July 30, 2007

How to Recognize Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a devastating disease that effects millions of people every year. Recognizing alcoholism in yourself or someone else can be difficult. Alcoholism is defined as a disease that allows a persons use of alcohol to interfere with their life and the basic functioning of their daily tasks, needs and responsibilities.

The clinical way of looking at alcohol is by examining the amount of alcohol a person consumes. A women who drinks more than seven drink per week or more than three drinks a day and a man who drinks more than 14 drinks per week or four drinks in a day would be considered an alcoholic. A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor.

Warning signs of alcoholism may vary form person to person. Usually though these warning signs will be obvious. The following list outlines some of these signs.

- misses a lot of work or school
- losses interest in family, friends or activities
- depression
- drinking to cope with any problem
- insomnia
- being intoxicated often
- moody
- drinking related health problems

These are some of the noticeable warning signs. More serious behaviors can also serve as a wake-up call. Risky behavior like drinking and driving should be taken seriously.

Alcohol when taken in moderation is a nice way to relax or enjoy a social engagement, where when alcohol becomes a problem it can effect everyone who is close to the alcoholic. Some things that can tell a person they may be having a problem with alcohol are:

- worry over not having alcohol or money to buy it
- hiding alcohol so others do not know you have it
- often wishing to be drunk or get drunk faster
- unable to stop drinking once started
- hearing others comment on your drinking

Alcoholism should always be taken seriously. If you or someone you know has a drinking problem professional help is available in every community. Recognizing the problem is the first step to finding a solution.


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July 27, 2007

Could Alcohol Be Causing Your Snoring?

Even though 40% of the worlds population snore, few snorers know what the cause(s) of their snoring is / are, and how they can fix the problem.

The common causes of snoring are being overweight, drinking alcohol and smoking. Let’s talk about alcohol here and see how it may play a part in your snoring.

Most people drink because alcohol relaxes them and for a lot of people, especially after a really "stressful day", nothing beats a beer, glass of wine or cocktail. Alcohol relaxes the muscles of the body even more so than normal sleeping does. Since your muscles are more relaxed while under the influence, your orophanyx (the back of your throat) begins to collapse more rapidly and obstruct the flow of air.

Alcohol is also known to cause congestion in the nasal passages and this congestions becomes another obstruction to your breathing freely.

If possible, STOP DRINKING.

Not only will it help with your snoring, but it is also thought that drink anything more than, in "moderation", is detrimental to your health.

At the very least stop drinking 4 – 6 hours before going to bed. This grace period will allow your body a chance to for the effects of the alcohol to wear off and reduce the effects that it may have on your sleeping, helping you to sleep without snoring.

Sedatives such as sleeping pills behave much in the same way as alcohol, and amplify the affect if you take them while drinking, causing your body to relax its muscles and inducing many of the same symptoms as alcohol.

When you snore, you not only do you hurt yourself – studies have shown that a spouse, or significant other, can lose up to an hour of sleep per night. Causing them not only to be ‘cranky’ in the morning, but potentially destroying your relationship.

So, don’t just do it for yourself – do it for your loved one!


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July 25, 2007

Lose those Love Handles

Are you getting love-handles? If you’re like many men, you have probably found yourself expanding in places you rather would not. Are you sitting stationary at work all day, then go home and drink some beer, eat some pizza and watch late night TV… while letting your love handles get out of control.

Don’t feel bad, cause you’re not the alone.

Obviously if you’re seeing your mid-section expanding it’s probably time to get up and start strengthening your abs. Some simple things you can do to lose those love handles forever are: stop drinking so much beer! OK, all kidding aside, you may want to control your eating habits, introduce some basic resistance and aerobic training along with ab exercises. And since we are talking about beer, you may want to reduce your beer (alcohol) intake.

And no, drinking beer is not the same as drinking water… unfortunately. Beer has a lot of calories, and the first place it goes is around your mid-section. By the way, this doesn’t mean that you have to stop drinking alcohol all together. Just control your intake as you would your diet.

Exercise will not only help you lose your love handles but also help your posture as it will strengthen and stabilize your core (including your abs). So, if you have been suffering from some minor back aches or even chronic back pain, you may find that by engaging in exercise it may dissipate or disappear forever.

By the way, if you only engage in ab exercises without any aerobic or resistance (weight) training, you may find your love handles growing larger! Yikes! This is because your muscles are growing yet your body fat percentage is staying the same. By the way, you don’t have to train like a marathon runner or a bodybuilder to lose those love handles. Start out by doing small things, like walking to the local store instead of driving; or taking the stairs instead of the elevator or the escalator. But, if you want to seriously transform your body (not only losing your love handles but shedding a ton of body fat) then you will need to get serious and do some intense workouts.

On another note, you may also want to cut salty foods from your diet. Why? Simply because salt (or sodium) cause your body to retain water, which will also make your love-handles look worse than they are. So, avoid using extra salt on your food and also avoid processed food as they generally have high sodium content. Drinking a lot of water helps fight against those love-handles as well as it helps you metabolize your stored body fat into energy. Not to mention that it will help reduce your appetite and keep your body hydrated.

In any event, you don’t have to keep your love handles forever. All it takes are some adjustments in your daily intake with the addition of regular exercise. This will help you lose weight overall along with your love handles, and increase your well-being.

A final note, this advice is solid for both men and women…


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July 23, 2007

Married to an Alcoholic: 7 Steps to Helping Them Get Sober

Are you married to an alcoholic? Is your husband/wife a different person when they drink? Are you tired of the Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde Behavior? Are you at your wits end and just can’t take it anymore? What can you do?

1. Stop trying to get your husband/wife to stop drinking.

No matter how much you nag and complain at them to stop drinking, it is not going to do a bit of good. What will is taking care of you. I know, it sounds backwards, but when you’re emotionally stressed out, it will be more difficult to help your loved one. You have no verbal power over the alcoholic. What you do have control over is your actions. What you do and say to the alcoholic will have a direct effect on whether or not they will continue drinking or not.

2. Detach with love.

Be loving and supportive of the person you married, not the alcoholic. Don’t take any of the emotional garbage they dish out while drinking. Have you noticed how when your spouse drinks they start to berate you and want to start arguments? Don’t argue or fight back. Let them know you will not argue with them while they are drinking, period.

Above all, never allow the alcoholic to trespass against your spirit when they are playing one of their mind games. Walk away and close the door behind you. Go visit a friend, take a walk around the block, or put some ear plugs in your ears. Your mental health is what helps the alcoholic the most. This is what detaching with love is all about. Detaching yourself from the disease is what helps the alcoholic see that he needs help.

3. Set boundaries

Did you know that the person who takes the verbal abuse of an alcoholic is sometimes just as mentally and emotionally sick as the alcoholic? This is why it is absolutely necessary, especially for spouses of alcoholics, to set boundaries for themselves while the alcoholic is drinking.

Don’t allow their roller coaster emotions to affect you. At least do not let them see that they are affecting you. The alcoholic wants to get a reaction out of you, don’t give them that satisfaction. When they are drinking, treat them like a stranger. Remember, you love the person you married, but you do not love the disease. Don’t be nice to the disease but love the person. Do you understand?

4. Do not enable the alcoholic

Don’t help the alcoholic by enabling their addictive behavior. Don’t help them to bed. Don’t let them drive while drinking. Do not let them argue, fuss or fight with you while they are drinking. Do not talk to them, leave the house or room and shut and lock the door behind you. Do not buy them alcohol, even if they beg you to. Don’t let them drive! Don’t treat them any differently because they have a drinking problem. Don’t give them any special attention while they are drinking.

5. Be supportive when they are sober

When the alcoholic in your life is sober, give them extra special attention. Tell them how much you love them, but not the disease. Talk to them about your new boundaries when they are sober. Write them on the refrigerator so they can’t say they forgot. Basically let them know all the bad and awful things they do to you and the rest of the family while they are drinking. They need to know.

6. Go to Alan-on

This is very important when you are living with an alcoholic. This is how you heal yourself from the abuses of the alcoholic. This is where you will meet friends who are going through the same things as you. You are not alone.

7. Pray everyday

Never relent in your silent appeals to God for your spouse’s sobriety. I cannot say enough how important it is to keep a well balanced mind, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually when living with an alcoholic. They can literally tear you apart. I encourage you to seek God for your comfort and encouragement during this difficult time in your life. God answers our incessant appeals for healing. He feels our suffering and pain. Please do not give up hope.


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July 21, 2007

5 Ways DUI Laws Effect You

Perhaps the nations most well known anti drunk driving organization is Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), they have catapulted this issue into the forefront of American culture and in the process have helped to make Driving Under the Influence (DUI) laws tougher in every state in the country. These tougher laws come with increased penalties and social ramifications.

1- Every state has taken a serious stand against drunk and drugged drivers. Perhaps the toughest state is California, which has received an overall grade of B+ from the Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization. While Montana received an F from the same group, using the same set of criteria. As you can see, it pays to follow the DUI laws, as you never know how they will affect you as you travel from state to state.

2- These laws are based on statistics such as these from the National Traffic Safety Administration: In 2003 of children 15 years of age and younger that were killed in car crashes, 21% died in drunk driving accidents. In 2004, 39% of all traffic fatalities were the result of driving under the influence.

3- Because of these statistics and the DUI laws that follow them, drinking and driving is becoming one of the most social condemned crimes of recent history. If you are convicted under any of the numerous DUI laws that are on the books today, you not only face the legal ramifications, but you also face being socially black listed. More and more people are turning away from acquaintances who drink and drive.

4- You can lose you job if you are convicted of this particular crime. Not only can you spend jail time and fines, but your employer may actually have a policy built into the company handbook.

5- Today, there is more than ever to think about before you sit behind the wheel of a car after you have been drinking. Be smart, call someone to drive you home, or stay where you are. It might be incontinent now, but could save you so much later.


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July 19, 2007

Alcohol Rehabs on the Cutting Edge

Throughout the United States there are thousands of alcohol rehabs which claim to be the best alcohol rehabs in the country. When you stop to take a close look at these alcohol rehabs you will find the vast majority of them to be almost identical. Upon further review, you will find either they do not possess data to support their claims or or you can not find the difference between one alcohol rehab and another alcohol rehab.

What Makes an Alcohol Rehab "Cutting Edge"?

An alcohol rehab that is truly "cutting edge" is an alcohol capable of providing individualized alcohol treatment. Most alcohol treatment centers have every patient participating in the exact same alcohol treatment services. What about the person in the alcohol rehab that has a dual diagnosis, who may be gay, bisexual or transgender or the person in an alcohol rehab program who suffers from a eating disorder. All of the above may require individualized alcohol treatment plans with individualized care.

The Staff in an Alcohol Rehab Makes the Difference

When looking for an alcohol rehab you will see that many of the quality alcohol rehabs have licensed alcohol treatment therapists. While this is a positive feature, do not make your decision only on degrees. All the degree really means is the person completed their education. See how the therapist acts as a person, do you get a good feeling about them, are they passionate about their work and are they in recovery themselves. After reviewing all of these factors you will be better equipped to make a decision.

Florida Alcohol Rehabs Are Special

For some reason Florida Alcohol Rehabs seem to have become some of the most creative and effective in the country. These alcohol rehabs have increased their lengths of stay, invented new and exciting living environments and provide quality dual diagnosis treatment. To locate an alcohol rehab in Florida or any other part of the country, call this toll free helpline at 1-800-511-9225.


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July 17, 2007

Protecting Your Children From Alcohol Abuse

We all wish there was a vaccine that would immunize our children (and ourselves for that matter) from the ravages of alcohol abuse and addiction. We’d like to stop worrying about death, DUI’s, and personal disaster. But there aren’t any easy fixes – or even easy answers – and the best we can hope for is to make the best choices we can out of too many conflicting choices.

For example: do you want your child to abstain from alcohol and thereby avoid even the chance of alcoholism? It’s true that if she or he doesn’t drink alcohol then abuse, dependence, and addiction isn’t in his or her future. This may be the best decision when a documented family history of alcoholism, on both sides, exists. Of course abstaining will significantly increase their risk for heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and senile dementia, among other unattractive possibilities. Choices are never obvious where alcohol is concerned.

The ideal is beyond dispute: moderation, as in all things. There aren’t any surprises in the prescription, but you still can’t buy moderation at the corner pharmacy. That being the case, what’s a parent, school, or community to do?

For parents the recipe is simple: set a good example. The cultures with the lowest alcoholism rates are those that use alcohol respectfully, joyfully, and in moderation. They do not approve of, or model, drunkenness. Parents need to treat alcohol consumption with education, risk assessment, and understanding. It isn’t a lot different than muddling through that other high risk, high benefit, parental nightmare, sex.

For schools the effective strategy is also pretty straightforward, education in the early grades followed by activities that develop competing interests in middle school and high school. Protection from alcohol abuse has much the same form as recovering from it – develop interests that override it. Schools should also avoid so-called "drug and alcohol awareness programs" which offer no benefit to low and high-risk students and actually increase inappropriate involvement by teenagers at medium risk levels. Schools should also enforce, as well as have, zero tolerance rules that apply equally to everyone including football players, cheerleaders, and the offspring of the rich and powerful.

Communities need to support parents and schools with their own contributions towards alternative activities and disapproval of individuals and businesses that profit from, exploit, or encourage adolescent alcohol use outside the home. It’s not that hard to do and the mutual support of families, schools, and communities is as close to immunization as we’re ever going to get.

As parents we can absolutely control what happen in our homes and what messages we send to our children. We can also have a great deal of influence over their schools. Swaying a community is a bigger issue, but many of us can still exercise some control over where we choose to live.

The best news in all of this is that managing two out of three of your child’s environments is usually going to be enough. As with the quality of your child’s education, the attitude of the home and school, the home and the community, or even the school and community, can be enough to make a lifelong difference.

It still takes two of the three, and home is the only one you can absolutely guarantee. It’s where attitudes start, develop, and carry over. Why not make sure that you’re doing the right thing? Drink a toast to joy and moderation at the weekly family dinner. Don’t forget to pour a glass for the adolescent who is looking to you for guidance, not lectures. Remember, like sex, lifelong abstinence is usually neither healthy nor to be expected. Enjoy accordingly.


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July 14, 2007

Alcohol Related Car Accidents

The alarming figures with regard to the number of deaths caused by car accidents that involve alcohol have prompted state governments and the Federal Government to take critical steps to prevent fatalities. One of these steps is to lower the allowable blood alcohol concentration (BAC) from 100 mg/dl to 80 mg/dl. However, such measures have proven to be inadequate as more recent figures show a dramatic increase in deaths caused by car accidents involving alcohol. More stringent laws have to be enacted to prevent these accidents, which may include imposing stiffer penalties for DUI or driving under the influence cases.

Recent figures show that instead of the expected decrease in the number of alcohol related deaths as a result of imposing a lower BAC, quite the opposite has occurred. In the last ten years, around 250,000 people died in alcohol related car accidents in the United States. Figures show that 16,000 people were killed in the year 2000, due to alcohol related accidents. In 2004, that figured climbed to 25,000. This means that 500 people die every week and 71 people die everyday in alcohol related car accidents.

In addition to these figures, estimates show that the economic and societal cost of alcohol related car accidents are very high. Alcohol impaired drivers cost American taxpayers about 21 to 24 billion dollars a year. Other studies show a much higher figure of $136 billion dollars is spent on alcohol related accidents. This is in addition to the huge insurance costs of alcohol related accidents and the injury, destruction and death that come with them.

State and Federal Governments have lowered the allowable BAC that is aimed at lowering the number of deaths caused by drunk driving. However, recent figures show that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of deaths caused by drunk driving. Given this, there may be a need for more stringent interventions, such as imposing stiffer penalties for DUI cases. This has the potential of effectively preventing more deaths caused by alcohol related car accidents.


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July 12, 2007

The Real Secret To Successfully Giving Up Alcohol

There’s a dilemma faced by people wishing to dry out? Just how do you say goodbye to a companion of many years acquaintance. What does it take do break this bond of dependency?

You have to look at it this way.

Alcohol gets to be that reckless part of you, that alter ego that appears like a black sheep of the family, only to rain on your parade. It’s the Jekyll part of your psyche, that when primed reeks havoc all about it, then leaves you to tidy up the trail of destruction it leaves in its wake.

It’s the kind of friend that moves in uninvited, steals your food, makes out with your girlfriend and doesn’t pay a dime in rent. The perennial bad tenant, that wrecks your property, lets weeds grow in your garden and then only departs when forcibly evicted. A travelling salesman who promises you the world, sells you a vision of utopia, takes your hard earned cash and never delivers!

But above all it’s a substance that wrecks your health and causes so much unnecessary suffering, a drug you willingly pour down your neck for the sake of sociability and to block out the daily pounding of life. Its not until you can see it for what it is, an interloper in an otherwise beautiful existence, that you realize that this substance takes on a life of its own, once you allow it to enter your body.

Alcohol becomes a living thing, once you can name it and point an accusing finger in its direction.

But be aware of one thing, like the vampire at the door, you invited it in and because of that, it is sucking you dry. Alcohol can make you into one of the thousands of un-dead that roam this world, cut off from the beauty of life, because the very spirit of them has been sucked out and replaced with a parasitic substance, that lives only to be fed by its host.

Breaking the bond of dependency comes down to one thing, it’s the day you discover for yourself, that the substance you thought was a crutch to lean on was actually the apparatus that disabled you in the first place. When you see alcohol for what it is, a substance that harms your body and sucks up all your hard earned cash, then the process of banishing it from your life gets that much easier.

The hardest part of giving up is making that decision to do so, its one only you can make and its like parting from an old friend. But as with certain friendships, there comes a time when you outgrow each other and need to follow different paths.

Ahead of you lays a fork in the road, dependent on what route you take, it will decide the future outcome of your life. Choose wisely, take one step at a time and just keep looking ahead. Never turn back and your life will blossom beyond belief. And please don’t worry, newer, better friends will join you on the journey, you won’t be alone!


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July 10, 2007

DUI/DWI – What You Should Know

Driving under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is one of the most serious driving offenses in the United States of America. Although there are several driving offenses, the charge of DUI/DWI results in serious consequences and is likely to have grave implications on your future. Driving with a blood alcohol level of or above 0.08 % is a crime and your driver’s license can be revoked or suspended if you are found guilty. It can also make life costly and difficult through increased insurance costs and hefty fines.

The United States takes the DUI/DWI offense very seriously. Drink Driving in states like California are set forth by a statute and California DUI Law can be incredibly complex. The consequences vary with different circumstances and in different states. But the basic punishment under the DUI law tends to remain almost the same.

Besides the above mentioned, there are other circumstances that will make your punishment even harsher – if you are speeding while driving under the influence, if you have a child in the car, refusing to comply with the tests when asked, damage, injury, accident and loss of life. The greater the alcohol content, the greater the penalty under the DUI Law. If you are under age and have prior convictions for the same offense can also lead to immense problems.

If you are a first-time offender, you may end up with a fine, possible jail time or community service with a suspension of your license under the DUI Law. You may be asked to attend, compulsorily an alcohol education program to avoid further such occurrences. In the event that you are a repeat offender, hefty fines and jail time is ensured. Your participation in the alcohol abuse program will also be longer and mandatory; moreover your license will be suspended or revoked and vehicle impounded.

To determine whether you are under the influence of alcohol, law enforcement officers conduct various field tests, like the Horizontal Gaze, Walk and Turn, One Leg Stand tests which are a part of the standardize procedures under the DUI Law. These tests help to verify the driver’s ability to follow instructions as well as demonstrate balance and coordination. Additionally, they also conduct a chemical test or the Breath Analyzer test which records the alcohol level in your blood stream. If reading shows you to be over the required limit, then you are presumed to be driving under the influence and will be charged with drunk driving. You will then have to appear in court to defend the charges.

Once charged with the DUI/DWI offense, under the DUI Law, there inevitably will follow a long drawn out process of legal involvement. The first step is the Preliminary Hearing at the district justice level. It will allow the judge to decide whether there is enough evidence against you. The next step is your arraignment that helps you to know what you are being charged with and whether you understand those charges. You will also be required here to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. First time offenders may get away with a fine, community service and alcohol awareness programs.

If you are deemed ineligible for the above programs or believe that you are not guilty, you can request for a trial by jury. In such a case, ensure that you have a good lawyer, as there is much legality that you may be completely unaware of. At the end of the case, the jury will find you guilty or innocent and will have to prepare yourself for sentencing.

There are many lawyers and attorneys in the United States, but there are only a few that are well experienced in DUI or DWI law cases. Ensure that you choose a good and experienced lawyer for your defense. These lawyers know every aspect of defense to get an acquittal or at best a reduced sentence. The attorney needs to be well informed of the different tactics that can be used to make a client’s case have a good outcome. Good and honest communication is necessary between the lawyer and the client to ensure a comprehensive knowledge of the events that have occurred. He needs to go over each item that can be used in their client’s defense. When the police stop drivers, the drivers automatically feel guilty if they have had just one drink. Sometimes they are dealt with unfairly and this is what a good lawyer will pick up on. The defense that the lawyer will use relate to matters such as:

  • Whether your constitutional rights have been breached
  • Whether the officer concerned followed the correct procedures
  • Whether you were read your rights when the officer made the DUI/DWI arrest
  • Whether the blood and alcohol level tests were properly carried out
  • Whether the equipment used to monitor blood alcohol levels was maintained and in good working order

The charge for drunk driving is an extremely serious offense. The consequences not only affect you for that moment but the charges will remain on your record permanently. It is thus important that you choose your lawyer wisely to fight your DUI/DWI case as it can affect your entire life and lifestyle forever. Many cases of DUI/DWI get dismissed by experienced DWI lawyers on simple technicalities. An experienced legal expert in this field of DUI Law will know exactly what to look out for, and will be aware of the various loopholes that can mean the difference between a successful charge or dismissal of charges.


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