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.

Studies have shown individuals that continue to excessively use alcohol tend to have issues such as: anxiety, depression and insomnia. Repeated heavy drinking or a drinking binge that involves a large amount of alcohol in a single instance can lead to an individual having amnesia or otherwise known as a blackout. In these instances they don’t recall anything that occurred. They may seem normal, drunk, but normal to the others around them, but they’re not operating consciously.

This is obviously a dangerous stage because this is where murders, drunk driving accidents, and many more fatal or life changing scenarios can happen. It is important to know the signs of abuse before they become fatal. Screening test questionnaires can attempt to identify pathological behavior, but unfortunately the person can alter the answers because they feel they do not have a problem.

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Ultimately it is up to the individual to recognize they have a problem if they are to get sober and stay sober. There are 12 step programs with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), group therapy, inpatient rehabilitation and many other options. If you suspect yourself or someone you love seek help as soon as possible.

How Much Alcohol is too Much?

How Much Alcohol is too Much?

How Much Alcohol is too Much? – Source www.cdc.gov

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.

Do you take unnecessary risks while drinking?  For example, are you more likely to put yourself in unsafe situations while intoxicated?  Having sex without protection, driving, walking home alone late at night or attempting physical feats that end up in injury.  You are probably drinking too much, particularly if you are driving.

Do you often “black out” or not remember events that happen while you are drinking?  Completely losing control of your self and not remembering the next day is very dangerous.  While this might seem okay when you are in college and with all your friends, it is probably a good idea to cut back.

Are your school grades or career suffering?  Showing up to work a little hung over and dragging through the day once in a while like after the company Christmas party is probably fine, but missing days or poor performance because you are hung over regularly is most likely and indication you should cut back.

The point here is that alcohol is not evil, and drinking is not wrong(if you are of age and do not drive, anyhow).  But if you are putting things you care about at risk just to drink, you may need to reconsider how much is too much for you.

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.

Physical Traits of Substance Abuse

  1. Their eyes often look irritated or red enlarged or restricted pupils.
  2. They always seeming tired. Your loved one may be sleeping all the time because of this, or just always seem tired even after just getting up.
  3. They have unusual odors on their breath or body.  Possibly from lack of hygiene or from drug residue.
  4. Did they change their eating patterns?  This may also result in rapid weight gain or weight loss.
  5. Do you notice slurred or impaired speech pattern or unusual lack of coordination?

Lifestyle Changes that may Signal Substance Abuse

  1. A sudden change in social group and hang out spots.  New friends do not always mean drug use, obviously, but a completely new social set along with other signs may mean your loved one is using drugs more heavily than their old friends approved of.
  2. A sudden change in attitude or frequent mood swings.   Is your loved one frequently anxious or paranoid? Do they occasionally become hyper and giddy for no reason.  Remember, we all have mood swings.  If your loved one is struggling with drug use, these would be wide mood swings.
  3. Did your loved one suddenly become secretive about where they are going or what they were doing?
  4. Are they not following through with responsibilities? Are they missing days at school or work for no reason?  Poor performance at school or work can be a signal that something is wrong.

kids internet addiction not childs play

As much as computers and use of the Internet have become part of the lives of urban children, so has the risk increased of these children becoming Internet addicts. Internet addiction among kids is loosely understood as tendencies in children to spend excessive amounts of time in the online and internet space at the cost of other aspects of their social life.

Apart from the necessity of computers and Internet to perform school tasks, parents also provide the facility to children to keep them engaged when they are at home all by themselves. Continuous entertainment, simulation and anytime access that online space and the virtual web provide easily entice children. From innocuous net surfing to more critical interests, like tracking online pornography, Internet addiction among children is a very serious issue and should be tackled with urgency.

Some of the symptoms of Internet addiction that children may show are staying away from mingling with other children or family and using that time to spend online, rearranging mealtimes and other engagements to spend more time surfing, withdrawing from normal school-related activities or indulging in any activity that affects school performance.

Kids’ Internet Addiction: Not Child’s Play

Kids’ Internet Addiction: Not Child’s Play

An important step in treating internet addiction among kids is for parents to become aware that such a problem exists. The next step is to openly talk it with the children to understand what is causing the addiction. A good thing may be is to ensure that the children are not left alone too much and get to spend quality time with family and friends. The computer should preferably be kept in the common room. What parents should not do is to completely restrict the children’s access to the Internet. This aggravates the problem but does not resolve it. It is necessary to remember that Internet de-addiction in children is possible gradually but cannot be done overnight.

How addiction harms

Addiction can be defined as a state of mind when a person’s principal means of happiness depends on substances like alcohol, smoking and drugs. Adolescents are more prone to addiction because they have not yet learned the importance of self control.

It has been found from research that almost one in every eight people in America is addicted to either drugs or alcohol. This is quite a significant number, and the fact that there are 27 million people in America who use drugs or alcohol is terrifying. Considering the fact that addicts require a lot of care and rehabilitation, a significant amount of your tax dollars are spent on addiction rehabilitation.

Adolescents, as has been said, are more at risk of addiction. Almost 12 per cent of the American adolescent population is addicted to drugs. The addiction not only costs more, in terms of health care; it also costs a lot to treat the person when they suffer from the consequences of the addiction.

The common diseases that are seen as a result of addiction are mental problems like depression and suicidal tendencies. Diseases apart, addiction also causes a great loss to the nation because of the increased crime rate. The total health and other cost to the American society because of addiction is at least $250 billion.

The United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also says that addiction is not only a health problem, but it is also a major social problem. Illicit drug use and overindulgence in alcoholism can make a person becoming completely dependent on these substances. This addiction leads to breakdown in families, increased divorces, increased burden on families because of health care costs and various other problems. Addiction needs to be identified and curbed in the society, as early as possible, to prevent its corroding influence.

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What you need to know: Alcoholism 101

Alcohol is considered a psychotropic drug, and a central nervous system depressant. It is the number one substance abuse problem in the United States. There are approximately over 100,000 deaths a year due to alcohol addiction.

Alcohol works as a quick-acting depressant. Eerily, it is similar to ether in pharmacology. An individual’s body reacts to the alcohol in such ways as: sedation, excitement, and eventual anesthesia. Extensive amounts of alcohol can eventual cerebral edema (fluid on the brain), and depressed respiration.

Alcohol is quickly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract directly into the bloodstream. It decreases the individual’s judgment, their memory, and other intellectual and emotional functions.

Continued alcohol use will eventually affect almost all of the body’s organs. It can eventually lead to liver damage and pancreatitis. It can also lead to memory loss, and mental deterioration.

Some of the treatments that are considered once it is determined that the individual has an alcohol problem, can be anything from one on one therapy to inpatient rehabilitation. It truly is a case-by-case depending on each individual. Another treatment used, under a physicians care, is daily use of naltrexone also known as ReVia. Physicians will use this along with counseling to keep alcoholics sober after detoxification.

Naltrexone functions by blocking the pleasure sensations associated with alcohol. This is in hopes it will decrease their craving for the alcohol. This, unfortunately, is not a magic elixir. The individual will have to want to stay clean and sober, and follow after- care instructions given by the rehab center or the physician.

Visit the official Alcoholics Anonymous site here

Addiction: How do I Know if I Need Treatment?

Substance abuse is an issue that many people today face, and there is no quick easy answer if you are concerned you have a problem.  Being self aware enough to question if you need help is a good first step, but does not mean you need to go check yourself into a three month long rehab program either.    Ask yourself a few questions first.

Do I feel like I need it, or do I just like doing it? The answer to this question might also depend upon what drug you are struggling with.  After a long day, maybe you like to have two glasses of wine.  If that is the case you probably do not need help.  Illegal drugs carry risks besides those to your health.  If the legal and health risks are not enough to dissuade use, then you may have a problem that warrants seeking treatment.

Do I feel guilty for using, or do I lie and try to hide my drug use? If you feel guilty, there is probably a reason. If you are lying to your family, it shows you know you are doing something wrong.

Does my drug use lead to destructive behavior? Destructive decisions are going to be defined differently by each person.  Getting drunk the night before a test is a destructive decision for a college student, but may mean you need to be more responsible.  Getting drunk or high then missing work and losing your job means that you need to seek help.  Consider what your substance abuse does to your family as well.

Am I using drugs regardless of the consequences? If your drug use has resulted in arrest, risk of failing in school, loved ones to stop speaking with you, or loss of employment it is time to take a good long look in the mirror.  If you are continuing to do drugs even though it is having a negative impact on you life, you need to seek help. There are several options to help people with substance abuse trouble, find one that will work for you.

You can find more information on addiction at the aa www.aa.org   & na www.na.org