When it comes to mixing alcohol and heroin, you should avoid it at all costs. Both alcohol and heroin are central nervous system depressants, which means that they act by slowing down the central nervous system.
Alcohol and heroin have similar effects but impact different parts of the brain. As a result, using these drugs together can actually cause them to have more of an effect than if they were used alone. This can put the person using the drugs in serious danger, as side effects of both drugs are enhanced, as well. For example, the breathing rate can significantly slow and the blood pressure can lower. These are only two of the many dangerous side effects that can occur when mixing alcohol and heroin.
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is an illegal opioid that is made from morphine. It is derived from the seed pod of opium poppy plants and compounded into powder form. Heroin quickly enters the brain and affects the opioid receptors, causing a euphoric physical and mental sensation.
The illegal substance can be used in a number of ways, including by snorting, smoking, or injecting the substance. Heroin is a highly addictive substance that causes tolerance to quickly build, requiring individuals to use more and more of the drug to get the same effects.
A 2003 survey conducted nationwide from the National Institute on Drug Abuse discovered that at least 3.7 million Americans had used heroin during some point in their lives. In 2010, heroin was responsible for 224,706 ER visits according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network. Heroin by itself is one of the most dangerous narcotics out there.
Heroin And Alcohol Abuse
There are many dangers that can arise when someone mixes heroin with alcohol. Due to both drugs slowing down the heart rate and breathing, individuals are at risk of falling into a coma or even death. If someone goes into a coma, he or she could be at risk for brain injury that could have lasting effects on the overall quality of life.
Additionally, people mixing heroin and alcohol are more likely to experience a decreased ability to think rationally, which can put them at risk for making dangerous decisions such as driving while intoxicated or sharing needles.
There is also a significant increase in the chance of overdose from one or both of these substances when they are used together. An overdose can be deadly or at the very least leave an individual with lasting brain damage.
Side Effects Of Mixing Heroin With Alcohol
Using heroin on its own is incredibly dangerous, and mixing alcohol with heroin only increases the potential side effects. Using heroin can result in numerous dangerous side effects, including:
- trouble breathing
- slowed mental function
- dry mouth
- flushed skin
- severe itching
Mixing alcohol with heroin can result in these side effects becoming worse as well as an increased risk for slowed breathing and heart rate. Additionally, the side effects of using these two substances together can include extreme lethargy, the inability to think rationally, and an increased risk of overdose. In short, mixing alcohol with heroin is incredibly dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.
Long-Term Risks Of Mixing Heroin And Alcohol
In addition to the immediate effects of using heroin and alcohol together, there are also several long-term effects that can have a lasting impact on an individual’s health and wellbeing. These effects can negatively impact an individual’s ability to function both physically and mentally.
These long-term risks may include:
- organ damage as a result of the substances slowing breathing and heart rate
- liver damage due to the liver’s inability to break down the substances
- damaged immune system, which leaves the body susceptible to chronic illness and disease
- inability to heal from illness and disease
- physical dependence on one or both substances
- addiction to one or both substances
Detox Programs For Heroin And Alcohol Addiction
Withdrawing from heroin or alcohol is the first step on the road to recovery. Most people will need to attend a medically supervised detox program to safely and effectively withdraw from substances. This is especially true for those who have a high level of physical dependence on a drug or alcohol.
A medically supervised detox program provides individuals with a comfortable place to withdraw from substances. It also provides round-the-clock medical supervision to ensure that individuals receive any medication or other medical attention needed for a safe detox process.
Medically supervised detox programs usually last between three to 10 days and are in a hospital setting or a treatment facility. Once someone has completed a detox program, he or she will likely be advised to go on to a treatment program.
Inpatient Treatment For Heroin And Alcohol Abuse
Inpatient treatment is the most intensive form of treatment available for addiction and requires individuals to reside at the treatment facility for an extended period of time. This form of treatment is often suggested for those trying to overcome a heroin or alcohol addiction. How long a person will stay at an inpatient facility will largely depend on his or her condition and situation.
Inpatient drug and alcohol addiction programs offer around-the-clock structure and support. While each treatment center varies, most will center their treatment programs a certain method of recovery.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) can be used for both alcohol and heroin addiction treatment. For alcohol, certain medications are available to help the symptoms of withdrawal and reduce the likelihood of relapse by forcing the person to become ill if alcohol is consumed. For heroin, there are medications that are used to replace the illicit substance. These medications are much safer and provide similar effects but at much lower doses. Individuals are slowly weaned off the replacement drug until it is no longer needed.
If a person is unable to attend inpatient drug and alcohol addiction treatment, there are other forms of treatment available. These include partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient programs, and outpatient treatment. These programs do not require individuals to stay at the facility for several days or weeks, but rather allow patients to return home after treatment.
To learn more about the interactions and side effects that come with mixing heroin and alcohol, contact us today.
Alcohol has been recreationally consumed for centuries. Many people drink alcohol and have no problem setting a limit to how much they drink and how often. Yet for some, alcohol is a substance which can have detrimental effects on their health and their lives. In fact, as the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism explains, “throughout history, we’ve struggled to understand and manage alcohol’s power.”
But in recent decades, researchers and medical professionals have spent quite a bit of time studying alcohol addiction, the effects of it, what contributes to its development, and, especially, treatment and prevention methods for it. Effective treatment methods include detoxification—a crucial process of ridding the body of toxins acquired through substance abuse, outpatient counseling or group therapy, such as Alcoholics Anonymous; and/or treatment within an inpatient drug rehab program. Other methods may involve various forms of therapy, such as behavioral therapy or medication. One newer method of treatment which is gaining recognition is hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy is useful for treatment of substance abuse victims in that it teaches participants to relax. As defined by Hypnotherapy Directory, “hypnotherapy is a form of complementary therapy that utilises the power of positive suggestion to bring about subconscious change to our thoughts, feelings and behavior.” Essentially, this form of therapy does two things: it relaxes the conscious mind, while allowing the subconscious mind to become more focused.
How Does Hypnotherapy Work?
It utilizes a series of relaxation techniques and skills to help a person reach the relaxed, focused subconscious state—a heightened state of awareness. Once a person enters into this state, the researcher can help make suggestions. These suggestions are where the real treatment lies. A person can be persuaded to avoid alcohol by using the power of the mind in hypnotherapy.
For example, the therapist may show a person images which may be associated with an alcohol addiction (such as drinks) and suggest that if the person drinks again, he or she will experience an adverse reaction, such as stomach pains. The mind is so powerful that it is highly likely that a person under the full of effects of hypnotherapy will then experience pains whenever he or she consumes alcohol, causing the person to successfully stop abuse. This is but one example; there are many different ways to utilize a person’s hyper-awareness for treatment.
What Would A Hypnotherapy Treatment Session Be Like?
To begin, many hypnotherapists start with a consultation during which they discuss with participants: personal details which will be important for therapy, outcomes and goals, how hypnotherapy works, cost, and duration. In subsequent therapy sessions, treatment can begin. The pace of treatment is different for each person but often is structured around this format:
- Introductory greeting and conversation to foster relaxation and comfort
- Induction: during this point, the therapist helps the person enter a state of deeply relaxed physical calm.
- While the person is in this deeply relaxed state, the therapist is able to start the “change work” during which the techniques and approaches previously agreed upon are used for treatment.
- After this stage is complete, the therapist begins to slowly bring the person back to wakefulness.
- Questions and discussion
How Can Hypnotherapy Treat Alcohol Addiction?
During the hyper-awareness of hypnotherapy, a person may access a deeper understanding of concepts. In other words, as Hypnotherapy Directory states, “relaxation techniques can help access an individual’s subconscious mind and uncover the root cause of the addiction.” For people struggling with alcohol abuse, hypnotherapy may help them understand why their behaviors quality as abuse and not merely use. Also, it may help them learn and understand how to implement good behaviors in place of old, destructive behaviors resulting from abuse. Further, during hypnosis, a person can (with the help of the therapist) examine his or her life. This allows the person to pinpoint the areas that need change, in order to cope and to view alcohol in a different light.
Many people suffering from alcohol abuse find it hard to admit (often for years at a time) that they have a substance abuse problem. For this reason, alcohol abuse can go untreated for years. However, with treatment and a strong support system, recovery from an alcohol addiction is possible. Paired with other treatment methods, hypnotherapy may be part of a successful treatment protocol for some individuals.
Millions of people suffer from alcohol abuse every year in the United States. It is often a substance underestimated in its ability to impact people’s health and lives. But if you have been affected by alcohol abuse, or you know someone who is suffering, you can get the help you need. Contact us today at AlcoholTreatment.net. We have a team of professionals ready to help you on your path to recovery.
Hypnotherapy Associates — Alcohol Abuse Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy Directory — Hypnotherapy For Alcohol Abuse
Hypnotherapy Directory — What Is Hypnotherapy?
National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism — Overview Of Alcohol Consumption
Beating alcohol addiction is a major problem for millions of people across the country. The most recent statistics released by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism found that almost 17 million people in the US suffer from some form of alcohol abuse disorder. For many people, it is so hard to quit because they love the taste and the smell of liquor on such a deep level.
That connection is not surprising, as recent studies have suggested that the scent of alcohol can actually change your behavior. In fact, it can make you behave in ways similar to being intoxicated or even draw you to continue drinking. You owe it to yourself to understand this connection, as it can help assist you in your sobriety efforts.
Scent Is One Of Our Most Powerful Senses
Have you ever noticed how strongly your mind reacts when you smell certain things? For example, maybe your mind instantly triggers positivity when you smell a perfume your mother used to wear. Or negative feelings might arise when you smell cut grass, because it reminds you of being pushed in the grass by a bully when you were young. It’s something we’ve all gone through: memory through scent.
This connection is powerful and scent remains the sense that is most closely related to creating and storing memories. Psychology Today describes this connection as being due to the way smells are processed in the mind. Smells go through the following process in your body and mind:
- Intake by your nose
- Processing by the olfactory bulb (the area that sends scent information to your mind)
- Passing through the amygdala and the hippocampus
- Analyzing deep in the mind
The third part of this process is the most important, as the amygdala and hippocampus are directly responsible for the creation and storage of memory. Other senses, such as sound and touch, do NOT pass through these areas. As a result, scent is highly powerful to memory and can, in many instances, change your behavior. And, unfortunately, this seems to be true of the scent of alcohol.
A Study Confirms The Power Of Alcohol Scent
This connection between scent and memory was recently tested by a group of researchers from Edge Hill University in the UK. They were looking to discover the ways in which various senses triggered addictive behaviors or memories in people dependent on alcohol.
For those of you who are confused about the importance of such a study, they were working to expand on findings that suggested people addicted to alcohol were psychologically aroused by the visual presence of alcohol. These people would literally salivate and be more likely to drink simply by seeing an alcoholic beverage.
To study this effect on scent, researchers took a rather interesting route: testing how “distracted” a person is when in the presence of alcohol. People were strapped into a face mask and asked to press a button when they saw the letter K or a bottle of beer on a computer screen. A mask that smelled like alcohol was used by some of the test subjects, while the rest used one that was not.
If a person pressed the button, the researchers considered the subjects as less able to control their actions. These “false alarms” were so much more common in the people who wore alcohol masks, that researchers believed the scent was changing their behaviors and making them do things they wouldn’t normally do i.e. increasing their impulsiveness.
The Dangers Of Alcohol Nostalgia
Many of you may be thinking that this discovery has little importance in your life or in your recovery. That’s not the case: understanding how scent affects your behavior is crucial to beating your addiction. Just think of the last time you sat down with a drink and remember the way the smell of it affected your body.
Did you suddenly flash back to a fun party where you last had this drink? Or did you remember drinking at your wedding after dancing with your wife? These triggered memories are considered “nostalgia,” which is a positive remembrance of the past, even if the event itself was not positive.
So you might not remember the fist fight that occurred at that wild party or how angry your wife was at you after your reception. Instead, you remember just the positive aspects of drinking; and didn’t you have so much fun the last time you got drunk? Why not do it again by chugging the drink in front of you and drinking more? This unfortunate reaction is possible, even if you smell somebody else’s drink.
Don’t take this behavior as a sign of weakness or lack of control. We all fight against nostalgic impulses like this on a daily basis and sometimes we give in to them. For example, we might try to reconnect or re-date an ex or visit our hometown thinking that everything will be hunky dory. But they won’t be.
Yes, there may be some positives, but when the negatives come back, they’ll hit us hard. Alcohol nostalgia works in the same way and is a terrible thing for a person who is recovering to experience. Smelling a beer and getting nostalgic about it may trigger a relapse that could lead to hospitalization after a bender, or even death, if the drinking is severe enough.
How You Can Avoid This Problem
Clearly, it’s necessary for you to avoid the scent of alcohol as much as possible. This may be a trickier problem than you realize, as there are people around you who are going to regularly be drinking alcohol. Beyond avoiding businesses that serve liquor and alcoholic parties, there are a variety of things you can do to avoid smelling alcohol:
- Opening windows during parties to keep the room well-ventilated
- Masking the scent of alcohol with deodorizers
- Never using rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizers
- Asking friends and family to drink alcohol away from you
- Cleaning the empty liquor bottles of friends and family after use
- Storing those empties outside of the house
While simply avoiding alcohol is your best way to never smell it, there are times when that’s not possible. That’s why it’s so crucial to follow the party and family-based tips. While you should definitely try to encourage family members to limit their alcohol intake, don’t ask them to change their behavior unless you believe their drinking is a problem for them as well as you.
Regain Your Sober Life
With this new information, you can help combat your addiction by finding powerful and successful ways to avoid alcohol in your life. And by contacting us at AlcoholTreatment.net, you can get access to the resources you need to guide you along in your sober life.
It is estimated that one in twelve Americans have a problem with alcohol abuse or dependence. When searching for a definition of what constitutes alcoholism, one thing is clear: it is not only how often you drink, but also the manner by which you drink, the quantity in which you drink, and the effects of drinking on your life, that allow for the idea of addiction or alcoholism to be applied to alcohol consumption.
What Is Considered Moderate Drinking?
Dietary Guidelines for Americans considers the following to be moderate consumption: up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. However, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse considers low-risk drinking as “no more than 3 drinks on any single day” for women and “no more than 4 drinks on any single day” for men. It is important to note that this standard applies to a singular day, and is not intended to be a guideline for usage over the course of several days. If, for instance, a woman consumed three drinks every day for a week, totaling 21 drinks, she would be severely over 7 drinks per week; which is considered the maximum amount to stay within the low-risk category.
Excessive Alcohol Use and Its Characteristics
The CDC notes that “excessive alcohol use includes binge drinking, heavy drinking, any alcohol use by people under the minimum legal drinking age, and any alcohol use by pregnant women.”
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as “a pattern of alcohol consumption that brings the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level to 0.08% or more.” Binge drinking occurs when alcohol is generally consumed within a two-hour period at the rate of four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men. Heavy drinking reflects on an individual’s weekly consumption; for women that amount is eight drinks or more, whereas for men it is fifteen.
When considering an individual’s drinking habits, it is important, no matter what the frequency, to be on the lookout for these warning signs: routine drinking, changes in habit, and physical changes. When any or all of these behaviors become present it can be indicative that social drinking may have progressed into the more dangerous realm of alcohol abuse, or dependency.
Is There A Difference Between Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism?
Yes. And when considering the ramifications of alcohol use on an individual’s life it is very important to become educated and understand the similarities and differences between the two. Both alcohol abuse and alcoholism are harmful to your health; each require specific treatment and are best handled under the care of a trained professional. It is especially important to understand that alcohol abuse, if left unchecked to continue long-term, can turn into alcohol dependence.
Above, we’ve outlined the generally accepted guidelines for low-risk, moderate drinking. Alcohol abuse is anything that surpasses this in amount or frequency. Alcohol abuse constitutes a pattern of drinking that negatively impacts your life. This behavior has harmful repercussions on health, both physical and mental, relationships, and also in one’s ability to perform work properly.
Alcoholism is a dependence on alcohol characterized by a habitual use of alcohol; it is both a physical and mental addiction. According to the American Society for Addiction Medicine, “alcoholism is a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations.”
For an individual addicted to alcohol, they have an excessive preoccupation with alcohol in regards to its use and effects. This mental absorption can result in both attention and responsibility being diverted away from crucial areas of a person’s life and commitments. As their functional tolerance increases, they find themselves drinking more to achieve the desired effect. They also find themselves committing increasing amounts of time to the cycle of drinking and recovering, while taking that time away from their relationships with others.
For someone struggling with an alcohol addiction, they often lack the ability to cease or control their drinking. When they do stop, this sudden abatement is accompanied by physical symptoms, including: nausea, sweating, shakiness, anxiety, an irregular heartbeat, or even seizures. Alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs to withdraw from. These dangerous withdrawal symptoms are called delirium tremens, or more commonly DTs; they may be potentially deadly. Please be advised, that anytime a person attempts to reduce or cease their consumption of alcohol, it is best undergone with the supervision of a trained, medical professional.
How Do I Determine If I, Or Someone I Love Has A Problem?
Individuals who struggle with alcohol abuse or dependency may have a hard time admitting the full impact of the drug on their life. We’ve compiled the following list of signs and symptoms that might be indicative of an underlying problem:
- Having trouble quitting or “staying on the wagon”
- Memory loss or “blackouts”
- Drinking more or for longer periods of time then you intended
- Increased tolerance
- Decreased interest or involvement in activities that were previously important to you
- Engaging in situations or activities while under the influence that can potentially be unsafe to yourself or others
- Finding that your drinking is interfering with relationships, school, work or other responsibilities
- An increased preoccupation with drinking
- Hiding or disputing that you have a problem
In addition, one of the simplest and most widely used tests is the CAGE questionnaire that follows. Answer the questions as honestly as you can.
- Have you ever felt you needed to cut down on your drinking?
- Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
- Have you ever felt guilty about drinking?
- Have you ever felt you needed a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?
If you answered yes to two or more of the questions, it is quite possible that you may have a problem. It is important to remember that proper education is necessary to fully understand what constitutes alcoholism; the observation of a trained professional can be the most useful tool in determining the extent of an individual’s problem. We recommend that you seek help, to assist either you or your loved one navigate your situation and the treatment options that are right for you.
Reach Out To Us Today
Please contact us at AlcoholTreatment.net if you have any further questions about an alcohol addiction, its signs or symptoms, or if you would like information about entering into a rehabilitation facility. We are here to help you get on a healthy path to recovery, so reach out to us today and get your life back on track.
Al-Anon is a free international program founded by Lois Wilson, the wife of one of the men who founded Alcoholics Anonymous. She thought that a separate group needed to be formed, one that would focus on the loved ones and family members of those who suffer from addiction. As a result, it helps create a support group for families, one that will help them move and grow together through addiction. These 12-steps have been adapted from the program created by Alcoholics Anonymous, but have been adapted for family use.
The biggest change comes in the final step: instead of specifying reaching out to people who just struggle from alcohol addiction, it focuses Al-Anon on reaching out to other family members and friends of addicted individuals. That helps separate Al-Anon from other recovery programs.
Step one: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
Acknowledging the problem is the very first step to regaining control over alcohol addiction. While members may find this step challenging, it is possibly the most important step on the road to recovery.
Step two: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step three: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
By placing hope in the hands of a greater power, addiction can be viewed from a more dynamic perspective. The journey to sobriety has a guiding hand to help aid in struggling. While Al-Anon is not affiliated with any religious organization, faith is an integral part of the program. Understanding that everyone interprets God differently allows members to find their own higher power and release some of the burden to him.
Step four: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Step five: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Categorizing your positive and negative aspects can prove challenging. The idea of accountability for negative behavior can also be met with the good in every member of Al-Anon. Opening up about wrongdoings can help people in recovery achieve accountability for their actions. Admitting fault can lead to dedicated improvement in the lives of someone struggling with alcohol addiction.
Step six: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Step seven: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Surrendering control over the past while moving forward helps members to focus on recovery. Having a higher power to answer to and rely upon is an important step. While accountability is imperative, freeing oneself from the total burden is thought to encourage growth.
Step eight: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Step nine: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Step ten: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Finding peace after wrongdoing is an important step. Making amends can free those suffering from addiction and allow members to realize spiritual growth. In addition, those on the receiving end may feel more at ease with with what has happened, potentially rebuilding the relationship.
Step eleven: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
Step twelve: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Spiritual growth is a key element in the Al-Anon program. Seeking answers from a higher power, members can receive personal guidance through prayer and meditation. A will to find spiritual enlightenment can open the door to other endeavors for those in recovery. Helping others may provide a purpose to the individual, boost esteem, and aid overall life improvement.
We Can Help
If you, or someone you know could benefit from Al-Anon meetings, do not hesitate to contact the caring staff at AlcoholTreatment.net. We are here to help you find the right programs and resources to fit your needs, and live a healthier and happier life.
With over 16 million people living with alcoholism in the US, you are likely to encounter a coworker suffering from alcohol addiction at some point. While many alcoholics function very well in their careers, some have difficulties that may need to be addressed. In the event that you find yourself working with an alcoholic, you may be concerned with the added complications that alcoholism entails. Handling these concerns in a proactive manner will ensure a positive outcome for all involved.
Alcoholism affects the addict in many ways. Relationships, homes, and careers often struggle as a result of addiction. While this should not discourage confidence in any one employee, it is important to understand the potential risks:
- Alcoholism causes health issues in the user, which may lead to more instances of call-ins or late arrivals. Attendance is the number one cause for dismissal in the workplace.
- Outbursts and other unprofessional behavior can occur due to alcohol dependence.
- Hangovers and preoccupation can cause the coworker to experience fatigue and loss of focus.
- Studies have shown that alcoholics in the workplace are 2.7 times more likely to become injured on the job. Nearly 25% of workplace injuries are alcohol-related.
- 11% of workforce deaths involve alcohol.
Monitoring behaviors and performance is standard in the workplace. A known addiction may prompt a more thorough assessment to prevent complications in the future. In the event that alcoholism becomes a concern in the workplace, it is important to deal with issues quickly.
How Coworkers Can Help
Offer words of encouragement and support, but be mindful of your own work. If a coworker’s addiction is affecting your performance, it is important to take action. Refrain from complaining to other coworkers about the issue, and never approach your coworker about his or her addiction. Unnecessary conflict in the workplace can backfire, placing more strain on the work flow and overall morale. Always communicate issues regarding safety or performance to your supervisor.
In the event that performance becomes a problem, the supervisor must decide how to proceed. Companies should have policies and procedures in place properly handle infractions. Alcoholism may cause more problems in the workplace, however, it is important to handle each case with the same care. Holding all employees to the same standard of performance is crucial, as is clearly defining expectations.
You may feel conflicted in dealing with alcoholism in the workplace, or want to help the employee find relief from his or her addiction. Offering resources on behalf of the company may prove beneficial, and encourage healthy morale.
If You’re Struggling
It is important to understand your responsibilities in the workplace. If you suffer from alcoholism, you may have already experienced the implications of addiction. If you’ve received warnings for preventable mistakes, or alcohol addiction is interfering with your ability to function, you may worry that your job is in jeopardy. Seeking help for alcoholism can greatly improve many aspects of your life, including functionality in the workplace. Finding relief may be easier than you think.
We Can Help
If alcoholism is causing problems in the workplace, consider your options. Contact us at AlcoholTreatment.net for advice on dealing with alcohol addiction in the workplace, and finding resources in your area. We’re here to help.
Schizophrenia is a serious mental condition that often leads people down a dangerous and self-destructive path. One of these paths is alcoholism. If you suffer from these two conditions, you have what is known as a co-occurring disorder. Understanding this problem and how it affects your life can help you regain the sobriety that you deserve.
What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?
Co-occurring disorders are two or more mental health problems that occur simultaneously and influence the progression of the other. Although this can occur with several types of disorders, it is most commonly discussed as an addiction concern because addiction is so often exasperated or even caused by other mental health concerns.
The presence of mental health concerns (like schizophrenia) complicates treatment for alcoholism because it forces experts to treat two different diseases. You simply can’t detoxify and receive anti-drug counseling; you also need to get treatment and medicines to treat your schizophrenia.
Perhaps that’s why studies have confirmed that alcohol addiction is a rampant disease among people with schizophrenia. One study, entitled “Self Reports Of The Interaction Between Substance Abuse and Schizophrenia” found that 40 percent of the surveyed people with schizophrenia suffered from an alcohol addiction. Another study, titled “Substance Abuse In Patients With Schizophrenia” found numbers as high as 50 percent.
How These Two Problems Exasperate Each Other
Schizophrenia is an unpredictable condition that usually manifests itself between the ages of 18-30. There are often few warning signs: a person can suddenly “crack” and become fully schizophrenic in a matter of days. The random nature of this disease means a person may either not realize they have a problem or try to hide it anyway they can.
The problems caused by schizophrenia (delusions, agitation, paranoia, incoherence, and a sense of “disconnect” from reality) often cause a sense of panic or fear. Those negative feelings commonly force a person to turn to alcohol as a form of self-medication. While alcohol may help distract a person from their problems, it will only make them work.
Just think about what happens when you start feeling drunk. You start losing control of your mental and physical behaviors. And that loss of control will heavily influence the lack of control caused by schizophrenia. In fact, the two disorders often go hand-in-hand.
Can They Be Treated Alone?
The severity of the interaction between alcoholism and schizophrenia means that you shouldn’t consider trying to figure it out on your own. Instead, you should seek out a center that utilizes Dual Diagnosis. This treatment focuses on diagnosing both of these unfortunate diseases and treating them simultaneously, instead of treating them in isolation.
The principles of Dual Diagnosis are simple: all patients are welcomed into treatment; both disorders are given the same attention; understanding both concerns are chronic concerns that need lifelong treatment; finding a treatment for schizophrenia that helps reduce alcohol addiction and vice versa; and treating everyone with dignity and respect.
Dual Diagnosis is available in many different formats, including residential treatment, outpatient, individual therapy, peer support group, anti-drug education, holistic therapy, aftercare therapy, and medication therapy. The latter utilizes drugs that help soothe schizophrenia symptoms, including:
It’s important to discuss these medications with your rehabilitation expert before moving on to detoxification. Often, you’ll be subscribed anti-alcohol medications that help you fight cravings and avoid serious withdrawal symptoms. A few of these medications include:
Beyond these medications, you are also likely to learn behavioral modification techniques under the umbrella of cognitive-behavioral therapy. These treatments are designed to help you identify problematic behaviors and to eliminate their influences in your addiction and schizophrenic conditions. Understanding the ways that these two problems influence your behavior helps you learn how to control them and stay stable and sober.
Get Help Today
If you are suffering from this co-occurring disorder and need help, please don’t hesitate to contact us at AlcoholTreatment.net. We can help you find an alcohol addiction treatment center that understands Dual Diagnosis and schizophrenia. This can help you recover from this difficult situation and help you regain stability in your life.
The holidays are a time for friends and family to come together. It’s a time of parties, packed shopping malls, and making memories for years to come. But, the holidays can also be a tempting time of year for people trying to recover from alcohol addiction.
This time of the year often overwhelms people and you or someone you know may need help staying sober or recovering from a holiday relapse. Seek that help through therapy and medication, as they are two of the most powerful ways to overcome an alcohol addiction and regain a sober lifestyle.
There are many different types of therapy options and medications available to help you recover from addiction. Treatment is not a one-size fits all approach. However, inpatient therapy has proven to be one of the most successful forms of treatment options.
Inpatient therapy requires an individual to stay between 30-90 days at a facility, depending on the severity of the addiction and its impact on their health. Inpatient facilities remove patients from the daily distractions of life and offer 24-hour care.
Many facilities even offer group or individual counseling sessions to treat co-occurring disorders, such as bipolar disorder or depression. Statistically, individuals that stay for 30 days or longer at an inpatient facility nearly double their success rates and are less likely to relapse.
Typically, outpatient therapy programs are best suited for patients as an aftercare option, after they have attended an inpatient rehab. Outpatient facilities generally require patients to meet a few hours a day, a few days a week. You can also take advantage of individual or group therapy sessions while in outpatient treatment. Outpatient therapy is a great way to help individuals connect with others who are also on the recovery journey and allows them to stay on track with their progress and sobriety. Should an individual get tempted or have a setback, outpatient programs can help individuals get back on track and can provide a great support system.
Treating Alcohol Addiction With Medication
There are many alcohol addiction medications from which you can choose. Keep in mind that medications are meant to be administered alongside inpatient or outpatient treatment. Medication should not be the only source of treatment for individuals because it is only addressing the physical aspect the problem. Addictions affect individuals physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually, which is professional therapy and inpatient or outpatient treatment must also be utilized.
The following are some of the most popular and effective medicines utilized in treating alcohol addiction:
- Antabuse: Approved over 50 years ago to treat alcohol addiction, this drug works by interfering with the body’s natural ability to absorb alcohol and causes unpleasant side effects when alcohol is consumed, including: palpitations, nausea, and even flushing. However, it doesn’t curb and you can still feel alcohol’s pleasurable effects until the medication kicks in.
- Naltrexone: This drug curbs cravings and minimizes the pleasure associated with alcohol by blocking receptor sites in the brain that receive endorphins. It can be taken once a day in pill form or injected once a month.
- Campral: Campral is taken three times a day orally and reduces withdrawal symptoms. It reduces anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and even unwanted mood changes that typically may cause a relapse..
- Topamax: Topamax has been approved by the FDA to treat seizures,but not alcohol addiction. However, it mirrors the drug Campral because it can reduce symptoms of long-term alcohol abstinence.
Battling an alcohol addiction can be a challenge not only for the individual but for friends and family who are watching their loved one struggle as well. Start your journey today and seek help now. Contact us today at AlcoholTreatment.net to speak to our caring counselors. They will help you address your concerns and find the right therapy center for your needs.
For college students, it’s that time of year again: final exams, holiday parties, and the excitement of winter break. While the holidays can be a joyful time of year for these students, too much partying and drinking can be problematic.
This is especially true of college students, as they remain one of the highest consumers of alcohol in the country. It’s prevalent in many functions throughout the year: football games, parties, fraternity and sorority events, etc. There are many reasons why young adults turn to alcohol, and for college students, alcohol remains their drug of choice.
In a survey conducted in 2009 by the National Institutes of Health, it was found that 4 out of 5 college students drink at least occasionally. More troubling is the fact that 40% of college students admitted to binge drinking at least one time within two weeks of taking the survey.
Binge drinking involves consuming large amounts of alcohol in a short amount of time with the aim of becoming intoxicated. For men, binge drinking consists of drinking five or more standard drinks in a row. For women, binge drinking means drinking four or more drinks in a row. The National Household Drug Abuse Survey notes that binge drinking has the highest prevalence for those aged 18 to 25, with 21 being the peak age for binge drinkers.
Why Many College Students Drink Alcohol
For many students, college is the first time they are away from home. For students under the age of 21, alcohol is often viewed as forbidden fruit. Under-aged college students may view alcohol as a way to fit in with their peers or even as a “rite of passage” into adulthood. Some students may think that drinking alcohol is just “experiencing college life” and want to focus on living in the moment at parties or other social events.
But these are not the only reasons college students abuse alcohol. Hazing is another unfortunate event that happens on many college campuses. Students involved in athletic, Greek, or other organizations can be exposed to hazing that involves alcohol or other activities that are abusive, dangerous, or even lethal. The National Study of Student Hazing reports that more than 50% of college students that are involved in clubs, organizations, or teams are victims of hazing.
Another reason for college aged drinking is that youth view alcohol as an escape from the pressures of college coursework. Many times, students cannot cope with the pressures to get good grades from professors, parents, or the pressure they put on themselves and turn to alcohol to reduce stress. Others work hard to receive good grades and feel they can cut loose on the weekends.
According to the National Institutes of Health, 25% of college students that drink suffer consequences in their academic performance such as: missing class, failing exams, struggling with assignments, falling behind, and even receiving lower grades.
Even worse, the National Institutes of Health notes that 1,825 college students aged 18-24 die each year due to alcohol related injuries. Abusing alcohol at any age can impair your cognitive functioning and decision-making skills. Impaired cognitive decisions while under the influence of alcohol can lead to disastrous results.
More Serious Risks
Drinking alcohol can also lead to other serious consequences. The more a college student drinks, the more they increase the chances for the following:
- Unprotected Sex: 13% of college students reported having unprotected sex after a night of heavy drinking
- Assault: Each year, 690,000 students aged 18-24 were assaulted by another college student that was currently under the influence of alcohol
- Driving While Intoxicated: Every year, more than 3.3 million college students aged 18-24 drive while intoxicated
- Injuries: Each year, about 599,000 college students sustain injuries related to alcohol use
- Sexual Abuse: 97,000 college students per year are victims of alcohol-related sexual abuse or date rape
Seek Help Today
There are many other signs to look for if you are concerned a college student you know is struggling from alcohol addiction, such as: decreased interest in favorite activities, hanging out with those that influence them negatively, lying about their behaviors, stealing, rapid mood swings, or denial of the problem.
Addiction is a serious mental illness that needs to be addressed professionally. To learn more, contact us at AlcoholTreatment.net today. We can help you find the right treatment option for you or your loved one.
The completion of a drug treatment program can be a challenging process. That’s why a person attending rehab must consider life after treatment as a vital part of learning how to live a drug-free life. Adjusting to a post-rehab life helps prevent the chance of relapse and ensures an increase in overall wellness during your ongoing recovery. After rehab, some people develop antisocial behaviors, which could destroy an effective recovery process. Avoiding these behaviors can help you reintegrate into society more effectively.
What Is Antisocial Behavior?
When someone thinks of a person as being antisocial, they often revert to ideas of a person with low self-esteem, withdrawing from relationships, and separating themselves from society.
Although this could certainly be the case, the definition of antisocial disorder is much more complex. Antisocial disorder as related to alcohol-addiction could include the following symptoms:
- Consistently lying or being deceitful
- Manipulating situations with extreme charm
- Employing regular, risk-taking behaviors
- Irritability or hostility toward others
- Difficulty feeling remorse when harming someone else
- Problems learning from negative or detrimental behaviors
- Thoughts of superiority above others
- Always putting your own needs above others’
People with antisocial disorder behave in ways that go against normal social tendencies. A person must be evaluated by a therapist in order to be officially diagnosed with this disorder.
Antisocial Tendencies And Drug Abuse
Many times people become antisocial after dealing with drug addiction, whereas others already have antisocial disorder and revert to drug or alcohol addiction due to inability to cope with the inappropriate behaviors.
No matter the cause, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of the disorder in order to avoid them during the process of treatment and recovery. If you feel as if you would be predisposed to becoming antisocial, or if you have struggled with some of the symptoms of antisocial disorder, then heeding professional advice on addressing the signs would be a smart idea.
If antisocial behaviors are left unchecked, a person with the disorder might try to manipulate situations or people to use drugs or alcohol, resort to risky behavior, or make impulsive decisions related to drug dependency.
How To Combat Being Antisocial
Antisocial behaviors can be stifling and harmful to friends and family of the person with the disorder. Combat these symptoms by implementing the following strategies:
Become a good listener: Purposefully attempt to understand and deeply consider what another person is trying to convey to you during conversation. If you need clarification, then simply ask. Learning to be an effective communicator directly opposes typical antisocial behavior.
Get a second opinion, or two: Before you make any serious decisions, talk to a trusted source. This person should play the role of a mentor in your life–a person who makes good decisions for his or her own life and genuinely cares about your mental, emotional, and physical health. Checking in with someone else can help you avoid making impulsive, risky decisions.
Be honest: Make a pact with yourself to tell the truth. There are always consequences to being deceitful and it does not benefit you in the long haul.
Choose friends wisely: Once in recovery, you probably won’t be able to have some of the same friends. It has been observed that antisocial behaviors can be acquired from spending time around other antisocial people. This doesn’t mean you need to avoid relationships, but you must choose to have healthy ones.
A life free from drugs or alcohol is the only way for you to gain true independence, a new life in which you can successfully conquer any bad habits. If you want to learn more about antisocial behaviors, please contact us at AlcoholTreatment.net. Our helpful counselors can guide you to a positive and alcohol-free life.