9 Excuses Alcoholics Make – Signs of Denial

 

Individuals struggling with alcohol abuse may make excuses for their drinking and show many different signs of denial, in order to cover up their alcoholic drinking patterns. Treatment is available for those suffering from alcohol abuse and addiction.

 

Alcoholism affects millions of families across the country, and can wreak havoc on the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of an individual. Because the disease of alcoholism has a stigma, people struggling with alcohol abuse may feel ashamed and try to keep their drinking a secret. This secretive behavior can lead to someone lying about alcohol or covering up their consequences, both of which are signs that a person is in denial.

Denial occurs when an individual refuses to acknowledge a painful truth about their life, especially if they feel embarrassed or afraid of the possible consequences. Alcoholic denial is a powerful emotional tool that protects a person from seeing the reality of their drinking — despite mounting evidence that they have a problem.

1.  Making Excuses

For many people, alcohol is a socially acceptable way to celebrate events or handle the stress of daily life. Because alcohol is commonplace in American culture, it can be difficult to see when someone’s alcohol use has crossed the line into alcoholism. This can be the perfect breeding ground for a problem drinker to make excuses about their behaviors around alcohol.

Excuses for drinking can include statements or thoughts that include:

  • “Anyone would drink if they had my problems.”
  • “I’m just celebrating something good that happened.”
  • “My family or significant other drinks, so I can too.”
  • “You can’t trust people that don’t drink.”

2.  Rationalization

Anyone struggling with an addiction has likely experienced what it’s like to justify unacceptable behavior. Someone can rationalize their choices in relation to alcohol, or use it to justify poor decisions made while drinking.

Examples of rationalization include:

  • I worked hard today, so I can drink tonight.”
  • “I show up for my job and my family, so my drinking isn’t a big deal.”
  • “I am not losing sleep or money, so I obviously don’t have a problem.”
  • “I’m not in legal trouble or getting DUIs, so my alcohol use obviously isn’t an issue.”
  • “I haven’t gotten in any trouble since my last DUI, so I must have this drinking thing beat.”

3.  Minimizing

When a concerned friend or family member approaches someone about their drinking, they may get hit with responses that minimize the situation. By saying that drinking isn’t a big deal, the person in question is minimizing their alcohol use.

Excuses Alcoholics Make_Pretending

Minimizing could also take the form of lying about how much alcohol a person is consuming. By sneaking drinks or pouring large amounts of alcohol into an oversized cup and counting that as “one drink,” the individual minimizes their drinking.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that heavy alcohol use is consuming 15 drinks per week for men, and 8 drinks per week for women.

A standard drink refers to:

  • 12 ounces of regular beer
  • 8 ounces of malt liquor
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 5 ounces of distilled spirits or liquor

Someone minimizing their drinking may “pre-game,” by having several drinks at home before they go out with friends. They may only order two drinks while at a bar or restaurant, making it seem like they are only drinking moderately.

4.  Blame

There are many ways a person may blame something else for their drinking. If they are recently divorced or dealing with a breakup, an individual may blame their drinking on these problems. Blame can also show up when a person suffering from alcohol abuse blames their drinking on a specific person.

Someone using blame to justify excessive drinking may say things like:

  • Everyone in my family drinks, so it’s not my fault I drink a lot.”
  • “If I hadn’t lost my job or relationship, I wouldn’t be turning to alcohol.”
  • “If you would stop bothering me about it, I wouldn’t be so stressed out and have to drink.”

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5.  Comparison

It’s human nature to compare and contrast ourselves with the people around us. This can become dangerous for a person with alcohol use disorder, as it allows individuals to justify their questionable drinking patterns.

Comparison can be either positive or negative. A person that compares positively may say, “I may drink a lot, but at least I can handle my alcohol, unlike some people.” Negative comparison may take the form of, “I don’t drink as much as that person — he’s a disaster.”

Additional examples of comparison include:

  • “I’m not the homeless person under the bridge, so I must not have a drinking problem.”
  • “I never had to go to alcohol rehab, therefore my drinking is normal.”
  • “I don’t steal from my job/cheat on my spouse like alcoholics do, so I must be OK.”

6.  Defensiveness

Being defensive about alcohol use is a classic response used by someone suffering from alcohol addiction. This person may feel as long as they lash out and defend themselves, they’ll be able to keep drinking the way they want to.

Someone defending their drinking patterns may say things like:

  • “Lay off, this is none of your business.”
  • “I don’t have a problem except for you being in my business.”
  • “It’s not as bad as you think, you’re just being overly sensitive.”
  • “Everyone drinks, you’re making a big deal out of nothing.”

Alcoholic Excuses

7.  Suppressing And Pretending

It’s common for those experiencing alcohol addiction to suppress their true feelings. Their drinking may have stopped being fun, and now they use alcohol to hide from the reality of their life.

If a caring friend tries to discuss their alcohol usage, this person may cover up their fear of being found out by pretending they agree. They may nod in agreement and promise to get help, while hiding the truth that they don’t intend to do so.

Someone suppressing their feelings about alcohol may say or think things such as:

  • “You’re right, I do need to take a look at this” (then never take action).
  • “Perhaps I should cut back on my drinking” (then push the thought away).
  • “Maybe I do have a problem with alcohol” (then minimize the real issue).

8.  Hopelessness

While hopelessness propels some individuals toward recovery, it can also be used an excuse to continue drinking excessively. People struggling with alcohol may think that the problem is too big or that they’re too far gone. Labeling oneself a “lost cause” is simply another form of denial that keeps suffering individuals in the cycle of addiction.

Feeling hopeless may cause a feeling of shame, which can drive someone back to drinking. Shame and guilt are powerful emotions that can be viewed as good reasons to continue hiding beneath the fog of alcohol.

9.  It’s My Life  

Another denial tactic is to push people away, by stating that it’s their choice to drink. By telling concerned friends that it’s none of their business, the individual struggling with alcohol abuse furthers their own deception. The truth is that addiction affects everyone around the person suffering, ranging from bosses to spouses and children.

When someone is using this denial tactic, they may say or think statements like:

  • “Drinking is the answer to my problems, not my actual problem.”
  • “I’m over 21, it’s my legal right to drink.”
  • “I’m not hurting anyone but myself.”
  • “I could stop if I really wanted to.”

Seeking Treatment For Alcohol Abuse And Addiction

Alcoholism is a progressive, incurable disease that can have negative emotional and social effects on someone’s life. More than 15 million American adults are suffering from alcohol use disorder — if you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol dependence, there is hope available in the form of alcohol rehab treatment.

Alcohol rehab programs can take several different approaches. In inpatient treatment programs, individuals are provided a stable residential environment where they can get honest about their alcohol use. Partial hospitalization programs are offered in day-long sessions, allowing individuals to continue work or family commitments, and outpatient programs are offered in half-day segments.

Many of these alcohol rehab programs will include medication-assisted treatment, which can reduce cravings and lower the chance of relapse for those who have previously tried to stop drinking and were unsuccessful.

To learn more about excuses for drinking, alcoholic denial, and treatment options near you, contact one of our specialists today.

How Do You Smoke Alcohol?

Some people may initially gawk at the idea of inhaling alcohol, or be bewildered that such a thing even exists. Nonetheless, various news sources in the past decade have observed how this new trend of smoking, or vaping, alcohol has become increasingly popular.

But how does it actually work?

Alcohol Vaporizer

Alcohol can be converted into a vapor by either heating up the alcohol over a significant heat source, or by pouring it over dry ice and using an air pump.

These vapors that result from this process may then be inhaled through a straw, or through the use of an alcohol vaporizer. An alcohol vaporizer is a machine specifically designed to allow users to inhale alcohol vapors. However, because many states in America have banned the sale or purchase of these machines, many people have turned to making their own devices through do-it-yourself methods.

Is Smoking Alcohol Safer Than Drinking?

Although there is limited research on alcohol inhalation, experts have made it clear that there is no reason to believe that smoking alcohol is any safer than drinking it.

In fact, there are actually several ways than inhaling alcohol may actually pose additional risks to a person’s mental and physical health, leading some medical officials to actually deem it more dangerous than consuming it the traditional way.

The Dangers Of Vaping Alcohol

One major thing that has attracted people to the idea of smoking alcohol is what it can provide that traditional drinking can’t: near-instant intoxication.

Unfortunately, this appeal is also one of the most dangerous aspects of the activity.

By inhaling alcohol vapors, the alcohol bypasses the usual process of absorbing alcohol, instead of being absorbed directly into the bloodstream. This can cause an intense high almost immediately, coming about much more rapidly than if you were to drink it.

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Compare the 15 to 20 minutes it may take for your body to process liquid alcohol to the near-instantaneous intoxication you get from smoking its vapors – and you might start to see why this can be harmful. Binge-drinking, and the effects of it, can occur within mere seconds before a person even realizes how much of the alcohol vapor they have inhaled.

In addition, beyond the risks involved with getting drunk faster, there are several other dangers that have been tied to this new method of ‘drinking’. These include:

  • Higher risk for overdose or alcohol poisoning: By vaping alcohol, you can inhale several drinks within seconds, and this greatly heightens the risk of serious consequences such as overdose or alcohol poisoning.
  • Less control: When you’re inhaling the alcohol vapors, it is much more difficult to gauge just how much of the vapor is going into your lungs. This lack of control that comes with vaping alcohol can pose serious consequences
  • Lung damage: Not unlike smoking tobacco or other drugs, experts have stated that the heated vapor can cause damage to the lungs. It may also put you at risk of developing long-term breathing problems.
  • Effects on the stomach: Drinking alcohol in heavy amounts can sometimes lead to vomiting, which – if painfully – can be considered a protective measure by the body to help limit how much alcohol your body absorbs. But because the vapor of heated alcohol goes directly to the brain, vomiting is not as common a consequence. This can lead to consequences such as losing consciousness or experiencing slowed breathing.
  • Negative effects on the brain: The increase of alcohol absorption that occurs with vaping alcohol poses harm to the brain, with additional risk for those whose brains are still developing, such as kids and teenagers.
  • Increased anxiety: Studies on alcohol inhalation with rats have shown that those who are exposed to this method of intoxication may experience an increase in anxious behaviors. The anxiety can also become worse during the withdrawal period in cases where a person has developed a dependency.

dangers of vaping alcohol

Myths of Vaping Alcohol

1. Vaping alcohol is a calorie-free way to get drunk — FALSE

The rumor that vaping alcohol is the zero-calorie way to get yourself drunk is one of the more popular myths that has circulated about smoking the often calorie-laden liquid. However, there are not yet any reports to back up this claim and experts have routinely debunked it as false.

Thus, if you’ve considered vaping alcohol to save on calories, don’t bother. It has not proven to be an effective method for calorie control.

2. You might be less likely to get addicted to alcohol if you smoke it — FALSE

 Just as with drinking alcohol, you are still at risk for developing a dependency or addiction by smoking it. The potential for developing an addiction actually rises the faster that drugs like alcohol reach the brain.

Both binge-drinking and ‘binge-vaping’ therefore carry the risk of developing a dependency.

3.  You don’t have to worry about alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) if you vape it — FALSE

Those who become dependent on alcohol through vaping it are still subject to the symptoms of withdrawal and are at risk developing alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS). Some documented symptoms that can occur with withdrawal from alcohol inhalation include tremors, anxiety, chills, sweating, and seizures.

4.  If you are under 21, you can vape alcohol without facing legal consequences because you’re technically not drinking it — FALSE

This is another myth that has been debunked because it is the consumption of alcohol that is illegal for persons under the age of 21. The detail that it has to be drunk is not specified.

More than 25 states have also already created laws targeting alcohol inhalation specifically, including bans on the buying and selling of alcohol vaporizers.

5.  Smoking alcohol is at least as risky as drinking it — TRUE

This is not a myth.

Although there is limited research on the short and long-term effects of alcohol inhalation, what experts have already learned tells us that vaping alcohol is at least as risky as drinking it, if not more so.

The Bottom Line

There is no way to consume alcohol that comes without risks, and that includes by means of inhaling it. There is also no reason to believe that it is safer to vape alcohol than to drink it, particularly because one is still at risk of becoming addicted to alcohol through exposure to its vapor.

If you are interested in more information about vaping alcohol or are concerned about a loved one’s drinking habits, contact one of our specialists today.

 

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.

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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
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • 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.

 

 

Beyond drinking socially with friends, or even the rare night out of binge drinking, is the serious and potentially devastating problem of alcoholism. While media portrayals and broader culture have historically created a picture of what the “typical alcoholic” looks or acts like, it is not always easy to identify or dismiss problem drinking within yourself or a loved one.

Nearly 20 percent of those with an alcohol use disorder may be categorized as functional or high-functioning. This means that despite their heavy drinking, they’re able to function at least moderately well in many or all aspects of their work and personal lives. However, this ability to hold a job or perform well in school does not mean that a person is not struggling with an alcohol use disorder.

Understanding High-Functioning Alcoholism

High-functioning alcoholics are individuals who drink an excessive amount of alcohol but are still able to excel or adequately function in their professional and personal lives.

Unlike alcoholics who are unable to keep a job, attend school, or maintain close relationships with friends and loved ones, a high-functioning alcoholic may not appear to be struggling in the most obvious ways.

The National Institutes of Health reports that approximately 19.5 percent of alcoholics in the United States may be categorized as “functional”. However, the limitations that may be involved in identifying the true prevalence of alcohol addiction in research can also mean that this number, as well as general estimates of nationwide alcohol abuse, are lower than actual prevalence.

Alcoholics that are considered highly functional may hide the true extent of their drinking from others and argue that their drinking is under control. They may also not be aware of the costs they are experiencing due to their drinking, as well as how their drinking may be affecting those around them.

High-Functioning Alcoholic_19.5 percent are functional

Functional or not, problem drinking is never harmless. A person may appear to be doing well on the surface, but eventually the consequences of their alcoholism will become more visible, more debilitating, and more difficult to brush off.

High-functioning alcoholics still face the risk of health and medical problems that can result from alcohol abuse. It can take months, or even years, for the most severe consequences to become more evident and compromise the person’s functionality, but no form of alcohol abuse is sustainable or free from consequence.

It is important to try and identify signs of alcoholism as soon as possible to help the person receive the care they need.

What Are The Signs Of High-Functioning Alcoholism?

It may be more difficult to spot indications of high-functioning alcoholism, as a person may seem to be functioning moderately well in most or all aspects of their life. However, this surface-level veil of doing well overall does not negate the distress a functional alcoholic may be experiencing day-to-day.

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Many people who fit within the “functional” subtype of alcoholism can be in denial about having a problem. They may also attempt to hide or downplay their drinking in front of family and friends.

While it may be trickier to spot signs of high-functioning alcoholism, some signs that have been identified by researchers and other professionals include:

  • morning time/day-drinking
  • drinking alone
  • making jokes about how much they drink
  • neglecting or losing friendships/relationships
  • memory lapses after or while drinking
  • drinking to relax or feel more comfortable in social situations
  • asking family or friends to cover for them under circumstances where drinking has affected their work/school

High-Functioning Alcoholic And Depression

In addition, a functional alcoholic may also have comorbid issues, such as mental illness. Approximately 25 percent of functional alcoholics also struggle with depression. Someone struggling with functioning alcoholism may also experience moderate to intense anxiety, frequent mood swings, thoughts of suicide, or exhibit disordered eating patterns. 

The Damage They Do

Those deemed to be “high-functioning” often end up destroying their personal relationships because of their denial. They simply won’t seek the help they need, which often alienates people worried about them. It also gives them carte blanche to behave poorly towards friends and family members, further increasing their alienation.

Work and legal problems are also common with those considering themselves to be “high-functioning.” That’s because they often end up going to work and driving while drunk. Once they cross this threshold, they truly run the risk of transitioning from “high-functioning” to collapsing into the very cliche they had mocked.

And that’s just the damage done to their personal and emotional lives: “high-functioning” alcohol users often suffer from severe health problems, which include:

  • Weight gain
  • Bloating
  • Quicker aging
  • Increased risk of heart problems
  • Nervous system damage
  • Liver disease
  • Poor immune system function
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased risk of some forms of cancer
  • Confusion
  • Delusions
  • Seizures

How To Confront A High-Functioning Alcoholic

Confronting someone you care about with concerns about their drinking can be a difficult thing to do. It can be distressing to admit to yourself that a friend or loved one is abusing alcohol.

When preparing yourself to confront someone who appears to be functional, you may feel more doubt about the presence or legitimacy of the problem. You may go through a back-and-forth period, debating whether their drinking is an issue that is worth of confrontation.

You may wish to approach this person on your own, or stage an intervention with other family and friends present. If the person has been unwilling to seek help in previous confrontations, then it may be the time to stage an intervention with several concerned parties present.

Intervention participants may include close friends, close family members, spouses, children, as well as a professional therapist or counselor to help guide the process. However, it is up to you and any other concerned parties to decide which approach you believe may be most effective as a way to get through to your loved one.

Getting Treatment For A High-Functioning Alcoholic

There are a number of treatment options available to help you or a loved one receive help for alcohol abuse. Seeking treatment may seem like an intimidating process, and the deep denial that is often harbored by functional alcoholics can often create additional obstacles.

Treatment for high-functioning alcoholism can be individualized to meet the needs of the person seeking help, and may be available on an outpatient basis, or within a residential or inpatient facility.

Factors that may be considered when determining what kind of treatment a person needs may include how long the person has been abusing alcohol, if they have comorbid illnesses or addictions, and if they have received previous help for their drinking.

To determine what level of care or course of treatment would be most appropriate to best meet the needs of someone you know who struggles with alcohol addiction, contact one of our treatment specialists today.

 

Adderall is a stimulant drug, commonly prescribed for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (sudden attack of deep sleep). Adderall can have significant side effects. Mixing Adderall with alcohol could increase the severity of these effects, and result in permanent damage to the heart and nervous system.

It’s not typically advised to mix medications like Adderall with other drugs, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that mixing alcohol with medications like Adderall could cause individuals to have adverse reactions, including seizures or stroke.

What Is Adderall?

Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) is a central nervous system stimulant, prescribed to help those that suffer from ADHD or serious cases of narcolepsy. While Adderall can be effective in the treatment of certain medical conditions, it is classified as a Level II controlled substance, and has a high potential for abuse and addiction.

Adderall may come in an immediate-release version or an extended-release tablet. To avoid possible sleep disturbance, this medication should be taken at the same time every day, preferably in the morning and early afternoon.

Adderall may be sold under additional names, such as:

  • Adderall IR
  • Adderall XR
  • Amphetamine/Dextroamphetamine
  • Mixed Amphetamine Salts

The effects of Adderall can be intensely altered by food, drink, and other drugs, including alcohol. While Adderall can be a helpful treatment for those suffering from ADHD or narcolepsy, this medication is not for everyone. Adderall can be especially dangerous for those who have a history of struggling with drug abuse.

Can You Mix Adderall And Alcohol?

Since alcohol is classified as a depressant and Adderall is a stimulant, these two drugs are intended to induce opposite effects in the mind and body. While Adderall stimulates the central nervous system and promotes a sense of focus, alcohol slows the body’s systems and can result in blurred thinking.

According to the National Institutes of Health, Adderall and alcohol should not be mixed. Both of these substances are associated with serious side effects, and mixing alcohol and Adderall can result in grave side effects.

Side effects that may be caused by Adderall include:

  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • dry mouth
  • stomach pain
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • trouble sleeping
  • heart palpitations
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • change in thoughts or behavior
  • increased risk of seizures
  • higher chance of serotonin syndrome (when mixed with other medications)

Because of Adderall’s wide range of side effects, it’s important to be honest with your doctor about whether or not you drink alcohol. Mixing Adderall with alcohol can amplify the side effects of both substances, and could result in overdose or death.

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Mixing Adderall and alcohol could lead to harmful side effects, including:

  • reduced effectiveness of Adderall
  • worsening of ADHD or narcolepsy symptoms
  • increased risk of seizures
  • compromised judgment
  • greater chance of engaging in risk-taking behavior

Who Mixes Adderall And Alcohol?

Several research studies determined that college students are at an increased risk for Adderall abuse. Some students may take Adderall without a prescription — in order to study for an exam or prepare a project — and then drink alcohol to diminish the negative “comedown” effects of Adderall.

This dangerous combination could lead to an individual consuming a lethal amount of alcohol, without realizing their level of intoxication. Recreational Adderall abuse is dangerous on its own, and combining the drug with alcohol increases the chance of a fatal reaction, such as heart attack or stroke.

Long-Term Dangers Of Mixing Alcohol And Adderall

Mixing alcohol and Adderall even once can be life-threatening, and if someone combines these drugs regularly, there are critical long-term health hazards to consider.

Mixing Adderall and alcohol can result in long-term health risks, including:

  • skipped doses of Adderall, leading to unmanaged ADHD or narcolepsy symptoms
  • increased risk of developing a physical dependence on alcohol
  • higher chance of becoming addicted to alcohol or abusing Adderall
  • increased risk of overdose and death

Medically Supervised Detox Programs For Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol is the most commonly abused drug in the United States, and over 18 million Americans struggle with alcohol abuse and addiction. Adderall is also highly addictive, and combining these two substances can be fatal. If someone is mixing alcohol and Adderall, it may be a sign they are struggling with an alcohol use disorder.

Realizing you or someone you love may be addicted to alcohol can feel scary, but you are not alone. Treatment is available, in the form of inpatient and outpatient alcohol rehab programs. If you or someone close to you is combating alcohol abuse and addiction, the first step toward treatment is to encourage the individual to safely detox from alcohol.

Adderall And Alcohol_Treatment Options

Heavy alcohol use can lead to a physical dependence, and a sudden lack of alcohol could cause someone to experience severe withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening, and should always be monitored in a medical environment.

Some of the symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal include:

  • agitation
  • depression
  • trouble breathing
  • digestive issues
  • rapid heartbeat
  • elevated blood pressure
  • extreme sweating
  • shakiness
  • seizure
  • hallucinations

In a medically supervised detox program, individuals are provided a safe environment in which to detox. Medication-assisted treatment is administered by hospital staff in order to ensure the patient’s comfort and safety, and direction is provided for the next steps of treatment.

Treatment For Alcohol Abuse And Addiction

The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that “medically assisted detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment, and by itself, does little to change long-term drug abuse.” Once someone has detoxed from alcohol, it’s vital to provide them with treatment options that can address some of the underlying physical, emotional, and mental effects of alcohol abuse.

There is no single treatment type that is ideal for everyone. Instead, several options exist so that individuals can choose what’s best for them. Treatments vary depending on the characteristics of the patient and the type of drug used, but the most innovative programs provide a combination of therapies to help individuals in their recovery.

To learn more about the dangers of mixing Adderall and alcohol, or to find information on alcohol addiction treatment, reach out to one of our specialists today.

 

 

Beginning any new prescription medication generally comes with potential risks as well as possible side effects. The prescription drug gabapentin is no different. While safe to take as prescribed, mixing Gabapentin and alcohol can have potentially serious side effects as well as possible interactions. Drowsiness, dizziness, and a hard time concentrating are just a few of the side effects that can occur when drinking alcohol while taking gabapentin.

What Is Gabapentin (Neurontin)?

Gabapentin, brand name Neurontin, is a prescription medication that is most commonly used to prevent and control seizures. Gabapentin also has various other uses, including to treat nerve pain as a result of shingles. Additionally, gabapentin is currently being experimented with for the treatment of hard-to-treat depression, mood swings, and anxiety. It is known as an antiepileptic and anticonvulsant medication.

Gabapentin is used to help calm impulses that can occur in the nervous system and lead to seizures and nerve pain. It may also play a role in the management of the neurotransmitter GABA, which is known as the calming neurotransmitter.

Possible Side Effects of Gabapentin

As with any prescription medication, gabapentin does come with the possibility of side effects. Some of the most common side effects experienced while taking this drug include:

  • anxiety
  • headaches
  • problems with vision
  • drowsiness
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • weight gain

All of these side effects are typically temporary and should subside after taking the medication for a period of time. More severe side effects that rarely but may occur while taking gabapentin include joint pain, blurred vision, viral infection, and motion sickness. If any of these side effects are experienced while taking Neurontin, you should seek medical help immediately.

Additionally, individuals taking gabapentin are advised to monitor their mood, as antiepileptics have been associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviors. If these thoughts or behaviors arise, you should speak with your doctor immediately.

Mixing Gabapentin And Alcohol

Many people don’t consider the prescription medication they are taking when they drink alcohol, so it’s relatively common for individuals to drink while taking gabapentin. However, it’s important to be aware of the possible side effects that could arise when drinking alcohol and taking this drug.

Mixing alcohol and gabapentin can cause the effects of the two substances to become heightened. This means that the side effects of gabapentin can become worse while drinking alcohol, and the effects of alcohol can be more severe when drank while taking gabapentin. For example, someone may become extremely intoxicated after only a few drinks when on gabapentin.

 Gabapentin And Alcohol's Effect on Behavior

Risks Of Combining Gabapentin And Alcohol

Side effects of either substance can become worsened when alcohol and gabapentin are combined. As a result, the following side effects may occur or become heightened when mixing alcohol and gabapentin:

  • dizziness
  • loss of coordination
  • drowsiness
  • fatigue
  • anxiety
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • headaches
  • digestive issues
  • confusion

If you are already experiencing side effects while taking gabapentin, it’s best to avoid alcohol until you have spoken with your doctor.

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Consequences Of Drinking Alcohol With Gabapentin

While not common, death is a possibility when mixing alcohol and gabapentin. Both substances are known to slow down a person’s breathing, and ingesting enough of the substances together can have detrimental effects.

Additionally, alcohol and gabapentin can both have a dramatic effect on mood, thoughts, and behaviors. Individuals who drink alcohol while on gabapentin may display erratic behavior and make bad decisions, which can result in injury or death.

Gabapentin And Alcohol Detox And Withdrawal

Individuals who are getting help for an alcohol use disorder generally will begin with a medically supervised detox program. This is because alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be severe as well as uncomfortable, and, depending on the level of dependence, even deadly.

A medically supervised detox program provides a comfortable and safe environment to withdraw from alcohol that is free from temptation. It also offers 24/7 care and support from trained medical professionals who can provide any medication if needed throughout the withdrawal process. Detox programs tend to range from three to 10 days but will vary depending on the person’s unique condition.

Some detox facilities and alcohol addiction treatment centers use medication to make the withdrawal process easier. Common medications used include acamprosate calcium (Campral) and naltrexone (Vivitrol).

Naltrexone is a medication that helps to prevent relapse by blocking the euphoric effects of alcohol on the body and mind. Acamprosate calcium helps to minimize the physical and mental stress that an individual can feel once off alcohol. Both drugs work to ease withdrawal symptoms and help a person stay sober.

Treatment For Alcohol Abuse And Addiction

While the first step to recovering from an alcohol addiction is often a medically supervised detox program, that is not the end for most people. Many individuals choose to continue their recovery path by attending an inpatient alcohol addiction treatment program. This is often considered the most successful form of addiction treatment and is also the most intensive kind of treatment for alcoholism.

There are many different kinds of therapy that may be used in an inpatient treatment facility. A few of the most popular therapies include:

  • Behavioral Therapy — Many rehab centers utilize behavioral therapy throughout their treatment programs. Behavioral therapy works to change negative thoughts and behaviors in an attempt to better someone’s life. Common types of behavioral therapy include cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and aversion therapy.
  • Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment — Many individuals suffer from co-occurring disorders, or dual diagnosis. This is when someone has both a substance use disorder and mental health disorder, such as depression or anxiety. While this can certainly make treatment more difficult, many rehab facilities offer specialized programs for co-occurring disorders.

In addition to inpatient treatment for an alcohol use disorder, there are also many forms of outpatient treatment that an individual can attend. Outpatient treatment is often suggested for those with a more mild form of alcohol use disorder or those who cannot get away from family or their job. It’s best to speak with your doctor to determine which type of treatment is best for your unique condition.

To learn more about the side effects and interactions that can occur when mixing gabapentin and alcohol, contact us today.

 

 

Alcohol is a leading cause of liver disease, and alcoholic hepatitis is a stage of liver disease caused by excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol-related liver disease refers to a spectrum of illnesses that include fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis.

Heavy drinking can lead to a host of issues with the liver, many of which can be life-threatening. The liver is responsible for filtering toxins from the bloodstream and is the body’s largest organ. When an individual’s liver has been compromised by alcoholic hepatitis, the organ becomes fatty, inflamed, and unable to properly filter the blood.

What Causes Alcoholic Hepatitis?

Alcoholic hepatitis is caused by alcoholic liver disease, a condition which causes the liver to become inflamed and weakened due to heavy drinking. The liver disease rate of progression can vary, depending on the amount of alcohol consumption and whether alcohol is consumed alone or with food.

Contrary to popular belief, any alcoholic beverage can cause liver damage (even wine and beer). When an individual drinks an alcoholic beverage, their liver works to break down and filter the blood. During this process, highly toxic substances are produced, which results in inflammation and damage to the liver cells.

Alcoholic Hepatitis Risk Factors

When someone drinks large amounts of alcohol over a long period of time, their liver becomes irreversibly scarred, called cirrhosis. While the main cause of alcoholic hepatitis is excessive alcohol use, there are several additional risk factors to be aware of.

Some of the additional risk factors for developing alcoholic hepatitis include:

  • gender: Although alcohol use disorders affect nearly twice as many men as women, women have a higher risk of developing alcoholic hepatitis, due to variations in the way men’s and women’s bodies process alcohol.
  • genetics: Some research studies indicate that certain individuals’ genes may be a factor in developing alcohol-related liver disease.
  • weight and body mass index: People who struggle with alcohol abuse and are also overweight may be more likely to develop alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis.
  • ethnicity and race: Medical research shows a higher prevalence of severe alcoholic hepatitis in Hispanic and White/Caucasian individuals.

Symptoms Of Alcoholic Hepatitis

It’s important to understand the signs and symptoms of alcoholic hepatitis and other alcohol-related liver conditions. Many of these illnesses get worse over time, but can be treated and reversed if caught early enough.

Some of the symptoms of alcoholic hepatitis include:

  • yellow-tinted skin and yellowed whites of eyes (jaundice)
  • abdominal tenderness
  • poor appetite
  • fever
  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • nausea
  • malnourishment
  • vomiting
  • weight loss

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If you or someone you know experiences any of the following severe symptoms of alcoholic hepatitis, call 911 immediately:

  • abdominal swelling (ascites)
  • erratic behavior or changes in behavior (due to the buildup of toxins)
  • confusion
  • tar-like stools
  • fever combined with shakiness

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Alcoholic Hepatitis

Alcohol is consumed in most countries, and is a leading cause of liver disease worldwide. Each year, alcohol is responsible for more than 2.5 million deaths worldwide, many of which are due to alcoholic hepatitis. In the U.S., an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes each year, making alcohol the third-leading preventable cause of death in our country.

If you or someone you love is showing any signs or symptoms of alcoholic hepatitis, contact a healthcare provider immediately. Many of the long-term health hazards can be reduced and avoided if treatment is sought early on.

Alcohol-Related Deaths in US each year

To diagnose alcoholic hepatitis, a physician will likely have a conversation with the patient about their drinking habits. It’s important for patients to be honest about alcohol use, including information about the age you began drinking, type of alcohol consumed, and how often you drink.

Sometimes, healthcare professionals draw blood in order to check for elevated levels of liver enzymes. If a physical exam is performed, doctors may check for signs of fever, abdominal tenderness, and jaundice.

Treatment For Alcohol Dependence

When an individual is diagnosed with alcoholic hepatitis, their doctor may suggest they quit drinking alcohol. In mild cases of alcoholic hepatitis, stopping alcohol use can reverse the damage to the liver.

Many people find it difficult to stop drinking on their own, especially if they experience painful alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Fortunately, effective treatment for alcohol abuse and addiction exists, including life-saving detox programs.

In order to provide hope to those suffering from alcohol dependence, it’s helpful to understand the different types of treatment available. Inpatient treatment is the highest level of care, where patients temporarily reside on-site. This treatment environment provides individuals the opportunity to detox from alcohol in a safe environment.

Outpatient treatment can be in the form of partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) or intensive outpatient programs (IOPs). These addiction treatment facilities offer alcohol addiction treatment on a more flexible schedule. Because these programs are not as secure as residential addiction treatment, it’s recommended that those who attend have a strong support network and low chance of relapse.

Many alcohol addiction treatment centers will provide medication-assisted treatment, in order to help the newly sober feel as comfortable as possible. Medications such as naltrexone (Vivitrol) have been shown to reduce alcohol cravings and help to prevent relapse.

There is help available for those suffering from alcohol abuse and addiction. To learn more about alcoholic hepatitis and treatment options available, reach out to one of our specialists today.

What Is Delirium Tremens (DTs)?

Delirium tremens, often called DTs, is the most severe symptom associated with alcohol withdrawal. When someone drinks heavily, their body becomes dependent on alcohol in order to function; if alcohol use stops suddenly, acute withdrawal symptoms like delirium tremens may occur. DTs may be referred to as alcohol withdrawal delirium, or “having the shakes.”

DTs are characterized by a serious onset of symptoms, including extreme confusion, seizures, or mental disturbance. Researchers estimate that 50 percent of those suffering from alcohol abuse will exhibit alcohol withdrawal symptoms if they decrease their usage, and between three and five percent will experience DTs.

What Causes Delirium Tremens (DTs)?

Delirium tremens can occur when someone with heavy alcohol use stops drinking suddenly. Heavy alcohol consumption, especially over a length of time, can lead to a host of medical issues, in addition to DTs.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines excessive drinking as consuming 15 drinks per week for men, and 8 drinks per week for women. Some individuals may not understand what constitutes a standard drink, thereby minimizing their actual alcohol consumption.

A standard drink refers to:

  • 12 ounces of regular beer
  • 8 ounces of malt liquor
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 5 ounces of distilled spirits or liquor

Alcohol use interferes with the way the body regulates GABA, an essential neurotransmitter. The body may mistake alcohol for GABA, and stop production of GABA as a result. If someone struggling with heavy alcohol use stops drinking, their body believes there is not enough GABA to function, which can lead to symptoms associated with delirium tremens.

Additional risk factors for developing delirium tremens include:

  • Drinking history: Those with a history of alcohol withdrawal are at an increased risk of DTs. If someone drinks heavily and quits multiple times, they may have experienced multiple instances of alcohol withdrawal.
  • Length of alcohol use: Those who have been drinking heavily for a period of 10 years or more are at an increased risk for DTs.
  • Malnutrition: Individuals with heavy alcohol usage may have replaced food with alcohol, leading to a higher risk of delirium tremens.
  • Medical complications: Those who have a history of seizures, or are currently battling an illness or infection, are at a greater risk for DTs.
  • Age and gender: Older adult men have the highest prevalence of delirium tremens.
  • Ethnicity and race: Research indicates that Caucasian men are more likely to develop DTs.

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Symptoms Of Delirium Tremens (DTs)

DTs can begin as early as 48 hours after abrupt alcohol cessation, and can last up to five days. If treatment is not sought, this condition is associated with a 37 percent mortality rate. Delirium tremens is a medical emergency, and knowing the symptoms of DTs can save someone’s life. If someone experiences any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately.

Delirium Tremens_Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Some of the symptoms of delirium tremens include:

  • agitation
  • body tremors
  • confusion
  • change in mental ability
  • disorientation
  • irregular heartbeat
  • trouble breathing
  • hallucinations
  • stomach pain
  • sensitivity to light and sound
  • mood swings
  • restlessness
  • extreme fatigue
  • change in attention span
  • delusion (believing irrational things)
  • delirium (extreme mental disturbance)
  • seizure

Diagnosis And Treatment of Delirium Tremens (DTs)

Delirium tremens affect thousands of Americans every year. Alcohol is the most commonly abused drug in the U.S., and DTs affect three to five percent of those suffering from alcohol abuse.

Alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., and every year, an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related health issues like DTs. Because DTs can be difficult to manage, the medical community now focuses on preventing DTs with routine alcohol screenings.

Diagnosis of DTs can be completed by a healthcare professional, and will likely include a physical exam to check for fever, dehydration, tremors, and irregular heartbeat. The physician may ask questions regarding the patient’s history with alcohol and alcohol withdrawal.

If you or someone close to you is exhibiting signs of delirium tremens, seek medical attention immediately. Hospitals and emergency response teams are equipped to treat DTs through the use of medication like benzodiazepines, in order to sedate and stabilize the patient. Being in a medical setting allows healthcare providers to monitor the patient, preventing further any complication.

Treatment For Alcohol Abuse And Addiction

While many people attempt to detox from alcohol at home, this can be extremely dangerous. Alcohol withdrawal and DTs can be life-threatening, and should be supervised in a medical setting. Fortunately, there is treatment available throughout the U.S., including alcohol detox programs and addiction rehab centers.

Once someone has successfully detoxed from alcohol, they are encouraged to explore options for entering an alcohol treatment center. Private insurance and public assistance programs help ensure that affordable, effective treatment is available to all.

For more information on preventing delirium tremens, or to learn more about treatment options near you, contact us today.

 

 

Prednisone is prescribed to treat a wide variety of medical conditions. This drug comes with a lengthy list of side effects, and mixing prednisone and alcohol can amplify any possible complications.

Over-the-counter medications such as prednisone can cause adverse reactions when taken with other drugs, including alcohol. Both prednisone and alcohol have been linked to health complications, and mixing prednisone and alcohol can increase the risk of conditions such as diabetes and osteoporosis.

What Is Prednisone?

Prednisone is a generic steroid (corticosteroid) drug available by prescription only. Prednisone comes in a delayed-release tablet or an oral liquid, and should be taken with food or milk. The drug is classified as an immunosuppressant, and can be prescribed to treat conditions ranging from allergies to arthritis.

The brand names of prednisone include:

  • Contrast Allergy PreMed Pack
  • Deltasone
  • Prednicot
  • Prednisone Intensol
  • Rayos
  • Sterapred
  • Sterapred DS

Due to its many uses, prednisone may be prescribed to treat medical issues such as breathing trouble, inflammation, and symptoms of an allergic reaction, like itching and swelling.

Some additional conditions that can be treated by prednisone include:

  • asthma
  • inflammation
  • hormonal problems
  • eye and vision issues
  • digestive trouble
  • lupus
  • skin conditions
  • kidney problems
  • multiple sclerosis

Can You Mix Prednisone And Alcohol?

Prednisone is a powerful steroid, and can be dangerous when mixed with other drugs, including blood thinners, anti-inflammatories, birth control pills, and alcohol. Prednisone comes with a list of potential side effects, and mixing alcohol with prednisone can increase the severity of these reactions.

Side effects that may be caused by prednisone include:

  • mood swings
  • behavior changes
  • bloating
  • gastrointestinal issues
  • insomnia
  • shortness of breath
  • euphoria
  • swelling of face, arms, hands, feet, or legs
  • osteoporosis
  • muscle weakness

Due to the intensity of the potential side effects, prednisone should only be taken under the care of a physician. Mixing prednisone with alcohol can further increase these risks, as the negative side effects from both drugs can be magnified.

Mixing Prednisone and other drugs

Mixing prednisone and alcohol could lead to potentially harmful side effects, such as:

  • depression
  • worsening of a health condition that prednisone was prescribed to treat
  • increased danger of diabetes
  • compromised immune system
  • heightened chance of developing osteoporosis

Long-Term Dangers Of Mixing Alcohol And Prednisone

Alcohol is a depressant, and can have a major effect on an individual’s physical and mental well-being. Prednisone is another powerful drug, and mixing these two substances can result in long-term negative effects on an individual’s health.

Mixing prednisone and alcohol can result in long-term dangers, including:

  • diminished effectiveness of prednisone
  • missed doses of prednisone, causing steroid withdrawal
  • higher chance of becoming physically dependent on alcohol
  • elevated chance of developing an alcohol addiction
  • increased risk of overdose and death

Individuals may be prescribed prednisone for the treatment of a potentially life-threatening illness. When prednisone is mixed with alcohol, treatment for the original health condition may be interrupted, resulting in further health risks. Make sure to approach your doctor with any questions you may have about drinking alcohol while taking prednisone.

Medically Supervised Detox Programs For Alcohol Abuse

More than 18 million Americans suffer from alcohol abuse. If someone is struggling with mixing prednisone and alcohol, it may be a sign they are battling an alcohol use disorder. For those who are open to seeking help for their alcohol abuse and addiction, treatment is available.

The first step in seeking treatment is to ensure the individual safely withdraws from alcohol. When someone drinks heavily, their body becomes dependent on the drug, and quitting alcohol suddenly can result in acute withdrawal symptoms.

While some may believe you can successfully withdraw at home, alcohol withdrawal can be extremely dangerous and should always be medically supervised.

Some of the symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal include:

  • anxiety
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • hallucinations
  • nightmares
  • uncontrollable shaking
  • delirium tremens (“DTs”), including fever, seizures, and confusion

Medically supervised detox programs provide a sheltered environment for individuals to safely detox from alcohol. Medical staff will provide sound support throughout the withdrawal process, and access to healthcare equipment keeps the individual stable.

Treatment For Alcohol Addiction

Addiction is a complicated yet treatable disease that changes the way the brain and body function. While no single treatment program type is appropriate for everyone, there are several types of addiction programs that can be effective in helping individuals recover.

Residential Treatment

Sometimes called inpatient treatment, these programs provide addiction treatment in a highly structured environment. Residential rehab programs usually include individual, family, and couples counseling, as well as 12-Step recovery meetings. Inpatient rehab programs also offer therapies such as medication-assisted treatment, creative arts and nature therapy, and faith-based recovery tracks.

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs) 

Some individuals may have personal commitments that prevent them from attending residential treatment programs. Partial hospitalization programs offer flexible program schedules, allowing those who have day jobs or young families the opportunity to attend treatment. PHPs are usually offered five days per week, for up to six hours per day.

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs)

Much like PHPs, intensive outpatient treatment caters to those with demanding schedules. Typically offered in both day and evening sessions, IOPs provide support through individual and group counseling, motivational interviewing, and recovery speakers.

For more information on mixing prednisone and alcohol, or to learn more about alcohol abuse and addiction treatment, contact us today.

 

Not drinking alcohol may seem like a daunting task, especially if you have been drinking too much or are physically or mentally dependent on alcohol. While there are certainly ads and commercials portraying the fun and excitement of drinking alcohol, there aren’t many boasting about the benefits of quitting drinking alcohol or even the risks of drinking too much.

Quitting drinking offers both immediate benefits as well as benefits that you will enjoy over time. Whether you are taking a temporary break from drinking or are putting down the bottle for good, the benefits you’ll experience affect every aspect of your life.

What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Drinking?

Drinking heavily for an extended period of time can wreak havoc on the body. If you are physically dependent on alcohol or have consumed high quantities of alcohol for a while, it’s best to attend a medically assisted detox program when quitting alcohol. When the body is dependent on alcohol, it can go into shock when you first stop drinking.

The Benefits of Not Drinking Alcohol

Once the body is fully detoxed from alcohol, you will begin to notice immediate benefits of when you stop drinking. Nearly every organ and system in the body is affected by alcohol, so once you stop drinking, these systems and organs are able to return to normal.

A few of the many areas of the body where you will see the benefits of not drinking include:

  • Immune system — Alcohol can weaken the immune system, making it harder to fight off illnesses and diseases. Once an individual stops drinking, the immune system is able to heal and will be able to ward off sickness.
  • Heart — Our hearts are greatly affected by alcohol abuse. The heart can become damaged and the muscles around it can weaken, making individuals more prone to heart attacks, irregular heartbeat, strokes, heart disease, and more.
  • Liver — The liver is also affected by excessive alcohol use. This organ is responsible for breaking down any substance we put into our bodies. Alcohol abuse can lead to a buildup of toxins in the liver, as it is unable to break down the substance fast enough when consumed in high quantities. Once a person stops drinking, the liver is able to process the toxins and substances that have built up over time.
  • Weight — Drinking alcohol on a regular basis can lead to weight gain. Alcohol is mostly empty calories and can cause the metabolism to slow down, resulting in added pounds to the body. When an individual stops drinking, they’re eliminating those excess calories and also allowing the metabolism to begin functioning normally again.

What Happens To Your Brain When You Quit Drinking?

The benefits that can be felt in the body are just the beginning of the positive effects that come when a person stops drinking alcohol. Your brain will also experience a number of positive changes that can be felt soon after giving up the drink.

Benefits of Quitting Alcohol_Brain Damage

When alcohol is consumed in large quantities, it can slow the communication between the brain’s neurotransmitters and neurons. This can interfere with a number of major functions in the body, including speaking, movement, breathing, and thinking.

Alcohol consumption can cause serious damage to the brain, but once a person stops drinking, their brain will begin to repair and reap the rewards. A few of these benefits include:

  • Concentration — Many people reportedly feel more mentally clear and less foggy and have noted an increase in their ability to concentrate once they quit drinking alcohol.
  • Memory function — A brain constantly exposed to alcohol can cause memory loss or decreased memory function.  When you stop drinking, the brain will be able to store memories more efficiently for increased memory function.
  • Better sleep — Alcohol consumption disrupts sleep and can cause individuals to wake up feeling groggy and unrested. The body continues to break down alcohol while we sleep, so it does not truly get to rest after consuming alcohol. When you give up drinking, you give your body and mind the ability to truly rest while you sleep, so you’ll feel better and more rested in the morning.
  • Mood — Because alcohol is a depressant, long-term use can have a negative effect on an individual’s overall mood. This is especially true for individuals who are prone to depression, as alcohol can make depression worse. However, when you stop drinking, your mood should stabilize and you will feel better in general.

Other Benefits Of Quitting Alcohol Use

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, there are several other benefits that can be enjoyed when you quit drinking alcohol. These include the following:

  • more energy
  • skin that is more clear and hydrated
  • better digestive function
  • reduced risk of illness, heart disease, and breast cancer
  • increased ability to absorb minerals and vitamins

The benefits of not drinking alcohol span across every aspect of an individual’s life. A person’s overall well-being is positively impacted when he or she stops drinking. And, it’s not just limited to physical benefits. Not drinking can also mean better grades and attendance in school, higher performance at work, and better functioning within relationships.

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Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Symptoms that may be experienced when withdrawing from alcohol can range from moderate to severe and can begin as soon as two hours after the last drink is ingested. Some of the more common symptoms include

  • shaking hands
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • upset stomach
  • sweating more than usual

More severe symptoms include hallucinations, seizures, and delirium tremens, or DTs. Symptoms of DTs are extremely dangerous and require medical attention immediately. They can be life-threatening if medical help is not sought.

Medically Supervised Detox Programs For Alcohol Abuse

If you believe that you have an addiction to alcohol and are physically dependent on it, it’s important that you seek medical treatment before beginning the detox process. Once an individual stops consuming alcohol after abusing it for an extended period of time, the body can go into shock and uncomfortable and even dangerous symptoms can occur.

A medically supervised detox program offers a comfortable place where people can safely withdraw from alcohol. Most detox facilities will provide 24/7 medical care as well as any needed medication to ensure the detox process is as easy as possible.

Seeking Treatment For Alcohol Addiction

When a detox program has been successfully completed, many people struggling with an alcohol use disorder choose to continue on to an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. Both forms of treatment offer individualized programs catered to a person’s unique needs and situation.

Inpatient Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Inpatient rehab programs are the most intensive form of alcohol addiction treatment available and require patients to reside at the treatment facility for a set amount of time, typically around 30 to 60 days. During their stay, patients undergo intensive treatment every day to help them recover from an alcohol use disorder.

A few common treatment approaches used in inpatient rehab include:

Many treatment facilities will center their programs around one form of treatment, such as behavioral therapy, and incorporate other types of therapy to provide a comprehensive approach to recovery.

Outpatient Alcohol Addiction Treatment

If a person is unable to attend an inpatient treatment program, there are many outpatient programs available that vary in intensity. Partial hospitalization programs and intensive outpatient programs are more focused types of outpatient treatment and require the individual to attend treatment several times a week. Regular outpatient programs are less intensive.

If you’d like to learn more about the many benefits that come with not drinking alcohol, and how to find treatment so you can reap these benefits, contact us today.

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