Six Signs it’s Time to Stop Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol is often glamorized by society and social media. Alcohol brand commercials will show a group of adults having fun with a drink in their hand and everyone’s laughing. Canned beverages such as hard seltzers use marketing to target millennials and make them feel no party is complete without the drink. Unfortunately, this just isn’t reality and at Enlight Treatment Center we know this. If you’ve experienced any of the signs below you may want to stop drinking.

You Can’t Stop

Once you start drinking you can’t stop. You don’t even think about it … when your drink is empty you’re back at the bar ordering another one. The bartender turned the music off, the lights on, and you don’t want to leave. You can’t fathom going home and don’t want the party to end.

Change in Behavior

You’re usually an upbeat and happy person but once you start drinking your mood shifts. Comments people make towards you can seem mean and vindictive. Little actions can set you off like your partner talking to someone else and not you. You know when you’re sober these things don’t bother you but you just can’t seem to help it once you’re drinking.

Troubles with the Law

DWIs or driving while intoxicated is extremely dangerous. Aside from harming yourself, you can harm someone else. Driving while intoxicated can also result in being arrested and serving jail time.

Dishonesty

You find yourself making excuses and lying about your behavior. You get yourself into situations where you can’t tell anyone the truth. You know if you tell the truth the answer will hurt someone you love.

Health Complications

Alcohol metabolizes in the liver and drinking excessively hinders its ability to do its job. Alcohol abuse will cause alcoholic fatty liver, fat will accumulate in the liver, and is detrimental to one’s health. Another common health complication is gastrointestinal issues. Ulcers, acid reflux, and inflammation of the stomach lining, are all common in drinking too much alcohol.

Comments from Family & Friends

Last but not certainly least, loved ones who are concerned will try to shed light on your drinking. They’ll say things like “I’m worried about you”, “I noticed you’re drinking a lot”, “I don’t like who you are when you drink.”

Enlight Treatment Center is Here to Help

Seeking help can be quite daunting and overwhelming. It’s very common to even question whether or not you need help. The staff at Enlight Treatment Center is happy to answer any and every question you may have. We also use the diagnosis criteria of the American Society of Addiction Medicine to determine the necessary treatment services. Reaching out to us is the perfect first step to getting the help you deserve. It’s time for you to put down the bottle and get your life back.

Health Conditions Caused by Drug and Alcohol Use

We all know that abusing alcohol and other drugs is bad for us. What some people don’t realize is how many significant health conditions are caused by substance abuse. It is not enough that our addictions take over our lives and destroy our careers, friendships, families and more. They can also cause serious and permanent damage to our physical health or even death.

The long list of health conditions that stem from substance abuse begins with serious health problems even in adolescence, all the way up through health conditions that affect people late in life who have used or abused substances for many, many years. Some of the most common physical and mental health problems associated with substance abuse, according to a study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, are:

Physical Conditions

• Accidental Injury or Death
• Physical/Sexual Violence
• Sexually Transmitted Diseases
• Poisoning/Overdose
• Heart disease/Hypertension/Stroke
• Liver Damage/Disease/Cirrhosis
• Diabetes

It is well known that there are a significant amount of accidents and even fatalities related to driving under the influence of alcohol each year. Lesser known are the other types of accidents, such as at work or home that occur due to alcohol or other drug use. Additionally, there is a significantly larger number of incidents of physical or sexual violence when one or more parties involved have used alcohol or another substance.

Instances of Sexually Transmitted Diseases are higher with those who use or abuse substances due to the increased sexual risk-taking involved when under the influence of one or more substances. This includes cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Hepatitis C. Another big risk factor is using drugs like heroin, where people share needles, or crack cocaine users, whose users often share pipes with people who have mouth sores and could contract blood-borne diseases.

We have all heard the tragic stories of drug or alcohol poisoning or overdose. But what recent studies are showing us is that a very significant number of visits to the Emergency Room for drug-related issues are involving people who misuse prescription drugs, particularly opioids. In fact, prescription drug misuse often accounts for more emergency visits than alcohol now.

The risk of heart disease, hypertension, or stroke seems like something that would only be problematic in older patients, but actually, cardiovascular health is impacted very quickly. Particularly with drugs like cocaine, which immediately impacts blood pressure, the risk for heart attacks is significant. Alcohol, stimulants, heroin, and methamphetamine have all been linked with heart disease and cardiovascular issues, even in younger patients.

Drugs and alcohol can also impact a person’s insulin levels and cause or exacerbate existing diabetes. Diabetes causes many major health issues, including nerve and organ damage and problems in the eyes, including vision loss. Substance use makes these issues much worse in people who are already diabetic and can be the cause of the onset of diabetes, leading to these risks.

Mental Health Conditions

• Suicidal Ideation/Attempts
• Depression
• Anxiety
• Bipolar Disorder
• Panic Disorder
• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
• Generalized Anxiety Disorder
• Social and Specific Phobias
• Oppositional Defiant Disorder
• Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
• Conduct Disorder
• Insomnia
• Dementia

In addition to many of the physical factors which have fatal risks, there are plenty of risks of specific mental health conditions, too. The most obvious risk would be active suicidal ideation or thinking suicidal thoughts, as well as those who actually attempt or complete suicide. Because of the chemical effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain, people who use substances are at a significantly higher risk for suicide and also depression. Depression is more common with women than men who use drugs or alcohol, but it is very considerable within this entire community.

There is also a much higher incidence of bipolar disorder, anxiety, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and social and specific phobias amongst those who abuse substances. While it is recognized that some may be people who already displayed symptoms of these various disorders and used substances to self-medicate, there is plenty of data to indicate that substance abuse in and of itself can bring these conditions on. All of them are chronic and debilitating and even life-threatening. Additionally, the use of substances when one has a mood or anxiety disorder can make the disorder much worse and more difficult to treat.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is also very prevalent amongst those with addictions. Some experience traumatic events that lead to substance abuse to self-medicate, others have traumatic events due to the situations they find themselves in as they use substances. PTSD is from three to six times more common amongst those who abuse substances than the general population.

Adolescents who use substances often develop Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD,) Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD,) and conduct disorder. These conditions are usually indicated by behavioral issues but are very real medical conditions that make life, particularly learning, very difficult. At the opposite end of the spectrum, elderly people who have used substances for a long time can develop insomnia and are also at a much higher risk of dementia.

Enlight is very aware of both physical and mental health risks that come with substance abuse. Put your trust in our care to help you start your life anew. Call us today at (805) 719-7954 to find the mental and physical help you need along with the caring support you deserve as you begin restoring your wellbeing.