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College Alcohol and Sexual Assault

by James Heller 6. April 2009 14:24
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.

When inhibitions fade due to alcohol consumption in college, sexual assault incidents increase according to studies.  While results vary from campus to campus, the evidence is clear that this is a true statement.  These results are also consistent with logic and common sense.

The desire for social acceptance is high with most college freshmen and sophomores.  Attending parties puts the new college student on the fast track to gaining popularity with many fellow students.  When alcoholic beverages are served at a party, all in attendance are expected to drink.  Pressure may be placed on students to drink or suffer the consequences of being barred from future parties, or simple ridicule.

Alcohol’s effect is not just on the body.  While a lack of inhibitions can be fun at first, the state of mind eventually leads the drinker to worry free behaviors, and consequences are no longer considered.

Sexual assault has many faces.  It can range from unwanted touching to violent rape.  No incident of sexual assault should be taken lightly, as everyone has a right to a sense of physical security.  Any invasion can cause emotional distress.  

Today, with technology at our fingertips, videos and pictures of unwitting victims are being posted on the internet and ruining lives.  Many victims discover that the perpetrator of their misery is someone they knew well, maybe even a friend.  Some of them have committed suicide as a direct result.  In these cases, a few hours of fun resulted in the loss of a precious life and misery for many loved ones.

The data below from the Journal of Interpersonal Violence provides one scenario of alcohol induced sexual assault on college campuses.

-- Begin external content --

Most experiences involved the consumption of alcohol (81%) and almost one-third of the offenders were well-known to their victims (all were students at the university). Relatively more unwanted touching experiences occurred during the last time period—the second year from about one month after the start of school to the middle of October—than any other time. Researchers were told by sorority members that this corresponded to the period called “pledging”, during which young (second-year) women were invited to frequent fraternity parties at which alcohol was consumed.

-- Source: http://www.azrapeprevention.org/summaries/2008/April_2008.html --

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.

Familial Alcoholism

by James Heller 27. March 2009 13:49
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.

There is a great deal of evidence that family history plays a part in alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence.  For decades, studies have examined and re-examined the question with widely varying results.  These results point toward both genetic and environmental influences in the family structure on drinking habits.

While there is still no clear consensus on familial alcoholism trends, the data suggests that those with a family history of alcoholism should approach drinking with caution.  The information below from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism contains important information for parents with a history of alcoholism and children of alcoholics, adolescent to adult.

-- Begin external content --

A Family History of Alcoholism


If you are among the millions of people in this country who have a parent, grandparent, or other close relative with alcoholism, you may have wondered what your family's history of alcoholism means for you. Are problems with alcohol a part of your future? Is your risk for becoming an alcoholic greater than for people who do not have a family history of alcoholism? If so, what can you do to lower your risk?

What is Alcoholism?
  • Alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, is a disease that includes four symptoms:
  • Craving—A strong need, or urge, to drink.
  • Loss of control—Not being able to stop drinking once drinking has begun.
  • Physical dependence—Withdrawal symptoms, such as upset stomach, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety after stopping drinking.
  • Tolerance—The need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to get "high."

Many scientific studies, including research conducted among twins and children of alcoholics, have shown that genetic factors influence alcoholism. These findings show that children of alcoholics are about four times more likely than the general population to develop alcohol problems. Children of alcoholics also have a higher risk for many other behavioral and emotional problems. But alcoholism is not determined only by the genes you inherit from your parents. In fact, more than one–half of all children of alcoholics do not become alcoholic. Research shows that many factors influence your risk of developing alcoholism. Some factors raise the risk while others lower it.

Genes are not the only things children inherit from their parents. How parents act and how they treat each other and their children has an influence on children growing up in the family. These aspects of family life also affect the risk for alcoholism. Researchers believe a person's risk increases if he or she is in a family with the following difficulties:
  • an alcoholic parent is depressed or has other psychological problems;
  • both parents abuse alcohol and other drugs;
  • the parents' alcohol abuse is severe; and
  • conflicts lead to aggression and violence in the family.

The good news is that many children of alcoholics from even the most troubled families do not develop drinking problems. Just as a family history of alcoholism does not guarantee that you will become an alcoholic, neither does growing up in a very troubled household with alcoholic parents. Just because alcoholism tends to run in families does not mean that a child of an alcoholic parent will automatically become an alcoholic too. The risk is higher but it does not have to happen.

If you are worried that your family's history of alcohol problems or your troubled family life puts you at risk for becoming alcoholic, here is some common–sense advice to help you:

Avoid underage drinking—First, underage drinking is illegal. Second, research shows that the risk for alcoholism is higher among people who begin to drink at an early age, perhaps as a result of both environmental and genetic factors.

Drink moderately as an adult—Even if they do not have a family history of alcoholism, adults who choose to drink alcohol should do so in moderation—no more than one drink a day for most women, and no more than two drinks a day for most men, according to guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Some people should not drink at all, including women who are pregnant or who are trying to become pregnant, recovering alcoholics, people who plan to drive or engage in other activities that require attention or skill, people taking certain medications, and people with certain medical conditions.

People with a family history of alcoholism, who have a higher risk for becoming dependent on alcohol, should approach moderate drinking carefully. Maintaining moderate drinking habits may be harder for them than for people without a family history of drinking problems. Once a person moves from moderate to heavier drinking, the risks of social problems (for example, drinking and driving, violence, and trauma) and medical problems (for example, liver disease, brain damage, and cancer) increase greatly.

Talk to a health care professional—Discuss your concerns with a doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, or other health care provider. They can recommend groups or organizations that could help you avoid alcohol problems. If you are an adult who already has begun to drink, a health care professional can assess your drinking habits to see if you need to cut back on your drinking and advise you about how to do that.

-- Source: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/FamilyHistory/famhist.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.

Defining Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

by James Heller 26. March 2009 11:58
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.

For the common person, the terms “alcoholism” or “alcoholic” have come to describe people who drink too much on more than one occasion, or at inappropriate times.  In fact, there are specific medical definitions for alcoholism and alcohol abuse.

This common misconception can cause a delay in seeking alcohol treatment when drinking problems impact a family.  The problem drinker will likely excuse the behavior and attempt to disconnect alcohol from any problems.  Without the facts, family members can’t know that alcohol treatment is available to help break the problem cycle.

It is important that more people know what constitutes alcohol abuse and alcoholism (alcohol dependence), and the differences between them.  Also, there is hope because treatment is available for the earliest stages of alcohol abuse and all through the most acute alcohol dependence.  

In each case, outpatient and residential treatment is available at Tarzana Treatment Centers.  For alcoholism, alcohol detox through medical detoxification is needed to cleanse the body of its physical dependence.

The following comparison is from the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism


Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that is accompanied by 1 or more of the following problems: (1) failure to fulfill major work, school, or home responsibilities because of drinking; (2) drinking in situations that are physically dangerous, such as while driving a car or operating machinery; (3) recurring alcohol-related legal problems, such as being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or for physically hurting someone while drunk; and (4) having social or relationship problems that are caused by or worsened by the effects of alcohol.

Alcoholism (alcohol dependence) is a more severe pattern of drinking that includes the problems of alcohol abuse plus persistent drinking in spite of obvious physical, mental, and social problems caused by alcohol. Also typical are (1) loss of control—inability to stop drinking once begun; (2) withdrawal symptoms (symptoms associated with stopping drinking such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety); and (3) tolerance (needing increased amounts of alcohol in order to feel drunk).

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.  Portions of the article above were found at http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/295/17/2100.pdf among others 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.

Alcohol and the Human Body

by James Heller 24. March 2009 15:09

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.


There are very specific symptoms that result in a diagnosis of the chronic and terminal disease known as alcohol dependence or “alcoholism”.  And alcohol abuse has its own set of criteria for diagnosis.

When it comes to issues related to alcohol, the general public is either unaware or misinformed due to many factors.  This is mainly because people tend to only show real interest in the subject when alcohol has affected their own life.   And by that time, due to the emotional toll, the facts that explain the nature of the disease may seem unimportant.

The answer may be to go back to the basic effects alcohol has on the human body.  To understand alcohol abuse and dependence, it helps to know what happens when a person drinks alcohol.  

The Immediate Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream quickly. The absorption rate depends on the amount and type of food in your stomach. For example, high carbohydrate and high fat foods lessen the absorption rates. A carbonated alcoholic drink, like champagne, will be absorbed faster than a non-carbonated drink.
The effects of alcohol may appear within 10 minutes and peak at approximately 40 - 60 minutes. Alcohol stays in the bloodstream until it is broken down by the liver. If a person consumes alcohol at a faster rate than the liver can break it down, the blood alcohol concentration level rises.
Each state has its own legal definition for alcohol intoxication, which is defined by blood alcohol concentration. The legal limit usually falls between 0.08 and 0.10 in most states. Different levels lead to different effects:

  • 0.05 -- reduced inhibitions
  • 0.10 -- slurred speech
  • 0.20 -- euphoria and motor impairment
  • 0.30 -- confusion
  • 0.40 -- stupor
  • 0.50 -- coma
  • 0.60 -- respiratory paralysis and death
Alcohol depresses your breathing rate, heart rate, and the control mechanisms in your brain. The effects include:
  • Impaired motor coordination
  • Impaired short-term memory
  • Less ability to drive and perform complex tasks
  • Prolonged reaction time
  • Reduced attention span
  • Reduced inhibitions, which may lead to embarrassing behavior
  • Slower thought processes

If a pregnant woman drinks, alcohol can adversely affect the developing fetus, causing birth defects or fetal alcohol syndrome (a devastating disorder marked by mental retardation and behavioral problems).

 

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.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001944.htm among others of equal informational and educational quality.

Addressing Delirium Tremens

by James Heller 24. March 2009 07:06
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.

Alcohol dependence causes physical health issues the same as any other drug addiction.  When too much alcohol is introduced to the human body, it is considered a poison as it is slowly damaging vital organs.  And when the alcohol dependent body is denied alcohol, withdrawal symptoms result.  These symptoms are in the form of a hangover at best, and Delirium Tremens (DTs) at their absolute worst.

Delirium Tremens (DTs)


The onset of DTs is rapid and can be fatal if not treated properly.  This is very important information for those who know an alcoholic or a binge drinker.  Since loved ones may be on the lookout for manipulation and deceit, DTs can be misunderstood and the results could be tragic.  The information on this page is in part from the Medline Plus website, and can save a life.

A person does not need to be alcoholic to suffer DTs.  Although uncommon, they can occur in binge drinkers.

Delirium tremens can occur after a period of heavy alcohol drinking, especially when the person does not eat enough food.  It is especially common in those who drink the equivalent of 7 - 8 pints of beer (or 1 pint of "hard" alcohol) every day for several months.  Delirium tremens also commonly affects those who have had a history of habitual alcohol use or alcoholism for more than 10 years.

Keep in mind that DTs are a medical emergency.  Alcohol dependence is a serious disease that affects both the mind and the body.  While a friend with a hangover may be a laughing matter, DTs are no joke.  Contact emergency medical assistance immediately if someone is suffering from DTs.

Symptoms most commonly occur within 72 hours after the last drink. However, they may occur up to 7 - 10 days after the last drink. Symptoms may get worse rapidly.

The symptoms that accompany DTs are listed below:  

    * Body tremors
    * Mental status changes
          o Agitation, irritability
          o Confusion, disorientation
          o Decreased attention span
          o Decreased mental status
                + Deep sleep that persists for a day or longer
                + Stupor, sleepiness, lethargy
                + Usually occurs after acute symptoms
          o Delirium (severe, acute loss of mental functions)
          o Excitement
          o Fear
          o Hallucinations (visual hallucinations such as seeing things that are not present are most common)
          o Highly sensitive to light, sound, touch (sensory hyperacuity)
          o Increased activity
          o Mood changes rapidly
          o Restlessness, excitement
    * Seizures
          o Most common in first 24 - 48 hours after last alcohol consumption
          o Most common in people with previous complications from alcohol withdrawal
          o Usually generalized tonic-clonic seizures
    * Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal
          o Anxiety
          o Depression
          o Difficulty thinking clearly
          o Fatigue
          o Feeling jumpy or nervous
          o Feeling shaky
          o Headache, general, pulsating
          o Insomnia (difficulty falling and staying asleep)
          o Irritability or easily excited
          o Loss of appetite
          o Nausea
          o Pale skin
          o Palpitations (sensation of feeling the heart beat)
          o Rapid emotional changes
          o Sweating, especially the palms of the hands or the face
          o Vomiting

Getting treatment for these symptoms is only the first step to recovery.  Alcohol detox is then needed to cleanse the body of its dependence.  Then treatment for alcoholism follows, most likely residential, to work towards long-term abstinence from alcohol.


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.  Portions of the article above were found at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000766.htm 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.