A National Directory of Drug Treatment Centers and Alcohol Treatment Centers, Therapists and Specialists. A free, simple directory providing assistance and guidance for those seeking help regarding alcohol addiction, drug addiction, dependency and many other conditions that affect the mind, body and soul.
Call 800-580-9104 to speak with an alcohol or drug abuse counselor.

Who Answers?

A new view of alcoholism could help you take charge of your drinking

We used to laugh at those zany friends and relatives who would make one too many trips to the holiday punch bowl and end up wearing a lamp shade by the end of the party.

Today, we know the destruction alcohol can wreak on families, marriages, health, the workplace and on the road. Today that fun party animal is encouraged to get help, stop drinking and join a group like Alcoholics Anonymous to help remain sober.

Many experts say that’s still the best solution: Give up the booze and never, ever touch it again. But some are touting another option, one that’s controversial because it suggests some problem drinkers maybe be able to continue drinking, in moderation.

“The majority of clinical programs teach or preach abstinence. If you have a problem with alcohol, you should stop drinking now and not drink alcohol in any quantity,” says Dr. Patrick Marsh, an assistant professor of psychiatry in USF’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavior Medicine. “But maybe there is middle ground.”

The approach goes by many names. Moderation management is one of the most common. The goal is to set and stick to limits for alcohol use. Some people follow guidelines from Web sites and join online and local support groups. Others seek help from therapists willing to assist with this alternative form of therapy.

Who’s a candidate?

The people who might benefit from moderation management are those who have not yet developed the physical, family, social, workplace or legal problems that often accompany alcoholism. Though not physically dependent on alcohol, they are concerned that they may have a problem because their drinking feels out of control at times.

Doctors call them at-risk drinkers.

“Moderation is a useful goal for a lot of people. But it is also a test at the same time,” says Dr. Jon Grant, professor of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota.

“Part of the process is to let at-risk drinkers figure out how much control they have and how much they want or don’t want to drink.”

How it’s done

Grant tells patients who want to try moderation to limit their drinking for a month or, better yet, try to go for a month without any alcohol.

“People with a drinking problem don’t have the control that they think they have,” says Grant.

If you can’t stick to the limit you’ve established, then moderation probably isn’t going to work for you. It’s not going to help you to bring your drinking under control and prevent more serious consequences.

What is moderate drinking?

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, moderate drinking is one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. One drink is one 12-ounce bottle of beer, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1 ½ ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.

But moderation can mean different things to different people and groups. Moderation Management (www.moderation.org), an online self-help group for at-risk drinkers, suggests that drinkers practice three or four days of alcohol abstinence each week. On the days they do imbibe, the group suggests limits of no more than three drinks a day for women and no more than four for men.

Recognizing the problem

USF’s Marsh says anyone who suspects they have a problem with alcohol should consider taking the CAGE questionnaire, which is widely used by physicians to help identify at-risk drinkers:

C: Have you attempted to Cut down on your drinking unsuccessfully?

A: Do you get Annoyed when someone talks to you about your drinking?

G: Do you feel Guilty for the consequences of drinking, such as missing work or family events?

E: Have you ever needed an Eye-opener, a drink to help you in the morning or to steady your nerves?

One yes answer to any of those questions and there’s a 50 percent chance that you have an alcohol problem.

“Answer yes to two or more questions and your risk is in the 90 percent range,” says Marsh.

Write it down

Keeping a written record of your drinking can help determine your risk for developing problems with alcohol. The more drinks you have on a single day and the more heavy drinking days you have in a week or month, the greater your risk for alcohol abuse and dependence.

Heavy drinking is defined by the NIAAA for women as more than three drinks in a single day, seven in a week, and for men as more than four drinks in a single day or 14 in a week.

A small amount of alcohol can actually be good for your heart, but routinely exceeding healthy limits is a powerful warning sign of potential trouble ahead.

A guide for smart holiday drinking

Enjoy the holiday party season responsibly with these tips from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. For more tips, go to its Web site: rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov.

  • Keep track: Record what you drink in a notebook.
  • Count: Set limits; don’t let the host top off your glass.
  • Pace and space: Sip slowly; have water or soda between each alcoholic drink.
  • Eat: Don’t drink on an empty stomach.
  • Avoid triggers: These might include people or places that encourage heavy drinking, or keeping alcohol at home.
  • Say no: Have a polite but firm “no thanks” ready if someone wants you to drink more than you planned.

The downside

Even if you avoid driving while drinking, your health risks don’t end there.

  • Heavy drinkers have a greater risk of liver disease, heart disease, sleep disorders, depression, stroke, bleeding from the stomach, sexually transmitted infections from unsafe sex and several types of cancer.
  • It can be harder for heavy drinkers to manage diabetes, high blood pressure and other conditions.
  • Drinking during pregnancy is linked to fetal brain damage.
  • Your chances of being killed or injured not only on the road, but also in fires, falls, fights and many other causes all escalate with drinking.

source: St. Petersburg Times

More Treatment & Detox Articles

Anonymously alcoholic; in the closet, women alcoholics

She locked herself inside the bathroom at six in the morning, sneaking in a quarter of vodka. She took a few swigs before turning the shower on to wash off traces of alcohol. Her clandestine involvement with alcohol was a daily event for seven days a week, four weeks a month and 12 months a….

Continue reading

A.A.’s ‘Big Book’ celebrates 70 years

Alcoholics Anonymous

Gail L.’s hands rest on the old red book on a table in front of her. The book, she tells you, saved her life and gave her ”a life worth saving.” It is ”God’s story of his love for the alcoholic,” she says. Seven decades ago this month, Alcoholics Anonymous, also called the Big Book,….

Continue reading

Study blames alcohol for half 1990s Russian deaths

A new study by an international team of public health researchers documents the devastating impact of alcohol abuse on Russia — showing that drinking caused more than half of deaths among Russians aged 15 to 54 in the turbulent era following the Soviet collapse. The 52 percent figure compares to estimates that less than 4….

Continue reading

Psychiatrists call for total ban on alcohol advertising

A GROUP of psychiatrists has called for a complete ban on all alcohol advertising and sponsorship in Ireland. Irish teenagers spent €145 million in 2006 on alcohol, more than the entire annual spend on illegal drugs, according to psychiatrist Dr Bobby Smyth from the Irish College of Psychiatrists, a representative body for Irish psychiatrists. Dr….

Continue reading

Prescription Drug Abuse Threatens Availability of Pain Medication

Take a look in your medicine cabinet — do you spot prescription pain medication? If so, are you contributing to the nation’s dramatic increase in irresponsible prescription drug use? According to the 2008 National Drug Control Strategies Report, 71 percent of prescription pain medication abusers obtained the drugs from family and friends. Among 12- to….

Continue reading

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Additional calls will also be forwarded and returned by a quality treatment center within the USA.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by a licensed drug and alcohol rehab facility, a paid advertiser on TreatmentCenters.com.

All calls are private and confidential.

I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOWI NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOW 800-580-9104Response time about 1 min | Response rate 100%
Who Answers?