Tag Archives: Alcoholism

Alcoholism and Drug Addiction are Family Diseases

 Addiction and alcoholism are not just a matter of curing the addict or alcoholic, the family also needs to acknowledge their pain and get help.

As Al-Anon states, families and friends are relieved and surprised when they learn they didn’t cause the alcoholism, they can’t cure it and they can’t control it.

The family with an alcoholic or substance abuser becomes dysfunctional and falls into chaos and crisis. It is no longer a healthy vibrant system. As the substance abuse progresses the family also becomes unwell: socially, financially, mentally, emotionally and even physically – with poor health resulting from various stress-related issues.

Spiritually there is a loss of hope and an end to contentment. Family members are unable to separate the illness from the person they love, so there is conflict between loving the substance abuser and holding them in contempt. An environment of trust, courtesy, respect, love and kindness is replaced with one of suspicion, fear, betrayal, depression and resentment.

Co-dependency develops as a response to the chaotic conditions in the family of the alcoholic/drug addict and produces unhealthy patterns of relating and behavior. Often co-dependents develop compulsions of their own and a loss of control very similar to that of the substance abuser.

Dysfunctional emotions, thinking and reactions between family members and the alcoholic or drug addict begin as coping mechanisms to help the family survive as they start experiencing deep emotional pain, but these soon become self-defeating. Co-dependency patterns may include controlling, perfectionism, repression of emotions, oppressive rules, a lack of true intimacy, and behavioral addictions, such as overworking, overspending, overeating, religiosity, etc.

Families with members suffering drug addiction or alcoholism also have patterns of denial. They fail to acknowledge the extent or progression of the problem. Types of denial include anger, blame, minimizing the problem, excuses, evasion and deflection. Denial blinds the alcoholic or substance abuser and their family from recognizing the truth.

Enabling is a common response to addiction that takes many forms. It allows the alcoholic or drug addict to avoid the consequences of his or her substance abuse and behavior. The enabler is a friend or family member who tries to help the alcoholic or drug addict and who will lie for and rescue the substance abuser or alcoholic from various calamities. While the enabler may think he or she is helping the person with an addiction the opposite is true. Enablers allow the disease of addiction to progress to more acute levels.

I believe the client’s recovery is contingent on their family’s recovery. That’s why treatment should include educational and family group therapy sessions. In this safe environment both the addict/alcoholic and the family can be given an opportunity to begin the healing of the sometimes catastrophic consequences of their substance abuse.

Self-care and the care of other family members must become the priority. Don’t allow the family life to be overshadowed by the negativity of addiction. Alcoholism and drug addiction can cause isolation, guilt and shame. By breaking the cycle of silence and denial both the addict or alcoholic and their loved ones can begin to understand, release shame and process bottled-up feelings. They learn that everyone is responsible – no one is to blame.

Family members need to realize that they need help regardless of the addict’s or alcoholic’s commitment to recovery. They can begin by focusing on their own pain, learning about the disease and detaching from the alcoholic or drug addict with love.

I am constantly amazed by the reconciliation and healing that families experience when they reach out for help.

– Sharon Jackson

You should know that there is a substance abuse treatment that can effectively deal with this condition and it can be found in drug treatment center. If a sufferer will enroll to a drug rehab program, it will lead for a more efficient approach towards the condition.

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Signs Of Drug Addiction And Alcoholism

When you suspect any of your loved ones of drug addiction or alcoholism and before you take up your decision of getting him or her admitted to addiction treatment

centers, you would like to make sure whether he or she is truly addicted. For that you need to watch out form the signs of drug addiction and alcoholism.

Common Signs of Addiction

There are some common signs you can look out for before you call up Pennsylvania Drug and Alcohol Rehab for help. The first sign you should look for is the change in

behavior of the person. A person abusing or addicted to drugs will be less social, friends circle will be drastically changed, gets annoyed easily, frequent mood

swings, begin stealing and lying, drop in academic or professional performances, etc. It is also generally observed that addicts are prone to mood swings and there is

a huge tendency of him making excuses to go out at odd hours.

One can also make sure whether a person is addicted or not by looking for visible change in the type of things the person uses or keeps in his room. Addicts generally

invent ideas of using their drugs and these are often easy to recognize. You should keep watch for things such as razor blade, blackened spoon, peculiar pipes,

syringes, rolled up dollar bills, aluminum foil, needles, rubber bands, cotton balls, cigars, petroleum based adhesive, etc. You should also look for hiding spots such

as rolled up sleeves of shirt, coin pockets, hollow pens, cracks, behind doors and windows frames, etc. Once you are sure that your loved one is addicted, you can call

addiction treatment centers and take their help.

Here are some specific addiction warning signs based on types of drugs:

warning signs of heroin abuse or addiction includes drowsiness, dry mouth, runny nose, bloodshot red eyes or constricted pupils, clumsiness, frequent sniffling, scars

and bruises on skin, etc.

Addiction or abuse warning signs for Ecstasy are like clenching teeth, depression, insomnia, tremors and fluctuating body temperature.

Cocaine abuse or addiction warning signs include excessive sweating, bloodshot eyes, excessive weight loss, frequent mood swings, dilated pupils, runny nose, declined

sexual activity, alienation from family, lack of interest in family and social matters, etc.

Person taking Oxycontin breathes slowly and heavily, they have tiny pupils, generally are confused and appear to be drunk.

Signs include, paranoia, insomnia, teeth decay, dilated pupils, acne and excessive talking.

person abusing or addicted to inhalants have pale bluish skin, they usually suffer from nose bleeding, rash around nose and mouth, weight loss, loss of appetite, etc.

characteristics of alcoholics include incapability of carrying their body, inability to speak properly, irritability, vomiting and unacceptably inappropriate behavior.

If you see such kind of signs in any of your loved ones, you should take the help of rehab professionals and get addiction recovery treatment from any of the addiction

treatment centers. Rehabilitation is the only way to recover oneself from addiction and alcoholism.

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How To Overcome Alcoholism or Drug Addiction In Four Steps

Beating an addiction to drugs or alcohol doesn’t require special intellect, some unique formula, or heavily guarded secret. There is no miracle cure, magic pill, or expensive medication. On the contrary in fact, because the steps you need to follow are mostly about using common sense.

Yes, getting professional help or going through an addiction treatment program can be a massive help. Not so much because the treatment and help provided is rocket science, but because it provides you with a safe and supportive environment for making the changes that need to be made.

Keep hanging out with drunks and drug users, and that’s what you’ll remain. Surround yourself with healthy, supportive, loving, successful, humble and grounded folk … and that’s what you’ll become.

Step 1: Responsibility

Until you take absolute and total responsibility for your addiction, you’ll never recover. Because until you do, you always leave yourself with a ‘back door’ or excuse to keep using. No one else can make you pick up that drink or drug … so blaming a spouse, parent, partner your childhood, work or whatever just won’t cut it.

Accepting total responsibility is about humbling yourself and saying, ‘this is my mess and the only person that can fix it is me.’

Step 2: DWIT

DWIT stands for ‘Doing Whatever It Takes.’ That needs to be your attitude – you’ll do whatever it takes to recover from your addiction to drink or drugs. Too many people think they can negotiate their way to sobriety.

‘I don’t feel like doing this,’ or ‘That isn’t really for me.’ If you’re serious, you’ll simply do the things you need to do. Once you’ve turned your life around and have recovered from your addictions, sure drop NA or AA if you think working your own Spiritual Program is something you’re more comfortable with.

But don’t use the excuse, ‘AA isn’t really my thing’ as justification to keep drinking. If you’re desperate enough, you’ll go to AA or whatever other recovery program can help you whether you like it or not.

Step 3: Reach Out

Many people stay stuck in a life of addiction because they’re too scared or ashamed to ask for help. Unfortunately alcoholism and drug addiction still carry a certain social stigma so nobody wants to be thought of an alcoholic or drug addict. Who cares what anyone else thinks?

Would you rather kill yourself than get the help you need to start living a healthy, prosperous and fulfilling life? Doesn’t make sense. Living the life of addiction is an incredibly lonely and isolated place. That’s why treatment programs are so powerful because suddenly you realise you’re not alone and there are others going through exactly what you are.

Having that support is incredibly powerful. So if you take nothing else from this article – ask for help! There are loads of people out there ready and waiting to help you.

Step 4: Unlock Your Potential

Unlocking your potential is about making the decision that you want to go beyond just thinking about survival, because that’s essentially what living the life of drugs and alcohol entails.

This is about embracing your recovery to the full and becoming all you can be. Decide that you want to fulfil your potential spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. Join programs, read books, take classes, learn how to meditate, make new friends, start a new hobby.

That can sound scary, but remember it’s about taking baby steps. This is where recovery programs can help and make such a difference. Because integrating with people in the same boat as you who are also there to support you, makes the world seem a much less scary place, especially initially.

There is nothing particularly new or revealing in anything I’ve just said. But sometimes we over complicate things and make it seem harder than it needs to be. So it’s about getting back to basics and reminding ourselves of the timeless principles that lead to lasting and permanent change.

C-P Lehmann is the owner of an alcoholism help and drug addiction help website at www.alcoholism-and-drug-addiction-help.com that offers guidance, advice, help and support from former addicts to anyone affected by drugs or alcohol.


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Drug Addiction, Alcoholism and Malnutrition

When people who abuse substances enter our substance abuse treatment center in British Columbia they often show signs of malnutrition. For heroin addicts the malnutrition is due to the loss of appetite that the drug induces. Chronic alcoholics also suffer malnutrition, especially a shortage of thiamine (vitamin B).
People with malnutrition are vulnerable to infection. The nutrients from food are essential to the functioning of the immune system. Without a properly functioning immune system one is easily susceptible to disease.
Other outcomes of malnutrition are breakdowns in the body’s basic functioning. In addition to being underweight, the malnourished substance abuser may suffer from a bad complexion and digestive problems. He or she may complain of muscle aches and fatigue. Hair may stop growing and even fall out and women of childbearing age stop menstruating. Tooth decay can also occur.
Malnutrition is not limited to the long-term substance abuser. Anyone who fails to eat, or eats food of low nutritional value, for a few days can suffer malnutrition. In chronic alcoholics malnutrition often presents itself in behavior that is characteristic of alcoholics but is actually the symptoms of Korsakoff’s syndrome, or “wet brain” brain disease caused by a lack of thiamine (vitamin B).
Symptoms of Korsakoff’s include amnesia. This can be both short and long-term. For example, following a blackout, the alcoholic may be unable to remember the circumstances that lead to the blackout (short-term amnesia). He or she may also, for example, forget the names and faces of relatives (long-term amnesia).
Those who suffer Korsakoff’s syndrome also demonstrate confabulation, which is invented memories that are taken as true due to gaps in memory. This is why chronic alcoholics may seem to believe their own lies. The memory has been invented because there is no memory and the invented memory that has replaced it is now believed to be true.
Another syndrome, called Wernicke encephalopathy, can accompany Korsakoff’s syndrome. It causes brain damage, loss of coordination and loss of eye movement. Korsakoff’s syndrome is a continuum of Wernicke’s syndrome. Brain damage caused by Korsakoff’s or Wernicke’s syndromes cannot be reversed. Korsakoff’s syndrome was once thought to be an incurable condition that would result in full-time care. Currently treatment includes replacement and supplementation of thiamine along with proper nutrition and hydration.
Good nutrition and vitamin therapy are extremely important to the treatment of substance abuse. The brain needs to recover from its lack of thiamine and the body needs proper nutrition in order to overcome malnutrition and build up the immune system.
Specific vitamin supplements may be supplied by physicians to overcome the effects of Korsakoff’s syndrome, but a regular diet high in anti-oxidant foods, such as fruit, fish and vegetables, and with adequate protein, fats and carbohydrates, is essential.
Substance abusers often suffer from disruptive sleep patterns, so coffee is not recommended. The drug addict or alcoholic should limit their intake of caffeine to two cups a days and drink it only in the mornings Sugar intake should also be reduced because of its effects on the body chemistry.
It is amazing how proper nutrition helps heal the recovering substance abuser. Along with abstention from all addictive substances, the introduction of nutritious food and vitamin therapy can restore the person to their former complete health.

Daryl Samson, MEd
Program Director, Orchard Drug and Alcohol Addiction Center

Daryl Samson specializes in the assessment, treatment, intervention and monitoring of addictive disorders and chemical dependencies at the Orchard Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center in British Columbia, Canada. He possesses a unique combination of educational, professional and personal experiences that enable him to relate easily to those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. Daryl has 15 years of experience in addictions treatment and intervention. He credits Dr. Ray Baker of HealthQuest as a mentor who influenced his approach to interacting with addicts and their loved ones. Daryl is a model of balanced recovery and is passionate about instilling hope in the hopeless and helping them meet their recovery goals.

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