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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:

What is Alcoholism and How Does Treatment Help?

What is Alcoholism and How Does Treatment Help?

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

Author: Justin Mckibben

Alcoholism is a term that has been around for quite a long time, but over the generations it has been understood and treated in a variety of ways. Perhaps as the world and society evolves, so does the average alcoholic.

Either way you look at it, alcoholism is a very real threat. National surveys of recent years indicate:

  • Nearly 19 million people in the US abuse alcohol, or have an addiction to it.
  • In Europe, it’s estimated that 23 million people are dependent on alcohol
  • Estimates say more than two million deaths resulting from alcohol consumption a year internationally

History of Alcoholism

The term “alcoholism” was first used by a Swedish professor of medicine, Magnus Huss (1807-1890). Huss turned the phrase in 1849, to mean poisoning by alcohol. While today “alcohol poisoning” is a more direct classification, alcohol-ism is still a poison in the lives of those who is touches.

Huss distinguished between two types of alcoholism:

  1. Acute alcoholism

Huss’s definition says this is the result of the temporary effects of alcohol taken within a short period of time, such as intoxication. Basically, it is having too much to drink.

  1. Chronic alcoholism

This Huss calls a pathological condition through the habitual use of alcoholic beverages in poisonous amounts over a long period of time. A pretty innovative idea, and something that would be debated for over a century.

Since 1849, the definition has changed endlessly.

Alcoholism Defined

Establishing a definitive “alcoholism” definition is difficult as there is little unanimity on the subject. The reason for such a variety of definitions is the different opinions each authority holds, and the year the definition was formed. We have the strictest definition the dictionary provides:

  •  An addiction to the consumption of alcoholic liquor or the mental illness and compulsive behavior resulting from alcohol

We also have the concept presented by the book Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which gives stories of struggle and strength, experience and hope; the lives of many alcoholics who developed a manner of living through a plan of action rooted in 12 Steps. Here alcoholism is often described as a “physical compulsion coupled with a mental obsession”. The disease model of alcoholism has evolved overtime.

Early on 12 Step fellowships like AA were cautious about trying to label the medical nature of alcoholism. However, many members believe alcoholism is a disease. In 1960 Bill Wilson, one of the founders of AA, explained why they had refrained from using the term “disease,” stating:

“We AAs have never called alcoholism a disease because, technically speaking, it is not a disease entity. For example, there is no such thing as heart disease. Instead there are many separate heart ailments or combinations of them. It is something like that with alcoholism. Therefore, we did not wish to get in wrong with the medical profession by pronouncing alcoholism a disease entity. Hence, we have always called it an illness or a malady—a far safer term for us to use.”

These days, the classification of disease is commonly applied to alcoholism or addiction. Some have called them brain disorders. While some dispute the disease label, many believe it is the truest portrayal of alcohol addiction in the most severe form. The idea of alcoholism being a disease has been around since as early as the 18th century.

Many of the more up-to-date medical definitions do describe it as a disease. These definitions say the alcohol problem is influenced by:

  • Genetic
  • Psychological
  • Social factors

Treatment of Alcoholism

When asking how treatment for alcoholism is important, there are a few specifically important elements to consider. When it comes to health risks of trying to quit cold turkey, it can be a lot more painful or dangerous than you think. Also, lasting recovery has a lot more to do with learning new coping skills and behaviors than just giving up the substance.

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome occurs when the central nervous system (CNS) becomes overly excited. Alcohol suppressing the activity in the CNS, so the abrupt absence of alcohol causes the CNS to jump into overdrive. In essence, your system starts overcompensating.

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome symptoms include:

The severity of the alcohol withdrawal syndrome can range from mild to very severe and even life-threatening.

Most treatment programs understand the importance of therapy at different levels. Group therapy helps people fighting addiction receive peer support. Individual therapy lets you work more intimately on these issues with a professional.

Holistic programs such as Palm Partners Treatment Program help you develop a personalized recovery plan to guide you in your treatment, setting benchmarks and goals while you are in treatment.

Some groups are more educationally-structured in order to teach you very important aspects for understanding the nature alcoholism, as well as ways to make major lifestyle changes. Holistic recovery is about more than surviving your struggle, but actually outlining a way you can thrive and move forward with healthy life skills. Finding the right treatment option can make all the difference in how you define your alcoholism, versus how you let it define you.

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Does the Secret Service Have a Drinking Problem?

Does the Secret Service Have a Drinking Problem?

By Cheryl Steinberg

By now you’ve probably heard about the two senior Secret Service agents who crashed a government-issued car into a White House barricade last week after allegedly drinking all night. Not surprisingly, they are currently under investigation. This story has a wider reach than just this incident and just these two agents: officials announced Wednesday that a new inquiry is being launched into personal misconduct by Secret Service agents. This has been a long time coming, as the law enforcement agency has been widely criticized for some time now.

Does the Secret Service Have a Drinking Problem?

There was the prostitution scandal in 2012, when as many as a dozen Secret Service agents were caught up in a scandal after being caught with prostitutes. It had also been uncovered that they had been drinking in the days leading to a presidential summit meeting in Cartagena, Colombia.

Then, last year, two agents were dismissed and sent home from a presidential trip in Europe after one of the agents was found passed out in a hotel hallway from a night of drinking. The assignment took place in the Netherlands, and involved members of the Secret Service’s elite Counter-Assault Team (CAT) who was not only drunk, he was falling-down drunk. And several of his fellow CAT members were drunk, too. And no one thought to say, at some point during the evening, “Hey guys, maybe we should call it a night.”

And, last fall a man climbed over the White House fence and made it well into the mansion before he was finally tackled by agents, presumably off their game due to drinking the night prior to the incident. As a result of this serious embarrassment, the agency’s director, Julia A. Pierson, resigned under pressure.

The drinking problem among agents is more widespread than any other problems you might imagine would be rampant among an elite, mostly white, male group; sexism and the other -isms that have been associated with the agency since the prostitution scandal in Colombia still don’t out-rank the apparent alcoholism.

In fact, it’s something that every White House journalist already *kind of* knows if they’ve ever experienced traveling with the president. One former White House clerk said that, although reporters regularly witnessed agents drinking heavily before shifts, “we just assumed they could control themselves. After all, they were the ones who were the most responsible of all of us.”

It seems that, for the most part, the Secret Service agents are fine the day after one of these drinking benders and none is the wiser. It’s a stressful job and there’s been plenty of research to show that high-stress jobs tend to coincide with increased alcohol consumption rates.

But when you consider the string of incidents, many of which we don’t even know about – alcohol is the common denominator. It’s not only a problem with the drink; it’s a problem of peer pressure and the drinking culture that pervade the Secret Service. No agent is going to tell another agent that they’re cut off; it’s more likely that the other agent will join in.

If you or someone you love has a drinking problem, there are ways to get help. If you’re not sure if it’s a drinking problem, alcohol dependence, or full-fledged alcoholism, we can help you figure it out. Call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak with an Addiction Specialist today.

Crazy News Stories of the Week

 Crazy News Stories of the Week

Here’s the latest volume of our Crazy News Stories of the Week. Enjoy!

#1. Quadruple Amputee “Sole Person of Interest” in Parents’ Double Murder

A 30-year-old man who lost all four limbs to bacterial meningitis when he was 16 is the sole person of interest in the deaths of his parents.

Sean Petrozzino is not exactly a suspect at this point but is the only person the police are looking to question in the double-homicide. It’s odd to think that someone without hands and feet could not only kill two people but also elude police but, so far that might just be the case.

You might think it would be difficult for a quadruple amputee to murder his parents, much less make an escape, local sheriff’s spokesperson Jane Watrel states that he is still the only person of interest on their list, so it appears it is not an impossible scenario to consider.

And you’re probably wondering whether a quadruple amputee – who’s missing both hands and feet – can fire a gun – and that answer is yes. According to chief executive officer of ABC Prosthetics and Orthotics in Orlando, Jerry L. Saunders, there are special devices that allow people without hands to fire guns.

#2. Man Claiming to Be “Gator Whisperer” Arrested

Apparently swimming with dolphins and manatees is out and swimming with alligators is in.

A man in West Palm Beach who calls himself the “Gator Whisperer” was offering encounters with alligators for $250, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Investigators found Hal Kreitman in the water with some customers while swimming with gators, an official said.

According to wildlife officials, this kind of interaction is considered harassment of a protected species and therefore illegal.

FWC arrested Mr. Kreitman; he was booked into the Monroe County Jail.

The alligator encounters took place in the southern Everglades.

#3. “Love Thy Neighbor” Lost On Homeless Man as He Attacks Fellow Parishioners

Brevard County Sheriff’s Office records show that a transient man in Melbourne, FL head-butted one parishioner and pushed another while outside of Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church after he became agitated during church services.

Patrick Rimides, 33, was then arrested and charged with two counts of battery.

Prior to the attacks, Rimides had been asked to leave the church service because he had had repeated outbursts with cursing and obscenities, according to the arrest report.

Brevard County Judge Stephen Koons barred Rimides from returning to the church or contacting either of the victims. Bond was set at $500 for each count, and Rimides was still listed as a Brevard County Jail Complex inmate Wednesday morning.

Rimides was assigned a public defender, and he will be arraigned Dec. 4.

#4. Man Calls 911 for a Date and Gets One – With a Judge

A Naples man was arrested for calling 911 three times and asking the dispatcher if she would go on a date with him.

Stephen Ramsey, 45, was arrested by Collier County deputies at his home for misuse of the 911 system. According to deputies, Ramsey asked the dispatcher how she felt about handcuffs. He then laughed before finally hanging up the phone.

“When somebody misuses the system it does get very frustrating for everybody because we are here to serve the public and we have a hard time doing that when someone misuses the system,” Bill Rule, commander of communications at the Collier County Sheriff’s Office said.

“Somebody could conceivably be injured and needing our assistance, but we are further away because of the false 911 call,” Rule said.

Ramsey admitted to deputies that he has a drinking problem and was looking for an escort service to help him “pass time.” Indeed, Ramsey spoke with slurred speech when he was arrested, according to the arrest report.

Deputies said the six minutes dispatch spent on the phone with Ramsey could have been spent helping people.

Ramsey is in jail on a $2,000 bond.

#5. Woman Claims Aging Disease While Posing as Her Daughter During Traffic Stop

During traffic stop, a Florida mom told the officers that she suffers from aging medical condition when trying to convince them she was actually her 22-year-old daughter.

The 43-year-old claimed that she has “a medical condition that makes her age faster” and that’s why she didn’t look like she was really half her age, police said.

Jennifer Crosby was found driving on a suspended license in Indian River County Saturday when an apparent moment of desperation led to her making up the crazy story.

When asked for her license and registration, the Vero Beach resident claimed to have forgotten her purse, license and registration at home.

After pressed for a name, she identified herself as Christina R. Topp, while successfully rattling off Topp’s 1992 birth date and social security number.

“Immediately I was suspicious because the driver appeared significantly older than that,” the officer noted in the arrest report obtained by the Smoking Gun.

When the officer pulled up a photo of Topp, Crosby finally admitted to being the young woman’s mother.

Crosby was then arrested for driving on a suspended license and providing a false name to police.

This is her second arrest since June when she was arrested for possessing crack cocaine, which she painfully hid inside of her vagina.

“Ouch,” an officer reported her as saying during its removal. “The foil is hurting the inside of my vagina.”

These crazy news stories of the week are meant for entertainment purposes. What isn’t of a laughing matter is substance abuse and addiction. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free to speak with an Addiction Specialist at 1-800-951-6135.

How THIS Alcoholic Learned to Moderate

How THIS Alcoholic Learned to Moderate

As an alcoholic (and addict), I am one of those all-or-nothing, black-and-white-no-shades-of-grey types. But, when I first came to the rooms, I thought, “There’s gotta be a way that I can moderate my drinking.” After all, plenty of other (normal types) can do it – no problem. Even before I realized I had a drinking problem, I had heard about alcoholics who, after some time abstaining from the drink, could go back to drinking socially. I was determined to be like them.

So, when things got really bad while I was out there drinking and using, I finally decided to get help. Yet, I always had that reservation that someday I could drink again. When I got to the rooms, however, I heard people talking about how they couldn’t drink or use anything lest it lead them back down that road of addiction, through the floor of their last ‘bottom,’ and down into an even deeper, darker place. They were saying complete abstinence was the key. And I was determined to prove them wrong. I’ll tell you how this alcoholic learned to moderate.

The kind of moderation I learned is probably not what you’re thinking, however. I am clean and sober today from mood- and mind-altering substances but, as a recovering alcoholic, I have to practice moderation with everything else because, let’s face it, we alcoholic/addict types like to overdo things…amirite?

Before getting acquainted with a program of recovery, I used everything (not just alcohol and other drugs) – food, relationships, sex, work, exercise – to try to feel better about myself and be comfortable in my own skin. And none of it worked. Once I began my process of recovery, I got to take a look at those behaviors – and the obsessive thoughts that accompanied them – and that’s when I knew – I really knew that I could never drink or drug again because there is no such thing as moderation when it comes to substances.

When it comes to all the other things in life – the things that are important for living and thriving, such as food, exercise, and well, sex – I need to figure out how to moderate because I can’t abstain completely from them.

Being conservative with my food intake is one area that takes a lot of tool-using. I have a tendency to eat emotionally, that is, when I want to avoid my feelings. I might eat because I’m happy or because I’m stressed or upset. It’s hard for me to understand the concept of food as fuel rather than food as reward. What supports me is practicing mindful eating: making healthy choices and planning meals ahead of time so that I don’t give in to temptation for the fatty and fried foods. I also practice yoga and meditation, both of which help me in being self-aware and mindful.

Moderating exercise isn’t as difficult for me because, quite simply, I don’t like to exercise. I do it, though, because it supports me in my recovery. For one, it helps to manage PAWS symptoms when they crop up by relieving and releasing stress. I feel better physically and mentally by working out. For some, however, the good feelings they get from exercising might have them over-exercising, which is a real thing. Just like before, when it came to substances, we can become obsessive and compulsive when it comes to working out. Practicing moderation with our exercise routine is just as important as with anything else.

Finally, when it comes to work, relationships, and sex, it’s all about moderation. I have become much better at being aware of what drives me when I notice that I’m seeking something out. Talking about it with my therapist as well as sober supports and sharing in meetings helps me. And again, I get a lot from my yoga and meditation practices. Basically, these activities help me with getting in touch with my Higher Power as well as my intuition. Feeling a close connection to my spirituality helps me tremendously in learning and practicing moderation.

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

 

6 Songs You Probably Didn’t Realize Were About Addiction

6 Songs You Probably Didn’t Realize Were About Addiction

www.wifflegif.com

The beauty of the arts, such as music-writing, is that the artist can discuss whatever it is that is affecting them or someone close to them. Oftentimes, musicians write songs that deal with tough issues, such as drug abuse and addiction. Although a song might not sound like it upon first listening, if you really pay attention to the lyrics, you just might find a hidden story. Here are 6 songs you probably didn’t know were about addiction.

6. “Call Me Al” – Paul Simon

There are many different interpretations of this song out there but, there’s one in particular, that Simon himself seemed to confirm, some years after writing and releasing it. Apparently, he wrote Call Me Al for his friend, comedian Chevy Chase, who was in rehab for alcoholism at the time – and who appears in the music video with Simon. The name “Al” is short for alcoholic. In the song, Simon also refers to a person named “Betty,” which could be referring to the Betty Ford Clinic, a well-known rehabilitation center.

The opening line “a man walks down the street…” was admittedly a reference to the cliché bad joke that always starts with “a man walks into a bar…” said Simon.  The story is of a middle-aged unhappy drunk stumbling down the street trying to find himself.

5. “Semi-Charmed Kind of Life” – Third Eye Blind

Although to listen to it evokes a happy, sunshine-y image of the early 90s, this song was actually written from quite the opposite perspective – a dark, dank, and depressed place of a couple on a crystal meth binge. One of the line, “Then I bumped again,” is just one of several that gives this away. The refrain seals it: “I want something else/To get me through this life.”

4. “Domino the Destitute” – Coheed and Cambria

Lead singer and guitarist Claudio Sanchez described this song in an interview with Billboard magazine as an anthem that was inspired by the departure of their bassist, Mic Todd from the band. “It’s sort of a play on the rise of this champion, only to find that that rise is really actually his demise, and all the things that come with that attention,” he said. One can only assume that this is a description of the eventual demise that every drug addict faces at one time or another.

Todd left the band after being arrested for armed robbery and unlawful possession of narcotics. He’d reportedly robbed a Walgreens pharmacy Massachusetts while Coheed and Cambria were touring with Soundgarden.

3. “There She Goes” – Sixpence None the Richer

This song is actually a cover of a track by the same name by Liverpool band The La’s. It’s a sweet-sounding, candy-coated tune that, on the surface sounds as if it’s about a boy admiring a girl, perhaps from afar. There She Goes, however, is really about drugs and addiction. Consider these lyrics: “Racing through my brain, pulsing through my vein.” Sounds like it’s about shooting heroin, to me.

2. “Swimming Pools” – Kendrick Lamar

The second single from Lamar clearly struggling with all that comes with having a drinking problem. In the chorus, he asks, “why you babysitting only two or three shots. I’m a show you how to turn it up a notch.”  Lamar also sings, “First you need a swimming pool of liquor, then you dive in.” What a great way to describe the feeling of being swallowed up by alcohol.

1. “Angel” Sarah McLachlan

McLachlan has said that it was a joy and an easy task to write this song, although it’s about a very heavy subject: heroin addiction. The “angel” symbolizes the drugs that the addict gives in to over and over again when trying to cope with life. McLachlan says that she was inspired by Rolling Stone articles she had read, that were about the many musicians who have turned to heroin in order to cope with the pressures of the music industry and their tragic overdoses.

McLachlan has said that she can identify with the feelings lead someone to use heroin: “I’ve been in that place where you’ve messed up and you’re so lost that you don’t know who you are anymore, and you’re miserable—and here’s this escape route. I’ve never done heroin, but I’ve done plenty of other things to escape.” She also said that the song is about “trying not to take responsibility for other people’s problems and trying to love yourself at the same time.”

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

Sources:

http://rock.rapgenius.com/Paul-simon-you-can-call-me-al-lyrics#note-1903553

http://www.lyricinterpretations.com/Paul-Simon/You-Can-Call-Me-Al

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/10-songs-you-didnt-know-were-about-drugs-20130614/

http://www.songfacts.com/

 

 

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