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Old 02-28-2012, 04:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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An opinion on dangers if I quit cold turkey.

I want to go into detox and my roomate thinks I just need to stop immediately... I'm 155 pounds and have consumed between 4-25 drinks a day, about 6 days a week, for the past 7 years. I start getting shakes after 6 hours, wake up in cold sweats at night, and get stomach pain when I don't drink, and have found red blood in my feces.

Do you think it is dangerous if I just quit cold turkey... I can't get into detox for 3 weeks, and he's trying to force me to stop drinking immediately.
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Noone can give you a guarantee either way KevinDee.
It can definitely be dangerous - I experienced that first hand - which is why I recommend everyone sees a Dr.

you obviously have a few concerning issues there - best to be safe
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR,

I think you should go to your local GP and ask for some medical advice RE: the red blood
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Is your roommate a doctor? If not, he should keep his medical opinions to himself. Cold turkey detox can be extremely dangerous. People have actually died from it. There is also the risk of stroke, seizure or heart-attack. If you are at all able to go to a medical detox facility, I highly recommend you do so. That is how I did it and if I were stupid enough to ever get myself into that same position again, I would do the medical detox again.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Don't attempt it without medical supervision based on the symptoms you told us you have already experienced. You may have a seizure or stroke and end up with irreparable damage.

I know this much, if you had a lot of internal bleeding your stool would be black as the blood is absorbed.

In any event, it sounds like you definately need medical supervision when you detox.

Don't try it alone.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinDee View Post
I want to go into detox and my roomate thinks I just need to stop immediately... I'm 155 pounds and have consumed between 4-25 drinks a day, about 6 days a week, for the past 7 years. I start getting shakes after 6 hours, wake up in cold sweats at night, and get stomach pain when I don't drink, and have found red blood in my feces.

Do you think it is dangerous if I just quit cold turkey... I can't get into detox for 3 weeks, and he's trying to force me to stop drinking immediately.
Does your roommate fix the brakes on your car? Is he performing root canal for you when you get a toothache? Does he pack your parachute when you go skydiving? More to the point, is your roommate anyone who has been in recovery or suffered a heavy withdrawal from alcohol?

I can certainly see how he arrived at this conclusion, but unless he knows what he's on about it's basically no different than taking a plumbers opinion on quantum physics. He simply doesn't know, nor can he truly comprehend exactly what you could be facing medically speaking, especially considering the volume of drinking you have admitted to. For so many concerned folks watching us booze hounds burn our lives to the ground, the answer is simple - stop drinking now!!!

My advice will likely mirror others here, even though I haven't had an opportunity to read this thread, (on my iPhone) most of us have one thing in common... brutal and dangerous withdrawals. Don't stop cold turkey on your own at this point. If you need detox and nothing is immediately available, go to the ER and explain what you are doing. An ER savvy on alcohol withdrawals will admit you quickly and detox you properly.

Since it's impossible to statistically measure how many alcoholics die from withdrawal, there is little precedent to reference. Yet if you ask any ER doctor with some tenure, they will tell you the number of deaths due to withdrawal is massively under-reported. In other words, what was written as "heart attack" in many autopsy reports fails to note that alcohol withdrawal is responsible for the dangerously high blood pressure that caused it. Too many examples of alcohol withdrawal related sudden death to list.

Some of us have this perverted guilt which leads us to believe the oncoming suffering is required. Sounds ridiculous, but it happens. I've been guilty of that "just need to man up" philosophy, and as a result - at one point I ended up in an ICU and had my heart stop beating. I flat-lined. In my case, on that night, had my wife not been there to call the ambulance once it got tricky, I would most certainly be dead and not able to now warn you of the danger that your roommate is obviously ignorant of.

So, get sober, but do it right. Don't listen to anyone that is NOT medically qualified to offer advice on this thing. You can die from your roommates counter-intuitive concern.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I quit cold turkey, though not by choice, and had four days of withdrawals from hell, including three seizures. This was in the supervision of a fully staffed ICU unit, if not for that I would be dead. Please, don't take any chances and seek a doctors help.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I quit cold turkey. My drinking pattern was two bottles of wine per night for 3+ years and about 5 years of drinking to build up to that level.

I had some restlessness, a strange ache in my back, and trouble concentrating for a few days but that was all.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Glad you were one of the lucky ones, TheStoic

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Old 02-28-2012, 10:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It's true that most people can get away with it on their own but with those symptoms you owe it to yourself to do this under the care of professionals. The presence of blood needs to be checked outóno question!
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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when i first sobered up in 06 i think i managed about 6-8 serious withdrawals before recovery took. i was drinking at your level or more and experienced the symptoms you experience when i was without booze. i tried to detox by myself once, i ended up not eating, drinking water or sleeping for 36 hours. i couldn't even walk at the end i was shaking so bad, i was hallucinating and hearing things. the last coherent thing i did was call 911 and they found me on the front lawn in very bad shape.

all other times i detoxed in a detox facility. no doubt about it, alcohol withdrawal is very dangerous. from what you describe i would not consider doing it without medical supervision. i remember having to wait for a bed in detox like you, my parents at the time didn't understand that i couldn't stop drinking until i got a bed but they eventually got informed by a few doctors.

if you can't wait for detox then go see a doctor. another option is tapering, but that can be very difficult for an active alcoholic to achieve. in all the time i drank i managed to do it once to quit, and it does work. i never could do it again after that.

one more thing, once you detox make a plan for your recovery. i went through pure hell 8 times before sobriety stuck......and i still managed to relapse 4.5 years later. be vigilant, and do it for yourself.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Heya! Detox can be dangerous. Everyone is different so we all have different experiences with the process. There are people who do it at home alone and come out okay, but there are a disturbingly high number of people who experience something life threatening and extremely frightening like a seizure or stroke (myself included) while detoxing unassisted. People even die from it sometimes. It's good that you are making the decision to get healthy and stop drinking, so why don't you start off on the right foot and detox properly with a Dr's assistance?

Your roomie... their opinion doesn't really matter right now. They will probably continue to give you crap until you're able to detox, but don't let that stop you from being safe. Also, I'm not sure where you live but remember there is a 24/7 detox available - the ER or urgent care. Go there if you need to. Keep us posted.
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I did it at home and I wouldn't recommend it. No sleep for the first 4 days and I checked blood pressure frequently. Then horrible sleep/anxiety/depression that tapered off after a long time. Look at the http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...at-we-did.html (Quitting..What to expect ..What we did) topic. I haven't posted there yet. Luckily I didn't have seizures (that I remember) but I could be a poster child for all the other bad stuff listed there.

Like you, about 6 hours was my processing time before the crap storm would start. If I let it go to 8 hours the impending doom and panic would start. Then the +100 bpm on a heart that is trying to jump out of your chest. Red blood is scary. Black blood is scarier since it is occurring so much higher in the tract.

Do this in a controlled setting under the care of trained professionals since your life really could be at stake. The other responses to your post urge you to get qualified care and they are 100% right. Statistics that I looked at ranged from 5% to 15% chance of death for those that went into DTs, but I don't know if that includes suicides or not. Those first few days for some people (like me) are total insanity and you can't trust what you might do. It is bad but it passes.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:11 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quitting Cold-Turkey is like playing Russian Roulette;

Sometimes you hear a click.
Sometimes your hear a BOOM.
Sometimes you don't live long enough to hear anything.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:22 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Your roommate may be freaking out at your symptoms and upset at you for going this far in your drinking, and completely unable to understand why you don't just stop. Your continued drinking makes no sense to him and seems beyond insane.

Why not have a talk with him to explain why you must keep getting drunk until a detox seperates you from the booze for a few days. The earlier you get looked at the better. It could be a long 3 weeks if you don't act sooner and once we start bleeding things can go south in a hurry.

A bit ironic when we fear dying from detox so much that we keep drinking and cause ourselves to die from hemmoraging or organ failure. But then, drinking and fear often go together, one supporting, reinforcing and intensifying the other.

What plans have you after detox? Staying stopped might be far, far more difficult than just stopping, as difficult as that is currently for you.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:53 AM   #16 (permalink)
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The bleeding stopped after 2 days, I think it was just diet related somehow. Thanks for all the advice. My roomate really wouldn't know **** about addiction or compulsive behavior if he saw it in a line up....

I'll go out and buy alcohol so I can deal with withdrawals in the middle of the night when I wake up sweating and shaking.... and hell take it and hide it on me... saying im "not that bad of a drunk and can stop any time I want"... When I've been trying to do that for 5 years, on my own and through aa... It doesnt work for me... I need assistance to get me through the withdrawals, then I can work on staying sober after that.

Like it doesnt take long for the shakes to set in for me, before when tried to quit it took a day or two, now it's after 12 hours or less.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:55 AM   #17 (permalink)
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The withdrawals have been worse this time then previous times I tried to quit....Before it would take a day or two for the shakes to start.... now its 12 hours or less. I've been limiting myself to just enough to stop the shakes, but he keeps trying to force me to stop cold turkey
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:26 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Alcoholism is progressive and gets worse in time. Even when not drinking, it increases....this is why drinking after any period of abstinence is dangerous.

A friend who attends meetings told us his story. See, we thought he was still drinking....

As it turns out, he has 10 years of sobriety. He suffered a stroke during withdrawal and now slurs his speech, is in constant pain, and has other health problems because of that. He only drank alcohol, did no drugs.

Blood in a stool is a serious sign of something, even if it stopped after a few days.

Please seek medical help.
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:17 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Please do check out your local de tox facilities....the Salvation Army
runs free short term ones in many communities.

What about going to a hospital ER ?

Welcome to SR....
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:33 PM   #20 (permalink)
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He has no right to force you to do anything. I don't know what your relationship is to this guy, but he sounds like a control freak and not someone who has your best interests at heart. Once you are on your road to recovery, I think I'd be making some changes in my living arrangements.

If you have decided to hang in there until a detox bed is available, then I hope you will at least contact your doctor or a doctor and get their advice and help. You don't have to suffer through this alone.
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