How To Care For An Addict: Difficulties and Solutions In A Nutshell

Addiction is so pervasive that it is practically present at every turn. In the United States alone, one in every 12 adults suffers from some form of alcoholism. A more significant issue is that alcoholism is just one form of substance abuse, one head in the Hydra.  Sooner or later, there is a good chance that you will find yourself caring for an addict in your lifetime. It could be a partner or spouse, a parent, a sibling, a child, or a friend. Or it could end up being you.

addictionIf there is an addict in your care, you may feel like banging your head against a brick wall most of the time. You are told time and again that your influence is essential to your loved one’s recovery—but you also are repeatedly informed that “only the addict can cure themselves, you are just a support system.”

On a day-to-day basis, this contradiction frequently manifests as drama and abuse, lies and manipulation, violations of boundaries, and sometimes even the loss of your integrity and self-respect.

How can you address these common difficulties? Read on to find out what you can (and cannot) change when caring for an addict. In some cases, you can help the addict, but in others, you can only help yourself.

Problem: You can’t make them quit.

Solution: The only solution to this gut-wrenching difficulty is acceptance. Acceptance is the first step you should take if you want to effectively help an addict, regardless of how far in the addiction process they are.

As the old saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.” This statement rings especially true in scenarios dealing with addiction. You can help pave the road to recovery, but it is up to the addict to walk that path alone. It’s also important to understand that there is no single, straight path to recovery.  For every person who does get better, the journey, like the person, is unique.

Once you accept this truth, you can let go of some frustration that bubbles up from the pursuit of what seems like a hopeless goal, and refocus your efforts on being supportive in the efficient ways that you are able.

Problem: The addict does not respect your boundaries.

Solution: This is another area where you need to accept a painful reality. If the addict is not already on their way through full recovery, he or she will never respect your boundaries in most cases. This arises because the addict’s priority is always the drug, and that preference overrides everything else.

So, what can you do about it?  Clarify to yourself and the addict what your boundaries are. Become very assertive and firm in protecting those limits.  All too often, we are the ones who do not respect our own boundaries.  Learn how to say “no” when you mean “no,” and make sure there are consequences when your wishes are not respected, and your boundaries are crossed.

Problem: When you try to help, you end up enabling.

Solution: Often, an addict may ask you for favors: watching their kids, giving them money to spend, doing their errands, etc. Watching someone you care for struggle with health and wealth isn’t easy, so it is quite difficult to say no. Many of us have found ourselves in awkward situations resulting from these favors.

All too often, this event turns into enabling. How do you know where to draw the line? Try to figure out what the addict is doing with the “help” you are providing. If you are running errands because your loved one is strung out, congratulations, that is enabling. If you are doing it because he or she needs to get to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, then congratulations, you are helpful and forthright with assisting in overcoming their addiction.

Problem: Your addicted loved one is adept at manipulating you.

Solution: The trick here is to keep your loved one’s real number-one priority in mind always: the addiction. The invisible monster. Your emotions are not relevant to an addict trying to get a fix, so you too must learn to set them aside. Take a hard, rational look at what is going on, and make decisions logically, not emotionally. Your priority should be the addict’s recovery, not your emotional comfort, or the comfort of your loved ones.  Fighting addiction is stressful and often painful, and that too is something you must learn to accept.

Problem: The addict is scared to ask you for help or does not communicate with you.

Solution: There are a lot of reasons why this can happen.  While your addicted family member or friend may be responsible for some of them, you too may be a source of communication problems.  Blaming and judging is never helpful. Shame helps no one. Indeed, researchers believe that a lack of social support, trust, and connection plays a significant role in the advancement of substance abuse and addiction.

Keep the channels of communication open, and make sure that you are confident and constructive. Remember that the addition itself should not define the person suffering the addiction. If you are struggling to establish a healthy dialogue, or the addict still feels he or she cannot talk to you, attending meetings both separately and together may help.

Problem: You are having a hard time gauging whether the addict is progressing with treatment or not, and thus cannot provide appropriate feedback.

Solution: You are not a mind reader. Nobody expects you to be. There are going to be times when you think the person you care for is doing better when they are in fact doing worse—and vice versa. This can lead you to give the wrong feedback at improper moments, exacerbating problems, and ultimately destroying trust.

A good solution is to create a system for accountability. Talk to your loved one and find out what he or she is doing to get back on the wagon or stay on the road to recovery. This will help you monitor his or her behavior and look for definite signs of improvement or degradation.

Problem: Dealing with the addict is an isolating experience.

Solution: Many times, you are the one who is going to need a stable channel for support. During such times, it can be constructive to join a support group or to speak with a licensed and professional therapist. There is a whole community out there ready to lend assistance. There is no need to go it alone.

As you can see, there are severe limitations in what you can and cannot do to care for a loved one who is an addict.  Like the addict, you too must learn to accept that some things are out of your control.  By doing so, you recognize those things which you can control. This allows you to provide as much help to your loved one as possible while still protecting your well-being.

Aftereffect of Alcoholism: Alcoholic Neuropathy | West Palm Beach

Many suffer from alcoholism. It’s considered a behavioral disorder that affects both the victim and the people around them. It starts off when people use alcohol as a coping mechanism. It then changes the person’s behavior, isolating themselves from their loved ones.

Then, after long term abuse comes the physical damages. Among them is neuropathy.

What is Alcoholic Neuropathy?

Simply put, it’s damage to the nerves of your arms and legs, due to too much alcohol use. The nerves commonly affected are the peripheral nerves. Their job is to transmit signals to the spine and back. When alcohol consumption damages these nerves, signals can get distorted or missent, causing numbness and tingling.

The damage happens when alcohol affects the nutrients your nerves need. Vitamins such as vitamin B6, B12, folate, and thiamine are essential to nerve health. Lack of these can cause neuropathy. Fortunately, quitting alcohol can help prevent further damage, but sadly, nerve damage is almost always permanent.

Symptoms of Alcoholic Neuropathy

The first symptom is the tingling feeling in the limbs. Though tingling is also one of the symptoms of diabetes, it can be differentiated and confirmed with the following symptoms.

Visit the nearest addiction treatment center in your area to learn more about alcoholism.

Effects on the peripherals (arms and legs)

  • Noticeable muscle weakness
  • Burning and tingling sensations
  • Noticeable loss of muscle coordination
  • Prickly sensations similar to “pins and needles”
  • Noticeable decrease in muscle mass

Effects on your excretory system:

  • Constipation
  • Incontinence
  • Occasional Diarrhea
  • Loss of urinary control
  • Getting the sensation that the bladder is not fully empty

Other symptoms can also include:

  • Impotence
  • Impaired or slurred speech
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Temperature intolerance

Though the effects of neuropathy rarely fatal, it can impede your quality of life. There are therapies that can help ease the symptoms. Ultimately, prevention is better than cure.

How to Diagnose Alcohol Neuropathy

Even if you know the symptoms, there could still be other explanations like diabetes and other nerve diseases. The only way to confirm alcohol neuropathy is to consult your doctor. With that, they will perform a wide number of tests, some of which are:

  • Complete Neurological Examination
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  • Electromyography
  • Nerve Conduction Tests
  • Liver, Kidney, and Thyroid tests
  • Upper GI and Small Bowel Tests

Part of the blood tests also includes a full vitamin workup. They will check if you’re missing essential vitamins needed to maintain nerve health.

Alcoholic Neuropathy Treatment

If prevention was not enough and the neuropathy has started, it’s not all too late. Consult your doctor and they may provide the following treatments to manage the symptoms.

  • Physical therapy to combat muscle atrophy
  • Gears and equipment to manage peripheral stability
  • Medication for loss of urinary control
  • Pain relievers, anti depressants, and anticonvulsants

There’s also rehabilitation treatments and detox to counter alcoholism. The treatment for it is two-pronged. They will attempt to manage or treat the symptoms while dealing with the source.

How to Prevent Alcoholic Neuropathy

If you believe you’re on the road to becoming an alcoholic, here are some tips you should know.

    • Limit your alcohol consumption.
    • If you already have symptoms, stop ASAP.
    • Seek help if you can’t manage your alcohol intake
    • Eat healthily and exercise

For more info on alcoholism, check out this playlist.

Alcoholism: Signs and Portents

Alcoholism is the same as any other drug addiction. It’s ill effects on your life, livelihood and other people are similar to drug abuse. It is, however, not as profound as say, addiction to heroin, but that very fact makes it hard to diagnose.

An alcoholic wouldn’t normally go to a doctor. One of the first reactions of alcoholics is denial. How do you know if someone is an alcoholic? Do you have a loved one you’re deeply concerned about? Are you concerned about your own alcohol intake?

Being concerned is a very good step. It means you know something’s wrong. Most people in denial will attempt to justify their activities and pass them off as “regular.” Alcoholism is a problem best treated as early as possible.

Defining Alcoholism and an Alcoholic

Simply put, Alcoholism is a dependency to alcohol. The ill effects come when an alcoholic does everything they can, including violence, to get their dose. It is, therefore, an illness. Alcoholism is a long-term disease, one that can take an equally long time to recover from.

An alcoholic is someone who suffers from alcohol use disorder. The term is used more correctly, as the person who suffers is a victim. He or she may be the one pouring the drinks, but that doesn’t mean he or she has control. Alcoholics tend to have no control over their urges. Alcohol has as much a grip on them as their grip on the bottle.

What Causes Alcoholism?

Alcohol dependence happens over a long period of time. It could take years before the dependency sinks in. Sadly, some people are more affected by it than others. In some cases, the dependency is deceptively hidden, only revealed when it’s too late. Understanding the causes can help you determine the possible hidden symptoms.

The following are some factors that aid to alcoholism:

  • Starting Age: Let’s face it, young teenagers drink. This is due to the alcohol’s role as a stress reliever and experience enhancer. When the mind gets used to this, it gets hard-grained upon adulthood.
  • Ease of Access: Access to cheap alcohol and weak law enforcement encourages alcoholism. The easier it is to get alcohol, the more likely it’s used.
  • Stress and Depression: Common in present times. Inebriation acts as a gateway from stress and depression, leaving them for another time.
  • Media Advertising: Though not really a direct cause, alcohol is often presented in glamorous, refined and enjoyable ways. This can bring about the wrong impressions to potential alcoholics.

Symptoms of Alcoholism

If you encounter some of the following symptoms, with an understanding of how it starts, you may be able to determine if someone is an alcoholic.

Though the symptoms are in general, they are constant.

  • Increased amount of alcohol consumption due to tolerance
  • Withdrawal Symptoms when not consuming alcohol
  • Increased rate and severity of hangovers
  • Reduced interests on things they usually do
  • Reduced attention to responsibilities
  • Irritability/Rage when their “ritual” is not followed
  • Having “stashes” of alcohol in unusual places

With the full understanding of the causes and symptoms, you should be able to determine if you or someone has an alcohol use disorder.

Check out this playlist for more information.

Carefirst Coverage for Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation | Miami FL

One of the top reasons why people can’t get proper healthcare, is the expenses. Is rehabilitation more expensive than continuing the addiction? Short-term answer, yes. Rehabilitation can cost around $10,000 and can go as high as $50,000, but there’s something else to consider: your health.

Health is Wealth, and the long-term answer is no. The amount someone spends on their addiction will chip their pockets and their health. By the time they’ve spent as much as rehab costs, it might already be too late. If rehab is so expensive, how can people get the help they need?

Following the Affordable Care Act, Carefirst’s plans cover alcohol and drug rehabilitation. The amount they cover depends on the patient’s plan, but it’s still better than paying the full amount.

Visit your trusted rehab center in your area for more information.

What Rehabilitation Treatments Does Carefirst Cover?

Treatments are classified into two: inpatient and outpatient care. Inpatient care is more expensive but is more effective against debilitating addiction. Outpatient care is more fit for the busy individual who needs to both manage their life and addiction.

Carefirst covers the following inpatient programs.

  • Inpatient Detoxification Programs
  • Rehabilitation Services from Acute Hospitals
  • Residential Inpatient Programs
  • All related medical and non-medical expenses

Depending on the facilities around your area, you can avail luxury rehab centers. The coverage will still depend on your plan, so check your manual, or contact Carefirst’s support hotline for information.

For outpatient programs, Carefirst covers the following:

  • Partial Hospitalization Program
  • Diagnosis and Medication for Substance Abuse Therapy
  • Physician and specialist visits and consultation
  • Methadone Treatment
  • Therapy for Behavioral and Emotional Disorders.

How do I start?

If you’re already a member, the first thing you do is see a doctor. If you don’t know where to find a proper one, Carefirst as a directory of providers to help. They will pinpoint a specialist that can give you a proper diagnosis and recommend a treatment. Once you have your recommendation, refer to Carefirst’s plans and see how much they cover.

Duration of Coverage

Most common rehabilitation programs last 30 to 90 days. Extensions are made depending on your physician’s advice. If you’ll need an extension, you’ll need Carefirst to pre-approve it first.

Coverage Levels

Carefirst has “metal levels” for its coverage. Your level will differ from your plan and tenure and the amount the company covers is dependent on the level.

The general amount they cover are as follows:

  • Platinum: Carefirst covers 90% of the costs with 10% copay. (Washington D.C. only)
  • Gold: Carefirst covers 80% of the costs with 20% copay
  • Silver: Carefirst covers 70% of the costs with 30% copay
  • Bronze: Carefirst covers 60% of the costs with 40% copay

Now that insurance companies can finance rehabilitation, it’s not anymore an excuse not to get help. If you know someone who needs rehabilitation, don’t hesitate to call their insurance. Healthcare providers can arrange interventions for them, so make sure you show your support. Health is wealth. Your health will serve you far longer than your wealth can so take it upon yourself to get insured.

Check out this playlist to learn more.

Alcoholism: When to Get Help

Alcohol is a part of human living. It’s used as fuel, antiseptic, solvent, and most popularly, a beverage. People line up bars to relax and kill their stresses away with a  good swig. The problem lies on when this swigging becomes a problem. How can you tell if you’re an alcoholic?

Can you call a man who binge drinks, an alcoholic? Is it any different from say, a woman who has a nightly martini? There are many people who drink alcohol as a part of their lives. Some of them do so to “function” well, especially in social cases. There’s a lot of scenarios to muddy the waters of distinction.

What is Alcoholism?

The first step to finding out is to understand it. By definition, alcoholism is the excessive and compulsive use of alcoholic drinks. This ropes in binge drinkers and those who drink to get drunk ASAP. The intentional act of poisoning one’s self with alcohol is another definition. But that means everyone who’s had a good time at the bar’s an alcoholic, right?

Yet another definition is “a chronic disorder marked by excessive and usually compulsive drinking of alcohol. Which then leads to psychological and physical dependence or addiction.”

The word dependence comes into play. This is where you start thinking if you’re an alcoholic. You first ask the question, “Am I dependent on alcohol?”

That in itself is not a simple question to answer. You could say you are, but you could argue that you depend on it to talk to people or dance on the dance floor.

The Negative Effects of Alcoholism

To fully answer the question, “Am I an Alcoholic?” you must consider the bad things. It’s when dependence and these ‘bad things’ merge that alcoholism occurs. In many cases, people will deny that they are alcoholic, sometimes they’re right. But if you or anyone can relate to the following, consider seeking help.

Signs of an Alcoholic:

  • You’re unable to limit how much you can drink
  • You experience memory blackouts (after a drinking session)
  • You’re losing interests in your other hobbies
  • You feel anxious and irritable when you don’t get your drink in a timely manner
  • You sweat, shake and feel nauseous after a day of not drinking
  • You tend to drink more than usual to feel that “buzz”

Those are the effects on you. If you still find it difficult to clearly answer the question, consider the effects to other people:

  • Your relationships are undermined
  • Your family is showing constant concern
  • Your work is undermined
  • You have issues with the law due to drinking
  • Law enforcement have issues with your drinking

The symptoms and signs you feel, combined with how the people around you act, should help. One thing about alcoholism is, that when you finally realize that you’re an alcoholic, you’re already in hot water. The good news? It’s never too late to seek help. Speak to your loved ones and your doctor. If you can’t stop it, they can help you.

Click on the playlist below for more alcohol addiction information.

Is Alcoholism A Disease | Okeechobee

In the last few years of the 19th century and the first few of the 20th century, society viewed addicts as committing a moral wrong and are often shunned as bad people or sinners. A lot of physicians, because of this, fought to change the misconceptions of society to help addicts instead of shaming and punishing them.

  • In 1930, the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was started and a publication by the noted psychiatrist and the Director of the Center of Alcohol Studies at Yale Medical School E.M. Jellinek started a new definition to alcoholism.
  • The new definition revealed that alcoholism is a medical disease.
  • Jellinek became the father of the disease theory model of alcoholism.

According to Jellinek, the theory carried stages that drinkers pass through before becoming alcoholics and addicts. These are:

The Pre-Alcoholic Phase:

The phase is characterized by drinking socially. Some drinkers can develop a tolerance for the substance and begin to drink to feel better or to relieve stress.

The Prodromal Phase Or Early-Alcoholic Stage:

Blackouts start to happen and the drinker will begin the sessions secretly or all by himself. The person thinks a lot about alcohol and the tolerance progresses.

The Crucial Phase:

The cycle of drinking that cannot be controlled anymore, often during inappropriate times. Problems start to manifest in the drinker’s daily life as well as in his relationships. Also, physical changes in the brain and body become evident.

The Chronic phase:

The phase is primarily characterized by drinking alcohol daily. Drinking becomes the main focus of the drinker’s life. The drinker starts to experience cravings, more health problems, abuse issues, and withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol functions as a depressant on your central nervous system.

As the alcohol molecules are particularly small, it affects several parts of your brain and body altogether. Alcohol tends to change your brain chemistry at first increasing the neurotransmitters driving the pleasure centers of the brain, but with chronic abuse, it deteriorates the pleasure centers. As alcohol tolerance increases, you could be taking in increasing amounts of alcohol to gain the full effects of previous uses further damaging your body and brain.

As society begins to understand that alcoholism is a medical disease, not a mere deviant behavior, medical treatment becomes more accessible.

A lot of medical facilities and insurance carriers now recognize addiction as a malady requiring treatment. The term disease also implies chronic illness while giving hope for treatment. The term also implies that alcoholism, as with other diseases, can lead to a relapse that you should not be ashamed of.

The New York Times even revealed that 80-90% of those getting treatment for dependency can relapse at a certain point. Also, the initial disease model reveals that alcoholism is irreversible and incurable and that abstinence is the only answer to recovery.

Detox of South Florida is committed to providing educational articles to help those who are struggling with addiction, to make the change to living an addiction free life.

Get help from the best rehab clinic in your area.

For more info, click on the playlist.

Alcoholism Symptoms: Are You Into Alcohol Dependency Or Alcohol Abuse?

Alcoholism can impact people in many ways. There are those who can drink a glass of wine with their food and even drink in moderation during social settings without causing harm on their bodies. Too much or too often consumption of alcohol as well as the inability of the drinker to control his consumption are often signs of a bigger problem.

There are individuals that have the tendency to develop alcoholism or alcohol dependency and alcohol abuse. Often used interchangeably, these terms are actually a lot different.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers moderate drinking as having one or lesser drinks a day for women and 2 or lesser drinks a day for men.
  • Those who abuse alcohol usually drink copious amounts in social events or show risky behavior and poor judgment.
  • Alcoholics generally feel that they need alcohol just to live each day.

It really is not easy to become objective when trying to figure out your or your loved one’s problem with drinking as emotions can run high. A lot of rationalizations, as well as denials, can lead to confusions. Therefore, it would appear difficult to draw the line between acceptable and too much.

The boundaries could be fuzzy. The issues you may have with drinking can further be classified into alcohol dependence and problem drinking, but the latter is not a full-fledged addiction to the substance. However, their drinking could begin to affect their daily lives and put them at risk of becoming dependents later on.

So while technically some of the warning signs of the disease are the same as problem drinking, there is a lot of overlap. Take a look at the 10 important red flags to watch out for:

Hiding your drinking or lying about doing it.

One common thing that people who have problems with alcohol have is denial. Both alcoholics and problem drinkers often resort to drinking in secret or else lying about the amount of alcohol they consumed and making it seem like a trivial matter. It may not be easy to spot this person due to the very nature of it, but denial is seen as an important sign that there is an underlying problem that needs to be addressed.

Drinking to feel better or to relax.

Most of those who struggle with addiction, abuse addictive substances due to emotional reasons; most of the time could be stress, anxiety, or depression. Alcohol is often used to ease the negative feelings of an individual; however, this can be risky as alcohol can only provide temporary relief and may make things worse over time. So if you find yourself drinking more alcohol after a stressful day at work or when you feel like drinking to really relax then that is a sign that you are consuming alcohol as your emotional crutch.

Regularly “blacking out.”

Drinking too much of alcohol that you can no longer remember what happened when you were drunk is another sign that you have a problem with alcohol. This means that you have drunk too much. Next time around you have to ask yourself why you are drinking excessively. Then, remember that you do not have to black out just to have fun.

Inability to stop once you’ve started.

You always have to finish that bottle of wine when you open it or drink all of the beer you can find in your house. This is a tell-tale sign that you are no longer in control of your drinking and that you could have a problem with alcoholism.

Drinking in situations that may be dangerous after.

You drink when and where you should not be like before going to work or driving somewhere. You could also be going against doctor’s orders not to consume alcohol when on medication. Although nothing may go wrong just yet, each time you think of doing something similar, you run the risk of getting more complicated consequences each time.

Neglecting responsibilities.

You are now having problems in school, at work, or at home. Alcohol has already crossed the line from occasional indulgence to a problem with drinking that seriously affects your everyday functioning.

Showing problems in relationships.

If you find that your drinking is already causing issues with you and your friends, significant other, and family, then that means you have a problem with drinking.

Drinking a lot more than you previously did.

Another tell-tale sign of an addiction developing is tolerance. You may find that you have to increase your consumption to feel any effects of the substance. This is also a strong indicator that you are already becoming an alcoholic. Your body becomes exposed to the substance regularly that it is already able to cope with its existence inside your system more easily.

Withdrawal symptoms start to show.

Different from your usual hangover, your body now reacts to the lack of alcohol instead of too much of it. You are often tired, irritable, nauseous, anxious, or depressed when you cannot drink. Other withdrawal symptoms include losing your appetite, experiencing trembling or shakiness and having trouble sleeping.

Trying but unable to quit.

You may have already realized your problem with drinking in the past and have already decided to change. Later you may notice that you have become unsuccessful in your attempts. Quitting alcohol shows that you understand alcohol’s impact in your life but you are also able to recognize that since you are unable to quit by yourself, you could be struggling with an addiction to alcohol.

You should know that experiencing one of the aforementioned signs does not immediately mean that you are an alcoholic or a problem drinker. However, if you experience several of them, it is highly possible that your consumption of alcohol has reached way beyond its limits. It could be difficult but you should know that it is possible to seek treatment and recover from this medical condition just as with any other disease.

Get help at Detox of South Florida. We care about your sobriety and living the life you have wanted.

This playlist will give you more information on the best addiction center that can help you.

 

 

 

High-Functioning Alcoholic: The Issues Will Come Out Eventually

Most of the time, the world “alcohol” paints a picture of a person whose life is in complete disarray because of drinking too much. However, not all alcoholics may be categorized into such a stereotype. There is, in fact, another kind of alcoholic known as high-functioning alcoholics.

  • High-functioning alcoholics often appear to have everything going smooth sailing.
  • They may be drinking copious amounts of alcohol, but they simultaneously excel in their work and academics and also have good relationships with their family and friends.
  • Often, their success works against them by making them believe that their drinking is under control.
  • However, after a few months or years, the alcoholism can catch up with them.

It may be very challenging to deal with high-functioning alcoholics.

Often, they are in deep denial concerning their problems with alcohol. After all, they were able to manage an appearance of success despite their impending addiction. Also, many high-functioning alcoholics have loved ones who act like their accomplices by covering up for the consequences of their habits. These people unconsciously enable or encourage the behavior of their alcoholic friend by allowing him to continuously be destructive.

A high-functioning alcoholic is often educated and middle-aged, possibly married with a good family and has a successful career.

Contrary to the stigma of a lonely, desolate and destitute alcoholic, family members and friends may not be able to recognize that a drinking problem even exists.

All day these high-functioning alcoholics stay productive by going to work, going to the gym, and then go home and slug two bottles of wine or other liquor in excess. Often, family members consider this as their normal behavior since the person is still keeping up with his obligations.

High-functioning alcoholics may not be drinking every single day but they may engage in several episodes of heavy drinking or binging every few days. High-functioning alcoholics may not recognize their drinking problem. It is what leads to a double life separating personal and professional life with drinking life.

Although it may seem that this person has his life in order and on the surface does not appear to suffer from alcohol use disorder, high-functioning alcoholics are likely to have developed a tolerance to alcohol. Hence, the need to take in more amount each time just to get drunk.

Other warning signs you should watch out for are:

  • The inability to stick to limits on their drinking successfully.
  • The need to drink alcohol to relax or relieve stress.
  • Frequently jokes about alcoholism or alcohol use.
  • Engaging in hazardous behaviors when drinking such as driving under the influence or going for risky sexual encounters.
  • Show periods of sobriety with restlessness, mood swings, agitation, and irritability.
  • Justifies the drinking as a form of reward.
  • Drinking in secret or by oneself.
  • Periodic blackouts and memory lapses

Also, the person may go through withdrawal symptoms and feel hungover when they remove drinking alcohol from their habits. Many highly functional alcoholics are able to train themselves to be able to function normally despite the negative effects of alcohol on their body. This will also be made possible with the help of addiction treatment center.

Often, the signs of addiction are the loss of productivity in school or at work and the inability to fulfill work and family obligations consistently. However, a highly-functional alcoholic may not show similar signs. Over time, alcohol affects the brain negatively eventually making the person non-functional. As such, it may get more difficult to get tasks done through time.

Detox of South Florida is committed to providing educational articles to help those who are struggling with addiction, to make the change to living an addiction free life.

Check out the playlist below to see more info.

 

Good Alcoholic Drinks: A Big NO! For Recovering Alcoholics, Ever

If you think that quitting on alcohol is like a sprint, it is not; it is like a marathon. After a long time of sobriety, it could appear as if you can begin drinking alcohol socially once more. It may not seem like a problem to have a beer or a couple more with your friends; however, if you have been an alcoholic before, a single drink can be equivalent to losing all the years of progress you have been making to maintain a sober life.

Should an alcoholic be drinking again after they have gained sobriety?

NO, regardless of whether it is good alcoholic drinks or not. Remember that it took you a very long time to recover from alcoholism and it is only wise to completely avoid alcohol.

Studies show that a single drink may lead you back to the path of more and more drinking, once again.

It could be quite tempting to drink alcohol as you see others successfully able to drink alcohol in moderation. Then you think to yourself that since you have proven that you can quit drinking, then a single drink cannot possibly do you any harm, right? Unfortunately, those who have a history of alcoholism cannot and should not have the liberty to drink, even in moderation.

When can recovering alcoholics drink after getting treatment?

A lot of recovering alcoholics often think about, why are medical professionals advising them to avoid alcohol completely? It is not that gulping a single drink with alcohol can hurt you, but that a single drink more often than not leads to a second, then a third. Before you know it, you have already fallen into the alcoholism trap once more. It will be easier to drink once again; however, this is completely opposite of what you have been trying to work hard for – your sobriety – so, it is not worth taking the risk at all.

Research also reveals that abstinence from alcohol may be the best thing to do to avoid falling into a relapse. Although you should not be ashamed if you relapse as it happens to a lot of individuals, you should do best to avoid that from happening to you. The chances of you suffering a relapse are close to zero if you do not indulge at all.

Should a recovering alcoholic be allowed to drink once more?

Some people oppose the idea of not permitting recovering alcoholics to drink again. They believe that the approach to abstinence is not realistic; instead, it becomes a punishment to those suffering from the disease. Such people claim that abstinence can create a stigma on the recovering alcoholic as most will stand out at social events. There is a certain truth in the claim as it could be very difficult to explain your situation to others and why you are not drinking; however, when you think of your sobriety being at stake, you will be able to overcome those challenges.

You can relapse to problem drinking any time you take in one or two drinks socially that’s likely to become 8 or 9. When you finally realize that you really can’t moderate your drinking, your old habits may have sunk in already. Again your social, work and personal relationships suffer and you experience the negative impact of alcohol on your health. Once more, you will have to restart your path to recovery.

Check out this video from Detox of South Florida for more information and resources.

 

Alcoholism in Movies: How Hollywood Depicts the Harsh Realities of the Condition

Hollywood movies may be fictional, but the lessons behind their stories offer insights on things that happen in reality. Sometimes, these messages have an effect on the public’s perception toward important topics.

Let’s take alcoholism for example. The use of alcohol is regularly portrayed in various films of all genres. Because of this, many viewers are led to believe that drinking is “cool”. They may even be inspired to try it for themselves, just to see what those fictional characters are raving about. Young adults and teenagers are much more susceptible to these messages because of their own curiosity.

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But the good news is that Hollywood sometimes churns out films that are made responsibly, tackling important issues with sensitivity.

On the topic of alcoholism, Hollywood has produced several movies that explore the harsh realities that come with it. Characters are sometimes shown triumphant, overcoming alcoholism and starting anew. Sometimes they are made part of a tragic story, showing why alcoholism shouldn’t be taken lightly. Regardless of what happens within the story, all these movies are the same: they show that alcoholism is associated with struggling. At the end of the day, that is what alcoholism truly is.

Today we are going to talk about some examples of films that responsibly portray the struggles of the alcoholic. If you are experiencing similar problems, you may be able to relate to these characters. Or if you know someone who is more likely to pay attention to the messages of Hollywood films rather than the constructive advice given to them by their loved ones, have them watch a few of these. They may be able to see the destructive side of alcohol.

Here are some well-made Hollywood films that depict the harsh realities of alcoholism.

28 Days (2000)


28 Days, starring Sandra Bullock, is a comedy-drama film directed by Betty Thomas. Bullock plays the main protagonist Gwen Cummings, who is a newspaper columnist who was forced to enter rehabilitation for alcoholism.

This film explores what alcoholism is like for people who initially aren’t aware of how big their problem actually is. It also explores how rehabilitation works, and how life is inside a rehab center. This film is great because it breaks down the stigma that rehabs are gloomy places for people that need to be punished. Instead, it highlights the positive energy around rehabilitation centers. This is an accurate depiction because an essential part of rehabilitation is a solid support system that could provide emotional comfort for patients.

The film also stars Viggo Mortensen, Dominic West, Elizabeth Perkins, Steve Buscemi, and Diane Ladd.

28 Days places Bullock’s character in a rehab program, which she picks over jail time, after making a large scene at her sister’s wedding. This entertaining film gives an interesting look at how rehabilitation works can eliminate fear of seeking help.

 

My Name is Joe (1998)


This 1998 British film directed by Ken Loach is not as bright and bubbly as 28 Days (which in itself had its own share of dramatic moments). But My Name is Joe offers a dark look at alcoholism, sobriety, and relapse. The relapse portion offers the film’s dramatic climax, in which Peter Mullan’s character Joe Kavanagh finally breaks down and returns to his struggle with alcoholism.

It’s a frustrating film that shocks the audience with its dark turn, while offering a realistic glimpse of how alcoholism can truly ruin a person’s life. My Name is Joe centers on the life of an unemployed recovering alcoholic in Glasgow. The character finds love in a health visitor, and takes pride in a baseball team he assembled on his own.

Despite his likeable personality, things turn grim for Joe as the film explores his alcoholic past and current struggle with poverty. In the end, if Joe had only been sober, one of the characters wouldn’t have died. His performance landed Mullan a Best Actor award at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.

This terrible tragedy is not too far off from what actually happens in real life, as many people find it hard to remain sober.

 

Withnail and I (1987)


This British comedy film written and directed by Bruce Robinson offers a much lighter perspective, despite tackling the same issues. Alcoholism is the problem for the two main characters of Withnail and I.

Withnail and Marwood (played by Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann) are struggling actors who are currently unemployed. They live in a squalid flat in Camden Town in 1969, and they are pretty much satisfied with spending all their money on alcohol. They lament the state of their careers and constantly bicker over their own self-destructive habits.

But despite this comedy film’s lighthearted tone, it actually has a bittersweet ending that shows the two different sides of the typical alcoholic story. Marwood gets a callback for a project he auditioned for, and eventually lands the job. Meanwhile Withnail gets in more trouble because of his alcoholism. Marwood decides to leave his friend behind, refusing to drink with him one last time. Marwood then pursues his prospect with hope for a better future, while Withnail remains perfectly satisfied with complaining about his fate.

 

When a Man Loves a Woman (1994)


This romantic drama film centers on alcoholism and its effects on the people who love you. The story is all about Alice, a high school counselor who is struggling with alcoholism, and her husband Michael who is an air pilot.

Alice is kind-hearted person who tends to get in trouble because she can’t put the bottle down. But once Michael convinces her to enter rehab, things get complicated. While Alice does manage to fix her problem with alcoholism, it does not fix everything in her relationship with Michael. This realistic approach to storytelling gives the audience a reminder that the fight with alcoholism doesn’t end after rehab. It’s a constant struggle to stay sober, and also the beginning of a great opportunity to start mending broken relationships. Alcoholism doesn’t just affect one person after all, but it affects everyone around the patient. And rebuilding relationships may not always be easy.

Hollywood certainly has a great power over audience perception, and these depictions of alcoholism provide a well-needed insight on its various negative effects.

If you are struggling with drug addiction or alcohol addiction please call us so we can help you get on the road to recovery.