June 30, 2007

Alcohol Detox

Addiction to chemical substances is one of the most difficult diseases to treat because of their chronic and progressive nature. One example of such an addiction is alcoholism, which is a potentially fatal disease characterized by chronic consumption of alcohol. People who are alcoholics cannot stop drinking even if they experience a decline in their health, performance at work and their personal relationships. This is because for alcoholics, the most important pre-occupation is finding the their next drink. Since alcoholism is a medical condition, treating it involves employing medical interventions that are usually done in a rehabilitation center.

Detoxification

Once an alcoholic has gone to a rehabilitation center, the first step in the treatment of his alcoholism would be alcohol detoxification or alcohol detox. Alcohol detox is a period of medically monitored treatment in which an alcoholic is helped and made to overcome his physical dependence on alcohol and is designed to prepare the patient for treatment and rehabilitation. It usually lasts for a period of between three to 14 days depending on the severity of the disease. During this period, patients do a “cold turkey” and totally stop drinking, which often leads them to experience withdrawal symptoms, which include mild headaches, tremors, cold sweat, and severe seizures. To relieve these symptoms, various medications and medical procedures are administered to the patient. Some of the most common medications used are benzodiazepines and anticonvulsant medication.

Next step: Rehabilitation

Once the patient no longer exhibits any withdrawal symptoms, he will now be ready to receive rehabilitation treatment. This treatment may consist of group or individual therapy, nutrition counseling, relapse prevention, medication management, and family therapy, which are all aimed at helping the patent achieve long-term sobriety.

The first step in treating alcoholism is alcohol detox, which is a period in which all the chemicals and substances that caused the addiction are purged from the body of the patient. During this period, patients often experience withdrawal symptoms, which makes the whole process very uncomfortable. However, there are now medications that help the patient overcome these symptoms. Alcohol detox is not pleasurable, but it is a needed “cleansing” process, which help prepare patients receive the rehabilitation that they need.

http://www.stopdrinkingadvice.org/guide/

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June 28, 2007

Alcohol Treatment Centers

Alcohol treatment is a must. How often we drink it as an addiction without realizing its gripping power over us. Alcohol as an addiction is capable of ruining us emotionally as well as physically. Hence, before it turns into the controlling force in our lives, we have to bring it under control and take the reins of our lives in our own hands. To help us, thousands of rehabilitation centers are spread out throughout the country.

Research shows that usually different types of treatment programs are used by the rehabilitation centers to wipe out the addiction completely. First a detoxification plan to remove harmful substances and alcohol from the body is chosen. Depending upon the intensity of the addiction, various methods are used: inpatient, outpatient, or residential treatment; group or individual counseling; doctor-prescribed drugs or medications to prevent relapse; and other factors. Alcohol treatment centers also require the individuals to stay there and recover completely, which includes improvement on a physical as well as a mental level.

Usually with treatment, the best alcohol treatment centers also provide ongoing care and careful supervision and introduction to other recover groups – even after the recovery of an alcoholic patient.

Many, many centers exist to offer helpful and effective treatment against Alcoholism. Some of them are Sober Living by the Sea, Spencer Recovery Centers, Drug and Alcohol Rehab Services, Hazelden, Starlite Recovery Center, Promises Treatment Centers, Comeback Treatment, Brookside Institute, The Bridge to Recovery, Recovery Center, Mount Regis Center, Support Systems Homes, Newport Coast Recovery, and Connor Ranch.

Some other detox centers are the Tarzana Treatment Centers, Home Detox of California, and Pat Moore Foundation.

Before trying out any medication, Hazelden conducts an accurate and detailed diagnosis of individuals and only thereafter, prescribes and uses a proper treatment procedure for its patients.

Drug and Alcohol Rehab Services and Narcanon Southern California provide after-care treatment in case of any relapse within six months of treatment without any further charge.

Alcohol Treatment Centers provides detailed information on Alcohol Treatment Centers, Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers, Inpatient Alcohol Treatment Centers, History Of Alcohol Treatment Centers and more. Alcohol Treatment Centers is affiliated with Alcohol Treatment Centers.

http://www.stopdrinkingadvice.org/guide/

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June 26, 2007

Alcohol Sobriety

For members of Alcoholics Anonymous, absolute alcohol sobriety is a must. But, for many of us absolute alcohol sobriety is a choice we make for all sorts of reasons.

Health issues tend to be the prime motivation for maintaining absolute alcohol sobriety. Alcohol does not mix well with pregnancy, diabetes, high blood pressure to name but a few. There are also the psychological problems that are worsened by alcohol consumption and for which absolute alcohol sobriety is desirable.

Achieving absolute alcohol sobriety can be challenging as drinking can become a habit if not an addiction. The occasional drinker may well be able to get to the point where they can achieve absolute alcohol sobriety without any help from outside sources. Others may need more help.

Alcoholism is an issue made worse by the fact that societies’ acceptance of the use of alcohol actually hides the problem. It can be incredibly difficult for anyone with an alcohol problem to achieve absolute alcohol sobriety.

For someone with an alcohol problem they need the help and support of family and friends to get to a point where they can say they have reached absolute alcohol sobriety. For those supporting someone on the road to becoming dry, there is a need for information on the best way to help and support the alcoholic on their journey.

On-line courses offer reliable, available help to anyone wanting to achieve absolute alcohol sobriety. It is a discrete way of getting the help and support and alcoholic needs and it is available when required.

There are basic steps you can take to help you achieve absolute alcohol sobriety. The most important one is to seek help and to get support. Next stay away from situations where you will be challenged by the availability of alcohol. Keep busy but avoid stressful situations.

You don’t have to go it alone to give up alcohol – there are resources available to help you.

http://www.stopdrinkingadvice.org/guide/

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June 23, 2007

Symptoms of Alcohol Dependency

If you are alcohol dependent you have a strong desire for alcohol. Sometimes the desire is overwhelming. You have great difficulty in controlling your drinking. In addition, your body is so used to lots of alcohol that you start to develop ‘withdrawal’ symptoms 3-8 hours after your last drink, as the effect of the alcohol wears off. So, even if you want to stop drinking, it is difficult because of the withdrawal symptoms.

The withdrawal symptoms include: feeling sick, trembling, sweating, craving for alcohol, and just feeling awful. Convulsions occur in a small number of cases.

As a result, you drink alcohol regularly and ‘depend’ on it to prevent these symptoms. If you do not have any more alcohol the withdrawal symptoms usually last 5-7 days, but a craving for alcohol may persist longer. The severity of dependence can vary. It can develop gradually and become more severe. You may be developing alcohol dependence if you:

  • need a drink every day.
  • drink alone often.
  • need a drink to stop trembling (the shakes).
  • drink early, or first thing in the morning (to avoid withdrawal symptoms).
  • often have a strong desire to drink alcohol.
  • spend a lot of you time in activities where alcohol is available. For example, if you spend a lot of time at the social club or pub.
  • neglect other interests or pleasures because of alcohol drinking.

If you are alcohol dependent you are usually ‘tolerant’ to the effect of alcohol. This means that you need more alcohol to notice any effects and to become drunk. This can make things worse as it tends to make you drink even more.

If you are alcohol dependent you may get drunk regularly. However, you may not get drunk. You may drink small amounts regularly to keep the withdrawal symptoms away. You may then be able to ‘hide’ your problem from others. However, you are still at serious risk of developing conditions due to heavy drinking (liver damage, cancers, etc).

Delirium tremens (‘DTs’)
This is a more severe withdrawal reaction after stopping alcohol. It occurs in about 1 in 20 people who have alcohol withdrawal symptoms about 2-3 days after their last drink. Symptoms include: marked tremor (the shakes) and delirium (agitation, confusion, and seeing and hearing things that are not there). Some people have convulsions. Complications can develop such as dehydration and other serious physical problems. It is fatal in some cases.

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June 21, 2007

Four Levels Of Drinking

There are roughly four ‘levels’ of alcohol drinking – social, heavy, problem and dependent. As a rule, each level increases the risk to your health and safety.

Social drinking
Most people drink some alcohol. However, even a small amount of alcohol can be dangerous if you drive, operate machinery, or take some types of medication.

Heavy drinking
This is drinking above the recommended ‘safe’ limits which are:

  • Men should drink no more than 21 units of alcohol per week (and no more than four units in any one day).
  • Women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week (and no more than three units in any one day).

One unit of alcohol is in about half a pint of beer, or two thirds of a small glass of wine, or one small pub measure of spirits. See leaflet called ‘Alcohol and Sensible Drinking‘ for details.

Drinking above the recommended safe limit increases your risk of developing diseases such as cirrhosis (liver damage), damage to the pancreas, certain cancers, heart problems, sexual problems, and other conditions. About 1 in 4 men, and about 1 in 7 women, drink more than the safe limit. In general, the more you drink, the greater the risk.

For example, if a man drinks five units each day (not greatly over the recommended limit) then, on average, he doubles his risk of developing liver disease, raised blood pressure, some cancers, and of having a violent death.

Problem (harmful) drinking
This is where you continue to drink heavily even though you have caused harm, or are causing harm or problems to yourself, family, or society. For example, you may:

  • have cirrhosis or another alcohol related condition.
  • binge drink and get drunk quite often. This may cause you to lose time off work, or behave in an antisocial way when you drink. But note: not everybody with problem drinking binges or gets drunk. Many people with an alcohol related condition such as cirrhosis drink small amounts frequently, but do not get drunk.
  • spend more money on alcohol than you can afford.
  • have problems with your relationships or at work because of your drinking.

Many problem drinkers are not dependent on alcohol. They could stop drinking without withdrawal symptoms if they wanted to. But, for one reason or another, they continue to drink heavily.

Alcohol dependence (addiction)
This is a serious situation where you drink every day, and need to drink to prevent unpleasant withdrawal symptoms (see below). In the UK about 2 in 100 women, and about 7 in 100 men, are alcohol dependent.

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June 19, 2007

Lose those Calories too!

Hot Toddys, Bailey’s Irish coffee and egg nog – all cocktails that are holiday fan favorites. The holidays always seem like the perfect opportunity to indulge, and drinking alcohol and celebrations seem to go hand in hand. While enjoying your favorite cocktail is never a bad thing, throwing back one too many may not be a good thing for your waistline or for your overall health. If you’re tired of the negative effects of alcohol and want to stop drinking.

Did you know that there are seven calories per gram of alcohol in your alcoholic beverages? That’s more calories per gram than what is supplied by carbohydrates and protein, and only two calories less than a gram of fat. Not only is the calorie-count of some cocktails enough to make you want to put down the bottle, but if you’re drinking becomes too frequent, you could be posing all kinds of health and social problems for yourself.

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June 14, 2007

Be a Designated Driver

Every single injury and death caused by drunk driving is totally preventable. Unfortunately, over twenty percent of all traffic fatalities in the United State each year are caused by drunk drivers. 1 Thus, drunk driving remains a serious national problem that tragically affects thousands of victims annually.

Don’t drink and drive and don’t ride with anyone who has too much to drink. Remember, it is usually themselves and their passengers who are harmed by drunk drivers. The risk of collision for high Blood Alcohol Content drivers is several hundred times higher than for a non-drinking driver. 

If you haven’t had anything to drink, volunteer to be a designated driver. And never condone or approve of excessive alcohol consumption. Intoxicated behavior is potentially dangerous and never amusing. Don’t ever let your friends drive drunk. Take their keys, have them stay the night, have them ride home with someone else, call a cab, or do whatever else is necessary – but don’t let them drive!

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June 13, 2007

Tips On Being A Good Host

Create a setting conducive to easy, comfortable socializing: soft, gentle music; low levels of noise; comfortable seating. This encourages conversation and social interaction rather than heavy drinking.

Serve food before beginning to serve drinks. This de-emphasizes the importance of alcohol and also sends the message that intoxication is not desirable.

Have a responsible bartender. If you plan to ask a friend or relative to act as bartender, make sure that person is not a drink pusher who encourages excessive consumption.

Don’t have an "open bar." A responsible person needs to supervise consumption to ensure that no one drinks too much. You have both a moral and a legal responsibility to make sure that none of your guests drink too much.

Pace the drinks. Serve drinks at regular reasonable intervals. A drink-an-hour schedule is a good guide.

Push snacks. Make sure that people are eating.

Be sure to offer a diversity of attractive non-alcohol drinks.

Respect anyone’s choice not to drink. Remember that about one-third of American adults choose not to drink and that a guest’s reason for not drinking is the business of the guest only, not of the host. Never put anyone on the defense for not drinking.

End your gathering properly. Decide when you want the party to end and stop serving drinks well before that time. Then begin serving coffee along with substantial snacks. This provides essential non-drinking time before your guests leave.

Protect others and yourself by never driving if you think, or anyone else thinks, that you might have had too much to drink. It’s always best to use a designated driver.

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June 12, 2007

Curb Those Alcohol Cravings

Craving alcohol is a complicated process that involves several different factors. We are usually first introduced to alcohol at a young age (in our teens). Since no-one under the age of 21 (in the US) is allowed to purchase alcohol, it becomes "cool" and desirable for young adults under 21 to give drinking a try.

Later on people grab a bottle of booze to feel better, gain more confidence in a social setting or to forget about their problems. Since the alcohol makes them feel better, at least temporarily, they start to crave it.

Consuming alcohol on a regular basis also becomes a habit after a while, just like driving down a familiar road. If there is a problem, or a social setting that calls for alcohol, you may be grabbing that bottle of beer or glass of wine without even thinking about it.

Once you get in the habit of drinking alcohol on a more or less regular basis, your body gets used to the alcohol in the blood stream and reacts with withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking. These withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe.

If you just crave the occasional glass of wine or beer, make sure you are aware of the craving and make a conscious choice to have a glass, or skip it. Don’t let your cravings or emotions make the decision for you.

If you find yourself addicted to alcohol and are unable to not give in to the cravings, please seek professional help. Alcohol addiction is very serious and the earlier you seek treatment, the easier it will be to kick the habit and take control over your alcohol cravings.

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June 9, 2007

Steps to Help Reduce or Stop Drinking Alcohol

What can help me to reduce or stop drinking alcohol?

No-one can make you stop or cut down drinking. You have to be committed and determined to do this yourself. However, it can be difficult, and one or more of the following may help.

Accepting the problem
Some people deny to themselves that they have a problem. The sort of thoughts that people deceive themselves with include: "I can cope", "I’m only drinking what all my mates drink", "I can stop anytime". Accepting that you may have a problem, and seeking help where necessary, are often the biggest steps to cutting back on alcohol, or cutting it out completely.

Self help
Some people are helped by books, websites, leaflets and their own determination. It is thought that about 1 in 3 people who have a problem with alcohol return to sensible drinking, or stop drinking, without any professional help. See the end of this leaflet for a list of resources.

Talking treatments
Some people are helped by counselling and advice from a practice nurse or doctor. Sometimes a referral to a specially trained counsellor may be advised. They can help you to talk through the issues in more detail and help you to plan how to manage your drinking. In some cases, more intensive talking treatments such as cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT) may be appropriate. CBT helps you to change certain ways that you think, feel and behave, and may help some people with alcohol related problems.

Treating other illnesses
Alcohol may seem to be a ‘quick’ answer to the relief of stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental health problems. However, the effect is short-lived and drinking a lot of alcohol often makes these conditions worse. If you feel that these conditions are the underlying problem then see your doctor. Medication and talking treatments such as CBT often work well for these conditions, and are a much better long-term option than heavy drinking.

Detoxification (‘detox’)
This is an option if you are alcohol dependent.

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