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Alcohol

alcohol awareness month

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

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and the substance abuse experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services are encouraging you to take the opportunity this month to learn about the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse and decrease the stigma associated with alcoholism. The unfortunate truth is that many people suffering from alcohol abuse or dependence are too ashamed or embarrassed to get help, or they simply don’t know it’s available. There is also such a thing as functioning alcoholism, which means the alcoholic may successfully hide his problem from the people around him. If you or someone you know is engaging in problematic drinking, or if you recognize the signs of alcohol abuse in a friend or family member, contact the addiction recovery experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services by calling our toll-free number.

What is Alcohol Awareness Month?

Alcohol Awareness Month, a nationwide effort to increase awareness and understanding about the prevalence of alcohol abuse and dependence, as well as the treatment and recovery options that are available to alcoholics, was established in 1987. Each April, communities across the country are encouraged to reach out to the public to help reduce the stigma associated with alcoholism, and break down the barriers to substance abuse treatment, thereby increasing the likelihood that individuals struggling with alcohol abuse or dependence will seek lasting recovery. For family members who have loved ones who are currently seeking treatment for alcoholism, Alcohol Awareness Month is also 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, and 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, adversely affecting 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, rather than putting 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

Because alcoholism is characterized by an individual’s uncontrollable need for alcohol, it is tough for alcoholics to 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. And once an alcoholic has completed 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, or you recognize functional alcoholic behavior in a friend or loved one, call Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at our toll-free number to speak to a professional addiction recovery counselor.

alcoholism signs

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

According to the National Institute of 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, let off some steam, and 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.

Signs of Alcoholism

Alcoholism has many signs that are easily recognizable while others are a little more difficult to point out. Whether it is you or a loved one, the signs 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 it
  • 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 truly suffering from alcohol abuse. 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 to 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 of time?”

By being truly honest with yourself about your drinking habits, you will be better prepared to face your problem and reach long-term sobriety. 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?

When considering your treatment options, you must take your overall well-being into consideration. If you are interested in going to a treatment facility, make sure that you chose one that provides a holistic approach; one that wants the person’s mind, body, and spirit to become healthier.

Per Wickstrom

Per Wickstrom, the founder, and CEO of Best Drug Rehabilitation includes a nutritionist, fitness center, counseling services, and more into his facility because he believes that this holistic approach is a more effective way to long-term recovery from any type of addiction.

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. This 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 are. This will help you to cope with your alcoholism better and more effectively by seeing what works for other people and what doesn’t.

By being honest with yourself, you can beat alcohol abuse!

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.

alcohol abuse

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.

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 large 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 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

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 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. Basically, 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 wish to truly 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, and for children of an alcoholic parent, the potential effects on their emotional well-being can be devastating. Not only do parents who abuse drugs or alcohol put their children at a greater risk for future substance abuse, but 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 at (877) 926-5530 today.

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, interfering with parenting skills and marital relations, and possibly even affecting 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, which means 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, and 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

The physical and emotional effects of alcohol abuse are well-studied, and the negative effect of alcoholism on a child may begin to manifest itself even before a child is born, in cases where an expectant mother drinks alcohol while pregnant. During childhood and adolescence, a parent’s alcohol abuse may then adversely affect the child’s development and adjustment. And 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 has shown that nearly all children from alcoholic families face an increased risk of behavioral and emotional difficulties, and many 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, and children of substance abusing parents are the ones who suffer the most. Contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at (877) 926-5530 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.

acupuncture treating alcohol cravings

Can Acupuncture Reduce Alcohol Cravings?

Addiction is a complicated issue that often requires multiple strategies to treat. For someone seeking treatment for alcoholism, for example, it can be helpful to supplement a traditional substance abuse recovery program with one or more holistic rehabilitative techniques, and many recovering alcoholics have found acupuncture to be an effective method of achieving life-long sobriety. At luxury rehab centers like Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, alternative therapies like acupuncture can be incorporated into the client’s individualized addiction treatment program, to create a personalized approach that addresses his or her unique recovery needs.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine, and the practice of acupuncture involves the insertion of thin metal needles into the skin at strategic points on the body, typically as a treatment for chronic pain and musculoskeletal problems. When used in the treatment of alcoholism or drug addiction, however, acupuncture targets just a few specific points on the body, typically the points that are connected to the lungs, kidney, and liver, three organs significantly affected by alcohol abuse. In some cases, alternative acupuncture points may be stimulated in order to achieve different results, for instance, in the treatment of those struggling with co-occurring addiction and mental health disorders.

Use of Acupuncture in Addiction Recovery

Research has shown that acupuncture is a safe, affordable, and effective treatment method for substance abuse that can reduce cravings in alcohol- or drug-dependent individuals. In a 2000 study conducted by researchers at Yale University, it was reported that nearly 55% of cocaine addicts who underwent acupuncture tested negative in their last week of treatment, compared to only 23.5% of addicts who did not receive acupuncture treatment. In another study published in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine in 2014, researchers studied the effect of acupuncture in reducing alcohol cravings in patients with alcohol dependence and found that the acupuncture group experienced a significant reduction in cravings compared to the placebo group.

Cravings can pose a significant challenge for individuals undergoing treatment for a dependency on alcohol and acupuncture is one way recovering alcoholics can correct the underlying imbalance that triggers their addiction, thereby treating the addiction problem and any related emotional issues. According to the 2014 acupuncture study, by stimulating the Zhubin (KI9) point in the lower leg, which has traditionally “been used as an acupoint for detoxification,” rather than the popular auricular acupuncture points recognized by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA), acupuncturists can effectively reduce cravings in alcohol-dependent clients. As Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) faculty member Donna Keefe says, when an addict is suffering from an imbalance, they begin abusing alcohol to self-medicate, and acupuncture in addiction treatment can “help patients get back to a ‘para-sympathetic’ state on their own, where they’re not in ‘fight or flight’ mode, but where they feel most like their true self.”

The Acupuncture Therapy Experts at BRS Can Help

Alcohol is the most commonly abused addictive substance in the United States, and according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, 17.6 million people (one in every 12 adults) struggle with alcohol abuse or dependence. Fortunately, Behavioral Rehabilitation Services has trained and certified acupuncture specialists on staff who understand and appreciate the benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of alcoholism, and who work hard to address the unique recovery needs of each client. If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol dependency or another serious addiction problem, call BRS today at (888) 420-4775, to discuss with a professional addiction recovery counselor the benefits of acupuncture therapy in substance abuse treatment.

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.

man thinking about moderation or abstinence from alcohol

Using Moderation or Abstinence from Alcohol in Recovery

Moderation or abstinence from alcohol plays a significant role in a person’s long lasting recovery.  Alcoholism and drug abuse remain a serious problem in the United States, and because these types of addiction affect such a wide variety of individuals, those of all ages, career paths and socioeconomic levels, it can be difficult to identify one approach that promises to benefit all addicts. However, research has shown that abstinence, or the practice of restraining oneself from indulging in something, namely drugs or alcohol, is the safest and surest way to keep from repeating past harmful behaviors. The unfortunate truth is that nearly anyone can fall victim to substance abuse and addiction, regardless of how stable they seem and how much money they earn, even high-powered business executives, and, for problem drinkers or drug users, learning how to abstain from these behaviors is the best route to recovery.

Importance of Moderation or Abstinence from Alcohol

Research shows that people who earn more than $75,000 per year drink more alcohol than any other economic group, and people with high-salary positions are also more likely to abuse drugs, like cocaine or prescription medications, compared to those with lower-paying jobs. It may seem counterintuitive for powerful business executives and Wall Street financiers to make up the top categories of drinkers and drug abusers, when we tend to associate substance abuse and addiction with poverty and homelessness, but research shows that, because high-powered executives have the money to buy drugs or alcohol whenever they want, and have a certain sense of entitlement that goes along with earning a high salary, they are also at a greater risk for addiction.

What Causes Addiction?

In most cases, addiction occurs when an individual becomes curious about recreational substance abuse, either because he sees someone else using drugs, or because abusing illicit drugs, to him, is a means of escape. This is particularly the case for business executives expected to perform well in a challenging business environment. However, the addiction comes about, seeking help from a professional substance abuse counselor is the best way to overcome that addiction. As impossible as it may seem for the addict and their loved ones, recovery from chemical dependency is an attainable goal, and with the right substance abuse program, users can break the cycle of addiction and return to their lives as healthy and productive members of society. And at residential addiction recovery facilities like Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, the key to helping an addict overcome his chemical dependency is abstinence.

Abstinence vs. Moderation in Addiction Recovery

“Abstinence” is a word those of us familiar with addiction recovery have heard used about the voluntary act of refraining from consuming http://brsrehab.com/addiction/alcohol-addiction/alcohol or using drugs altogether, in spite of a strong desire to do so. Abstinence is an important concept in the philosophy of addiction recovery, and abstaining from alcohol and drugs is considered the most effective way for recovering addicts to maintain their sobriety. Another popular term in the world of addiction recovery is “moderation,” which is the exercise of self-control or restraint in consuming alcohol or using drugs, which some believe is an effective method of managing a substance abuse problem. In other words, by drinking “just the right amount” of alcohol, or using “just the right amount” of a drug, an addict can maintain the feeling of pleasure his addiction gives him, without causing himself any serious harm.

Compared to abstinence, moderation is simply not an effective method of managing an addiction problem, largely because it is nearly impossible for an addict to judge how much is the “perfect” amount to consume and because the very nature of an addiction problem is the inability to control one’s impulses. While it may seem like the easier approach for an addict to gradually wean himself off of alcohol or drugs, rather than stopping their use all at once, the innate inability of an addict to control the substance abuse impulse that tells him to drink or use drugs in spite of the harmful effects of these actions, means that attempting to moderate one’s alcohol intake or drug use is simply not good enough.  To learn more about moderation or abstinence from alcohol, call our toll-free number today.

High-functioning alcoholic

5 Signs of a High-Functioning Alcoholic

Do you know a high-functioning alcoholic? In many cases, it’s that person who seems to have it all– successful career, happy family and lots of friends – but in order to keep it together, abuses alcohol or binge drinks, all the while denying the fact that he has a problem, and successfully hiding the problem from the people around him. High-functioning alcoholics can go years without being confronted about having a problem with alcohol, and, in many cases, a pattern begins to develop where the alcoholic himself denies the abuse, and his friends and loved ones simply become used to the drinking. This is the point when getting professional help becomes a necessity.

What is a High-Functioning Alcoholic?

Most people think of alcoholics as people who drink too much and too often, and whose lives are falling apart as a result, but not all problem drinking fits that exact mold. Some people seem to be just fine when they abuse alcohol; they are responsible and productive, and they may even be wealthy or powerful. In some cases, it is the high-functioning alcoholic’s success that leads the people around him to overlook his drinking, but it’s still a problem. As Dr. Mark Willengring of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism puts it, “People can be dependent and not have abuse problems at all. They’re successful students. They’re good parents, good workers. They watch their weight. They go to the gym. Then they go home and have four martinis or two bottles of wine. Are they alcoholics? You bet.”

It’s no wonder that, when a high-functioning alcoholic finally suffers one or more consequences of his abusive behavior – a DUI, a failed marriage or even a fatal accident – the alcoholic’s friends and loved ones often respond with shock and dismay. High-functioning alcoholics are adept at hiding their behavior from others, which is the very nature of the problem, and they lead a double life of sorts: a public life where they are successful businessmen, entrepreneurs, doctors and lawyers, and a private life where they drink far more than what is considered acceptable social drinking.

Warning Signs of a High-Functioning Alcoholic

It can be tough to recognize that a person is a high-functioning alcoholic, especially if that person has a successful job, spends quality time with his family, is a good parent, has a healthy social life, and isn’t financially impacted by his abusive drinking. The alcoholic himself may justify his drinking by making excuses like, “I only drink expensive wine,” or “I haven’t suffered any serious consequences because of my drinking.” There are obvious red flags though when it comes to problem drinking, and the five most common warning signs of  high-functioning alcoholism are:

  1. They have three drinks to everyone else’s one drink, or they say they are only going to have a couple of drinks and end up drinking far more
  2. They exhibit physical signs of overindulgence (insomnia, stomach problems, shakiness in the morning)
  3. They have binge periods when they get extremely drunk, and may even black out
  4. They plan their day around drinking
  5. They go through periods of abstinence where they make it a point not to drink, during which they are anxious or irritable, and then go back to their usual pattern of drinking heavily and often.

Getting Treatment for Alcoholism

It’s important to remember that being an alcoholic isn’t the same thing as being a failure, and high-functioning alcoholics defy the stereotypical characterization of an alcoholic. In many cases, even the alcoholic himself doesn’t recognize that he has a problem until things finally come crashing down, which they eventually will, and may not realize that he is putting himself and others at risk when he abuses alcohol, no matter how well he disguises it. If you or someone you know is a high-functioning alcoholic, it may be time to get professional help. Contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to discuss the treatment options available to high-functioning alcoholics.

Jamie’s Recovery Month Review

This Recovery Month, Jamie and BRS are celebrating his alcohol addiction recovery. At BRS, we celebrate recovery throughout September and beyond. For Jamie and his fellow addiction rehabilitation graduates, there is much to celebrate this Recovery Month. Jamie discusses this in his Recovery Month review.

Jamie arrived at our inpatient drug and alcohol rehab center after struggling with alcoholism (alcohol addiction) for nine years. His primary concerns included wanting to be a better, sober parent to his children. At Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, Jamie found that he has a life outside of alcohol abuse. The modernized facility, luxurious amenities, outdoor activities, and peace afforded at BRS empowered him to uncover his passion for reading and working out. Part of his recovery has been rediscovering himself and reconnecting with his passion for life. Before BRS, Jamie believed he was most and solely interested in being intoxicated. Together, Jamie and BRS identified treatment options and self-empowerment methods that have equipped Jamie with the tools he needs to maintain his sobriety from alcohol and drugs. He talks about this in his Recovery Month review.

In His Recovery Month Review, Jamie Tells How BRS Helped Change His Life.

Behavioral Rehabilitation Services’ modern facilities, luxurious amenities, professional staff and holistic approach to inpatient alcohol and drug addiction rehabilitation create the supportive, relaxing environment you need to rebuild the life you deserve. Sobriety doesn’t have to be hard. We can help.

An Excerpt of Jamie’s Behavioral Rehabilitation Services Review Video:

“Everyone here cares…And I think that that’s the main difference between this program and others: it’s on you. Even though they’re here to help and will try to do everything they can for you, you’ve gotta do it yourself.”

Take the first step on your addiction recovery journey. Contact us this Recovery Month, so you too can Celebrate Recovery with your Recovery Month review.

Learn More about SAMHSA and Addiction Recovery Month

young man having trouble overcoming alcohol addiction

Why Overcoming Alcohol Addiction is so Hard

Overcoming alcohol addiction is a difficult process that takes time and much effort. The road to sobriety is paved with many starts and stops. It is not unusual for a person to be sober for an extended period of time only to suffer from a relapse without a warning. People who have traveled this road know the agony of trying to manage sobriety after facing relapses. Relapses leave many addicts feeling hopeless and wondering why alcohol is so addictive.

Alcoholism is defined by The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse as a “progressive, incurable disease characterized by a loss of control over alcohol and other sedatives.” According to experts, alcoholism can not be overcome, it must be managed. Many addicts have to acknowledge that there is a possibility that they may never break free from the urges to consume alcohol.

Everyone Reacts Differently to Overcoming Alcohol Addiction

Addiction is a complex matter to understand because it affects each person in a different way. Some people may have a straight path to sobriety, while others endure a bumpy road. However, there are several factors that may explain alcohol’s addictive nature and the reasons it is so hard to beat.

External factors such as stress, pain, and depression cause people to consume alcohol in abnormal quantities. After a pattern of alcohol abuse is established, the brain begins to respond to the alcohol. The neurotransmitter, dopamine, is responsible for controlling pleasure in the body. When alcohol is consumed, dopamine is released throughout the body. This release sends a signal that a pleasurable experience is present.

The Biology of  Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol has the power to override normal brain functions that control impulses and make decisions. As alcohol releases a surge of dopamine, it also shuts down the part of the brain that is responsible for impulse control. The brain becomes overwhelmed with pleasurable feelings. As a result, it becomes desensitized to overconsumption.

If people drink excessively, their brains become incapable of detecting when they have consumed too much alcohol. This level of damage makes it difficult to overcome addiction.

Habitual Cues

There is a grain of truth to the saying “old habits die hard.” Part of the reason is the brain develops cues when we perform an action repeatedly. For example, a person may follow similar steps each time a glass of wine is prepared for consumption:

  • Put the glass on the table.
  • Unscrew the cap.
  • Pour the wine.
  • Put wine on the second shelf of the refrigerator.
  • Drink the wine.

Now that the person has habitually performed this task, the brain begins to connect each step of the wine preparation to alcohol consumption. This is known as associative conditioning.

Consequently, a person may see the second shelf of the refrigerator and get the urge to have a drink. If there is no wine on the shelf, the association is so powerful that the person will drive to the nearest liquor store to quench the desire. These strong connections occur because the brain has established habitual cues.  These cues are part of why overcoming alcohol addiction is so difficult.

Pressure from Social Occasions

Alcohol is a staple at most adult social gatherings. Most people do not ask the host “will alcohol be served?” They often ask “what type of alcohol will be served?” People naturally assume that any adult celebration will involve the consumption of alcohol.

Attending social gatherings as a recovering addict is especially difficult because the person’s brain has created habitual cues. These cues often connect social gatherings with alcohol consumption. Attending a wedding may become associated with an open bar. A New Year’s Eve celebration may become associated with the champagne toast. These social occasions may be too much for the addict to handle, and a relapse may occur.

Past Trauma

There may be a deeper issue that an addict is trying to suppress by consuming alcohol. The person is not ready to deal with the feelings that are associated with the traumatic event. If the deeper issue is not resolved, then the person will continue to abuse alcohol.

Genetics/Family History

According to worldwide alcohol statistics, the disturbing truth is 4 out of 9 children with alcoholic parents will become alcoholics at some point in their lives. These facts lend themselves to the debate of nature vs. nurture.

Are children destined to abuse alcohol because of genetics? Or are they more likely to succumb to alcohol abuse due to environmental factors? The cause may not be the issue, but the effect is increased alcoholism.

Although there have been studies that link genetics to alcoholism, many specialists have not definitively concluded that there is an alcohol gene. They have concluded that being raised in an alcoholic environment causes children to use alcohol to cope with problems as adults. After being immersed in a negative environment for many years, it becomes nearly impossible to release the addiction.  These individuals will also have a more difficult time overcoming alcohol addiction.

Alcohol Withdrawal

The body has a fit when it is deprived of a substance that it has grown accustomed to consuming. It goes through withdrawals because it is releasing the dependence on the substance. Alcohol withdrawals cause the addict to experience discomforts such as severe cravings, shaking, hallucinations, convulsions, and seizures. People will do almost anything to increase pleasure and avoid pain. During the withdrawal phase, many addicts often revert to drinking because the pain becomes unbearable. As a result, they quit the process before they are able to kick the habit.

Social Acceptance

Alcohol is the only drug that is publicly accepted and marketed in the media. In fact, it is so socially acceptable that friends encourage others to consume it. For the addict, this level of social acceptance enables them to mask the addiction. At parties, addicts are able to disguise the extent to which they indulge because other people are drinking with them.

The actions of inebriated family members are often applauded when others are recounting funny stories about their drunkenness. When an action is celebrated or accepted, there is very little motivation to quit.

The dynamics of addiction are so varied that all of them cannot be adequately addressed by one article. It is best for a person who is having trouble overcoming alcohol addiction to seek immediate medical attention.

when seniors abuse alcohol it presents unique problems

When Seniors Abuse Alcohol it Presents Unique Risks

Due to underlying health problems, when seniors abuse alcohol it presents unique risks.  Drinking problems in the elderly are often overlooked, underestimated and undertreated due to a common association of alcohol abuse and addiction with younger adults and teens. A 2008 survey found that approximately 40 percent of adults 65 and older consume alcohol on a regular basis. While there are health benefits associated with some alcoholic beverages in moderation, excessive drinking can compound seniors’ existing health problems and present unique risks if not addressed as soon as possible.

When Seniors Abuse Alcohol it Complicates Existing Health Problems

Age-related changes in metabolism can affect how certain medications work, presenting added health concerns when alcohol is involved. According to the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism, seniors 65 and older not taking any medications can safely consume 2-3 drinks on any given day, but no more than seven drinks within a week. Seniors with serious health problems or certain conditions may not be able to safely drink at all. Frequent drinking or periods of heavy drinking can affect seniors who are struggling with:

  • High blood pressure and diabetes
  • Issues with heart and liver functioning
  • Memory problems (including dementia-related conditions like Alzheimer’s)
  • Osteoporosis and spine conditions

Why Seniors Sometimes Turn to Alcohol

Changes often taking place later in life can contribute to senior drinking problems. Grief from the loss of a spouse, for instance, can help feelings of isolation and loneliness that may lead to excessive drinking. Initiating treatment can be difficult when seniors abuse alcohol and problems may be overlooked when:

  • Healthcare providers or family caregivers mistake signs of alcoholism for symptoms of dementia or other conditions common among older adults.
  • Older adults hide their problem out of shame or embarrassment.
  • Family members and friends overlook signs of a problem by denying it exists or making excuses for their senior loved one.

Helping Seniors Identify a Problem

Regardless of age, treatment isn’t going to be successful if a person isn’t willing to admit that they have a problem. Loved ones can help by making an effort to express concerns in a non-judgmental way and identifying available sources of support such as nearby inpatient treatment facilities. Adverse effects of excessive alcohol consumption in seniors that can reference during such discussions include:

  • an increased risk of experiencing serious falls
  • a reduced ability to function independently
  • longer recovery times following illnesses or surgeries

Why Inpatient Treatment Makes Sense for Seniors

Also, when seniors abuse alcohol, it sometimes stems from underlying depression or problems that were never identified or treated earlier in life. Inpatient treatment for alcohol dependency allows for a more comprehensive recovery process to determine underlying issues. Inpatient programs often include:

  • Individual and group counseling
  • Follow-up support following initial treatment
  • Cognitive behavioral therapies (exploring the connection between thoughts/feelings and behaviors)

Self-treatment is rarely effective, especially since alcohol dependency affects chemicals in the brain that play a part in cravings. Seniors dealing with an addiction to alcohol face unique challenges. A long-term treatment plan that starts with an inpatient program specific to older adults can help seniors overcome such challenges – with the ultimate goal being meaningful and sustained recovery.  There are things you can do when seniors abuse alcohol that will help them get the help they need.

alcohol use disorder treatment

Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment Programs

If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol use disorder you can take comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your fight. According to recent reports from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependance, over 17 million people in the United States abuse or are dependent on alcohol. Not surprisingly, alcohol is the number one abused substance in the country today.

Alcohol Use Disorder in Today’s World

Alcohol Use Disorder is a serious problem in today’s society. Alcohol Use Disorder occurs when problem drinking turns into a serious concern. People must meet a certain criterion to be officially diagnosed with this disorder, but generally people who strongly feel the desire to drink alcohol, people who binge drink, people who drink and drive and people who are having troubles in their interpersonal relationships due to alcohol use or abuse tend to fall into this category. In all of these examples, seeking out professional addiction treatment can help with healing and transitioning to sober living.

The Detoxification Process

People who are ready to change their life and eliminate the harmful habit of drinking alcohol find that the most successful approach for overcoming an alcohol addiction is inpatient treatment. Inpatient care requires that the patient enters a treatment facility that is staffed with doctors and support staff that are experienced with alcohol detoxification and rehabilitation. People who are severely dependent on alcohol should never attempt to stop drinking “cold turkey” style, as alcohol withdrawal symptoms could include seizures, hallucinations, confusion, fever and agitation. In some cases, death is even possible. When an alcoholic enters inpatient treatment, his or her condition will be carefully monitored. In the event of a medical emergency, physicians and nurses on staff are available to  give urgent care. Depending on the level of dependency the patient has, it can take anywhere from a week to ten days to safely and successfully detoxify from alcohol. During this time, it is imperative for the patient to have access to medical professionals that are experienced with alcohol addiction and withdrawal.

What Happens After Detoxification

Once a patient has undergone their initial alcohol detoxification period, the next step their recovery process is to participate in both group therapy and individual counseling sessions. Individual counseling sessions help patients work through issues that may have lead them or contribute to, their habit of drinking. In many cases, counseling uncovers that the patient’s family has a history of drinking, there is a case of abuse or the patient is trying to escape from problems. By determining the triggers that make the patient want to drink, the counselor and patient can make a plan to deal with these issues more effectively and without the use of alcohol. Group therapy is helpful because it reinforces that the patient is not alone in his or her struggles with alcohol. A support group in this environment helps everyone there deal with their issues more effectively.

Alcohol Use Disorder does not have to be a way of life. The first step to recovery is making the decision to get help. Inpatient treatment is the solution to change your life forever.

self-medicating with alcohol

Are You are Self-Medicating with Alcohol or Drugs?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about half of all Americans are regular drinkers and nearly 24 million use illicit drugs frequently. People use drugs and alcohol for a variety of reasons. Some use them as a means of social lubrication because their friends are doing it, out of boredom, or merely because they want a “buzz.” However, many researchers believe that most people are self-medicating with alcohol or drugs.

Signs You’re Self-Medicating with Alcohol or Drugs

People typically self-medicate to alleviate stress, psychological distress, and negative emotions. This can present in many ways, and some of them are widely considered to be normal or socially acceptable. Self-medicating with alcohol can include getting drunk after a breakup or a particularly hard day at work. Other forms of self-medication involve the use of narcotics or stimulants, such as opioid painkillers, marijuana, sleep aids or ADHD drugs to dull feelings of social isolation or emotional pain and make the person feel more in control of their lives.

In cases like these, substances effectively take the place of genuine medical care. Self-medication tends to be more common for low-income individuals, the elderly, and people with psychiatric issues like depression and psychosis. Some experts speculate that this may be due to stigma or socioeconomic barriers that make receiving real medical care difficult.

What’s Wrong with Self-Medicating?

Animals have been known to self-medicate, and it’s believed that humans have been doing it since ancient times. However, as natural as it may seem, the practice presents many problems. Self-medicating with alcohol may work for a while, but it is not the answer for your problems. After a while, the alcohol shows as much, if not more, of an issue than whatever you are trying to self-medicate.

Legality

In the case of underage drinking or the use of illicit drugs, the possibility of getting in legal trouble presents a significant risk. Depending on the substance, the amount and the state the offense was committed in, possession may result in a felony conviction. This goes on a permanent record and can destroy your ability to receive government benefits, get an apartment or find employment. Even legal substances like alcohol can bring trouble. Alcohol impairs judgment and can cause a person to “black out.” Crimes committed in this state have been known to range from public urination and disorderly conduct to assault and even murder. Unsurprisingly, these legal difficulties can result in a vicious cycle of substance abuse to alleviate the feelings of stress and depression.

Health

Drugs and alcohol carry many potential risks to physical and mental health. There’s a possibility of overdose, which can be fatal if not treated. Some drugs, like prescription painkillers containing acetaminophen, can result in organ damage and failure. Furthermore, although self-medication is common in people with psychiatric problems, the drugs may make the illness worse by inducing paranoia, anxiety, depression and aggression.

Addiction

It’s very easy for self-medication to result in full-blown drug and alcohol abuse and addiction. While the substance may provide relief, it’s only temporary. When the effects wear off, the problems return, and it becomes tempting to re-medicate. Furthermore, drugs and alcohol can reduce stress tolerance, and withdrawal from them can make relatively small problems seem like large ones. This promotes further self-medication that rapidly becomes an addiction.

Finances

Self-medication can affect financial status in two ways. First, drugs and alcohol can be expensive. As dependence grows, you’re left with less and less money for things like bills and groceries. The substances may also begin to affect work performance, which can result in getting fired. In many cases, people with a history of job loss, poor job performance and substance abuse issues have an exceedingly hard time finding work, which perpetuates financial difficulties.

Relationships

The mind-altering effects of drugs and alcohol can wreak havoc on relationships. When emotions are blunted, as is often the case with opioids and other narcotics, relating to another person or feeling close to them becomes difficult or impossible. With drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine and ADHD medications, hostility and aggression can lead to petty arguments that get blown out of proportion. In many cases, violence also occurs. These issues often cause self-medicators to become isolated and estranged from their friends and loved ones.

Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs might provide temporary relief from your problems, but it’s a terrible long-term solution that can ruin your life and hurt the people around you. If you recognize the habit in yourself, it’s important to seek help to overcome the addiction. Most experts recommend enrolling in an inpatient treatment center for this purpose. These facilities provide professional medical care to not only control the symptoms of withdrawal but also to help treat the underlying issues that pushed you to self-medicate in the first place. Also, the inpatient nature of these treatment centers means that you don’t have to contend with everyday stressors like work and finances. This removes many of everyday issues that trigger the desire to self-medicate and allows you to focus solely on healing and to get your life back in order.

pregnant woman with wine to cause fetal alcohol syndrome

Key Things to Know About Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal alcohol syndrome, or FAS, is a condition that is caused by alcohol use during pregnancy. Doctors have repeatedly warned about the dangers of alcohol use during pregnancy. However, some women still choose to drink while they are pregnant. It is estimated that one in 750 babies in America are born with FAS.

Symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

There are a number of symptoms that a child may develop if he or she has FAS. Some of those symptoms include low birth weight, failure to thrive, small head circumference, facial abnormalities and epilepsy. The effects of FAS can be long-lasting. Children who have FAS are more likely to develop mental retardation. In fact, FAS is the top cause of mental retardation in children.

Children with FAS are at a greater risk for mental problems. They are also more likely to have problems in school. Furthermore, children with FAS may have problems holding down a job or living independently later in life.

Is any Amount of Alcohol Safe to Consume During Pregnancy?

Many mothers believe that it is safe to consume a small amount of alcohol during pregnancy. However, doctors recommend that women do not consume any alcohol while they are pregnant. Scientists have not determined how much alcohol a woman has to drink in order to have a baby with FAS. Everybody processes alcohol differently.

Some studies suggest that women who only consume one alcoholic beverage per day increase their risk of FAS. Every time that a woman drinks, the alcohol travels from her bloodstream to the placenta. The baby gets his or her nourishment through the placenta. A baby’s body breaks down alcohol at a slower rate than an adult’s. The best way to prevent FAS is to not consume any alcohol while you are pregnant.

Treatment for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

There is no cure for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. However, the earlier this condition is treated, the better the outcome will be for the child. It is best for a child to start treatment before going to preschool. Parents of children with FAS will typically have to work with a team that consists of psychologists, doctors, nurses and social workers.

How Inpatient Rehab can Prevent FAS

Many women have alcohol problems long before they get pregnant. A woman may not realize that she is pregnant during the first trimester. Because it only takes a small amount of alcohol to cause FAS, it is important for women with alcoholism to get treatment before they conceive a child.

Inpatient rehab is the best solution for dealing with alcoholism. People will be able to get high-quality care and treatment in an inpatient rehab center.

When do Alcohol Cravings Stop

When Do Alcohol Cravings Stop After Becoming Sober?

Many individuals wonder when do alcohol cravings stop after becoming sober? These cravings are different for all individuals. Alcoholism is a disease, and treating the condition as anything less than this is a mistake. The control that’s slipping away isn’t a weakness of your mind, and not being able to cut back your drinking habit isn’t indicative of poor moral character. These are fallacies that have to be dismissed before facing the truth of the disease.

Over seven percent of the American population is chained to the effects of alcohol cravings, and, being that alcohol is only a liquor store away, it’s hard to get out from under the shadow of alcohol abuse, but it is possible. What’s needed is the support of an inpatient recovery establishment to cut off the source of the cravings and put you back on the path to sobriety.

Recognizing Alcoholism

The misconceptions surrounding alcohol abuse have mostly dispersed. The idea that someone has to be down on their luck and drinking out of a bottle hidden in a paper bag is a fictional notion best left in the movies. Alcoholism is a disease that restructures the way the brain functions at a chemical level. The cravings enter the scene when the alcohol trigger is no longer within your system. They become all-consuming, obliterating good judgment in favor of just one more drink. And that one drink becomes a whole bottle, enough to render you intoxicated. Symptoms that indicate possible alcoholism include, but aren’t limited to the following:

  • Using alcohol to escape problems
  • You lie to friends and family about your drinking
  • Blackouts and medical problems
  • Constantly intoxicated
  • Cravings return even after you’ve sworn off drinking
  • Constant shame and disgust at your drunken actions

New ways of thinking enter your mind. It becomes a case of trying not to drink before noon. You rationalize the loss of a friend or the breakdown of a marriage. Hospitalization is a real possibility as your body struggles to cope with alcohol poisoning, and you’re waking up in strange places with no memory of how you got there. You’ve lost control, and the cravings are only getting worse.

Taking Your Life Back

It’s a pivotal moment when you realize you’re a heavy drinker, a possible alcoholic. There will be feelings of impotency and frustration at this loss of control, but you must know that you’re sick, a victim of a terrible disease that claims 88,000 lives every year (www.niaaa.nih.gov), and, just like with any illness, you need help. The cravings can be conquered. You begin by entering a recovery program, by adopting an inpatient approach that takes you away from the triggers associated with your condition. The adage of taking a single day at a time becomes your mantra. You’re out from the enabling friends and endless liquor stores lining the streets and into a fresh environment filled with tools aimed at delivering sobriety to mind and body.

Recovery and an End to the Question, “When do Alcohol Cravings Stop?”

An inpatient facility is armed with detox techniques and therapy sessions, group counseling, and tailored programs designed to get you back on your feet. You can walk out of this center whole and free of alcohol, but you must temper this future with some tough truths. The detox period will be hard. Your body will cry out for alcohol and the therapy sessions may force you to face some truths you’ve avoided all of your life. Also, even after you complete a 28-day program, relapse is a possibility. Close to 70 percent of all alcoholics relapse in their first year of sobriety. Don’t view this as a bleak fact, but rather as a misstep toward full recovery. A single relapse can be the greatest catalyst of all on your path to recovery. The inpatient program explains the possibility of relapse and encourages you not to view this as a failure.

Myths About Relapse

  • All you need is willpower.
  • Thoughts of relapse indicate trouble.
  • People who relapse are hopeless and unmotivated.

First of all, willpower and a dedicated approach to recovery are admirable, but that’s not enough to beat cravings and wondering, “When do alcohol cravings stop?” Coping mechanisms are taught by inpatient facilities, and these tools work alongside your willpower to end the cravings. Thoughts of relapse may or may not indicate a return to the bad old day, but this is an excellent opportunity to call your sponsor and refresh a step on your twelve step recovery program.

Finally, there are no hopeless alcoholics. As long as you’re willing to commit to a recovery program, you can wash away the cravings. But remember, they may occasionally revisit your life, especially if you renew your acquaintance with old drinking buddies and parties where alcohol will be served. When do alcohol cravings stop? The fact is, they may never stop, but they will lessen as time goes on and you will think less and less about drinking alcohol.

Living with a functioning alcoholic

Living with a Functioning Alcoholic and Seeing Their Double Life

Living with a functioning alcoholic can be devastating for a loved one because they know that eventually, they will become a non-functioning alcoholic.The most used and abused drug in America is alcohol, and in spite of the common representations in the media of the town drunk or the neighbor from hell, there are many alcoholics for whom the symptoms of the illness are nearly invisible. High-functioning alcoholics can live in denial by pointing to their success.

Since functioning alcoholics don’t fit the stereotype because they go to work, fulfill their everyday obligations, and even manage a household, it seems reasonable to them to claim they don’t have an alcohol problem. Even friends and family often refuse to believe there’s a problem, pointing to and even being impressed with their ability to function under the influence. A high achieving, successful professional can tell himself that he’s not like the drunk who has lost everything: “I don’t drink from a bottle in a paper bag. I drink expensive wine.” However, you know that there is a thin line between the two.

Working with a Functioning Alcoholic

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that nearly 20 percent of all alcoholics are “functional.”One of the biggest problems in recognizing a functioning alcoholic is that by the time the signs are evident to all, they are no longer functioning. Even if you are the person living with a functioning alcoholic, you may not recognize all of the signs of how dangerous their drinking problem has become.

Many functioning alcoholics can refrain from drinking during the workday, but as five o’clock approaches, they’re already tasting that first drink. Be the one to interrupt their plan by asking them to stay late or to go somewhere that alcohol isn’t available, and you’ll see a different side to your previously cheerful co-worker.

If someone drinks heavily and regularly, it’s going to catch up with them eventually. Job loss, family breakdowns and hitting rock bottom will come even to a functioning alcoholic, and sadly, by the time it happens, it is a surprise to no one, and their secret life will be exposed.

What Signs do You Notice When Living with a Functioning Alcoholic?

You could count the number of drinks the individual has per day or week, but the drinker is likely quite adept at masking the number of drinks or refills in which he partakes. There are, however, other warning signs.

  • If they joke ab0ut being an alcoholic, pay attention. It’s not funny.
  • Lost friendships or missed work are signs there’s a problem.
  • A DUI arrest is a no-brainer, but if it’s a first-time offense, they will try to explain away their responsibility.
  • Do they need alcohol to feel confident or to relax?
  • Do they deny their drinking or get angry when confronted?
  • Do they take part in risky behavior?

Can a Functioning Alcoholic Who Performs Well at Work Cost Their Company Money?

There are attendance and performance issues that supervisors should be alert to. They include:

  • Extended lunches
  • Regular Monday absences or tardiness
  • Unexplained absences
  • More than average sick days
  • Missed deadlines
  • Poor decision-making
  • Careless work
  • Faulty analysis

Estimates of the cost of alcoholism in the workplace range from $33 billion to $68 billion per year. Compared to their sober co-workers, absenteeism among alcoholics is calculated to be as much as eight times higher. Also, high-functioning alcoholics present very real liability issues, from dangers to themselves or others in the workplace to accidents involving non-employees.

Conventional Thinking of a Functioning Alcoholic

  • When challenged about their drinking, a functioning alcoholic will often blame a failed marriage as the reason for their drinking instead of being able to see that their drinking is the reason for their failed marriage.
  • “They keep giving me more responsibility at work. They wouldn’t do that if I were an alcoholic.”
  • Often, a functioning alcoholic will use alcohol as a reward, sometimes just for staying sober during the work day.

Family, friends, and co-workers in denial only make the problem worse. Often, friends will make excuses for the behavior they observe, spinning it, so it doesn’t sound like a real issue:

  • He still drinks like he did in college, but he goes to work every day.
  • She can drink more than anyone I know, but she never seems drunk.
  • He’s a happy drunk.
  • She doesn’t drink at work, and it’s not my business what she does on her own time.
What are the Benefits of Inpatient Treatment?

From an employer’s perspective, a valued employee would take advantage of an employer-sponsored treatment program designed to meet the individual’s need. For those dealing with withdrawal, an inpatient detoxification program would be of greatest benefit.

Functioning alcoholics are actually living double lives. They live the high-functioning life of a successful worker and provider, and they live the secret life of an alcoholic. Living with a functioning alcoholic can turn you into an enabler and eventually a caretaker if they don’t get help for their alcohol addiction before they become non-functioning.