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Ashton and Wine


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Why is it that Dr. Ashton says it is ok to have wine in withdrawal?  Doesn't it act on the same receptors as the benzos?  I haven't had any in a couple years and am only 40 days out, but can see how 1/2 glass would take the edge off.  I know it interferes with real sleep however.  Anyone have solid knowledge of this?  Certainly don't want to make things worse.  Gracias!

 

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Don't know if my knowledge is "solid" but I'm guessing that it has something to do with the difference in the way alcohol acts on the gaba receptors. Think about it- alcohol WD lasts a relatively short period of time whereas benzo WD can go on for months or years. Obviously it has a different kind of effect on your body.

 

 

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That's an interesting question since alcohol shares cross tolerance with benzos.  They both affect the same gaba receptors.  The experiences here at BB have not been so good.  Lots of people here have reported the sense that alcohol has ramped up their withdrawal symptoms.  As always though, mileage varies.  I have been able to have 1-2 drinks here and there without a problem.

 

Draftsman 

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Initially I thought that alcohol made my symptoms worse, but it's tough to be sure whether it is the alcohol of just the WD itself since everything is so up and down anyway. A couple of times I didn't feel good the next day after drinking, and a couple of times I felt great.

 

I think it's probably like a lot of other substances- most people can tolerate it in moderation. A little bit of caffeine helps me a lot during the day but if I consume more than a few mg's it amps me up and disturbs my sleep.

 

 

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I've always found it interesting -  almost everything Ashton says is gospel- but this seems to be the one thing that differs from "Board-Wisdom"

 

I've tried drinking a few glasses of wine 3 or 4 times in the last 4 1/2 months.  I definitely felt great while I was drinking- the next few days I had a lot of symptoms.  I have no idea if drinking ramped my symptoms or if it would have happened anyways as FG says.  I actually was thinking about this today bc my son and his wife are preparing a special Mother's Day dinner tonight and everyone will be drinking wine.

 

I've decided that even if there is a 10% chance that alcohol will make things worse I'm not going to risk it.  I'm not risking anything that could disrupt the progress I've made.

 

I've always loved my morning coffee and the occasional glass of wine with dinner.  One day I know I'll be able to enjoy them both again.  Just not today.  Or tomorrow.

 

Just out of curiousity-  has anybody tried non alcoholic beer? 

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I think Dr Ashton means only one glass of wine with dinner but not sure on that. If it has an adverse effect, it's not worth it.  I've found that I can have the very rare occasional small glass of wine. I'm being taken out to dinner tomorrow by my daughter and there will be a free glass of champagne for me but it will depend on how I feel, if I have it or give it away.

 

Frannie 

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Just out of curiousity-  has anybody tried non alcoholic beer? 

 

Yea. it tastes like club soda with a splash of beer. The imported stuff is tolerable but it still has about .5% alcohol in it (in case you are worried about that).

 

I have basically made the conscious decision that there are only going to be two reasons I will drink alcohol while I am going through WD. They are:

 

1. To self medicate when I have to go into a stressful social interaction

 

2. To self medicate when I need help falling asleep

 

I know that sounds bad, but considering I might only need it a couple of times per month tops, I think it's acceptable.

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I have basically made the conscious decision that there are only going to be two reasons I will drink alcohol while I am going through WD. They are:

 

1. To self medicate when I have to go into a stressful social interaction

 

2. To self medicate when I need help falling asleep

 

I know that sounds bad, but considering I might only need it a couple of times per month tops, I think it's acceptable.

 

3. To get through a dental appointment.  :P

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I have definitely noticed that my tolerance for alcohol has changed as a result of Klonopin use.  I no longer get the same effect from lower amounts of alcohol like I used to, and I have pretty much been a light drinker over the years.

 

Draftsman

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[d9...]

I know that alcohol use is generally considered a no-no, but I've found that a small amount of vodka mixed with diet ginger ale takes the edge off some of my anxiety when it really gets out of control. I'm not talking about daily use. But on those days when it's too much the bear, one or two drinks (not enough to get a "buzz" on, just enough to relax slightly) beats out taking some Valium to get me over a rough spot. I have yet to notice any increase in my WD symptoms due to light alcohol consumption and the temporary respite it gives me often really is the difference between continuing with my WD and reinstating.

 

As for insomnia, I don't find alcohol especially helpful. I don't sleep as well and then about 2-3 hours after having a drink or two I'll find that my bladder wakes me up and the trip to the bathroom and back to bed wakes me up enough so that getting back to sleep often takes a couple of hours. So, I avoid alcohol at night and for at least several hours before bedtime.

 

I'm not worried about swapping one addiction for another. I don't especially like the buzz I get off alcohol, or the way I feel the next day, so for me it's a temporary band-aid to ease overwhelming anxiety but not something I plan to continue once I begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

 

Jac in Tucson

 

This is me on Day 33:  :o

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I wouldn't touch any alcohol.  I drank a couple beers about a month ago and I had the worst time through all this for a month after drinking.  I'm not going to touch any alcohol for years if I ever get better..
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I wouldn't touch any alcohol.  I drank a couple beers about a month ago and I had the worst time through all this for a month after drinking.  I'm not going to touch any alcohol for years if I ever get better..

Me either, I think alcohol would be like taking a benzo in wd and just prolonging things or making them worse. It will be years before I have a drink, even a glass of wine.

 

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Hi everybody - I can comment on this first hand.  Friday was a very bad day - fight or flight turned way up.  Saturday was very different and I had a good day.  The

weather was so beautiful I went out Saturday night to an outdoor restaurant and had dinner and three glasses of wine over a 2 hour period.  This is my limit and usually one more than usual (before benzos).  I felt great.  On Sunday I had a "normal" hangover but was very functional; however, my sleep was greatly disturbed Saturday night and I dozed off quickly on Sunday night.  Today, my fight or flight is back on big time and I'm having some palpitations.  I don't know how it would have been without the wine but I think I'll skip it for at least several months.  It was great to have a pre-benzo type evening after so long but I think I'm paying for it.  Hang in there!  Billwill

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Update to my last post - I am definitely paying for it!  I am really suffering and feel like an idiot.  Don't drink!  I've taken two steps back and it was not worth it.  At least I found out.  Just one man's opinion.  Best to all, Billwill
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The impression I got from Professor Ashtons comments about wine was her feeling that we shouldn't let this process change who we are and how we live our lives.  I think it was more about keeping your lifestyle as close to normal as possible to reduce the impact this has.  I seriously doubt she offered wine to her patients while they were under her care, so perhaps she wasn't able to study the true impact of alcohol consumption.  In my time here, the overwhelming anecdotal evidence leads me to believe that alcohol is something we should stay away from until we heal.
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I think she also means it's ok to have a glass of wine during a proper, slow, and non-traumatic taper.  For those of us suffering with intense symptoms or protracted cases, I can't imagine that she would recommend this.  There is nothing in this world I love more than a nice glass of wine, but I will not touch alcohol until my symptoms are completely gone.
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