Recovering from alcoholism can be tricky and while this is a great achievement that offers many rewards, the physical and emotional balance is often hard to achieve. Post-Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms (or PAWS) offers a mixed bag of insomnia, anxiety, depression, and agitation.
It’s not uncommon to feel grumpy and irritable for as long as two years following alcohol recovery. Many people crave sweet carbohydrates especially in the first few months, so much so that AA meetings offer donuts and other sweets to members before meetings. These cravings are completely normal and even helpful, but is there a right way to treat alcohol withdrawal with a carb-heavy diet?
How Carbohydrates Affect The Body
Carbohydrates (carbs) are broken down into simple sugars when introduced into the body. These sugars are then absorbed into the bloodstream, raising your sugar level. The pancreas senses this change and secretes insulin to move sugar from the blood into cells. This process provides energy to the body and is found to elevate mood. Research suggests that there are benefits to carb consumption, such as:
- Promoting production of the “feel-good” hormone serotonin. Studies have shown that people limiting carb intake to 20-40 grams/day (about 2 pieces of bread) experienced more depression and agitation than people assigned to a high carb and low fat diet over the span of a year. (Archives of Internal Medicine)
- Many carbs offer dietary fiber, a complex substance that is indigestible. Increased fiber intake can promote weight loss, weight maintenance, and digestion.
- Carb-rich foods like oatmeal, quinoa, and beans can aid the heart in removing LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
- Eating “slow release” carbs like whole grains, oatmeal, and bran cereal can help maintain blood sugar and effectively stave off hunger.
Researchers suggest limiting sugary carbs like sodas and candy as part of a balanced diet. Unfortunately, cravings in alcohol recovery tend to lean toward the sweet side of carbohydrates, expanding waistlines and damaging teeth. Thankfully, there are simple ways to avoid the effects of carb cravings that can benefit those in recovery.
What Do You Need?
Alcohol offers no nutritional value to the body and when it was a daily part of your life, you may have consumed as much as 50% of your daily calories through alcohol consumption. When alcohol is removed from the body completely, it is customary to attempt to increase serotonin through sweet carb consumption.
In order to restore and nourish your body during recovery, it’s important to know what your body needs to stay healthy. According to USDA.gov:
- Fats, oils and sweets should be consumed sparingly. Sugar consumption should be limited to six teaspoons on average for a diet consisting of 1,600 calories.
- A balanced diet consists of 2-3 servings of dairy, 2-3 servings of protein, 3-5 servings of vegetables, and 2-4 servings of fruit.
- In addition, 6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta are recommended.
- When considering carb intake, it helps to look at the fat and calorie content of individual servings. For instance, one baked potato contains 120 calories and trace amounts of fat. A serving of french fries (14 fries) contain 11 grams of fat and a whopping 225 calories.
- Water recommendations vary based on age, sex, and health status. During recovery, it is especially beneficial to stay hydrated in order to flush toxins and maintain health. Adults typically need about half a gallon of water every day to stay healthy.
A high-carb diet can be best managed with foods containing high dietary fiber. Oatmeal, whole grain pasta, heavy breads, and bran cereal offer great sources of dietary fiber while offering the benefits of high energy and mood enhancement. While it may be tempting to consume refined sugars, considering the caloric and nutritional values of carbs can best serve your health in recovery.
Treating Alcoholism With A Carb-Heavy Diet
It’s important to consider mood, health, and living circumstances in recovery. An uncomfortable withdrawal and recovery process can increase the likelihood of relapse, making it more difficult for sobriety to stick in the long run.
Using the benefits of carbs to your advantage can assist in a more comfortable and lasting recovery. Many worry about gaining weight in recovery as a result of higher carb consumption. With a little help, people in recovery can establish healthy habits while treating the unfortunately common mood shift that comes with it.
We Can Help
If you or a loved one is experiencing agitation or adverse mood changes in recovery, you are not alone. The caring staff at AlcoholTreatment.net is here to guide you through options for a healthy transition. We can offer ideas to help integrate carbs into your diet and offer support and resources for recovery. Contact us today.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was founded by Bill Wilson (Bill W) and Dr. Robert Smith (Dr. Bob) in 1935. The program was developed to help those seeking recovery from alcoholism through literature, group therapy, and support. Members have continued this tradition of recovery over the years, revising and augmenting the methods to better serve the AA community. Members have found great solace in recovery sayings, or mantras used in the group. These quotes and acronyms promote a positive mindset, and remind members to push through when things get tough in recovery.
“One Day At A Time”
Stress is the biggest relapse trigger for many people in recovery. One of the most well-known mantras of AA, “One day at a time,” refers to the focus, patience, and persistence necessary to tackle addiction. Considering sobriety a day-to-day endeavor puts focus on the task at hand, easing anxiety about the future, and regret over the past. Put a bit more bluntly by AA members, “When you’ve got one foot in yesterday and the other in tomorrow, you can only piss on today.”
Having a resentment is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die. Some of the most common quotes from AA are regarding the relationships of those in recovery. Self-awareness and problem solving is the key to finding peace. AA members are encouraged to embrace the things that can’t be changed, and work toward changing the things that can. Many AA quotes support this mindset, including:
- “What other people think of you is none of your business.”
- “I’ve found that you can not save your ass and your face at the same time.”
- “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”
- “The healthy person finds happiness in helping others. Thus, for him, unselfishness is selfish.”
Changing things that can be controlled is an empowering experience. Many people in recovery are to face conflicts without the assistance of alcohol. Mantras such as these allow a “go-to” mentality, and help keep thoughts and actions in check.
Realistic expectations are one of the many reasons for the success and longevity of AA. Your experience with addiction and recovery will never be sugar-coated. Honest, authentic representations are useful in accepting things that have happened. Some blunt sayings regarding addiction and the recovery process include:
- “If you like everyone in AA, you’re not going to enough meetings!”
- “I’ve never done anything in moderation — except maybe these steps.”
- “You are not responsible for your disease, but you are responsible for your behavior.”
- “Sponsoring yourself is like using unskilled labor.”
- “An alcoholic without a sponsor is like leaving Dracula in charge of the blood bank.”
- “If you want what you’ve never had, you must do what you’ve never done.”
- “Winners do what they have to do and losers do what they want to do.”
- “Most alcoholics would rather die than learn anything about themselves. In fact, they do.
- “Insanity is not doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results; insanity is doing the same thing over and over again knowing full well what the results will be.”
These honest quotes have been adopted by the AA program as unofficial mantras to assist members when hope is hard to find. These quotes serve as reminders to stay grounded in recovery, and acknowledges the difficulties in a realistic and clever way.
AA members follow their own advice by “keeping it simple” with acronyms. These sayings inspire empowerment, prevention, and a reminder of the principles that are taught in the group. Some acronyms adopted by the AA community include:
- Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired (HALT) – Referring to the common triggers involved in relapse. When temptation strikes, make sure you’re putting your mind and body in check.
- Sobriety Losing Its Priority (SLIP) – When menial issues take precedence over sobriety, this can challenge the recovery process.
- Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS) – Stress and over-complication can lead to temptation. Maintaining simplicity can cut the distraction and ensure focus on recovery.
- False Expectations Appearing Real (FEAR) – Fear and anxiety are sometimes unfounded, but feel very real. Deciphering what is real and what is not is an important step in recovery.
- Good, Orderly Direction (GOD) – Guidance from a higher power is a core principle of the teachings of AA.
- Easing God Out (EGO) – Feeling that you can take on more than you’re able can lead to relapse. By easing out your higher power, you’re losing a level of support that is much needed in recovery.
- Hang In There (HIT) – The road to recovery is a very bumpy one. Sometimes, we need a good reminder that there are better times ahead.
When times get very rough, it may be difficult to think positive thoughts. These acronyms provide quick mental guidelines for boosting progress and thought conditioning. In recovery, you may find that these acronyms come in handy when a good reminder is needed.
AA Helps Members Grow And Thrive
AA provides guidance for facing these difficult experiences by providing mantras that are useful in everyday life. AA sayings have been documented over the years to provide inspiration, hope, and a good push to help members stay on track. Through repetition, these ideas become a go-to mindset for AA members. By bolstering goodness, AA helps members grow and thrive throughout recovery, and beyond.
We Can Help
If you or someone you know needs guidance in alcohol addiction recovery, the caring staff at AlcoholTreatment.net can help. We are here to listen, provide guidance, and aid in connecting resources for treatment. Contact us today.
Al-Anon is a free international program founded by Lois Wilson, the wife of one of the men who founded Alcoholics Anonymous. She thought that a separate group needed to be formed, one that would focus on the loved ones and family members of those who suffer from addiction. As a result, it helps create a support group for families, one that will help them move and grow together through addiction. These 12-steps have been adapted from the program created by Alcoholics Anonymous, but have been adapted for family use.
The biggest change comes in the final step: instead of specifying reaching out to people who just struggle from alcohol addiction, it focuses Al-Anon on reaching out to other family members and friends of addicted individuals. That helps separate Al-Anon from other recovery programs.
Step one: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
Acknowledging the problem is the very first step to regaining control over alcohol addiction. While members may find this step challenging, it is possibly the most important step on the road to recovery.
Step two: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step three: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
By placing hope in the hands of a greater power, addiction can be viewed from a more dynamic perspective. The journey to sobriety has a guiding hand to help aid in struggling. While Al-Anon is not affiliated with any religious organization, faith is an integral part of the program. Understanding that everyone interprets God differently allows members to find their own higher power and release some of the burden to him.
Step four: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Step five: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Categorizing your positive and negative aspects can prove challenging. The idea of accountability for negative behavior can also be met with the good in every member of Al-Anon. Opening up about wrongdoings can help people in recovery achieve accountability for their actions. Admitting fault can lead to dedicated improvement in the lives of someone struggling with alcohol addiction.
Step six: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Step seven: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Surrendering control over the past while moving forward helps members to focus on recovery. Having a higher power to answer to and rely upon is an important step. While accountability is imperative, freeing oneself from the total burden is thought to encourage growth.
Step eight: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Step nine: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Step ten: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Finding peace after wrongdoing is an important step. Making amends can free those suffering from addiction and allow members to realize spiritual growth. In addition, those on the receiving end may feel more at ease with with what has happened, potentially rebuilding the relationship.
Step eleven: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
Step twelve: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Spiritual growth is a key element in the Al-Anon program. Seeking answers from a higher power, members can receive personal guidance through prayer and meditation. A will to find spiritual enlightenment can open the door to other endeavors for those in recovery. Helping others may provide a purpose to the individual, boost esteem, and aid overall life improvement.
We Can Help
If you, or someone you know could benefit from Al-Anon meetings, do not hesitate to contact the caring staff at AlcoholTreatment.net. We are here to help you find the right programs and resources to fit your needs, and live a healthier and happier life.
If you’re thinking of attending an alcohol treatment center, you’re probably concerned about success rates. After all, you don’t want to invest your hard earned money into something that may not work. Thankfully, alcohol treatment centers have been shown to be a successful way for most people to quit drinking forever. And there are multiple things you can do to increase your chances of obtaining the sobriety you want and deserve.
The Success Rate of A Typical Center
Assessing the success rate of an alcohol treatment center is relatively difficult, because there are so many centers throughout the country. However, there are multiple sources that indicate a generalized success rate. For example, Alcoholics Anonymous did a survey of people in its group who have finished rehabilitation treatment and found that 35 percent of its members were sober for more than five years.
That is a success rate of just over a third and that’s only for one organization. Alcoholics Anonymous utilizes the 12-Step program, which is a common guideline throughout most alcohol treatment centers. However, treatment centers also utilize a variety of other treatment options that are designed to help you physically, emotionally, and psychologically overcome your addiction.
Each step in this process is likely to add at least a 10 percent increase in your chance of success. For example, if you receive dietary guidance to overcome malnutrition after suffering from alcoholism, you’re going to feel stronger, healthier, and more resistant to returning to alcohol use.
Longer Stays Equates To More Success
There are multiple stay limits for alcohol treatment, the most common of them being 30, 60, and 90 days. Some people may be able to successfully detoxify and rehabilitate from alcohol addiction in 30 days, but studies have shown that longer stays greatly increase your chance of success.
Just how long is necessary? The Centers for Disease Control have reported that 90 days seems to be the most successful rehabilitation stay time. Remember: you’re going to go through multiple steps and each of these steps can take several days to several weeks to finish, depending on each individual. The longer you have to focus on each step, the more successful your rehabilitation.
Consider this study from the Archives of General Psychiatry. They tested the relapse rates of people who attended 30- and 90-day programs and discovered that 35 percent of the people in a 30-day program relapsed while 17 percent relapsed from the 90-day program. That huge decrease in relapse indicates why it is so important to stay in rehab as long as you can.
The Process Involved
Alcohol addiction rehabilitation is much more than the 12-Step program. While the 12-Step has proven to be a successful guide, alcohol rehabilitation has moved beyond that process to include a wide variety of vitally important methodologies. This new diversity of treatment options helps increase your success rate by ensuring every aspect of your addiction is treated. These treatment options include:
- Detoxification – monitoring your withdrawal symptoms to ensure they are as pain-free as possible. May include replacement medicines or other medical treatments.
- Psychological treatment – assesses the psychological and emotional contributions to your addiction. Once these contributions are found, methods for dealing with these problems will be implemented.
- Behavioral adjustment – helps eliminate problematic patterns of behavior that lead to alcohol abuse. For example, if you use drinking as a way to monitor depression, treatments like cognitive-behavior therapy will help you find healthier coping methods.
- Aftercare – attending regular meetings to keep your counselors assessed of your progress. It can also include sober living tips (such as how to turn down drinks at a holiday party), job placement help, and more.
- Alternative treatment options – designed for people who have struggled with the 12-Step program or who simply want a different option. These treatments include dialectical behavior therapy, massage therapy, wilderness treatments, and much more.
The addition of the spiritual aspect of the 12-Step process can help you find peace with yourself and soothe any mental turmoil that contributes to your addiction. Completing this full process in a 90-day window helps your success rate shoot through the roof.
Other Ways You Can Boost Your Success Rate
Success in alcohol addiction treatment centers is only partially reliant on the center itself. Successful treatment is also heavily dependent on you making the dedication to get sober and following each step of rehabilitation carefully.
Thankfully, there are several simple ways you can increase your success rates during rehab and after. These steps include:
- Always attending your meetings and taking them seriously
- Fully committing to the program’s process
- Honestly opening up during psychological assessment
- Finding a sober buddy after you finish
- Attending aftercare treatment
- Avoiding people, locations, and events with alcohol
- Exercising and eating properly (to avoid depression that can lead to relapse)
Following these steps are crucial to improving your success rate. If you utilize these steps and successfully complete your rehab, there’s a good chance your success rate will be near 100 percent. And that’s the kind of reward you simply can’t live without.
Interested In Learning More?
Success in an alcohol treatment center requires a lifelong commitment to sobriety and the willingness to make the changes you need to succeed. If you’re interested in learning more about how alcohol treatment centers can help you, please contact us at AlcoholTreatment.net today. Our helpful counselors have free information that is crucial for your sobriety goals.
Anxiety is a most dangerous medical problem and some experts believe an anxiety epidemic is crippling an entire generation. Unfortunately, this epidemic is causing too many people to turn to illicit drug use. Thankfully, drug rehab centers have become experts at treating this co-occurring disorders. Understanding the complex interaction between drug use and anxiety and how both are treated can help you recover from these troubling problems.
The Connection Between Anxiety And Substance Abuse
Statistics indicate that about 20 percent of all Americans with some form of anxiety disorder abuse drugs of some kind, whether alcohol or harder substances. As a result, the two often walk hand-in-hand with each other for years.
Common anxiety problems that cause drug abuse include:
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Severe changes in life, such as the death of a loved one or the loss of a job
- Dealing with the day-to-day rigors of life
People who suffer from severe anxiety often self-medicate with relaxing drugs (such as alcohol or marijuana) to slow their mental process and alleviate anxiety and stress symptoms. Unfortunately, this can create a nasty loop that only exasperates the symptoms of both anxiety and drug abuse.
For example, let’s say someone has one drink before bed as a “nightcap” to help them sleep. While one drink isn’t necessarily harmful, that one drink slowly turns into several just before bed. This increase creates even more stress in their life as they increasingly turn to drinking to calm their nerves.
Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder
Unfortunately, even people who don’t have anxiety disorders often suffer from severe anxiety after becoming addicted. This is called “substance-induced anxiety” and is commonly associated with substance abuse and drug withdrawal.
Essentially, the idea of suffering through the painful effects of drug withdrawal (nausea, vomiting, confusion, paranoia, headaches, etc.) creates a state of fear and anxiety, which makes it nearly impossible to quit.
Substance-induced anxiety is also associated with the effects of drugs on the body and mind: people that suffer from this anxiety believe that their drug use can be “noticed” by others. This makes them concerned about the way they are perceived and accepted by society.
Other people are worried they will be caught by law enforcement officials and punished for their drug use. For the average person suffering from addiction, this may mean the end of a promising career or even alienation from family members.
The distinction between normal anxiety and substance-induced anxiety is the fact that the latter is caused primarily by drug use, not by underlying anxiety disorders. In fact, people who suffer from substance-induced anxiety often had no anxiety symptoms until they began to abuse drugs.
Treating Anxiety And Drug Addiction
If you suffer from severe anxiety and drug addiction, drug rehabilitation centers can help. First of all, they will assess the root of your anxiety and decide if it existed before your addiction or after. This is important, because the treatment options for them two types are fairly different.
Anxiety that came before drug addiction is likely to require intense psychological counseling and a prescription anti-anxiety medicine. In extremely severe cases, cognitive behavior therapy may be utilized to help you find healthy coping mechanisms for eliminating your anxiety. Once your anxiety is under wraps, your impulse to self-medicate will likely decrease.
For substance-induced anxiety, the treatment is more complex. First of all, your body will be completely detoxified of any addictive substances. This will trigger withdrawal and potential anxiety attacks. Often, your symptoms will be lessened by the use of replacement medicines which simulate the effect of drugs in a safer manner.
Once you are finished with detoxification, many of your substance-induced anxiety symptoms should abate. However, you may also feel “substance-loss anxiety,” which is caused by the loss of the “high” of your drug. Psychological counseling, cognitive behavior therapy, and prescription medications should help you get through that difficult feeling.
We Can Help You
Anxiety and alcohol addiction don’t have to take control of your life. Our professional rehabilitation specialists can help you find a rehab center near you that can help treat both your anxiety and your substance abuse disorder. Contact us here at AlcoholTreatment.net to help give your recovery efforts the boost they need to succeed.
According to statistics from 2013, 25% of people 18 years of age and older admitted to recently binge drinking. This simple statistic reveals that people of all ages are drinking and that many seem to be taking in too much alcohol at a time.
The reality is that this type of behavior can lead to habit forming tendencies. Alcoholism, which affects almost 17 million people in the United States, is a disease that we are still attempting to treat efficiently and effectively.
When groundbreaking and promising studies occur, researchers and medical professionals alike express new levels of excitement at the potential positive benefits. Such is the case with OSU6162, a drug that has been recently discovered as a potential treatment for alcohol addiction.
Research: Where, What, And Whom
Through combined efforts of the Sweden-based Sahlgrenska Academy and the Karolinska Institutet a new drug might be available to assist in the treatment of people addicted to alcohol: OSU6162.
Pia Steensland, the co-author of both studies, mentions that her inspiration is rooted in the notion that alcoholism perpetuates human suffering. With goals to continue working to alleviate the woes of alcohol abuse, the professor has fully dedicated herself to unearthing more about the medication’s potential.
Before diving into in-depth information about OSU6162, we must first understand how alcohol affects the brain.
How Alcoholism Starts
When alcohol is consumed, a pleasurable response occurs in the brain, releasing dopamine. Dopamine is the same chemical released during sex, while exercising, or when eating delicious foods.
Once a person recognizes a pleasurable result, his or her body often craves more. To the detriment of many, the reward system in the brain is desensitized as increased levels of alcohol are consumed on a regular basis.
The result is a person needing more alcohol to produce the desired dopamine levels. A level of euphoria can be reached, but at the expense of ingesting toxic levels of alcohol. Once a person has reached a point of drinking alcohol to maintain dopamine levels, the onset of addiction has ensued.
But how does all of this correlate to OSU6162?
Clinical Study: Promising Results
Researchers attempted to discover if OSU6162 could reduce cravings in people dependent on alcohol. In order to do this, they tested two groups: one was given a placebo, while the other was treated with OSU6162 in a two-week clinical study.
When both groups were regularly exposed to situations that were agreed would inspire cravings for alcohol, their behaviors and desires were reported.
The group taking OSU6162 reported to have less of a craving after one drink of alcohol. In addition, this group said that they did not enjoy the first drink of alcohol, whereas the placebo group reported to intensely like the initial sip.
Steensland documented that the most interesting result was that people with weak impulse control actually responded the best to OSU6162. In other words, those most at risk for relapse after abstaining from alcohol were the people who reaped the most benefits.
How Soon Until It’s Available?
Despite the positive points found in the study, it is difficult to get a drug approved for specific treatment. A drug can only be marketed after extensive research has been gathered and positive evidence of its benefits is provided.
Therefore, more information about OSU6162 is needed before moving forward. Thankfully, new forms of medications and treatments are being sought out for addiction treatment, and many of the results are encouraging.
Get The Help You Deserve
Drinking alcohol disguises itself as a fun activity that provides an outlet for release and relaxation, but if people are regularly resorting to drinking, a dangerous habit can form.
If you know someone who has become addicted to alcohol, it is important to pursue treatment options. Tried and true approaches for plans for a successful recovery do exist. Contact us today at AlcoholTreatment.net to begin your recovery journey.
Labor Day and its surrounding parties can be seen as a fun exclamation point that sends off summer with one last big blast. Unfortunately for people recovering from alcohol abuse or addiction, it often serves as a dangerous period of potential relapse. If you’re concerned about suffering from a relapse during this Labor Day season, keep these simple sober living tips in mind.
Talk About It First
Talk to the hosts of any party you plan on attending and explain your position. Most hosts will understand your personal needs and will try to respect it by offering non-alcoholic alternatives. When you’re at the party, politely decline any alcoholic drinks that may be offered to you. A majority of the people there should understand.
Just be aware that some people may actually become suspicious and resentful if you tell them you are recovering from addiction. Resentment like this is called the “lobster effect,” because it resembles the way that tanked lobsters behave when one tries to escape: they pull them back down.
In other words, people feel that you are labeling their drinking as a problem by abstaining or speaking of your own drinking as a problem. Many of them may even try to convince you that you don’t have a problem and pressure you to drink. Don’t fall down that slippery slope: just politely explain that you are not judging them, but are simply trying to take control of a situation that has been taking over your life.
Bring A Sober Buddy
Drinking is often a social situation and if being surrounded by so many drinkers severely tests your willpower, bring along a sober buddy. This friend can be someone who doesn’t drink or who is also going sober. They can steer you away from the temptation to drink and can also serve as a great companion if the drinking gets too hot and heavy.
Staying sober in a heavy drinking situation can also serve as a great example of how you may have behaved when you were still struggling with addiction. Seeing the silliness of typical drunken behaviors from the outside ruins the nostalgia you may still associate with partying.
Bring Your Own (Non-Alcoholic) Drinks
Bringing your own non-alcoholic drinks to a party ensures you have something safe to drink. Excellent non-alcoholic drinks that you can enjoy at a Labor Day party include:
- Orange juice
These drinks should be all that you and your sober buddy need to stay alcohol-free. However, if these drinks feel too “kiddish” or simple for you, there are several high-quality non-alcoholic drinks you can bring. However, for some people recovering from addiction, drinks like this can often seem very close to mixed drinks, and may trigger relapses.
Avoid Possible Trigger Situations
Before planning to attend any Labor Day party, take a moment to consider your common trigger situations. Are there any people at the party that may trigger a relapse? What about the location: is it at a home or a cottage where you have excessively drank in the past? Or the food: is any of the planned cuisine something you often paired with alcohol?
Relapse triggers are often psychologically difficult to resist, and if necessary, you may simply have to avoid going to any Labor Day party: avoiding hurt feelings isn’t worth the risk of relapse.
Search Out Sober Activities
If the temptation to drink is too strong at parties with alcohol, you can try out any of the sober activities offered by AA and non-12-step rehabilitation groups, such as The Camping Trip. People who attend these events have access to a wide range of activities, including:
- Sporting events
- Camping activities
- Friendly competitions
- Sober group discussions
Having a support group filled with people recovering from alcohol addiction can give you the strength you need to create a sober Labor Day.
Know How And When To Escape
If you’ve followed all these tips, but are still struggling to avoid taking a drink, make a quick exit as soon as possible. Don’t just stick around to be polite, because even taking one drink may start a chain reaction of relapse. Bringing your own car is the most sure-fire way to ensure you have a suitable way to escape.
Don’t worry too much about saying goodbye to anyone at the party: if your temptation is too strong, just go without explanation. If you fear any misunderstanding, call the host later. Any good friend will understand and support your need to escape.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
If you are interested in learning about even more sober Labor Day activities or tips on staying alcohol-free, please don’t hesitate to contact us at AlcoholTreatment.net. Our free information can help you stay on the path to sober living this Labor Day.
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.
Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome (WKS), also called “wet brain”, is a type of dementia that some people going through alcoholism might develop, usually towards the end stages. It’s caused by a deficiency in vitamin B1 (thiamine), which helps the body turn food into energy.
Thiamine is an important nutrient and all of the tissues in the body, including the brain, need it to function correctly. The body then takes thiamine to make a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) that transports energy within cells. A deficiency in thiamine can seriously impact the nervous system, the heart and brain function.
Symptoms Of Wernicke-korsakoff Syndrome
Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome is a combination of two separate conditions; Wernicke’s encephalopathy and Korsakoff psychosis. Together, the two produce a long list of symptoms:
- Dramatic changes to vision
- Loss of muscle coordination
- Speech impediments
- Hard time swallowing
- Memory loss and confabulation (when an individual makes up stories to fill the gaps of memory loss and claiming them to be true)
- Inability to make sense when they speak
Separately, Wernicke’s encephalopathy occurs when there’s damage to the brain’s thalamus (which controls several processes, like sleep and sensory perception) and the hypothalamus (which controls body temperature, food and water intake, hunger and thirst, etc.), and Korsakoff psychosis occurs because of the damage to these parts of the brain where memories are created and managed.
Sometimes these symptoms can be hard to figure out in a person who is habitually intoxicated, but the very first sign of something wrong is a sudden feeling of confusion that is not caused by drinking. This differs from intoxicated confusion because it lasts even when the individual hasn’t been drinking. In the beginning, the ability to form new memories will be damaged; the end stage of WKS is coma and death if left untreated.
The Causes of Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome (WKS)
Although WKS is not caused solely by consuming alcohol, the typical lifestyle of a person habitually drinking alcohol where good nutrition is also often neglected does increase the likelihood of developing the disorder. The individual who lacks a proper diet over long periods of time, can lead to several nutritional deficiencies, especially thiamine. A lack of thiamine in a person’s diet can interfere with glucose metabolism and weakening the brain.
If caught early on, WKS is treatable through thiamine injections, which can improve an individual’s brain function and tissue condition. Most who find their way towards recovery can benefit from regaining all of what was lost, including vision and memory. Others who are treated later will have to deal with what was done to them from WKS, but can adapt to the change and abstain from alcohol completely with the proper care and assistance. Medications used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease can also prove beneficial with helping the individual improve their memory.
However, if WKS has developed into the later stages and has been previously untreated, the brain is less likely to recover. In this instance, the best course of action is to prevent any additional deterioration by abstaining from further alcohol abuse.
Preventing Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome
The absolute best way to avoid WKS is to eat a balanced, healthy diet and not drinking alcohol, or to only drink in moderation, though sometimes this isn’t always the case. Those who consume alcohol heavily may be able to reduce their risk of WKS by taking regular thiamine supplements, though they would still be at risk from the additional side effects of long-term alcohol abuse.
If you believe that you or a loved one are starting to show signs of WKS, we are here to help. We can provide you with personalized treatment that is tailored to your specific needs and connect you to the right team of medical professionals and offer support to friends and family members. Remember, you do not have to face this alone; contacting us is the first step to recovery and a life free from alcohol abuse.
When entering a rehabilitation facility for alcohol addiction, you will find that many aspects of the initial phase of recovery are beneficial to your overall success. Relieving yourself of addiction is never easy, but when you check into a facility, or even before you are set to go, getting detoxified and ridding your body of the alcohol you’ve come to rely on is extremely useful and can make your comfort level much higher when you begin the next phase of recovery.
Detoxification or detox, refers to the process of removing toxins that your body naturally undergoes during various medical circumstances. Drugs and alcohol are identified by the body as toxins which it naturally desires to reject. Medical detoxification addresses the detox and withdrawal process as something that can very easily be dangerous and must be monitored and aided by medical professionals.
Though medical detoxification isn’t always necessary, an addiction to alcohol is extremely dangerous in terms of withdrawal and should be monitored by a medical professional. Your body’s reliance on alcohol makes for some dangerous factors as you come off of the substance and your body begins to heal. Detox in a medical setting may not fit everyone’s preferences, but it can make the difference between healthy recovery and life-threatening sickness.
Symptoms Of Withdrawal
When you get to the point of needing to enter a recovery center or an alternative treatment plan, your body will begin to withdrawal from alcohol as you part from the substance and commit yourself to recovery. During this time, you will, without a doubt, naturally withdrawal from alcohol with symptoms that can be anywhere from mild to severely dangerous.
Common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:
- Rapid heart rate
The more dangerous symptoms associated with withdrawal occur when your body cannot smoothly transition from having alcohol within its system to being rid of it. In these instances, one addicted to alcohol may experience a form of shock, which triggers other symptoms and can quickly cause heart failure or neurological problems.
More intense symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:
- Delirium tremens
- Heart failure
- Drastic blood pressure changes
- Irregular heartbeat
While not everyone will experience the more extreme and dangerous symptoms of withdrawal, as everyone’s body is different and will react differently depending on the status of their addiction, everyone will, to some degree, have symptoms that cause discomfort. Your level of discomfort can increase when you are withdrawing from your addiction on your own. Being unable to gauge whether or not your body will suffer extremes, you may not be ready to go it alone.
Medical Detox Can Help
Instead of facing the risks of self-detox, enter into a facility where you will be assisted and eased off of alcohol. Medical detox caters to every level of alcohol addiction and can be found in many traditional rehabilitation facilities, as well as within holistic and alternative programs.
During medical detox, doctors, nurses, and even holistic healers facilitate your detoxification process using a variety of well-established, safe methods. Aiding you in successful detox, they will address common concerns, such as dehydration and heart rate. Your comfort is put first in these instances, and you are under constant supervision, lest your symptoms prove to be life-threatening.
Medical detox most commonly involves the administration of a similar–yet not illicit–substance on which a patient is dependent. Allowing for small doses to be tapered off over a set duration of time, the addicted individual will be eased, rather than rushed, into withdrawal. While coming off of alcohol, medicines are usually used to calm nerves, settle the body, keep sickness and nausea at bay, and to assist with any potential episodes of mental or emotional unrest.
At times, someone fearful of or known to be at risk of dangerous withdrawal side effects may be put under general anesthesia for their medical detox phase. This allows for illness-free and quick detox that can be monitored with heart rate and breathing equipment. A hospital-like setting is preferable for this style of medical detox, and when complete, the patient awakens to little or no withdrawal symptoms.
To Detox Or Not To Detox
Your recovery from addiction is dependent on your discontinuance of alcohol use. With that in mind, whether you opt for medical detox or not, sobering your body necessitates detoxification in one setting or another. Your body’s natural defenses and urge to heal itself will inevitably kick in when you enter rehab and are without alcohol.
Know that in entering a rehabilitation facility, you will not always have an easy and comforting detoxification phase before treatment begins. Your level of comfort should be kept in mind as you decide on the style of addiction treatment you need and what your selected program entails. Programs with an initial phase of medical detox are highly recommended for those who suffer alcohol addiction, whether treatment is in an outpatient or an inpatient setting.
It isn’t always easy to know what we need when we’re affected by something as heavy as alcohol addiction. The role addiction plays in changing our minds and making us behave against our better judgements can make for difficulties in deciding when and if to medically detox. Entering treatment is a big and wonderful decision for those of us who are within the everlasting grip of addiction. Getting help with decision-making can lend to the recovery process taking off much smoother as our loved ones are usually better able to assess our levels of addiction.
What we want isn’t always what we need and while we may not want to detox alongside doctors or in a hospital, receiving help for something this serious should be viewed as a need. Trust that loved ones will be recommending what is best in terms of comfort, safety, and success. Medical detox, specifically, may not be everyone’s need, but rehabilitation IS.
Get Help For Your Addiction
Beware of the dangers of withdrawal and why they are more prominent when you attempt to come off of alcohol on your own. Getting assistance can help relieve you of the symptoms that intensify your discomfort or cause serious risk to your overall being. Your safety is number one, which is why recovery is so important.
For help getting into a medical detox program or for assistance with any aspect of your addiction, contact us today at AlcoholTreatment.net. We are here to ease your mind and get you the care you deserve. Reach out to us today.