Signs Of Benzodiazepine Abuse
Benzodiazepines are a prescription medication used to treat anxiety, insomnia, seizures, alcohol withdrawal, and other conditions. These drugs are among the most highly prescribed in America. Benzodiazepines are mainly available in tablet or capsule form, though some are manufactured as injectable liquids and syrups. Short-term use is generally safe, but abuse can cause numerous complications.
As benzodiazepines are sedatives, some of their side effects overlap with the general signs of addiction. Persons using benzodiazepines may experience the following side effects, including:
- Impaired coordination
There are many well-known brands of benzodiazepines, including Xanax, Diazepam, Valium, and Klonopin. These pharmaceuticals can be acquired in numerous ways. Some people have legitimate prescriptions but may have used deceptive means to get them from more than one doctor. Currently, doctors do not have the benefit of a national database that stores information on a clients active prescriptions. The illegal circulation of benzodiazepines does not only happen on the street, it also happens when those holding a prescription share these drugs with others.
It is important to understand that even though benzodiazepines are legal, they may be used in a way that makes the use illegal. If a person is showing the signs of abuse, it is critical to get them help.
How Does Alcohol Dependence Develop
No one sets out to become an alcoholic, but regular, heavy drinking can result in alcohol dependence and alcoholism.
When we drink, alcohol enters the brain and disrupts the delicate balance of chemicals called neurotransmitters that keep the body functioning normally. This disruption leads to the numerous behavioral changes and physical signs associated with intoxication, such as euphoria, loss of inhibition, impaired coordination, slurred speech and drowsiness.
Fortunately, these effects are temporary and wear off after the body breaks down the alcohol. But when exposure to alcohol is ongoing, the brain seeks to compensate for these effects, and a complex cascade of long-term chemical changes begin to occur.
To counteract the brain-slowing effects of alcohol, for instance, the brain increases the activity of excitatory neurotransmitters, which stimulate nerve activity and heighten arousal. As these changes occur, people require increasingly larger amounts of alcohol to become intoxicated. As a result, their drinking will often escalate.
At the same time, the drinker will likely begin to experience intense cravings for alcohol and distressing physical withdrawal symptoms, such as sweating, anxiety, tremors, an elevated heart rate and insomnia, when they stop drinking.
To avoid these uncomfortable symptoms, which can occur as soon as six hours after people who are dependent on alcohol consume their last drink, a person may begin drinking frequently or around-the-clock.
Tolerance: The 1st Major Warning Sign Of Alcoholism
Do you have to drink a lot more than you used to in order to get buzzed or to feel relaxed? Can you drink more than other people without getting drunk? These are signs of tolerance, which can be an early warning sign of alcoholism. Tolerance means that, over time, you need more and more alcohol to feel the same effects.
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Drinking Is Making You Sick
Do you continue to drink even though you know it’s causing health problems, or making those problems worse? Alcohol can damage your liver, heart, brain, pancreas, and immune system. And it can raise your odds of getting certain cancers. Although you realize it’s harming you, a physical or emotional dependence on alcohol can make quitting hard.
Signs Of Alcohol Use Disorder
To assess a patients likelihood of alcohol use disorder, doctors will ask if any of the following events has taken place in the past year:
Had times when you ended up drinking alcohol more or longer than intended?
More than once wanted or tried to reduce or stop drinking but couldnt?
Spent a lot of time drinking or being sick from the aftereffects?
Wanted a drink so badly you couldnt think of anything else?
Found that drinking or being sick from drinking often interfered with work, family or school duties?
Continued to drink alcohol even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends?
Given up or cut back on activities that were important, interesting or pleasurable to you in order to drink?
More than once gotten into situations while or after consuming alcohol that increased your chances of getting hurt ?
Continued to drink alcohol even though it was making you feel depressed, anxious or adding to another health problem? Or after having had a memory blackout?
Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want? Or found that the usual number of drinks had much less effect?
Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, restlessness, nausea, sweating, racing heart or a seizure? Or sensed things that were not there?
The criteria come from an authoritative handbook known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition .
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How Long Does It Take To Develop Alcohol Dependence
Drinking alcohol is ingrained in modern culture in many countries around the world. Its a way to socialize, relax, and celebrate.
To quote the fictional TV cartoon character, Homer Simpson, To alcohol, the cause of and solution to all lifes problems. The joke is a reflection of what most people think that social drinking is harmless. Yes, as long as youre responsible about alcohol consumption, it cant do any damage.
But do you know how long does it take to develop alcohol dependence? When does occasional social alcohol consumption turn into problematic alcoholism?
In this article, well take an in-depth look at the journey from social drinking to full-blown alcoholism and learn things like:
- How are people affected by alcoholism?
- How much alcohol is actually in your drink?
- How much alcohol is considered too much?
- How long does it take to get addicted to alcohol?
- Who is at risk of developing alcoholism?
Teenage Alcohol Abuse Symptoms
There are several symptoms of teenage alcohol abuse to look for if you believe that your son or daughter might be drinking to excess. Keep in mind that it is relatively normal for teenagers to experiment. If your teenager comes home from a party smelling like beer once at the end of their senior year of high school, throwing them into alcohol rehab probably wont be the most efficient course of action. If your teenager has an apparent run-in with alcohol, we recommend that you sit them down and have the talk. Explain to them that drinking even in moderation is especially dangerous during their formative years. When they are young and their brains are still developing they are far more susceptible to doing long-term damage. Explain the effects of alcohol on teenagers, not just physically but also psychologically and emotionally. Being a teenager is difficult enough as it is. Remind your teenager that while peer pressure is undeniably prevalent throughout high school there isnt anything cool about doing what everyone else is doing just because theyre doing it. If you have the talk and youre starting to notice red flags signs of serious alcohol abuse then it is probably a good idea to take some more serious steps.
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Understanding Alcohol Use Disorders And Their Treatment
People with alcohol use disorders drink to excess, endangering both themselves and others. This question-and-answer fact sheet explains alcohol problems and how psychologists can help people recover.
Understanding alcohol use disorders and their treatment.
For many people, drinking alcohol is nothing more than a pleasant way to relax. People with alcohol use disorders, however, drink to excess, endangering both themselves and others. This question-and-answer fact sheet explains alcohol problems and how psychologists can help people recover.
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.
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What Do I Do If I Think Someone Is An Alcoholic
If someone close to you is displaying signs of alcohol addiction, it can be difficult to know what to do. You might feel worried about them, frustrated that they dont seem to want help or frightened for them or even by them.2 All of these feelings are normal and there is help out there both for alcoholics and those caring for them.
Talk honestly with your loved one about their drinking, and try to persuade them to see a doctor. It can be very difficult for alcoholics to admit they have a problem but being supportive, open and non-judgemental can make them feel safe.
If you accompany someone to an appointment, try to get a simple explanation for the person in simple language about the illness, the long-term effects and the options for recovery. Ask how you can best support the person perhaps request an out of hours emergency telephone number that may make you feel safer.
Social And Health Consequences
- Have you ever overdosed or needed emergency medical treatment as a result of substance abuse?
Addiction to drugs or alcohol often leaves individuals unable to take care of themselves and can lead to a number of health issues. Answering yes to any of these questions can signal that you have a substance addiction.
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Alcohol Dependence And Withdrawal
Common signs of alcohol addiction, the physical and psychological effects and where to go for help.
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For some people alcohol can be part of many occasions but like many drugs its addictive, both physically and psychologically.
The NHS estimates that around 9% of men in the UK and 3% of UK women show signs of alcohol dependence1. This means that drinking alcohol becomes an important, or sometimes the most important, factor in their life and they feel theyre unable to function without it.
The Symptoms Of Alcoholism
Developing alcohol use disorder is something that can happen slowly over time. For this reason, it can sneak up on people, and their relatively healthy occasional drinking can all of a sudden become more frequent and more problematic.
If youre worried that you have developed a drinking problem, you might be Googling questions like If I blackout am I an alcoholic? and am I becoming an alcoholic?
Learning as much as you can about alcohol use disorder will help you to understand whether or not you are starting to develop a problem or not. Lets take a look at some of the symptoms of alcohol use disorder to give you a sense of what it consists of.
There are behavioral symptoms, mental health symptoms, and physical health symptoms that can result from alcohol use disorder.
Behavioral symptoms of alcohol use disorder include:
- Neglecting personal hygiene
- Becoming angry or violent when asked about their drinking habits
- Having a high tolerance
- Eating poorly or not eating at all
- Making excuses to drink
- Missing school or work due to drinking
- Giving up important recreational, occupational, or social activities because of their alcohol use
- Being unable to control how much alcohol they drink
- Continuing to drink even though economic, social, or legal problems start developing
Physical health symptoms that can result from alcohol use disorder include:
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not drinking, including nausea, vomiting, and shaking
- Having alcohol cravings
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Whats The Difference Between Casual Drinking And Alcohol Abuse
Lets start with casual drinking. Unless you have religious or personal restrictions, a few drinks with friends or a glass of wine with dinner is usually not an issue. The problem starts, though, when you begin abusing the substance.
Many people use the terms alcohol abuse and alcoholism interchangeably. However, alcoholism refers to alcohol addiction or dependence, where the individual has a physical or psychological compulsion to drink alcohol. Alcohol abuse refers to a pattern of behavior where a person drinks excessively in spite of the negative consequences.
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What Are The Signs Of Intoxication
For most people, theres a significant difference between drinking a glass of wine with dinner and having several shots of liquor in terms of behavior and visible impairment, but alcohol can impact you a lot more than youre aware of or the people around you realize. As soon as you take a sip of alcohol, it increases your blood alcohol concentration level. The higher that BAC goes, the more likely you are to show outward signs of impairment.
If youre unsure of how much someone around you has had to drink, look for symptoms including:
- Slurred speech
- Concentration problems
- General personality changes
Some of the other physical signs someone is drinking or intoxicated include glassy or bloodshot eyes, talking loudly, or increased moodiness. Unlike many other drugs, the smell of alcohol can also be a warning sign that someone is drinking. Alcohol has a strong odor that is not only present right after someone drinks, but it also tends to linger on their breath or even their clothes. The changes that can occur because of drinking may be subtle, such as someone becoming more talkative or social. Thats a big reason a lot of people drink in social situations. The signs that someone is drinking can also be severe and include aggression, violence or engaging in risky behaviors.
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How Common Is Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcohol use is the second most common substance use disorder in the United States. The 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows the prevalence of alcohol use disorder in the United States.1 Based on their findings:
- 73.1% of the surveyed population struggled with alcohol use, compared to just 38.5% who used illicit drugs.
- Eleven million older adults aged 26 and above had an alcohol use disorder.
- 3.1 million young adults aged 18 to 25 reported having AUD.
- AUD increased among teenagers from an estimated 401,000 in 2018 to 414,000 in 2019.
Studies also show that alcoholism often goes undiagnosed.2 This means there could be more Americans struggling with alcohol use disorder who have not sought help from a medical professional.
ALCOHOL REHAB HELP
Alcohol Addiction Treatment In Thailand
Alcohol addiction does not have to impact negatively on your life any longer. At The Dawn, we combine Eastern practices with cutting-edge Western technology in our affordable detox and addiction rehab centre. If any of these warning signs of alcohol addiction feel familiar to you, get in touch with us for a chat.
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Treatment For Alcohol Use Disorder
Drugs and alcohol cause changes in the brain that can make the process of quitting extremely complex. Addiction is also caused by factors such as genetics, environmental influences and developmental factors .
Which is why a severe case of alcohol use disorder may require specialized care. Cutting off alcohol in those with long-term or chronic consumption could lead to withdrawal and be fatal.
Individuals who are drinking at a level where its not safe to stop on their own need a medically supervised detox, says Fernandez. Ideally, the next step is appropriate treatment, such as an intensive outpatient program.
Other treatment options include counseling and 12-step support groups. At U-Ms addiction treatment center, an offering known as the Discovery Group targets people who may or may not feel they have a substance use problem and are unsure whether they want to change.
Some patients may need a prescription medication that helps reduce alcohol dependence.
Helpful, too, are newer approaches: Cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness strategies for addiction have scientific backing and are entering into the treatment setting pretty rapidly, Fernandez says.
Who Is At Risk Of Developing Alcohol Use Disorder
Some people are more at risk of developing alcohol use disorder than others. For example:
1. People who engage in binge drinking or heavy drinking
Binge drinking is the consumption of large amounts of alcohol on a single occasion. This means five or more drinks for men and more than four drinks for women within two hours. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration further defines it as excessive drinking for five or more days in a month.
Heavy drinking is the regular consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol. This means having more than four drinks per day or 14 drinks per week in men and more than three drinks per day or seven drinks per week in women.
2. A family history of alcohol use disorders
Scientists identified genetic factors that increase a persons ability to metabolize alcohol and make them susceptible to its sedative effects.11 Consequently, having these genes increases your risk for alcohol problems. It also helps explain why alcohol use disorder tends to run in the family.
3. People who are exposed to environmental factors
Certain places put you at risk of alcohol use disorder. Some of them include:
- Living near stores that sell alcoholic drinks
- Being around people with drinking problems
- Living in a place that traumatized you
4. People with poor mental health
5. Underage alcohol drinkers
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