Tarzana Treatment Center Tarzana Treatment Center - Integrated Behavioral Healthcare - Call Now 1-800-996-1051

  Addiction Nutrition

Addiction Treatment

Adolescent Alcohol Abuse

Adolescent Alcohol Treatment

Adolescent Alcohol Treatment – Los Angeles

Adolescent Co-Occurring Disorders

Adolescent Drug Abuse

Adolescent Drug Addiction

Adolescent Drug Test

Adolescent Drug Treatment

Adolescent Drug Treatment – Los Angeles

Adolescent Heroin Abuse

Adolescent Marijuana Abuse

Adolescent Mental Health

Adolescent Prescription Drug Abuse

Adolescent Substance Abuse

Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Alcohol Abuse Facts

Alcohol Abuse in College

Alcohol and Drug Treatment

Alcohol Awareness Month

Alcohol Cravings

Alcohol Dependence

Alcohol Detox

Alcohol Facts

Alcohol Intervention

Alcohol Rehab

Alcohol Tolerance

Alcohol Treatment

Alcohol Treatment - Los Angeles

Alcohol Use Quiz

Alcohol Withdrawal

Alumni Association

Behavioral Addictions

Benzodiazepine Abuse

Benzodiazepine Tolerance

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

California Budget Issues

California Drug Trends

California Telehealth Network (CTN)

Cocaine Addiction

College Alcohol Abuse

Community Counseling

Community Healthcare

Community Involvement

Community Programs

Co-occurring Disorders

Covered CA

Domestic Violence

Drug Abuse Facts

Drug Addiction

Drug Dependence

Drug Detox

Drug Intervention

Drug Overdose

Drug Rehab

Drug Tolerance

Drug Treatment

Drug Treatment - Los Angeles

Drug Withdrawal

Drug Withdrawal Symptoms

Dual Diagnosis

Ecstasy

Family Alcoholism

Family Drug Addiction

Gender Responsive Treatment

Gender Specific Treatment

Hallucinogens

Harm Reduction

Healthcare

Healthcare Integration

Healthy Way LA

Help With Alcohol

Help With Drugs

Heroin Addiction

Heroin Cravings

Heroin Detox

Heroin Treatment

Heroin Withdrawal

HIV and Drugs

HIV Test

HIV/AIDS Treatment

Homelessness and Addiction

Integrated Behavioral Healthcare

Intervention

Learn About Addiction

LGBT Alcohol Treatment

LGBT Drug Treatment

LSD

Marijuana Addiction

Medical Care

Medical Detoxification

Medicare

Medication Assisted Treatment

Mental Health Month

Mental Health Treatment

Methadone

Methadone Maintenance

Methamphetamine Addiction

Methamphetamine Treatment

Methamphetamines

Military Alcohol Treatment

Military Drug Treatment

Military Mental Health Treatment

Naltrexone for Heroin

Naltrexone for Opiates

Native American Alcohol Dependence

Native American Alcohol Treatment

Native American Community Outreach

Native American Culture

Native American Drug Addiction

Native American Drug Treatment

Native Americans and Alcohol

Nicotine Addiction

Online Alcohol Treatment

Online Counseling

Online Drug Treatment

Online Medical Care

Online Mental Health Treatment

Online Therapy

Opiate Abuse

Opiate Addiction

Opiate Addiction Treatment

Opiate Cravings

Opiate Detox

Opiate Tolerance

Opiate Treatment

Opiate Withdrawal

Opioid Abuse

Opioid Detox

Opioid Treatment

Opioid Withdrawal

Pain Killer Addiction

Pain Killer Detox

Pain Killer Treatment

Pow Wow-Upcoming Events

Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription Drug Detox

Prescription Drug Overdose

Prescription Drug Side Effects

Prescription Drug Tolerance

Prescription Drug Treatment

Prescription Drug Withdrawal

Preventative Care

Primary Care

Promising Practices

Prop 36 Funding

Quitting Smoking

Recovery Month 2009

Recovery Month 2010

Relapse Issues

Relapse Prevention – Alcohol

Relapse Prevention – Drugs

Second Hand Smoke

Senior Alcohol Abuse

Senior Drug Abuse

Senior Medical Care

Senior Substance Use

Seniors Mental Health

Smoking Cessation

STD Awareness Month

Stimulant Addiction

Stimulant Detox

Stimulant Withdrawal

Substance Abuse Treatment

Technology in Health Care

Teen Alcohol Abuse

Teen Alcohol Treatment

Teen Drug Abuse

Teen Drug Addiction

Teen Drug Testing

Teen Drug Treatment

Teen Marijuana Abuse

Teen Prescription Drug Abuse

Teen Recovery

Teledermatology

Telemedicine

Telemental Health

Temporary Housing

Therapy

Third-Hand Smoke

Tobacco

Tobacco – Youth

Treatment Advocacy

Treatment News

Upcoming Events

Veteran Women Treatment

Veterans – Homelessness

Veterans Alcohol and Drug Treatment

Veterans Alcohol Treatment

Veterans and Prescription Drugs

Veterans Drug Addiction

Veterans Drug Detox

Veterans Drug Treatment

Veterans Mental Health Treatment

Vivitrol

Vivitrol for Heroin

Vivitrol for Opiates

Volunteer

Wellbriety

Wellness

Women-only Treatment

Youth Alcohol Abuse

Youth Alcohol Treatment

Youth Drug Abuse

Youth Drug Addiction

Youth Drug Treatment

Youth Marijuana Abuse

Youth Prescription Drug Abuse

 

Substance Dependence and the Economy

by James Heller 29. April 2009 14:47
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles, California knows that the bad economy has had a negative effect on everyone.  Tough financial times are especially difficult for alcoholics and drug addicts.  Those who have recovered from alcoholism and drug addiction are at risk for relapse.  Also, many others will notice that they are using more alcohol or drugs to relieve the stresses of a bad economy.

The current economic crisis is a classic example of a relapse trigger for those in recovery.  An alcoholic may be sober for several years, going to AA meetings, using the tools of recovery, and enjoying good relationships with family and friends.  Economic conditions that may result in a lay-off, delinquent bills, foreclosure, or other financial problems can lead to a feeling of “what’s the use” and a drink.  For an alcoholic, that one drink is like medicine that cures all problems, naturally leading to many more drinks.

Using substances for relief is a clear sign of trouble for people in recovery, but denial of reality sets in quickly.  Knowing that alcohol or drugs led them to personal destruction before sobriety is not always enough to overcome the perceived benefits they currently bring.  Alcohol and drug use will most likely be hidden to avoid confrontations with family, friends, and co-workers, so changes in behavior may be the only clues that relapse has occurred.  

These problems can also affect people who control their drinking, take drugs as prescribed by a doctor, and have rarely or never used illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin.  The diseases of alcoholism and drug addiction do not always take hold upon first use.  A life event usually triggers the use of substances for relief.  The discovery of this dramatic relief from overwhelming stress is quickly related to substance use by the addict and alcoholic brain, which leads to cravings and then dependence.  This process usually occurs early in adulthood, but can at any time.

In most of these cases increased alcohol or drug use is waved off as being needed to get through the current crisis.  Family and friends will usually go along with it for some time because they don’t know bigger problems may be ahead.  Most of the time, though, loved ones notice there is a problem before the alcoholic and drug addict.  So risking an argument for the sake of a better future can at least bring awareness to the individual.

Both groups described above should seek alcohol or drug treatment, and medical detoxification if necessary, at the earliest signs of abuse and dependence.  The temporary relief of alcohol and drugs do not make the problem go away.  Problems will worsen and mount as long as they are ignored.  The short-term investment in alcohol or drug treatment now will pave the way for a better future.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County and Orange County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley, and in Santa Ana.

Senior Health Issues and Alcohol

by James Heller 29. April 2009 12:32
April, 2009 marks the 22nd year of Alcohol Awareness Month.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers is participating with a series of articles meant to inform and educate the general public about alcohol abuse, dependence and treatment.  Considering that over 21 million Americans meet the criteria for alcohol abuse and over 53 million admit to past-month binge drinking, not to mention the many loved ones affected by each, our efforts are worthwhile.

Some issues that come with aging may be slowed or even reversed by simply abstaining from alcohol use.  Of course it depends on the amount of alcohol a person consumes before they abstain.  Recovery from alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence will have a more dramatic effect on senior citizens than if they only occasionally drink.

Taking interactions with medications into account, it is probably a good idea for seniors to abstain from alcohol consumption anyway.  Add to that a habit of more than 1 drink per day, and the progression of physical or mental health problems can accelerate.  

Much worse, alcohol dependence places an added burden on vital organs that are already deteriorating.  Alcoholic senior citizens suffer higher rates of problems with the heart, liver, and pancreas, along with more severe depression and dementia.

Senior citizens can benefit from alcohol detox and treatment the same as anyone else.  Using this information can help to convince an older family member to enter treatment so their golden years can indeed be golden.  

The following paragraph is from a report from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.  If you are a senior citizen with an alcohol problem, or know someone who is, please read the report.

-- Begin external content --

The potential for drug interactions increases with greater reliance on prescription drugs, multiple prescriptions, difficulty in correct self administration, and age-related changes in physiology and is further aggravated by the use of alcohol (Williams 1988). For example, Abrams & Alexopoulos (1987) emphasize that alcohol abuse among older persons can mimic and/or contribute to major depression. Also, Larsen and colleagues (1987) discovered that some apparent dementia in older patients is actually a form of drug-induced cognitive impairment, reversible in the absence of the drugs. Thus, it is likely that reduction of alcohol consumption could improve treatment outcomes among the elderly.

-- Source: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa02.htm --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.

Senior Alcohol Withdrawal Dangers

by James Heller 24. April 2009 14:50
April, 2009 marks the 22nd year of Alcohol Awareness Month.
 
Tarzana Treatment Centers is participating with a series of articles meant to inform and educate the general public about alcohol abuse, dependence and treatment.  Considering that over 21 million Americans meet the criteria for alcohol abuse and over 53 million admit to past-month binge drinking, not to mention the many loved ones affected by each, our efforts are worthwhile.

As we age we become more susceptible to problems related to alcohol and prescription drugs.  Senior alcohol abuse and prescription drug abuse often is the result of self-medicating for physical and emotional issues that afflict older men and women.

One particular danger in cases of senior alcohol abuse or dependence is severe withdrawal symptoms.  There are several reasons that older men and women suddenly quit drinking, unaware of the health risks involved.  One example is quitting for a few days when family or friends visit.  

With emergency hospitalizations, lacking knowledge about alcohol withdrawal symptoms coupled with shame can lead to serious issues.  For example, if an elderly man is admitted to a hospital and a family member needs to give admitting information, they may not mention that he drinks throughout every day due to shame.  This could complicate primary treatment when withdrawals occur because of the hurdle the symptoms create for medical staff.

For those with older family members, a little knowledge about alcohol withdrawal symptoms and their impact on seniors, and alcohol detox, can save a life.  Seniors should consult with their doctors if they abuse alcohol or have become dependent.  It should be noted that older women are at greater risk of developing alcohol problems than older men.

The above examples are meant to encourage readers to seek more information.  A sample of a report by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism follows.  

-- Begin external content --

OLDER WOMEN HAVE INCREASED RISKS FOR ALCOHOL PROBLEMS

Older women tend to have longer life expectancies and to live alone longer than men, and they are less likely than men in the same age group to be financially independent. These physical, social, and psychological factors are sometimes associated with at–risk drinking in older adulthood, so they are especially relevant for older women.

Older women have major physical risk factors that make them particularly susceptible to the negative effects of increased alcohol consumption (Blow 1998). Women of all ages have less lean muscle mass than men, making them more susceptible to the effects of alcohol. In addition, there is an age–related decrease in lean body mass versus total volume of fat, and the resultant decrease in total body mass increases the total distribution of alcohol and other mood–altering chemicals in the body. Both men and women experience losses in lean muscle mass as they age, but women have less lean muscle mass than men throughout adulthood and, therefore, are less able to metabolize alcohol throughout their lives, including into older adulthood (see Blow 1998 for further information). Liver enzymes that metabolize alcohol and certain other drugs become less efficient with age, and central nervous system sensitivity increases with age for both genders. In sum, compared with younger adults, and with older men, older women have an increased sensitivity to alcohol.

Older women also have a heightened response to over–the–counter and prescription medications (Smith 1995; Vestal et al. 1977; Blow 1998). The use and misuse of alcohol and prescription medications are therefore especially risky for women as they age because of their specific vulnerabilities regarding sensitivity to alcohol and medications. For most patients, any alcohol consumption coupled with the use of specific over–the–counter or prescription medications can be a problem. For example, combining alcohol with psychoactive medications such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and antidepressants can be especially problematic for this population. Older women are more likely than older men to receive prescriptions for benzodiazepines in particular, and are therefore more likely to be faced with problems related to the interaction of these medications with alcohol (see Blow 1998 for further discussion). There is a paucity of data available on rates of the co–occurrence of alcohol and medication use in older people. This area needs more study.

Because older women generally drink less than older men or abstain from alcohol, health care providers may be less likely to recognize at–risk drinking and alcohol problems in this population. Moreover, few elderly women who abuse alcohol seek help in specialized addiction treatment settings. These problems stand in the way of effective interventions that can improve the quality of life of older women drinking at risky levels.

-- Source: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh26-4/308-315.htm --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

by James Heller 24. April 2009 08:11
April, 2009 marks the 22nd year of Alcohol Awareness Month.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers is participating with a series of articles meant to inform and educate the general public about alcohol abuse, dependence and treatment.  Considering that over 21 million Americans meet the criteria for alcohol abuse and over 53 million admit to past-month binge drinking, not to mention the many loved ones affected by each, our efforts are worthwhile.

Children born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) suffer at least one of many problems.  They range from physical to emotional and learning disabilities.  The sad truth is that it is very easy for a child to get FASDs, and even easier for parents to prevent it from happening.

It is not only pregnant women who need to be aware of the effects alcohol has on an unborn child.  Women who plan to get pregnant can ensure prevention of FASDs by abstaining from alcohol before conception.  Men can also be supportive of their partners by avoiding alcohol.  Alcohol treatment can help for those who engage in alcohol abuse, and detox for alcohol dependence.

Considering the harm done to children by FASDs, parents should take every precaution to prevent it.  Prevention begins with knowledge.  The information below is part of a comprehensive report by the Centers for Disease Control, which every future parent should read.

-- Begin external content --

What are FAS and FASDs?

Prenatal exposure to alcohol can cause a range of disorders, known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). One of the most severe effects of drinking during pregnancy is fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS is one of the leading known preventable causes of mental retardation and birth defects. If a woman drinks alcohol during her pregnancy, her baby can be born with FAS, a lifelong condition that causes physical and mental disabilities. FAS is characterized by abnormal facial features, growth deficiencies, and central nervous system (CNS) problems. People with FAS might have problems with learning, memory, attention span, communication, vision, hearing, or a combination of these. These problems often lead to difficulties in school and problems getting along with others. FAS is a permanent condition. It affects every aspect of an individual’s life and the lives of his or her family.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications. The term FASDs is not intended for use as a clinical diagnosis.

FASDs include FAS as well as other conditions in which individuals have some, but not all, of the clinical signs of FAS. Three terms often used are fetal alcohol effects (FAE), alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND), and alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD). The term FAE has been used to describe behavioral and cognitive problems in children who were prenatally exposed to alcohol, but who do not have all of the typical diagnostic features of FAS. In 1996, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) replaced FAE with the terms ARND and ARBD. Children with ARND might have functional or mental problems linked to prenatal alcohol exposure. These include behavioral or cognitive abnormalities or a combination of both. Children with ARBD might have problems with the heart, kidneys, bones, and/or hearing.

All FASDs are 100% preventable—if a woman does not drink alcohol while she is pregnant.

-- Source: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fas/fasask.htm --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.

Alcohol and Women's Bones

by James Heller 23. April 2009 09:21
April, 2009 marks the 22nd year of Alcohol Awareness Month.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers is participating with a series of articles meant to inform and educate the general public about alcohol abuse, dependence and treatment.  Considering that over 21 million Americans meet the criteria for alcohol abuse and over 53 million admit to past-month binge drinking, not to mention the many loved ones affected by each, our efforts are worthwhile.

Women need to pay attention to bone health in order to avoid osteoporosis and other bone diseases that are more prevalent with them than with men.  Doctors regularly suggest supplements and dietary plans that enhance women’s bone health.  But alcohol abuse and dependence can negate any benefits from these.

Naturally, one would think that women should be cautious about drinking heavily after menopause when their bones begin to deteriorate.  However, study results show that the stage for bone loss is set as early as adolescence.  Although alcohol abuse among older women has a negative effect on bone health, it is not as bad as with adolescent alcohol abuse.

The jury is still out on studies concluding that moderate alcohol consumption benefits bone health in women.  While Tarzana Treatment Centers focuses on those in need of alcohol detox and treatment, information is provided for moderate drinkers below because it may benefit other women concerned about bone health.

The excerpts below from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism are part of a study that includes detailed statistics.  

-- Begin external content --

MODERATE DRINKING
The effect of moderate alcohol use on bone health and osteoporosis risk is unclear. (Editor’s Note: Definitions of moderate drinking vary. Federal guidelines consider moderate drinking to be no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men [U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 1995].) A few epidemiological studies in humans have indicated that moderate alcohol consumption may be associated with decreased fracture risk in postmenopausal women (Hansen et al. 1991; Felson et al. 1995). One large study (Diaz et al. 1997) found that women age 65 and over who consumed alcohol on more than 5 days per week had a significantly reduced risk of vertebral deformity compared with those who consumed alcohol less than once per week. (Crush fractures of the anterior vertebral body cause most women’s bone–related visits to the doctor.)

This apparent beneficial effect of moderate drinking on bone health has not been found in animal studies, which can control for the amount of alcohol consumed as well as for other lifestyle factors.

CHRONIC HEAVY DRINKING
Effects of Alcohol on Growing Bone
Almost all epidemiological studies of alcohol use and human bone health indicate that chronic heavy alcohol consumption, particularly during adolescence and young adulthood, can dramatically affect bone health and may increase the risk of developing osteoporosis later. Although alcohol appears to have an effect on bone–forming cells (i.e., osteoblasts), slowing bone turnover, the specific mechanisms by which alcohol affects bone are poorly understood.

-- Source: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh26-4/292-298.htm --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.

Alcohol and Womens Health

by James Heller 20. April 2009 14:57
April, 2009 marks the 22nd year of Alcohol Awareness Month.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers is participating with a series of articles meant to inform and educate the general public about alcohol abuse, dependence and treatment.  Considering that over 21 million Americans meet the criteria for alcohol abuse and over 53 million admit to past-month binge drinking, not to mention the many loved ones affected by each, our efforts are worthwhile.

Studies have shown that women suffer negative effects from alcohol quicker than men.  As soon as alcohol enters the body, women metabolize alcohol in a way that leads to faster intoxication with fewer drinks than men.  If a woman has a problem with alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence the risk is high that she will experience serious health problems early in life.

The female stomach does not metabolize as much alcohol as the male stomach.  Women also have less water weight, so alcohol quickly concentrates in the blood.  The alcohol travels with the blood to every part of the body, affecting literally every cell.  Not only does this harm vital organs faster, but it also speeds up the development of alcohol dependence.  This is why women also find their way into alcohol detox and treatment quicker than men.  

Recent studies are supporting evidence that alcohol increases cancer risk among women.  Scientists are giving this a closer look, and taking the results very seriously.  So much so that researchers are starting to ask if there is a safe, daily amount of alcohol for women.

The following set of facts about alcohol and women’s health comes from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.  

-- Begin external content --
  • Women absorb and metabolize alcohol differently than men.
  • Alcohol consumption is associated with a linear increase in breast cancer incidence in women over the range of consumption reported by most women. A pooled analysis of several studies found breast cancer risk was significantly elevated by 9% for each 10-grams per day increase in alcohol intake for intakes up to 60 grams per day.
  • Although the mean lifetime dose of alcohol in female alcoholics is only 60% of that in male alcoholics, one study noted that cardiomyopathy (a degenerative disease of the heart muscle) and myopathy (a degenerative disease of skeletal muscle) was as common in female alcoholics as in males. The study concluded that women are more susceptible than men to the toxic effects of alcohol on the heart muscle.
  • Brain shrinkage in men and women was found to be similar despite significantly shorter periods of alcohol exposure or drinking histories in women.
  • Women with chronic pancreatitis have shorter drinking histories than that of men. Women with alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis were found to have consumed less alcohol per body weight per day than men. These findings indicate that women are more vulnerable to alcoholic liver disease than men.
  • Although alcohol problems are more common in male trauma patients, women with alcohol problems are just as severely impaired, have at least as many adverse consequences of alcohol use, and have more evidence of alcohol-related physical and psychological harm.
-- Source: http://www.cspinet.org/booze/women.htm --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.

Why Some Adolescents Drink

by James Heller 15. April 2009 14:59
April, 2009 marks the 22nd year of Alcohol Awareness Month.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers is participating with a series of articles meant to inform and educate the general public about alcohol abuse, dependence and treatment.  Considering that over 21 million Americans meet the criteria for alcohol abuse and over 53 million admit to past-month binge drinking, not to mention the many loved ones affected by each, our efforts are worthwhile.

Any parent should find the information below useful.  It is from a 2006 report released by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.  This section can help parents of teens identify possible signs of adolescent alcohol abuse, and to discuss alcohol education or treatment if necessary.  Parents of younger children may find ways to prevent future problems.

There is also information for those with alcoholism in the family already.  While genetics play a part in alcoholism, there are other factors to consider in preventing teen alcohol abuse.

-- Begin external content –

WHY DO SOME ADOLESCENTS DRINK?
As children move from adolescence to young adulthood, they encounter dramatic physical, emotional, and lifestyle changes. Developmental transitions, such as puberty and increasing independence, have been associated with alcohol use. So in a sense, just being an adolescent may be a key risk factor not only for starting to drink but also for drinking dangerously.

Risk-Taking—Research shows the brain keeps developing well into the twenties, during which time it continues to establish important communication connections and further refines its function. Scientists believe that this lengthy developmental period may help explain some of the behavior which is characteristic of adolescence—such as their propensity to seek out new and potentially dangerous situations. For some teens, thrill-seeking might include experimenting with alcohol. Developmental changes also offer a possible physiological explanation for why teens act so impulsively, often not recognizing that their actions—such as drinking—have consequences.

Expectancies—How people view alcohol and its effects also influences their drinking behavior, including whether they begin to drink and how much. An adolescent who expects drinking to be a pleasurable experience is more likely to drink than one who does not. An important area of alcohol research is focusing on how expectancy influences drinking patterns from childhood through adolescence and into young adulthood. Beliefs about alcohol are established very early in life, even before the child begins elementary school. Before age 9, children generally view alcohol negatively and see drinking as bad, with adverse effects. By about age 13, however, their expectancies shift, becoming more positive. As would be expected, adolescents who drink the most also place the greatest emphasis on the positive and arousing effects of alcohol.

Sensitivity and Tolerance to Alcohol—Differences between the adult brain and the brain of the maturing adolescent also may help to explain why many young drinkers are able to consume much larger amounts of alcohol than adults before experiencing the negative consequences of drinking, such as drowsiness, lack of coordination, and withdrawal/hangover effects. This unusual tolerance may help to explain the high rates of binge drinking among young adults. At the same time, adolescents appear to be particularly sensitive to the positive effects of drinking, such as feeling more at ease in social situations, and young people may drink more than adults because of these positive social experiences.

Personality Characteristics and Psychiatric Comorbidity—Children who begin to drink at a very early age (before age 12) often share similar personality characteristics that may make them more likely to start drinking. Young people who are disruptive, hyperactive, and aggressive—often referred to as having conduct problems or being antisocial—as well as those who are depressed, withdrawn, or anxious, may be at greatest risk for alcohol problems. Other behavior problems associated with alcohol use include rebelliousness, difficulty avoiding harm or harmful situations, and a host of other traits seen in young people who act out without regard for rules or the feelings of others (i.e., disinhibition).

Hereditary Factors—Some of the behavioral and physiological factors that converge to increase or decrease a person’s risk for alcohol problems, including tolerance to alcohol’s effects, may be directly linked to genetics. For example, being a child of an alcoholic or having several alcoholic family members places a person at greater risk for alcohol problems. Children of alcoholics (COAs) are between 4 and 10 times more likely to become alcoholics themselves than are children who have no close relatives with alcoholism. COAs also are more likely to begin drinking at a young age and to progress to drinking problems more quickly.

Research shows that COAs may have subtle brain differences which could be markers for developing later alcohol problems. For example, using high-tech brain-imaging techniques, scientists have found that COAs have a distinctive feature in one brainwave pattern (called a P300 response) that could be a marker for later alcoholism risk. Researchers also are investigating other brainwave differences in COAs that may be present long before they begin to drink, including brainwave activity recorded during sleep as well as changes in brain structure and function.

Some studies suggest that these brain differences may be particularly evident in people who also have certain behavioral traits, such as signs of conduct disorder, antisocial personality disorder, sensation-seeking, or poor impulse control. Studying how the brain’s structure and function translates to behavior will help researchers to better understand how predrinking risk factors shape later alcohol use. For example, does a person who is depressed drink to alleviate his or her depression, or does drinking lead to changes in his brain that result in feelings of depression?

Other hereditary factors likely will become evident as scientists work to identify the actual genes involved in addiction. By analyzing the genetic makeup of people and families with alcohol dependence, researchers have found specific regions on chromosomes that correlate with a risk for alcoholism. Candidate genes for alcoholism risk also have been associated with those regions. The goal now is to further refine regions for which a specific gene has not yet been identified and then determine how those genes interact with other genes and gene products as well as with the environment to result in alcohol dependence. Further research also should shed light on the extent to which the same or different genes contribute to alcohol problems, both in adults and in adolescents.

Environmental Aspects—Pinpointing a genetic contribution will not tell the whole story, however, as drinking behavior reflects a complex interplay between inherited and environmental factors, the implications of which are only beginning to be explored in adolescents. And what influences drinking at one age may not have the same impact at another. As Rose and colleagues show, genetic factors appear to have more influence on adolescent drinking behavior in late adolescence than in mid-adolescence.

Environmental factors, such as the influence of parents and peers, also play a role in alcohol use. For example, parents who drink more and who view drinking favorably may have children who drink more, and an adolescent girl with an older or adult boyfriend is more likely to use alcohol and other drugs and to engage in delinquent behaviors.

Researchers are examining other environmental influences as well, such as the impact of the media. Today alcohol is widely available and aggressively promoted through television, radio, billboards, and the Internet. Researchers are studying how young people react to these advertisements. In a study of 3rd, 6th, and 9th graders, those who found alcohol ads desirable were more likely to view drinking positively and to want to purchase products with alcohol logos. Research is mixed, however, on whether these positive views of alcohol actually lead to underage drinking.

-- Source: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AA67/AA67.htm --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.

College Alcohol Facts

by James Heller 31. March 2009 13:10

April, 2009 marks the 22nd year of Alcohol Awareness Month.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers is participating with a series of articles meant to inform and educate the general public about alcohol abuse, dependence and treatment.  Considering that over 21 million Americans meet the criteria for alcohol abuse and over 53 million admit to past-month binge drinking, not to mention the many loved ones affected by each, our efforts are worthwhile.

Alcohol can cause many problems for college students the same as it can for anybody else.  The concern with students, though, is that several factors contribute to the attractiveness of binge drinking.  Even those who never drank before entering college can fall to peer pressure and a feeling that adulthood includes heavy drinking.  New students also enter college with the feeling of invincibility that is typical in adolescence.

Alcohol releases a person from inhibitions, which leads students to do things they normally wouldn’t.  This is where the problems begin.  Studies have repeatedly concluded that alcohol has a negative effect on scholastic achievement, and increases crime on college campuses.

The statistics below from collegedrinkingprevention.gov provide a clear picture of alcohol related problems
in American colleges.

-- Begin external content --

A Snapshot of Annual High-Risk College Drinking Consequences


The consequences of excessive and underage drinking affect virtually all college campuses, college communities, and college students, whether they choose to drink or not.

  • Death: 1,700 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes (Hingson et al., 2005).
  • Injury: 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol (Hingson et al., 2005).
  • Assault: More than 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking (Hingson et al., 2005).
  • Sexual Abuse: More than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape (Hingson et al., 2005).
  • Unsafe Sex: 400,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 had unprotected sex and more than 100,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report having been too intoxicated to know if they consented to having sex (Hingson et al., 2002).
  • Academic Problems: About 25 percent of college students report academic consequences of their drinking including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall (Engs et al., 1996; Presley et al., 1996a, 1996b; Wechsler et al., 2002).
  • Health Problems/Suicide Attempts: More than 150,000 students develop an alcohol-related health problem (Hingson et al., 2002) and between 1.2 and 1.5 percent of students indicate that they tried to commit suicide within the past year due to drinking or drug use (Presley et al., 1998).
  • Drunk Driving: 2.1 million students between the ages of 18 and 24 drove under the influence of alcohol last year (Hingson et al., 2002).
  • Vandalism: About 11 percent of college student drinkers report that they have damaged property while under the influence of alcohol (Wechsler et al., 2002).
  • Property Damage: More than 25 percent of administrators from schools with relatively low drinking levels and over 50 percent from schools with high drinking levels say their campuses have a "moderate" or "major" problem with alcohol-related property damage (Wechsler et al., 1995).
  • Police Involvement: About 5 percent of 4-year college students are involved with the police or campus security as a result of their drinking (Wechsler et al., 2002) and an estimated 110,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are arrested for an alcohol-related violation such as public drunkenness or driving under the influence (Hingson et al., 2002).
  • Alcohol Abuse and Dependence: 31 percent of college students met criteria for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse and 6 percent for a diagnosis of alcohol dependence in the past 12 months, according to questionnaire-based self-reports about their drinking (Knight et al., 2002).


References: http://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/NIAAACollegeMaterials/TaskForce/References_00.aspx#hing2005

-- Source: http://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/StatsSummaries/snapshot.aspx --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.

Alcohol Poisoning

by James Heller 25. March 2009 12:06
April, 2009 marks the 22nd year of Alcohol Awareness Month.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers is participating with a series of articles meant to inform and educate the general public about alcohol abuse, dependence and treatment.  Considering that over 21 million Americans meet the criteria for alcohol abuse and over 53 million admit to past-month binge drinking, not to mention the many loved ones affected by each, our efforts are worthwhile.

Somewhere between social drinking and alcohol dependence lies alcohol poisoning.  It usually occurs at times of high stress or celebration with binge drinkers and those who fall into the category of alcohol abusers.   

A social drinker would usually stop or slow drinking when the tipsy feeling hits.  Those who can control their drinking are unlikely to use alcohol to ease stress, and find it a hindrance to celebrating.  

Someone who is alcohol dependent experiences a more complicated set of issues.  Emotional numbness is inherent with alcohol dependence.  Also, the drinking pattern is steady and tolerance to alcohol has built in the body, so alcohol poisoning tends to be accidental with this group.

Only a small percentage of social drinkers and alcohol dependent drinkers get alcohol poisoning.  

The excerpts below from the Mayo Clinic website explain why this is so.  This is critical information for anyone who drinks, even on occasion, or knows someone who does.  When it comes to alcohol’s effects on the body, knowledge can truly save a life.


Definition


Alcohol poisoning is a serious — and sometimes deadly — consequence of consuming large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time. Drinking too much too quickly can affect your breathing, heart rate and gag reflex and potentially lead to coma and death.

Binge drinking — rapidly downing 5 or more drinks in a row — is the main cause of alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol poisoning can also occur when you accidentally ingest household products that contain alcohol. A person with alcohol poisoning needs immediate medical attention. If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning, call 911 or your local poison control center right away.

Symptoms


If you drink, have friends who drink or have children of any age, know the signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning:
  • Confusion, stupor
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Slow breathing (less than eight breaths a minute)
  • Irregular breathing
  • Blue-tinged skin or pale skin
  • Low body temperature (hypothermia)
  • Unconsciousness ("passing out")

It's not necessary for all of these symptoms to be present before you seek help. A person who is unconscious or can't be roused is at risk of dying.

When to see a doctor
If you suspect that someone has alcohol poisoning — even if you don't see the classic signs and symptoms — seek immediate medical care. In an emergency, follow these suggestions:

  • If the person is unconscious, breathing less than eight times a minute or has repeated, uncontrolled vomiting, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Keep in mind that even when someone is unconscious or has stopped drinking, alcohol continues to be released into the bloodstream and the level of alcohol in the body continues to rise. Never assume that a person will "sleep off" alcohol poisoning.
  • If the person is conscious, call 800-222-1222, and you'll automatically be routed to your local poison control center. The staff at the poison control center or emergency call center can instruct you as to whether you should take the person directly to a hospital. All calls to poison control centers are confidential.
  • Be prepared to provide information. If you know, be sure to tell hospital or emergency personnel the kind and amount of alcohol the person ingested, and when.
  • Don't leave an unconscious person alone. While waiting for help, don't try to make the person vomit. People who have alcohol poisoning have an impaired gag reflex and may choke on their own vomit or accidentally inhale (aspirate) vomit into their lungs, which could cause a fatal lung injury.

Causes


Although alcohol poisoning can occur when you accidentally — or even intentionally — consume household products containing alcohol, most alcohol poisoning results from drinking too many alcoholic beverages, especially in a short period of time.

How much is too much?
Unlike food, which can take hours to digest, alcohol is absorbed quickly by your body — long before most other nutrients. If you drink on an empty stomach, about 20 percent of the alcohol is absorbed directly from your stomach and can reach your brain in less than a minute.
Most alcohol, though, is processed by your liver. It takes about one hour for your liver to process (metabolize) the alcohol in one drink — defined as 12 ounces (355 milliliters) of beer, 4 to 5 ounces (118 to 148 milliliters) of wine or 1.5 ounce (44 milliliters) of 80-proof distilled spirits. Mixed drinks often contain more than one serving of alcohol and take even longer to metabolize.
The rate at which alcohol is processed can vary considerably from person to person and depends on a number of factors. In general, though, drinking more than one drink an hour gives your liver more than it can handle. Binge drinking — usually defined as rapidly downing five drinks or more in a row — is especially dangerous. Drinking large quantities of alcohol so quickly means that you can consume a lethal dose before you pass out.

What happens to your body when you drink?
Alcohol depresses the nerves that control involuntary actions such as breathing, heartbeat and your gag reflex, which keeps you from choking. Excessive alcohol intake can slow and, in some cases, shut down these functions. Your body temperature can also drop (hypothermia), leading to cardiac arrest. And your blood sugar level can fall low enough to cause seizures.

Complications


Alcohol is a stomach irritant and may cause vomiting. It also impairs your gag reflex. This increases the risk of choking on vomit if you've passed out from excessive drinking. There's also a risk of accidentally inhaling vomit into your lungs, which can lead to a dangerous or fatal interruption of breathing (asphyxiation). Excessive vomiting can also result in severe dehydration.
Severe alcohol poisoning can be fatal. People who survive may have irreversible brain damage.


Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The article above was found at http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/alcohol-poisoning/DS00861/DSECTION=all&METHOD=print among others of equal informational and educational quality.

National Alcohol Screening Day

by James Heller 18. March 2009 12:31
April, 2009 marks the 22nd year of Alcohol Awareness Month.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers is participating with a series of articles meant to inform and educate the general public about alcohol abuse, dependence and treatment.  Considering that over 21 million Americans meet the criteria for alcohol abuse and over 53 million admit to past-month binge drinking, not to mention the many loved ones affected by each, our efforts are worthwhile.



National Alcohol Screening Day (NASD), on April 9th, 2009, is a key annual event during Alcohol Awareness Month.  The focus this year is on college students, “…designed to call attention to the impact that alcohol has on overall health on a national level.  The program aims to encourage students to take a look at the way they use alcohol, so that they may take steps to reduce their alcohol intake if necessary.”  For more information, and how to participate, go to the NASD website.

Below are some points of interest about alcohol as listed on the NASD website:


What is a Standard Drink?

A standard drink contains about 14 grams (about 0.6 fluid ounces of pure alcohol. Below are some approximate drink equivalents:

  • 12 oz. of beer or cooler
  • 8-9 oz. of malt liquor
  • 5 oz. of table wine
  • 3-4 oz. of fortified wine
  • 2-3 oz. of cordial, liqueur or aperitif
  • 1.5 oz. of brandy or spirits

Types of Alcohol Problems
  • Relatively low levels of alcohol consumption may increase risk for motor vehicle crashes, medication interactions, fetal effects, strokes caused by bleeding, and certain cancers.
  • Alcohol use disorders include alcohol dependence (known as alcoholism) and alcohol abuse.
  • Alcohol abuse is characterized by clinically significant impairment or distress but does not entail physical dependence.
  • Alcohol dependence (alcoholism) is characterized by 10 diagnostic criteria according to the DSM-IV. These criteria include: impaired control over drinking, tolerance, withdrawal syndrome when alcohol is removed, neglect of normal activities for drinking, and continued drinking despite recurrent related physical or psychological problems.


Who Has An Alcohol Problem?

  • 25 percent of U.S. children are exposed to alcohol abuse or dependence in the family.
  • Alcohol abuse and dependence is more common among males than females and decrease with aging.

 

Harmful Effects of Alcohol

  • Alcohol use contributes to a range of chronic health consequences including cancer and cardiovascular disease.
  • Alcohol use has been associated with increased risk of traumatic injury including: motor vehicle crashes, bicycling accidents, pedestrians, falls, fires, injuries in sports and recreational activities, interpersonal violence, and self–inflicted injuries.


Alcohol and Women

  • Women are more vulnerable than men to many of the medical consequences of alcohol use. Alcoholic women develop cirrhosis, damage of the heart muscle (i.e., cardiomyopathy), and nerves (i.e., peripheral neuropathy) after fewer years of heavy drinking than alcoholic men.
  • Women develop organ damage faster, and at lower levels of alcohol consumption then men. This is because a woman’s body generally has less water than a man’s causing their blood alcohol content to reach higher level, faster.
  • Alcohol use may affect female reproductive. Adolescent girls who consume even moderate amounts of alcohol may experience disrupted growth and puberty. Heavy drinking in adult women can disrupt normal menstrual cycling and reproductive functions. Alcohol abuse and alcoholism can cause women to suffer from infertility, increased risk for spontaneous abortion, and impaired fetal growth and development
  • Women overall drink less than men but are more likely to experience adverse consequences including damage to the heart muscle, liver, and brain, trauma resulting from auto crashes, interpersonal violence, and death.
  • The progression of alcoholism appears to be faster in women than in men.


Alcohol and Older Drinkers

  • Alcohol-related problems, including interactions with prescription and over-the counter drugs, account for most of the substance related problems experienced by older adults.
  • Heavy alcohol consumption is known to result in memory deficits. Heavy alcohol consumption also may increase the risk for Alzheimer’s disease in both genders and in women in particular, as they appear to be more vulnerable than men to alcohol–induced brain damage.
  • Because of age-related body changes, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends that older drinkers consume no more than one drink a day.


Alcohol and Youth

  • Young persons reporting first use of alcohol before age 15 were more than 5 times as likely to have past alcohol dependence or abuse compared with persons who first used alcohol at age 21 or older (16 % vs. 3%) .
  • Almost 40% of high school seniors perceive no great risk in consuming four to five drinks nearly every day.


Alcohol and College Students

  • 1700 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes.
  • Nearly 600,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol.
  • Nearly 700,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted each year by another student who has been drinking.




Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The article above was found at http://www.nationalalcoholscreeningday.org/index.aspx among others of equal informational and educational quality.