How Quitting Alcohol Can Revitalize Your Life

When you stop drinking, you see immediate improvements in your life - you have more time, energy, and money. Quitting alcohol improves your physical health, your mental well-being, and your appearance. It can help you heal relationships with loved ones, excel at work, and turn your life around.

How Can Quitting Alcohol Improve Your Health?

Even drinking small amounts of alcohol can be harmful to your health. However, drinking more than the recommended guidelines significantly increases the risk of developing long-term health problems, including cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, and a weakened immune system. Alcohol-related health problems are serious and widespread - more than 95,000 people die each year in the United States due to excessive drinking.

Luckily, your body is an incredible creation that can repair itself. Research shows that some of the damage alcohol causes to your liver, gut, heart, and brain begins to heal as soon as you stop drinking. This is true regardless of your age or how long you have been drinking - it is never too late to enjoy the benefits of being sober.

Quitting alcohol can also help you lose weight. Alcohol contains the second-highest amount of calories of any kind of food, and excessive drinking is often a key contributor to weight gain. Alcohol contains ‘empty calories’ that have almost no nutritional value - it doesn’t benefit our bodies in any way. 

Stopping drinking is a chance to start eating well, exercising, and practicing self-care - the foundations of a healthy lifestyle.

How Can Quitting Alcohol Make You Happier?

Drinking too much is not only damaging to your physical health - alcohol abuse and alcoholism (or alcohol use disorder) is also linked to mental health conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Around 50% of people with alcohol use disorder also have another co-occurring condition. Quitting alcohol makes you less likely to develop anxiety or depression and is a crucial step in recovering from existing conditions so you can live a joyful and productive life.

Recovery from alcohol also helps you to improve your overall well-being and feel better in yourself. Heavy drinking often comes with feelings of guilt and shame, which can be exacerbated by difficult relationships with loved ones or problems at work and home. As you recover from alcohol, you may grow in self-confidence, appreciate your self-worth, and enjoy healthy and happy relationships with those around you.

What Are the Effects of Alcohol on Your Thinking and Memory?

Excessive alcohol consumption also affects your memory and other cognitive functions. It can make you think less clearly, decrease your attention span, and impact your problem-solving skills. Quitting alcohol can help you reverse these changes so you can increase your mental performance at work and in your daily life.

What Can You Do Instead Of Drinking Alcohol?

Drinking alcohol takes away your time. Getting drunk can take a whole evening, night, or day and the hangover the next morning may leave you confined to your bed. Stopping drinking gives you the chance to rediscover old passions, find exciting new hobbies, and leaves more time to care for yourself and your loved ones.

Alcohol is also expensive. Even moderate drinking can become costly - if you drink only one $5 glass of wine a day, you end up spending $1825.00 over the whole year. When you give up alcohol, you can use this money for other more valuable things like family holidays, home improvements, or just living a more comfortable everyday life. 

Quitting alcohol may not be easy, but you can overcome your addiction and revitalize your life with the right support. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer our clients powerful tools to move forward in their sober lifestyle. 

We focus on healing the entire person and not just treating their addiction. Our recovery program is rooted in the 12-step philosophy and offers each client an individualized recovery plan. Our licensed treatment center near the southern shore of New Jersey is the perfect place for healing and relaxation. 

If you struggle with addiction, or if someone close to you does, please call us at (833) 801-5483 for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Signs of Teen Drug Use

It can be frightening to think that your teen has been misusing drugs or alcohol. Teenagers are at a crucial stage of development, and drug or alcohol misuse at this stage of their brain development can have dire consequences on their overall health and well-being. 

Peer pressure, self-exploration, and mistakes are natural parts of growing up and, as much as we would like them not to, many teens experiment with drugs and alcohol. However, there is a difference between one-time drug use and chronic use. 

If your teen has been misusing substances, it is essential to seek professional help. An adolescent mental health specialist can guide you on the steps you can take to prevent the onset of dependence and drug addiction. If your teen is already addicted, evidence-based teen-friendly treatment programs are highly effective.

How Do I Know If My Teen Has Been Using Drugs? 

You may notice some worrying behaviors in your teen and jump to the conclusion that they have misused drugs or alcohol. It is likely that your teen's mood swings, withdrawal, rebelliousness, and unusual behavior stems from their racing hormones and developing sense of the world around them, however, there is a chance it could be from substance misuse. 
It is essential to recognize the early warning signs of teen drug misuse so that you can take effective action to help them. 
According to Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, early warning signs of teen drug use include(1):

  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed hobbies and activities
  • Secrecy about whereabouts
  • Health problems 
  • Sudden change to social group
  • Unusual sleeping patterns
  • Increased irritability, aggression
  • Drastic weight loss or gain
  • Missing prescription drugs
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia (rolling papers, needles, bongs, empty spirit bottles, burned spoons)

What Are the Behavioral Signs of Teen Drug Use?

Behavioral signs are usually the first signs of teen drug use that parents and loved ones notice. Common behavioral signs of drug or alcohol misuse to look out for include:

  • Coming home late
  • Frequently asking for money
  • Withdrawing from the family
  • Absence from school or work

What Are the Physical Signs of Teen Drug Use?

Physical indicators of drug or alcohol misuse in teens include:

  • Neglect of personal hygiene
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Sores on mouth
  • Large dilated pupils
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Shakes and tremors
  • Sudden weight loss or gain

What Are the Risk Factors for Teen Drug Use?

FACTS is an acronym you can use to understand the risk factors for teen drug use. 

F - Family History

Suppose there is a history of substance misuse in the family. In this case, a child or teen is more likely to use drugs and develop an addiction(2). SAMHSA reports that children with first-degree relatives who have Substance Use Disorder are eight times more likely to misuse substances than those without(3).

A - Age of First Use

The younger a person is when they first use drugs or alcohol, the more likely they are to develop an addiction(4). Teen brains are at a crucial stage of development, and drug or alcohol misuse at this time can shape how the brain continues to grow and develop. 

C - Craving

Drug or alcohol misuse can lead to dependence. When dependence occurs, the teen experiences intense cravings for the substance when it is not available. Teens may not yet have developed the ability to tolerate the distress associated with these cravings, making them more vulnerable than adults to addiction.

T - Tolerance

Tolerance to a substance's effects builds up the more it is used. If your teen needs to use more of a drug in greater frequency to achieve the desired effects, they are at high risk of dependence and addiction. 

S - Surroundings

Exposure to drug or alcohol misuse in the home or in one's peer groups increases the likelihood of drug or alcohol use, and prolonged exposure normalizes the behavior. A teen may notice that family members or friends use drugs or alcohol in stressful times and learn to do the same. 

Should I Talk to My Teen About Drugs?

It’s essential to talk to your teen and listen to their opinions and perceptions about drugs and alcohol. By speaking with them about the reality of substance misuse, you create a trusting, supportive relationship in which they feel comfortable talking about their experiences. 

Talking goes a long way in reducing the risk of substance misuse. Make sure that when you talk to your teen, you do so with compassion and understanding. Hostility and confrontation will not help. 

If you have discovered that your teen has been misusing drugs or alcohol, don't hesitate to reach out for help. Effective interventions and treatments are available and can help your teen curb their drug use before addiction takes over. 

You’re never too young for recovery. There are treatment centers and support groups across the United States dedicated to helping teens find recovery.

At Enlightened Solutions, we offer our clients numerous tools to move forward in their sober lifestyle.  We focus on healing the whole person and not merely treating the addiction. Enlightened Solutions is a licensed co-occurring treatment center; we can treat both substance use disorders and the mental health issues that frequently accompany addiction.  Our treatment program rooted in the 12-Step philosophy provides each client an individualized recovery plan. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a range of treatment modalities, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), family constellation therapy, art and music therapy, yoga and meditation, massage, acupuncture and chiropractic care, and equine-assisted therapy.  Our location near the picturesque southern shore of New Jersey allows us to provide optimal healing and relaxation. If you want to be free from addiction, or if someone close to you does, please call us at (833) 801-5483 for more information about our treatment options.

 

(1) Ali, Shahid et al. “Early detection of illicit drug use in teenagers.” Innovations in clinical neuroscience vol. 8,12 (2011): 24-8.

(2) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2004. (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 39.) Chapter 2 Impact of Substance Abuse on Families. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64258/

(3) Lipari, R.N. and Van Horn, S.L. Children living with parents who have a substance use disorder. The CBHSQ Report: August 24, 2017. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, MD.

(4) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); Office of the Surgeon General (US). Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health [Internet]. Washington (DC): US Department of Health and Human Services; 2016 Nov. CHAPTER 2, THE NEUROBIOLOGY OF SUBSTANCE USE, MISUSE, AND ADDICTION. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK424849


supporting your sober friends

How to Support Friends Who Don’t Drink

Drinking is pervasive in our society. We drink on happy occasions, at weddings or when we are celebrating a friend’s job promotion. We get together with friends after work for drinks. If we feel sad, we might go to our local bar to “drown our sorrows.” We drink at holiday dinners. We drink when watching the big game with friends.

With all the different occasions many drink alcohol, social situations can be a little tricky for people who don’t drink. However, you can support people who don’t drink. If you would like to support a non-drinking friend, try out some of the suggestions below.

Ask Them What They Need From You

It may seem a little simplistic, but you could just ask your non-drinking friend how you can help. If your friend is newly sober, they might need you to not drink around them. If a friend who doesn’t drink asks you not to drink around them, honor their request. If they have been sober for a long time or abstain from alcohol for medical or religious reasons, they may not care if you drink around them.

In social situations, don’t make a fuss about them not drinking. Receiving unwanted attention or a negative response to their choice not to drink could be hurtful. They could feel socially isolated or unwelcome. They might stop seeking support when they need it or start drinking again when they don’t want to. Depending on why they stopped drinking in the first place, the results of them drinking again could be concerning.

When Planning Events

If you are the person in charge of planning an event for an organization, make sure that a selection of non-alcoholic beverages is available and that they are served in attractive glassware. Part of what makes a festive occasion feel special is presentation. If you are hosting a party or a dinner at home, again, make sure that you have a couple of non-alcoholic choices available, attractively served. Learn how to make a few tasty “mocktails.” Find out what your friend drinks instead of alcohol and have some on hand. For example, one couple with a non-drinking relative might keep sparkling cider and water on hand as an option during Thanksgiving dinner.

Avoid Assumptions

Don’t make any assumptions about the beverage choices of people you don’t know well. People choose not to consume alcohol for all sorts of reasons, and it isn’t any of your business. If you ask someone what you can get them to drink, and they request tonic water with lime, get them tonic water with lime without making a fuss or asking personal questions. If they want you to know why they aren’t drinking, they’ll tell you.

Remember that no means no. If you ask someone if you can get them a glass of wine, and they reply that they would like sparkling water, don’t insist. It’s perfectly fine not to drink. If someone tells you that they don’t drink, don’t respond by telling them that just having one drink won’t hurt. You don’t know that. One drink might hurt a lot.

Be a Good Listener and Source of Support

If your friend who has stopped drinking tells you about their experience, listen to what they have to say. If your friend is active in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), ask if you can go to a meeting with them. Anyone can attend meetings designated as “open.” You will learn more about what your friend has been through.

Celebrate their successes and triumphs with them. If they are happy because they have been sober for a month, a year, or a decade, be happy with them and for them. Tell them what a great job they are doing and what good things they are doing for their health. Tell them that you are impressed and inspired by their strength. If they have lost weight, compliment them. If their skin looks great, tell them.

Fun Without Alcohol

Find activities that you can do with your non-drinking friends that don’t revolve around alcohol. Meet for breakfast. Go out for coffee or tea. Get together and bake elaborate desserts. Instead of going to happy hour after work, go out together for a walk or run. Find places in your community with hiking trails. Go to the beach. Meet in the park and play tennis.

In a society where a lot of socializing revolves around alcohol, it can take a little more effort to think of activities that don’t. If you put a little effort into this, you may find that you enjoy these alcohol-free activities just as much as your sober friend.

In a culture where alcohol is so pervasive, it can feel daunting to contemplate not drinking. At Enlightened Solutions, we understand this. The goal of treatment is to free people from addiction so they can live a fulfilling life. We are a co-occurring treatment center located near New Jersey’s southern shore. In addition to substance use disorders, we offer treatment for the mental health issues that frequently go along with addiction, like depression and anxiety. Our treatment program is rooted in the 12-Step philosophy. We customize a treatment plan for each client, and our focus is on healing the whole person, not just treating an addiction. In addition to traditional talk therapy, we offer a range of holistic healing modalities, including yoga and meditation, acupuncture and chiropractic care, family constellation therapy, and equine-assisted therapy. If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, please call us today at (833) 801-5483.


6 Ways Alcohol Impairs Driving

6 Ways Alcohol Impairs Driving

Alcohol consumption affects every individual in various ways. When it comes to how much is too much, each person is impacted differently. The effects alcohol has on a person depends on his or her physical and mental conditions, and how much and often they drink. Alcohol causes an individual to lose the ability to control speech, thinking, coordination, movements, and affects vision.

Alcohol impairs a person's ability to drive. When a person drinks and drives, they risk having an accident or causing a fatality. Here are six ways alcohol impairs driving:

  1. Concentration. While driving, a person must concentrate and multitask all the time. A person must steer, focus on speed, follow traffic signals, watch for other vehicles, and avoid pedestrians. Even a small amount of alcohol impacts the ability to concentrate while driving.
  2. Reaction. A person must have the ability to react quickly to avoid harmful situations or accidents while driving. If a person is intoxicated, his or her reaction is slowed and can cause an accident. Alcohol slows down a person's reaction response and can result in deadly consequences.
  3. Vision. A driver needs to be able to see clearly while operating a vehicle. He or she needs to see other cars, bicyclists, pedestrians, and wildlife to avoid fatalities. Driving conditions are a factor in a person's vision, too. Driving in direct sunlight, in heavy rain, snow, or in the dark can affect a person's vision. Driving while intoxicated significantly increases the visual impairment.
  4. Perception. Alcohol affects a person's perception, which can lead to an accident or fatality. A driver needs to use their perception to avoid dangerous circumstances.
  5. Judgment. A driver uses good judgment when driving. When a person drinks and drives, his or her critical thinking, reasoning, and ability to make good decisions is significantly reduced.
  6. Comprehension. Alcohol lessens a driver's ability to understand traffic signals and road signs. An intoxicated driver cannot identify situations that require a quick reaction to stay safe on the road.

Drinking and driving is extremely dangerous and is illegal. Driving while intoxicated is deadly and should be avoided. Alcohol impairs a person's brain function and interferes with his or her ability to react. If your loved one or friend is drinking alcohol, do not let him or her drive.

Enlightened Solutions offers a clinical, holistic and 12-step approach to the road to recovery.  If you're struggling with addiction and/or mental illness, our program is specialized in dual-diagnosis treatments. Don't hesitate and call today: 844-234-LIVE.


The Gift of Sobriety

The Gift of Sobriety

When an alcoholic admits there is a problem, there may be an initial grieving period. Alcohol and drugs and had become a friends, confidants, and now must be taken away. As time goes on that same now recovering alcoholic might have a completely different outlook on the day they quit drinking. If an addict had reached a point of unbearable destruction in all areas in life, sobriety might be the only option. Becoming sober for the sake of a job or parents, children, boyfriends/girlfriends, and so on, doesn’t work the same as it does when the addict quits for themselves. If the alcoholic truly wants sobriety, they will be willing to do whatever it takes. Although this might seem like a daunting task, the rewards are immeasurable to anything else.

The slogan “we will love you until you love yourself” is meant for those who come into recovery with sadness and despair. Many addicts have found themselves with a variety of disorders that must now be addressed. Those with depression and anxiety will find themselves possibly growing out these as their sobriety strengthens. Those with disorders on the higher end of the spectrum will have to accept that sobriety means complying with a psychiatric diagnosis. Taking medication is just as important to staying sober, as it is to quit drinking and/or using. Often times the alcoholic will drink if they stop taking prescribed medication or if the addict decides to drink, they will likewise stop the medication. Dual-diagnosis is common and should always be taken seriously.

Once the treatment team, the alcoholics support, and the alcoholic are on the same page, the alcoholic’s journey can begin. The addict who shows complete cooperation and stays open-minded will benefit the most out of treatment. The addict that wants to live bad enough will put sobriety first. It must be well aware that the disease of addiction will kill anyone in its path. Choosing sobriety is choosing to live, choosing to be a mother or father, choosing to serve others in ways that would never happen if the addiction continued. Life is a gift, and life is beautiful. While in the disease, it’s easy to become pessimistic about all aspects of life and that is a miserable existence. The gift of sobriety is special, and those who see this, become grateful to be an addict in recovery. If there were no darkness there would no light.

Our clinical, holistic and 12 step approach at Enlightened Solutions gives addicts the opportunity to see their life in a new positive light. If you feel like you need to take your life back please don’t hesitate to call now: 833-801-5483.


The Sponsor/Sponsee Roles in AA’s 12-Step Program

The Sponsor/Sponsee Roles in AA’s 12-Step Program

There are many different support groups in the game of addiction. The few that fall into a similar category include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Overeaters Anonymous (OA), Al-Anon, Codependents Anonymous (CODA). These all follow a 12-step program. Upon early recovery, it’s suggested to attend meetings daily. While finding meetings that fit, it’s important to keep an eye out for a sponsor. A sponsor is defined as another member who takes the sponsee through the 12 steps. A sponsee would be defined as a new member to the program or a member that wants to repeat the steps. A new member or newcomer should look for a sponsor that has what they want for themselves. This can mean a few different things that include happiness, spirituality, healthy relationships and so on. It’s suggested for the sponsee to interview the potential sponsor before entering an agreement that may as well be doomed from the start. Here are a few questions a sponsee might consider asking:

  • What is expected of me?
  • Do you have a call time? (A time each day to call)
  • How quickly will we be going through the steps?

Now that the sponsee has chosen the right fit. It’s time to establish boundaries. There are certain roles the sponsor may not feel comfortable playing. Bringing the family into the recovery of the alcoholic, or any other member seeking help should be not be taken lightly. There are boundaries that can be crossed left and right. It’s wise to make them clear from the start. That’s not saying the family should not be involved in recovery. The 12-steps were built to release the person suffering from the bondage of whatever addiction that may be. It is a sensitive topic that not everyone wants their family being apart of every step of the way. The information must be kept confidential between the sponsee and sponsor to maintain trust. That being said, the sponsor/sponsee relationship is about the sponsee. The sponsor will most times be there for the sponsee during hard times and make suggestions. The sponsor will take the sponsee down a path that they had followed themselves to get sober. This is meant to keep the sponsor sober, thus the beauty of the program. The sponsee must follow suggestions and do the 12 steps to remain spiritually fit and on the road to recovery.

Enlightened Solutions encourages our patients to take advantage of AA’s 12 step program. Our partial program will give the addict the ability to find what works for them our their journey to recovery. Given the opportunity to connect with the community is a life skill we believe in here in New Jersey. Please call for more information: 833-801-5483.


Essential Oils To Aid Brain Health During Recovery

Addiction and alcoholism are matters of the mind. Quite literally, the neuroscience model of addiction shows that mind altering substances take over the brain in such a way that all of the essential functions change, becoming focused on drugs and alcohol. Recovery and treatment for addiction includes varying practices which help the brain heal, learn, and grow. Approaching thoughts, behaviors, habits, are all scientific processes as much as they are emotional ones. Emotions are chemical responses in the brain. Using therapeutic methods from psychotherapy to alternative holistic therapies are all ways to reset the flow of the brain and help with holistic healing.

Healing the brain means working to replenish various neurotransmitters and important brain chemicals which contribute to daily functions as well as the functions critical to relapse prevention. Serotonin is a brain chemical which helps regulate emotion. Cortisol is a hormone which is produced in reaction to stress. GABA is a focus of addiction research as it is being found to regulate anxiety and reduce cravings. Various endorphins stimulate feelings of happiness and wellbeing.

According to Belief Net, “Scientific research has revealed that essential oils possesses myriad beneficial phytochemical properties such as anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, anti-stress, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and analgesic…” Certain essential oils can be used in aromatherapy to stimulate the production of brain chemicals and help the mind heal during recovery and treatment. The article lists these essential oils as helpful to the specific brain chemicals:

Serotonin: lavender, lemon, rosemary

Cortisol: lavender, ylang ylang, bergamot

GABA: citronella, lemongrass, white verbena

Endorphins: clary sage, clove, lemon

What Are Essential Oils?

Belief Net writes that “Essential oils are volatile molecules obtained from the seeds, leaves, bark, resins, and other materials of nature’s most generous botanicals.” Blended into a purified oil, there are many uses for the substance. Diffusers help put the aromatic essences into the air of a room. Many essential oils can be applied directly to the skin or scalp. Add essential oils to a bath, or pour a dilution into a spray bottle for your pillow. Essential oils can even be added into food or tea for flavor and holistic healing properties.

Enlightened Solutions believes in the healing power of alternative treatment methods when used in conjunction with traditional clinical and twelve step treatment. We have found a solution for addiction that works with clients to develop their own sense of recovery and self. For more information on our treatment programs, call 833-801-5483 today.


partial care program

Symptoms And Side Effects Of Alcohol Overdose

Symptoms And Side Effects Of Alcohol Overdose

Alcohol overdose is a life threatening situation, can cause heart failure, and is a sign of alcoholism.

Physical: Alcohol overdose greatly impairs cognitive functioning, therefore interfering with essential motor function. Additionally, alcohol overdose can cause problems in the digestive system or failure of certain organs like the liver. Symptoms and side effects include:

  • Loss of equilibrium: difficulty keeping balance, falling over, unable to walk
  • Lack of coordination: difficulty walking without stumbling or falling, cannot coordinate limbs to make motion, cannot perform separate physical movements at the same time
  • Numbness or lack of feeling in limbs
  • Slurring, drooling, or inability to communicate clearly; incoherence
  • Head falling down with a loose neck
  • Upset stomach including excess vomiting
  • Eyes rolling back in the head
  • Passing in and out of consciousness
  • Seizures

Psychological: Significant amounts of alcohol also impair essential psychological functions, from emotional to mental states. Symptoms and side effects include:

  • Aggression
  • Violence
  • Rage
  • Crying or hysteria
  • Short Term Memory Loss
  • Rapidly Changing Emotional State
  • Paranoia
  • Confusion

What To Do For An Overdose: If you believe someone is experiencing an overdose on Alcohol it is important not to leave them alone. If they exhibit extreme signs like eyes rolling back in the head, drooling, or a seizure it is important to call an ambulance or get them to an emergency room as soon as possible. Loss of consciousness during an alcohol overdose can result in unconscious vomiting, which could result in choking and death.

After Overdose: Drinking to the extent of alcohol overdose is not a normal manner of drinking. Depending on the situation, for example if a person commits a crime or gets a DUI, they might be forced into an alcohol counseling program. Many judicial circuits mandate attending a certain number of 12 step meetings like alcoholics anonymous or narcotics anonymous.

If you are concerned a loved one has a drinking problem which has now threatened their life, call Enlightened Solutions today. We can refer you to a detox center and set you up to move through our levels of care. Rehabilitation for alcoholism requires therapy, holistic healing, and creating meaning in life. Our program is inspired by the tradition of the twelve step spiritual program while integrating holistic healing modalities and progressive therapeutic methods. For more information on our programs, or for guidance on a loved one suffering from alcoholism, call 833-801-LIVE.


Can You “Switch Off” Your Tolerance to Alcohol?

There is a curious dividing line which separates the alcoholic from the normal drinker. Even a drinker who, on regular occasion, drinks excessively, will not develop alcoholism. Tolerance is part of the disease of alcoholism. In alcoholics, the tolerance threshold for alcohol continues to get higher. Meaning, that overtime more and more alcohol needs to be consumed in order to achieve an equal or greater state of intoxication than before. That is why many alcoholics find themselves frightened when suddenly multiple bottles do not get them drunk.

For nonalcoholics, however, their tolerance level remains unchanged. Additionally, their tolerance level seems to communicate tolerance. In the alcoholic, tolerance is always surpassed as a challenge and obsessive craving desire to acquire more. Nonalcoholics do not have the compulsive need to consume more. They are able to decipher when they’ve had enough. Most importantly, nonalcoholics are able to stop.

Investigating the neuroscience of alcoholism has become an obsession in the scientific community. Tremendous discoveries have been made, clueing the world in on how exactly alcoholism works in the brain. Ultimately, the goal of such scientific inquiry is to find a “cure” for alcoholism. Recent research has found an interesting lead.

The cerebellum is the part of the brain responsible for motor functioning. Motor control and alcohol do not mix well. Alcohol impairs motor control, which is why drunk people slur, stumble, and fall down. Granule cells are found in the cerebellum which dictate the inhibition of motor functions. If granule cells get “excited”, motor control is inhibited. Alcohol slows down the cerebellum and slows down motor functions. It does so by interacting with the GABA protein. GABA is being recognized as a key player in alcoholism. Many people in treatment are being prescribed medications such as GABApentin to help reproduce this essential brain protein.

Essentially, the new research shows that by stimulating the right GABA receptors, test subjects (mice) stopped wanting alcohol. They also didn’t display many of the motor malfunctions from intoxication. What this means for the future of alcoholism treatment is that GABA stimulation can change the way a person craves and tolerates alcohol. Being able to turn that off in a person’s brain could reduce relapse timelines, cravings, and provide early intervention to alcoholism.

Enlightened Solutions supports the discovery of new treatments for alcoholism. We feel confident in our proven methods of combining evidence based treatment with twelve step philosophy and holistic healing. Our treatment facility offers partial care, intensive outpatient, and outpatient treatment levels to men and women seeking recovery. For more information call 833-801-5483.


Commonly Abused Substances

Synthetics

Synthetic drugs are the most difficult to regulate by law enforcement officials, medical doctors, and psychologists. Synthetic drugs are not traceable to a plant or particular chemical like many other drugs. Instead, synthetic drugs or “designer” drugs are made, quite literally, with everything under the kitchen sink. As a result, determining how the drug will effect the brain and body is unpredictable. Synthetic drugs are powerful stimulants, creating a fast and furious high and almost instantaneous dependency. Generally the effects and symptoms of Synthetic drug abuse include:

Paranoia

Rapid heart rate

Overheating

Slurred speech

Irrational thoughts

Fear of being chased by evil forces

“Superhuman” strength

 

Methamphetamines

Crystal Meth is a highly abused stimulant and synthetic drug. Also known as “ice” or “glass” the crystal like shards are smoked or injected. Meth is abused for its stimulant properties, causing people to stay awake for as long as ten days. Effects and symptoms of meth abuse include:

Dilated pupil

Suppressed appetite

Erratic behavior

Insomnia

Focus on picking the skin

Paranoia

Rapid weight loss

 

Alcohol

Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance, contributing to high numbers of death and alcohol-related injury each year. Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks per sitting, which is about two hours. Drinking abusively can impair basic cognitive and motor functions, judgment, and thinking. Alcohol damages the liver, brain, and body. Effects and symptoms of alcohol abuse include:

Incoherence

Blackout

Slurred Speech

Poor Judgment

Vomiting

Imbalance, or stumbling

Needing more alcohol or not knowing one’s limits

 

Stimulants

Cocaine is the most popularly abused stimulant drug. Crack and other amphetamine drugs like Adderall and drugs used for studying are popular as well. Stimulant drugs work with the central nervous system, quickly accessing the brain and putting into hyper speed mode. Cocaine can cause in overdose with just one hit while other amphetamines taken in large quantities can cause heart complications. Effects and symptoms of stimulant abuse include:

Hyper focus

Ability to stay up all night

Maximized productivity

Jittery behavior

Suppressed appetite

Irritability

Aggression

 

Opioids

In 2014 approximately 28,000 Americans died from overdose on opioids including heroin and prescription painkillers. Opioid overdose is caused by respiratory depression, the slowing of the heart until it stops. Opioids are highly addicting, but through subtle means like chronic pain treatment. Opioids create euphoric sensation through muscle relaxation and feelings of warmness. Dependency on opioids result in brutal withdrawal symptoms, causing a need to continue using the drugs just to avoid the withdrawal. Effects and Symptoms of opioid abuse include:

“Nodding out” or falling asleep frequently

Slowed movement, or doing nothing at all

Rapid weight loss

Change in skin pigment and elasticity

Irritability when not on the drug

Constipation

“Pinholed” pupils

Severe symptoms of withdrawal

 

Benzodiazepines

Introduced in the 1950’s as “mommy’s little helper” benzodiazepines became famous for “taking the edge off”. Famous brands like Valium and Xanax are prescribed to help cope with anxiety. Though marketed as non-dependency forming, regular users of these drugs experience immediate symptoms of withdrawal when they miss a dose. Abusing Xanax can result in euphoric sensation similar to opioids. Effects and symptoms of benzodiazepine abuse includes:

Slow movements

Shallow breathing

Loss of judgment for physical pain

 

Enlightened Solutions offers hope and healing for recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Our doors are open to men and women seeking holistic, 12 step based treatment. If you are concerned you or a loved one are suffering from problems with drugs or alcohol, call us today. We have a solution. 833-801-5483.