If you think going out with the girls for a few drinks before your baby is born is acceptable, think again. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) is a condition where a fetus develops brain damage due to alcohol consumed by its mother and is a very, real danger. A few drinks now, might be condemning your unborn child to a very difficult life.
Most damage occurs in the beginning of a pregnancy, when things are beginning to develop. During weeks six to nine, a baby develops facial features and crucial organs. Professor Neil McIntosh, an Edinburgh-based Neonatologist, says there is scientific evidence that shows mothers who drink during this three-week window are more likely to have babies with the facial deformities associated with FASD. So when is okay to drink during pregnancy? Never.
How Can We Identify This Global Problem?
It is believed that the dangers of imbibing while pregnant were known as far back as the ancient Greeks, though Fetal Alcohol Syndrome wasn’t officially diagnosed until 1973. Since then, the syndrome has continued to be a problem in countries around the world. It is estimated that 1 in 500 babies born in the United States will be affected with this condition. Statistics vary by race with the highest rates in the US occurring among Native Americans. Canadian Aboriginals also have a high occurrence, followed by South Africans and Russians.
Behavioral And Physical Characteristics of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
There are several characteristics, both physical and behavioral, that are often shared by those affected by FASD. Physically, the shape of the head is often smoother, eyes are smaller than normal, the ridge between the nose and lip is under developed, and the upper lip is thinner than usual. Deformity of the limbs, low weight, hearing, kidney, and heart difficulties can also result.
Mentally, a host of problems can result from drinking with an unborn human inside of you. In infants and young children, these range from lack of focus, developmental delays, trouble understanding cause and effect, and problems with boundaries.
But what happens when a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome grows to adulthood? Oftentimes, life is hard for them. A condition such as this, involving the brain, cannot be outgrown. A mother drinking alcohol before her child is born has scarred that child for life. 90% of adults with FASD have mental health issues, and 80% find it difficult to keep a job. They often lack impulse control, have a “short fuse,” and cannot understand concepts such as time or money. Short-term memory issues can also come into play.
Society is not equipped to handle those who may look normal, but don’t function like average adults. Many struggling with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome feel like they are forever children, stuck in a harsh adult world. Next time you reach for a bottle of wine or head out for an evening of cocktails, think about what you’re doing. The price of your indulgences now may well be your unborn child’s lifelong health.
Contact us at Alcoholtreatment.net to learn more.
Living with a spouse who excessive drinks too often is a difficult problem, and if they suffer from an addiction to alcohol, it’s even worse. Not only will their behavior change, but their physical appearance and their overall health can severely deteriorate. That’s why it’s important to understand how to get your loved one to quit drinking. This process takes a carefully measured and monitored approach.
Knowing When Your Spouse Has A Problem
If you’re concerned about your spouse’s drinking, it’s important to gauge if they truly suffer from an addiction to alcohol or if they are a binge drinker. There is a fine line between binge drinking five beers on a Friday and drinking 3-4 beer every night. For example, people who truly suffer from an alcohol problem often show severe withdrawal symptoms whenever they stop drinking.
Feelings of nausea, headaches, paranoia, confusion, and even delirium tremens can and will occur in a person who suffers from true alcohol addiction and force them to continue drinking. A binge drinker may be sober six days in a week without any kind of physical withdrawal symptoms.
Other signs that your loved one may suffer from an addiction to alcohol include:
- Neglecting personal responsibilities to drink
- An increasing number of fights between you
- Using drinking as a form of relaxation or stress relief
- Legal problems associated with drinking
- Refusal to quit, even when it’s clear there is a problem
If your spouse is a binge drinker, you should still try to get them to stop drinking. Binge drinking can be physically and emotionally dangerous, especially if it leads to fights between the two of you. It can also lead to your spouse developing a real addiction to alcohol.
Alcohol Is Not Just A Problem With Men
When people think of a “drinking spouse,” they probably most often think of a husband. While studies have shown that men do suffer from alcoholism at a higher rate than women, that doesn’t mean women don’t. In fact, a wife suffering from alcohol addiction can be just as problematic and dangerous to a relationship.
And studies have backed up the fact that excessive alcohol consumption rarely does marriages any favors. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has stated that dual alcohol addiction had led to a variety of marriage problems, including:
- Difficulty communicating
- Severe violence
- Problems with financial stability
- Separation and divorce
These problems, whether you’re a husband or a wife, can tear your marriage in two. That’s why you need to find a way to help your spouse quit drinking and to steer them in the direction towards lifelong sobriety.
Breaking Down Addiction Triggers
Before talking to your spouse about their problem, it’s important to understand their drinking triggers. Everyone who suffers from addiction has activities, situations, or people that trigger their problematic behavior and your spouse is no different.
Maybe they drink after you guys have a fight or whenever you go out to eat as a couple. Perhaps a visit from their favorite cousin (a lifelong drinking buddy) pushes them into excessive bouts of drinking. Whatever the trigger, identifying them can help you work together to eliminate their negative influence.
Follow this process to identify your spouse’s drinking triggers:
- Pay attention to when they drink
- Write down instances that cause them to drink more
- Rate their triggers by severity
- Brainstorm ways to lessen or eliminate these influences from their life
Discussing Addiction Consequences
Sit down with your spouse and discuss the consequences of their drinking. This shouldn’t be a personal attack or a threat. Behaving in a negative or aggressive way will only cause further problems. Instead you need to calmly explain the problems associated with their drinking. Specific examples may include:
- Loss of friends
- Stalled career
- Disassociation with family (especially children)
- Marriage problems you’ve suffered
- Financial or legal problems caused by drinking
During this discussion, you’re going to have a lot of accusations thrown at you. They may even try to blame their addiction on some of your past behaviors or actions. Don’t get defensive, but instead, apologize for any legitimate problems you may have caused. This will encourage them to reconcile and admit they have a problem.
An honest, loving, and caring approach to discussing these consequences (and dealing with past issues in a constructive way) can help you and your partner move forward towards designing an addiction recovery plan.
Design A Recovery Plan
Once your spouse is ready to move forward in recovery, the two of you can work together to create a sobriety plan. This plan will recognize their drinking triggers, work to eliminate their occurrence, and create a plan that promotes emotional and physical sobriety.
Start by eliminating any of the physical triggers that may cause your spouse to drink. These acts may include no longer visiting certain friends or taking new routes around past drinking spots. Next, you need to work on eliminating emotional cues, such as fights between you or looking to drinking as a “relaxing” habit.
Implementing a plan that addresses these concerns should be more than enough to help your spouse quit drinking. However, you also need to create a relapse plan in case of an emergency.
Getting Help If You Need It
Attending rehab is a relapse plan that has been proven to be effective. Rehabs with programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, cognitive-behavior therapy, detoxification procedures, and even holistic alternative therapies are often effective. If your spouse is trying to quit drinking and needs help or has relapsed after a period of sobriety, please contact us at AlcoholTreatment.net.
Dealing with a parent addicted to alcohol is not easy. You might be experiencing fear, anxiety, anger, helplessness, or sadness. An addiction is something that can affect an entire family and not just the suffering individual. If you fear your parent is struggling from an alcohol addiction, you are not alone. In fact, in America, 1 out of 4 children under 18 years old are exposed to alcohol dependence at home. Alcohol addiction is a serious situation that needs to be addressed immediately. Whether you are 15 years old or 50 years old, watching your parent struggle with an alcohol addiction is rough. But you can help them choose to seek treatment for their addiction.
It’s Not Your Fault
Regardless of what age you are, it’s never your fault that your parent is addicted to alcohol. Your parent is an adult and you did not tell them to abuse alcohol. They need help. If your parent is trying to blame you for their behavior, this is simply not true. Never allow a parent to blame you for their alcohol addiction.
Your parent is a human too and it can be hard for anyone to admit that they have a problem. Sometimes your parent may not even recognize their alcohol behaviors are a problem. And sometimes, they are too afraid to ask for help and might not want to deal with reality without alcohol. It may be extremely frustrating for you to see them continuing with their behaviors. Talk with a school or private counselor, a relative, a trusted community leader (such as a pastor), or reach out to numerous alcohol addiction assistance sites or support group. Together you can seek help for the individual that is suffering from their addiction. At AlcoholTreatment.net, we’re also here to help. You can talk privately to us now at 888-645-0551.
If your situation is an extreme emergency, you can reach out to various alcohol addiction agencies online right now. If you have found your parent injured or needing immediate medical attention for their alcohol abuse, call 9-1-1 and seek help immediately.
Signs Of Alcohol Abuse
Maybe your parent has downplayed their alcoholic behaviors. So, how do you know if your parent might be abusing alcohol? Here are some signs your parent may be addicted to alcohol:
Neglecting responsibilities. If your parent is neglecting to care for you or other family members, this is a possible sign of addiction. If they constantly miss work due to being hungover or have poor performance at work due to alcohol abuse, this is another sign to watch out for.
Mixing alcohol with dangerous situations. If your parent is mixing alcohol with other drugs, or is engaging in risky or dangerous behaviors such as driving while intoxicated, this is a sign they need to seek help.
Building tolerance. Over time, have you noticed your parent drinking more amounts of alcohol? If they have to increase the amount of alcohol to feel the same effects that a smaller amount used to bring, their body is building up a tolerance.
Withdrawal symptoms. How does your parent react when they cannot drink alcohol? Do they have headaches, irritability, depression, fatigue, etc.? If so, they may be experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Some withdrawal symptoms are extreme. These symptoms such as fever, seizures, agitation, confusion, or hallucinations could be life-threatening and you should contact your doctor or emergency facility immediately if you witness your parent going through extreme withdrawal symptoms.
Lying. If your parent has lied about their drinking behaviors, or tried to hide their habits, this is another big sign they should seek treatment.
Losing interests in hobbies and activities. Has your parent lost interest in things they once enjoyed? Is there more time spent with alcohol? If so, this is another sign they need to seek help.
Stealing. Has your parent stolen money from you or others to buy alcohol? If so, they may be struggling from an addiction.
What Else Can I Do?
As mentioned above, you should seek help for the struggling individual immediately. Here are some other ways you can help your parent:
- Wait until your parent is sober and talk to them about your concerns. If your parent refuses to talk to you, be persistent and try again another time. If a parent threatens you or others, seek professional help immediately. Don’t wait.
- If they are ready to talk, ask questions. The goal is that by asking questions you can get your parent to realize they need help. Be prepared to give examples of what behaviors concern you.
- When asking your parent questions, be sure to be respectful. Don’t be accusatory.
- Discuss your plan of how they can get better.
- Talk to them about rehab facility options, alcohol addiction hotlines, or see if they are open to seeking additional help from a counselor.
- If your parent refuses to talk or refuses help, focus your energy into finding a professional that can convince them to seek help.
- Seek immediate help for yourself or others if your parent abuses alcohol and physically abuses you, your siblings, or even their spouse or partner.
- Talk to your other parent. If your other parent is present and does not abuse alcohol, discuss your concerns with them and work together to seek help for the struggling individual.
Contact Us Today
Dealing with a parent that is addicted to alcohol is a serious situation that needs to be addressed professionally. Seeking help for your parent is one of the best ways you can help. You may also want to seek help for yourself by talking with a counselor. Contact us today at AlcoholTreatment.net for help with information and getting into the best treatment for your or a loved one’s addiction.
It’s a Friday night. Your buddies are telling you to relax and grab some drinks. You know you probably shouldn’t, but they keep pressuring you, so you finally give in. You’re watching a football game with your best friends on a Saturday night. Your peers are cheering you on to drink just a few more. Your team is winning, so why not celebrate? So, you drink. Or maybe you’re in college and the alcohol is flowing at a party. You want to fit in. You don’t want to be “that guy” or “that girl.” So you drink, and drink, and drink.
Alcohol abuse and social acceptance of drinking alcohol is a vicious cycle. You have a tendency to drink and the culture you are around (a party or college atmosphere, a celebration, etc.) lulls you into a false sense of security. If they are drinking, it must be okay. You want to fit in and be accepted. You’ve had drinks before and you try to tell yourself that you’re just a “social” drinker or a “weekend” drinker. Or maybe you are in college and you tell yourself that once you graduate, you’ll stop drinking. But the truth is that you are using social acceptance of alcohol as an excuse for your alcohol abuse. And hey, that’s not okay.
More Acceptance + Less Stigma = A Bad Combination
Alcohol is one of the substances that is more socially accepted than other drugs. It also doesn’t carry the same stigma that other drugs might. Parties, weddings, many college campus atmospheres, birthday celebrations, and other events encourage and supply alcohol. With alcohol so prevalent in our lives, we begin to normalize it into our daily behaviors. We might even mistakenly think that alcohol abuse is a term left for extreme circumstances. But alcohol abuse is very prevalent in our society. In the U.S., 17.9 million Americans (1 in 12 adults) suffer from alcohol abuse and/or dependence and millions more have risky drinking behaviors that could lead to alcohol abuse. Because alcohol is so prevalent, many people are desensitized to its dangerous effects.
Are We Really Being Desensitized To Alcohol?
Maybe it’s not obvious how much exposure you may have to alcohol on a daily or weekly basis. We really are bombarded a lot in our lives by alcohol. Here are some examples of how you could be exposed to alcohol in your daily life in a socially acceptable way:
- TV, radio, magazine, or internet ads that mention alcohol in a positive light
- Attending a party/celebration/wedding, etc. that offers alcohol
- Exposure to alcohol in different environments such as home, school, or work
- Attending a sporting event that sells alcohol
- Exposure to billboards advertising alcohol
- Portrayals of alcohol in a positive light by movies, TV shows, and song lyrics.
- Peer pressure to drink amongst friends or even a romantic partner
- Social media posts about friends or family drinking or partying
- Attending a holiday party (Independence Day, Labor Day, etc.) where alcohol is present
- Going to a concert that offers alcohol
This is not an entire list, but it should be easy to see how much we are exposed to alcohol in our lives. We might not realize it at first because it is so prevalent. Increased alcohol exposure leads to more social acceptance and also desensitization.
Do I Have A Drinking Problem?
One of the first signs of an alcohol problem is that you have built up a tolerance to alcohol. You constantly must increase your alcoholic intake in order to feel the same buzz or relaxed feeling you once had with less alcohol.
Another sign you may have an alcohol addiction is withdrawal. When you haven’t been able to drink, do you experience headaches, vomiting, irritability, shakiness, anxiety, fatigue, sweating, etc.? If so, you may be going through withdrawal. This is your body’s way of telling you it needs more alcohol, and that is not good. In extreme cases, you may even experience a fever, seizures, confusion, hallucinations, or agitation. Call emergency services immediately if you experience these extreme withdrawal symptoms.
And finally, there are other signs that may point to alcohol abuse or dependence. These signs include:
- Losing control of your drinking: you drink more amounts or for longer than intended
- Desire to stop drinking but can’t: you desire to stop or cut back, but are unsuccessful
- Losing interest in other activities you once enjoyed because of alcohol.
- Devoting more time to drinking, recovering, or thinking about your next drink.
- Drinking even though you realize it’s causing harm to your body.
- Denying you have a problem or downplaying your situation.
- Blaming others or circumstances for your drinking behaviors.
- Stealing money from someone so that you can drink.
- Lying to friends or family about your drinking habits.
- Blacking out after drinking.
- Friends and family are concerned about your drinking habits.
- You feel ashamed or guilty about your drinking patterns.
- All your social activities involve drinking alcohol.
Should I Seek Help?
YES! If you or someone you know is suffering from alcohol abuse, the best thing you can do is seek help. Alcohol abuse is being perpetuated by social acceptance of drinking alcohol in our society. If you are struggling from an alcohol addiction, seek help today before it’s too late. Alcohol abuse can lead to death, so don’t wait another minute to reach out. Seeking help is a courageous thing to do. You can help stop the vicious cycle of alcohol abuse and social acceptance of drinking alcohol by seeking help. We’re here for you at AlcoholTreatment.net. We’re ready to answer any questions you might have and here to listen and help.
Today’s world puts a lot of pressure on women. Women are bombarded with images in magazines, the media, television shows, movies, and ads that constantly pressure them into looking or behaving certain ways. And while many realize that these pressures on women are far beyond reality or expectations, many forget this or buy into the idea that this is how they should be living life.
How many times have you seen an alcohol commercial with women in it and everyone is happy and having fun? Have you ever seen an alcohol commercial where they are trying to sell you that drink and they portray someone drinking alone and depressed? It’s very easy to come up with examples of the first one but it’s really hard to think of any examples of any company trying to sell you something and exposing their product in a negative light at the same time.
Beer, wine, or other alcoholic beverages are portrayed in commercials as perhaps a drink that will liven up your party, the magic elixir that allows attractive women to be surrounded by handsome looking guys at all times, and perhaps you will even find new adventures. And, with some television shows that glorify partying, drunken nights, or portray drinking in a positive light (you could guess which shows we’re talking about), in real life, alcohol abuse is a serious problem. Exposure to these images may influence women’s alcoholic consumption, but many factors are also at play.
Alcohol And Substance Abuse Among Women
In the United States, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse notes that 6 million women are dependent on alcohol and 2.6 million women have a substance abuse. From 1998 to 2007, the number of women arrested for drunk driving rose by 30 percent. Also from 1999 to 2007, the number of ER visits for women being very intoxicated also rose 52 percent. The numbers of women abusing alcohol is indeed rising. Scientists have also wanted to have more research done with the biochemical differences between men and women when they drink. When women drink, they have reported to scientists that it makes them feel sexier, more affectionate and feminine. But what are some other reasons that women might be driven to drink more these days?
Some Reasons Alcohol Abuse May Be On The Rise For Women
Some explanations for the recent rise in alcohol abuse among women include: (Note that these are not all inclusive and there could be other reasons):
A study showed that 74% of women who were addicted to alcohol were sexually abused and 52% had physical abuse in their past or current history. Those who were raised in violent home settings and who continued to live in domestic abuse after leaving home are much more susceptible to using drugs and/or alcohol to hide or ease the pain of their realities.
Emotional abuse, imbalanced relationships, and feelings of marginalization
Women who are in relationships where their partner lacks empathy and there is an unequal distribution of household tasks often turns to the bottle to control their happiness, for power, comfort, and it may even offer relief from their depression and hopelessness. Also, women who felt stigmatized for their gender or feel inferior or disrespected also are more likely to have alcohol addictions.
For women who are isolated (and maybe have a few kids and are stressed), it may be easier for them to look to alcohol as a way to connect with friends. What may have started out as a few drinks every Friday night with your girlfriends to ease stress, may turn into drinking earlier in the day and becoming more intoxicated by night.
Some women imbibe because they believe they can equally consume alcohol the way men might. But women and men’s bodies are built differently when consuming alcohol and some do not realize this. Women become intoxicated more quickly than men (even if the same height and weight) because their bodies have more fat which keeps the alcohol in their system and less water (which would dilute the alcohol).
Changing roles and expectations
Women today have different roles and scientists are thinking there is a link between alcohol consumption and the shift of women’s roles in society.
More women are attending college today, and studies have linked the rise in female attendance at colleges to the rise of alcohol consumption.
Life After College
Some scientists say that women continue their college partying days in male-dominated work places (such as finance or technology).
Career to home shift
Still other scientists say that the shift and focus from a career to raising children at home, could be a factor in the rise of drinking among women. Being bored and anxious (all with potentially a screaming toddler or children in the background) may cause them to reach for the bottle to get away from reality for a while.
Depression and Anxiety
Women are two more times likely to be afflicted with depression and/or anxiety than men. And in turn, they may be more at risk to self-medicate by alcohol.
Women also may abuse alcohol if they have or had an eating disorder.
Wine And Women
Another disturbing trend is that wine has become a popular and socially accepted drink among women. Wine is not seen as “bad” as other alcoholic beverages or drugs and is encouraged at book clubs, on t-shirts or online groups, and at social gatherings. Many moms think that wine is a culturally accepted way to ease the troubles of your day. And it may even be viewed as independence and freedom that was lost once having children. According to the Wine Institute, women are the primary drinkers of wine in the U.S. and they also buy a majority of the 800 million wine glasses sold each year.
Despite many women viewing wine in a positive light, it is still alcohol and it can still be abused. Do not buy into the idea that it is safer to drink because you can still develop an alcohol abuse disorder from drinking wine.
There Is hope
If you or a woman you know is struggling with an alcohol addiction, seek help now. Alcohol abuse is on the rise for women, but you do not have to be part of that statistic. Whatever your situation, there is hope, and professionals are just waiting for you to reach out to them. Contact us at alcoholtreatment.net to learn more.
In America, alcohol-related disorders claim around 88,000 lives per year. Because of this, alcohol-related fatalities are the third leading preventable cause of death in America. A new government study that was released early this June found that more Americans are drinking more than ever before (and binge drinking is largely to blame). Around 33 million Americans have struggled with an alcohol-related problem, which is equal to 1 out of every 7 people. And more troubling still is that 1 in 3 Americans have suffered from an alcohol use disorder during their lifetimes. A staggering 80 percent of those who have an alcohol use disorder never seek any treatment at all.
An alcohol use disorder is a revised term created by psychologists to describe drinking behaviors that become problematic and severe. In the recently revised DSM-5 (or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), psychologists have now combined “alcohol dependence disorder” with “alcohol abuse disorder” and made them into one term: “alcohol use disorders.”
How do you know if your drinking behaviors are problematic?
According to the new DSM-5, if you meet 2 of 11 symptoms, you could be classified as such. Having around 2 or 3 symptoms ranks the individual in the problematic category and having over 6 qualities lists the individual as having a severe problem. Some of the problems include having issues in your home/school/work life, failure to reduce your alcohol intake, and even having consistent hangovers.
Who is most likely at risk for alcohol-use disorders?
If you are a male, Caucasian, or Native American, you are at more risk than others to develop problematic drinking. Also, if you are younger (Americans under 30 years of age), have never been married, or even have low income, you are at a greater risk of developing an alcohol use disorder. And for city dwellers, you are more at risk of developing problematic drinking issues than those who live in rural places.
Treatment For Alcohol Use Disorders
While many may not realize that alcohol use disorders impact America in a big way, it is estimated that $224 billion are lost annually due to car accidents related to alcohol, DUIs, and medical expenses from alcohol use disorders. To get a better idea of how serious problematic drinking can be, every 22 minutes someone on the road is killed by an alcohol-related incident. With more prevention and attention to alcohol use disorders, these accidents can be avoided and many lives can be saved.
The first step: if you think your drinking habits are abnormal, you should seek professional guidance. Oftentimes though, those who meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder do not realize (or may not want to accept) that their drinking problems are abnormal and may even try to rationalize their behaviors as “acceptable,” “normal,” or “okay.” In those cases, a loved one or a close friend may need to intervene in convincing the individual to at least seek a mental healthcare professional’s opinion of their situation and habits. Concern for your health means that someone close to you cares a lot about you and although your first reaction may be on the defensive, realize that those who raise concerns are only trying to help.
If you are concerned for your own health but are embarrassed of your drinking habits, do not hesitate to seek help. Remember that you are not alone and that 33 million Americans struggle from alcohol use disorders. You deserve to treat your body well and not become part of the 80 percent who do not seek treatment. Dare to break the mold and don’t become a statistic. Even if a mental health professional determines that your current drinking habits are not problematic, at least you will gain insights into what is considered normal and problematic drinking behaviors. This can help you keep your drinking in check so that it never turns into an alcohol use disorder. And as they say, knowledge is always power.
Seeking Help Today
If you think you or someone you know is struggling with an alcohol use disorder, it’s always best to seek professional help. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Alcohol use disorder is preventable. Contact us at alcoholtreatment.net for more information and help getting into the best treatment for your addiction today.
You finally made it. After working hard for many years, you can enjoy your retirement. But perhaps your retirement is not going as well as you had planned. Unexpected events or tragedies such as losing a loved one or a spouse have occurred in your golden years and you have turned to alcohol to cope. It’s possible that without the daily responsibility of holding a job, you have been tempted to pick up old habits with the bottle. Or maybe you have developed an illness and are trying to find ways to cope and escape from your present circumstances.
Although many people think that retirement means spending time with friends and family, relaxation, traveling and generally happy times, most people do not think that seniors who have retired could be struggling with an addiction, unless perhaps they struggled with it previously. Whatever the cause, alcohol addiction in retirees is actually a neglected problem that is not always visible to the public. Surprisingly, alcohol is the most abused drug among seniors and it is estimated that 3 million Americans aged 55 or older struggle with alcohol abuse and that number is expected to rise to 6 million by 2020. This is a serious issue. What are some of the reasons that lead seniors to alcohol addiction?
I Loved My Work And Retirement Came Too Soon
Perhaps your retirement was not a choice but was rather forced upon you by your company (or a personal sudden illness) for any number of reasons. Those who retire by choice (a planned retirement due to health or simply because it’s time) are less likely to engage in alcoholic behaviors because their retirement was a decision they made.
For those whose retirements were not planned and happened out of their control, they are the people more likely at risk to develop an alcohol addiction. If you were forced into retirement due to your work, then you may feel as if your happiness has been taken away from you, which may lead to finding other sources of coping with temporary fulfillments or distractions, such as alcohol.
The Hardest Years Of A Marriage
For some, after retirement can be the hardest time in your marriage. Do not feel alone. Experts say it is common for couples to have more marital and intimacy issues after retirement due to the change in daily dynamics. Maybe you were gone 8 hours a day and your spouse was also working and now that one or both of you are not working, maybe you can’t stand to be around each other. Or maybe your spouse feels resentment towards you if they are still working and you have retired: which could lead towards arguments about financial issues and your adjusted retirement income. Those who did not prepare financially or who struggle with changes in finances due to retirement are at risk for developing an alcohol addiction.
My Work Environment Was Awful, Or Wonderful
For those who had a wonderful working environment, those individuals are surprisingly more at risk to consume alcohol after retirement. One of the reasons for this is that if you have found your work to be personally rewarding, after you retire, you have taken a feeling of happiness away from yourself so you may turn to other form of “happiness” or fulfillment. If you absolutely disliked your job, you are at less risk to develop an alcohol addiction because you no longer have to work in that stressful environment and can now do what you actually enjoy.
Age As A Factor
Whether you retired at 40 or 75, those who retired earlier on in their lives are more at risk for alcohol abuse or addiction. Statistics suggest that the earlier a person retires, alcohol abuse will be more severe than someone who retired at 75. If an illness has caused you to retire early, feelings of guilt or frustration could also lead to alcohol abuse.
Contact Us For Help
Although these are not all the reasons that seniors may turn to alcohol in retirement, it is important to know the facts. It is generally a good rule of thumb to stay busy after retirement, such as spending time with family and friends or enjoying a hobby. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction after retirement, or if you worry they may be at risk for developing an alcoholic addiction, contact us at Alcoholtreatment.net.
When a person is in a marriage or partnered relationship with someone addicted to alcohol, it’s not just the person dependent on alcohol who suffers, the partner is also directly affected, as they have to deal with everything from emotional distress to financial worries. It often falls to the sober partner to “pick up the pieces” and maintain. The stress this puts on them is very real and they are just as deserving of help as the person who struggles with drinking.
The partner of a person who drinks is often in the sad position of being in conflict or distress with the very person who might ordinarily be their closest confidant. The person they would normally go to for support, advice or comfort is the source of the problem itself. This can leave them feeling very alone and without anywhere to turn.
Family And Friends Aren’t Always The Solution
Sometimes friends or family don’t grasp what the husband, wife, or partner of the dependent are dealing with. Often when one hasn’t had their own experience with someone struggling with alcohol addiction, they can’t fully empathize with someone who is going through the stress of being in such a relationship. This isn’t always true, but it is in many cases, particularly if the person who is dealing with the issue has a sparse circle of friends or family to go to.
It can be frustrating to try to seek solace from someone who leaves you feeling: They just don’t understand. Or someone who can’t see past their own anger at the situation. Their advice often boils down to just leave them and the relationship. This can be aggravating when have your own, informed reasons for not believing that that’s the right course of action. They may mean well, they love and care for you and just don’t want to see you hurting; but their dismissive viewpoint can actually add to your distress.
Barriers To Obtaining Help
Organizations and groups exist to help the spouse/partner of a person dependent on alcohol, but sometimes circumstances such as lack of transportation, a physical disability, or psychological condition such as agoraphobia could preclude a person seeking help outside of the home. Maybe one lives in a sparsely populated or isolated area where no such groups exist. They might be afraid of potential stigma attached to being open about marital problems. They may just be too shy to open up to someone publicly. Perhaps the spouse/partner has ideological disagreements with an available organization’s methods. In any case, sometimes support just isn’t easily at hand in everyone’s community.
Whether you just need someone to talk to, or need actual assistance of some sort, the internet can be a great alternative to traditional walk-in-the-door methods of getting help.
Talking It Out With Peers
Sometimes all you’re looking for is a way to vent your feelings, to talk about your situation instead of bottling it up. Talking to others who have been there or are going through the same things can be very supportive. There is a wealth of message boards, forums, chat rooms, and discussion groups you can find with a simple search. Often on these you’ll meet friendly people who can direct you to other helpful resources, or just lend a virtual shoulder to cry on. You can usually spend some time unregistered just “lurking” and reading what others have said to gauge whether or not a given website would be comfortable for you to actually take part in. If you don’t like the back-and-forth that takes place on one website, there are dozens more to choose from. Spend some time checking out various sites and you’re bound to find one or more that would work for you.
Some people find it easier to be open in an online setting than they would face-to-face. The anonymity of communicating from behind a keyboard can sometimes be freeing to someone who might be too shy to discuss things like alcohol dependency in person. A sense of privacy can be comforting, and maybe encourage a struggling spouse to seek further help of some sort. Maybe you’re not actually looking for a solution to a problem, either. If you’re not seeking feedback, but only want confirmation that It’s not just me going through this, you can just do some reading and not take part in discussions.
The Role Of Social Media In Support
Social media can be a great outlet, as well. This is best approached carefully, however. One should take into consideration that the privacy of all individuals involved needs to be respected. You might need to be more discreet about what you do and do not share in a social setting online, just as you would at an actual gathering of people such as a party.
Some people do go so far as starting a personal blog to share their experiences and thoughts. Sometimes all we need to do is get it out there, give voice to what’s going on in our lives and minds so that we can take a step back and look at where we are. Input from others who read can maybe shed a new perspective we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. And maybe sharing your own experiences might just help someone else. It can be empowering to know that by sharing your own situation, you have helped another going through the same thing. Beware, however. If your website allows commentary, not everyone is understanding or kind. Some people “troll” the internet with the sole intention of pushing people’s buttons, offending or criticizing for their own cruel and selfish entertainment. Website commentary is very often the venue of choice for a commenter’s snark.
Beyond Talk: Assistance From Resources
Sometimes the need is there for actual help of some kind, assistance or support that goes beyond just talking. The internet can be a valuable resource for this as well.
Books, Articles, And Reports
If it’s research you’re seeking, you can find scholarly articles, scientific reports, and medical journals reprinted online. Often these are readily available to the public and free. Sometimes there may be a fee charged by magazines that offer online versions of print issues.
You can shop for self-help or reference books as well through websites such as Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, Ebay, and many others. One benefit of doing your shopping online is that there may be reviews by people who have already read the books you are considering. You can look at the reviews and gauge whether or not said book would offer the sort of knowledge you seek. A few websites also let you read a selection of pages before purchasing.
Library websites can be great ways to find resources, as well. Many list their entire catalog so you can search for a book or other source such as a DVD by title, author, subject, etc. A lot of libraries are now making audio books, digital books, and reports available as downloads for e-readers, tablets, and cell phones. Usually these services are all free.
You can find some books or programs available for sale via downloads or direct sales. These would be on websites from the author or organization that created the book or program. It is helpful prior to committing to a purchase to do some searching to see if others have read these books or tried these programs and what they have to say about the value of them.
Support Groups, Outreach Centers, And Shelters
The internet is a great way to find local support groups. Many post locations and schedules for meetings or gatherings organized by locale. They also make phone numbers available to confirm dates and times, and sometimes can offer other types of support.
If things have reached a point where you might actually need to remove yourself from the situation with your loved one, many outreach centers and shelters for victims of domestic abuse have websites with information, addresses, and contact information. They usually have 24-hour emergency lines available and posted on their sites.
We Can Offer The Support You Need
If you find yourself in a domestic relationship with someone suffering from alcohol dependency and need assistance, AlcoholTreatment.net is here to help. If you don’t know where to turn or what to do, contact us – we’ll be happy to guide you toward what you need to not feel alone or helpless in your situation.
Alcohol abuse is the third leading cause of lifestyle related death for Americans, with approximately 88,000 people dying each year from alcohol poisoning, alcohol-induced liver disease, cancer, or by alcohol-related accidents and assaults, among countless of other causes.
To increase awareness of the significance of this number, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began using another measure of total loss from alcohol-related deaths. The Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL) looks at the age of the person at the time of death and through an algorithm, determines the likelihood that person would have lived to the mean age of 65 years. On average, the potential life loss per individual in the United States from alcohol-related illness or injury measures 30 years, or a total YPLL measure of 2.5 million years annually.
More than 44% of the 88,000 lives lost to alcohol were due to chronic conditions or illnesses. Fifty-six percent of the those who died were killed in accidents or physical altercations relating to excessive alcohol consumption, most commonly through auto-related accidents. Nearly three quarters of those who died were men. One in 10 deaths of working-age adults is related to alcohol. Heavy drinkers were twice as likely as moderate drinkers to die from alcohol consumption due to both chronic and acute factors.
These are sobering numbers. But mortality rates can also serve as a mechanism to initiate change among specific subgroups and populations more at risk for alcohol exposure. For example, more than two thirds of those who died from alcohol related illness or accidents were working aged adults. Higher rates of alcohol consumption tend to exist within this subgroup. Focusing on what the trends tell us about when someone is most likely to consume alcohol (or most at risk for starting), as well as other risk factors involved in excessive use of alcohol can serve as a tool in preventing at least some of these unnecessary deaths.
Early Alcohol-Related Mortality Rates On The Rise
Early mortality rates among college age students and younger professionals indicates a higher likelihood of death by alcohol-related accident or injury in this group. The number of deaths annually is 13,873, compared to 13,147 in the older age category. Individuals 35-49 see an enormous jump in deaths related to alcohol-related chronic conditions – 732 deaths annually compared with 7,658 in the older age group.
One of the most at-risk groups facing earlier mortality rates due to alcohol consumption includes 30- to 40-year-old women. Media attention remains focused on college-age drinking. However research shows fewer students are engaging in risky drinking. Instead, binge drinking among young professionals just out of college and women especially indicate a more dire trend leading to increases in early mortality rates among these subgroups.
Further research indicates that even when men and women drink equivalent amounts, women are more prone to alcohol-related diseases than men. The early onset of diseases that lead to fatalities including liver disease, hypertension, and malnutrition was also more common in women.
How Alcohol Is Killing Young People
Among the age groups between 0 and 19 years, deaths by acute conditions including automobile accidents followed by homicides, suicides, and child abuse were highest. Deaths also result from chronic conditions like alcohol-related premature births, low birth weight and birth complications affecting infants specifically.
From ages 20 to 34, alcohol-related acute deaths spike with the majority of deaths related to automobile accidents, followed by homicides, poisoning and suicide. Rates of alcoholic liver disease begin to climb to 295 annually in this age category.
In the 35 to 49 age group, the chronic condition alcoholic liver disease increases to 3,930, surpassing the likelihood of dying from any acute causes. Auto-related accidents also account for 3,536 deaths annually among this age group.
Perception Of Alcohol’s Health Benefit Backfiring
Alcohol is linked to more than 300 chronic illnesses and acute conditions that put people at higher risk of death. Popular media portrayals of alcohol often lure people into a false sense of security, such as a glass of wine with dinner each night has some kind of health benefit. In reality, the health benefits of wine or alcohol have long been debated. Some evidence does support small amounts of alcohol may reduce cardiovascular disease. However, these health benefits are short-lived when someone consumes more than those rates mentioned in the studies.
When someone drinks a glass of wine with dinner each night, whether or not they will see health benefits or risks involves many factors including genetics, body weight, gender and liver health. Alcohol is not easily digested by the liver, creating strain on this vital organ. Moreover, it can only process a very small amount of alcohol in a given time, meaning that glass of wine with dinner may not have the good health affects someone is seeking.
Recent articles citing dubious evidence to support the claim that drinking in moderation while pregnant is safe have been immediately discounted by organizations like the National Institutes of Health (NIH). They reference a multitude of longitudinal studies indicating there is no guaranteed safe level of alcohol consumption known without some impact on developing fetuses. The widespread anecdotal evidence spread by media portrayals of the 30-something pregnant woman enjoying a glass of wine are misleading and may even contribute to the high mortality rates among this age group.
How to Prevent Youth Mortality Rates
The best way to prevent early death by chronic or acute alcohol-related conditions is education to counter misleading media portrayals. For those who are already suffering with problem drinking or a substance use disorder, matching those individuals with evidence-based care best suited to their individual needs is a critical component to their long-term success.
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Intervention is usually a last resort for someone unable to regain control of their life after becoming physically dependent on alcohol. An alcohol intervention involves multiple steps culminating in a gathering between loved ones and the alcohol-addicted person. At this meeting, family, friends, and preferably a professional intervention therapist, address concerns and suggest a course of action to resolve a person’s addiction to alcohol.
These meetings are not spontaneous and require much up-front coordination and education on behalf of those involved. Those considering an intervention may seek help from a professional to better understand what effects alcohol is having on the addicted individual, the disease of alcoholism, and the steps needed for a successful recovery. Most successful interventions are conducted by a professional interventionist or therapist.
When Is An Alcohol Intervention Necessary?
If you’ve already spoken with the alcohol-dependent person without success, an intervention may be necessary. In cases where someone is exhibiting behaviors consistent with a drinking problem that is spiraling out of control, an intervention can help connect the person with treatment options available to them immediately in a respectful and supportive environment. Interventions allow for a safe place to address concerns family, friends, and even co-workers or employers have, all in the presence of a professional who can mediate the discussion.
Preparing For An Alcohol Intervention
Educating yourself on what to expect from the intervention through treatment and on to recovery is essential before an intervention. Understanding alcohol abuse, as well as symptoms related to the addiction and the challenges that follow, even after the person has stopped drinking will help you become a more understanding and compassionate co-recoverer. An awareness of how alcohol addiction impairs the individual’s judgment and thought processes will enable you to address the denial that often grips individuals suffering from alcohol abuse.
Hire an intervention specialist. The role of the intervention specialist is critical. Professional interventionists develop intervention plans and offer insights into addiction that can guide initiation of a course of appropriate action for the alcohol-dependent person. They mediate the intervention and can prevent any negative responses from escalating. Interventions without this level of professional support are not recommended and, if conducted improperly, can fuel animosity between family members and the alcohol-dependent person.
Form a team. The intervention professional can aid you in assembling your intervention team. This group of family, friends, co-workers, etc. should be made up of people the addicted person respects. Do not include individuals between which they and the addicted individual harbor resentments or long-standing animosity. The goal of the intervention team is to show the alcohol-addicted person that their drinking affects more than just them. It affects those they love. The majority of interventions, when assisted by a professional, produce positive results. Occasionally, even with successful communication, the alcohol-addicted person is not ready to seek treatment. Remember, people facing addiction are often in denial about the problem. Be prepared to hear excuses for their behavior and ready to stay focused on helping them make the connection between those behaviors and the addiction. Do not lose hope, even In those circumstances in which the person does not seek treatment immediately. The alcohol-dependent individual, now aware of the support around them, may choose to seek help when fully ready to commit.
Working with the professional interventionist, it is a good idea to prepare to discuss boundaries and consequences should the person choose not to seek help for their addiction. In creating a set of clearly-defined boundaries, ask yourself what you are prepared to deal with and what you consider unacceptable in moving forward. These may include violent behaviors or abusive language, or staying out late. And include consequences should these boundaries not be satisfied.
Be prepared with lists of what you plan to say. Lists may include ways the addicted individual has impacted your life with their drinking, or how they have caused harm to you or themselves. These lists will help you maintain focus during the emotionally-charged parts of the intervention.
In some cases the alcohol-dependent individual may be notified of the intervention ahead of time. In other cases, the person has no idea about the intervention, but the gathering takes place in a neutral location, where the participants, including the person coping with addiction, are able to openly discuss their feelings.
Preparing For An Intervention Includes:
- Education on what alcohol dependency is and the path to recovery
- Working with an intervention specialist on an plan of action for the intervention and immediate treatment options available to the person
- An intervention “team” made up of individuals the addicted person respects
- Anticipation of denial or objections on part of the addicted individual
- Creating “How your drinking affects me” or a “How I see alcohol affecting you” lists
- Creating a list of clear boundaries and consequences, if those boundaries are not upheld
- A rehearsal intervention or preparatory meeting with the group prior to the intervention
- Meeting in a location that is neutral and at a time of day when the person is typically not engaged in drinking
An intervention is not an ambush; it is an opportunity to help the addicted individual see the impacts of their drinking free from judgment and with a show of support from all involved. Be prepared to speak honestly about how alcohol has gotten in the way of the relationship you once had to the alcohol-addicted person, while letting them know you want to help them through this difficult process.
What To Expect During An Alcohol Intervention
It is hard to know how any one individual will react to an intervention, but the success of the intervention can be greatly enhanced by the ability of the participants to engage in firm, but non-confrontational dialogue. Hostility may arise, but do not respond in anger. Share your observations, discuss boundaries, consequences, but do so calmly and respectfully. This will help maintain a level tone throughout the discussion, even in the face of hostility.
Whether or not the person was ready to seek treatment for alcohol addiction, the act of intervention usually brings about an awareness that the addiction is impacting those the person admires and respects most. This is often the trigger or push the person needs to agree to seek help.
Allowing the person a few days to consider intervention may dissolve the potency of the initial meeting, so expect a response at the time of the intervention. Have a bag packed and ready, childcare or other necessary arrangements made in advance. Make the transition easy to dispel excuses used to delay the process. This response may not be what you are hoping to hear, but in either case, be prepared to follow through with upholding boundaries and consequences. It is equally as important to follow through with ongoing support, should the person agree to enter treatment.
An Alcohol Intervention May Save A Life
If you’ve tried to help a loved one coping with addiction, but are unable to get them into treatment, professional guidance may be necessary. An alcohol intervention affords your loved one the opportunity to truly see how great an impact their drinking has had on their friends, family, and life. It’s also a pivotal moment for many, and one with a great reward at its end.
Get Help For Alcohol Addiction
If you are ready to begin the intervention process, AlcoholTreatment.net can connect you with intervention professionals in your area. Contact us today to find out what options are available to you and your loved one facing addiction.