New evidence from a team of American researchers indicates that teenagers who periodically engage in binge drinking may experience changes in the expression of their genetic code that increase the likelihood of serious alcohol problems in adulthood.
Researchers and addiction specialists know that, overall, roughly half of any person’s lifelong risk for developing a physical dependence on alcohol (i.e., alcoholism) stems from the details of his or her genetic inheritance. In recent years, research teams from the U.S. and other countries have begun to identify some of the specific genes that contribute to increased odds of developing alcoholism. In a study scheduled for publication in 2014 in the journal Biological Psychiatry, researchers from several U.S. institutions outlined the newly discovered role that a gene known as Nf1 plays in boosting alcoholism risks.
Alcohol consumption triggers both pleasurable brain effects (in the form of euphoria) and unpleasant brain effects (in the form of a negative reaction to other symptoms of intoxication). Any person who develops the symptoms of alcohol abuse and/or alcoholism must somehow withstand the unpleasant effects of drinking while attempting to access the pleasurable effects. In a study published in August 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a team of South Korean researchers used real-time brain scans to determine how people affected by alcoholism deal with the conflicting incentives to continue and discontinue drinking.
Cammy is one of those unassuming women with a secret weapon—a knockout smile and brains for days. She’s an assistant professor in women’s studies and the single mom of two young girls. She lectures and researches every weekday, then grabs the girls dinner on the way home. They eat in the car as they head to karate and gymnastics. Cammy talks to them while she drives about the importance of loving their bodies exactly as they are, and tells them about the women who inspired her when she was their age—all women who lived in books. She answers their questions and laughs with her kids, and the girls think their mom is great—as long as it’s still daylight.
How The Right Step Can Turn an ‘Alcoholism Marriage’ into a Happy Union
Toby Rice Drews is the author of nine recovery books and is most notable for her million-selling series, “Getting Them Sober.” It is available from a variety of vendors, including peoplejam.com, a website devoted to offering items that help people improve their lives.
Drews, a former college professor of counseling and psychology, was reared in an alcoholic family, and her career has been dedicated to helping others who share the pain she endured. For more than 30 years she has written books on the subject, counseled family members, trained professionals, and presented seminars to community groups and associations.
Doc Talk: Identifying and Treating Alcoholism By: Dr. Jason Powers Title: Chief Medical Officer, The Right Step and Spirit Lodge Info: Among the first doctors certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM). H Magazine Texas’ “Top Doc” in Addiction Medicine, 2007-2009. 2008 winner of Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving, Compassion Award. Dr. Powers, The Right Step Chief Medical Officer, has worked in addiction recovery for over eight years and has helped The Right Step’s inpatient detoxification program reach out to, and reform, hundreds of addicts over the years. We asked him to share some information on detoxification for addiction victims and their loved ones.
When it comes to dealing with drug and alcohol addiction, the ongoing support of friends and family is every bit as important as identifying the problem and signing up for treatment.
That’s the sentiment of James Patterson, executive director of The Right Step Conroe – an intensive outpatient treatment facility that is part of the nationally accredited, 20-location The Right Step “live life sober” network.
“There are a lot of supervised programs that offer medical, psychological and emotional support,” Patterson said. “But outpatient treatment is where the rubber meets the road. At some point, an addict needs to learn how to live in the real world.”
In the last few weeks, two very famous and influential women passed: Betty Ford, wife of former President Gerald Ford and founder of the Betty Ford Center, and Amy Winehouse, an influential British singer known for her unique combination of soul, jazz, and R&B. These two women achieved fame and recognition in different arenas–Betty Ford for advocating women’s rights and Amy Winehouse for an incredible voice. Their shared connection, however, was the disease of addiction. Though they both battled this deadly disease, the outcome of their battles took decidedly different paths. Betty Ford traveled the path of sobriety while Amy Winehouse continued to struggle with addiction, reportedly, until the very end of her life.
A recent issue of the Men’s Health Magazine compiled a list of the most drunk cities and the most sober cities in the US. The “drunkest cites” list was compiled from the death rates from alcoholic liver disease, drunk driving car crashes, frequency of binge-drinking in the past month, number of DUI arrests, and severity of DUI penalties. Most of these issues occur as a direct or indirect as a result of substance abuse and chemical addiction.