Follow up with your doctor to report your progress. If you are doing well, s/he may want you to wean off the medication, or based on your feedback, may extend the prescription. If you’re not satisfied with the results or are suffering side effects, you may wish to consider changing the dose or using another anti-craving medicine.
Don’t be ashamed if you end up on the medication indefinitely. Just like diabetes, alcoholism is a chronic, often progressive, long-term disease which often requires pharmacological intervention. Now that scientists are beginning to decode the brain’s addictive pathways, they finally have a way to address receptors that result in craving.
Continue to integrate other important strategies into your program, particularly as you dose down from any medication. This includes nutrition, diet, exercise, dietary supplements, and positive visualization–to help maintain your healthy new lifestyle.
A number of medications are prescribed for alcohol craving and cessation. You can find a great deal of information at pharmacology websites, but do a search online for the “PI” (prescribing information) sheet for each one and you’ll find much more detail before speaking with your doctor. The medications most often prescribed to control craving typically include: Acamprosate, Baclofen, Naltrexone, Ondansetron, Revia, Rimonabant, Topiramate and Vivitrol.
Reward yourself for your accomplishments. Treat yourself when you reach a sobriety milestone (one day, one week, 30 days, three months, one year, etc.) And remember to not give up if you relapse. The road to recovery is not always straight and narrow.
Spirituality is often a very important component in achieving sobriety. In fact, it has been documented in clinical studies to be helpful for those who struggle with addiction. Whether you continue to follow a traditional religion or choose to explore new paths of enlightenment, the reflection and self awareness that result can be very powerful and meaningful in your quest for newfound health.
If you don’t have immediate or easy access to a medical library, search Google Scholar to find excellent abstracts from clinical journals about the medication/s in which you are interested.
Alternative treatments have become increasingly popular in addressing alcoholism. Do some research and consider adding acupuncture, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), hypnotherapy, therapeutic massage, or other approaches.
Subscribe to online blogs, newsletters and websites that push information out about new developments in addiction research. It’s important you become an advocate in your own health plan. Often patients are as well informed about new developments as the physicians who treat them!
Don’t assume a “magic pill” will fix your drinking problem. Alcohol dependence is a serious and complex health condition. Medication can be enormously helpful in eliminating physical craving, but you must still address the underlying reasons that cause you to drink. Here’s where the real work begins and it’s a wonderful opportunity to turn your life around. But if you expect to find salvation in a prescription, you may be sorely disappointed.
Some people shy away from visiting their doctors and simply order anti-craving medication from online pharmacies. You must be careful because many of these drugs are powerful and may have serious side effects or can interact with medications you are currently taking. In addition, you can’t be sure of the reputation of the pharmacy from whom you are ordering or the quality of the product they send you. It is prudent to undergo a program with the care and counseling of a qualified health care provider and to purchase medication from a trusted source.
Be prepared: your physicians may reject any proposal to prescribe medication. Remember that the average doctor receives approximately 12 hours of training in addiction treatment during his or her medical schooling; some are poorly prepared to deal with this difficult health concern. You must be proactive and find someone to help you. If your doctor turns you away, insist on a referral and do not give up until you find someone who is willing to work with you
Cravings come out of the blue, sometimes months or years later. Be prepared for them. Moments of stress, hunger or sleep deprivation may contribute to these urges. Have a strategy in place, a friend to call, or some plan of action when and if a craving hits
Incredibly, some people find their plans for new found sobriety are sabotaged right at home. Partners may fear losing a drinking buddy or control over a mate. Resentment may crop up. Relationships change. Be prepared for this beforehand and address it if you think it will be a problem. You will need support from all sectors during this very important time.
A new family of drugs is now available to treat alcoholism, just as physicians began treating depression with medication a decades ago. Several anti-craving meds have been introduced and will radically change the way physicians help their patients. These drugs typically work on mid-brain receptors to ease withdrawal, blunt craving and dull the euphoria associated drinking. When used in conjunction with a comprehensive program of counseling, nutrition and support, they can be very effective. Some medications, like Naltrexone and Acamprosate, are approved by the FDA for this purpose. Others, like Topiramate, Rimonabant, or Baclofen are prescribed off label to help patients begin a program of alcohol cessation.
Do an honest self assessment about your drinking. Consider using the “C.A.G.E.” assessment. C: Have you ever felt you needed to cut down on your drinking? A: Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking? G: Have you ever felt guilty about drinking? E: Have you ever felt you needed a drink first thing in the morning (eye opener) to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover? If you answer yes to any of these questions, you probably need to seek help. Other signs of alcohol addiction include the inability to control how much you drink, withdrawal symptoms such as shakiness or anxiety if you stop drinking, sleep disruptions and physical symptoms such as fluid buildup, poor wound healing and gastrointestinal bleeding. The sooner you seek treatment, the better.
Research anti-craving medications because this approach is relatively new to many health care providers. Ultimately, you will want to work in partnership with your clinician in determining which medicine is most appropriate based on your health status, possible drug interactions, side effects, and other factors. Review as much information as possible about each of the anti-craving medications you can find, including clinical studies regarding their use and efficacy. Search online magazine and newspaper articles about their use, effectiveness and side effects. Do not base your opinion on the experience of other individuals, but collect as much comprehensive information as you can before visiting your doctor. Depending on the physician you visit, you may be more knowledgeable about the specific medication in which you are interested.
Make your appointment. Treatment for alcoholism does not require a highly skilled addiction specialist, but it is helpful to have a trusted health care provider who will listen to you. Seek someone you are comfortable with and whom you believe will respect your wishes. Patients often prefer to see a doctor outside of their normal caregiver. If this is the case, you may wish to consider visiting a mental health practitioner because they are often more comfortable prescribing medications to treat addiction. Whomever you see, be honest about your health situation, but understand the information–unless otherwise indicated–will be noted in your medical records.
Expect a knowledgeable doctor to run any number of tests, which may include a physical exam, a GGT (blood chemistry test to evaluate liver function), a CDT (a more sensitive blood test) and an evaluation for signs of complications due to alcohol consumption such as abdominal pain, heart problems, withdrawal or cirrhosis.
Be prepared to receive a referral for individual counseling or group-based meetings to be done in conjunction with therapy. Support is a critical part of the process. If you are unwilling to visit a local therapist or a 12-step group, consider visiting an online alcohol recovery forum, where you may participate anonymously. If possible, find someone who is starting a similar regimen and “buddy up”. This can be enormously therapeutic.
Consider accepting a short term prescription for a benzodiazepine such as Valium or Ativan if your doctor feels it is necessary. It is often helpful for late stage alcoholics to manage withdrawal symptoms. Your physician should first screen for the presence of other medications to avoid interactions such as over-sedation.
Follow the directions for your medications carefully and report any disturbing side effects at once. If you are overly sensitive to the medication, you may have to reduce the initial dosing to minimize unwanted effects. Read the material provided with your medicine for all potential side effects, even those your physician may not have mentioned. Monitor your health closely.
Try and create as successful an environment as possible. Remove all alcohol from your house. Encourage the support of partners or others in the home and emphasize the importance of this endeavor if they are not already aware of it. If necessary, do not attend social functions early on if you feel they will provide too much temptation. Stay away from associates with whom you normally drink. Enroll in evening classes, join a volunteer group, or partake in other activities that will keep you busy. Many people report the “witching hours” between 5 and 8 p.m. to be the most difficult. If that is the case for you, try and change your schedule, at least early on, so you are preoccupied during those hours.
Consider medication as only *one part* of an important, multi-faceted therapy. At this time, you should also be focusing on restoring your body’s mental, emotional and physical health. If you do not exercise regularly, this is an excellent opportunity to begin, as you will occupy time once filled drinking, while you promote the release of endorphins and lift depression. Improve your diet by increasing whole grains, vegetables and fruits and reduce sugar, which will further curb your craving for alcohol. Drink lots of water. Begin a program of improved dietary supplementation, focusing on vitamins, minerals, amino acids and herbs that will help restore, rejuvenate and maintain a healthy, alcohol-free lifestyle. Save time each day for relaxation, positive visualization, self-hypnosis, and other helpful strategies to reprogram behavior. Focus on eliminating drinking triggers and look into the future to “see” the healthy individual you will become.
Carry a cell phone. If you feel uncomfortable walking alone, either call a friend or family member or pretend to call them. Walk purposefully and speak in a clear voice, saying something like “Could you unlock the door for me? I’ll be home in 3 minutes, it’s just one more block” or say which street intersection you are at. Potential attackers may be discouraged by knowing that someone is awaiting your arrival, is close by, and would come to check on you if you did not appear within the next few minutes.
The phone is also helpful for dialing emergency numbers in case you are attacked. Have emergency numbers on speed dial so that you can dial quickly, and if you are traveling in a different city/state/country, be sure that you have emergency numbers (e.g.: police, hospital, etc.) in your cell phone, as well as the number for several taxi services.
If you get a bad feeling about a person, party, and/or location, either leave immediately or find a friend. Don’t hesitate.
If walking down a sidewalk, walk next to the street, not next to the buildings, where people can be hiding in doorways, alleyways, etc.
If you are walking alone at night or in unsafe areas, avoid listening to music. You will be distracted by the music, making you an easier target because you are less aware of your surroundings and also may not hear the rapist approach. You also look like a better target.
If you do listen to music while walking, however, keep the volume low. Music at a high volume, especially if you’re wearing over-the-ear headphones, virtually eliminates background noise; you may not be aware of anyone following you.
If you will be walking in an unsafe area or in the dark, wear tennis shoes or bring a pair with you. Stilettos or other heeled shoes make you sound like a walking target and could even draw potential attackers from blocks away. Sandals are usually better than heels, but they are flimsy and could prevent you from running as fast as you can and could even fall off.
If all else fails and you are being followed by someone/attacked by someone, scream. Don’t be afraid to scream because you will feel silly; in some countries we have been socialized to “not make a scene.” If this is rape/potential rape, make the biggest scene you can.
Loudly scream, “Help!” or “Fire!”. Do not yell out, “Rape!” or “I’m being attacked!”. The reason behind this is called the bystander effect, which is a social psychological phenomenon in which bystanders are aware and witnessing an emergency situation but don’t offer help. During a rape, bystanders may not help for fear of getting attacked themselves.
If you want to and the rapist is not armed and he forces oral sex on you, bite HARD. If biting fails, always remember, “Grab, Twist, and Pull.” This meaning the testicles. It may sound silly now, but it may save your life.
Don’t panic because this will just make you easy prey.
If they try to, shout ‘dad’ or a masculine male name in a purposeful direction.
Rape is a horrible thing to experience. Once it happens to you, you don’t want to tell anyone, because you are afraid. Or you think people will think less of you after you tell them. While these attacks are not the fault of the victim, you can take some precautionary measures to keep yourself safe.
Trust your instincts. Don’t underestimate your own judgment. If you feel uncomfortable in someone’s company, avoid being secluded with them and be firm if coercion is attempted. Attackers will more often prey on people who look vulnerable and seem easily manipulated.
Bring a friend if you are going to a party or other event in a strange place. If you can’t bring someone you know, give a friend your phone number and expected time you’ll be home, and tell him or her that you’ll check in.
Keep an eye on your drink. Date rapists can lace drinks with flavorless chemicals. Don’t go back to a drink if you’ve left it unattended, and don’t accept an open drink from a stranger (unless you saw it made at the bar or similar).
Walk with a friend if possible, especially if you’re walking at night or in a remote location. If you’re going on a jog, bring a companion.
Stay alert by avoiding headphones (which impair your ability to hear ambient sounds), or hats that block your peripheral vision. Be aware of people in the area, ahead and behind you.
Stick to populated, well-lit areas if you need to walk alone. Avoid poorly lit areas, or areas with minimal escape routes.
Carry pepper spray or a similar item for emergency self-defense.
Learn basic self-defense moves. Preparing yourself for a potential attack allows you to react better when faced with the fear and stress of the situation.
Move with confidence. Someone who looks purposeful and physically capable is a less appealing target.
Confront a pursuer. If you know that someone is following you, turn and ask them the time. Get a good look at their face and overall appearance. Attackers prefer to target victims who haven’t seen their face.
Struggle and yell if attacked.
Understand that rape isn’t just committed by strangers, but by friends, relatives, and even colleagues, as well. Often victims will know and possibly trust their rapist prior to the offense.
Sooner or later, every girl gets her period. Learn about how to be ready for your first period or just for your period in general!
Find out as much information as you can about your period. The library has many magazines and books, and websites and counselors will be happy to help you too.
Go on to pad/tampon websites because they might have free samples. You may need to ask your parents and they should be fine with it because after all, it’s free! Also do research. Most pad/tampon websites tell you about their products so learn which ones sound good. If you can, avoid buying pads or tampons until you have samples so that way, if they’re crummy, you didn’t waste any money on them.
Keep at least one pad or tampon in all of your purses, book bags, locker, lunch bags, etc… Because you or a friend could start and it isn’t very fun to have blood-stained panties.
Get used to your cycle. When you are still irregular, it might help to wear panty liners every day so if you start it doesn’t leak through anything. Mark a calendar so you can track your days but make it private. (Maybe, a little dot on the days in your calendar so it can be discrete and useful at the same time)
Use period panties that are meant for periods. Regular panties don’t give the protection needed during periods.
If you feel somewhat moody or emotional right before or during your period-that is normal. It is called PMS.
If your period catches you by surprise at school, wipe yourself as best as you can. Ask your teacher if you can go to the school nurse or guidance counselor. If there is no school nurse ask your teacher (if she is female) if she has a spare pad.
Remember, when your period first starts, it is almost 100% that it will be irregular. Do not worry or think you have some serious condition. It’s all part of the cycle. Be ready for cramping and/or stomach aches too. But if you really do think you have a problem, find a doctor or a trusted adult.
Ask any questions you have because it is totally okay to ask questions.
Always keep an extra pair of shorts/trousers in your locker/bag just in case of an emergency.
If you want, waste some. Not all of them, but a few. Do those tests they do on T.V. where you pour water with food coloring on the pad and see how much water it can take. Put a tampon in a cup of water and watch it expand. Quite frankly, it can be fun. Those ways you can test which absorbency really are super. Like take 2 different brands of super flow pads and put the same amount of water in and see if one holds more. (Valuable information for when you start so if you are really heavy you can decide which will let you leak and which won’t.)
Talk to your mother: sure, it’ll be awkward, but remember, she’s been through this too!
Try to take painkillers or Ibuprofen-(check with your doctor)-if your stomach ache gets beyond bearable.
Always keep a Tide to Go Stick with you just in case if your period catches you by surprise (or not) and you leak.
Never leave your tampon inside of you for more than 8 hours. If you leave it in longer than that you have a greater risk of catching Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), it is rare, but sometimes deadly.
If you get some blood on your clothes or sheets, always use cold water not hot. Hot water can set the stain. Rub fresh stains with some salt, as it absorbs the blood. If you have hydrogen peroxide adds it to the cold water and let it soak. It is best to do this when the stain is fresh.
Always wash your hands before and after inserting a tampon or putting on a pad. (You don’t have to, but it’s better if you do)
Around the time you enter middle school, start carrying around a few pads (tampons are not recommended for your first period, wait till it becomes regular) so that you won’t be caught off guard.
Aspirin may not be healthy for the DIGESTIVE TRACK it can also sometimes cause serious bleeding in the upper GASTROINTESTINAL tract. A study director of medicine said the risk of bleeding is directly related to aspirin. She also stated that 1/4 of an aspirin is good for a day (about the same amount of a baby’s aspirin). Another thing she stated was that if you are taking aspirin for arthritis it may cause severe bleeding. Late last moth in a journal called Lancet , Lancet compared the use of aspirin among 550 people admitted to the hospital with serious bleeding from the stomach or DUODENUM with the aspirin-taking practices of 1,202 non hospitalized people from the same communities. An aspirin-induced ULCER or gastric-an inflammation of the stomach lining is the cause of such bleeding that typically results in vomiting blood. In virtually everyone who takes aspirin the aspirin may cause MICRO BLEEDING. The more serious bleeding is rare however it is death threatening, Especially if the person has any other medical problems or has lost a lot of blood quickly. In a survey 19 per 100,000 people had the serious bleeding. It is precisely the power of the aspirin that makes it effective against heart attacks and strokes that are caused by clots.
I think that you should not take aspirin for preventing any heart attacks or strokes or etc. for a reason and that reason is that it may cause another hazard upon you while you are trying to prevent one happening to you.