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.

Many people who struggle with substance use may feel awkward calling it an addiction. There is still a lot of stigma behind that word, and it may not feel accurate based on how you used drugs. Maybe you were a binge drinker or “only partied a few times a week.” Substance use disorder doesn't care how much you used or what you used. The words are more nuanced than that. The term means anyone who uses illicit substances, drinks to get drunk, or misuses substances, usually to their own detriment.

Are You Using Substances To Get High Or Drunk?

A person with a substance use disorder uses street drugs, alcohol, prescription pills, or other substances to get high. For example, a person whose drug of choice is alcohol may drink only to get drunk.

Substance use disorder is a term to describe anyone who has an unhealthy or dependent relationship with alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription drugs. Illegal drugs are marijuana, heroin, cocaine, or any other drug you can buy on the street. People who drink to get drunk typically have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. A person who misuses substances may be taking a legal prescription, but more than prescribed because they are trying to get more of a side effect such as euphoria.

People with substance use disorders often use drugs impulsively and obsess over their drug use. Addiction can cause cycles of heavy drug use, followed by pain and regret, that lead to more use. Nobody chooses to have a substance use disorder, but you can decide to get help when you realize you may have a problem.

Accepting That You May Have Substance Use Disorder

Using drugs or alcohol is an unhealthy coping skill that can keep you from living life to your full potential. If you find that your alcohol or substance use interferes with your quality of life, you probably have a substance use disorder. Many drugs are highly addictive, including alcohol. Addiction can cause many negative consequences in your life, such as financial problems, relationship issues, and even trouble with the law.

Admitting you need help is the first step toward recovery. Take an honest look at your life right now. Are you happy with it? Are you accomplishing the things you want? Are your relationships being hindered by your substance use? Have you lost anything due to the substances you use? Are you lacking money, relationships, or self-respect? Addiction can cause a lot of harm.

You don’t have to be a “fall-down drunk” or live on the streets to have a problem with alcohol or drugs. If you’re unhappy and having trouble quitting substances, you may have a problem with them.

We now know that substance use disorder is a disease of the brain. It’s not a moral failing or something you need to be locked away for. Instead, there is now treatment that can help you reclaim your life. You’re worth the work!

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or somebody you love has a problem with drugs, we’re here to help. You can reclaim your life and get started on the path to healing and wellness. Get in touch with your questions at 619-363-4767. All calls are confidential.

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.

 

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.

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