Tag Archives: alcohol

sober during holidays

Staying Sober During the Holidays

Avoiding Relapse During the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us once again. This time of year brings about many joyful opportunities for gathering together with friends and family members to enjoy food, fun, and laughter. However, for many who were once addicted to alcohol or other substances, the holiday season can prove to be a difficult time as well.

It can be difficult for many people who were once addicted to harmful substances to remain sober during a time when stress and many temptations abound. However, with a plan of action in place, it is possible to fight off temptations and remain sober during this trying time of year. The following tips have been gathered to help you remain sober during the holidays and get your new year off to the best and healthiest start.

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What Makes the Holiday Season Difficult for Many People in Recovery

The holiday season is something many people look forward to. It is a time of excitement, cheer, and happiness for most of us. However, there are certain things about this time of year that can trigger a person in recovery to drink or use a substance again. These temptations might include the following triggers or events.

Added Stress During the Holidays

Shopping for gifts for loved ones, making last minute travel plans, and having a house full of loud relatives can add to the already present stress of everyday life. Add in grocery shopping and cooking an elaborate meal for close friends and family and you have the recipe for a very stressful period of time. Handling stress and not letting it build up is an important part of maintaining control of the situation and your reaction to the events that occur. Sometimes controlling how you react to the situation is all you can do, so it’s vital to have proper ways in which to manage stress to help prevent relapse.

Running into Negative Associates

Whenever someone who is addicted to alcohol or other substances seeks proper treatment, part of the recovery plan usually involves creating a new circle of friends and avoiding those they once abused substances with. While attending holiday parties and other gatherings, it is possible that you may run into people you once spent time with when you were actively abusing alcohol or other substances. For many people, this may bring back memories that can create a strong desire to engage in those negative behaviors once again. Having a plan in place for proper ways to handle these temptations before they occur is an important part of triumphing over them.

Temptations at Gatherings

Holiday parties and gatherings usually include both food and alcohol. Just the mere presence of alcohol can be a reminder of the sensations you experienced when you were consuming it regularly. Therefore, it is important to realize ahead of time that these types of gatherings will almost always include alcohol. A support system that you can rely on to distract you from temptations can be helpful. Knowing your limits and weaknesses can also be beneficial. If you feel being confronted with the temptation of alcohol at parties will be too strong, it may be best to avoid attending them at all.

Tips for Remaining Sober During the Holidays

Having a proper plan in place for dealing with the previously mentioned temptations is an important part of overcoming them. The following tips can give you a good idea of different ways to start formulating a plan for remaining sober this holiday season.

Keep Your Distance from Negative Locations or People

Bumping into people you once spent time with while you were engaging in destructive patterns of drinking could potentially set off emotions that can create temptations to drink again. If you know the areas that these people tend to gather, it is best to avoid them altogether. It is even better if you can arrange to spend time with new friends that help you fight the temptations to drink.

Create New and Healthy Traditions

Replacing old patterns of destructive behavior with new and healthy holiday traditions can help you overcome memories and fight off temptations to engage in these actions again. Starting new traditions will give you something exciting to look forward to each holiday season as you create new memories with your loved ones.

Attend Support Meetings or Groups

Support groups can be a huge blessing during the holiday season. It can be very helpful to associate with others who have overcome their addictions just like you. These individuals know firsthand how hard it can be to fight off temptations during the holidays. Their empathy and understanding can go far towards helping you feel a level of support that will prove encouraging all season long.

Create a Network of Support

Creating a strong network of individuals who understand the temptations this season can create will be beneficial for you as well. Knowing their support is just a phone call away can offer the strength and peace of mind you need to have confidence in your ability to remain sober.

Get Adequate Sleep

Adequate sleep, along with the support provided by nutritious foods and moderate exercise, can go a long way toward strengthening your resolve to stay sober. Sleep deprivation, while common during this time of the year, can weaken your resolve to decline tempting activities, events, or invitations. Taking care of the physical needs of your body and mind is an important part of remaining emotionally strong.

Start the New Year in Continued Recovery

You fought long and hard to break free from the chains of alcohol addiction. You probably attended a treatment program, completely changed many aspects of your life, and endured the difficult time of detoxing your body from the effects of alcohol abuse. Remember the things that you have gone through and how hard you have fought to achieve sobriety. Keeping this journey fresh in your mind can help you fight temptations and remain strong this holiday season and all the ones still to come.

never drinking again

Another Sunday of “Never Drinking Again?”

Spending Another Saturday or Sunday Hungover? Weekend Binge-Drinking Is a Serious Issue

“Ugh, I feel awful. I’m never drinking again.”

How many times have you mumbled something similar after waking up with a hangover? You have good intentions when you claim you’re never going to drink again, so you believe your declaration of sobriety. Unfortunately, you find yourself dealing with the hangover/hungover cycle again next weekend…and the weekend after that.

It doesn’t have to be like this. You can break your weekend binge-drinking habit with help from supportive, compassionate people who understand your situation.

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What is binge drinking?

Binge drinking refers to heavy drinking that quickly raises a man or woman’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) to a percentage of 0.08 grams or higher. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this usually occurs when a woman has more than 4 alcoholic beverages or a man has more than 5 alcoholic drinks in a 2-hour period.

Binge drinking is common at parties, bars, and events centered around alcohol. Some adults mindlessly consume multiple drinks as they socialize, dance, or snack on appetizers. Other folks intentionally down alcoholic beverages during drinking games, such as beer pong or Quarters.

Does binge drinking each weekend make me an alcoholic?

Not all binge drinkers are alcoholics. The CDC states that approximately 90% of heavy drinkers do not have an alcohol use disorder. (Alcoholism is an example of an alcohol use disorder.) However, that does leave approximately 10% of heavy drinkers that DO have an alcohol use disorder.

Why is binge drinking bad?

There are numerous risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption, including:

  • Vehicular crashes
  • Abnormal and/or inappropriate behavior
  • Injuries
  • Alcohol poisoning

Drinking heavily may lower your inhibitions, making you more likely to engage in activities you would normally avoid. Some potential side effects of excessive drinking, such as liver damage and memory issues, may not appear immediately.

Can a teen have a binge-drinking problem?

Binge drinking affects people of all ages, including teens and preteens. One out of every 5 drinkers are under the age of 21, and 13% of underage drinkers admit they have had recent episodes of binge drinking.

What should I do if someone I love is a weekend binge drinker?

It’s difficult to watch a loved one battle hangovers or other unwanted side effects caused by binge drinking. If you’re concerned about a loved one’s drinking, don’t lecture her or criticize her actions. Invite her to attend alcohol-free events with you, and let her know that you’re happy to lend an ear if she ever wants to talk about her drinking. Don’t press the issue; you don’t want to push your loved one away.

How do I know if I’m drinking too much?

Ask trusted friends or family members how they feel about your drinking, but keep in mind that some loved ones may sugarcoat potential issues to avoid conflict. Make a list of how your drinking affects your life. It may help to track what, how much, and when you drink on a calendar.

After tracking your alcohol consumption, do you notice a pattern of hangovers, fights with your significant other, or missed shifts at work? These are all signs that your weekend drinking habits are impacting your life in a negative way.

If I have a problem with binge drinking, does that mean I have to give up drinking forever?

This is a common concern that people who consider giving up alcohol completely. It’s difficult to imagine an alcohol-free life, especially if your social outings or business meetings frequently involve alcoholic beverages or if those around you would not be willing to cut out alcohol during gatherings.

Some binge drinkers become dependent on alcohol, so they decide it’s best to adopt a sober lifestyle. There are also people who successfully modify their drinking habits without permanently giving up alcohol. An alcohol abuse specialist can help you decide if you should limit or eliminate alcohol consumption.

You can have fun without alcohol, but adjusting to sobriety takes time. If you decide to quit drinking, make sure you surround yourself with encouraging people who support your path toward sobriety. You deserve a happy, healthy and rewarding life.

happy life not hungover

impact of addiction on family

The Impact of Addiction on Family

How Addiction Affects a Family

Addiction affects not only the life of the person struggling with addiction but also the lives of everyone he or she cares about. Families can suffer the effects of addiction emotionally, financially and even physically. In some cases, family members may be inadvertently contributing to an individual’s addictive behaviors. By learning to understand how addiction can impact a family, you can be prepared to offer your loved one the support he or she needs while protecting yourself and the others you care about.
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How Drug and Alcohol Abuse Can Damage Family Ties

When a person is struggling with addiction, getting the next fix becomes their top priority. The disease of addiction can lead a person to do things that are otherwise out of character, and these behaviors can put a serious strain on family relationships.

In pursuit of feeding their addictions, addicts may:

  • Lie or fail to keep promises
  • Borrow or even steal money from family to pay for the addictive substance
  • Be unreliable and struggle to meet family commitments
  • Forget about important duties or become distracted
  • Engage in illegal behaviors

Addicts may struggle to maintain employment as a result of their addiction, leading to additional financial strain for themselves and their families. Addicts may also suffer mood swings and other uncharacteristic behavior as a result of a substance’s effects or the effects of withdrawal if they cannot get a regular fix.

All of these issues can quickly compound to create a hostile environment at home.

The Impact of Addiction on Children

Addiction has an especially powerful effect on families when the addict is a parent. Children require care and attention, but the disease of addiction can take away a parent’s time and ability to care for his or her family.

Parents struggling with addiction may forget to take care of their own needs and the needs of their children. This may include missing meals, forgetting to pick kids up from school or failing to keep up with laundry and other chores.

Additionally, it may be unsafe for the children to be around the addicted parent. Mood swings and poor judgment can lead to explosive outbursts, and a parent caught up in the effects of drugs or alcohol may not be alert enough to protect children from dangers around the home. Sadly, there is also the risk that the parent may overdose in the presence of their child, putting their child in serious danger as well.

If only one parent is an addict, the other parent may experience significant stress while trying to deal with family responsibilities alone. This can put stress on the marriage, creating domestic turmoil at home that may affect the children as well.

For these reasons and more, children feel the impact of family addiction very strongly. Kids growing up in these conditions are more likely to face drug and alcohol problems of their own later in life.

Getting Help for Addicted Family Members

Most people who struggle with addiction do not want to hurt their families. However, they may be unable to break the habits and behaviors on their own. Similarly, family members are poorly equipped to handle the realities of addiction on their own.

Love is not enough to overcome the power of addiction, and loving family members run the risk of enabling the addiction further by continuing to provide financial support or shouldering the consequences of an addict’s actions. For this reason, it is important to seek the help of qualified professionals outside of the family.

A professional intervention followed by drug treatment can help your loved one get the help he or she needs without putting further stress and risk upon your family. Together, you can work toward healing and recovering from the addiction and its effects on those you love.

SOURCE:

drugabuse.gov

How Drinking Too Much Can Affect Your Finances

How Drinking Can Impact Your Finances

Many people do not realize the extent of their drinking problem until it begins to negatively affect other aspects of their lives. Consequences like lost work, strained family relationships and damaged health are common side effects of alcoholism. However, another common and frequently overlooked problem is the effect of drinking on your finances.

You may not realize that problem drinking is negatively impacting your financial wellbeing until the effects have become severe. If you are a frequent drinker, it’s worth looking at both the obvious and hidden costs of too much drinking.

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drinking impacts finances

How Can Drinking Impact Finances?

The first and most obvious expense associated with frequent drinking is the cost of alcohol itself. If you go to a bar to drink socially, you can usually expect to pay $5-9 per drink. If you get two drinks per night, three days a week, you’re looking at $120 to $216 a month. If you drink more frequently or tend to binge-drink with four or five drinks per sitting, this number can easily double.

Even staying home and drinking can quickly become expensive. A six-pack of beer may cost around $5 to $15, depending on the brand, and you may go through two or three of these per week. Hard liquor, wine and other beverages can cost more.

As you can see, the occasional drink won’t break the bank. However, making a habit of drinking regularly or drinking too much can snowball into a much larger bill.

Drinking too much impacts your finances in other ways as well:

  1. You may be tempted to spend unwisely while under the influence. You may purchase rounds of drinks for friends or strangers in the bar, or you might order extra food and snacks. People drinking at home may be tempted to make online purchases or other expenditures that they otherwise would not have considered.
  2. Your work productivity can suffer. People who drink frequently are more likely to call into work or show up sick or under-slept. These can damage productivity and, over time, affect overall job performance and opportunities.
  3. Your medical expenses may rise. Alcohol can affect your immune system, leaving you more prone to getting sick. Alcohol-related problems, including issues with the liver and pancreas, can build over time and lead to costly medical expenses.

Excessive drinking also impacts the community. The CDC estimates that excessive alcohol consumption cost the United States $223.5 billion in 2006. These costs were attributed to:

  • Lost workplace productivity
  • Healthcare expenses
  • Motor vehicle crashes
  • Criminal justice expenses

The primary culprits in the study were binge drinkers, or those who drink more than 4 or 5 drinks per occasion. One in six people binge drink, and binge drinking accounts for 76 percent of costs associated with excessive drinking. 

Is Drinking Affecting Your Wallet?

Spending a lot of money on alcohol does not necessarily make you an alcoholic, but it is often a warning sing that your drinking has become problematic. It’s a good idea to sit down with your bank statements or receipts and tally up the real cost of your drinking. Consider:

  • The cost of drinks purchased in bars or consumed at home
  • The cost of purchases made under the influence of alcohol
  • The cost of cab fare or other related expenses

Also take an honest look at your recent work history. If you have had to call into work in order to nurse a hang over on more than one occasion, that could be another sign of excessive drinking.

If your drinking has led to problems with your finances or is otherwise impacting your lifestyle but you don’t know how to stop, it may be time to seek professional assistance. We can help. Contact Desert Cove Recovery today for more information.

SOURCES:
http://theweek.com/articles/457336/how-drinking-much-sabotages-finances
https://www.cdc.gov/features/alcoholconsumption/

arizona recovery centers

Top Qualities of Alcohol Treatment Centers in Arizona

What Sets The Best Arizona Recovery Centers Apart?

Anyone who thinks that rehab is a vacation has clearly never been through rehab. The best alcohol treatment centers in Arizona will try to make sure that you’re as comfortable as possible throughout your stay. They will try to surround you with supportive, compassionate, well-trained people, and they’ll make sure that you have plenty of options to stay busy while you go through recovery. However, it’s going to be a lot of hard work. That’s why so many people are hesitant to take that step. It is because recovery is such a big job that the better alcohol rehab centers in Arizona will pull out all the stops to make the process just a bit easier and safer. It’s still a heck of a fight, but it’s just a bit easier with the right people on your side.

What Are You Looking For?

Not every facility is going to be equipped to walk with you through the entire journey of recovery. There are alcohol recovery centers in Arizona that only provide services for those nearing the end of the path. For instance, they might not offer detox. You might be at the start of the journey or closer to the finish line (of recovery at least. We all know that combating alcoholism is a lifelong fight), but along the way you might need one or all of the following forms of support:

It Starts With Detox

Whether the detox is handled in house or through a referral system, this is one of the first steps for most people struggling with alcoholism. Quitting alcohol cold turkey can be dangerous if your body has developed a certain level of dependence on booze. A detox program in a safe environment with trusted professionals can help you to end your chemical dependency without the crash landing.

12 Step Programs Are For Everyone Who Needs Them

You might have heard that 12 steps are kind of a religious thing. Not necessarily. For many, faith in God can be a vital component to recovery. But you can follow a 12 step program as an atheist, a Buddhist, or an agnostic without having to rethink your stance on faith and religion. With a 12 step program you have to hand some control over to a “power greater than yourself.” This is what you’ve already been doing with addiction. You just need to put something healthy in its place, be it God, your family, your career, whatever it is that you believe in and that gives you strength.

Holistic Treatment: Addressing Everything

Essentially holistic treatment is all about addressing the mental, physical and spiritual problems that led you to alcohol in the first place. Alcoholism isn’t like a rash that you can clear up with an ointment. It’s a symptom of something bigger.

Extended Care And Outdoor Therapy

There is also extended care to consider. Some of us need a little more work than others. No two addictions are the same. Simple as that. Likewise, you have outdoor therapy. What’s the point of living in Arizona if you’re going to stay indoors all day? Being a recluse is now way to kick an addiction, so a rehab center that gets you out in the fresh air, in front of the gorgeous mountain vistas now and then, that’s a must if you’re looking for a facility in Arizona.

Is That All There Is To It?

What we’ve laid out above, that’s just a list of services you’re going to find in the pamphlet of any alcohol rehab centers in Arizona worth putting on the “maybe” list. It’s not unheard of for a center to provide all of these services and still have a fairly low success rate. There’s more to it than that. We’re not just talking about an auto garage and the services they offer, we’re talking about a center that you’re going to call home for however long it takes to get well, and we’re talking about people who you’re going to be spending more time with than you may spend with your own family. So there’s quite a bit more to it than checking the above-listed items off on your clipboard. So what else is there?

-The people. This is the big thing. Compassionate, experienced, professional people can make the road to recovery a lot smoother. People who are difficult, who are treating this like any other dayjob, can make the road rockier than it needs to be.

-The location. It’s a good idea to seek recovery close to home. Familiar settings can help to provide some comfort as you settle into your new environment. A setting that is pleasant and inviting can go a long way, as well.

-A good success rate. No recovery center has a 100% success rate. They’re here to help, but success comes down to the individual, and some individuals are better than others at sticking to their recovery.

How Do You Know?

The only way to really find the best rehab center is to do your research and make a few calls. If you get us on the phone or send us an email, we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have on our facility, our staff, and the services we offer. If you decide that we’re the right choice for your recovery, we’ll gladly help you through every step of the way. If you wind up settling on a different facility, we’ll wish you luck all the same. This is your journey to take, it’s your recovery, and it’s your health we’re talking about. We’d love to be the people who help you towards recovery, but you have to pursue whatever path it is that you feel is right, whatever path you feel is going to help you to get where you’re going.

dual diagnosis treatment centers

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers Are The Ideal Solution When Rehab Isn’t Enough

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers Are The Ideal Solution When Rehab Isn’t Enough

Many people who suffer from drug or alcohol addictions also suffer from some sort of mental illness. The two aren’t necessarily related, but one can often worsen the other. For example, a person may start drinking to deal with the symptoms of a particular mental issue. This drinking causes the symptoms of the mental condition to become even worse, which leads to more drinking. It’s a very destructive cycle and many people don’t even know that it’s happening.

Is There A Solution?

It might seem like going to rehab for a couple of months would solve the problem, but rehab alone often isn’t enough. This is especially true when the person drinks excessively or abuses drugs because of something related specifically to their mental issue. The only reliable solution is to treat the substance abuse and the mental illness at the same time. That is where dual diagnosis treatment centers in Arizona come into play.

What Is Dual Diagnosis In Arizona?

A dual diagnosis center is a facility that treats mental health and alcohol addictions (or drug addictions) at the same time. These two services have traditionally been split between different facilities. The problem with that approach is that the person might leave rehab and then begin abusing drugs again before their mental condition can be treated. Prior to the rise of dual diagnosis treatment centers in Arizona, it was nearly impossible for a patient to have their mental health and drugs addiction treated at the same time.

The Benefits Are Obvious.

A dual diagnosis center is an ideal solution if a patient suffers from a mental condition and a substance abuse problem. As a matter of fact, it may be the only way that the person can ever achieve a full and lasting recovery. The approach to recovery in these treatment centers is somewhat different than what you would expect from a traditional rehab center. There’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than just the basic twelve steps. The patient’s mental and emotional needs are very carefully considered, addressed, and treated.

A Step Above The 12 Steps.

There’s no denying that the 12 steps have helped millions of people deal with their addictions. However, the steps were created in the 1930’s and there was very little understanding of complex psychological problems at the time. The underlying science behind addiction and how it related to mental conditions were not fully understood. Therefore, the 12 steps do little, if anything, to address the psychological issues that can result in a drug dependency. A dual diagnosis center can still implement the 12 steps or a variation of them, but it does so with the aid of psychological and pharmaceutical tools as well.

Custom Recovery Programs Benefit Patients.

Dual diagnosis treatment centers in Arizona work with patients in all states of mental health and alcohol addiction. They must create extremely personalized recovery programs for each and every patient. In a way, this makes a dual diagnosis program more ideal than a traditional rehab even for a patient without a mental condition. Because every patient who stays at a dual diagnosis center is receiving a treatment plan that was designed specifically for them.

The Follow Through Makes A Differences

It’s not uncommon for a rehab center to check a patient in and then have very little to do with them as they recover. Dual diagnosis in Arizona works very differently. Not only is the recovery program designed specifically for each individual patient, but the professionals who work at the recovery center spend a lot of time tracking the recovery and adjusting the program as needed. If something isn’t working, then they take notice and they make the necessary changes. 

Recovery Programs Built Around Proven Treatments.

The 12 steps aren’t the only way to treat the problems of an alcohol addict. There are multiple forms of therapy that have been tailored to address the underlying issues with addiction. One such line of therapy is known as cognitive behavioral therapy(CBT). This focuses on finding the habits that the addict associated with drinking and then rewiring how the brain thinks of those habits. It’s said that every addict has certain triggers that can lead to cravings. CBT can help identify these triggers and then return them to normal actions that are not associated with drugs or alcohol at all.

Helping Patients Understand Themselves.

Many patients who received a dual diagnosis had no idea they were suffering from a mental illness. That means that they likely have very little information regarding their specific condition, its symptoms, or how it can be influenced by drinking. Spending time at dual diagnosis treatment centers in Arizona serves as a learning experience for the patient. They learn about their specific condition and the various symptoms it has. For example, they may have suffered from anxiety or have serious panic attacks without actually knowing what was happening. After experiencing dual diagnosis in Arizona they have a full understanding of these symptoms and know how to react the next time they occur.

Getting The Right Medications.

Mental health and drugs do not work well together. When a patient who deals with both of these problems visits a traditional rehab they may be prescribed more medications to help overcome the addiction. Unfortunately, those medications may not work well with their mental condition. By visiting a dual diagnosis center they have the opportunity to receive the right medications. The doctors and therapists know more about the patient and can choose prescription drugs that are designed specifically for their conditions. That means the medications and the treatment are far more likely to succeed.

It’s The Ideal Solution.

If someone suffers from a mental condition and an addiction to drugs or alcohol, then dual diagnosis in Arizona is the ideal solution. It’s the only way they can receive the absolute best care possible. Dual diagnosis centers will implement a combination of recovery programs, therapy sessions, and medications that are all designed specifically for each individual patient.

If you, or someone you love has received addiction treatment that didn’t properly equip them in recovery, it’s possible that they need dual diagnosis treatment. For information or to speak with a counselor, please give us a call at Desert Cove Recovery today.

Alcohol Mixed with Marijuana Proves to be Deadlier Behind the Wheel

alcohol and marijuanaDespite pro-marijuana advocates claiming the drug isn’t harmful, new research from Columbia University proves otherwise with statistics on traffic fatalities involving marijuana and alcohol. Of the thousands of two-car accidents they gathered data from, it is very clear that driving under the influence of either substances poses a serious danger.

“The risk of crash initiation from concurrent use of alcohol and marijuana among drivers increases by more than fivefold when compared with drivers who used neither of the substances,” explained Dr. Guohua Li, co-author of the study and professor of epidemiology at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health.

The statistics also showed that fatalities increase by 62% when the driver is under the influence of marijuana alone, and 437% for alcohol. This information highlights the need for better regulation of marijuana-impaired drivers, as someone could be under the legal blood alcohol level but have also smoked weed and be highly dangerous on the road.

The statistics were gathered from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), which identified that males between the ages of 25 and 44 were the largest group of offenders. Although this isn’t surprising, it does bring up questions about the latest trend in “bro culture” that fosters irresponsible behavior such as frequent substance abuse.

As marijuana use has grown in popularity given its legalization in a few states, better testing and prevention measures for drivers must be implemented. It wasn’t too long ago that pot smokers thought they could get away with it by chewing some gum and using eye drops to reduce redness, but today there are more ways of testing, such as breathalyzers and saliva strips.

The bottom line is that it’s not worth it, and that we should be working to help people in need of substance abuse treatment. It is imperative to save lives though continued vigilance. If you have a friend or family member who has addiction-related problems, contact us today to find out more about what you can do to help and about successful treatment options.

Continued Dangers of Combining Alcohol and Medications

medications and alcoholMany Americans know that mixing alcohol with certain medications is dangerous, but a growing number of people seem to be ignoring the warnings. In fact, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), millions of lives have been lost because they consumed alcohol while taking a medication that caused adverse reactions. In an effort to increase awareness of the dangers of mixing alcohol with certain prescription drugs, Medical Daily has put together a list of the six most deadly combinations.

  • Stimulants and alcohol. – This is a dangerous combination because the mixture of alcohol and stimulants creates an entirely new substance in the body, called cocaethylene. Cocaethylene increases the level of stress on the heart and could increase the chances of a heart attack. Long term use of alcohol and stimulants can poison the heart as well.
  • Antidepressants and alcohol. – For every drink that someone consumes while also taking antidepressants, it will feel like they have had two drinks. This is because antidepressants increase the potency of alcohol. The two chemicals also reduce a person’s ability to make good decisions and increases their risk for coma, seizures and confusion.
  • Benzodiazepines and alcohol. – This is perhaps the deadliest of all the combinations. Benzos are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States and include medications like Xanax, Valium, Ativan and Klonopin. These drugs are typically prescribed for anxiety disorders, but the combination of alcohol and benzodiazepines are so deadly that nearly 20% of all alcohol-related deaths are due to this mixture. Oftentimes people who consume alcohol with benzos end up in the hospital due to respiratory failure. Both drugs are depressants and when taken together cause the body to slow down so much so that breathing can cease.
  • Birth control and alcohol. – This is probably one of the most common combinations among female drinkers. It is dangerous because while the body is metabolizing the birth control pill, it is unable to process the alcohol regularly. This delay in processing causes many women to get drunk much quicker than they intended, paving the way for risky decision making, alcohol poisoning, and drunk driving.
  • OTC medications and alcohol. – On the back of every single over-the-counter pain medication it states not to consume alcohol while taking these medications. This is because the combination can lead to liver failure. One study reports that 38% of people who suffer from acute liver failure first consumed too much OTC pain reliever while drinking.
  • Opiates and alcohol. – This combination becomes more deadly as the amount of people who abuse heroin or prescription painkillers rises. Similar to benzodiazepines, opiates are depressants and people who take both alcohol and opiates can suffer from respiratory failure and other organ malfunctions.

Take the time to educate your friends, relatives and acquaintances about the dangers of mixing their prescriptions with alcohol, you might just help save someone’s life.

Alcohol Related Health Risks May Affect All Drinkers

alcohol consumptionA new report published in the journal Addiction shows that alcohol is a direct cause for many types of cancers, no matter how much or how little is actually consumed. The study goes a long way to combat the idea that somehow a small amount of daily alcohol can be helpful, as there are still consequences.

According to the study, people who drink just 2.6 beers or 18 ounces of wine a day are four to seven times more likely to have cancer of oropharynx, larynx and esophagus. These same people are 1.5 times more likely to develop cancer of the colon, rectum and breast. There is also evidence that alcohol can cause skin, prostate and pancreatic cancer. These conclusions were made after researchers investigated ten years’ worth of information collected by different cancer and health agencies.

“The highest risks are associated with the heaviest drinking, but a considerable burden is experienced by drinkers with low to moderate consumption,” explained Jennie Connor, the lead author of the study.

While the study unveils the cancer risks associated with drinking, it does not reveal why alcohol causes cancer. Some scientists believe it has something to do with acetaldehyde, the chemical that forms when alcohol is broken down in the body, and how it damages the DNA of cells in the mouth, throat, esophagus and liver.

Now that there is a more concrete connection between alcohol and cancer, some researchers are calling for the FDA to place the same type of warnings of bottles of alcohol as the warnings on packs of cigarettes. Connor also pointed out that some of the reported benefits of alcohol, like decreased chance of heart disease, pale in comparison to the risks of cancer. However, people who stop drinking can reduce their chances for these cancers and keep their risk at a minimum when they abstain from alcohol altogether.

New Study Examines Effects of the Sight and Smell of Alcohol

psychopharmajournalOne of the most difficult things for a recovering alcoholic is to remain sober when people around them are drinking. Sometimes this uncomfortable situation can be avoided by explaining to close friends and family members that it would be appreciated if they did not consume alcohol around the addict, or avoiding parties or gathering where alcohol is sure to be present. However, because social drinking is so prevalent in society, being in the presence of alcohol is occasionally unavoidable.

A new study is showing that simply smelling alcohol can make someone feel tipsy, which may help to explain why being around alcohol is so threatening to someone’s sobriety.

Researchers, who published their study in the journal Psychopharmacology, provided face masks that had been treated with an alcohol solution or a citrus solution. Participants were then asked to perform simple tasks, like clicking a button every time they saw a certain letter or image appear on screen. They found that those with the alcohol solution on their masks made more errors than those with the citrus solution.

Researchers were able to determine that these people were showing poor impulse control, which is a common side effect of alcohol consumption. While the researchers understand that people are not going to get drunk off of smelling alcohol, they did caution that it can lower inhibitions. This means that it could cause some people to drink more, or others to start drinking when they had previously decided not to consume any alcohol.

The information gathered from this study shows just how difficult it can be for some people to withstand the temptations of alcohol, and it supports the idea that sometimes the best thing for recovering alcoholics is to just stay away from people that are drinking altogether. Overall it is going to be better for recovering alcoholics to make sober friends and surround themselves with people who respect their choice not to drink and who do not spend a lot of time drinking either. This study seems to prove that those sorts of safeguards are warranted, as there are sensory triggers that should be avoided.