Author: Justin Mckibben
Alcohol abuse is a problem more than common in our world today, and more often than not it results in disastrous forms of disease that can completely alter the quality of an individual’s life, sometimes bringing that person’s life to an abrupt end.
Most people are familiar with some of the risks associated with alcohol abuse and with the illnesses that can result from prolonged alcohol abuse, such as cancer, cirrhosis of the liver and kidney damage. But what about all the other issues that can be created with long-term alcohol abuse that people frequently wouldn’t think to connect to alcoholism or abusing alcohol?
There are several other health problems you might not know are directly linked to alcoholism, so here are 6 of those alcohol abuse related diseases you might not know.
Anemia is a condition that develops when your blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin, which is a main part of red blood and binds oxygen.
Alcohol abuse can cause the number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells to be abnormally low, thus causing anemia. Anemia can trigger a list of other symptoms, including:
- Shortness of breath
These symptoms occur because organs in the body aren’t getting what they need to function properly.
- Cardiovascular disease
Binge drinking is a huge issue when it comes to alcohol abuse, and both can cause platelets to become more likely to clump together into blood clots, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. In a landmark study by Harvard researchers in 2005, it was found that binge drinking doubled the risk of death among people who initially survived a heart attack.
Cardiomyopathy is a potentially deadly condition which can also be caused by alcohol abuse. With cardiomyopathy the heart muscle weakens and eventually fails, as well as heart rhythm abnormalities such as atrial and ventricular fibrillation, which creates chaotic twitching in the heart’s main pumping chambers (ventricles), causing rapid loss of consciousness and even sudden death.
Dementia is not a specific disease, but term that encompasses a varied range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.
As people age their brains shrink. It is considered normal to happen on average at a rate of about 1.9% per decade.
However, alcohol abuse speeds the shrinkage of certain key regions in the brain, resulting symptoms of dementia. In addition to the nonspecific forms of dementia that result from brain atrophy, alcohol abuse can also cause nutritional deficiencies that elicit other forms of dementia.
It may not be much of a surprise to some that alcohol abuse is often associated with with depression, because it is a depressant, but the debate about which came first, the drinking or the depression, still exists.
One theory is that depressed people turned to alcohol in an attempt to cope with emotional pain. But a large study from New Zealand showed that it was probably the other way around, meaning alcohol abuse actually leads to depression, with some research showing that depression improves when those who abuse alcohol actually sober up.
Gout is an extremely painfully illness caused by the formation of uric acid crystals in the joints. It is a form of arthritis that is described as sudden burning pain, stiffness and swelling in the joint.
Although a lot of cases are largely hereditary, alcohol abuse and other dietary factors are also said to play a role in those who develop cases of gout. Alcohol also seems to aggravate existing cases of gout, so one way or the other alcohol abuse is a risk factor.
- Nerve damage
The nervous system is involved in everything the body does, from regulating breathing to controlling muscles and sensing heat and cold, so serious nerve damage is a pretty big deal. Damage can occur to nerves in your brain and spinal cord, but nerve damage can also occur in the peripheral nerves located throughout the rest of your body.
Alcohol abuse can cause a form of nerve damage known as alcoholic neuropathy, which can produce a range of devastating symptoms which include but are not limited to:
- Painful pins-and-needles feeling or numbness in the extremities
- Muscle weakness
- Erectile dysfunction
Alcohol is toxic to nerve cells, so of course alcohol abuse will sometimes lead to alcoholic neuropathy. Alcoholic neuropathy also happens because nutritional deficiencies attributable to alcohol abuse compromise nerve function. So again, not only can alcohol abuse cause these issues, but heavy drinking can exacerbate pre-existing issues with nerve damage.
While physicians around the world can give you a laundry list of the diseases and other effects of alcoholism or alcohol abuse, it is still incredibly beneficial for individuals who have drinking or drug problems to seek specialized treatment for lasting recovery. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Drug and Alcohol Rehab in New Orleans, LA: Opportunity
New Orleans, LA isn’t just a place people go for Mardi Gras, it is a vibrant city with real people in a connected community. So even though there is a slight reputation as a party destination, there are still people who need help escaping substance abuse, and there are always people willing to help.
Drug and alcohol rehab in New Orleans, LA is available for those seeking help with substance abuse or addiction. Make sure you do your research to find what programs cater to what is most important to you, because the choice of a Drug and alcohol rehab in New Orleans, LA should be based on your personal needs and circumstances. You should always keep in mind that Drug and alcohol rehab in New Orleans, LA also the offer a variety of levels of care to choose from, including programs such as:
Drug and Alcohol Rehab in New Orleans, LA: Initial Assessment
After you’ve completed an initial detox phase, the next step is to go into treatment and start therapy and learning how to work on continued sobriety. Drug and alcohol rehab in New Orleans, LA typically provide a specialist to work with you on the various points or concerns outlined in your recovery plan.
Drug and Alcohol Rehab in New Orleans, LA: Therapy
There are individual therapy sessions as well as group therapy sessions. Most treatment centers include various 12-step meetings on a regular basis and get you acquainted with the recovery community around you once you have reached a certain level of care. In treatment, you learn coping skills and how to live your life without drugs and alcohol. Anyone can become confused or over-whelmed by asking recovering alcoholics or drug addicts about Drug and alcohol rehab in New Orleans, LA and how they personally overcame their substance abuse because they may give you different and appealing approaches. Some popular suggestions are listed as:
Despite all the different possible suggestions you may receive, successful recovery has got to be tailor-made for each individual. A great deal of diversity exists in the degree of dependence among drug users, and the programs designed for Drug and alcohol rehab in New Orleans, LA can provide several levels of care.
Drug and Alcohol Rehab in New Orleans, LA: Rehab Process
Knowing the extent of your recovery program is vital to achieving permanent sobriety. Any Drug and alcohol rehab in New Orleans, LA should offer the following services:
- Safe environment
- Lessons on healthy living
- Experienced Staff
- Continuing recovery plans
- Relapse prevention
Drug and Alcohol Rehab in New Orleans, LA: Continued Recovery Plans
Once the treatment center has determined that you are ready to leave inpatient rehab, a drug and alcohol rehab in New Orleans, LA will set you up into an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). IOP is where you continue therapy and group sessions, but you are provided more opportunity and freedom to seek work and live off the rehab grounds.
IOP Gives the individual the opportunity to set themselves up for success upon completing treatment, and provides them with a little structure and sober support in order to maintain while slowly leaving the comfort zone of the facility.
Drug and Alcohol Rehab in New Orleans, LA: Halfway House
Most individuals go into a halfway house once they have finished in-patient treatment. A halfway house offers more stability than being on your own, but still gives you a lot of freedom. You will be required to have a job, go to meetings, pay rent, clean and do chores, be drug tested, get a sponsor and work a program. You know you are in a good sober living environment when they want you going to meetings and working a program of recovery.
To successfully stay sober, I had to get involved in the recovery community and make choices based off of what would support my sobriety. It’s important to connect with others around you who are in recovery and have a strong support system, and having a halfway house gives you a chance to make friends with people in recovery while in the real world.
Drug and alcohol rehab in New Orleans, LA provides the programs to help set out the stepping stones to get you started living a peaceful and happy life! If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction and is looking for Drug and alcohol rehab in New Orleans, LA please call 1-800-951-6135.
(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)
By Cheryl Steinberg
Smoking and sobriety seem to go hand-in-hand just like coffee and meetings. Just check out any meeting clubhouse or harken back to your days in rehab, where the highlight of everyone’s day was the ability to take smoke breaks between groups.
A new study, however, shows that smoking might hinder the success of alcohol abuse treatment, putting people who are addicted to both tobacco and alcohol in Catch-22 situation.
Smoking Might Undermine Alcohol Abuse Treatment
According to findings by the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions (RIA), clients in alcohol treatment programs who smoke have shorter stays in their program when compared to non-smokers and, furthermore, may demonstrate poorer treatment outcomes than their non-smokers counterparts.
Deputy Director and senior research scientist at RIA Kimberly Walitzer, PhD, led the study, which looked at more than 21,000 adults seeking treatment from 253 community outpatient substance abuse clinics across the state of New York.
“The data suggest that smoking is associated with difficulties in alcohol treatment,” she says. “Tobacco smokers had shorter treatment durations and were less likely to have achieved their alcohol-related goals at discharge relative to their nonsmoking counterparts.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, regular smokers make up less than 20% of people in the U.S. However, among people with alcohol use disorders, there is a much higher percentage of people who smoke.
In addition, both smoking and alcohol abuse are associated with unemployment, lack of high school diploma or GED, criminal justice involvement, mental illness and/or other substance abuse.
These associations are even stronger in women. In the general population, less than 15% of women are smokers, however, Walitzer’s data show that 67% of those seeking alcohol treatment were smokers, compared to 61% of male smokers seeing treatment. Furthermore, the results of the study show that women smokers have even more difficult circumstances to surmount as well as even poorer outcomes of their alcohol treatment when compared to men who smoke.
A possible solution is to treat both addictions simultaneously. This seems counter-intuitive to those seeking treatment for substance abuse and addiction, as well as those in the treatment field, from my experience, at least. Many tout the widely common idea “one addiction at a time” when it comes to overcoming addictions. They believe that there is a sort of hierarchy of priority when it comes to treating addiction, one that says to tackle the “harder” substances, like heroin, cocaine, and alcohol, first.
But, Walitzer says different: “Previous research indicates that if people can quit smoking when entering alcohol treatment, they may have better alcohol outcomes. However, simultaneous cessation is a task that is very challenging to accomplish.”
The study appears in the journal Substance Use and Misuse, and its co-authors are RIA’s Ronda L. Dearing, PhD, senior research scientist; Christopher Barrick, PhD, senior research scientist; and Kathleen Shyhalla, PhD, data analyst. It was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol abuse disorder or any other type of substance abuse or addiction issue, help is available. Please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
Now pay attention, this will be on the final. Binge drinking is defined as “the consumption of an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period of time”. This is an activity well known on any college campus. Students will attend a party, drink as much as they can as quickly as possible and recent studies show it happens quite frequently. Approximately two of every five college students of all ages—more than 40 percent— report engaging in binge drinking at least once in a 2 week period. It is no secret that college students drink a lot, and society tends to shrug it off as “just part of the experience”. But there may come a time when you realize this isn’t a habit you will out-grow. Consider the 6 signs your college binge drinking is not “just a phase”.
- You Drink More than Your Peers
Sure it’s fun to be the life of the party, and some students like to take advantage of any social event. The problem here is when you make it a point to out-drink everyone on every occasion. And if you find yourself attending more parties than your peers to drink more frequently, that’s also a pretty good indicator.
- You Binge Drink Alone
Have you ever won a beer-pong tournament- against yourself? You may want to think about an early retirement from your professional drinking career. Binge drinking can easily develop into a serious drinking problem, especially if you find yourself doing it alone. Needing to get intoxicated quickly and on your own shows a lack of ability to deal with life. It can be due to stress from school work, social anxiety, or serious personal issues that attribute to your drinking problem.
- Blacking Out
One minute you were chugging drinks with a study group, the next you’re waking up on your dorm roof with sharpie tattoos an hour late to class. Some may think that’s another side-effect of college partying, but really if this type of black-out binge is reoccurring than it is a serious sign that you are avoiding the true nature of your drinking.
- Getting the Shakes
Detoxing is not just for drugs. If you binge drink long enough you will develop a physical dependency on alcohol. Not everyone even realizes this is what the shakes are. I remember for me I thought my shakes were from anxiety. It ended up being some of the early signs of tremors- a physical symptom of withdrawal from alcohol. If you’re getting the shakes this could be a warning.
- Emotional Confusion
If a student is binge drinking often enough, and he is finding it hard to manage his emotions and mood swings, this is another sign of suffering from alcohol dependency. Once someone has lost the ability to truly relate their feelings to their actions, and finds themselves more emotional confused, especially when not drinking, they might have moved even further into alcohol dependency.
- Loss of Focus
Not being able to concentrate on school work or needing to drink in order to get through your daily schedule is a more obvious sign that you are progressing out of “a phase” and into active alcohol addiction. If you have to take a flask to a lecture to tolerate the professor, and continue drinking through the day just to keep focused, you should definitely consider treatment.
This is just a short list of red flags for anyone out there who is pursuing an education and spends more time in the party scene than they do in the study hall. Binge drinking is not safe as it is, there are many deaths and illnesses in college students attributed to people who go to parties, or even just a night with the frat house and overindulge in alcohol. It is important to know the disease of alcoholism is not “just a phase” so keep close attention to how binge drinking is affecting your life, and do your best to stay ahead of the learning curve.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Rehab in St. James, NC: Healthy Options
For anyone who is having trouble coping with substance abuse or addiction rehab in St. James, NC gives you different options on how to treat your illness. Different approaches are offered by different rehabs, but they work off the basics to the process of recovery. Whatever option is the best treatment for you, make sure you research the various facilities in your area. If you make the choice of going to a rehab in St. James, NC make sure you look into the specifics of the program. Any rehab in St. James, NC should offer the fundamental pieces necessary to build your foundation. They may describe different and appealing approaches, but they should keep emphasis on the key elements of a healthy life-style:
- Self-help groups
- Medical support
For treatment to be effective, any rehab in St. James, NC should be providing patients access to a detox program for improving these areas as part of removing the physical dependency on drugs and/or alcohol while building tools to effectively change the patient’s life-style.
Rehab in St. James, NC: Clinical Treatments
The facility and the certifications of the staff is definitely something you want to be confident in. If you want to make sure your recovery plan is one built in a professional and reliable environment, it is important to research the rehab in St. James, NC you are considering before making a choice to seek out the services of that facility. The rehab in St. James, NC you choose should offer the following services:
- Safe environment where participants are screened for drugs and alcohol
- Counseling where individuals can seek emotional resolutions
- Assistance on learning more about healthy living/diet/exercise
- Should be licensed for treatment of substance abuse
- Qualified and helpful staff
- Recovery plans for after inpatient treatment
- Relapse prevention plan
Rehab in St. James, NC: Treatment Goals
If you feel like rehab in St. James, NC is something you would benefit from, make sure you are aware of the detox program, and inpatient services and how they are regulated. For some people struggling with substance abuse or addiction this can be a difficult process. It is necessary learn everything you can about addiction and treatment of addiction to decide if you will benefit from rehab in St. James, NC. There are many inpatient programs for addiction, as well as long-term plans, and alternative treatments. A variety of opportunities for treatment give you a chance to look into several safe environments that can have lasting impacts on the way you conduct your transition into sobriety. Rehab in St. James, NC is there to support patients, and to help each person understand the disease of addiction by dealing with both personal problems and the physical affects. Rehab in St. James, NC is not the only option out there, many states offer a variety of rehabilitation centers to teach men and women how to cope with issues, maintain health and sobriety, and get them back on track to living a more productive life.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction and is looking for rehab in St. James, NC please call 1-800-951-6135.