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Alcoholism Signs: Common Symptoms of Alcohol Dependence

Alcoholism Signs and Symptoms In honor of National Alcohol Awareness Month 2015, Recovery Advocates hopes to spread awareness about alcoholism and addiction. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) distinguishes between alcohol abuse and alcoholism/alcohol dependence. While alcohol abusers’ use is self-destructive and dangerous, they do have some ability to set limits on their drinking, unlike alcoholics. Not all alcohol abusers develop alcohol dependence, but it is a significant risk factor. Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive, and potentially fatal disease if left untreated; thus, it is important to be aware of the various alcoholism signs. Alcohol Abuse versus Alcohol Dependence According to NCADD, alcohol abuse is “a pattern of drinking that results in harm to one’s health, interpersonal relationships, or ability to work.” Some of the common signs of alcohol abuse include: using alcohol in dangerous situations (i.e., drinking and driving, mixing alcohol with prescription drugs, etc.), legal problems due to drinking, neglecting responsibilities due to drinking, drinking to relieve stress or relax, and continued drinking despite negative consequences. Alcoholism Signs Alcoholism has little to do with what kind of alcohol one drinks, how much one consumes, or how long one has been drinking; rather, alcoholism has everything to do with an individual’s uncontrollable need for alcohol. Alcohol dependence is a chronic disease, which means that it exists for a person’s entire lifetime. Alcoholism involves all of the signs of alcohol abuse, but also involves additional symptoms including physical dependence. Some of the additional alcoholism signs include, but are not limited to: Tolerance → Over time, you require more alcohol to achieve the same effect Physical Dependence/Withdrawal → As... read more

Alcohol Awareness Month 2015: Focus on Underage Drinking

Alcohol Awareness Month 2015 Spearheaded by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), April is Alcohol Awareness Month in the United States. For this year’s Alcohol Awareness Month, the theme is “For the Health of It: Early Education on Alcoholism and Addiction.”  The primary goals of Alcohol Awareness Month are to increase public understanding and awareness, reduce the stigma of addiction, and encourage local and nationwide communities to focus on alcoholism and other addiction issues. This April, the NCADD is focusing on the public health issue of underage drinking — a growing problem with serious consequences. Underage drinking is a risk factor for heavy drinking later on in life and youth who start drinking before the age of 15 are more likely to struggle with substance abuse during adolescence. According to the NCADD, an estimated 1,700 college students die each year from unintentional alcohol-related injuries, including car accidents. Underage drinkers are also more likely to participate in risky sexual behavior, which increases the rates of unwanted pregnancy and STDs. Underage drinking also plays a significant role in unwanted, unintended, and unprotected sexual activity. April is not only Alcohol Awareness Month, but also Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the United States. Some of the other significant risks of underage drinking include: physical and sexual assault anxiety and depression illicit drug use tobacco use academic and relationship struggles chemical changes in the brain risky sexual behavior violence traffic fatalities alcohol poisoning death The NCADD reports a connection between underage drinking and alcohol dependence later on in life. People who report first use of alcohol before the age of 15... read more

Drug Treatment Center: How Can It Help Me?

Drug Treatment Center: Why Should I Go to Rehab? We hear about rehabs on the news, in television shows and movies, and in songs (cue my girl Amy Winehouse), but how exactly can a drug treatment center help you or your loved one with your drug and/or alcohol addiction? Rehabs cannot cure someone of their addiction, but they can provide the necessary support and tools to help addicts begin their journey in recovery. A drug treatment center provides a safe space to heal, process, and get some time away from drugs and alcohol. Treatment can occur in a variety of settings, take many forms, and last for differents lengths of time. Due to the chronic nature of the disease of addiction, recovery is a lifelong process that does not occur overnight. If you are struggling with substance abuse, we encourage you to consult with an addiction professional and consider going to a drug treatment center. While in rehab, whether it is a residential program, day treatment, or an IOP, you will learn about the nature of your addiction, its consequences on your health, and new healthy coping skills. An important component to a drug treatment center is therapy — individual counseling and group therapy. Individual therapy will give you the opportunity to heal from any past traumas and explore new ways to live your life free from all mind-altering substances, while group therapy encourages peer support, communication, and connection.  Many rehabs will also offer additional kinds of therapy, programs, and services. Recovery Advocates, for examples, provides art and music therapy, family counseling, a trauma treatment program, and a program for... read more

Drug Use Statistics: Gallup Data Links Drug Use and Lower Well-Being

Drug Use Statistics by State According to recent research from Gallup, West Virginia and Rhode Island rank as the two states who report the highest near-daily use of mood-altering drugs (both legal and illegal) to help them relax. Alaska ranked the lowest in this category, closely followed by Wyoming and California. Southern states make up six of the top ten drug use states. These drug use statistics are part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index in which 450 residents of each state were interviewed between January-December 2014. Nationally speaking, 18.9% of Americans reported using one or more mood-altering substances nearly every day. The question asked about drug use referred to drugs that “affect your mood or help you relax,” but the interpretation of that description was left to the respondents. It could include alcohol, nicotine, prescription drugs, or recreational drugs. The research found that those who use mood-altering drug almost every day have a significantly lower average Well-Being Index score than those who take drugs/medication to relax rarely or never. Although there is a definite link between using drugs to relax and a lower well-being score, the direction of the relationship is unknown. Mood-altering drugs could contribute to lower well-being, but more likely, those who already have a lower well-being average may turn to medication or drugs to alter their mood. The top ten states who reported the highest rates of using mood-altering drugs almost every day are as follows (in order): West Virginia, Rhode Island, Kentucky, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, Mississippi, Missouri, Indiana, and Oregon. Americans use both legal and illegal drugs for many different reasons. While this question did... read more

Powdered Alcohol Approved Despite Concerns About Dangers and Abuse

Powdered Alcohol: Concerns and Dangers In March 2015, the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) approved the sale of Palcohol, or powdered alcohol, in the United States. Just a few days after the approval, many state and some federal legislators are seeking to ban the product before it even hits shelves. The Utah state legislature adopted a bill banning Palcohol, while Senator Schumer (D-NY) introduced a law that would ban it at a federal level. Already, 28 states have introduced legislation regarding the production and/or sale of powdered alcohol. Palcohol is powdered alcohol sold in small pouches that can be added to liquid to make alcoholic beverages. The approved powdered alcohol comes in vodka, rum, cosmopolitan, and “powderita” flavors. The creator of Palcohol, Mark Philips, hails the product for its convenience, size, and portability; yet, these are the very reasons why so many are in favor of banning powdered alcohol. The major concern about Palcohol is that it comes in pouches small enough to fit in a child’s pocket, making it easier for minors to conceal and consume alcohol. Powdered alcohol will be very appealing to our youth: it is small, concealable, and easily transported. There are also concerns that people will try to snort it or even spike someone’s drink. “Underage alcohol abuse is a growing epidemic with tragic consequences and powdered alcohol could exacerbate this” -Sen. Schumer (D-NY) The FDA released a statement saying that they did not conduct any testing and did not approve the product because the authority to regulate alcohol sales lies with the TTB. Despite much public and government uproar regarding powdered... read more

Families and Addiction: My Loved One Is an Addict

Families and Addiction: How to Help a Loved One Families and Addiction: Addiction is a chronic, progressive, and potentially fatal disease that affects not only the addict, but also the addict’s loved ones. Living with an addict often leads to cumulative trauma that deeply impacts every family member. Perhaps you have a daughter or son who is struggling with a drug and/or alcohol addiction. If so, you may feel powerless, lost, and unsure of how to best help your loved one. I hope that this blog will shed some light on how you can help your struggling son, daughter, brother, sister, etc. Families and Addiction: Where do I even begin? Most likely, you have already tried reasoning with your addicted loved one about the dangers of their drug use and your concerns about them. Unfortunately, the disease of addiction does not comprehend logic. It is important that you recognize that addiction is a multi-faceted disease that changes the brain chemicals over prolonged use. When an individual is actively using drugs and alcohol, trying to reason with him/her will be ineffective. The best first step you can take is to seek professional assistance. You do not have to struggle with your loved one’s addiction on your own. Asking for help from an addiction professional is a wonderful place to start. Seeking support from a 12 Step group such as Al-Anon or Nar-Anon can also be incredibly beneficial. Families and Addiction: Watch out for denial and making excuses Sometimes it is easier to deny the seriousness of your loved one’s drug and/or alcohol use than to face the reality of the... read more

Addiction Recovery Program: What Does It Mean to Be in Recovery?

Addiction Recovery Program: Sobriety vs. Recovery The term “recovery” is thrown around often and for those of us in the program, we don’t really think twice about it. But for those not working an addiction recovery program, the term can be a little confusing. What exactly does it mean to be in recovery? What does working an addiction recovery program entail?  It’s common to confuse sobriety and recovery, but there is a difference between the two. While sobriety is necessary for recovery, it is not sufficient. Recovery is multi-faceted and involves more than abstaining from drugs and alcohol. There is no one universal definition of recovery; instead, it is unique to each recovering addict and alcoholic. Generally, to be in recovery means to not only abstain from drugs and alcohol, but also to learn a new way of living. SAMHSA defines recovery as: “A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.” SAMHSA also believes that hope is the foundation of an addiction recovery program. When an alcoholic is “sober” from alcohol, but is not working a recovery program, he/she is often referred to as a “dry drunk.” While this individual is abstaining from substances, he/she is not addressing the underlying issues of their addiction. This may lead to unhappiness, resentment, a transfer of addictions, or even a relapse. Although my alcoholism can never be “cured,” as long as I continue to work on my spiritual condition, I am granted a daily reprieve from the obsession to drink. The process of recovery is highly personal and... read more

Alcohol Abuse Treatment: Signs You May Need Help

Alcohol Abuse Treatment: Do You Need Help? Alcohol is a legal and socially-acceptable drug, sometimes making it challenging to determine whether or not you or a loved one have an alcohol abuse problem. Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive, and fatal disease if left untreated. Fortunately, there are alcohol abuse treatment programs that can help you learn how to live a sober life free the painful consequences of alcoholism. These alcohol abuse treatment centers offer addiction education, individual counseling, group therapy, and various other treatment modalities to help you on your recovery journey. Making the decision to seek help for your alcoholism is a life-altering event — one that will benefit you more than you may realize. It’s not always easy to see when your drinking has crossed the line from moderate or social use to problem drinking. There are certain signs that may help you recognize if you have an alcohol abuse problem. Here are just a few questions you can ask yourself: Do you lie about or hide your drinking from others? Are your loved ones concerned about your drinking habits? Do you regularly drink more than you intend to do so? Has your tolerance to alcohol increased? Have you tried to control your drinking, but have been unable to do so? Has it been suggested to you that you cut back on your drinking? Do you sometimes feel guilty about your drinking? Are you having relational, financial, work, and/or school problems as a result of your drinking? Do you sometimes have the “shakes” in the morning and find that it helps to have a drink? Do you... read more

Recovery Advocates Treatment Center: What Makes Us Unique?

Recovery Advocates Treatment Center in Florida: What Makes Us Unique? Although all addiction treatment centers have the primary purpose of helping individuals learn how to live free from drugs and alcohol, the philosophies and treatment services offered differ from center to center. There are countless drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers in the United States and even in South Florida — what sets Recovery Advocates Treatment Center apart from the other treatment centers? Here are a few aspects of our treatment center that set us apart from the others. Our focus on trauma therapy → We recognize that a large percentage of our clients have deep-rooted trauma issues that complicate the addiction recovery process. One of the major aspects of our program here at Recovery Advocates is our trauma therapy program. We have licensed, skilled and proven trauma therapists trained to administer EMDR therapy to help our clients heal from their past traumas and develop new coping skills. Due to the high comorbidity of PTSD and addiction, and the complications that trauma can cause a recovering addict, we believe that our trauma therapy program is a vital component to our treatment center. Our people-centered approach → At Recovery Advocates Treatment Center, we are driven by our people-centered philosophy. What exactly does this mean? The staff here at Recovery Advocates has decades of combined experience with substance abuse and addiction, and we make client care our top priority. We know firsthand the pain and suffering that accompanies a drug and/or alcohol addiction, and we believe in providing individualized treatment for each client who walks through our door. We understand that the... read more

Bath Salts Florida: High Daytona Man Attacks Fire Chief

Man Attacks Fire Chief High on Bath Salts Florida Bath Salts Florida: On March 24, 2015, a man high on bath salts attacked a Volusia County Fire Services battalion chief in Daytona Beach, Florida.  The man, 35-year-old Richard Keefer, ran into the street, dove on the hood of a car, and broke the windshield. Keefer then attacked the fire chief when he was approached. He later told deputies that he was high on bath salts and methadone. A few years ago, there were many bath salts Florida episodes making headlines. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the term bath salts refers to an emerging family of drugs containing one or several synthetic chemicals related to cathinone, an amphetamine-like stimulant. Bath salts are a serious public health and safety issue as there are many dangerous health effects associated with them. Synthetic cathinones in bath salts can cause euphoria and increased sex drive, but also paranoia, violent behavior, agitation, and hallucinations. Bath salts can be taken orally, inhaled, or injected. A lot is still unknown about bath salts, particularly about how they affect the brain. Chemically speaking, they are similar to amphetamines and MDMA. Bath salts use has lead to a surge in visits to emergency rooms and poison control centers across the United States. Some of the adverse side effects to using bath salts include cardiac symptoms, dehydration, kidney failure, paranoia, hallucinations, and panic attacks. The danger of bath salts is made worse by the fact that they may contain other unknown ingredients that have their own harmful effects. Bath salts are also highly addictive. Although bath salt... read more

Share Your Experience, Strength & Hope!

This blog is for you, so please send us any suggestions, personal stories, before and after photos, or anything else you would like to see on here. We look forward to hearing your experience, strength and hope. Send any submissions to alayna@ratcflorida.com.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, don't wait any longer. Let Recovery Advocates Treatment Center be your advocate for recovery, call our confidential addiction treatment helpline at 844-723-9256.