The End Result of Alcoholism
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Many people are able to responsibly use alcohol. However, repeated alcohol abuse or a diagnosis of alcoholism can both lead to severe consequences. Here, we'll look at what addiction can mean to your body--from cirrhosis to cancer.
Transcript: Here's a sobering fact: Each year, there are 85,000 alcohol-related deaths, and over 7,000 involve people...
Here's a sobering fact: Each year, there are 85,000 alcohol-related deaths, and over 7,000 involve people who are not yet 21.Consumed in moderation, alcohol can act as a social lubricant. Unfortunately though, for many young people, drinking isn't always done in moderation. You're probably already familiar with some of the more immediate negative effects of drinking. Because alcohol depresses your central nervous system, it will sedate you. Though you may feel excited when drinking, in actuality alcohol is a CNS depressant. This means you'll experience reduced inhibitions, slurred speech, decreased muscle coordination, and impaired judgment. An incident of heavy drinking can result in alcohol poisoning, during which your body can fall into a life-threatening coma; or even in extreme circumstances, death.Alcohol consumption is a factor in nearly 50 percent of American car accidents, which is why many alcohol-related deaths - and injuries - occur in a motor vehicle crash. Over the long-term, continued alcohol consumption can lead to potentially life-threatening liver disorders, like hepatitis, which is an inflammation of the live...or cirrhosis, which is an irreversible and progressive scarring of liver tissue. Drinking can also lead to cancer. It's been directly linked to liver, rectum, breast, colon, throat and mouth cancerAnd if these life-threatening ailments don't give you pause, you should also know that excessive, habitual drinking can lead to permanent erectile dysfunction or loss of fertility for both sexes! Excessive consumption has also been linked to emotional and mental health issues. Studies have shown that heavy drinkers are more likely to be divorced, unemployed, and even suicidal than people who drink in moderation. Still, this doesn't mean you can't have a good time. What it does mean is that you need to smart about when, where, and how much you drink.More »
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Do you have what you affectionately refer to as an alcoholic liver? Or does your body hate the effects of alcohol? Whether you suffer from alcoholism or only enjoy the occasional drink, this video will show you how drinking really effects your body.
Transcript: You savor the first sip-and the multiple sips after-but what does your body think of that alcohol fix?...
You savor the first sip-and the multiple sips after-but what does your body think of that alcohol fix? Your body reacts to alcohol as it would to a poison. In other words, it works as hard to get it out as you work to get it in! First, the liver changes alcohol into acetaldehyde, a highly toxic substance. This then turns into acetate, a harmless substance that is passed out of your body in your urine, and-more minutely-in your breath and sweat. This process is hard work, and it means that your liver can't focus on its other job, which is sending energizing glucose to other areas of your body. That's why you feel tired, weak, and disoriented following a booze binge. And take note: It takes the liver of a 150-pound person two hours to metabolize one beer! The bottom line is that alcohol does a number on your body. So drink smart!More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-17 | Tags »
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Alcohol is a part of many people's lives, but did you know that more than 18 percent of Americans face real problems with it, from binge drinking to alcoholism. Have you crossed the line into alcohol abuse? We may have the answer.
Transcript: Binge drinking is pervasive common among 18 to 21-year-olds... and if you're in college, chances are...
Binge drinking is pervasive common among 18 to 21-year-olds... and if you're in college, chances are that you've done it before. So what does it mean to binge drink, anyway? There is currently no international consensus on how many drinks constitute a 'binge,' but the term is often taken to mean the following: for a man, consuming 5 or more standard drinks, or 4 or more drinks for a woman, in about 1 to 3 hours. However, these numbers vary significantly based on weight and numerous other variables.Binge drinking is prevalent on almost every college campus, and is often incorporated into many college activities, from sporting events to parties and random Tuesday nights.Unfortunately, people who binge drink on a regular basis often suffer negative consequences as a result, like missed classes, poor grades, or trouble with the police. As well, regular binge drinkers are considerably more likely to drive drunk or to have unprotected sex -activities that have some potential consequences of their own. Here is another sobering statistic: each year 1,400 college students die from alcohol poisoning associated with binge drinking. The best defense against the consequences of binge drinking is obvious - don't binge drink. However, many people won't make that choice. If you are among them, you can make your experience safer by alternating your alcoholic drinks with water or sports drinks. This will help slow the rate at which you absorb the alcohol into your blood stream. And eating something with a bit of fat before you start drinking-like a grilled cheese or a slice of pizza-will help you metabolize alcohol at a slower, more controlled rate. You can also reduce the chances of unintended consequences by making sure that someone in your group remains sober enough to keep track of everyone else. Bottom line? 70-percent of college students admit to binge drinking at least once a week. If you're among them, take steps to be as safe as possible about your actions!More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-13 | Tags »
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So, someone you care about is drinking too much and you want to have an intervention. While interventions can work, a person who abuses alcohol must be willing to stop drinking. Here are tips for convincing your friend that its time to quit drinking.
Transcript: You've probably seen an intervention in a film or television show. In real life, an intervention is...
You've probably seen an intervention in a film or television show. In real life, an intervention is a big step, and not one to be taken lightly. If someone you care about has a serious problem with drinking or drugs, you may feel that the only way to help is to stage an intervention. An intervention is when an addict's friends and family get together to confront a loved one about the seriousness of his or her addiction; while also communicating how much he or she means to them. The hoped-for outcome is that the addict will recognize the reality of his situation and get treatment. Some of these meetings end with acknowledgment of the problem by the addict. But, unfortunately, interventions can also be met with intense anger, denial, and disbelief. If unsuccessful, an intervention can create a large rift between the addict and family members and friends, possibly leading to problems that were not present before. For this reason, it's vital to go about an intervention with as much knowledge and preparation as possible. For starters, contact a trained professional to help stage an intervention. Try the National Intervention Referral's website as a resource. In the past, interventions were staged by a counselor and loved ones to take the addict completely by surprise. Today, however, many professionals recommend telling the addict in advance that you are speaking with a counselor about his or her problems with addiction. That way, when the intervention does occur, he's less likely to feel ambushed by the talk. Whichever way works best for you, try to pick a time when the person you're planning the intervention for will be sober and in a comfortable environment. Practice the intervention with the counselor, discussing what everyone will say, and rehearsing responses to potential reactions by the addict. An intervention is not the time to seek revenge for past transgressions. Instead confront your loved one as kindly and honestly as possible. Recognize that whether the person you care about gets help or not, you may need counseling after the fact, and that's OK. Ask your intervention counselor to make a recommendation, or contact your college's health center to find someone with whom you can talk.More »
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Over 76 million people worldwide are currently affected by drinking disorders, from alcoholism to binge drinking. If you're worried that you or someone you know is an alcoholic, this video is a good place to start.
Transcript: Last week, two out of every five college students drank to excess. If you were among them, heres how...
Last week, two out of every five college students drank to excess. If you were among them, heres how to tell if you might have a problem with alcohol. Alcohol abuse is a broad term used to describe excessive drinking, including both binge drinking - where a large amount of alcohol is consumed in a short period of time, and the consumption of alcohol on a regular basis. Alcohol abuse is different than alcoholism, which is a dependence on alcohol, although both come with similar red flags. Its important to be aware of the signs of alcohol abuse: so that you can control your own drinking, and so that youll know when its time to get help for yourself or a friend. Perhaps the first sign of alcohol abuse is when someone continues to drink even after theyve had recurring problems as a result of alcohol. These problems can include drunk driving, having unprotected sex with multiple new partners, or missing class on a regular basis. Other early signs of alcohol abuse include: regularly being intoxicated, blacking out, binge drinking, or experiencing drastic personality changes as a result of drinking. When alcohol abuse becomes alcoholism, additional warning signs usually become apparent. One such sign is when someone hides their drinking habit, either by drinking alone, by keeping alcohol in unlikely places, or by withdrawing from their usual activities to drink. People who are alcoholics may also find that their reaction to alcohol changes over time. For instance, they may develop a tolerance to alcohol, needing more and more to feel its effects, or they may feel that they need alcohol to be normal, funny, or happy. At its most extreme, alcoholics may experience tremors, sweating, nausea and other physical symptoms when alcohol is not consumed. If you notice that either you, or someone you know, has two or more of these symptoms, alcohol abuse may be a problem.More »
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Someone is killed by a drunk driver every 45 minutes. Does this make you MADD? Learn more about drunk driving, from what blood alcohol level really means to how drinking and driving can irreparably change your life.
Transcript: Here's a sobering thought: In the USA, every thirty minutes someone is killed in an alcohol-related motor...
Here's a sobering thought: In the USA, every thirty minutes someone is killed in an alcohol-related motor vehicle accident. What's even more frightening is that the majority of those deaths occur when someone between 18- and 20-years-old is behind the wheel. So drinking and driving is clearly a terrible idea. But it's important to understand why. Alcohol is a depressant, and, as such, it can have a serious impact on your driving capabilities. For starters, alcohol causes your eye muscles to function more slowly. This means that it becomes difficult to track objects properly, and it impairs your night vision. Also, because alcohol is a depressant, it causes you to react more slowly, to say, a person in the middle of the road. In a similar vein, it causes your coordination to decrease, meaning that your brain may want to hit the brake, but your foot will be too slow to do so in time. And, as you may already know, alcohol can cause you to nod off and lose concentration. These are just a few of the reasons why you should not drink and drive.You might be surprised how quickly you will hit your BAL number. A 120-pound woman, for example, will have a BAL of .08 after just two drinks over the course of an hour. A 180-pound man will hit the same blood-alcohol level around his fourth drink during an hour. And remember that a "drink" equals one 12-ounce beer, one 5-ounce glass of wine or a single ounce of liquor-amounts much smaller than what you're probably used to consuming! With this information at your fingertips, it just makes sense to call a cab or hand over your keys to a truly sober friend.More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-13 | Tags »
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If you've decided to confront a drinking problem, whether you join a support group or go into rehab depends heavily on your circumstances. But seeking help for alcoholism is a necessity. Watch this video to learn more.
Transcript: Does the idea of an alcohol support group conjure up images of sad, over-caffeinated people sharing intimate...
Does the idea of an alcohol support group conjure up images of sad, over-caffeinated people sharing intimate details of their lives. If so, this video will help you learn the real deal about seeking support.Support groups for alcoholics come in many forms, but they all have one goal in common: helping the addict to get well and to stop or greatly reduce their drinking. Perhaps the most well-known sobriety group is Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA. AA is an international foundation that believes alcoholism is a disease. To beat the illness, the group recommends that alcoholics abstain from all alcohol for the rest of their lives. Alcoholics Anonymous uses twelve steps to help users quit their addiction and make amends with those they have hurt by drinking. AA incorporates prayer and references to a "higher power"as part of its healing process. Due to these religious undertones, a 1996 court order ruled it illegal for parole officers or other authorities to require AA attendance. If you're uncomfortable with spiritual references, Alcoholics Anonymous is not the only support group available to you! Some alcoholics prefer a group like SMART Recovery, an acronym for Self-Management And Recovery Training, which does not believe that alcoholism is a disease, and which keeps religion out of the healing process. Instead, SMART Recovery approaches alcohol abuse as a mental issue, and seeks to change a person's mindset about drinking. There are some recovery programs which are not designed for alcoholics, but rather, for people who have abused alcohol in the past - and who are now ready to commit to reducing their drinking. Moderation Management, or MM, is an example of this type of program, and has been helpful for many college aged people. The rundown of the different alcohol support groups could continue for many videos, which means there is bound to be a program out there that will work for you. Because there are many different types of alcohol support groups, you are certain to find one that will work for you. To find your best support, talk to your college's health center, or search "Self Help Group Locator" on the internet.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-04 | Tags »
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Treating drug and alcohol addiction is not as simple as one might think. Check out this video to learn more about the different ways to treat drug and alcohol addcition.
Transcript: When it comes to addiction treatment, there is NO one-size-fits-all program. What works for one person...
When it comes to addiction treatment, there is NO one-size-fits-all program. What works for one person might not work for another, and it can often take more than one stint in a recovery program to make sobriety stick. Addiction is a complex disease that makes a person compulsively crave a substance or activity. Changes in the brain often prevent an addict from being able to stop using. Even if at some point an addict wants to stop using, it can be difficult. If not impossible, for them to stop on their own. That's where treatment comes in. The ultimate goal of addiction treatment involves getting a person to stop using their substance of choice and helping them to achieve a substance-free lifestyle. A good treatment plan gives patients the necessary tools to help take control of their lives. That means learning to cope with the situations or emotions that drove them to abuse drugs, alcohol or behaviors to begin with. Throwing oneself into drugs or alcohol can be a way to escape unpleasant feelings. If addiction patients don't learn how to manage stressful or difficult times, they could relapse as soon as life becomes challenging or too overwhelming. Addiction patients often require long-term or repeated episodes of care to reach a place of lifelong abstinence and recovery. In addition, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, treatment can: reduce drug use by 40 to 60 percent; decrease criminal activity; and improve an addict's employment potential by up to 40 percent. There are several types of drug addiction treatments. Most involve medication, behavioral therapy or both. Some people may need in-patient programs, where they are monitored 24 hours a day. Others may be able to get sober through an outpatient 12-step program like Alcoholics Anonymous. Some programs begin with drug or alcohol detox. This can last for three to ten days, depending on the amount and length of time that substances had been taken. Detoxification is not meant as a long-term solution. It is only the FIRST stage of treatment. It is used to help minimize the effects of withdrawal, which can occur when an addict abruptly discontinues use. Even after detox, addicts can still experience intense cravings. Sometimes drug treatment facilities will put patients on medication, like methadone, to help reduce cravings. Many times, people with addiction problems also have underlying mental illness as well. If this is the case, the patient needs to work within a program that treats the mental disorder as well. Many substance abuse programs have long waiting lists. Others take insurance while others do not. It's important to find a program that you can afford to stay in for as long as you need. Research shows that most people need at least 3 months in treatment to reduce or stop their drug use. The longer the treatment, the better the outcome. If you think you, or someone you love, may have a problem with addiction, there is hope. You can find local treatment options by using the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator at http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-04 | Tags »
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Alcohol poisoning is a truly scary side effect of drinking too much, yet alcohol abuse doesn't always lead to this potentially deadly problem. To sort the safe from the scary drunk, check out this video.
Transcript: Drinking can be fun, but alcohol poisoning can be deadly. Here's what you need to know about alcohol...
Drinking can be fun, but alcohol poisoning can be deadly. Here's what you need to know about alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning results from the body absorbing a large quantity of alcohol, and can pose serious health risks. Binge drinking, which is when someone has more than four or five drinks in a two hour period, can often lead to this condition. When your body absorbs too much alcohol, your central nervous system becomes depressed, and stops functioning properly. That means that your breathing and your heart rate both slow down-and in the most serious cases, may even stop. In addition, your gag reflex, which prevents you from swallowing or choking, can become hindered. This creates the risk that you may asphyxiate, or choke to death, on your own vomit. Because the consequences may be life threatening, it's vital to know the signs of alcohol poisoning, so that you can get immediate help. Look for irregular or slowed breathing, defined as fewer than eight breaths a minute. Blueish skin, very low body temperature, and seizures are also signs of alcohol poisoning. And don't overlook the more common symptoms, which include vomiting, extreme confusion, or the inability to be roused from sleep. If alcohol poisoning occurs, it's vital to get airway protection, oxygen therapy, intravenous fluids, and careful monitoring by a health care professional. Call 911 or your campus's emergency hotline if you notice even one of these signs of alcohol poisoning. Doing so could save a life.More »
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Sure, you enjoy the occasional beer--or maybe you like to let loose once in a while. But does your drinking mean you have alcoholism and just how many drinks does it take to make an alcoholic? This video explores the realities of alcohol abuse.
Transcript: Fact: Each year, college students spend about $5.5 billion on alcohol, mostly beer! So you like to drink-it's...
Fact: Each year, college students spend about $5.5 billion on alcohol, mostly beer! So you like to drink-it's clear that most college students do! But where does casual drinking cross the line and become a serious problem? The term alcoholism is commonly applied both to people who suffer from alcohol dependence as well as to people who engage in alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse is any condition that results in the continued consumption of alcoholic beverages, despite the negative consequences of doing so. On the other hand, the more serious condition of alcohol dependence is alcohol abuse combined with tolerance, withdrawal, and an uncontrollable desire to drink. Alcoholism affects a person progressively on both physical and mental levels. Because alcohol actually alters brain chemicals-including GABA, which acts on impulsiveness, and glutamate, which excites the nervous system-an alcoholic has a physical need to drink. The physical aspect of the illness is also characterized by a tolerance for alcohol that is ever increasing and a need to consume the drug at a growing rate. Mentally, alcoholics often experience periods of blacking out, where they don't remember their own conversations or actions. They often notice that their drinking interferes with relationships, classes, and everyday activities. Most alcoholics deny that there's a problem and will not seek help of their own accord. While anyone can become an alcoholic, the risk is higher for people who have relatives that are alcoholics, as they may have a genetic predisposition to the disease. Other factors that influence alcoholism include high levels of stress, anxiety, or emotional pain. Although alcoholism is a disease, and a serious one, there are ways to get help. If you think you or someone you know has an alcohol problem, don't keep it to yourself. Talk to a counselor or someone at your college health center.More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-02 | Tags »
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