Effects of Binge Drinking

What are the Effects of Binge Drinking?

The effects of binge drinking are both physical and mental. Likewise, the effects of binge drinking are both short-term and long-term. In other words, when binge drinking, you have more to worry about than that hangover you are going to have the next day!

Binge drinking is when males drink five drinks or more in two hours, and females drink at least four drinks in two hours. Binge drinking puts your health and safety at risk. The liver can only break down about one drink in an hour. Therefore, binge drinking can be very dangerous and affect your body in extremely negative ways.

Short-Term Effects of Binge Drinking

Since the liver can only process about one drink per hour, any more than that will go straight into the blood system. When your blood alcohol content (BAC) increases, so will the effects on your body and brain. Many other factors also play a part in your blood alcohol content. How quickly you drink the alcoholic drinks and whether you have eaten affects your BAC. In fact, how much you have eaten during the day also has a bearing on the blood alcohol content.

Other short-term side effects of binge drinking may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blackouts
  • Falls and other injuries
  • Arrests and charges from driving under the influence of alcohol
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Unwanted pregnancies
  • Sexual assault

Even worse, binge drinking can also render fatal consequences such as alcohol poisoning, fatal car crashes, drownings, or criminal behaviors. Any number of things can go wrong in your life from only one night of binge drinking.

What are the Long-Term Effects of Binge Drinking?

Binge drinking as a regular habit can be a sign of alcohol use disorder (AUD). According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH), Problem drinking that becomes severe is given the medical diagnosis of “alcohol use disorder” or AUD.” Alcohol use disorder is indicated when a person has a compulsive alcohol use along with a loss of control over how much they drink.

Long-term effects of binge drinking may include:

  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Suppressed immune system
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Liver disease
  • Dementia
  • Anemia

If your binge drinking has developed into alcohol use disorder, you may give up typically enjoyed activities to drink instead or experience cravings when not drinking. Furthermore, you may have lost a job because of drinking alcohol. If binge drinking is now a pattern in your life, you more than likely are struggling with alcohol use disorder.

Help for Alcohol Use Disorder

If you have an alcohol use disorder or if you suspect that a loved one may be struggling with this, seek help at an inpatient addiction treatment facility.  Inpatient treatment will take you away from the temptation to use alcohol during your treatment because these facilities are alcohol-free and drug-free. You can focus on your counseling and treatment program without thinking about ways to obtain some alcohol.

At New Beginnings Rehab Center, if you need detoxification to remove the toxins from your body, you will have supervision around the clock as you go through the process. You will always have a staff member available should any medical issues arise. After detox, you will be ready to start your treatment program that we will design to fit your individual needs and preferences.

Contact one of our informed representatives at New Beginnings Rehab Center to learn more about our facility and the many treatment programs that we offer. They can answer any questions you may have. Contact us now!

 

Sources:

Niaaa.nih.gov – Alcohol Use Disorder

 

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Warning Signs of Overdose

Do You Know the Warning Signs of a Drug Overdose?

You may not think you’d ever be in a position to have to save someone from dying of a drug overdose.  But think about this. Last year, more than 70,230 people died from drug overdoses in the United States.  It’s possible that many of these deaths could have been prevented if someone had been familiar with the warning signs of overdose and knew how to react.  

Unfortunately, many overdoses occur when the individual is alone.  Or, it happens when others around the person are also high on drugs and unable to recognize the warning signs. With the overdose death rate increasing by more than 15% each year, it’s vital for us to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a drug overdose.  

Warning Signs of Overdose by Drug Type

Would you know if someone needs medical attention after taking too many drugs or drinking too much alcohol?  Is the person in danger, or do they need to sleep it off? How would you make that determination? First of all, it’s important to remember that everyone responds to substances differently.  Also, the warning signs of overdose may vary depending on the substance involved.  Here’s a breakdown of what to look for

Stimulants 

(Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, Vyvanse, Dexedrine)

  • Profuse sweating
  • Agitation
  • Elevated temperature
  • Hallucinations
  • Convulsions

CNS Depressants 

(Barbiturates, Opioids, Benzodiazepines)

  • Clammy or blue-tinged skin
  • Weak pulse
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma

Narcotics 

(Oxycodone, Codeine, Vicodin, Methadone, Lortab, Percocet, Dilaudid)

  • Cold, clammy, or blue-tinged skin
  • Lethargy, sleepiness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Shallow breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Convulsions
  • Coma

Hallucinogens

(LSD, DMT, PCP, Mescaline)

  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Delusions
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures

Inhalants

(Spray paint, glue, cleaning fluid, gasoline, paint thinner, nitrous oxide, etc.)

  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Disorientation
  • Choking
  • Hallucinations
  • Trouble breathing
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma

Alcohol Poisoning or Overdose

  • Confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Irregular breathing
  • Low body temperature
  • Blue-tinged skin
  • Vomiting
  • Stupor
  • Unconsciousness

This list gives you have an idea of what to look for. So, what do you need to do if you suspect someone has overdosed?

What Should You Do if Someone Has Overdosed?

As we mentioned above, don’t assume that the person will be okay if he or she could just sleep it off.  Also, it’s crucial that you don’t give them something to sober them up, such as coffee or other stimulants. Don’t induce vomiting or put them in a cold shower.  

The first thing you should do if you believe someone has overdosed is to call 911.  Stay with the person until medical help arrives. You should lie the person on their side and keep them warm.  Also, pay close attention to any symptoms that the medical team will need to know about.  

Fortunately, not all drug overdoses are deadly.  But, it’s always best to let professionals examine the person to be on the safe side.  

Prevent Overdose by Seeking Addiction Treatment

Another effective way to prevent overdose deaths is to convince the individual to get addiction treatment.  Far too many lives are lost each year due to drug-related causes. Take a look at these figures to see just how severe the problem has become.

From 1999 to 2017, the following drugs were involved in thousands of overdose deaths:

  • Opioids – 64,629 deaths
  • Heroin –  15,482 deaths
  • Psychostimulants – 10,333 deaths
  • Cocaine – 13,942 deaths
  • Benzodiazepines – 11,537 deaths
  • Antidepressants – 5,269

Alcohol is involved in more than 88,000 deaths every year.  Also, we haven’t included the number of overdose deaths from other drugs of abuse such as street drugs, club drugs, over-the-counter drugs.  The totals are almost too high to comprehend.

If you would like more information about the warning signs of overdose, or if you know someone who needs help for substance abuse, contact us now at our toll-free number.

Resources:
ncapda.org/education – Drug Overdose

cdc.gov – National Vital Statistics Report

nsc.org – International Drug Overdose Awareness Day

 

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Hate the Addiction, Not the Addict

Hate the Addiction, Not the Addict: Can We Change Our Perspective?

We’ve all heard the adage, “don’t shoot the messenger.”   It means that the bearer of bad news did not create the problem; he’s merely relaying the facts.  Maybe this logic can be applied before judging an addict as a hopeless loser. Can we try to think of an addict as a messenger?  He is relaying a message that something has happened that is out of his control. With this perspective, it’s possible we can learn to hate the addiction, not the addict.  

Learning to Hate the Addiction, Not the Addict

The amount of research and information available about the effects of drugs on the brain and body is astounding. Yet, millions of people still mistakenly believe that addicts lack the willpower or motivation to quit.  This outdated stigma prevents many addicts from seeking the professional help they need. Of course, we also have those who think the “tough love” approach to addiction is the best way to help. What do these individuals need to know that will help them hate the addiction, not the addict?  

Some facts that will help us treat addicts with empathy and compassion:

1. Addiction is a chronic disorder:

It hijacks a person’s brain. Drugs change the structure and function of the brain.  It interferes with decision-making, self-control, and response to pleasure or pain.  

2. The brain wants more:

Abused substances over-stimulate the production of dopamine in the reward center of the brain.  When the drug is withheld, dopamine drops and the brain produces withdrawal symptoms that force the person to seek more of the drug.  In many cases, withdrawals can be so severe they lead to seizures, coma, or death.

3. Drugs turn a person into a liar:

The effects of drugs are so powerful that the person loses interest in everything except getting their next fix.  Too often, addicts lie, steal, resort to prostitution, or become dealers themselves to fund their habit. Unwanted pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, STDs, and other health problems are a result of their desperation.

4. The initial drug use was a choice:

But, no one chooses to become an addict.  They mistakenly believed they could try it once and quit whenever they wanted. Unfortunately, addiction happens after one use with some drugs.  In some cases, a person uses drugs as a form of self-medication to help deal with depression or other issues.  When these disorders are combined with substance abuse, addiction is more likely to occur.

5. Addicts don’t have to “hit rock bottom” before they can get help.  

The earlier they enter treatment, the recovery process will be easier.  If you try to go the “tough love” route and leave it up to the addict to get help, they will likely continue with the substance use until overdose or death occurs.  You may need to enlist the services of a professional interventionist to convince your loved one to seek help.

6. Don’t be an enabler:  

Are you lying for the addict in your life?  You don’t want everyone to know what is going on, so you try to cover it up.  Do you make excuses for their substance use? Or, have you given the person money, paid their bills, or bailed them out of jail?  If so, you are preventing the person from suffering the consequences that might encourage them to seek treatment. You’re making it easy for the person to continue their behavior.

7. Relapse is common in recovery:

If your loved one goes through rehab and then relapses shortly after, don’t give up.  This doesn’t mean the rehab failed, and it doesn’t mean your loved one is a hopeless case.  He or she still needs your support and may need more time in rehab.

It’s important to point out that no matter how severe the addiction, the person’s core identity is still intact. This is why it is vital that we learn to hate the addiction, not the addict.  Your loved one is trapped in a body that is controlled by a force they can’t resist. But, with the right treatment program, these individuals can rediscover who they are and reach their full potential in a drug-free life.

You Can’t Fix Your Loved One’s Addiction Yourself

When a person becomes addicted, they aren’t the only one who suffers. Friends, family, employers, and the community also suffer the consequences of addiction.  As much as you may want to fix this situation, you can’t. Addiction recovery is a complex process that requires the perfect balance of detox, training, education, and counseling.  

Rehab programs are designed to provide a comprehensive curriculum that addresses all aspects of the addiction.  At New Beginnings Rehab Center, we understand the complexities of addiction and recovery and can offer your loved one a program designed for his or her specific needs.  Our counselors know how to hate the addiction, not the addict. Each of our clients is treated with ultimate respect and compassion at all times. Call now to learn more about how we can help.

Resources:

health.harvard.edu – What is Addiction?

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Prescription Painkiller Addiction

Who is to Blame for Prescription Painkiller Addiction?

“First, do no harm.”  These words are part of the Hippocratic Oath that all doctors take when they start practicing medicine. But when we look at the opioid epidemic in our country today, can we say that all doctors have practiced by this Hippocratic Oath? I don’t think so! Although physicians are not the only ones to take the blame for prescription painkiller addiction, there are some unethical doctors out there who do share a big part of the responsibility.

Prescribing Prescription Painkillers

Until the 1990s, opioid prescription painkillers were mostly used for post-surgical procedures, terminally ill patients, or severe injuries from accidents. However, over the last couple of decades, it seems that doctors prescribe these drugs for everything that resembles pain. So, who is to blame for prescription painkiller addiction?

Rates of opioid abuse and addiction have gone through the roof recently. Much of this can be attributed to the fact that overprescribing of these opioids has escalated to such a degree. A certain number of doctors prescribe these opioid painkillers when other medications which are not opioids would work just as well, if not better.

Effects of Prescription Painkillers

Prescription painkillers can make patients feel very relaxed at the same time as they are relieving pain. They can also make the patient feel euphoric or “high.” The “high” feeling that opioids give individuals is the reason that they are used non-medically by so many people. This type of use is extremely dangerous because opioids are highly addictive drugs.

Other than relieving pain and causing euphoria, opioids also have the following short-term effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • Slowed breathing
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Confusion

Overdosing on prescription opioids can cause coma, brain damage, or even death.

Does Part of the Blame for Prescription Painkiller Addiction go to Pharmaceutical Companies?

It seems that one of the biggest questions in the United States today is, “Should pharmaceutical companies take the blame for prescription painkiller addiction?”  Purdue Pharma is a pharmaceutical company that makes the drug OxyContin. This company and the family that owns it have been held responsible lately for many of the issues linked to the opioid epidemic.

Many of the lawsuits pending against Purdue right now allege that this company advertised OxyContin as not being as addictive as it is. People feel that Purdue carries most of the responsibility for the opioid epidemic and the overdoses that have come along with it. But, they are not the only ones to blame. There is enough blame to go around in this epidemic of opioid abuse and addiction.

Prescriptions Rise, and so do Prescription Opioid Addictions and Fatal Overdoses

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 1999 until late 2000, sales of prescription painkillers quadrupled! During this same time, overdose deaths from opioids almost quadrupled. The amount of money spent on marketing also had a link to the number of prescriptions written as well as the number of opioid overdoses.

Even today, many people are losing their lives to opioid addiction. Prescriptions may have decreased since a decade ago, but the problem of opioid addiction has not. So, who is to blame for prescription painkiller addiction? The blame can’t fall in just one place. Ignorance has a big part to play in this epidemic that we continue to fight.

Seek Help for Addiction to Prescription Painkillers

You may be struggling with an addiction to opioids and think there is no help for you. Reach out for help from a reputable drug addiction rehabilitation center. You too can overcome addiction and return to a life of happiness and health. Make that call today!

Resources:

drugabuse.gov – Prescription Opioid

cdc.gov – Vital Signs: Overdoses of Prescription Opioid Pain Relievers — United States, 1999–2008

 

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Prescription Stimulant Use

Can Prescription Stimulant Use Lead to Addiction?

Everyone knows that prescription painkiller use can lead to addiction, but what about prescription stimulant use? Can this lead to addiction also? The answer is yes! Even if you take prescription stimulants as the physician prescribes them, it can lead to abuse which leads to addiction. Long-term use of stimulants, just like any other drug, causes you to build up a tolerance to the drug. Once this happens, you need more of the drug to have the same effect as previously.

When do Doctors Recommend Prescription Stimulant Use?

Normally, a doctor will recommend prescription stimulant use for patients who have ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or perhaps narcolepsy (a sleep disorder). Some of the commonly prescribed stimulants are Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, and Dexedrine. These drugs increase energy and help patients concentrate, focus, and become more alert.

Some of the short-term effects of prescription stimulants are:

  • Increased breathing
  • Opening of breathing passages
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Decreased blood flow

People who use prescription stimulants also report feeling euphoria when taking this drug. After all, euphoria is the “rush” that many drug abusers speak about.

Prescription Stimulant Abuse and Misuse

Prescription stimulants come in the forms of capsules, liquid, or tablets. Abuse or misuse of these drugs means that you take them in a way other than which your physician prescribes them for you. You may take someone else’s prescription. Of course, this is abusing drugs.  Additionally,  you might be taking stimulants for the sole purpose of getting “high,” and not for medical reasons at all. This, too, is the misuse of stimulants.

Taking prescription stimulants in large quantities can cause dangerous effects such as:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Extremely high body temperatures
  • Seizures
  • Heart failure

If a person repeatedly misuses or abuses prescription stimulants, you may see these effects:

  • An increased sense of self-confidence
  • Increased talkativeness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Showing feelings of euphoria

Prescription stimulant use can lead to dependence and addiction. Furthermore, abusing prescription stimulants can be dangerous and even deadly.

Can Prescription Stimulant Use Result in an Overdose?

Yes, people can overdose on prescription stimulants. When a person overdoses on prescription stimulants, they usually experience restlessness and overactive reflexes. In addition, they may also have hallucinations, tremors, and rapid breathing. Furthermore, they may have an irregular heartbeat which can lead to a heart attack.

An overdose can also result in seizures, a coma, and even fatal poisoning. The most important thing to do if you think someone is experiencing these symptoms is to call 911 so that the person can get immediate medical attention. The fact is that emergency room doctors or first responders will be better equipped to take care of a heart attack or respiratory distress.

Help for Addiction to Prescription Stimulants

Yes, prescription stimulant use can develop into an addiction. If you are at a point where you are failing to take care of responsibilities at home, work, or at school, you need to seek help. You can get professional treatment for addiction to prescription stimulants (or any other drug) at an inpatient addiction rehab facility.

Contact one of our informed representatives at New Beginnings Rehabilitation to learn about the different treatment programs that we offer. Moreover, we do not use a one-size-fits-all program for each of our clients. We will design a treatment plan for your specific needs and preferences. Contact one of our representatives today. They can answer any questions you may have about our facility and our treatment programs.

Resources:

drugabuse.gov – Prescription Stimulants

 

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Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder

What Are the Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder?

Is alcoholism the same thing as alcohol use disorder?  Yes, alcoholism and alcohol use disorder is the same thing. For example, if a person drinks to avoid problems or deal with stressors, that is a sign of alcohol use disorder. Whereas, if they drink for the usual reasons such as celebrations or to socialize, it could be fine for them. Drinking in excess is another of the signs of alcohol use disorder.

What is Alcohol Use Disorder?

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA),

Problem drinking that becomes severe is given the medical diagnosis of “alcohol use disorder” or AUD.  AUD is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using.”

Alcohol Use Disorder can range from mild to severe, depending on your symptoms. The signs of Alcohol Use Disorder can include:

  • Not being able to control the amount of alcohol that you drink
  • Experiencing intense cravings to drink alcohol
  • Attempting to cut down on alcohol consumption and being unsuccessful
  • Spending much of your time drinking or recovering from drinking alcohol
  • Using alcohol in unsafe surroundings such as driving or water activities
  • Continuing to drink alcohol even though it’s causing relationship or work problems
  • Experiencing memory blackouts from drinking too much
  • Stopping activities that you once enjoyed so you can drink alcohol instead

If you have problems functioning in your daily life, such as marital or relationship problems, then drinking is an issue. Also, have you noticed having problems taking care of home and family responsibilities? Also, trouble with your job because of alcohol is a big red flag that you need help.

Physical Dependence on Alcohol

Individuals who have shown signs of alcohol use disorder for an extended period will develop a tolerance to the substance. Of course, tolerance means that it will take much more of it for the person to feel the same effects.

Once a person develops a physical dependence on alcohol, if they discontinue drinking or sometimes, even when they try to cut back on the amount they drink, they will experience withdrawal symptoms. Some of the withdrawal symptoms can include but are not limited to:

  • Headache
  • Shaking hands
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety and nervousness

These are the milder withdrawal symptoms, however.

Severe Withdrawal Symptoms from Alcohol Abstinence

Heavy drinkers or people who have been drinking for an extended period might endure more severe withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms might include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Disorientation
  • Seizures
  • High fever and excessive sweating
  • Tremors
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium Tremens (DTs)

These withdrawal symptoms can not only be dangerous, but they can also be life-threatening. For this reason, any person who is trying to stop drinking alcohol completely should never attempt to go through these withdrawal symptoms alone without professional medical help.

Seek Help if You Show the Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder

There is professional help available for anyone who has the signs of an alcohol use disorder, no matter if they are mild or severe. Even mild alcohol problems can develop into something much more severe. Therefore, there is no reason to wait for your alcohol use disorder to worsen.

A reputable addiction treatment rehab facility can assist you with detoxification. Detox is the process of removing all of the toxins from alcohol or other substances from your system. After detox is complete, you will be ready to receive a treatment program. Then, with counseling and therapy, you will begin on the road to recovery from alcohol use disorder.

Contact New Beginnings Rehab Center

We can design a treatment program, along with your input, to fit your individual needs and preferences that will put you on the road to recovery. Contact one of our informed representatives today to learn more about the different programs that we offer at New Beginnings Rehab Center.

You can start a new life of sobriety with freedom from the problems that accompany alcohol use disorder. Don’t waste any more of your time and happiness on addiction. Contact us now.

 

Resources:

niaaa.nih.gov – Alcohol Use Disorder

mayoclinic.org – Alcohol Use Disorder

webmd.com – What is Alcohol Withdrawal

 

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