binge drinking

Dry January: A “Litmus Test” for Addiction

dry januaryIf you are working a program of recovery, you know that you cannot drink or drug—no matter what. Addiction recovery requires an effort every day to abstain from mind altering substances. It is no easy task, but one that can be accomplished through vigilant adherence to the principles and traditions of recovery.

It practically goes without saying that there are more people active in addiction than there are in recovery. And despite significant efforts to change this fact, it is unlikely that it will ever be accomplished. Simply put, it is much easier to continue one’s destructive ways, than it is to work towards a healthier way of life. The teeth of addiction sink deep.

Recently there has been much talk about opioid addiction. Especially regarding helping people with an opioid use disorder find both treatment and, ideally, long-term recovery. It hasn’t proved to be easy to accomplish, but there is hope on the horizon. In the midst of an opioid epidemic, many have lost sight of the drug that arguably has the longest history of causing the most damage. Alcohol! The drug is legal, can be acquired with little effort by practically any group and many abusers are not convinced that they have a problem that needs to be addressed.

Dry January — A “Litmus Test” for Addiction

At this time, every year, people around the world observe “Dry January.” The goal being, abstain from New Year’s Day to February 1st. After a month of heavy drinking at the end of each year, many welcome an opportunity to defog their mind from alcohol. December is notorious for throwing caution to the wind regarding one’s health. Why not do the opposite in January?

For many Americans alcohol is no big deal, having a laissez faire take it or leave it attitude. Others consume a few drinks after work throughout the week, exercising moderation when it comes to booze. Then there are those who are often unaware that their drinking has become problematic, even though they are still able to fulfill their responsibilities. While the first two groups may find a month-long moratorium on alcohol to be a walk in the park, the latter may find something altogether different.

If you are in the last group and attempt to abstain from alcohol this month, you may be able to white knuckle it through to the end. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have control over your alcohol. Those of you who give it a try and are unsuccessful, would do yourself a great service to evaluate the role of alcohol in your life. It is likely that you will find your drinking is actually a hindrance, potentially compromising your health. If that is the case, it is important to keep remember that you are not alone, millions of Americans have an untreated alcohol use disorder. Even more people engage in heavy drinking, with around 25% of adults binge drinking.

Recovery May Be Waiting For You

If you find at the end of January, you were unable to abstain from alcohol the entire month, it doesn’t mean that you are an alcoholic. But there is a good chance, and you would do yourself a great service to speak with an addiction professional about your drinking. Through such discourse, you may find that alcohol has had a negative impact on your life and you need help finding a different way of living.

If your own experience has shown you that assistance is needed, please contact Synergy Group Services. Our experienced staff can aid you in getting your life back, through living a life in addiction recovery. If alcohol is a problem, recovery is the best solution.

Pregnant Women Drinking and Binge Drinking

binge-drinkingIt has long been understood that alcohol can have adverse effects on unborn fetuses, resulting in problems that can last a lifetime. In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in babies being born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), a disorder which can occur if pregnant women use opioids during their pregnancy term. Any mind altering substance can seriously impact developing babies.

Women who drink alcohol during pregnancy put their baby at risk of developing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). In the United States, every alcohol beverage has a warning label which cautions pregnant women about use; despite that, however, many women still drink alcohol throughout their pregnancy.

New research suggests that many women are not only drinking whilst pregnant, they are binge drinking as well, Medical News Today reports. The findings come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the past 30 days, 10% of pregnant women in the US ages 18-44 have consumed alcohol and another 3.1 percent of pregnant women report binge drinking. Binge drinking is commonly defined for women as having 4 drinks in a two hour period. 3.1 percent translates to about 30 percent of pregnant women who consume alcohol binge drinking, according to the article.

“Women who are pregnant or might be pregnant should be aware that there is no known safe level of alcohol that can be consumed at any time during pregnancy. All types of alcohol should be avoided, including red or white wine, beer, and liquor,” said Cheryl Tan, lead author of the study and an epidemiologist in the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

Women most likely to drink while pregnant were:

  • Ages 35-44 years (18.6%)
  • College Graduates (13%)
  • Unmarried Women (12.9%)

The findings were published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
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At Synergy Group Services we offer individualized treatment plans for addiction recovery.

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