Monday, October 29, 2012

Teenage Binge Drinking – The Facts

Teenagers who regularly consume 5+ alcoholic beverages in one sitting fall under the binge drinker label. Teen binge drinking prevention can aid in the fight against future health issues and alcohol dependency. Educating children on the facts surrounding this issue is vital to ensuring a happy, safe, and sober lifestyle down the road.


Alcohol works to impair judgment, while potentially leading teens to engage in poor decision-making in regard to sexual activity, education, finances, relationships, etc. In some cases, alcohol intake can also result in violent behaviors.

Brain Damage

The teenage brain is still in development. Binge drinking may serve to hinder development, and potentially cause long-term issues in adulthood. Studies reveal that teen binge drinkers often achieve much lower GPAs than students who choose to abstain. In addition, binge drinking has also been seen to negatively impact teen memory function.


Additional studies show that adults who are over 21 years of age who have taken their first drink prior to turning 21 are at a higher risk for alcohol dependency or abuse. Alcohol dependence is a lifelong issue for many people throughout the world, and is something from which teenagers should be protected.

Underage Drinking

Regardless of your stance on underage drinking, the fact remains: It is illegal. Teens who are convicted of alcohol-related offenses may experience difficulty getting into college or gaining employment down the road. While many perceive teenage drinking as a “rite of passage”, the consequences associated with it appear only to hinder rather than encourage future successes. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Reversing The Effects Of Alcohol

Long term heavy drinking can cause severe damage to the brain and liver while creating additional health risks. The amount of damage inflicted on the body is typically in direct proportion to the number of years the individual drinks alongside the amount they’ve consumed. Fortunately for drinkers under 40, some  of these negative effects can be reversed. In this entry, we will outline some tips and tricks to help get your body back on track.

1 – Stop drinking! This is step #1. According to recent studies, alcoholics who give up drinking completely were able to regain their mental abilities and cognitive skills. The initial results were detected following 13 months of complete sobriety and escalated over time. Alcohol abstinence will also encourage proper liver function.

2 – Start eating right. Make a point to include plenty of veggies and fruits into your diet. Swap your red meat for white and sub out your flour carbohydrates for their whole grain brethren.

3 – Consider taking stem enhancers. These remedies serve to encourage new cell growth in areas of excessive alcohol damage. Some people can rebuild as much as 25% of their liver cells by using these enhancers. Though, as with any vitamin, supplement, or medication, it’s important to consult your physician prior to beginning a stem enhancer regimen.

4 – Get to the gym! Commit yourself to daily exercise as part of your new, happy, healthy lifestyle transition. Not only will exercise help remove built up toxins; it will add to your self-esteem, confidence, and just maybe your physique. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Am I An Alcoholic?

Alcohol addiction or alcoholism is a chronic disorder defined by excessive, persistent, and uncontrollable alcohol intake, resulting in physical and mental dependency. Many addicts who suffer from alcohol addiction are often unaware of the issue; as a fun, social activity gradually becomes a habit and ultimately full-blown addiction.


1 – How often do you drink alone? Social drinking with friends and family during special occasions does is not typically indicative of an issue. However, if you find yourself drinking regularly, by yourself, it may be a sign of alcoholism.

2 – Pay attention to your alcohol tolerance. Heightened alcohol tolerance is yet another indication of an addiction. With enough time and drink, the body begins to respond differently to moderate alcohol intake. As such, alcoholics will often increase the dosage to experience the same feeling.

3 – What part does alcohol play in your daily routine? Alcoholics will often cater their schedules to alcohol intake. For example, if you visit the liquor store or bar on a daily basis following work, this may be a sign that alcoholism is taking hold.

4 – How is your mood affected when drinking is inhibited? Alcoholics generally develop an intense desire to drink that is beyond their control. The urge to drink becomes just as, if not more intense as their desire to eat. Disrupted drinking schedules will often result in irritability and anxiety until the craving is appeased.

5 – Trust your gut. Though it can be easy to jump to conclusions; if you find yourself questioning alcoholic tendencies, they likely require a closer look. Ask yourself whether you would feel comfortable without alcohol for an extended period of time, and be honest. If you feel yourself becoming anxious or irritated by the mere thought of alcohol abstinence, then it may be time to consider professional help.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Making The Most Of Your Rehab Experience

Following rehab, patients often find themselves with an assortment of hardships and obstacles to overcome. Whether the addiction lies in alcohol, drugs, sex, or gambling, patients must utilize the lessons learned in recovery to ensure a happy abstinence in the real world. In this entry, we will offer up a few basic tips to help patients employ their rehabilitation knowledge in a real world setting.

1 – Keep in touch with your rehabilitation counselors. Communicate your post-rehab progress with friends and family members, and request their support. Talking about your recovery triumphs and struggles will help place them into a tangible real-world perspective.

2 – Read up on various materials pertaining to your particular situation. Make a commitment to read, reflect, and write on a daily basis to help your mind reflect on the current state of your recovery.

3 – Become an expert on your condition. Get in touch with other alcoholics who have dealt or are currently dealing with the same situation and discuss your issues to help normalize your current state.

4 – Always be on the lookout for relapse triggers, depression, and codependency following your rehabilitation stay. These life factors will likely show up at some point throughout your recovery. A person who is well informed on these topics will be much better equipped to handle them if and when they arise.

5 – Keep a journal or log of your recovery journey. This living document can be used as a reference if relapse happens to occur, or seems likely. By re-reading your struggles and triumphs, you will gain a better perspective on the progress you have made since your recovery began.

6 – Dive into a hobby, activity, or spiritual practice to help cope with the recovery process. Pick up an instrument, hit the gym, or practice meditation to push your energy in a positive and productive direction. Not only can these types of activities keep you focused; they will also do wonders for your self-esteem! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Alcohol’s Effect On Homeostasis

Our body’s ability to maintain equilibrium, or homeostasis, is a wondrous trait, which allows us to survive an array of varying conditions while affronting our health against infection, poisons and harsh climates. It takes the cooperation of the entire body to achieve this effect. Hormones, for example, work to adjust the balance of the body’s electrolytes and fluids, while the nervous system helps to regulate the respiratory, digestive and urinary systems.

Our bodies ward off numerous challenges in its quest for equilibrium. Diets lacking in proper nutrients in the correct amounts will ultimately require out bodies to compensate. Depression and stress are additional factors, which have the ability to challenge the cardiovascular, endocrine and respiratory systems, thus weakening each system’s ability to maintain balance. Sleep deprivation, drugs, and exterior pressures all affect the body in similar forms.

When it comes to alcohol, the effect on the body’s equilibrium is both instantaneous and long-lasting. Even a casual drink or two requires our kidneys and liver to work overtime to properly process the toxins. And while most people’s systems are perfectly able to handle such a challenge, those engaged in abusive alcohol behaviors place their bodies at risk for more extreme issues.

One solitary night of excess places strain on the digestive, nervous and excretory systems. This is why a hangover is so often associated with fatigue, headache, digestive issues, etc.. Many people will experience a slight shaking sensation due to the disruption to the nervous system or sugar deprivation. In most cases, our bodies are able to address these issues, returning to homeostasis within a day or so.

Alcoholism, however, may work to seriously hinder the body’s ability to maintain balance. One of the more well-known issues associated with chronic alcohol abuse – cirrhosis of the liver – will eventually impair the liver’s functionality if left untreated. Without a properly functioning liver, equilibrium becomes impossible to sustain. As toxin levels escalate throughout the body, systems will eventually shut down, leading to an imminent death.

Well before our status escalates to life-threatening, these challenges to homeostasis incurred by excessive alcohol intake can inhibit our body’s ability to protect itself from additional exterior impacts to equilibrium; underscoring the importance of moderation, or seeking professional aid if you are unable to adhere.  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How To Approach An Alcoholic

In addition to its numerous health risks, alcoholism is a dangerous psychological disease. Not only does alcoholism pose a heightened risk for heart attack, liver disease and cancer, but increased feelings of depression, anxiety and inadequacy - symptoms that often spur the disease in the first place. Without treatment, alcoholics will often experience a diminished quality of life, in the form of strained relationships, finances, and a general lack of enthusiasm. In order to alter an alcoholic’s destructive path, the individual must be committed to a change. Helping an alcoholic towards this commitment takes a great deal of courage, patience and tact.

1 – Contact an intervention specialist regarding how best to approach the individual in question. In areas where an AA branch is far from reach, you may employ the aid of a public social worker. Obtaining professional help is especially crucial in cases where individuals have discussed or attempted suicide, is in denial, or has a history dealing with mental illness. Even in instances that do not involve these characteristics, getting in touch with a professional addiction specialist can be a wonderful step forward.

2 – Plan an intervention alongside a professional interventionist, while taking care to include close friends and relatives. When it comes to interventions, studies show a heightened rate of success when compared to 1-on-1 encounters.

3 – Prepare and research various facts pertaining to the individual’s behaviors, and how they have affected those surrounding them.  Some common examples may include missed family get-togethers, financial strain, or lost relationships.

4 – Gather your participants for a pre-intervention to discuss the process and goals of the upcoming meeting. Have each participant write out a letter to the alcoholic detailing their personal struggles in regard to the addiction. Discuss treatment plans and potential consequences to implement in case the individual refuses to accept the help being offered. Stress the importance of secrecy leading up to the actual intervention and designate a neutral and non-threatening area to hold it. 

5 – Intervention day. Provide participants with the opportunity to express their feelings. Once the rounds have been made, offer your treatment plan. Ask your loved one for a decision and communicate the consequences that will take place if help is refused. Be calm, firm, and loving throughout. Regardless of the outcome, your life is on the fast track to independence, happiness, and freedom.