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My husband has been drinking rather heavily, like more than a six pack per day for several months. It was worse last week when he drank enough to pass out every night. He drank heavily for the last time on Friday night. He was fine not drinking Saturday and Sunday, but by Monday he had the shakes and needed to drink a little to get rid of them. He realizes he has a problem and wants to talk to me about it later today.

Can you get the shakes that long after stopping drinking? I thought it would be right away.

Is this shakiness dangerous? Should he taper gradually? Stop cold turkey? Go to detox???

I want to help him but I don't know what to do.

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I found this article...maybe you can find some relevent information here...

"For some, who are less chemically dependent, withdrawal symptoms might be as "mild" as merely getting the shakes, or the sweats -- or perhaps nausea, headache, anxiety, a rapid heart beat, and increased blood pressure. Although these symptoms are uncomfortable and irritating, they are not necessarily dangerous. But they are often accompanied by the "craving" for more alcohol, making the decision to continue abstinence much more difficult to make."

"However, within six to 48 hours after not drinking, hallucinations may develop. These usually are visual hallucinations but they can also involve sounds and smells. They can last for a few hours up to weeks at a time. Also within this time frame after quitting, convulsions or seizures can occur, which is the point at which alcohol withdrawal can become dangerous, if not medically treated. The symptoms may progress to delirium tremens (DT's) after three to five days without alcohol. The symptoms of DT's include profound confusion, disorientation, hallucinations, hyperactivity, and extreme cardiovascular disturbances.

Once DT's begin, there is no known medical treatment to stop them. Grand mal seizures, heart attacks and stroke can occur during the DT's, all of which can be fatal."

http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/withdrawal/a/aa000125a.htm

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I just found out that he was drinking a 24 oz beer every day on the way home. He never drank in the morings or at work. I told him to take his klonopin when he gets craving a beer. That's what the article said to do. I am scared and sad. I will quit drinking if he is going to, which he thinks and I think he has to. I'm not an alcholic like he is, but I did realize I needed to moderate. I"m shy adn it's so much easier to deal with people after a drink. Plus, I am working on a book and writing is so much easier after a few. How can I write without some chemical help? All the famious writers were alcoholics, and I do understand why. It unleases the creativity. I su ppose, as a bipolar, I could just go off my meds and have the same effect, LOL. But I wont' do that.

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Honey it's AA time. when I went into withdrawals I got the shakes but I come from a long line of alkies and the shakes can be withdrawals, early symptoms of alcohol related seizures, or the beginning of the DT's. Get him to AA or if he can't do the God stuff a substance abuse course somewhere and FAST. For me all it took was one detox and I'd had enough but for my Dad it took Cirrhosis and for my Mom it was death.(Heart attack) Everybody is different so take no chances get him to a doctor then to a program. I understand the love of drink. I deal with it every single day. I have heard topamax may be helpful (it made me puke from one drink) and of course theres always that wicked antabuse. Thanks WZ for that article.It's right on.

Move it sweetie

Blessings

lilie

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my dad (yeah, the one who got caught with the meth lab and committed suicide) swore by AA and NA.

Personally, not being an alcoholic, "only" a sometimes problem drinker (i get myself into unwanted situations that i regret by my drinking), i don't know if 12-step is for everyone.

do you believe in god? do you believe in the principles of 12-step? they say that atheists can do 12-step because the "higher power" can be "humanity", but my ex husband (an atheist) said he didn't go for that, and that a lot of atheists don't. so it is totally up to you within your belief system what you will and will not go along with.

from what i personally hear from people who have been heavily involved with AA and NA, it is either a very good or very bad experience. my dad found it to be very good and he kicked alcohol and meth with it. my ex boyfriend gary found it to be like "a cult". he kicked drugs and alcohol and was even a leader and mentor, but started to find it creepy and left. i guess it is all up to the person and how you see it.

i went to one NA meeting with my dad as a support person. i wasn't allowed to say anything but only support him by my being there. i didn't find it to be weird or anything, but again, it is individual. i'm UU/Wiccan and it was ok by me.

waterfall, i'm also a creative person and i'm writing a book about wiccan theology. sometimes i want a glass of wine before i start writing. maybe this makes me alcohol dependent too or something, i don't know. i'm just saying that i understand that. but i think that you're right in saying you need to moderate, and show yourself where alcohol does and does not belong in your life. you CAN be creative and ARE creative without alcohol in your life. there have been a lot of studies to show that too.

i say this as i've already had 3 glasses of wine on my topamax. not a good idea. i'm not much of a role model.

loon

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After a hellacious evening in which he got very drunk, and I splashed him with water and he threw something at me then pretended to call the police, he woke up this morning saying he was going to quit drinking. I hope he really means it. I am nervous. I hope he goes to AA. I am looking forward to not worrying about it anymore. I can't take it.

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  • 1 month later...

He has decided to moderate. No more than three or four beers and no more than three nights a week. He's doing fine with the amount, but the number of nights is creeping up. He is pretty determined to moderate rather than quit. He said if this moderation experiment doesn't work, then he won't drink at all anymore. Wish us luck.

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Oh man not the promises and deals. I wish you luck but please listen. you'll have to watch him like a hawk. when he says his amount of drinking then let it mean where you can SEE him and no where else. If he leaves for work, buys a pint and drinks it, then has another at lunch, then another before he comes home and brushes his teeth and rinses with lots o'lovely listerine THEN comes home and keeps his promise to you then you will have thought that he has succeeded and will be devastated when his liver gives out or he has a serious seizure. Be firm with him in a big way. I'd still say call AA NOW but if you want to try the experiment set a deadline. say okay this experiment is good for a month. But don't let it go on for more than that because when he backslides he'll say:"See but I was good for a whole month and only backslid (1,2,3) times. Let's try it again next month." Nope. be firm.

we're here for you

lilie

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh man not the promises and deals. I wish you luck but please listen. you'll have to watch him like a hawk. when he says his amount of drinking then let it mean where you can SEE him and no where else. If he leaves for work, buys a pint and drinks it, then has another at lunch, then another before he comes home and brushes his teeth and rinses with lots o'lovely listerine THEN comes home and keeps his promise to you then you will have thought that he has succeeded and will be devastated when his liver gives out or he has a serious seizure. Be firm with him in a big way. I'd still say call AA NOW but if you want to try the experiment set a deadline. say okay this experiment is good for a month. But don't let it go on for more than that because when he backslides he'll say:"See but I was good for a whole month and only backslid (1,2,3) times. Let's try it again next month." Nope. be firm.

we're here for you

lilie

He's been doing better with moderating than I have, LOL! I had my mother's visit (see other post) and I fell off the wagon, but he's been holding to his number of drinks, though the number of nights has been creeping up. It's still all up in the air. We'll see.

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