Tag: alcoholism

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

drug addiction recovery

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”.

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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.

drug-addiction-recovery

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.

Moderation VS. Abstinence

Abstinence VS. Moderation

It is relatively normal for everyone to drink a little too much from time to time, especially during days of heavy experimentation, such as adolescence and young adulthood. Alcohol consumption may play a large role in the lives of some adults, but this does not mean that all adults who drink heavily on occasion are alcoholics. Even adults who drink on a near-daily basis may not suffer from dependency of any degree. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (the main piece of literature utilized by 12-step fellowships across the globe), states that there are three main types of ‘drinkers’.

Three Types of ‘Drinker’

There is the normal drinker, who can enjoy alcohol in a social setting and very rarely (if ever) experiences consequences as a direct result of his or her drinking. There is the problem drinker, who drinks too much quite frequently. This individual enjoys the effect produced by alcohol – just as the alcoholic does. However, once this individual begins to experience consequences as a result of his or her drinking, he or she has little issue putting down the drink altogether. For example, if a loved one expresses concern and gives an ultimatum, or if a doctor warns of looming health issues, or if a DUI is obtained – the drinker will successfully quit and not look back. The alcoholic, on the other hand, will not be able to successfully quit despite consequences. In fact, he or she will not likely be able to put down the drink for any extended period of time without professional intervention.

abstinence alcohol rehab

Total Abstinence and The Alcoholic

The great obsession of every alcoholic is learning how to both control and enjoy their drinking. In many cases, entire abstinence is not even a viable option early on. As alcoholics, alcohol is truly our solution. Without it, we are ill-equipped to deal with life. We don’t know how to adequately cope with negative emotions – or positive emotions, for that matter. The reaction an alcohol has to alcohol of any kind has been described many a time as ‘allergic’. Of course, this is not an allergic reaction in the typical sense, with the swelling of appendages and the closing of the throat and the necessity of a massive hydrocortisone shot in the rashy behind. This allergy is predominantly psychological. Once an alcoholic has consumed one drink, he or she will be unable to mentally resist the second… and the third, and the fourth, and so on. If one drink is “successfully” consumed, the mental obsession that follows will drive the alcoholic so insane that behaviors will be erratic and serenity will remain utterly unachievable. It has been proven time and time again since the development of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935 that abstinence is the key to a happy and fulfilled life when it comes to an individual truly afflicted with the disease of substance dependency.

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Drinking in Moderation

So how do you tell whether or not you can successfully drink in moderation? Well, the answer is actually exceedingly simple. Have you tried to moderate or control your drinking? If not, give it a shot. Commit to abstinence for a one-week period of time. Every time you begin thinking of alcohol or drinking, make a note on a small piece of paper or in a small notebook. Be as honest with yourself as possible. If you find you cannot make it to one week, or if you find that you spend an excessive amount of time thinking about alcohol, you may struggle with an alcohol dependency disorder. Fortunately, if you decide you do, there is ample help at your disposal. There are numerous alcohol rehab facilities throughout South Florida – ours being among the best and most reputable.

Understanding Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Alcohol addiction is one of the most prevalent and widely misunderstood psychological disorders in the world. Millions of Americans suffer from alcoholism, though the majority of these afflicted individuals never seek treatment – either because they remain unaware of the implications of the disease, or because they remain unaware that treatment is available and accessible.

If you have watched a loved one suffer at the hands of alcohol addiction, you may be wondering how one can walk through life oblivious to the fact that he or she is plagued with such a devastating and life-threatening disease. The truth is, many sufferers know deep down that alcohol has gotten the better of them – the issue lies in admitting this fact to themselves. Denial plays a major role in this seemingly insane oblivion.

If you know and love someone who clearly needs treatment for alcohol addiction but is unable to see the necessity of professional help, there are several steps you can take to ensure that your loved one is receiving the outside assistance that he or she need to beat alcoholism once and for all.

Types of Alcohol Addiction Treatment

There are several ways to go about prompting a loved one to commit to inpatient treatment. Many will say, “Treatment is not successful unless a person really wants to get sober.” This can be the case for many. After all, recovering from addiction requires that you be honest, open-minded, and willing to the process of recovery. However, you can intervene and help your loved one get to the point where they want to get help for their alcohol addiction.

Medical Detox and Inpatient Rehab

If your loved one is aware they have an addiction to alcohol and drugs, then they may have already thought about stopping. They may have even tried but were unable to refrain from turning back to alcohol and drugs. They may have even gotten to a point of suffering from their alcohol addiction that they are desperate to get help to stop. From this point of desperation, they may seek treatment at a medical detox and inpatient rehab center. A medical detoxification will help them get off alcohol and other drugs so that they can focus on the underlying causes of their condition and what led them to turn to alcohol and other drugs in the first place. Even if they only have the smallest desire to get help to conquer your addiction to alcohol and drugs, seeking treatment to recover could be the difference between life and death.

Interventions

Alternatively, when a loved one doesn’t seem to reach out for help, it may be time to intervene. So, you can host an intervention to help encourage your loved one to get into treatment. Even if they are on the fence about getting help, you voicing your concerns with other loved ones may be what they need to hear to get them to seek the help they need. It may take more work to convince your addicted love one though.

Your loved one may agree to go to treatment because of an ultimatum or strict rules that may be put in place if they don’t seek help for their alcohol addiction, but that is okay if that is what it takes to convince them to get help. If this is the case, then treatment can still work and your loved one can still recover. Sometimes, an addict only needs to get into treatment so that they can come to terms with the reality of their addiction once they arrive at and go through a treatment program.

Interventions can be a great way to help your loved one realize that there is a problem. It really can help push them toward seeking treatment. In many ways, an intervention is the pivotal first step toward getting necessary help because without it, your loved one may not opt for treatment they need or even realize that you have a problem with alcohol.

The Benefits of Staging an Intervention

If someone you love is in severe denial about the fact that they need help, you may want to stage an intervention for the reasons listed above. A professionally facilitated intervention can be exceedingly beneficial when it comes to urging a loved one to commit to treatment that they do not necessarily feel that they need.

In many cases, those struggling with severe alcohol dependency will be too intoxicated and dazed to consider the fact that sobriety may be a better option.

When in the throes of an active addiction, it can be extremely difficult to comprehend a world without alcohol. An addict and alcoholic may wonder how they will ever cope without the use of alcohol or other drugs. However, when they work on getting sober, everything will start to make more sense. The longer they stay sober and the more coping strategies that they pick up along the way, the more the quality of their life should improve. As a result, returning back to drinking should become so far from anything they would want.

If you are planning on staging an intervention for your loved one, be sure to do so with a professional facilitator onboard.

Lighthouse Recovery Institute would be happy to recommend an interventionist to you – please feel free to give us a call today at  1-866-308-2090. 

Finding the Best Treatment Option

Of course, getting a loved on into alcohol addiction treatment might not always be so difficult – especially if he or she has experienced severe consequences directly tied to drinking, and has succumbed to the fact that a new way of life is in order. If willingness is present, it is important to act quickly. Our trained staff members at Lighthouse Recovery Institute are standing by, waiting for your call – ready to help you get your loved one into treatment as soon as he or she is ready to board a plane.

Recovery is a possibility for every alcoholic, and we are here to help get you started in any way we possibly can.

Am I Addicted to Alcohol?

Alcohol Addiction

At one point in time – during my early 20s (I may have been roughly 23 at the time) – I convinced myself that if I could keep it to three glasses of craft beer, I wasn’t an alcoholic. I would order the first glass confidently, knowing that once it was empty I would still have two more ahead of me. I think I knew deep down in the pit of my gut that I was heavily addicted to alcohol, but my brain is a rationalizing and justifying lunatic, and it truly believed that three glasses would prove an ability to control my drinking. So I’d polish off the first glass no problem, and head straight back to the bar for number two. When I neared the bottom of the second glass, the anxiety started settling in. “One more glass to go,” I would think to myself. “Really have to make this one last.” Of course, my drinking patterns were somewhat alcoholic, and I couldn’t logically keep a full glass of beer in my hand for more than 5 minutes. Once the second glass was empty I would really start to panic. “One more glass,” I would think. “How am I supposed to make this last for four more hours? Who made these rules anyways? Why am I restricting myself? Life is short, I should be enjoying my youth.”

Am I Addicted to Alcohol?

The alcoholic mind is a truly dangerous and crazy thing. The third glass of beer would always, inevitably, bring on a tidal wave of irrational and desperate reasoning. With myself, mind you.

“Listen here, you’re 23 years old, if you want to drink another beer you can drink another beer.”

“Okay, so you like to drink. So what? Plenty of successful people LIKE to drink. Does that mean you’re an alcoholic? No. It means you like to drink. For Christ’s sake, you enjoy a nice beer or five or twelve on occasion. What, does that mean you should go to alcohol rehab for 90 days and sit in group therapy with a bunch of real, low-bottom drunks? No! Go order another beer. It’s okay. It’s okay. I promise it’s okay.”

“You don’t need it.”

“I know I don’t need it, I don’t. But I want it, okay?”

“Get the beer.”

“No, you’re fine. Just drink soda. You can get good and drunk tomorrow.”

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And on and on and on until the next day rolled around, and then the same. Being at constant battle with your own crippled brain is an exhausting thing to do. But hey, on the bright side – I could keep it at three glasses if I really, really tried. At least for a week. So surely I wasn’t an alcoholic, right? Come to find out, my alcoholism was no great respecter of boundaries. I could white knuckle for brief stints, but sooner or later I would cave and take 8 or 9 Fireball shots in rapid succession, followed by a bottle or two of gas station wine and as many beers as I could squeeze out of unsuspecting male strangers.

What I learned once I got to alcohol rehab was that it wasn’t necessarily how much I drank that made me an alcoholic, but how much I thought about drinking. I obsessed; I truly did. Alcoholism is a disease of obsessions and compulsions. I drank compulsively after awhile – I had lost all control over the quantity I consumed once I picked up the first drink. It became utterly undeniable. If you are struggling to determine whether or not you are indeed addicted to alcohol, try limiting yourself to three glasses of craft beer. If you can do it, cool. Now pay attention to how much headspace the thought of ‘just one more’ takes up. How does your brain react to this unnatural cut off? Take notes. And remember, alcoholism is a progressive disease. As time goes on you will begin to lose more and more, and your ability to control your intake will continue to rapidly dwindle. Get help while you can.

For more information on our program of alcohol addiction treatment, call today.

Motherhood and Drug Addiction

Addicted Mothers

The sad truth is, nearly everyone in America is affected by alcoholism or drug addiction to some degree. Not necessarily personally affected, but affected by

association at the very least. The amount of women between the ages of 30 and 44 who reported abusing alcohol has doubled over the course of the past decade, and recent statistical studies show that roughly 10% of children throughout the United States currently live with an addicted parent. The internally frazzled but externally maintained soccer mom toting a toddler on one hip and holding a thermos full of red wine with her free hand has become a widespread reality, and more and more women in motherhood are seeking treatment for alcohol and drug dependency now than ever before.

Motherhood and Drug Addiction

However, women are still significantly more likely to attempt to hide their addictive behaviors than men. They are also extremely less likely to seek professional treatment than men, and will typically only succumb to seeking professional outside help if initially pressured into it by their family members or close friends. Most women feel a certain sense of overwhelming obligation to their husbands, their children, and their trite societal roles as homemakers and housewives. Because of these standards and seeming expectations, most women will silently suffer through secret addictions rather than reach out for the professional help they truly need.

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Many Single Mothers Abuse Painkillers and Alcohol

In many instances, the unsuspected stresses of motherhood will send many a mom straight to the liquor store. The inability to adequately cope with emotional distress can lead to a gravitation towards chemical substance. While ‘the alcoholic soccer mom’ has been a long-time stereotype, many new mothers are turning towards prescription pill abuse as a means of coping with often motherhood 1overwhelming aspects of motherhood. The meaning of ‘taking the edge off’ has transitioned from playdate happy hours with the fellow desperate housewives to popping pills in seclusion while trying to survive another day of diaper changes and temper tantrums. Middle-aged women comprise a major portion of the individuals being admitted to inpatient treatment for substance abuse – however, these numbers pale in comparison to the amount of mothers who actually need treatment.

Seeking Help for Drug Addiction

Mothers who struggle with drug abuse and dependency are not merely hurting themselves – even though it may not seem like it, they are severely hurting their children. Emotional availability is crucial – children need their mothers at every phase of early development. Even if a mother is there for her child physically, if she is high on pills and not emotionally or mentally present, the child will inevitably suffer. Without recognizing it in most cases, mothers who are engaging in regular drug use will be incapable of providing their young ones with adequate supervision, and will likely expose them to unintentional social isolation – which will provide a multitude of psychological and emotional issues further down the road.

Resolutions. Who Needs ‘Em?

Resolutions and Addiction Recovery

The start of the new year has come and gone, and our coveted and optimistic list of resolutions is either entirely intact or wholly obliterated and forgotten. If Healthy Resolutions Lighthouseyou have managed to steer clear of gluten and fat and cigarettes for the past couple of weeks, then hats off to you. If you rapidly slipped back into your old ways after several days of white-knuckling, we can’t really blame you. After all, sticking to a diet or cold-turkey quitting a prolonged bad habit is not easy to do. In fact, crash diets typically don’t work for the same reasons attempting to cease drinking entirely without a sustained program of action doesn’t work – if you commit to changing a behavioral pattern, you must make internal, lasting changes that coincide with that behavioral pattern. If you’re trying to lose 10 pounds, cutting out carbohydrates will likely not be enough. You may find yourself binging on bagels in a matter of weeks. Will-power is rarely enough, and cutting one essential dietary staple out of your daily routine will probably leave you with some lingering and slightly overwhelming cravings. It would certainly better behoove you to change your entire lifestyle – changing your eating habits to focus on consuming more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains rather than saying, “no carbs” and restricting yourself until you finally crumble (like the delicious cookie you are greedily shoving into your gullet).

Crash Diets and White-Knuckling Rarely Ever Work

Quitting drinking is similar in the sense that merely saying, “no more booze for me” and avoiding every social gathering you are ever invited to for the rest of your life is typically not an efficient method of obtaining any kind of beneficial or meaningful sobriety. In order to truly reap the most reward from your resolution to quit entirely, you must wholly alter your lifestyle. When it comes to alcoholism or drug addiction, this means changing your attitude and outlook on life – totally altering your perspective as a result of some type of significant spiritual awakening. Wait… what? Undergoing a comprehensive and lasting change in perception seems a little extreme for a New Year’s resolution. Well, this why we say, “To heck with New Year’s Resolutions!” Rather than limiting ourselves to minor goals such as lose 10 pounds, or exercise more, or quit smoking, or cut back on Law and Order SVU reruns, why don’t we strive to completely alter our way of thinking, our outlook on life, and our day-to-day behavioral patterns? Sounds like a solid plan… but how do we go about doing this?

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Resolutions Are Good, But Need to Be Backed by Action

If we struggle with drug addiction or alcoholism, the first step we must take in order to quit is being completely and brutally honest with ourselves. It is likely that we have avoided conceding to our innermost selves that help is a necessity for years and years. We have probably convinced ourselves that our drinking or drug use is still a matter of choice – that we can stop whenever we want to, we just simply aren’t through yet. The deep-seated denial has probably served us, too. Time and time again, we are able to tune out the discord and din and soothe ourselves with the deeply entrenched belief that we have got everything under control. In years past, we may have resolved to quit drinking entirely, or at least cut back significantly. This cunning, baffling, and powerful sense of renunciation has likely crept back in slowly throughout the beginning days of January, until we convince ourselves that ‘just one’ won’t do any real damage – that we definitely deserve it, after two whole weeks of swearing off.

Take an Honest Look at Your Past Resolutions

We can white-knuckle for awhile, but if thorough change is not facilitated we will always wind up right where we left off. If we take an honest look at our past behaviors, can we admit to ourselves that we may be powerless over or drinking or drug use? Have we tried to quit before and been unsuccessful or unable? Have we tried to limit our intake, only to find that we are consuming just as much or more than ever before in a matter of days or weeks? If we answer ‘yes’, we may need to consider looking into a program of comprehensive addiction recovery. While inpatient treatment is not always a necessity, it often proves extremely beneficial for those who have had a difficult time managing use on their own. For more information on addiction recovery, please contact one of our trained representatives today.

The Newest Alcoholism Treatment is…Virtual Reality?

The Latest Science or Just a Fad?

Virtual reality is having something of a moment right now. It’s gaining popularity in the technology and science fields, is being used in art, and is poised to take the video game world by storm.

virtual reality alcoholism treatment
is this what rehab will look like in the future?

It also shows real promise at treating alcoholism.

That’s the latest from a South Korean study. The research, done by Chung-Ang University scientists and lead by Doug Hyun Han, was recently published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

The actual therapeutic interventions, described below, are fairly straightforward in their approach to treating alcohol use disorders. What makes this type of counseling so revolutionary are the implications.

If virtual reality can be used to treat alcoholism, as it’s currently being used to treat both phobias and PTSD, well, that’s a game changer. Drug and alcohol rehabs may be forever changed.

This may be the start of a new era of addiction treatment – an era that uses technology to keep patients in a safe and controlled environment, while simulating dangerous and “relapse heavy” situations.

Was this woman fired for her alcohol abuse?

Virtual Reality Treatment

So, how exactly are South Korean researchers using virtual reality to help treat alcohol dependence? Well, their study went a little something like this.

Researchers examined the “brain metabolism” of ten alcoholics using CT scans and other measuring tools. They found that these alcoholics, across the board, had increased activity in the limbic area of the brain.

The limbic system if the area of the brain linked to emotions and behavior.

Next, the ten participants went through a typical alcohol detox program. Following their detox, they engaged in two virtual reality therapy sessions each week. This continued for five weeks.

During these virtual reality therapy sessions, participants viewed a number of real world scenarios. One was “to relax them.” One was to “trigger alcohol cravings by showing situations where people drink.” One was “meant to present drinking in an unfavorable light by showing people getting sick from alcohol. To enhance the final scene, participants drank a drink that tasted like vomit” (Health Central).

Pretty interesting, right? Well, it gets better. Following this five week treatment, researchers again examined participants’ brains. Their findings? Not only had the limbic areas of the brain calmed down, suggesting “normal” emotions and behavior, but other areas associated with alcohol dependence had also changed.

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What’s Next for Virtual Reality Therapy?

It’s not hyperbole to say that virtual reality therapy could be a game changer. It could represent the next phase of treating alcohol and substance use disorders worldwide.

The key word there, though, is could. This was a small study. An interesting study with potentially huge implications, to be sure, but a small study nonetheless.

More research needs to be done. This study needs to be repeated a handful of times to make sure the information it presents can be replicated. It needs to be repeated on those who’re addicted to other substances. It needs to be larger in scope and tested in different cultures.

Researchers also need to examine the intersection of virtual reality therapy and more traditional treatments. Remember how researchers gave participants a drink that mimicked the taste of vomit while they were watching people get sick from drinking?

That’s an incredibly interesting combination. It’s taking aversion therapy, an already controversial type of treatment, to the next level. This type of dual treatment presents significant advantages and certainly needs to be studied further.

Still, this study’s a promising start. The real world application of virtual reality to treat mental and behavioral health issues has been talked about for years. It may finally be here and that’s nothing short of extraordinary.

More & more Americans are drinking heavily…what’s going on?

Dangers of Alcohol Poisoning: Alcohol Kills 6 People Every Day

Alcohol Poisoning Kills

In a new report, The Center for Disease Control released some alarming numbers about alcohol poisoning.

The report, complied from data from the National Vital Statistics System, studied deaths due to alcohol poisoning among people fifteen years old and up. I’ll touch upon the new findings in just a minute.

First, though, is a distressing declaration made by the head of the CDC’s Alcohol Program. Dr. Robert Brewer, the report’s co-author, acknowledges that while the new numbers are high, they’re probably an underestimate of America’s alcohol problem.

Is binge drinking deadlier than illegal drugs?

What are the NEW Facts?

    • Six people die each day due to alcohol poisoning. This breaks down to move than 2,200 people per year.

 

    • Men are much more likely to die from alcohol poisoning than women. In fact, 76% of the 2,200 annual deaths are men.

 

    • Alcohol addiction was a contributing factor in 30% of all alcohol poisoning related deaths.

 

    • Poly-substance abuse was a contributing factor in approximately 3% of cases.

 

    • Three-quarters of deaths due to alcohol poisoning are among people in the thirty-five to sixty-four year old age bracket.

 

    • The highest concentration of alcohol poisoning deaths occurred in the Great Plains, the west coast, and New England.

 

    • The state with the most deaths per million people was Alaska. It clocked in at 46.5 deaths per million residents.

 

    • The state with the least deaths per million people was Alabama. It clocked in at 5.3 deaths per million residents.

 

    • Non-Hispanic white males accounted for the most deaths of any race. However, Native Americans and indigenous Alaskan peoples had the highest number of deaths per million people.

 

  • 38 million American adults, or roughly 10% of the population, report binge drinking four times per month, consuming an average of eight alcoholic drinks per binge.

What’s The Solution?

It’s plain to see that alcohol poisoning is a major danger to Americans. I mean, it kills an average of six people per day. That’s serious business! So, what’s the solution? How can we, as a country, begin to curb alcohol poisoning deaths?

Well, Dr. Brewer had the following to say –

“This study shows that alcohol poisoning deaths are not just a problem among young people. It also emphasizes the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to reducing binge drinking that includes evidence-based community strategies, screening and counseling in health care settings, and high-quality substance abuse treatment for those who need it” (Medical News Today).

According to Dr. Brewer, the answer lies in a multi-tiered approach. We need to implement community strategies, increased resources in health care settings, and high-quality alcohol treatment.

Evidence-based community strategies could take the form of a treatment center reaching out to the local community and educating them on the dangers of alcohol poisoning. It could also be community based counseling.

Screening and counseling in health care settings means not simply treating someone who shows up in the ER for alcohol poisoning. Sit down and offer them some form of solution to alcohol abuse. This could be a treatment center’s number, a twelve-step fellowship’s number, or even a therapist’s number. But do something!

Finally, high-quality alcoholism treatment takes the form of, well, Lighthouse Recovery Institute! Treatment should take an individualized and holistic approach. It should treat each patient as just that, a patient, rather than as a dollar sign. It should offer innovative and unique solutions to substance abuse.

Thankfully, treatment centers like that do exist. Call Lighthouse today at 1-866-308-2090 to learn more about how we’re redefining substance abuse treatment.

Learn what you can do to help someone with alcohol poisoning!

What YOU Can Do to Help Someone With Alcohol Poisoning

What is Alcohol Poisoning?

When talking about binge drinking, heavy drinking, alcoholism, or really anything that involves booze, the phrase alcohol poisoning gets thrown around. It’s become a sort of catchall term to refer to an individual who’s very drunk. Unfortunately, this isn’t what alcohol poisoning really is.

Alcohol Poisoning Symptoms

Alcohol poisoning, also known as acute alcohol poisoning, is when an individual’s blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds a certain level. Although there’s no agreed upon cutoff, it’s generally around .30% BAC that potentially fatal alcohol poisoning symptoms begin to occur.

Acute alcohol poisoning occurs because the liver can only metabolize around one drink of alcohol per hour. All subsequent drinks aren’t processed by the liver and end up directly in the bloodstream.

It’s for this reason that alcohol poisoning is linked directly to binge drinking. Now, before we go any further, let’s look at common acute alcohol poisoning symptoms. After all, we need to be able to tell if someone’s consumed too much liquor before we’re able to offer any alcohol poisoning treatments.

How is cirrhosis of the liver linked to alcohol poisoning?

Alcohol Poisoning Symptoms

Find various alcohol poisoning symptoms below:

• Confusion and disorientation

• Extreme motor skills impairment

• Blackouts

• Blue and clammy skin

• Central nervous system depression

• Respiratory depression (defined as fewer than eight breaths per minute)

• Decreased heart rate

• Positional Alcohol Nystagmus (jerky and unpredictable eye movement)

• Hypothermia

• Periods of unconsciousness (short or extended)

• Vomiting (while conscious and unconscious)

• Seizure (due to hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar)

• Coma

If you’re with someone who’s exhibiting the above liquor poisoning symptoms, it’s important to take immediate action. Don’t wait; seek help right then and there!

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Alcohol Poisoning Treatment

There are a lot of urban myths about how to sober someone up. Unfortunately, they’re called myths for a reason – they don’t work!

If someone is exhibiting the above alcohol poisoning symptoms, don’t give them coffee or put them in a cold shower. Don’t feed them bread or let them sleep it off.

Call 911. The only way for the body to recover from alcohol poisoning is to metabolize and process the alcohol. Seen in this light, alcohol poisoning treatment becomes more about supportive care than reversal of symptoms.

Find common medical alcohol poisoning treatments below:

• Monitoring to prevent breathing and choking issues

• Oxygen therapy

• IV fluid replacement

• IV vitamin and glucose replacement

Having explored medical alcohol poisoning treatments, let’s turn our attention to what you can do to help someone suffering from alcohol poisoning and exhibiting symptoms of liquor poisoning symptoms!

A new government study says more Americans drink to excess than ever before

How YOU Can Help Someone with Acute Alcohol Poisoning Symptoms

First and foremost, don’t give them coffee, let them sleep it off, put them in a cold shower, or any of the many myths surrounding excessive drinking!

alcohol poisoning treatment

Not only are these myths useless, but some are extremely dangerous. Letting someone “sleep off” alcohol poisoning can easily result in them falling into a coma or choking on their vomit.

If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning, don’t wait around to check all their symptoms. Call 911 right away! This is by far the most helpful thing you can do.

Also, be prepared to give paramedics information about the person’s alcohol consumption. How many drinks did they have? How quickly were the drinks consumed? What alcohol were they drinking? Did they take any other substances?

After calling 911, don’t leave the person alone. It’s dangerous to leave someone displaying alcohol poisoning symptoms alone. They may hurt themselves, pass out, or choke on their own vomit.

Give them water, if possible, and place them on their side. This is known as the recovery position and places less strain on the heart. It also prevents them from vomiting and choking.

Alcohol poisoning doesn’t have to be deadly! Do your part to turn a dangerous situation into a manageable one!

Learn the many blessings sobriety gives us!

What You NEED to Know about Cirrhosis of the Liver

Cirrhosis of the Liver

Cirrhosis, at its most basic, is the scarring of the liver. In turn, this scarring leads to reduced liver functions. Considering the liver is involved in almost every major function of our bodies, cirrhosis is extremely dangerous.

cirrhosis of the liver

While cirrhosis of the liver is often thought to be a disease in and of itself, it’s not. Rather, it’s a condition brought on by various other liver diseases. These include: Hepatitis C and B, alcoholic liver disease (ALD), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), Cystic Fibrosis, Galactosemia, Wilson’s Disease, and others.

Rarely, cirrhosis of the liver can occur without any known cause. This is referred to as idiopathic cirrhosis.

Clocking in at a frightening 30%, Hepatitis B is the leading cause of cirrhosis of the liver. Hepatitis C is the second leading cause at 27%. Alcoholic liver disease comes in third.

The liver is “attacked” by the above diseases and builds up layers of fibrosis (scar tissue) and nodules (lumps of damaged tissue). These slow the functions of the liver and result in various cirrhosis symptoms.

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Cirrhosis Symptoms

Cirrhosis symptoms vary in range from mild to severe. Still, it’s generally agreed that all cirrhosis symptoms are bad.

Find common cirrhosis symptoms below:

• Ascites – an accumulation of fluid leading to a distended abdomen. This is the most common symptom of cirrhosis of the liver.

• Gynecomastia – an increase in men’s breast gland size.

• Changes in liver size – often, patients with cirrhosis of the liver have enlarged or shrunken livers.

• Hypogonadism – a decrease in sex hormones. Often manifests as a loss of sex drive, impotence, or infertility.

• Jaundice – a yellow discoloration of the skin.

• Hepatic encephalopathy – cirrhosis of the liver can cause the liver to stop removing ammonia from the blood. This leads to unresponsiveness, forgetfulness, trouble concentrating, and changes in sleep patterns.

• Kidney Failure – perhaps the most dangerous symptom of cirrhosis of the liver.

Having examined various cirrhosis symptoms, let’s turn our attention to alcoholic cirrhosis.

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Alcoholic Cirrhosis

As mentioned above, alcoholic liver disease is a large cause of cirrhosis of the liver. In fact, alcoholic cirrhosis is thought to account for 20% of all cases. That’s a pretty large number, which, in human terms, means a lot of people are walking around with alcoholic cirrhosis.

Chronic alcoholism (defined here as over a decade of heavy drinking) leads to a reduction in the liver’s ability to metabolize protein, fats, and carbohydrates, and a build up of acetaldehyde. In turn, these lead to more stress on the liver, reduced functioning, and fibrosis.

Does alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver differ from other forms? Well, in most ways, it doesn’t. Alcoholic cirrhosis does, however, bring with it dangerous environmental factors. Simply put, individuals who’re drinking heavily aren’t likely to take care of themselves. They often have poor diets and may be resistant to medical treatment. Alcoholics are also known to engage in dangerous behavior while dunk, which can put more stress on the body and liver.

Alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver also accounts for a large number of deaths. In the United States, approximately 40%, or two of every five, cirrhosis related deaths are linked to alcohol use.

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Cirrhosis Stages

Cirrhosis of the liver can, broadly speaking, be broken down into four stages. These are referred to as the cirrhosis stages. Find them below:

• Cirrhosis Stage #1

This stage consists of swelling and inflammation of the liver. There may be abnormal connective tissue growth. In this first stage of cirrhosis, inflammation and abnormal growth are limited the area of the liver around the hepatic artery and vein, also known as the portal area.

• Cirrhosis Stage #2

This stage is similar to the first, but also involves the fibrosis.

alcoholic cirrhosis
image via Wikimedia Commons

• Cirrhosis Stage #3 –

The third stage of cirrhosis of the liver consists of advanced fibrosis and is sometimes called bridging fibrosis. In this stage, the fibrosis has begun to form bridges between the hepatic artery and vein and other areas. This makes it significantly harder for the liver to do its job. It also raises blood pressure, resulting in hepatic hypertension.

• Cirrhosis Stage #4 –

This stage consists of fibrosis and nodules significantly impairing liver functions. This is also the stage at which most cirrhosis symptoms begin to appear. At this stage, a liver transplant is recommended.

Have you or a loved one suffered from cirrhosis due to alcoholism or drugs? Learn how to stop getting high for good!

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