Benzos and Alcohol

Benzos and alcohol are a deadly combination.

Benzos and Alcohol

The combining of benzos and alcohol is more common than you might imagine. Each of these substances can be dangerous on its own. However, they are even more hazardous when taking them together. People who have an alcohol and benzo addiction are at greater risk of dying from respiratory arrest than someone who uses only one or the other. The main reason for this is because both these substances depress the central nervous system and in combination they amplify each others effects. This makes accidental overdose far more likely because the results can be unpredictable.

Whether you are the person mixing these substances or it is someone you care about. Dependence on both alcohol and benzos is a behavior that must not be ignored.

 

Defining Benzodiazepines

Doctors often prescribe benzodiazepines to treat mental health conditions such as PTSD or anxiety. Sometimes, doctors prescribe them for physical conditions such as cerebral palsy or seizures, as well.

There are several different benzodiazepines that people abuse. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Valium
  • Klonopin
  • Ativan
  • Xanax

If someone takes these medications exactly as their doctor prescribes them, they should be safe as long as they are never combined with alcohol. However, if someone abuses benzos, a dangerous addiction could develop quickly.

Adding alcohol to the mix can make things even worse. The damage to the body and mind can be severe, so it is crucial to get into a treatment program if you are abusing these substances.

 

Side Effects of Benzos and Alcohol

The combination of two powerful depressants like benzos and alcohol amplifies the effect. The impact can be unpredictable and sadly overdoses where the user simply stops breathing are more common than you think.

Most of the time, even if someone is only abusing one of these, they can still have severe consequences. Some side effects of mixing alcohol and benzodiazepines include:

  • Slower breathing
  • Depression of the immune system
  • Impaired cognition
  • Organ failure
  • Losing consciousness
  • Coma
  • Death

These are some of the more severe side effects. By the time these happen it may be too late. Get treatment before things get worse.

 

Other Dangers of Alcohol and Benzo Addiction

Some people have fatal consequences due to an alcohol and benzo addiction. The truth is that no one can control the side effects they get from medications. The effects from each of these substances on their own can be harmful enough. Mixing them amplifies the impact and can lead to the following:

  • Self-destructive behaviors
  • Bodily harm
  • Hurting others
  • Losing coordination
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Stroke
  • Permanent brain damage

Alcohol and benzos damage the immune system, central nervous system and many organs in the body. Depending on how much of these substances you use and how often you use them, organ failure can happen in a few years. If you take too many benzos with alcohol, you could have a fatal overdose. Even if you don’t consider the risk of death, the harm done to the body is very serious. Stopping benzos and alcohol abruptly without a medical detox can also lead to deadly seizures. You should never attempt to quit alcohol or benzos “cold turkey”. It can be incredibly dangerous.

In addition to these consequences, if you mix alcohol and benzodiazepines, your inhibitions will be lower. Lower inhibitions mean you will be more likely to engage in riskier behaviors. If you take part in risky behaviors, that could damage your relationships with friends and family members. It could also put you in a dangerous situation, such as driving while under the influence.

Getting Treatment for Alcohol and Benzo Abuse

It is dangerous to mix alcohol and benzos. The dangers don’t just extend to you. You could be putting others at risk due to your actions while under the influence. You are more likely to act without inhibition. This can lead to serious injuries or reckless sexual behavior that results in an STD, rape or unwanted pregnancy.

If you or someone that you know is abusing these substances, now is the time to stop. It takes courage and dedication to quit any addiction. However, we are here for you.

We want to note again, that it could be hazardous to detox on your own at home. Some of the withdrawal symptoms can be not just highly uncomfortable but fatal. In addition, many people who try to detox at home often relapse. They crave drugs or alcohol so badly that when they use again, they take a lot. The increased amount is one reason why so many people have a fatal overdose.

Willpower is vital for recovery from benzos and alcohol, but it isn’t enough by itself for most people. However, it is helpful to have people by your side helping you through the detox and recovery process. Rehab center professionals know all about substance use disorders and the treatment for them. They will look at your case and create an individualized treatment plan for you.

With the treatment program at Recovery by the Sea, you will get the compassionate, understanding and helpful recovery services you need to move through to the path of healing.

 

Contact Recovery by the Sea today to start the detox process from benzos and alcohol.

 

Are You an Alcoholic?

How to Tell if  You’re an Alcoholic

Are you an alcoholic? For some, this question is easily answered. Though, for many others, it can be nearly impossible. The reason that it can be difficult to identify whether or not you have Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) – known as alcoholism – is because alcohol use is very common. Because so many people consume alcohol, knowing when you’ve crossed the line can be unclear. You may have AUD and yet drink less than others. However, if you are even asking yourself if you’re an alcoholic, odds are good that your drinking has become a problem.

Signs You Might be an Alcoholic

Alcohol Use Disorder has some clear symptoms. These are used by doctors and therapists to diagnose someone with AUD. These symptoms are:

  • Excessive alcohol use.
  • Lack of control over drinking amount.
  • Alcohol cravings.
  • Preoccupation with alcohol.
  • Failure to meet responsibilities due to alcohol use.
  • Continued drinking in spite of problems surrounding alcohol.
  • Using alcohol in risky situations.
  • Increased alcohol tolerance.
  • Withdrawal when stopping alcohol use.

Having any of these could be the signs that you struggle with AUD. Having all of them almost certainly means you’re an alcoholic. We’ll explain each one in detail so you can decide if you might have AUD.

How do I Know if I’m an Alcoholic?

There’s a risk factor for alcoholism that isn’t always part of the diagnosis. That is having alcoholism in your family. Merely because someone in your family is an alcoholic doesn’t mean you are. However, it does increase the chances that you could develop AUD. This risk is greater if they are part of your immediate family. If your parents or siblings have AUD, you’re at much greater danger of developing it yourself. But it is only by looking at your relationship with alcohol that you can answer “Are you an alcoholic?” Here’s how to tell:

Excessive Alcohol Use and Lack of Control Over Drinking

These are the first two signs you might be an alcoholic. Using a lot of alcohol doesn’t automatically tell you that you are an alcoholic. It only becomes a problem when you drink more often than you wish. It can also mean that you drink more alcohol than you intend to when you do drink. For example, if you decide to drink a beer or two, then find yourself drinking six, you’re using more than you intended. If you decide you’re going to stop drinking for a week, and yet find yourself creating reasons to drink, that is what is meant by excessive alcohol use.

Alcohol Cravings

People who don’t have AUD rarely crave alcohol. That is to say, they don’t feel like they “need” it. They may want it, but are able to stay sober if they decide to. This isn’t the case with people who have AUD. Alcoholics actually have a different brain than non-alcoholics. What happens with AUD is the brain gets hijacked by the disease. This causes the person to feel like they need alcohol. These cravings lead to a lack of control over their drinking. Thus, it is a good sign your brain is wired like an alcoholic if you have cravings.

Preoccupation with Alcohol

Along with cravings, people who struggle with AUD are obsessed with alcohol. This is another sign that their brain has been taken over by the disease. They are obsessed with alcohol. They think about drinking when they aren’t. Often, they will feel better merely by having alcohol in the house. Being close to alcohol makes them feel like they can satisfy their cravings at any time. This provides a sense of peace. Anyone who finds themselves thinking about alcohol on a regular basis could have AUD.

Failure to Meet Responsibilities

When someone is preoccupied with alcohol, they often drink at inappropriate times. This causes them to fail to meet responsibilities. These responsibilities include:

  • Missing work or school in order to drink or recover from alcohol use.
  • Failing to go to social gatherings, or leaving gatherings early in order to drink.
  • An inability to attend family functions – such as children’s activities or family obligations – in order to drink or recover from drinking.
  • Losing a job or source of income because of drinking.
  • Missing doctor appointments due to drinking.

Anytime drinking interferes with the necessary functions of life, it’s a sign that alcohol has become a problem.

Continued Drinking in Spite of Problems

Missing work once in a while due to a hangover can’t tell you “Are you an alcoholic?” However, when you consistently miss work or fail to meet other responsibilities, and then continue to drink, it’s a sign your brain has AUD. This is especially true of alcohol is causing major problems in your life. Some problems surrounding alcohol include:

  • Loss of a job or dropping out of school due to alcohol use.
  • Overspending on alcohol while failing to pay rent, utilities or other important bills.
  • Legal problems surrounding alcohol such as being arrested for driving while intoxicated.
  • Engaging in fights or arguments while drinking.
  • Losing a marriage or partner due to your alcohol use.
  • Health problems associated with alcohol, including high blood pressure, cirrhosis, kidney disease or other alcohol-related illnesses.

This is not a complete list of the problems that can come from alcohol. Anytime alcohol has created problems in your life, it is a bad sign. If you continue to drink in spite of these problems, it means alcohol is taking control.

Using Alcohol in Risky Situations

There’s many times in life where drinking is inappropriate. There’s others where it is downright dangerous. If you are drinking while driving or operating machinery, you are putting your life and the lives of others at risk. If you are drinking at work, you’re likely risking your job. Should you be unable to stay sober while caring for children, the elderly or the sick, you’re probably drinking too much. If you’re putting your life at risk by drinking while engaging in physical activity – such as swimming – then you likely have a troublesome relationship with alcohol.

Increased Alcohol Tolerance

If you find that it takes more alcohol to get intoxicated, you’ve developed a tolerance. This means you’ve drank so much that your body is getting used to the alcohol. Therefore, you constantly need more. If you need to drink to feel “normal” it’s likely because you are dependent on alcohol.

Withdrawal

With the increase in alcohol use comes withdrawal. Withdrawal means that you feel sick when you stop using alcohol. Here’s some of the symptoms common with alcohol withdrawal:

  • Shaking
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations

When stopping alcohol makes you feel any or all of these, your body is craving alcohol. If you’ve crossed the line to where you feel sicker sober than you do drunk, it’s a safe bet you’re drinking too much.

Are You an Alcoholic? Is it Time to Get Help?

Are you an alcoholic? Hopefully you now have an answer to this question. If you found that you had any or all of the symptoms listed, it might be time to get help. Battling AUD is a difficult process. Your own brain is going to work against you. That’s why coping with AUD requires aid.

Our staff is adept at treating AUD. We develop treatment plans to help you cope with life sober. We work with every patient to find the best way to combat their alcoholism. From treating the disorder itself to treating other mental health issues, our recovery program is comprehensive. We can help you detox safely to limit withdrawal symptoms, and create a structure to make it easy for you to live sober. Don’t suffer with alcoholism any longer. Reach out now and take back your life!

 

Can Severe Alcoholism Cause Dementia?

model of human brain and nervous system

Alcohol and Dementia

Can severe alcoholism cause dementia?  Oddly enough, the answer if both yes and no. Strictly speaking, years of excessive drinking causes a brain condition known as ‘Alcohol-Related Brain Damage,’ or ARBD. ARBD includes brain disorders like Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome and Alcoholic Dementia that mimic the symptoms of the familiar aging disease, but there are also key differences.

One of these differences is that Alzheimer’s type of dementia often stems from unknown sources, whereas ARBD is always caused by severe alcoholism.  In this post, we’ll explore the dangerous relationship between alcohol and dementia-like conditions.

Alcohol and the Brain

 Here’s the quick version– alcohol destroys brain cells much more rapidly than the aging process all by itself. The death of certain brain cells is what leads to Alzheimer’s type of dementia and ARBD both, so the various conditions lead to very similar results.

Again though– ARBD typically kills the brain cells at a much faster rate. Severe alcoholism over many years also makes the problem drinker significantly more likely to experience the cognitive, memory, and social difficulties that all forms of dementia entail.

Here are some of the most common symptoms of non-alcohol related dementia and ARBD:

  • Poor memory functioning
  • A decrease in simple problem-solving ability
  • Confusion and/or disorientation
  • Hallucinations
  • Aphasia (excessive difficulty in finding and understand common words)
  • Poor motor skills and physical coordination
  • Personality changes and increased chances of experiencing anxiety, depression, and paranoia
  • Extreme agitation and/or inappropriate behavior

As anyone who’s ever had to interact with a loved one with dementia knows, these difficulties can change someone you’ve known your whole life into a person you no longer recognize.

The Causes of ARBD

 Simply put, excessive drinking over a long period of time causes Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome and other forms of alcoholic dementia. Though everyone is affected a bit differently by excessive amounts of alcohol, 50 drinks a week is usually too much for men, whereas women who consume more than 30 drinks per week are susceptible to alcohol-related brain disorders.

In addition to leading to alcoholic addiction, this level of consumption can wreak havoc on both the mind and body of the problem drinker, especially if it continues for a long period of time. One way that alcohol leads to ARBD is by causing a thiamine (Vitamin B1) deficiency. Thiamine helps provide energy for the body in general and is critical to the proper functioning of nerve cells in the brain.

Excessive drinking can also damage the GI tract and prevent the proper absorption of nutrients. Long term alcohol abuse also damages the circulatory system, often leading to heart attacks and strokes that help cause the cognitive impairments associated with forms of dementia.

Alcohol and Dementia: The Bottom Line

Sadly, there is no proven way to treat Alzheimer’s type of dementia once it takes hold. However, as tragic as it can appear to be, people with alcohol-related brain disorders can experience substantial improvement in their bodily and cognitive health. Of course, this can only happen if the individual receives the necessary support and abstains from alcohol. At the very least, their condition is not likely to get any worse if these factors are in place.

There is a clear connection between alcohol and dementia-like conditions. As with most disorders, the best tool is prevention. Professional help is strongly suggested for anyone who is approaching the levels of alcohol consumption that can lead to ARBDs.

Sources:

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/types-dementia/alcohol-related-brain-damage

Jessica Simpson Opens Up About Alcohol Addiction

Jessica Simpson Alcohol Addiction

Earlier this year, singer and entrepreneur Jessica Simpson made two big announcements. One, she had written a new book about her life. And two, that book is about a drinking and prescription pill problem she has been hiding for years. In the powerful memoir, Open Book, Jessica Simpson details her struggle with alcohol and drug addiction, dealing with childhood trauma, and her journey to sobriety. Now, sober for nearly two and a half years, she shares about the trauma that led to her using. 

 

Childhood Trauma and Addiction

Trauma is a major driver of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and addiction. In the book and subsequent press tour, Jessica shares for the first time that she was the victim of sexual abuse as a child which was never addressed until adulthood. Furthermore, she shot to fame whilst still a minor and carried the pressures of stardom with her for her entire adult life. In order to cope with the emotional pain and the career stressors she experienced, Jessica turned to alcohol and prescription pills.

Over the years, Jessica’s addiction deepened. She found herself unable to function without alcohol, even drinking it first thing in the morning. Jessica recalls constantly carrying what she called her “Glitter Cup” which was “always filled to the rim with alcohol”. 

She also claims she used stimulants to counteract the effects of the booze, diet pills to maintain an unrealistic weight in the public eye, and sleeping pills to get to bed at night. 

 

Getting Help

Jessica claims she hit rock bottom at a Halloween party in 2017. Hosted at her home, she realized she had a problem when was too drunk to dress her kids for the party. “I was terrified of letting them see me in that shape,” Simpson said. “I am ashamed to say that I don’t know who got them into their costumes that night.” 

The next day she recalls telling friends, “I need to stop. Something’s got to stop. And if it’s alcohol that’s doing this and making things worse, then I quit”. That month Jessica Simpson sought treatment for alcohol and prescription pill addiction. She went into therapy to deal with the underlying issues that had caused her to use. 

Jessica told People magazine, “When I finally said I needed help, it was like I was that little girl that found her calling again in life.I found direction and that was to walk straight ahead with no fear.”

She said she realized she had to surrender and vowed to never miss another Halloween or Christmas with her children. She wants to show up and be present.  

We commend Jessica Simpson for her bravery in sharing her struggle with addiction so publicly. We hope her story inspires others to seek treatment and ask for the help they need. 

 

Are you or a loved one struggling?

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, contact us today. Our expert advisors can talk with you about your options for treatment and ongoing support. We’re here to help. 

Stages of Alcoholism

Stages of Alcoholism | Recovery By The Sea

Addiction to alcohol is a serious condition that can begin with the first few drinks and can end in long-term suffering and death. There are seven recognized stages of alcoholism, but unfortunately, many people do not seek help until the later stages if they decide to seek help at all.

Initial Use

Initial use of alcohol often occurs in the teenager or early adult years. Often, in the first stage of experimentation, it may be just a drink or two.

Some people never surpass this stage, and quickly find that they either don’t care to drink alcohol or chose to do so only on rare occasions. Those who do increase to regular but non-abusive use enter in the social stage of alcoholism.

Example: Donna has a glass of beer at her party at age 16. She doesn’t care for the taste and doesn’t drink again until her 21st birthday when she is encouraged to do so by friends.

Social Use

The typical social drinker may consume alcohol up to a few times per month but sometimes can go for days or even weeks without a drink. Also, then they do imbibe, it’s usually low-key and only a couple of servings, such as two glasses of beer or wine with dinner.

People who drink socially may or may not ever progress to high-risk use, which is the next stage.

Example: Joe, age 30 and his family go out to eat at their favorite restaurant twice a month for dinner, and sometimes meet up with friends. He usually orders two beers, and she orders one margarita. Neither drink at home or outside of setting similar to this.

High-Risk Use

Stages of Alcoholism | Recovery By The Sea

High-risk use often involves either binge-drinking or drinking just enough to pose a danger to oneself or others, such as getting behind the wheel of a vehicle or becoming too intoxicated to ward off sexual advances or assaults.

During this stage, hangovers may become more frequent, as well as partaking in a “hair of the dog” the next day to help ease acute withdrawal symptoms such as shakiness, headache, and lethargy.

Example: Taylor, age 22 is in college, and she and her friends go out once or twice a week to parties or clubs. On those nights, Taylor has been regularly seen drinking several beers and multiple shots of tequila.

One morning, Taylor found herself in her dorm by herself but didn’t remember how she got there.

Problematic Use and Early Dependency

Problematic use is characterized by an ongoing pattern of adverse consequences related to drinking. These can include family conflict and relationship strain, legal troubles, financial difficulties, and neglect of responsibilities such as school or work due to alcohol.

Early dependency is identifiable when alcohol withdrawal symptoms are regularly occurring when the user undergoes periods of sobriety.

Some alcoholics hold it together better than others, however – in this stage and the next, “high-functioning alcoholics” can continue to exist. These are people who manage somehow to regularly drink to excess yet still tend to other priorities and maintain a livelihood for themselves and their family.

Example: David, 35, works a 40-hour-per-week job, is married, and has an infant daughter. Every day, he goes to the bar after his shift with co-workers and drinks several beers to the point he is moderately intoxicated.

Despite being over the legal limit, he drives home and spends an hour or so with his daughter before he and wife put her to bed. His wife is generally unhappy with this habit, however, and has asked him several times to cut back or quit.

Middle Dependency

Stages of Alcoholism | Recovery By The Sea

In the middle stage of dependency, both drinking habits and problems continue to worsen.

During this stage, the person is probably going to great lengths to hide the severity of their problem, such as stashing alcohol and sneaking around to get it.

At this point, adverse effects may become irreversible depending on how long the drinker remains in this stage. Marriages may crumble, jobs may be lost, and legal troubles such as multiple DUIs may have occurred. There may be damage to critical organs such as the liver or pancreas, and brain functions such as memory and concentration may be noticeably impaired.

Example: Abby has been drinking heavily on and off for about 15 years, and is currently an active alcoholic. She was convicted of a series of DUIs years earlier, and at age 45, has been unable to regain a driver’s license or own a car.

She is separated from her husband of ten years because he couldn’t take the drinking any longer and she refused to get help. Abby used to own a home with her husband, but now she stays in her elderly parent’s guest room and does odd jobs in between binges. She suffers from early stage alcoholic liver disease and high blood pressure due to alcoholism.

Crisis

At the crisis stage, the alcoholic probably knows that he or she is in a “do or die” situation and receives an ultimatum from loved ones or oneself. At this point, he or she must choose to seek treatment or be willing to succumb to their condition.

Moreover, drinking has become synonymous with waking life, and without intervention, the person suffering is unlikely to get any better.

Example: Larry, age 65, started drinking with his older brother when he was 14. Now retired for about two years, he has regularly spent several hours a day at the local bar drinking with others in a similar situation.

Larry isn’t just drinking at the bar anymore, however. He takes a drink when he first awakens and doesn’t stop until he passes out. He’s always intoxicated and has fallen several times in the past few weeks. He’s also visited the emergency room on multiple occasions due to excessive alcohol use.

Conclusion

The deeper into the stages of alcoholism you enter, the tougher it is to quit drinking. While some people seek help in the high-risk stage, most do not until they reach some level of problematic use and dependency. While treatment can be successful at any stage, early intervention is always desired to minimize damage to both the person suffering and their loved ones, as well as give families the earliest possible opportunity to heal.

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What Is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

Alcohol Syndrome | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Women who drink alcohol while pregnant can give birth to babies who have a disorder known as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS belongs to a category of conditions known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). These disorders can vary in severity from mild to severe and can lead to many mental and physical congenital abnormalities and impairments.

Types of FASDs include:

  • Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
  • Partial fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Alcohol-related birth defects
  • Alcohol-related neurodevelopment disorder (ARND)
  • Neurobehavioral disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure (ND-PAE)

FAS is the most severe type of FASD. Children with FAS may have problems with hearing, vision, attention span, and the ability to communicate and learn. Much of the damage is long-lasting or permanent.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Causes

When a woman who is pregnant drinks alcohol, some of the alcohol passes through the placenta to the unborn fetus. The body of a developing baby cannot process alcohol as efficiently as an adult. Therefore, the alcohol becomes more concentrated in the fetus and can impede oxygen and nutrition from getting to the infant’s vital organs.

Damage is often incurred in the first few weeks of gestation because a woman may not be aware that she is pregnant. The risk increases further if the mother is a heavy drinker and continues to drink throughout the pregnancy.

According to studies, the use of alcohol tends to be the most detrimental during the first trimester of pregnancy. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that alcohol consumption at any time during pregnancy can also be dangerous for the fetus.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Symptoms

Fetal alcohol syndrome can include a wide range of problems, so there are many potential symptoms, which may include the following:

  • Small head
  • Lack of focus and hyperactivity
  • Impaired coordination
  • Impaired judgment
  • Problems seeing or hearing
  • Heart problems
  • Kidney defects and abnormalities
  • Deformed limbs or fingers
  • Mood swings
  • Below average weight and height
  • Very thin upper lip
  • Small, wide-set eyes
  • Flat ridge between lip and nose
  • Delayed development
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Learning disabilities
  • Speech and social skill issues
  • Uncoordinated movement

Diagnosing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Alcohol Syndrome | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

A medical exam of the infant may discover a heart murmur or other cardiac concerns. As the child grows, there may be other signs, including the following:

  • Slow growth rate
  • Abnormal facial features
  • Abnormal bone growth
  • Vision problems
  • Hearing problems
  • Slow at learning
  • Delayed language development
  • Small head
  • Impaired coordination

To diagnose FAS, a physician must determine that the infant has abnormal facial features, slower than normal growth, and central nervous system (CNS) problems, which could manifest either physically or behaviorally. They may exhibit hyperactivity, a lack of focus, and learning disabilities.

Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder

Alcohol-related neurodevelopment disorder (ARND) refers to a spectrum of disabilities in neurodevelopment and behavior, self-regulation, and adaptive skills caused by prenatal alcohol exposure. People with ARND do not have the characteristic facial abnormalities of FAS. Instead, they generally have some of the developmental disabilities, including structural CNS dysfunction (e.g., brain damage) and learning and behavioral problems.

Neurobehavioral Disorder Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure

A child with neurobehavioral disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure (ND-PAE) will have problems in three areas:

  • Thinking and memory, in which the child will have difficulty planning or will soon forget material he or she has already learned
  • Behavioral problems, such as tantrums, moodiness (e.g., irritability) and difficulty shifting attention from one task to another
  • Trouble with daily living activities, which can include difficulty bathing, dressing, and engaging in playtime with other children

FASD In Adulthood

A fact that remains largely unaddressed is that, as they get older, people with FASD conditions face a higher risk for developing a substance or alcohol use disorder. According to a study from 1996, substance addiction was experienced by 30% of people with FASD. Of the adults with FAE, 53% of males and 70% of females experienced substance abuse issues—more than five times the rate of occurrence than that of the general population.

Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Use During Pregnancy

In the long run, FAS can contribute to a myriad of secondary disorders and problems that tend to make life more challenging for those who suffer it, as well as their caregiver.

The most prevalent secondary conditions include the following:

  • Mental health conditions, including ADD, depression, and psychotic disorders
  • Academic difficulties due to learning impairments and the inability to work well with others
  • Legal issues related to anger control problems and a lack of understanding of social cues
  • Alcohol and drug abuse and addiction

Secondary Conditions of FASD During Adulthood

Alcohol Syndrome | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

The effects of FASD can be especially challenging to navigate during adulthood when the individual is expected to take responsibility for him or herself. Adults who suffer from effects related to fetal alcohol exposure often need help as they try to find employment, housing, and transportation or manage activities of daily life.

Unfortunately, a significant number of those afflicted will never receive the resources and support they need to be successful. According to a University of Washington study of people with FAS age 6-51, nearly 80% had problems finding and maintaining employment. What’s more, over 60% of those age 12 and over had legal troubles, and 35% had alcohol and drug use disorders.

As people with FAS enter adulthood, both they and their caregivers face additional difficulties. Specialized coaches and counselors may be needed to help these individuals live happy, relatively independent lives.

There are also a number of secondary effects that most people with FAS experience, such as the following:

  • Mental health disorders
  • Inability to live independently
  • Unemployment and homelessness
  • Disrupted academic success
  • Victimization
  • Difficulty raising children

Late Diagnosis and Treatment

Unfortunately, FAS is not always easy to recognize, and it may take years for symptoms to be accurately identified for what they are. Tragically, individuals who are not diagnosed until later in life will not have benefitted from therapy and other resources directed at assisting people with FAS at an early age.

Also, it may be difficult for someone to receive these services once adulthood has been reached, as most of these therapies are designed for children. Finally, at this point, effects may be amplified by alcohol and drug abuse, mental health conditions, or other issues that may cause FAS to manifest differently or exacerbate symptoms.

Preventing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

A woman can prevent her fetus from developing FAS by not drinking any alcohol during pregnancy. Women who have an alcohol use disorder who would like to get pregnant should seek help from a physician or addiction treatment center. Even for social drinkers, any alcohol consumption during the first trimester of pregnancy can be risky.

Getting Treatment

Persons who suffer from an alcohol dependency should undergo specialized treatment on either a partial-hospitalization or outpatient basis—or a combination of both. At Recovery By The Sea, our treatment programs include behavioral therapy, counseling, group support, aftercare planning, and more.

We employ healthcare professionals who specialize in addiction and provide our clients with the tools, knowledge, and support they need to recover from alcohol addiction and sustain long-term wellness and sobriety.

If you are battling alcoholism, please contact us today. Discover how we help people free themselves from addiction, prevent relapse, and foster healthy and fulfilling lives!

What Is the Lethal Blood Alcohol Level?

Lethal Blood Alcohol Level | Recovery By The Sea

What Is the Lethal Blood Alcohol Level? – According to the University of Notre Dame, a blood alcohol concentration of 0.250-0.399% is considered to be alcohol poisoning, and a loss of consciousness can be expected. At .40%, coma and death due to respiratory arrest are possible.

However, a study from 1990 that examined 175 fatal cases of alcohol poisoning, the mean blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of the decedents was 355 mg/100ml or .355%. Researchers noted that this finding was “less than that quoted in many standard textbooks on forensic medicine.” Moreover, .40% is the figure that is widely considered to be the lethal blood alcohol level.

A more recent study (2015) found that, in 2012, of 1191 emergency department patients on whom BAC testing was performed, a small number (37) had a BAC higher than the allegedly lethal level of 400 mg/100 mL. This number included three patients above 500 mg/100 mL. Of note, no deaths or transfers to ICU were recorded for anyone in this group.

The highest BAC ever recorded was of a Polish man was involved in a car crash—his BAC was measured at 1.48%. Doctors stated he somehow survived this level of intoxication but later died due to his injuries from the car crash.

Another man, from Bulgaria, was taken to the hospital in 2004 following a car accident in which he sustained minor injuries. According to reports, the man, who had a BAC of .914%, appeared to be “fine” and had communicated coherently with doctors.

Indeed, there have been many more reports of people surviving remarkably high blood alcohol levels that would have presumably killed most others. And still, according to the previously mentioned 1990 study, a significant amount of deaths have occurred in the .30% range. This wide range of possibilities is related to the fact that there are a variety of determinants in addition to the sheer volume consumed that influence the outcome of a person who has been drinking excessively.

What influences BAC levels?

1. How Rapidly Alcohol Is Consumed

The faster a person drinks, the more rapidly their peak BAC will increase, and the more quickly he or she will become intoxicated. The liver breaks down alcohol at a rate of around one standard drink per hour (as noted below). When more than one drink per hour is ingested, the liver is unable to keep up, and more alcohol will begin to circulate in the blood until the liver can catch up.

Here is one tragic example: At midnight on November 4, 1998, Bradley McCue’s 21st went with a group of friends to a bar in East Lansing, Michigan to celebrate his 21st birthday the next day. While there, he drank 24 shots of liquor in about 1.5 hours. He made it home alive as his BAC continued to steadily rise, but according to the coroner, he died shortly thereafter at approximately 4:30 a.m. on his birthday with a BAC of .440%

2. Body Weight and Sex (Male or Female)

On average, males have 76 c.c. of blood /kg body weight versus 66 c.c. in females. Males have more blood in which to dilute alcohol due to their larger size, but even males of roughly the same weight as women have slightly more blood because muscle contains more water than fat. Moreover, men have more muscle and less fat on average than women, and will, therefore, have about 10% more water in their bodies.

3. Food Content in Stomach

About 20% of alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream through the walls of the stomach, while 80% is absorbed through the small intestine. If there is food in the stomach, however, alcohol is absorbed more slowly into the bloodstream. Food in the stomach impedes the absorption of alcohol by preventing it from moving directly to the small intestine, where the majority of alcohol enters the bloodstream.

Fatty foods hinder alcohol absorption moreso than some others because they are more difficult to digest. Carbohydrates are passed through the stomach more rapidly, which causes both the food and alcohol to enter the small intestines faster than high-fat content foods.

4. The Alcohol Content of a Drink

Generally, the higher the alcohol content of a drink, the faster the alcohol will be absorbed into the bloodstream. While one standard drink of hard liquor has about the same alcohol content as a regular beer, when taken as a “shot,” liquor is less diluted and therefore the effects will onset more rapidly.

What Is a Standard Drink?

A standard drink in the USA is equivalent to the following:

  • One 12 fl oz. (355 mL) bottle of beer, wine cooler, hard seltzer, etc. at about 5% alcohol content
  • One 5 fl oz. (148 mL) glass of wine at about 12% alcohol content
  • One shot or one mixed drink containing 1.5 fl. oz. (44 mL) of 80-proof liquor, such as whiskey, vodka, or rum

Nonetheless, the concept of a standard drink is not, by any means, an ideal guideline for estimating an individual’s BAC. This is partly because bartenders sometimes estimate and pour varying amounts of alcohol, and party-goers may be treated to elaborate mixed drinks such as “jungle juice” that contain multiple shots of different types of alcohol. In other words, what appears to be one standard drink may have the alcohol equivalent of more.

Also, some beers and wines have higher alcohol percentages than average. It’s not uncommon to find craft beers well above the 4-5% range, and wine can be found at up to 18%.

5. The Type of Mixer Used

Water and fruit juices combined with alcohol slow the absorption process, while carbonated beverages accelerate it. Carbonated drinks expedite alcohol through the stomach and intestine into the bloodstream, producing a faster rise in BAC.

Signs and Complications of Alcohol Intoxication

Warning signs and complications of acute alcohol intoxication include the following:

  • Bluish or pale skin color
  • Coma
  • Dilation of blood vessels
  • Hypertension
  • Hypotension
  • Hypothermia
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Irregular breathing
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Confusion
  • Poor judgment
  • Profoundly slow reaction time
  • Seizures
  • Slurred speech
  • Vomiting
  • Stupor
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Coma

It is not necessary for someone to exhibit all the above signs or symptoms before medical help should be sought. A person with alcohol intoxication who is unconscious and cannot be awakened is at risk of dying. Someone who consumes a lethal dose of alcohol will eventually stop breathing, and even if revived, he or she can incur irreversible hypoxic brain damage.

What You Need to Do

If you suspect that someone is experiencing severe alcohol intoxication or poisoning, do not assume they will “sleep it off”—seek medical assistance by calling 911 immediately.

While waiting for help to arrive, do not leave the person alone, and do not attempt to feed them or make them vomit. Alcohol impedes the gag reflex, so someone who is highly intoxicated may choke on their own vomit and die.

If a person is vomiting, try to keep him or her sitting up. If the person must lie down, turn his or her head to the side to help prevent choking. If the person is responsive, try to keep him or her awake to prevent a loss of consciousness.

Treatment for Alcoholism

According to statistics, around 2200 people in the U.S. die from alcohol poisoning each year—that’s about six per day. Compared to deaths by illicit drugs such as heroin, this number is relatively small. However, those who drink to excessive levels are a very high risk of developing an alcohol use disorder (AUD).

AUD (sometimes also referred to as alcoholism or alcohol addiction) is a chronic disease that tends to result in a myriad of other adverse consequences surrounding one’s health and well-being and also dramatically impacts the lives of loved ones.

Recovery By The Sea offers an integrated approach to addiction treatment that includes services essential to the process of recovery, such as psychotherapy, counseling, and group support. We employ caring addiction specialists who provide clients with the knowledge, tools, and support they need to achieve a full recovery and learn to lead more happy and fulfilling lives.

If you or someone you love is suffering from an alcohol use disorder, contact us today to discover how we help individuals free themselves from the chains of addiction!

Alcohol and High Blood Pressure

Alcohol and High Blood Pressure | Recovery By The Sea

Alcohol and High Blood Pressure – Although alcohol use is enjoyable for many people, even moderate use can increase certain health risks. Consuming more than three drinks in a single episode will temporarily cause your blood pressure to rise, but prolonged binge drinking or routine alcohol use can cause a persistent increase in blood pressure.

What Is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)?

The heart pumps blood throughout the body whenever it beats. For the blood to adequately circulate, a certain amount of pressure is required. A healthy heart that is functioning normally will pump blood throughout the body at relatively low pressure.

High blood pressure is a condition in which the heart must pump harder in order to circulate the blood throughout the body. This strains the arteries, as they have to work harder to carry the blood that’s now flowing through the body at a higher pressure.

Having high blood pressure, however, is often asymptomatic for many people for quite some time. One of the most hazardous aspects of this disease is that those who have it may not know it. In fact, about one-third of people who have high blood pressure are unaware of it, meaning that it can remain undiagnosed until a major health complication occurs.

Still, according to WebMD, some signs and symptoms of extremely high blood pressure may include the following:

  • Severe headache
  • Fatigue or confusion
  • Vision problems
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Blood in the urine
  • Pounding in the chest, neck, or ears

How Alcohol Affects Blood Pressure

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol over time can cause an increase in blood pressure. When a person consumes alcohol above a level the body can efficiently process (including during binge drinking), this causes your blood pressure to increase. For the duration of an episode of drinking, and for some time thereafter, blood pressure will remain elevated.

Although persistent, excessive drinking is perhaps most commonly associated with liver disease, it can indeed adversely affect blood pressure. Over time these effects will only compound, and dangerously high blood pressure can develop.

Alcohol and High Blood Pressure | Recovery By The Sea

The Dangerous Consequences of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can produce a myriad of health issues, such as damage to the kidneys and even retinal disease. High blood pressure can also result in potentially life-threatening consequences such as the following:

Stroke

High blood pressure puts a strain on the arteries and blood vessels throughout the entire body, including those in the brain. Continued stress will cause the vessels to clog or weaken. When this happens, there is a blockage of blood or bleeding in the brain – a stroke.

How a stroke impacts a person depends on where the stroke occurs and how much the brain is damaged. Someone who had a relatively minor stroke may only have largely inconsequential problems such as temporary weakness in an arm or leg. People who have larger strokes, on the other hand, may become irreversibly paralyzed on one side of the body or lose the ability to speak entirely. Some people completely recover from strokes, but more than 2/3 of those who survive will sustain some type of disability.

Heart Attack

Having high blood pressure significantly increases the risk of heart attack. Because high blood pressure makes the heart work harder and increases the overall strain, there will be an increased risk of chest pains, breathlessness, and heart attack.

A heart attack occurs when the network of coronary arteries that surround the heart muscle and supply it with oxygen and nutrient-rich blood is suddenly blocked, preventing blood flow to the heart muscle and damaging it.

Aneurysm

Increased blood pressure can cause blood vessels to weaken and bulge, forming an aneurysm. If an aneurysm ruptures, it can be lethal.

Other Factors

There are many other factors besides alcohol consumption that can contribute to the development of hypertension. These include hereditary factors, being over age 65, the use of tobacco, being overweight, not getting enough physical activity, and eating a diet high in salt or low in potassium.

Seeking Treatment for Alcoholism

To lower blood pressure to a healthy range, it’s vital to decrease the amount and frequency at which alcohol is consumed. Some heavy drinkers can find ways to cut back to moderate levels of drinking over a sustained amount of time, but for many, reducing alcohol intake to normal levels is extremely difficult and medical intervention is necessary.

If you or a loved one wish to recover from alcoholism, we urged you to seek the support of an addiction treatment center, such as Recovery By The Sea, who employs experienced addiction specialists. Programs that include behavioral therapies and medication-assisted therapy can help ease the transition to sobriety, prevent relapse, make the recovery process more comfortable.

Recovery By The Sea uses a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to addiction treatment. Our highly-skilled staff are dedicated to providing each client with the tools and support he or she needs to achieve abstinence and sustain long-term sobriety and wellness. Contact us today and discover how we can help you begin your journey to recovery!

Physical Signs of Alcoholism

Physical Signs of Alcoholism | Recovery by the Sea

Alcoholism is a disease that is commonly stigmatized by society, and for this reason, many people who abuse alcohol and those close to them deny or overlook overt signs of abuse. This is a destructive and potentially life-threatening approach, however, as abuse can rapidly turn into an addiction, and devastating health, legal, social, and financial consequences can occur at any time.

Physical signs of alcoholism include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The smell of alcohol on the breath
  • Noticeable weight loss or gain
  • Flushing appearance and broken capillaries on the face
  • Brittle hair and fingernails
  • Dry skin
  • Lack of personal hygiene
  • Premature aging such as wrinkles and age spots
  • Intoxication-related bruises due to accidents or violence
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes) indicating liver dysfunction

If you or someone you are close to is exhibiting these signs, an addiction to alcohol may be developing or full-blown. It’s critical that alcohol abusers and their loved ones identify the warning signs of alcoholism and seek help before it’s too late.

Hiding or Lying About Drinking Habits

People who have a drinking problem tend to conceal and be deceptive about their habit, expecting that others might not notice or those who are suspicious will not garner enough evidence to be convinced that a severe problem is ensuing.

Moreover, those with a drinking problem tend to engage in the following behavior:

  • Drinking alone or hiding in their room or somewhere locked away to drink.
  • Lying about drinking habits.
  • Go to great lengths to be secretive, such as buying alcohol from different stores to avoid making people around them suspicious.

Not Being Able to Stop Binge Drinking and Experiencing Blackouts

Physical Signs of Alcoholism | Recovery by the Sea

If a person regularly finds that he can’t stop drinking until alcohol is depleted, a blackout occurs, or he passes out, the person likely has a severe drinking problem. Not being able to regulate how much one drinks is a clear indicator of alcohol abuse.

If drinking results in a blackout and the person emerges from the episode with little or no memory of it, this indicates that he or she has drunk way too much. If these episodes are frequent, they point to a drinking problem.

Drinking in Risky Situations, Inviting Trouble, and Being Impulsive

If someone has an alcohol use disorder, she will drink despite knowing about (and even having experienced) the adverse consequences in which these actions may result. A person will often exhibit the following behavior:

  • Drinking despite a doctor’s warnings.
  • Consuming alcohol despite awareness of an underlying health condition – such as heart disease or liver cirrhosis – that the use of alcohol will exacerbate.
  • Drinking and driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery, sometimes even after being charged with a DUI or other crime involving alcohol use.
  • Drinking alcohol before going to work or school.
  • Stealing money or other items to obtain alcohol.

Such risky behavior reveals that the person is intoxicated to the point that he is less capable of understanding the consequences of his actions and prioritizes alcohol over personal well-being or the safety of others.

Denial

Hiding a drinking problem often goes far beyond deception and into straight denial. It’s extremely common for people who abuse alcohol to deny they have a problem or minimize it. They do so to justify their actions or to assure others that their habits are not concerning.

The following are common characteristics of denial:

  • Understating how much alcohol one consumes
  • Disregarding or minimizing negative consequences of drinking
  • Asserting that people who voice concern are exaggerating
  • Blaming drinking habits on other people, such as a spouse, or circumstances beyond one’s control
  • Believing that a drinking habit is not a problem because one is functioning in the workplace or at school
  • Contending that the habits of “real” alcoholics are worse than oneself (e.g., drinking liquor versus beer or drinking every day)

Alcohol Has Become the Focus of Life

The person who has a drinking problem has few things in mind besides alcohol and when she can have the next drink. These are signs that a person is becoming preoccupied with alcohol:

  • Spending excessive amounts of time seeking, obtaining, and consuming alcohol as well as recovering from the effects of drinking
  • Spending money on alcohol to the point of financial distress
  • Seeking out and attending only activities where alcohol is being served and consumed
  • Preferring to hang out with people who have a drinking or drug problem than family or loved ones who do not drink

Giving up Hobbies and Activities Once Enjoyed

Physical Signs of Alcoholism | Recovery by the Sea

People who have an alcohol use disorder tend to forgo hobbies and activities they once considered enjoyable. These choices can be the result of physical symptoms, and it is also likely that after engaging in alcohol-related activities, these persons have no time or energy left for activities they once relished.

Drinking as an Escape from Life’s Stresses

Many people who begin drinking do so as a way to escape stressful conditions in their environment or to self-medicate away negative feelings such as depression, anger, frustration, resentment, or sadness.

These are common signs of a drinking problem:

  • Drinking due to stress or to ignore problems
  • Believing that just one drink can help one manage stress and feel better
  • Consuming alcohol to feel “normal” or to relax

Performance at the Workplace or School is Suffering

Chronic alcoholism takes over the life of the user. Focusing on and spending time on obtaining/using alcohol and battling the physical and emotional effects of alcohol use render a person far less capable of performing up to par in other areas of life.

The following consequences may indicate a drinking problem:

  • Falling or failing grades in school
  • Absenteeism at work or school
  • Worsening performance at the workplace

Neglecting Duties and Obligations

Those who abuse alcohol often neglect their personal and professional duties and responsibilities for the following reasons:

  • They are intoxicated or recovering from intoxication, they are physically incapable of completing the tasks required of them.
  • They are mentally incapable of concentrating on duties and carrying them out competently.
  • They would rather dedicate their time, physical energy, and focus on activities associated with alcohol use.

Maintaining Relationships is Challenging

People who abuse alcohol often find it difficult to form and maintain healthy relationships. Moreover, they may exhibit the following behavior that is detrimental to relationships:

  • They are deceptive about their drinking habits.
  • They are irritated, aggressive or violent with others who confront them with concerns.
  • They sometimes blame loved ones for their drinking habits.
  • They isolate themselves from others to hide their drinking habit or to avoid questions and accusations.
  • They voluntarily break ties with loved ones when they feel they are trying to interfere.
  • They neglect responsibilities, which puts a physical or financial burden on loved ones.
  • They may find themselves in legal trouble due to alcohol-related crimes.

Finally, covering up for the transgressions of a loved one or misleading others about a friend or family member’s alcoholism tends to strain relationships, especially over a long period.

Physical Signs of Alcoholism – Developing a Tolerance

Chronic alcohol use almost always results in the building of a tolerance, meaning that the person progressively needs more drinks to achieve the same level of intoxication. Increasing tolerance should serve as a clear signal that abuse is developing into an addiction.

Physical Signs of Alcoholism – Experiencing Withdrawal Symptoms

The presence of withdrawal symptoms is another indisputable sign of alcoholism. The occurrence of these symptoms indicates that the body has gotten so accustomed to having alcohol in the system that it responds violently when drinking is discontinued.

The following are classic alcohol withdrawal symptoms:

  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Tremors
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Depression
  • Insomnia and sleep disturbances.
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite

Not Being Able to Quit Despite Numerous Attempts

Physical Signs of Alcoholism | Recovery by the Sea

The physical and emotional damage that alcoholism can cause is well documented and backed up by a tremendous amount of evidence. Many people who have a drinking problem are informed about these potential consequences and as a result, genuinely want to quit.

Others wish to reclaim their lives, professional careers, or relationships that alcohol use has destroyed. Having the desire to stop drinking and failing/relapsing is a definite sign of alcoholism.

Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

People who experience alcoholism or drug addiction are encouraged to undergo a medical detox followed closely by a transition to long-term addiction treatment, which should include evidence-based approaches such as behavioral therapy and group counseling.

Treatment is offered by our center on an inpatient (residential) or outpatient basis. Regardless of format, our services are delivered by caring medical and mental health professionals who provide our clients with the skills they need to fully recover and experience happiness and sobriety for the rest of their lives.

You can reclaim your life and the wellness and harmony you deserve! Please contact us now!

What is the Lean Drug?

Lean Drug | Recovery by the Sea

Lean is a liquid drug “cocktail” that consists of prescription cold medication, a soft drink such as Sprite, and hard candy. It’s also known as purple drank, purple lean, and sizzurp, among other names.

The prescription cough syrups contained in the lean drug typically contain codeine, an opioid that is used as a cough suppressant but can also produce pain relieving and sedating effects. The antihistamine promethazine is another potential ingredient, and can also cause sedation and the impairment of motor functions.

When codeine is consumed in large amounts, it can result in extremely harmful effects. Because the drug is in the form of a drinkable liquid, consumers can quickly lose track of how much of the psychoactive ingredients they have consumed. This is mainly due to the cough syrup’s flavor being masked by soda and candy, and this is where the real danger lies.

Also, the combination known as lean or purple drank has been touted as a desirable high by several celebrities, most notably musicians such as Lil Wayne and Justin Bieber. While lean’s “cool” media presence may compel young people to use, the reality is, even those who have been credited with making the concoction famous have suffered from health problems -for example, Lil Wayne reportedly began having seizures several years ago after a long history of lean abuse.

Lean Drug | Recovery by the Sea

There have been a view notable celebrity deaths associated with lean, as well. In November 2000, DJ Screw, who popularized the drink, died of a codeine-promethazine-alcohol overdose. Then in October 2007, Big Moe, a DJ Screw protégé who has been described as having “rapped obsessively about the drug” died at age 33, after suffering a heart attack, and it was believed that purple drank may have played a key role in his death.

Side Effects of the Lean Drug

Side effects may gradually increase as a person drinks an increasing amount of lean. First-time users, however, may also experience unpleasant side effects such as dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, and memory impairment.

The routine use of purple drank can also cause widespread health issues. Individuals who drink lean on a regular basis report suffering from tooth decay and other dental problems, constipation, unwanted weight gain, and urinary tract infections.

People who engage in prolonged abuse of purple drank or use the drug in a sufficiently large amount may also experience life-threatening complications such as an overdose, particularly when its used in combination with other depressant drugs or alcohol.

Lean Drug Addiction

Codeine, an opioid, the psychoactive ingredient in purple lean is behind its desirable yet hazardous effects. Opioids are a class of drugs linked to an extremely high rate of abuse and dependence.

The incredibly addictive nature of opioids is due, in part, to the rewarding and pleasant effects that they induce, including euphoria, relief from anxiety, and decreased aggression.

Because codeine is legal when prescribed and many people use it to manage coughing or pain legitimately, it’s challenging to track rates of abuse and addiction. The chronic abuse of opioids, however, can result in the development of drug tolerance or dependence. As tolerance builds, people often find themselves needing to use increasing amounts of the drug to experience the coveted effects.

This increase in drug-using behavior can be the catalyst for the development of physiological dependence. Opioid-dependent persons are then likely to suffer from a wide range of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to discontinue drug use. In the early stages of withdrawal from an addictive drug, the person may experience:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Agitation
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Teary eyes and a runny nose
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Sweating

If a person has used purple drank for a prolonged period or in very high doses, they may experience more intense withdrawal effects, including nausea and vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.

To avoid, stop, or postpone withdrawal symptoms, people addicted to the lean drug will often relapse, or return to consuming the drink or other opioid drugs, thus perpetuating an endless cycle of abuse that can devastate their mental and physical health.

Treatment for Codeine Addiction

Because withdrawal symptoms caused by codeine addiction can be so unpleasant, many patients opt for an inpatient detox and then immediately transfer to an addiction treatment program.

Treatment is comprised of two formats or phases: inpatient and intensive outpatient treatment. Both include evidence-based approaches to substance abuse treatment including behavioral therapy, individual and family counseling, and support groups.

During treatment, medical and mental health staff who specialize in addiction care for patients and provide them with the skills they need to navigate a drug-free life after treatment has been completed.

At our center, we can help you regain your life free of addiction to drugs and alcohol. Please call us as soon as possible to find out how!

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