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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:

Death of DJ Avicii: History of EDM, Drinking and Health Issues

Death of DJ Avicii: History of EDM, Drinking and Health Issues

On Friday, April 20th EDM fans across the world were shocked and heartbroken to hear that internationally known DJ Avicii had passed away at the incredibly young age of 28. Well-known for genre-mixing singles in the electronic dance music (EDM) world, this Grammy-nominated artist has been producing music since as young as 16 years old. By 18 he was already going on tours. So it tragic for many to see someone who had come up so quickly in his scene to be lost so soon.

DJ Avicii, born Tim Bergling of Sweden, was actually on vacation in Muscat, Oman at the time of his death, according to early reports. While the cause of death had not been confirmed, Oman police have officially ruled out “criminal suspicion”. UPDATE: A recent statement from the family has many wondering if suicide could be the cause of death.

However, many point to a number of health issues DJ Avicii was battling, including acute pancreatitis. Some sources report that this was in part due to his history of excessive drinking.

Avicii Faced His Health Issues

At only 26 years old, Avicii had announced he would be retiring from performing to focus on his health. During an interview with Rolling Stone just last year he had talked about how his lifestyle of hard partying had quickly begun to catch up to him. He told the magazine,

“It’s very easy to become too attached to partying. You become lonely and get anxieties. It becomes toxic.”

In 2013, Avicii further explained his motivations for giving up drinking with TIME magazine, saying,

“Yeah I was drinking way too much, partying in general way too much… Then I got a pancreatitis attack [at 21], which is very rare. So that forced me to do a 180 and stop drinking.”

But just because Avicii gave up drinking did not mean he gave up the party. He told TIME,

“I can be sober and party. It’s all a learning experience. I’ve gone out partying sober and I’ve met my new girlfriend from day one sober, and I’ve done everything sober. And I see how drunk everyone else is and I feel like, I kind of like not being hungover tomorrow.”

While Avicii also admitted it was stressful and brought on anxiety to face his fame and continue a demanding tour schedule, the artist was still optimistic about his sobriety. During an interview in the middle of his last worldwide tour, after announcing his retirement, he said,

“I just feel happy. I feel free at this point. Like I have my private life back and focusing on myself for the first time in a long time,”

However, Avicii did not condemn his fame. He still greatly enjoyed his career, stating:

“It was the best time of my life in a sense. It came with a price—a lot of stress [and] a lot of anxiety for me—but it was the best journey of my life.”

The documentary Avicii: True Stories was one of the first public ways that the artist had opened up about the specific health issues he was facing with acute pancreatitis. According to reports, he was first diagnosed with the condition in 2012 after a hospitalization. In 2014 there were reports that the artist even had to undergo surgery as a result of further health complications.

While there is no way of knowing if his health issues were directly responsible for his death, we may never know.

UPDATE: Statement From Avicii’s Family

Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions.

An over-achieving perfectionist who traveled and worked hard at a pace that led to extreme stress.

When he stopped touring, he wanted to find a balance in life to be happy and be able to do what he loved most – music.

He really struggled with thoughts about Meaning, Life, Happiness.

He could not go on any longer.

He wanted to find peace.

Tim was not made for the business machine he found himself in; he was a sensitive guy who loved his fans but shunned the spotlight.

Tim, you will forever be loved and sadly missed.

The person you were and your music will keep your memory alive.

While Avicii may have suffered at some point due to his drinking, what we can be inspired by in his life is that he was not afraid to keep doing what he loved even after giving up alcohol. He was not afraid to party sober, and when he retired he did so with the desire to live free.

Have you experienced alcohol withdrawal symptoms when you’ve tried to quit drinking? Has alcohol started creating other physical, mental or emotional problems for you? If so, you might want to consider getting help for alcohol dependence. Substance dependence and addiction are medical conditions for which treatment is available. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.

CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

The Future of Binge-Drinking: Self-Serve Bar Taps

The Future of Binge-Drinking: Self-Serve Bar Taps

Author: Justin Mckibben

Before I have written about how I believe than Americans may be greatly underestimating the dangers of alcohol abuse and alcoholism, and the very real threat that excessive use of alcohol can lead to a demoralize disease with lethal results.  In some ways this is understandable given the fact that the opiate epidemic has been in the forefront of the media, along with the menace of synthetic drugs that are being sold over the counter, but there is still a need for people to recognize how society is consistently creating technology to enable alcoholic behavior and alcohol abuse.

There are already smartphone apps and other inventions now that enable people to drink excessively with the excuse that they have these options in place to keep them out of trouble, and now a new trend that is starting up is by-passing the bar-tender and putting the power to over-indulge directly in the hands of the individual.

The Beginning of PourMyBeer

Introducing PourMyBeer, a self-service beer tap that is quickly and justifiably attaining some popularity. This original idea for this was conceived by 36-year-old Josh Goodman, who after stepping into a crowded sports bar in 2008, was struck with inspiration. Goodman said,

“I was hanging out with my friends at a Baltimore sports bar before an Orioles game. We just couldn’t get another beer served to us quickly.”

Goodman’s moment of clarity came when he thought to himself that not only would bar clienteles be happier, but bars would also draw a much larger profit if the customers themselves had the ability to pour and serve their own drinks. Obviously this logic makes sense. Customers won’t have to communicate with bar-tenders, they can just keep refilling, and the establishments will just rack up the cash while their patrons get demolished. How very considerate of them, right?

A few months later after cultivating the idea, Goodman invested $20,000 of his own funds and partnered with a U.S. manufacturer to launch PourMyBeer , making beer tables with two to four self-service taps, and in 2009 his innovative company provided its first table with self-our beer taps to a tavern in the Baltimore area. But it did not stop the evolution there, and in 2011 PourMyBeer introduced self-service “beer walls,” which let people self-pour their beverages from wall-mounted taps.

Since that first table the market has expanded, and PourMyBeer has spread its influence by providing services to around 200 restaurants and bars covering 28 states and Canada.

Problems with Self-Service

Now some legal questions arise, especially concerning the fact that drinking establishments using the self-pour tap system absolutely must be verly-cautious about underage drinkers. There are reportedly some safeguards to the PourMyBeer system, one of which that has been used is the requirement of a RFID-enabled wristband or card for access. So without one of these cards, a minor would not be able to use the taps. Goodman has explained,

“It’s controlled access. The units give 32 ounces, or two glasses of beer per person at a time.”

While that can be a good indication that there are some restrictions to using these devices in place, is it still going to cause a problem with binge-drinking? Seriously, if there is this constant access to alcohol, and you can throw more and more money into it without having to worry about paying a server, or even talking to one, how likely it is that excessive drinking and even alcohol abuse isn’t going to become more of a norm?

Giving someone with an alcohol problem an ever-flowing source of beer is taking a huge risk, and for some probably seems a little irresponsible. Then again, whether it is a human being, a self-serve tap or a robot bar-tender like a scifi movie, the system cannot be perfect, and an alcoholic will always find a way to drink, I know I did.

Good or bad, the trend is definitely getting traction. Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is actually rolling out self-serve taps for people in-between flights, and further examples are sure to start showing up later this year in Italy and Brazil.

So far these devices don’t offer much for those who have a taste more for wine or hard liquor, but this self-service beer system doesn’t ask for a tip either. These may be a major convenience to those who can drink successfully, but for those of us who drink recklessly the self-service system of PourMyBeer is just another way for us to take advantage of any way to catch a buzz.

Putting beer within arm’s length at all times for an alcoholic is risky, and not taking alcohol seriously enough to realize the risks we run from excessive drinking is even worse. People die every day from alcohol abuse, whether it be from drunk driving, alcohol poisoning or health problems caused by drinking. But there is a way out. 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

Deadly Drug Combo: Alcohol and Energy Drinks

Deadly Drug Combo: Alcohol and Energy Drinks

Author: Justin Mckibben

First off, the title of this article probably catches a few people’s attention simply for the fact that it refers to alcohol as a drug, and even more so because it implies energy drinks are a drug. Well anyone out there mixing cherry-bombs with vodka and red-bull has a rude awakening coming. First let us clear up the opinions and misconceptions with exact definitions. From there, let us look at information from recent studies and surveys, and see why it is that energy drinks and alcohol are such a deadly drug combination.

Drug- in the broadest terms a drug is a chemical substance that has known biological effects on humans or other animals.

Recreational drugs- chemical substances that affect the central nervous system, such as opioids or hallucinogens. Alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine are the most widely consumed psychotropic drugs worldwide.

So right away by definition we are able to determine that alcohol is a drug because of the way it affects the biology and the central nervous system of the consumer. The same definition can also be applied to caffeine, which is the most commonly active ingredient in energy drinks. So while this article is not intended to argue that drinking energy drinks constitutes substance abuse, it is necessary to at least take into consideration the reality of what an energy drink is to the body.

Variables of the Survey

In a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, researchers at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan concluded that when mixing alcohol and energy drinks together, there are serious public health risks that can result from ingesting this mix. This research has proven to be relevant especially among college students.

This study was done using information from the University Life Study that took place at Penn State University. Starting with the first semester of college, 744 students completed surveys for each of seven semesters, plus daily surveys. Data on alcohol and energy drink use was available from spring of the students’ sophomore year in 2009 to fall of their senior year of 2010. Through this extensive period there was a lot of information to determine particular patterns.

Students were asked about energy drink consumption both with and without alcohol. This also included the number of alcoholic drinks they drank the day before, what time they started drinking, when they stopped and if they got drunk.

The researchers also used gender, body weight and length of drinking time to calculate blood alcohol levels. The other negative consequences of alcohol use with energy drinks were determined by yes or no responses to each of 10 negative consequences, including such things as having a hangover or getting into other kinds of trouble.

Recent Study Conclusions

Megan Patrick, who is the co-author of the study and a research assistant professor, had a detailed contribution to the study’s conclusion and stated,

“We found that college students tended to drink more heavily, become more intoxicated, and have more negative drinking consequences on days they used both energy drinks and alcohol, compared to days they only used alcohol.”

The study also concluded that students who either drank alcohol and energy drinks on the same day, or students who combined the two at the same time, wound up spending more time drinking. With this prolong period of drinking, the individuals were consuming more alcohol than they would have without the caffeinated drinks. This extended time spent drinking resulted in the users’ blood alcohol levels to be raised to much higher peaks. But even more concerning is the fact that because of the stimulant effects of the energy drinks, the users reported that they felt less drunk than they actually were.

“This can have serious potential health impacts, for example if people don’t realize how intoxicated they actually are and decide to drive home,” Patrick said.

So it appears through this information that the consumption of caffeinated energy drinks or even caffeinated alcoholic beverages, such as the FDA banned Four Loko, can have a direct effect on increasing risks to an individual by masking their intoxication and making it easier for them to consume more alcohol or partake in risky behavior.

Part of what makes mixing alcohol and energy drinks such a deadly drug combo is that the energy drink makes it so the individual can continue to consume alcohol at deadly rates without feeling the full effect because of its ability to counter-act the depressant nature of alcohol by stimulating the user with caffeine. So the risk for alcohol poisoning is only increased as the individual consumes more and more alcohol while keeping themselves going. This also leads into the other hazardous behaviors by making a person more mobile while still more intoxicated.

Someone drinking energy drinks and alcohol together can take more unsafe actions with or without realizing it, and ultimately put even more people in harm’s way. This deadly drug combo can create so many negative consequences, and in the end it can all be avoided if people are aware of the truth of what they do to their bodies, and of the possibility of recovery. 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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