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Alcohol

alcohol delivery services

Alcohol Delivery: Do We Need to Be Worried About It?

Consumers today have to put forth very little effort to obtain the things they want or need. With just a few keystrokes we can order our groceries, clothing, books, gifts, flowers, and more. So, it’s no surprise that we can now have alcoholic beverages delivered to our door. Restaurants, grocery stores, and alcohol delivery services are taking part in making it easy for us to get our favorite beverages.

Alcohol delivery can be a good thing in some respects, but in many ways, it can cause problems for people who have trouble controlling their alcohol intake. Just because there’s an app for it,k doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of this new fad.

Who Uses Alcohol Delivery Services?

In the last few years, app entrepreneurs have turned their attention to creating innovative apps that will satisfy the increasing demand for alcohol delivery services. Some of those include Klink, Drizly, Minibar, Saucey, Swill, and Thirstie. Although this seems like a great idea as a convenient service, some concerns arise.

Who would want alcohol delivered to their home? Perhaps it’s someone hosting a party or cookout dinner in their home and they run out of beer or wine for the guests. Using one of the apps prevents having to leave the party to make a beer run and risk driving under the influence.

Or, maybe someone who has been drinking doesn’t want to drive to get more booze. An alcohol delivery service could be doing a public service by keeping this person from getting behind the wheel. On the other hand, we have to wonder if some people would drink way more than they should simply because it’s easy to obtain.

Is Alcohol Delivery Legal in Most States?

Home delivery of alcoholic beverages could be a convenient way for underage drinkers to obtain alcohol. For that reason, most states require the customer to show a valid from of identification to the delivery person. Also, drivers who are delivering alcohol must be 21 years old and pass a criminal background check. Some states allow up to one gallon of alcohol per customer per delivery.

Additionally, most states require that the delivery service’s gross sales come from food delivery. They also require that the company and its drivers obtain a state license to deliver alcohol. These efforts are in place to prevent or curtail minors taking advantage of the service. High prices are another measure that might make the service less attractive to young people or college students.

In California, legislation is moving forward that will curb access of home-delivered alcohol to minors. It requires that an alcohol delivery service submit it’s identification system to the ABC for review and approval. The system must include the following elements:

  • Methods for verifying that the recipient of alcohol is 21 years of age or over.
  • Provides person-to-person delivery.
  • Drivers must be 21 years of age or older.
  • No delivery to college or university grounds.

Of course, in today’s world, every rule and law on the books has been broken at one time or another. Making laws doesn’t necessarily ensure that everything is under control. But, it is a step in the right direction and can make a difference in keeping alcohol delivery services from getting alcohol into the hands of minors.

By-Passing Social Stigma Associated with Purchasing Alcohol

For those individuals who don’t like everyone seeing how much alcohol they purchase or consume, a delivery service is an ideal situation. But, they put themselves at risk of drinking more than they should and drinking more often. Also, the drinks a person makes at home tend to be stronger than the drinks they would have gotten in a bar or restaurant. The only benefit is that it keeps a drinking person from driving to get more alcohol and putting himself or others in danger.

If you would like more information about whether alcohol delivery services are contributing to increased alcohol problems today, give us a call. We will be happy to answer your questions or help you arrange treatment for yourself or a loved one who has alcohol abuse problems.

mindful meditation

How Mindful Meditation Can Reduce Alcohol Cravings

If you are in recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you know that being clean and sober is an ongoing process and that getting help for an addiction disorder is only half of the battle. After completing substance abuse treatment, the challenge becomes dealing with alcohol cravings without relapsing or falling back into old, unhealthy patterns of alcohol use. If you believe you may be at risk for alcohol relapse, the addiction recovery experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services can help you determine the best course of action for your situation.

What are Alcohol Cravings?

An alcohol craving is a strong urge or consuming desire to drink. When an individual begins to develop cravings for alcohol, it typically means a physiological or psychological dependence has developed, and these cravings can be extremely difficult to resist. Alcohol cravings can be prompted by physical, emotional or psychological “triggers,” or stimuli that result in drug-seeking behavior, and cravings are typically at their strongest during the first 30 days of recovery, when the addict is still getting used to being sober in the real world. It is especially challenging for a recovering addict to return to the environment that triggered the initial substance abuse, but by having a realistic plan in place for recovery, addicts can significantly improve their chances of long-term sobriety.

For recovering alcoholics, drinking is an old, unhealthy habit or behavior, and the trick to breaking free from addiction once and for all is replacing this old habit with new, healthy ones, which is where mindful meditation comes in. Mindfulness is defined as a non-judgmental form of observation that involves deliberately focusing your attention on the present situation and gently bringing your focus back to the present any time your thoughts begin to wander. Mindfulness can improve self-awareness and self-acceptance, while reducing feelings of stress and anxiety, ultimately allowing recovering addicts to acknowledge alcohol cravings and other unpleasant feelings or emotions and experience them safely. Training in mindfulness strategies can aid in the treatment of alcohol disorders, and according to research published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology in 2017, a brief 11 minutes of mindfulness practice may be enough to make even heavy drinkers cut back on alcohol use.

How to Reduce Alcohol Cravings

Perhaps the hardest thing about replacing old, unhealthy behaviors with new ones is retraining yourself to make the new behavior stick, and research has shown that practicing mindful meditation can be a useful supplementary technique in reducing alcohol cravings and avoiding relapse. In one randomized controlled trial conducted by Dr. Aleksandra Zgierska, assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and a practicing physician with a special interest in addiction medicine, researchers reported that “meditation could teach people new skills to cope with life challenges and create an emotional and intellectual ‘platform’ to tackle not just drinking by itself, but also other problems that may increase relapse risk,” like anxiety, depression, stress and other potential triggers for a return to substance use.

Knowing how to reduce alcohol cravings is key to lasting recovery, and for many people, mindful meditation is a helpful tool in avoiding an alcohol relapse. One effective mindful meditation technique called “urge surfing” teaches alcoholics healthy, mindfulness-based coping mechanisms that can take the place of their old, unhealthy coping mechanism, which was drinking. While meditating, the person visualizes a craving or urge to drink as an ocean wave that begins small but gradually builds, and, using the awareness of their breath, imagines “surfing” the urge by allowing it to rise and then fall without giving in to it and being “wiped out.” Successfully “surfing the urge” enhances healthy coping skills, Zgierska says, and, over time, weakens addictive conditioning, thereby reducing the risk of relapse.

How to Stop Drinking

It is common for recovering alcoholics experiencing strong cravings to return to drinking as a means of comfort, but there are ways to develop healthy coping mechanisms that serve the same purpose, both physically and emotionally, without the need for alcohol. As a supplement to traditional models of addiction recovery and relapse prevention, mindful meditation can help alcohol-dependent individuals become abstinent and reduce their risk of relapse, by teaching them how to be present in the moment and be conscious of what triggers their cravings to use, and then how to deal with these cravings in a healthy way, without automatically reacting to them by turning to alcohol.

7 Signs of an Impending Relapse

The circumstances of an alcohol relapse can vary depending on the individual, and it may not always be easy to see a relapse coming. The following are seven warning signs that you or a loved one may be heading toward a relapse:

  • You start romanticizing the days when you were drinking
  • You stop doing what you need to do to stay sober (going to therapy or getting treatment for a mental health disorder)
  • You start thinking that just one drink wouldn’t hurt
  • You start acting the way you did when you were drinking, even though you aren’t
  • You seek out old friends from your substance-using days
  • You become defensive when anyone brings up the changes in your attitude and behavior
  • You begin removing the elements from your life that keep you balanced and anchored

If you are recovering from an addiction to alcohol, and you do relapse, it doesn’t mean your recovery is over. Learning to embrace your relapses as mile markers on the road to lasting sobriety is the key to a successful recovery.

Contact BRS Rehab Today for Help

While it can feel like an utter failure, relapse is a normal part of the recovery process. Statistics show that roughly 47% of recovering addicts relapse during the first year after rehab, and 61% of those who relapse do so more than once. Learning how to quit drinking isn’t easy, especially for those who have developed a dependence on alcohol, but getting professional help at a substance abuse rehab facility can help tremendously. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol cravings in recovery, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at (877) 476-8320 to speak to a certified addiction recovery counselor about the benefits of mindful meditation.

Lone Wolf Entrepreneurs: Are You at Risk for Developing Addiction?

Addiction is a lonely disorder, and as people fall deeper and deeper into alcoholism or substance abuse, the more likely they are to isolate themselves from the people around them. This is especially true for the lone wolf entrepreneur, whose introverted nature may make him more susceptible to alcoholism, and which may, in turn, make him more withdrawn and isolated. These individuals are at risk of becoming functioning alcoholics.  If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at (877) 474-7029 to speak with a knowledgeable substance abuse counselor about your options. With the help of a professional rehab facility, you can get the treatment you need, develop a reliable support system, and overcome your addiction for good.

Why Do Alcoholics Isolate Themselves?

For most people, drinking alcohol is a social activity. Whether we are on a romantic date for two or surrounded by hundreds of people at a wedding or another big event, we find pleasure in drinking in the company of other people. Alcoholics, on the other hand, often like to drink alone, either to avoid being judged or because they feel like isolation and secretive use is imperative to protecting and prolonging their addiction. As their substance abuse progresses, they may become increasingly isolated and withdrawn, which is a huge red flag for addiction. Even if they continue to drink with friends and family members on certain occasions, alcoholics still tend to feel like they are separate from everyone else, or like they are somehow cut off from the rest of the world. This is when substance abuse can do the most damage – when the alcoholic feels like he has to face his addiction alone – and that is the main reason recovering alcoholics are encouraged to attend group therapy so that they can benefit from the connections made with like-minded people dealing with similar difficulties and challenges.

Signs of a Functioning Alcoholic

When an alcoholic manages to keep his drinking a secret while convincing the rest of the world that he is a happy, healthy and productive member of society, this is considered high functioning alcoholism. A functioning alcoholic is someone who does not fit the typical stereotype of an alcoholic, which we think of as someone who can’t hold down a job or support himself financially. A functioning alcoholic engages in secretive use, often to a devastating degree, while maintaining what appears to be a “normal” home, work and social life, with a happy family, loyal friends and a successful career. Despite the fact that everything may seem okay in this situation, a functioning alcoholic is still putting his health in danger, perhaps even more so, because this particular type of substance abuse is more difficult to spot. Some common signs of a functioning alcoholic include:

  • Isolating from friends and family
  • Being in denial about their drinking
  • Setting strict drinking limits for themselves
  • Asking friends or loved ones to help them cover up the consequences of their drinking
  • Consuming alcohol to cope with their problems
  • Drinking alone and in secret
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they don’t drink

Functioning alcoholics can go years without being confronted with their problem or without being discovered, even by friends and loved ones. However, as time goes on, the risk of suffering the consequences of high functioning alcoholism increases dramatically, and the façade the alcoholic has worked so hard to build up will begin to crumble. A functioning alcoholic may, for example, be arrested for drinking and driving, or may suffer a failed marriage or some other tragedy before it becomes apparent that he or she needs help.

Entrepreneurs and Alcoholism

An entrepreneur is someone who creates and operates a business or businesses, and while this type of person often seems successful and powerful to the rest of us, many entrepreneurs subscribe to the idea of “fake it till you make it.” Entrepreneurs often have to juggle many different roles in their businesses and may face countless setbacks before becoming successful, including staffing problems, lost customers, increased competition, decreased revenue and disputes with partners, all the while eating poorly, sleeping too little and neglecting their health. This takes a significant physical, and emotional toll on the body and drinking becomes a way for them to keep themselves going. After all, running a business is risky and stressful, and a common coping mechanism for people who are stressed out is to drink.

Successful, high-powered entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk achieve a sort of hero status in our culture, but what many of these entrepreneurs don’t show the world is the silent struggle they are experiencing on the inside. They want the people around them to think they are successful and have it all together, but in reality, many entrepreneurs continually find themselves on the brink of a breakdown. Recent research has drawn a strong link between entrepreneurship and certain mood disorders, like depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts, indicating that many successful business owners who are very visible and charismatic are harboring secret demons that they feel they must hide from the outside world. Rather than show their vulnerability and risk their professional reputation, they keep it bottled up and turn to alcohol to cope.

Contact BRS Rehab for Help

Statistics suggest that roughly half of all alcoholics meet the criteria for high functioning alcoholism, which means they can maintain a career, support their family and have a strong social network, all while drinking to excess in secret. Furthermore, research shows that entrepreneurs experience more anxiety and stress than other workers, which puts them at a higher risk for mood disorders and substance abuse. It may be more than just a stressful job that puts entrepreneurs at risk for developing addiction though. Researchers have found that many entrepreneurs share certain character traits, like high energy, motivation, and creativity, that predispose them to mood swings, strong emotional states and possibly even addiction. If you recognize the signs of a functioning alcoholic in a loved one, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to find out how you can help. With the help of an individualized treatment plan and an experienced addiction recovery counselor, your loved one can finally overcome his or her addiction and get a fresh start in life.

moderate drinking

When Moderate Drinking is Never an Acceptable Outcome After Addiction Rehab

What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is an addiction, characterized by cravings for alcohol and a compulsion to drink, even when the drinker knows he or she will suffer harmful side effects from it. Alcoholic’s bodies become physically accustomed to the presence of alcohol, and they may even suffer from symptoms of withdrawal if they stop drinking alcohol.

Abstinence from Alcohol

Current addiction treatment programs consider abstinence from alcohol to be the most effective means of recovering from alcoholism and maintaining sobriety long-term. This means absolutely no alcohol consumption, at present or in the future. Abstinence-based programs maintain that there is no level of drinking that is safe for alcoholics in recovery; in fact, many programs consider an alcoholic who stops drinking to be continuously “in recovery” but never “recovered,” because any amount of drinking could trigger a relapse. That being said, there is a current movement called “Moderation Management” proposing that alcoholics can learn to drink responsibly. This begs the question: Can problem drinkers learn moderation?

Can An Alcoholic Drink in Moderation?

The Moderation Management program is designed to help alcoholics change their behavior so that their drinking is no longer a problem. Like many addiction treatment programs, this one begins with abstaining from alcohol, but instead of attempting to maintain that abstinence forever, members can transition to moderate alcohol use after 30 days. Moderation Management guidelines include:

  • Attending meetings in-person or online
  • Monitoring alcohol consumption
  • Conducting a regular self-inventory
  • Abstaining from alcohol 3-4 days each week
  • Limiting drinking; for women, this means no more than 3 drinks per day or 9 per week; for men, no more than 4 drinks per day or 14 per week

While this treatment model may be appealing to current alcoholics who do not want to stop drinking, evidence shows that as many as 15% of Moderation Management members have clinical symptoms of alcoholism, suggesting that the program is not completely effective.

Why Is It Difficult for Problem Drinkers to Learn Moderation?

It is challenging for problem drinkers to drink in moderation for the same reasons that they became problem drinkers in the first place. The causes of alcoholism vary from person to person but may include a genetic predisposition or other mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. These root causes will not go away, and continued drinking may even mask them, preventing the alcoholic from receiving proper treatment.

A person with a strong family history of alcoholism may have a genetic tendency toward addiction that will always be triggered by alcohol consumption, even at low levels. A person who suffers from undiagnosed depression or anxiety may drink to self-medicate and continuing to drink will further the condition and prevent the individual from seeking treatment for either problem. Even people without any of these conditions may drink as a social crutch or as a stress management technique, and unless they truly stop drinking, they will never learn how to handle stressful situations in a healthy manner.

In addition, alcoholics frequently lack the ability to regulate their drinking–that is part of the reason they developed a drinking problem. Moderation is a poor management technique because alcoholics cannot stop at the “just right” level of drinking–any exposure to alcohol triggers cravings for more. The idea of drinking in moderation is more likely a way for the alcoholic to placate the people pressuring him or her to change or to deny to himself the extent of the problem behavior.

For these reasons, the answer is no: alcoholics cannot drink in moderation. Complete abstinence from alcohol is the best treatment approach for alcoholism. If you would like more information on alcohol abstinence, call our toll-free number.

Alcoholics in Recovery

How Alcoholics in Recovery Can Benefit from Quitting Cigarettes

For many people, alcohol and cigarettes go hand in hand, but research on the link between drinking and smoking is relatively limited, which makes it difficult to know how smoking during or after treatment for alcoholism may affect the recovery process. However, in one recent study of the relationship between cigarette smoking and the risk of substance use relapse, researchers found that quitting smoking can have a significant positive impact on alcohol recovery. Alcoholics in recovery who stop smoking seem to relapse less often than those who don’t.

Smoking and Alcohol Recovery

It makes sense that cigarettes would inhibit recovery from alcoholism, as nicotine is an addictive substance and smoking is considered a type of addiction. Published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, the latest study on smoking and drinking followed more than 30,000 adults with a past alcohol use disorder (AUD) enrolled in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. The study participants were assessed at two points in time, three years apart, for substance use, substance use disorders, and related physical and mental disorders. According to their findings, daily smokers and nondaily smokers had approximately double the rate of relapse back to alcohol dependence when compared with nonsmokers.

Long-Term Recovery from Alcohol Abuse

It’s no secret that drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes isn’t good for your health, but this new study suggests that smoking cigarettes while recovering from alcoholism may also have a negative impact on an addict’s chances of long-term recovery from substance abuse. “Quitting smoking will improve anyone’s health,” says study author Renee Goodwin, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “But our study shows that giving up cigarettes is even more important for adults in recovery from alcohol since it will help them stay sober.” The researchers also noted that “Concurrent treatment of cigarette smoking when treating AUDs may help improve long-term alcohol outcomes and reduce the negative consequences of both substances.”

Drinking, Smoking, and Depression

Alcohol and cigarettes are the two most widely used addictive substances in the United States, and not only are people who smoke more likely to drink, and vice versa, people who smoke and drink also have an unusual tendency to suffer from major depression. In a 2014 study examining the interactions between cigarette use, alcohol use, and depression, researchers found that a person who drinks alcohol and smokes cigarettes faces a higher risk of adverse health outcomes than a person who only drinks alcohol or just smokes cigarettes. By quitting smoking, alcoholics in recovery can reduce their risk of major depression, lower their risk of death, and improve their overall physical and mental health, among other significant improvements. Although smoking cessation is often seen as a low priority in a society where drug addiction has become a national epidemic, research shows that offering anti-smoking therapies during recovery for alcoholics could save lives.

Contact BRS Rehab for More Information About Alcoholics in Recovery

These study findings are significant because they support the hypothesis that smoking cigarettes contributes to alcohol addiction, which is something that many people don’t realize. All too often, people continue smoking throughout treatment and after they have completed their rehab program, relying on cigarettes to fill the void that alcohol once filled, not knowing that continuing smoking could be inhibiting their recovery. For more information about the impact of smoking on recovery from alcoholism, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today and speak to an experienced substance abuse recovery counselor about your options.

signs of alcoholism

Signs of Alcoholism: Has Your Drinking Crossed the Line?

Alcohol abuse and alcoholism are serious problems that can cause significant disruptions in the lives of users and their loved ones, resulting in devastating physical, emotional, financial, and social consequences that can take years to repair, if they can be repaired at all. Unfortunately, because drinking alcohol is socially acceptable, and because the effects of drinking vary widely from person to person, it’s not always easy to recognize the signs of alcoholism, even for yourself or someone you spend lots of time with. If your drinking is causing problems in your life, or in the lives of your loved ones, contact the substance abuse recovery counselors at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to discuss your possible treatment options.

Warning Signs of Alcoholism

Substance abuse experts note a significant difference between alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Unlike alcoholics, alcohol abusers are still able to set some limits on their drinking. However, among alcoholics and alcohol abusers alike, their use of alcohol presents a danger to themselves and others. Still, it’s not always easy to recognize the warning signs of alcoholism in others or acknowledge when your drinking crosses that line between moderate and social use to problem drinking. There are clear signs of alcoholism that you can watch out for though, in yourself and others. You may be abusing alcohol if you:

  • Consume alcohol to cope with stress or to avoid feeling bad
  • Feel guilty or ashamed about your drinking
  • Need to drink to relax
  • Repeatedly neglect your responsibilities at home, school or work because of your drinking
  • Experience repeated legal problems because of your drinking
  • Regularly drink more than you intend to
  • “Blackout” or forget what you did while drinking
  • Lie to others to hide your drinking habits
  • Have friends or loved ones who are worried about your drinking

Adverse Effects of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

Alcoholism is the most severe form of problem drinking, and it is characterized by a physical dependence on alcohol, which means the person relies on alcohol to function or feels physically compelled to drink. Alcoholics may experience a variety of problems related to their drinking, including serious health consequences, financial instability, strained relationships and emotional trauma. Drinking too much, on a single occasion or over time, can take a significant toll on your health in particular, especially if you lose control over the amount of alcohol you consume. People who abuse alcohol make drinking their top priority, displacing healthy activities and relationships, and ultimately putting their health and well-being at risk. Among the adverse physical effects of alcoholism are:

  • Irregular heart beat
  • Liver disease
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Pancreatitis
  • Changes in mood and behavior

Call BRS Rehab for Help

Progressive increases in the frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption may be a warning sign of alcohol abuse, a problem that can lead to more severe physical, emotional, financial, and social signs of alcoholism if the drinking continues. Not all alcohol abusers become alcoholics, but abusing alcohol is a major risk factor for addiction, which can develop suddenly in response to a significant stressor, like a breakup, retirement or a tragic loss. If you recognize the warning signs of alcoholism in yourself or someone else, and you are unable to stop the problem drinking, call Behavioral Rehabilitation Services at our toll-free number to speak to a certified addiction recovery counselor.

alcohol cravings

Alcohol Cravings: Best Ways to Manage Them After Rehab

Alcohol cravings are a normal part of the addiction recovery process, especially in the early stages of recovery, when the addict is still learning how to cope with relapse triggers, or certain emotions, people, places or situations that stimulate the addict’s desire to drink. Even for those addicts who relapse time and time again, effectively managing alcohol cravings and achieving lasting recovery can be as easy as learning new coping skills that allow them to break the destructive cycle of addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with powerful alcohol cravings, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at (888) 634-4546 to find out the best ways to manage them.

Understanding Alcohol Cravings

For many people struggling with an addiction to alcohol, quitting isn’t as easy as simply putting down the drink and vowing to never pick it up again. According to a report published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research in 1992, many of the craving symptoms that occur in alcohol-dependent individuals are similar to the behaviors and thought patterns of individuals struggling with obsessive-compulsive disorder, including recurrent and persistent thoughts about alcohol, the individual’s inability to resist these thoughts, and a compulsive drive to consume alcohol. It’s acknowledging this compulsive need to drink and learning how to manage it that can help the addict on the road to lasting sobriety.

How to Reduce Alcohol Cravings

After seeking treatment for alcoholism, it is common for a recovering addict to experience alcohol cravings, or strong urges to drink that may be triggered by either internal states or external situations, objects or people, and that may lead to an alcohol relapse. Some of the most likely triggers include negative emotions that stimulate drug-seeking behavior, friends, locations or events that remind the addict of using, and exposure to drugs or alcohol being used by others. During the first days, weeks and even months of recovery, these cravings can be powerful enough to cause a relapse, or a return to alcohol use after a period of abstinence, which is why it’s important to learn how to reduce alcohol cravings after rehab. The following are some simple ways you can stop alcohol cravings:

  • Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of sleep, which addresses two of the most common and avoidable relapse triggers: hunger and tiredness
  • Using mindful meditation to recognize the fact that cravings are not a permanent fixture, and that sometimes simply acknowledging them can make them go away
  • Sharing your experiences with alcohol cravings at group counseling sessions and getting feedback from others in similar situations
  • Remembering what it felt like to be an addict, in order to avoid romanticizing your past drinking
  • Talking to a sobriety sponsor about the cravings you are experiencing, especially if you feel like they are on the verge of a relapse
  • Talking to a professional substance abuse therapist about your alcohol cravings and how to avoid a relapse

Contact BRS Rehab Today for Help

Even with an effective alcohol recovery program under your belt, life after alcohol rehab can be challenging, and managing alcohol cravings are one of the most difficult parts of the recovery process. It’s important to remember though, that alcohol cravings are a normal, albeit difficult part of the recovery process, and while it may be impossible to prevent them from happening at all, it is possible to develop strategies for coping with them. If you are recovering from an addiction to alcohol and you are experiencing intense alcohol cravings, it may be a good idea to seek professional help to avoid an alcohol relapse. Call Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at our toll-free number to discuss your cravings with a trained substance abuse counselor.

Addiction to Alcohol

How to Overcome an Addiction to Alcohol

A large percentage of people who try to beat an addiction to alcohol will fail, and many will relapse, or return to alcohol use, within just a few days of quitting. In fact, research shows that roughly 90% of alcoholics will experience at least one relapse during the four-year period following treatment, and some will relapse multiple times before achieving long-term sobriety. With these statistics, it’s no wonder overcoming an addiction to alcohol seems like an impossible feat. Fortunately, there are excellent addiction recovery programs out there, like Behavioral Rehabilitation Services that are geared towards helping individuals struggling with alcoholism overcome their addiction and regain control of their lives.

Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

Addiction is a downward spiral, and people who abuse alcohol for an extended period may do irreparable damage not only to their body and mind, but also to their personal and professional relationships, and other aspects of their lives. One of the most challenging things about an addiction to alcohol is that many alcoholics don’t even realize they have a problem until it’s too late. Often, they are convinced that the alcohol they consume is making life more bearable when it is the primary source of their suffering. Fortunately, there several types of treatment that have proven effective in helping alcoholics beat their addiction, it’s just a matter of finding the treatment program that works for you.

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the addiction problem, alcoholism is a hard thing to overcome, and it’s even harder to maintain after treatment is finished and the addict is back in the real world, surrounded by other people who drink. To overcome an addiction to alcohol, the addict must make getting sober his number one priority and be willing to do whatever it takes to stay sober, and beginning alcohol addiction treatment at a professional rehab facility is a good start. If you are struggling with overcoming an addiction to alcohol, it helps to:

  • Recognize that you have a problem
  • Remove all temptation to drink
  • Distance yourself from unhealthy influences
  • Focus on building sober, healthy relationships
  • Accept help from others
  • Undergo treatment at a rehab facility

How to Avoid a Relapse

For a recovering alcoholic, a “relapse” is a return to drinking following a period of prolonged abstinence, typically associated with an intense craving or desire to drink. Relapse is a common occurrence in addiction recovery, but it rarely occurs without warning. In fact, some recognizable behaviors may signal a relapse in a recovering alcoholic, including the following:

  • Making excuses to stop going to counseling or therapy
  • Romanticizing the days when he was using
  • Behaving like he did when drinking, even when he’s not drinking
  • Talking himself into having “just one” drink
  • Seeking out old friends from his drinking days
  • Removing positive influences from his life
  • Becoming defensive when someone brings up changes in his mood or behavior

There are some reasons why an alcoholic may fail to follow through on a promise to put a stop to their substance abuse, and if the addict understands these reasons, and makes an effort to overcome them, it may help him avoid repeated relapse. One of the easiest ways to prevent a relapse is to avoid “triggers,” or people, places or things that remind the addict of drinking or those that offer drinking opportunities. These high-risk situations are the Achilles heel of recovery from substance abuse and pose the most significant challenge to a recovering addict’s desire to stay sober.

The Experts at BRS Rehab Can Help

Too often, it’s not until an alcoholic reaches what is commonly referred to as “rock bottom” that he finally sees how alcohol is ruining his life and agrees to get help. If someone you love is showing signs of an addiction to alcohol, don’t hesitate to step in and help. Our substance abuse counselors at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services are trained to offer professional help to individuals struggling with an addiction to alcohol and other substances. Contact BRS Rehab today at our toll-free number for more information about alcohol addiction treatment.

Americans Drinking Alcohol at Dangerously High Levels: Are You One of Them?

The opioid epidemic has garnered a great deal of public attention in recent years, with the number of overdose deaths rising rapidly throughout the 2000s. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2014 more people died from alcohol-induced causes than from overdoses of prescription painkillers and heroin combined. Americans are drinking alcohol at higher levels than ever before.

Philip J. Cook, a Duke University professor who studies alcohol consumption patterns and their effects, notes that per-capita alcohol consumption has been increasing since the late 1990s. According to a research report posted by Science Daily, nearly 32 million American adults surveyed reported consuming more than double the number of drinks defined as “binge drinking” at least once in the past year. A report of the findings is online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Using alcohol does not necessarily equate to alcohol abuse, but it is easy to transition from a moderate drinker to a heavy one, and from there it’s a slippery slope downward.

Binge Drinking Defined

According to the CDC, excessive drinking includes binge drinking, heavy drinking, and any drinking by pregnant women or people younger than age 21. Binge drinking, the most common form of excessive drinking, is defined as four or more drinks during a single occasion for women, five or more for men. Heavy drinking is defined as consuming 8 or more drinks per week for women, 15 or more for men. Most people who are excessively drinking alcohol are not alcoholics or alcohol dependent. However, there are significant risks to sustained alcohol use.

Drinking Alcohol at Higher Levels

The National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) is a series of the major epidemiologic surveys that examine alcohol use and its co-occurrence with drug use and related psychiatric conditions. The researchers reported an increasing number of survey respondents were binge drinking more frequently and at higher levels. Side effects of alcohol abuse are deadly on their own, but extreme binge drinking is especially common among study participants who used other drugs.

“Drinking at such high levels can suppress areas of the brain that control basic life-support functions such as breathing and heart rate, thereby increasing one’s risk of death,” said senior author, Aaron White, Ph.D., Senior Scientific Advisor to the NIAAA Director. “The risk increases further if other sedative drugs, particularly opioids or benzodiazepines, are added to the mix.”

Long-Term Health Risks of Drinking Alcohol

Long-term alcohol abuse can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including:

  • High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems
  • Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon
  • Learning and Memory problems, including dementia and poor school performance
  • Mental health concerns, including depression and anxiety
  • Social problems, including lost productivity, family problems, and unemployment
  • Alcohol dependence, or alcoholism

Ending Abuse

For many, it’s a challenge to recognize excessive drinking. There is a problem if it causes one’s relationships, school or work, or social activities to suffer. Specific warning signs include:

  • lying about or hiding your drinking
  • drinking to relax or feel better
  • “blacking out” regularly
  • being unable to stop once you start
  • drinking in dangerous situations
  • neglecting your responsibilities
  • having trouble in your relationships
  • being able to drink more than you used to
  • experiencing withdrawal
  • trying to quit but being unable to

According to Per Wickstrom, the successful founder of Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, “The ongoing battle against drug and alcohol abuse is a fight that will not be won in treatment centers alone. If we wish to make a difference indeed, we must attack addiction where it begins.”

Increasing awareness is the first step to that goal.

executive burnout

Executive Burnout: What is It and How do Execs Handle It?

You’ve probably heard someone at some point say they were feeling “burned out,” meaning they’d worn themselves too thin. Furthermore, you may have even said it yourself. Burnout is a real concern for executives who are at risk for mental exhaustion from the stress they experience. Unfortunately, many managers who experience burnout begin to self-medicate. They rely on drugs or alcohol to calm their anxiety, improve their alertness, or enhance their performance at work. Self-medicating can put them at risk for dependence and addiction. If you or someone you know is experiencing executive burnout and self-medicating just to get through the day, call and speak to the substance abuse experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services.

Common Signs of Workplace Stress

The demanding and challenging environment that most business executives work in makes them more prone to work-related stress. While stress affects people in different ways, some tell-tale red flags may signal executive burnout. There are healthy ways administrators can deal with workplace stress. Some of these ways include exercising regularly, getting a good night’s sleep or taking up an enjoyable hobby. However, all too often, stressed execs turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the pressure they are under to perform well at work. The following are some of the most common signs of executive burnout due to workplace stress:

  • Irritability and impatience at work
  • Depression or anxiety in the business environment
  • Lack of energy at work
  • Insomnia
  • Low self-esteem
  • Overeating or undereating
  • Frequent illness
  • Reliance on drugs or alcohol to make it through the day

Self-Medicating to Deal with Executive Burnout

Whether it’s cocaine to increase energy and mental alertness at work, alcohol to relax and unwind after a long day, or benzodiazepines to relieve anxiety, relying on substances to deal with work-related stress is a slippery slope. While cocaine, for example, may have short-term benefits regarding a temporary burst of energy and alertness, it is a highly addictive drug, and chronic use can lead to long-term health consequences, like decreased concentration, impaired memory, and diminished judgment and decision-making abilities. Business executives who deal with workplace stress by drinking alcohol may become reliant on increasing amounts of alcohol to deal with business problems and social situations, putting them at risk for alcoholism.

The Experts at BRS Rehab Can Help

The most dangerous thing about executive burnout and self-medicating with drugs or alcohol is that it can happen gradually, beginning with occasional indulgence and progressing to dependence, until drinking or doing drugs becomes the executive’s primary means of dealing with workplace stress. And it’s not just the executive who suffers the effects of executive burnout and the resulting alcohol or drug abuse. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “Employees who drink heavily or who abuse or are dependent on alcohol can undermine a workforce’s overall health and productivity,” resulting in problems like “impaired performance of job-related tasks, accidents or injuries, poor attendance, high employee turnover, and increased healthcare costs.” If an executive at your workplace appears to be suffering from burnout or addiction, call Behavioral Rehabilitation Services to find out how you can help.

high-functioning alcoholics

5 Facts About High-Functioning Alcoholics

Most of us when we hear the word “alcoholic” think of a drunk person slurring words. He embarrasses himself in public, can’t hold down a job, and his life is falling apart as a result. Not all alcoholics fit into this particular mold though. In fact, there is such a thing as high-functioning alcoholics. High-functioning alcoholics are people who abuse alcohol on a regular basis. However, they manage to live relatively healthy lives, are successful at work, and have families who love them. If you recognize the signs of a high-functioning alcoholic in yourself or a loved one, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services.

Do You Know a High-Functioning Alcoholic?

If you have a friend or family member who seems to plan their day around drinking, they may be a functioning alcoholic. In accordance, if they have multiple drinks to your one drink, they may be a high-functioning alcoholic. Unfortunately, high-functioning alcoholics (HFA’s) are experts at concealing their drinking from others. They are often well-liked individuals with good jobs and a tight-knit social circle. It is very easy for others to overlook the problem.

How to Recognize the Signs of High-Functioning Alcoholics

The following are five facts about high-functioning alcoholics you should be aware of:

  1. High-functioning alcoholics can be well-educated individuals with loving friends and family members. The number one myth about high-functioning alcoholics is that they can’t hold down a job or be successful. People think that they can’t maintain close personal relationships because of their problem drinking. On the contrary, HFA’s are often socially active individuals with good jobs and families who love them. In fact, one study conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) in 2007, found that 19.5% of alcoholics in the United States fall into the subtype of “functional” alcoholics. Functioning alcoholics are, as a rule, well-educated, middle-aged individuals with stable jobs and families.
  1. HFA’s do show signs of alcoholism. It’s true that high-functioning alcoholics may seem like they have it all together. However, if you look a little closer, you’ll begin to notice some of the warning signs of alcoholism. Some of these red flags might include drinking alone or needing to drink to feel confident or relaxed. It might also include hiding the evidence of their drinking from others. 
  1. High-functioning alcoholics are not in control. High-functioning alcoholics are often well-educated, intelligent, successful people. They are masters at hiding their problem drinking from others. A high-functioning alcoholic might be able to convince himself and others that he has his drinking under control. For alcoholics, the issue is that the alcohol controls them, not the other way around. 
  1. High-functioning alcoholics have a problem. Just because a high-functioning alcoholic may somehow manage to maintain obligations at home, work or school, that doesn’t mean that drinking is not an issue. He experiences cravings, just like a “typical” alcoholic. He goes through withdrawal and faces the tolerance that comes with a dependence on alcohol. 
  1. HFA’s can benefit from substance abuse treatment. The very definition of a high-functioning alcoholic is an alcoholic. For the most part, he manages to function effectively in his personal, professional, and social life. As such, an HFA can easily convince himself that he doesn’t fit the traditional stereotype of an alcoholic, and therefore, doesn’t need help. The truth is that an HFA, like any alcoholic, can benefit from an intensive substance abuse treatment program like Behavioral Rehabilitation Services.

Contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services Today

High-functioning alcoholics face the same potential consequences of their problem drinking as “traditional” alcoholics. In fact, they are typically the last ones to seek treatment.  High-functioning alcoholics convince themselves that they are in control while they hide their drinking from the people around them. Being aware of the signs of a high-functioning alcoholic, and recognizing the fact that HFA’s face the same problems “typical” alcoholics do, you can help your loved one get the help he or she needs. Call the substance abuse experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to discuss the available treatment options for high-functioning alcoholics.

functioning alcoholic

Trying to Maintain Your Life as a Functioning Alcoholic

Alcoholism is a serious issue that affects many families around the world. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, an estimated 37,000 adolescents received treatment for an alcohol problem in 2015. Many people know when someone is an alcoholic, but what about when it isn’t so obvious? According to WebMD, around 20 percent of alcoholics are considered to be functioning alcoholics. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a functioning alcoholic can be very important.

What is a Functioning Alcoholic?

A functioning alcoholic is one that does not fit the typical “alcoholic” stereotype. We think of an alcoholic as someone who engages in domestic violence, can’t keep a job, and is not close to their family. This type of alcoholic may have a ton of friends, personal success, and a seemingly normal life. However, they are secretly suffering from alcoholism and living day-to-day with it. They can still function to the point where most people wouldn’t believe that alcohol could ever be an issue for them.  A functioning alcoholic is putting their health in danger, though, because their signs of alcoholism may not be as visible to friends and family.

What are the Signs of a Functioning Alcoholic?

Since functioning alcoholics don’t seem like they have a problem, it may be even harder to diagnose. Here are some signs to watch for: 

  • They may ask for help from friends and family for certain tasks. If someone asks to borrow money and it seems unusual for them, they may have spent too much on alcohol. Doing this brings other people into the problem who often become the enablers.
  • They believe that they set their own drinking limits. If you hear someone say that they only drink with their friends, or only drink on the weekends, they may be in denial of having an alcohol problem. They may be trying to convince everybody else otherwise.
  • They may isolate themselves from friends and family. When a potential functioning alcoholic spends a lot of time by himself, he may be using that time to drink. Furthermore, going to bars alone may mean they don’t want others to know how much they drink.

Should You Hold an Intervention?

The definition of intervention is, “The process by which an addict’s family, friends, counselors, or professional intervention specialists can show the user his destructive behaviors in a way that may result in the addict choosing to seek help immediately.”

When planning an intervention, make sure that you present the functioning alcoholic with your ideal outcome. Let them know what they need to do to get there. Prepare yourself for anger, denial, and refusal. Show them the consequences of what will happen if they do not decide to get help.

 

alcoholism impacts families

The Impact Alcoholism Has on Families

The very nature of addiction means an alcoholic is unable to control their impulses. They may begin prioritizing alcohol over the home, work, and social responsibilities or activities.  It’s easy to see how alcohol abuse can become all-consuming. It can eventually start disrupting an individual’s entire network of friends, family members, and co-workers. Alcoholism impacts families and can destroy a marriage. Alcoholism can drive a wedge between parents and their children, causing irreparable damage to the family unit. Fortunately, there are substance abuse recovery services available that benefit the addict as well as their loved ones. If you, or someone you love, are struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction, contact the staff at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services.

Alcoholism Impacts Families in Many Ways

Some people see addiction as a weakness of character or morality. They see it as an excuse to blow off work when a person doesn’t want to go. However, research has shown that alcohol dependence is a legitimate health concern. A dependency of any type impacts not just the addict, but the people around them as well – friends, co-workers, and most importantly, family. In some cases, a functioning alcoholic may be able to maintain the pretense of a happy home life. However, there is no escaping the negative consequences associated with ongoing drinking or alcoholism, without professional help.

Common Signs of a Functioning Alcoholic

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, the following are some of how functioning alcoholic symptoms can have negative effects on an alcoholic’s family and friends.  Alcoholism impacts families in many ways, including:

  • The inability to stop drinking at will – The hallmark of an addiction problem is the inability to control the impulse to drink or do drugs. Any time an individual is unable to control his actions, especially in the case of substance abuse, his loved ones are bound to suffer the consequences.
  • Neglect of essential duties – A common symptom of alcoholism is impaired judgment, physical capabilities, and cognitive function. An alcoholic will, at some point, begin to neglect essential duties and responsibilities at home and work.
  • Encountering legal problems – When a person drinks, they are more likely to get into physical altercations, display disorderly conduct in public, and engage in risky behavior, like driving while intoxicated, which increases the risk of encountering severe legal problems.
  • Needing time to nurse hangovers – Alcoholism has any number of short-term consequences, the most common of which is a hangover. When an alcoholic needs time to nurse a hangover, it can significantly disrupt their ability to honor important commitments. It can also result in unhealthy behaviors, such as poor diet and a lack of exercise.
  • Subjecting children to trauma – As a general rule, individuals who grew up in homes where a relative abused alcohol have a higher likelihood of experiencing emotional problems than those who grew up in sober homes. Also, they are four times more likely to abuse alcohol themselves.

Contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services for Help

People who have no control over their drinking can harm their family in any number of ways. They may do this by causing fights, blowing through the family savings, or impairing their physical health. Furthermore, they damage the emotional health of their loved ones. Fortunately, there are valuable resources available in the recovery community.  There are treatment programs where addicts can learn the tools they need to live a healthy life free from alcohol.  At the same time, their families can find out how best to support their loved one while receiving counseling themselves. If you are facing a substance abuse problem that is having an adverse impact on your family, don’t hesitate to get the help you need. Contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to discuss their alcohol rehab services with a professional addiction recovery counselor.

alcohol awareness month

Alcohol Awareness Month: How to Support a Loved One in Recovery

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. The experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services are encouraging you to take the opportunity to learn about alcohol abuse. Together, we can decrease the stigma people associate with alcoholism. The unfortunate truth is that many people are suffering from alcohol abuse or dependence. However, the shame and embarrassment prevent them from getting help. Sometimes they simply don’t know it’s available. There is also such a thing as functioning alcoholism. The alcoholic may successfully hide his problem from the people around him. If you or someone you know is engaging in problematic drinking, contact the addiction recovery experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services.

What is Alcohol Awareness Month?

Alcohol Awareness Month brings a nationwide effort to increase awareness and understanding about the prevalence of alcohol abuse and dependence. It also makes us aware of treatment and recovery options that are available to alcoholics. Each April, communities across the country are encouraged to reach out to the public to help reduce the stigma we associate with alcoholism. We also strive to break down the barriers to substance abuse treatment. Doing this will increase the likelihood that individuals struggling with alcohol dependence will seek lasting recovery. Many family members have loved ones who are currently seeking treatment for alcoholism. Alcohol Awareness Month is an excellent opportunity to learn how to provide a strong support system throughout the recovery process.

Providing a Supportive Environment During Recovery

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States. In fact, approximately 17.6 million people suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence. Several million more engage in binge drinking or another type of risky drinking that can lead to alcohol problems. Alcohol abuse or dependence can have an impact on all aspects of an individual’s life. It can adversely affect his career, his physical and emotional well-being, and his personal and social relationships. It’s easy to feel helpless when someone you care about has an uncontrollable urge to drink alcohol, so much so that it’s taking over his life. If you are wondering how to provide the best kind of support to a loved one in recovery, or if you believe you are living with a high functioning alcoholic, the following are five concrete ways to help:

  1. Learn as much as you can about alcohol dependence and recovery, including the physical, emotional, and behavioral components of the healing process.
  2. Encourage your loved one to stick with the full treatment program, even if he begins to feel better halfway through, to prevent relapse.
  3. Foster a safe and supportive sober environment in which your loved one can recover.
  4. Acknowledge and accept the fact that your loved one may make certain life changes after treatment, ones with which you may or may not agree.
  5. Make sure to take care of yourself too, throughout the recovery process. Don’t put all of your needs and feelings aside to focus on your loved one. Support groups and family therapy are valuable resources you may find help a great deal.

Contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services for Help

An individual’s uncontrollable need for alcohol is what characterizes alcoholism. Because of this need, alcoholics can’t overcome their addiction problem without professional help. But with the right kind of support and treatment, many alcoholics can stop drinking and finally reclaim control of their lives. Once an alcoholic completes treatment, the support of his loved ones can help reduce the risk of relapse. If you know someone who is struggling with heavy drinking or binge drinking, call Behavioral Rehabilitation Services to speak to a professional addiction recovery counselor.

celebrating recovery milestones

Celebrating Recovery Milestones: Does it Promote Sobriety in Alcoholics?

If you know someone in recovery, or if you’ve seen any movie featuring a recovering alcoholic or drug addict, you’re probably familiar with the idea of a “recovery milestone.” A recovery milestone is like a “sobriety anniversary” that renews a recovering addict’s motivation to stay sober. In Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), for example, different colored chips are used to commemorate significant milestones, such as one day, one month, or one year of sobriety. For some people, celebrating recovery milestones in the ongoing process of recovery is a positive way for them to hold themselves accountable and reflect on how far they’ve come on the path to sobriety. For others, it’s a validation of how hard they’ve worked to live a sober life.

Ways of Celebrating Recovery Milestones

Whether you’ve been sober for one week, six months, or ten years, celebrating recovery milestones that are relevant and meaningful to you is an important part of the healing process. Marking each milestone helps you gauge your progress in recovery, and celebrate the small victories along the way. Some people choose to acknowledge these milestones privately, either by only reflecting on the recovery process or setting new personal goals to keep themselves motivated. Others invite friends and loved ones to join in on the celebration, by having a picnic or attending a support group meeting. Celebrating recovery milestones acknowledges your personal accomplishments, and it’s also an act of hope, reaffirming the faith you have in yourself to reach the next milestone, and the next, and the next. Following are five sober ways of celebrating recovery milestones:

  1. Celebrate National Recovery Month in September.
  2. Participate in a local or national recovery event.
  3. Treat yourself to a new outfit, a weekend away, a new gadget, or something else that will motivate you to continue on the road to recovery.
  4. Start a recovery milestone tradition. It can be as small as writing a new entry in your journal, or as large as organizing an annual walk or run with your friends, family, or support group.
  5. Give back to your community and those who have helped you stay sober by volunteering, becoming a sponsor, or simply sharing your story with others in recovery.

Benefits of Celebrating Recovery Milestones

Some people recovering from alcoholism are reluctant to self-congratulate, even when they’ve reached a significant milestone because they worry they will fail to live up to their own expectations, and the expectations of others. However, celebrating a recovery milestone serves some valuable purposes. Even for addicts who have been sober for years, celebrating these sobriety anniversaries serves as a reminder of who they used to be, how far they’ve come on the road to sobriety, and how easy it is to stumble and fall back into old habits. Especially under circumstances where life becomes stressful or lonely or sad, circling back to your recovery and acknowledging all that you’ve accomplished can be a reminder that you’ve faced bigger challenges in the past and prevailed.

Contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services for Help

Recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction is a big achievement, one that consists of much smaller, but still significant, accomplishments that deserve recognition. Whatever way you choose to celebrate your recovery milestones, keep in mind that recovery is an ongoing process, and with any significant challenge, like overcoming an addiction to drugs or alcohol, there will be bumps in the road along the way. Relapse, or a return to drug or alcohol use, is an unfortunate, but common, part of the recovery process, and while it can be frustrating and disappointing to fall back into old habits when you’ve been sober for a period, relapse isn’t the end of the road. Plenty of people healing after alcohol abuse who relapse still go on to meet their recovery goals. If you or someone you know is in need of alcohol addiction rehabilitation, call Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at (877) 926-5530 to speak to a certified recovery counselor.

americans drinking alcohol

Are You One of The Americans Drinking Alcohol at Dangerously High Levels?

The opioid epidemic has garnered a great deal of public attention in recent years, with the number of overdose deaths rising rapidly throughout the 2000s. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2014 more people died from alcohol-induced causes than from overdoses of prescription painkillers and heroin combined.  The number of Americans drinking alcohol is escalating rapidly.

Philip J. Cook, a Duke University professor who studies alcohol consumption patterns and their effects, notes that per-capita alcohol consumption has been increasing since the late 1990s.

According to a research report posted by Science Daily, nearly 32 million American adults surveyed reported consuming more than double the number of drinks defined as “binge drinking” at least once in the past year. A report of the findings is online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Using alcohol does not necessarily equate to alcohol abuse, but it is easy to transition from a moderate drinker to a heavy one, and from there it’s a slippery slope downward.

Binge Drinking Defined

According to the CDC, excessive drinking includes binge drinking, heavy drinking, and any drinking by pregnant women or people younger than age 21.

Binge drinking, the most common form of excessive drinking, is defined as four or more drinks during a single occasion for women, five or more for men.

Heavy drinking is defined as consuming 8 or more drinks per week for women, 15 or more for men.

Most people who drink excessively are not alcoholics or alcohol dependent. However, there are significant risks to sustained alcohol use.

The National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) is a series of extensive epidemiologic surveys that examine alcohol use and its co-occurrence with drug use and related psychiatric conditions. The researchers reported an increasing number of survey respondents were binge drinking more frequently and at higher levels.

Side effects of alcohol abuse are deadly on their own, but extreme binge drinking was particularly prevalent among study participants who used other drugs.

“Drinking at such high levels can suppress areas of the brain that control basic life-support functions such as breathing and heart rate, thereby increasing one’s risk of death,” said senior author, Aaron White, Ph.D., Senior Scientific Advisor to the NIAAA Director. “The risk increases further if other sedative drugs, particularly opioids or benzodiazepines, are added to the mix.”

Long-Term Health Risks for American Drinking Alcohol

Long-term alcohol abuse can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including:

  • High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive issues.
  • Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon.
  • Learning and memory problems, including dementia and poor school performance.
  • Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.
  • Social problems, including lost productivity, family problems, and unemployment.
  • Alcohol dependence, or alcoholism.

Ending Abuse

For many, it’s a challenge to recognize excessive drinking. There is a problem if it causes trouble in one’s relationships, in school or at work, in social activities, or in how one thinks and feels. Specific warning signs include:

  • lying about or hiding your drinking
  • drinking to relax or feel better
  • “blacking out” regularly
  • being unable to stop once you start
  • drinking in dangerous situations
  • neglecting your responsibilities
  • having trouble in your relationships
  • being able to drink more than you used to
  • experiencing withdrawal
  • trying to quit but being unable to

According to Per Wickstrom, the successful founder of Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, “The ongoing battle against drug and alcohol abuse is a battle that will not be won in treatment centers alone. If we truly wish to make a difference, we must attack addiction where it begins.”

Increasing awareness is the first step to that goal.

children of an alcoholic parent

How Children of an Alcoholic Parent Have Lasting Emotional Effects

Throughout their childhood and adolescence, children look to their parents for cues on how to think, feel and act. For children of an alcoholic parent, the potential effects on their emotional well-being can be devastating. Parents who abuse drugs or alcohol put their children at a greater risk for future substance abuse. In addition, they also increase their risk of developing psychological problems and suffering from severe and potentially life-threatening medical conditions. If you or someone you know are struggling with a substance abuse problem, contact the addiction recovery experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services.

Impact on Children of an Alcoholic Parent

According to the Children of Alcoholics Foundation, alcohol dependence is defined as the child’s perception that a parent drinks too much and that the parent’s drinking interferes with the child’s life in some way. It could be something as seemingly harmless as missing a school play or forgetting to pick the child up from school one day. Or, it could be something major, like subjecting the child to physical or emotional abuse while drinking. However the parent’s alcoholism manifests itself, the emotional impact of the alcohol abuse on the child can be far-reaching. Alcoholism interferes with parenting skills and marital relations. It possibly even affects adolescent development and adjustment.

Even more alarming than the emotional toll addiction can have on the children of an alcoholic parent, it is well-known that there is a genetic factor to alcoholism. What this means is the children of an alcoholic parent may be genetically predisposed to alcohol abuse. According to research, a child is nearly three times more likely to abuse alcohol if one parent is an alcoholic. Alarmingly, they are about five times more likely if both parents are alcoholics. So, while early intervention can prevent future addiction problems in children of an alcoholic parent, the mere fact that one or both parents are addicted to alcohol automatically increases the child’s risk of ending up on the same path.

Adverse Physical Effects of Alcoholism

There are many studies on the physical and emotional effects of alcohol abuse. The negative effects of alcoholism on a child may begin to manifest itself even before a child is born. This can happen in cases where an expectant mother drinks alcohol while pregnant. During childhood and adolescence, a parent’s alcohol abuse may adversely affect the child’s development and adjustment. Furthermore, if the child of an alcoholic develops an alcohol problem later in life, he may suffer from any number of medical conditions associated with alcoholism, including the following:

  • Damage to the peripheral and central nervous system
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Hypertension
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Pneumonia
  • Tuberculosis
  • Cancer
  • Endocrine abnormalities

Many alcoholics also suffer from co-occurring emotional problems or psychiatric disorders, such as depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts or tendencies.

Contact the Addiction Recovery Experts at BRS Rehab

Although the emotional effect of living with a parent who is an alcoholic varies on a case-by-case basis, research shows that nearly all children from alcoholic families face an increased risk of behavioral and emotional difficulties. Many of these children carry with them psychological or physical scars as a result of parental addiction. The bottom line is that parental alcohol abuse damages and disrupts the lives of children and families across the country. Children of substance abusing parents are the ones who suffer the most. Contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today if you or someone you love is abusing alcohol.

workplace substance abuse

Guide for Dealing with Workplace Stress Without Alcohol

It’s not uncommon for people with stressful jobs to decompress after a long day at work by enjoying a glass of wine or downing a strong cocktail, but when consuming alcohol becomes an individual’s primary means of dealing with workplace stress, the alcohol use becomes problematic. Unfortunately, substance abuse in the workplace is a common occurrence in society today, and because drinking at work is socially acceptable in many circumstances, few business executives with alcohol problems get the help they need. If you or a loved one is struggling with problematic alcohol abuse that seems to be related to workplace stress, contact the addiction recovery experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at (877) 926-5530, to learn about the available treatment options.

Workplace Substance Abuse not Uncommon

Alcoholism in the workplace is a serious problem, one that has a negative impact on the individual with the drinking problem and on the company as a whole. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), “Employees who drink heavily or who abuse or are dependent on alcohol can undermine a workforce’s overall health and productivity.” Even if the drinking is taking place at home, and not actually in the workplace, “[…] the specific problems created by alcohol or other drug use may include impaired performance of job-related tasks, accidents or injuries, poor attendance, high employee turnover, and increased health care costs.” The personal toll workplace substance abuse can take on the individual is even more alarming, and may include chronic health issues like high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, liver disease, and cancer.

Healthy Ways to Deal with Job Stress

Work-related stress is a significant health and safety issue, and when employees begin abusing alcohol to deal with the stress they are facing on the job, the consequences can be devastating. Fortunately, there are rehab facilities with substance abuse recovery programs that deal specifically with job-related stress and problematic alcohol use, teaching recovering alcoholics how to deal with stress at work in a healthy and productive way. When recovering from alcoholism, an important part of the recovery process is finding a suitable replacement for alcohol. The following are healthy methods for dealing with workplace stress without turning to substance abuse:

  • Be active. Go for a hike, start up an exercise routine, begin your morning with a brisk walk or jog, any enjoyable physical activity that helps you burn through your stress.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. A lack of sleep can have a number of adverse physical and psychological effects. Investing in a solid eight hours of sleep at night will give your body the strength it needs to handle stress.
  • Talk to someone you trust. Sometimes figuring out how to handle a problem at work simply takes a conversation with someone who has your best interests at heart. Reach out to a friend or loved one for support, or find a local support group where you can express your feelings in a safe and caring environment.
  • Do something you love. The best way to fight stress is with pleasure. Set some time aside to read a book, take a cooking class, play an instrument or learn to draw. Devote time to your passion, and you’ll find the stress you’re facing at work begin to melt away.

The Experts at BRS Rehab Can Help

Learning how to manage alcoholism is the first step on the path to life-long sobriety, and once you’ve developed the skills you need to deal with work-related stress in a healthy and effective way, you can begin living a healthier, happier life in recovery. Contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at our toll-free number to speak to a professional addiction recovery counselor about your workplace substance abuse problem.

Warning signs of alcoholism

The Warning Signs of Alcoholism: Do You Have a Drinking Problem?

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), 86.4 percent of individuals who are ages 18 or older drank alcohol at some point in their life. Alcohol is a common way that people socialize with their friends. They may also use alcohol to let off some steam or get their mind off of troubling situations. However, when drinking turns into a way to cope with life’s problems, alcoholism or alcohol abuse may become a part of that person’s life in the long run. Do you know someone who is exhibiting the warning signs of alcoholism? Or maybe it’s you who are displaying warning signs of alcoholism.

Warning Signs of Alcoholism

Alcoholism has many signs that are easily recognizable while others are a little harder to point out. Whether it is you or a loved one, the warning signs of alcoholism can be different for everybody. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Short-term memory loss
  • Mood swings
  • Drinking alone
  • Lying about how much they are drinking
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not consuming alcohol
  • Blackouts
  • Neglecting personal responsibilities
  • Making alcohol the center of their life
  • Using alcohol as a way to deal with stress
  • Isolating themselves from others
  • Strain in relationships
  • Higher tolerance
  • Shifts in people they hang out with
  • Not being able to quit drinking

Medical professionals may ask the potential alcoholic a series of questions to determine if they are indeed suffering from alcoholism. One way to accurately determine a diagnosis is by using the CAGE questionnaire. The exact questions are:

  1. “Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?”
  2. “Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?”
  3. “Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?”
  4. “Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get over a hangover?”

If you answer “yes” to two or more of these questions, you may have an alcohol problem and need to get more help. Additional questions to ask yourself may be, “Have I ever been in a situation where I drank more than I initially wanted to?” or “Have I ever experienced alcohol withdrawal if I didn’t have any for a period?”

In fact, by being truly honest with yourself about your drinking habits, you will be better prepared to face your problem and reach long-term sobriety. Additionally, your relationships will improve, your health will improve, and your overall well-being will improve as a result.

What Should You Do if You Have a Drinking Problem?

First of all, when considering your treatment options, you must take your overall well-being into consideration. For instance, if you are interested in going to a treatment facility, make sure that you choose one that provides a holistic approach. A holistic approach is one that wants the person’s mind, body and spirit to become healthier.

By learning skills that will help a person cope with their addiction, they will also be better equipped to handle life’s hardships in times of crisis. These skills will also decrease their chances of relapse since they will know the right way to handle stressful times instead of turning back to alcohol.

Also, different support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) allow you to meet other people going through the same things as you. Support groups will help you to cope with your alcoholism better and more efficiently by seeing what works for other people and what doesn’t.

In summary, by being honest with yourself, you can beat alcohol addiction!

man at his desk drinking at work

Drinking at Work: The Social Norms of Executives and Alcohol

Executives’ drinking at work is widely tolerated or accepted in today’s society.  One of the most familiar scenes you see in movies where successful business executives are portrayed is the scene where the exec returns to his office to pour some expensive whiskey or scotch from his drink cabinet, either to put a cap on a long day or to celebrate a victory at work. Sometimes the exec is alone, but in most cases, he is accompanied by a coworker, or even a client, an example of what was once a social norm for high-powered business executives – professional drinking at work. If you believe a loved one’s drinking at work has become a serious problem or alcohol addiction,  contact the substance abuse professionals at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to discuss some possible treatment options.

Is Drinking at Work Socially Acceptable?

Drinking at work used to be socially acceptable, and substance abuse was even romanticized in some ways during the 1980s, as illustrated in movies like The Wolf of Wall Street, with boozy business lunches and late-night meetings taking place over a few stiff drinks (or a few lines of cocaine, as is the case in 2013 film). However, with the growing rates of substance abuse and addiction across the United States and around the world, particularly among business executives and other high-earning professionals, businesses of all types are taking steps to eliminate professional drinking in the workplace.

In Ireland, for example, while the 1989 Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act made no mention of intoxicants, the 2005 Act that replaced it makes both “explicit and implicit references” to drinking at work, says Kieran Sludds, an occupational health manager at the Health and Safety Authority in Ireland, in an article published in the Irish Times. “There’s nothing in the Act that explicitly says the employer must manage intoxicants in the workplace. But it does say that the organization must manage the health and safety and welfare of employees and create a safe place to work.”

Drinking and Addiction Rates Among Business Execs

The implication here is that a workplace where employees are intoxicated is not a safe work environment, and more and more companies are instituting policies that allow employers to test their employees for intoxicants, particularly in “white-collar service industries and blue-collar jobs where there are health and safety issues,” says Richard Grogan of Richard Grogan and Associates Solicitors, which specializes in employment law. The culture of professional drinking at work has apparently changed, and companies around the world are changing with it. Says Grogan, “I would be of the view that it is legitimate for an employer to say to people: ‘Do not drink during the working day.’”

Not only are there legal ramifications to business executives drinking on the job – say the exec were to get behind the wheel after having a few drinks and end up involved in an accident – but there is the real threat of a business executive’s workplace drinking becoming a problem, one that lands him in rehab. Addiction rates among high-powered business executives are some of the highest in the country, due in large part to their disposable income and the toll working in a high-stress environment takes on their mental health. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, people who earn more than $75,000 per year drink more alcohol than any other economic group, and many business executives could even be classified as high-functioning alcoholics.

Contact the Addiction Recovery Experts at BRS Today

For many business executives struggling with addiction, their substance abuse began during a time when it was socially acceptable to drink at work, and now that the culture of professional drinking in the workplace has changed, they are left with a substance abuse disorder that will only bring them trouble at home and work. If you believe a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, and you want to know how you can help, contact the addiction recovery counselors at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today.