Celebrity Relapses in a World That Never Stops Watching

Celebrities have always been in the public eye. But in the era of 24/7 news cycles, social media scrutiny, and insatiable public appetite for the lives of the rich and famous, celebrities find themselves navigating a treacherous landscape. Every aspect of their lives – including triumphs, missteps, and personal struggles – is exposed to a global audience that never stops watching.

We’ve seen celebrities like Ben Affleck, Robert Downey Jr., Kelly Obsourne, Dax Shepard, Demi Lovato, etc., battle addiction and relapse while dealing with limelight pressures. It is not an easy journey. When a celebrity relapses, the consequences are often more severe than for the average person. Their relapse becomes headline news, and the public watches their every move, analyzing their actions and choices.

Again, they’re under immense pressure to bounce back quickly after a relapse. There's an expectation that they should swiftly return to work and continue to entertain their audience. This pressure can be detrimental to their recovery process, as it may not allow for the necessary time and focus on healing.

We've all heard of the "27 Club" - referencing celebrities who have overdosed and succumbed to their addiction. While it has been a tragedy to lose so many stars at such a young age, recovery is a long, often difficult path to take.

Relapse is a normal part of the recovery journey.

Man with dark circles holding a bottle highlighting the challenges of maintaining sobriety and the public perception during the recovery journey

More than 80% of people relapse within the first year of leaving an addiction treatment center. Celebrities are no different. Take Dax, for instance. He stayed sober for 16 years but went back to misusing Vicodin after being involved in a motorcycle accident.

He was scared and lonely but kept it a secret. Dax admitted to being sober while celebrating his 16-year sober activity. “I was high at the meeting having people tell me they admire my sobriety.” He said during an Armchair Expert episode. According to Dax, that was the worst thing in the world. But by the time the podcast aired, he was already 11 days sober.

Dax Shepard's honesty about his relapse serves as a powerful reminder that addiction is a lifelong battle, and even those with years of sobriety can face setbacks. His journey highlights the isolation and fear that can come with relapse, even when surrounded by admirers who look up to his sobriety.

Demi Lovato has also had a fair share of media attention. In June 2018, they released a song that hinted at a relapse, which immediately drew the attention of fans and the media. Just a month later, they were hospitalized due to a drug overdose, a harrowing incident that further thrust their struggles into the public spotlight.

Demi later embarked on a unique path to recovery that they coined as being California sober. The term typically refers to a state of sobriety that allows for the occasional use of marijuana and alcohol while abstaining from other drugs. Later on, they disavowed their California sober ways and approach and embraced being sober sober.

The Allure and Pitfalls of Celebrity Status

Being a celebrity carries an undeniable allure. It offers fame, fortune, and the adoration of fans, which can be incredibly rewarding. However, the pitfalls of celebrity status are equally significant. Celebrities often find themselves trapped in a gilded cage, where the perks of success come at a steep cost.

Public Expectations

One of the primary challenges celebrities face is the lofty expectations of the public. Celebrities are often held to impossibly high standards. They are expected to be role models and maintain a facade of perfection, whether it's in their appearance, behavior, or personal lives.

The pressure to conform to these expectations can lead to a profound sense of isolation and anxiety. In attempting to meet these unrealistic standards, some celebrities may turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms or seek solace in substances, exacerbating their problems.

Relentless Scrutiny

Celebs are also under constant scrutiny. Their every move, decision, and appearance is scrutinized by fans, paparazzi, and the media. This continuous monitoring means that there is often nowhere to hide, and even the most private moments can become public fodder. This level of scrutiny can make it incredibly difficult for celebrities to access treatment or therapy discreetly, which is essential for those dealing with addiction or mental health issues.

Performance Anxiety

For many celebrities, their livelihoods depend on their ability to perform. Whether it's on the stage, screen, or sports field, the fear of failure can be crippling. The constant pressure to excel can lead to extreme stress and anxiety, which, in turn, may drive some individuals toward self-destructive behavior or addiction as a means of coping.

Fear of Public Backlash

The fear of public backlash and humiliation is a real concern for celebrities facing relapses. In a world where even the smallest misstep can become a scandal, the shame associated with relapse can be overwhelming. This fear of judgment may discourage some individuals from seeking the help they desperately need, as they worry about the impact on their careers and public image.

Isolation and Loneliness

Surrounded by fans, hangers-on, and industry professionals, celebrities can paradoxically feel intensely isolated. Genuine friendships can be hard to come by, as it's challenging to discern who is sincere and who is merely seeking proximity to fame. This isolation can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and contribute to the struggles celebrities face.

How Constant Scrutiny Makes it Hard to Maintain Sobriety

Celebrity relapses often highlighted by media scrutiny depicting a sad celebrity couple in a car emphasizing the challenges of maintaining sobriety

Constant scrutiny can significantly compound the challenges of maintaining sobriety for celebrities, and its ripple effect can extend beyond their struggles to impact their fans and public perception. Here's a closer look at how this happens:

Increased Stress and Triggers

The relentless media attention and public scrutiny can create an environment of constant stress for celebrities. This stress, combined with the triggers associated with their fame, can make it exceedingly difficult to stay sober. High-pressure situations, performance anxiety, and the expectations of fans can all act as triggers for substance abuse or other unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Public Humiliation and Shame

When a celebrity does experience a relapse or struggles with addiction, the public nature of their downfall can be intensely humiliating. The media's sensationalized reporting and the judgmental comments from the public can exacerbate feelings of shame and failure, potentially driving the individual further into destructive behavior.

Recovery under the Spotlight

When celebrities embark on a path to recovery, their journey is often closely monitored by the media and the public. While this can serve as a source of support and encouragement, it can also be overwhelming and stressful. Relapses during the recovery process may be perceived as failures, even though recovery is rarely a linear path.

Importance of Empathy in Recovery

In the world of constant celebrity scrutiny and relapses, it's crucial to remember that addiction knows no boundaries—it is a universal struggle that can touch anyone, regardless of their fame or fortune. The challenges celebrities face under the relentless public eye serve as a stark reminder of the human side of these individuals and the complexity of their journeys toward recovery.

Empathy is the key to navigating this sensitive terrain. Recognizing that celebrities are not immune to the trials of addiction and mental health issues can help break down the barriers of stigma and judgment. Instead of sensationalizing their struggles, we should offer support and understanding, promoting the message that it's okay to ask for help and to seek treatment.

Above all, it's essential to remember that recovery is a journey, not a destination. Celebrities, like anyone else, may face setbacks along the way. These relapses are not failures but rather part of the healing process. The path to sobriety and mental well-being is not linear, and it requires time, effort, and a strong support system.

In our collective efforts to foster empathy and support those in need, we can create an environment where individuals, whether celebrities or not, feel safe and encouraged to seek the help they deserve. Addiction and mental health struggles are universal experiences and it's through empathy, understanding, and a commitment to treating each other with kindness that we can all contribute to the healing process, recognizing that recovery is indeed a journey, and every step forward is a significant achievement. 

More Than Rehab, a Texas rehab center, offers a range of treatment options for people dealing with sobriety challenges. We understand the importance of empathy in the recovery process and acknowledge that true healing goes beyond clinical protocols; it hinges on the ability to connect with individuals on a personal and emotional level, providing them with the support and understanding they deserve.

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Thriving in Sobriety: Navigating Recovery in the Workplace

Getting help for an alcohol or drug use problem is a bold move toward regaining control of your life. Addiction can profoundly impact your physical health, mental well-being, relationships, and job performance. However, it's important to remember that treatment is just the beginning of the recovery journey. Navigating sobriety, especially in the workplace, presents its own unique set of challenges and opportunities.

This article will explore strategies for thriving in sobriety while maintaining a successful and fulfilling career.

How to Navigate the Workplace Sober

The sad reality is that life does not stop to accommodate our pursuit of recovery, and neither does work. After treatment, you’ll still need to deal with the job stressors and create new rhythms in old environments. Not only that. The high expectations of professionalism and work boundaries make it hard to know how vulnerable to be, who to trust and whether it’s appropriate to share your recovery journey.

Even so, you should know that your health comes first. If you cannot healthily pursue your recovery in your workplace, it may be necessary to explore alternative options. Today, 86% of employers prioritize workforce mental health, and 26% have adopted a well-being strategy.

Should you Disclose your Recovery Status?

One of the first decisions you may face upon returning to work is whether or not to disclose your recovery status. But this is a personal decision that requires careful consideration. Take time to weigh the potential benefits and risks first. You want to assess your work environment and determine the culture and attitudes toward addiction and recovery and whether there are policies in place to protect individuals in recovery.

Potential Benefits

Potential Risk

If you choose to disclose, consider doing so selectively and strategically, starting with a trusted colleague or supervisor. Remember that your well-being should be the priority, and it's important to prioritize self-care and create a support system outside of work, regardless of whether or not you disclose your recovery status.

Prioritize Self-Care

a woman practicing self care

Make your physical, mental, and emotional well-being a top priority. Take breaks throughout your workday to relax and recharge. Take advantage of these moments to engage in activities like taking a short walk, deep breathing exercises or listening to calming music.

You also want to eat enough food and get a good night’s sleep so you’re strong enough to deal with life stressors. Taking care of yourself will provide a strong foundation for navigating workplace challenges.

Set Healthy Boundaries

Establish clear boundaries to protect your sobriety and well-being. To do so, you’ll first need to assess your physical and mental health needs (consider the activities or situations that may impact your recovery negatively). Then communicate these to your colleagues, supervisors and even the HR department and be honest about what you need to support your recovery.

You also want to say no to activities that may trigger drug or alcohol use. For example, you can turn down offers to go to a job party that includes drugs or resist the urge to discuss work-related matters in your free time unless it’s urgent. The latter can aid in work-life balance, which is critical in recovery.

Build a Support System

Intentionally surround yourself with a supportive network both inside and outside of work. Having colleagues who understand your journey and can offer encouragement and guidance can have a huge impact on your mood. It can also prevent feelings of self-doubt, shame and criticism that may trigger unhealthy coping habits.

Still, on a support system, you may leverage the support of your loved ones, too, especially if you’re struggling to work after rehab. If they own a business, they may offer employment. And if they’re employed, they may ask about opportunities in their workplace. Sometimes, working with a family member, or loved one can be less stressful than a stranger.

Assess Workplace Triggers

Identify any specific triggers in your workplace that may tempt you to use substances or affect your recovery. It could be certain colleagues, stress-inducing tasks, or specific environments. Once you've identified these triggers, develop coping strategies to deal with them effectively. This may involve seeking support, practicing mindfulness, or finding alternative stress management methods.

Focus on Professional Growth

Above all else, you can engage in career development opportunities to enhance your skills and knowledge. Doing so can help boost your confidence and sense of accomplishment, which is a positive focus outside of your recovery. Set goals for your professional growth and work towards them. You’ll be impressed by how much this will give you a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Engage in Sober Activities

Seek out activities and hobbies that don't involve alcohol or substances. Explore new interests, join clubs or organizations, or participate in community events that align with your values and interests. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals can reinforce your commitment to a sober lifestyle.

Seek Confidential Support at Work

 If your workplace has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), take advantage of it. EAPs provide confidential counseling, resources, and support for employees dealing with various challenges, including addiction. Alternatively, you can seek support from your rehab. Talk to your treatment team about the challenges you anticipate so they can offer guidance on how to navigate them.

Recovery is a personal journey, and each individual's experience may differ. However, with the right strategies and support, it is possible to reclaim control of your life and thrive in sobriety. If you’re still having a hard time, consider reaching out to More than Rehab. Our team is here to support you on your journey to reclaiming control of your life and embracing a brighter future in sobriety.

Remember, you are not alone; recovery is possible with the right help and support. Give us a call today. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year.

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How Naltrexone Implants Work for Alcohol & Opioid Addiction

Opioid and alcohol use disorders are a growing concern in the United States, especially with the rise in overdose deaths. In 2021 alone, 107,622 drug-involved overdose deaths were reported in the country, and opioids accounted for 80,816. In the same year, there were over 52,000 alcohol-induced deaths in the US. 

The increase in substance abuse and overdose cases indicates the need for addiction maintenance treatments. While traditional treatments for opioid and alcohol use disorder do a great job of helping people get off of drugs, they do little to prevent overdose cases. Once a recovering addict leaves the treatment facility, they may face triggers that can result in relapse and overdose. 

That's why many medical institutes worldwide are still trying to find innovative ways to enhance the convenience and chances of long-term sobriety. Naltrexone implants are one such innovative treatment option. These implants provide long-term maintenance from alcohol and opioids by reducing the risk of cravings and relapse.

What are Naltrexone Implants? 

Naltrexone implants are small pellets that contain the medication naltrexone. Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist medication that blocks the effects of opioids and alcohol on the brain, thus helping manage cravings. 

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The principle behind this medication-assisted treatment is that if someone can't feel the desired effect of drugs, they won't be motivated to use them. Over time, the positive association with opioids or alcohol will fade, and temptations won't be present.

When the implant is inserted under the skin, it slowly releases Naltrexone into the body over several weeks to months. This extended release can help reduce cravings for opioids or alcohol and prevent relapse. In some cases, it can also help curb opioid overdose cases.

Naltrexone implants have shown promising results in treating alcohol and opioid addiction, mainly when used in conjunction with other forms of evidence-based treatment, like medication, counseling, and support groups. This holistic approach addresses substance use disorders and the mental health aspect. 

How Naltrexone Implants Work for Alcohol and Opioid Addiction

Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist medication that works by blocking the opioid receptors in the brain. The implants provide a constant level of medication in the body, which can help to keep the opioid receptors blocked and reduce the risk of relapse.

Naltrexone implants have several advantages as they:

Weakness of Naltrexone Treatment

Despite the advantages of Naltrexone, there are some downsides as well. These include:

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How Are Naltrexone Implants Administered?

Naltrexone implants are small, sterile pellets implanted under the skin in a minor surgical procedure. The procedure is usually done in an outpatient setting, meaning you won't need to stay overnight in a hospital.

First, a healthcare professional will clean and numb the area where the implant will be inserted. This is done with a local anesthetic, so you'll be awake during the procedure but won't feel any pain.

Next, the healthcare professional will make a small incision in your lower abdomen skin. They'll then insert the naltrexone implant into the pocket they've created under the skin and close the incision using stitches or adhesive strips. They will also apply a sterile dressing to the area to protect it as it heals. 

The procedure usually takes about 20 minutes or less you can go home the same day. 

Side Effects of Naltrexone Implants

Naltrexone is generally safe. But like any medication, it can cause side effects. Here are some of the potential side effects of naltrexone implant:

  1. Pain, swelling, or redness at the implant site
  2. Infection at the implant site
  3. Bleeding or bruising at the implant site
  4. Itching or rash at the implant site
  5. Nausea or vomiting, headache or dizziness
  6. Diarrhea
  7. Anxiety or nervousness
  8. Fatigue or weakness
  9. Liver problems
  10. Allergic reactions

It's important to note that these side effects are usually mild and temporary, and most people tolerate the medication well. However, if you experience severe or persistent side effects, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately. 

If you have any medical conditions or take other medications, inform your healthcare provider before starting a naltrexone implant to ensure it's safe and effective for you.

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Starting Naltrexone Treatment

Before starting Naltrexone, you must undergo an assessment to ensure you're suited for treatment. A good candidate for Naltrexone treatment would typically meet the following criteria:

Naltrexone implants are a cutting-edge treatment for addiction to opioids, heroin, and alcohol. But the FDA has not approved the implantable version of Naltrexone for use in America. The treatment is only available in Europe and Australia. Still, many centers offer other forms of Naltrexone, which also offer long-term maintenance.

For more details about Naltrexone, reach out to More Than Rehab today.

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Does Alcohol & Drug Use Make COVID Symptoms Worse?

Drug addiction is a serious medical condition that can profoundly impact every aspect of an individual's life. It can damage relationships, cause financial problems, and lead to various health care problems. Left untreated, addiction can be deadly. Amid the unprecedented global pandemic, drug addiction presents an even greater danger to public health as it can make COVID symptoms much worse than they already are.

People who use drugs are more likely to contract the virus and experience severe symptoms if they become infected. Additionally, those who are addicted to drugs are more likely to engage in risky behaviors that can spread the virus to others. For example, they may share injection needles or fail to observe the safety measures like wearing masks, washing hands, avoiding crowded areas, or coughing to the elbow, thereby increasing the risk of transmission.

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The Relationship between Addiction and Severe COVID-19 Symptoms

Recent studies suggest that alcohol and drug abuse may make COVID symptoms worse. This is a significant discovery, as it could mean that people already struggling with addiction may be at an increased risk of developing more severe symptoms if they contract the virus.

One cross-sectional study compared the hospitalization rate for COVID in 2020 in those diagnosed with substance use disorders vs. those without these disorders. The findings were that those with alcohol or drug use disorders had a greater chance of being hospitalized for COVID-19 infection than the general population. This suggests that they suffer worse conditions or physical symptoms than the non-using population. The study also noticed higher mortality rates among hospitalized SUD patients than in the general population.

The Centers for Disease Control also notes that people with underlying conditions like substance use disorders, chronic heart, liver or lung disease, etc., are likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. Severe illness from COVID-19 can also increase the sense of hopelessness that makes it so difficult for suicide prevention strategies. 

These studies underscore the importance of seeking addiction treatment. If you are worried about how COVID might impact your addiction, please consult your doctor or therapist for guidance.

Why Do Drugs Make COVID Symptoms Worse?

Drugs make COVID-19 worse by weakening your immune system, making you more likely to get other infections, interfering with treatment, and increasing risk factors where you are more likely to spread the disease to others.

·      Weakened immune system: Some drugs, such as steroids, can weaken your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight the virus. 

·      Making you more likely to get other infections: Drugs that suppress your immune system can also make you more likely to get infections and autoimmune diseases like HIV/AIDS. These infections can be serious and even life-threatening. 

·      Interfering with treatment: Some drugs can interfere with how your body responds to treatment for COVID-19. This can make the disease worse and increase the chances of death. 

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Besides, drugs also affect the body in a range of other ways. For example:

·      Opioids cause slow breathing, reduce oxygen in the blood, and result in brain damage or death. 

·      Stimulants like cocaine, meth, and amphetamine increase heart rate and blood pressure, making it harder for the heart to pump blood and can lead to a heart attack or stroke. These drugs can also cause acute respiratory failure.

·      Smoking or vaping crack cocaine, heroin, or marijuana can increase lung damage risk and make breathing harder. It can also worsen COPD, asthma, and other lung conditions.

·      The effects of alcohol on the immune system are also well-documented. Alcohol abuse can increase the risk of developing various infectious diseases, including pneumonia and tuberculosis.

Should I Get a COVID-19 Vaccine if I'm on Drugs?

Yes, you should get a COVID-19 vaccine if you're on drugs. The CDC recommends that everyone vaccinate against COVID-19, regardless of their drug use status. You don't even need to have health insurance to get the vaccine. When considering the adverse effects that COVID-19 has on addiction patients, vaccination can be your best line of defense. It might even save your life.

On the bright side, 12.46 billion doses have been administered globally today, and there haven't been any documented cases of a person having adverse health effects due to drug use.

However, people with certain medical conditions should talk to their doctor before getting the vaccine. These conditions include:

·      A history of severe allergic reaction to a vaccine or ingredient in the vaccine

·      A weakened immune system due to cancer, HIV/AIDS, steroid use, or other conditions

·      If you're pregnant or breastfeeding, you should also talk to your doctor before getting the vaccine.

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Do Addictive Drugs Affect the COVID-19 Vaccine?

There is currently no evidence that alcohol or drugs affect the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine. If you are taking medications to treat an addiction, it is important to speak to your doctor about whether or not the vaccine is right for you. You might also want to err on the side of caution and abstain from use before and after receiving the vaccine.

Harm Reduction Strategies for Those Unable to Stop Abusing Drugs or Alcohol

Among the many challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, those who struggle with substance abuse face unique risks. In addition to the dangers posed by the virus itself, the COVID restrictions made it difficult for many to access treatment and support services. As a result, harm reduction strategies have become even more important for those unable to stop using drugs or alcohol. These strategies include:

·      Create a safe space for drug use. This can be done by ensuring that all surfaces are clean and disinfected and that ventilation is adequate. Not sharing drug-use equipment like needles, vapes, cigars, bongs, etc. 

·      It is also important to have a supply of clean needles and other supplies on hand and a first-aid kit in case of accidental injuries.

·      Observe COVID-19 restrictions to curb the spread of the virus-like washing hands, avoiding crowded spaces, and social distancing. 

·      Additionally, it is crucial to know your limits and always use drugs under the supervision of someone who can assist if necessary.

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By following these harm reduction strategies, those unable to stop using drugs or alcohol can help protect themselves and others from the potentially deadly effects of COVID-19. In addition, these strategies can also help to reduce the spread of the virus among those who are most vulnerable.

Protect Your Health with Addiction Treatment

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, it's important to seek professional help. There are a variety of human resources and treatment options available, and the right one for you will depend on your individual needs.

If you're struggling with addiction, don't wait to get help. Treatment can help you to overcome addiction and achieve recovery. It can also provide vital support and resources during difficult times. Seek treatment today and begin your journey to a healthier, happier life.

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What is the Cost of Alcohol Rehab?

Approximately 21 Million people in the United States struggle with alcohol addiction in America every year. If you or a loved one is among them, you may wonder what the cost of alcohol rehab programs are.

The cost of alcohol rehab can range from free and low-cost programs to expensive inpatient treatment. This variation is due to aspects like the level of care, type of treatment, length of stay, and whether insurance will cover any or all of the costs.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Rehab

The cost of alcohol rehab can depend on several factors, including:

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Let's look at some of the different types of alcohol rehab and their average costs, as indicated by the National Drug Helpline.

Day Drug Detox Cost

If you struggle with mild to moderate alcohol addiction, you may only require a short detoxification period followed by outpatient treatment. If this is the case, the cost of alcohol rehab will be lower. The cost of a day of drug detox is about $250-$800.

3-Month Outpatient Care Cost

If you have a more severe addiction, you will likely require outpatient care for 3 months or more. The cost of outpatient alcohol rehab can range from $1,400 – $10,000.

30-Day Intensive Outpatient Program Cost

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a type of outpatient care that is more intense than traditional outpatient care. It typically requires 3-5 days of treatment per week for 4-6 hours each day. The cost of an intensive outpatient program can range from $3,000 – $10,000 for 30 days.

Residential Treatment Cost

If you require more intensive treatment than an outpatient program can offer, you may need to enter a residential treatment program. Residential treatment programs provide 24-hour care and supervision in a setting that is removed from triggers and temptations. The cost of residential treatment can range from $5,000 – $80,000 for 30 days.

Sober Living Cost

After you have completed a residential treatment program, you may choose to live in a sober living environment. Sober living homes provide a safe and structured environment for people in recovery. The cost of sober living can range from $500 – $5,000 per month.

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The Cost of Alcohol Addiction Treatment with Insurance

While many different treatment options are available, many people struggling with alcohol use disorder are deterred by the cost of rehab. Fortunately, most health insurance plans, including Medicaid, Medicare, military, and state-financed health insurance, now cover alcohol addiction treatment. Here is how it works:

Most insurance plans will cover some or all of the cost of detoxification, which is the first step in alcohol addiction treatment. Detoxification can be done in a hospital or outpatient setting and typically lasts a few days to a week. During this time, medical staff will monitor patients closely and give medications to help manage withdrawal symptoms.

After detoxification, patients will typically participate in an intensive outpatient or residential treatment program. These programs typically last 30 days and provide 24-hour support and supervision. Patients will participate in individual and group therapy sessions and activities designed to promote recovery. The cost of these programs varies depending on the level of care required; however, most insurance plans will cover at least a portion of the cost.

Alcohol addiction treatment can be expensive; however, insurance coverage can make it more affordable. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, it is important to check with your insurance provider to see what coverage is available.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment without Insurance

If you do not have health insurance, or if your insurance does not cover alcohol addiction treatment, options are still available. Many treatment centers offer sliding-scale fees based on a person's ability to pay. Sliding scale fees allow people to pay what they can afford, making treatment more affordable.

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There are also many state-funded alcohol addiction treatment programs available. For example, the California Department of Health Services offers a variety of treatment options for people struggling with alcoholism. Other states do the same too.

These programs are typically free or low-cost and can be an excellent option for those without insurance. To find out what is available in your area, you can contact your local Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) chapter or the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC).

Alternatively, you can apply for scholarships or grants to help offset the cost of treatment. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) offers a variety of scholarships and grants for people struggling with alcoholism. Some high-end rehabs also have scholarship beds for people who can’t afford them.

If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, there is help available. Many treatment options are available, regardless of your insurance coverage or financial situation.

Get Help for your Addiction

In conclusion, alcohol addiction treatment can be costly; however, many options are available to help make it more affordable. If you or someone you love is struggling with alcoholism, please reach out for help. Some people care and are ready to help you on your journey to recovery.

Does Alcohol Addiction Lead To Dangerous Sleepwalking?

Alcohol addiction can lead to many health problems, including liver diseases, heart disease, and pancreatitis. It can also increase the risk of accidents and injuries and contribute to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. One less well-known effect of alcohol dependence is sleepwalking.

While there is no direct experimental evidence that alcohol predisposes one to sleepwalk, some literature indicates that it can trigger sleepwalking or increase its risk by increasing the quantity of slow-wave sleep (SWS). Alcohol also alters total sleep time and affects the time required to fall asleep.

Although researchers still don't have a grasp of all the complex processes that occur during sleep, what's known is that lack of sleep could predispose one to depressive disorders and sleep disorders. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse, people who drink before sleeping often experience insomnia symptoms and feel sleepy the next day.

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What is a Normal Sleep Pattern?

A normal sleep pattern consists of two types of sleep: slow-wave sleep (SWS) and rapid-eye-movement sleep (REM).

Most people cycle through both types of sleep several times during the night. A typical sleep cycle lasts 90 minutes and consists of four or five periods of REM followed by a period of SWS.

However, the exact duration and timing of sleep cycles vary from person to person. Some people may have longer or shorter cycles, and some may spend more time in REM than SWS.

How the Brain Controls Sleep

Sleep is a complex and fascinating process that scientists are still working to understand. However, we do know that the brain controls sleep. The brain stem, responsible for basic functions like heart rate and breathing, also regulates sleep.

When we are awake, the brain stem sends signals to the rest of the brain that keeps us alert and active. And when we sleep, it signals the brain to slow down and relax. This process is known as sleep initiation.

Scientists believe that sleep is important for restoring energy levels, lowering stress levels, and improving moods. It is also thought to play a role in memory formation and learning.

The Relationship between Alcohol and Sleep

Although moderate alcohol consumption before bedtime may help you fall asleep, it significantly affects sleep continuity and quality. Normally, sleep is divided into three non-REM stages and a REM stage.

During the first two non-REM stages, your heartbeat and breathing slow, and your body temperature decreases. You progress from light sleep in stage 1 to deep sleep in stage 2. In the third stage of non-REM sleep, delta waves (slow brainwaves) begin to appear. This is the deepest and most restorative stage of sleep.

Finally, during REM sleep, your heartbeat quickens, your breathing becomes shallow and irregular, your eyes dart back and forth under closed eyelids, and your arm and leg muscles are temporarily paralyzed.

Alcohol consumption before bedtime can adversely affect all four stages of sleep. Although alcohol may help you fall asleep initially, it disrupts subsequent REM sleep. As a result, you may wake up feeling groggy and unrefreshed. Moderate to heavy drinkers are more likely to experience these effects than light drinkers.

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According to a survey published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse, Alcohol affects sleep initiation and sleep maintenance during the 1st and 2nd half of the nighttime sleeping period.

Furthermore, alcohol withdrawal can also lead to insomnia. If you regularly drink alcohol to excess and then experience insomnia when you suddenly stop drinking, you may be experiencing alcohol withdrawal. Insomnia is one of the most common withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol and Sleep Disorders

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, and it can cause a range of sleep disorders, including:

Insomnia

The most common sleep disorder caused by alcohol use is insomnia, making it difficult to fall and stay asleep. When you are addicted to alcohol, you are more likely to experience periods of binge drinking followed by periods of abstinence. This can lead to a condition called rebound insomnia, which can, in turn, lead to sleepwalking.

Sleep Apnea

Alcohol can also cause disruptions in the normal sleep cycle, leading to problems such as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition in which people stop breathing repeatedly during the night. It can cause fatigue during the day and increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

Night Terrors

Alcohol use can increase the risk of developing night terrors. Sleep terrors usually occur during the first few hours of sleep when alcohol inhibits REM sleep, which is when most dreams occur. This increased dreaming can lead to night terrors, characterized by suddenly waking up in a state of panic.

Sleepwalking

Sleepwalking is a type of parasomnia, defined as an unwanted behavior or event that occurs during sleep. It is most likely to occur after several hours of deep sleep. Alcohol decreases the level of glucose in the brain, which can lead to micro-awakenings that disrupt deep sleep and increase the likelihood of sleepwalking.

Alcohol-Induced Sleepwalking

No research has established a direct connection between alcohol consumption and sleepwalking. What we know is that alcohol can interfere with sleep patterns and can trigger sleep conditions like sleep apnea.

Untreated sleep apnea can increase sleepwalking risk, especially when enhanced with alcohol use. Alcohol relaxes the upper airways, causing the same effects to sleep apnea when someone stops breathing when sleeping. When this happens, the body may wake someone up from sleep, but there may be confusion in the consciousness level that could raise the chances of alcohol-induced sleepwalking.

How to Prevent Sleepwalking and Stay Safe

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Sleepwalking occurs when you are in a state of semi-consciousness, and you walk or perform other activities while you are asleep. Although sleepwalking episodes are usually brief and harmless, they can sometimes be dangerous. In rare cases, sleepwalkers have been known to injure themselves or others.

Sleepwalking is most common in children, including those with fetal alcohol syndrome. But it can also occur in adults. The condition is usually triggered by fatigue, stress, sleep deprivation, or alcohol use and may expose one to risks.

During sleepwalking episodes, people are often unaware of their surroundings and may put themselves in danger by walking into traffic or falling downstairs. It gets even worse as sleepwalkers may attempt to drive or operate machinery while sleepwalking and end up hurting themselves and others.

If you are addicted to alcohol, it is important to get treatment to avoid the risks associated with sleepwalking. You can also do the following to help with sleepwalking:

  1. First, stop drinking alcohol or avoid it before bed as it can disrupt your sleep cycle and lead to parasomnias.
  2. Second, make sure you get enough rest by following a regular sleep schedule and creating a calm environment in your bedroom.
  3. Finally, if you have a history of sleepwalking, your doctor may prescribe sleep medicine to help prevent future episodes.

Alcohol addiction can lead to some dangerous sleepwalking behavior. If you or a loved one is struggling with an alcohol addiction, it's important to seek treatment to address the alcohol use issue. There are also many resources available online from the Department of Health and Human Services that you can check out.

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Digestive Health Issues From Drug Use

Drug use can have both short-term and long-term effects on your digestive health. And while some of these effects can resolve on their own or through treatment, some linger on for years. In some cases, drug-induced complications on the digestive system could cause severe health complications and even death.

You probably know that drugs affect judgment, decision-making, moods, feelings, memory, and even learning. However, drugs use can also cause or worsen digestive problems. Some of these effects happen after prolonged drug use, while others happen just after a single use.

The effects of drug abuse on the digestive system

Many common drugs, including prescription drugs that treat digestive problems, diabetes, and depression, can affect gut health. The gut system is home to about 100 trillion bacteria and other organisms like fungi and viruses. All these make up the microbiome or microbiota. A healthy gut contains good bacteria and healthy immune cells that ward off infections.

It also communicates with the brain through hormones and nerves, maintaining intestinal health. A proper balance of good bacteria can result in many health benefits. Drug use affects the balance of bacteria in the gut microbiota, predisposing people to gastrointestinal tract infections and other health issues.

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Additionally, drugs damage the mucous membrane lining that runs through the mouth, stomach, small intestines, large intestines, and esophagus. The mucous membrane helps with peristalsis, which is the process of breaking down food. Damage to the lining exposes the GI tract to damage and more severe health issues. Here are some common digestive health concerns from drug use.

Intestine constipation

Opiates like heroin, Vicodin, morphine, and OxyContin cause constipation. Under normal circumstances, adults have bowel movements ranging from three times a day to three times a week. But after opiate intake, they may have infrequent bowel movements or find it hard to pass bowel movements.

It’s important to note that the severity of constipation depends on factors like dosage and duration of use. Long-term use may cause bowel damage and produce a narcotic bowel syndrome where bowel functions slow down. And unlike other opiates, side effects like nausea, constipation doesn’t resolve over time with continued use. The reason is that the GI system doesn’t seem to adapt to the presence of opioids like other body parts.

But the main reason opiates cause constipation is that opiates heavily impact the GI neurons. Muscles around the intestine push stool through the body. Opioid intake slows or stops the squeezing movements of these muscles because of how it affects the messages sent to the nerves in the spine and intestines. Besides, opioids can also cause gastroparesis, a condition where food stays in the GI tract for much longer. So, the intestine ends up absorbing more water causing the formation of hard and dry stools.

Opiate-related constipation affects opioid receptions across the body and brain functionality. So, taking supplements or fiber-rich foods won’t solve the problem.

Cancers

Tobacco use can cause many cancers, including throat, esophagus, mouth, stomach, bladder, rectum, liver, kidney, and cervix. That’s because tobacco products have many chemicals that destroy DNA. There isn’t a safe level of tobacco use.

Ulcers and perforations in the stomach

Drugs like cocaine reduce appetite and cause bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Continual use may cause these uncomfortable symptoms to develop into more severe GI issues like stomach ulcers, abdominal bleeding, perforation of the intestines, bowel tissue decay or rupture, perforation of the small blood vessels in the abdomen, and reduced blood flow to the gastrointestinal system.

Cocaine misuse can cause gangrene and mesenteric ischemia, which leads to small and large bowel perforation and intraperitoneal hemorrhage. Clinical presentation of mesenteric ischemia includes abdominal pain and possibly vomiting, nausea, and cocaine diarrhea. High concentrations of cocaine may cause blood clots which block the blood supply, predisposing one to ulceration due to prolonged exposure to acid.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

People who drink often tend to experience irritable bowel syndrome, an intestinal condition that doesn’t appear to cause actual physical damage to the intestines. It is characterized by persistent pain, discomfort, and regular episodes of constipation and diarrhea. IBS patients also experience a range of issues regarding the types of activities they can indulge in or food they can eat.

However, drug-induced GI disorders can mimic conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Knowing this can prevent unnecessary investigations and treatment.

Esophagus and stomach irritation

Some people have a hard time swallowing prescription and OTC drugs in capsule or tablet form. When capsules or tablets stick in the esophagus, they may release chemicals that irritate the esophagus lining. The irritation may result in bleeding, ulcers, strictures, and perforation. The risk goes higher in people with conditions like achalasia, scleroderma, strictures, and stroke.

Other drugs may also cause stomach lining irritation. These drugs weaken the ability of the lining to resist acid produced in the stomach. In some cases, the irritation may cause inflammation of the stomach lining, bloody vomits, ulcers, severe indigestion and heartburn, perforation, severe stomach cramps, and burning in the back or stomach.

Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS)

CHS is a condition characterized by repeated and severe bouts of vomiting and nausea. THC, which is the psychoactive part of cannabis, binds digestive track molecules, impacting the things like the time it takes the stomach to empty. Other CHS symptoms include belly pain, dehydration, and decreased food intake.

Drugs that can affect the gastrointestinal system

These drugs include:

Drug abuse can affect many different organs in your body, including the gastrointestinal tract. If you are experiencing any of these digestive health issues, it’s best to seek medical help. Your doctor will run some tests and provide the best possible care. But be sure to inform them about your drug use problem, as that will help with the diagnosis and treatment. In some cases, your doctor may recommend detox and rehabilitation to help address the root cause of the GI problems.

If you or someone close to you has digestive health issues from drug use, we can help. We provide holistic drug use treatment to help you get off of drugs. This, in turn, will prevent the GI issues from escalating, allowing your immune system to bounce back. Contact us today for additional information.

The Link Between Music and Drugs

A good number of musicians have used drugs to augment their creativity. Their fans, on the other hand, may use drugs to intensify the pleasure they get from music. This has been the norm for centuries, leading to intensive research on the link between music and drugs.

On the surface, music and drugs are like two different worlds. However, the two have a lot in common; including the way they affect the human brain. Drugs and music trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin.

These are the same feel-good hormones that saturate your brain when you have sex, eat junk food, or do something you love. Dopamine and serotonin make you feel happy and contented. They also boost your energy levels and sharpen your sensory perception.

When you combine drugs and music, your brain’s function and the surrounding culture merge to give you a unique and euphoric experience. That’s because the two augment each other to make the experience even better. It’s a good reason why clubs and substances go hand-in-hand. People go to the club to listen to music, use drugs or do both. 

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But the similarity between drugs and music doesn’t stop there. 

Music and drugs – a mutual relationship

As mentioned earlier, drugs and music thrive off each other. But not all music pairs with all drugs. As it turns out, some genres work with some types of drugs. For example, hard rock does well with LSD, while reggae does well with weed.

That’s because of the response this music triggers. When people use weed, they feel relaxed and want to dance to slow jams, like reggae. LSD is quite the opposite – it makes them want to shake vigorously, which explains why they prefer EDM music.

How music matches the effects of drugs

Music can mimic the specific effects of drugs. For example, fast and repetitive music matches amphetamine because users can dance quickly due to the stimulation. Ecstasy gives one a feeling of pleasure through dance and body movement; hence, it matches repetitive music.

The link between music and drugs is a complex relationship. However, there is a rich drug representation in popular music. Studies have shown that listeners of specific music genres abuse drugs more than listeners of other genres. 

Musicians, fans, and drug use

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It is not uncommon for musicians and songwriters to compose lyrics that reflect their relationship with drugs. Others even go all out to promote illicit and prescription drug use. The Acid Queen, by Tina Turner and The Who for example, talks about how LSD makes one more alive. To quote the lyrics:

If your child ain't all he should be now

 This girl will put him right

 I'll show him what he could be now

 Just give me one night

I'm the gypsy, the acid queen

 Pay me before I start

 I'm the gypsy and I'm guaranteed

 To mend his aching heart

Give us a room, close the door

 Leave us for a while

 You won't be a boy no more

 Young, but not a child

I'm the gypsy, the acid queen

 Pay me before I start

 I'm the gypsy, I'm guaranteed

 To tear your soul apart

Gather your wits and hold them fast

 Your mind must learn to roam

 Just as the gypsy queen must do

 You're gonna hit the road

My work's been done, now look at him

 He's never been more alive

 His head it shakes, his fingers clutch

 Watch his body writhe

With such lyrics, it’s easy to see why fans may want to try out this acid, especially it comes from their favorite artists. 

In the 1980s and 1990s, the high availability of molly and ecstasy made house music appealing to the then generation. The same thing happened with LSD and acid rock. Artists performing would take an addictive substance or chemical substances before going on stage for live performances. If you have gone to live music events, music shows, or concerts, you may have seen artists under the influence performing on stage. 

Listening to music while under the influence

Music tends to enhance the “high” effects of drugs. Research has shown that drugs can alter one’s experience of music. For instance, clinical trials that administered LSD to volunteers revealed LSD elevates music-induced emotion, with participants reporting feelings of tenderness, power, wonder, and superiority. Other studies found that LSD modulates music-evoked imagery through changes in parahippocampal connectivity.

Social bonds

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Both music and drugs are tools that strengthen social bonds. They give listeners and drug users a sense of identity. Simply put, music and drugs make people connect, be it socially or politically. 

Most people form peer groups with people they share cultural preferences with. Therefore, it is easy to see why they interlink music with drugs of their choice. Even though people easily associate certain drugs with specific music genres, it is evident that drugs are a minor element of a much broader identity. The drugs distinguish one group from the other.

Does music promote drug abuse?

There is a link between music and drugs. However, you mustn’t assume music leads to drug abuse or drug addiction. 

Lyrics of various songs occasionally refer to drugs and have a drug use culture surrounding them. This raised concerns about the long-term effects music glorifying drug use has on young listeners. 

One study showed that the youth positively associate music with illicit drug use and alcohol abuse. However, the study could not determine whether the listener’s behavior influenced their music preferences or whether their music preferences influenced their behavior.

There is a slight chance that drug use could influence a person’s music choice and vice versa. Whichever way the influence goes, it may lead to drug addiction. Drug addiction can lead to several disorders, including mental disorders and high blood pressure.

If someone you know is battling drug abuse, help them seek medical advice on dealing with the issue. Addiction is a chronic disease, but there are several treatment options available.

Treatment options for drug addiction

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Treatment for drug addiction should help the individual stop using drugs, remain drug-free, and be a productive member of society.

As mentioned, there are several treatment options for drug addiction. They include:

For drug addiction treatment to be successful, one needs to have a tailored treatment program with follow-up options. The patient's follow-up care can be family-based or community-based.

Conclusion

There is a link between music and drugs, but you mustn’t assume that listening to a specific music genre would influence you to take drugs. Those who get addicted to drug use should seek help for them to be rehabilitated.

Alcoholism is Getting Bad Thanks to the Pandemic

Alcohol slows down the central nervous system, creating feelings of relaxation. It also lowers inhibitions, memory, and judgment. Because of these qualities, many people turn to alcohol to distance themselves from the challenges or stressors they’re facing due to COVID-19. The pandemic is associated with negative economic and health impacts, loss, grief, isolation, prolonged uncertainty and stress.

Recent studies show that people are binge drinking to cope with the negative impacts COVID-19 pandemic. One study found that American adults have sharply increased their alcohol consumption, drinking on more days per week.

The study released by RAND Corporation compared the drinking habits of adults between spring 2019 and spring 2020. Reviewing over 1500 adults across America, participants were asked about their change in alcohol use between 2019 and 2020 during the first peak of the virus.

The study found a 14% increase in alcohol use among adults, compared to the same time last year. This was a 19% increase among all adults ages 30-59. Women, in particular, showed a 41% increase in alcohol use.

Experts warn that the pandemic’s stress could be could be prodding some people to drink alcohol. In the previous years, surges in alcohol use were noted following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, 2003 SARS, and September 11th terrorist attacks. Such traumatic events and their resulting stressors tend to lead to increased post-disaster alcohol use and abuse.

Why are people drinking during the pandemic?

People are consuming alcohol as a way to manage emotional stress. The pandemic has created collective grief and loss of security and safety with incredible uncertainty. Before the pandemic, alcohol use was already a significant public health concern. The pandemic seems to be fueling this even further with its vast effects, like:

Before the outbreak of the coronavirus, people would go out and blow off some steam. They’d go to the gym for a workout or the movies to calm down. But with the lockdown and less social contact rules, that’s not an option anymore. People can’t hang out with their friends and loved ones as they used to. They can no longer engage in activities that help them reduce stress and enhance well-being. But they can access alcohol because liquor stores were deemed essential businesses and stayed open.

When you combine anxiety and stress with the ability to order alcohol through an app and have it delivered to your doorstep within an hour, you get a perfect pathway towards excessive drinking and abuse.

The effects of alcohol on the body

These studies show that many people could be turning to alcohol to cope with pressures created by COVID-19. Drinking alcohol to cope with life situations like boredom or stress can become a habit that leads to substance abuse disorder. When a person self-medicates with alcohol to cope with stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues, they can develop co-occurring substance use disorder.

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Alcohol is a depressant and sedative that affects the central nervous system. At first, drinking alcohol can reduce fears and take the mind of troubles. It can help an individual feel less anxious, boost mood and make them generally relaxed.

In fact, the effects of alcohol can be the same as those of anti-anxiety medications. That’s because alcohol slows activity in the amygdala, a brain part that prepares the body’s “fight or flight” response to stress.

Repeated use decreases the amygdala’s dampening effect. It also causes tolerance and dependence. So a person has to drink more alcohol to achieve a similar level of high. At this point, they can’t stop drinking because of withdrawal symptoms, like tremors, nausea, anxiety, headache, confusion, and insomnia.

Mild alcohol withdrawal can be treated at home. But severe cases need supervised care in a hospital setting to avoid potentially dangerous complications like seizures.

Who is more vulnerable to increased alcohol use during the COVID-19 outbreak?

The measures to curb the spread of coronavirus have been hard on everyone. So, everyone is susceptible and may end up with problems with alcohol. However, studies show that some groups are more vulnerable than others.

Younger people

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), alcohol use has led to at least four deaths on college campuses since spring 2021. Young adults face unprecedented stressors: loss of income, the uncertainty of the future, and social isolation, resulting in conditions like loneliness, depression, and anxiety which can increase the risk of heavy drinking.

Women

The psychological stress associated with the pandemic was also linked to greater drinking for women. A study by RAND Corporation and supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Use and Alcoholism shows that heavy drinking among women has soared. In the survey, 1 in 5 women had heavily consumed alcohol at least one additional day per month compared with the previous year.

Physicians

A survey of 12,000 physicians found that over 40% of physicians experienced burnout, which was amplified mainly by COVID-19. Of these physicians, more than a quarter were drinking to cope with the burnout and resulting stress.

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More studies point to the increase in alcohol use thanks to the pandemic

BlueCross BlueShield survey dubbed “Behavioral health by the numbers: a closer look at the impact of COVID-19” reveals a 23% increase in alcohol consumption since the outbreak began.

Another survey on 1,000 American adults 18 years and older by The Recovery Village found that 55% of the participant had an increase in past-month alcohol consumption, with 18% reporting a significant increase.

How to cope with the negative impacts of COVID-19 without alcohol

Healthy coping involves taking part in activities that directly reduce stress or improve wellbeing. This includes exercising, getting enough sleep, following creative pursuits, eating nutritious food, and staying hydrated. It is also a good idea for people to reach out for help and get support to make healthier life choices.

Those recovering from alcohol can take part in online Alcoholic Anonymous meetings. Such support groups can serve as a pillar to help avoid relapse.

How Alcoholism Can Make Your Blood Pressure Worse

Scientists are still learning how alcoholism affects heart health and blood pressure. According to a few John Hopkins University studies, moderate alcohol drinking may lead to a lower risk of dying from heart disease. Also, modest amounts of alcohol might help to slightly raise the levels of HDL or “good” cholesterol as per some studies. Does that mean, however, that alcohol consumption is a great habit and has no repercussions on your health? Not at all. Let us look at the ways alcoholism can make your blood pressure worse.

The association between moderate alcohol drinking and heart health is still debatable, with both supporters and naysayers offering evidence; the focus keyword, however, remains “moderate”. Excessive alcohol drinking, on the other hand, has no positive side to it.

Too Much of a Good Thing

While short-term repetitive drinking can lead to temporary spikes in blood pressure and heart rate, long-term alcohol abuse and alcoholism may lead to chronic hypertension/high blood pressure and even cause heart disease. Addiction to alcohol is a very serious problem.

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How Alcohol Affects My Blood Pressure?

Although the impact of alcohol consumption on the body depends a lot on age and risk factors, excessive drinking is never recommended for anyone. This is because alcohol abuse can lead to a myriad of direct and indirect impacts on the body and mind, which are detrimental not just to the individual but also to those who surround them.

Direct effects

Alcohol abuse and alcoholism can have pronounced direct effects in the short- and long-term, chief among them being a temporary increase in blood pressure, which may turn into long-term excess due to repetitiveness.

Indirect effects

There are several ways in which alcohol is known to affect blood pressure indirectly. Alcohol is known to affect the nervous system, which controls blood pressure. Also, it causes changes in pressure receptors that sense blood pressure levels, making blood pressure higher. Alcohol consumption increases cortisol levels – the stress hormone that increases blood pressure – and the level of calcium that lines arteries, making them more constricted, elevating blood pressure.

Scientists have also found that alcoholism affects the number of other vasoconstrictor hormones (artery-constricting hormones), impacts the retention of fluids filtered in the kidneys and leads to weight gain in the long-term, all of which contribute to increases blood pressure numbers.

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How Much Is Too Much with Alcohol?

The American Heart Association has outlined the definitions of excessive drinking, which one can revise to keep their consumption in check:

According to AHA, one drink is equivalent to 12 oz of beer, 4 oz of wine, 1.5 oz of 80-proof alcohol and 1 oz of 100-proof alcohol. At the end of the day, however, it does not matter what is the beverage you pick – what matters is the amount.

Why is High Blood Pressure Bad for You?

There are two kinds of blood pressure numbers we are familiar with. The higher number denotes high blood pressure, which occurs when the heart is contracting and forcing blood into the arteries. The lower number stands for low blood pressure which occurs when the heart is in the relaxed phase.

Consistent and abnormally high blood pressure or hypertension is detrimental to our body because it damages the lining of arteries, causing them to harden (arteriosclerosis), ultimately leading to arterial blocking. The blockage of arteries subsequently leads to a blocked flow of blood to the heart (causing heart attack), brain (causing stroke) as well as other essential organs, leading to multiple-organ failure.

On the other hand, low blood pressure is not a long-term condition, though it also leads to poor health outcomes such as dizziness and pale skin. However, low blood pressure is easier to reverse and quicker to recover from.

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Alcoholism and Serious Diseases

Heavy drinking is directly associated with several poor bodily outcomes, including heart conditions such as cardiomyopathy which affects the heart’s muscles. Excessive alcoholism may even lead to heart failure and stroke, apart from the most common complication - heart attack. The long list of problems associated with alcohol abuse also includes liver diseases, obesity and poor mental health.

Compared with people who did not binge drink, people who drank alcohol at twice the gender-specific binge drinking thresholds were 70 times more likely to have an alcohol-related emergency department (ED) visit, and those who consumed alcohol at 3 times the gender-specific binge thresholds were 93 times more likely to have an alcohol-related ED visit, says the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Alcohol intake can also specifically affect those who are on blood pressure medications. These medications usually come with side effects associated with low pressure – dizziness, loss of balance control and so on. Excessive alcoholism also impairs our sense of balance, which is why this combination can prove detrimental. Alpha- and Beta-blockers as well as Nitrates can interact dangerously with alcohol and should be avoided.

Reversing the Ill-Effects of Alcohol on Heart Health and Blood Pressure

The good news is that the ill-effects of alcohol abuse can be reversed if you take action at the right time. Studies show heavy drinkers who reduce their consumption to moderate can lower the upper blood pressure readings or systolic blood pressure by about 5.5 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg) and their lower readings or diastolic blood pressure by about 4 mm Hg.

That being said, one rule does not fit everyone when it comes to getting rid of alcoholism. Recovering from alcohol is as much a personal process as it is a medical one. It can lead to withdrawal symptoms, impact your mental health and cause visible changes to your body. However, with the combination of the right approach and evidence-based treatments from specialists, one can stop drinking and de-addict themselves effectively and holistically.

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How Does More Than Rehab Help?

At More Than Rehab, we aim to provide quality care to those in need of all-inclusive and therapeutic modalities, helping individuals identify what is best for their recovery. Our team of a skilled and compassionate team of counsellors, psychiatric specialists and physicians who coordinate a comprehensive and individualistic plan for the recovery of individuals in need. Coupling our approach with cognitive behavioral therapy, More Than Rehab caters to the full spectrum of a person’s addiction.

Alcoholism is one of the leading mental and physical issues affecting the United States today. However, it can be gotten rid of, and its impacts treated or reversed. It is upon you to make the best out of the opportunity to, for you might get only a chance at it. You can start your life afresh – we are just a click away.

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