So maybe you overdo it from time to time — okay, a lot of the time, but you only drink on the weekends and an occasional weekday, so it’s no problem, right? Just because you don’t drink everyday doesn’t mean you’re safe from alcohol dependence and addiction. In fact, if you’re over the recommendations for moderate drinking — no more than seven drinks a week for women and 14 drinks a week for men — you’ve crossed the line into heavy drinking or binge drinking. Of the 136 million Americans who use alcohol, more than 47% are binge drinkers according to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Are you one of them? Here’s some warning signs.
Alcohol can have serious health effects, most notably alcohol addiction, liver cirrhosis, cancers and injuries. Signs of alcoholism can include changes in appearance, starting with the skin.
Adults aged 50 and older are among the more than 3 million people in the United States who have opioid or opiate addictions. Overuse or misuse of prescription painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone is so widespread that President Trump has declared the opioid epidemic a public “health emergency.”
By Kenneth England, MFT, Primary Therapist, Malibu Promises
Drinking too much on the eve of Thanksgiving has become a national pastime. It’s a tradition that is treacherous for many people, especially those in recovery.
By Shannon McQuaid, LMFT, LISAC, CDWF, CSAT-C
The statistics are startling: 2.5 million older adults suffer from an alcohol or drug problem. Widowers age 75 and older have the highest rate of alcoholism in the U.S., while nearly half of nursing home residents have alcohol-related problems. Four out of five seniors who seek treatment for substance abuse have a problem with alcohol versus other types of drugs.
And the problem only looks to get worse. Data presented this year at the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry’s annual meeting showed that by 2020, 4.4 million older Americans adults will need treatment for alcoholism, up 60% from the year 2000.
The good news is that it is never too late to stop drinking, even for people with severe alcohol-related liver disease, researchers have found. For example, a study out of the U.K.’s University of Southampton found that abstinence from alcohol at one month after receiving a diagnosis of cirrhosis resulted in a seven-year survival rate of 72% versus 44% for the people who continued to drink.
By Stacey Colino
At one time or another, we’ve all been there: At a party where everyone is having a little too much to drink, you see your S.O. talking animatedly, maybe even flirtatiously, with someone attractive and before you can blink twice, you’re raging with jealousy.
When the weekend rolls around and all you can think about is kicking back, having a few beers or cocktails with your friends or family members, there can’t be anything wrong with that, right? After all, you’ve worked hard all week and deserve some time for fun and socializing.
Summertime is fun time, right? For most of us this is true, but if you’re newly sober you may actually be dreading the lazy days of summer. When you’re in recovery, much of your focus is on avoiding a relapse, but you need to make time for fun, too. You can have your summer fun while sober, and making time for activities that are enjoyable will actually support your sobriety and help prevent you from relapsing. If the old you spent warm summer nights partying and drinking, the new you will have to find better ways to enjoy the summer. Here are some ideas to get you started:
New findings from an American research group indicate that frequent drinking is motivated to a significant extent by positive expectations of the effects of alcohol use rather than negative expectations.
Alcohol consumption is heavily motivated by conscious or unconscious expectations of alcohol’s physical and mental effects. Some alcohol-related expectations are “positive” in nature, while others have a “negative” quality. In a study published in May 2015 in the journal Addiction, researchers from four U.S. institutions compared the influence of positive expectations on the behaviors of frequent drinkers to the influence of negative expectations. These researchers found that positive expectations play a critical role in the behaviors of frequent alcohol consumers, especially prior to drinking sessions and in the early stages of drinking sessions.
James Swanwick is an Australian-American investor, TV and podcast host, former SportsCenter anchor on ESPN, and Hollywood correspondent. He is the creator of the “30 Day No Alcohol Challenge” that teaches people how to quit alcohol for 30 days. James started a 30-day challenge in March 2010 and kept going. He hasn’t had a drink since. He has interviewed celebrities including Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and world leaders including U.S. Vice President Al Gore.
When you’re in a romantic relationship, it’s easy to get swept up in powerful emotions. The feeling of being in love is heady, even a bit intoxicating.
Most of us know “DUI” stands for “driving under the influence.” But the acronym has another meaning, one with consequences that rival the damage done when one gets behind the wheel impaired. Although dating under the influence doesn’t cause motor vehicle accidents, it certainly can run your personal life off the road.
Everyone wants to be sociable, to be seen as easy to get along with and be around, and to fit in. Unfortunately, in today’s society, that all too often means drinking alcoholic beverages — and drinking as much as peers do. Though it has become the norm and not the exception, social drinking has hidden costs, not the least of which is that it can lead to addiction.
If you are questioning your drinking, wondering if you’re an alcoholic and thinking of cutting back or getting help, let your children be your inspiration. The children of alcoholics grow up to face a number of emotional, social and psychological issues. Don’t think that the damage is done and that you may as well keep drinking. If you can stop now and get the professional help you need, you will be giving your children back a healthy and involved parent. And you will be teaching them an important lesson about strength and perseverance.