October 31, 2007

Ways to Stop Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol drinking is injurious to your physical and mental health. It may ruin your life, family and social relationships, and employment prospects. There are numerous ways to stop drinking alcohol.

First Step
The first step in making an effort to stop drinking may consist of identifying the reasons why you want to stop drinking. While some reasons can be general -applicable to all the drinkers- there may be others that may be specific to you. Make a list of reasons to stop drinking. You may also seek your friend’s help to complete the list. Keep this list at a secure and most visible place as you may have to refer to it from time to time to renew your commitment. It would be better to keep the list at more than one location, say, next to your shaving mirror in the bathroom, pasted on your fridge door and also in your purse to increase its visibility

Gradual Reduction of Drinking
If you are chronic and hardened drinker, it may not be possible for you to put a full stop to drinking on the day one. The best course would be to cut down the quantity and keep reducing it progressively. Draw a plan of reducing its intake on periodic basis and fix a date for a final full stop.

Regular Evaluation of Progress
Keep evaluating your progress on regular basis, say, for at least thirty days to make your new behavior a habit. Keep a record of the benefits you are experiencing. There may be lapses as well. Make them as stepping stones to your progress. Share your plan and experiences with others to seek their helpful suggestions.

Consult your Doctor
If your self-help plan fails to deliver, there is no reason to be demoralized about your abilities and self confidence. Alcoholism is a disease. It may have made deeper roots and brought about some chemical changes in your biological system.  It may have affected your vital organs such as liver, pancreas, heart, kidney, digestive system and so on. Quite often, therefore, it needs expert medical assistance for its treatment. There are certain medications that may help you overcome your alcoholism. Remember, it is safer to withdraw from this nefarious habit under the medical supervision.

Eliminate Stumbling Blocks
Impediments may occur to interfere with your effort to achieve your goals. You may have to choose new friends and avoid those who may have induced to drinking alcohol. You may have to change your current life style that hinges on alcohol use. Substitute alcohol by taking new, healthy and delicious drinks such as juices.

Join Support Groups
There are numerous de-addiction support groups such as AA and AVERT. AA or Alcoholics Anonymous has international presence. Its membership constitutes of old alcohol addicts who have successfully given up their addiction. They offer practical tips and suggestions based upon their own experience and expertise. They can help you with empathy and understanding. They even keep your identity anonymous. You may log on to internet to find more such self help groups who are only too willing and happy to extend their cooperation. They will help you to stop drinking alcohol by customizing plans to suit your needs.

Learn to Say a Firm NO
The old friends and associates at drinking clubs or pubs may insist on your company with renewed persuasion and reasons. Persist in your refusal of their invitations with polite yet firm Nos. You should learn to stay active by creating hobbies and other recreational pursuits to spend the alcohol drinking hour with your spouse, kids and friends. Visiting a music concert, reading an interesting book or playing your favorite game on your computer can divert your attention from drinking alcohol. Reward yourself by finding ways to stop drinking alcohol.


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October 30, 2007

Drunk Driving

Alcohol is a major factor in traffic accidents. According to U.S Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) projections, there is an alcohol-related traffic fatality every 29 minutes.

Alcohol-related crashes are defined as those where someone involved, either a driver or a pedestrian or another non-occupant, had a traceable amount of alcohol in his or her blood. According to NHTSA projections, 17,941 people died in alcohol-related crashes in 2006, the highest level since 1992 and up 2.4 percent from 17,525 in 2005. Alcohol was involved in 41 percent of all crash fatalities in 2006.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates that over 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics in 2004 (latest data available). The arrest rate works out to one arrest for every 139 licensed drivers in the United States.

The definition of drunk driving is consistent throughout the United States. Every state and the District of Columbia defines impairment as driving with a BAC (blood alcohol content) at or above 0.08. In addition, they all have zero tolerance laws prohibiting drivers under the age of 21 from drinking and driving. Generally the BAC in these cases is 0.02.

Anti-drunk driving campaigns especially target drivers under the age of 21, repeat offenders and 21 to 34 year olds, the age group that is responsible for more alcohol-related fatal crashes than any other. Young drivers are those least responsive to arguments against drunk driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

To make sellers and servers of liquor more careful about to whom and how they serve drinks, 43 states and the District of Columbia hold liquor servers legally liable for the damage and injuries a drunk driver causes.


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October 27, 2007

Jacqui’s Story

Early on Sunday morning, September 18, 1999, Jacqueline Saburido, 20, and four friends were on their way home from a birthday party. Reggie Stephey, an 18-year-old star football player, was on his way home from drinking beer with some buddies. On a dark road on the outskirts of Austin, Texas, Reggie’s SUV veered into the Oldsmobile carrying Jacqui and the others. Two passengers in the car were killed at the scene and two were rescued. Within minutes, the car caught fire. Jacqui was pinned in the front seat on the passenger side. She was burned over 60% of her body; no one thought she could survive. But Jacqui lived. Her hands were so badly burned that her fingers had to be amputated. She lost her hair, her ears, her nose, her left eyelid and much of her vision. She has had more than 50 operations since the crash and has many more to go.

In June 2001 Reggie Stephey was convicted of two counts of intoxication manslaughter for the deaths of Jacqui’s two friends. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined $20,000.


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October 25, 2007

Getting into Alcohol Recovery

There are many individuals that develop an issue with alcohol addiction. People who suffer with an addiction in the area of alcohol develop the addiction for many different reasons. Alcohol can serve as short term mental and physical relief for numerous individuals.

As alcoholism progresses, the amount of alcohol that an individual is able to tolerate becomes greater. The body of an individual that is suffering from alcohol addiction may feel as if it requires the drinks in order to function properly. This can lead to craving even more alcohol without any increase in effect.This ends up leaving the addicted alcoholic feeling as if they have no control over the situation.

Once an individual starts to experience the many negative consequences, both mentally and physically, with consuming alcohol, they may make the choice to get into alcohol treatment. There are many different treatment methods that are used to treat this devastating disease. Each method is generally suited to meet the needs of an individual. There is no one standard treatment method that is effective for all individuals that suffer from the trying and complicated disease of alcoholism.

Oftentimes a person that suffers from an addiction with alcohol decides that they have had enough. They start to research the various complications that they have in life and see that nothing seems to work itself out. The problems just seem to keep happening, and at an accelerated rate. As they evaluate their lifestyle, they realize that the addiction that they are suffering from seems to be the culprit for their negative experiences. It is then that most of these individuals conclude that they have a grave dilemma with alcohol. This is where the task of getting into alcohol recovery comes into play.

There are many ways that an individual can acquire the treatment and support that they require for successful alcohol recovery. One of the first places to start with is a friend or a close family member. This is an important component of the emotional support and accountability that will be required throughout the recovery process. Having someone to talk to that a person is comfortable with, and a person that will hold one accountable for recovery is extremely important. Once a person has the support that is necessary for recovery, they may research various other areas that may help as well.

If one would like to stop drinking, they can discuss the problem that they are experiencing with a doctor. This can be a doctor that evaluates the individual on a consistent basis, or one may even choose to make an appointment with a counselor. These health professionals can help an alcoholic by referring them to clinics, other specialists, and by providing them with other important resources concerning methods to aid in the process of recovery.

Many individuals find that it is best to start off in an anonymous manner when reaching out for recovery options. There are many hotlines available around the nation where an alcoholic can call to find out about recovery alternatives. In addition to providing excellent resources that increase the opportunity for recovery, the individuals who answer these calls are trained to listen, provide support, and offer encouragement to individuals who are ready to give up the addiction that they are facing.

If a person wishes to eliminate an addiction to alcohol, they may find assistance at a local hospital. If a person visits during normal hours that the hospital has during the day, they may be able to consult with drug therapists and other individuals. They may be provided literature on excellent resources for assistance. If a person visits a local hospital outside of normal hours, they will probably be directed to the local emergency room. Once there, the personnel will work closely with the individual to meet their needs.

There are many ways that an individual can get into alcohol recovery. The first thing that is required is a willingness to open up to the fact that there is a problem that will only get worse. Then, a person should reach out for the emotional support and accountability that will be required throughout the process of recovery. Once this is done, various options, such as clinics and counselors, can be explored. The recovery time is different with individuals, and is an ongoing process. This is to ensure that, in the end, it is a successful recovery.


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October 23, 2007

Alcoholism Disease

TCADA has recently opened and funded the Prevention Resource Center for Region 8. The resource center serves 27 counties by providing training, resources, and education in the area of chemical dependency and substance abuse.
Prevention services generally are directed toward children in elementary grades where resiliency skills are developed; however services should also include the elderly and pre-school age children
Best practices indicate the prevention model for school age children which is most effective includes components involving parents, school officials and family members.

San Antonio Council on Alcoholism (SACADA)
Prevention Project HART is a 12-week program involving elementary school age children, family members, teachers, and counselors.
This project utilizes a group format composed of 8 to 10 members who meet once per week.
Education modules include life skills training, and art therapy, and are designed to strengthen community responsibility and citizenship.

Families and Schools Together (FAST Program) is a prevention program sponsored by Family Services Association

FAST utilizes an 8-week program based in 15 elementary schools of three school districts in San Antonio.
This program is a collaborative endeavor between school officials, parents, and Family Services Association staff.
The research-based curriculum has produced a 90% completion rate among the 12 to 13 families each school serves per program cycle.
The FAST program has a strong evaluation component with a 2-year follow-up.
The curriculum focuses on building skills in the areas of communication, family rituals, family values, and substance abuse prevention. Participants are also provided with counseling if needed.


In addition to private hospitals, the major providers of substance abuse treatment in Bexar County are Alamo Rehabilitation Center (ARC), The Patrician Movement, Alpha Home, Palmer Drug Abuse Program, Treatment Associates and the Bexar County Treatment Facility. The Palmer Drug Abuse Program and Treatment Associates are outpatient treatment providers; the other agencies have both inpatient and outpatient treatment services

Most of the funding for treatment in Bexar County is provided by either TCADA or the Criminal Justice System.
Treatment providers in attendance concurred that treatment begins with a commitment to total abstinence from mood altering substances.
In Bexar County in 1997, 2000 drug and alcohol assessments were completed for probation and parole. Of these, 70% were assessed as alcohol dependent.

Of those individuals receiving treatment in Bexar County, 70% are referred by either probation or parole.
Treatment for adolescents in Bexar County is non-existent.

Funding for treatment needs to be increased. Presently, Bexar County does not provide any funding dollars for substance abuse treatment.
In San Antonio, there are an inadequate number of beds for detoxification.


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October 22, 2007

Stop Drinking Alcohol

You might be under the impression that alcohol taken in moderate quantities is wholesome for health. It may be true in some cases, but not in most of the cases. So stop drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol even in small quantities may affect your driving ability. Blood alcohol concentrates as low as 0,02 percent can considerably impede your driving skills.

Alcohol with Medication
Even minor quantities of alcohol taken along with certain medicines can aggravate their adverse impact. There are as many as 150 medicines which when taken with alcohol may prove detrimental to the health of the drinker. For example, if you take alcohol with antihistamines for cold and allergies, the sedative effect of the medication will increase. This can impair your ability to handle the machinery or drive a car.

If you take alcohol with painkillers like Tylenol, you run the risk of damaging your liver. Most of us who quite often buy over-the-counter medicines and take them indiscriminately with alcohol can become vulnerable to numerous health problems. It is advisable to check with your doctor about the advisability of drinking alcohol while you are on medication.

Social and Legal Problems
Addiction to alcohol may create many social and legal problems especially for heavy drinkers. You may fall out with your colleagues at your workplace, with your spouse at home and friends and even strangers. Alcohol addicts are likely to get up late in the morning due to the hangover from drinking in the previous evening. They may reach their office or workplace late. In some cases they may not even reach their office at all. Their productivity may be affected. They may lose their jobs.

Alcohol-Related Birth Defects
If pregnant ladies take alcohol, their children may become prone to a range of congenital defects. Children born of alcoholic mothers may contract life long learning and behavioral problems. They may suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome-FAS– leading to serious physical and mental problems.

Long-Term Health Problems
Drinking alcohol may cause liver problems, heart diseases and certain forms of cancer. These problems may not appear immediately but over a long time of drinking. Women are more prone to alcohol related problems than men even if they drink lesser than men.

Alcohol Related Liver Complications
Millions of people across the world contract liver diseases such as hepatitis or inflammation due to alcoholic drinks. Complications born out of alcoholic hepatitis can sometimes lead even to death. Around 10 to 20 percent of the heavy drinkers develop alcoholic cirrhosis or scarring of liver requiring in some cases liver transplants. Some heavy drinkers may also contract hepatitis C virus-HCV-infection which may cause liver cancer.

Nervous System
Alcohol drinking may seriously impact the nervous system in some case. It may depress the central nervous system. Though alcohol may stimulate the mind initially, it may lead to sedation after a continuous use. Alcohol impairs your immune system. It may affect your logical thinking, emotions and judgment. It may affect your speech and muscle coordination. It may even cause life threatening state of coma.

Problems with Diabetics
Alcohol impedes the release of glucose from the liver which can increase the risk of low blood sugar causing a disease called hypoglycaemia. This disease can prove dangerous to your life if you are already taking insulin to regulate the level of your blood sugar.

Pancreas produces insulin that regulates the blood sugar level in your body. Drinking alcohol may also endanger your pancreas that produces hormones to control you metabolism. Pancreas produces enzymes that help in digesting the proteins and carbohydrates. Long time drinking of alcohol may cause pancreatitis or the inflammation of the pancreas. Acute pancreatitis may cause severe abdominal pain that can be fatal at times. It can also cause diarrhea and weight loss. So stop drinking alcohol.

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October 19, 2007

Alcohol Treatment Is A Consent And A Blessing

Alcohol abuse discerns no age or financially viable hurdles. People from all walks of life struggles with their addiction to alcohol that can ruin families and careers. Thanks to ground-breaking new treatment options for alcoholism more and more people are finding the strength to put down the drink and regain control over their lives. Most inhabitants take for granted that they know what alcoholism really is. They boast a figure in their back-head that almost automatically appears each time they hear this word. But can we really be sure that our perception is right? Before we elaborate any further about treatment methods, let’s make sure that we are on the same page. To accomplish this, let’s take a closer look at the definition of alcoholism:

Modern Methods of Alcohol Treatment:

Centuries ago treatment consisted of barbaric methods of imprisonment and starvation in attempts to help cure those who were in a constant state of drunkenness. Today, a variety of programs exists that help people understand why they are drinking and help them find ways to put down the bottle and enjoy their life naturally. Many programs operate with dedicated support groups that will stay the person seeking treatment for the rest of their lives. These support groups are there to help those overcome temptations and to find alternative ways of dealing with problems or stress other than using alcohol. An enormous preponderance of people who have a dependence on liquor doesn’t realize they have it. Involvement is an important part of many alcohol abuse programs. The first step often isn’t taken by the alcoholic but rather by friends, family or co-workers who are concerned for their health and well-being and seek out treatment options.

There is a range of treatment on hand for alcoholism addiction. Some of these like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) have been practiced for years while others are comparatively new and developing. According to a study conducted by NIAA, self help programs like AA, psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy are the most effective ones, either alone or in combination, in reducing the use of alcohol.

Brighten Your Future Within A Week:

The alcohol treatment takes anywhere only a few days after which, the dependency on alcohol will be mostly psychological and not physical. The main goal of the treatment is to prevent a relapse. There are many amenities in the US that recommend treatment for alcoholism as well as for alcohol withdrawal. These can be short-term suburban treatments, in-patient hospitalization, outpatient counseling & therapy and long-term treatment depending on the severity of the symptoms. The main ambition is to help an alcoholic to remain abstemious as well as refuse to go along with the urge for consuming alcohol.


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October 18, 2007

How to Stop Drinking Alcohol

Drinking alcohol is a widespread addiction. There are conflicting counsels about how to stop drinking alcohol. You have to chart your own course from the myriads of crisscrossing ways to stop drinking alcohol.

Have a Clear Vision
 A clear vision about an alcohol free life can motivate you and strengthen your efforts to stop drinking alcohol. If you stop drinking alcohol, you will improve your general health and quality of life. Your relationship with your parents, spouse, children, friends and relatives will improve.
Adverse Effects of Addiction
 Addiction to alcohol may increase your chances of injuring yourself and others under its influence. Alcohol addiction ruins the life both physically and emotionally. It reduces the man to be his caricature. You set bad example before your children and forfeit moral authority to check them if they do anything wrong.  There are numerous steps about how to stop drinking alcohol.
Self Help–Introspection
Think hard and try to see the benefits of abstaining from drinking alcohol. You may have been discarded by your boy/girl friend you loved most just because you are an alcohol addict and are given to repeated relapses. You may not have been able to realize your dream of distinguishing yourself, for example, as an art designer just because of your alcoholism. Try to analyze the outcome of your past drinking and envision your future. How it would change if you stopped drinking. Make a determined effort to stop drinking once for all. When you do so, you may be having conflicting thoughts about the benefits of stopping to drink alcohol and your helplessness in giving it up altogether.

Ambivalent Thinking
This ambivalence about drinking comes naturally to all the alcohol addicts. On the one hand you want to stop drinking alcohol and on the other hand you are terrified of giving it up. You may be afraid of failure. "What if I relapse again? My hopes will be dashed. It would be greatly demoralizing. I would be depressed more than ever before."  These dilemmas are faced by every addict trying to give up drinking. You may even deny your disease is chronic, incurable and progressive. Then there is one part in you that wants to drink for ever. A voice in you may also say that you are doomed for ever to this life of drinking. This voice may urge you to take a peg right now. This self denying pessimistic stance may impel you to continue drinking since it is impossible for you to quit it for ever.

The ‘Voice’ and You
However you must try to distinguish between ‘that voice’ and you, that is, your own real person. ‘That voice’ does not care anything about you, your values, welfare, dreams and ambitions for a good, happy and healthy life. Make up your mind to fight that voice and you are sure stop drinking alcohol once for all.

Support Groups-Alcoholics Anonymous
If self help does not succeed, there are numerous other resources to help you about how to stop drinking alcohol. One such popular resource is Alcoholics Anonymous-AA– that organizes meetings all over the world for those who wish to stop drinking alcohol. This group is comprised primarily of those persons who have been alcohol addicts. It may be noted that these persons are more qualified in offering useful tips and advice based on their own efforts, agonies, experiences and success stories. How can a person who has never touched alcohol throughout his life tender an effective and practical advice against taking it?

Alcoholics Anonymous keeps your identity anonymous. They have a 12- step universal program about how to stop drinking alcohol. It works for every alcohol addict. It is being presented to the public practically through every treatment program. Besides AA you can contact your family physician, psychologists, health professionals in outpatient and inpatient treatment centers and hospitals. You can also log on to internet to find many voluntary organizations that are only too happy to help you about how to stop drinking alcohol.

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October 17, 2007

Is Alcohol Addiction A Problem In Your House?

Alcohol addiction is defined as a disease. It is estimated that it affects about 10% of the population of the United States. When one has an addiction to alcohol, they become vulnerable to many negative effects, in many areas of their life.

Alcohol dependence is both mental and physical. These individuals lose every ounce of control they have when it comes to consuming alcohol. They feel as if they must drink. Normally, these individuals do not stop drinking until they have actually passed out from consuming too much.

Eventually, it gets to the point in which the person must consume larger amounts to get the same feelings of euphoria that the consumption provided in the past. If an individual attempts to quit consuming the substance, they will actually experience a withdrawal which includes anxiety, nausea, and similar symptoms. The withdrawal that many people experience is similar to those addicted to drugs who cease engaging in drug activity.

Most people find that alcohol addiction leads to many negative complications in their life. This may include problems at work, relationship troubles, issues with health, and even problems that are legal in nature. When an individual has an addiction to alcohol, they will normally continue to drink even when these negative consequences and issues keep occurring.

When a person experiences the demoralizing disease of alcohol addiction, it lasts the entire lifetime. The disease is never cured, but by not drinking you can certainly not create any new problems. There are many common risks that are associated with developing this disease. Many people have made poor choices and end up becoming addicted to alcohol. It is a known fact that there is a genetic component concerning alcohol that is passed on. While there is no known cure for this disease, there are many preventive measures that an individual with an alcohol addiction can practice to avoid consuming this substance.

If you are a person who believes that you may be addicted to alcohol, there are many common indicators that may mean that you have a problem. They are:

• Drinking early in the morning

• Hiding your drinking

• Having feelings of guilt when drinking

• Others have mentioned that you may have a problem

• You feel as if you need to drink

• If you do not drink, you experience anxiety

• You want to quit, but cannot seem to control the urge to drink

• If you do not drink, you actually feel sick

If you find that any of the above situations sound familiar, you may have an issue with alcohol addiction. Help is available through counselors, doctors, treatment centers and hospitals. You should enlist the help of a friend or someone in your family to help as far as emotional support while receiving help for your problem.

The key to recovery from alcohol addiction is abstinence, stopping drinking completely. Many individuals try to quit drinking a little at a time, but since an addiction to alcohol makes a person lose control, this may not work. This is true even in individuals who have the best of intentions.

Alcohol addiction is a widespread disease. In the United States alone, nearly forty five percent of people drink large amounts of alcohol. In addition to this figure, there are many preteens and teenagers that meet the criteria for alcohol addiction.

This is a devastating fact. Not only can alcohol addiction pose a severe financial strain on the individual that suffers from it, it also increases the possibility of experiencing a life threatening condition. Furthermore, it can take a toll on those that you love and care about. If you suffer from alcohol addiction, take a stand and get the assistance that you need.


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October 15, 2007

Alcohol Detox at Home

Alcohol detox at home can be done, but never by yourself. There must be medical oversight because everyone’s withdrawal symptoms are different and unknown until they are into the process itself. In-home detox is not set up to handle patients who are at risk for seizures or strokes. Most programs will only allow low-risk, relatively healthy patients to attempt detox at home.

All patients are overseen by medical staff. Someone is always at the patient’s home during the detox process, which can last anywhere from three to seven days. Depending on the home detox program, the person who stays with the recovering alcoholic could be a friend or family member, with the medical personnel making daily visits and always available by phone. Other detox programs have the medical personnel staying at your home.

Home detox is much less expensive than in-patient detox. Rather than paying for your share of a stay in a treatment facility as well as keep your home operating, you’re just paying for your home, like normal.

Each person is evaluated for their suitability for in-home detox from alcohol before this program starts. There are usually questionnaires and/or interviews. At that point the addict’s suitability for in-home detox from alcohol will be determined. A plan for healthy, safe and effective detox will be prepared and discussed with the patient.

There are many products on the internet promising virtual "detox in a box" or "all-natural detox at home". However, none of these are recommended by physicians. In fact, they’re primarily set up to help people using drugs or alcohol pass drug screening by employers and others. If you can find these products on the internet, don’t you think they employers can, too?

In-home alcohol detoxification can also be used before an inpatient or outpatient treatment program begins. When the individual arrives at the treatment facility, the recovery phase can begin straightaway.

During the in-home alcohol detox, a medical professional, usually a nurse, will arrive at your house. They usually wear street clothes, so as far as your neighbors are concerned, you just have a friend visiting. The medical expert will have already seen your evaluation and will have come prepared to treat you according to your special needs.

Medications are administered, vital signs checked, and the detoxification process has begun. For the detox to be most effective, it must be followed up by recovery. Many of the medical staff who guide the recovering alcoholic through the home detox process will also begin the long-term recovery process at the same time.

Alcohol detox is the first step in the recovery process. Detoxing at home, under medical supervision, can be a safe and confidential method of beginning a new life of sobriety. But even at home, it’s critical that the alcohol detox process only be done under competent medical supervision.


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