Friends of Bill W

Friends of Bill W

In the early stages of your sobriety journey, you may decide to enroll in a 12-step fellowship, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. There is a whole new way of thinking and making decisions that come with recovery, and there is also what may seem like a whole new language to learn: “AA jargon,” like the term ‘friends of Bill W.’

William Griffith Wilson, also known as Bill Wilson, or “Bill W.,” and co-founder Bob Smith, or “Bob,” are the originators of several AA terminologies, sayings, and expressions. Since the group’s inception, several idioms have emerged, including the association with Bill W that has become synonymous with membership, especially as shorthand on cruise lines and ships.

Keep reading for our guide to what 12-step programs offer as well as a helpful resource for the AA jargon often used by members.

What Is AA Language?

Many expressions and idioms associated with sobriety may be found in AA and NA literature. They might be used by other 12-step groups that follow the AA paradigm. The AA jargon originated for several causes.

Phrases like “it works when you work it” is meant to serve as reminders of basic ideas for the group. Following the AA Traditions, the organization chooses to use phrases like “Friends of Bill W.” to ensure that its members’ anonymity is maintained.

You may learn the language of the organization and its members by looking at some real-life instances of the most popular AA jargon, and you may even be familiar with some sayings like, “One Day at A Time.’

Taking the Next Right Action

Participating and working the 12 Steps and regularly attending AA groups is known as the “Right Action.” More specifically, attending an AA meeting and participating with the help of a sponsor is considered the right action. At any given meeting, you’ll find many participants attending with their sponsors, who are in recovery themselves.

“Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Over a Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism” is the basic text of AA and is usually referred to as “The Big Book.” There are many inspiring accounts of AA members’ journeys to sobriety outlined within its pages.

Actions that are “correct” for AA members are those that are accomplished via working the steps. Following the Steps is meant to help one develop a more positive outlook on life, other people, and the recovery process as a whole. In an effort to alter a substance-abusing lifestyle, a shift in outlook and approach is essential.

Friends of Bill W. and Cruise Ships

Friends of Bill W. and Cruise Ships

The term “a friend of Bill W.” used in AA does not relate to anyone you may know in real life. Instead, it is a code term used to conceal the identities of the group’s participants. Why do individuals in recovery value anonymity so highly, and what does it entail exactly?

The anonymity of its members is one of AA’s core tenets. In a word, anonymity in AA meetings implies that everyone there will respect your privacy and keep whatever you say to themselves.

You may be asked if you know Bill W if you are seen loitering around the meeting place and peering through doors or windows.

The person asking you this code word is trying to determine whether you are truly seeking the AA meeting in a method that keeps your identity secret.

Originally, the term “friends of Bill W.” was used as a cruise compass to find meetings onboard cruise ships where members wanted to stay completely anonymous on vacation but still sneak in a meeting or two. Signage that indicates a meeting for ‘friends of Bill W’ can still be seen on cruise lines around the world, though the term is used somewhat less as many people proudly acknowledge their recovery and membership, even in otherwise Anonymous 12-step programs.

The Importance of Anniversaries and Birthdays in Sobriety

All recovery steps are celebrated as successes in AA and other 12-step programs. When a member of AA or NA reaches certain sobriety milestones, such as 30 days, 90 days, six months, etc., they get a “chip” as a physical reminder of their accomplishment.

The passage of another year signifies the occurrence of a “birthday.” The moderator of a meeting may inquire if someone is honoring one of these dates. At an alcoholics anonymous meeting, a “10th yearly birthday” is the anniversary of a person’s sobriety rather than their actual birth date. Thus, it’s understood that the individual has been sober for 10 years.

Importance of Anniversaries and Birthdays in Sobriety

In the Eastern part of the United States, anniversaries are more common than birthdays, so you might not hear much about a person’s “anniversary” instead of their “birthday.” Biological anniversaries are sometimes referred to as “belly button birthdays” to avoid confusion.

Old-Timers and The Traditions of the 12 Steps

The phrase “old-timer” is commonly used among AA group members, but you might be startled to learn that the person being referred to as such is actually rather young. That’s because the only factor that matters for determining whether or not someone is an old-timer in AA is how long they’ve been attending meetings and maintaining continuous sobriety.

A long-term AA member is a veteran of the program. These people may take up roles as meeting facilitators, sponsors, or event volunteers within the organization. Some long-time members can even recite large chunks of The Big Book verbatim.

Of course, there will always be some “old-timers” who have “been around the block,” so to speak, when it comes to AA recovery, so you might encounter an “old-timer” who is actually older. In such an instance, “a seasoned AA member” could be the most accurate description.

A Dry Drunk and the Importance of Active Participation

Addiction recovery communities outside of AA may find the phrase “dry drunk” unpleasant because it is not a clinical word. This word describes a person who has abstained from substance use but has taken no further measures toward recovery.

In an AA context, this might signify that the individual has ceased working the 12 Steps and attending meetings.

A “dry drunk” is someone who has stopped drinking or doing drugs but hasn’t changed their outlook on life or the way they think about things. When someone is in this mental state, they may have feelings of nostalgia, fixation, and a desire to reexperience the euphoric benefits of drug or alcohol usage.

Clinical research has confirmed that this is a real phenomenon that can occur during either the emotional or mental relapse stages. According to the research, when alcoholics relapse, it is a slow process that typically begins with thoughts and feelings of obsession with drugs or alcohol.

It Works If You Work It

Setting up chairs for AA Meeting

The “work” of AA revolves around the 12 Steps, a set of recovery principles. Using the AA fellowship, going through the 12 Steps, and living by the 12 Traditions of AA are all examples of “working it,” and the statement “it works if you work it” describes this process well. The “work” of AA includes not just meeting with other members but also performing acts of service to the community. Examples of this service include the following:

  • Community service (e.g., setting up chairs, making beverages, or other tasks required for a meeting)
  • Reaching out to fellow 12-steppers to aid a struggling newbie.
  • Meeting leadership
  • Accepting and supporting newcomers via sponsorship
  • Putting in a request to share your AA success story as a speaker

Step 13: A Step Better Left Alone

If you’re lucky enough to avoid having to go through Step 13 during your time in recovery, the expression simply refers to a sexual relationship between a seasoned AA member and a newcomer to the fellowship who has just discovered meetings.

Suffice to say, when you’re first becoming sober, it’s not a good idea to jump into a new romantic relationship.

Friends of Bill W. and Methods of Celebrating Fellowship

Whether it’s friends of Bill W. or another type of lingo used at get-togethers, if there’s one thing this “secret code” does besides maintain anonymity, it also promotes a higher level of support by creating a camaraderie. This gives people who join a new type of hope and a sense of accountability, as there’s a distinct feeling that they’re a part of something unique and special.

At Pathfinders Recovery, we use a similar mindset, organizing get-togethers in the form of a 12-Step Meeting, giving clients a chance to bond with peers, in addition to taking part in some type of spiritual or holistic experience.

Not only does this give clients a chance to bond with peers, but there’s additional expert advice available via group meetings you wouldn’t otherwise have access to with counselor meetings.

We would love to get you on board with our groundbreaking treatment program! To find out how we can help you on your path to recovery and lay a strong spiritual foundation, contact a member of our admissions team today.

 

I Drink Every Night. Am I An Alcoholic?

I Drink Every Night am I An Alcohol Abuser?

Is a Nightly Drink Alcoholism?

Alcohol use disorder comes in many shapes and sizes. When most people picture alcohol use disorders, the stereotypical profile probably manifests in their mind’s eye: An unkempt, 40 or 50-something that slurs their words, in a state of constant over-emotion. If it’s a male, he probably has a perpetual five o’clock shadow and wreaks of cheap liquor.

While this person certainly exists, and some of us may have met them, the assumption that every alcoholic comes packaged this way is far from the truth. Alcohol use disorder looks like your neighbors, friends, family, and doctor – the possibilities are endless.

The problem with stereotypes like the one mentioned above is that alcohol has no target demographic, and these types of assumptions can make it hard to identify individuals who really need help. In many cases, individuals dealing with alcohol use disorder have no idea that they fit the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) criteria for potentially being an alcoholic.

In fact, individuals suffering from alcohol use disorder don’t even have to frequently reach the point of intoxication or being drunk to earn this diagnosis. What does it take to meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder?

Does Daily Drinking Equal Alcoholism?

I drink every night am I an alcoholic

“I drink every night. Am I an alcoholic?” If you or someone you know has asked this question in regard to drinking habits, it might be time to assess where you stand.

How exactly does one reach the answer to this question? Is there a technical answer or a more specific classification for these types of drinkers?

One of the easiest ways to gauge where you stand when it comes to alcohol use disorder is by using the stages of alcoholism. Comparing your situation to the stages of alcoholism can give you a clear picture of where you stand and what your next course of action should be.

I Drink a Lot Every Weekend. Am I an Alcoholic?

Plenty of working-class Americans arrives home after the workweek to a waiting alcoholic beverage of their choice. It’s not uncommon for many of them to have a single drink and abstain from a second or third. However, the repeated usage of large amounts of alcohol each weekend may be a sign of an alcohol use disorder.

During the workweek though, does a daily pattern of just one drink per day equate to alcohol use disorder? Let’s take a look at the numbers according to the NIAAA.

Drinking In Moderation

Drinking in moderation is considered the consumption of two drinks or less in one single day for men or one drink or less for women. However, there is no clear specification regarding consecutive days under this classification. Let’s see what else the NIAAA has to say.

Binge Drinking

I drink every night am I can alcoholic: binge drinking

Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking that regularly brings the BAC to 0.08 – the legal limit in most state’s for DUI. In the average male, this is about five drinks in a period of two hours. Notice that this states a pattern of regularity but still doesn’t specify a certain number of days.

Heavy Alcohol Use

Heavy alcohol use in men is the consumption of four drinks in one day or the regular consumption of 14 drinks in one week. For women, the consumption of seven drinks in one week is considered heavy alcohol use. SAMHSA considers heavy alcohol use as binge drinking on five or more days during the month.

The NIAAA literature goes on to say that patterns associated with alcohol use disorder include regular patterns of binge drinking and heavy alcohol use. After reading the characteristics outlined by the NIAAA, it’s much easier to answer individuals who ask, “I drink every night. Am I an alcoholic?”

Based on the characteristics outlined above, if an adult male limits his intake to one single drink per day, he isn’t considered an alcoholic. However, two drinks per day, which would equal 14 per week, would land him in alcohol use disorder territory.

However, because alcohol use disorder is often progressive, it would be unwise to assume that someone regularly consuming one drink per day wasn’t dangerously bordering alcoholism.

One of the most commonly repeated themes among individuals who consume alcohol is the affirmation that their drinking is under control or moderated. Because individuals can technically drink every day and not be considered alcoholics, are there any specific steps to further assist in an act already considered “moderate drinking?”

Can You Moderate Regular Drinking?

It’s strongly recommended that anyone engaging in moderate drinking doesn’t participate in binge drinking or heavy drinking. When this happens, the line between moderate drinking and alcohol abuse disorder starts to blur.

If you know someone that is considered a moderate drinker, it may be critical to remain vigilant of the signs of alcohol use disorder. The following section outlines things to look out for.

What Are the Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder?

Many pouring a shot, asks himself about his alcoholism

Although everyone handles alcohol use disorder individually and displays different symptoms, certain behaviors may be more noticeable. The following list contains some of the more common characteristics displayed by individuals with alcohol use disorder.

  • Increasingly negative consequences resulting from drinking. Some of these may be family-related, while some may be more severe and include legal issues.
  • Drinking to the point of not remembering the events of the night or days before
  • Attempting to cover up or lie about the amount of alcohol they consume
  • Feeling the constant need for a drink before going out or engaging in a social activity
  • Hiding their drinking altogether
  • Drinking more than intended or more than other people present for an event or special occasion
  • Using drinking as a stress-reliever or response to negative events
  • Putting drinking before important family events
  • Verbalizing a want to stop drinking but never going through with these commitments

 

While these can all be significant red flags alerting you to the presence of alcohol use disorder, a formal examination can provide a more accurate diagnosis. There are currently five measures that officially determine alcohol dependency.

Methods to Determine Alcohol Dependency

The following five measures are all accepted methods for determining the presence of alcohol dependency.

Alcohol Timeline Followback

This method requires a detailed picture of an individual’s daily drinking habits over a specific time period. Individuals may be required to provide details regarding the prior year.

Form 90

Form 90 is a more specific type of measurement to determine specific changes before and after a 90-day abstinence period. This is typically used as a post-treatment form of measurement.

Drinking Self-Monitoring Log

This measurement requires more detailed information regarding the frequency of an individual’s drinking habits.

Lifetime Drinking Measures

This requires an individual to provide a rough estimate of their habits over the course of their life or any period longer than a year.

Quantity-Frequency Measures

This requires information regarding the individual’s amount of alcohol used and the frequency or regularity of this consumption.

The importance of determining the presence of alcohol dependency is critical to mitigate the risks associated with drinking daily. Keep in mind that these risks are both physical and mental in nature.

Effects and Risks of Daily Drinking

Daily drinking is a habit that can take place on a moderate or severe level. Obviously, someone who drinks daily in high amounts has greater odds of negative consequences than someone who drinks in moderation.

In the past, health professionals believed that moderate levels of drinking posed little to no health risks. In fact, many sources stated that smaller amounts of daily drinking could actually have a positive impact on your health.

However, more recent studies show that, in reality, there is no safe level of drinking. Even moderate amounts can have a negative impact on the way the brain functions.

There are short-term and long-term risks for individuals who actively engage in daily drinking. Even in small amounts, the short-term risks can produce potentially life-changing consequences.

I Drink Every Night. Am I An Alcoholic?

Short-term Risks

Short-term risks of daily drinking are less associated with acute health issues and more closely related to the negative consequences of challenging behavior. Immediate physical health risks normally don’t become a factor until users frequently engage in binge drinking.

Moderate daily drinking may put users at risk for the following:

  • Accidents related to intoxication, especially since users consume small amounts and don’t believe they are impaired in any way
  • Injuries that take place as a result of slower reaction times
  • Engaging in dangerous or impulsive behavior because of impaired judgment
  • The potential for legal issues associated with poor decision-making

When someone consumes alcohol in small amounts, they may feel like they’re not impaired, which promotes a false sense of security. This momentarily lapse of critical thinking is what leads to the increased risk of the situations mentioned above.

After significant amounts of time spent consistently engaging in daily alcohol consumption, more serious effects may begin to surface.

Long-term Risks

The long-term risks and effects of alcohol can take a toll on the mind and body of individuals with alcohol use disorder.

Mental effects include:

  • Changes in mood
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Negative impact on relationships

 

The physical effects can be even more challenging and can even be deadly in the worst cases. Potential risks include:

  • Conditions associated with inflammation of the pancreas
  • Long-term liver damage
  • Decreased pancreatic functions lead to higher sugar levels that may cause diabetes
  • Numbness in hands and feet
  • Damage to the digestive system
  • High blood pressure and irregular heartbeat

 

The risk of developing any of the symptoms side effects mentioned above should be enough to trigger the motivation to stop drinking every day. However, individuals with substance abuse disorder may find it difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

How Can I Stop Drinking Every Day?

How to Stop Drinking | Pathfinders Recovery CentersIt’s possible to create a plan for recovery and successfully refrain from drinking every day. However, once the situation reaches the level of developing mental and physical symptoms that are directly caused by alcohol use disorder, the goal should be to stop drinking completely.

Consider the following steps as a pathway to recovery:

  • Look into the benefits of residential rehab. If you feel like you need professional help to overcome alcohol use disorder, you’re probably a good candidate for inpatient treatment.
  • Don’t stop when treatment is over. Continue to remain proactive in battling substance use disorder by attending 12-step recovery groups and maintaining a strong support system.
  • Alternatively, if you’ve been ordered to attend any type of court-ordered treatment, use this as a stepping stone to recovery. Sometimes your greatest challenges are actually blessings in disguise.

 

Alcohol use disorder doesn’t just disappear after treatment or a certain period of recovery. However, if you actively seek out ways to strengthen your support systems and maintain high levels of willpower, the daily struggle against alcohol use disorder gets easier with time.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we’ve helped clients navigate their recovery from alcohol use disorders of all kinds and severities. From detox services to inpatient treatment with multiple approaches to therapy, you’ll have access to different treatment levels that we believe can be very successful in promoting long-term recovery.

Contact an Admissions team member to find out more about how we can help provide you with the tools you need to take your life back.

Fentanyl Overdose Symptoms: A Deeper Look

Fentanyl Overdose Symptoms

Combating the Fentanyl Overdose Epidemic

Turn on the news and you’ll undoubtedly hear about fentanyl use in many communities today. It’s quite likely that you may know someone who will succumb to fentanyl overdose symptoms at some point. This is because around 60% of opioid-related deaths in the U.S. today are caused by fentanyl. Clearly, more education is needed in regards to this drug.

Fentanyl as an adulterant has become quite popular. Initially drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine were laced with fentanyl. Many people didn’t know that fentanyl made these drugs more powerful and deadly. Today, people know about fentanyl and some will even admit that it’s their substance of choice.

What You Should Know About Fentanyl

When someone is addicted to fentanyl, they’re addicted to a drug that’s 50 – 100 times more potent than heroin. This is why the drug poses such a high risk for an accidental overdose. Since fentanyl is still being added to many other drugs, there’s the added danger that a person may not even know that they’re taking it.

What is Fentanyl?

Although fentanyl originated as a prescription medication (a.k.a. Actiq, Duragesic, Sublimaze) that was used to treat severe pain, it’s now being made and used illegally as well. In this regard it’s similar to morphine. Tolerance to synthetic opioids occurs when someone needs a higher dose or needs to use it more frequently to obtain the desired effects.

Where is Fentanyl Found?

Besides being found in heroin and cocaine, counterfeit fentanyl pills are now hitting the street. They’re being sold as ecstasy, oxycodone, and alprazolam. These pills are widely available and easy to purchase. This is dangerous because many people aren’t even aware of what they’re taking.

How do you know if you’ve been exposed to fentanyl?

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) warns that someone may come into contact with fentanyl without even knowing it. Therefore, it’s important to understand what some of the signs of exposure in non users include. Some of the things you should watch for include:

  • Slow breathing
  • Drowsiness
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Lack of consciousness
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Blue lips or fingernail beds
  • Cold, clammy skin

 

How Should You Handle Fentanyl?

Recently there’s been a lot of talk regarding harm reduction and opioid safety. This is caused by the rise in usage and deaths from such drugs. For the safe handling of fentanyl the CDC suggests you take the following precautions:

  • Whenever you’re in an area where you suspect there’s fentanyl, make sure you don’t eat, drink, smoke, or use the bathroom.
  • Never touch your eyes, mouth, or nose if you’ve touched a surface that you believe may be contaminated with fentanyl.
  • Don’t do anything that may cause the fentanyl to become airborne. If you believe that the drug is already in the air, make sure you wear respiratory protection.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water immediately after you think you’ve been exposed to fentanyl. This is something you should do even if you wore gloves while in the area. Make sure you don’t use a hand sanitizer or a bleach solution because doing so will enhance the drug’s absorption into your skin.

 

It’s important to understand that it doesn’t take much fentanyl to overdose. Police and first responders are in harm’s way each and every time they respond to a suspected fentanyl overdose. While there are policies in place to help protect them, these policies continually need updated as we learn more about this drug.

How and Why Do People Use Fentanyl?

Fentanyl Overdose Symptoms

Fentanyl is made in a lab. It’s then sold in the form of a powder. Many dealers mix it with other drugs since it only takes a very small amount of inexpensive fentanyl to get high. This is very dangerous because most people don’t even realize that they’re taking fentanyl. Since their body isn’t use to the effects of fentanyl they’re more likely to overdose.

Those who find out that they’re taking fentanyl may willingly replace their other drugs with it. They will typically use it in an eye dropper or as a nasal spray. Some people will make pills out of it so that it looks like other prescription opioids.

How does Fentanyl Affect the Brain?

Fentanyl is an opioid similar to heroin and morphine. Opioids bind to the body’s opioid receptors. These are located in the part of your brain that’s responsible for controlling pain and emotions. After you take opioids numerous times your brain adapts to the drug so you’re now dependent upon it. When this happens you may experience some of the following effects:

  • Extreme happiness
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Sedation
  • Drowsiness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Confusion
  • Problems breating

Does Fentanyl Lead to Dependence?

Fentanyl will eventually lead to dependence. This is because of how potent the drug is. Even a person who’s taking the drug under a doctor’s supervision may become dependent upon it. They will experience withdrawal symptoms when the drug is stopped.

Sometimes dependence results in addiction. This is the most severe type of substance abuse disorder. When someone is addicted to drugs they’ll become compulsive in seeking it out. They’ll also continue to use the drug even though it may be causing them problems at work, home, or school.

When someone stops taking fentanyl they will have severe withdrawal symptoms within a few hours. These symptoms include:

  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Uncontrollable leg movements
  • Cold flashes (including goosebumps)
  • Issues with sleeping
  • Severe cravings
  • Diarrhea and vomiting

 

As you can imagine, the symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal are extremely uncomfortable. They’re what causes so many people to remain addicted to this drug. The FDA is currently working on medications and devices to help people withdraw more comfortably.

Can You Overdose on Fentanyl?

As with any other drug, it’s possible to overdose on fentanyl. This happens when a drug causes serious adverse effects and life-threatening symptoms within your body. For instance, when someone overdoses on fentanyl their breathing will slow – even to the point of stopping. When this happens less oxygen makes its way to their brain. This is a condition that’s known as hypoxia. It can result in a person becoming comatized. At that point permanent brain damage and even death may occur.

How Much Fentanyl Can Kill You?

Just a quick note regarding fentanyl overdose amounts before discussing what a fentanyl overdose looks like. Although you never want to experiment with drugs like fentanyl, you may still wonder how much of it can kill you. Based on the amount of fentanyl in your system, here’s what you may be able to expect, but be very aware these are not exact and depend on general opiate and opioid tolerance:

 

  • 25 mcg is not fatal
  • 50 mcg places you at a modest risk of an overdose
  • 100 mcg places you at a moderate risk of an overdose
  • 150 mcg places you at a significant risk of an overdose
  • 250 mcg places you at a high risk of an overdose
  • 400 mcg places you at a extreme risk of an overdose
  • 700 mcg means death is likely
  • 1,000 mcg means death is near certain
  • 2,000 mcg means death is imminent

What are Some Fentanyl Overdose Symptoms?

Typically, opioids are measured in milligrams. However, fentanyl is measured in micrograms. These are 1,000 times smaller than a milligram. Hence why people so easily overdose on fentanyl. It only takes a very small amount to do so. All it takes is 2 mg of fentanyl which is like a pinch of salt.

While fentanyl itself is very dangerous, even worse variants have started to become more popular in recent years. Carfentanil is an elephant tranquilizer that’s 10,000 times more potent than morphine. It only takes the amount of a small grain of sand to kill an adult. This is why professionals call fentanyl and its offshoots the deadliest opionids in existence today. It’s also why it’s important to know what the symptoms of a fentanyl overdose include.

The typical overdose occurs quite quickly. Usually it only takes a few seconds. During these fleeting moments you must determine whether someone is suffering from an opioid or fentanyl overdose. There are some atypical signs that you should look for, including:

  • A person’s lips may immediately turn blue or grey
  • Their body may stiffen and show activity that’s similar to a seizure
  • They may start foaming at their mouth
  • They will be confused before becoming unresponsive

 

Common Signs of Fentanyl Overdose

Some of the more typical signs that a person who’s suffering from a fentanyl overdose will show include:

  • Dizziness: They’ll struggle to remain steady on their feet. They’ll also find that it’s difficult for them to remain in an upright position. They can neither sit nor stand but their body will need to lie down.
  • Weakness: Besides theri body being unable to remain upright, it’ll also grow weak. Fatigue is quite common. Even the person’s extremities may become limp.
  • Sleepiness: Since their brain isn’t getting enough oxygen, the person will start to experience feelings of drowsiness.
  • Hypoventilation: You may assume that you’d need to watch for rapid, erratic breaths. However, you should be watching for slow breathing. This is because opioids negatively impact the area of your brain that’s responsible for breathing.

 

Fentanyl Overdose Symptoms

You can seek help prior to a person overdosing. It’s important to know what symptoms to look for here. When you see any of the following symptoms it’s a good idea to seek medical intervention for the person:

  • A slow heart rate
  • Clumsiness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Unconsciousness when left untreated may result in the person slipping into a coma

 

When someone becomes unconscious you should seek medical attention immediately. These other signs should also be a red flag for anyone who believes their in the presence of someone who’s used fentanyl

What to Do When Someone Overdoses?

Whenever someone you know overdoses on fentanyl, it’s important to treat them with Narcan immediately. Thanks to the ‘Good Samaritan laws’ on overdose you shouldn’t be afraid to do so.

These laws have been put in place so you have immunity from arrest and prosecution when trying to help a victim of an overdose.

What should you know about Narcan?

Narcan and fentanyl overdose go hand-in-hand. This is because naloxone acts as a temporary antidote for opioid overdoses. When it’s administered properly naloxone can restore a person’s normal breathing and consciousness. Further treatment will still be necessary due to the depression of breathing. The person who overdosed should be taken to the hospital immediately.

Unfortunately, Narcan revival isn’t without some risks. You need to be aware of the risks of Narcan revival which may include:

  • Increased blood pressure: This is the most common side effect.
  • Nasal dryness, swelling, inflammation or congestion
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Headache

 

Some people who are revived with Narcan may become assaultive upon regaining consciousness. For your safety, this is something you should be prepared to manage.

Treating Fentanyl Addiction

Treatment for fentanyl overdose is similar to treatment for other addictions. You should receive a combination of both medication and behavioral therapy. This combination is the most effective way to treat your addiction.

Medication Assisted Treatment Options

Fentanyl Overdose Symptoms

Two of the more popular medications that are used to help you withdraw from fentanyl include buprenorphine and methadone. They work by binding the opioid receptors in your brain that were influenced by fentanyl. In doing so they help to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Naltrexone is another medication that’s frequently used. It blocks your body’s opioid receptors that that fentanyl doesn’t have any affect.

Counseling for Fentanyl Dependence

You should also seek counseling along with any medication your doctor may prescribe for your fentanyl addiction. Behavioral therapy will help you modify your attitude and behavior related to drug use. At the same time, they’ll also help you increase your healthy living skills (e.g., ensuring you take your medication properly).

There are a few different types of therapy that you may find beneficial. These include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy helps modify your behavior regarding fentanyl use. It will also help you effectively manage your behaviors, triggers, and stress.
  • Contingency management is a voucher-based system in which you earn “points” for negative drug tests. These points can be used for items that encourage healthy living.
  • Motivational interviewing is a patient-centered type of counseling style in which your mixed feelings regarding change are addressed.

Getting Help for a Fentanyl Addiction

Fortunately, you can overcome an addiction to fentanyl. When you start exploring fentanyl treatment options you’ll find that our evidence-based medication and therapy are the best treatment around. At Pathfinders Recovery Center we want you to regain control of your life. So, if you need help obtaining your sobriety, get in contact with us today.

The Benefits of Stopping Drinking

Why You Might Need Help to Stop Drinking

One of the hardest things for many people to admit is if they need help to stop drinking.

Alcohol plays a big part in most people’s lives, with many people drinking when socializing with friends or family.

Some people drink for other reasons, including as a way to deal with stress or to deal with mental health issues.

Alcohol does not help these issues and can, in fact, make them worse.

The best way to get help to stop drinking is to attend an alcohol abuse treatment program.

What Are The Benefits of Stopping Drinking? - Pathfinders - A man sits with a bottle of liquor on his coffee table as he pours another glass of hard liquor, as he contemplates the benefits of stopping drinking.

Understanding Alcohol Abuse Treatment

When someone has a problem with drinking too much alcohol, it can affect many different parts of their lives.

These effects can range from negative physical and mental health effects to problems at work and with relationships.

Alcohol abuse treatment helps people with a drinking problem in a few different ways.

These programs typically combine both medical and behavioral treatments.

With these two things, alcohol rehabs help their clients learn what led to their alcohol abuse, as well as ways to avoid drinking in the future.

Immediate Placement in Alcohol Rehab – Get Help Now

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How Alcohol Abuse Can Affect Your Health

One of the most important things we discuss at alcohol abuse treatment is how alcohol can negatively affect your health.

This is a major reason why people need to seek help to stop drinking.

Alcohol causes damage to your heart. This can lead to an irregular heartbeat, damage to your heart muscle, high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.

Many people who attend alcohol abuse treatment also have problems with their liver.

Alcohol abuse can cause problems including a fatty liver, cirrhosis, fibrosis, and something called alcoholic hepatitis.

This serious inflammation of the liver can cause damage to the cells in your liver, and even cell death.

Alcoholic hepatitis can cause death if it is very serious.

Another major health risk of alcohol abuse is cancer.

People who abuse alcohol are more likely to develop certain kinds of cancer, including throat, liver, breast, and colon cancers.

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Mental Illness and Alcohol Abuse Treatment

Another issue we often discuss at our alcohol abuse treatment center is the ways that alcohol abuse can affect your mental health.

Even if you did not have mental health issues before you needed help to stop drinking, you can still experience mental health symptoms.

This is because people who abuse alcohol are much more likely to have problems with anxiety, depression, and handling stress.

Alcoholism is a chronic disease because of the way that alcohol abuse changes how your brain transmits chemicals.

Because alcohol is a depressant, this means that it makes you feel relaxed by slowing down your nervous system.

In the short term, this can make mental health problems go away.

In the long term, your brain forgets how to regulate itself when you are not drinking.

When someone who needs help to stop drinking is sober, they often feel increased levels of depression and anxiety.

This leads to them continuing to abuse alcohol in order to try and feel better.

This is another reason why there are benefits in stopping drinking.

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How Stopping Drinking can Benefit You

Getting back to a place where you feel healthy again is one of the main reasons to go to alcohol abuse treatment.

There are many ways that getting help to stop drinking can benefit your overall health. The benefits of stopping drinking vary from person-to-person, but overall, there are various benefits that will help you live an addiction-free life.

These can include:

  • Healthier Skin – Many people who need help to stop drinking have problems with their skin. This is because alcohol can cause issues such as chronic dehydration, jaundice, broken capillaries, and reduced collagen levels. All of these can make your skin look red, dull, or aged. When you stop drinking, your skin will gradually improve as these issues clear up.
  • Better Sleep – Many people may think that alcohol makes them sleep better, but the opposite is true for people who abuse alcohol. Alcohol interferes with your sleep cycles, making it harder to get a restful night’s sleep. Getting sober will help you to relearn better sleeping habits.
  • A Healthier Weight – Alcohol has no nutritional value, and yet is full of calories. This makes weight gain very common for people who need help to stop drinking. When you stop drinking, you will be consuming fewer calories which can help you lose weight.
  • Better Mental Health – Stopping drinking will not on its own cure a mental health problem. But it can help make the symptoms much more manageable. This is because your brain will relearn how to regulate chemicals like it is supposed to, helping you have more even emotions and fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • A Stronger Immune System – Another side effect of alcoholism is a weakened immune system. This means that you are more likely to get sick with colds, the flu, and even pneumonia when you abuse alcohol. As soon as you stop drinking your immune system will improve, and you will likely experience fewer illnesses.
  • A Lower Risk of Cancer, Heart, and Liver Problems – It is best that you get help to stop drinking before it causes any major health problems. But even if you are having symptoms of some issues, there are still reasons to quit drinking. As soon as you stop drinking alcohol, your body can repair some types of alcohol-related damage. What is more important is that you will not inflict any further damage on your organs, and your risk of getting alcohol-related cancers will drop as well.

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How can you get Help to Stop Drinking?

No matter what led you to need alcohol abuse treatment, getting help is the answer to stop drinking.

There are many treatment options available at our alcohol treatment center that help you stop drinking.

We offer both medical and behavioral treatment programs.

Medical programs involve using medicines that are approved to help alcoholics to stop drinking.

There are three different options: disulfiram, naltrexone, and acamprosate.

Each of these drugs works by either making drinking uncomfortable, making you unable to get drunk, or helping to reduce cravings for alcohol.

Behavioral treatment programs are the most important part of alcohol abuse treatment.

They help you to see the thoughts and behaviors that were leading to your alcohol abuse.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we encourage clients to try both individual and group therapy sessions to fully understand the benefits of stopping drinking.

We also believe that clients with families should consider family therapy as well.

Having a strong family bond helps you to have a better support system when your alcohol abuse treatment program is completed.

Family therapy will help by working to repair any damage that your alcohol abuse caused within the family unit and lower your chances of experiencing a relapse.

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Get the Help You Need at Alcohol Rehab

There are many reasons that led our clients to need alcohol abuse treatment.

That is why we offer a range of treatment options to suit every client and every situation.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we know exactly what it takes to get your life back to normal after addiction.

Our premier addiction treatment centers are located in upscale areas throughout the Scottsdale, Arizona area.

Our luxury locations provide you with a comfortable and home-like atmosphere so that our clients feel safe and secure throughout their treatment program.

We help ensure your success by using only scientifically researched, cutting edge, and effective drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.

We have over 25 years of experience in helping people with addictions and co-occurring disorders to overcome their addictions.

Many of our clients wonder whether or not they will be able to take advantage of their health insurance benefits to help cover their treatment.

That is why we accept most major insurances through our free insurance verification.

Simply give us a call and one of our addiction specialists can check to see how much of your treatment program will be covered by your insurance before you begin treatment.

You can trust us to communicate with your insurance provider to ensure that you receive every benefit that you are entitled to.

Do not let alcohol continue controlling your life and negatively impacting your health.

Let us use our years of experience to help you get on the path to a meaningful and lasting recovery by understanding the benefits of stopping drinking.

Contact us today and see the difference getting our rehab programs can make to ensure that you are around to practice law for years to come.

Recovering Alcoholics in Relationships

What to Know About Recovering Alcoholics in Relationships

Recovering alcoholics in relationships faces unique challenges.

This is true because your relationships and home life have a major impact on your state of well-being.

Solid relationships may help make your recovery easier.

However, dysfunctional ones have the potential to send your recovery spinning far off-track.

In a worst-case scenario, you may find yourself undoing all your hard work and returning to your old drinking ways.

No one wants to go through this kind of painful setback.

The good news is that recovering alcoholics in relationships can get help.

For some people, that help might come in the form of couples therapy.

If you have children or other loved ones, family therapy may also play an essential role in your recovery.

These options can be used separately or together to help improve your home life and support your sobriety.

Recovering Alcoholics in Relationships & How to Handle This - Pathfinders - A husband is passed out on the couch, with his wife sitting on the edge of bed in tears because she is frustrated with being a couple that is considered recovering alcoholics in relationships.

The Impact of Alcoholism on Current Relationships

Alcoholism and serious alcohol abuse are both part of an illness called alcohol use disorder, or AUD. Both of these interconnected issues can do major damage to your intimate and family relationships. For example, alcoholism can lead you to:

  • Make drinking your top personal priority, not your relationships
  • Stop taking part in other activities that you or your partner once enjoyed

Serious, non-addicted alcohol abuse can lead you to:

  • Neglect key responsibilities that your family depends on you for
  • Keep drinking even when you know that your relationships are suffering as a result
  • Use alcohol in dangerous situations that put you or your family at-risk

You can experience any combination of these problems. Why? Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are often overlapping conditions. This means that you can suffer from both of them at the very same time.

What types of problems occur in the relationships and families of alcoholics? Specific issues vary from person to person. However, some of the most common problems include:

  • Loss of communication between partners or family members
  • A decline of caring or loving interactions in your relationship or family unit
  • A rise in negative interactions
  • An inconsistent or chaotic day-to-day environment
  • Outbursts of anger, aggression, or even outright violence

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The Impact of a Stressful Relationship on Your Alcoholism Risks

The link between relationship problems and alcoholism runs in both directions. What does this mean? Not only does alcoholism increase your risks for a disrupted personal life. Pre-existing disruptions in your personal life can increase your risks for developing alcoholism. Specific reasons for this include:

  • Turning to alcohol as a stress reliever for relationship conflict
  • Drinking to cope with depression, anxiety, or other negative feelings

 

Therapy Options for Recovering Alcoholics in Relationships

Couples Therapy or Counseling

While in treatment, recovering alcoholics in relationships may receive help in the form of Behavioral Couples Therapy, or BCT. You may also receive similar forms of couples counseling. Couples therapy and counseling are often given to you and your partner at the same time. However, you may also speak with your therapist or counselor on your own.

How does BCT or couples counseling work? Key goals include helping you:

  • Learn how to problem solve within your relationship
  • Improve your ability to communicate with your partner
  • Decrease negative behaviors and increase caring behaviors
  • Enhance the general quality of your relationship

As a rule, BCT and couples counseling are for people in committed relationships. Many participants are married. In contrast, others are not. Couples therapy and counseling work alongside other aspects of your alcohol treatment. Important benefits for your relationship and alcohol recovery include:

  • Reinforcing your dedication to achieving and maintaining sobriety
  • Helping you avoid alcohol-related harm
  • Improving the overall quality of your relationship
  • Decreasing your chances of divorcing or separating if you are married

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Family Therapy or Counseling

While in treatment, recovering alcoholics in relationships may also receive family therapy or counseling. One well-regarded option here is Family Behavior Therapy, or FBT. This therapy focuses on two main areas. The first of these areas is the impact of alcoholism on your and your family unit. The second is the impact of other related issues on you and your family. Examples of these issues include:

  • Various kinds of family conflict not related to your drinking
  • Other mental health issues
  • Unemployment and other economic issues

The aim of FBT is to get your and your family members to change harmful behaviors. Those behaviors may stem from your drinking. They may also be things that make you more likely to abuse alcohol. Each person involved in the therapy helps decide on specific behavior goals. The unit as a whole also has its own goals. Periodically, you and your therapist review the progress of FBT. Goals that are met are rewarded by you or other family members.

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Continuing Care for Recovering Alcoholics in Relationships

Relationship concerns do not disappear automatically when you finish alcohol treatment. The same holds true for your risks for relapse. For these reasons, it is crucial to maintain your access to professional help after rehab. How do you do this? By enrolling in a long-term rehab or aftercare program.

Continuing care often takes place in a treatment facility. As a rule, it takes less of a time commitment than your original treatment. However, it still provides you with the things you need in your quest for sobriety and stable relationships. Continuing care is so important that it is now a standard recommendation. That is not just true for recovering alcoholics in relationships. It is true for everyone recovering from a serious substance problem.

Dating for Recovering Alcoholics

If you are not already in a relationship, should you start one while in alcohol recovery? In early recovery, this is generally considered to be a risky idea. You are in a vulnerable place while in alcohol treatment, and that vulnerability may continue for quite some time.

Even in the best of circumstances, relationships can be trying. Attempting to start one while recovering from alcoholism may just be too much for you. This is especially true before you establish a lasting pattern of alcohol abstinence. Some treatment programs make you commit to staying out of relationships throughout your enrollment.

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Learn More About Recovering Alcoholics in Relationships

Questions about recovering alcoholics and relationships are common. That is because so many relationships in the U.S. are negatively impacted by problem drinking. If you have major relationship problems, addressing them may be essential for your lasting recovery. Why? When left unaddressed, these kinds of problems can destabilize your daily routine. In turn, an unstable routine and home life may leave you at higher risk for a relapse.

If this kind of unwanted scenario sounds familiar to you, you have something in common with others all across the country. But you are not fated to live with relationship problems for the rest of your days. Couples and family therapy will help you turn things around. These therapies are often used as part of alcohol treatment. You can also continue them once you complete your primary rehab program. With their help, you will develop the skills needed to resolve your issues and support your sobriety.

For more information on recovering alcoholics and relationships, contact Pathfinders today. Our specialists will help you understand exactly how relationships and family issues affect you. And if you need treatment for alcoholism, our in-house therapy and counseling will support you every step of the way.

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What Does an Alcoholism Treatment Program Entail?

Alcoholism

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol dependence or alcohol abuse can be referred to as a condition where an individual is addicted to alcohol and cannot do without consuming an excessive amount within an unreasonable period.

This condition then results in other mental or physical illnesses.

Some of the mental illnesses associated with alcoholism include schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, suicidal intentions — amongst others.

Physical disease conditions involved with alcoholism include cancer of the lung, disassociation from reality, or losing touch with reality, amongst others.

Although alcoholism could be said to result in the above listed mental illnesses, the report also shows that those above listed mental illnesses such as panic disorders, anxiety disorders, suicide intentions, depression, amongst others could also form the basis for this condition called alcoholism.

The medical diagnosis for individuals with alcoholism can be referred to as Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).

An unreasonable intake of alcohol has been said to affect vital organs in the body such as the heart, the liver, the brain, and the pancreas.

It could also be responsible for shutting down the immune system of an individual in its entirety.

The environment we live in plays a huge role in those who are addicted to alcohol.

What this means is the increase in the stress level of an individual coupled with the fact that alcohol is a relatively cheap thrill contributes in a large way to the outrageous amount of individuals who are dependent on alcohol.

Genetics also plays a very important role in determining alcoholism in individuals.

This is because research has shown that individuals who have chronic alcoholics as members of their immediate families are three to four times more likely to become alcohol addicts or abuse alcohol as opposed to the average individual.

What Does An Alcoholism Treatment Program Entail? - Pathfinders - An individual sits with their addiction therapist to determine what alcoholism treatment program entails and what they can expect.

Causes of Alcoholism

There is no definite medical cause for alcoholism or alcohol use disorder.

The best that can be explained is when it is grouped into two types namely the environmental factor as well as the genetic factor.

It is said that the use of alcohol leads to alcohol addiction or alcohol disorder when the individual drinks to the extent that chemical changes begin to materialize in that person’s brain.

Alcoholism can also be said to develop as a result of trying to give in to the discomfort that comes with a withdrawal syndrome. This simply means that the individual gets to a stage where they cannot do with alcohol because their body system would not be alright until they have taken such substance.

Consequently, the individual gives in to the whims and caprices of the alcohol or any other substance and becomes very uncomfortable and experiences withdrawal syndrome when not given alcohol.

Withdrawal symptom is also a very terrible thing to experience as it could lead to a life-threatening situation.

This is why during medical detox, the process should not be rushed and should be taken slow and steadily so everybody affected by it gets to slowly ease into the therapy process and find solutions.

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Symptoms of Alcoholism

Identifying an alcohol addict is as easy as learning the alphabet. This because they exhibit certain physical behaviors which are very obvious to see.

Although these symptoms are not water-tight, they provide insight or guidance as to the behaviors put up by alcoholics.

Some of these behaviors include the following:

  • Having little or no regard for personal hygiene
  • Drinking in solitude
  • Having a high tolerance level to excessive alcohol intake
  • Drinking at every single chance one gets
  • Resorting to drinking when faced with any sort of challenge
  • Craving alcohol unprovoked
  • Involuntary tremors and blacking out right after drinking
  • Eating less, drinking more
  • Throwing violent fits immediately after alcohol intake
  • Secluding one’s self from social events to be able to drink alcohol

These are but a few of the plethora of symptoms alcoholics put up.

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Alcoholism Treatment Centers

The United States of America contains a huge amount of alcohol-dependent individuals. This is because alcohol is easily accessible and legal at a certain age. It is also relatively inexpensive to purchase and could be gotten at convenience. Given how these factors contribute to the increase in alcohol use disorders, it is only natural that institutions be put in place to ensure that individuals get treatment for this disorder.

Most addiction treatment centers provide rehab for both alcohol and drug addiction patients alongside detox services. However, exclusive alcohol rehab centers also exist. These centers offer various treatment programs to suit the unique situation of each patient. Some of these alcohol addiction treatment programs include in-patient treatment services, detoxification, out-patient treatment services, partial hospitalization treatment services as well as care services in some cases.

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Inpatient Treatment Programs

Residential rehab programs are the most highly recommended for individuals with chronic or severe alcohol addiction. This treatment program entails the individual being a resident at the alcohol addiction treatment center for as long as the treatment would last. This treatment program is however expensive as opposed to the other treatment programs available.

It is also advised that before proceeding to the next phase of the healing process, the individuals become full residents of the alcohol addiction centers while carrying out detoxification. This would ensure that the individual stays away from temptations to go back to drinking alcohol. The same goes for residents for the second phase of the alcohol addiction treatment. It is important and highly beneficial to be a resident as you get to experience communal living while also staying clean all through the rehabilitation process. As regards cost, people with health insurance policies would be subsidized to a considerable rate and if you can still not afford to be a resident at a private addiction treatment institution, there is still the option of state-owned rehab centers. Although, you would have to be subjected to the waiting lists available in these institutions.

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Outpatient Treatment Programs

Outpatient treatment programs are ideal for individuals who still want to experience communal living while recovering from alcohol addiction but can either not afford it, does not have the time for it, or has just a mild case of alcohol addiction. Regardless, this treatment program is just as effective as the in-treatment program. It also has its upsides as it is less expensive and the patient gets to visit the treatment center at least three times during the weekday and does not have to come on weekends at all.

Detoxification

Some treatment centers do not offer treatment for alcohol detoxification alongside the other programs available, however, some centers do. The process of detoxification essentially entails flushing out the alcohol from the system of the addict to prepare them for the therapy process as well as detachment from alcohol. Several individuals withdrawal symptoms when this occurs and it could range from mild to severe.

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Conclusion

Conclusively, Pathfinders Recovery Center provides the services discussed in this article and as such, you do not need to bother about the best place to get treatment for alcohol addiction.

Our members of staff are highly committed and dedicated to the cause and are ever interested in the recovery procedure of every individual in their care.

Alcohol addiction is not a pleasant situation to be in. However, with help from the right people, it could be overcome.

Ah – St. Patrick’s Day — How Can You Still Enjoy the Festivities While in Recovery?

Ah - St. Patrick's Day -- How Can You Still Enjoy the Festivities While in Recovery Pathfinders Recovery Center - A green background with a wet four leaf clover lying on it to symbolize the celebration of St. Patrick's Day.

Celebrate Differently

When I entered recovery at Pathfinders, my idea of celebration, especially for St. Patrick’s Day, changed drastically.

Each holiday that comes up on the calendar seemed like an occasion to relapse, especially for well-known drinking holidays, like St. Patrick’s Day.

When I was newly sober I looked at each holiday as a battle.

I had to prepare myself accordingly and put in extra effort to keep myself in check.

The alcohol treatment program at Pathfinders gave me a lot of tools, yet I still felt anxiety.

Ah - St. Patrick's Day -- How Can You Still Enjoy the Festivities While in Recovery Pathfinders Recovery Center - A green background with a wet four leaf clover lying on it to symbolize the celebration of St. Patrick's Day.

Thanksgiving and Christmas were especially tough for me during my first year. Even with my family going out of their way to not trigger me, I was still terrified of relapsing.

When I got through those particular holidays unscathed, I thought I could breathe a sigh of relief.

Then I remembered St. Patrick’s Day.

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I feel like St. Patrick’s Day is probably the one holiday all of us in recovery have to be careful of. Preventing a relapse on St. Patrick’s Day is almost like winning the lottery. When you see many people wandering through the streets intoxicated, it can be a massive trigger. I remember when the months switched from February to March, I became increasingly nervous.

All I could think about was my behavior the year before. I made a complete jerk out of myself, and it was one of the driving factors toward me getting sober a few months later. I did what everyone else does that day. I went from bar to bar consuming green beer in between shots of whiskey.

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One thing I should mention is that I tended to be a mean drunk. I was one of those guys that you had to walk on eggshells around. I could be a lot of fun to drink with, but it didn’t take much for me to turn. I remember waking up the next day to text messages from two separate friends who were offended by my behavior.

I had made inappropriate comments about their significant others and had no memory of it. I thought they were being unreasonable. It wasn’t until months later that I started to take what people were telling me seriously. They all came up with the same conclusion. “Dude, you’re a horrible drunk.”

 

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Talk it Out

So that next St. Patrick’s Day was scary for me. I stressed so much about what I was capable of doing. All I could think about was what could end up happening. Should I just lock myself in my house that day and not even go out? Should I check myself in somewhere? It was freaking me out. It got so bad that I considered relapsing weeks before St. Patrick’s Day just so I could get it out of the way and start all over.

I forgot all about the wonderful people around me who were there to help. One of the big things about recovery is talking things out. You have to talk about your feelings and let your temptations be known. Getting sober is in a lot of ways very much a group effort. Sometimes you are the one picking others up out of their despair, and sometimes you are the one that needs to be picked up.

The program at Pathfinders taught me that meetings are invaluable. The folks at Pathfinders have always been there to give me a hand. Sometimes I fail to recognize this. Even when you have a great team around you, you can still be pulled back into your previous thinking.

This year, I’ve tried hard to remind myself of what I have around me. I think about the people I would be letting down if I slip back into my old ways. I think about being a beacon for others. I don’t want to be a reason someone else has a relapse. I want to be the person you call. I try very hard to be positive for others, but I also understand I am fighting my own battle. You can be there for others, but you must always be there for yourself first.

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Finding the Right People

Pathfinders have done a wonderful job of setting me up with the right outlets. There are a lot of St. Patrick’s Day events that are specifically targeted at people in recovery, and they are not hard to find. First of all, the hotlines are your friend. A lot of sober hotlines now are 24/7, so you can reach out to someone whenever you feel the need. Not only do these hotlines provide a way for you to talk out your feelings, but they also provide you with resources and sober events local to you. These events are a great way to get out and socialize with like-minded people.

The more people I meet in recovery, the less alone I feel in the process. It almost always helps me to meet a new person going through this process. It reinforces to me that I’m a part of something bigger than myself. I plan on attending a couple of different sober parties on St. Patrick’s Day, and I have the same amount of enthusiasm for them as I used to have for the bars. I understand now that the sober version of me is so much more likable and approachable than the drunk version of me. It makes me feel a tremendous amount of confidence to be the best version of myself when I meet people. I also know that when I go to these sober events, I am meeting the new and improved versions of a lot of my peers.

It’s never a bad idea to be of service to other people. If you are comfortable being a designated driver for your friends who do drink, it can be a great help. Not only are you doing them a solid favor, but you are also preventing someone from getting behind the wheel drunk. You could be drastically altering the course of a lot of people’s evenings. I usually offer to be the DD whenever I know my friends may need it.

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Sometimes I don’t feel like doing it, but I always feel better about myself after the fact.

Whatever you decide to do on this holiday, keep in mind that being a help to others is an invaluable practice.

Being considerate goes a long way on the road to recovery.

How Can You Get Sober From Alcohol?

How to Become Sober

If you think that you have been drinking too much alcohol, you may wonder how to become sober.

This is a crucial question to ask since many heavy drinkers are either addicted or in danger of becoming addicted.

Even without being addicted to alcohol, your drinking may cause you serious harm.

In fact, over 14 million Americans have diagnosable alcohol abuse problems.

If you fit into this category, you are far from alone.

If your drinking is out of control, you may feel down about the chances of ever getting sober.

But, with expert advice and help, you can achieve this crucial goal.

Just keep reading to learn more about how to become sober if you have drinking problems.

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Alcohol Use and Alcohol Problems

In the typical month, slightly more than half of all Americans over the age of 12 drink alcohol. You have the highest chances of being a drinker if you are between the ages of 18 and 25. However, alcohol use is widespread across age groups.

Most people do not drink in ways that endanger their health. Still, millions of Americans either:

  • Binge on alcohol and end up drunk in a maximum of two hours’ time
  • Engage in a dangerous pattern of heavy drinking

Young adults are the most likely to binge drink. Adults over the age of 25 are the most likely to drink heavily. Both binging and heavy drinking boost your chances of developing alcohol use disorder, or AUD. This is the official name for an illness that includes both alcoholism and damaging, non-addicted alcohol abuse. Other things that can increase your risks for this disorder include:

  • Starting to drink when you are 14 or younger
  • The presence of mental illness
  • Having a history of any kind of serious trauma
  • Belonging to a family with a history of alcoholism or alcohol abuse

You can avoid developing AUD by reducing your alcohol use or quitting altogether. You can also recover from this illness if you are already affected.

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Determining If You Need Help

Can you tell on your own if the question of how to become sober applies to you? In many cases, yes. For example, it is relatively easy to tell if you are a binge drinker. If you have a pattern of getting drunk in no more than two hours, you fit this definition. It usually takes men five alcohol servings, or drinks, to reach this threshold. For the average woman, it takes just four drinks.

You can also tell if you have a pattern of drinking heavily. Men do this whenever they consume at least four alcohol servings, or drinks, in a single day. Women do this whenever they consume at least three alcohol servings in a single day.

If you are already affected by alcoholism, you may have symptoms that include:

  • An inability to control when and how much you drink
  • The need to drink in increasing amounts before you feel alcohol’s effects
  • Creating a routine that puts a priority on drinking or drinking-related activities
  • Having a history of unsuccessful attempts to quit using alcohol
  • Going through alcohol withdrawal if you stop drinking

If you are already affected by non-addicted abuse, you may be affected by things such as:

  • Work, home, or school problems related to your drinking
  • A level of drinking that damages your ability to maintain relationships
  • A habit of driving while drinking or doing similarly risky things

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How to Become Sober: First Steps

When thinking about how to become sober, one important question is where to begin. Experts recommend starting by speaking with your primary care physician. While not addiction specialists, these doctors are excellent initial resources. Specific things your primary doctor can do include:

  • Assessing your general health
  • Seeing if your current drinking behaviors place you at risk for alcohol problems
  • Giving you a brief intervention that helps you change your risky drinking
  • Checking to see if you already have diagnosable AUD symptoms
  • Helping you understand your options if you do have AUD
  • Directing you toward suitable treatment resources if you need help

How to Become Sober: Alcohol Detox

If you are addicted to alcohol, you will need to go through detox when your recovery begins. During this time, you stop drinking and withdraw from the alcohol still in your system. Alcohol withdrawal is potentially risky and has side effects ranging from minor to severe or life-threatening. For this reason, you should always go through detox under the guidance of medical professionals.

Many people in alcohol detox receive some kind of medication to make the process easier. All people in detox receive supportive care. That’s the name for comfort- and safety-enhancing actions such as:

  • Making sure your vital signs are stable
  • Helping you stay hydrated
  • Feeding you a nutritionally sound diet
  • Using supplements to offset any major nutritional deficiencies
  • Helping to ensure that you rest and sleep

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How to Become Sober: Active Treatment

The quest for stable sobriety goes far beyond detox. Once alcohol is out of your system, you must enter an active treatment program. People in high-quality alcohol rehab receive two main forms of help while in treatment. First, they receive medication designed to:

  • Make it easier to avoid a relapse back into drinking
  • Diminish the appeal of taking a drink
  • Undo some the damage that alcohol has done to your system

Modern alcohol rehab also includes some form of behavioral counseling or therapy. Several different therapy approaches are known to help during alcohol recovery, including:

  • CBT, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Family counseling
  • Marriage counseling
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy

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Mutual Self-Help Groups

During and after treatment, enrollment in a mutual self-help group will also help you stay sober. The most famous drinking-related group is Alcoholics Anonymous. However, other options also exist. All self-help groups use a peer system to provide support and reinforce your commitment to sobriety.

How to Become Sober: Aftercare

When you complete treatment, you may no longer be asking how to get sober from alcohol. Instead, the pressing question becomes: How you can remain sober? For most people, a major factor in avoiding drinking is aftercare or continuing care. Aftercare programs keep you in touch with knowledgeable addiction specialists. In fact, help is often provided in a lower level of formal alcohol treatment. You can also support your efforts remotely with the help of smartphones, or computer sobriety apps.

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Learn More About How To Get Sober From Alcohol

If you suspect you have a drinking problem, you very well may be right. Or maybe someone else notices that you may have a problem. In either case, the best thing you can possibly do is seek help as soon as you can. Unless you take this critical step, you may be setting yourself up for major, damaging changes in your everyday life. No one should go through this kind of turmoil when professional help available.

A visit to your primary doctor will help determine if you are using alcohol in dangerous ways. It will also help determine if you currently have a diagnosable case of alcohol use disorder. If you do not have AUD, your doctor will help you avoid future problems. If you do have AUD, your doctor will help you get your recovery underway. Your path to sobriety will likely include detox, active treatment, and aftercare.

Have questions about how to become sober? The experts at Pathfinders will help you find the answers. Every day, we direct concerned drinkers toward resources that promote healthy change.

Pathfinders is also a top provider of treatment services for people with alcohol use disorder. Regardless of the seriousness of your AUD symptoms, our in-house programs will support your recovery. From detox to aftercare, we feature evidence-backed options for any situation.

Alcohol Rehab Treatment

Alcohol Rehab Pathfinders Recovery Center - drunk young man falls asleep at the bar with multiple drinks in front of him, as his loved ones and surrounding friends decide it may be time for him to attend alcohol rehab.

What is Alcohol Rehab?

When someone who is abusing alcohol finds they are unable to stop drinking, it may be time to consider attending alcohol rehab.

Many people think of those who struggle with alcohol misuse are a certain age or type of person, but this is far from the truth.

There are a few different types of individuals that struggle with alcoholism, and all of them have to deal with ways this chronic disease affects their brain and their body — among many other factors.

Over 14 million American adults struggle with alcoholism, and 95,000 die each year from an alcohol-related illness.

No matter what type you are, seeking the help of an alcohol rehab program is the best way to overcome your addiction.

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What is Alcoholism?

What most individuals struggling with alcohol use disorder have in common is they drink alcohol frequently or in very large quantities.

Alcoholism is considered a chronic disease because of how it changes the way the brain works. When you drink, your brain releases dopamine, a chemical that makes you feel happy and relaxed. The longer you abuse alcohol, the more you will have to drink to feel these effects.

Over time, your brain forgets how to release dopamine naturally. This makes your brain crave alcohol to make you feel good. This is what makes alcoholism a chronic disease. It is very challenging for those who struggle with alcoholism to stop drinking, even when they know it is causing problems with their health.

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Understanding the Types of Alcoholics

There are many stereotypes regarding people who have a drinking problem, from not being able to hold down a job to not caring about their physical appearance.

There is no such thing as one type of alcoholic. Alcoholism can affect people of any age with any background, no matter how successful they are in their careers.

When it comes to the different types of alcoholics, there are typically five main groups:

  • Young Antisocial:
    This type of alcoholic begins drinking very young, usually around the age of 15 years old. Some of these young people may have a mental illness as well, such as an antisocial personality disorder, which makes them impulsive and uncaring of the physical dangers of alcohol.

 

  • Young Adult:
    This type of alcoholic begins showing impulsive behaviors when they are around 20 years old. They typically do not drink every day, but instead, binge drink two or more times per week. This is the most common type of alcoholic in the United States today.

 

  • Functional:
    This type of alcoholic usually has a higher level of education and income level. They also tend to have more stable personal relationships than other types of alcoholics. Functional alcoholics are usually binge drinkers who consume alcohol at least every other day.

 

  • Intermediate Familial:
    This type of alcoholic usually has a close family member who either had or has a drinking issue. These people usually begin drinking when they are around 17 years old in order to try and cope with family stress.

 

  • Chronic Severe:
    This type of alcoholic has the most severe symptoms and issues. Most chronic severe alcoholics are men and, as a result, have a high rate of divorce because of their drinking. They also have a high rate of abusing other drugs along with alcohol.

 

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The Effects of Alcohol Abuse

For all types of alcoholics, alcohol poses a serious risk to their health.

This is because alcoholism can create a wide range of negative symptoms and long-term health problems.

Certified alcoholics can experience heart problems, including high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, and heart attacks. They often also experience problems with their livers. These problems can include fatty liver, liver fibrosis, and cirrhosis.

Alcoholism can weaken your immune system, making it more likely that you will deal with things like colds, the flu, and pneumonia. One of the more dangerous risks for the different types of alcoholics is an increased risk of certain cancers. Alcohol increases your chances of getting liver, throat, esophageal, colon, and breast cancers.

Attending an alcohol rehab program as soon as you realize you have a drinking problem will avoid some of these issues.

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Mental Illness and the Certified Alcoholic

Many people who are certified alcoholics also deal with mental health issues.

Anyone struggling with alcoholism has an increased chance of either developing a mental health issue or worsening one they already had. This is because alcohol changes your moods and your behaviors. Alcohol makes it harder for you to think clearly.

When abused, it also changes the way that your brain sends chemicals that make you feel happy and relaxed. Over time, your brain gets used to relying on alcohol to release these chemicals, which makes it difficult for you to feel happy from anything else. This can make you feel anxious and depressed.

And, eventually, these mental health symptoms can affect your personal relationships and your performance at work or school. This can lead to losing your job, dropping out of school, and divorce. Many people who have alcohol abuse issues also suffer from anger issues, which can cause further problems with their loved ones.

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Treatment Options for the Different Types of Alcoholics

Much like other types of addictions, there are many alcohol rehab treatment options available depending on your specifics needs and level of addiction.

For the most serious addictions, the first step is detox. At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we offer medical detox options to our clients. This allows us to help make your detox symptoms less uncomfortable.

Once this is complete, we can move on to a behavioral therapy program.

There are three main therapy options that work best for alcohol rehab: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), and Family Counseling.

CBT helps you to see the thoughts and behaviors that lead to your drinking. It also teaches healthy ways to manage stress and avoid things that trigger you to drink.

MET is a way that helps you build positive motivations to avoid relapsing.

Lastly, family counseling focuses on working to repair any family relationships that have been damaged by addiction or alcoholism. These sessions take place with your family members and can include your spouse, children, parents, other family members, or close friends. Being able to build a stronger family system helps your family heal from any emotional damage, as well as increases your chances of staying sober.

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Getting the Help You Need for Your Alcohol Addiction

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we know exactly what it takes to get your life back from the cycle and negative effects of addiction.

That is why you can trust our alcohol rehab programs to help you overcome your dependence on this substance.

Our luxury locations provide a comfortable and home-like atmosphere so that our clients feel safe and secure throughout the length of their treatment program.

We only use only scientifically-researched, cutting-edge, and effective drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.

We have over 25 years of experience in helping people with addictions and co-occurring disorders overcome their struggles and live a happy, healthy, and sober life.

Many of our clients wonder whether or not they will be able to take advantage of their health insurance benefits to help cover their treatment. That is why we offer free insurance verification.

Simply give us a call and one of our addiction specialists can check to see how much of your treatment program will be covered by your insurance before you begin treatment.

You can trust us to communicate with your insurance provider to ensure that you receive every benefit that you are entitled to.

For all types of alcoholics, experiencing health problems from your drinking is a serious risk.

Let us use our years of experience to get you on the right path to a meaningful and lasting recovery.

See the difference getting sober can make in your life.

Alcohol Rehab Centers Near Me

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What are Alcohol Rehab Centers?

For most people, five standard drinks are metabolized in about five hours.

Alcohol does not affect everyone the same way. It can vary depending on how much you weigh, how often you drink, how fast you drink, your gender, and many other factors.

For people who have a drinking problem, five standard drinks are metabolized faster.

This means they need to drink more to feel the alcohol’s effects.

An increase in the amount you drink can lead to serious health issues, including alcoholism, which is a serious, chronic disease.

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Understanding “Alcohol Rehab Centers Near Me”

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to treat an alcohol use disorder. That is why when you search “alcohol rehab centers near me,” you are provided a range of treatment options.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, this means we are able to custom-tailor treatments to suit every client that comes to us for help. Our programs include detox, residential rehab, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient rehab, and dual diagnosis care.

If you are looking for inpatient alcohol rehab centers near you, we have exactly the program you need. Our inpatient alcohol rehab treatment allows you to complete your treatment at our facility without the distractions and temptations of the outside world.

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The Physical Effects of Alcohol Abuse

While five standard drinks are metabolized in about five hours, their effects on your health can last a lifetime.

Alcohol abuse can cause serious damage to various parts of the body. It can cause damage to your heart muscles. This can lead to an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.

Alcohol abuse also causes many different issues with your liver. This can include cirrhosis, fibrosis, a fatty liver, and alcoholic hepatitis.

Alcoholic hepatitis has many side effects, including bloating and yellow skin or eyes. The long-term damage these issues cause can lead to serious liver damage, and even require a liver transplant.

One of the biggest risks of alcohol abuse is the risk of developing certain kinds of cancer. People who abuse alcohol are at a higher risk of having esophageal, liver, breast, and colon cancer.

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Mental Illness and Alcohol Abuse

Another issue frequently seen at local alcohol rehab centers is mental health illnesses that often simultaneously occur with addiction issues. This is known as a dual diagnosis.

For example, some people had mental health issues before they began drinking and tried to use alcohol to treat their symptoms. Others developed them after their alcohol abuse worsened.

Alcohol is a depressant, which means that it slows down your nervous system. When someone drinks occasionally, alcohol can make them feel relaxed and more confident. When someone abuses alcohol, their brain begins to rely on alcohol to transmit these so-called “feel good” chemicals. This makes your brain crave alcohol in order to make you feel good. The longer you abuse alcohol, the worse this issue becomes. You may begin to experience serious depression, anxiety, or anger issues when you are not drinking.

This is what leads to an addiction to alcohol. With the help of simply searching for “alcohol rehab centers near me,” you are on your way to learning how to manage and treat your mental health issues in a healthy way. This means you will no longer attempt to self-medicate with alcohol and can overcome your addiction

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How to Tell if you Need an Alcohol Rehab Center Near You

If you are looking for an outpatient or inpatient alcohol center near you, chances are that you are already aware you have a drinking problem. You may not be sure, or you may be looking up this information for someone else.

Alcoholism has many different symptoms you can look for in yourself and in others.

These symptoms can include:

  • Do you end up drinking more than you meant to or for longer periods of time?
  • Have you tried to cut down or stop your drinking but found that you could not?
  • Do you spend a lot of time buying alcohol or recovering from hangovers?
  • Do you feel a strong, irresistible urge to drink when you are sober?
  • Does your drinking interfere with your ability to do your job or go to school?
  • Is your drinking causing issues in your family life or with your friends?
  • Have you given up activities or hobbies you used to enjoy so that you can drink instead?
  • Have you ever participated in risky activities while drinking, such as driving while under the influence or having unsafe sex?
  • Do you keep drinking even though it makes you feel depressed or anxious?
  • Do you know that drinking is causing problems with your health but still cannot stop?
  • Are you finding that you have to drink more and more in order to feel drunk or relaxed?
  • Do you experience withdrawal symptoms, like insomnia, shakiness, depression, nausea, or sweating, when you are not drinking?

If you respond “yes” to two or more of these questions, there is a good chance that you are abusing alcohol. Now is the time to consider contacting one of the local alcohol rehab centers in your area.

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Treatment Options at Alcohol Rehab Centers near you

When it comes to getting treatment for your alcohol addiction, the first step is finding alcohol rehab centers near you.

If your local alcohol rehab center is Pathfinders Recovery Center, we urge you to contact us as soon as possible. We have many different scientifically-backed treatment options available to help each of our clients find lasting recovery from their alcohol addiction.

We offer both medical and behavioral treatments to treat alcoholism.

Our medical treatment program uses approved medicines that help treat alcoholism. Disulfiram makes you feel nauseous if you drink, which can make it easier for you to avoid alcohol. Naltrexone blocks the effects of alcohol so you can no longer get drunk, and helps to reduce cravings. Acamprostate also helps reduce cravings and is a good option for clients when they first stop drinking.

The other part of your recovery plan will be behavioral treatment. This includes both individual and group therapy sessions. Through therapy, we will be able to help you to identify the thoughts and behaviors that lead to your alcohol abuse.

Then we will give you the tools to help you avoid the things that trigger your drinking.

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Get the Help You Need by Searching for “Alcohol Rehab Centers Near Me”

An addiction to alcohol can cause serious problems in your life.

But, you do not have to keep living with this debilitating disease.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we know what it takes to get your life back to normal after addiction.

We do our very best to ensure your recovery success by using only scientifically-researched, cutting-edge, and personalized effective drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.

We have over 25 years of experience in helping people with addictions and co-occurring disorders to overcome their addictions.

Many of our clients wonder whether or not they will be able to take advantage of their health insurance benefits to help cover their treatment.

That is why we offer free insurance verification when you call our Admissions Department.

You can trust us to communicate with your insurance provider to make sure you receive every benefit you are entitled to.

If you are looking for an alcohol rehab center near you, let us use our years of experience to help you get on the path to a meaningful and lasting recovery.

Contact us today, and see the difference our rehab programs can make in getting your life back on track.