Posts tagged dry drunk

Quote of the Day

“I have not used the term “dry drunk” since I left AA and one of my (former) AA comrades accosted me in the grocery store and accused me of being one. Right there in the produce section! To her, my actual state of mind and health was unimportant: the only thing that mattered was that I had left the program, and to her, that equated with drinking. Since I was physically sober, that had to mean I was a “dry drunk”.

The term COULD be useful if it was uniformly used to describe a person who is not drinking, but is still exhibiting some of the behaviors of someone who is actively addicted to alcohol. However, as long as it continues to be used as a pejorative term, applied by AA members to outsiders, it is of dubious utility.”

– “onlythetruth“; a former AA in a thread about the term “dry drunk,” sharing his/her experience with a current member of the fellowship after leaving AA.

Dispatches from Serenutopia

“I will also have to tell you that not drinking and not working the steps have not really anything to do with each other. I stayed sober for 7 years without working the steps. I know an old lady just across the street that just celebrated 50 years of sobriety. She no longer goes to meetings, and probably hasn’t in years, but shows up every year to pick up her medallion. Unfortunately, she is a bitter, unsocial angry looking old woman. I would honestly prefer to relapse and start over with a fresh attitude of humility than to go through life that way.

I found out the hard way too, that it is possible to not drink, and not change my personality for years. But slowly we tend to warp into what is commonly called a dry drunk. You might want to think about the possibility of that happening to you someday. It does sneak up on you though, since the changes are so gradual. Looking back, I can see how I had been setting myself up for a relapse for about 2 or 3 years before I ever drank again. As I said, this was after 7 years of being sober, or might I say, “dry”. But I had become sort of crazy and not so easy to live with.”

Dave M, an AA, answering a question on Yahoo Answers.

Quote of the Day

“And that is a shame that some would spend their time in futile resentment trying to mislabel AA as some religious cult. I have seen some others ex-AA’ers with the same vendetta trying to sway others with their copy and paste twisting meanings. Most of them anti-God Christian hating atheists authors trying to mock AA’ers as brainwashed people when that is the farthest from the truth….”

Nite Byrd, an AA, commenting on this post made about the term “Dry Drunk.”

(I posted the link to a frozen page because I have no doubt the original thread and the link to our site might soon be deleted.)

The @#$%&! Huffington Post

The site is a clearinghouse for self-promoting charlatans… I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Sylvia Browne is the managing editor of their Living section. Not a day goes by that there’s not some kind of 12-Step bullshit in the headlines:

Do You Have A Dry Drunk in Your Life?

These 7 characteristics of the “dry drunk” can hit the recovering alcoholic hard in the honest light of sobriety. Because they may not know how to handle these realizations, they may use you as a punching bag for their frustration and discontent.

  1. Resentment at a spouse, parent or whomever that has made them stop drinking.
  2. Realizing that because of their drinking, they may have not realized goals, dreams and potentials.
  3. Wondering if it’s too late, or if they are even capable of achieving those goals or dreams.
  4. Because of their drinking where unable to sustain a loving relationship with a partner and subsequently never experience having a family of their own.
  5. Having to accept the wasted years due to drinking.
  6. Anger at not being able to venture out or challenge themselves for fear of failure. The alcoholic may not have had any normal life experience with failure and success, which in turn would make them stronger and wiser. Instead those years were consequently shut out of dealing with life on life’s terms due to the alcoholic addiction.
  7. Jealous of others for their stick-to-it-ivity, perseverance and strength. Resenting the family member or friend for their dreams and therefore not being supportive, questioning their ability to pursue their passion and dampening their spirit for success.

Keep Coming Back!

Is there any rational explanation for why a legally insane mass murderer should be required to attend AA as a condition of his release? AA?

Man who killed 4 in 1988 will be released

The Associated Press
Saturday, May 15, 2010

WINSTON-SALEM — A North Carolina judge ordered the release of a man who spent 20 years in a mental institution after being found not guilty by reason of insanity of killing four people and wounding five others in 1988.

Judge Steve Balog ruled Friday that Michael Hayes can be released with conditions, the Winston-Salem Journal reported. Continue reading Keep Coming Back!

Back to Baclofen

Here is an article from The Guardian on Dr. Olivier Ameisen and baclofen: “The little pill that could cure alcoholism”. From the article:

“It’s not that there is much argument over how baclofen might work. Recent advances in brain imaging have increased knowledge of the function of the pleasure and reward systems, and suggested that addiction interferes with the balance of the neurotransmitters dopamine, glutamate and gamma- aminobutyric acid (GABA). “What baclofen does is stimulate the GABA-B receptors, and you see the release of dopamine and glutamate is slowed, so the reward system is normalised,” says Ameisen. It is even widely accepted that baclofen in low doses treats withdrawal from alcoholism, though no more effectively than several other medications. What proved more controversial was Ameisen’s theory of the “threshold dose”, which he says is “needed to break the cycle of addictive craving, preoccupation and obsessive thoughts” and which moves baclofen from treatment to cure.”

A couple of years ago, Scientific American ran a series of stories on “self-experimenters”, including this one on Dr. Ambeisen. There is good information in the story. We have also written here before about Dr. Ambeisen and his use of baclofen to treat himself. What is as interesting as the story itself, is the comment section. There are a couple of nice snippets of AA dogma, including this gem below, which I thought I would highlight for those in need of a daily chuckle:

“It is regretable [sic] that AA did not work for this man. From my experience, he could not get out of self long enough to let it. Ego is the main target of alcoholismn [sic] and and the only remeidy [sic] I have ever seen is true spiritualism. Unfortunately, you have to get out of self long enough to gain the proverbal [sic] high ground perspective of spiritual intervention. I guess this is the reason that AA is not for everyone. Some sorry souls are so wound up with self, they cannot alter their perspectives, even momentarily. I feel very sadened [sic] for this man and can only think of the quote, “heal thy self physician.” This must be true for anyone who will not let God do it.”


We are often asked to post alternatives to AA, or what our opinion is in terms of treating  addiction, beyond simply quitting. My opinion of using baclofen to treat alcohol addiction is no different than it is of naltrexone, campral,  CBT or any other treatment option. Subject it to proper, scientific, peer reviewed research – and if it shows to be effective in treating addiction, it should be looked at as a possibility for treatment. If it is unwilling to subject itself to the scientific method, and is unwilling to change or improve upon itself (as is the case with AA); or, if it has shown itself to be ineffective by objective research (also AA and Twelve Step Facilitation) – then it is most likely snake oil.

I have no idea whether or not baclofen is an effective treatment for alcoholism. I read Dr. Ambeisen’s book, and would recommend it to anyone interested in the subject of addiction recovery. My guess is that it most likely is effective, but my opinion is not what matters, which is the beauty of science. What does matter is what the science says, and there is currently research being done on the effectiveness of baclofen, including a study at the University of North Carolina on the use of baclofen in conjunction with naltrexone. These are controlled, double-blind studies on which science thrives, and AA avoids like the plague.

Thinking in Circles

When last we left off, we were taking an exam to determine whether or not we are real alcoholics. Among the things learned were, if a person can stop drinking on their own for a certain period of time, they are not an alcoholic:

This person….can also stop or moderate, although they may find it difficult and troublesome and may even need medical attention. Have you found a sufficient reason to quit and has that reason kept you sober or clean? *Note: If you can answer “YES” to this question, you are NOT an alcoholic or addict!

This brings us to Dave C., an AA and participant over at the Friends of Bill forum. Dave, who has been diligently working the steps, but has yet to have his own white light experience, asks:

“I have been wondering this for some time. I had a spiritual awakening, followed by a relapse 2 months later, followed by a 14 year dry drunk, got heavily involved in meetings and the steps and quiet times and can honestly say I havent [sic] felt my makers presence, but have had plenty of improved periods of perspective I’d call it, but no contact with H.P. Has anyone here had a long period of dry drunk after a relapse and had another spiritual awakening? I’d love to hear about it. I could use some advice in this.”

The most obvious piece of advice to me would be for him to take some belladonna. The second bit of advice should have been that he is not really an alcoholic, since he was able to quit on his own for fourteen years. Of course, that is not how it really works. In AA, if you can quit on your own for any period of time, you were never really an alcoholic. Unless, of course, if you come back to AA, in which case you were a ‘dry drunk’. Does this make sense? Of course it doesn’t. It is just another piece of circular logic one is subjected to when entering the rooms of AA.

Quote of the Day

“I gave up drinking for good on 12  September 2002. The earth did not crack open and give forth fire-breathing three-headed dogs, no trumpets sounded in the sky, and I didn’t get a telegram from the Queen. I tried Alcoholics Anonymous because lots of people said I should, but it didn’t work out. Disturbingly, a well-known media figure, who is a recovering alcoholic, refused to give a cover quote for this book, not because they thought it was bad (they didn’t, apparently), but they felt it was critical of AA. This appalled me. That kind of collusion, that kind of self-censorship, is simply wrong, and no one can persuade me otherwise.

For the record, AA has helped many, but it was not for me. I had work to do on myself. When I was newly sober, I wasn’t interested in anyone else’s problems. I had basic survival to think about. And there was too much tormented male sexual energy in the counselling rooms that I saw to be any kind of a safe space, especially for a woman. The 12 Steps in themselves are useful, and can be applied to almost any situation in life, but you don’t have to be “in the programme” to do them. I’m aware that what I’m saying is terrible heresy. But I’m disturbed by the fact that some long-term members take on a faintly creepy mantle of priesthood that is intolerable to be around; the same kind of people who told me that my sobriety “wasn’t real” because I hadn’t been going to meetings.”

– Tania Glyde, author of the book Cleaning Up: How I Gave Up Drinking and Lived, from this piece in The Independent.

Bring it.


Do you boys want me to pull this goddamn internet over? Because I sweardagod I will pull it over right now! Do not test me. I will stop the whole internet right here and end you all.

[An imagine of my mom just popped into my head: Trying to steer the car with one hand, swerving all over the road, while she flails her arm in the back seat trying to smack us around… and we’d laugh our heads off, while she got more pissed off trying to make contact. This was before booster seats and seat belts, so we could ninja. God, that was funny. I am about to become my mother, so hold onto your hat.]


 I’m glad to see Danny back – especially since I invited him back. I didn’t just invite him, I badgered him. (Yeah, tell me with a straight face you’re not glad he indulged me.) Continue reading Bring it.

You've got two choices….

I don’t know about you, but if drinking panther piss was among the conditions for me to get felony drug charges dropped, I would slam it down without batting an eyelash. I would also eat bugs, dance naked, sleep with Roseanne Barr, sky dive or walk on glass – if that happens to be what it takes to stay out of the slammer. Threatening a person with prison time is a sure fire way to get them to do just about anything. Alcoholics Anonymous has a policy of “attraction, not promotion”, and one way of attracting new members is to offer up a single, unpalatable alternative: prison. This is what the good folks in Fremont, Nebraska are doing. It is part of their court’s new drug program:

“Participants in the drug court program must attend three Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings a week, maintain a sponsor and work at least 25 hours a week or perform community service, among other requirements….”

Of course AA is cooperating with court by signing attendance cards, force feeding meetings and dogma down the throats of these court ordered participants, and assigning a one-on-one sponsor, who no doubt offer up an even worse alternative than prison if a person decides to leave AA once their mandate is fulfilled: death. Make someone a captive – any dogma – and there is a great chance they will swallow whatever dogma is put in from of them, eventually believing whatever they were told. After all, this is the same technique that convinced Patricia Hearst to rob a bank.

Of course, this belief in the dogma won’t help these addicts get off of the sauce, and what we’ll have left are addicts and alkies who believed they failed the program because of their lack of character, or because they didn’t fully work the program, or some of the many other ridiculous AA excuses which point the finger of shame directly toward the individual. If these guys believe meth addiction is hell, wait until they tack on the mental mind fuck of a few months inside of a 12-step program.

As the years progress, a small minority of graduates of this program will go on to sober up, and will be held up as a shining example of what this court ordered 12-step program can do to a person who “truly follows the path”. The chances are good there will be a follow-up puff piece focusing on one of these individuals who recovered from the brink of death, and the ninety-percent plus who fail at sobriety are ignored – all with the cooperation of the local AA group who have convinced themselves that none of this is promotion.