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Old 02-01-2011, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Southern California
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Treating alcoholism by inducing a coma?

I have a 55 year old cousin who has been an alcoholic for some time now. His drinking has cost him everything he's ever had, and has caused him to do things that placed him on the wrong side of the law. Writing bad checks, petty theft and the other such crimes.

He moved back in with his elderly mother (my aunt) and basically, made her life hell. His criminal activities finally caught up with him a month ago. He's been arrested and hauled off to jail to answer the charges and pay for his misdeeds.

My aunt doesn't want him returning to her home because of his alcoholism, and abusiveness, and she has told him that. He claims that since he's been incarcerated, he's been successfully treated for his drinking problem to the point that he has no desire to take another drink. His treatment, according to him, consisted of being placed in a 5 day coma, and viola, he emerged from it a new man free from the desire for alcohol. Of course, he's locked up and has no access to alcohol so his cure may be nothing more than an inability to get a drink, or it may be another pile of his BS.

My question is whether my BS meter is defective or not? I've never heard of a coma being used to treat an alcoholic for his addiction. Is there any truth to this coma therapy? My aunt is leaning towards believing him.
Old 02-01-2011, 12:01 PM
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My bullshit meeting s going haywire. I am an alcoholic, and there is no cure that will make you never want to take anything drink, believe you me. Your cousin may be sober (for now), but he needs help to get to the root causes of why he drinks.

Last edited by Annie-Xmas; 02-01-2011 at 12:01 PM.
Old 02-01-2011, 12:11 PM
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I've been through rehab and the withdrawal symptoms (which can be severe) are usually treated with tranquilizers like Valium, Librium or alprazolam. The third or so day of treatment when you wake up not feeling hungover at all is pretty terrific. But just just feeling "sober" ain't the half of it. It's a long haul.

I agree with Annie-Xmas in that your BS-o-meter is properly calibrated. Let your cousin go into a 30 or 60 out-patient program and demonstrate that he truly is in recovery. That would be better evidence, in my opinion.

I am not a doctor, this is not medical advice but just the voice of my experiences.

As for the "coma" the trank dosage can be pretty high at first, depending on the severity of the withdrawal. I've seen fellow patients sleep much for days straight after admission.

Last edited by MonkeyMensch; 02-01-2011 at 12:13 PM.
Old 02-01-2011, 01:45 PM
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Pure BS. Medically induced comas are sometimes used for certain detox situations, but alcohol is rarely one of them. And such a detox does nothing for the underlying addiction, it only renders the person insensate so they don't experience the withdrawal symptoms (which in and of itself may lead the person to think "hey, that wasn't so bad. I think I'll have another drink").

And IAAMD who works in a prison and detoxes folks from many substances.
Old 02-01-2011, 01:48 PM
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His treatment, according to him, consisted of being placed in a 5 day coma, and viola
If I got placed in a viola for 5 days, I'd make sure I never got placed back in there again.
Old 02-01-2011, 02:29 PM
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Thanks everyone. I'll tell my aunt that she what she needs to know and let her make up her mind.
Thanks again.
Old 02-01-2011, 02:36 PM
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It's possible that he's on Antabuse, which is a drug that makes you sicker than a dog if you consume alcohol, but even that isn't a "cure". You can still drink (you'll just wish you hadn't), and the addiction is still there, so when you stop taking the Antabuse, you've got to deal with not drinking long term the same as anyone else.

Nothing to do with the coma, of course. But he might be sort of confuddled about his treatment, y'know? Or he might be engaging in a heaping helping of denial, or trying to pull one over on your aunt. Hard to tell. But whatever it is, there ain't a treatment invented that can cure an alcoholic in 5 days with no chance of relapse that doesn't involve a coroner and a body bag.
Old 02-01-2011, 08:12 PM
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That treatment is from an episode of House MD.

It didn't work for House either.
Old 02-01-2011, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
Medically induced comas are sometimes used for certain detox situations, but alcohol is rarely one of them.
I've seen it used when a patient got habituated during a hospital stay. The coma cleaned the drugs out of the system and got the patient past the withdrawal symptoms. In this case, there was no psychological addiction; it was strictly physical, due to over-prescribing. I doubt it could possibly work with a true addiction.
Old 02-02-2011, 09:04 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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Originally Posted by Morgenstern View Post
Thanks everyone. I'll tell my aunt that she what she needs to know and let her make up her mind.
No! Why are you putting the burden on your elderly aunt (mid-70's at least)? Give her the info, AND give her your advice on this. She is probably affected by maternal feelings toward her son; you are better able to look at this dispassionately and realistically.

Help you aunt out on this!

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