How-to Stop Emotional Drinking Habits

Some people drink in order to numb and run away from pain. This can be a vicious cycle that is not healthy emotionally or physically. These people may go from one hangover of sadness to the next. Before it goes over the edge into something more serious like alcoholism, you need to get out of this habit of drowning everything out. This will require you to stop your emotional drinking habits.

How-to Stop Emotional Drinking Habits: Changing Course

Get to the Cause

Emotional drinkers use alcohol to run away from the emotions they do not know how to cope with or do not want to feel. These are oftentimes sadness, grief, loneliness, fear and low self-worth. They choose to literally drown their sorrows with alcohol. Some people turn to binge drinking to deal with emotions. Oftentimes, low self-esteem is a major player in an emotional drinker’s life. They may have even lost their faith in themselves.

A healthier way to handle unpleasant emotions is to go and talk to someone. A trusted-friend, therapist of a councilor are a good start. They can help you work through these emotions and get to the root cause of these feelings. Unfortunately, instead of helping your sorrows go away, drinking actually drowns your positivity instead. However, a professional or someone you trust can help you work through your feelings and why you can not cope with difficult emotions. Try and analyze and observe your emotions. Once you start to observe them, your emotions do not have as much power over you.

Dangerous Progression

Oftentimes, emotional drinkers are high-functioning people with a family and a job. No one would consider them alcoholic. However, emotional drinking can lead to alcoholism if left uncontrolled. There are several warning signs that this has happened. For example, you use alcohol as a way to deal with life or you avoid social situations that don’t involve alcohol. Also, you may start to drink in secret. This will help you to hide how much you are actually drinking. Additionally. you may not be able to even sleep without alcohol.

None of these signs are healthy or positive. If you are unable to get control of your emotional drinking habits, and are progressing towards addiction, you need to talk to someone. There are many people and organizations who are willing to help you.

How-to Ask for Help With an Addiction

One of the most difficult things to do is to ask for help with an addiction. Many times, people struggling with addiction know they need help, but do not know how to ask for it. Learn more about the steps to take with asking for help.

How-to Ask for Help With an Addiction: Steps to Take

Write a Letter

In some cases, people find writing a letter easier than talking about an issue. Writing a letter allows you to collect your thoughts and lay them out in a way that makes sense. You may even come to some realizations about your struggle that you had not even thought of. Also, when you mail or email a letter, it is suddenly out of your control. Since you can not take it back, this can be a great way to ask for help with an addiction.

Medical Professional

Another way to ask for help with an addiction would be to seek help from a medical professional. Doctors have seen and heard just about everything before, so you telling them about your struggles will not faze them. They will be a safe place to confide in. Plus, alcoholism is a disease, and doctors are experts at dealing with diseases.

Someone Who Could Relate

You could also look for someone who could relate. The best advice could come from someone who has been through been through a struggle similar to yours and has come out the other side. Additionally, people who have been in the same position as you will not be judgmental, so they will feel safe to talk to. At some point, they too likely asked for help with an addiction. Therefore, they will also be more open and willing to talk, and remember what it felt like when they were in your position. You can find out what worked, and what did not work for them. They would also be a great source of accountability.

Someone You Trust

Most people have at least one person they know and trust. However, these can be the people you do not want to let down the most. Put those fears aside and talk with that person that you trust. Even if they have no history with addiction themselves, they can still listen to you and do what they can to help you.

Not everyone struggling with an addiction will ask for help because it may be too difficult for them to do that. However, if you have any desire to get help, ask for it. This will help to lift a weight off of your shoulders as you move in the right direction.

How-to Avoid Unsafe Social Drinking

Many people are aware of the term “social smoker.” However, there are also social drinkers as well. It’s important to know how you can keep your drinking within safe boundaries if you are a more sociable drinker…

How-to Avoid Unsafe Social Drinking: Helpful Moderation

What is social drinking?

Like its name implies, social drinking is when someone tends to drink while in a social setting. In the U.S., this kind of drinking is very popular. There’s a whole host of occasions at which people will drink together. Some common ones include birthdays, weddings, and holidays.

As for why people drink, it mainly comes down to wanting to socialize easier. Alcohol is seen as a way for people to unwind and relax. By drinking, people are able to feel more at-easy talking with others, even if they don’t know them all that well.

Possible risks

In general, social drinking usually doesn’t lead to alcoholism. Most people are able to keep their drinking under control. However, for some, this sort of drinking can lead to issues. Mainly, it comes down to how much they drink, and why they may feel the need to do so.

For instance, some people may feel pressured by their friends to drink a lot when they’re with them. This kind of binge drinking can cause them to develop a very serious addiction to alcohol. Others may feel that they need to “make the most of their time” and drink a lot as part of that. As such, they have way more than they should to drink.

Staying safe

The most important thing about safe social drinking is keeping a limit. Having a set amount of drinks in mind will ensure that you don’t have too many when you go out. Make sure you properly space those drinks out over the course of the event as well.

If you’re seriously trying to curb your drinking, then you may also want to opt for non-alcoholic drinks instead. These drinks will not only be healthier, but help you not feel left out. Even if everyone else is drinking, you can still have something to enjoy alongside them.

How-to Spot Bad Drinking Habits

It’s important to make sure that your drinking stays within safe levels. However, not many people know when exactly their drinking is crossing into dangerous territory. Therefore, it’s good to know how to spot bad drinking habits. That way, you can better prevent issues from developing…

How-to Spot Bad Drinking Habits: Important Indicators

Drinking a lot at once

One way to spot bad drinking habits is by looking at how much you drink at once. Most people will only have a few drinks in total at things like parties or events. Sometimes, they may get a bit drunk, but not all that often. Even if they do, they’ll stop drinking and either sober up, or have a ride home.

If you notice that you’re drinking a lot when you go out, then it could indicate that you’re binge drinking. This sort of drinking is quite dangerous, as it can quickly lead to you becoming heavily intoxicated. It can also develop into a serious drinking problem in the near future. At that point, it’ll become a lot harder to break your habit.

Drinking each day

Another of the bad drinking habits is when you drink each day. In general, people tend to drink mainly at social events. Meanwhile, others like to have a drink or two by themselves from time to time. However, they won’t have a drink each day of the week.

Drinking every day can result in it becoming a part of your daily routine. Plus, it makes it easier to develop a habit where you start drinking more and more each day. Even if you aren’t drinking a lot, this kind of consumption can quickly add up over time and lead to some problems.

Drinking when stressed

Some people like to drink to help them relax. After a stressful day or week, a drink can be a way for you to relieve some stress. What you want to avoid, though, is drinking every time you’re stressed. This is one of the bad drinking habits you want to especially avoid.

Instead, try and find other ways to better relieve your stress. While it can feel like alcohol helps, there’s a lot of healthier options for stress-relief out there. That way, you can save the drinks for days when you really want to unwind.

Peer Pressure: What Is It?

When most people hear of peer pressure, they assume that it’s mainly negative. However, there’s a bit more nuance to it than you may believe. As such, it’s good to know what exactly it looks like, and when it can be good or bad…

Peer Pressure: Prevalent Examples

Understand the term

Usually, peer pressure refers to when others pressure another person into doing something. Most commonly, this tends to be alcohol or drug usage, especially among kids and teens. They may call the person a “baby” or state that they won’t be cool unless they drink or take drugs. There are some cases when peer pressure can be positive outside of these situations. For instance, it could be that a kid or teen wants to join a club or play a sport but lacks the confidence to do so. Their friends can then encourage them to do so with some positive reinforcement. In this case, the person’s peers are helping them to do something which will positively benefit them.

Countering the pressure

It can be tough for a kid or teen to deal with peer pressure. They may feel stressed and worry that if they don’t do what they’re told, they’ll lose their friends. However, this pressure alone isn’t the only thing which can cause them to drink or use drugs. Their home environment plays a big role as well. Therefore, it’s helpful to create a supportive and positive home for them. Being a good role model will encourage them to make the right decisions should they have to deal with this kind of pressure. Plus, you should take time to talk to them about peer pressure and what they should do. If they better understand the negatives, they’ll be more likely to walk away.

Adult pressure

It’s important to note that peer pressure doesn’t just happen to kids and teens. It also happens with adults. Usually, the reasoning tends to be the same. The adult being pressured doesn’t want to look “uncool” or like they don’t fit in and will do whatever the others are pressuring them to do. For adults, this kind of pressure can be harder to spot. For instance, if you already drink, then you won’t be pressured like a kid or teen would. Instead, your friends might try to have you drink way more than you usually do. While it may be a bit different, the consequences can still be just as bad.

Long-Term Effects of Alcohol: The Risks

There are many long-term effects of alcohol. These are different from the short-term effects of alcohol as they are typically diseases or health issues. Alcohol contributes to over 200 diseases and injury-related health conditions. It is the third leading preventable cause of death as 88,000 people a year die from alcohol-related causes every year in the US.

Long-Term Effects of Alcohol: What They Are

Health Conditions

Many health problems can be long-term effects of alcohol. These include liver cirrhosis, cancer, and mental health problems. Other examples are stomach ulcers, vitamin deficiencies, and pancreatitis. Also, there can be damage to the heart muscle and immune system dysfunction. Alcohol can lead to health problems all over your body. This is because alcohol affects every body system.

These health conditions can be very serious. For example, cirrhosis is a condition in which scar tissue replaces healthy liver cells over time. One major side effect of this is that the scar tissue can actually block the flow of blood through the liver. Also, 70 – 80% of all pancreatitis cases come from long-term alcohol abuse. This is an inflammatory disease that leads to the breakdown of the pancreas. The pancreas is important, as it produces insulin and helps break down food.

Injuries

There are other long-term effects of alcohol that can come from injuries. These injuries usually are unintentional. Examples include drowning, accidents, falls and burns. Since alcohol can cause irritability and mood changes, assaults can occur. These can lead to injuries as well.

Swimming while drinking can lead to drowning, since alcohol can cause a loss of coordination and judgment. For the same reasons, alcohol can also lead to falling and getting injured. Driving while intoxicated can cause auto accidents. These can be dangerous to both the person who is intoxicated as well as their passengers. It can also be harmful to the other people on the road. It is dangerous to drink and drive. Instead, get a DD or a ride share.

Addiction and Dependency

Some people drink large amounts on a regular basis. In this case, a long-term effect of alcohol can be addiction and dependency. This can happen because over time, a person’s tolerance level will increase. This causes the body to require more alcohol to achieve the same effect. The body will adapt to the presence of alcohol. This is what leads to addiction.

A person with an alcohol addiction will have a strong craving for alcohol. They will keep using it even though it impacts their health, personal relationships, and ability to work. If they stop drinking alcohol, withdrawal symptoms can occur. These include tremors, anxiety, depression and insomnia. Signs of this can begin 4 – 72 hours after the last drink. This is called withdrawal, and can last up to about 5 days. Many people will take a drink to stop this from happening. There are detox programs and groups such as AA that can help with this.

As you can see, there are many negative long-term effects of alcohol. They can be both health and injury related effects. If you are going to drink, do so responsibly. The long-term risks can be really bad.

Short-Term Effects of Alcohol: The Risks

There are many short-term effects of alcohol. Since alcohol is a depressant, it slows down the body’s systems when it reaches the brain. It also puts a lot of strain on the liver as well as the digestive system and cardiovascular system.

Short-Term Effects of Alcohol: What They Are

Absorption

Right after drinking alcohol, a lot of things start to happen. Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream by blood vessels in the stomach lining and small intestine. From there, the alcohol goes to your brain. This is where is starts to affect your body.

The short-term effects of alcohol have many factors. For example, how much alcohol you consume and how quickly you consume it will directly affect the impact. Additionally, your gender and weight, as well as whether you have eaten, can affect this as well. You will be less intoxicated if you drink with a meal, as it slows the rate of absorption.

Progression of Intoxication

Initially, you may feel happy, silly and care-free. After drinking more alcohol, things start to change. For example, slurred speech, clumsiness and inability to walk steady, vomiting, headache, and drowsiness can occur. Eventually, even a loss of consciousness can result. These are some of the short-term effects of alcohol.

Alcohol Poisoning

At a certain level, the amount of alcohol in the blood can lead to alcohol poisoning. This is a very dangerous short-term effect of alcohol. Alcohol can slow your breathing which can cause your brain to not get enough oxygen. This can cause confusion, seizures, loss of consciousness or coma. In some cases, it can even lead to death.

Alcohol Intolerance

It is possible to have an alcohol intolerance. People with this will experience  negative short-term effects of alcohol immediately after drinking it. Symptoms of this can include facial flying, nausea or vomiting. Also, it can cause diarrhea, worsening of asthma or low blood pressure.

Hangover

One of the most well known short-term side effects of alcohol is a hangover. This is mainly caused from the dehydration that alcohol causes. It takes a while for your body and liver to absorb and process all of the alcohol. During this time, your body can remain saturated with the remaining alcohol. You may have a headache, feel restless, or even nauseous.

While there are both long-term and short-term side effects of alcohol, you now know some of the ones that don’t last as long. In short, alcohol can have a negative effect on your body. If you are going to drink, do so responsibly and in moderation.

Alcohol During Quarantine: Avoiding Excessive Drinking

Covid-19 has caused increased stress and loneliness, causing people to turn to alcohol during quarantine. People are unable to do normal activities, see friends or visit loved ones. Others have lost jobs, or have to work in dangerous conditions. With all of the isolation, boredom, fear and stress this pandemic has brought, it’s no surprise that alcohol consumption has increased. Instead of turning to a bottle, find another outlet to keep you occupied during quarantine.

Alcohol During Quarantine: Alternatives

Give Someone a Call

Instead of trying to drown your boredom and loneliness with alcohol during quarantine, use this time to connect with people you’ve lost touch with. If you’re feeling lonely, chances are, they could be too. You could always call someone on the telephone. Also, there are many virtual video call options now available so that you can see a familiar face. Facetime and Zoom are becoming quite popular during this time. You could even set a routine call schedule, so that you are accountable to talking to your friends or family on a weekly basis. There are even ways you can play games with others while on a video call. For example, Jackbox.tv is a great party game that can be played on your phone or computer over a call.

Take a Class

Instead of turning to alcohol during quarantine, use the extra free time to learn something new. Many universities and programs are offering free courses right now. For instance, Yale is offering their most popular course, The Science of Well-Being, for free! There are courses you can take in many different subjects at no charge. From coding to digital marketing, and finance to cooking, the options are endless. There are websites that have lists of the courses available.

Exercise

A healthy alternative to alcohol during quarantine is to spend time exercising. You may not be able to go to a gym, but there are many alternatives. Go for a walk or a run in your area. There are also many workout classes available on Youtube. These include yoga, pilates, zumba, strength training and many more.

Home Projects

Perhaps there are projects around home that you have been putting off? Since you’re spending more time at home, this is a perfect time to improve your home.  Instead of turning to alcohol during quarantine, look around your house and see what you could do. It could be something small like just tidying up or organizing. Or, it could be bigger projects like painting or even doing a renovation.

If you have a yard, you could plant some flowers, remove weeds, put out mulch or trim back hedges. A larger scale project example could be laying stones for a patio, or doing a renovation to make your outdoors more enjoyable to hang out in.

While the pandemic has certainly disrupted everyone’s lives, there are many ways to occupy yourself besides turning to alcohol during quarantine. Instead of falling into loneliness and depression, connect with old friends, learn something new, or make your home more cozy with your new found free time.

Relapse Triggers: Cause and Avoidance

As you try to get sober, one of the toughest parts can be trying to avoid relapsing. Therefore, it helps to know some common relapse triggers. These situations tend to make people more tempted to relapse than others. That way, you’ll know what to avoid and good ways to do so…

Relapse Triggers: Common Types

Withdrawal symptoms

The most frequent type of relapse triggers are withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can range from being mildly annoying to quite severe. When they get to the point of being nearly unbearable, some people will relapse in an effort to try and get their symptoms to stop. This could lead to them accidentally overdosing, because they ingest more than their body can handle.

For the most part, these symptoms will go away after a couple of days. Still, those cravings can last for months, and come back unexpectedly even years down the line. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure you have strong support from friends, support groups, and other professionals to help you avoid a relapse.

Emotional distress

Severe emotional distress can also be some people’s relapse triggers. In general, these tend to be things like stress, anxiety, or depression. As someone is trying to get sober, they also have to adapt to any other changes occurring in their lives. They may end up relapsing in an effort to “feel better” if they struggle to cope properly.

A good way to prevent this is to learn healthy ways to cope with those negative feelings. It may help to meet with a mental health professional to accomplish this. That way, you can learn what may be causing those feelings and how you can respond in a healthy way when they come up.

Peer pressure

Unfortunately, the people around you could potentially become relapse triggers. While most people will have friends and family support them, others may have them try and encourage risky behaviors. For example, they may tempt you to just have “one drink” when you’re out, despite your efforts to keep clean.

The best way to avoid this is to try and tell them how it makes you feel when they pressure you in such a way. It’s possible that they didn’t realize what they were doing and will stop. For those who don’t, however, the safest thing is to just avoid being around them as best as you can.

BAC Levels: Effects and Dangers

As a person drinks, the amount of alcohol in their blood stream increases. These blood alcohol content, or BAC levels, can result in different symptoms. It’s key to know when these levels cross over from minor complications to serious risks…

BAC Levels: Know The Ranges

.03-.08

The first of the BAC levels is on the lower side of being dangerous. At this level, the symptoms won’t usually be too bad. This is where people may start to feel more sociable and get a bit red in the face. Their attention span may also get shorter as they bounce from one thing to another.

Still, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful. Even at these lower levels, their judgement and motor skills may not be as sharp as they usually are. This is why every state has .08 BAC as its legal limit for how much alcohol can be in your blood when you drive.

.09-.25

.09-.25 is the middle ground of BAC levels. Here, a person will begin to really feel the effects of alcohol. They’ll have trouble with memory and speaking, as well as struggle to stay awake. Issues with balance and blurred vision also tend to be common.

In this state, a person is no longer able to drive safely. Rather, they need to let their body process all the alcohol in their blood. Try to cut them off from drinking and encourage them to have some water instead, while keeping an eye on them just in case. They might also need to find another ride home if they can’t sober up.

.25 and up

Once a person’s BAC levels go past .25, things can become quite dangerous. They may constantly pass out and wake up, vomit, have issues breathing, and experience a slow heart rate. Extremely high levels of BAC can even be fatal if not treated.

At this point, the concern has passed from them just driving. Now, they’ll need some expert attention. The safest thing is to either have someone sober take them to a hospital or call an ambulance if no one else can drive. In the meantime, stay with the person and keep them awake and upright until help arrives.

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