Alcohol Me & My Community
Alcohol, Me, & My Community offers a space to explore what you love most about your community, unpack the science of alcoholâs effects on the body, and discuss ways to both manage risk and keep your community healthy. This program is open to any fraternity or sorority member and facilitated by a Student Health & Wellness staff member.
New for the Fall 2022 semester: Alcohol, Me, and My Community will be offered through a chapter-guided, online module. Please download instructions for facilitation located here, and email email@example.com for more information.
Don’t Rescue Them From Legal Trouble
Rushing in to rescue someone may satisfy a personal desire to feel needed, but it doesn’t really help the situation. It only enables the person to avoid the consequences of their actions.
In Al-Anon, this is called “putting pillows under” your loved one so that they never feel the pain of their mistakes.
What Gateway Foundation Offers Clients
The effects of alcohol addiction impact all areas of life. When people are ready to make a significant change and work toward a lifetime of sobriety, alcohol treatment centers are ideal. Gateway offers clients a full continuum of care, which means that clients can find the programs that best fit their needs, their health and their schedules.
Clients can also expect to find a wide range of recovery strategies. From evidence-based to holistic, some of the most successful programs include:
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Ways Drug Abuse Hurts You And Those Around You
Most of us have heard countless times that drug abuse isn’t beneficialthe word abuse is in the name, after all. But a lot of people don’t realize just how dangerous it can be, both to the person using and the people that person loves and …
How To Raise The Subject
People often worry that initiating a discussion with the person with the problem will lead him or her to take drastic steps. They might make a scene in front of other family members, move out of the house, drop out of school, use more excessively, try to hide their problem, or retaliate against them or other family members. However, you might find the conversation to be a wonderfully productive experience. Perhaps the person simply hasnt noticed behavioral changes or doesnt realize that his or her substance use was or is causing a problem. And without change, the problems may become so severe that the same drastic outcomes could result.
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When Should Someone Seek Help
Individuals often hide their drinking or deny they have a problem. How can you tell if you or someone you know is in trouble? Signs of a possible problem include having friends or relatives express concern, being annoyed when people criticize your drinking, feeling guilty about your drinking and thinking that you should cut down but finding yourself unable to do so, or needing a morning drink to steady your nerves or relieve a hangover.
Some people with drinking problems work hard to resolve them. With the support of family members or friends, these individuals are often able to recover on their own. However, those with alcohol dependence usually can’t stop drinking through willpower alone. Many need outside help. They may need medically supervised detoxification to avoid potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures. Once people are stabilized, they may need help resolving psychological issues associated with problem drinking.
There are several approaches available for treating alcohol problems. No one approach is best for all individuals.
How To Stop Enabling An Alcoholic Or Addict
Offer Help Without Supporting an Addiction
John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. He is the medical director at Alcohol Recovery Medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health .
If you have a loved one who has a substance or alcohol use disorder, you may have heard that you play a role in enabling the alcoholic. How can you know if you are being an enabler or if what you are doing is normal helping? If you find that you have been an enabler, how can you stop?
It is important to learn the difference between enabling and helping. If you recognize that you are an enabler, you can explore some practical tips and examples on how to stop enabling an individual with an alcohol abuse problem.
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Concurrent Alcohol And Bath Salts Abuse
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The Effects Of Bath Salts Use
Are Bath Salts Harmful? The term bath salts refers to a family of designer recreational drugs that contain one or more synthetic chemicals related to cathinone -a stimulant found in the khat plant, with effects similar to amphetamine. The name …
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Selected Programs Showing Promise
Environmental interventions are among the recommendations included in the recent National Research Council and Institute of Medicine report on underage drinking . These interventions are intended to reduce commercial and social availability of alcohol and/or reduce driving while intoxicated. They use a variety of strategies, including server training and compliance checks in places that sell alcohol deterring adults from purchasing alcohol for minors or providing alcohol to minors restricting drinking in public places and preventing underage drinking parties enforcing penalties for the use of false IDs, driving while intoxicated, and violating zero-tolerance laws and raising public awareness of policies and sanctions.
The following community trials show how environmental strategies can be useful in reducing underage drinking and related problems.
The Community Prevention Trial ProgramThis program was designed to reduce alcohol-involved injuries and death. One component sought to reduce alcohol sales to minors by enforcing underage sales laws training sales clerks, owners, and managers to prevent sales of alcohol to minors and using the media to raise community awareness of underage drinking. Sales to apparent minors were significantly reduced in the intervention communities compared with control sites .
Lifes Ups And Downs Are Easier To Handle When A Person Has The Support Of Family Members Who Can Help Shoulder Burdens And Celebrate Successes
Families are designed to support one another, protect one another, and insulate one another.
Being a part of a family means facing the world with the strength and support of loving, caring peers. Lifes ups and downs are easier to handle when there are family members willing to shoulder some of the burdens and celebrate the successes.
All of that love and support can be twisted and shifted, when one member of the family has an addiction. Those bends and shifts are sometimes defined as enabling behaviors, and they could serve to keep an addiction in place.
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Effects Of Alcohol On Different Populations
Alcohol affects everyone in different ways. Genes, environment and diet can influence whether a person is prone to develop an alcohol-related disease, while factors such as age, weight and sex can impact alcohols more immediate effects.
Women tend to be more vulnerable than men to the effects of alcohol due to differences in how their bodies absorb and metabolize alcohol. For women, binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks during a single occasion, while heavy drinking is defined as eight or more drinks per week. For men, binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks during a single occasion, while heavy drinking is 15 or more drinks per week.
The effects of alcohol addiction may also have a more serious impact on seniors, as aging changes how the body handles alcohol consumption. Alcohol abuse may worsen some health problems like diabetes, osteoporosis, memory loss, high blood pressure and mood disorders. It may also increase the likelihood of accidents such as falls and fractures.
To get help with a possible alcohol use disorder or other substance use disorder, learn more about our treatment program options or give us a call at .
Taking Care Of Yourself
Dealing with a loved ones alcohol problem can feel like an emotional rollercoaster and take a heavy toll on your health, outlook, and wellbeing. Its vital that you stay safe, take care of your own health, and get the support you need.
Dont try to face this on your own. Its important to have people you can talk honestly and openly with about what youre going through. Turn to trusted friends, a support group, people in your faith community, or your own therapist. A good place to start is by joining a group such as Al-Anon, a free peer support group for families dealing with a loved ones alcohol abuse. Listening to others facing the same challenges can serve as a tremendous source of comfort and support, and help you develop new tools for coping. Alateen is a similar support group specifically for teens who have a family member abusing alcohol.
Dont neglect your own needs. Try not to allow your loved ones behavior to dictate your own health and happiness. Schedule time into your day for relaxing, maintaining your own health, and doing the things you enjoy. Your loved ones recovery can be a long process, so you need to maintain a balance in your life. Keep up with work, appointments, and social plans.
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Why Is Alcohol A Health Issue
Many Australians drink some alcohol. Some people drink alcohol in amounts that are harmful to their health. This kind of drinking can cause death, disease, and injury. This is a major factor in ill health and social harm in Australia.
One standard drink contains 10 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in :
- 285ml full-strength beer or cider
- 375ml mid-strength beer
- 1 nip of spirits
No level of alcohol consumption can be considered safe. To reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury for healthy adults:
- drink no more than 10 standard drinks per week
- drink no more than 4 standard drinks on any one day
But some people need to take more care. You are at greater risk of harm from alcohol if you are:
- under the age of 18 years
- older than 65 years
- taking other medicines or drugs
- engaging in a risky activity such as driving or operating machinery
During pregnancy, and while breastfeeding, no level of drinking is considered safe for the baby.
Drinking heavily can put you at risk of short-term injury or illness. The negative side effects of alcohol can also accumulate, harming your health over your lifetime.
To avoid the negative effects of alcohol, you should practice safe drinking and manage your alcohol intake.
What To Expect When A Loved One Receives Treatment
Once your loved one has decided to begin treatment, it can be helpful to know what to expect. The answer depends on a variety of factors including:
- The severity of your loved one’s condition
- The duration and frequency of their substance or alcohol use
- Past attempts at recovery
- Motivation and commitment to recovery
- Support and assistance available
Long-term treatment and recovery will last for months or even years. Overall progress and setbacks during recovery can extend the duration of treatment.
During this time, there are things that you can do to offer support. Learning more about the treatment process and offering help with immediate needssuch as driving them to appointments or attending support group meetings with themare all ways that you can support recovery.
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Peer Pressure Can Lead To Alcohol Use
It could occur in a workplace, school or via social media. Social media and alcohol use have become intertwined over the years. A report by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University found 75 percent of surveyed teens feel encouraged to drink after seeing photographs of peers partying on social media.
Peer pressure can be positive or negative. Positive peer pressure could motivate individuals to exercise, display integrity and avoid drugs or alcohol.
Peer pressure can lead to alcohol abuse. It helps diminish a gene that prevents people from developing alcohol problems, per a study published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Saying no can protect individuals from a host of consequences.
What Should You Do In An Emergency
Does your loved one have any of the following symptoms? If so, call 911 or other emergency services immediately.
- Lost consciousness after taking drugs.
- Became unconscious after drinking alcohol, especially if five or more drinks were consumed in a short period of time.
- Had been drinking and is seriously considering suicide.
- Has a history of heavy drinking and has severe withdrawal symptoms, such as confusion and severe trembling. Severe withdrawal symptoms, such as delirium tremens , can cause death.
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Stop Actions That Allow The Behavior To Continue
Are you paying some of the bills that your loved one would be paying if they hadn’t lost their job or missed time from work due to drinking? Or are you providing food and shelter for this person?
If so, you could be enabling. You are providing them with a safety net that allows them to lose their job or skip work with no real consequences.
Health Problems Caused By Alcohol Dependence
The risk of developing a range of health problems increases the more you drink on a regular basis.
Drinking alcohol can lead to a range of serious health problems and being dependent on alcohol is likely to increase your risks. These include cancers of the mouth, throat and breast, and other serious medical conditions including bowel cancer, breast cancer, pancreatitis, high blood pressure, stroke and coronary alcohol-related heart disease.4
Prolonged heavy drinking damages your liver. An estimated seven out of 10 people with alcoholic liver disease have an alcohol dependency problem.5
These alcohol-related health problems can affect non-dependent drinkers too. Thats why, to keep health risks from alcohol to a low level, the UK Chief Medical Officers advise it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis.
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Finding The Root Of The Problem
Finding a sustainable solution to alcohol abuse and addiction requires a good understanding of what drives the problem and what exactly you are using it to cope with. This often requires doing some introspective work and addressing topics that may be vulnerable, like past trauma, a high-stress lifestyle, or feelings of low self-worth.
Some of the ways that people may explore and address what is driving their use of alcohol as a coping mechanism include:
What Is The Outlook For People Who Live With Addiction
With treatment, many people manage addiction and live full, healthy lives. But recovering from substance use disorders is not easy. It takes self-discipline and a strong commitment on a daily basis. Supportive friends, family members and healthcare providers play an essential role in effective treatment as well.
Without treatment, addiction can cause serious health problems, even death. It can damage personal relationships, lead to financial difficulties and cause legal problems. Untreated addiction also harms family members, and the effects can last for generations.
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How Can I Tell If Im Dependent On Alcohol
It might be surprising to hear that you dont always have to be drinking to extreme levels to become dependent on alcohol. Anyone who is drinking regularly could have a degree of alcohol dependency.
An early signs of dependence is needing more alcohol to achieve the desired effect. Increased tolerance is a physiological response we have to certain drugs: the more you consume, the more you need to have the same effect.
As dependence gets more established, you might find you end up spending most of your time thinking about alcohol or engaging in activities necessary to obtain, consume, or recover from the effects of drinking.
Then, as dependence takes over, its possible you will find you get the shakes if you dont have a drink, and so feel the need to keep drinking to avoid experiencing very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
If you’re worried you may be becoming alcohol dependent, or are concerned about someone else’s drinking, warning signs to look out for include:
- Often feeling the need to have a drink
- Getting into trouble because of drinking
- Other people warning about how much you/ they are drinking
- Thinking your/ their drinking is causing problems
If youre worried that you have any of these symptoms, talk to a health professional at your GP surgery or seek further information from one of the organisations at the bottom of this page.
Consequences Of Waiting Until An Addict Hits Rock Bottom
Waiting for a person struggling with addiction to hit rock bottom before seeking treatment is incredibly dangerous. Sometimes, it can be deadly.
For some people, showing up to work drunk and getting fired may be enough to prompt them to seek help. Taking enough drugs to go into a coma may be the turning point for others. However, for certain people, rock bottom may mean death.
Reaching rock bottom often has devastating and lasting consequences, including issues with finances, relationships, and health.
Additionally, assuming that someone needs to hit a dangerously low point in life before seeking addiction treatment suggests no other factors that may lead to their recovery process.
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