My name is Chris Rivers, I am 36 years old and live in Hampshire UK.
I became alcohol dependent some 16 years ago although I didn’t realise it [like many of us] until years later.
I have had a very entertaining life in those 16 years, I have created Internet businesses, promoted boxing, been all over the world, made money lost money, had model girlfriends, and brushed shoulders with many celebrities. I have landed myself in the national press on numerous occasions for some of my surprising business activities.
But during all this my life was controlled by alcohol, due to the fact that I suffered from chronic anxiety and panic attacks and the only thing that ever cured this was the calming effects alcohol gave me.
Still as I write on the 3rd of April, 2009 I am dependent on alcohol. Some days I don’t drink, most days I drink till I can drink no more, some days all day, some days only at night. Some mornings I wake happy, some I’m depressed.
Even though I want to stop drinking alcohol I don’t seem able to keep it up for good, I am always drawn back to it. Is there any way out I wonder?
Recently my partner showed an advert in the press about a Dr. That had apparently cured himself from alcoholism. Over the next month I researched this Dr. on the Internet mainly and read his book that came out in March; to say how intrigued and excited I was is an understatement.
This Dr. Dr Olivier Ameisen Claims he has cured his addiction to alcohol using a drug called baclofen. I’m gobsmacked! Is this the cure I have always been searching for? Can it work for anyone? Can I get from my Dr.? Is it going to work? Is it real or a scam? Can it suppress my anxiety and panic as it did for Dr Olivier?
This is my story and diary of my search for a cure for my alcoholism and my day today activities and general life. Please forgive me for any grammar mistakes. Please note when I refer to beer I am generally talking about gold label, the small golden cans.
3rd of April, 2009
I sent my Dr. a letter about 3 weeks ago with some information on baclofen I had printed of the Internet, I basically explained the above as he was only partly aware of my drinking and I explained to him I’m interested in using baclofen.
I had already started trying to source this medication as I did not think my Dr. Was going to be interested… But to my delighted pleasure he said he was open to the idea for the use of baclofen for my alcoholism in an off label prescription and could I please go and see someone from the local addiction unit.
I replied to him and explained my delight and sent him a copy of Dr. Ameisen’s book and booked myself an appointment at the bridge the addiction advice people as he requested. I hate anything like AA, or group sessions also having to talk to people I don’t know about my alcohol use, I’m just not comfortable with it, although I know it has helped many many people I really done it to keep my Dr. Happy.
As it so happens the appointment at the bridge was quite OK, mainly I talked about baclofen to the lady that interviewed me, she had not heard of it and was quite intrigued, eventually she asked what exactly can she do for me as I had explained I’d tried practically every way possible to cure myself from alcoholism, from yoga to kickboxing, hypnosis to herbal Valium, you name it I had tried it.
She wasn’t stupid and assumed correctly that I was trying to keep my Dr. Happy, she explained to me that she was going to write him a letter to say I had attended and she persuaded me to go for a couple more one on one sessions; I agreed.
About a week after I had sent my Dr. the second letter I received a letter from my surgery requesting me to attend for my diabetic yearly check up, I thought maybe this was a cue from my Dr. To come and talk about baclofen.
I attended my diabetic check up in the morning as requested an eagerly waited to see my Dr. After.
There were a few people in the waiting room and my anticipation was growing by the minute, was he just going to run through my diabetic information and just mention baclofen on the side? or was he going to prescribe me there and then this possible wonder drug that may potentially cure my alcoholism??? I just didn’t know.
Abruptly door opens, Mrs. So and so, door closes, I continue waiting. Door opens the lady goes, door closes. Anxiety starting to creep in, door opens again,“Chris” my Dr. Calls me by my first name, I get to the door and as I do we shake hands.
To my surprise he doesn’t mention my diabetic check up and is as excited as me about baclofen, this is amazing, he’s a top man. We discuss the book I sent him, doses of baclofen, and so on. He weighs me and prescribes me 200 tablets of 10 mg baclofen to start immediately, 30 mg a day for the first 3 days then increasing by 20 mg every 3 days. I am 6 ft 1 and 19 stone and he advises me I may end up taking 600 mg a day, 60 tablets.
I took my 3 baclofen tablets today 3rd April, ’09 3 times a day, didn’t notice any change, consumed alcohol that evening until drunk.
04/04/09Same dose again today, didn’t notice anything once again, had a few beers during the day, consumed alcohol at night until drunk.
Same 30 mg today, same results no change. Consumed alcohol in the evening.
Dose up today, by 20 mg, 20 mg in the morning, 10 mg the afternoon, 20 mg in the evening.
I notice a change this morning after my first 20 mg, a strange feeling, hard to explain, relaxed but almost a bit foggy, feel tired, go to sleep in the afternoon and wake up feeling fresh; take another 10 mg baclofen feel fine, the craving for beer is not the same, or maybe it’s just psychological at the moment I’m not sure? Was I tried this afternoon because of a bad night’s sleep or was it the baclofen reactions in my body? May have a beer this evening as I feel a bit low for some reason[Probably too much alcohol over the last few days] . Still have anxiety although not as intense. Take my other 20 mg, I feel OK, strangely relaxed, my body is so used to feeling tense it’s a bit hard to deal with feeling relaxed all of a sudden. I’m going to have a beer; I can’t believe the baclofen is working this quickly??? Must be psychological at the moment but I am not craving for a beer as much as usual this evening.
Busy today and didn’t fancy a beer all day, actually had my first one about 11.00 PM and that’s really only because my partner came around and we had a takeaway; although I had drunk a lot less than normal. I slept really heavy.
08/04/09Another busy day, uploading T-shirts designs to our website [new business i’m setting up].
Didn’t fancy a beer all day and not feeling as tired; had some beers in the evening and sent a few emails that I needed to do. I slept heavily again.
09/04/09 Upped my dose again today 20 mg as my Dr. Instructed, I felt tired again in the afternoon but No beer cravings. Fell asleep about 7.30 PM and woke up about 9.15 PM, took my last dose of baclofen and had a read, fell asleep late, but no BEER and didn’t even fancy one.
A Crappy day! Supposed to be going away fishing in Devon on the 11th but unfortunately the Mercedes that my partner’s dad sold her [I did mean sold her!] Has got a problem with the window wipers being they stopped working and the rear door on my jeep doesn’t open so f*** knows what we’re going to do? Drunk in the evening and argued with my mum[gutted]
After some heated words me and my partner kiss and make up and decide to take my jeep, my nephews coming with us and she’s taking her son. We leave about 8.00 PM and get their just before midnight; I had a few beers on the journey down as my partner’s driving and I suffer from severe anxiety and panic attacks in motors; initially I bought my jeep to take my dog out but since he passed away I rarely use it and whenever I did use it I was always reaching for my emergency beer in the glove compartment and consequently probably always over the limit; today was different in the motor as I didn’t drink that much and I was definitely a lot more relaxed, is it the baclofen?
12/04/09 Upped my dose another 20 mg today, felt a little lethargic in the afternoon but fishing all day so it quickly passed; took my final dose of baclofen around 9.30 PM with a sleepeasy and no beer, fell asleep not long after and awoke 10.00 AM the next morning feeling fresh and alive, that’s probably the best sleep I’ve ever had…
13/04/09Something amazing has happened for me today, I drive from our cottage in Devon to Bude in Cornwall, just under 25 miles, I haven’t driven that far in around 15 years due my anxiety and panic; I’m flabbergasted and so is my partner, I just can’t believe it, surely it must be the baclofen??? As I didn’t even fancy a beer when I got there. A quiet evening and had no beer.
Fishing all day again today, order a curry in the evening and settle down to watch my beloved Chelsea and had a few glasses of cider, that’s all though and not drunk before I go to bed, that’s a first in a long long while as normally I have to drink until unconscious.
15/04/09Go out to some castle Town today, I drove again but only about 14 miles, strangely I was a lot more anxious today than when I was driving to Bude, maybe it’s because I drank last night ? Go to a pub in the evening to have some grub, my nephew has ham, egg and chips, my partner and her son have sirloin, their food is a lovely ,I order rack of ribs and it’s a load of shit, I’m tempted to stick my ribs up the chefs fat nose, but decide not to because they under charge us! Had 6 beers after midnight, not drunk and it’s a lot less than I normally drink. My dose was upped again today by 20 mg, didn’t experience the usual tiredness.
16/04/09Driving back home today, had a few beers in the motor, way less than normal though; I stopped and bought more beers for when I eventually got back, why? I didn’t need them. Drunk them all steadily throughout the evening.
Really busy today catching up on the emails, rearranging my T-shirt business path as I haven’t sold anything in a week, washing and drying[shit I need more money so I can get a cleaner] login system tests[shall explain no doubt at some stage] drank 8 beers 4 before 7 PM the rest after 10.00 PM, unusual because I never drink like that as normally I have to drink everything in sight in one session.
Super busy day again, didn’t think of a beer all day, to be honest I didn’t really fancy any in the evening, but i went to the shops to get some food and bought beer [fucking idiot] drunk all 8.
I forgot to raise my dose yesterday so I did it today, 20 mg, that’s me on 130 mg a day, I take 50 mg in the morning, 30 mg in the afternoon, and 50 mg in the evening. Drank 8 beers in the evening, even though I don’t drink as much I still have an urge to drink.
20/04/09 Busy day to day, sending emails, uploading T-shirts,[only sold 1 at the moment] selling stuff on eBay, linking up with my lodgers, and so on. Had the tired feeling today but very relaxed and less anxiety; as I’ve said before my body is so used to be tense my brain still get to grips with begin relaxed, but in the right frame of mind I can get really relaxed, I think you do have to give it a chance to work and believe you just do not need alcohol, but as we all know that is easier said than done. Went to the gym in the evening, no beers that night, hoorah.
21/04/09A non event full day, went out to watch the football, had three beers then came home, drunk 8,
I woke up with a hangover.
I am actually staying on the same dose for three days instead of raising it on the third day as I do seem to be quite lethargic, it’s almost like being sedated but no groggy feeling although I do regularly have a sleep late afternoon or early evening and am still able to sleep at night even without any beer, as I didn’t have any this evening and slept really well again. One thing I have noticed is that sometimes I wake up taking a deep breath as if I’d been holding my breath, I have no idea what this is but my partner seems to think it’s where I am so relaxed in my sleep, I’m not sure?
23/04/09 Upped my dose again today, I am on 150 mg, I didn’t feel lethargic and I didn’t drink in the evening once again, I am just so much more relaxed than normal or have been since I can remember and that in itself is reducing my alcohol intake, and no beer again today. Also I emailed Dr Olivier Ameisen today, and he responded, I responded back to his questions and I haven’t heard back yet so shall do a separate post once I do.
24/04/09A long day, and I haven’t heard back from Dr Olivier Ameisen as yet; not feeling as lethargic as I have been, and no beer once again today, that’s three days on the trot. And I’m positive it is the baclofen.But honestly I just don’t fancy it as much as normal
A well deserved day off today, went to Bournemouth to have a look around, going to Bournemouth normally meant drinking and I didn’t have one all day. A combination, of supermarkets, the drive, and crowds of people always made me drink due to anxiety but today nothing; as I was walking around I did consider what I was normally like and I was always concentrating on where the next drink was coming from but today I just had a stroll around, it’s the baclofen no doubt about it. I got back around 6 and again no beer in the evening. That is of huge significance to me today, I am buzzing about not drinking.
26/04/09A lazy day today, read some more of my book, spoke to some friends, played some online poker, and just chilled out, no urge to drink other than boredom today, didn’t have any though. . Up another 20 mg today.
27/04/09Another quiet day, done some diy I had to do, played some online poker again [not for money I must ad, just practice mode for fun] and generally just breezed through the day. I’m having my jeep mot’ at the moment so can’t go to the gym and I haven’t got gym bag and I don’t wanna walk round there with a carrier bag looking like a chav! Also had a financial knock back so really pissed off, had beers in the evening, difference is I had a drink because I was in a bad mood not because I needed it. And Chelsea are playing on the 28th so more beer then. Is it a relapse?
28/04/09Quiet day today after yesterday’s financial knock back, a good match in the evening, Chelsea the only team to hold Barcelona to 0-0 draw this season. Drunk 10 beers.
29/04/09It didn’t a spell a relapse, no beers today, just a usual day, having a website updated, and trying to get the T shirts off the ground. Dose up again today, I’m on 210 mg. Don’t feel as tired as usual in the afternoon.
30/04/09Here’s something unusual, I’ve got a pull down bed that comes out of the wall, and the bottom of the bed broke off so the bed is on a tilt and the head is slightly higher than the foot end. Initially I thought great another expense but after sleeping on it I realised that it could be beneficial. Do you remember I said that occasionally I wake up in the night and I feel like I’ve been holding my breath and I gasp in and wakes me up ? Well sleeping with my bed on a tilt seems to have rectified that and has helped my breathing, as I’m not experiencing that any more or at least it is very very mild.