Nowhere to go: How to Stop the Binge and Return to Life

Aug 28, 2019

 

“It is definitely the last time, and it will not happen again, I promise!” – a phrase familiar to almost everyone who at least once came out of a hard drinking session, and their loved ones were nearby. But time passes and the hardships of fighting a state of total loss of oneself in an alcoholic dope are soon forgotten. And a few beers to honor an accidental meeting with an old friend or a couple of glasses of wine on a family holiday launches the old mechanism into a new circle.

Another binge may be the last in life, but, alas, not always from the will of the addicted. The human body during such periods experiences tremendous overload, which leads to irreversible changes in the internal organs of all the body systems. Repeated binges lead to diseases of the stomach and liver and alcoholic psychoses. The probability of strokes and heart attacks increases tenfold.

 

Living with a binge alcoholic is hard. Many families cannot stand such a test and break up.

 

Is there a chance to stop the chain of alcohol libations? How can you help a loved one recover from a binge? Read about this in today’s article.

Contents:

 

  1. Waking up in captivity: signs and types of binges
  2. Effects of libations or how binges destroy life
  3. Withdrawal syndrome and its symptoms
  4. How to recover from a binge
  5. When to go to the clinic
  6. Alcohol behavior correction: what solutions does the 7Spsy method offer

Waking up in captivity: signs and types of binges

“I’ve been drinking for five years. During this time, on several occasions I went into very deep binges, there was even once a clinical death! But I hope that I have not yet degraded to the extreme. I have a loving husband; he is not a drinker and does not understand my alcoholism.

I began to drink not from hopelessness and poverty, as is often the case, but on the contrary, amid prosperity and complete well-being. I used to despise alcoholics and never thought that this could happen to me. At first, I did not see this as a global problem. There were remedies about how to quickly to get well after another binge. But very soon they stopped working, and now I’m really scared”.

 

– Natalia, 34, PR director

 

A binge is a pathological condition caused by the use of alcohol for a day or more. Most often, chronic alcohol dependence leads to this condition, however, isolated short binges can occur in people who do not suffer from alcoholism. The reasons for indulging in a binge may be an attempt to ease the strain from prolonged stress or an indulging while on holiday. In medicine, binges are usually divided into true and false (by occasion), long-term and short-term (by duration). [1]

 

Classification by occasion

Type
Length and frequency
Signs
False binge (pseudo-binge)
A few days, rarely, occasionally
A person retains interest in external events and is able to independently stop drinking alcohol under the influence of external circumstances (for example, after the end of the New Year holidays or vacations) or because of fatigue. The body is not exhausted
True binge
From a few days to several months, often and regularly
All human interests are concentrated around drinking. The need to go to work or complete household chores lose their meaning. The body is brought to a state of severe alcohol intoxication (when a person is physically unable to tolerate alcohol)

Classification by duration

Type
Length and frequency
Signs
Short binge
From 2 to 5 days, often and regularly
A person always finds a reason for alcohol and connects drinking with various, often not particularly noteworthy events. He/she “relaxes” after a working week and hangs out at weekends. He/she boasts the ability to get out of drinking bouts before work, considering that they have an ability to control alcohol intake. The body recovers quite quickly. Over time, the duration of the binge increases
Long binge
From one week to several months, with varying intervals
A person stops going to work and going out until the alcohol in the house is exhausted. He/she absolutely loses interest in everything that is not connected with the opportunity to drink and neglects personal hygiene. The need for alcohol becomes so strong that other needs seem insignificant. Alcohol does not bring pleasure or pleasant sensations. A person feels depressed and continues to drink, experiencing an insurmountable physical need. Intoxication of the body with the decaying products of alcohol increase. A forced refusal of alcohol leads the body into a state of delirium tremens (hallucinations, nightmares, loss of control over movements)

All binges, regardless of their duration and motives, should be considered as a pathological condition arising from a learned behavior model. It is possible to change this model by acting on deep psychological attitudes. One way to do this is to modify the behavior via 7Spsy technique.

Effects of libations or how binges destroy life

“My brother is the black sheep of our family. As long as I remember him as an adult, he has been drinking. Mother was pulling him out of binges. Sometimes we even had to negotiate with the police to isolate him for 15 days. After one binge, I sent him for treatment, but all the results came to naught after a maximum of 2-3 months. He lost his family. In fights with drinking companions, he was once seriously injured and  lost 90% of his vision and became disabled. Now he doesn’t drink, but he cannot return to his former life”.

 

From anonymous posts on a topic forum

 

Examples of how alcohol destroys people’s lives can be found in every person’s environment. Dependence affects all spheres of life: work, family, environment, physical and mental health. Below we give only a few typical scenarios, but there can be more of them in the fate of each addict, and all of them, as a rule, are intertwined with each other.

 

From disability to job loss

 

Even a mild hangover affects performance. A person will lose the ability to concentrate on tasks, become more conflicted and impulsively respond to problems that arise. Excessive alcohol consumption takes a lot of energy and everyday duties are forgotten or simply not performed. Needless to say, not every employer will tolerate the regular “sweeps” of an employee.

 

From conflicts with family, to family breakdown

 

Alcohol causes irritability and aggressiveness when a person drinks too much and becomes addicted. Frequent binges are accompanied by manifestations of domestic violence. Constant binges, alternating with promises to “tie up”, undermine the main pillar of good relations – trust. Addiction to alcohol can seriously affect the financial condition of a family, which only adds cause for disagreement in the couple.

There are many couples in which one of the spouses, despite the well-meaning advice of others to part with the alcoholic, stays close, suffers and asks himself/herself daily: how can my partner be helped? Moreover, the relatives themselves are in a dependent position for the behavior and mood of the addict have a strong influence upon them. They assume the role of a lifeguard and it is rather difficult to break off such toxic relationships.

 

If, before the continuing binges, the relationship between the couple was healthy, then the partner may choose own happiness and refrain from helping the partner cope with the addiction, at least after several unsuccessful attempts.

 

At the very least, an alcohol dependent person runs the risk of breaking family relationships.

 

From reduced self-esteem to self-loss

Many people indulge in binges, trying to hide from problems with others or to turn off consciousness and feel euphoria and ease. But, sobering up, they experience a deep sense of guilt towards their loved ones. Drunk people often behave inappropriately in society, and after that they feel ashamed of unwitting witnesses to their condition. Self-flagellation does not help resolve internal conflicts, but only increases the likelihood of a new “fall into the abyss”.

 

From health problems to death

 

Statistics of morbidity and mortality from alcohol cannot but make worrying reading. According to studies for 9 months of 2016, over 36 thousand cases of acute poisoning by alcohol-containing products were recorded in the Russian Federation, including 9.3 thousand with fatal outcomes (25.6%). [2] In February 2019, the Minister of Health of the Russian Federation Veronika Skvortsova stated that about 70% of deaths of working-age men were related to alcohol. [3] Sultan Khamzaev, member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation and the head of the Sober Russia project, called Skvortsova’s data underestimated and said that the problem is much larger and even “comparable to genocide”. [4]

The liver suffers from alcohol poisoning first: it modifies and increases in size then loses its ability to filter out the blood that is diluted with alcohol. After repeated prolonged binges, cirrhosis of the liver may develop.

Under the harmful effects of alcohol, the kidneys cannot cope with their functions and the entire urinary system is disrupted. The risk of urolithiasis increases.

 

Binges are inevitably accompanied by problems with the cardiovascular system, such as increased blood pressure and tachycardia (increased heart rate).

 

Problems also cannot be avoided in the gastrointestinal tract. In a drunken state, a person loses their appetite. Food does not enter the stomach, but gastric juices continue to be produced, and the hydrochloric acid contained in it begins to irritate the mucous membrane of the stomach walls. As a result, this leads to gastritis or the formation of an ulcer, and in the worst cases, to protrusion (the appearance of an opening in the stomach wall), which can lead to death.

While coming out of a binge, when the body is no longer able to absorb alcohol, a person may suffer from prolonged and repeated vomiting. Heaving can occur even during sleep, which is very dangerous. There are some instances of death at the end of binge, when patients were suffocated while sleeping due to vomit in the respiratory tract.

 

Alcohol also reduces one’s sexual potency (men may have problems with erection).

 

Read about how to help a loved one realize the problem of alcoholism and begin treatment in this article.

Withdrawal syndrome and its symptoms

Withdrawal syndrome can also be called physical dependence syndrome, deprivation syndrome or hangover syndrome. It occurs after the cessation or sharp reduction in the dose of alcohol after a prolonged binge. An irresistible desire to drink, accompanied by severe fear, anxiety, and generally feeling bad, occurs due to intoxication and mental disorders. The peculiarity of withdrawal syndrome is that its symptoms disappear after repeated use of alcohol. Withdrawal syndrome of any severity is a sign of the second stage of alcoholism and requires intervention treatment. [5]

 

 

Signs of withdrawal symptoms

Abrupt abandonment of alcohol: mistakes, consequences

Somato-vegetative
Hyperhidrosis, puffiness of the face, redness of the eye membranes, high blood pressure, heart rhythm disturbance, pain in the heart, severe headaches, vomiting, stomach pain, loose stools
Neurological
Tremor of the head, hands, tongue, epileptic seizures
Mental
Shyness, suspicion, fear, anxiety, irritability, short temper, aggressiveness, depression, sleep disorders

How to recover from a binge

“I went into binges more than once, and my friends, too. I have tried many ways to get out of hard drinking. I must say that every time everything is different. My blood pressure after a binge always jumps, and my heart goes awry. I can feel exactly where my liver is. There are new and frightening sensations every time. I recovered the dry way, which is very difficult, and with the help of lighter drinks, which is not always effective, and with the help of medications, which is rather disgusting. I came to the conclusion that the most effective way is to treat like with like, gradually reducing the dose”.

 

– Vitaliy, 47, car mechanic

 

As you know, getting rid of alcohol addiction is almost impossible – alcoholism is qualified as a chronically incurable disease. How long a hangover after a binge will last depends on its duration, on whether it has happened before, and on the general condition of the body. It is possible to reduce the frequency and duration of binges only if the patient is aware of the problem and is prepared to deal with it. A major role in this is played by the support of relatives and friends. Their knowledge as to how to help a loved one recover after a binge, can not only ease his/her condition, but also save the life.

 

Folk methods to stop and recover after a binge

In many Russian families, methods to get rid of a hangover after drinking are often passed down from generation to generation. Home recovery methods from hard drinking are often folk remedies that are intended to remove toxins and reassure the patient.

 

However, they should be used with great care, only after consulting with a doctor.

 

1. Gradual abandonment of alcohol

Following a sharp rejection of abundant libations, alcoholic psychosis, popularly called delirium tremens, can develop. Therefore, in some cases, in the early days of withdrawal, relatives give the patient small doses of alcohol, increasing the frequency of doses, in order to gradually relieve the symptoms of hangover syndrome after drinking. It is usually not possible for the patient to independently control the dose and frequency. If you choose this method, you should make sure that the patient does not have the opportunity to get additional alcohol.

 

2. Cleansing the stomach

If the patient regressed and took an excess dose, you should rinse the stomach with a safe solution. Helpful after a binge is light salt solution in cool boiled water (1 tablespoon per 5 liters of water).

 

3. Drinking a lot of liquid

You should provide a loved one (or yourself – during an independent withdrawal from hard drinking) with plenty of soft drinks. These can be brines, light black tea, mineral water, juices or fruit drinks.

 

4. Infusions and mixtures

To cope with thirst and swelling, infusions of lemon balm, mint or chamomile will help. They have a diuretic effect and remove excess fluid from the body, thin the blood, cleanse the body and soothe the nervous system. Herbs with a calming effect include valerian, motherwort, thyme, licorice and clover They all help sufferers to cope with increased excitability, aggressiveness, and insomnia after hard drinking.

 

5. Gentle nutrition

Nutrition should start when the body is ready to eat. As a rule, this happens on the second day of withdrawing from hard drinking. It is better to start with low-fat chicken broth. In addition to nutritional properties, such a broth has a certain sedative effect and helps combat anxiety. With caution, you can enter dairy products – low-fat cottage cheese, yoghurts without additives. From fruits, at first choose bananas. Hunger aggravates the craving for a drink, so it is better to eat more often, but in small portions.

 

6. Eating vitamin C products

When the appetite returns, foods high in vitamin C (ascorbic acid) should be added to the diet. These bind toxins that are formed due to alcohol poisoning and helps eliminate them from the body. Such foods can be oranges, lemon, sauerkraut.

 

Medications to deal with a hangover and recover from a binge

It will not be possible to cope with a hangover after a long binge and its detrimental effects on the body with folk remedies and home care alone. The body needs rehabilitation, which is impossible without the use of medications.

Please note that here we do not give specific recommendations for these, but only list the groups and some names of drugs that are used to aid the recovery from hard drinking. Before you start taking any of these medicines, you should consult with a specialist.

 

A doctor may prescribe the following drugs:

 

·         antiemetics (Tserukal, Metoclopramide and others);

·         sorbents (activated carbon, Enterosgel, Polysorb and others);

·         analgesics (Analgin, No-Shpa and others);

·         sedative and nootropic drugs (Donormil, Phenibut and others);

·         antihypertensive drugs (Delfan, Kapoten, magnesium sulfate and others);

·         diuretics (Diacarb, Triampur and others).

 

 

There are also special drugs that claim a quick cure for a hangover after hard drinking (Alka-Seltzer, Alekol, DrinkOFF and others). But they should be taken with extreme caution and be sure to consult a specialist. [6]

When to go to the clinic

“I needed three binges, three bottom-deep sinks, with repeated calls to relatives with complaints and insults. It also took random meetings with acquaintances (a miracle that I did not get involved in any street story!). These and drunken wars of words with my husband to finally established my decision to start helping myself”.

 

– Julia, 35, accountant

 

If a person has a hangover after a binge so severe that it threatens his/her life, then this is an occasion to seek medical help. We list a few alarming signs, when they appear, you must immediately contact a drug treatment clinic:

 

·         severe throbbing and pressing headache;

·         sharp pains in the epigastric region, accompanied by nausea, vomiting, loose dark stools;

·         a feeling of bile bitterness in the mouth, icteric color of the skin and whites of the eye;

·         difficulty in swallowing, uncontrolled copious saliva from the mouth;

·         pain in the chest (pressing, tingling), irradiated under the left shoulder blade or arm;

·         any discomfort in the area of the heart (increased heart rate or malfunction);

·         loss of sensitivity of the skin, numbness or tingling;

·         sharply arising muscle weakness in the limbs and throughout the body;

·         visual impairment (blurred outlines of visible objects, flashes and dark floaters before the eyes);

·         blood in the urine and/or stool.

 

In no case should you try to go out on your own and do not leave a sick relative home after a strong binge. This is especially important if there have already been similar cases, and there have been such serious consequences as acute alcoholic psychoses, exacerbations of peptic ulcer, pancreatitis, arrhythmia, myocardial infarction, stroke, angina attack,and abnormalities in the liver.

 

You should immediately seek hospitalization if, on the third or fourth day after stopping drinking, strange things begin to appear in the person’s behavior. These include when he/she ceases to understand where he/she is, doesn’t recognize his/her relatives, constantly listens to something and peers into the void, talks to imaginary interlocutors, tries to fight them away or hide from them and he/she becomes excited and loses sleep. In this state, a person can cause injuries and traumas that are incompatible with life, so you should be very serious dealing with these.

 

 

With the medical finish of a binge, alcohol detoxification is carried out by washing the stomach and cleansing the intestines through enemas and sorbents, as well as through powerful infusion therapy. Droppers with saline and clear fluid solutions are the most effective rehabilitation methods after hard drinking. Both diuretics and ethanol antidotes, as well as other adjuvants, are injected intravenously. These remedies eliminate signs of dehydration and contribute to the rapid removal of alcohol from the body. Inpatient treatment is carried out in drug treatment centers, where the condition of the patient is monitored by narcologists and paramedical personnel.

 

Alcohol behavior correction: what solutions does the 7Spsy method offer

What needs to be done after coming out of a binge, when a person feels much better and no longer needs medical attention? It is important to take measures to prevent recurrence in the future. It’s too early to relax – you need qualified help from a psychologist and deep internal work on changing attitudes, which lead to a state of hard drinking over and over again. Do not think that the problem will be solved by itself.

Forcing a person to work with a psychologist is difficult. Such a situation turns out to be effective only for a short time, and it will be more likely to be just the appearance of the result, rather than true changes in consciousness. A person needs to decide for himself/herself about giving up alcohol in the future in order to preserve the important values ​​of life: family, self-esteem, career and friends. Relatives can help and support in a frank conversation, and reassure that a person is important and needed, and how important his/her state of health and well-being is. Scandals, reproaches, and threats to the person with the addiction do not have an impact. Rather, they lead him/her to the same actions, perhaps in spite.

Only when the addict is ready to work on himself/herself, and his/her relatives are ready to back him/her, the chances of a successful result will increase many times, and you can choose a way to interact with a psychologist.

To solve the problem of alcohol dependence and recurring binges, you can use the 7Spsy technique-based behavior modification course. This is a patented method of behavioral psychology based on the theories of I.P. Pavlov, A.A. Ukhtomsky, B.F. Skinner. The method will help you to give up alcohol in up to 6 weeks. The work is carried out remotely, under the close supervision of a psychologist and with complete confidentiality.

Before the start of the course, the patient undergoes diagnostic testing, after which he/she receives a set of tools for full-sensory correction of behavior. During the duration of the course, he/she can contact the psychologist through a convenient communication channel: by phone, e-mail or online chat. Psychologist’s consultations are free.

Thanks to the 7Spsy behavior modification technique, you can master a new model of behavior and enjoy a life free of addiction.

 

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