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Old 09-09-2012, 09:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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New girl -- Alcohol abuse and blackouts


Hi everyone,

I'm a 23 year old female who has been drinking regularly (parties, weekends, etc) since I was about 14 years old. Growing up as a teenager, I never really had too much of a problem with alcohol until about 3 years ago when I started having frequent blackouts.
Now, it seems everytime I drink normal amounts I've been drinking since I was younger, it is almost a guaranteed blackout. They come with no warning, and they are gradually getting worse. People around me have told me that I literally look and act like a zombie; I'm concsious, eyes open, but basically "no ones home" type deal. I can still walk around and talk but I don't remember a thing and my behavior is really spooky. I've heard the word "posessed" unfortunately (lol)

Its weird to me because before the blackout, I won't even feel really drunk (or drunk how I used to). It just hits out of nowhere after a certain point of drinks (the number of drinks always changes). I've switched from hard liquor to beer and it hasn't changed.


I do realize I have a problem with alcohol. What I want to know is why this would possibly occur.. People around me have told me they have never seen a blackout like mine before. I also never really get sick (throw up) when I'm at that point so to me, it seems worse because I never get the alcohol out of my system and get a chance to sober up.

It might sound silly but I'm wondering if I may have a slight brain damage somehow due to the alcohol.. Or maybe the fact that I do have a history of using drugs recreationally (cocaine, ecstacy) might have something to do with it ? (I've stopped using drugs for about a year or so.) I drink around the same amount I have since I was younger.

If anybody could offer any type of answer, advice or personal experience, that'd be great.

Thanks
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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((Jade)) - Welcome to SR! It sounds like alcohol is causing you problems, which is what brings most of us here (alcohol or drugs). I hope you read around, especially the "stickies" which are the permanent threads at the top of each forum.

Regardless of where you post or read, you will find you are not alone and lots of ES&H (experience, strength and hope).

Hugs and prayers,

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Last edited by Dee74; 09-10-2012 at 12:18 AM. Reason: Dee
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This one time I definitely think you need to see a Dr. You say "normal amounts.". What does that mean. If you mean "normal" as in small then there may be something else that needs looking into.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi and welcome Jade

The only way you could be sure of any kind of damage is to see your Dr and get some tests done

I was wondering what normal amounts was too, Jade?
No need to be embarrassed here

There's some information on blackouts in this link:
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...influence.html (Excerpts from "Under The Influence")

D
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR Jade

I used to have problems with blackouts when I was a bit younger than you. It would be seemingly small amounts of spirits that did it to me, and like you I didn't throw up or feel drunk... though really I would have no idea because I couldn't remember anything. It's really scary going out and only remembering the first hour or so... Has this happened every time you've drunk for 3 years?

I'd recommend telling your doctor and seeing what he/she suggests, though I'd imagine if I told my doctor something like that he'd just tell me to stop drinking!

Have you tried getting help with quitting drinking before? It might be worth looking into some support. If you're anything like I was I'd suspect you'll be trying to figure out how you can carry on drinking without having any negative consequences, but unfortunately these things tend not to improve.

Glad you're here x
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I kinda see a problem with a person drinking on a regular basis from the age of 14, 7 years prior to legal age. Blackouts are a problem, too, especially since you've had them for 3 years so far. AA has a young people in AA group.

Alcohol changes all body systems, including the brain. Try not to drink and heal your body. You can do this!!!

Glad you found SR!
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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What you are describing is a classic blackout. You can function, carry on a conversation, etc. Heck I won $900 playing poker on blackout once - I was scared shitless when I found $900 in my pocket the next day! Blackout does not mean "pass out", although that usually happened with me eventually.

I reccomend that you quit drinking entirely. I use AA for this but there are other methods.
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the comments everyone!

I should have clarified when I meant "normal" amounts. My "normal" amount isn't small by any means but it has been a steady large amount since I was young. It may have increased when I was 18 or so because I guess I was getting tolerant to it. My point being is I can drink ALOT one night and little the next, and the blackout varies. Some nights I drink tons and can't even get drunk, no blackout. Other nights I won't even be trying to be super messed up and a blackout happens. There is never any warning. These blackouts don't seem like other peoples blackouts so I'm wondering if there's a reason..


hypochondriac - I have not blacked out *every* time I drink but when I do drink, in true alcoholic fashion, I try to get as drunk as I can.. and usually I am able to pull that off. And I totally agree.. I think I am looking for answers to drink "normally" or without negative consequences.. but I do know that the answer is pretty much clear.. :/

I really appreciate all the feedback & support guys!
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
I should have clarified when I meant "normal" amounts. My "normal" amount isn't small by any means but it has been a steady large amount since I was young. It may have increased when I was 18 or so because I guess I was getting tolerant to it. My point being is I can drink ALOT one night and little the next, and the blackout varies. Some nights I drink tons and can't even get drunk, no blackout. Other nights I won't even be trying to be super messed up and a blackout happens. There is never any warning. These blackouts don't seem like other peoples blackouts so I'm wondering if there's a reason..
I don't think it really matters what you drink or how you drink - the main thing is that you're blacking out and that really isn't normal. Whether there's another reason (one that will give you an answer that will make you think you can drink 'normally') the only way to cure those blackouts, whichever way you look at it and for whatever reason they occur, will be to stop drinking.

You'll probably not get any different answer to that here!

Wishing you all the best and welcome to SR.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jadebambirose View Post
I should have clarified when I meant "normal" amounts. My "normal" amount isn't small by any means but it has been a steady large amount since I was young. It may have increased when I was 18 or so because I guess I was getting tolerant to it. My point being is I can drink ALOT one night and little the next, and the blackout varies. Some nights I drink tons and can't even get drunk, no blackout. Other nights I won't even be trying to be super messed up and a blackout happens. There is never any warning. These blackouts don't seem like other peoples blackouts so I'm wondering if there's a reason..
Everyone responds to alcohol in different ways, my sister could never be an alcoholic because she falls asleep after one glass of wine.. I've always had a high tolerance but some spirits made me black out. I could drink beer forever though so did that instead (not with good consequences I should add). Thing is there is nothing you can do about the way you respond to alcohol, but you can choose whether or not you drink. It was a relief to me when I stopped trying to control alcohol and just let it go. It's so nice not having to worry about what's going to happen if I do drink.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:45 PM   #11 (permalink)
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If you are going into 'blackout' with a relatively low blood alcohol level you need to consult your Doctor asap.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Jade - yeah, I just turned 30 and your story sounds just like mine. I let it go though, till I was 28 and the blackouts got worse, the disease/alcoholism is so progressive, it's scary. I never understood that until recently. Drinking became no fun, I got depressed and would drink bottles of vodka until I passed out just to feel the same "buzz" I used to feel, but it never, ever came back. It'll really F you up. Alot of people i know never even had a blackout. To me, it was pretty normal/regular. If I didn't have one, I was proud. If I drank only beer and shots, I was proud. If I didn't drink a half bottle before I went out, I was proud. My 20's really have been crazy because of this game.

I"m just saying - I drank every day basically from 21 through 28. Was functional though, for the most part of the time, great job, boyfriends, awesome aparmtnets.

But as a person, I am no where near 30 now. I feel like I'm 19 again...no idea how to live/feel like an adult when I drank away a decade! Or at least used it as a crutch.

Please, if you take one bit of advice from anyone - blackouts aren't normal. This will get worse. It will turn into no fun at all eventually and self-hatred takes a strong hold. You can never replicate it. But you can learn to live without it.

I'm only 30 days sober this time around, but trust me on this. At least think about it! Give yourself 30 days clean. Make that deal. See what happens/how you feel about ****.

If you CANNOT do that (Not you don't want to because no one ever wants to_) there is a problem, for sure. 30 days in teh scheme of things is nothing!
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I have never had a blackout, it must be horrible! I do think you might consider stopping. You've come to the right place... Better folks you won't find anywhere!
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Trying to drink as much as you can and get as drunk as you can should scream something to you. I doubt that you will ever be able to drink like "normal" as you are not "normal." You are like the rest of us here. Best bet is to find a way to quit and stay that way as the progression could well kill you.
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Blackouts are by their very nature unpredictable...I've blacked out on a few glasses of wine, and not blacked out in week long benders.

Like others have said the fact you are blacking out is worrisome and may place you in dangerous situations..and if you're like me, the frequency of the blackouts, and the dangerous situations, will probably progress.

I really hope you'll decide to stop drinking Jade.

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Old 09-10-2012, 03:54 PM   #16 (permalink)
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From what I've read, blackouts have more to do with your BAC and how quickly it rises. So it's not just how much you drink. Things like having an empty stomach or drinking the same amount but in a shorter amount of time factor in, too. (Also, having them in the past makes you more likely to have them in the future).

Alcohol damages the brain, for sure. I noticed a definite improvement in my thinking once I got sober. The sooner we stop the better, of course.

Glad you're here, Jade!
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:10 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Jade:

Here's the biology behind alcohol induced blackouts:

The biology behind alcohol-induced blackouts | Newsroom | Washington University in St. Louis

It is not silly for you to wonder if you have affected your brain by drinking heavily. Teenaged brains are still developing and a whole new set of synapses are formed during adolescence. Thsu, the teenaged brain is highly affected by excessive amounts of alcohol, which would be considered more than 3 drinks in a sitting:

Teen Brain Development and Alcohol | BreakingTheCycles.comBreakingTheCycles.com

In the link above, please check out the images of a drinking vs. non-drinking teen showing memory function.

Please take a good hard look at your drinking and really think about what it is doing to you and how it could effect others. Hopefully, you will come to the conclusion that this is very dangerous for you and make the decision to stop.

Spend some time reading the stories of others who have been drinking hard for years. It only gets harder to stop the longer you drink. Right now, you have youth on your side.

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Old 09-17-2012, 08:23 PM   #18 (permalink)
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In the late stages of alcoholism, you end up getting drunk or blacking out by smaller amounts of alcohol due to liver and kidney function. You're not crazy, your body is saying that you can't do this anymore though, or you will die. I hope you are able to get the help you need.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:02 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Jade, I have been drinking for many years and over the past 3 years or so I have had blackouts. They are very scary and dangerous! I don't know about you but I would wake up the next day and be terrified because I couldn't remember driving home or anything. I'm 41 yrs old now and my whole body hurts! I am 3 days sober today and on my way to try to recover the damage I have put my body through. I have made an appointment to see a doctor. I have 3 kids and 4th grandbaby on his way any day now, I want to be here for them, sober and healthy! I'm sure you have people you love and love you so please see a doctor. Good luck to you!
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:42 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by hypochondriac View Post
Everyone responds to alcohol in different ways, my sister could never be an alcoholic because she falls asleep after one glass of wine.. I've always had a high tolerance but some spirits made me black out. I could drink beer forever though so did that instead (not with good consequences I should add). Thing is there is nothing you can do about the way you respond to alcohol, but you can choose whether or not you drink. It was a relief to me when I stopped trying to control alcohol and just let it go. It's so nice not having to worry about what's going to happen if I do drink.
I totally agree. It gets so exhausting trying to control alcohol. I have tried in vain for years to be a normal drinker! I'll only drink beer. Then I'll only buy a six pack. Then I'll only drink Ultra light beer (its like water right?). Jeez, its kind of embarrassing all the little lies I would tell myself in an attempt to control the drinking. Bottom line....alcohol was ALWAYS in control
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