Alcohol addiction – Heed the signs

Alcoholism is a deadly disease. It so main stream media acceptable these days that many don’t even realize the lives lost daily due to this deadly disease.

It not only destroys the abuser, but in some instances the entire family unit.

It is a disorder of physical and psychological dependence on alcohol daily or binging on a regular basis.

It can be a gradual progression, and the individual is not heeding the warning signs. When the threshold is passed, unfortunately, there is no going back.
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How Much Alcohol is too Much?

How Much Alcohol is too Much?

How Much Alcohol is too Much? – Source

This is a question that almost everyone from college students to lawyers (and everyone in between) ask themselves at some point.  It is a very difficult question to answer, and honestly the answer will be different for each person and each situation.

A 100 pound girl can handle much less than a 250 pound grown man.  How much is okay at a bar with your friends is very different from what might be okay at your conservative grandmother’s 65 birthday party (maybe none is best).

Different cultures also have varying views on alcohol.  Europe tends to have a slightly gentler view of alcohol consumption than the United States.  The easiest approach to answering this question for you and your life style is by examining how your life is affected by it.
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Addiction: Friends and Family

Worried about family or friends?

Worried about family or friends?

Addiction is different for everyone, so there is no easy way to tell if someone you care for is struggling with drug use.

Just because a loved one is struggling with substance abuse does not mean the need to go to rehab, either.

Simply talking to your loved one may help.  There are both physical and emotional signs of addiction, so simply paying attention may cue you to your loved one’s need for help.
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Extreme Sport Addictions

Extreme sports addictions represent an interesting case because they involve activities such as skydiving, surfing, base jumping, whitewater rafting, mountain climbing, and paintballing. These activities do not have negative effects on biological functioning. But on the other hand, extreme sports are inherently risky and do present a real threat to life and limb. In fact, most who are drawn to these activities admit that the risk of injury and death is a part of what makes extreme sports so stimulating.

When interviewed about their passion for risk-taking, what extreme sport practitioners mention again and again is the incredible adrenaline rush they feel when pursuing these dangerous activities, and they acknowledge that it is this high risk/high reward dichotomy that always brings them back for more.

This isn’t to say that all extreme sport practitioners disregard safety. For instance, paintballers will equip themselves with paintball markers, but also safety gear like masks. Nonetheless, the element of danger is an integral factor in its attraction.

Extreme Genetics and Brain Chemistry

Research seems to indicate that at least some compulsive risk takers do suffer from dopamine deficiencies, a 2008 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience presented evidence in support of this theory. Researchers from Vanderbilt University in Nashville and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City looked more closely at what was going on inside the brains of the sensation seekers participating in their study, and they discovered that people who love to take risks appear to be suffering from a deficiency of dopamine-inhibiting receptors in their brains.

It is speculated that people without the ability to regulate dopamine release properly may actually experience a more intense high while putting their life and health at risk, as their brains may become flooded with high concentrations of this pleasure-producing chemical. Even more so than alleviating possible dopamine shortages, it could be the exaggerated nature of this reaction that makes extreme sports so appealing to so many people.

When Extreme Fun Turns to Addiction

Whether or not the risk is really worth the reward is a question each extreme sports enthusiast must answer for him or herself. But when interest gradually transforms into obsession, to the point that family and work responsibilities are being neglected, and financial problems are being incurred because so much money is being spent in support of an extreme sport hobby, these are strong indicators that calculated thrill seeking has changed into addiction.

Wanting to do something and needing to do it are two different things entirely, and those who find themselves so consumed by a formerly pleasurable activity that it is adversely affecting other parts of their lives may need to seek professional help in order to get their behavior back under control. Addiction counselors or psychotherapists who specialize in obsessive-compulsive disorders will be able to help extreme sports addicts gain new insight into their personalities while showing them how to reorient their lives so that their hobbies are no longer the primary focus of their existence.

Like any other pleasurable pursuit, extreme sports can add spice and enjoyment to a person’s life. But if they become a source of obsession or addiction, they can also cause an enormous amount of physical and emotional damage and pain, for addicts and their loved ones alike. And if the extreme sports addict is driven to try more and more dangerous stunts in order to increase the intensity of the high, he or she may end up paying the ultimate price.

5 Ways a Certified Nursing Assistant Can Help Addicts Recover

Supporting Addiction Recovery Treatment

Addiction is not a simple disease to treat. Unlike many other diseases that can be simply regulated with medication or a permanent change to one or two aspects of lifestyle – addiction treatment requires a holistic change to the entire lifestyle and behavioral patterns of the individual, as well supporting medical treatments. For the CNA working in an addiction recovery setting, the role they provide for the treatment team is one of the most complicated of any of the Certified Nursing Assistant team positions. The focus of CNA training for addiction recovery is on helping to create a support system while providing care to the family and person suffering from addiction. There is greater recognition now that as a member of any treatment team, it is the CNA that provides the psychosocial care, as well as supporting medical care for the individual. They are the eyes and ears of the support team.

The role of the CNA in addiction treatment

Online CNA classes focused on addiction recovery and support go in-depth into what addiction is, who can become addicted, and common addictions. They explore the neurochemical, biological and psychological factors that contribute and are influenced by addiction. CNA training for addiction recovery treatment is more holistic than other treatment team roles because it is the CNA that will have the most interaction with the person and family while in treatment. Being on the floor with the consumer while in treatment allows them to not only provide care, but to observe behavior and be able to alert the treatment team to any issues that may be arising.

Supporting families

The other aspect that is covered by CNA classes taught online is how to support the family and friends of a person undergoing treatment for their addiction. In the same way that the CNA interacts more with the consumer, they are also usually the only members of the treatment team who will be present when the consumer’s support system visits. The relationship they form through their daily interaction with the consumer also means that the CNA is in a greater position to have an ongoing therapeutic conversation with the consumer about handling their interaction with their families post treatment. While not counseling per se, the CNA is the only member of the team that the consumer and support system can interact with daily.

What makes good recovery support?

The best treatment for recovery from addiction doesn’t occur in the crisis centers and detox units, it comes after in the residential care and continued support when the person returns to their world. The CNA often follows the person more closely as they may be the one who checks their vitals or assists with their care when they come in for supportive after care treatment. That continued relationship is key to keeping the person connected to their program of recovery as they build their own support network outside of treatment. The CNA needs to know about what types of support networks are available outside of the recovery and detox treatment facilities so they can give the person resources when possible.

Why are CNAs so involved?

CNA training has changed greatly over the past few decades, particularly in the area of addiction recovery as medical communities have recognized the value of the relationship they build with a consumer. They tend to have more one on one time with a person that combines personal care with medical care. This forges a bond of trust and reliability between the CNA and consumer that can help to support successful recovery from addiction. The treatment teams now value the CNA as an important member of the treatment team for each individual.

How To Overcome Cigarette Addictions

AddictionWhen smoking a cigarette the first things that are noticed is the flavor and the feel of the cotton filter. Smokers often enjoy the experience of smoking outdoors and rarely ever get to experience the joy of smoking inside these days. A smoker who is trying to get over nicotine addiction has a few options.

The first option is the nicotine patches followed by nicotine gum and last but not least the electronic cigarette. The electronic cigarette offers a few advantages over the patches and gums that are out there. The first thing to notice is the fact that e-cigs offer the feel of an actual cigarette. The main thing that smokers enjoy is the feeling of the smoke and the oral fix that is obtained through the process that is smoking. E-cigs offer this due to the fact that it is essentially water vapor with flavored nicotine so in addition to getting the feeling of smoke and still being able to to blow smoke rings, the smoker can also enjoy the flavor that they enjoyed when they smoked cigarettes.

While the e-cig many not be the final solution for someone who is looking to completely kick the habit, the fact that it can be smoked inside to deal with those cravings that are bound to come to anyone who has ever been addicted to tobacco products. The electronic cigarette can still provide relief to someone dealing with addiction in a manageable way. In order to consider additional advantages to smoking an electronic cigarette over patches is that when a patch is applied in addition to smoking, can cause serious sickness. The E-cig offers the ability to get a nicotine fix while not putting yourself at risk of consuming too much nicotine. This same concept can be applied to the many gums offered out there for smokers that do not take care of the need to actually smoke something. Some people are on a budget and when it comes to this alternative that can be accounted for.

Electronic cigarettes are sold in one time use form, for around thirty dollars. This kind of electronic cigarette can offer around four hundred drags then has to be disposed of. The second option for someone looking to spend a little more money upfront but less money in the long run is the electronic cigarette “starter kits.” These start at around eighty dollars and come with a charger and a refillable electronic cigarette. These offer around eight hundred “puffs” and can be refilled with whats called E-liquid. E-liquid is essentially nicotine that comes in different flavors like menthol or classic or even exotic flavors like cherry or grape. The nice thing about buying an electronic cigarette that can be refilled is that not only can the flavor be chosen, but also the amount of nicotine that is in the E-liquid. Essentially this means that the smoker can slowly ween themselves off of nicotine all together with a little effort and a little research as to which flavors have higher or lower nicotine content.

Mad Men and The ‘Glamor’ of Smoking in the Film and TV Industry

We’ve all seen the anti-smoking ads. We know what the consequences are of cigarettes. And it’s not pretty. So why is it that whenever we see the en vogue members of the silver screen lighting up, we want to do the same?

The thing is that each and every one of us is part of a malleable species that’s influenced by even the most blatant of messages. Celebrity endorsements are often ridiculed, but there’s a reason they’re consistently churned out despite the ‘laughing stock’ image: they work incredibly well.

Film and television has always been the perfect platform for product placement and subtle nudges towards buying certain products. Unfortunately, tobacco has often been used as both a marketing gimmick and a representation of trendiness that the producers are trying to get across. From the very start of the silent film era to the modern-day blockbusters, smoking has often taken center stage.

Mad Men is perhaps the best example of the glorification of smoking on television and film. Yes, it’s set in a time where the effects of smoking were still being debated, but it’s nevertheless been a blatant choice by producers to put smoking right at the forefront the show’s premise (tobacco ad execs doing their thing). Call it satire, call it social commentary, people are still seeing smoking as fashionable.

Don Draper: Definition of Cool

So what is it that makes Don Draper a character that many guys would love to be? It’s that inexplicable charisma, that undeniable charm, the fashionable 60s suits and classic good looks. But it’s not just that. Don Draper also ticks the ‘smoking box’, representing the ultimate visual of a man that approaches life with reckless abandon and confidence to spare.

Whenever Don does something that’s the benchmark of a gentleman, he’s always smoking. The consequences? Women, booze, and a party at every corner. Perhaps a more accurate timeline for Draper would be smoking > party > ends up in a hospital attached to a wide variety of machines keeping him going while his body is slowly killed by lung cancer.

While the actors on Mad Men didn’t actually smoke real cigarettes – they went for the ‘healthy’ herbal variety – they very much impact viewers to grab a pack (or two) of the full nicotine type. And no, that’s not a good thing.

Stating the Obvious: Advertising Works

The simple fact of the matter is that advertising works. We’re feeble creatures that fall victim to this type of influencing, even if it’s blatantly obvious that we’re being pitched to. Mad Men execs are probably not even doing it on purpose (conspiracy theories aside), yet they’re still very much actively promoting it.

Many studies have shown that smokers are particularly susceptible to these kinds of messages, perhaps even more so than your blatant tobacco ad. If you’re an ex-smoker and are battling addiction, we suggest watching Mad Men with some serious caution. It may sound a little silly, but addiction is easily fuelled by inspirations such as these.