December 28, 2007

Common Alcohol Consumption Myths

 "One way to reduce fatal traffic accidents is to not let common myths convince anyone that it’s OK to get behind the wheel of a car after having a few drinks at a holiday party," said Joyce Prager, Assistant Vice President, Community Relations for 21st Century Insurance.

Common Alcohol Consumption Myths — and Facts that Could Save Lives:

Myth: As long as party-goers stick to beer and wine, instead of hard liquor, the intoxicating effects are minimized.

FACT: One 12 oz. can of beer, 5 oz. glass of wine or 12 oz. wine cooler contain the same amount of alcohol as 1 1/2 oz. of hard liquor.

Myth: Someone who has had too much to drink will show visible signs of intoxication.

FACT: Physical appearance can be misleading. Just one drink can impair one’s ability to drive safely, because judgment and motor skills are the first things affected by alcohol consumption.

Myth: Drinking coffee sobers up someone who has had too much to drink.

FACT: Time is the only solution to intoxication. It takes approximately one hour to oxidize each drink consumed.

In addition to knowing the facts about drunk driving, all party hosts have a responsibility to prevent friends and loved ones from becoming the next alcohol-related traffic accident statistic. Before the get-together, designate a driver or plan to use public transportation, and never allow guests to leave your party in the driver’s seat if they have been drinking.

Motorists should also watch out for drunk drivers on the roads this holiday season. To spot a drunk driver, look for these warning signs:
1) driving well below the speed limit;
2) driving outside marked lanes, weaving and zigzagging across the roadway;
3) driving with headlights off at night; and/or
4) tailgating and erratic braking.

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

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December 26, 2007

Holiday Drinking

Every holiday season, people have to deal with the increased pressures and stress that the holidays place upon most of us. Whether we’re traveling to be with family or doing our last-minute gift buying, most people feel under pressure during the holidays.

As you might suspect, the holiday season then becomes one of the most dangerous times of the year for alcohol-related accidents and death. There are several reasons for this:

  • More people drink during the holidays due to numerous parties and other festivities.
  • Many holiday drinkers don’t drink often, so they have a lower alcohol tolerance. These people often underestimate their level of impairment and sometimes even drive when they shouldn’t. When arrested for drunk driving, these people often show a relatively low blood alcohol content yet they are very intoxicated.
  • Problem drinkers and alcoholics love the holidays because there are more social occasions to drink. They say they feel more "normal" because the occasional drinkers are also more likely to abuse alcohol during this time of year. Consequently, people with alcoholism drink and drive more frequently. Unlike occasional drinkers, they have a high tolerance for alcohol and can consume large amounts before showing effects.
  • The holidays are busy and stressful. People are hurrying more than normal and winter road conditions make driving more dangerous. Add alcohol to this scenario and you have a recipe for disaster.

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

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December 25, 2007

Tis the Season to Be Careful Out There

The holiday season, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s in the United States, is the most dangerous season of the year for those trying to maintain sobriety and anyone driving on the public highways.

There are more alcohol-related traffic fatalities during the Holiday season than any other time during the year in the United States.

Use a Designated Driver
If you, or someone you know, is planning on celebrating the holidays by drinking alcoholic beverages, using a designated driver is a smart move. If you are hosting a holiday party, you might consider having a safe holiday party to protect your guests.

To raise the awareness of the problem of drinking and driving during the holiday, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have established a Tie One on for Safety ribbon program to encourage the public to become actively involved in the fight against drunk driving.

Staying Sober During the Holidays
For many, the problem during the holidays is not to avoid drinking and driving, it’s to avoid drinking at all. The holiday season, between Thanksgiving and News Year’s Day can be the most difficult time for alcoholics and their families.

Have Fun!
The holidays are a time to have fun, and that can be accomplished without alcohol. There are many ways to have fun without drinking and have a safe and sober holiday.

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

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December 24, 2007

How Alcohol Affects Different People

It’s party time, and as we know everyone’s loves a good party at Christmas and New Year. 

Celebrating Christmas and the New Year for most people it’s a time to really enjoy themselves, yes it can be very tempting to have far to many and lose control, which in most cases this is what happens over this very festive period. 

How many times have you seen or heard someone spoiling Christmas or the New Year because they can’t control there drink? It happens year after year.  

What people tend to forget is that they are in control of there drinking habits and not alcohol in control of there’s!  Once someone has a drink of alcohol they need to understand that there mind changes, people become unhappy, depression set’s in, people get very angry, yourself esteem hits rock bottom, you start to fall out with people, and all other kinds of things happen. 

I have even heard of someone getting upset with his girlfriend because she wouldn’t answer him via text message, and low and be-hold he ended up jumping in his car very drunk and having an argument with her, which then led to a very upsetting story in the papers the next day saying he’d strangled her to death, all because he couldn’t control his drink. Of course these are very rare cases, but they do happen.  

When your out on your Christmas or New Years party ask yourself one question do you want to be that stupid idiot which everyone talks about, because they can’t handle there drink? Of course not. 

What you can do, is try a bit of planning, I like to ask myself the following, what do I want from this party? Of course the number one answer’s are enjoyment, fun and be happy. Did you know anyone can achieve these without touching a drop of alcohol, if you don’t think you can’t give it a try.  

Instead of saying to yourself I’ll stop tomorrow, try stopping today, when I was on the bottle which was just over 5 years ago, I promised my daughter I’d stop on Christmas eve, I told myself If I can conquer this day which is the second heaviest day for drinking through out the year then I can conquer anyone of them, which I did and my daughter was so proud of me, this made my Christmas and my daughters. 

Sometimes people just need to take a step back and look at what’s around them, seeing things that really count like family and friends, because drinking isn’t one of them. It’s a killer and it’s the root to all evil. Make a promise to someone like I did and do what ever it takes to stick to it, yes it very hard, but I can promise you one thing, it’s the most rewarding thing you’ll ever come across in your life. 

Enjoy your festive season whatever you decide to do, have a great and safe Christmas and New Year! 

Ed Philips

 

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December 21, 2007

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 some people deceive themselves with include: "I can cope", "I’m only drinking what 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), motivational interviewing, or motivational enhanced therapy may be appropriate. For example, CBT helps you to change certain ways that you think, feel and behave, and may help some people with alcohol 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.

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

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December 20, 2007

How To Stop Drinking Alcohol For Good

Okay the most common question asked is can I stop drinking alcohol?
And the simple answer is yes anyone can, but you have to have made your mind up and be fully committed to doing it.

Anyone going into this half hearted will not succeed so you might as well stop reading this article now.

Cutting down on alcohol will improve your health and your life, and remember your only here once this is not a practise or a rehearsal. Think of your reasons for curbing your alcohol addiction and make sure you write them down.

Are you looking to improve your lifestyle and health?
Do you want to improve your relationship with your family and friends?
What makes you want to drink less?

If you have answered yes to the above then this is a step in the right direction.

First you have to think of some realistic goals, without goals you’ll not succeed. Maybe you have chosen to not drink at all, or maybe you have chosen to cut down your drinking by half, or cut down your drinking day by day or week by week, which ever way you choose you have to stick by it, trust me it worth it.

Remember you should always keep a day by day journal of your alcohol consumption, with out this you really have know idea of what your drinking. Here are a few questions you should be asking yourself after a few weeks.

Do you drink more when your alone?
Do you drink more when your sad?
Do you drink more when your lonely?
Do you drink more when your angry?
Do you drink more when your around certain people?
Do you forget what you have done when you’ve been drinking?

If you find that these apply to you then try changing your habits, lets say you drink when your sad, then watch something on TV or listen to so thing on the radio which makes you happy, you have to start getting in a routine and once you conquer your nearly there.

What most people do is set there sights to high so they fail at the first step, set realistic goals and you’ll soon find that your reaching these. Drinking does not control me – I control my drinking!

Nearly everyone who has a drinking problem has a health problem and the simple reason for this is alcohol damages your organs and without your organs your body doesn’t work, look after your organs and they will look after you.

Most people who take action and go and seek help for there alcohol addiction do either quit drinking altogether or drink in very rare occasions.

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December 19, 2007

Should I cut back, or should I stop completely?

Stopping alcohol completely is usually best if you are, or have been, alcohol dependent. Also, if you have a condition due to alcohol such as liver damage. Otherwise, reducing to a safe level of drinking is an option. (A note of caution: do not stop alcohol suddenly if you are alcohol dependent. Some withdrawal effects can be severe. It is best to cut down gradually and then stop, or see your doctor about a ‘detox’ – see later.)

If you are trying to cut down, some tips which may help include the following:

  • Consider drinking low alcohol beers, or at least do not drink ‘strong’ beers or lagers.
  • Try pacing the rate of drinking. Perhaps alternate soft drinks with alcoholic drinks.
  • Consider cutting back on types of social activity which involve drinking. Perhaps try different social activities where drinking is not a part. Perhaps reduce the number of days in the week where you go out to drink.
  • Resist pressure from people who encourage you to drink more than you want to.

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

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December 17, 2007

Take The Steps Today To Stop Drinking

You can take steps today to stop drinking. Your first step might be to see your doctor, contact a support group, or set a date in the near future to stop. While some people can stop drinking on their own, others need medical help to manage the physical process of withdrawal.

If you think you have an addiction to alcohol, talk to your doctor about whether you need to withdraw from alcohol under medical supervision. Your doctor can give you medicine that will help you safely withdraw from alcohol. Other medicines might be prescribed later to help you stay sober. With a doctor’s help, withdrawal from alcohol is safer.

Stopping alcohol use can:

  • Prevent or reduce health problems that are made worse by alcohol use, such as liver damage.
  • Prevent harm to your unborn baby if you are pregnant.
  • Reduce related family concerns or relationship problems.
  • Increase your ability to be productive at work, school, and home.
  • Reduce legal problems that you might have as a result of misuse of alcohol.

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

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December 14, 2007

Alcohol Abuse and Dependence – What Increases Your Risk

You are more at risk for developing alcohol abuse and dependence if you:

  • Have a family history-this includes a genetic link-of alcohol abuse and were exposed to alcohol in your home as you grew up.
  • Use alcohol at an early age. The younger you are when you first drink alcohol, the higher your risk of developing alcohol use problems later as an adult.
  • Are male. For every woman who develops alcohol use problems, three men develop them.
  • Have a history of mental health conditions, including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders. It is common to use alcohol to try to self-medicate these conditions.4
  • Use or abuse other substances such as tobacco, illegal drugs, or prescription medicines.

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

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December 12, 2007

How to Stop Drinking Alcohol

You can take steps today to stop drinking. Your first step might be to see your doctor, contact a support group, or set a date in the near future to stop. While some people can stop drinking on their own, others need medical help to manage the physical process of withdrawal.

If you think you have an addiction to alcohol, talk to your doctor about whether you need to withdraw from alcohol under medical supervision. Your doctor can give you medicine that will help you safely withdraw from alcohol. Other medicines might be prescribed later to help you stay sober. With a doctor’s help, withdrawal from alcohol is safer.

Stopping alcohol use can:

  • Prevent or reduce health problems that are made worse by alcohol use, such as liver damage.
  • Prevent harm to your unborn baby if you are pregnant.
  • Reduce related family concerns or relationship problems.
  • Increase your ability to be productive at work, school, and home.
  • Reduce legal problems that you might have as a result of misuse of alcohol.

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

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