Many people who drink to excess wonder if they should take a break every once in a while. Dry January has become a trend across social media, and many people tout the health benefits of going alcohol-free for a short time.

For Dry January, millions of people decide to quit drinking for the entire month of January. People have many reasons they may choose to participate; mostly, though, they do it because of concern about their health or lifestyle.

According to recent research, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a considerable uptick in alcohol and other substance use. As a result, people drank too much, with 31% of regular drinkers admitting to drinking up to 12 days in the past month. In addition, those drinkers were highly likely to binge drink. It's no wonder many people hope to "reset" their drinking patterns or give it up entirely.

Quitting alcohol is always a good decision for your physical and mental health. But if you start drinking again, it's likely you'll reverse the benefits.

Why Do People Participate in Dry January?

Quitting drinking has psychological benefits as well as health benefits. Many people want to slow down their drinking for their physical and mental health. Some of the benefits, such as better sleep and clearer skin, occur right away. Stomach problems clear up after a couple of weeks. People feel better about themselves, get to work on time more often, and find that they have extra time in their day for other pursuits when they are not using alcohol.

At the end of January, though, many people go right back to drinking and their unhealthy lifestyle. Some people stay sober or drink less as a result of their experience. However, for many, alcohol use disorder prevents them from getting and staying sober, even when they realize they want to. All of the weight loss, clear skin, and overall healthier lifestyle dry up into thin air when they start drinking again. It’s not possible to be addicted to alcohol and live a healthy life.

Many People “Fail” Dry January

Many people try to get sober for January but fail. Some of them probably never intended to get sober in the first place. After all, Dry January is very similar to a New Year’s Resolution. There’s also the fact that as soon as you finish your 31 days sober, the plan is to go back to drinking in most cases.

The “break” from drinking doesn’t stop a person from having an alcohol use disorder. Instead, it reinforces the dangerous idea that you can go back to drinking safely. Unfortunately, it’s just not possible for many people to do so. Your addiction and the physical damage it does to the body don't "reset" in 30 days.

If you try to get sober for Dry January and fail, it’s not your fault. Alcohol use disorder is a disease. Your body’s dependence on alcohol can cause withdrawal symptoms that range from mild headaches or nausea to dangerous symptoms like seizures or fever. This is why it can be so challenging to get sober in the first place.

You Can Get Sober And Start Recovering

If you or somebody you love lives with alcohol use disorder, you’re not alone. So many people from all walks of life were once in your shoes and now live a life free from addiction.

It can be frightening to admit that you’ve lost control of your drinking. But we’re here to help! We know what it’s like, and we’re here to help you navigate your first steps to a new way of life.

Please reach out at 619-363-4767 to learn more about our programs. All calls are confidential.

It’s the holiday season, and while we’re still living with uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, strides have been made. Many people who have been vaccinated are now around other people for the first time in a while. It may seem that everyone is partying and celebrating.

Most people in recovery choose to stay away from parties or events where there may be drinking or other substance use. But you may feel pressured to go to family events after a long time of not seeing them. Or you may end up at an event you thought was straight-edge, only to learn there is substance abuse taking place.

A Few Easy Ways to Say No

Saying “no” to somebody isn’t as complicated as it sounds. You may feel pressured if the question catches you by surprise. Making “excuses” isn’t necessarily healthy, so don’t feel pressured to make up a lie. Saying “no” and continuing with whatever you’re doing is a good plan.

Again – for the most part, lying isn’t worth it. If you aren’t upfront about the reason you’ve quit drinking, you may be tempted. However, being upfront doesn’t mean breaking your anonymity. Here are a few ways to reject a drink:

You may want to make an excuse or lie up if you’re with strangers, and you don’t want to divulge what’s going on. But if you’re around people you know, don’t be dishonest. Let them know you don’t drink (or smoke weed) and do not intend to any time soon. If that offends them, that’s their problem.

Think, Don’t Drink! Have A Plan

You don’t have to drink or use marijuana or any other substance if you don’t want to. However, if you’re worried about triggers at holiday events,  it’s vital to have an “exit plan,” such as planning to go to a 12-step meeting or another sober gathering.

In recovery, it’s important to keep your feet on the ground. Your safety and serenity should come first in your life. For one thing, COVID isn’t over, and it hasn’t been cured, and you may not even want to go to a party.

If you realize that you’re in a sketchy or uncomfortable situation, it’s time to THINK of your exit plan. Call your sponsor, text a friend, or let somebody else you trust that you’re having a bad time and are heading to a meeting.

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or somebody you love needs help with a substance use disorder, we’re here to help you get started on your journey. Give us a call at 760-216-2077 to learn about your options.

If you or somebody you loved is arrested for a DUI in California, you’re probably wondering about what happens next. Do you need a lawyer? What are your options?

What A Lawyer Can Help With

If you are charged with a criminal offense like a DUI, you may be facing jail time. You’ll undoubtedly want to get an attorney who can help you navigate the justice system process. If you can’t afford a lawyer, you can apply for a public defender.

A DUI lawyer will help you understand the law, what you have been charged with, and what types of penalties you’re facing. They will also help you decide if a deal is in your best interest or if your case qualifies for programs such as diversion.

DUI Laws in California

The basic DUI law in California states that it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol, and it is also unlawful to drive with a BAC of .08% or greater. Most people arrested for DUI end up getting charged for both crimes. If you have a minor in the car, cause an accident, or drive recklessly while under the influence of alcohol or other substances, there are more serious charges the state can make against you.

New California criminal justice reforms -- as of January 1, 2021 – have prioritized diversion for non-violent offenders. This is true for some felonies as well.

An attorney understands the ins and outs of DUI laws and is best equipped to help you get the best outcome.

DUI Diversion Programs in California

Diversion programs for non-violent offenders have become a priority in the criminal justice system in California. In a diversion agreement, a criminal defendant is given a list of goals and requirements to meet to have the charges against them dropped or lessened.

You and your defense attorney must request a diversion program, such as drug or alcohol treatment or therapy. If granted, the judge will pause your case in the court system. You must then complete the tasks you promised within a specific time frame.

You may be required to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and attend classes on alcohol abuse. You may also have your driver’s license restricted and do a certain number of community service hours. With the help of an attorney, you can draft an agreement with the prosecutor that makes sense. Then, when it’s time, your lawyer will present the plan to a judge.

Make no mistake: a DUI can be a serious criminal charge with both criminal penalties (jail time) and fines. An attorney can help minimize these consequences and get help for your substance use disorder.

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or somebody you love has a substance use disorder, we’re here to provide compassionate care. A DUI or other criminal charge can be a symptom of addiction. We're here to help, not judge. Learn more about how we can help get you on the road to recovery by calling us at 619-363-4767.

Many people understand that alcohol is addictive. While some people can binge drink every once in a while, others have a compulsion to continue drinking no matter what. Alcohol use disorder, once called alcoholism, has been a confusing disease to study.

How Alcohol Affects the Brain

Why do some people who abuse alcohol can quit easily, while other people are driven to continue drinking no matter what? Science and psychiatry have been searching for a definitive answer for years. The disease model has been proven in many small ways.

We know for sure that people with addictions have changes in the brain. For one thing, when people drink, the brain releases dopamine, a "feel-good" neurotransmitter. Dopamine, in essence, is the pleasure center of your brain. When you drink, your brain also releases serotonin, another neurotransmitter. Seratonin can cause a numbing, feel-good effect as well.

The Discovery of THIQ

Research by a medical scientist named Virginia Davis introduced more evidence for the disease model of alcoholism when she discovered THIQ in alcohol-addicted brains. The chemic THIQ, also known as tetrahydroisoquinoline or THIQ, typically was a byproduct of heroin use. As heroin breaks down in the system, it creates THIQ.

Ms. Davis was researching the human brain and cancer. For her studies, she often researched using the brains of homeless people who were usually alcoholics. (This was the 1970's, and she would get access to corpses of these men and women soon after death. Laws about such things were different back then!)

One day, when researching the brain's chemicals, she discovered that the alcoholics had a chemical in their brain that had previously only been seen in heroin addicts. When she mentioned this to her colleagues, they laughed at the idea. Most of these corpses were "skid row" drinkers, and there was no way they could afford a heroin habit as well. Yet there they were, with a chemical that previously had only been manufactured by the brain when a person was on heroin.

THIQ and Alcohol Addiction

Today, we now know that people with opioid use disorder and alcohol use disorder have chemical reactions in the brain that make them addicted. It's also true that not everyone has these chemical reactions in their brains. Science hasn't yet discovered why one person may become addicted, and another can use alcohol or even binge drink and then walk away.

While science is still looking for a genetic cause, the fact of the matter is that recovery is possible no matter the mechanism of becoming addicted.

While your brain may be chemically addicted to alcohol, it's possible to detox, get, and stay sober. Recovery is possible no matter who you are or how much you drank.

Getting Help for Alcohol Addiction

If you or somebody you care about has an alcohol problem, help is available. Recovery is a journey that starts with reaching out and admitting you need help. Together, we can plan your treatment and help you get started. Give us a call at 619-363-4767 to learn more about how we can help!

 

Have you or somebody you love started to drink too much during the pandemic? You’re not alone. Almost every adult generation has seen an increase in substance since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. And for many people, that means drinking too much has become a coping method. The term “pandemic drinking” has become a casual euphemism for this dangerous behavior.

Fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters are all living in a new world. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected people and families from every walk of life. Even when we have a reliable vaccine or treatment, we will probably still be coping with the aftereffects. Hopefully, people who have a problem with pandemic drinking can get the help they need.

Why Are People Pandemic Drinking?

The era of COVID-19 is a lonely time for many people, primarily because, as humans, our mental health relies on being social. It can be hard to connect or reach out to others when you’re home alone and struggling. You may think it’s easier to drink than to talk about your feelings. However, alcohol addiction can take over your life. You may find yourself drinking during the day or having to drink more or harder liquor to get the buzz you crave.

Alcohol is a common “escape” for people who are depressed, anxious, or lonely. Nobody binge-drinks or drinks until they blackout because they’re happy in life.

Many people think that drinking more heavily can help them cope with stress, sleep problems, boredom, and loneliness. But this is simply an escape that can have dire consequences.

Consequences of Regular Alcohol Abuse

People who drink too much right now may have struggled with their alcohol use in the past. You may have consumed a lot of beer in college or when you were going through a difficult time. No matter what the reason is that you’re drinking it, alcohol is not a safe coping mechanism. It has long-term health consequences, contributes to many social ills, and can cause intense withdrawal effects.

Some withdrawal effects from heavy alcoholism cause life-threatening consequences, such as hallucinations, heart palpitations, or seizures.

Alcohol abuse doesn’t fix any problems, but it can introduce new ones to your life. You don’t have to hit bottom to get help. Even during a pandemic, there are programs ready and willing to help you reclaim your life.

Getting Help for Alcohol or Substance Abuse

While drinking is seen as a more acceptable addiction, it is still a dangerous addiction that can cause significant problems in your life. It inhibits your ability to make good, rational decisions. Some people get DUI’s or even commit acts of rage or violence when they drink too much.

Abusing alcohol also makes you more likely to overdose on other drugs you use.

Getting Help for Alcohol or Substance Abuse

If you’re drinking too much during the pandemic or need help with substance use, there’s never been a better time to reach out. We’re here for you to help you start a new journey and reclaim your life. We can help you navigate your options and start charting your course to recovery and healing. Give us a call at 619-363-4767 to learn more about how we can help.

 

Alcohol addiction is one of the most common disorders in the world. Many people who have an addiction can overcome it with the right help. If you're worried about alcohol abuse in your own life or about somebody you love, you're in the right place.

Deciding to become sober is always a step worth taking. Quitting is possible for a person no matter their age or background. If you or somebody you love is thinking about quitting drinking for good, you may wonder if alcohol withdrawal is dangerous.

The truth is that, yes, it can be dangerous if done unsupervised and cold turkey. However, in the long term, it is much more hazardous to continue to drink heavily. That's why it's important to have supervision or guidance when you first get sober.

Understanding Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol is a depressant that slows down the functioning of the central nervous system, causing a feeling of relaxation and less inhibition. When a person becomes addicted to alcohol, they have typically been abusing alcohol for a long time. Repeated alcohol abuse makes their body become conditioned to the presence of alcohol. It’s used to having its fill of drinks, and will give out uncomfortable signals when it senses it is being deprived.

This deprivation sends out warning signals to the body, causing withdrawal symptoms. Many withdrawal symptoms are mild, but there’s no guessing what they will be when you’re in the middle of it.

Alcohol Withdrawal: Is it Dangerous?

Yes, alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous under certain conditions.

Alcohol addiction is a disease that changes the brain as well as the body. A person who is addicted to alcohol will develop a tolerance to alcohol. A drinker pneeds to drink more alcohol, more often to get the same effects they seek.

When a person wants to quit drinking, they often think they should do it on their own. Most people who eventually quit have tried several times. Many alcoholics who try to stop will discover that they suffer from withdrawal symptoms. This means that they get shaky, sweat, have tachycardia, experience headaches or fevers, or a host of other medical symptoms.

Dangerous Withdrawal Symptoms

Some people with a physical dependence on alcohol are able to quit without any professional intervention. There are many people, for example, that get sober through 12-step meetings. However, there are exceptions that may require medical assistance. A person who has been drinking heavily for years may experience wild mood swings, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations or seizures. They may become delusional and aggressive. An alcohol-addicted person may also be masking mental illness symptoms that become exacerbated during withdrawal.

It’s important to have supervision and clinical help available to address any of these issues. Withdrawal symptoms can appear withing just 8-12 hours of not drinking. They can also seem to appear out of nowhere several days after a person’s last drink. Later onset symptoms are usually more severe and can include seizures, delusions and other life-threatening symptoms. This is why it’s important to seek professional help when detoxing from alcohol.

Getting Help

Realizing you need help is the first step to a new beginning. We've helped many people find their way to long-term sobriety and reclaim their life without the use of any substances. Learn more about how we can help by calling 619-363-4767.

Drinking can cause a lot of problems for people, especially the drinker. Long-term drinking makes the drinker at still at risk for a myriad of issues, including mental health disorders and specific conditions and diseases. One particularly severe health problem that an alcoholic might have is “wet brain,” a slang term for Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. The syndrome is a dangerous disorder caused by alcoholism. A severe thiamine deficiency causes it.

Alcohol Abuse Causes Nutritional Deficiencies

Thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency is common among people who chronically abuse alcohol. People who have been drinking heavily for an extended period of time don’t always have the best diet. Pair this with the fact that alcohol prevents thiamine absorption, and there are several health problems that a drinker can be susceptible to.

Not every person who has a thiamine deficiency gets wet brain. But a large number of people who chronically abuse alcohol have nutritional deficiencies that can lead to blood diseases, dementia, and other serious health problems.

Understanding “Wet Brain”

The term “wet brain” has been around a long time. It’s a term that’s used to describe Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome and a collection of symptoms caused by thiamine deficiency.

Symptoms in the early stage of the disease include a loss of appetite, fatigue, and irritability. These symptoms are all familiar to doctors and, in general, can signal a variety of conditions. A person with an alcohol use disorder may have multiple deficiencies.

Another, more evident and alarming symptom of wet brain is problems with motor coordination. A person with this condition may have slow reaction times even if they haven’t been drinking.

Thiamine is an essential vitamin to the body. When the brain is starved of it, it causes brain damage, which can lead to dementia. This means that a person may seem psychotic or have delusions. They may have significant lapses in the memory.

Curing Wet Brain

Because wet brain is brain damage, it cannot be cured. Some symptoms can be treated, but brain damage is usually severe. Treatment for a vitamin deficiency can be treated with injections or an IV. If treated immediately, the damage can be minimized.

Getting Help for Alcohol Addiction

Do you or somebody you love have a problem with drinking or drugs? Help is available. You’re not alone. No one has to be vulnerable to this disorder! Recovery from alcohol addiction is possible. We offer a safe, comforting, safe environment to get and stay sober.

Learn more about our detox services at 619-363-4767.

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder, is one of the most prevalent diseases in the United States. Among the middle-aged in the United States, drinking is taking its toll. According to the Centers for Disease Control, people between the ages of 35 and 64 are dying in record numbers. 76% of alcohol poisoning deaths are ages 35-64. Of those deaths, 75% are men. So why are middle-aged people dying from alcohol abuse?

The Addiction Crisis

Drinking alcohol can lead to addiction at any age.

A study from the National Institutes of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states, “86.4 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime; 70.1 percent reported that they drank in the past year; 56.0 percent reported that they drank in the past month.” Drinking is a huge part of American culture, for better or for worse.

While there has been a lot of focus on the addiction crisis as it pertains to opioids, the media has been ignoring the larger story. Recovery from addiction means abstaining from ALL mind-altering drugs, including alcohol. Yet for many, alcohol is the drug of choice. And it’s easy to see why: it’s socially acceptable, easy to get, and a large part of the population in the US and abroad don’t see anything wrong with abusing alcohol.

How Do People Die From Alcoholism?

CDC statistics show that US adults who binge drink consume about eight drinks when they binge. Binge drinking leads to a high blood alcohol level, which can cause all kinds of accidents, including impairment that comes with the blood alcohol level of around .08, the legal limit in many states.

Alcohol addiction is prevalent in deaths caused by alcohol. About 30% of the people who died from alcohol overdose have alcohol dependence.

A 2014 World Health Organization report says that alcohol contributes to more than 200 diseases and injury-related health conditions, including liver cirrhosis, cancers, and injuries.

When people think of death by alcohol, they envision deaths caused by drunk driving first. However, of the alcohol-related deaths in America every year (and there are about 88,000 of them, according to the National Institutes of Health) people are also dying of overdoses (alcohol poisoning) and other accidents, such as falls.

For middle-aged people, and especially men, alcohol-related deaths are mostly by overdose and alcohol-related diseases, like pancreatic cancer or liver disease.

No One Has to Abuse Alcohol – Help is Available

While alcohol addiction is a painful and widespread problem, no one has to use alcohol if they’re ready to quit. Detox and addiction treatment can help a person heal physically, mentally and spiritually. It’s not a great idea to try to detox on your own; alcohol detox can be painful and even dangerous.

If you or somebody you love is addicted to alcohol, please give us a 100% confidential phone call to learn about your options at 619-363-4767.

menuchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram