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Talking at meeting

Posted on August 16, 2017 in Alcohol and Drug Treatment, Alcoholism, Blog

Motivational Tips to Start the First Step to Alcohol Recovery

The first step of addiction treatment is recognizing that alcohol is causing problems in your life. Denial is very powerful, and you may have spent months or years convincing yourself that everything is fine despite your drinking habits. It’s painful to look at what your life is like because of alcohol, but it’s worth taking an honest inventory to motivate yourself to take that first step of addiction recovery.

Don’t despair if you don’t like what you see when you take an honest look at your life. Instead, have hope. Recovery is possible and hundreds of thousands of people recover from alcohol addiction every single year. This year could be yours. Are you ready?

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teen stress management

Posted on August 15, 2017 in Blog

Does Suffering From Insomnia Increase Risks of Suicide?

Insomnia is the term used to describe either of two things: an inability to fall asleep under normal conditions and an inability to remain asleep in normal conditions. Research has shown that people who repeatedly experience these problems can undergo a number of negative changes in their health and well-being. Several studies indicate that you can add increased risks for suicide-related thinking and suicide attempts to the list of potential consequences of chronic insomnia.

Insomnia Essentials

Some people only experience problems falling asleep or staying asleep every once in awhile. Doctors refer to this situation as acute insomnia. However, others repeatedly experience sleep disruptions over time. If you experience symptoms at least three out of seven days for three months or longer, you may qualify for a diagnosis of chronic insomnia (insomnia disorder). Over 50% of all American adults report at least occasional insomnia symptoms. Roughly one in 10 adults report symptoms severe enough to interfere with their ability to function during the day.

Connection to Suicide

In a study published in 2010 in the journal Sleep Medicine, a team of American researchers examined the reality of an insomnia-suicide connection. All of the participants in this study had diagnosable symptoms of insomnia, as well as diagnosable symptoms of depression. The authors of the study concluded that the presence of chronic insomnia increases the likelihood that you will engage in suicidal thinking (potentially the first step in a progression that also includes suicide-related planning and outright suicide attempts). They also concluded that the impact of insomnia on suicidal thinking is independent of the impact of depression.

In a later study published in 2013 in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, a team that included some of the same researchers took a closer look at the insomnia-suicide connection. Specifically, this second research study examined the impact of two sleep-related factors: nightmares and dysfunctional attitudes toward sleep and nightmares. After completing their work, they concluded that people with chronic insomnia who also have nightmares experience a roughly 35% increase in their risk of thinking about suicide. Further, the researchers concluded that people with chronic insomnia who also hold dysfunctional attitudes toward sleep and/or nightmares experience a roughly 38% increase in their risk of thinking about suicide.

A third study, published in 2010 in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, looked at the impact of chronic insomnia and nightmares on the likelihood that a person receiving psychiatric care will make an actual suicide attempt, instead of just thinking about suicide. The authors of this study found that both insomnia and recurring nightmares independently increase suicide risks. The rise in risk appears to be both short-term (within a year or less) and long-term.

Sources

National Sleep Foundation: Insomnia
https://sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/content/what-is-insomnia

Sleep Medicine: Insomnia Severity Is an Indicator of Suicidal Ideation During a Clinical Depression Trial                                              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2936685/

Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine: Nightmares and Dysfunctional Beliefs about Sleep Mediate the Effect of Insomnia Symptoms on Suicidal Ideation
http://www.aasmnet.org/jcsm/ViewAbstract.aspx?pid=28819

The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry: Nocturnal Sleep Disturbances as a Predictor of Suicide Attempts Among Psychiatric Outpatients: A Clinical, Epidemiologic, Prospective Study http://www.psychiatrist.com/jcp/article/Pages/2010/v71n11/v71n1105.aspx

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Sober Date Night

Posted on August 14, 2017 in Relationships

The Benefits of Travel: Travel & Relationships

There’s nothing like a vacation to rekindle a romance. If you haven’t experienced this magical effect firsthand, a recent survey by the U.S. Travel Association on travel and relationships leaves no doubt. According to the organization, 79% of couples said traveling together had strengthened their relationship while 63% said traveling helps couples stay together longer.

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Young Teens at Risk for Addiction

Posted on August 9, 2017 in Teen Depression, Teen Drug Addiction

Differences Between Drug Rehab and Rehab for Depression in Teens

Teen drug use and depression sometimes go hand-in-hand. Some individuals may turn to drugs in order to “self-medicate” feelings of depression. Drugs often provide a powerful feeling of euphoria, well-being or razor-sharp focus. Unfortunately, once these temporary effects wear off, the depression symptoms are often felt more strongly than ever. This leads to a vicious cycle of psychological (and possibly physical) drug dependence as a person attempts to diminish or self-manage feelings of depression.

But teens generally abuse the substances that are easiest for them to get, and for many teens it’s easier to drink their parent’s alcohol than to experiment with drugs. Alcohol numbs the feelings of depression for a short while, providing temporary relief. However, alcohol is a depressant, and its use is never a healthy or long-term solution for depression. In fact, it is illegal for minors to possess or drink alcohol, and Texas drinking and driving laws crack down on its use via sobriety checkpoints.

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symptoms of liver damage from alcohol

Posted on August 8, 2017 in Alcoholism

Common Pitfalls When Self-Diagnosing As an Alcoholic

“A physician who treats himself has a fool for a patient” is the famous quote attributed to William Osler regarding self-diagnosis. When it comes to knowing how to deal with alcoholism, the reverse is also true — patients who try to take on the doctor role and diagnose themselves without professional assistance may also be acting foolishly.

We live in the age of Google, and asking Dr. Search Engine for help has become commonplace. But when it comes to any medical condition, computer literacy does not make up for years of medical school, in-depth training, internships and residencies. Figuring out not only how to diagnose, but also how to deal with alcoholism once you have been diagnosed, requires professional help.

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blurry road while driving drunk

Posted on August 7, 2017 in Addiction, Alcohol and Drug News

Why Some States Have More Drunk-Driving Deaths

Drunk driving is a problem throughout America. However, some states have more drunk drivers than others; in addition, some states have higher rates of alcohol-related traffic fatalities than others. A broad range of factors helps explain why some states have more than their share of drunk-driving deaths. In addition to total population size, the factors that have an impact on statistics for drunk driving and alcohol-related fatalities include the age, gender and racial/ethnic breakdowns for each state. They also include the percentage of people who drive while intoxicated.

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teenager girl suffers from bipolar disorder

Posted on July 31, 2017 in Addiction

Xanax Addiction in Teens

Xanax is a name brand of the medication alprazolam, one of the most commonly prescribed psychiatric drugs in the United States. This medication is in the category of benzodiazepines and is used to treat panic disorders and anxiety. It works by enhancing the effect of a neurotransmitter in the brain that causes a relaxed, calm feeling.

Because it is so commonly prescribed, Xanax is easily obtainable by teenagers. When teens are struggling with relationship problems, feelings of inferiority at school or problems at home, it’s tempting to try a medication that may relieve these uncomfortable feelings. But using Xanax regularly can be habit-forming and can lead to Xanax addiction.

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