Celebrities and Alcohol Addiction

In 2015, over 15 million American adults had a problem with alcohol, including many celebrities.

This number is not a surprise, as alcohol is the most abused substance in the United States.

Alcohol is everywhere in the United States, which makes it incredibly easy to be abused.

Because many people deal with addiction in the United States, the fact celebrities and alcohol addiction is so common is no surprise.

Celebrities and Alcohol Addiction Pathfinders - A man sits with his head down on a bar top. In front of him is a glass of alcohol. Celebrities and alcohol addiction is common. Big names such as Ben Affleck, Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Phelps, and Kat Von D have struggled with alcoholism and some have attended rehab.

Celebrities and Alcohol Addiction: Ben Affleck

One of the celebrities ruined by alcohol, also known as an alcoholic star, attended rehab two times before fully entering alcohol treatment.

He ended up going to a 40-day program and then went on to an outpatient rehab later.

Outpatient rehab is where you go to rehab to attend your sessions and return home at night.

You then return to your home to sleep at the end of the day.

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Celebrities and Alcohol Addiction: Daniel Radcliffe

Another celebrity ruined by alcohol said that he turned to alcohol to deal with his stress. After making Harry Potter films, he became one of the celebrities who suffer from alcoholism. He was getting so much negative press that it was difficult to handle as a young person. He credited his recovery from alcoholism to having good friends that helped him.

Celebrities and Alcohol Addiction: Kat Von D

Tattoo artist Kat Von D was almost one of the celebrities ruined by alcohol, but she saved herself. She has been sober since 2007. Kat Von D stated that she “hopes that someone out there in need of a way out from addiction might see this and realize that you’re not alone.” She was able to get sober through treatment.

Celebrities and Alcohol Addiction: Michael Phelps

Although he has 18 gold medals, Michael Phelps almost became one of the celebrities ruined by alcohol. Michael Phelps chose to go to six-week inpatient rehab. Inpatient is the type of rehab where you sleep at the facility and stay 24/7. He decided he had an addiction because he had been drinking and driving. He is also someone who has a co-occurring mental disorder.

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Why Are Celebrities and Alcohol Addiction so Common?

Many studies show that the different personality traits found in celebrities equate to the possibility of alcohol abuse. These traits include:

  • Being a risk-taker
  • Having a strong drive for success
  • Obsessive
  • Dedicated
  • Novelty-seeking

Additionally, many celebrities have a strong work ethic and a high drive for success. These qualities are typically also seen in individuals who have a substance abuse disorder. A substance abuse disorder affects the reward and pleasure center in the brain. When celebrities mix societal pressures and unhealthy relationships, it can lead to addiction.

Which Celebrities Are Struggling with Alcoholism?

Celebrities struggling with alcoholism might include actors, athletes, politicians, musicians, inventors, or even CEOs. If celebrities with alcohol addiction are in the public spotlight, the public criticize them for everything. Criticisms might focus on their appearance, weight, dress, opinions, and general life operation.

Peer pressure can often influence drinking habits. Not only can this lead to alcoholism, but also to eating disorders, mental health disorders, and other substance abuse disorders. Because celebrities struggle with many things, increased wealth and exercise can activate the dopamine reward system in their brains. This system leads to a similar feeling that drugs or alcohol can give them once those feelings fade.

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Mental Illness and How it Leads to Celebrities and Alcohol Addiction

Often celebrities have issues with alcohol because of pressure. Often because of the large amounts of pressure and public scrutiny, they can suffer from mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. These, in turn, lead to alcohol abuse for coping.

Anxiety

Anxiety is an intense, excessive, and persistent worry or fear about everyday situations. Different symptoms of anxiety can include fast heart rate, rapid breathing, sweating, and feeling tired. It can be normal to have anxiety in stressful situations such as public speaking or taking a test.

Despite this, anxiety is an indicator of underlying disease when feelings become excessive, all-consuming, and interfere with daily living. It is very common for celebrities to have anxiety and cope with that anxiety through alcohol usage.

Depression

Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by a persistently sad or down mood. It can also include a loss of interest in activities, causing significant trouble in your daily life. The reasons for depression are not entirely understood, but possible causes include biological, psychological, and social factors. Additionally, certain activities can change brain functions, including the altered activity of certain neural circuits in the brain.

Characterized by a range of behavioral and physical symptoms, depression is life-threatening and often leads to alcoholism, especially in celebrities. These symptoms typically include changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, daily behavior, or self-esteem. It is also associated with thoughts of suicide.

Celebrities and Alcohol Addiction Pathfinders - A man sits in his couch and has drink after drink to deal with his anxiety.

Dual Diagnosis

Although anxiety or depression can be the catalyst for alcoholism, anxiety does not need to exist before alcohol use begins. It can develop outside of addiction. It may not even be a symptom of drug use or withdrawal but can occur separately, known as dual diagnosis.

Essentially, dual diagnosis is when you have an addiction occurring with a mental health disorder. Meaning you have two co-occurring disorders, such as a substance use disorder and an anxiety disorder. This dual diagnosis requires treatment that targets both issues at once. If you leave one disorder untreated, then they will both most likely reappear in the future.

Treating a dual diagnosis is complex. Despite this, there are many different treatment options. The first step in treating a dual diagnosis is an assessment by a professional. Then you can work with your therapist or counselor to create a plan. Many different treatment methods can benefit different people. Cognitive Behavior Therapy is one method that treats individuals with a dual diagnosis.

Treatment for Celebrities  with Alcoholism

There are many different treatment options available for alcoholism. Often celebrities will go to expensive inpatient treatment facilities that are far away from the average person. Despite this, there are amazing inpatient treatment facilities for even those who are not celebrities. These treatment facilities, such as those you will find at Pathfinders, are great for those who truly struggle to get sober.

Alternatively, if you do not struggle with a very intense addiction, you can choose to go to an outpatient treatment program. These facilities require three visits per week, with two to three hours each visit.

Finally, there are also support groups and aftercare programs that will allow you to have support through your sobriety. Some of these programs, such as AA or alcoholics anonymous, are known for helping individuals get through their addictions.

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Do You Have an Alcohol Addiction?

If you are worried that you or someone you love has a problem with alcohol, you may consider alcohol detox and treatment.

Contact us at Pathfinders for more information on our free insurance verification for treatment.

We are here to help you get healthy today.

The 4 Most Commonly Abused Drugs on College Campuses

If you are going away to college, it is often the first time you will be living away from home.

You will need to steer clear of college drugs.

Because you want to fit in, you might attempt to prove yourself when other peers are experimenting with drugs.

Often college campuses offer a higher frequency of partying and illegal drugs.

You need to be careful because college drugs are prevalent, and drugs on college campuses are no joke.

There are four main college drugs commonly abused: alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, and OTC or over-the-counter medications.

Also, ecstasy and cocaine are common.

4 Most Commonly Abused Drugs on College Campuses Pathfinders - 2 women and 2 men play beer pong during a study break in college. Alcohol is the most abused college drug.

College Drugs: Alcohol

The most abused of all the college drugs is alcohol.

Although alcohol is legal for students 21 and up, it is not safe nor legal for anyone under 18.

College students also tend to binge drink when they drink on campus.

Binge drinking is the act of consuming more than three or four drinks in one sitting.
Alcohol is one of the easy college drugs to abuse because it is relatively inexpensive and very accessible.

Many college students are over the age of 21.

Reasons that college students drink alcohol include:

  • Relaxation
  • Attempt to fit in
  • Peer pressure
  • Party and have fun
  • Stress reliever
  • To be more social
  • Reduce anxiety or depression

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How College Students View Alcohol

People glorify alcohol in movies, music, and television. Most college students do not consider it to be a drug or see it as dangerous. Drinking alcohol looks fun, and young people have less impulse control than adults. College is also known as a time for being social by attending parties, which only increases alcohol use. Further, alcohol companies target young people with fruity or sugary alcoholic drinks. These make it easy to enjoy drinking alcohol without the bitter taste.

Dangers of Binge Drinking

  • Injuries
  • Sexual assault
  • Health problems
  • Drunk driving
  • Police involvement
  • Death

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College Drugs: Marijuana

The second most popular of all college drugs is marijuana. Marijuana is known as reefer, weed, pot, or “Mary Jane,” and around 47% of college students use marijuana. Due to its legalities in many states, marijuana is popular in the media and present in pop culture.
Although marijuana is not typically addictive, nine percent of users become addicted.

How College Students View Marijuana

Marijuana is easy to come by and much less expensive than other drugs. An 18-year-old can obtain a medical marijuana card in many states, while 21-year-olds can purchase it for recreational use in some states.
People commonly smoke marijuana, but college students often enjoy brownies containing marijuana. College students use marijuana to calm nerves, stop anxiety, fit in, or relax.
Dangers of Marijuana

  •  Loss of coordination
  • Increased heart rate
  • Lowered immune system
  • Traffic accidents under the influence
  • Police involvement
  • Poor memory
  • Slowed reaction times
  • Breathing problems
  • Lack of motivation

College Drugs: Prescription Drugs

There is an epidemic with drugs across college campuses in the form of prescription drug abuse. Often these medications are easily obtained through your prescription or that of a friend. Sixty-two percent of students with a valid prescription for ADHD medication, such as Adderall, give it to other students without prescriptions.
This use of college drugs is not only illegal but also very dangerous. Every day 100 people die in the United States from a drug overdose; many of these deaths are prescription drug-related. Additionally, in 2016, 10% of college students admittedly used Adderall.
But why do college students abuse prescription drugs? Because there is so much pressure to perform in college, one of the college drugs abused is Adderall. These help to improve focus and can act almost like a brain boost.

Narcotics and Benzodiazepines

Prescription drugs abused by students also include narcotics and central nervous system depressants. Central nervous system depressants are known as tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, and sleep aids. Valium and Xanax are benzodiazepines that are tranquilizers. These drugs help relieve the anxiety that many students find in college, but they are also highly addictive.

College Drugs: OTC Medications

Another class of college drugs often found on college campuses are over-the-counter medications, known as OTC medications. These are typically cough medicines available for purchase at any store. They contain dextromethorphan or DXM, such as Nyquil. Other than Nyquil, there are also hundreds of other options. Not only are these easy to obtain, but they are completely legal to be bought by anyone over the age of 18.

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How Are OTC Medications Abused?

College students will find ways to abuse drugs. Students might drink an entire bottle of cough medicine or take a whole box of pills at once. This amount can cause an out-of-body experience but can be extremely dangerous.
The most dangerous aspect is that college students do not understand the dangers associated with these college drugs. OTC medications can cause dizziness, nausea, and motor control loss, but severe side-effects and death are possible when combined with other drugs.

Mental Illness and College Drugs

If you are in college and dealing with an undiagnosed mental illness, you may look to college drugs to self-medicate. Self-medicating is not smart because you may misuse these drugs and cause more harm than good.

Drug Abuse Warning Signs for College Students

  • Poor academic performance or change in performance
  • Changes in weight: gain or loss
  • Isolation
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities
  • Unidentified pill bottles
  • Troubles with the law
  • Traffic accidents
  • Sudden outbursts
  • Skipping classes
  • Agitation
  • Oversleeping or insomnia
  • Decreased focus
  • Lack of motivation
  • Depression

4 Most Commonly Abused Drugs on College Campuses Pathfinders - Several college students meet at evening IOP rehab to discuss triggers. They became addiction to 1 of the 4 most abused college drugs from parting too hard in school.

Treatment for Addiction to College Drugs

If you or someone you love is struggling with drug addiction in college, there are many treatments. Inpatient treatment is the most common and essential for severe addictions. Outpatient treatment is less intense and will allow you to go about your daily life. Otherwise, there are forms of treatment such as peer meetings and sober living that require weekly therapy sessions, accountability check-ins, and meetings.

Outpatient Treatment

If you cannot disrupt your college classes and want to go to treatment while attending school, you can do outpatient treatment. Outpatient is the best course of action for students with a moderate addiction. Rather than spend 30-90 days at a facility, you visit the treatment center three times weekly for two to three hours each. Outpatient will allow you to continue your life while still going to treatment and maintaining accountability.

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Free Yourself from College Drugs

If you are struggling with an addiction to alcohol or any drug, we can help.

At Pathfinders, we offer a variety of treatment programs to help you get sober and stay sober.

Free yourself from college drugs and get healthy again.

Contact us today to learn about our programs and how you can utilize our free insurance verification for treatment.

Suicide and Binge Drinking Among College Students

Binge Drinking Among College Students is a Risk Factor for Mental Health Issues and Suicide

Unfortunately, binge drinking among college students is relatively common.

According to the National Institutes of Health, a 2018 study found that 37% of college students had engaged in binge drinking within the previous month.

The National Institutes of Health also reports that binge drinking among college students is linked to suicide attempts.

A study in the Journal of American College Health found that students who engaged in heavy drinking were more likely to experience poor mental health.

Given the high prevalence of binge drinking among college students, some students may require rehab in order to stop drinking and avoid the poor mental health and suicide risk that can come with heavy alcohol use.

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Consequences of Binge Drinking Among College Students

Beyond the risk of suicide and mental health problems, binge drinking among college students can have a variety of negative consequences, including increased chances of missing classes or earning low scores on tests or assignments.

Heavy binge drinking among college students is also associated with assault, sexual violence, and deaths from accidents and injuries.

Unfortunately, the research shows that every year, about 1,500 college students are involved in fatal accidents involving alcohol, including motor vehicle crashes.

Other consequences of binge drinking among college students include health problems, risky sexual behavior, and involvement with the police.

Heavy alcohol use may be common and socially promoted on college campuses, but the reality is that it can have devastating effects.

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Binge Drinking Among College Students Can Lead to Addiction

As previously stated, over one-third of college students engage in binge drinking within a given month, placing them at risk of developing alcohol addiction.

As the National Institutes of Health explains, binge drinking occurs when a college male consumes five or more drinks within a two-hour period, or when a female consumes four or more drinks within the same time period.
Unfortunately, college students may not realize they are binge drinking, because large portions of beer or mixed drinks consumed during college parties could actually exceed what is considered a single drink. This makes it easy for college students to lose track of the number of drinks consumed, resulting in high rates of binge drinking among college students.
What is even riskier is the fact that some college students drink twice the amount that is considered binge drinking, a pattern that experts call “high-intensity drinking.” Over time, this can lead to alcohol addiction or an alcohol use disorder. According to the latest research, nearly 10% of college students meet the diagnostic criteria for an alcohol use disorder within a given year.

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Signs of an Alcohol Use Disorder

Signs of an alcohol use disorder include being unable to cut back on drinking, giving up other activities in favor of alcohol use, or drinking larger quantities than intended. Other signs of an alcohol use disorder can include drinking in situations in which it is dangerous, continuing to drink despite relationship problems, and drinking to the extent that it is difficult to fulfill duties at work or school.
A college student who is struggling with an alcohol addiction may ruin friendships because of alcohol abuse, involve themselves in dangerous situations, such as drunk driving, and begin to fail classes because drinking interferes with studying and completing schoolwork.

Treatment for Binge Drinking Among College Students

If you are a college student who has become involved in binge drinking, you may need alcoholism treatment. Binge drinking among college students can lead to an alcohol use disorder, which is a brain disorder that negatively affects numerous areas of life.
Fortunately, treatment can help you to identify your triggers for alcohol abuse and develop strategies for living a life that is free from the grips of alcohol addiction. Experts recommend behavioral interventions and cognitive-behavioral treatments to address binge drinking among college students.
When you seek rehab for alcohol abuse, an addiction professional may provide a specific type of counseling called cognitive-behavioral therapy, which can help you to think differently about alcohol and cope with situations that may trigger you to abuse alcohol in the future.

 

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Treatment for Mental Illness and Binge Drinking Among College Students

Binge drinking among college students is linked to poor mental health, and it can even increase the risk of suicide. One study, published in Issues in Mental Health Nursing, found that college students who were heavy drinkers scored significantly higher on a depression scale when compared to those who did not have drinking problems.
Alcohol abuse can worsen mental health among college students, leading to depression and even suicidal thoughts. Many college students who seek treatment for alcohol abuse may also be in need of mental health care to address mental health conditions like depression.
To ensure the best treatment outcomes, college students with both alcohol addiction and depression should seek out a facility that offers dual diagnosis treatment that can address both conditions. For example, if you get treatment for alcohol abuse but ignore the underlying depression, you may return to drinking in order to help you cope with mental health symptoms.

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Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Colorado and Arizona

If you are struggling with binge drinking and are in need of rehab, Pathfinders Recovery Center has facilities in both Colorado and Arizona, and we are happy to provide services to those in surrounding states.
We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so we can help with both alcohol addiction and mental health concerns. Our leadership team has over 25 years of experience in the addiction field, and we are proud to offer premier dual diagnosis rehab services.
We also have a range of treatment levels, including inpatient, partial hospitalization, detox, and outpatient services.

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Paying for Dual Diagnosis Treatment

As a college student, you may worry about covering the costs of treatment for alcohol abuse and mental health concerns.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we take some of the stress out of the process for you by offering a free insurance verification program.

Simply visit our website and provide us with your insurance information, and a member of our team will tell you what you can expect to pay for treatment.

If you are without insurance coverage, we will work with you to create a cash payment plan.

Call us today at (866) 263-1808 to discuss your options and begin your treatment journey, so you can move forward from the consequences of binge drinking among college students.

The 5 Types of Alcoholics

Not All Alcoholics Are the Same

When we think of the term “alcoholics,” we think of individuals addicted to drinking alcohol.

For this reason, it is easy to lump everyone who is affected by alcohol addiction into a single group.

However, this kind of catch-all approach does not reflect the reality of alcohol addiction.

Current research shows there are five subgroups of people dealing with alcoholism.

No matter which of these groups you belong to, you will likely need help to recover your sobriety.

Additionally, it’s important to know that not everyone with serious drinking problems faces the same situation.

This kind of awareness gives doctors the ability to tailor treatment plans surrounding their specific needs and situation.

The 5 Types of Alcoholics Pathfinders - A man sits with an addiction therapist as part of an initial assessment for rehab to discuss the different types of alcoholics and which type he falls under to determine the right treatment plan to get him on the path to recovery and long-term sobriety.

How Is Alcoholism Defined?

Before breaking down the sub-types of alcoholism, it helps to clarify what alcoholism itself means. Today, experts view alcoholism as part of an illness called alcohol use disorder (AUD).

Symptoms that point to an alcohol addiction include:

  • Regularly consuming more alcohol than you initially planned
  • Repeated lack of success when you try multiple times to stop drinking
  • Making drinking and drinking-related activities the focus of your day
  • Needing more and more alcohol to feel like its effects on you
  • Not quitting drinking after seeing its negative impact on your health
  • Feeling a strong pull toward drinking when not consuming alcohol
  • Experiencing withdrawal if you take a break from drinking or try to quit

You can be diagnosed with AUD if you have experienced two of these symptoms. You can also be diagnosed if you have just one symptom of alcoholism and one symptom of non-addicted alcohol abuse. The most severely affected drinkers typically experience six to 11 alcohol-related symptoms.

 

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The Five Types of Alcoholics

Being addicted to alcohol is just the baseline definition of alcoholism. To understand alcoholism better, researchers have studied the condition in greater detail.

There are a couple of reasons why this is significant. First, this additional information makes it possible for doctors to better understand their patients struggling with alcohol abuse and addiction. Moreover, it allows people affected by the illness to understand themselves better.

With all of this in mind, here are five subgroups of people affected by alcohol addiction.

Drinkers Who Are Young Adults

Young adults are people between the ages of 18 and 25. People in this age range make up a large percentage of all alcohol consumers in the U.S. They also make up a significant percentage of binge drinkers and heavy drinkers.

Roughly one-third of all Americans addicted to alcohol are young adults. People in this category are not as likely to have additional problems often found in heavy drinkers.

These problems include a family history of alcoholism. They also include the presence of other mental health issues, including additional substance addiction. If you belong to this subgroup of drinkers, chances are low that you have sought help for your problems.

Young People With Antisocial Tendencies

 

People who behave in antisocial ways do things that violate the norms of everyday behavior.

Some of these actions include stealing, invading other people’s personal space, and committing violent or aggressive acts. In some cases, these individuals may have an antisocial personality disorder.

About a fifth of all Americans addicted to alcohol are young adults in their 20s with antisocial tendencies. If you belong to this subgroup, you may also have:

  • An anxiety disorder
  • A bipolar illness
  • Major depression

It is not uncommon for those affected to have an additional addiction to opioids or cocaine. There is also a very good chance that these individuals use marijuana or smoke cigarettes. Interestingly, antisocial problem drinkers often seek treatment. Over 33% of people in this category do so.

“Functional” Alcoholics

Functional alcoholics are addicted to alcohol and manage to maintain much of their daily competence.

For this reason, they may slip through the cracks when it comes to detecting an alcohol-related problem. Roughly one in five problem drinkers fit into this subgroup. These people tend to be in their 40s or 50s. They also tend to have a high level of education and meet their responsibilities at work and home. Many people in this category have parents or grandparents with alcohol problems. Cases of major depression are also relatively common. The same holds true for cigarette use.

Intermediate Familial Drinkers

People in this subgroup are middle-aged adults. About 50% have some diagnosable depression, and about 20% have bipolar disorder. The same holds true for marijuana and cocaine abuse. Close to 20% of all people with alcoholism belong to the intermediate familial subgroup. Unfortunately, one in four of these people are likely to seek treatment for their drinking.

Long-Term, Severe Drinkers

9% of those that struggle with alcoholism belong to this subgroup of long-term, severe drinkers. This group includes those most heavily affected by alcohol use disorder. It also consists of those most heavily affected by other mental health issues, including antisocial personality disorder, bipolar disorders, and major depression.

The vast majority of long-term severe drinkers come from families with alcohol problems. People in this category also frequently suffer from addictions to substances such as:

  • Opioids
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana

It is common for severe alcoholics to seek treatment. This is the only subgroup where more than 50% of those affected seek help.

 

 

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Not Enough Alcoholics Enter Treatment

One glaring statistic holds true for most problem drinkers: They do not seek help for their alcohol use disorder. This is a truly unfortunate situation. Why? In the 21st century, there are multiple proven treatments for people affected by AUD.

Those treatments options include medication and supportive care that makes it possible to stop drinking. They also include medication and behavioral therapy to help you remain alcohol-free. This does not mean the road to sobriety is easy. Setbacks are common, and you will almost certainly have bad days while in alcohol rehab. Still, lasting sobriety is possible, and rehab programs help people make progress toward their recovery goals each and every day.

 

 

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Regardless of Your Sub-Type, Seek Help

Today, it is common for health insurance to cover the cost of an alcohol rehab program. Even if your insurance does not cover your treatment, you have a good chance of finding programs that provide alternative flexible payment options. This means that people in all kinds of financial situations can get the assistance they need.

The understanding that you belong to a subgroup of alcoholics does not need to be a negative realization. On the contrary, you can use this knowledge to learn more about your situation. You can also use it to focus on treatments known to have helped many people in similar circumstances. Experienced professionals in your program will help identify these treatments.

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For information on how to get the help you need, contact Pathfinders today. Our addiction specialists will answer all of your questions about the available treatments. We also offer treatment services that benefit all types of problem drinkers.

 

 

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Alcohol and the Liver – How Alcohol Damages the Liver

What is the Connection Between Alcohol and Liver Health?

Alcohol is America’s most popular addictive substance. But, alcohol and liver issues are quite common among heavy drinkers.

However, if you drink too much, you not only run the risk of developing an addiction, you also expose your liver to potentially catastrophic damage.

This is true because alcohol has a direct impact on how the liver functions.

Liver damage does not happen to heavy drinkers all at once.

Instead, it develops gradually over time.

If you seek help for your alcohol abuse as soon as possible, you can avoid the worst kinds of damage.

You can also limit the other severe consequences of this common form of addiction.

If you are a drinker, it is essential to understand the connection between alcohol and liver health.

Why? Drinking can have a harmful effect on this vital organ, even if you do not meet the definition of alcoholism.

If you drink heavily as a habit, you increase your chances of developing a severe, or even fatal, liver-related disease.

Alcohol and the Liver: How Alcohol Damages the Liver Pathfinders - A young woman has a virtual individual counseling session with a medical professional to discuss alcohol and the liver and how alcohol can damage this important organ overtime, while going over potential treatment options to help the young woman break free from her addiction to alcohol.

Alcohol and the Liver – The Basics

Why does alcohol affect how your liver works? First, alcohol is toxic to your body. If too much of it builds up in your system, you can die from alcohol poisoning. This means that your body must find some way to get rid of the alcoholic toxins. If this elimination process did not occur, you would not be able to drink any amount of an alcoholic substance without running into problems.

How does your body eliminate alcohol from your system? It relies on the liver. When you drink beer, wine, or liquor, your body starts to digest it. The toxic parts of alcohol eventually make it to your liver. There, they undergo a gradual breakdown.

However, your liver’s ability to break down alcohol is limited. If your consumption is higher than this organ can handle, you will overwhelm its capacity. When this happens, the toxins in alcohol will build up in your system — resulting in your liver having to overwork to rid the body of the toxins.

If you keep taxing your liver long enough over a period of time, it will start to lose its normal function. This is true whether or not you have diagnosable alcohol problems. However, the real danger begins when you take part in a long-term pattern of heavy drinking. This kind of ongoing, excessive consumption leaves you vulnerable to the worst possible forms of liver damage.

 

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Alcohol-Related Damage is Progressive

Heavy drinking has a progressive impact on the health of your liver. This means that damage to the organ gets worse over time. Doctors and public health experts have a name for this progressive process known as alcoholic liver disease. There are three stages to this disease, including fatty liver or hepatic steatosis, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis. Each of these conditions affects you in different ways.

Fatty Liver of Hepatic Steatosis

Fatty liver gets its name because the condition produces an abnormal buildup of fat inside your liver. This buildup makes your liver grow larger than usual. Some people with fatty liver experience no apparent symptoms. However, others experience things such as:

  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Uncomfortable feelings in the upper right abdomen

The majority of heavy drinkers will eventually develop a fatty liver if they do not stop using alcohol. If you are affected by this condition, it may go away if you halt your drinking and lose weight.

Alcoholic Hepatitis

Hepatitis is the name for any significant inflammation within your liver tissue. In people with alcoholic hepatitis, this liver inflammation is widespread. Other symptoms of the condition include:

  • Fatty liver
  • Liver cell death, also known as necrosis

In addition, some affected people have symptoms of cirrhosis. Roughly 10% to 35% of all long-term heavy drinkers will develop alcoholic hepatitis.

Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is the most harmful form of alcoholic liver disease. It occurs when continued heavy drinking leads to scarring inside your liver. This scarring permanently reduces the organ’s ability to function. If cirrhosis advances far enough, it can cause your liver to fail altogether. This is a dire health emergency. Additionally, some people with cirrhosis also develop liver cancer. Between one and two out of every 10 heavy drinkers will go on to develop cirrhosis.

 

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Alcohol and Liver Damage – How Much Do You Have to Drink?

You are probably wondering how much alcohol you need to drink to damage your liver. Your liver can eliminate 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol in a standard drink in about an hour. This is the equivalent of:

  • One 12-ounce serving of beer
  • Eight or nine ounces of malt liquor
  • One five-ounce glass of wine
  • A 1.5-ounce shot of hard liquor

Problems begin when you make a habit of exceeding this level of consumption by large amounts. Signs of liver disease may start to appear after a decade or more of drinking the following:

  • Two to eight beers a day
  • Three to six servings of wine a day
  • Three to six servings of hard liquor a day

If you consume alcohol in even heavier amounts, you run a higher risk of developing cirrhosis. Cirrhosis risks rise along with your level of consumption and duration of hard-drinking. For example, if you drink for 20 years or more, you have roughly a 50% chance of developing cirrhosis if you drink more than:

  • Roughly 36 beers a day
  • About 18 glasses of wine a day
  • Approximately 18 shots of hard liquor a day

These might seem like incredibly high amounts. But unfortunately, some heavy drinkers consume at least this much alcohol on a regular basis.

 

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Limit the Harm with Alcohol Rehab

Not everyone who drinks heavily is addicted to alcohol. This does not mean that non-addicted people cannot be problem drinkers. In fact, you can receive a diagnosis for alcohol problems even if you are not considered an alcoholic. This happens when your non-addicted alcohol abuse seriously damages your day-to-day life.

If you are caught up in a cycle of alcohol abuse, you have many reasons for getting help. Those reasons include avoidance or preventing the long-term effects of abuse/addiction itself. They also include avoidance of progressive liver damage.

For anyone affected by alcoholism, alcohol rehab typically begins with enrollment in a detox program. Detox helps you stop drinking. It also provides medication and support that allows you to cope with symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

Once your time in detox is done, you are ready for the main phase of rehab, which is active treatment. The assistance you receive during active treatment will reinforce your short-term ability to stop drinking. It will also help you learn how to make lasting changes in your life that support long-term sobriety.

Alcohol and the Liver: How Alcohol Damages the Liver Pathfinders - A group of individuals in recovery for alcoholism are attending a group therapy session as part of treatment to discuss important topics, such as the connection and potential dangers between alcohol and the liver.

Learn More About Alcohol and Liver Damage

If you have been drinking heavily for a long time, you are at risk of damaging your liver. In its early stages, alcohol-related liver disease can sometimes be reversed. However, over time, you may develop irreversible damage in this vital organ. No one wants to face these kinds of severe, avoidable health complications.

Before alcohol can affect you in such drastic ways, seek help in an alcohol recovery program. An effective program makes it possible for you to abandon heavy drinking and get sober. It also makes it possible for you to make sobriety an ongoing priority of your daily routine.

If you already suffer from liver damage, rehab is still the best way to limit the harm to your body. Along with providing the right kind of medical treatment, your recovery program will help stabilize your health. It will also help and protect you from even greater physical and mental harm.

For more information on alcohol and liver damage, contact Pathfinders today. We are also your source for trusted information on alcohol abuse and addiction. In addition, we provide top-quality services for all kinds of alcohol use problems.

 

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How to Get Someone Into Alcohol Rehab

You May Wonder: How do I Get Someone Into Alcohol Rehab

Like many people, you may wonder how to get someone into alcohol rehab. This is extremely important to know since the right choice can improve your loved one’s odds of recovery. To make the best possible choice, it helps to know the basics of alcohol rehab programs. It also helps to know what happens during alcohol treatment. In addition, you should know what types of rehabs may operate in your area.

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Basics of Alcohol Rehab Centers

Alcohol rehab centers help people dealing with significant drinking problems. These problems often include clear symptoms of alcoholism (i.e., alcohol addiction). However, that is not always the case. Even if you don’t suffer from alcoholism, you can abuse alcohol in dangerous ways. In addition, alcoholism symptoms and alcohol abuse symptoms often overlap.

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Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse are no Longer Treated on Their own

For these reasons, alcoholism and alcohol abuse are no longer treated on their own. Instead, experts consider them to be part of the same condition, alcohol use disorder or AUD. You can be diagnosed with AUD if you have:

  • Two or more symptoms only related to alcoholism
  • Two or more symptoms only related to alcohol abuse
  • Two or more combined symptoms of alcoholism and alcohol abuse

Outpatient Alcohol Rehab Centers

The first step in getting someone into rehab is to decide what type of program will work best. A consultation with an addiction specialist will help you determine which rehab option makes the most sense.

There are two basic types of alcohol rehab centers near you: outpatient and inpatient. In outpatient alcohol rehab, clients receive treatment during the day, but still live at home. There are several types of outpatient programs. Depending on your loved one’s needs, you may choose from:

  • Standard outpatient programs or OPs
  • Intensive outpatient programs or IOP
  • Partial hospitalization programs or PHP

 

People with mild symptoms of AUD often enroll in standard outpatient care. In some cases, people with moderate symptoms may do the same. Standard OPs require less than nine hours of weekly treatment.

Intensive outpatient programs are designed for outpatients who need more treatment to recover. All programs of this type provide at least nine hours of care each week. Some provide as many as 19 hours. To qualify for an IOP, your loved one must be in generally stable physical and mental health.

Partial hospitalization programs provide more weekly treatment than other outpatient alcohol rehabs. Your loved one will receive at least 20 hours of care each week while enrolled. People in PHPs suffer from unstable mental health or unstable physical health.

Inpatient Alcohol Rehab Centers

All clients in inpatient alcohol rehabs live onsite around the clock while enrolled. There are several advantages to this level of care, including:

  • More weekly treatment than outpatient programs offer
  • 24/7 monitoring of your loved one’s conditioning
  • access 24/7 to any needed medical care
  • Secure, stable environment during the day and at night
  • Greater opportunity to focus only on the needs of alcohol recovery

What Happens in Outpatient and Inpatient Alcohol Rehab

Once you find the right type of program, your loved one can start the enrollment process. The details of this process may vary from program to program. To make things as easy as possible, ask your chosen facility to walk you through enrollment step by step.

At this stage, all outpatient and inpatient alcohol rehabs will give your loved one a thorough evaluation. This evaluation helps determine the right type of treatment plan. All plans include two main services: alcohol detox and primary alcohol treatment.

Detox in Alcohol Rehab

Before starting primary treatment, people with AUD must go through detox. This step is especially important for people suffering from alcoholism. However, it’s also vital for non-addicted people who abuse alcohol.

The first goal of detox is to help your loved one stop drinking alcohol. For anyone dependent on alcohol, this action will have significant consequences. Why? When dependent people quit drinking, they go through alcohol withdrawal.

Withdrawal is not the same for all recovering drinkers. Some people have relatively mild forms of withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Bad dreams
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Feelings of anxiousness or depression

However, others develop more serious forms of these symptoms. In addition, some people going through alcohol withdrawal experience major complications. These severe problems include:

  • Convulsions (i.e., seizures)
  • Delirium tremens or the DTs, which can include seizures, hallucinations, a high fever and extreme mental confusion

Most people make it through detox without such major issues. However, detox conducted by medical professionals can help your loved one deal with any form of alcohol withdrawal.

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Primary Treatment in Alcohol Rehab

Detox gets your loved one ready to participate in primary treatment. The work done in treatment is what makes a long-term return to sobriety possible. Alcohol rehabs use two main types of primary treatment: behavioral therapy and medication. The best programs only use scientifically-backed therapy and medication options.

Behavioral therapy is an active form of psychotherapy. It uses practical techniques to help participants change their relationship with alcohol. That includes learning how:

  • Alcohol problems develop
  • Improve participation in alcohol treatment
  • Tell when the urge to drink is getting stronger
  • To avoid triggers (e.g., situations and people) associated with drinking
  • Remain sober when it’s not possible to avoid drinking triggers
  • Add a self-help group to official alcohol treatment

The therapy your loved one receives in rehab may come in several forms. Options known to help people with drinking problems include:

  • CBT, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Contingency management
  • Community reinforcement
  • 12-step facilitation therapy
  • Motivational enhancement

 

Medication can help your loved one in several ways. For example, naltrexone can help lower the desire to drink. People in recovery who take disulfiram feel sick when they drink. This negative reaction makes alcohol use far less appealing. The medication acamprosate can help your loved one’s brain recover from the effects of habitual heavy drinking.

Behavioral therapy and medication often go together in alcohol rehab. Most people receive more than one type of therapy. In addition, many people take at least one form of medication.

Finding the Right Alcohol Rehab Near You

Outpatient alcohol rehab near you can take place in different kinds of settings. That is also true for inpatient alcohol rehab near you. Some rehabs only offer outpatient or inpatient services. However, others offer both types of programs. In your area, you may find independent alcohol rehabs. You may also find rehabs attached to larger facilities.

Your loved one can recover in all of these types of rehabs. The setting is important. Still, what matters most is the quality of care a program provides. All top programs use proven alcohol treatments.

Learn More About How to Get Someone Into Alcohol Rehab at Pathfinders

You have plenty of options when it comes to finding an alcohol rehab for your loved one. You can choose from several types of outpatient programs. That includes standard and Intensive Outpatient Programs. It also includes partial hospitalization programs. At Pathfinders we create each treatment plan based on individual goals and needs of our clients. Our addiction specialists can help you decide which option works best.

The amount of care your loved one receives depends on the program type. People in our standard Outpatient Program receive no more than eight hours of weekly treatment. People in our Intensive Outpatient Program get at least nine hours of treatment each week. Depending on the need some may receive up to 19 hours a week. People in our Partial Hospitalization Program get no less than 20 hours of weekly rehab care. Inpatient programs provide even more weekly treatment. They also offer other important advantages.

Outpatient and inpatient rehabs rely on the same basic types of treatment. That includes therapy designed for people with alcohol problems. It also includes medication designed for people with alcohol problems. It is common to receive multiple forms of therapy. It is also common for treatment plans to include at least one medication.

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Pathfinders Alcohol Rehab Center

At Pathfinders, we offer all levels of care. This is important as you progress through recovery and find that you are ready to move to a different level of treatment. You will be able to stay in our program and will not need to find a new program and start all over.

Need more information on how to get your loved one into alcohol rehab? Contact our rehab specialists today at 866-414-0220.

How to Tell if Someone is Drunk: The Signs of Intoxication

Too Much Alcohol – How to Tell if Someone is Drunk

For some people there is nothing wrong with having a few alcoholic beverages from time to time. in fact, when consumed in moderation, alcohol can be a social lubricant.

That said, when it comes to alcohol, for everyone there is such a thing as too much.

Excess alcohol consumption not only changes a person’s behavior, but it also makes it difficult for that person to tend to his or her responsibilities.

As such, it can have a drastic negative effect on one’s life.

Wondering how to tell if someone is drunk? There are a number of signs you can look out for. They include the following.

How to Tell if Someone is Drunk - A man sits in the curb and drinks a large beer. If you know someone who struggles with alcohol learn how to tell if someone is drunk and get help for them at an alcohol rehab.
A man sits in the curb and drinks a large beer.

How to Tell if Someone is Drunk: The Signs

In some cases, drunkenness is obvious. However, many individuals — specifically those who suffer from alcoholism — are adept at keeping their intoxication under wraps.

If you’re having trouble determining whether an individual is drunk, you should look out for the following signs.

A Flushed Face

One of the common signs of inebriation is a flushed face. If a person’s cheeks are burning bright red, there’s a good chance that he or she has had too much to drink.

This face flushing phenomenon occurs as a result of dilated blood capillaries.

These capillaries dilate because the body is no longer able to metabolize acetaldehyde, a compound that forms after alcohol has been broken down by the body.

Now, this isn’t to say that all face flushing comes as a result of drinking. It can be caused by a number of other factors as well(ie. rosacea, vigorous exercise, etc.).

However, if it’s occurring during a drinking session, it’s almost certainly appearing as a result of alcohol over consumption.

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How to Tell if Someone is Drunk , Look for Slurred Speech.

Another common sign of alcohol intoxication is slurred speech. If a person is dragging out the ends of words or is having difficulty pronouncing his or her words clearly, alcohol could very well be the culprit.

Why does alcohol lead to slurred speech? Because alcohol slows down activity within the brain, thus preventing the brain from communicating with the rest of the body in a timely manner.

Thus, the affected individual starts saying words without having fully processed them within his or her brain; slurring becomes an inevitability.

As with a flushed face, slurred speech can be caused by a number of other factors as well. In many cases, neurological issues are to blame. In other cases, simple anxiety can be the cause.

That said, if the slurring is a relatively new occurrence, you should suspect alcohol consumption. This is particularly true if it’s an off/on happening.

Increased Social Interaction

As you likely know, alcohol can have a seismic effect on one’s behavior.

It can turn a normally quiet person into the life of the party and transform a normally standoffish individual into an absolute flirt. In other words, it can increase the level of social interaction in which a person engages.

In notably quiet people, this shouldn’t be difficult to notice. In fact, you’ll probably feel as though as you’re with an entirely different person. It’s those that are already sociable who are difficult to assess.

In individuals such as these, you should assess conversational subject matter as opposed to conversational quantity.

If a normally respectful individual begins to speak provocatively about sex, politics, religion, and other taboo topics, alcohol intoxication could be at the source of the problem.

How to Tell if Someone is Drunk - A man dances by himself with his tie on his head. When people get drunk they do things they would not normally do it is one of the ways how to tell id someone is drunk, their actions.
A man dances by himself with his tie on his head.

How to Tell if Someone is Drunk, They Show a Lack of Emotional Regulation

While it’s not true for everyone, many individuals demonstrate drunkenness by losing control of their emotional regulation. As such, they become exceedingly angry, hostile, or melancholy during drinking sessions.

Is your friend getting extremely angry over something that’s of little consequence?

Is he or she clamming up and barely speaking to others? Maybe he or she is picking fights at the drop of a hat?

All of these are a cause for concern, whether they’re caused by alcohol consumption or not. For this reason, you need to get to the bottom of them sooner rather than later.

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Physical Imbalance

Another sign that you should look out for is a physical imbalance.

If someone is stumbling around, incapable of walking in a straight line, he or she is very likely under the influence of a toxic substance.

This substance could be any alcohol as well as a variety of other drugs.

This occurs due to the way that alcohol slows down the brain.

Because the brain can’t keep up with the movements of the body, it can’t send full signals to the portions of the body that allow for movement. As a result, stumbling, tripping and dragging inevitably occur.

Of course, this can be caused by other factors as well. However, if it’s popped up suddenly, alcohol or another drug is the likely culprit.

Dehydration

The last sign to look out for is dehydration. If your friend is demonstrating weakness or spontaneously downing water like a fish, he or she could very well be dehydrated as a result of alcohol consumption.

Generally speaking, the more alcohol a person drinks, the more dehydration he or she will experience. So, while you might not notice the effects initially, you’ll almost certainly notice them as the night goes on.

How to Tell if Someone is Drunk – When it Becomes a Problem.

Just because someone’s drunk doesn’t mean that he or she has a drinking problem. Just about every drinker has been drunk at some point in their life. So, at what point does drunkenness become a problem?

There are signs to look for so you know how to tell if someone is drunk. There are a number of scenarios that indicate a problem. However, the most common of them include the following.

When Responsibilities Aren’t Being Tended To

Is your friend’s drunkenness preventing him or her from going to work on a regular basis? Is he or she neglecting the care of his or her children in favor of drinking at the bar? If so, he or she most definitely has a problem.

When drinking takes precedence over responsibilities, it has the potential to send a person’s life into a full-on tailspin. If you know how to tell if someone is drunk you will be able to hold them accountable.

When they sober up you can say I know you were drunk last night or you had too many drinks. To prevent this from happening, professional treatment should be sought as soon as possible.

When Health is Being Jeopardized

Alcohol can cause a number of health problems, some of which are mental and some of which are physical.

These include liver disease, heart disease, memory problems, depression, and anxiety, to name just a few.

Inebriation can lead to ailments and injuries as well, including everything from bruises to broken bones to STDs and more.

If a person has experienced or is experiencing any sort of illness or injury as a result of alcohol consumption, his or her consumption has become a problem.

Again, professional treatment is recommended.

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When Reckless Behavior Has Become the Norm

Everyone is a little uninhibited when they’re drinking. However, when uninhibited turns into reckless, a problem has arisen. This is particularly true if it’s occurring on a regular basis.

Has your friend’s drunken behavior gotten him or her arrested? Has he or she put him or herself in dangerous situations? Has his or her drinking led to other, more extreme forms of drug abuse?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, there is most certainly a problem afoot. Seek treatment now before it’s too late.

How to Tell if Someone is Drunk – Finances are Affected

The last sign that a person’s drunkenness has become a problem is that his or her finances are being affected.

If he or she is spending exorbitant amounts of money for alcohol or if he or she is missing work in order to drink, there is undoubtedly a problem at hand.

At this point, the problem runs the risk of ruining the individual’s entire life. Not only is his or her life savings at risk but his or her credit score as well.

Paying the bills should always take priority over buying drinks.

If you notice this situation taking hold in a close friend or loved one’s life, you should act quickly.

Allowing it to continue for an extended period of time could have severe long-term consequences.

But if you nip it in the bud now, you can prevent it from spiraling out of control.

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Looking for a Reputable Rehab Center in Scottsdale, Arizona?

Now that you know how to tell if someone is drunk, you might be noticing signs of drunkenness in a friend or loved one.

If so, and if you’re looking for a reputable rehab center in the Scottsdale area, Pathfinders Recovery Center is the place to call.

We treat not only alcoholism but heroin, methamphetamine, and prescription pill addiction as well.

Whether your loved one suffers from one or more of these conditions, we have the resources needed to combat the problem.

Contact us now to discuss treatment!

What’s a Sponsor in Recovery and What are the Benefits of Having One?

What’s a Sponsor do for Addiction Recovery?

If you’ve done any reading about addiction recovery, you’ve probably run across the idea of sponsors.

These are especially popular in Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous, where the system is built to work with the help of a sponsor.

But what’s a sponsor, and what do they do?

A sponsor can be many things and can be crucial to your recovery.

From helping you find the resources you need to giving you home and motivation when you most need it, they can make your recovery easier and more successful.

Read on to learn more about what a sponsor is and how they can help you in recovery.

What's a Sponsor - Hand Writing Journey To Recovery with a marker over transparent board. Using a sponsor after treatment increases your odds to stay sober.
Hand Writing Journey To Recovery with a marker over transparent board

What’s a Sponsor?

Before we dive into all the benefits a sponsor can bring, let’s talk about what a rehab sponsor is. A sponsor can be many things: guide, cheerleader, confidant, accountability partner, and more.

They’re your mentor on the journey to sobriety, someone who has gone down that road before you and can help you along the way.

When you have questions about the recovery process, you can ask your sponsor. If an issue that you don’t feel comfortable discussing in a group comes up, you can talk to your sponsor about it.

When you’re tempted to relapse, you can call them and help find a different, healthier way to deal with what you’re feeling.

What Is a Sponsor Not?

There are a few things, however, that a sponsor is not. For that relationship to work well, there have to be a few boundaries drawn.

For one thing, a sponsor is not a spouse, romantic partner, or longtime friend; to successfully work with you, your sponsor needs to have a degree of separation from your life.

Your sponsor is also not your therapist, although you should work with a therapist during your recovery.

A therapist is there to help you get to the root of your problems and learn healthier coping mechanisms.

Your sponsor is there to help you stick to those new coping mechanisms and implement the tools you’ve learned in therapy in your life.

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How to Be a Sponsored

There are a few things you can do as someone who is sponsored to make sure you get the most out of the relationship with your sponsor.

For one thing, always show up to meetings with your sponsor.

If you’re going to beat addiction, you need to make it a priority in your life, and committing to showing up to meetings with your sponsor is a good way to do that.

Make sure to talk to your sponsor about their boundaries. Yes, they are there to help you when you need it, but they have to live their own life, too.

Ask them what times are okay to call, what to do during the times they can’t take calls, and what subjects they prefer to keep off-limits.

Get Shared Experience

Talking about addiction with someone who hasn’t experienced it can be difficult.

You may worry that they’re judging you, and even if they aren’t, there are things about that experience that they just can’t understand.

Having a sponsor who has been down the same road you have can help to fill that gap.

Talking about traumatic experiences with someone who understands can be very helpful, and your sponsor can provide you with that opportunity.

They know first-hand what it’s like to be an addict and just how challenging recovery can be. When they tell you you’re doing great, you can trust them, because they know the challenges you’re overcoming.

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Share Hope

In addition to sharing experiences, your sponsor can also share hope with you.

Yes, they’ve been down the same road as you, but they’re also further along the path.

They’re living proof that there is a way through and that things will get better with time.

It’s easy to say that things will improve, but when you’re fighting your way through withdrawal or recovery, you can’t always see that.

Your sponsor is living, tangible evidence that yes, things are hard right now, but they do get better. They can tell you when things will start looking uphill and keep you motivated to keep fighting.

Get Sympathy

Sometimes, however, what you need to hear isn’t, “Things will get better soon.”

Sometimes, where you are is so miserable that you just need someone to acknowledge that misery. Your sponsor can do that, too, and with more authority than anyone else in your life.

Your sponsor has fought the same fights and been through the same things you have. They know how hard recovery can be, and they can sympathize with you.

Just having someone acknowledge and validate the things you’re struggling with can make them easier to deal with, somehow.

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Find Accountability

During those tough times, you may be tempted to give up on the fight. Relapse is common among addicts precisely because of this reason.

Previously, drugs have been how you coped with bad times, and now you’re not only coping with the struggles of life, but also the challenges of recovery, and all without your usual coping mechanism.

Your sponsor can help keep you on the straight and narrow and give you a reason not to relapse.

Just knowing that someone will be checking in on you, will be disappointed if you fall off the wagon, and will be proud of you if you persevere can be enough to keep you going.

It’s also a lot harder to ignore the negative consequences of giving in to your addiction if you have to tell someone about it later.

Get Resources

No one goes through recovery alone; it’s too much of a struggle, and you need too much support.

A lot of that support may come from your loved ones, your recovery group, and your sponsor. But you may need additional resources and support outside of those people.

Your sponsor can help you find the resources you need to stay sober. They’re familiar with the rehab system and they know what options you have available to you.

They may be able to get you everything from books to read to inspire you to stay sober to contact information for doctors who have experience working with addicts.

What's a Sponsor - A group is taking karate lessons. In recovery it is recommended you find hobbies to keep yourself busy.
A group is taking karate lessons.

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

When you’re in recovery, stepping outside your comfort zone is very important. For too long, your comfort zone has been taking refuge in drugs, hiding from something in your life.

Now that you’re getting sober, you need to push your boundaries and find new ways to handle the bad things that come up in your life.

Your sponsor can help you to push outside of that comfortable cocoon.

They may be able to suggest new hobbies that can fill the hole in your life that drugs used to fill, or they may encourage you to go to therapy and start confronting challenging ideas about your life.

They can push you to be the best possible version of yourself so your recovery becomes a quest for self-improvement.

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Get Motivation

There are going to be times on your journey to sobriety when you feel like quitting.

You’re going to feel like you don’t have anything left to fight with, like you’re fighting a losing battle that’s never going to stop.

You’re going to want to give up, give in, and let your addiction wrest back control of your life.

During these times, your sponsor is there to stand beside you and give you the motivation to keep fighting. They’ll remind you why you quit in the first place and help you see how far you’ve come.

They’ll help you see the amazing things sobriety has brought to your life and get you back on your feet, ready to keep going into another day.

Avoid Pitfalls

Because your sponsor has been down this road already, they know what the recovery pitfalls are.

These are the things that tempt you and make relapse more likely. Knowing what these dangers are before you pass them can help you stay in recovery.

Your sponsor may recommend that you get involved in an activity that fills up your evenings so you don’t find yourself at loose ends. They may recommend avoiding certain things or sending out certain messages to your family before gatherings so you minimize temptations.

They may also know when things are likely to get hard and give you resources to deal with those bad times.

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Find a Sponsor

Knowing the answer to the question, “What’s a sponsor?” can help you have a more successful recovery.

Your sponsor is there to cheer you on and give you a preview of what’s coming down the road. They can get you the resources you need, provide motivation when it’s lacking, and keep you accountable through your recovery journey.

If you’d like to start on your road to sobriety, come see us at Pathfinders Recovery Centers.

We have programs for everyone from alcoholics to heroin addicts, and we can help you find the support you need.

Contact us today to start on your road to recovery!

Is it Possible to Live a Completely Sober Life?
This is What to Know

Live a Sober Life with Benefits

When it comes around to Friday or Saturday night, many of us have a routine.

We come home from work, get dressed up, and head out for a good time with friends.

Or maybe we sit down to dinner with a bottle of wine or a couple of beers, or maybe we go over to a friend’s house and smoke a joint.

Alcohol and drugs are so ingrained in our culture that living a completely sober life seems impossible.

But not only is this possible, but it can also come with some amazing benefits. Read on to learn more about how to live a sober life and what great things it can bring you.

Sober Life - Female hand rejecting glass with alcoholic beverage on blurred background. Pathfinders in Arizona has an Alcohol Rehab program to help you live a sober life.
Female hand rejecting glass with alcoholic beverage on blurred background

Have Honest Fun

Let’s start off with a simple answer to the question: sober living is possible, and it can bring a number of amazing benefits with it. For one thing, once you’re living sober, you’ll start to have more good, honest fun.

In our culture, there is an idea that you have to be drinking to have fun, but that simply isn’t true.

Think about all the amazing things you could be doing when you’re spending time in a bar, getting high, or drinking at home.

If the sun’s up, you could explore national parks or local museums, and at night, you and your friends could try different cuisines, go see local shows, or have a game night at home.

And best of all, unlike when you’re drinking or using drugs, you’ll remember every bit of fun.

Learn Healthy Coping Mechanisms

In our society, when things go wrong, people tend to turn to substance abuse as a coping mechanism. Everything from media to friends tells us that the response to a bad day at work is to have a stiff drink.

At the end of the week, we blow off steam and release some stress by tossing a few back or getting high with our friends.

But none of these coping mechanisms is healthy, and none of them get to the root of the issue. When you’re sober, you turn to healthier coping mechanisms like exercise, meditation, journaling, spending time with friends, and attending therapy.

And think about how much better it would feel to wake up on a Saturday morning, not hungover and crawling to the bathroom, but refreshed and ready to strap on your running shoes and go for a jog.

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Find Your Real Friends

One of the big barriers to sobriety for many people is a concern that they’ll lose their friends. After all, if you’re sober, it’s hard to hang out with friends who only hang out in bars or get high.

And since you can’t make lifestyle choices for anyone else, you may not be able to ask them to start doing something else.

We won’t deny that you may lose a few friends during your journey to sobriety. But here’s the good news: you’ll discover who your true friends are along the way, and you’ll have deeper and more genuine relationships with those people.

You become like the five people you spend the most time with, and once you start spending time sober, you’ll discover people who lead you to a better lifestyle.

Set Your Priorities Straight

When you’re using drugs, alcohol or otherwise, your priorities in life become warped. That substance starts to act like gravity, and your need for it pulls everything in your life out of perspective.

You may find that you aren’t where you want to be in your relationships, your career, or your personal achievements.

Once you start living sober, you can set your priorities back in line. You no longer have that substance demanding your time and resources, so you can start looking with fresh eyes at what you want in life.

You can rediscover what’s truly important in life and take steps to make that a priority in your daily routine.

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Discover New Opportunities

Drinking or getting high puts you in a haze in your life, and you may find that you’re missing out on some amazing opportunities. Maybe you’re stuck in a dead-end job because you can’t manage to go above and beyond in your performance.

Maybe you’re in a relationship that’s going nowhere because you can’t see how you could get anything better.

But once you’re sober, those doors start to open back up again. You have more energy and resources to put into doing the best work you can at your job, and you discover that you don’t have to stay in that toxic relationship.

You can begin to move onto better things in your life without the distraction of substance use weighing you down.

Become Financially Free

One of the consequences of drug use we don’t think about very often is the financial impact. Drinks are expensive, and drugs no less so.

You may be spending a lot of your money every week on alcohol or drugs, and that means you have a lot less money to spend in the important areas of life.

Imagine how much money you would have at the end of a year if you took the money you’re spending on drinks or drugs and put it into a savings account.

How long would it be until you could make a down payment on a car or go on a nice trip? How much longer until you could pay off all your debt or buy a house?

Sober Life - A man living the sober life does yoga in the desert. Since he has become sober he takes care of himself and enjoys the things around him.
A man does yoga in the desert.

Learn to Love Yourself

Oftentimes, when we’re drinking or using drugs, it’s because we don’t feel like we’re able to cope with life on our own. We may feel weak or unloved, and so we use these substances to cope.

And if you’ve tried getting sober in the past and failed, that may be weighing on you as proof that you aren’t good enough.

But as with every other area of your life, once you’re sober, you’ll be able to see yourself more clearly. You’ll start to see all the wonderful things you’ve done in your life and the beauty you live in each day.

You’ll also be able to take pride each day in the fact that you’re making the best choices for your life and your health.

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Help Others Around You

Once you’re on the path to sober living, you’ll also be gifted with a tremendous opportunity: the chance to help others around you.

For one thing, you’ll have more resources to contribute to things like volunteering or donating to charities if you wish. But you can also act as a role model to others working to get sober.

When you’re getting sober, you may have a role model or sponsor who helps you along the way. This person serves as an inspiration and a guide through the toughest parts of your journey.

And eventually, you may be able to play that role for someone else, helping them to unlock their best life.

Take It One Step at a Time

So how do you go about pursuing all these benefits of the sober life? One of the big tricks is to take things one step at a time.

If you’re dealing with an addiction, consider seeking treatment and help with both the withdrawal process and the steps to come.

From there, take things one little step at a time. However long you think you can go without drinking or using drugs, do that, and then tackle the next section of time.

This may mean taking things one hour at a time, but if you string enough consecutive hours together, eventually, you have a lifestyle of sobriety.

Find New Hobbies

When you’re getting sober, you may suddenly find that you have a ton of time on your hands. During the time you used to drink or get high, you’re now at loose ends.

And it’s very important to fill that time or it can become easy to slip back into old habits.

Pick up some new hobbies to fill that extra space in your life. For some people, this means working out, and for others, it’s volunteering.

You may get involved with a D&D game in your area or start learning woodworking or cake decorating or start attending improv or ballroom dance lessons in your area; pick something that sounds fun to you, and roll with it!

Be Kind to Yourself

Most of all, during this time, you need to be kind to yourself. Remember, one of the goals of getting sober is to feel better about yourself. And there may be setbacks during this time, but it’s never too late to get up and try again; in fact, you’ll be stronger for doing so.

Take time out for self-care during this time in your life. Reward yourself for hitting certain milestones, and don’t beat yourself up if things go off the rails for a bit.

Surround yourself with people who support you, and do your best to be good to yourself on your journey to sobriety.

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Learn How to Live a Sober Life

Living a sober life can be a challenge, but it’s one that’s more than worth the effort.

You’ll find yourself more fulfilled, happier, more connected, and better off than when you were drinking or using drugs.

Find the support you need, and be gentle with yourself as you journey down the path to a sober life.

If you’d like to start on your sober living journey today, reach out to us at Pathfinders Recovery Centers.

We treat a variety of addictions, ranging from alcoholism to heroin, meth, and prescription pill addictions.

Contact us today to start on the path to living a better life.

Signs of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Relapse

What are the Reasons Relapse May Occur?

For addicts going through the recovery process, most have been told something along the lines of “relapse is a part of recovery.” Is relapse part of the recovery process? The simple answer is no. Many individuals in recovery find success the first time around. However, alcoholics and drug addicts may experience a relapse, or multiple, when attempting to get clean and sober from their drugs of choice. Relapsing can be devastating to addicts themselves, but can also take a toll on the loved ones that surround them. This article is meant to inform those who suffer from addiction and their friends and family different reasons why this may continue happening, and how to deal with relapse as it comes.


Why Does an Addict Relapse?

drug-addiction-relapse

Addiction is unpleasant (to say the least) for the person suffering and their loved ones. Many people wonder what is the cause of addiction. Debated by some, addiction is a disease that results in changes to the brain from continued substance abuse. Addiction is not a disease that develops overnight; we generally pass through a series of phases that begin with experimenting and partying from time to time, gradually developing into loss of control regarding our substance intake.

Our substance use, be it alcohol or drugs, becomes compulsive and renders us acting irrational and abnormal. After an addict has been sober for some time the tendency to relapse is very strong. The data shows that each time you try to stay sober your likelihood of gaining lasting sobriety increases.


How our Brains Work in Conjunction With Addiction Relapse

Our brains contain complex reward systems, developed over time and evolved to help us pursue the things necessary to our survival (i.e. food, reproduction, etc). Our frontal lobes (the part of our brain that develops last and is crucial in our ability to predict, reason, and create) help us weigh the consequences of our impulses. When this system is functioning in conjunction with one another it helps us to make better decisions for ourselves.

However, in an addict it is as if our reward systems do not communicate properly with the frontal lobe in a cohesive and logical way. Our sensitive reward system can be triggered very easily causing us to crave drugs or alcohol. To sum it up, our minds don’t allow us to think the consequences of our actions through clearly, even after some time in recovery has passed.

Can you cure a drug addict? Many addicts believe their disease is one that will last forever, but this notion isn’t true. Thankfully, addiction is a disease that can be successfully treated. Education is key in kicking addiction. That’s why it’s so important to seek out the resources and information about different treatment options


Warning Signs of a Potential Relapse

drug addiction relapse, pathfinders recovery center in scottsdale arizona, heroin addiction treatment, meth detox center in scottsdale arizona

  • Excusing unhealthy behaviors – after some time passes it can become easier to slow down on internal growth and honest self-appraisal.  This happens so subtly that we don’t always notice when this is happening.  Then after some time we begin to justify the behaviors that risk our sobriety and increase our chances of relapse. We know in our hearts the behaviors are wrong yet we do them anyway.  This leads us to feelings of shame, anxiety, guilt etc…
  • Obsessing about work, money, or a romantic interest – These are good things for us to have in our lives.  The key is to learn not to obsess, and let these distract us from our primary goal of staying sober and learning to love ourselves.
  • Unhealthy spending habits – This is something that many addicts and alcoholics struggle with early in recovery.  Being irresponsible with our finances can lead to a heavy burden on our lives.  This is not conducive to the new life we are trying to lead and can produce more stress and anxiety.
  • Elevated levels of stress and anxiety – Most people that suffer from addiction are not monitoring this effectively in their early recovery. Therefor they cannot intervene on this in a healthy manner.  This can lead to the thought process of “a drink or a drug sounds like a good idea.”
  • Isolating – Because we as addicts have a tendency to  experience difficulty in monitoring our behavior and being honest with ourselves about the impact of that behavior, we need a sober social network and support system to help us see the truth. A sober social network can help us see how we are truly doing internally, and help us redirect the driving force of those behaviors into a healthy and more productive outlet.  We don’t do this alone and the beautiful thing about recovery is that we do not have to.
  • Romanticizing and glorifying your addiction – It is very easy for us to fall into this way of thinking, our minds remember the good times we had throughout our addiction, which there were plenty of.  If we didn’t enjoy it for so long before our lives came crashing down we would not have kept using drugs or drinking.  It can be difficult to remember the hangovers, withdrawals, lying, isolation, loneliness and pain we experienced that led us to try and get sober in the first place.  Make no mistake about it, it starts with a lot of fun but when the party is over, it is over.
  • Being a pessimist and forecasting negatively for your life – No one likes to feel depressed and hopeless.  Being honest and in touch with the real challenges that are ahead of us, while maintaining optimistic about those outcomes helps us to function more effectively. Having foresight for our futures, and believing we can be successful is key.  “those who believe they can, and those who believe that cannot are both usually right.”

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction please call Pathfinders Recovery Center today and speak with one of our founders directly.  You are not alone, and there is hope.

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