Posts tagged with "alcohol abuse"

Six Ways to Cut Down on Alcohol

by Tara Yombor, LMHC and clinical director at Pathway to Hope, a Delphi Behavioral Health Group facility.

Social (moderate) drinking, binge drinking, alcoholism, tolerance, and dependence. This is the typical pattern of progression for drinking that leads someone to think of him or herself as needing to cut down on alcohol. Some might think they are prone to alcoholism. Within that progression, the time for someone to cut down on drinking is based on the individual’s idea of what is causing dysfunction and unmanageability in their life.

Why is it so easy for someone to become addicted to alcohol, and what does it mean to have
an alcohol use disorder?

First of all, alcohol does not have an adverse social stigma, which makes the dependence for it more likely, and the consumption of it more acceptable. Alcohol is typically used to celebrate happy events and sooth the sad events in life. Think about a celebration. What do most people imagine? Alcohol, champagne, and a “toast to the New Year!”

During times of mourning or stress, alcohol can be used to ease the emotional pain of a loss or as a stress reliever. Social (or moderate) drinking is seen as a normal and perfectly harmless way of socializing, relaxing, or a form of celebration.

A binge drinker is defined as a man who drinks more than four to six drinks in a two-hour period, and a woman who drinks more than four to five drinks in a two-hour period. Someone with alcohol use disorder is typically a person with a long-term addiction to alcohol. This person is typically unable to control how much they consume or when to stop drinking and spends a lot of time thinking about the next drink.

It can be easy for someone to transition from a social drinker to a binge drinker to having an
alcohol use disorder. A binge drinker is someone who has more than the above allotted
acceptable drinks in a short amount of time.

Someone who is a binge drinker or struggling with heavy alcohol use may find that people close to them begin to notice negative patterns of behavior during times of drinking. Friends and family may start to become worried about the person’s drinking patterns and negative outcomes that have begun to arise from their drinking. A person who begins to engage in
binge drinking may find themselves calling out of work the day after drinking due to a hangover; they may miss important deadlines, get into arguments with their loved ones, or lose track of daily responsibilities.

Tolerance for alcohol means that a person needs more and more alcohol to feel the desired effect than they previously would not have needed. Someone who has a pattern of binge drinking may find themselves drinking even more alcohol in a short time to feel drunk.

Once tolerance increases, the possibility of dependence increases. Dependence can be defined as relying on alcohol to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Essentially, a person is controlled by their need to ingest alcohol to feel “normal.”

During any of these stages of alcohol use, someone may feel the need to seek treatment. The need for treatment varies for each person based on how dysfunctional or unmanageable their life has become due to their drinking.

Here are six things you (or anyone) can do to cut down on alcohol. Most of these mean a change in behavior.

1. Acknowledge the problem – in order to stop the behavior, you must first acknowledge what the negative behavior is and make a conscious effort to commit to changing that behavior. Also, put the goal in writing and make a list of reasons why you want to cut back on drinking. For example, if the behavior is drinking too much during celebrations, you have to determine what “too much” means to you and, next, set a goal to decrease the amount you are drinking during celebrations.

2. Set a realistic goal for drinking alcohol – if you struggle with binge drinking, set a realistic, and achievable goal. The next time you’re out during a social event, make it a goal to cut back to three to four drinks in two hours instead of five to six. Or perhaps instead of going to a happy hour on Friday or Saturday night, pick one night to go out and stay in the other night. Cutting back by making realistic and achievable goals will keep you on track and make you feel better about the fact that you are keeping your goals.

3. Write it down – make sure to keep a journal of the times you drink, how much you drink, and any negative outcomes related to the times you drink (for example, drinking and falling down or making an inappropriate comment to a friend). By keeping a journal, you will hopefully be able to see patterns of behavior. You can also share this journal with someone you trust and ask them to look out for any patterns you may have missed.

4. Don’t keep alcohol in your house – it is easier to come home after a long day of work and pour a glass of wine rather than going out to the bar on a Wednesday when you may have other obligations at home such as taking care of a child. When you don’t have alcohol in the house, it eliminates the desire or temptation to drink.

5. Stay busy – by having non-alcohol related activities to engage in, you are more likely to say no to drinking, as you’ll want to be present for the activity. Do things that keep you active, such as riding a bike, hiking, going for a walk as the endorphins from engaging in exercise may eliminate the desire for alcohol.

6. Ask for support/Talk to someone – tell people you trust about your goals and ask them to help keep you accountable during times when you may be struggling or find yourself surrounded by temptation. Also, there are therapists who specialize in alcohol/substance use who you can talk to that can assist you with your goals and process through any underlying emotions that may be related to drinking.

Remember that the above tips may not work for everyone. Some people may be into the stage of alcohol tolerance and dependence. If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol dependence, reach out for help from a professional or call a treatment center in your area. Alcoholism and dependence look different for everyone.

10 Ways to Monitor Your Drinking this Cinco de Mayo

1. Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Savor your meal before you start drinking an alcoholic beverage.

2. Do not overeat and Sip your drink. Enjoy your beverage.

3. Avoid binging. The definition of binging is 5 drinks or more in less than 4-5 hours.

4. Keep your consumption of drinks as low as possible – not more than 3 drinks for a man and 2 for a woman.

5. Alcoholic beverages are similar in alcohol content. One beer is equivalent to a glass of wine or a shot of liquor.

6. Find a driver. Don’t drive after drinking. It is hard to judge your blood alcohol level and its effects on your cognitive ability and reflexes.

7. If you are a diabetic or hypertensive, suffering from a heart or liver condition, take your daily medications, and check with your doctor to avoid alcohol interactions with your medications.

8. If you are going to use Tylenol, don’t exceed more than 3 grams in one day. Be aware that a lot of headache medicines or pain killers contain acetaminophen (Tylenol), so avoid accidental overdosing.

9. Don’t mix alcohol with other recreational drugs.

10. Space your beverages to allow your body the ability to metabolize what you ingested and avoid intoxication.

Savor, Sip and Space

Curated by Dr. Tarek Hassanein of Southern California Liver Centers

HOW CAN YOU GET ADDICTION TREATMENT WITHOUT INSURANCE?

One of the most critical situations in modern society is being alone in a difficult situation. What do we have to do if you found out that you are alcohol or drug addicted? Surely, the first thing to do if you cannot control yourself is to ask for help. However, sometimes it happens that you have nobody to ask for help or people, who wish to help have no possibilities.

How much does rehab cost without insurance?

Actually, there is no correct answer to this question, because different recovery programs use different techniques, different specialists work with you, they use different medicines, and there are many other different conditions, which determine the price. First, look through the types of rehab facilities to choose the one you need. They may be medical detox centers, intensive outpatient programs, holistic rehab center, partial hospitalization programs, standard outpatient treatment, etc.

To talk generally, inpatient treatment usually costs more than participation in outpatient rehabilitation programmes in Bellevue. It is evident as the inpatient treatment foresees that you live in the facility and use all the conveniences, receive food, get medical supervision. The price also depends on how long you stay in the rehab facility and what other services and amenities you require (private rooms, swimming pool, gym, massage, etc.).

One is tempted to ask the question of what to do if you have no opportunities to pay for your addiction treatment? Is that possible to get help for addiction without insurance?

Different social programs may cover your expenses for the rehabilitation programme partially or fully. First, if there are some life-threatening risks of consuming some substance, you would receive emergency treatment and regardless of whether you can pay or not. Hopefully, you will not get into such a situation.

There also exist some options for flexible payment. They may be scholarship, grant, financing, etc. It is important to note here is that cutting corners on recovery programme may turn into future problems. It is of utter importance to reclaim your health and life. The fact is that you would spend more money on drugs or alcohol if you continue succumbing to the addiction than on any rehab for people with no insurance (find more here).

Do not be too lazy to call several recovery centers and find out what conditions of payment they have. First, many treatment facilities may offer reduced treatment costs or a sliding fee scale because of the pieces of evidence that you do not make high enough income.

Secondly, there exist some non-profit organizations or foundations, which may offer you some scholarships. Usually, one of the conditions of getting a scholarship is the absence of insurance. Application for such programs may give you the way to rehab for people with no insurance.

Thirdly, depending on your credit score, you may ask some lending institutions for providing drug or alcohol treatment without insurance. The specifications of such cooperation differ in each personal case.

Fourthly, do not be too shy to ask your friends and relatives. Sometimes they do not even know that you need this sort of help. Doctors say that involving family members into the process of recovery may make you closer and you would definitely feel more support. This may also change the views of your family on the attitude before and make it more integrated. A friend at court is better than a penny in purse.

To sum up, do not be afraid of sharing your problems. In the modern world, many people feel sympathy for those, who cannot afford treatment, so the only thing you have to do is to ask.

Author:

Jeffrey Buckley is a blogger who investigates human health issues and behaviorist anthropology. He researches substance abuse problems and the ways to overcome addictions.