Which Is Safer? A Few Drinks a Day or Taking ADs, Benzos or Other Mind-Altering Chemicals?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Telis, Jul 21, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      A few drinks a day, or taking ADs, benzos or other mind altering chemicals?

      I choose to have a few drinks every day, I use this as medicine, mainly just wine and beer. I have maybe 6 drinks a day on average. I'm a big guy at 250 pounds or so, I can't really get drunk on this, esspecially spread through out the day, I NEVER EVER get wasted or drunk. I have been on this controlled amout of booze for almost two years now with T. Absolutely zero side effects..none. Also I don't drink more than what I have to to numb the T and H issue.

      Ideally I don't want any of this and would like to live a clean life like I did prior to T but somehow I need a crutch with this shit. I feel very guilty about not being able to go this without the help of some substance to numb the pain. I guess I'm weaker than I thought.

      I choose a few glasses of wine and a couple of beers a day over drugs. Some people in my family think that I should be doing this without the help of booze. What's strange is that I'm sure if I was poping adivan every day on the doctors orders this would all be just be fine by them.

      I'm a strong person but for some reason I can't go it on my own. I would go as far as to say that booze has saved my life many times since the onset of T.

      I have catastrophic T and H, I don't work because of it and am just trying to get through the day, this seems to do the trick. It's not a cure and I still live in hell but it numbs the pain and strips a few layers of the hell away.

      Should I switch to taking the more politically correct route of poping pills and not smelling of booze? Or should I be white knuckling this, just grin and bear it with nothing at all?

      Any opinions would be much appreciated. Thx
       
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    2. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      Benzo washed down with a few drinks. Not as dangerous as all that.
       
    3. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Not as dangerous as all what?
       
    4. jimH
      No Mood

      jimH Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      30 years+
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      No, you're not weak by any means. I got a taste of what you're living with last year from late January until May. Catastrophic T & H for the first time since I developed T in 1978. I don't care how tough a person is, that degree of suffering will eventually wear a person down. It took an AD to save my bacon. I'm off of it now only because of the reduction in the severity of my T & H. The experience has made me develop tremendous empathy for people such as yourself.

      That said, @Telis ...I think that meds are the less dangerous route over the long run. You only have one liver and if you destroy that with booze you're finished. The big question is whether or not 6 drinks a day could cause cirrhosis in a guy your size? To me, six drinks a day sounds like a lot. Perhaps you could find some information online regarding alcohol intake levels that cause cirrhosis. Additionally, if you have a good doc that you have confidence in, you could ask them.
       
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    5. nills
      Barefooter

      nills Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      Did you know that alcohol only temporarily reduces the sound but makes it a lot louder while leaving the body and when the liver has process all the junk? ...

      it`s like brushing your teeth with a sugar tooth brush .. yes your teeth are clean for a while but your actually destroying them .. I don`t know if this is good analogy but for sure alcohol is bad for T ... and the spikes it cretaes last for days ... If I have to constantly have the T I have after smoking a spliff and drinking few beers I would call it catastrophic as well. I stopped all of it.

      But what to do, it is hard .. .we all know. So Im not trying to say your doing the wrong thing .. .I just feel it might actually be more counter productive than you realize.
       
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    6. Quentino
      Tired

      Quentino Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Decrease of Hearing i presume.
      Alcohol is bad for your ears. It's not a question about being drunk, it's the regularity here that is problematic. 6 per day! That's a lot man. You should start reducing.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    7. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      Different people react to different things differently.
      For example salt caffeine or alcohol overdose does fck all to my T, whereas a lot of T folks swear that some or all of those things spike their T.
      I think the real question as Jim says, will 6 drinks a day do destroy your liver over the long term.
      I am not an anatomist so I cant say for sure, but I think all livers are pretty much the same size, its just body mass that affects how much alcohol it takes to get a person drunk.
      I read that Beethoven used alcohol to drink himself to death due to tinnitus distress and died of liver cirhossis, but I think he was getting wasted on alcohol. So thats the question.

      Over my 4 year journey with catastrophic T, I have seen a guy post, also a very big guy from the States, post on another forum his daily regimen of a couple shots of vodka in the morning that actually lowers his severe T for the whole day. Many people literally called him a raging alcoholic and that he needed to go get help (this was on a T forum, yes). But he insisted that he would rather live with low T for whatever time he will have than suffer daily torment of "white knuckling" it.

      I also exchanged PMs with a guy with severe T that used a 6 pack of beer every 3 days to get T low and that would last him until the next cycle....Again that guy prefers beer than drugs and I would agree with his method, especially that he does it in cycles. I also have a severe T friend in Janesville, WI, who used 1-2 beers a day to take the edge off T. This is VERY common practice among severe T sufferers.

      The problem with benzos is that they quickly lose their efficacy and you either have to up the dose or taper off. Benzos are meant to be taken temporarily.
       
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    8. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      Yes, I tend to agree with you. 6 a day sounds a bit too much, but it really varies from person to person. One person might live to 80, another wont make it to 60. Also you can always get a liver transplant lol.
       
    9. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      IMO popping pills is safer than 6 drinks a day.
       
    10. Geo

      Geo Member Benefactor

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      bro 6 beers a day? thats a lot.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    11. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Well thanks for the input guys, i really aprecaite it.

      Just for the record, my T doesn't go down at all when i drink, I just get that kind of relaxed feeling and can move about my day with a little more ease.

      I will at times even drink before I play tennis. The ball hitting the racket is painful and so is yelling across the court talking to my opponent, the booze seems to help with pain due to H.

      Weird everyone thinks six drinks is a lot? Man I've been hanging out with the wrong people. Haha. When I was young, my friends and I would easily put back 25-30 drinks a peice in a night out partying. I guess in my current situation it's the every day thing that is quite bad.

      The reason alcohol doesn't scare me as much as taking drugs is that there is no withdrawal (that I notice anyway) if I don't drink for a couple of days.
       
    12. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      @Telis, take what you need to take going through your day.
      I don't know if my ADs do anything for me. But I don't like alcohol.
      If I could, I would take a benzo every day. Because a high dosage (like for example a valium infusion) eliminates my T for a while. If I would know alcohol (as Dan said) lowers the volume, I would probably switch to beer or wine.

      My suggestion would be, if you drink alcohol, make sure you get enough vitamines by supplements.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    13. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      That's awesome that you can hear silence if you want to Martin. I would definitely treat myself to that at least once a week :). I guess just having that control must help you handle your T a bit better.
       
    14. 6 beers /day spread out is not very much, way below "the recommended dosage" against anxiety and distress(y). But i guess the liver says something else here. I am pretty sure that you would play better tennis on Ad´s or benzo, just the thought of sinking a few before a hot day on the court:bag:.
      AD´s must be the best long time choice here, since you feel that you needs something to get you through the day.
      I know that you don´t agree fully with me regarding the Ad´s.

      30-35cls of fine Single malt whisky softens my T to the point i have to seek for it, back to normal the next day thou.
       
    15. Excession
      No Mood

      Excession Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      @Telis

      I don't think that's much at all, especially since you're spreading it out. The liver breaks down alcohol at about the rate of 1 beer an hour, so I think you're quite safe. I did similar for over 10 years and never had a problem and I did all my drinking in the evening only.
       
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    16. Steve H
      Creative

      Steve H Director Staff Benefactor Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      York, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      It's all very personal as different things will affect us each differently but I can weigh in that alcohol seemed to help my t but it turns out that it really didn't, making things worse in the long run and making me feel more dependant on it to help.

      I gave up drinking at Christmas and my t has been better than it's been for a long time, volume hasn't necessarily changed but the awareness of it has reduced and I haven't had any anxiety. We went out last weekend and had a drink (first of the year) and it feels like it set me back a bit so I'm confident it's the alcohol that made t and anxiety worse. I probably won't drink again.

      Saying this, I don't have a great reaction to alcohol anyway, terrible hangovers and anxiety for drinking too much. It most likely doesn't help anybody overall though because of the effect on the nervous system.
       
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    17. awbw8
      Balanced

      awbw8 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2013
      Hi Telis. I would agree that 6 drinks a day is a lot. As far as what is worse, benzos, alcohol or ADs, I would say some kinds of ADs (from what my doctor has said) are the least dangerous of the three.

      If you really want to know which is going to cause more real damage to your body, I would ask a doctor. I just don't know what 6 drinks a day over the long term would do to one's liver, and you also have to consider that benzos, alcohol and ADs don't all have the same effect on the body, so a doctor might not give you one over the other anyway, depending on your symptoms.

      I know you're having an especially difficult time, so I say this from my own perspective, not as a "you should do this or you're wrong" sort of thing, but if it were me: I'd go to a psychiatrist (one I really liked) talk to him/her about my symptoms/needs, and maybe start weaning myself off the alcohol and and onto other practices to calm myself down (yoga, exercise) and maybe take some medication, if recommended, as an experiment to see how I felt. You might not need it forever, you know?

      Anyway, it might be worth exploring the other options. Drinking that much daily definitely isn't good, but other options might help lead you to a solution that is monitored and leading you towards a better lifestyle.

      I hope you feel better whatever path you choose, sending good wishes your way.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    18. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Yeah I know many people that drink heavy amounts of booze for a lot years and are perfectly fine. And when I say heavy, I mean heavy. And when I say many years, I'm talking decades.

      I worked in a stressful work environment for
      A lot years, this was the way of life for a ton of my colleagues, part of the culture sort of thing.

      I am quite surprised at how many people here think that six drinks a day spread out is a lot. I really thought that this was a moderate amount, I definitely did not think of it as excessive. I mean I'm not even getting hammered. If I was drinking like a drunk, I would be consuming easily three times this amount daily.
       
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    19. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Hi Telis,
      I think getting a full valium infusion once a week is not really an option. (n)
      Maybe Retigabine will be a better option on the long run: Makes T lower and yourself high. :wacky:
       
    20. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      I think the withdrawal is different - a hangover for a binge, or for milder drinking just that slightly crappy/irritable feeling that comes on a couple of hours after you stop. Even just a pint of decent beer gives me that feeling if it wears off before I hit the sack (I know, I'm a lightweight :)). I don't let that put me off enjoying a drink of course, but the thing I wonder with what you describe is whether you are getting the mildly crappy/irritable feeling when the booze wears off, becoming more annoyed with your god-awful t, then making the irritable feeling go away again by having another drink.

      Alcohol is a depressant drug, so if feeling persistently low is a problem then it is probably counterproductive to drink so regularly. The effect it has on how you feel day-to-day is probably quite complex and maybe different now from when you started doing it. If you haven't for a while then I'd suggest having a couple of weeks off, just as an experiment, and see how you feel at the end of that. It might change how you feel about needing a crutch, or it might not, but it would perhaps be worth knowing for sure.
       
    21. Steve H
      Creative

      Steve H Director Staff Benefactor Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      York, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      To add a little to @dboy after around a month of stopping drinking is when I truly feel the effects have lifted (had years of giving it up for the start of the year, there's almost a point when you just feel free of it, a palpable feeling).

      And also, I would not have thought 6 was much. But where I'm from has a big drinking culture so I'm not the best judge.
       
    22. nills
      Barefooter

      nills Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      at least you should drink heeeaaapss of water with your 6 a day (ouch - :p ) ... it sure is a lot more than any doctor would advice you ...
       
    23. That's because we're Canadian. x.

      Whether or not if affects your liver long term, no one can really know, not even you..it may affect your pancreas (chronic pancreatitis is a really awful and alcohol is number one cause-acute form in alcoholics, males, in their 30's) but anyways. .then your stomach as well.

      Do what you got to do..certainly no judgment for me..but drink 2-3 cups of coffee every morning, it was shown in studies of alcohlics to protect the liver against cirrhosis. ..

      If it starts to catch up with you, your body will tell you...there are different stages to liver damage. .
       
    24. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      6 drinks is probably a week's worth of alcohol, or should be. The bottom line is that alcohol in any quantity is neurotoxic and carcinogenic, and there's pretty good data showing a linear relationship between various cancers, and alcohol consumption. Meaning, this effect does not disappear when you only consider people who only have one drink a day: they are still more likely to encounter health problems than people who do not drink at all.

      Additionally, much of the data which claims to show that "moderate alcohol consumption is associated with increased longevity", is suspect/bad, because many of these studies include former drinkers who have stopped drinking with the "no alcohol consumption" group. This means that the "no alcohol consumption" group in these studies includes former alcoholics, many of whom did serious liver/kidney/nervous system damage during their time of use.

      So, as far as gross damage to your body, I personally suspect that regular benzo use is probably less toxic overall than regular alcohol use... but benzos are extremely potent molecules with a high receptor affinity, and therefore, even though they do not damage the entire body in the way booze does, they probably cause structural damage to their specific receptor sites much more readily than booze.

      As far as the long-term prognosis for tinnitus specifically, based on what I understand about how GABA-mediated inhibition relates to tinnitus, I think it's likely that regular use of either alcohol or benzos, probably contributes to worsening tinnitus in the long run.

      FWIW, I haven't taken GABAergenic drugs at all in a period of years, but I do drink what I'd consider moderate amounts of alcohol (1-2 drinks) on a fairly regular basis. I also smoke a tobacco pipe with moderate frequency. And, you know, ride a motorcycle, climb on top of boulders, and do any number of other things that I probably wouldn't if living a really long time was my only priority in life...
       
    25. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      @Telis You're at twice the recommended safe level of alcohol consumption for a man. http://menshealth.about.com/od/lifestyle/a/alcohol_intake.htm

      If you're going to drink above the recommended safe level, I highly recommend you begin supplementing with both SAM-e and milk thistle. There are plenty of articles which address the benefits to the liver of SAM-e, and milk thistle is well-known to protect the liver. I actually gave SAM-e and milk thistle to my dog when her liver levels were incredibly high, and two of the levels dropped to normal within 8 weeks. She remains on SAM-e and milk thistle to this day, a year later. The other level is likely related to her arthritis and there's not much can be done about that except glucosamine/chondroitin, supplements such as that.

      SAM-e has also been proven to help with depression. Maybe with that, you can cut down on your alcohol consumption.

      This is a long article, and the comments are worth reading. http://www.raysahelian.com/sam-e.html
       
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    26. Richard zurowski

      Richard zurowski Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      27/12/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection.
      A friend of mine died of cirrhosis of the liver. And he never drank alcohol. Fact is you can still get a fatty liver which In turn can lead to cirrhosis of the liver.
       
    27. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      one of my best friends died of lung cancer despite not smoking.

      Neither of these anecdotes should be seen as evidence that smoking and drinking are not bad for you. They are.

      You can die in a car accident without ever driving drunk, but that doesn't make drunk driving a reasonable pastime. (Fun, yes, responsible.... less so).
       
    28. Carlos1

      Carlos1 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Boston
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Root Canal
      @Telis
      Hey Telis I have few beers couple times a week sometimes it actually lowers my T other times it has no effect. The one thing I do is not over do it to the point where I have a hang over cuz that drives my T loud or at least gives me the perception that it's louder so I just have couple to take the edge off .....No one really knows what effect alcohol might or might not have down the road. I use to drink a heck of allot more pre T so couple brews isn't going to hurt....that's my 2 cents
       
    29. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      From the Mayo Clinic website:

      What Causes Cirrhosis of the Liver?

      Hepatitis C, fatty liver, and alcohol abuse are the most common causes of cirrhosis of the liver in the U.S., but anything that damages the liver can cause cirrhosis, including:

      • Fatty liver associated with obesity and diabetes
      • Chronic viral infections of the liver (hepatitis types B, C, and D; Hepatitis D is extremely rare)
      • Blockage of the bile duct, which carries bile formed in the liver to the intestines, where it helps in the digestion of fats; in babies, this can be caused by biliary atresia in which bile ducts are absent or damaged, causing bile to back up in the liver. In adults, bile ducts may become inflamed, blocked, or scarred, due to another liver disease called primary biliary cirrhosis.
      • Repeated bouts of heart failure with fluid backing up into the liver
      • Certain inherited diseases such as:
        • Cystic fibrosis
        • Glycogen storage diseases, in which the body is unable to process glycogen, a form of sugar that is converted to glucose and serves as a source of energy for the body
        • Alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency, an absence of a specific enzyme in the liver
        • Diseases caused by abnormal liver function, such as hemochromatosis, a condition in which excessive iron is absorbed and deposited into the liver and other organs, and Wilson's disease, caused by the abnormal storage of copper in the liver

      Although less likely, other causes of cirrhosis include reactions to prescription drugs, prolonged exposure to environmental toxins, or parasitic infections.


      Why tempt fate by drinking excessively, when excess alcohol consumption is one of the 3 most common causes of cirrhosis of the liver? Anecdotal exceptions to the norm should not be relied upon when deciding whether a behavior is putting one's health at risk.
       
    30. daniel zontek

      daniel zontek Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1992
      Wow dude, what did you get started? I've used alcohol to deal with the T monster for years. For me it stopped working about 6 or 7 months ago. I 've had to find alternatives that won't interfere with my commercial drivers license. So far it's looking like a pill may have to replace it but I am trying new therapies as we speak. Will have to get back to you on this one when I find something that helps. I understand how you feel,you are not alone, we can get thru this! Hang in their brother, your bud, Daniel
       

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