Safe, effective drug/alcohol treatment

All across this country in small towns, rural areas and cities, alcoholism and drug abuse are destroying the lives of men, women and their families. Where to turn for help? What to do when friends, dignity and perhaps employment are lost?

The answer is Palm Partners Recovery Center. It’s a proven path to getting sober and staying sober.

Palm Partners’ innovative and consistently successful treatment includes: a focus on holistic health, a multi-disciplinary approach, a 12-step recovery program and customized aftercare. Depend on us for help with:

Acknowledging National Children of Alcoholics Awareness Week

Acknowledging National Children of Alcoholics Awareness Week

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Justin Mckibben

Estimates show that in America roughly 10% of the population is addicted to alcohol or drugs. At first you might think 10% doesn’t sound like a lot. How does 33 million people sound? And if overdose and death rates have taught us anything, it’s that this problem is a serious and lethal one. But not only do we see the pain and turmoil of those who struggle, but we have to see what the families go through. The individual suffers deeply, but we cannot forget the children of alcoholics.

These numbers show that millions of parents, spouses and children are destructively impacted as they live with a person suffering from addiction.

National Children of Alcoholics Awareness Week started on February 12th and went to the 18th. This observation is to help spread public awareness about the impact of alcohol and drugs on children and families. While the official week of observation has ended, we encourage people to take the chance this month to continue the conversation. We don’t just acknowledge the issue for 7 days a year, right?

The Truth about Children of Alcoholics

Alcoholism is a chronic disease with a far-reaching impact.

  • In America, experts estimate 6.6 million children under 18 live with at least one alcoholic parent
  • One in four children in the U.S. are witness to alcoholism or addiction to drugs regularly

According to The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA), children of alcoholics experience many hardships that have a profound impact on their futures. Children of alcoholics typically:

  • Have poorer language skills
  • Have more absences from school
  • Are more at risk for mental health disorders
  • Higher risk of physical health issues
  • Are at a significantly higher risk of becoming alcoholics themselves when they grow up

How to Help Children of Alcoholics

Most people have the knee-jerk reaction to insist a child should be removed from a detrimental environment. To many it makes sense that if the child is put in danger, they should be taken from their home to be kept safe. If we can’t always help the alcoholics, at least the children of alcoholics should be protected, right? The idea is the children of alcoholics can then have a stable environment while the parent gets treatment.

However, others would argue against such an approach, saying it not only breaks up the family unit, but it could also create a more instability. Removing the children of alcoholics from their homes and putting them in unfamiliar environments might only make things worse. Sometimes this process can create new stress and fear in a child, and ultimately be counterproductive.

So the unique difficulty in helping children of alcoholics is finding a way to maintain stability while still addressing the issues in the home, specifically those connected with the addiction.

Family Programs Part of Holistic Healing

Thankfully, complete removal from the recovery process is not the way it has to be for the families of those who struggle. Newer, more holistic treatment modalities make it a point to incorporate the children of alcoholics and their families in the treatment process.

An effective family program, such as the Palm Healthcare Family Program, can help to support the spouses, parents or children of alcoholics and addicts in many ways. Communicating with families and involving them in the recovery plan tends to make the living environment less dysfunctional.

A key element to assisting the family and children of alcoholics is education. Understanding the individual’s difficulties, they are able to provide an elevated level of support to the patient from home. These kinds of family involved programs can help the children of alcoholics get a better perspective on their parent’s behavior. At the same time, it gives families a chance to heal in tandem with their loved one.

We would like to offer you the FREE GIFT of a checklist to help decipher if you are helping or hurting a loved one who is struggling with addiction.

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The Family for the Future

As innovation and education provide lasting results, treatment is beginning to grow in ways that have a stronger impact. Even elected officials and policy makers are now focusing on the impact of the family of the person addicted to drugs or alcohol.

The reality is, every person suffering from addiction issues eventually has to return home. Taking children away from their parents does not solve the issues, because eventually we want the individual to be able to live in their home environment. Recovery is about to reuniting families, not tearing them further apart. A more supportive family environment will go a long way in helping people in recovery maintain lasting sobriety.

This is why welcoming the family is good for the future. Programs like Palm Partners Recovery Center believe in keeping the spouses, parents and children of alcoholics and addicts connected to the person who needs their support the most. Overcoming the isolation and having love and connection in your corner can change the game. So even though National Children of Alcoholics Awareness Week ended, we still want to challenge everyone to bring their kids or their parents closer together.

Thousands of people everywhere are growing and changing their lives through programs of recovery. Along with them, thousands of families are rebuilding and sharing their strength and hope. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call. We want to help. You are not alone.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

The Two Types of Alcoholic Brains

The Two Types of Alcoholic Brains:

Author: Shernide Delva

There are two sides to every story, and when it comes to alcoholism, the same saying holds truth. A new study examined the changes in the brain that makes a person prone to alcoholism. What they discovered is that there are two types of alcoholic brains: anxiety-prone and impulsive.

Anxiety and impulse control issues are common among alcoholics and the difference between the two could lie in changes in the brain tissues. The brain tissue of alcoholics experience changes that are different from the non-alcoholic brain. Over time, the brain tissue changes from consuming alcohol.  Researchers have discovered that there are two types of alcoholic brains: anxiety-prone (Type I) and impulsive-depressive (Type II) and brain changes are exclusive to one type or the other.

Type I Alcoholics: Type I alcoholics typically become dependent on alcohol later in life. These types are prone to anxiety and use alcohol increasingly to resolve these issues.

Type II Alcoholics: These types tend to get hooked on alcohol at a younger age and exhibit anti-social impulsive behaviors.

The brain is a complex organ so not every alcoholic fit into these two categories, the researchers noted.

“From the viewpoint of the study setting, this division was made in order to highlight the wide spectrum of people suffering from alcohol dependence,” said lead researcher Olli Kärkkäinen. “The reality, of course, is far more diverse, and not every alcoholic fits into one of these categories.”

Regardless of what “type” of an alcoholic you are, there are similarities in the brain of all alcoholic.  All alcoholics have an increase of a steroid hormone called dehydroepiandrosterone that affects the central nervous system. This could explain why many alcoholics become tolerant to the effects of alcohol after chronic, long-term use.

In addition, all alcoholics showed decreased levels of serotonin transporters in brain regions. This means that alcoholics have difficulty with mood regulation. They tend to be seeking this happy chemical and have a decreased level of serotonin transporters in the brain. This could explain why many alcoholics experience social anxiety.

Researchers will be using the results from this study to come up with new treatments for alcoholism that take into account the distinct differences between Type I and Type II brains.

“These findings enhance our understanding of changes in the brain that make people prone to alcoholism and that are caused by long-term use,” said researcher Kärkkäinen. “Such information is useful for developing new drug therapies for alcoholism, and for targeting existing treatments at patients who will benefit the most.”

In Western countries, it has been estimated that around 10-15% of the population qualify as alcohol-dependent. Across the world, alcohol is causing as much damage as all illegal substances combined. It is important to note these differences so medical personnel knows how these cases can differentiate.

Most of all, it is important that those who have struggled with alcoholism to seek help as early as possible. People who drink large amounts of alcohol for long periods of time run the risk of developing serious and persistent changes in the brain. The damage could be a combination of the alcohol consumptions along with poor general health.

Often, alcoholics have deficiencies in their health. Thiamine deficiency is extremely common in those with alcoholism and is a result of overall poor nutrition. Also, it can be hard for those struggling to make staying healthy a priority. Thiamine is crucial to the brain. It is an essential nutrient required by all tissues, including the brain. Many foods in the United States are fortified with thiamine; therefore, the average healthy person consumes enough of it.

Alcoholism can cause major damage to your brain and overall health if left untreated. This article simply confirms the reason why it is so important that those struggling with alcoholism seek professional help. Trying to fix the problem on your own is not the best solution, especially when you are not aware of how your mind and body is functioning. We are here to help.   If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, don’t wait. Please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

Auto Brewery Syndrome: When Your Body Produces Its Own Alcohol

Auto Brewery Syndrome: When Your Body Produces Its Own Alcohol

Author: Shernide Delva

Imagine being charged with a DUI when it’s been hours, even days, since you’ve had your last drink. Seems impossible right? Think again. Apparently there’s a disorder that actually causes your body to produce its own alcohol. While most people would roll their eyes at such a lame excuse for being intoxicated, the truth is that this condition is real, and those who have the disorder are being wrongfully accused of being under the influence when in reality they are actually sober.

A recent news story talks about a woman from upstate New York who was charged with a DUI, yet she had not been drinking for hours.  The woman is represented by attorney Joseph Marusak who described the scenario.

Essentially, the woman had a few drinks at a restaurant between noon and 6 p.m. which is “less than one drink an hour.”  A local pharmacologist determined that a woman of her size and weight who consumes four drinks in that period of time should be between 0.01 and 0.05 blood alcohol levels. That level would be under the legally impaired level of 0.08 in New York State.

Now, here is where the story gets crazy. While driving, the woman has a flat tire and begins to wobble down the road.  A passerby sees the car and calls 911 to report a potential accident. The police arrive and she is pulled over and then administered a breathalyzer test.  Her BAC level is found to be 0.40, way over the level she should have been at.

Her BAC level of .40 is so high that it is considered to be extremely life threatening. Anyone else with this level of alcohol in their blood would be in the hospital. They would not even be able to walk, better yet drive. However, the woman somehow appears to be totally functional!

Still, the police take proper precautions and transport the woman to the hospital. The hospital recommends that she be released based on her lack of drunken symptoms, but her husband asks for more tests to be run. Sure enough, the results show the woman’s blood alcohol level to be at 0.30, hours and hours after her last drink.

This whole scenario immediately prompted attorney Marusak to do some sleuthing around.

“I hired two physician assistants and a person trained in Breathalyzers to watch her and take blood alcohol levels over a 12-hour period and had it run at the same lab used by the prosecution,” said Marusak. “Without any drinks, her blood level was double the legal limit at 9:15 a.m., triple the limit at 6 p.m. and more than four times the legal limit at 8:30 p.m., which correlates with the same time of day that the police pulled her over.”

Even stranger, the woman exhibits no signs indicating her level of intoxication. Only until she reaches a BAC level between .30 and .40 does she begins to be a bit wobbly and slurs her speech. However, this is still nothing compared to how an average person would behave at that blood alcohol level. As a result of the analysis, the judge dismisses the case however the journey is not over yet. The case is so unusual that it is leaving many unconvinced.

“I’ve heard the DA’s office says they plan to appeal. I’ll know more by the middle of January,” Marusak said.

In the meantime, the woman’s condition is being treated with anti-fungal medications and a yeast-free diet with absolutely no sugar, no alcohol and very little carbs. While this may work for some, others find little relief from this diet and relapse.

Auto-Brewery Syndrome: An Extremely Rare Condition

Auto-brewery syndrome is a very rare medical condition in which the body is able to produce intoxicating quantities of ethanol by a process called endogenous formation within the digestive system. Also known as gut-fermentation syndrome, this condition causes a person’s body to use yeast found in common food carbohydrates and convert it into ethanol. This entire process is found to take place in the small bowel and is vastly different from normal gut fermentation that occurs in the large bowel that gives our bodies energy.

Those who have the condition suffer from a variety of symptoms such as:

  • Severe Hangovers
    Most of us feel lethargic after binging out on carbs but imagine feeling like you had a couple drinks on top of that. Those with auto brewery syndrome often feel intense hangovers after eating large quantities of carbohydrates. Common hangover symptoms are felt such as pounding headaches, severe nausea, occasional vomiting, dehydration, dry mouth, cold sweats, and shaky hands.
  • Random Periods of Acting Drunk
    Those with this condition have moments where they find themselves acting out of character and slurring words even though they had absolutely nothing to drink that day. Matthew Hugg has had the condition for over 20 years and describes in a thorough interview posted in Vice moments in his life where the condition negatively affected him. One of the greatest struggles was with his academics:
    “I looked at equations in my favorite science classes and knew I should have no problem understanding and solving them, but they now looked like gibberish. There were times when I also acted out of character.” Huggs said. “I was generally everyone’s friend at school—a social butterfly. But there were instances when I upset people with uncharacteristic behavior akin to a drunk who stirs up trouble or lets things slip that they wouldn’t have when sober.”
    Eventually, the condition became so much of a hindrance that it forced Huggs to drop out of University. He says that he is now learning how to cope with the disorder; however the condition completely shifted his life.
  • Unexplained Exhaustion
    Another symptom of this disorder is moments of pure exhaustion. Those who suffer from the condition have trouble participating in sports or exercising on a regular basis. They suffer from chronic symptoms, including fatigue, aches and pains, exercise and stress intolerance, and cognitive dysfunction, not just symptoms of a severe hangover.

Honestly, when I first read this article, I did not take it as seriously but knowing the impact that this condition can have on a person’s life really opened my eyes. Huggs eventually had to go on disability and struggles with depression from the impact the condition had on his life. He hopes more research can be done to help him treat his symptoms.

“I had ambitions to be an academic, a professional athlete, a scientist, an engineer, or an airline pilot. As it stands, I’m approaching 35 years old and spend my days at home, with every day being a struggle—though I do my best to stay positive and maintain friendships, and I believe that I will one day regain my health,” Huggs said.

Hopefully more awareness will result in better treatment for the condition and more people who suffer from the symptoms of this disorder will be aware of the challenges they could face getting behind the wheel.

Should more officers know about this condition? Furthermore, do you think this condition should prevent a person from receiving a DUI? Overall, learning about different disorders is incredibly important so that we do not always assume the worse. However, if your drinking truly is getting out of control due to your struggle with alcohol abuse, now is the times to seek professional treatment. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

Alcohol Killing Americans in Record Numbers

Alcohol Killing Americans in Record Numbers

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Shernide Delva 

There has been an influx of media attention on the heroin and painkiller epidemic which is now at record numbers. The focus in the media has been on the rise in overdose fatalities from heroin and prescription painkillers. Overdoses have more than tripled in the last decade and the numbers continues to rise at alarming rates. While raising awareness of the opioid epidemic is necessary and much needed, we still cannot take our attention away from the drug killing Americans the most: alcohol.

The biggest threat to Americans remains to be alcohol. Americans are dying from alcohol abuse at numbers that exceed anything we’ve seen in the past 35 years. The CDC estimates that in just the last year, over 30,700 people died from alcohol-related causes, including alcohol poisoning and cirrhosis of the liver.

In a little over a decade, the number of Americans who have died from alcohol have risen by 37 percent.  In 2014, more people died from alcohol-induced causes than from painkillers and heroin combined, says the CDC.

If you think these numbers are high due to alcohol-related accidents, you are wrong. These numbers do not even include deaths caused by alcohol like drunken driving incidences, and murders committed under the influence. If we were to count those deaths, the death toll would be up to 90,000.

Why do these numbers continue to climb? Researchers conclude it is simply because Americans are drinking more. The statistics prove this conclusion:

  • Americans who drink at least once a month rose from 54.9% to 56.9%.
  • 51.9% of women reported drinking at least monthly in 2014, up from 47.9% in 2002.
  • Binge drinking by women is up to 17.4% from 15.7% in 2002.

All in all, binge drinking is the major culprit. People who drink the most are at the highest risk for alcohol-related death. According to past research by Cook, the top 10% of American drinkers consume close to 74 drinks a week on average. Drinking at this rate is linked to a range of health complications, including cirrhosis, cancer, brain damage, drunk driving and other accident fatalities.

For more moderate drinkers, the health effects of alcohol remain less clear. The research and data from moderate drinking has been all over the place. Some data suggests moderate alcohol consumption; around one-to-two drinks per day may actually be healthy.

However, there is a gray line when it comes to moderate to harmful drinking. A recent study revealed that when used alone, alcohol was the deadliest recreational substance, followed by heroin and cocaine. For this reason, many are urging public health officials to shift focus away from the dangers of drugs like pot and LSD and focus more on educating people about the dangers of drinking.

Alcohol is a dangerous substance that when used in excess, can cause serious health consequences.  However, since alcohol remains more accessible than any other drug, it increases the risk of abuse. Alcohol is a socially accepted drug and has played a role in our culture for so long that many do not even realize they have a problem until it is too late.

Alcoholism is a serious disease and if you feel your drinking is getting out of control, do not wait to be a statistic, get treatment today. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

Are Americans Underestimating Alcohol?

Are Americans Underestimating Alcohol?

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Justin Mckibben

America and alcohol have always had a pretty intimate relationship. There was a rough patch there for a while when some people tried to push alcohol out of the picture, but prohibition didn’t do too well, and since then alcohol has become a center-piece in the media and in every-day life. But as thousands of Americans can attest, the risks some of us run with alcohol are incredibly injurious.

Beer commercials, happy hours and pop music seem to saturate our lives today, but are Americans underestimating alcohol? Recently concerns have turned to the growing threat of opiate addiction and prescription drug abuse as public enemy number one, and understandably so. But are too many people forgetting the severity of alcoholism?

Average American Alcohol Poisoning

Federal health authorities have reported this week that statistics showed six Americans die from alcohol poisoning daily on average. This report is the first to tally alcohol poisonings for the entire American population put out in a decade by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most previous analyses looked at certain groups, in particular young people, but this study found that the highest mortality rate went to middle aged men.

The agency conducting this research found some troublesome information about alcohol poisoning alone, and determined that:

  • An average of 2,221 people died of alcohol poisoning annually between 2010 and 2012
  • ¾ of the deaths occurred among 35- to 64-year-olds
  • ¾ of those deaths were men.
  • The death rate was highest among men ages 45 to 54

Dr. Robert Brewer heads the alcohol program at the CDC, and he explained how the study found the problem to be beyond what earlier studies had been so quick to concentrate on.

“Most previous studies have looked at college kids and young people, but the problem is bigger than that. It was surprising that the number of deaths was so concentrated among middle-age adults.”

Due to this recent information the CDC admitted that the issue of death caused by alcohol poisoning was much bigger than earlier anticipated, but said it was impossible to confirm whether the death rate had risen in recent years because researchers had changed how they track the data.

Average American Excessive Drinking

When some is consuming large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time, blood-alcohol levels rise very quickly, this can easily overwhelm the body’s ability to respond. Excessive drinking such as this can cause parts of the brain to shut down, including those that regulate:

  • Breathing
  • Body temperature
  • Heart rate

Binge drinking is most typically the common factor that contributes to these kinds of excessive drinking deaths.

Binge drinking or ‘heavy episodic drinking’ is frequently defined as consuming heavy amounts of alcohol over a very short period of time with the intention of getting intoxicated. To be more specific this CDC report defined binge drinking as:

  • 4 or more drinks in one “occasion” for women
  • 5 or more drinks for men

That example may surprise most people as being a very different definition than their own. According to that standard of binge drinking, over 38 million adults report binge drinking an average of four times a month! That definitely seems like more people are underestimating the dangers of alcohol. Yet the vast majority of binge drinkers (about 90%) say they are not alcoholics.

Average American Alcoholic Death

While the report suggests that on average alcohol dependence was a contributing cause in just 1/3 of the deaths, that is to say that the victims of alcohol poisoning were not diagnosed with alcoholism. Any alcoholic in recovery will tell you, it’s typically up to you to determine your alcoholism for yourself. Still 1/3 of the deaths are a big number.

  • Approximately 9 deaths per one million people is the average for the entire country
  • The highest rate of deaths from alcohol poisoning occurred among Native Americans and Native Alaskans, with 49 deaths per one million
  • Non-Hispanic whites made up 67%

Average Underestimation of Alcohol

Professor David Nutt, Edmund J Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and Head of the Department of Neuropsychopharmacology and Molecular Imaging at Imperial College London conducted a study in his own country that determined alcohol was actually the most dangerous drug there is.

Using a system based on 16 measures of impact on the individual, their community and society as a whole, he found that alcohol had the greatest negative impact. Alcohol ranked top out of 20 other drugs including heroin and ecstasy.

Most people aren’t aware of some interesting information about alcohol, such as:

  • Alcohol increases the risk of a traffic accident 13 times over, whereas other drugs double to triple the risk.
  • It takes less relative doses to die from alcohol than it does to die from marijuana and even cocaine
  • Alcohol causes more fatal traffic accidents than other drugs – in 2010 alcohol caused more than 10,000 traffic fatalities

According to statistics from another study, 24 million adults over age 18 make up the top 10% of American drinkers. This demographic on average consumes 74 alcoholic drinks per week, that’s actually 10 alcoholic drinks per day. So just think about that in correlation with how the CDC reports defines binge drinking with 4 or 5 drinks.

Alcohol is a drug. Most people don’t seem to acknowledge that, but it is the reality. By definition of the word ‘drug’ it definitely qualifies alcohol. Too many people, American or not, are under the false impression that alcohol is a much safer drug. But that is only stigma, because alcohol is easily considered the most dangerous because it is legal and available, and it kills the users and has the potential to kill others around them. Drunk driving alone claims so many lives alone.

We need to stop underestimating alcohol as a culture, and do what we can to raise awareness, innovate treatment and better understand those who are struggling.

Alcohol is a drug, and alcoholism is a disease. America is known as the land of the freedom, but alcoholics find themselves trapped and oppressed by the disease of alcoholism, and sadly it takes the lives of many people every day. Recovery from alcoholism is a reality, and in that reality we find the freedom that is part of that American dream. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

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