What Are the Ramifications of Alcoholism?

What Are the Ramifications of Alcoholism?

In 2020, over 850 deaths were caused by alcohol in New Jersey. In the United States overall, over 95,000 people die annually from alcohol-related causes. Additionally, alcohol use disorder (AUD) affects more than 14.5 million people in the United States, according to data from 2019. Despite these statistics, the risks involved in imbibing alcohol are not always considered, especially since alcohol is the most abused substance in the United States.

Alcohol is a drug. Period. While it is legal and the most commonly used, it is still incredibly dangerous and addictive. Individuals who abuse alcohol are also at risk of abusing other substances. Not only does it impair one's daily living, but the use of alcohol also puts one at heightened risk of being a victim of crime.

The abuse and misuse of alcohol have tragic consequences. Not only does drinking result in more accidents and crimes, but it also results in sexual assaults and overdoses as people mix medications or other substances with alcohol, sometimes not recognizing the risk.

There Is More Than One Type of Drinking

Many people think drinking is just something you do occasionally or do at parties. However, any form of drinking can be dangerous if an individual is not taking proper measures to ensure the safety of themselves and those around them.

According to data, over 56% of persons in New Jersey drink alcohol regularly. In addition, approximately 15% of persons in the state report binge drinking. Each of these drinking patterns can lead to alcoholism and other risky behaviors. Again, any form of drinking can be considered unsafe if you are unaware of the risks.

Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is drinking more than five drinks for a male (four drinks for a female) on one occasion. Binge drinking is often correlated with drunk driving and crime. Many accidents that are treated at trauma centers can be associated with alcohol misuse.

Binge drinking also puts a person at risk for developing AUD because they are also probably drinking regularly outside of episodes of binge drinking. These episodes of regular drinking combined with binge drinking have increased the person's tolerance and made them feel as if the alcohol does not affect them as much. Therefore, they are more likely to develop AUD and struggle to overcome the effects of alcoholism on their lives.

High-Intensity Drinking

A new form of drinking is found among younger persons called high-intensity drinking. This type of drinking involves drinking 2-3 times the amount specified in binge drinking, so individuals are drinking 10-15 alcoholic beverages in a row. This pattern of drinking also puts one at increased risk for the development of AUD.

What Is Alcohol Use Disorder?

AUD is a disorder in which a person is unable to quit or even cut down on their use despite the consequences.

Risks of Alcohol Use Disorder

There are many risks involved in AUD. Some involve blackouts, an impaired liver, and an increased risk of heart disease. Your body was not meant to be exposed to alcohol in such high amounts for so long. It is possible for some healing to take place, but not all damage can be reversed. AUD can be a fatal disease and is linked to many other health problems. For some, any amount of alcohol use can be dangerous. It is critical to know that alcohol is a drug and carries with its use multiple risks.

Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder

There are many symptoms of AUD, and it is generally diagnosed when you are experiencing just a few symptoms, as the likelihood of developing or not being aware of other symptoms is possible. You may notice that you are drinking more and more often than you want to or that you are experiencing blackouts. You may want to cut down on your drinking but find yourself unable to. Do not feel alone; help is available for AUD.

At Enlightened Solutions, our programs are made to meet you where you are and help you find a way to balance your life through sustainable solutions and holistic care. We want to help you find healthy ways to manage your stressors and build that life you desire. Yes, overcoming AUD is difficult, but we can help.

Treatment Is Necessary

Alcoholism or AUD is a costly and dangerous disease with far-reaching consequences for your health and daily living. It is critical to recognize when you have a problem with alcohol. While alcohol is legal for those over 21, it still can be misused and abused. You can become addicted to alcohol, but treatment is available.

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) or alcoholism is a dangerous disease that has many unintended consequences and not only for yourself. Alcohol is one of the most abused substances in the U.S. and has far-reaching consequences in many situations. If you or someone you know struggles with addiction to alcohol and/or other substances or behaviors, you are not alone. You do not have to struggle on your own any longer. At Enlightened Solutions, we know your addiction does not define you, and we want to see you become the person you are meant to be. You do not have to hide from your problems any longer. Reach out to us at Enlightened Solutions and ask how we can help you overcome alcohol use disorder and achieve the life you want. You deserve to live free from addiction. Call us today at (833) 801-LIVE


How to Identify Alcoholism in Young Adults

How to Identify Alcoholism in Young Adults

Alcohol is a substance widely used in the United States. In fact, studies show that 85.6 percent of adults over the age of 18 have had a drink at some point in their lives. Approximately 69.5 percent of these individuals had a drink in the last year, and just over half of them drank alcohol in the last month. This means that the majority of the population has engaged in some sort of drinking at some point, and many of them drink at least monthly.

With alcohol being so commonly consumed, it can be difficult to distinguish between casual, social drinking and something that may be of more concern. Drinking has come to be an expected part of social events, college activities, and celebrations, making it more widely accepted than ever. Alcohol is associated with almost any special occasion and is easily accessible for most people.

Things to Consider

It is important to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of alcoholism in order to detect when you or someone you care about may have a problem. However, alcoholism can present differently for different people. Some may exhibit obvious signs and symptoms, while others may strive for secrecy, desperate to hide their habit. Some may even appear as social drinkers who just tend to have a few too many at times.

Personality and lifestyle variations can play a part in identifying whether someone has lost control and is in need of help. For example, someone with a family, career, and close friends may be more likely to have symptoms detected by those around them. However, they may also be more likely to drink in solitude out of fear of losing these things.

Young adults, specifically in their late teens to early twenties, are especially susceptible to misusing alcohol. Research has shown that people commonly consume the most alcohol between these ages. This is partly a result of the activities many young adults tend to engage in and their lifestyles. Activities can include parties, fraternity or sorority events, weddings, etc. This is usually a time of new independence, exploration, and socialization.

Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism

While it can be easy to overlook binge drinking or frequent consumption at this age, some common signs and symptoms of alcoholism are worth being aware of. These can include:

  • Blacking out
  • Memory loss
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Shaking or tremors
  • Coordination challenges
  • Slurred speech
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Isolation or secrecy

There can also be some behavioral changes in someone struggling with alcohol use disorder (AUD). These often include more secrecy or isolation. Dishonesty may become common and even habitual if someone is trying to hide their drinking. Being aware of these changes in behavior, in addition to symptom awareness, can be helpful in determining severity.

Identifying a Problem

How do you know you or your loved one actually has a drinking problem? This is the tricky part. According to research, 14.1 million adults have AUD. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “Alcohol use disorder … is a medical condition characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences.” It can be mild, moderate, or severe and creates lasting impacts on the brain, making those struggling with AUD more susceptible to relapse. This diagnosis is dependent on the amount of alcohol consumed, the frequency of drinking, and the speed of consumption.

If you are still questioning whether there is a problem, asking some of the following questions could be helpful:

  • Have you ended up drinking more or for a longer duration than you planned?
  • Have you tried to stop drinking or drink less and were unable to meet that goal?
  • Have you felt consumed by the thought of drinking alcohol?
  • Have you found that drinking negatively impacts other areas of your life but continued drinking anyway?
  • Have you engaged in risky behavior while or after drinking?
  • Have you experienced blackout or short-term memory loss?
  • Have you experienced symptoms of withdrawal such as shaking, increased heart rate, sweating, or irritability?

Answering “yes” to any of these questions could indicate a problem, with more affirmative responses indicating a higher, more urgent need for treatment. If a problem is detected, seeking treatment right away is critical. Alcohol increases the risk of various illnesses, including certain forms of cancer and liver or heart disease. Heavy drinking can also impact focus, memory, and mood stability. Seeking help upon realizing the issue can help reduce long-term mental and physical damage.

With most Americans drinking at some point in their lives, and over half of them having consumed at least one drink within the last month, it is safe to say that alcohol is a big part of our society. Alcoholism affects more than 14.1 million adults, and this number continues to rise. With alcohol consumption being such a large part of our culture, it can be difficult to determine when there is a problem. Addiction to alcohol takes a huge toll on one's mental and physical health and can produce long-term damage by increasing the risk of various illnesses. At Enlightened Solutions, we take a holistic approach to treatment and recovery. We aim to heal the whole person through our various treatment modalities and strive to promote healthy lifestyle changes that are sustainable. If you or someone you love is battling addiction, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.


How Does Alcoholics Anonymous Really Work?

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a fellowship of people in recovery from addiction that has helped millions of people in the United States and across the globe. A recent scientific review of numerous studies found that AA helps people maintain abstinence in the long term more than other addiction treatment methods. 

Alcoholics Anonymous provides a setting where you can learn from shared experiences, develop strong support networks and interpersonal skills, and experience the healing power of helping one another. AA meetings are free, accessible to everyone, and can offer support throughout your entire recovery journey.

What Is Alcoholics Anonymous?

Alcoholics Anonymous is an informal society that encourages people in recovery to meet together in support groups and share their experiences of addiction. It has a community of over two million members worldwide and aims to facilitate the sharing of strength, hope, and mutual support between members as they move forward in a sober lifestyle.

AA membership is free - the only requirement is the initial will to stop drinking. AA is non-political and is not aligned with any other institution. Meetings are self-organized, and there is no central authority directing the operation of each group. Members are free to design their meetings in the way that best suits their members.

What Is the 12-Step Method and How Does It Help Addiction Recovery?

When Bill Wilson and Dr. Robert Holbrook founded Alcoholics Anonymous almost one hundred years ago, they collectively wrote ‘The Big Book’, which lays out the 12-step method for addiction recovery. 

While not all AA programs now follow the 12-steps, most members find them to be a powerful tool for overcoming addiction and maintaining abstinence. Many other self-help groups, including Narcotics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous, have also adopted the 12-step philosopy. 

The steps can be split into three main stages:

Acceptance

The first steps involve accepting that you are powerless over your addiction and giving yourself over to a higher power. Accepting your addiction helps you overcome feelings of shame and re-instills a sense of self-worth. You learn to love yourself so you can love the world around you and commit to a life of sobriety.

Personal Growth

The next steps focus on spiritual development and personal growth. They involve recognizing harmful thought patterns and behaviors and replacing them with healthier habits and decisions. They also require making amends to others for the harm you have caused them. This helps you avoid destructive feelings of guilt and lets you find self-worth in the humility and compassion you have shown.

Helping Others

The final step is to share the 12-steps with other people in alcohol recovery. Teaching the 12-steps to others helps you reinforce the steps in yourself and strengthens your commitment to your recovery goals.

What Are the Benefits of Alcoholics Anonymous Over Other Treatment Options?

  • AA’s most powerful asset is its ubiquity and accessibility. Addiction is a chronic illness, and recovery is a lifelong process. You can attend AA meetings free for the rest of your life, providing you with a constant source of invaluable support and guidance.
  • AA meetings also give you the chance to support others in recovery. Helping another recovering alcoholic helps you to heal and remain committed to your own recovery journey.
  • When you join a local AA program, you become part of a local community. You’ll meet other people who share your goals and form strong friendships. You may also spend time with these friends outside of AA sessions, which can help you stay away from alcohol and triggers.

At Enlightened Solutions, our entire treatment program is rooted in the 12-step philosophy. We integrate the 12-steps into our treatment approaches and connect you to local AA groups to support you once you have left the center.

Enlighted Solutions is a licensed co-occurring treatment facility- we focus on healing the whole person, not just treating the addiction. Our individualized recovery plans combine a range of treatment modalities, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), family constellation therapy, art and music therapy, yoga and meditation, acupuncture and chiropractic work, and equine-assisted therapy. Our location near the southern shore of New Jersey allows us to provide optimal healing and relaxation.

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


How To Avoid Alcohol Relapse

What is Relapse?

Once you leave an addiction treatment facility or outpatient program, the work doesn’t end there. You have most likely heard about the risk of relapse as something that can undermine the recovery process; however, it doesn’t have to. Understanding relapse, its causes, and how to avoid it is a key part of remaining substance-free and maintaining abstinence in the years to come.

Addiction relapse refers to a return to drug use after an attempt to stop and is a well-chronicled risk with any substance use disorder. In the case of alcohol use disorder (AUD), it refers to any time you drink alcohol after an intentional, sustained period of abstinence.

Relapse has three stages, and each stage has distinct characteristics:

Stage One: Emotional

The first stage of relapse can find the person isolating from others and missing 12-step meetings. They may find that previous mental health concerns begin to resurface, and they start to neglect their personal appearance and self-care.

Stage Two: Mental

This stage of the process presents with mental health changes; glamorizing or fantasizing about past drinking, internally negotiating over drinking and re-engaging with friends they used to drink with. They may also start to plan how they can drink again.

Stage Three: Physical

This is what most people imagine when they think about relapse; when a person in recovery starts drinking again. It is the hardest phase to fight back against and usually only occurs following an unmanaged period of emotional or mental relapse.

Causes of Alcohol Relapse

Many situations can trigger an urge to drink again. Some common occurrences that might lead to relapse include:

Sudden Changes or Crises in Personal Life

Many different things can upend a person’s stability. Job loss, grief, breakup, and changes in housing all put us under a great deal of mental stress. When this happens, coping mechanisms come into play. An effective treatment program will help build strategies for emotionally taxing situations, but these habits need to be maintained; otherwise, the temptation to return to the old crutch of alcohol may re-surface.

Return To Old Routines

Old situations, places, and people that used to trigger binge drinking are usually still accessible when someone is in recovery. If a person starts to go back to the routines and interactions of pre-recovery life, it’s likely to accompany a step back into an addiction mindset.

Untreated Mental Health Challenges

Substance use disorder often occurs at the same time as mental health or mood disorders (e.g. anxiety, depression, or PTSD). When someone in recovery suffers from these conditions without treatment, they can hinder an attempt to stay sober.

Negative Thinking Cycles

When negative thoughts arise and aren’t understood or managed, they can begin a cycle that leads addictive thinking to return. Thoughts can include negative self-labeling (I'm an addict), all-or-nothing thoughts (I thought about drinking, so my recovery has failed), catastrophizing obstacles (I can never overcome this upcoming challenge), or just be as simple as a total fear of change. Thinking like this can be managed, but it can break down our confidence and undermine our sobriety when it is left unchecked.

Isolating From Support Structures

When someone stops scheduling meetings with their sober partners or attending AA meetings, they isolate themselves in two ways. Firstly, these meetings provide a structured space to connect with the emotional side of recovery and offer the opportunity to talk and help each other through the challenges of remaining abstinent. Secondly, disengaging removes any accountability - something that can be used as an effective tool against relapse.

Relapse prevention is a core goal of effective addiction treatment. These setbacks can typically be overcome with effective coping skills, planning, and reflection. It is also essential to keep up with one’s community of support. Engaging with family and friends and allowing them to actively take part in the recovery journey makes the road a lot smoother.

Not everyone experiences a relapse, but it is not uncommon and can certainly be overcome. Avoid enabling. If you or someone you love has relapsed, understand that this does not mean returning to square one. This is a moment to figure out what extra support may be necessary and what areas of life have contributed to the relapse, then working out coping mechanisms to help prevent it from happening again.

We Can Help

At Enlightened Solutions, we offer clients the tools and techniques they need to overcome these obstacles and live a happy, sober life. Our therapeutic treatment is rooted in the 12-step philosophy and is designed to help you heal and stay sober long-term. In addition to talk therapy, we offer a range of holistic treatment modalities, including meditation, art and music therapy, and family constellation therapy. If you or a loved one wants relief from alcohol addiction but is struggling with relapse, please call us today at (833) 801-5483.


How To Know if You Have a Problem With Alcohol

If you tend to spend a lot of time drinking, you might be worried about the possibility of alcohol addiction. There are a few tools you can use to gain insight into whether or not it is time to fix your relationship with drinking. In this post, we’ll talk about definitions, symptoms, and the AUDIT self-test.

Alcoholism, like any addiction, refers to a type of abuse that is happening compulsively. However, this definition is difficult to apply to oneself alone. With the cultural acceptance of social drinking, it’s often hard to draw the line between a free decision and a compulsion.

The definitions we choose need to include this nuance. For example, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) describes alcohol use disorder (AUD) as “problem drinking that becomes severe.” In other words, if the effects of alcohol in your life are bringing some serious consequences, it’s a clear warning sign that alcohol use has become compulsive and could be grounded in physical dependence.

There are some symptoms that can indicate that your drinking has gotten severe, including:

  • Drinking alone or secretively
  • Drinking more on occasions than you plan
  • Blacking out
  • Drinking ritualistically, (e.g. always after meals or work, or at set times of the day)
  • Losing interest in things that you used to enjoy
  • Suffering withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)

AUDIT is the name of a questionnaire developed by the WHO to test for AUD and problem drinking. At the end of the day, although a health professional should oversee screening for alcoholism, you can still run through the questions at home to give yourself a better understanding of what is going on.

Before we start, we need to define what constitutes a single drink by the test’s parameters. AUDIT’s definitions are broadly similar to alcoholic units:

  • One twelve-ounce bottle or can of beer (maximum 5% alcohol)
  • One five-ounce glass of wine (approx. 12% alcohol)
  • One shot of liquor (1.5 ounces of approx. 40% alcohol)

 

1. How often do you drink alcohol?

  • a) Never (0)
  • b) Monthly or less (1)
  • c) 2-4 times per month (2)
  • d) 2-3 times per week (3)
  • e) 4 or more times a week (4)

2. How many standard drinks do you have when you typically drink?

  • a) 1-2 (0)
  • b) 3-4 (1)
  • c) 5-6 (2)
  • d) 7-9 (3)
  • e) 10+ (4)

3. How frequently do you have six or more drinks on one occasion?

  • a) Never (0)
  • b) Less than monthly (1)
  • c) Monthly (2)
  • d) Weekly (3)
  • e) Daily/almost daily (4)

4. How often during the past year have you struggled to stop drinking or found that you’re drinking more than you planned?

  • a) Never (0)
  • b) Less than monthly (1)
  • c) Monthly (2)
  • d) Weekly (3)
  • e) Daily/almost daily (4)

5. How often during the past year have you failed to do what was normally expected of you because of your drinking?

  • a) Never (0)
  • b) Less than monthly (1)
  • c) Monthly (2)
  • d) Weekly (3)
  • e) Daily/almost daily (4)

6. How often during the past year have you had a drink in the morning after a heavy drinking session?

  • a) Never (0)
  • b) Less than monthly (1)
  • c) Monthly (2)
  • d) Weekly (3)
  • e) Daily/almost daily (4)

7. How often during the past year have you felt remorseful after drinking?

  • a) Never (0)
  • b) Less than monthly (1)
  • c) Monthly (2)
  • d) Weekly (3)
  • e) Daily/almost daily (4)

8. Has drinking ever left you unable to remember last night’s events?

  • a) No (0)
  • b) Yes, not in the past year (2)
  • c) Yes, in the past year (4)

9. Has drinking ever led to either you or someone else being injured?

  • a) No (0)
  • b) Yes, not in the past year (2)
  • c) Yes, in the past year (4)

10. Has a relative, friend, doctor, or health care worker been concerned about your drinking or suggested that you cut down?

  • a) No (0)
  • b) Yes, not in the past year (2)
  • c) Yes, in the past year (4)

Once you finish the test, add up your scores for each question. If you reach a total of 8 to 14, the AUDIT has flagged some risky or hazardous drinking behavior. A score that hits 15 and above indicates that you are probably suffering from AUD.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment at ES

If you think you may be struggling with alcoholism, we are here to help. Enlightened Solutions is a licensed treatment center located near the southern New Jersey shore. We offer each client an individualized treatment plan, equipping them with the skills they need to overcome this disease.

Our treatment program is founded in the 12-step philosophy, and we provide a range of services to our clients. Our treatment modalities include traditional psychotherapy, art and music therapy, yoga and meditation, and family constellation therapy. If you are struggling with an addiction to alcohol, call us today at (833) 801-5483.


Understanding MAT

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is an effective approach to addiction treatment. As the name implies, MAT uses medications to help those struggling with addiction overcome their condition.

SAMHSA defines MAT as 'the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a "whole-patient" approach to the treatment of substance use disorders.'

Medical intervention is one aspect of a broader approach used in addiction treatment. Medication helps clients manage their problematic symptoms. As a result, they can engage more in other parts of treatment. Clients in addiction recovery programs receive intensive psychotherapy, behavioral therapy and counseling, as well as life coaching and skills building alongside medical support.

What Does MAT Treat?

MAT treats clients struggling with:

  • Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)
  • Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)

The medications used in MAT promote healthy brain chemistry by rebalancing the hormones and chemicals in the body that have become out of balance due to alcohol or opioid misuse.

Some MAT medications block the effect of alcohol and opioids on the brain. This serves to reduce cravings and helps clients get through the withdrawal stage of recovery. 

Other medications prevent the body from becoming overwhelmed by abstinence from a given drug. For example, sudden cessation of opioid use can be dangerous if the client has a physical dependence. As such, MAT would involve substituting the client's substance of misuse with a safer, controlled substance, such as methadone. 

What Are MAT Medications?

Methadone

Methadone is an effective medication used in opioid addiction treatment. Methadone treatment aims to ease the withdrawal symptoms that occur when a client stops using opioids. Withdrawal is one of the leading causes of relapse. Methadone helps clients get through withdrawal safely so they can start the rest of their recovery.

Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine reduces cravings for clients struggling with OUD. Similar to methadone, Buprenorphine is a partial agonist which means it activates the opioid receptors in the brain, but to a far lesser degree than a full agonist. Buprenorphine, unlike methadone, does not produce a high. 

Naltrexone

Naltrexone is prescribed under the brand name Vivitrol. Naltrexone reduces cravings and lowers rates of relapse in both OUD and AUD. Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist, which means it blocks the brain's opioid receptors. As such, it becomes impossible to achieve the 'high' associated with opiate-derived drugs. MAT providers use Naltrexone after the detox stage of recovery, not before or during. 

What Are the Benefits of Medication-assisted Treatment?

SAMHSA reports that MAT helps clients struggling with AUD or OUD achieve and maintain sobriety. MAT supports clients on a chemical level while also supporting their behavioral health through behavioral therapies. 

Addiction treatment programs use MAT to suit the client's needs. Some medications and therapeutic approaches will be more suitable than others, depending on a range of factors, such as your history of drug misuse and your current health status. MAT's comprehensive and tailored approach offers a range of benefits to clients. Benefits of MAT include:

  • Increased engagement in rehab and therapy
  • Increased likelihood of completing a rehab program
  • Decreased symptom severity
  • Improved chances of gaining and maintaining employment
  • Reduced risk of relapse

Why Choose MAT?

There are many reasons to opt for MAT if you are struggling with AUD or OUD. MAT is an effective treatment approach for both of these disorders. Delivered alongside counseling and behavioral therapy, MAT is an integrated approach to addiction recovery. It can increase the time a person spends in treatment, which increases their chance of recovery success. 

Some people disregard MAT as substituting one drug for another, but this is not the case. MAT is safe. While MAT involves drugs, the medications used are highly regulated at a federal level and are FDA approved. MAT promotes addiction recovery by keeping the body as safe as possible. It reduces the risk of overdose that might happen if a client were to seek illicit drugs on the street. 

MAT is an approach to addiction treatment endorsed and supported by:

A comprehensive and integrated approach to treatment, MAT is a leading treatment type for both alcohol and opioid addiction. By easing withdrawal symptoms, MAT promotes greater resilience and encourages a deeper commitment to one's recovery. 

At Enlightened Solutions, we offer our clients tools to use as they move forward in a sober lifestyle.  We focus on healing the whole person and not just treating the addiction. Enlightened Solutions is a licensed co-occurring treatment center. We treat both substance use disorders and the mental health issues that frequently accompany addiction.  Our treatment program is rooted in the 12-Step philosophy and 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,reiki, acupuncture and chiropractic care, and equine-assisted therapy.  Our facility near the picturesque southern shore of New Jersey allows us to provide optimal 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.


Are you Powerless Over Alcohol?

Are you Powerless Over Alcohol?

The first step to recovery according to AA is to admit you are powerless over alcohol, and that your life has become unmanageable. People who struggle with alcoholism will usually be in denial of their problem. Alcohol abuse can affect many aspects of a person's life and lead to damaged relationships, job loss, disruptive sleep patterns, and financial issues. To put it succinctly...

Alcoholism contributes to many physical and mental health issues, and even death.

Many people with an addiction to alcohol feel guilt, low self-esteem, and shame. When a person admits that alcohol is affecting his or her life, they can start recovery. The first step is about powerlessness over behavior that makes the individual's life unmanageable.

A person with alcohol addiction is powerless over alcohol because his or her behavior changes in ways that would not happen when sober. The mental obsession and physical cravings increase after the first drink, causing the person to drink more. Learn more about alcoholism & how it's treated.

A person is powerless because even though alcohol consumption can cause physical harm or death, he or she continues to drink. When a person is powerless over alcohol, he or she:

  • Cannot stop drinking once they start
  • Drinks under any circumstance, every day
  • Craves more and more
  • Loses the ability to function
  • Cannot drink safely
  • Cannot control what they say or do after drinking
  • Becomes irritable when not drinking
  • Physically craves alcohol
  • Drinks despite prior consequences

Cravings can become very strong for a person who has an addiction to alcohol. The brain's function and the person's physical health are affected. The brain controls our movements, thoughts, critical thinking, coordination, speech, and walking. When alcohol is consumed, the brain's neurotransmitters, which send messages to other parts of the body, are disrupted.

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol causes delayed reactions, loss of coordination, slurred speech, and inability to walk. The brain becomes physically dependent on alcohol to function, so when alcohol is not consumed, a person can become irritable, angry, depressed, anxious, and agitated. Do you know the 10 signs someone needs treatment for an alcohol problem?

Admitting to being powerless over alcohol will help a person to recognize that he or she does not have control with their drinking. Denying there is a problem only allows the person to continue their destructive behavior. When a person realizes they are powerless over alcohol, they have taken the first step to live a healthy, sober life.

Recovery is possible and healing will take place in mind, body, and spirit. Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a holistic based, 12-step inspired, clinically proven program for alcoholism and co-occurring disorders. Call (844) 234-LIVE today for information on our partial care programs.


Strategies to Cope With Alcohol Cravings

Strategies to Cope With Alcohol Cravings

After treatment for alcohol addiction, you need to develop strategies to cope with cravings for alcohol. Now that you started recovery, you are at risk of relapse at any time. The possibility of relapse increases when you are around people, places, and things that remind you of drinking alcohol. The cravings for alcohol can be very uncomfortable and can occur often during the first several months of sobriety. Set a plan to avoid these situations when cravings are strong.

Any strong reminders can encourage you to remember of the pleasurable effects of drinking alcohol. When these memories are invoked, you will seem to forget the horrible destructive behavior caused by drinking alcohol. There are some ways to cope with alcohol cravings and avoid the things that contribute to them:

  • Remove yourself from the situation. If you are in a place or with a person who is a strong reminder of your drinking alcohol, leave. Go to the bathroom, go outside, or just leave and go somewhere else.
  • Call someone. This can be anyone, as long as your mind is distracted from the intense cravings you have for alcohol.
  • Think of something different. Think of anything that preoccupies your brain so you can suppress the cravings.
  • Self-talk. Remind yourself that you cannot have a drink because you are staying sober. Repeat to yourself and remember why you are staying sober.
  • Eat something sweet. Alcohol contains a lot of sugar so your body could be craving sugar instead of alcohol.
  • Drink a lot of water. When you drink a lot of water throughout the day, the cravings for alcohol will lessen.

Avoid people who are associated with your drinking alcohol and friends who would drink with you. Sometimes you can unintentionally be encouraged to have just one drink. Distract yourself with music, a walk outside, exercise, or yoga. Discover your interests or hobbies. Join a book club, kickboxing class, or do some gardening. If you are creative, participate in an art class, write articles for your blog, or join a sport.

Many healthy activities can divert your attention away from your cravings for alcohol. The cravings are temporary. The strong urge you feel to have a drink will go away. The cravings can be much easier to cope with when you know what to avoid and have a plan to distract yourself.

Recovery is possible and healing will take place in mind, body, and spirit. Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a holistic based, 12-step inspired, clinically proven program for alcoholism and co-occurring disorders. Call (844) 234-LIVE today for information on our partial care programs.


Social Drinking and Alcoholism

Social Drinking and Alcoholism

Social drinking is a term used for people who like to drink alcohol on occasion. A person who drinks socially knows their limit with alcohol. His or her day is not consumed with thoughts about drinking and when they will get their next drink. People describe a social drinker as a person who usually drinks with other people at social gatherings or during special events or activities.

Social drinking puts the person at high risk of developing an addiction to alcohol. A person with alcoholism does not know when to stop and thinks about drinking all the time. He or she cannot control their limit and sometimes drink until they black out. Many people who think they are social drinkers are actually high-functioning alcoholics.

A person with an alcohol addiction can develop serious physical and mental health problems. Drinking alcohol can cause brain damage and affect the brain's normal activity. The brain controls a person's body. Alcohol interrupts the brain's neurotransmitters, which act as a line of communication for the body to function. Alcohol affects the body's organs and can lead to liver failure, heart disease, cardiac arrest, and high blood pressure.

Social drinking can lead to alcoholism. Over time, a social drinker could need more and more alcohol to feel euphoric effects. People who drink regularly build a tolerance to alcohol and need more to feel pleasure from the brain's release of dopamine. A social drinker with an underlying mental condition is at risk of developing an addiction to alcohol. A person with depression, anxiety, or PTSD may drink to escape reality.

The term, social drinker, can give a false perception of a person's alcohol addiction. People with alcoholism may unintentionally think they are a social drinker and not realize their drinking is a problem. Different factors can determine a person's risk of alcoholism such as his or her physical condition, mental health issues, and genetics. Other things to consider are the duration, how much, and what kind of alcohol consumed.

People with an addiction to alcohol are usually in denial about their problematic drinking. An addiction to alcohol ruins relationships, causes harmful effects on the body, and can be fatal. Alcoholism can affect the brain and cause brain damage or memory loss. There is help for people who have an addiction to alcohol. Just because social drinking sounds less harmful does not mean drinking alcohol is safe.

 Recovery is possible and healing will take place in mind, body, and spirit. Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a holistic based, 12-step inspired, clinically proven program for alcoholism and co-occurring disorders. Call (844) 234-LIVE today for information on our partial care programs.


Are You an Alcoholic if You Don't Drink Every Day?

Are You an Alcoholic if You Don't Drink Every Day?

A person does not have to drink every day to develop problems with alcohol. Alcoholism is not defined by how often you drink but is more about the reasons you drink. A person who does not stop drinking, even when they face negative consequences, can have problems with alcohol.

When a person drinks beyond his or her limit, they can experience vomiting, blackouts, overdose, or death. Not having the ability to control how much is consumed can be very harmful to a person's physical and mental health. Excessive drinking can cause brain damage and can impair a person's memory. When a person drinks more than they should, he or she puts themselves at risk for serious health issues.

Excessive drinking can lead to alcoholism. When alcohol is consumed, the brain's neurotransmitters release high amounts of dopamine, which give the person a pleasurable feeling. Over time, an individual must drink more and more of the alcohol to achieve the same euphoric effects. The brain becomes controlled by the alcohol and affects a person's speech, vision, motor skills, critical thinking, judgment, and decisions. A person who is intoxicated can act on impulse and not think about consequences of his or her actions.

A person who blacks out drinks so much that he or she does not remember a portion of the time they were drunk. Regular blackouts are a major sign of alcoholism. The person cannot control his or her compulsion to drink and cannot limit their intake. When a person drinks too much alcohol and blacks out, his or her brain's memory function is interrupted causing the person to not remember anything during that time.

If you do not drink every day, you can still have a problem drinking and develop alcoholism. Many factors contribute to a person having an alcohol addiction such as genetics, environment, mental health, and history of alcohol abuse.

If you or a loved one live has an alcohol addiction, get help from a licensed professional. Treatment is available and can be tailored to individual's needs. There is hope for recovery, and no one should feel they need to fight addiction alone.

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.