Soberlink Blog

Discussing the sober truth of alcohol, recovery, and aftercare monitoring

15 Facts About Alcoholism Part II

8. Blacking out and passing out are not the same thing.

A person experiencing a blackout can appear to be fully functional to others. However, he or she will not remember what happened at a later time. This is because alcohol dependence affects the brain’s ability to store long-term memories.

9. The opposite is also true.

The alcoholic may remember too much and continue drinking to “forget” the shame of what he or she has done while drinking. It becomes a vicious cycle that can be hard to get out of.

10. Alcoholism is expensive.

In the most recent statistic, from a study taken in 2006, alcohol abuse and misuse cost the United States over 220 billion dollars. This includes such things as medical costs and public funds expenditures. It’s likely substantially higher today.

15 Facts About Alcoholism Part I

1. It’s more common than you think

Alcohol is the most highly abused drug in the United States. According a 2012 study by the National Institutes of Health, 7.2 percent of American adults have an alcohol use disorder. This is more than 27 million individuals. If you are struggling, you are certainly not alone.

2. It affects men more than women.

The percentage of men with an alcohol use disorder is even higher, at 9.9 percent. One theory as to why is that men find drinking to be more pleasurable due to higher dopamine release in their brains.

How I Stay Accountable: Sasha

Accountability to me means not cutting corners and doing the easy thing. It means keeping my recovery at the forefront every single day. It means that if I let my recovery become a last priority, then I will suffer the consequences. It means delaying gratification and having willingness to pretty much do the things I don’t want to do.

Long-term Recovery and Family Law: Making Your Case

Addiction is a disease. Our society is coming to grips with this truth more and more each day. However, emerging cultural developments often take time to work their way into our judicial system; courts are, by design, built to resist rapid change — including family courts, where custody decisions involving the children of addicts are routine.

Alcohol Genes? It’s Not Just Genetics

According to researcher Mark Schucki, MD, about 50% of dependence and addiction to alcohol can be attributed to genetics. In fact, sometimes clients will enter treatment and say “Addiction runs in my family, so I can’t help it”. But what about the other 50%? Environmental and social factors are just as important as genetics when it comes to alcoholism.

The Disease Model of Alcoholism

The disease model of Alcoholism can be a controversial topic because of the perception and stigma attached to the word “disease”. The fact remains that alcoholism is a chronic, lifelong condition that must be monitored and managed. There are, like most diseases, behavioral, environmental, genetic factors that contribute to alcoholism. Alcoholics have a physical and psychological need for alcohol throughout their addiction and many even report being addicted immediately after their first drink. Alcoholism is a progressive and degenerative disease that most people need help to fight against.

The Disease of Alcoholism

When an individual receives the initial diagnosis of cancer, they continue seeing their doctor for visits even after treatment has been completed. The chronic disease of alcohol addiction should be treated in a similar fashion. The disease of alcoholism encompasses all the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse. It also includes a physical dependence on alcohol. Over time the body and the brain adjust to the steady intake of alcohol, so it is not uncommon for those with an addiction to need alcohol to function on a daily basis.

Adjusting to Life After Rehab

Graduating from a rehab program is an enormous accomplishment for which you should be very proud. Successfully completing a treatment program shows that you are committed to fighting your addiction. It’s important to remember that the work required to live a sober life doesn’t stop when you leave a rehab facility. Now is your chance to apply the things you learned to your day-to-day life.

You have an opportunity to really change your life. Maintaining positive changes from rehab will take proactive effort and reinforcement. To avoid the trappings of your former addictive habits, and bolster your new healthy lifestyle, have the following supports in place:

A Network of Sober People

Sober contacts can be your most valuable tools during recovery and they can also become lifelong friends. You should be able to call these people if you’re struggling with cravings, or if you just need to talk. Staying sober can seem lonely at first but there is a vibrant recovery community at your fingertips. Pick up the phone and call a sober contact. A good place to start such a network, if you haven’t already created one with others in treatment, is to attend peer support meetings like Al-Anon.

Are You Drinking Too Much? Some Considerations

The math is clear: alcohol causes more societal damage than hard drugs. There are many potential explanations, but perhaps the most compelling is this: alcohol lacks the social stigma associated with other drugs like marijuana or heroin. Because of this, no one thinks twice at the office if you talk about going out for drinks after the staff meeting; try the same sentence, but substitute “heroin” for “alcohol,” and you’ll quickly find yourself unemployed.