Thursday, December 18, 2008

Advice for Helping Your Alcoholic/Addict Family Member

What are some ways to help an alcoholic/addict?

As you can imagine, everything has been tried before. Some stuff actually helps. Most things that we try, however, do not. Therefore, sometimes it can be useful to know what not to do. So, let’s take a look at what generally does not work:

1) Giving them money

Never give an alcoholic money if they are still actively drinking. Even if they need it for a “good purpose,” such as to buy food for their family, you should not do it. It’s always more manipulation on their part; money that they did spend on booze should have been spent on food, and if you give them money then you are telling them that it is OK to drink.

In short, never bail them out. Doing so only perpetuates their drinking.

2) Bargaining with them or threatening them

When it comes to dealing with the alcoholic, talk is cheap. Anything you say is completely worthless unless it is firmly backed up by action. So idle threats or trying to persuade them to back off in some way is completely ineffective. The only thing that matters is action.

One bargaining chip that people often play is to get them to drink less. Most people eventually figure out that this is a hopeless idea, even if the alcoholic genuinely agrees to try. Their condition prevents it. It is either abstinence or all-out drunk.

3) Helping them avoid the consequences of their drinking

Don’t do it. You’re actually hurting them. If they get a drunk driving and end up in jail, leave them there. Do not bail them out. If you deny them the consequences of their drinking, then they will definitely keep drinking. The only way that they might stop eventually is if they feel enough pain as a result of their drinking. Don’t ever deny them their pain.

This doesn’t mean you need to intentionally hurt them. They will do that on their own. Just don’t bail them out of situations that they have created by their excessive drinking. An alcoholic will not make this huge change if everything is going good in their life. People quit drinking when things get bad enough. If you prevent them from getting bad then the alcoholic will never change.
Now let’s take a look at what actually helps

Here are some ways to help an alcoholic that are actually beneficial:

1) Stop enabling them

This is probably the number one thing that you can do to help an alcoholic. When you enable them, you allow them to continue to keep drinking comfortably. You make it so that the easier path is to just continue to drink.

When we stop enabling someone, we make it so that the easier path is to take a look at their drinking. We do this by not bailing them out of jams and letting them experience the natural consequences of their drinking. Other things we can do to stop enabling them would include:

- No longer drinking or using drugs with them, ever.

- No more covering for them in order to help them out if their drinking is going to get them into trouble.

- No more making excuses for them

- Practice detachment by separating yourself from emotional turmoil that they create. Choose to not be a part of the chaos.

2) Set healthy limits and boundaries

Setting healthy limits is about deciding what is acceptable behavior to you. This is not about pointing the finger at the alcoholic and telling them what they should or should not be doing. Instead, you are going to decide for yourself what you will no longer put up with.

For example, if the alcoholic in your life typically comes home in a drunken rage, this might be something that you decide is unacceptable to you. So you set a limit. Then you communicate that limit and the consequences of that limit. You might say something like: “If you come home drunk again, I’m taking the kids and we’re going to go stay somewhere else for the night.”

Notice the following things about setting this boundary:

- It is communicated clearly

- There is a consequence that is also clearly explained

- The consequence is enforceable and is not a hollow threat

Never set a boundary that you do not intend to keep. Never threaten a consequence that you don’t intend to follow through with. If you do this will create problems and only perpetuate further drinking.

3) Practice detachment

Detachment is the goal of anyone in your position. The idea of detachment is to separate the person themselves from their disease of drinking. Making this clear separation in your mind will help you to change your behavior in such a way as to help the alcoholic.

Detachment is the idea that you can love the person and hate their disease of alcoholism. What you are detaching from is the emotional chaos and turmoil that their drinking creates. The idea is to remove yourself from that part of their life on an emotional level. Thus detachment is about freedom, for you. You are liberating yourself from their chaotic life.

Of course this is much easier said than done. Detachment takes practice. We have to analyze situations and ask ourselves if we are getting angry at the person or if we are getting angry at their alcoholism. If we are angry at the disease, then we need to stop ourselves and attempt to remove ourselves emotionally from that situation. This is detachment.

4) Encourage treatment

Finally, it can be worthwhile to encourage treatment for the alcoholic. It’s not worth making this into your life mission, but it can still be a useful effort on your part.

Encourage treatment without insisting, as we are almost never in a position to really insist anyway.

Encourage treatment without badgering, even though we probably think that we deserve to badger the alcoholic who has caused us so much grief.

Let them know that the option is there, when they are ready to get help. Do not let this idea of treatment turn into your only hope. Many alcoholics get sober without treatment. Others will find their own path. Remember that you can not do it for them.

When they are ready to change they will either change or ask for help. That is the time to act. That is the time to put forth a full effort in helping them. Not before then. Your efforts before this point of surrender are largely wasted.

To read replies to this post visit the Sober Village.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Liver Transplants

The pain is debilitating. The only option: smoking medical marijuana. That's the reality for many hepatitis C patients whose road to health includes a liver transplant. Although Canadian transplant centres are more willing than those in the United States, not everyone says yes to liver patients who smoke marijuana, and a University of Alberta researcher says that decision-making process is unacceptable.

Karen Kroeker, along with three other students at various universities, sent out surveys to a number of transplant clinics across the United States and Canada. Results found that the difference between the two countries were obvious in some patient groups: around 60 per cent of Canadian centres would either do the surgery or consider it for a liver transplant patient who smoked marijuana, while 70 per cent of U.S. transplant programs said absolutely not. Kroeker also found that patients in both countries, who have no social support - meaning they have no family, friends or a social worker - aren't likely to receive the organ they need.

The problem Kroeker has with these results: the lack of literature to support the surgeons' decision. As a result of her findings, which will be published in the November issue of Liver International, Kroeker says physicians need to determine eligibility criteria for liver-transplant patients that pertains directly to the likelihood of a patient rejecting the organ and is based only on empirical medical evidence.

When a patient is being reviewed for eligibility, whether they smoke marijuana shouldn't be a factor, she says. "If we have evidence to say the patients don't do well, then I think that's a reason to exclude people," Kroeker said.

She cites alcohol use as an example. When transplants first began to be performed, those who drank alcohol weren't eligible for a new liver. Kroeker's study found, however, that surgeons conducted studies on the topic of abstinence and liver health and, as a result of that research, transplant rules changed. If the patient has been sober for six months, 94 per cent of the clinics in North America will now consider transplantation.

The same goes for HIV-positive patients. "When they first started transplanting, HIV was an absolute contraindication. No one even considered transplantation because the disease was a death sentence at that time." Kroeker adds that's no longer the case and that there is research being conducted on post-transplant HIV-patients that will help determine the viability of transplants in HIV-positive patients.

In reference to her findings, Kroeker said, "I think there should be a large-scale study," because too-little research is available on post-transplant patients whose eligibility may currently be in question.

"Unless you actually perform transplants for those people, how would you know how they do?"

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release.

Source: Quinn Phillips
University of Alberta

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Alcoholism and Genetics

ScienceDaily (Mar. 9, 2007) — A genetic variant of a receptor in the brain's reward circuitry heightens the stimulating effects of early exposures to alcohol and increases alcohol consumption, according to a new study by researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Conducted in rhesus monkeys, the study extends previous research that suggests an important role for a similar brain receptor variant in the development of human alcohol use disorders. A report of the findings is published in the March, 2007 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

"Although the pathway to alcoholism is influenced by many factors, our findings affirm that individuals who possess this receptor variant may experience enhanced pleasurable effects from alcohol that could increase their risk for developing alcohol abuse and dependence," notes Markus Heilig, M.D., Ph.D., NIAAA Clinical Director and the study's senior author.

Molecules known as opioid peptides bind to opioid receptors in the brain to signal experiences of reward and reinforcement, as well as the euphoria and other positive subjective effects produced by alcohol. Previous studies have shown that, among the brain's various subtypes of opioid receptors, the mu-subtype is most likely responsible for transmitting alcohol's positive effects.

"We also know that there are several genetic variants of the human mu-opioid receptor," notes first author Christina Barr, V.M.D., Ph.D., a lead investigator in NIAAA's Laboratory of Clinical and Translational Studies and Laboratory of Neurogenetics. "One of these, designated 118G, has a greatly enhanced ability to bind opioid peptides. People who have this variant of the receptor have reported increased euphoria following alcohol consumption."

Drs. Barr, Heilig, and their colleagues note that recent studies have linked the 118G mu-opioid receptor with alcohol dependence in humans. In the current study, the researchers explored the link between genetic variants of mu-opioid receptors and alcohol-related behaviors in a group of 82 rhesus monkeys.

"A mu-opioid receptor variant that is functionally similar to the human 118G variant occurs in these animals," explained Dr. Barr. "That is, it also has a greatly enhanced ability to bind opioid peptides. We hypothesized that monkeys that had the gene for this receptor variant would experience enhanced alcohol stimulation and, therefore, consumption.

Groups of monkeys had access to both alcoholic and non-alcoholic solutions for one hour per day for a period of six weeks. Researchers measured the animals' alcohol intake and post-intake activity, and determined which monkeys carried the gene for the mu-opioid receptor similar to the human 118G receptor. Activity measures are commonly used in animal studies to assess alcohol's pleasurable effects.

As predicted, the researchers found that monkeys with the variant gene showed increased activity following alcohol consumption. They also found that male animals with the variant had a clear preference for the alcohol solution and consumed on average almost twice as much alcohol as other animals. Males with the variant also became intoxicated on almost 30 percent of testing days, while other animals did so only on an average of 8 percent of testing days.

"The male-restricted effect of this gene is interesting, and parallels other recent evidence that opioid transmission may play a greater role in alcohol problems among some males than among females," explained Dr. Heilig. This information also complements recent data suggesting that alcohol-dependent people with the gene for the 118G receptor have a better therapeutic response to medications that block opioid receptors. More broadly, the finding underscores the important role that the pleasurable and stimulating initial effects of alcohol play in the subsequent development of alcohol problems."

Friday, September 19, 2008

Why Do Kids Use Alcohol? A Look at High-Risk Teens

Alcohol - Whats a Parent to Believe? (The Informed Parent)
by Stephen Biddulph
It is unfair and often untrue to paint a high-risk kid as a drug or alcohol abuser or a troubled kid who goes around hating and fighting and causing trouble. Many high-risk teens—even those who are addicted or involved with serious abuse of alcohol or other drugs—are sensitive, feeling people. It is equally wrong to say that a teen who is addicted to alcohol or another drug is a troublemaker, dangerous, or criminally minded. I must say that almost every teen I've counseled is—down deep—a good kid. High-risk teens are simply teens who are at higher risk than a normal teen for certain problems—in this case, alcohol abuse and addiction. High-risk teens are kids whose system has failed them or who have somehow failed to adapt in a positive way to their system.

High-risk kids are those who do not recognize or realize their inherent worth. They face challenges in their lives that form a crust around their inner beauty and potential. The outer crust of the rock is made by the outside influences of nature and weather. Similarly, the outside crust of a troubled teen is formed by outside influences that cover up his beauty, worth, and potential. Being illiterate; feeling ugly; having poor social skills; or living with chronic illness, troublesome psychological problems, poverty, serious family dysfunction, neglect, or abuse can prevent the development of a beautiful nature.

As a teen advocate and addiction consultant I highly recommend this article for parents. You may view the rest of this article here.
C. King, M.Ed.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Cleaner

Each week THE CLEANER follows Benjamin Bratt as William Banks, a recovering addict who helps others get clean by any means necessary as he struggles to maintain his own rocky personal life. William works with an eclectic team. Swenton is a wily smart aleck who is great undercover and always jealous of Akani, the beautiful, manipulative, and mysterious woman who always seems to get the best assignments and might just have a romantic past with William. Darnell is the newest member of William's crew. Darnell is deeply indebted to William for helping his younger brother get clean, but he must balance his deep religious convictions with the kind of work required as part of William's team.

Together with this eclectic group, William works week-in and week-out to bring addicts of all kinds to the point where they are ready and willing to get help and begin the difficult process of getting clean. With every success and every failure, William wrestles with his own demons through an unusual relationship with God. He's a man caught between an unwavering commitment to his work, deep love for his family, and the ghosts of his own addictions. Bad for his personal life, perhaps, but these are the tensions that make William the one you want helping a troubled loved one, the one you trust to do whatever is necessary, the man you want by your side in your darkest hour. In the face of tragedy and addiction, William Banks will risk everything to be The Cleaner.

For more information about this new inspiring television series visit

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Learning to Be Happy

Happy as You Want to Be

Almost everyone have heard the hit single 'Don't Worry, Be Happy' by Bobby McFerrin. The song has a very catchy way of conveying its message of being happy to everyone. Bobby Mcferiin's simple message surely made a lot of people by telling them not to worry. When it comes to addiction issues, you to can find a happy way of living.

Living a happy, resilient and optimistic life is wonderful, and is also good for your health. Being happy actually protects you from the stresses of life. Stress is linked to top causes of death such as heart disease, cancer and stroke.

One of the better things ever said is - 'The only thing in life that will always remain the same is change', nothing changes if nothing changes and in our life we have the power to make the necessary changes if we want to. Even if we find ourselves in an unbearable situation we can always find solace in the knowledge that it too would change.

Social networks or relationships are essential to happiness. People are different, accept people for who or what they are, avoid clashes, constant arguments, and let go of all kinds of resentments. If arguments seem unavoidable still try and make an effort to understand the situation and you might just get along with well with

Happiness is actually found in everyone, increasing it is a way to make a life more wonderful and also more healthy.

To be happy is relatively easy, just decide to be a happy person. Abraham Lincoln observed that most people for most of the time can choose how happy or stressed, how relaxed or troubled, how bright or dull their outlook to be. The choice is simple really, choose to be happy.

There are several ways by which you can do this.

Being grateful is a great attitude. We have so much to be thankful for. Thank the taxi driver for bringing you home safely, thank the cook for a wonderful dinner and thank the guy who cleans your windows. Also thank the mailman for bringing you your mails, thank the policeman for making your place safe and thank God for being alive.

News is stressful. Get less of it. Some people just can't start their day without their daily dose of news. Try and think about it, 99% of the news we hear or read is bad news. Starting the day with bad news does not seem to be a sensible thing to do.

A religious connection is also recommended. Being part of a religious group with its singing, sacraments, chanting, prayers and meditations foster inner peace.

Manage your time. Time is invaluable and too important to waste. Time management can be viewed as a list of rules that involves scheduling, setting goals, planning, creating lists of things to do and prioritizing. These are the core basics of time management that should be understood to develop an efficient personal time management skill. These basic skills can be fine tuned further to include the finer points of each skill that can give you that extra reserve to make the results you desire.

Laugh and laugh heartily everyday. Heard a good joke? Tell your friends or family about it. As they also say -'Laughter is the best medicine'.

Express your feelings, affections, friendship and passion to people around you. They will most likely reciprocate your actions. Try not to keep pent up anger of frustrations, this is bad for your health. Instead find ways of expressing them in a way that will not cause more injury or hurt to anyone.

Working hard brings tremendous personal satisfaction. It gives a feeling of being competent in finishing our tasks. Accomplishments are necessary for all of us, they give us a sense of value. Work on things that you feel worthy of your time.

Learning is a joyful exercise. Try and learn something new everyday. Learning also makes us expand and broaden our horizons. And could also give us more opportunities in the future.

Run, jog, walk and do other things that your body was made for. Feel alive.

Avoid exposure to negative elements like loud noises, toxins and hazardous places.

These are the few simple things you can do everyday to be happy.

And always remember the quote from Abraham Lincoln, he says that, "Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."

Monday, August 4, 2008

Drug Addiction Affects Everyone

It was a sentencing regime forged by fear and tinged with racism.

But local drug expert Herb Delaney said the decision earlier this year to bring crack cocaine sentencing guidelines in line with long-standing guidelines governing sentencing for powder cocaine offenses makes sense and is about two decades overdue.

Delaney, director of Kankakee's Duane Dean Prevention and Treatment Center, said public hysteria whipped up in the middle 1980s over the arrival of crack cocaine on America's streets prevented calmer voices from stepping up to say "let's see how much truth there is to this.

"I remember when watching some of the documentaries on crack cocaine, the allegation that an individual became addicted after the first use of crack cocaine -- while it does happen, it sometimes doesn't. It depends on the psychological makeup of the person," said Delaney. "I think some very influential politicians pushed it pretty hard."

But civil liberties groups and some judges claimed, correctly, that the vast majority of those catching the stiffer crack cocaine trafficking sentences were black, rousing the worry that crack cocaine penalties were self-evidently racist.

The U.S. Sentencing Commission's recent decision to bring crack trafficking sentences in line with powder cocaine trafficking sentences removes that taint, but Delaney said the problem of addiction remains a community-wide concern -- one that knows no color barrier.

"Some personal observations of mine: In driving through areas in Kankakee, I see pushers. They have their turf, so to speak. They're minorities, mostly. But what I also see is that the greatest number of their clients are young, white, middle-class people.

"But when you talk to the community at large about addiction, there seems to be an attitude that drug use and addiction is only a problem in certain parts of the city," said Delaney.

To come close to solving a community's drug woes, said Delaney, it's necessary to "work across those lines, between the sellers and the users of drugs, and not just those who sell drugs."

Without an even-handed approach, Delaney warned, politicians may continue to confect laws that are "skewed" in ways that impact most heavily on minority communities.

Street names

Cocaine goes by the street names of coke, snow, flake, blow and many others.

Statistics & trends

In 2006, six million Americans ages 12 and older had abused cocaine in any form and 1.5 million had abused crack at least once in the year prior to being surveyed.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded 2007 Monitoring the Future Study showed that 2 percent of eighth-grade students, 3.4 percent of 10th-graders, and 5.2 percent of 12th-graders had abused cocaine in any form, and 1.3 percent of eighth-graders, 1.3 percent of 10th-graders and 1.9 percent of 12th-graders had abused crack at least once in the year prior to being surveyed.

Sources: National Survey on Drug Use and Health; Monitoring the Future,

Monday, July 21, 2008

Getting Sober-What to Expect on the Road to Recovery

Getting Sober: What To Expect, is a book with personal experience attached written from first hand experience of a recovering alcoholic. I know all to well that fear of sobriety when thinking about getting sober. Just the idea in itself wants to make you keep drinking! It doesn't have to be as bad and generally isn't based on what you are thinking, there’s 2 years of research in this book explaining what the majority of alcoholics go through when recovering in the early days of alcoholism.

In this book you will have all those questions about what to expect when getting sober answered and more! It is my hope that knowing what to expect when getting sober will make that decison all the easier. Getting Sober: What to Expect was written with your best interests in mind. I hope this book makes that decision easier for you once you know what to expect.

Good luck and I wish you the very best on your road to recovery!

Please visit to get your copy of Getting Sober: What to Expect.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Best In Alcoholism Treatment

According to professionals, alcoholism pertains to any condition that result in the continued consumption of alcoholic beverages without considering the negative personal and social consequences. Hence, an alcohol addict is someone that indulges in alcoholic beverages despite the accompanying negative consequences.

Many forms of alcoholism addiction treatment exist out there. But the best alcoholism addiction treatment can be found within the walls of a treatment centre. Hey, wait before run away. You've got to hear me out on this. I know you have gone through something like this elsewhere but I want to say something you may not have gone through anywhere else. Why did I say the treatment centre is the best form of treatment?


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Descending into ADDICTION as a Spiritual Disease

Descending into ADDICTION as a Spiritual Disease

Below is a description of how a person descends into alcoholism.

1. Drug/Alcohol sedates value system, which gets indifferent, confused

2. Grandiosity, perfectionism, pride

3. Intolerance of others, suspicion, disgust, argues

4. Religion getting sick, rigid, arrogant, unrealistic, disenchantment with childish idea of God

5. Loses interest in life, "Blues"

6. Guilt feelings, not "at ease" with God

7. Stops daily prayer, attends church out of habit or pretense

8. "Nobodiness" -- feels estranged, alienated, lonely

9. Immaturity, some irresponsibility

10. Life has no meaning

11. Anxiety, indefinable fears

12. Resentments: Angry with God, hostile to mention of religion, projects fear into concept of God as a tyrant

13. Moral deterioration: Dishonest, selfish

14. Loss of faith: Consciously rejects God, unconsciously longs for Him, a "sick love" relation

15. Remorse: Depression, suicidal thoughts, impaired thinking

16. Vague spiritual desires

17. Gropes for spiritual meaning


Ascending Aspects of Alcoholism Recovery


This is a list of how a person can ASCEND into alcoholism recovery.

1. In spiritual fog

2. Honest desire for help

3. Vague notion of Higher Power

4. New faith: "Came to believe"

5. Hope dawns: Can be restored to sanity

6. Thirst for God examined (hard struggle for some)

7. Second BOTTOM: Existential crisis

8. Acceptance (surrender, turnabout)

9. Conversion: "Let go and let God"

10. Trust: "Thy will be done"

11. Appreciates possibility of new way of life

12. Patience: "One day at a time"

13. Forgiveness: Not "Why did I?" but "forgive me"

14. Reconciliation: personal relationship "at ease" with God just

15. Humbly asks God to remove shortcomings

16. False ego deflated

17. Return of self-esteem (God not a rescuer)

18. Honesty: Makes amends

19. Promptly admits when wrong

20. Courage. Optimism, new freedom

21. Rebirth of ideals

22. Appreciation of spiritual values

23. Gratitude

24. Increased tolerance of others

25. Serenity, peace of soul, joy

26. Prayer and meditation

27. Growth in proper concept of God

28. Deeper relation to God as a loving God

29. Unselfish: Goes to others because God loves them

30. "Weller than Well" -- higher than believed possible

Alcoholism Recovery Successful!

Ned Wicker is the Addictions Recovery Chaplain at Waukesha Memorial Hospital Lawrence Center He author's a website for alcoholism support:
This article was taken in part from the original source at:
Article Source:

Friday, June 27, 2008

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.

Signs & Symptoms
People with PTSD have persistent frightening thoughts and memories of their ordeal and feel emotionally numb, especially with people they were once close to. They may experience sleep problems, feel detached or numb, or be easily startled. More about

Effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder are available, and research is yielding new, improved therapies that can help most people with PTSD and other anxiety disorders lead productive, fulfilling lives. More about Treatment »
Getting Help: Locate Services

Locate mental health services in your area, affordable healthcare, NIMH clinical trials, and listings of professionals and organizations. More about Locating Services »

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What Is Addiction? Know About Its Causes and Rehabilitation

What is addiction?
Addiction is commonly referred as the attachment or dedication or devotion. But nowadays this is used for attachment for any illegal activities like drug addiction or alcohol addiction. It is a complex behaviour. There are many factors such as genetic, biological and social that influence in addiction.

What are the causes of addiction?
Addiction is caused due to many reasons. For instance, when a person uses a drug like heroin for the first time, he/she will experience a feeling like he/she has never experienced before. This usually drives the person to use it again and again. So, eventually the person will get addicted to the drug. The person will develop a physical and psychological dependence. The human nervous system plays a vital role in
addiction. This will produce the physical dependence. Now the brain produces withdrawal symptoms which are usually strong. This leads to heavy addiction and frequently leads to depression.

Addiction can happen in different forms and activities like gambling, drug, computers, pornography, exercise and religion. The real reason for a person to get addicted is that he/she has a moral weakness, but this definition is no longer accepted by professionals.

What are the problems associated with addiction?
Addiction can be blamed for a number of problems such as health, financial and many more. Moreover it causes discomfort not only to the addict but also to the people and society around him. The financial and health problems will be far more than affordable. The health problems might go beyond repair. Addiction might lead the person to become unstable psychologically and sometimes physically. It becomes so difficult even for holding a job. Addictions are usually very expensive and it may lead the addicts to do illegal things for the money. Addictions can cause lots of problem in terms of financial and psychological to his/her families and the people around that person.

What are the ways to recover from addiction?
The best choice is to consult a good doctor to seek advice. Nowadays there are many counseling centres and treatments available to treat addiction. The usual treatment is by the use of thyroid hormones. Opiates are also used in treating the withdrawal symptoms which creates acute pain. The addict person can attend counseling and rehabilitation programs. These programs are nowadays arranged by the government itself. It has a good scope and widely accepted among people. Moreover, the real addiction lies within the person’s psychology apart from the physical dependence.

Above all the method such as counseling and treatment, the most important thing is the deepest and strongest desire of the addict to quit addiction. It can be achieved only by hard work and purest determination.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Wellness: The Missing Dimension in Recovery

As you may be aware, you are not the only one who has ever hidden empty wine bottles from your spouse, missed out on a good job due to failing a drug screening or fallen into a pattern of constantly covering up for the irresponsible behavior of an alcoholic spouse or partner. An estimated 5 to 10 percent of Americans are addicted to alcohol and/or other drugs, and patterns of multiple substance abuse are now the norm. Untreated chemical dependency is a major contributing factor to child and spousal abuse, family breakups, unemployment and traffic fatalities-the leading cause of death for people under age twenty-five.

Unfortunately, alcoholics and addicts whose diseases go untreated also eventually suffer major health consequences-including severe damage to their livers, hearts and other vital organs-and often die decades before their time. What you may not be aware of is the fact that millions of people in recovery-perhaps the majority-also shortchange themselves of years of joyful living as a direct result of nicotine addiction, compulsive overeating, junk food addiction and/or other self-destructive behaviors they carry with them into recovery. If you are currently suffering from these or other toxic behavior patterns, you may have acquired these habits as a substitute for your primary addiction to drugs and alcohol. Fortunately, you can free yourself from this vicious cycle-and this book will show you how.

Like most people recovering from addictive disorders, you will need to focus your energy and be disciplined about repairing the damage that years of excessive drinking and drugging have done to your body. As part of a holistic approach to recovery, you must also work on releasing the “baggage” associated with self-defeating mind-sets and behaviors. Instead, you will need to replace that baggage with a life-affirming belief system and a health-conducive lifestyle that fully support your goals in recovery. The good news is that embracing a wellness-oriented lifestyle and working your recovery program go hand in hand.

In his classic bestseller Positive Addiction, psychiatrist William Glasser expounds on the benefits associated with replacing negative addictions, or ingrained self-destructive behaviors, with “positive addictions.” Examples of positive addictions include regular physical exercise, yoga or meditation, developing an artistic talent, or pursuing a fulfilling hobby. In contrast to negative addictions, such as alcohol or drug addiction, which tend to foster unhealthy dependencies and decreased self-esteem, positive addictions contribute to improved quality of life, heightened self-esteem and increased feelings of independence. One of Glasser's key points is that positive addictions are very effective tools for freeing ourselves from the grips of our negative addictions.

In this book, you will learn about the numerous positive addictions associated with a wellness-oriented lifestyle and how to embrace them as integral components of a truly holistic approach to recovery. Equally important, you will learn to appreciate how a healthy lifestyle can help you successfully navigate the various stages of recovery and safeguard against relapse.

The Importance of Wellness to Your Recovery

If you completed a chemical dependency treatment program, you most likely learned about the benefits of physical exercise and sound nutrition in repairing the damage done to your body by excessive use of alcohol and drugs. You probably also received an introduction to the importance of basic stress management skills in maintaining day-to-day sobriety and guarding against relapse.

Primary treatment, or the initial phase of treatment, generally focuses some attention on basic wellness concepts. Unfortunately, these concepts often receive less than adequate attention during the critically important, yet oft-neglected continuing care phase of treatment. This sad state of affairs is a reflection of what I call the neglected stepchild syndrome. In today's health-care environment, with its overriding emphasis on cost containment, mental health services have become the neglected stepchild of medical care. Chemical dependency treatment has become the neglected stepchild of mental health, and continuing care, which should form the cornerstone of ongoing recovery maintenance, tends to be severely shortchanged.

Another reason wellness lifestyles often receive less than adequate emphasis in treatment stems from the failure of many treatment professionals to take good care of themselves. Far too many treatment professionals suffer from a variety of lifestyle imbalances, including nicotine and caffeine addiction, obesity, lack of exercise and compulsive workaholism. As such, they are in a poor position to serve as role models in motivating their clients to adopt wellness-oriented lifestyles.

Yet another obstacle to living well stems from the conflicting demands and time pressures that all of us experience in today's fast-paced society. In recovery, we often feel overwhelmed by the overlapping demands of earning a living, engaging in family life, going to meetings, studying the steps and doing the million and one other things that creep into our overly crowded lives. In the context of such a pressure-cooker environment, our well-intentioned plans to launch an exercise program, bring our diet into balance, give up smoking or take up meditation all too often fail to materialize.

As you can see, many influences conspire to work against our devoting appropriate attention to living healthy during recovery. The net result is that millions of people in recovery neglect this critically important area. Predictably, they end up paying the price in terms of unwittingly setting themselves up for relapse, as well as for heart disease, emphysema, various forms of cancer and a host of other devastating illnesses that can often be prevented.

The good news is that you have a choice. In many respects, by virtue of demonstrating the courage and commitment that has taken you this far in working your recovery program, you have a leg up on most Americans in terms of embracing a healthy lifestyle. Just as you have learned to work your core recovery program step by step, you can likewise learn to embrace a wellness-oriented lifestyle and effectively integrate it into your recovery program-simply by taking “one step at a time.”

Wellness Defined

Wellness can be defined as the dynamic process of taking charge of your health and programming yourself to attain optimal health and well-being. As this book demonstrates, you are in the driver's seat. You set your own goals and priorities, design and implement your wellness program, and determine how far you want to go toward claiming your birthright to optimal health, longevity and self-fulfillment.

You are about to embark on an exciting journey that will truly transform your life. In a nutshell, this book will show you how to:

• Supercharge your recovery by integrating a wellness-oriented lifestyle into your 12-step program.

• Inventory your strengths and weaknesses regarding health and wellness, with particular reference to lifestyle influences.

• Identify the wellness goals that are most important to you-including your optimum life expectancy and the immediate wellness benefits you would like to enjoy-and implement an action plan for achieving these goals.

• Launch your personal quest for uncovering and expressing your unique sense of purpose in life-zeroing in on those core values and goals that are truly important to you-and channeling your focused energy into transforming your dreams into reality.

• Gain increased self-esteem, energy, alertness and confidence as you pursue your pathway to greater health.

• Learn how taking care of yourself will enable you to give much more to your friends, family and other people in recovery!

About the Author

John Newport, Ph.D., is a wellness counselor and freelance writer based in Santa Ana, California.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Suboxone for Opiate Dependency

When you hear the word drug abuse or opiate dependency, pot sessions in dimly lit rooms and drug dealers illicitly selling their merchandise from half closed doors would immediately come to mind. You would never think that these drug addicts can and are getting their daily fix from the neighborhood pharmacy.

Percodan, Oxycontin, Lortab and Vicodin are opium based pain killers. These medications are usually prescribed to patients after undergoing a surgery. These pain killers are also given to patients suffering from arthritis and any other ordinary aches and pains. But after the surgical wound have healed… after the pains is gone, the patients find themselves with a new problem. They have become dependent to the
drug that is supposed to heal them. Any attempt to break away from the dependency would cause cravings for the drug and severe discomfort. These accidental addicts would find it very hard to break free from the dependency.

This opiate dependency may be treated with detoxification. However, severe withdrawal symptoms associated with this treatment have caused many patients to give up. The success rate of detoxification is very discouraging. 85% to 90% of drug addicts who have tried detoxification as a means of breaking free from addiction have relapsed.
If you have been a pain pill addict for years, most probably you have tried drug dependency treatments. You may have detoxified several times to no avail. Suboxone is another treatment for your drug dependency. Why is suboxone dubbed as miracle pill by medical doctors and by drug addicts? Chiefly because of the agonist effect-meaning this drug sets off a response by combining to specific cell receptors that result in a ceiling effect. A higher dose will still have the same 4 mg opiate effect. Suboxone will also eliminate the drug cravings.

When a craving for the drug hits a drug addict, he or she will do anything and everything to get a fix not withstanding the effect it will have on his/her personality. Suboxone is well tolerated by those that are drug dependent. After a few days of treatment the patient will feel normal. This is the reason for the high success rate of this treatment. Without the drug cravings and the withdrawal symptoms, the drug dependent will have no reason to long for the addicting pain pills.

If your dad, your mom, a family member or a friend is an opiate dependent and you know that all the other drug dependency treatment have failed to eliminate the remission, don’t you think it is high time to find a doctor with a Suboxone treatment program? This may be the ultimate treatment that will finally enable you to say “He/She is back”!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Brain on (Lots of) Marijuana

By Sarah Baldauf
Posted June 2, 2008

Marijuana's effect on the brain is far from understood, but Australian research published Monday in the Archives of General Psychiatry suggests that very heavy long-term smoking might be associated with structural changes in two areas of the brain rich in receptors to the drug. The hippocampus, believed to regulate emotion and memory, and the amygdala, which plays a role in aggression and fear, were smaller—12 percent and 7 percent, respectively—in a group that smoked at least five joints daily for at least the past 10 years (and, on average, 20 years) when compared to a nonsmoking group.

Users also showed more signs of sub-threshold psychotic symptoms compared with those in the group that abstained. And on tests of memory and verbal ability, they performed more poorly. "Our findings suggest that everyone is vulnerable to potential changes in the brain, some memory problems, and psychiatric symptoms if they use heavily enough and for long enough," says lead author Murat Yucel of the ORYGEN Research Centre and Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre at the University of Melbourne. Pot has been in the news lately for other reasons, too: a government report on a possible connection between pot smoking and depression and also the possible link between heart disease risk and marijuana use.

But it's way too early for parents to conclude that pot deteriorates the brain, cautions Scott Swartzwelder, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University whose own research focuses on substance abuse and the adolescent brain. "Scientifically, it's a very limited set of data," he says. The study was tiny—it covered only 15 pot smokers and 16 abstainers—and looked at extreme behavior, so "I'm not sure how relevant it is to the general public," says Swartzwelder, who is coauthor of Just Say Know: Talking to Kids About Drugs and Alcohol and Buzzed: The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs From Alcohol to Ecstasy (an updated third edition is being released in August). An earlier U.S. News story looked at some of the science on pot and how it relates to the developing brain.

Yucel acknowledges that the size of the group is an issue, noting the difficulty of finding subjects who smoked a lot of pot but didn't also do other drugs or have medical or psychological issues. Another unanswered question, says Swartzwelder, is the importance of the size of a person's hippocampus and amygdala. "It's tempting to say smaller is worse, but that's a trap. You don't know with any degree of certainty that these pot smokers didn't have smaller brain structures to begin with—maybe they have smaller hippocampus and amygdala, and that's what motivates them to smoke pot in the first place."

An important unaddressed question from parents' point of view is whether the brain differences were a result of how long the men had smoked or how young they were when they began smoking regularly. "We know the younger brain is still maturing and therefore generally more susceptible to the harmful effects of drugs," Yucel says. Emerging research about marijuana, says Swartzwelder, suggests that the drug may have far more powerful effects on the teenage brain than on that of an adult.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Holistic Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment

G&G Holistic Addiction Treatment Program center is situated in the North Miami Beach. The gentle warmth of sun’s rays and the tropical winds help to keep the patients mentally prepared for the treatment. The center is nationally recognized for drug and alcohol rehab.

The mind and body are to be treated carefully with equal importance. Our mind plays an important role especially in the field of addition treatment programs. So, keeping this in our mind, we have developed mind- body – holistic health program for addiction rehabilitation programs.

The patient’s mind is corrected with positive mood using various cognitive approaches. The holistic addiction center offers diet that contains rich protein and low carb. Yoga classes help to relax your mind deeply. Whirlpool, steam, saunas and Karate are some other methods to relax and rebuild your body and mind.

People from allover the world and from most of the states of United States are being benefited by G&G Holistic Addiction Treatment Program treatment center.

For More Information on Holistic Addiction Treatment please visit

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Increased Risk Of Smoking, Substance Abuse In Bipolar Adolescents Confirmed

ScienceDaily (Jun. 4, 2008) — A study from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) supports previous reports that adolescents with bipolar disorder are at increased risk for smoking and substance abuse. The article appearing in the June Drug and Alcohol Dependence -- describing the largest such investigation to date and the first to include a control group -- also indicates that bipolar-associated risk is independent of the risk conferred by other disorders affecting study participants.

"This work confirms that bipolar disorder (BPD) in adolescents is a huge risk factor for smoking and substance abuse, as big a risk factor as is juvenile delinquency," says Timothy Wilens, MD, director of Substance Abuse Services in MGH Pediatric Psychopharmacology, who led the study. "It indicates both that young people with BPD need to carefully be screened for smoking and for substance use and abuse and that adolescents known to abuse drugs and alcohol -- especially those who binge use -- should also be assessed for BPD."

It has been estimated that up to 20 percent of children and adolescents treated for psychiatric problems have bipolar disorder, and there is evidence that pediatric and adolescent BPD may have features, such as particularly frequent and dramatic mood swings, not found in the adult form of the disorder. While elevated levels of smoking and substance abuse previously have been reported in young and adult BPD patients, it has not been clear how the use and abuse of substances relates to the presence of BPD or whether any increased risk could be attributed to co-existing conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder or anxiety disorders.

The current study analyzes extensive data -- including family histories, information from primary care physicians, and a detailed psychiatric interview -- gathered at the outset of a continuing investigation following a group of young BPD patients into adulthood. In addition to 105 participants with diagnosed BPD, who enrolled at an average age of 14, the study includes 98 control participants of the same age, carefully screened to rule out mood disorders.

Incidence of each measure -- alcohol abuse or dependence, drug abuse or dependence, and smoking -- was significantly higher in participants with BPD than in the control group. Overall, rates of substance use/abuse were 34 percent in the bipolar group and 4 percent in controls. When adjusted to account for co-occurring behavioral and psychiatric conditions, the results still indicated significantly higher risk in the bipolar group. Analyzing how the onset of bipolar symptoms related to when substance abuse began, revealed that BPD came first in most study participants.

The data also indicated that bipolar youth whose symptoms began in adolescence were more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than were those whose symptoms began in childhood. "It could be that the onset of mood dysregulation in adolescence puts kids at even higher risk for poor judgement and self-medication of their symptoms," Wilens says. "It also could be that some genetic switch activated in adolescence turns on both BPD and substance abuse in these youngsters. That's something that we are currently investigating in genetic and neuroimaging studies of this group."

He adds that clarifying whether bipolar disorder begins before substance abuse starts could have "a huge impact. If BPD usually precedes substance abuse, there may be intervention points where we could reduce its influence on drug and alcohol abuse. Aggressive treatment of BPD could cut the risk of substance abuse, just as we have shown it does in ADHD." Wilens is an associate professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

The National Institute of Mental Health is supporting the long-term study of bipolar youth of which this report is one phase. Co-authors of the Drug and Alcohol Dependence article are Joseph Biederman, MD, Joel Adamson, Aude Henin, Stephanie Sgambati, Robert Sawtelle, Alison Santry and Michael Monuteaux, ScD, MGH Pediatric Psychopharmacology; and Martin Gignac, MD, University of Montreal.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Health Effects Of Alcohol

Drinking alcohol is a very big problem in many social groups, such as college age kids. If you don't drink than you are considered 'not cool', so most kids give in to drinking alcohol just so they can fit into the cool crowd. As the years go by, there are many other social circles to be a part of, each also pressuring you to drink alcohol.

While you may think the best thing to do is drink like everyone else, maybe knowing the health risks involved with alcohol will help you realize you are better off on the outside looking in.

The first thing to keep in mind as you read on is the longer that you indulge in this unhealthy drink the more it will effect your health.

There are a lot of ways that alcohol will affect your health.

The first health effect of alcohol is a hangover. When you have had too much alcohol then you can count on having a hangover. Drinking more than your limit of alcohol will cause you to experience things like headache, nausea, vomiting and body aches. These problems are normal conditions of a hangover. Contrary to popular belief no amount of coffee will cure a hangover. The only cure for a hangover is time and sleep, as your body tries to repair the damage you have done through impairment.

Weight gain is another side effect of alcohol. Have you ever heard the phrase 'beer belly'. This came about because beer has a lot of calories and when you drink a lot of beer you will gain weight. Weight gain can also cause other problems like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Can drinking cause you to get sick more? The answer is yes. This is because alcohol weakens your immune system. That makes you susceptible to getting sick more frequently. With a weak immune system you can catch whatever is going around, whether it is just a cold or whether it is the flu, Once you have it you will make the rest of your family more vulnerable since you are carrying a contagious infection.

Believe it or not, when you drink a lot of alcohol over your lifetime you are at a higher risk of developing cancer. It is believed that two to four percent of all cases of cancer have been caused by alcohol (directly or indirectly). You may be saying you have never heard of alcohol being a carcinogen, and you would be wrong. While it is lesser known carcinogen, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has found enough evidence to prove that alcohol can have a carcinogenic effect on humans.

Additionally, alcohol is being called a cocarcinogen. That means alcohol seems to boost the properties of other carcinogens, such as nicotine, that are in your system.

Liver disease is a commonly know side effect of alcohol. Alcohol can eat away at your liver over time, as it tries to break down all those drinks you have been taking in.

While you may just think about the short-term effect of alcohol on your body, the morning after, when you have a few drinks, you should think beyond that, and consider what life-altering, and possibly life-ending risks you are taking

Rahul Nag is the London, England based former problem drinker who was drinking too much but gave up and now found he has an even better time than before. He has developed a resource to help other people achieve the same. He has written a free report on 'The Effects of Alcohol' which are available for you to download for free at

Article Source:

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Recovering From Addiction

The memory of the high when they use is the greatest hurdle for recovering addicts. This understanding may be the key to long-term recovery.

AT 30, Hafizi Harun can still remember in detail how he took heroin when he was in his teens.

“It is difficult to forget the art of taking drugs – the way you roll the foil, the way you light up, or the way you search for a vein to inject,” says Hafizi.

Listening to this without judgment, it occurred to me that he is just describing something that is most pleasurable to him at a point in his life. Just as my mother would describe, in detail, the way her dough rises in the oven when she bakes.

“You miss the ritualistic behaviour that comes with drugs,” says Hafizi. But spending a year in Pengasih rehabilitation centre had changed Hafizi’s life. Even though memories of his life as an addict come back, he has learnt the art of talking himself out of it.

“Overcoming the wanting or craving is the most difficult hurdle for drug addicts who want to stop their habits,” says Mohd Yunus Pathi, President of Persatuan Pengasih Malaysia – a non-profit organisation initiated by reformed drug users in 1987.

Even after stopping drugs for 10 years, it takes only one time of drug use to cause a relapse, says consultant in addiction medicine, Dr Mahmud Mazlan.

“No addict in the whole world wants to be addicted, but all addicts want to use drugs once in a while. That’s why they often experience relapses,” he continues.

But understanding and admitting the possibility of going into a relapse might be the key to Hafizi’s success in keeping clean for about 10 years now.

“I applied what I learnt in Pengasih and used the techniques to overcome my craving,” says the Persatuan Pengasih Malaysia training manager.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Suboxone Dependency Study

Due to the high volume of phone calls The Waismann Method has received this year, we developed a voluntary study for all visitors to our Web site in order to better understand the steady growth in the use of Suboxone ®, a drug replacement therapy for opiates, as prescribed by physicians. This study also examined the long-term side effects of Suboxone in patients. Through our work with Suboxone dependent patients, we have generated a serious concern with the lack of education and mis-information given by physicians to their patients when prescribed Suboxone ® as an alternative “treatment” to an opiate dependency such as OxyContin ®, Vicodin ®, Lortab ®, and Fentanyl, among others.

Studies conducted in March of 2007, revealed an increase in interest in Suboxone ® as a result of a dependency to the prescription drug. In 2007, The Waismann Method treated an alarming number of patients with Suboxone dependency. Among our findings, the most alarming was that many patients who believed Suboxone to be a “quick fix” suddenly found themselves physically dependent to the drug after a very short amount of time. Additionally, in outreach we conducted to managers of sober-living homes across the country that condone Suboxone ®, the majority of them indicated they were unaware Suboxone ® is actually an opiate itself.

People with opiate dependencies who seek treatment from detox centers are, in many instances, discharged with a Suboxone prescription in order to help them maintain a life free of opiates. It is the position of The Waismann Method that in these instances, patients are not being detoxed but are receiving drug replacement therapy. We fear that patients are being misled into believing they are being treated in these situations.

The Waismann Method believes professionals within the industry should share knowledge and understanding of what one another offer in order to refer patients to a center that is most appropriate for each individual. The more choices available to people with opiate dependencies, the more successfully patients will be treated in the way that best suits them.

We understand that a patient desires to be free of opiates and not to replace one with another. Therefore, if The Waismann Method determines that it is in the best interest of the patient to undergo rapid detox, we will move forward with treatment. It is our hope that our colleagues will view treatment in the same light. Furthermore, as professionals, we have the social responsibility to understand the potential outcomes and consequences of what we have been given the authority to prescribe as well as educate our patients of these outcomes to the best of our ability.

Study Report: Waismann Method Survey Reveals Dependency Risk for People Using Suboxone

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Pain Meds Reformulated to Prevent Addiction

With addiction to prescription painkillers rising sharply, some drug makers are looking for ways to deliver effective pain relief with less risk of dependence, the Associated Press reported March 18.

A recent meeting on prescription drug addiction organized by the National Institute on Drug Abuse included information on Remoxy, an abuse-resistant version of oxycodone being developed by Pain Therapeutics Inc. Remoxy is a gelatin version of the drug that, unlike OxyContin, can't be crushed and then snorted or injected. The drug is currently in late-stage clinical trials.

Researchers also are looking at combining oxycodone with naltrexone, an anti-craving drug, to prevent abuse.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Stop Drinking Now - Useful Tips To Quit Drinking Alcohol

The intake of alcohol is damaging to both your physical and mental health. It could end up ruining your personal relationships as well as your career. There are so many ways to assist you to stop drinking alcohol.

The first task that needs attention is to actually identify the main reasons why you have the desire to give up drinking. These reasons will general on the whole, but there will also be some more specific to you personally. You may require the assistance of a close friend or family member in order to complete the list.

This most important list should always be kept handy for personal reference in order to keep your commitment on track. It might be a good idea to make photocopies of the list and have them visible in several key locations such as the fridge and the bathroom mirror and keep one in your wallet too.

Normally the more hardened or chronic drinkers can stop drinking completely from one day to the next, although an easier alternative is to reduce quantity on a gradual basis. A laid out day by day plan showing daily reductions will help to get to the final goal of quitting completely.

A constant progress evaluation would be advised over a 4 week period until the new behaviour pattern becomes a habit itself. You will begin to feel better and make a note of these changes but you may encounter negative feelings too. If you do stumble on the way, pick yourself up immediately and always share your experiences with others and learn from them too.

On occasions these self-help programs just don't work out, but don't loose heart. Remember that alcoholism is a disease and could have made serious roots into organism provoking certain chemical alterations in your biological system.

This disease can lead to seriously damaging our body organs such as the liver, the pancreas, the heart, the kidney or the digestive system. These complications will require medical therapy which can overcome the addiction of alcohol. So don't hesitate in asking for medical assistance as this terrible habit really does need professional supervision.

You will always find obstacles on your path towards success and important decisions in you life will have to be taken. The most important one is the friends you wish to be with and you may even have to change your lifestyle in order to avoid any contact with alcohol. A good tip would be to substitute alcohol for something healthy like fruit juice and chewing gum is a great ally too.

There are a number of rehab centers including AA and AVERT which are internationally renowned for helping alcoholics. The members include many x-alcoholics who give valuable support and tips based on their own experiences. These people are really understanding and are always there if you get into deep trouble.

The great thing with these groups is that your identity will always remain anonymous. You can find similar groups online in your town that will be more than willing to draw up a personalised plan that will suit you for cutting out alcohol from your life.

It will be very difficult to turn down old friend's invitations for a good night out, but you must be firm and polite in refusing the invite. Stay strong to your word and don't falter so early on in what will be a tough road to success. Become active by taking up sport or a new hobby and spend more time with your family and friends who support you. Diversion is the name of the game and you must always reward yourself for every objective you meet and every hurdle you get over.

Discover how to Stop Drinking Alcohol In 21 Days - Guaranteed. by expert Ed Philips

Article Source:

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Study Relates AA Membership to Lower Murder Rate

Noting the relationship between drinking and violent crime, a new study suggests that increased membership in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) could actually lower the murder rate in a community, Reuters reported Sept. 25.

Researchers from the University of Toronto and Dalhousie University studied AA membership in Ontario between 1968 and 1991 and noted that as more problem drinkers joined the group, the murder rate in the province dropped. Authors Robert Mann and Mark Asbridge calculated that for every increase of one AA member per 100,000 residents, the Ontario murder rate fell 0.3 to 0.5 percent.

"Our study showed that total and male homicide rates in Ontario were strongly related to average levels of alcohol consumption," the University of Toronto's Mann said. "These observations confirm previous research showing that alcohol is a leading contributor to violence, as well as violence-related mortality."

The findings applied to men only. "Males drink more often, more heavily and consume more beer and spirits than females," said Asbridge, of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. "Moreover, the nature of the link between alcohol consumption and violence is more readily a male experience, for example, drinking heavily in bar settings leads to aggression and violence."

The study was published in the October 2006 issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Alcoholism vs. Alcohol Abuse

Alcoholism is a disease involving uncontrollable physical dependence and emotional reliance on alcohol. The sufferer is unable to stay away from drink even when faced with dire consequences in all areas of his life - marriage, work, financial health. It is a chronic disease and often progresses to the point, if untreated, it becomes fatal.

The term "alcohol abuse" is used to describe a state less severe than true alcoholism. As an alcohol abuser, you may drink to excess and suffer social and health consequences, but never completely lose your control over the substance as you would in full-fledged alcoholism.

Just because it's not as bad as alcoholism, abuse is by no means a safe way to use alcohol. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence says 18 million Americans abuse alcohol. Alcohol plays a part in almost half of all traffic fatalities in the United States. The loved ones of these victims put very little stock in the difference between an alcohol abuser and an alcoholic when the driver at fault drank more than he should have.

Although it's not always easy to diagnose the true alcoholic, there are indications that can be recognized. Not everyone suffering from alcoholism suffers all these symptoms. In addition, because they tend to be secretive about it, it will be difficult to discover in another. Here's what to watch for:

1. Keeping drinking secret from friends and family; drinking alone a lot; hiding the alcohol in unusual places.

2. Being unable to stop drinking once started.

3. Experience full or partial "blackouts," where your memory of events while drinking isn't complete.

4. Becoming annoyed when a regular drinking ritual, like having a drink after dinner, is interrupted.

5. Leaving behind former hobbies and pleasurable activities.

6. Drinking becomes a compulsion or a need.

7. The more time without a drink, the more signs irritability are shown.

8. Gulping strong drinks to achieve the drunk feeling as fast as possible.

9. Tolerance levels are reached making it necessary to drink even larger amounts to achieve the needed feeling.

10. Relationships, work, financial troubles increase, sometimes involving legal actions.

11. When no alcohol has been consumed for a while for whatever reason, experiencing symptoms of physical withdrawal - shaking, sweating, and nausea.

If you haven't reached the stage of true alcoholism, but are instead an alcohol abuser you may suffer some of the same symptoms, with the exception of the compulsion to drink and the withdrawal symptoms when not drinking. Alcoholism is also more suspected when a tolerance to alcohol has been built up and when an inability to stop drinking is observed.

Have you ever wondered if your own alcohol consumption has crossed the line into either alcohol abuse or alcoholism? Ask yourself the following:

- What's the first thing you think of when you get up in the morning? If having a drink ranks in the top 1 or 2, there could be problem.

- Do you feel guilty enough to hide how much you drink from those who care about you? From your boss?

- Do you often think about how you should cut back on the amount of drinking you do? Have you made failed New Years' Resolutions to stop?

- Do you get annoyed when others mention or, heaven forbid, criticize your special relationship to alcohol?

A yes answer to any of these questions could indicate at least alcohol abuse and possibly even alcoholism. Seek help!

Michael Russell

Friday, May 9, 2008

Drug Addiction-It's treatable

Drug Addiction and Alcoholism; A Treatable Illness

Drug addiction and alcohol addiction are comparable to chronic illnesses like diabetes, asthma, and hypertension, and should be treated as such,according to an article published in a year 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Authors Thomas McLellan, Ph.D., and Herbert D. Kleber, M.D., conducted a literature review of those illnesses, revealing that there are underlying similarities between drug addiction, alcohol addiction and chronic diseases. Yet, say the researchers, drug addiction is typically treated as if it is an acute condition. Altering perceptions to think of drug addiction as a chronic illness may change the way it is treated and insured.

The researchers found that drug addiction and alcoholism shares many of the characteristics of other chronic illnesses. In the area of genetic heritability, for example, studies of monozygotic and dizygotic twins have found heritability estimates of .25 to .50 for hypertension; .80 for type 2 and .30 for type 1 diabetes; and .36 to .70 for asthma. Heritability estimates for the drug addictions are similar, ranging from .34 for heroin dependence, .55 for alcoholism, .52 for marijuana dependence, and .61 for dependence on cigarettes.

Typically, both medical professionals and the general public view drug abuse as voluntary activities. That people choose to use drugs seems to set drug addiction and alcohol adidiction apart from other chronic illnesses. Yet, there are many chronic illnesses in which voluntary choice affects initiation and maintenance of disease. Salt sensitivity, obesity, stress level, and physical inactivity, all within voluntary control, are important factors in the development of hypertension.

Drug addiction and alcoholism also resembles other chronic illnesses in regard to treatment response. The course that an drug addiction takes if left untreated is an important issue in this regard. Studies comparing treated and untreated populations of addicts have typically shown that untreated, addictions do not remit.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Painkiller Patches Abused by Addicts

Addicts in Canada have figured out how to get around the new safety features of narcotic pain patches so they can use the drugs to get high, the National Post reported May 5.

Researcher Benedikt Fischer of the B.C. Center for Addictions Research and colleagues said that misuse of fentanyl pain patches, sold under the brand name Duragesic, has been linked to dozens of overdose deaths. To help prevent misuse, drug maker Ortho-McNeil replaced the fentanyl gel in the patches to storing the drug in a plastic matrix. But some users have learned that they can add vinegar and water to the patch and then soak or heat it to draw the drug out of the matrix in liquid form.

"This is bad news in many ways and ... I don't think anybody has a clear idea what to do about it," said Fischer.

The study found that more than half of the 25 street addicts studied in Toronto had injected fentanyl within the past three months.

The research was published March 31, 2008 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Revi

Friday, May 2, 2008

Understanding Alcoholics Anonymous

Understanding Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholism can be defined as the person’s uncontrollable urge to drink alcohol. Alcoholics feel that they cannot live without drinking booze. For normal people, water is a vital drink to live; where as for alcoholics, liquor, booze, beer, (whatever name you call it) is their “h20 in life.” Alcoholism is made up of four elements:

A strong craving for a drink
Physical Dependence wherein withdrawal symptoms are demonstrated: anxiety, shakiness, nausea, and sweating once drinking has stopped for quite a period of time
The inability of the person to stop himself/herself from drinking once the said person has started
Alcohol Tolerance wherein the person feels that drinking is needed to be able to feel better or to be “happy.”

There is still hope for alcoholism to be eradicated little by little. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was developed for this purpose. It is a society that holds informal meetings among alcoholics for them to have all the help they can get in order to attain sobriety as well as help other people like themselves become sober. Here, the members share their experiences as well as give hope to one another and strengthen themselves from the temptations of drinking through their so called twelve step program.

Alcoholics Anonymous was founded by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith who were both alcoholics who found sobriety through spirituality. Alcoholics Anonymous became known through word of mouth. As soon as the count of members reached a hundred, the twelve-step program was included in a book that was published, speaking about the program and the main stages of the treatment and they are: admitting that one has become powerless, moral inventory, and recognizing that there is a higher power where people should ask help from.

An AA survey made in the year 2004 covering more than 7500 members based in the United States and Canada showed that the average sobriety rate for members is eight years and most of the members who became sober received counseling and spiritual therapies from the outside and that these outside treatments helped them stay sober.

A newly developed network for alcoholics that is similar to Alcoholics Anonymous is the Sober Sources Network which was established just last year (2007). It is a network that gives support to alcoholic people and those with harmful addictions. It was a response to the forums developed (The Sober Village and the Sober Teens Online) discussing and giving information to the said topics.

The Sober Sources Network was formed through the observation that there are only a number of websites that give complete information and resources that are extremely useful to people wanting help for their addictions.

It is good that Alcoholism can be treated even though at a slow rate through Alcoholics Anonymous. It is also amazing that the Sober Sources Network has been designed to give quick and easy online support to alcoholics and drug addicts who wouldn’t really know where to ask help from especially because of the fact that alcoholism and substance abuse is a delicate subject. Sober forums are also there not only to give support to the alcoholics but also to give vital information and support to parents, family members and friends who are affected when a loved one is under the power of alcoholism.

Copyright 2008 C.King, M.Ed., Sober Sources Network- may be reproduced with proper acknowledgments.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

VR Environments Therapeautic For Addicts

Article Date: 29 Apr 2008

Patients in therapy to overcome addictions have a new arena to test their coping skills - the virtual world. A new study by University of Houston Associate Professor Patrick Bordnick found that a virtual reality (VR) environment can provide the climate necessary to spark an alcohol craving so that patients can practice how to say "no" in a realistic and safe setting.

"As a therapist, I can tell you to pretend my office is a bar, and I can ask you to close your eyes and imagine the environment, but you'll know that it's not real," Bordnick said. "In this virtual environment you are at a bar or at a party or in a real-life situation. What we found was that participants had real-life responses."

Bordnick, of the UH Graduate College of Social Work, investigates VR as a tool for assessing and treating addictions. He studied 40 alcohol-dependent people who were not receiving treatment (32 men and eight women). Wearing a VR helmet, each was guided through 18 minutes of virtual social environments that included drinking. The participant's drink of choice was included in each scene. Using a game pad, each rated his or her cravings and attention to the alcohol details in each room. Each then was interviewed following the experience.

"What we found was that the VR environments were real enough that their cravings were intensified. So, now we can develop coping skills, practice them in those very realistic environments until those skills are working tools for them to use in real life," Bordnick said.

His VR environments, developed with a company called Virtually Better, feature different scenarios that an addict may find challenging: a bar with imbibing patrons, a house party with guests drinking and smoking, a convenient store with cigarettes and alcoholic beverages within reach, a designated smoking section outside of a building or a room with an arguing couple. The environments use actors in each scene as opposed to computer-generated characters. In addition, the study added another layer of realism. A device sprayed the air with scents the participant may encounter in the various scenarios - cigarette smoke, alcoholic beverages, pizza or aromas associated with the outdoors.

"This study shows us the value of using virtual reality as a tool for assessing and treating addictions. Future studies should explore the importance of environmental settings and other cues on cravings and relapse," Bordnick said.

His study is available online in the journal Addictive Behaviors.
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Bordnick also has VR environments to help soldiers from Iraq, those with a fear of flying, fear of public speaking and fear of heights.

He is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institutes for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

For more information on the UH Graduate College of Social Work, visit

Source: Marisa Ramirez
University of Houston

Monday, April 28, 2008


Residential treatment centers usually offer a multi-faceted approach in assisting clients in their recovery from active addiction. The therapeutic and structured environments found in residential treatment centers can facilitate the important first stages of detoxification and withdrawal, setting the stage for a cleared mind to be able to absorb new ideas and concepts in healthy living, relapse prevention, behavioral changes, etc...

Depending upon your insurance coverage, many of the centers in the mid and high range may become affordable. You can contact the customer service department at your insurance company and check your covered benefits. In-network benefits can be as high as 80 - 100%, out of network benefits are often 50%.
Although each residential treatment center operates under different philosophies, certain general approaches are likely to be found in most. Among those are:

* Detoxification
* Drug and alcohol education
* Relapse prevention
* Family program
* Individual and group counseling
* Twelve-step recovery
* Anger Management
* Dual Diagnosis Education
* Self Harm Reduction
* Community Re-Integration

Friday, April 25, 2008

When people drink themselves silly.

The urge to binge mindlessly, though it can strike at any time, seems to stir in the collective unconscious during the last weeks of winter. Maybe it’s the television images from places like Fort Lauderdale and Cabo San Lucas, of communications majors’ face planting outside bars or on beaches.

Or perhaps it’s a simple a case of seasonal affective disorder in reverse. Not SAD at all, but anticipation of warmth and eagerness for a little disorder.

Either way, researchers have had a hard time understanding binge behavior. Until recently, their definition of binge drinking — five drinks or more in 24 hours — was so loose that it invited debate and ridicule from some scholars. And investigators who ventured into the field, into the spray of warm backwash and press of wet T-shirts, often returned with findings like this one from a 2006 study: “Spring break trips are a risk factor for escalated alcohol use.”

Or this, from a 1998 analysis: “The men’s reported levels of alcohol consumption, binge drinking and intoxication were significantly higher than the women’s.”

In fact, the dynamics of bingeing may have more to do with personal and cultural expectations than with the number of upside-down margaritas consumed. In their classic 1969 book, “Drunken Comportment,” recently out in paperback, the social scientists Craig MacAndrew and Robert B. Edgerton wrote that the disconnect between the conventional wisdom on drunken behavior and the available evidence “is even now so scandalous as to exceed the limits of reasonable toleration.”

They detailed the vast differences in the way people from diverse cultures behave after excessive alcohol. In contrast to nearby tribes, for example, the Yuruna Indians in the Xingu region of Brazil would become exceptionally reserved when rendered sideways by large helpings of moonshine. The Camba of eastern Bolivia would drink excessively twice a month. Sitting in a circle, they would toast one another, more lavishly with each pop.

In a Japanese island village, Takashima, people knew a drinking occasion had gone completely off the dials if villagers began to sing or, wilder still, to dance. Aggression, sexual or otherwise, was unheard of during these sessions.

Western cultures are more likely to excuse binge drinking as a needed mental vacation. “An awful lot of cultures have institutionalized bingeing as a kind of time out like Mardi Gras or New Year’s Eve, a culturally recognized period where a certain amount of acting out is acceptable,” said Dwight Heath, emeritus professor of anthropology at Brown.

Not to say that would-be bingers, when ordering that first tray of Irish car bombs for the table, think about discharging a cultural tradition. They have their own reasons. And those, too, shape subsequent drunken behavior.

In a series of studies in the 1970s and ’80s, psychologists at the University of Washington put more than 300 students into a study room outfitted like a bar with mirrors, music and a stretch of polished pine. The researchers served alcoholic drinks, most often icy vodka tonics, to some of the students and nonalcoholic ones, usually icy tonic water, to others. The drinks looked and tasted the same, and the students typically drank five in an hour or two.

The studies found that people who thought they were drinking alcohol behaved exactly as aggressively, or as affectionately, or as merrily as they expected to when drunk. “No significant difference between those who got alcohol and those who didn’t,” Alan Marlatt, the senior author, said. “Their behavior was totally determined by their expectations of how they would behave.”

In a repeat of the session performed for a coming documentary, one participant insisted that she could not have been drinking because alcohol always made her flush.

“We told her that, yes, in fact she was drinking it,” Dr. Marlatt said. “She immediately flushed.”

Somewhere between personal preferences and social custom, moreover, the peer group asserts itself. In a recent study, public health researchers in New Zealand conducted extensive interviews with teenage girls in one of two cliques at a high school. Both groups associated drinking with uninhibited behavior — and that is what they exhibited. But one group considered being uninhibited to include making out, and the other considered it to include far more.

In their discussion, Dr. MacAndrew and Dr. Edgerton acknowledged that Western societies, and certainly the United States, send multiple signals on bingeing. At times, the signals cross, as when movies show spring-break binging as sunburned, sexy fun, while health pronouncements make it look like an orgy of near-criminal behavior.

At other times, cultural expectations and personal preferences reinforce each other. The hope that a wild session might “reveal new things about myself” or “allow me to act completely out of character” is widely echoed in literature, pop culture and drinking lore. If the research is a guide, those hopes should be self-fulfilling at some level.

Unless, that is, the binge goes beyond any reasonable definition of excess. Then the amount of tequila consumed matters very much — and poison is poison in any culture.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Talking To Veterns when in Despair

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. — Nancy Nosewicz was busy fielding calls at the new national veterans hot line on a recent afternoon when someone from the Department of Veterans Affairs in Topeka, Kan., phoned. He had a 55-year-old Army veteran from the Northwest on the line who had called to complain about his benefits, but now the guy, drunk and crying, was talking about not wanting to live. Could Ms. Nosewicz pick up?

n a slurred voice, heavy from weeping, the veteran, named Robert, told her that he was homeless and wanted to “just lay down in the river and never get up.”

Ms. Nosewicz, a social worker, listened. Then in a voice firm and comforting like a big sister, she said: “We don’t want you to either. Today we’re not thinking about the alcohol or the housing, Robert. Today it’s about keeping you safe.”

She gave an assistant Robert’s phone number to find his address and alert local police to stand by. The chain of care resembled a relay race, with one runner trying not let go of the baton until the next runner had it in hand.

The veterans hot line is part of a specialized effort by the Department of Veterans Affairs to reduce suicide by enabling counselors, for the first time, to instantly check a veteran’s medical records and then combine emergency response with local follow-up services. It comes after years of criticism that the department has been neglecting tens of thousands of wounded service men and women who have returned from war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On Monday, a class action suit brought by veterans groups opened in San Francisco charging a “systemwide breakdown,” citing long delays in receiving disability benefits and flaws in the way discharged soldiers at risk for suicide had been treated. Kerri J. Childress, a department spokeswoman, said Monday that there were an average of 18 suicides a day among America’s 25 million veterans and that more than a fifth were committed by men and women being treated by Veterans Affairs.

Up and running since August, the hot line tries to respond to at least some of those in crisis. Over eight months, it has received more than 37,200 calls and made more than 720 rescues — sending out, from a narrow office here in upstate New York, emergency responders all over the country to find someone on a bridge, with a gun in his hand, with a stomach full of pills.

Paul Sullivan, the director of Veterans for Common Sense, one of the groups involved in the lawsuit, said of the department: “I’m pleased they’re responding. However, much more needs to be done so vets aren’t turned away from health care and don’t have to wait for benefits.”

Mr. Sullivan says suicidal patients have not been able to get care promptly; he cited the case of Jonathan Schulze, who was turned away twice from a Veterans Affairs hospital before he killed himself in January 2007.

“More than 600,000 veterans are waiting, on average, more than six months for disability benefits,” said Mr. Sullivan, who worked at the department monitoring benefits.

Experts agree that veterans are more likely, perhaps twice as much, to commit suicide as people who have never served in the military. Meanwhile, a study released last week by the RAND Corporation estimates that roughly one in five veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan has symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, which heightens the risk of suicide.

Yet whatever larger failings may exist, the staff of social workers, addiction specialists and nurses who keep the hot line running — 24 hours a day, seven days a week — can count at least some victories by the end of each shift.

Unique about this hot line, said Janet Kemp, the national suicide prevention coordinator with the department, is that now the counselors have medical information at their fingertips, which they use to connect vets with counseling near their homes. The model evolved from a new research program on suicide prevention paid for by the department.

“For years people thought that asking questions about suicide put the thought in people’s mind, but now we know that’s not true,” said Dr. Kemp, who travels throughout the country training V.A. staff.

The department is spending about $3 million to start and operate the hot line during its first year, said a spokesman, Daniel Ryan, and another $2.9 million on a mental health research center at the sprawling red-brick V.A. Medical Center in Canandaigua. Referring to the hot line’s relay model, Kerry Knox, the director of the new research center, said, “You don’t want them to fall through the cracks.”

With Robert, for example — whose last name was not provided for confidentiality — Ms. Nosewicz gradually nudged him to agree to be taken to a hospital and to give his name and Social Security number so she could check his file and put him in contact with the department’s suicide prevention coordinator in his area.

Meanwhile, Denise Slocum, a health assistant, relayed questions from the local police dispatcher. “The police are asking if you’re near an elementary school,” asked Ms. Nosewicz, who then nodded her head at Ms. Slocum.

“No, no, no — no handcuffs,” Ms. Nosewicz reassured Robert. “You’re going to go to the hospital.”

“Do you have a tissue to blow your nose? Then use your sleeve.”

“When they come in, you put them on the phone with me, and I’ll tell them to treat you with respect.”

Twenty minutes later, Ms. Slocum called the police again to confirm that Robert had been taken to a hospital. Ms. Nosewicz alerted the prevention coordinator. One is at each of the department’s 156 health centers.

Robert’s name was added to a board near the doorway so that the staff could follow up to ensure a local counselor actually met with him.

Of course, sometimes a crack is unavoidable.

“He’s going to do it. He’s really going to do it,” said Terri Rose, a counselor who was working the noon-to-midnight shift. She was wiping her red-rimmed eyes. A caller from Texas, who said he was 65 and a helicopter gunner in Vietnam, said he had a suicide pact with his friend, but the friend had gone off and killed himself. Now he, too, was ready to die, saying he had even found a coffin for $150, said Ms. Rose, who is an Air Force veteran herself. The veteran hung up and had stopped answering her calls.

Sometimes veterans have a lot of trouble asking for help, said Jacalyn O’Loughlin, a counselor. “They keep saying, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,’ ” Ms. O’Loughlin said. “Especially marines. They feel they’re weak if they reach out.”

Mr. Ryan said about half the calls to the hot line — 1-800-273-TALK (8255) — were from veterans, split fairly evenly between Vietnam and Iraq. Family members and friends also frequently call. About 30 percent of the veterans are women.

A couple of months ago, Ms. O’Loughlin said, a distraught woman called from Oregon who was driving to the woods and then threatened to “walk and walk and walk and never come back.” Ms. O’Loughlin rang the tiny silver bell on her desk to signal the health technician. The health tech checked the area code and phoned the closest Veterans Affairs health center.

“And lo and behold, that suicide prevention coordinator knew her just by her first name,” Ms. O’Loughlin said. The tech called the police and the coordinator called the woman’s husband, getting the car’s make and model. Ms. O’Loughlin kept her on the line; when she hung up, Ms. O’Loughlin called her back. “This went on for hours,” she said. “I could hear her getting out of the car. I could hear the rustling from the leaves.”

Meanwhile, the police and her husband were driving up and down roads. They spotted the car, dashed through the trees and found her. She had a bottle of pills in her hand but had not yet swallowed them.

Sometimes, the victories are smaller but no less satisfying. That morning, Ms. Nosewicz spoke to a veteran whose house was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina; he had been relocated to a different state.

“He called crying because he can’t find a job, saying ‘my teeth are so rotten and my mouth stinks,’ ” Ms. Nosewicz said.

Dental referrals are not exactly part of the job description, but Ms. Nosewicz tried dental schools in his area until she found a school to do the work. “He was crying on the phone,” she recalled, “and said, ‘Thanks so much. Thanks so much.’ ”

All in all not a bad day’s work, Ms. Nosewicz said, as she got ready to leave. “Three rescues, four consults and one set of teeth.”

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Alcohol Abuse in Soldiers

Alcohol Abuse in Soldiers

A lot of soldiers returning home from wars have become alcoholics. It is true that the loneliness as well as the pressure while out in the battle field makes soldiers resort to drinking sprees, alcohol dependency and sometimes drug dependency.

Soldiers should remember though that the abuse of alcohol as well as the misuse of medications or drugs can result to harmful and risky behaviors that include but are not limited to pub fights, spousal abuse, even unexpected deaths so it is a must to engage in responsible drinking. Below are some tips that would help one drink responsibly:

Before drinking and in the course of drinking, make sure that your stomach has food because eating food with starch and high protein will slow down the rate of the effects of alcohol hitting you.

Drink slowly but surely as fast drinking will make the drinker more intoxicated. Drinking no more than one drink every hour will result to the drinker not being drunk fast

Try drinking non alcoholic drinks in between your intake of alcoholic drinks as this will result to alcoholic drinks not having a greater effect on you.

Remember this HALT! This is easy to remember and stands for “Never Drink if you have the following feelings: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired.”

And of course, let us not forget (though it may be a cliché, it can save lives). Do not drink and drive. Always make sure that the person who will be driving the vehicle is sober, otherwise, just take a cab or any other public transportation.

Following these tips will help you (soldiers) avoid alcohol abuse as well as symptoms or ailments partnered with alcoholism such as: PTSD. PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when coupled with alcoholism will automatically cause a lot of trouble. It is a type of anxiety disorder that usually results from trauma that comes from physical injury, a serious threat of death or the death of someone close. As early as the 6th century BC, PTSD has been observed in war veterans.
It has been observed that people with PTSD have a greater risk of developing alcoholism and most alcoholics are even diagnosed with the said disease. Around eighty percent of war veterans undergoing treatment for PTSD have been detected with alcohol abuse disorders. These people have a tendency to commit suicide once they become depressed especially if they are over the age of 65. Binge drinking is also a frequent activity in soldiers/veterans as it is used as a tool to forget traumatic memories for a short period of time.

Alcoholism also disrupts your relationship with your partner and may lead to violence as it is evident in spousal abuse committed by intoxicated soldiers. Aside from conflicts, problems in intimacy have also been observed. PTSD symptoms are stimulated more with alcoholism. The effects of PTSD treatments are also lessened by alcohol abuse.
Soldiers amongst all professionals have the great responsibility of avoiding alcoholism. It is a must to follow tips in avoiding too much drinking not only for your safety but also for the safety of your loved ones and the people who look up to you.

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