Oar Health Member Stories: Cutting Back on Alcohol

David Kopp

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Feb 13, 2024

Title card for Oar Health member stories about cutting back on alcohol

Oar Health has served over 25,000 members and many have written about their journeys with Oar. While many Oar members want to quit drinking entirely, many are looking to take back control over alcohol and cut back their alcohol use. Here are a few of their stories:

A Journey of Liberation

For half my life, alcohol had been a constant companion in my life. It was there to celebrate the highs and to numb the lows. But as time went on, the line between casual drinking and dependency began to blur, and I found myself sinking deeper into the clutches of addiction. One day, I decided it was time to break free from the chains that bound me to alcohol.

I stumbled across Oar and its naltrexone treatment, which seemed like a ray of hope in my otherwise dark world. I mustered up the courage and reached out to the platform for help. The process was surprisingly simple and discreet. I completed an online assessment, and soon after, I had a virtual consultation with a compassionate medical professional. They listened to my struggles without judgment, understanding the pain that alcohol had inflicted upon me and my loved ones.

Once prescribed naltrexone, I started taking the medication as part of my treatment plan. Initially, I was unsure of what to expect. However, as days turned into weeks, I began noticing subtle changes. The overpowering urge to drink diminished and I felt more in control of my choices. The turning point came during a social gathering with friends. Normally, such events would trigger a torrent of cravings and temptations, but with naltrexone's support, I found myself able to resist the allure of alcohol. I could engage in conversations and enjoy the company of others without relying on a drink in my hand to feel comfortable.

As time passed, my relationship with alcohol underwent a profound transformation. It was no longer my crutch or confidant; it became just another beverage, stripped of its former power over me. Naltrexone has gifted me the freedom to choose a life without the shackles of addiction. But the journey wasn't without its challenges. There were moments when the old cravings resurfaced, trying to reclaim their hold over me. Yet, with the support of Oar's counselors and fellow members of the recovery community, I learned coping mechanisms that empowered me to stay steadfast on my path to sobriety.

As I reflect on my journey with naltrexone and OAR, I can't help but marvel at the person I have become. The transformation is awe-inspiring, and I owe it all to the courage it took to seek help and embrace this life-changing treatment. Today, I am free from the chains of alcohol addiction, and I have newfound hope and optimism for the future. With Oar's unwavering support and naltrexone as my ally, I continue to take steps forward on this path of recovery, knowing that I am not alone in my struggle. If there's one lesson I've learned from this experience, it's that it's never too late to rewrite the story of your life. With the right support and treatment, there is always a chance for redemption, growth, and a future filled with joy and clarity. 

– Oar Health member KS

Game Changer

I have tried many strategies throughout the past 20 years to moderate my alcohol use (abuse). I work in behavioral health and am technically an expert in behavior modification so you would think it would be easy right? Nope. When I first realized that my drinking habits may not be "normal," I did endless research and began implementing intervention after intervention on myself to decrease my drinking but nothing was effective long-term. At the end of the day, I just like(d) drinking too much and although it never really had a damaging impact on the daily functioning of my life, I still didn't like the hold that it had on me.

When I read about Naltrexone, I was very excited because it is something I had never considered and was more curious than anything to try it. So far, Naltrexone has been a game changer for me. One or two drinks is now enough and I no longer chase that high (or that numbing) that alcohol gives me. It is exactly what I was looking for and exactly what I need. I can't wait to see how this plays out in the next year.

– Oar Health member KD

My Journey Back to Control

Why could I drink normally one day and the next be completely out of control? I promised myself I will never black out again. The only problem? I'd made that promise before. I never wanted to be out of control ever again. I never wanted to embarrass myself again. I never wanted to spend 3 days recovering from a hangover and the overwhelming regret of my actions ever, ever again.

In my desperation, I appealed to the internet seeking something, anything, to tell me what my problem was. The first result directed me to Oar, where I spent the next hour consuming everything available on their website. I had never heard of naltrexone, but after a day of careful consideration, I signed up to become a part of the Oar community. I felt hope. I felt better. I could feel a shift coming. I am still new to this journey, but Oar and naltrexone have been the key to righting my path. Oar has provided me with informative, compassionate, empathetic, and science-based information on a daily basis. I feel I have support in Oar, and I feel safe taking naltrexone under their guidance and care. I am 9 days out of 13 alcohol free, with 4 days of mindful and responsible alcohol consumption. I treat each day as an opportunity to practice the lessons Oar is teaching me, and with naltrexone on board, I feel like I have a friend holding my hand, encouraging me on my journey back to control.

– Oar Health member SQ

Drinking less

I have been drinking more than I wanted to since the pandemic. I don’t have to drink every day, but once I start, I drink more than I should. Oar has helped me drink less. I don’t feel any side effects at all, other than sometimes a little dry mouth, but that makes me want water!

– Oar Health member BO

My story

I was an every day drinker. Couldn't just have one or two drinks. Once I opened a bottle of wine I drank until it was empty, usually opening a second one. Everything I did revolved around my next drink. Going out to eat? Had to be a place that served alcohol. Weekends on the couch with day drinking. Vacations I can't remember all of because of drinking, family events I embarrassed myself at... I gained a lot of weight because of it as well. I kept wanting to quit but kept saying "I'll start tomorrow".

Then I finally became a mom. Once I adopted my son I knew that not only did I not want to live like that any longer but I absolutely couldn't. I want to spend my time with him and remember it! I started my journey with Oar and Naltrexone in June 2023. I don't feel like I have to drink every day now. If I do have a drink I can stop after one or two. I don't have that longing for another drink once one is finished, most of the time I don't even want it. The medicine can only do so much but it has really helped with my will power and desire to drink. I'm just starting this new life and I know I have a long ways to go but for the first time I feel not only hopeful but like I can really do it.

– Oar Health member CA

Escaping the drinking trap

I have had a long relationship with alcohol, with most weekends spent drinking too much and then I started to add in a glass or two of wine on weeknights. On most weekends, I would feel like crap, get bad sleep, and wake up regretting my behavior, or not remembering major sections of the previous night. Most drinkers know the drill. When I would try to cut back or moderate, I would focus on when I was planning to allow myself a drink. It impacted my day and drove me to make decisions around optimizing a drink. I did not like this and felt trapped by alcohol.

I found Oar and started taking naltrexone. It has provided a buffer to the urges and reduced the desire to drink, and is helping to make it more manageable. I have cut way back and have not become drunk since starting it 3 months ago. I do usually have a beer or a glass of wine on weekend nights, but I am able to stop and I am no longer focusing on drinking.

– Oar Health member BB

Break these chains

I would binge drink 4 days out of the week. Since I started Oar, I have not binge drunk once. The cravings have decreased significantly, and I have not had more than a drink or two per week.

– Oar Health member DB

Regained Control

I, like many others I'm sure, found myself becoming increasingly distraught by my relationship with alcohol. I would set goals to cut back and fail, the disappointment and regret the following day was getting worse and worse. I knew I felt better when I didn't drink or kept drinking moderate, but then 5:00 on Friday came and I'd quickly lose control.

Naltrexone has helped me feel like I can cut back, or even decide to not drink and the cravings aren't there. I can meet a friend after work and not have to worry if I finish a drink too quickly and am wondering if I'll look bad ordering another because I don't often even feel like I need the first one. It's made me feel so much better about having the confidence to know I can decide if I want to drink.

– Oar Health member NA

No cravings

I have struggled with binge and gray area drinking patterns for almost two decades, starting after the birth of my second child, in my 40s. I have had periods of sobriety, but always returned to drinking, and the amount escalated quickly. I have done cognitive therapy, programs, reading, and joined groups but nothing "stuck." Since starting naltrexone I have had no cravings, and when I have a drink (rarely) it is not a compulsive behavior. Very easy to just have one or less. Could not be happier!!

– Oar Health member LU

Life changing

In the last decade I’d become an almost daily drinker. Red wine had been my choice. I started taking naltrexone [and] haven’t been drunk since. I’ve had a drink, but only a glass or two in the first few weeks. Lately, I haven’t had a drink at all. It’s like my mind has been erased of all desire for alcohol. I used to think about it as early as 3 pm. Now, it doesn’t even cross my mind to drink at all, even when others around me are drinking. I’ve not missed a day on the medication. Sometimes I take it before bed, sometimes in the afternoon. It’s been quite the miracle for me.

– Oar Health member AC

Living in the dark

Since I started with Oar, my relationship with alcohol has changed significantly. I went from drinking a bottle of wine or more a night to drinking a glass or two. I used to drink heavily on weekends mostly, starting at breakfast and ending in a blackout. I have not seen weekend blackouts since I started with Oar. I still drink but I do not feel the need to keep drinking. It seems pointless now. I also get pretty tired after my first drink. I feel so good when I wake up in the morning now. I will never go back to the way I drank before Oar!

– Oar Health member EL

Stuck in a Bottle

I found the book The Cure a number of years back after seeing a TEDTalk about naltrexone. I read the book cover to cover and made an appointment to see my doctor. She was very apprehensive about giving me a prescription for naltrexone but she did, though only for 30 days and also insisted I try not to drink. Of course that went 100% against everything I had read about naltrexone. Not surprisingly it didn't work and I was then convinced it was all just a gimmick and that could not possibly be as easy as one simple pill to cure years and years of battling the bottle.

One morning I was driving, hung over and crying, I heard an advertisement on the radio for Oar and naltrexone. I figured I had nothing to lose and I would give it another try. I read The Cure again cover to cover, started naltrexone and the journey has begun. I follow the golden rule and I am compliant and take my naltrexone one hour before I drink. I am definitely drinking less and feel much more in control over my relationship with alcohol and I am confident it is working and I will get to the point of extinction in time. I am so grateful for this medication and pleased it is finally becoming a known cure for alcohol.

– Oar Health member KA

Lighter emotionally and physically

There is no magic pill that can “cure” alcohol abuse syndrome. But naltrexone has helped me to make some changes that feel a little magical. I’m drinking less, far less, because alcohol just doesn’t have the same sparkle, doesn’t get me to the same giddy buzzed level that would inevitably steamroll into blackout drunkenness. It gives me hope I haven’t had in a long time. An unexpected benefit is that naltrexone has changed my appetite. I’ve lost 15 pounds and feeling better helps me continue to be better.

– Oar Health member CH

My Journey with Oar

Since I started taking naltrexone, my life has undergone a significant transformation. I was uncomfortable with the excessive amount of alcohol I consumed, typically three or four vodkas about five days a week. I realized that the 12-step AA method was not the right fit for me. Now, I have made positive changes in my drinking habits. I limit myself to a glass of wine or one vodka only three times a week. Fortunately, I have experienced no side effects from naltrexone, and I now take it every two days. I am incredibly grateful to Oar for being a part of my journey. I understand that some individuals may not have the option to choose and must adhere to a twelve-step program, but I personally felt it was not the best approach for me. I am immensely thankful for the support I have received from Oar.

– Oar Member TR

Life Changing!

I no longer want to put away as many drinks as possible when no one is looking. I drink at a regular pace and sometimes forget I have a full drink in my hand. This has changed everything in my life. I can’t say enough about what a miracle this has been, Thank you Oar!

– Oar Member NY

No longer controlled by cravings

Cravings were the biggest issue I had. I avoided activities that didn't allow alcohol, and found that I was always looking forward to 6PM so I could have a drink. The problem is that I couldn't stop at 1. After a few days on the meds, I found the cravings really were reduced and after a few weeks, I could go days without any alcohol. After 1 year I stopped the meds for a few months but got back on them after I noticed cravings were coming back. But another 4 months on the meds I stopped again and now don't drink for a month or more, and can now have 1 drink and be done.

– Oar Health member CL

Moving in the right direction

My drinking slowly increased over a number of years, gradually enough that it was easy to make excuses and convince myself it wasn't a problem; however, this year I realized it was interfering with my life in ways that no longer felt worth it to me. With moderation as my goal, I decided to try naltrexone, starting with The Sinclair Method and then shifting to daily pills. Though I am early in my journey, I find that I think about alcohol less, and now it's a common occurrence to leave a half finished drink in the fridge (or simply dump it at the end of the evening). I'm not where I want to be, but it's nice to feel proactive and like I finally have a tool to help get me there.

– Oar Health member KY

One is enough!

I have struggled with alcohol most of my adult life. One glass of wine always led to another, and another, especially on social occasions, where I embarrassed myself or my family. I am also a Wine Consultant so I was exposed more than most. Taking naltrexone has helped me only want one glass of wine, regardless of the occasion! I am so grateful to have discovered this medication, I only wish it had come into my life a long time ago!

– Oar Health member SK

Lifestyle Change

Since taking naltrexone, I no longer have those 2-4am cravings for a drink to help me go back to sleep. I cut down my alcohol intake by about 70% and I now only have a drink socially with friends and family. It has made my thought process a lot clearer and my motivation to wake up and be active on a daily basis has increased tenfold.

– Oar Health member RD

Whino oh no

Since hearing an advertisement about Oar, I immediately signed up for a year desperate to change my relationship with alcohol as it had slowly taken over. I no longer long to take a drink. I can take it or leave it. I take a 1/2 dose before I choose to drink and many times don’t finish the drink. My mind is so much clearer and I’m healthier. I’m so grateful for being introduced to this group and knowing the meds break the cycle I had been in.

– Oar Health member JG

I’m finally “unstuck”!

For 30 years I have been drinking nightly until blackout. I don’t have memories of going to bed for all of that time. I tried so many programs and none of them helped. Naltrexone is literally a miracle for me!!! It’s very simple….I just don’t want a drink! I know that even if I have one I will not feel the effects of alcohol, so what’s the use! This drug has interrupted my crazy loop of drink, pass out, self-punish, then do it all again. I’m back to being myself!!!

– Oar Health member GR

My best life ever

I started naltrexone on July 15, 2023. I was using alcohol daily to help with my insomnia or so I thought. I wanted to stop drinking but knew I needed help. Since starting naltrexone my sleep has drastically improved, my anxiety level is way down and I have more energy. I still have a drink at dinner time. We do go out to eat frequently and I enjoy a drink, but I have one and that's it. My goal is to stop drinking completely someday but I am just so excited and proud of my accomplishment. I could not have done this without medication and support from Oar. I thank you for giving me hope and encouragement for the future.

– Oar Health member NR

Definite game changer

Taking these on days that I would normally drink has helped me tremendously reduce the amount I drink. Normally I’m the type of person that will drink until I pass out. Now I only have a few and I am done! I thank God I found this!

– Oar Health member KT

There is hope…

Naltrexone is so helpful in my journey to become free from alcohol dependence. At first I drank a bit, then, over time, the alcohol craved more alcohol. I knew that if I didn’t do something, I would ruin my health. I do not crave alcohol when I take my naltrexone. It’s a life saver.

– Oar Health Member MA

Available to live the right way again

Since I started with Oar I have been able to stop drinking alcohol every day. I have realized that for me alcohol was nothing short of a life or death situation. It was either drink myself to an early grave or try something new to help with my addiction. Once I started with naltrexone I was able to stop the cravings and even stop thinking so much about drinking, allowing me to get back to my normal self. I became a better mom, better person and could do the things I knew I needed to do in life to really just be a happy woman.

– Oar Health Member JO

Changing My Life with Oar

With Oar, I was able to change the relationship I had with alcohol. Previous to beginning Oar, I thought having a drink every day to "take the edge" off a stressful day was "normal.” The problem was, the drink was getting progressively stronger and I had to have more of them to get the same feeling. With Oar, I felt empowered to dial all that back and practice better self-care methods of unwinding after a stressful day. By removing the "pleasure" my brain experienced with alcohol, it became so much easier to not drink. I haven't missed it, or the feeling of becoming intoxicated since. My work and home life has improved, I have more energy, AND I have lost a few pounds!

– Oar Member KN

Note: the member stories above have been edited for punctuation, grammar, spelling and length. Each represents the individual perspective of the Oar Health member who wrote it, and is not intended to be medical advice. It is core to Oar Health’s philosophy that every journey to sobriety or moderation is unique, so please consult a medical professional, such as your Oar Health clinician, about your specific situation.

About The Author

David Kopp is passionate about consumer health, having had editorials on health topics appear in the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and many other publications.

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