alcoholicApril 26, 2013
“Denial is the most cunning, baffling, and powerful part of my disease…When I look back now, it’s hard to imagine I didn’t see a problem with my drinking. But instead of seeing the truth when all of the ‘yets’ (as in, that hasn’t happened to me—yet) started happening, I just kept lowering my standards.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 328)
Alcoholism is a sneaky foe. Like cancer or heart disease, we often do not recognize the danger lurking beneath the surface. However, in the case of cancer or heart disease, once we receive a diagnosis from a professional, we are likely to believe the news and then decide a course of action for treatment. The alcoholic, by contrast, may be told by family, friends, and professionals that a drinking problem is apparent, but still cannot see it.November 17, 2010
The addiction to illicit substances such as drugs and alcohol can be a life-threatening disease. There is no cap to the age of people who abuse illegal substances as it can range from young adolescents to the elderly. With the number of drug and alcohol abusers continuing to rise among Americans, it becomes a curiosity as to why so many people are affected by this disease. So the question arises: where does addiction come from? According to a recent study, the addiction to these dangerous substances largely is determined by our genetic sequences. Read the rest of this entry »October 21, 2010
Alcohol addiction is a growing problem here in the United States not only in younger people, but also surprisingly in a substantial proportion of older adults. According to a recent study from Brandeis University, one out of ten elderly adults who are on Medicare have reported to drinking alcohol excessively, and this health risk often goes undetected by health providers. Elizabeth Merrick, senior scientist at Brandeis led a study that sheds light onto the abuse of alcohol by the elderly population.
The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society evaluated data taken from 12,413 Medicare beneficiaries over the age of 65. Merrick found that nine percent of those in the study had engaged in unhealthy drinking habits. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, unhealthy drinking for people 65 and over is considered to be when they consume more than seven drinks per week, or more than four drinks per day. The problem is many older people do not realize that the recommended limit for drinking is much lower than that for younger people. The older someone is, the less their body is able to metabolize alcohol making them more sensitive to its harmful effects. Thus, the elderly populations who abuse alcohol are at a higher risk for medical problems, increased falls, and problems that may arise from mixing alcohol with medications. Merrick explains that the relationship between alcohol consumption and the risks is very complex. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: alcohol addiction, alcoholism, signs of addiction, signs of alcoholic
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Binge drinking; what exactly does it mean? The simple definition refers to consuming large quantities of alcohol during a single session. This trend seems to be a growing problem on college campuses across the country, but when is it time to admit that you have a problem? In a report last year, acting Surgeon General Kenneth Moritsugu said it’s time Americans get a wake-up call about the amount of alcohol abuse especially among underage drinkers.
According to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health last year, there was an estimated 11 million underage drinkers in the United States. I’d be willing to bet a great number of those underage drinkers are first or second year college students. The report also concluded that about 7.2 million of that number engage in acts of binge drinking. The obvious reason for the rise of college binge drinking is simply because of its accessibility. Dormitories aren’t as heavily monitored as parents would like to believe, and this allows underage freshmen to engage in parties with their friends where alcohol may be served. I had friends in college that would drink to get drunk just about every night of the week and in college that really isn’t uncommon. Binge drinking can cause a number of health issues including cirrhosis of the liver, heart attacks and even death. Read the rest of this entry »October 13, 2010
A typical day for a middle-aged parent is many times made up from a long list of tiring activities including taking the children to school, picking them up and immediately taking them to soccer practice, and returning home to make dinner for the family. The long and tedious hours that come with days like this can be very daunting on a person’s social well-being, which can lead to certain self-medicating actions such as heavy drinking, and drug use.
A misconception among many people today is that the majority of people that die from substance abuse overdoses are under the age of 20. According to a report by the Drug Abuse Warning Network, more than half of overdose deaths were among 34 to 54 year olds in 2003 and that number has undoubtedly increased since. But why the change? Maybe it’s because of all the pressure an adult feels from different social situations. Take for instance the pressures one may feel from their occupation. There are a number of people who work 50-60 hours per week, which in turn can put a tremendous amount of stress onto their already heavy plate filled with family and personal duties. This added stress is often a reason that many middle-aged people turn to substance abuse, especially in the areas of alcohol and prescription drugs. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: alcoholism, drug addiction, drug overdose, signs of alcoholic, substance abuse treatment
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