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Hi Peter,

Just wondered if you could help with any expertise / Advice?

I am 30 years old, Male, 5'10 and 96kgs and over the past year or so I am getting a lot more different adverse reactions to drinking Alcohol/being Drunk and my body seems to react so differently to Alcohol now that I am trying to understand why I am not having a good time whenever I go drinking with friends

The main aspects i've found are, twitching when drinking, Unable to sleep, restless mind, blackouts and not having that 'Trigger' that your body should have to tell me when enough is enough, which usually ends up with me going from being fine to wasted without knowing it.

As far as sleeping goes, I seem to sleep fine on the night of drinking, or so i think anyway. but then i wake up and feel terrible all the next day. the problem comes when its time to go to sleep specifically on the night of the 'hangover day'. My mind will not rest and it feels unpleasant, like a restless feeling that spreads over my body and mind, meaning come monday morning, i wake up exhausted and have to go to work feeling this way. It feels as though the alcohol is still in my system many days after and If I say go out from drinks Friday or Saturday, I dont feel refreshed/Not hungover until wed/thurs.

I have had never either previously had these twitches before, and only 2 years or so ago used to be a 'Good' drunk' and feel happy when i had a few beers but nowadays I dont get that happy feeling when drinking. i have spoke to people about this and many dont have this problem, but it seems rare and makes me wonder if there is something wrong with me???

Also maybe not easy to pin point but just wondered why I dont seem to have that built in trigger to stop myself when I feel ive drank enough? I think this is part of the reason, but as most people have a built in trigger (ie dizzyness, feeling sick) that will be they're body telling them when it has had enough, I lost this sometime ago and also on top of this can't seem to get that 'Happy Drunk' feeling anymore and I go from having 3-4 beers to being wasted without knowing it. Even If i try and count the beers I have, I loose track after the 3 or 4 and things go from being fine to getting out of hand, with no middle part of 'drunken happiness' feeling if you know what I mean.

I guess If I had that 'Trigger' that I used to have when I was younger, I'd know when my body is asking me to stop, but I dont and thus maybe drink more than my body wants to allow me and thus causing all these adverse reactions

One last reaction that i seem to have is the need to rush to the toilet pretty regularly when drinking with pretty violent diarrhea and this can be only after 1 or 2 beers.

I know theres an easy solution to this. Stop drinking Alcohol, And I am prepared to do so, but I just want to try and understand the reasons as to why this is happening now, as I used to really enjoy socializing with friends and have good happy reactions to Alcohol and now all it seems to bring me is problems.

Just wondered if you could offer me some advice/experience on this subject??

P.S I must add, I dont drink during the week and not even every weekend so Im not a really daily heavy drinker but when i do, lets say once every 3 weeks or so I get all these adverse reactions, the twitching, restelessness, some blackouts (recently) and the main thing which is going from beingg fine to too Drunk with out  that trigger or knowing it!

Answer
Hi Paul,

Thanks for your question, and I'll try to be as helpful as I can in my reply.

While you are not yet old enough to fit a profile of a late stage drinker (they are usually quite a bit older), the negative effects of heavy drinking seem to be increasingly a problem for you.  I think that even at age 30 you can suffer a drop in resilience.  The body develops tolerance to alcohol, meaning that eventually you need more to get the same effect.  This is usually a universal sign of an alcohol dependence problem.

I think you are experiencing some manner of withdrawal symptoms, also, disrupting your sleep and nervous system.  The hangover day you speak of, and the difficulty on that day, is telling you your body is having real problems coping with the amount of alcohol you're putting into it.

Any expert will tell you it's in your best interests to cut down, preferably to a safe level of consumption -- 2 or 3 drinks per day max.  If you can limit your use to that amount, and can avoid the binges you speak of, you may be able to have alcohol in your life for the long term.  The "alert" trigger you speak of may not exist reliably to help you cut down on your use.  If you are not able to limit the volume you drink per occasion, you may have to consider ending your relationship with alcohol.  This may be difficult for you, depending on how much of an addictive tendency you've built up with it.

Most of my clients have attempted to be social/casual drinkers and have failed at it.  They then have to accept they have a problematic relationship with alcohol, and it's not worth it for them to continually try to deny that reality.  They have to stop drinking completely.  

You might want to meet with an alcohol counselor in your area and get some additional advice or help in understanding your situation.

Regards,
Peter  

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Peter L.

Expertise

Any questions regarding addictive behavior, withdrawal symptoms, selecting treatment options, relapse prevention, defining abuse vs. dependence, self-help groups, denial and resistance, building motivation, physical health effects of alcohol, substitution of other addictive substances; holistic approaches to addiction recovery.

Experience

I have been a counselor, educator, and supervisor in the addiction field for 28 years. I hold alcohol and drug counselor certification and licenses in three states. I have experience with adolescents and adults, ranging from those who are experimental/casual users of alcohol to those with very progressed addictive disorders.

Education/Credentials
Masters Degree - Behavioral Science CADAC, LADC, LADC1

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