Tag: alcohol abuse

THE POPE FIGHTS TO END DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE

“Drug and Alcohol Abuse Are A New Form of Slavery” – Pope Francis

On Thursday November 25th, while the United States was celebrating Thanksgiving, Pope Francis was launching his war to fight drug and alcohol abuse. The Pope pleaded for comprehensive addiction programs at The Pontifical Academy of Sciences, a Vatican-sponsored workshop aimed to end drug and alcohol abuse. More than 50 experts participated in the summit that lasted 2 days. Drugs “are a wound in our society, a venom that corrodes, corrupts and kills,” Said Pope Francis.

Pope Francis, the most popular Pope in the history of the catholic church increased his approval ratings with the world’s Catholics and most likely God by tackling the issue of drug and alcohol abuse saying, “Those who fall under the traps of this chemical form of slavery, are destroyed by it, and those around them too.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Programs Must Contain Education And Support

Pope Francis feels that drug and alcohol abuse is a global issue and that it must be stopped through comprehensive addiction programs that educate and support the individuals effected. The Pope urged drug and alcohol addiction programs to educate people on the health risks involved in using. The pope went on to say that there are many reasons why people suffer from drug and alcohol abuse. “From lack of family support, to social pressure, traffickers doing propaganda and the “desire to live new experiences.” The Popes stance to educate the world on the health risks seemed outdated but, then again all we are hearing right now is the staggering number of people dying from heroin overdoses before they can make it to addiction programs. Maybe it is time to discuss the specific health problems that drug and alcohol abuse cause. The liver failure, the kidney failures, loss of hair and the mental deterioration.

Addicts are Not Broken Junk, Said The Pope

Where Pope Francis succeeded the most, was on the call for support of the those effected by drug and alcohol abuse. “We cannot fall into the injustice of classifying a drug addict as if he [or she] was an object or broken junk,” Francis said, asking for their rehabilitation at addiction programs. The Pope went on the say that mentally and physically drug and alcohol abuse equates to, “the throwing away of a person.” Pope Francis, known for his compassion, passion and rebel with a mitre (the hat the pope wears) mentality echoed the slowly growing sentiments of the recovery community, that is urging the rest of the world to face addiction with a compassionate approach most commonly seen in response to cancer patients.

Although dated at times the Popes remarks and summit on drug and alcohol abuse is a huge step forward fot he cause. It seems like now drug and alcohol abuse and addiction programs even have the official support of GOD. Always good to have him on your side. On and one more thing just incase you Catholics in Washington, Colorado and Massachusetts are reading this…

The Pope On Recreational Marijuana?

“No to every type of drug use. It is as simple as that,” he said.

Is Drug Addiction Recovery Possible Without God?

Does Drug Addiction Recovery Require God?

 

So here is the thing. I just wrote a post giving atheists tips for recovery. So you might be suspecting that I, in fact, don’t believe that God needs to be involved in drug addiction recovery. Well, you would be wrong. I’ve just learned not to fight with atheists. The truth is if you work the steps of drug addiction recovery you will eventually believe in God. This is my experience and the experience of countless others.

Drug Abuse Can Only Be Solved Through a Spiritual Connection

Since AA first launched it was described as a spiritual approach to alcoholism and drug addiction recovery. It has proven time and time to be effective. People seeking drug addiction recovery have seen their lives blossom to incredible heights, many higher than if they never suffered from drug abuse in the first place. Many of these people did not believe in God or were not sure about God having a part in their drug addiction recovery. The gifts of this incredible program became so tremendous that the non-believers in drug addiction recovery looked back thought, “Wow there must be a God because this is amazing”.

Recovered Drug Abusers Who Don’t Believe in God Have an Ego Problem

Once your life has flipped turned upside down and is so amazing you are screaming from the roof tops, you will believe there is a God. If you don’t you are lying to yourself or you have the biggest ego on the planet and you need further help. Your drug addiction recovery program has produced the happiness you never dreamed you could find but you are such a control freak that you can’t admit maybe just maybe God had something to do with it? Your drug abuse was killing you and your family and today you have your own business, a wife a family and tons of money, but you really, really don’t think there is a God? At this point the non-believers are simply saying God had nothing to do with my drug addiction recovery, just to maintain their “Image”. If we could look inside their brain we would find God.

All Drug Addicts believe in God, They Just Don’t Know It Yet.

I believe that God has a plan for all of us and I did not believe this until I found the 12 steps of a drug addiction recovery program. His plan involves taking the drug abuse folks, taking the alcoholic peeps and using them to help others with their example. He uses us in this way whether we believe in him or not. So the non-believers actually do believe, they just don’t know it yet. But over time if they continue to work a program of drug addiction recovery God will seep in and eventually turn them on to him. They may never admit it or maybe they will. One chronic drug abuser named Jim T believed in Aliens, not god. Then one day after finally enough fantastic things occurred he finally agreed that God is real. So the answer after a long tirade is no, you don’t have to believe in God for drug addiction recovery to be possible, because he believes in you.

Mixing Alcohol and Vicodin is a Big Deal

Alcohol and Vicodin LighthouseMixing Prescription Drugs with Alcohol is Like Playing Russian Roulette

Alcohol and Vicodin can be a deadly combination. There are a handful of prescription drugs that people regularly take with alcohol. Vicodin and alcohol mixing is common, as is Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, Adderal, and many, many others. People often take these medicines and have no idea how harmful it truly is, and that it could even lead to sudden death. Here we’re going to focus primarily on Vicodin and the dangers of mixing it with alcohol.

Most people don’t know exactly why and how combining drugs can become toxic in a person’s body even in small doses. As far as alcohol and Vicodin go, this is what happens.

The Effects of Alcohol and Vicodin on Your Body

Separately, painkillers and alcohol have very different effects. They are different chemicals that have different purposes when introduced into the body. When combined, the chemicals can interact and cause a toxic combination that overwhelms a person’s system before your body can eliminate the toxins. Think of it as your body working on overtime and it just can’t keep up.

Excessive hydrocodone in Vicodin can cause memory loss, confusion, and breathing issues, many of the same things that excessive alcohol causes. Besides acute medical emergencies like cardiac and breathing problems, combining the two drugs can have an enormously negative impact on a person’s liver.

Mixing Drugs Is Not About How Much But How Your Body Tolerates It

Taking alcohol and Vicodin together can suppress the system so much so that a person’s breathing can stop completely. The FDA advises that people who are prescribed Vicodin should not drink any alcohol at all. Every person has a different body chemistry and will have a different reaction to any foreign substance that they put in their body.

You can have two people who weigh the same and have a similar body composure. One will be able to tolerate the mixture, and the second person might slip into a coma and die from the same amount. It’s a game of Russian Roulette that no one should ever play because it just isn’t worth it.

If you have consumed alcohol and Vicodin, some warning signs of overdose include:alcohol and vicodin

  • Excessive tiredness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Slow or weak pulse
  • Lack of coordination and control
  • Falling out of consciousness
  • Disorientation.

If anyone you know exhibits these kind of symptoms after ingesting a substance, get medical help for them immediately.

It is always better to err on the side of caution when combining drugs and alcohol. If you aren’t sure, don’t do it. And by all means, if there is a warning label against drinking alcohol, stay away! Drug combinations cause so many useless deaths per year. A little vigilance could save a lot of lives.

 

Golf, Scandal, and the Dangers of Cocaine and Alcohol

cocaine and alcohol lighthouseDustin Johnson’s Drug Abuse Highlights Cocaine and Alcohol

American professional golfer Dustin Johnson just won the 116th U.S. Open, but it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for him, especially not when it comes to his personal life. Johnson tested positive for marijuana, cocaine and alcohol three times in his pro golfing career and was suspended once as a result. In a sport that suffered from a ton of shame after the downfall of golf legend Tiger Woods, another story like this isn’t a surprise, and sports officials seem to want to sweep this all under the rug.

Tiger Woods, Golf, and Performance Enhancing Drugs

This isn’t the first time that big-time scandalous behavior has been kept quiet in the golf world. While Tiger Woods was galavanting around with scores of women and using performance-enhancing drugs, he was also climbing the ladder as the biggest star in the golf world. His reputations ended up crashing down in flames as him and his ex-wife  had a very public falling out about his extra-marital affairs and otherwise terrible behavior.

Fast forward to today, and we have Dustin Johnson who reportedly tested positive three times for illegal drugs. He has brought up that binge drinking was a big problem for him, more so than drugs, but anyone who has had experience with one knows that they can quickly go hand in hand and out of control fast.

Cocaine and Alcohol

Cocaine and alcohol addictionJohnson tested positive for cocaine three times in five years, and allegedly carried on liaisons with multiple wives of fellow players. While he has not admitted to those affairs, he talks about how his trouble with alcohol forced him to take a hiatus from pro golf and focus on bettering himself.

While Johnson does not fully admit to his cocaine use, the drug tests say otherwise. Cocaine and alcohol is a common combination, as they work as polar opposites and cocaine can serve to keep a person wide awake when alcohol would make them fall asleep. It’s a false sense of wellbeing that can actually be a fatal combination.

Cocaethylene: The Lethal Combination of Cocaine and Alcohol

Ingesting cocaine and alcohol at the same time is unfortunately common, and the combination actually produces a drug called Cocaethylene in the liver. It poses an extremely high risk for heart attack, high blood pressure, and other heart and cardiovascular issues. Over time with repeated use, cocaethylene builds up in the liver and causes long-term health effects.

According to several different studies, the presence of cocaethylene in a person’s system produces feelings of euphoria that are more powerful and longer-lasting than those produced by cocaine alone. However, the health risks become that much more serious, and sudden death is a true threat.

Drug Combinations Are Lethal

Golf Pro Johnson is lucky that his cocaine and alcohol habit didn’t lead to his demise. Combining any drugs with alcohol or cocaethylene lighthouse recoveryother drugs is notoriously lethal, and often leads to hospitalization, overdose, and death. This is something to be mindful of even with prescription drugs – warnings on labels exist for a reason, so make sure to pay attention to them. This is especially true with any kinds of drugs that have to do with anxiety or pain – both drugs suppress the central nervous system, so combining these kinds of drugs with alcohol or street drugs can prove deadly.

It is possible to overcome any kind of drug addiction with the right help and the right people to support you. The first step is recognizing you have a problem and educating yourself, and then getting the help you need from there.

Why I Went to Alcohol Rehab In Florida

Alcohol Rehab in Florida Was My Best Move

Alcohol Rehab in FloridaIn 2013 I made the decision to go to alcohol rehab in Florida. It wasn’t overnight, and it definitely wasn’t easy. It took a few rounds of detox in my home state of Ohio and a lot of coaxing and begging from friends and family to finally get me to agree to go. In the end, I’m grateful I did. I think that decision ultimately saved my life.

Alcohol Addiction Was A Slow Progression

My love affair with alcohol didn’t start out too bad, in fact, I never even saw the threat of alcoholism coming until it was way too late. I enjoyed beers in college and the occasional shot, and that fondness carried into my 20s, translating into happy hours and engagement parties. Sure, I would black out on occasion and be embarrassed about my actions, but didn’t that happen to everyone?

Maybe those moments happened to everyone, but while they were getting fewer and further between for my friends who were settling down, they were becoming more and more frequent for me. Not remembering my weekend nights was normal, and the struggle of getting up and making it through the day on saturday and sunday was only helped by the promise of more drinks at brunch, lunch, or dinner.

A Functioning Alcoholic

alcohol rehab south florida lighthouseFor a number of years, I functioned this way. I was, for all intents and purposes, a functioning alcoholic. I was able to get to work, albeit I was often hung over or even still drunk from my shenanigans the evening before. I was always a good employee – on time, hard working, although I often called in sick because of crippling hangovers. Well, my bubble was burst one Friday morning when I walked into my office and was greeted by the serious faces of my boss and the COO.

As they told me I was being let go, my already turning stomach got even worse and as I walked out of the office with my few belongings I stopped at the bar I normally went to on the way home and proceeded to drink so much that a friend had to come scrape me off the bar and bring me home.

And Then I Ended Up In Alcohol Rehab In South Florida

The next few months were a complete blur. I was probably drunk 95% of the time. Drunk was a way of life. I was tossed into the emergency room a couple of times after passing out in front of friends and finally agreed to go to detox. Well, five days in a detox center didn’t smack enough sense into me – by the second day after I left, I was back to drinking.

About two weeks passed when finally friends and family convinced me I needed major help. I had a moment of clarity and agreed to go to alcohol rehab in florida. I was very hesitant at the idea of being away from my regular life for 42 days, but what had become of my so-called regular life? Who was I? What was I doing?

After my stint in rehab in Florida, I returned to Ohio a new person. I learned so much while I was there and was able to hit a refresh button on my life. I recognized patterns of why I was drinking and realized that I’m just wired differently from other people. I am an alcoholic and will always be one.

I am grateful for each passing day that I’m sober, and I hope that I can give some inspiration to others who may be on a similar path.  

 

I’m in Love with a Recovering Heroin Addict

I Fell In Love With a Recovering Heroin Addict Love Heroin Addict Lighthouse Recovery

We can’t choose who we fall in love with. Three years ago, I knew nothing about addiction, even though I was suffering from alcohol addiction myself, it just hadn’t been brought to light quite yet. I definitely knew nothing about heroin addiction, and would never think to associate myself with a heroin addict or anyone who was into hard drugs like that.

Him and I met through mutual friends in recovery, which is a large scene in South Florida. I remember seeing him on the beach one of the times our group got together and having an undeniable attraction to him. He apparently was in love with me the moment he first saw me – I had no idea.

We Met in Recovery in South Florida

A few months went by and we became closer, eventually going on our first date, which led to many dates, which led to us becoming a couple. His spirit matched my own and every time I looked into his eyes I felt a reflection of myself in a way I had never experienced before. We knew all about each other’s screwed up history – nothing was left in the dark between us.

Since coming to South Florida for addiction recovery, I had met my share of drug addicts, and seen relapses and ODs left and right – the first couple of times I was shocked and sad and tried to help each person, but after the 4th, 5th, 10th time – you are forced to turn a blind eye, tell the people close to you how much you love them, and hope for the best. It isn’t fun – it’s gut wrenching, heartbreaking, and my facebook feed turned into something more like an obituary of friends in recovery who lost their battle.

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He was different. The closeness we shared and still do was like nothing I had ever experienced before. So when he overdosed and nearly died, I was in shock, I was mad, I was terrified. I was lost. We had recently decided to move in together and ended up in a horrible flop house in Delray Beach. We were told by a “friend” that it was a solid halfway that we could live in as a couple while we looked for an apartment of our own.

A Halfway House Gone Bad

Love and recovery Lighthouse

The first few days were fine, but by the end of the first weekend there were fights in the middle of the night, an overdose, and we realized the houses next door to us were all huge drug dealers. We lived with a padlock on our bedroom door, and there were nights I was so scared about what was going on beyond our door that I didn’t sleep for more than a few minutes.

I knew seeing the drugs and being close to all of that was tough for him. I always knew I would be ok but my worry for him was all consuming. We moved out of that house as soon as we could, and to a friend’s house while we apartment hunted and finally found the perfect place for us and signed the lease.

 

The Heroin Overdose I didn’t Expect

I thought we were in the clear. I thought things were looking up. So when I was calling him one afternoon and didn’t hear anything from him for over an hour, I was slightly concerned because it was unusual but I wasn’t freaking out – I went back into work and figured I would hear back from him soon. I walked out of a meeting and checked my phone and had missed calls from a mutual friend, and a text that simply said, “Did you know what happened? If not call me ASAP.”

He had taken a huge dose of heroin and was found unresponsive, dead for all intents and purposes. The next hour or so was a blur, I felt every emotion in the book. I confirmed that he was breathing and alive when the ambulance took him away, but that’s all I knew. I drove to three separate hospitals looking for him, calling my best friends and screaming because I wanted to scream at him but I couldn’t reach him.

The only place I stopped was Walgreens to get cigarettes because my mind was a mess, I broke down crying and shaking to the lady at the counter who tried to get me to stay and not drive because I was such a wreck but I had to find him.

I found him at a hospital in Boca Raton. He survived. It wasn’t his time to go. I brought him home and held him all night, and he doesn’t remember a thing from that day. All he could say for himself was that it all got to be too much, seeing everyone using at the halfway, knowing I was unhappy with all the moving around we were doing, and some personal things he had going on. It was going to be his last “hoorah” before we moved into the apt the following weekend. That last hoorah almost killed him.

Living With and Loving A Recovering Heroin Addict love heroin addiction lighthouse

We moved into our apartment. Things are great, we’re both so happy. I’d love to say my fear of another overdose is gone, but it’s still very prevalent. My heart jumps into my throat every time I get a call from a number I don’t recognize, or if I don’t hear from him for an unusually long time. I have him on a short leash, and I don’t care if anyone else thinks I’m being needy or annoying, all I want is for him to live because he’s the most amazing soul I’ve ever met. I only want good things for him. 

Living with and loving a recovering heroin addict is not easy. As I said in the beginning of this article, we can’t choose the ones we love. I will not leave him, I won’t give up on him, and he’s doing well. I am grateful for every single positive moment we have together, and look forward to all the rest that we have in front of us.

 

Study Drugs and Drug Abuse in College

study drugs lighthouse recoveryStudy Drugs are Common

Experimenting, drinking, and drug abuse in college are well-known pitfalls of the four years that are meant to be spent bettering your education. Kegs, parties, marijuana – these things are normal, and often can lead to other things that spiral out of hand. The use of study drugs like Adderall and Ritalin is becoming common at school, because of the increase in energy and not needing to sleep, which students think will help them cram for exams.

Drug Abuse and Misuse

The Center on Young Adult Health and Development describes abuse and misuse of prescription drugs as any use whatsoever by someone who does not have a prescription, or if it is used by someone who has it prescribed that is not consistent with the prescribing physician’s directions.

Unfortunately, in college, lots of students with prescriptions to these drugs give them out to students who don’t. Sometimes they charge a few dollars for a pill, and sometimes they just hope it will help them get popular. Sometimes students feel pressure to sell or share their script. Either way, these pills are getting into the wrong hands and can quickly lead to abuse.

College is The Perfect Stress StormStudy Drugs college lighthouse recovery

College is a stressful time for young adults. There are so many factors – the cost of education, passing final exams, social and peer pressure, being away from home – that come together and can be overwhelming for a person. According to some doctors, anxiety has beat depression as the number one issue college students face in the nation. This anxiety about final exams can lead students to reach for any support, even if it comes in the form of a pill.

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Negative Consequences of Study Drugs

The misuse of any prescription drug is bad and could lead to very serious health consequences. It can lead to addiction, and if the prescriptions are being used while taking alcohol or other drugs, the consequences could be deadly.

Students don’t realize how potent these pills are and how they work. They don’t realize that taking them in a way that they aren’t prescribed or taking them with other things can have a slew of horrendous consequences, leading up to death.

Universities have begun trying to spread awareness about prescription drug use and abuse. Educating college kids about healthier behaviors that can help reduce stress and increase functionality.

 

5 Reasons Drug Rehab is Right For You

Is It Time to Go to Drug Rehab?

Making the decision to receive treatment at a drug rehab center can be tough and scary. The reality is that it’s ultimately a decision that people put off for too long- often until it is too late.

Are you on the fence about getting help for addiction today? Maybe your loved ones have suggested it and you are thinking about it yourself. Here are five reasons that it is time to take the step and change your life today.

Signs That Drug Rehab is Right For You

  1. You have tried numerous times to “control” your drug use and failed.

    From “I’ll only drink one beer an hour” to “I’ll only dabble in (insert drug of choice here) on the weekends,” addicts make these promises to themselves as a way to feel like they are in “control” of the situation when the reality is that they have lost control and are powerless to stop using their drug of choice.The truth is that these attempts to stop may work for a night, maybe even for weeks to a month, but eventually you will let your guard down, make the false assumption that you have a handle on the situation, and you will end up using more than you intended.

    This is a vicious cycle that can usually only be broken with professional intervention. If you can’t stop using even when you want to, then the reality is that the substance is controlling you, not the other way around.

    If you find yourself attempting to control your drug use, then it’s time to start reaching out for help and seeking treatment at a drug rehab. You can’t get clean off sheer willpower alone. Get help so that you can finally get off the substances and learn how to maintain recovery.

  2. Your personal and/or professional life is suffering consequences.

    Maybe you are on the outs with your significant other or you got fired for calling out sick five too many times.When substance abuse is getting in the way of other important things in your life, it’s time to make a serious change. If not, your rock bottom will keep getting deeper, and you don’t want to find out how low it can go.

    If you’re suffering consequences as a result of your addiction, then it’s time to contact a drug rehab center. Consequences may not be enough to deter you from using, but seeking treatment can provide the help you need to recover and stop suffering the same consequences over and over again.

  3. You black out and don’t remember events from the time you were using.

    Can you imagine waking up to a horrible situation and not even remembering how it happened?Maybe you’ve already found yourself in this kind of scary mess. After all, this speaks for itself. Using to this point puts you in major danger for doing harmful things to yourself or others while in this state. Unprotected sex, driving under the influence, falling down the stairs, getting hit by a car – these things happen and the consequences can be deadly.

    Nothing says you need to get help for addiction more than you not remembering what happens when you get high. Blacking out from using drugs and alcohol can be extremely dangerous, and the truth is that this is no way to live.

  4. You are self-medicating.

    More often than not, addicts and alcoholics suffer from dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorders. This means that they suffer from something like anxiety, bipolar disorder, or depression in addition to substance abuse and/or addiction.Often the drug of choice is used as a way to avoid those bad feelings and “escape.”While this may work while the person is under the influence, the truth is that drugs and alcohol actually make these kinds of mood disorders worse because of the effects on chemicals in the brain.

    If you use to numb your feelings or cope in an unhealthy manner, then you aren’t just abusing substances anymore. You are suffering from a full-blown addiction and require treatment to recover. It’s time to reach out for help, and sooner rather than later.

  5. You are still reading this article.

    If you are debating whether it is a good choice to go to rehab, the answer is more than likely a resounding “YES.”If you googled it, are wondering, can relate to reasons 1-4 in this article, take it from those who have already been there – done that, rehab will change your life and give you a new opportunity to be in charge of your future.If you needed a sign to contact a drug rehab center, like Lighthouse, then this is it. Call and get the help you need to recover from addiction today.

Drug Rehab Can Save Your Life

The bottom line is here. You are the writer of your personal story, and it doesn’t have a set ending, no matter how far down your rock bottom has become.

Many people have been exactly where you are now and have been able to change their futures by seeking help and allowing professionals to guide them.

If putting your life on hold for 30-42 days seems terrifying, just think about where you will be after that same amount of time using. Dead? In jail? A complete failure? Estranged from your family and friends? Investing the time and care in yourself instead can save your life. Going to rehab is your chance. Take it.

When it comes to addiction, consequences are typically not enough to get an addict to stop using. Going to a drug rehab center for treatment can help you discover and acknowledge what your addiction has cost you. From there, you can highlight what you are not willing to give up anymore.

By developing and practicing healthier coping skills, you can make positive changes in the way you behave and react. A drug rehab center allows you the time you need out of the environment where your addiction took hold and the opportunity to work with addiction professionals who can guide you as you work on these healthier coping mechanisms.

Recovering from addiction is a process, but it can begin at a leading drug rehab center. It all starts with getting off the substances, getting educated about the disease of addiction, and making positive changes that will support your recovery long-term.

Get the help you need today by reaching out to our leading drug and alcohol rehab facility, Lighthouse. Let us guide you every step of the way. Call Lighthouse now at 1-866-308-2090.

Mixing Alcohol and Other Drugs

Mixing Alcohol and Prescription Painkillers

It has become pretty common knowledge that mixing alcohol and prescription pills is a lethal practice, what with all of the overdose-related deaths that have been accumulating over the course of the past several years throughout the vast majority of the nation. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to brush off the recent celebrity deaths that involved painkillers and booze and sweep the underlying causes of the national epidemic under the rug, especially if you are currently battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. When I was heavily intoxicated (drunk as a skunk), I would put anything else into my body that promised to get me even further away from reality – I had no inhibitions and no fear of death. I was invincible. Or so I thought. In reality, I was standing on the very brink of death for around 7 years, one slight shove away from falling in headfirst.

Alcohol and Ativan

It is suggested that those who are prescribed Ativan (a pharmaceutical most commonly used to treat anxiety disorders) entirely avoid alcohol consumption of any degree. This is because combining alcohol and Ativan can result in some extremely dangerous side effects, such as:

  • Shallow breathing/respiratory failure
  • Impaired coordination
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coma
  • Increased risk of overdose

Because Ativan works by slowing down brain activity in order to reduce anxiety levels, mixing this specific pharmaceutical medication with alcohol will slow neurological functioning even further, resulting in an increased risk of accidents. It is more common for those who mix Ativan and alcohol to die as the result of a tragic accident rather than overdose.

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Alcohol and Vicodin

Vicodin is a highly potent narcotic painkiller, composed of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone has been known to cause symptoms such as confusion, loss of memory, and shallow breathing when taken alone – when combined with alcohol, these symptoms are harshly intensified. Those who mix these two drugs may experience signs of overdose, such as:

  • Severe stomach pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Lack of coordination

Furthermore, the acetaminophen present in Vicodin has been linked to liver disease. Alcoholism, of course, has also been linked to liver disease. Taking the two together increases the risk of liver disease, as well as a slew of other severe health-related complications.

Xanax and Alcohol

It is extremely to mix Xanax and alcohol – even those who are taking prescribed doses of Xanax and are consuming alcohol simultaneously are putting themselves at risk of death. The cognitive and psychological consequences of doing so are extensive, and the risk of both addiction and overdose are significantly increased when both drugs are consumed concurrently. The withdrawal symptoms that occur when both drugs are taken at the same time are severe, and include:

  • Seizures
  • Intense anxiety and depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium
  • Severe agitation
  • Coma

Mixing alcohol and pharmaceutical drugs of any kind is never a wise idea – however, it can be difficult to avoid if you are suffering from a severe substance dependency issue. Please contact us at Lighthouse Recovery Institute today for information on drug and alcohol rehab in your immediate area.

More Americans Have Alcohol Use Disorders Than Ever Before

Dangerous Levels of Drinking

new numbers of alcohol use disorders

There are new numbers out on Americans and alcohol consumption and things aren’t looking good.

According to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry, there are several million more people with drinking problems than previously thought. The study examined drinking behavior on two levels – lifetime abuse and past year prevalence.

Dr. Bridget Grant, from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and lead author of the study, was spurred to reexamine Americans’ drinking patterns after the release of the DSM-5 in 2013.

The DSM is the manual used for diagnosing addiction, alcoholism, and many other mental health issues. In this most recent update, the fifth, it merged various forms of alcohol abuse into one new illness – alcohol use disorder (AUD).

After researching levels of alcohol use disorders, Dr. Grant and her colleagues came to a strong conclusion,

“Most importantly, this study highlighted the urgency of educating the public and policymakers about alcohol use disorder and its treatments, destigmatizing [sic] the disorder and encouraging among those who cannot reduce their alcohol consumption on their own, despite substantial harm to themselves and others, to seek treatment” (Medical News Today).

What’s going on in your brain when you drink?

The Latest Numbers on Alcohol Abuse

What exactly did Dr. Grant and her team find? Well, a vast increase in alcohol consumption across the board. Find their data broken down below:

  • Just over 29% of Americans reported having some sort of alcohol use disorder in their lifetime.

 

  • Just under 14% of Americans reported having some sort of alcohol use disorder in the past year.

 

  • Broken into numbers, this translates to 68.5 million people with lifetime AUDs and 32.6 million people with past year AUDs.

 

  • 36% of men reported having an alcohol use disorder in their lifetime.

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  • 17.6% of men reported having an alcohol use disorder in the past year.

 

  • Just over 19% of American Indians reported having a past year AUD, with 43.4% reporting a lifetime AUD.

 

  • Compare those numbers to the Caucasian population and there’s a large discrepancy. 14% of white Americans reported a past year alcohol use disorder and 32.6% reported a lifetime alcohol use disorder.

 

  • For the prevalence of excessive alcohol consumption, a relatively small percentage of people are seeking treatment. Only 19.8% of those with an AUD will receive treatment of any kind.

It’s clear to see from the above statistics that something major is going on. Alcohol has always been America’s drug of choice…but almost 30% of the country has had an AUD at some point? That seems like a HUGE number.

Let’s examine the recent changes to the DSM. Perhaps merging the different clinical forms of alcohol abuse into one has something to do with these astronomically high numbers.

Changes in the DSM-5

DSM stands for “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.” It’s the go to way to diagnosis individuals with just about any type of mental illness. As such, the DSM can be found in every doctor’s office, treatment center, and mental health clinic across the country.

The fifth edition of this landmark book was published in mid 2013. Among many other changes was the inclusion of Alcohol Use Disorder. As mentioned above, this new view of alcohol abuse merged two older definitions.

drink

Previously, there was alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. Alcohol abuse was comprised of things like heavy drinking, binge drinking, and problem drinking. Alcohol dependence was comprised of physical addiction to alcohol, i.e. the inability to stop without suffering withdrawals.

Merging the two allows doctors and clinicians to diagnosis someone with an AUD who, previously, may only have met the criteria for alcohol abuse. Depending on how you look at it, this leads to a more holistic picture of alcoholism or a more skewed portrayal of drinking behavior.

Think about it – if someone exhibited social consequences from their alcohol consumption in the past, they could be diagnosed as exhibiting alcohol abuse. Today, they’d fall under the umbrella of having an alcohol use disorder.

This broader definition is certainly what led to the large numbers above. 68.5 million Americans have experienced some form of AUD in their lifetime. This can range from an episode of binge drinking to full on, hallucination producing alcoholism.

There’s no doubt in my mind that our country is drinking more than ever before. Still, it’s not as bleak a picture as those numbers paint. With a combination of proactive educational measures and increased access to treatment, we should see significantly fewer people exhibiting an AUD.

Mixing Percocet and alcohol is a death sentence…

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