Is Non-Alcoholic Beer Safe For Recovering Alcoholics?

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Whether the use of non-alcoholic beer should be used by people in recovery from alcoholism has become a topic of some debate in the recovery community. The question revolves around whether the drink is a safe substitute or whether it will trigger the obsession for the real thing despite its negligible alcohol content.

Non-alcoholic beer, some argue, could be used in social situations as a way for the alcoholic to blend in rather than feeling like the odd man out. Others do not see why it cannot be used in the same way a nicotine patch helps smokers ween off of tobacco, since it only contains 0.5 percent alcohol by volume compared with at least 4.2 percent in true beer.

There likely is no one simple answer to the near beer question, given the variety of ways alcoholism can express itself in the individual. Alcoholics experience their disease as one that is not just physical, but also one of the mind and spirit.

Rather than being a safe choice as a means of staying off the hard stuff, non-alcoholic beer could actually bring back memories of the good old days of drinking. Sight, taste, and smell are known to trigger detailed remembrances, so the taste and smell of the near beer could be a gateway to a return to problem drinking. If the alcoholic can successfully drink this, they may think that perhaps a drink of the real deal will be alright.

We at A Calming Tide: Drug, Alcohol and Behavioral Resource believe it is better to err on the side of caution. After all, non-alcoholic beer cannot truly be compared with a nicotine patch, since the patch does not need to be lit and inhaled to do its job.

For all too many alcoholics, the act of drinking such a close booze substitute is too near to the real act of drinking alcohol that the amount of alcohol in the drink is beside the point. It becomes is slippery slope that those in recovery may not be able to navigate successfully.

Recovery from alcoholism is a process that must take all aspects of the disease into serious account on a daily basis. The sight or smell of alcohol for some sufferers is enough to derail their efforts return to health and sanity. That is why many alcoholics in early recovery stay away from situations where alcohol will be available. That is why we believe non-alcoholic beer should be avoided, as well.

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Emergency Room Interventions And Teen Drinking

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Teenagers seem to think that drinking is cool and many of them do it regularly or as often as they get the chance. However, what these children fail to realize is that alcohol can cause serious harm to the body. Emergency room attendants witness teenagers coming in with alcohol poisoning all the time and they have realized that a intervention program that counsels teens against substance abuse keeps them from returning to the emergency room a second time.

Underage drinking is classified as anyone under the age of 21 consuming alcohol. Teenagers do not comprehend the damage that drinking can cause on relationships and your life as a whole. Under age drinking cause more harm to teens than it does to anyone over the age of 21. Their bodies are still developing and cannot handle the effects of alcohol. Teen drinking occurs as a result if teens wanting to fit in with the cool or popular crowd. Most teenagers do it because they see it as the only way to look cool and socialize.

Studies show that under age drinking affects brain development as our brain still continues to develop well into out early 20’s and drinking too early on in life can hinder this development. Drinking causes inhibition, which means you make poor decisions, engage in spontaneous sexual activity and violence. It also increases the risk of physical and sexual assault in teenagers. Serious injuries occur as a result if drinking and driving and engaging in other activities whilst under the influence of alcohol. In the U.S 190 000 injuries were reported in 2008, related to alcohol.

Hospitals that have introduced Emergency Room Interventions programs agree that education is the best way of addressing the problem of under age drinking. Just a session or 2 with a teen recovering from alcohol poisoning can have a positive effect on the child’s life. All a teen really needs to understand is the consequences of their actions and the problems that can arise from them not heeding sound advice and this could prove extremely thought provoking.

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Social Anxiety and Drug Use

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Many people resort to drugs to break out of their shell or prove some kind of point to society. Over the years, researchers and therapists have established a link between social anxiety and drug use. In theory, initial drug use may be completely unrelated to social anxiety. This proposition could lead into better methods of treatment.

Need to Fit in

One of the basic emotional needs is acceptance; people need to feel loved and accepted by others. If this desire is unfulfilled, it could lead to anxiety and drug use. A study conducted on about 200 adolescent who had sought addiction treatment identified issues with fitting in. The teens seemed to respond well to activities which alleviated social anxiety.

About half of them experienced some sort of social anxiety, with about 15% showing a disorder. The latter were noted to have started exhibiting symptoms of the disorder about two years before they began to use drugs. The study stated that the participants used alcohol and drugs because they provided an outlet to release anxiety. Using these substances helped them take their minds of worries about not fitting in.

After sobering up, the anxiety returned, thus causing the teens to return to using alcohol and drugs. This trend continued and matured into addition. Treating anxiety could thus be an effective solution.

Further Analysis

The next part of the study involved teens who attended AA meetings. It was observed that this particular group made a better recovery after they were treated. The likelihood of relapsing after completing treatment among them was about 50% less.

Social activities were found to be beneficial for young people experiencing social anxiety. In addition to reducing worries about fitting in, it encouraged them to be more friendly, welcoming and outgoing. This goes to restoring a sense of belonging and self-confidence.

Implications

The study revealed that those who didn’t show up for meetings stood a higher chance of relapsing. It would thus be helpful for drug and substance abusers to not only show up for meetings, but also be actively involved. The risk of relapse is usually higher within the first 6 months of completing treatment.

Teens should be observed to see if they’re socially anxious. Involving youths prone to addition in activities that deal with the symptoms reduces the likelihood of them resorting to drugs. Those already suffering from addiction due to social anxiety are advised to seek immediate treatment.

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Teens’ Access To Drugs And Alcohol Increasing

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According a recent study, teenagers can now access prescription drugs, alcohol and marijuana much faster and easily than they did last year. Fortunately, easy access does not directly translate to increased drug abuse cases. For instance, marijuana use has been declining over the last few years. This paradox has raised serious questions about what drives teenagers to abuse controlled substances.

The findings of the study were recently released by the National Center on Addiction and Substance abuse, commonly referred to as CASA. The report raised nationwide concern as it was released at a time when more teenagers in the country are abusing prescription drugs than most controlled substances, except inhalants and marijuana.

A Calming Tide: Drug, Alcohol and Behavioral Resource is meant to shed some light on some of these substance abuse trends. We understand that substance abuse is a bigger problem now than ever before since kids do not need to find a drug dealer to get their daily dose. All they have to do is open their parent’s medicine cabinet and take as many pills as possible.

According to the study, 23% of teens aged between 12 and 17 years said they could get their hands on marijuana in less than one hour. 42% of them claimed they could get marijuana within 24 hours. These figures are considerably larger than figures obtained from studies in 2007.

While these figures may be scary, there is some good news – marijuana use by teens is falling steadily. Some studies we have looked at indicate teens are using 25% less marijuana than they did less than a decade ago. Unfortunately, usage of prescription drugs has not changed much. Since 2005, the number of teens using prescription drugs has remained at 1 in 5, still a troubling figure. Our experience with teenage drug abuse is that most parents are passive pushers. This is because many homes do not have locks on the medicine cabinet.

One of the main factors affecting drug use by teens is attitudes and perceptions. Before 2001, ecstasy was viewed by teens as a safe drug to get high on, which made it incredibly popular with teens. However, usage declined drastically once ecstasy was linked to several deaths.

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See Just How Beneficial Luxury Rehabs Are For Successfully Treating Addiction

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We at A Calming Tide have long touted the benefits of drug and alcohol rehab programs for addicts — no matter whether it be a local outpatient program, a clinical inpatient rehab, or even a luxury rehab. Getting help in some way is the most important thing, and where you get help from has long been secondary. That being said, a recent article we read in Vanity Fair Magazine really made us go back and visit the subject of luxury rehabs, and why they are so often successful at treating those with addictions, and providing a long-term recovery solution.

This recent article focused on one rehab in particular — The Dunes in East Hampton. Sure, the facility is in a luxurious residential home in one of the most sought after neighborhoods in the country; but the opulence of the grounds aside, it was there approach that really stands out.

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From the very beginning of the article, and the interview with owner Joe McKinsey, it is evident that the success this recover facility and program has endured is more attributed to the caring nature of the staff, and dedication to recovery and sobriety, rather than the rich appointments on the grounds.

The Dunes is much more than just a business that is looking to provide run-of-the-mill care for a large sum of money or insurance payment. The staff is truly looking to provide those in recovery with an environment where they can learn how to integrate sobriety into every aspect of their personal lives. The 7,400-square-foot home on four acres of beautiful property is the perfect setting for recovering addicts to relax, reassess their day-to-day lives, and to formulate a plan for long-term sobriety.

To quote owner Joe McKinsey:

“Their [addicts] lives have become really small as addicts, whether they live on a park bench or on Park Avenue. We try to expand that.”

Read The Full Article In Vanity Fair Magazine Below:

The Dunes East Hampton: What Life in a $75,000-per-Month Hamptons Rehab Looks Like

Is Fast Food Addiction Real?

180258510According to new medical studies, fast food addiction is as real as drug addiction. Those who addicted to fast food often have the same trouble as drug addicts do when trying to quit the bad habit. Those addicted to fast food can hide their habits or feel ashamed of their choices.

Our bodies and brains are naturally built to handle natural foods. Water, fruit and vegetables do not cause any influx in our chemistry. Fast food, loaded with sugar and fat, send shock waves to our brain. Just like drugs, fast food is an unnatural substance that our bodies are not built for to handle in large volumes or long periods of time.

Sugar and fat can release dopamine in our brains. Dopamine is what makes us feel good. It also acts as a reward system and can be temporarily energizing. That chocolate shake can certainly put a pep in your step and relax you. While eating fast food once in awhile is not a huge risk, daily indulgence is.

Like drugs, we can become addicted to fast food. Soon we need more chips, a second cheeseburger or an extra helping of dessert to feel normal. Eventually our brains rewire themselves, making the body feel that it needs fast food to survive. Fast food can also become psychologically habit forming. We become used to stopping at our local fast food joint everyday for a quick meal.

Also like drugs, fast food has its harmful and sometimes fatal side effects. Obesity, heart attacks, anxiety and lowered immune system can all be attributed to a poor diet. A diet loaded with sugar and fat, a staple at fast food restaurants.

If you tried to clean up your diet before and failed, it may be a sign that you are addicted to fast food. Quitting cold turkey may be an impossible feat. Just like other addictions, those addicted to fast food need professional help. Therapy and lifestyle changes can help to break this addiction cycle.

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Common Signs Of Prescription Painkiller Abuse

Prescription painkiller abuse is on the rise. Problematic use or abuse includes everything from injecting or snorting ground-up prescription pills to get a high to taking a friend’s painkillers for a backache. The abuse may become compulsive and ongoing, despite the many negative consequences. This problem can affect all age groups; however, it is more common in teens.

The prescription drugs most often abused include stimulants, painkillers, anti-anxiety medications, and sedatives. Early identification and intervention is essential to prevent the abuse from turning into a full-blown addiction. A Calming Tide: Drug, Alcohol and Behavioral Resource, is an addiction and treatment resource that aims to help our readers understand addiction and how to treat different types of addiction.

According to users, opiate painkillers give a high similar to that provided by heroin. Sadly, abusers of prescription painkillers tend to gravitate towards heroin. In fact, several states are making it more difficult to get prescription drugs for illicit use, which is why many people have been turning to heroin.

Signs of Prescription Painkiller Abuse

People who are abusing prescription drugs will often have constricted pupils and will appear drowsy and tired. Early in their abuse, they may get nauseated and itchy, and as the drug kicks in, they may vomit. Those who have been crushing and snorting the drugs may leave rolled dollar bills and short straws around, along with small mirrors. Smokers of the drug are likely to leave pipes around, while those who inject it may leave syringes, droppers, syringe caps, and rubber tubes.

People who are high on opiates may show the following signs:

• Drowsiness
• Anxiety
• Reduced social interaction
• Poor concentration and memory
• Slow breathing
• Constipation
• Mood swings
• Slow reaction and movement
• Depression and apathy

Once addiction kicks in, there will be behavioral and lifestyle changes. They will spend all the money they have on drugs and start selling when their money runs out. Their thoughts will be preoccupied with finding drugs and they may even turn to crime to get drug money. They will neglect their families, work, school, and have an overall change in attitude.

Most addicts feel that the only way they can feel normal is to be high. Often, they deny that they have a problem, or make excuses and promise to do better. However, they never deliver on the promise: not without help. A Calming Tide: Drug, Alcohol and Behavioral Resource are here to help such people.

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How Opiates Affect Behavior

Opiates are a collection of drugs that come from the opium derivative family. Examples of some common opiates are heroin, morphine, methadone, hydrocodone and oxycodone. Opiates are drugs that cause two prevalent feelings to occur: drowsiness and pain relief. Such drugs affect the opioid receptors of the brain, and those receptors control the presence of pain. Many people experience euphoria when they take opiates, which makes them highly vulnerable to developing drug addictions. The following describes how opiates affect behavior.

Scratching

Scratching is one common behavior that many people perform when they use opiates. Some people exhibit extremely intense scratching on the arms or legs that causes them to develop open sores. The scratching comes from extreme itching or a feeling that one’s skin is crawling. Scratching is one of the most common symptoms of opiate use that occurs.

Nodding

Nodding is another common opiate induced behavior. Nodding is a term that describes when a person falls asleep while he or she is sitting or standing. Opiates are heavily sedative drugs, and many people give away their addictions by nodding. People should not operate vehicles or dangerous machinery while they are taking prescription opiates.

Pleasantness

Extreme pleasantness is one of the not-so-bad behaviors that occur when a person is under the influence of an opiate substance. The person will feel as if nothing could go wrong and everything is perfect. The euphoria may seem nice, but thee person will mostly likely lose the feeling when the drug wears off.

Addictive Behaviors

People exhibit certain behaviors when they are addicted to opiates and not just taking them. Addictive behaviors include lying to friends and family members, hiding, missing work, neglecting romantic relationships and fighting and conducting criminal activities such as stealing.

The long-term use of opiates can affect a person’s mental health and clarity, as well. The individual could suffer from depression, anxiety, frequent mood swings and memory loss. The drug changes the levels of serotonin in the brain, and permanent depletion of that chemical can occur from misuse. Persons should only use prescribed opiate medications for short terms. Alternative, non-addictive pain medications are available for long-term use.

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Genetically Modified Yeast Could Be Used To Home-Brew Opiates

Home-brew opiates could soon be a thing, thanks to genetically modified strains of yeast. Engineered by scientists in Canada and California, the yeast feasts on sugar to produce opiates, the critical ingredient in pain medication such as morphine. This development is a coup for drug companies and scientists who currently rely on extracting drugs such as codeine and morphine directly prom poppy and other plants, a process that is both expensive and harmful to health.

The discovery could mean more affordable medications because biochemists will not have to wait for months for poppy fields to grow. Rather, they will have the ability to brew large quantities of pure opiates overnight. However, in the wrong hands, it could have dangerous consequences. Dodgy individuals, most without any biology knowledge, may start making dangerous drugs at home the same way people brew beer at home.

Producing the same opiates poppy plants do is a fascinating prospect from a pharmaceutical perspective. Cultivating yeast is a lot simpler than growing fields of poppy plants. In addition, home–brew opiates have more potential to be engineered for specific medical purposes. It is difficult to subtract or add genes into a plant. By changing certain genes in yeast and adding different DNA, the yeast can double every two hours, which is why scientists are so excited about this new development.

To imagine how researchers moved the process of making opiates from poppies to yeast, picture a 15–step staircase. Glucose sits at the bottom, while codeine, morphine, and other benzylisoquinoline alkaloids fill the top level. At each step, a different enzyme turns the glucose into a new, more complex structure. Scientists used yeast for the final steps to fabricate the compounds created at the previous steps into opiates. This new discovery will allow scientists to build strains of yeast that could take glucose and produce reticuline, the chemical predecessor for all benzylisoquinoline alkaloids.

Because of the potential dangers of home-brew opiates, there should be an independent discussion on how to prevent or regulate illicit use.

A Calming Tide: Drug, Alcohol and Behavioral Resource offers important information about substance abuse and addiction, as well as ways of dealing with addiction. We take pride in helping people overcome addiction in order to live meaningful and productive lives. Follow Us For More on Addiction, Treatment, and Behavioral Health.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Explained

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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a conglomeration of physical, emotional and cognitive disorders that people suffer as a result of early exposure (at fetal developmental stages during pregnancy) to alcohol. Pregnant women who indulge in alcohol risk having their babies experience improper or inadequate organ development, and, as a result, suffer physical and mental incapacitation later in life. Slowed mortal coordination, reduced concentration, abnormal facial and limb structures, as well impaired hearing and vision comprise some of the FAS symptoms.

The Effects Of Alcohol On Fetal Development

Adult human kidneys filter much of the consumed alcohol to limit the amount of alcohol that reaches vital organs. However, fetuses do not have well-developed kidneys, and as alcohol seeps from the mother to the fetus, through the placenta, the harmful alcohol ingredients hamper the proper development of the brain and other body organs. Typical FAS symptoms include impaired cognitive functions, poor social skills, heart and kidney problems, deformed fingers and other body organs, retarded growth, and hyperactivity.

FAS Treatment

Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done about some of the FAS symptoms such as facial deformities, head size, and other deformities except for their management. However, parents of FAS patients can adopt lifestyles that enable them accommodate FAS patients, as well as help them live fulfilling lives. Social and cognitive training can be provided to increase patients thought processes and social interactions. For instance, FAS affected children that suffer from reduced concentration, hence have reduced learning ability can have tutors and other educational coaches that can train them after school hours. Some drugs may be prescribed to manage anxiety, depression, and hyperactivity.

The consumption of alcohol by pregnant women affects fetal development and the future quality of life of FAS patients. Although FAS is irreversible, it is entirely preventable in that pregnant and aspiring mothers should stop their alcohol consumption before and during pregnancy. Some FAS symptoms can be managed, but others cannot be reversed or treated. We, A Calming Tide: Drug, Alcohol and Behavioral Resource, publish relevant information concerning FAS and other conditions, as well as addiction and rehabilitation information. Follow us for additional Addiction, Treatment, and Behavioral Health.