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Tag Archive: alcohol abuse

Can Alcohol Cause Depression?

Written by Nigel Ford

Alcohol is most commonly used in our society to help promote sociability, but many people also use it to numb undesirable feelings. Lots of people use anxiety to help them manage anxiety, depression, and stress.

What’s ironic about this is that alcohol abuse is actually known to cause depression. In the long-term, it certainly won’t help these problems – instead, it would make them worse. In this article, I’ll explain why.

How alcohol affects the body

The first thing that clues many people into alcohol’s ability to influence depressant is its drug classification: alcohol is considered a depressant drug.

Alcohol is a highly addictive substance, and it is known to cause both physical and mental addictions

For many people, however, the term depressant can be a bit of a misnomer. Depressants don’t just cause people to become depressed – if they did, nobody would use them. Rather, depressants are known to help slow (or depress) the effects of the central nervous system (CNS).

Because of alcohol’s ability to slow down the CNS, it has a remarkable ability to reduce anxiety – which is primarily caused by an over-excited nervous system. However, just because it can help people avoid their anxiety or depression in the short-term doesn’t mean that it can do so in the long-term.

How can alcohol cause depression?

There are several ways that alcohol can cause depression in both short- and long-term.

One of the most dangerous and life-threatening ways that alcohol can contribute to depression is by leading someone down the path of addiction. Alcohol is a highly addictive substance, and it is known to cause both physical and mental addictions.

● Physical addiction occurs when someone’s body becomes dependant on a substance – such as alcohol. If they aren’t able to get the drug in their system, they will experience withdrawal symptoms, like shaking, sweating, diarrhea, and anxiety.

● A mental addiction occurs when someone believes that they are unable to function without a drug or a substance.

Being addicted on its own can cause someone to be depressed. Recognizing that your life is controlled by a substance causes many people to feel powerless and unhappy. This, in turn, leads them to become more depressed.

This isn’t to mention the biological effects that alcohol can have on the brain. Alcohol affects the brain’s GABA system – a neurological system involved in helping to regulate feelings of anxiety, and to allow us to feel comfortable and at ease.

Constantly bombarding this system with alcohol eventually diminishes it, leading to imbalances in the system that may or may not be permanent. This can lead someone to develop serious problems with anxiety, stress, and yes – depression.

Furthermore, alcohol is known to cause people to blackout and behave in a manner that doesn’t suit them. This can lead to the loss of friends, jobs, or can cause irreparable damage in relationships that can cause someone to become depressed.

In Conclusion

As you can see, several reasons can lead someone to become depressed after consuming alcohol. If you are worried about developing depression or exacerbating an existing depressive condition, your best bet is to avoid it altogether. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism, seek treatment as soon as possible.

Drug Abuse in the United States

Drug abuse is a major problem in the United States. It can come in the form of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, or prescription drugs. While some of these substances are legal, when people begin using any kind of substance in an effort to get high, it becomes drug abuse. Drug abuse is a problem that affects a wide range of people, from teenagers to adults, students to professionals, athletes, you name it. Drug abuse can occur for a wide variety of reasons. Therefore, those suffering from drug addiction require a personalized treatment plan in order to begin the process of recovery.

Alcohol is one of the most common drugs. Many people drink alcohol, and in moderation, it can be ok. However, 6.5% of the population in the U.S. admits to heavy drinking. Heavy drinking can lead to problems such as liver and pancreas disease. Women who abuse alcohol while pregnant can event affect their child. Many people discount signs of alcohol abuse because alcohol is “legal.” However, it is a very widely abused substance and should be taken seriously,

Hallucinogens such as PCP and LSD are commonly used among drug abusers
Marijuana is another widely abused substance and is very popular among the teenage demographic. While it may not be as fatal as other drugs, it can still negative effects on the user. Cocaine is another abused drug. People who use cocaine typically do so for its stimulant effects. It keeps people awake for long period s of time and can give the user euphoric effects. While the effects typically only last half an hour, the drug can quickly alter the person’s body putting them at a much higher risk of stroke. Hallucinogens such as PCP and LSD are commonly used among drug abusers. While it’s much harder to overdose from these drugs, many people who utilize them are at risk of secondary injuries from distorted perception such as falling.

Heroin is possibly the most addictive drug in the world. Unfortunately, in recent years, heroin use in the U.S. has surged due to the crackdown on prescription medications. Heroin is extremely addictive because it changes brain function. With regular use, those who use heroin quickly develop a tolerance and find themselves unable to function without more and more heroin in their systems. Another reason for heroin is so addictive is due to the painful detox. Even with one use, people may start feeling withdrawal symptoms after the drug has worn off. People who inject heroin will find themselves at a higher risk of blood-borne infections due to dirty needles. They are also at risk for Hepatitis C, HIV, kidney disease, abscesses, and even death.

There is a multitude of drugs people choose to abuse for various reasons. Sometimes it is because they were legally prescribed, sometimes it is because they were just curious to try a drug. However, regardless of the user’s drug of choice, treatment, and a strong support system is always important in the road to recovery. Much of the recovery includes detox, therapy, and coping mechanisms to help the drug abuser lead a healthier and drug-free lifestyle.

Alcohol Dependence VS Alcohol Abuse – What is the Difference?

Late nights partying at the club – is ok, every now and again.  Going to the occasional dinner gathering or holiday event, where alcohol is overconsumed, perfectly fine.  Binging daily or making it a continuous habit, not so cool.  This type of dangerous behavior could possibly turn deadly.  Alcohol is cunning, baffling and powerful and it is out to destroy.  It does not discriminate, care what your socioeconomic status is, the size of your family or chosen profession.

Let’s define what alcohol dependence VS alcohol abuse is:

Being dependent on an alcoholic drink, both psychologically and physically.  According to the DSM – 5, in 2013, it was reclassified as alcoholism

Once you take the first drink, you cannot stop.  You are unable to put your drink down and you are powerless over the magical liquid. You are drinking to get drunk, every single day.

Alcoholism has you telling yourself you will quit soon, but you are unable to.  For example, you mark days off on the calendar of when you will give up, the day arrives, and you cannot fathom life without a drink.

Your family and close friends notice your behavior is erratic and your life is unmanageable.

Individuals who regularly are dependent on alcohol have consciously chose to pattern themselves in disengaging full responsibility in all areas of their lives.

Often, we will see dependents significantly increase the amount of alcohol they purchase and drink, they will drink for extended periods of time and behaviors are unpredictable.

According to Alcoholics Anonymous, you might be classified as an alcoholic if you can honestly answer YES to at least four or five of the following questions http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/is-aa-for-you-twelve-questions-only-you-can-answer.

Alcoholism:  the disease that makes you too selfish to see the havoc you created and care about the people you shattered. quotesgram.com

Alcohol abuse is commonly referred to as consuming way too much, too frequently.  You are off to the races, but you can stop after ten, even if you do not pass out.  You probably bask in the euphoria of drinking 4-5, nightly, most days of the week.

Alcohol is probably the easiest substance to abuse because the potential is there.  It’s legal, and it’s available. – Lance Penny, QuoteHD.com

Alcohol not only destroys us, it hurts people we lovingly care about, in the grueling process.  Sometimes an intervention is necessary when an alcoholic has hit rock bottom.  Our team at Pacific Bay Recovery standby to assist you and your family.

Trained, compassionate and successful healthcare experts want to guide you on your path to recovery.  You are welcome to visit our website for additional information and to ask questions https://www.pacificbayrecovery.com/.

We encourage you to seek treatment with the help of caring specialists.  Our facility is different than any other rehab center because you are not just a number with us.  Each person that checks in to our treatment center is designed a special protocol, tailored to your individual recovery needs!

Remember, one day at a time and do not quit five minutes before your miracle.  We want you to live a life of optimal wellness but that means you will face difficult challenges and you must learn to never give up!

Alcohol Dependence vs Abuse: When is drinking too much and when is drinking an addiction?

Maybe you had a crazy night out with friends, fueled by many alcoholic drinks. Maybe you attended a party and consumed so much alcohol you don’t remember anything. If something like this happens more than once, is it a problem? Does drinking like this lead to addiction? What is alcohol dependence versus alcohol abuse?

 

Searching for answers to these questions or reaching out for support should never be discouraged. Pacific Bay Recovery Drug Treatment Center can help, www.pacificbayrecovery.com. Thanks to significant advances, there are a variety of treatment methods, and Pacific Bay Recovery Treatment Center can create a plan to treat both the body and the mind.

 

How Much Can You Drink?

Many adults drink moderately, without complications. Recent research even touts modest health benefits from alcohol consumption. For women, low-risk drinking is defined as no more than three drinks a day, not to exceed more than seven drinks per week. For men, it is no more than four drinks a day, with no more than 14 drinks per week.

An estimated 16.6 million Americans have Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD

When is Drinking Dependence or Abuse?

An estimated 16.6 million Americans have Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), which includes a range of mild, moderate and severe alcohol problems. AUD is identified by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over drinking alcohol, and a negative emotional state when not drinking.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) There are several questions to ask to determine when to seek help:

 

  • Experienced drinking more or for extended periods of time than intended?
  • Tried to stop drinking or cut down, without success?
  • Experienced a strong need to drink?
  • Spent a great deal of time seeking relief from the aftereffects?
  • Has drinking, or becoming sick from drinking, interfered with taking care of home or family, or caused job or school problems?
  • Continued to drink even though it caused trouble with family or friends?
  • Skipped activities, or reduced participation in things important to you or that gave you pleasure, to drink?
  • Experienced unsafe situations more than once while or after drinking (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in dangerous areas, or having unsafe sex)?
  • Increased drinking to achieve desired effects or found the usual number of drinks less effective than before?
  • Continued to drink even when depressed or anxious, or adding to another health problem or after experiencing a memory blackout?
  • When the effects of alcohol wear off, experienced withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, or sweating, or even sensed things that were not there?

If you have any of these symptoms, this may be a cause for concern. The more symptoms you experience, the more urgent the need is to change.

A health professional at Pacific Bay Recovery Drug Treatment Center,  www.pacificbayrecovery.com, can provide a formal assessment of your symptoms. Ultimately, receiving treatment improves chances of success and provides a better path to enjoy life.

Sources:

https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/niaaa-recognizes-alcohol-awareness-month-2015

https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-use-disorders

Alcohol Abuse in the United States on the Rise

A JAMA Psychiatry article that was published in September 2017 has shown that Americans are consuming more alcohol than ever before. An estimated one out of every eight Americans which equates to around 30 million people, struggle with an alcohol disorder.

The study looked at the drinking patterns of around 40,000 individuals between 2002 and 2003 and compared it to that of people in 2012 and 2013. The findings were shocking, to say the least, especially in light of other substance abuse problems affecting the country such as the opioid epidemic.

Study Findings

The following findings were made in the study:

  • Alcohol use disorders rose by almost 50 percent. Nearly 9 percent of the population was affected in the initial research period compared to nearly 13 percent during the second part of the study.
  • Alcohol use disorders have almost doubled amongst the African American population.
  • There has been an increase of 84 percent of the female population struggling with alcohol use disorders.
  • It was also noted that alcohol use disorders increased more than double (106 percent) in individuals over the age of 65 and by nearly 82 percent in those between 45 and 65 years of age.

As can be seen, these statistics show the increase in alcohol use disorders. This is the complication of alcohol use and using alcohol in itself has spiked tremendously. High-risk drinking, a situation that is defined as consuming four or more drinks a day in women and five in men and including a day where this limit is exceeded at least once a week, has increased from nearly 10 percent in 2002/2003 to nearly 14 percent in 2012/2013.

What is Alcohol Use Disorder?

Alcohol use disorder is a condition that is associated with a pattern of alcohol use that involves:

  • Being preoccupied with alcohol.
  • Having problems controlling one’s frequency of drinking.
  • Continuing the use of alcohol even if it causes problems such as getting into trouble with the law.
  • Having to drink more alcohol in order to achieve the same effect.
  • Using alcohol to the point where the body becomes dependent on the substance and stopping it abruptly will lead to the user experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Complications of alcohol use disorder may include:

  • Alcohol intoxication – the higher the alcohol level in the bloodstream, the more impaired one becomes and this can lead to issues such as mental changes and behavioral problems such as unstable moods, inappropriate behavior, slurred speech, poor coordination, and impaired judgment.
  • Alcohol withdrawal – when alcohol use is stopped or greatly reduced, the user can experience problems such as a rapid heartbeat, sweating, hand tremors, hallucinations, sleep-related problems, anxiety, agitation, and even seizures.

Pacific Bay Recovery

Pacific Bay Recovery is a top drug and alcohol rehabilitation center that specializes in helping patients with substance abuse issues such as alcohol use disorder.

The facility includes managing patients on an inpatient and/or outpatient basis depending on their needs and unique circumstances and offers the services of healthcare professionals such as psychologists, psychiatrists, and occupational therapists to name a few.

Can You Get Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment At Home?

alcohol abuse treatmentA recent article on Foxnews.com explored just how dangerous attempting to deal with alcohol withdrawal at home without treatment can be. Alcohol addiction is a difficult illness to overcome, especially in people who can’t afford expensive long-term residential programmes. However, going cold turkey without the proper medication can be deadly. Luckily there are alternatives but currently, there is a lack of understanding about the options for alcohol withdrawal treatment at home.

Alcohol Withdrawal

If you don’t remember your biology classes from high school take a minute to remind yourself about homeostasis. Homeostasis explains how the body keeps itself in sync. Homeostasis explains why you are able to maintain a body temperature of 37 degrees Celsius (by sweating if you become too hot or shivering if you are too cold). The same principle applies to alcohol. When you consistently consume alcohol, your brain adapts to its new normal. The neurons (the signaling cells in the brain) adapt and get used to the alcohol. Of course, the alcohol is having detrimental effects on the body – particularly the liver – whilst a person drinks. When you take the alcohol away you put the body out of sync. The brain is no longer in homeostasis. Without the depressant effect of the alcohol, the brain goes into overdrive causing a number of distressing symptoms:

  • Tremors – your hands may shake as the brain wrestles to control the body
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Irritability
  • Hallucinations – This occurs in the brain cannot process what is a genuine stimuli (aka what the brain is seeing) and what is part of the imagination. This can be particularly distressing.
  • Death

Alcohol Withdrawal medication

A much safer way to detox from alcohol is with a certified recovery practice. This can either be as an inpatient, but can also be managed at home. You may have heard of many of the alcohol withdrawal medications which include:

  • Benzodiazepines: these drugs have been used for years to treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. They work by decreasing brain activity (which you need during the withdrawal period). They have a sedative effect, relaxing the patient and putting them to sleep.
  • Anticonvulsants: You might have heard of these drugs being used for epilepsy. That’s because they were originally designed to treat epilepsy. However, addicts undergoing withdrawal can often have seizures (much like an epileptic would) and these drugs can help prevent that.
  • Vitamins: In very severe instances, vitamin deficiencies in alcoholics can lead to dementia. As such vitamins are needed to supplement addicts who are usually extremely low in vitamins.

As we have seen – alcohol withdrawal is dangerous but there are options for addicts looking for alcohol withdrawal treatment at home. A number of alcohol withdrawal medications are available to avoid some of the distressing and occasionally deadly side effects of withdrawal. If you do try to detox at home, make sure you seek help from an experienced recovery clinic that can prescribe withdrawal medications and guide you through the process with experienced practitioners.

Preventing Relapse with Drug and Alcohol Abuse

The Facts of Relapse Prevention

Feeling good about yourself during the days, weeks, and months of recovery is a great way to prevent relapse. Some studies have shown that working with youth groups and schools will help you promote this feeling of self-worth. According to the NSDUH 2010 survey report, 10 percent Drub Abuse San Diegoof youths age 12 to 17 have used illicit drugs, 15.6 percent of college students are heavy drinkers, and 42 percent of college students are binge drinkers.

Educate Others

Recovering drug or alcohol addicts who speak to the younger generation may find some self-worth by educating others about staying sober. The feeling of being responsible and working to help others will lessen your risk of relapse, while reinforcing what you are doing to help yourself. Attending meetings with other addicts and groups is beneficial for your drug and alcohol relapse prevention. The support during these times is crucial to understanding why you are sober, and these individuals know what you are going through. Listening to how others have stayed sober from drugs or alcohol will help in your relapse prevention.

Avoid Triggers

When recovering from a drug and/or alcohol addiction, you must keep yourself out of those high risk situations that might trigger you to relapse. It is very easy to find yourself back in these situations, especially today with our busy and hectic lifestyles and daily dealings with families, employers, or friends. But let’s face it — sometimes during your recovery you are not going to be able to avoid these issues and stressors. Have a plan for what you will do if these situations present themselves. Substance abuse professionals all agree that prevention is vital to your success or downfall during recovery.

Use the Three Way Approach

Addiction Treatment Center San DiegoThere should be as at least three ways you would handle the trigger situation, so you aren’t tempted if the first doesn’t work. For example, the easiest thing to do is leave the situation altogether and get away from the negative and unhealthy influences. Secondly, get to a place that calms you so you are able to get the cravings under control. A third option is to find a sober friend and talk it out, as this helps get your mind back in the right state. Find out what works best for you, and write down if it works or scratch it off your list if it does not help. Remind yourself of why you are doing this and what you went through to get to where you are at today.

List it Out

Making a list of situations you need to stay away from has helped others by identifying what days and times may be reminders of drinking or doing drugs, as well as point out who and where you need to avoid. Don’t worry what others may think of you if you decline a wedding invitation or if you choose not to go to a party late in the evening, because these situations could cause you to relapse. If they are true friends and family, then they will understand your situation and struggles.

Resources

http:// http://www.rehabs.com/about/relapse-prevention/