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Tag Archive: alcohol addiction

Odds of Dying from Opioid Overdose Surpasses Automobile Accidents

Death rate statistics in the United States now point to a startling turnaround with the likelihood of dying by opioid drug overdose surpassing the chances of dying in an automobile accident. Automobile accident deaths have long been the balancing point in conversations around the country. It is frequently said that a person has more chances of dying in an automobile than they do in an airplane. This is true.
You also hear that automobile deaths are the number one cause of preventable death. That is no longer the case, according to the Odds of Dying report put out by the National Safety Council (NSC). Opioids, their numbers say, are now the No. 1 preventable death threat in the United States.

The numbers are not only scary today, but the numbers have been on a rampage since 2011, coinciding with the arrival of street market fentanyl, which has proved to be as lethal as any illicit drug in the country. Put another way: The odds of dying by opioid overdose have probably not peaked yet. The problem, in part, is getting the message out to the public. “I can tell you without hesitancy, the general public does not like death rates,” Pain Medicine News quoted NSC statistics manager Ken Kolosh as saying. The aim of the NSC is, in fact, to put statistics in a manner in which the public can fully grasp their meaning. As such, the numbers are frightening, as they should be.

Opioids, their numbers say, are now the No. 1 preventable death threat in the United States

It breaks down this way: The U.S. population was approximately 326 million in 2017. The number of accidental opioid-related deaths came to 43,036 that year. Simply divide 326 million by 43,036 and you get one in 7,569, which are the odds of dying of an opioid-related overdose in the entire year. When you divide that by the average life expectancy, which is 78.6 years, you get one in 96. That’s the odds of dying of an opioid-related accident for someone born in the United States in 2019. Do the same numbers for other causes of death and you have heart disease, a one in six chance; cancer a one in seven chance, chronic respiratory disease one in 27, suicide one in 88. If born in 2019, the odds of dying in an automobile accident are one in 103.

Further, the odds of dying in an automobile accident have been improving over the last 10 years, while the odds of dying from overdose have been getting worse … and worse. According to the CDC, there were 47,600 opioid-related overdoses in 2017, which is 67. 8 percent of all drug overdoses. Are we done being scared? Absolutely not. But Pacific Bay Recovery is absolutely confident we have the team in place to turn your drug or alcohol addiction around.

Confidence and fear do not cancel each other out. We certainly know this is tough. We know this is difficult. We know you did not start out life seeking to be addicted to drugs or alcohol. We know how difficult this can be. We know this is scary, but we also know and abide by one absolute: Emotions can change. What if the source of your fear today – facing recovery – becomes a source of your proudest accomplishment in the future? We understand you are scared today, but how will you feel when you get back on your feet when you find you are no longer beholden to any mood altering substance or behavior?

Recovery is scary on day one. It’s scary on day two. It’s frightening for a while. We can help you get through those early fears and move on to a full, fruitful, healthy life in the future. What may seem scary, depressing and isolating today will look very different in the future. Recovery is about restoring hope. It’s about waking up every day with hope in your heart. Every day you have regained control of your life is a day of hope. You can win this struggle.

Don’t be a statistic. Call Pacific Bay Recovery, San Diego’s top drug and alcohol recovery program. Call 858-263-9700 today.

What Type of Anti-Craving Medications are used for Alcohol Addiction?

Why would anyone want to tiptoe through life, as if it’s a full-fledged cocktail blur?  Getting drunk daily, probably doesn’t sound so appealing to those of us that are not alcoholics. Neither does waking up craving the next liquid courage binge or nightly sweats due to our shallow veins that need to seep with alcohol.

According to the National Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States: 17.6 million people, or one in every twelve adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence along with several million more who engage in risky, binge drinking patterns that could lead to alcohol problems.

The brains of alcoholics are wired differently, forcing them to have a chemical imbalance, where they crave dependence.  The pleasure can be corrected with certain anti-craving medications but would have to be taken over extended periods of time.

For any specific, powerful solutions in subsiding the desire for alcohol, you MUST admit you have a problem and need help.  Step One is recognizing unhealthy patterns and verbally expressing, you know there is dependence and you are powerless over alcohol and life has become unmanageable.

What can we do about the cravings, to cease taking the first drink?

The FDA has approved pharmaceuticals such as Naltrexone, Antabuse, Acamprosate, and antidepressants (SSRIs) tend to be the most effective.   

Naltrexone – stops you from your dependence on opiate drugs and alcohol.  It has been designed to block the feeling of being “high” that you get when you drink.  This should be combined with rehab and a certified counselor that will help maintain sobriety.

Antabuse – one of the oldest and most commonly used remedies that intercept with alcohol metabolism, thus producing negative side effects when alcohol is consumed, such as vomiting and painful nausea.  The problem occurs when individuals stop taking the medication because they want to drink instead of getting better.

SSRIs – are used for treating depression and balancing serotonin levels.  Alcohol is a depressant, many isolate while abusing alcohol and become hermits, putting them in a state of hibernation.  Who wouldn’t feel depressed while in this state?

Acamprosate – used in the treatment of alcohol dependence, to maintain self-restraint. It has a good success rate for subsiding cravings.

There are all-natural remedies like acupuncture that has been shown to be a highly effective form of treatment (traditionally used in Chinese medicine).

Milk thistle is richly made up of a concentrated antioxidant silymarin that aids in restoring liver functioning and further damage to your liver.

Alcohol depletes our vitamins, nutrients, and minerals – which means we should increase our B Vitamins for energy production. Glutathione becomes depleted in the body from excessive alcohol use and drinking suppresses our appetites – therefore, we consume fewer food products and our bodies lack necessary nutrients.

It is imperative to eat a diet full of antioxidants and take a glutathione supplement to stabilize levels in your body.

We want you to give up alcohol permanently and stop your cravings before they start.  This requires you to recognize what is triggering you reaching for a drink in the first place.

Visit us here https://www.pacificbayrecovery.com/ for additional information on how we can help.

Take the first step with us today and learn how to live alcohol-free and vibrant.

Parent Alcohol Abuse Linked with Increase in Teenage Dating Violence

According to a study from the University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions, having a parent diagnosed with alcohol addiction elevates the risk of dating-related violence amongst teenagers. This research study also found that the main cause of the dating violence during the adolescent years can be seen as early as infancy.

The Clinical Study

The research performed noted the following facts and findings:

  • 144 participants who had fathers with an alcohol use disorder were used to conduct the clinical study.
  • The participants were recruited at 12 months of age for the purposes of the research.
  • Over the course of the participants’ lifespan, data were collected at regular intervals and certain factors were identified that led to some of the teenagers being involved in violent behaviors during dating relationships.
  • The study found that family dynamics occurring in and stressors experienced during the preschool and middle childhood years resulted in the development of dating violence and aggression during the adolescent stage of life.
  • The major factor that increased the risk of behavior issues in teenagers was that the mothers of these children were less sensitive and warm in their interactions with their children due to them becoming depressed as a result of living with a partner with an alcohol use disorder. This was an extremely significant finding because it has been shown time and time again that children with sensitive and warm mothers are better able to regulate and control their behaviors and emotions.
  • It was also discovered that there was more marital conflict in the presence of alcohol addiction and this interfered with the children’s abilities to control their own emotions and behaviors.
  • Children who displayed increased levels of aggression during their early and middle childhood, especially towards their siblings, were noted to be more likely to display aggression towards their partners during their teenage years

early teenage dating violence with alcohol addiction of parents

Suggested Interventions

The researchers of the study made the following suggestions and recommendations:

  • The findings of the study underscored the critical need for early interventional and prevention protocols for families who are at-risk for alcohol-related problems.
  • Mothers with partners who are diagnosed with alcoholism are especially in need of support during these times as their emotional well-being directly impacts the behavior of the child towards their future partners.
  • The risk of violent tendencies during the teenage years can be reduced when parents are able to be more sensitive and warm in their interactions with their children during their toddler years.
  • Marital conflict should be reduced as this allows for an increase in the child’s ability to better control their emotions and thus their behaviors towards others.

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 addiction.

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.

The rehabilitation facility also specializes in working with family members of affected individuals so that marital conflict and any behavioral issues demonstrated by their children may be addressed and hopefully resolved.

 

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.

How to Detox Your Liver From Alcohol Without 30 Day Rehab Programs

Detox Your Liver From AlcoholIn the past few years, more and more scrutiny has been placed on America’s addiction to short rehab programmes. Countless articles have why the current 30-day trend is outdated, expensive and has poor rates of return. Some estimate that only 10% of addicts going into a 30-day rehab programme will stay sober.  In an interview with Slate magazine, one Outpatient clinic owner noted: “You don’t treat a chronic illness with 30 days of intensive rehab – that’s absurd”. He’s got a point. The real question is what’s the solution? Luckily there are other options on how to detox your liver from alcohol.

 

Symptoms of Detox

Detox can be a painful process. Not only are symptoms of withdrawal severe and often very unpleasant, chronic alcohol abuse and addiction is a long built habit that takes time, effort and a certain amount of skill to break. The most obvious negative to alcohol detox is the withdrawal symptoms. Patients get a number of symptoms including:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Nightmares
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusions
  • Seizures
  • Death

That final one is the biggest takeaway. Detox can be dangerous. In some ways, the 30-day alcohol detox rehab programme made sense when it was first invented. Get the addict safely off alcohol without some of the more severe side effects and back to their family sober. But the more we learn about addiction the more we learn this just doesn’t work. Here’s why:

  • Addiction isn’t just withdrawal. Whilst addicts don’t want to stop because they fear the withdrawal – this isn’t the only reason they are addicted.
  • Old habits die hard. How long does it take to make or break a habit? If you took up a new hobby would 30 days of doing that hobby count as a new habit? No. People take much longer, up to 90 days to make habits.
  • Addiction takes time to open up to. Often 30 days isn’t long enough to build trusting therapeutic relationships with the staff at these clinics
  • The addicts don’t want to be there. It’s no surprise that family members and loved ones want alcoholics to seek help. But often convincing them to go to a 30-day programme won’t be enough. They have to make a long-term commitment to change and signing up to 30 days isn’t a big enough commitment. Longer treatments take dedication and real willpower – the exact characteristics an alcoholic needs to overcome their addiction.

 

Unrealistic Expectations – Outpatient or Longer Stays are the Only Way

As we’ve seen – 30-day alcohol detox programs aren’t working. The success rates are low, sometimes lower than 10% completing and continuing the programme. There are, however, a number of solutions. One alternative is longer residential programmes. Those deeply ingrained habits, that have years and years of history are far more likely to be broken by much longer stays, perhaps 3 or more months. Many recovery practices do offer this service and it typically has a much higher rate of success (up to 2 or 3X higher than the best 30-day programmes). Another option is outpatient recovery, with skilled doctors prescribing the best medications to guide a person through the process and stop dangerous withdrawal. In fact, studies have shown for all substance abuse, including alcohol, that longer stays in rehab simply work better.

 

 

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.

Lithium and Alcohol Treatment

Numerous pharmacological agents have been proved effective for treating alcohol addiction and enhancing recovery. The common class of drugs used to manage withdrawal symptoms during alcohol detoxification is Benzodiazepines and barbiturates. Benzodiazepines such as Diazepam, Chlordiazepoxide, Lorazepam, and Oxazepam are the most commonly used drugs. Among some skepticism and debate, Lithium has also been shown to have therapeutic benefits for the treatment of alcohol addiction. However, some medical experts believe that Lithium is effective only for alcoholics suffering from manic depression and bipolar disorder. It is generally thought that Lithium treatment may work only in those with a dual diagnosis.

One of the naturally occurring chemical elements, Lithium is useful in medicine as a mood stabilizer prepared in pharmacology by combining lithium salt with an orotic acid. Lithium orotate is said to be a drug-form with the fewest side effects. Other combinations of the drug are Lithium carbonate, Lithium citrate made by compounding lithium with carbon and oxygen.

Mechanism of Action of Lithium

Lithium works through the central nervous system by regulating the levels of neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and serotonin. Decreased activity of norepinephrine and increased serotonin levels help in reducing the stress response and increasing mental well-being. Though lithium is referred to as a psycho-active drug, it does not produce euphoric highs in its users. The therapeutic actions of lithium to start acting on the drug addict may take as long as a month.

Lithium AddictionLithium for Alcoholism

A number of research studies analysing the potential beneficial effects of lithium in alcoholic-recovery and rehabilitation have not provided conclusive evidence. Lithium is a successful pharmacological agent for treating depression symptoms. Since depression is a strongly associated symptom in chronic alcoholism, Lithium is expected to improve the recovery and prognosis in alcoholics. However, systematic clinical studies have failed to prove lithium’s effectiveness in neither depressed nor non-depressed alcohol-addicts.

Nonetheless, alcoholics suffering from bipolar disorder have been shown to benefit from lithium-assisted detoxification and therapy. So, lithium may really be indispensable for patients with a dual diagnosis (Alcohol Use Disorder and Bipolar disorder); but further research and large-scale clinical trials are required to determine the exact drug efficacy in such medical cases.

Lithium and Suicide Prevention

Lithium is especially useful in treating depression in individuals harboring suicidal thoughts. An interesting data analytics-study in Japan has demonstrated that cities with high Lithium concentrations in their water supply had lower suicide rates. This highlights a strong link between addiction and suicide, where lithium-assisted therapy could hold numerous benefits. 

Potential Side Effects of Lithium

The side effects of lithium include potential kidney damage, hypothyroidism, and weight gain; it may also cause nystagmus (involuntary eye-twitching). Furthermore, Lithium exposure during pregnancy has been associated with the occurrence of developmental defects in the fetus. To ensure safety during lithium-treatment, it is advisable to regularly perform blood and urine tests to continually monitor for kidney damage or other side effects. The levels of lithium in the body can also be influenced by changes in diet or dehydration. Finally, if the patient gets exposed to alcohol abuse when on lithium-treatment, an increase in the severity of side-effects may occur, preventing the drug from working properly.