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Old 01-01-2008, 08:45 PM   #1 (permalink)

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Nyquil and Alcoholics??

I have a AB who is currently sober since a few days before christmas....He is awaiting his court date Jan 8th and then should be able to get into a treatment program....(for some reason they wont allow him get treatment until his pending DUI case is handled in court) He is only living with me again until then and is NOT allowed to drink alcohol in my home or around me.

Anyway like I said he has supposedly been sober since before christmas but he drinks half a bottle of nyquil EVERY night... and this has been going on for months....I seemed to notice that the nights when he didnt drink or drink heavily he took nyquil as well...
The bottle says 10% alcohol....should I have any reason to question his motive? He is somewhat sick right now, (flu-like symptoms) but like I said he has done it for months...

Could the nightly nyquil be feeding the alcohol addiction? Or is there not enough to have any effect?

I am really irritated by it and would like to know if I am just nit picking ....I also think it is possible that he is trying to mask the alcohol on his breath by the nyquil.....I can smell the alcohol everytime and think maybe he's drinking with it or I guess it is possible that my detective codie instincts are well sharpened after the last two years.....
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Old 01-01-2008, 08:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I dont know for sure your answer but i know for a fact i was addicted to nyquil at one point in my life...it is possible to be addicted i think to any drug out there that affects your body one way or another...and for him it helps him relax and go off to lala land just like drinking......so my opinion is is that its a substitute....us addicts find ways....
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Old 01-01-2008, 08:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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also any kind of cold remedy, aka cough drops, cough syrup is totally known to cover up alcohol breath, i know this from the alchies in my life......dont be fooled, go with your gut here...
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Old 01-01-2008, 08:57 PM   #4 (permalink)

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I agree, definitely go with your gut instinct.

Nyquil can be abused by alcoholics.... many do abuse it.
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Old 01-01-2008, 09:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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nyquil can get you drunk as a skunk

I know alkies who have drank a lot of it,including a friend I used to drink with.Roger was his name,& he told me once the best drunk he ever had was on Nyquil.
there are no strangers in AA,just friends I haven`t met yet
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Old 01-01-2008, 09:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Nyquil has alcohol in it. IMO and experience, an alcoholic cannot safely use alcohol in any form whatsoever.

I am pretty sure Nyquil precluded a pretty nasty 'relapse' for me in the past.

I don't even use mouthwash with alcohol in it anymore.....
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Old 01-01-2008, 09:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Nyquil, most mouthwash, vanilla extract, and many other over the counter non traditionally products not thought of when thinking of alcohol do contain a significant amount of alcohol.

I know of a woman in my home group that relapsed with vanilla extract. She started drinking that because she "liked it" but then a bottle turned into her buying it by the case then back out drinking regular alcohol.

An alcoholic will drink whatever will get them drunk. Things that would sound completely disgusting to a normal drinker do not even phase an alcoholic wanting a drink. So it would not surprise me if he is seeking the alcohol rather than the relief for cold symptoms.

One way to find out is to offer him some cold tablets such as tylenol cold and flu in replacement for the nyquil. If he refuses then he probably is drinking it for effect rather than health.

A concern I do have is if he is drinking nyquil he may be to a point in his disease that he could suffer withdrawls if he does not have alcohol in his system. It would probably be best to be aware that he may need to be detoxed by a doctor.
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Old 01-02-2008, 03:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Nyquil, mouth wash, hair tonic, after shave, and sterno all contain alcohol and alcoholics will and do use them in a pinch!

Most beer has less then 10% alcohol! So you tell me, is he drinking or not?

As already said go with your gut, there are hundreds of alcohol free meds over the counter that are alcohol free.

IMO he is drinking, whether it is Nyquil alone or Nyquil to cover other drinking I don't know, but half a bottle (That you know of) a day is WAY WAY beyond the daily reccommended dosage.
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Old 01-02-2008, 04:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I could drink Irish whiskey half the night before I would start really feeling drunk. Three shots of Nyquil and I was toast. He's still drinking.
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Old 01-02-2008, 05:41 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I used to use Nyquil to help me fall asleep when I was drinking or "sobering up" and I will not take it anymore now. You are right to be concerned.

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of all an act of destruction."

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Old 01-02-2008, 06:00 AM   #11 (permalink)

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Nyquil has dextromethorphan (DXM) in it as well, which is a very abusable dissociative. I used to abuse it when I couldn't get any other drugs. Drinking a whole bottle will give you some very "drunk-like" feelings (the kids call using DXM "robo-tripping"). Nyquil also contains doxylamine succinate which is a very powerful sedative, actually the most powerful OTC sedative available in the US. When I was drinking it was actually pretty nice to get a good buzz off the DXM and the have no problems falling asleep. I will say for myself that I never used them for the small alcohol content, I wanted the DXM buzz more than anything.

The only time I used an entire bottle of any DXM containing medicine it was to get messed up.
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Old 01-02-2008, 06:24 AM   #12 (permalink)

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Does anyone know is Dayquil the same? And does this go for those capsules too, or just the liquid out of a bottle?
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:22 AM   #13 (permalink)
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There's a bunch of chemicals in nyquil and most other cold medicines that can be abused.
dextromethorphan (DXM)
and, of course, the alcohol

I relapsed on benadryl (diphenhydramine) and have abused all sorts of OTC cold medicines. I also know others who have done the same.

For me, taking the "recommended" dosage is a risk. So I don't take any of the stuff. If someone I know in recovery were taking a half a bottle a night (sick or not), I would be concerned.
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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He is abusing it. Something that will have to be addressed in rehab. Trying to talk about it now with him may be futile. Consider it harm reduction for now if he is not drinking while at your house.

This may be bad advice but i was in his shoes. Only i had my court date re booked till after i got out of rehab. Legal problems can interfere or distract from treatment. They(rehab) want to limit all outside distractions. I wasn't allowed to use the phone for 30 days as an example. Getting the most out of rehab takes a lot of focus and hard work.

I met a guy in rehab, his drug of choice was cold medicine(for real). He never had a runny nose ha ha.

I have relapsed on pain killers after having a wisdom tooth pulled. Anything mood altering will be dangerous.

Speaking of DUI this is my second criminal driving offense which has resulted in a three year suspension, sigh.

Good luck
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:05 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Why do you take medicine? The average person takes it to make them feel or get better. Alcoholics can run into danger somewhere in between the getting and feeling better. I used to take NyQuil when I had a cold. Yes, it helped me get to sleep, but rarely stay asleep. I had to be honest with myself if NyQuil was making me better or making me THINK I feel better. After that, I saw it better to no longer use it when I had a cold. Simply put, I had to ask myself why I was really taking it.

I have many sinus problems stemming from allergies, change of weather, pollution, etc. I take Allegra D when my sinuses are bothering me. It helps for colds also. I believe in medicine when it does its job to help take care of the problem. I also believe that with an alcoholic mind I need to pay attention to signs when taking medication to make sure I'm taking them for the right reasons.

NyQuil has alcohol and a buzz factor so it can obviously trigger something bad in me. Drinking was only a symptom of my disease. With the knowledge and spirituality AA has given me, I can decide whether a medication is actually necessary. Within that knowledge, it is also my responsibility to ask the doctor if the medication he is giving me can have physical addiction possibilities, and to ask questions if he is writing me a prescription.

With all the over-the-counter cold remedies, there are plenty of alternative medications out there that do not have things in them that are addictive. The best is to ask your doctor what they are, and make sure you have a pen and paper to write them down.

And as others have stated, half a bottle of NyQuil sounds like a problem. Us alcoholics when actively drinking, think were being sneaky trying to find "exceptions to the rules." Better time can be spent following a program of action, where we are working towards a solution of the bigger problem that lies in our heads.

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Old 01-04-2008, 09:29 AM   #16 (permalink)

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The short answer; No.
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Old 01-04-2008, 05:35 PM   #17 (permalink)

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When I was cheking in into detox they took away my mouthwash, perfum and hairspray. Next to me was a guy and he was ask to give away his aftershave. When I asked why?... I was told that alcoholics when deprived of their DOC will drink anything that contains alcohol. Sound terrible but seems to be truth.
Hope this will help you in some way.
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:31 PM   #18 (permalink)
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its amazing how baffling the disease is....to the family member.

bottle says alcohol...he drinks 1/2 bottle nightly....and yet, you wonder what his motive is.

Denial is a fierce monster.
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:00 PM   #19 (permalink)

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I'm quitting. On day 3, guess. If were to continue I wouldn't choose cough medicine By the way, tylenol has all that additives which are terrible on your more terrible when take in combo with alcohol than the alcohol alone. I would choose the real thing. Why live a lie about your true intentions? Everyone that's on thread understands this, I think. Reminds me of that old joke (you choose the gender) Spouse 1 comes here from work, finds Spouse 2 in bed with another. Spouse 1 says W...T...F... Spouse 2 responds, But I'm alone baby! Yeah. Been there drove me over the edge for a while until I rescued myself from bitterness. Life's too short that emotion.
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:32 PM   #20 (permalink)
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No one needs nightly cough syrup
Someday everything will all make sense.
For now, laugh at confusion, smile through tears,
& remind yourself that everything happens for a reason.

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