Saturday, July 7, 2018

The Effects of Chronic Alcohol Consumption

When it comes to alcohol, it doesn't take that much to go over your daily limit. Alcohol abuse can cause some serious negative effects on the body in the short-term when abused.

However, when abuse is happening on a regular basis for a long time, it can cause serious damage to your body and mind. Today we're talking about the possible devastating physical effects that chronic alcohol consumption can have on you in the long-term.

What is alcohol abuse exactly? It can refer to a night out or it can refer to habitual misuse or over-consumption of alcohol. While you can always recover from a night out, when your body is constantly processing alcohol, it's going to cause damage over time that will be tough to reverse-- if not impossible.

If you're a woman and you're roughly supposed to have a drink an hour to maintain blood alcohol levels, and you have two drinks in an hour for the next three hours, you're going to be drunk and in less control over how you make choices and respond to situations. That could be classified as alcohol abuse because you're using the substance in a manner that results in intoxication.

It can also refer to just a chronic abuse of alcohol. Abuse can be similar in some ways and different in others, happening for different reasons or motivations. Abusing alcohol does not even necessarily mean that there's an alcohol addiction there. However, abusing alcohol does open the door for addiction. Men are supposed to drink 2 drinks a day and 1 a day for women maximum to stay healthy and avoid causing damage to the body. More than that can be problematic.

It just seems like a drink. It may be different colors, it may have bubbles. Alcohol can seem benign because it tastes good, and it can be festive. However, that does not prevent it from causing real damage.

The more alcohol there is present in the blood, the more that there may be serious side effects that happen in the body. That can be things you unintentionally do, like accidents due to lack of coordination, as well as the physical fallout in the body of continually dealing with alcohol, because being drunk can cause damage to major organs in your body.

Alcohol hits the bloodstream from your stomach lining and 33% of what you've imbibed goes straight into the blood. The small intestine slowly absorbs the rest. Consuming too much alcohol means more alcohol in the blood rising quickly and then makings its way to the brain, heart, and more once in the blood.

Too much alcohol in the blood that goes to the brain means that your brain is getting literally flooded with the alcohol. That causes a disruption in the neural pathways that interferes heavily with the neural messaging network. This can cause a number of effects, including mood change, behavior change, difficulty thinking clearly, coordination problems, and more.

Alcohol abuse has an effect on your body. It can damage your heart and cause cardiomyopathy, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and stroke. The liver detoxifies your system and views alcohol in your system as a contaminate. So, they release enzymes specially produced in the pancreas and liver so that they can break down the alcohol so that it's not so toxic.

If it's doing this all the time, the liver will become inflamed and result in manifestations such as fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis. The pancreas will also become inflamed and lead to potential development of pancreatitis, which is inflammation. That swelling prevents your body from digesting things properly and can also damage other systems as well. That damage can be irreparable once it gets to a certain point.

On top of this, chronic use can raise your risk of getting cancer in your throat, mouth, and esophagus. This is perhaps because of the constant oral intake where the cells are constantly degenerating due to the abuse. You're also at higher risk for breast and liver cancer too. You're also risking developing a weak immune system that is less adept at fighting off diseases.

Alcohol can really damage your body over time. If you have a problem, consider going to substance abuse rehab and pursuing a different lifestyle. If you can change paths now, you will be healthier in the end and better off for it. Chronic alcohol abuse is guaranteed over time to diminish quality of life or health or both. Change your path now...while you still can.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Teens and Drugs; What to Do As a Parent

Are you worried that your child is using drugs? Some parents have no idea what they would do if they found out that their teenager was actively using substances. Perhaps you have developed suspicions because your child is acting strangely or they are hanging out with a different crowd. Maybe you are noticing strange signs that don't add up, like they are always tired or they have odd marks on their arms.

When it comes to teen drug addiction, it's a complex subject. If you think that your teen may be using drugs, you should read up on what different drug use looks like and realize that different substances come with different challenges-- and potentially different reactions from the person using them if they are confronted.

While there may still be yet an important conversation ahead of you, the thing to do is to not panic and also figure out a way to move forward. The first step will likely be speaking with your partner or spouse about the topic before going ahead.

The first thing that you'll want to do is talk to your partner or spouse. If you don't live with the biological parent of your teen, you may want to speak to them as well. Talk to each other about what you think and commit to be a united front and if you do have that conversation with your child, come from a place of love and not anger.

Your goal may just be to speak to your teen and let them know that you do not want them using drugs. They may be confrontational and confront you about past use; even when it comes to current use of tobacco, you're allowed to do what you want as a legal adult and using a legal substance. Emphasis, however, the difficulty of becoming addicted to a substance and how you would ideally like your child to not have to make the same mistakes.

Not everyone has the temperament to take on the conversation. Don't avoid it because it is uncomfortable; however if you are the type to get angry or fly off the handle, it may be better to let the cooler head prevail if your partner is calmer. Your son or daughter may be uncomfortable or even try to bait you. If the conversation gets too heated, it's your responsibility to end it and come back to it later.

A counselor may also be able to help all of you navigate this as a family and also learn techniques for communication and perhaps even improvement. It might help to have an outcome in mind or even to set small goals or steps to deal with this. If you need to set rules for the home and your teen moving ahead, then that's what you need to do.

You and your partner need to be prepared to enforce any rules or guidelines that you set, as well as consequences for breaking the rules. Drug and alcohol dependence happen all the time, but you want to break the cycle of addiction early if you can. The best thing you can do is to be honest and to try and find a way to break your teen's substance use before addiction gets really bad. Thanks for reading and good luck talking to your teen.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Know the Warning Signs and More: Tips for Preventing Relapse

Are you in recovery from addiction? Fighting addiction is a battle that lasts a lifetime. Getting sober can be very difficult.

Even if you have been sober for months or have completed treatment or rehab and consider yourself clean at the moment, the journey is not over. Recovery is not a one-time thing.

The best way to practice drug relapse prevention is to know the warning signs and to know more about addiction. Relapses are very frequent for addicts in recovery. How can you prevent it? By knowing the signs.

The temptation of relapse can be stronger at some times than others. That's the danger of being in recovery; there isn't truly one moment where you can say that you're fine and you need to stop fighting.

Only abstinence and consistency as well as a strong commitment to leading a sober and successful life can help you achieve your goals. If you're in recovery, your goal is to be in the percentage of individuals in recovery that avoid relapse and do what they can to stay clean.

Relapses can be brought on by triggers. It could be a break up or any other type of interaction, relationship in your life, or event that puts you into a vulnerable place. Some of the dangers of triggers often include the fact that they can be used to justify using again by an addict.

Triggers can be environmental, emotional, or based on exposure and can also be based off of old routines and memories. Each person is different, but common triggers often include strong negative emotions, being around people or places that remind you of using, having drugs or alcohol present around you, seeing examples of addiction, being in a 'party' mentality, and using substances.

The death of a loved one, financial pressures, health problems, conflict, marital status, and more can also be triggers that lead to an eventual relapse. If you know that you or someone you know is experiencing one or more of these triggers, you can be prepared to look for warning signs with them (or yourself) and offer or encourage them to seek support.

Warning Signs:

  • Dishonesty
  • Hanging out with people with whom they used to use
  • Changes in personality, behavior, routine
  • Changes in sleep, health, hygiene, or appetite
  • Overconfidence or self-pitying attitude

Ways to Prevent Relapse:

  • Avoiding the presence of drugs and alcohol
  • Knowing what your triggers are
  • Knowing what other people's triggers are
  • Having a support system in place
  • Avoiding anything that makes you crave a drink or drugs
  • Talking to a therapist
  • Getting enough rest, exercise, and nutrition
  • Stick to your schedule
  • Attending AA meetings
  • H.A.L.T.: Keep in mind that when you are Hungry Angry Lonely or Tired that you may be especially vulnerable to making poor choices.
  • Take a moment to assess or call a sponsor or friend if you're feeling tempted.
  • Come up with a plan of action with your sponsor or therapist.

Recovery isn't easy, but it's worth it. Never stop fighting for your sobriety. Use these tips to prevent relapse and always reach out to those that support you in your journey to be a sober as well as happy and healthy individual.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Someone You Love Has a Problem with Substance Abuse: What to Do

Do you have someone close to you or know that someone that you love is struggling with using substances? When it comes to having a problem with drinking or drugs, sometimes the signs can be there long before we realize that there is a problem.

How we find out is often significant of where the process is at. It may be possible that your loved one confided in you about the nature of their issue because they are feeling overwhelmed or they got caught in a scenario where they were visibly intoxicated. Perhaps you heard about it from a relative or put the pieces together when they were fired from their job and were acting strangely when you last saw them.

While it can be a shock and even upsetting to find out that someone you care about deeply is struggling with dependency or reliance or deep-set emotional or even psychological issues, it's also important to start the process of educating yourself about substance abuse in general. Now is not the time to plan a rushed intervention; nor it is a good idea to let someone know how their choices are affecting you as it is likely to get out of hand.

What should you do if you suspect or discover that someone close to you may have a problem with substances?

Having a substance abuse problem can be really tough. For individuals that have this problem, they often have no idea or even a concern that their behavior or lifestyle is affecting those close to them. Many people who are dealing with drinking or drug problems often hide their problem or cover up for the extent of it. This is so that they don't have to deal with that lifestyle changing or anyone possibly interfering with their routine.

Drinking and doing drugs can be a disease. Those close to individuals who have abuse problems don't always know that certain substances may lead to hostility and even unpredictable behavior and violence. Understand that this type of abuse is a disease and the individual may not always be able to stop-- even if part of them wants to.

As it is a disease, family members or friends may unwittingly enable this behavior by covering it up or simply acting as though it does not exist. While it is important to eventually confront the issue and perhaps tell the person how you feel, ideally it might be safer to go to the office of a licensed therapist or counselor that can mediate the discussion. However, it is better to be honest about your feelings. Have a third person there for support and safety.

Coming from a place of concern will ultimately be more effective than ranting about how they have hurt you. Remember that they are still sensitive and while they may seem tough, they are in a fragile place. Expressing concern and hope that they seek treatment or offering to help pay for rehabilitation may be helpful. If they turn you down, then you did what you could.

Those struggling with this type of abuse often need to choose to get help first. If you have been enabling someone close to you, stop and begin focusing on taking care of yourself. Remember that you need to live life for yourself too and that there are endless resources and materials available to you to do so.