re: Choosing the "lesser of two evils"

Hi, I don,t know how much you drink but I can tell you thru experience that you need to be careful on the alcohol end of this. I drank very heavy every night after work when I was much younger. I decided to stop and around 2nd or 3rd day I had an alcoholic seizure. My friend was giving me a ride to hospital and I had another one in car. I didn,t think I was drinking that much and never had one before. I was young and dumb I guess, anyways just something for you to think about. I,m not sure if you were asking question in general or that your planning on quitting drink and vics.

 
Old 05-27-2012, 09:29 AM   #5
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Re: Choosing the "lesser of two evils"

I am wanting to do both but I'm scared to death to try and do both at once. I understand what you guys are saying but knowing the alcohol WD's can be very dangerous, it seems like both WD's at the same time could really be bad. I saw the Dr. I been seeing for 6 years recently. She knows we were exposed to Black Mold, plus 2 more toxic boogers, and that we don't have much income from work-time lost (plus she wrote me out on a 20-25 hour-a-week work schedule). She discussed some options with me on the alcohol, I told her I drank a 12-pack a night. She said she'd let me try on my own with a Librium Rx schedule (no refills) for cold-turkey, told me some try the "count-down method", where you consume 12, next day, 11, then 10,9,8, till you get to day 12, you're on 1, then none. Anyone heard or tried this? I've been able to taper the Vicodin, down from 10 a day to 6 and dropping, seems to be going along OK, been doing it for a few weeks and still dropping the dose. I actually find it easier not to drink as much. I'd been taking the Vic's during work hours, got to work on these painful feet, next step would be surgery, I'm seeing a podiatrist at the low-income clinic. He has dealt with a Neuroma for 20 years and has not had surgery, due to strategic padding and special shoes. I got the dang things in both feet, like stepping on a nail with each step. When I get home, the vic's have worn off and cause me to feel shaky. Is that normal? A long-winded reply, I'm trying to do this on an outpatient plan, first. I have to try, have not the funds to afford Hospital rehab. The ones around here for "low-income folks" are awful. I have seen patients chained to the wall in one when it was crowded. This was 20-some years ago when I checked myself in for alcohol, was horrified at the treatment of these sick people and left after one day. I did not drink again for 21 years. I think that's why I'm scared of it, I dunno', I'm hoping to get through this on an outpatient basis, my Dr. is one of the best, plus all you guys are more help than you know. God Bless You, JB

 
Old 05-27-2012, 10:14 AM   #6
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Re: Choosing the "lesser of two evils"

JB,

A 12 pack a day of beer, is not that significant as far as "dangerous DT's" go. Those usually go hand in hand with heavy drinkers of heavier liquors or way more beer than your consuming. If your Dr. feels comfortable with the 12 day countdown that's what I'd plan on doing. and yes, I've seen that method before, with my husband acutally, his Dr. prescribed it for him, sans Librium. Your Dr. would not have told you to do this if she was concerned that it was dangerous for you.

and yes, it is normal to feel shaky after using the Vic's during the day and then stopping. A taper is normally spaced out more evenly throughout the 24 hr period, but I understand why your doing it this way.

Fear: fear can be the best motivator, it can also cripple you. There are many more humane choices for low-income individuals nowadays. You seem to be doing well with detoxing on your own, so keep it up. But the medical stuff, you'll have to be able to take care of that. Have you tried applying for medicaid/medicare or charity care at your local hospital? They all have programs where you can get reduced or sometime free medical care if you have low income and do not have medical insurance, please check it out.

Keep up the good work bud, just the fact that your willing and working on all this is a great move on your part.

Kat

 
Old 05-27-2012, 12:32 PM   #7
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Re: Choosing the "lesser of two evils"

JB, I've been following your thread since you started it and I must say, you are a very determined and disciplined man. I think that everything that you are doing, is just right for your circumstances. You've had an honest talk with your doctor and she seems to trust you enough and to know you well enough to do this by tapering one drink per day. I have to agree with Kat, the amount of alcohol you are consuming is considerably small compared to the heavy duty drinkers ive met in AA. My dad is also an alcoholic and you dont even begin to touch the amount that he is drinking. Im not minimizing what you are drinking, I'm just trying to reinforce what Kat said when she said that your dt's shouldn't be too bad. Plus you've got the librium to help.

On another note, I am an opiate addict and i can tell you from a lot of experience that vicodin (hydrocodone), will always make me shake about 5-6 hours after ive taken my last dose. That was how i always knew it was time to pop 4 more. It's because of the half-life of the drug itself. It leaves the system pretty fast and when you've been on it as long as you have or I have, you notice pretty quickly when its leaving your body. Thats why you are fine when you take it all day at regular intervals but start to shake when you know longer take it at night.

You are doing a great job at taking the bull by the horns and doing whatever you have to do to get yourself clean, sober, and healthy. I have a lot of respect for you for doing it like you are.

One more thing, if you are araid of what treatment centers are like for low income people, go check one out before you decide. You are allowed to do that. I spent 90 days in one and didnt see one person chained to the wall!!! Hahaha! I have heard stories though from veteran drinkers who have seen that many years ago. times have changed and they know so much more about detox and addictions now. They really are more accomodating.

Keep up the good work. I'm pulling for you. Good luck and warm wishes!

 
Old 05-28-2012, 03:47 AM   #8
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Re: Choosing the "lesser of two evils"

They used to use librium in detoxs for alcohol wd, probably still do. I have no idea how it would work with the vics. I,ve seen some weird stuff go on in state run detoxs years ago but I,m guessing its totally against the law now a days to chain people up in these places when they come in. A police station could handcuff someone to one of those benchs they have with cuffs built in if someone came in and was being drunk and disorderly. I have heard of this method your dr. prescribed with the libs. You said you talked with her about the alcohol, does she know about your vicadin use?

 
Old 05-28-2012, 09:01 AM   #9
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Re: Choosing the "lesser of two evils"

Thanks Katlin and Tysmom for those encouraging words. They are powerful to me. Bolter, I didn't even talk about the vic's, she knows I had been taking them for the feet, Pain Mgmnt. may be down the road but going to the free clinic here is a slow process. I qualified for it and since Jan. have been in to see a podiatrist, an MD (who showed concern about the alcohol), a Neuro (because of my feet turning in and toes are turning towards the side of the feet), a Gastro dr., they are looking into things, nobody around here hardly understands mycotoxins from molds and the extent of the damage done). They all know about the alcohol and all the meds and supplements I take. It makes more sense to me now, about the "cycle" I put myself into. Take vic's during the day to do my work without wincing like a pup, then after they wear down, the shaky feeling comes, in comes the liquid relief. The alcohol is what I really want to rid myself of first, it has grown disgusting drinking it. I'm prescribed Xanax, hardly take them, perhaps they would ease the vic shakiness instaed of beer? I know it's yet another addictive drug, but I'm just grasping at straws. I think I can get the things under control much better after I get rid of the alcohol, it is my "worst demon". I just realized you guys are the only folks that have encouraged my victory instead of making me feel defeated. JB

 
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:29 AM   #10
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Re: Choosing the "lesser of two evils"

JB,

If your seriously considering going into Pain Management then you need to get the Vics on a more normal 24 hr. schedule and stop trying to find the "next thing" that will stop the shakes from only taking it at a certain time. Xanax is highly addictive, very easy to abuse, especially if your prone to abusing other substances....it's just not a good idea for you. The plan your considering is just running you around in more circles.

Make a concrete plan and follow it. Stop the alcohol, limit you Vicodin to a low amount and spread out over 24 hours, talk to your Dr. about switching to a once or twice daily dosed, LA pain med for pain management...something like that.

Right now the way your doing it, I fear you'll end up on too many Vic's a day and Xanax....trying to chase the pain and stop the WD's symptoms...and trust me Xanax is not a substance you want to have to detox off of.

I know from reading your posts that you like lots of information and options, but sometimes you can give yourself too many options....

kat

 
Old 05-28-2012, 05:27 PM   #11
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Re: Choosing the "lesser of two evils"

I think I may be "waiting for the right one", as far as options go, but I realize it's part of the cycle. You WANT to be clean and free of these things but fear and past experiences keeps one at bay, looking for the Silver Bullet. There ain't no Silver Bullet. It's got to be done in proper stages, according to the addict and their Dr., with "back-up" from folks. It's so easy to let years slip by while you get worse as you seek another "comforter" or substitute, so it won't be so tough stopping the other(s). I think that made sense. Katlin, I don't know why, but I've been on Xanax for years, but it does not cause me to crave it because of reasons unknown. I believe that every person has their own poisons of choice, in one way or another. It's simply getting it through the skull that you are taking too much of that poison and poison kills. Thank you so much, you got some good stuff in your head and heart, JB

 
Old 05-28-2012, 07:55 PM   #12
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Re: Choosing the "lesser of two evils"

JB,

You make perfect sense, personally I think fear is a big part of addiction, I think it feeds it in the beginning and it fuels it in the end. Fear is an incredibly strong emotion, the things it can make people do, the irrationality it can make seem totally rational is amazing.

You'll get there when your ready. If the Xanax doesn't hook you that's a good thing. I'm the same way with Morphine, I can take it and have for years, I can miss a day, a week and it doesn't bother me, not 1 single WD symptom....now Ultram, Percocet, whole different story! My body just doesn't recognize it as an addictive substance.

Hang in there, my prayers and thoughts are always with you.

Kat

 
Old 05-28-2012, 10:48 PM   #13
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Re: Choosing the "lesser of two evils"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackbeanstalk View Post
I believe that every person has their own poisons of choice, in one way or another. It's simply getting it through the skull that you are taking too much of that poison and poison kills.
Jackbeanstalk,

Wiser words have yet to be spoken.

Alcohol may be your gateway drug(the drug that leads to others being ingested) but this isn't simply an A or B situation.
You stated mold plus other toxic variables, which can reap havoc on the respiratory system,among others.

This can ultimately lead to you feeling even worse off.

I truly believe that you're onto something here.

By design,we tend to be creatures of habit;free to either make more mistakes and/or learn from previous situations.

When it comes to the lesser of two evils,the lines can get rather blurry.

Might I suggest not placing the emphasis on one over the other and treat them both as addictions.

The mind can and will play tricks on us from time to time and being aware of this will help point you in the right direction.

Respectfully
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