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Abstaining from alcohol.

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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby Boombats on Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:00 pm

Spent an unpleasant 24 hours with a relative who is in late stage alcoholism and it's gruesome. I'm afraid he's going to injure his 86-year-old mother by accident or while trying to take her money for more booze. I may have to involve Adult Protective Services soon.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby tmidgett on Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:32 pm

Can't remember if I wrote about this here. I don't think so.

I was reviewing some research on alcoholism and genetic predisposition last year, and I found this stuff to be extremely interesting.

People with alcohol problems (or family history thereof) often have lower resting dopamine levels.

Alcohol consumption jacks up dopamine (and serotonin) in the brain.

I guess the math is obvious, but:

If you're an 8 on the dopamine scale I just made up, and you add "2" to it by having a couple drinks, you experience a boost of 25%.

If you're starting off with a 2, and you drink the same "2" amount...you're doubling up. It's gonna feel a LOT BETTER.

Problem users also tend to experience a rise in dopamine levels in mere _anticipation_ of consuming alcohol. Total Pavlov shit!

Furthermore...

The "problem" group tends to have elevated levels of the liver enzymes that metabolize alcohol. Even if they don't drink.

Built-in tolerance.

Fatal dose is a constant. But you can stay on your feet and retain the ability to speak and put off puking and (critically) keep pounding away.

Which you REALLY want to do, if you're really fucked and your resting dopamine shit is naturally low as well. You're getting the MAX out of drinking. People who aren't predisposed in this way can never feel as good as you feel.

Diabolical!
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby Pasta on Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:08 pm

That is very interesting, and largely relevant to what my experience was like.


on the pavlov end, I would always find myself getting VERY excited as the drink neared.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby famousjunkie on Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:47 pm

I often felt good just knowing I had it in the house and noticeably more anxious when there was none.

As for the predisposition theory, it's hard to know through experience alone if I'm in that group. I feel like my initial years of drinking and going out on weekends were way different than how I came to use alcohol in the last few years. In the last few years I drank liquor exclusively, and told myself that it was for two reasons: to focus better (somehow, in the early stages of a buzz, my noisy thoughts tend to become more focused) and to relax more in social situations (not be overly confident, just be 'normal' and say the things I want to say). The description of the "problem group" resonates with me, but I'm not sure if my body simply adapted over time.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby Pasta on Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:05 pm

Boombats wrote:Spent an unpleasant 24 hours with a relative who is in late stage alcoholism and it's gruesome. I'm afraid he's going to injure his 86-year-old mother by accident or while trying to take her money for more booze. I may have to involve Adult Protective Services soon.



This has got to be rough. Sorry
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby stewie on Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:41 pm

18 days into my first dry January. It's been working wonders for my sleep and ability to get up when the kiddos wake up too.

I was only a beer-per-night guy, but it had been creeping up to a couple of beers each night, and dry January seemed like a good way to hit the reset button.

Oh I also gave up caffeine. Brutal headaches on day 1 and 2, then glorious clarity and alertness since. Would recommend.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby garthplinko on Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:52 am

stewie wrote:Oh I also gave up caffeine. Brutal headaches on day 1 and 2, then glorious clarity and alertness since. Would recommend.


:smt022

My last crutch. I can hardly imagine giving up coffee. I'm down to one mug a day and a tea after lunch but "love" (in quotes because being perfectly honest, it could just be another addiction because I sure used to "love" smoking, drinking, etc) coffee so much and unlike drinking hasn't seemed to spiral out of control for me and cause real consequences...

But my sleep issues are just getting worse so I don't know. It's funny that I used to drink to fall asleep - or that's something else I would say anyway.

Congrats on your 18 days dry!
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby Pasta on Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:27 pm

garthplinko wrote:It's funny that I used to drink to fall asleep - or that's something else I would say anyway.


I always told myself that, as a one time amnesiac. The strange thing, and I know it's kind of rare, is that I fall asleep easier, since I got sober.

Cigarettes are next on the chopping block. 1 month from tomorrow, will be 1 year of solid, continuous sobriety.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby tmidgett on Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:25 am

famousjunkie wrote:As for the predisposition theory, it's hard to know through experience alone if I'm in that group. I feel like my initial years of drinking and going out on weekends were way different than how I came to use alcohol in the last few years. In the last few years I drank liquor exclusively, and told myself that it was for two reasons: to focus better (somehow, in the early stages of a buzz, my noisy thoughts tend to become more focused) and to relax more in social situations (not be overly confident, just be 'normal' and say the things I want to say). The description of the "problem group" resonates with me, but I'm not sure if my body simply adapted over time.


Yeah. Continued use, even moderate, will induce tolerance and the dopamine seesaw. Regardless of genetics--just a fact of the drug. If you're not predisposed to alcoholism, you have to work up to that level. But you can do it, for sure.

To have high tolerance and an outsized reaction to alcohol to start with...oof. Fucked out of the gate. No way to drink in moderation. When I first read about that stuff, I laughed. "That's me."
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby ldopa_chicago on Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:07 am

Tim, do you have any links you could share? This is really interesting and I'd be curious to read more.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby Boombats on Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:20 pm

My first drinks were from a Chloraseptic throat spray bottle full of a liquor mystery-mix (mostly overproof rum) made with a dash from every open bottle in the 3 different bars in my Korean neighbor's house sometime in high school. I lifted the stuff while petsitting their birds and fish, and would skate around my neighborhood with the Chloraseptic bottle, taking spritzes as I went. It was a weird drunk, sometimes didn't feel like anything and other times was warm and giddy. Then in my late teens there were sporadic binge-drinks where I'd funnel 40s, neck a liter or more of Crystal Palace like it was water, and perform other acts of conspicuous consumption. Eventually this started to hurt.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby tmidgett on Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:48 pm

ldopa_chicago wrote:Tim, do you have any links you could share? This is really interesting and I'd be curious to read more.


I first read about that stuff in Beyond the Influence (good book overall).

Technical paper on dopamine overall.

"Alcohol dependence is characterized by a disruption in the reward‐related brain areas including fewer dopamine D2 receptors in ventral striatum."

I'm simplifying this aspect of the dopamine conversation. There's some quibbling about what it all means etc. etc. And there's a lot of other associated neurotransmitter activity that influences the effect of drinking. But my explanation is (I think) regarded as the most likely mechanism that is meaningful.

Placebo response.

There's a lot of stuff online about acetaldehyde and being sort of "allergic" to it is a deterrent to alcohol abuse. Real common in Asian people.

But high acetaldehyde levels in the absence of that "protective" condition seem to be common in alcoholics, and the higher levels evidently induce neurological addiction more readily.

Then there's this other thing called MEOS--microsomal ethanol oxidizing system--that is a component of the metabolization process, and it seems to be more active in people with a family history of alcoholism.

I think I got all that right, in terms of relaying info. There's still some debate on details, though not really the fact of genetic predisposition being an actual thing.

edit: this is pretty good if thorny.

In the periphery, acetaldehyde is primarily aversive, whereas brain acetaldehyde is mainly reinforcing. However, the peripheral effects of acetaldehyde might also be dependent upon its peak blood concentrations and its rate of accumulation, with a narrow range of blood acetaldehyde concentrations being reinforcing.


I _think_ this means...acetaldehyde can induce unpleasantness and provide a deterrent to drinking when it's circulating in the main part of your body. But once it penetrates the blood/brain barrier, it affects neurological dependency and reinforces the desire to drink. And really...even in the body, it may reinforce drinking behavior at certain levels.

Also there's a note in there about MEOS being "activated" by chronic/elevated alcohol use that is interesting. The further (cited) explorations of that are way over my head technically.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby Pasta on Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:41 pm

RSMurphy wrote:Everything I enjoy about metal: heavy, cool riffs, hooks, expressive vocals.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby Mason on Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:58 pm

One day sober!
Failing again and better and I can't go on yet I'll go on, all of that.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby Riff Magnum on Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:24 am

Mason wrote:One day sober!
Failing again and better and I can't go on yet I'll go on, all of that.


Go for it!!
I'm at three years now and it all started with "I need to lay off a bit"
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby stewie on Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:40 pm

Dry January was awesome, would recommend.

I'm still 100% off caffeine and plan to stay off it. Have an active hatred for it now. I'm all in on boutique herbal teas instead. Make fun all ya want, my FitBit proves my sleep is better since ditching it.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby enframed on Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:22 pm

stewie wrote:Dry January was awesome, would recommend.

I'm still 100% off caffeine and plan to stay off it. Have an active hatred for it now. I'm all in on boutique herbal teas instead. Make fun all ya want, my FitBit proves my sleep is better since ditching it.


[sips third cup of coffee]

Caffeine is definitely something I need to lay off. I know I would sleep better. But how do I wake up? Oh the dilemma.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby djensen on Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:11 pm

After an abysmal holiday season with my wife, it became apparent that the writing was on the wall for our divorce. So I stopped drinking to keep my mind right through this sure to be difficult process. On January 23rd, she asked for a divorce. I've been sober for 47 days and I've never made a more important decision in my life. Though this year has been impossibly trying, I can't imagine how difficult it would be if my mind were clouded by alcohol or if I allowed myself to drown my sorrows at the bar.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby Pasta on Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:04 pm

1 year ago today, I went to the hospital to detox. This has been an extraordinary time. Haven't touched anything but, coffee and cigarettes. Keeping going.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby the finger genius on Tue Mar 17, 2020 12:57 pm

I hope everyone’s hanging in ok. Saw this and seemed like a thing worth sharing.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1a71 ... obilebasic
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