Adderall: Prescription Use and Abuse

Prescription drugs like Adderall can be pretty helpful for those who need them. However, they can also have some risks which are important to know about. Being better informed about drugs like these can help you see why some people might abuse them…

Adderall: What To Watch For

What it does

Adderall is a stimulant that helps improve alertness and productivity. Generally, doctors will prescribe it to help those with attention disorders, like ADHD. However, it may also be used as a form of treatment by those with narcolepsy.

Now, it might seem odd that a stimulant seemingly helps an overactive brain, like with ADHD. Still, the data has shown that the drug does help those with ADHD pay attention, focus, and reduce their impulsive behaviors. In fact, between 75-80% of those taking these pills saw a noticeable improvement!

How it’s risky

The risks with Adderall come from overuse of misuse. As the drug works, it also will release dopamine in the brain. This makes people feel good when they use it. As a result, they might start to take more of it, in order to get more of that rush.

There’s also those who will use it when they shouldn’t. For example, many students report that they’ll take the drug to help them focus or study for tests. Others claim that they like to take it before they party, as they won’t “feel” as drunk as they really are, which is quite dangerous.

Signs to watch for

The signs of Adderall dependency are very similar to those of other drugs. For example, you might feel lie you can’t function properly unless you’ve taken the drug. You might also notice you take it a lot more often, and in higher doses. Things can reach a point where getting more of the drug is more important than working or even eating!

If you’re not careful, then eventually this can lead to issues with the heart, sleeping, and mood disorders. It’s always a good idea to see a doctor if you feel like you’re becoming dependent. That way, you can get the help you need.

Hangover Symptoms: The Unpleasant Side-Effects

When drinking, it’s easy to forget about the morning after. However, you certainly will be thinking about your drinking if you experience hangover symptoms the next day. Here’s what you can expect to feel the next morning after a night of heavy drinking…

Hangover Symptoms: The Unpleasant Side-Effects

The common signs

There are several different hangover symptoms that you can expect to experience. For example, you might feel weak, sluggish, or have a painful headache. You could also be more sensitive to lights and sounds, as well as nauseous to the point of throwing up.

Some more uncommon symptoms include shakiness, mood swings, and a rapid heartbeat. Hangovers can include any combination of these symptoms. So while you may not feel the expected hangover headache, you could easily experience other symptoms in its place.

Symptom intensity

Hangover symptoms can also vary in their intensity. While you may feel very nauseous on one occasion, you can feel no nausea during the next. Instead, you may experience another very-intense symptom in it’s place.

Symptoms tend to begin a few hours after your drinking has ended. This is due to your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) decreasing. Your symptoms will tend to peak as your BAC gets to zero, which tends to be in the morning after you wake up.

When to seek help

Experiencing more intense hangover symptoms than usual may be a sign of alcohol poisoning. These can include feelings of confusion, excessive vomiting, and low body temperatures. Slow breathing and passing out are also tell-tale signs of alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol poisoning can be life-threatening, even when minor. It’s important to quickly seek medical help. If you think that your hangover doesn’t feel right, it’s best to play it safe and head to a doctor.

A hangover is a reminder from your body to watch your drink intake. Continuing to drink too much will make hangovers more frequent and more painful for you. Remember to pace yourself and stay hydrated on the nights you drink!

Binge Drinking: Am I An Alcoholic?

For some, occasional binge drinking isn’t seen as an issue. However, this occasional heavy drinking can quickly turn into an alcohol abuse issue. Knowing the signs of this heavy drinking can help you make corrections before things becomes worse…

Binge Drinking: Know the Signs

Understand the definition

The definition for binge drink varies depending on gender. Having 4 or more drinks on one occasion is the limit for women. Furthermore, having 5 or more drinks on one occasion is the limit for men. Additionally, any drinking that gets your BAC up to .08 during one occasion also falls under this definition…

Signs and symptoms

There are several different signs which can signal binge drinking. Binge drinkers tend to drink heavily on the weekends or holidays in a way to “justify” their drinking habits. They may also become defensive or even aggressive when people raise concerns about their drinking.

Things can quickly spiral out of control for these drinkers. They may go over their limits to the point of constant blackouts. They might also neglect their personal responsibilities, and even start to crave alcohol. This kind of drinking can quickly develop into alcoholism.

Know the risks

Binge drinkers can find themselves at a much higher risk for problems compared to those who drink responsibly. Binge drinkers may start neglecting their responsibilities to drink. Additionally, their personal relationships can suffer as well.

These risks can become much more serious over time. Binge drinkers are at at higher risk for accidents and legal problems. Furthermore, they are also doing more damage to their body with their heavy drinking. Overall, heavy drinking seriously harms one’s personal relationships and health.

Ways to help

There are ways to help a binge drinker if you’re worried about them. Having an intervention can help “wake them up” to their behavior. This can show them how their drinking has caused issues so they can begin to make changes. 

You can also recommend that they get in touch with a therapist to work on their issues. Group counseling also helps binge drinkers see that they aren’t alone. It all comes down to what they would be most comfortable with. The important thing is helping them start to cut back on their drinking.

Glass Shapes: Your Drinking Experience…

If you want to cut back on your drinking, then you’d think it’s just as simple as drinking less. However, the glass shapes of your drinks can actually get in the way of your plans. These glasses can be shockingly deceptive, leading you to drink more than you may think…

Glass Shapes: How It Impacts Your Drinking

Understand alcohol servings

To understand how glass shapes impact a person’s drinking, it’s important to first know what a standard drink is. Each type of alcoholic drink has a different recommended serving size. This is because each drink has different levels of alcohol in them. For instance, one 1.5-ounce shot of liquor can have up to 8 times the alcohol as a 12-ounce can of beer!

However, many places which serve alcohol don’t match these servings with their glasses. For example, restaurant wine glasses tend to be 8-10-ounces, despite a serving of wine only being 5-ounces. Plus, different brews may have different alcohol levels. Craft beers can have up to twice the amount of alcohol as normal beers, but are served in the same kind of glasses.

Deceptive sizing

Bars and other places can serve their drinks in some pretty unconventional glass shapes. They may have very tall glasses, wide glasses, or even curvy glasses. However, this can just make it harder to determine how much alcohol you’re drinking. These glasses can disperse your alcohol in a way which makes you think you’re drinking less than you really are.

As a result, people actually tend to drink more when they have these fancy glasses. When someone is drinking out of a standard glass, they can usually tell how many they can drink before they hit their limit. Shaped glasses make this harder, and so people end up underestimating the alcohol content, even when they’re trying to play it safe.

What to do

​The best thing to do to avoid deceptive glass shapes is to simply stick with what you know. Keep your drinks in glasses which match the standard serving size of your drink. If you know you’re at a place that serves drinks in uncommon glasses, try to ask for a standard one. If that’s not an option, then ask that they only fill it up to the regular serving amount. That way, you know how much alcohol you’re drinking at all times. ​

Underage DUI’s

Attempts to curb underage drinking are admirable. However, those younger than the legal drinking age of 21 will still find a way to get alcohol. Sometimes, it’s at a party or sometimes it’s closer to home. Either way, when you combine alcohol and driving, it’s a bad situation. Mistakes happen, and underage DUI’s become a relevant problem.

Underage DUI’s: How They’re Different

What’s the limit?

In South Carolina, all drivers can receive a conviction of a standard DUI if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% of more. However, if you are under the age of 21, you can have a charge of an underage DUI if your BAC is .02% or more. Underage DUI’s can happen at any point over the .02% level.

Who gets to choose?

The officer who pulls the driver over will decide how to cite the person. If the BAC of the driver is over .02% but less than .08% it will depend on how impaired they seem. If it seems the driver is not impaired enough to meet the definition of “under the influence”, they will probably face charges for an underage DUI. Underage DUI’s are not the same as standard DUI’s.

What happens?

In cases of underage DUI’s, there will be no jail time or court fines. An underage DUI is handled through the Department of Motor Vehicles instead of through the criminal court. Since there is no criminal court, there is no criminal conviction. The driver stopped for a an underage DUI will have to enroll in the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program.

In addition to the treatment plan recommended by the program, there are other actions. You will face license suspension for three months (six months for a second conviction) if the driver submits to a chemical test. If you refuse the chemical testing, you will automatically face license suspension for six months (and a year for the second offense).

Do I need a lawyer?

Since standard DUI’s will always go to court, most will not question the need for a lawyer. But do you need one for underage DUI’s? In short, yes. If you wish to file an objection to the administrative action, you will have a 30 day window to do so. A lawyer can help with this action.

DUI Checkpoints: Managing a Stop

DUI checkpoints are a common legal practice officers use to spot DUI offenders. These checkpoints take place randomly, usually on major roadways and late at night. In most cases, officers line both sides of the road and bring traffic to a stop to check licenses. As a driver, it can be intimidating to face a row of officers’ vehicles, asking to see your license. However, it’s best to remain calm and follow these tips for facing DUI checkpoints.

DUI Checkpoints: Remaining Calm 

Go Through the Checkpoint

​When coming up on DUI checkpoints, it’s important to go through the stop. Now, you may be thinking “well, obviously”. But when the time comes, you may want to consider turning around to avoid the stop. However, most DUI checkpoints have officers standing by, watching to for those attempting to dodge the stop. If they see you, they may stop you or follow you if you’ve already turned. Once this happens, they may take this as suspicious behavior and become more intensive with their stop.

Stay Calm

When facing DUI checkpoints, it’s important to stay calm. Officers are looking for signs of anything suspicious in your vehicle or any suspicious behavior. When we become nervous, we may start doing things out of character, like sweating, shaking, or stuttering. All of these behaviors can seem suspicious to a trained officer. So, it’s important to not be nervous and remember that this is a routine stop. You are not in trouble.

Get Out if Necessary

For the most part, DUI checkpoints consist of you showing your license, mumbling a few words, and moving on. However, if officers notice something suspicious, they may want to investigate further. In that case, it’s likely they’ll ask you to step out of your vehicle. Rather than contesting this, go ahead and comply. By refusing to get out of the vehicle, you can wind up in more trouble or facing a ticket for failing to comply.

Be Respectful

Yes, DUI checkpoints can be intimidating. Yes, they can be an annoyance you’d probably rather avoid. However, it’s still important to remain polite through the stop. Answer their appropriate questions and provide the right information, while remaining cooperative and nice. In fact, doing this will most likely keep the process running smoothly and put you on your way again quickly.