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What is Alcohol Abuse?

Many people think that alcohol abuse and alcoholism are the same. This information is not based on alcoholism facts, alcohol abuse facts, or about alcohol facts. Indeed, though both alcohol abuse and alcoholism are similar in that both point to the unfortunate connection that exists between abuse and alcohol, alcohol abuse, unlike alcoholism, does not include the loss of control due to drinking, physical dependence, or an extremely strong craving for alcohol.

Definition of Alcohol Abuse. Alcohol abuse is defined as a pattern of drinking that results in one or more of the following circumstances in a twelve-month time frame:

*Drinking in situations that can result in physical injury such as operating machinery.

*Continued drinking in spite of ongoing relationship problems that are the result of drinking.

*Failure to attend to important responsibilities at home, work, or school.

*Experiencing recurring alcohol-related legal problems. Examples include getting arrested for damaging someone’s property, receiving a DUI, or for physically hurting someone while drunk.

An intelligent way of looking at the components that make up the definition of alcohol abuse is this: when a person exhibits problems in any or all of these areas, consider this information as alcohol abuse signs. That is, the manifestation of any or all of these issues is often a red flag that the person is engaging in abusive drinking.

Recovery Links

Alcoholics Anonymous
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope that they may solve their common problem and help others recover from alcoholism.

A.A. Grapevine
A meeting in print.  “the international journal of AA”

Deaf and Hard of Hearing AA 12 Step Recovery Resources Al-anon
To help families and friends of alcoholics recover from the effects of living with the problem drinking of a relative or friend.

Alateen is our recovery program for young people. Alateen groups are sponsored by Al-Anon members.

Narcotics Anonymous is an international, community-based association of recovering drug addicts with more than 31,000 weekly meetings in over 100 countries worldwide.

Cocaine Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other so that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from their addiction.

Our Mission, as one of the top treatment centers in the U.S., is to provide high quality, focused, individualized treatment to those seeking help while maintaining the highest levels of skill and ethics.

Marijuana Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share our experience, strength, and hope with each other that we may solve our common problem and help others to recover from marijuana addiction

Dual Recovery Anonymous is an independent, twelve step, nonprofessional, self-help organization for people with a dual diagnosis. Our goal is to help men and women who experience a dual illness. We are chemically dependent and we are also affected by an emotional or psychiatric illness.

Overeaters Anonymous offers a program of recovery from compulsive overeating using the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA.

GAMBLERS ANONYMOUS is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from a gambling problem.

Is your life unmanageable because of credit card debt and overspending?

Sex Addicts Anonymous, SAA, is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other so they may overcome their sexual addiction and help others recover from sexual addiction or dependency

Nicotine Anonymous is a Non-Profit 12 Step Fellowship of men and women helping each other live nicotine-free lives.

We are a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may recover from their emotional illness and help others who still suffer to find a new way of life.

Emotions Anonymous is a twelve-step organization, similar to Alcoholics Anonymous. Our fellowship is composed of people who come together in weekly meetings for the purpose of working toward recovery from emotional difficulties.

Crystal Meth Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women for whom all drugs, specifically Crystal Meth, have become a problem.

Depressed Anonymous® was formed to provide therapeutic resources for depressed individuals of all ages.

To assist hepatitis patients and their loved ones in taking control of their spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional health by providing current, comprehensive information in one source.

Is a fellowship of people who share their Experience, Strength, and Hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from OCD.

This community was created in an effort to share the message of recovery from prescription drug addiction with fellow pill addicts.

Families Anonymous is a group of concerned relatives and friends who have faced up to the reality that the problems of someone close to us is seriously affecting our lives and our ability to function normally.

Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous (ABA) ABA uses the Twelve-Step Program adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous to address the mental, emotional, and spiritual components of the disorders of anorexia and bulimia. By following the Twelve Steps we have come to a deep level of freedom from our deadly obsessions with body weight and shape and with food, obsessions that once dominated our minds and dictated the course of our lives

Alcohol Facts & Fiction

Alcohol destroys brain cells.
The moderate consumption of alcohol does not destroy brain cells. In fact it is often associated with improved cognitive (mental) functioning.

White wine is a good choice for a person who wants a light drink with less alcohol.
Standard Drinks graphically illustrates information on the equivalence of standard drinks of beer, wine and distilled spirits or liquor. Its accuracy has been established by medical and other health professionals.

A glass of white or red wine, a bottle of beer, and a shot of whiskey or other distilled spirits all contain equivalent amounts of alcohol and are they same to a Breathalyzer. A standard drink is:

  • A 12-ounce bottle or can of regular beer
  • A 5-ounce glass of wine
  • A one and 1/2 ounce of 80 proof distilled spirits (either straight or in a mixed drink).

Drinking coffee will help a drunk person sober up.
Only time can sober up a person…not black coffee, cold showers, exercise, or any other common “cures.” Alcohol leaves the body of virtually everyone at a constant rate of about .015 percent of blood alcohol content (BAC) per hour. Thus, a person with a BAC of .015 would be completely sober in an hour while a person with a BAC of ten times that (.15) would require 10 hours to become completely sober. This is true regardless of sex, age, weight, and similar factors.

Binge drinking is an epidemic problem on college campuses.
Binge drinking is clinically and commonly viewed as a period of extended intoxication lasting at least several days during which time the binger drops out of usual life activities. Few university students engage in such bingeing behavior. However, a number sometimes consume at least four drinks in day (or at least five for men). Although many of these young people may never even become intoxicated, they are branded as binge drinkers by some researchers. This practice deceptively inflates the number of apparent binge drinkers. In reality, the proportion of college students who drink continues to decline, as does the percentage of those who drink heavily.

Alcohol abuse is an increasing problem among young people.
Heavy alcohol use among people in the US 17 years of age or younger actually dropped by an amazing two-thirds (65.9 percent) between 1985 and 1997, according to federal government research.  The proportion of young people who consumed any alcohol within the previous month dropped from 50% to 19% in about the same period. Other federally funded research also documents the continuing decline in both drinking and drinking abuse among young people.  Similarly, alcohol-related traffic injuries and fatalities among young people continue to drop. Deaths associated with young drinking drivers aged 16 to 24 decreased almost half (47%) in a recent 15-year period.

Alcohol advertising increases drinking problems.
Hundreds of scientific research studies around the world have clearly demonstrated that alcohol advertising does not lead to increases in drinking abuse or drinking problems. Alcohol advertising continues because effective ads can increase a brand’s share of the total market.

Drunkenness and alcoholism are the same thing.
Many non-alcoholics on occasion become intoxicated or drunk. However, if they are not addicted to alcohol, they are not alcoholic. Of course, intoxication is never completely safe or risk-free and should be avoided. It is better either to abstain or to drink in moderation. While consuming alcohol sensibly is associated with better health and longer life, the abuse of alcohol is associated with many undesirable health outcomes.

Alcohol is the cause of alcoholism.
As a governmental alcohol agency has explained, “Alcohol no more causes alcoholism than sugar causes diabetes.” The agency points out that if alcohol caused alcoholism then all drinkers would be alcoholics.  In fact, a belief common among members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is that people are born alcoholic and are not caused to be alcoholic by alcohol or anything in their experience. They argue that many people are born and die alcoholic without ever having had a sip of alcohol. Of course, a person can’t be a drinking or practicing alcoholic without alcohol.

For more Myths and Facts, visit:

What is Problem Gambling?

Problem gambling (ludomania) is an urge to gamble despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop. Problem gambling often is defined by whether harm is experienced by the gambler or others, rather than by the gambler’s behavior. Severe problem gambling may be diagnosed as clinical pathological gambling if the gambler meets certain criteria. Although the term gambling addiction is common in the recovery movement, pathological gambling is considered to be an impulse control disorder.

The DSM-IV diagnostic criteria presented as a checklist is an alternative to South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS), it focuses on the psychological motivations underpinning problem gambling and was developed by the American Psychiatric Association. It consists of ten diagnostic criteria. One screening measure based upon the DSM-IV criteria is the National Opinion Research Center DSM Screen for Gambling Problems (NODS). This measure is currently used frequently. The Canadian Problem Gambling Inventory (CPGI) is another newer assessment measure. The Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) is composed of nine items from the longer CPGI. The PGSI focuses on the harms and consequences associated with problem gambling.

Most treatment for problem gambling involves counselling, step-based programs, self-help, peer-support, medication, or a combination of these. However, no one treatment is considered to be most efficacious and no medications have been approved for the treatment of pathological gambling by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Gamblers Anonymous (GA) is a commonly used treatment for gambling problems. Modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous, GA uses a 12-step model that emphasizes a mutual-support approach.

One form of counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to reduce symptoms and gambling-related urges. This type of therapy focuses on the identification of gambling-related thought processes, mood and cognitive distortions that increase one’s vulnerability to out-of-control gambling. Additionally, CBT approaches frequently utilize skill-building techniques geared toward relapse prevention, assertiveness and gambling refusal, problem solving and reinforcement of gambling-inconsistent activities and interests.

As to behavioral treatment, some recent research supports the use of both activity scheduling and desentization in the treatment of gambling problems. In general behavior analytic research in this area is growing.

There is evidence that the SSRI paroxetine is efficient in the treatment of pathological gambling. Additionally, for patients suffering from both pathological gambling and a comorbid bipolar spectrum condition, sustained release lithium has shown efficacy in a preliminary trial. The opiate antagonist drug nalmefene has also been trialed quite successfully for the treatment of compulsive gambling.

This article contains excerpts from:

What Is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism, which is also known as “alcohol dependence syndrome,” is a disease that is characterized by the following elements:

  • Craving: A strong need, or compulsion, to drink.
  • Loss of control: The frequent inability to stop drinking once a person has begun.
  • Physical dependence: The occurrence of withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety, when alcohol use is stopped after a period of heavy drinking. These symptoms are usually relieved by drinking alcohol or by taking another sedative drug.
  • Tolerance: The need for increasing amounts of alcohol in order to get “high.”

Alcoholics Can’t Just Quit

Alcoholism has little to do with what kind of alcohol one drinks, how long one has been drinking, or even exactly how much alcohol one consumes. But it has a great deal to do with a person’s uncontrollable need for alcohol. This description of alcoholism helps us understand why most alcoholics can’t just “use a little willpower” to stop drinking. He or she is frequently in the grip of a powerful craving for alcohol, a need that can feel as strong as the need for food or water.

While some people are able to recover without help, the majority of alcoholic individuals need outside assistance to recover from their disease. With support and treatment, many individuals are able to stop drinking and rebuild their lives.

Many people wonder: Why can some individuals use alcohol without problems, while others are utterly unable to control their drinking? Recent research supported by NIAAA has demonstrated that for many people, a vulnerability to alcoholism is inherited.

Genetics, Environment Play a Role

Yet it is important to recognize that aspects of a person’s environment, such as peer influences and the availability of alcohol, also are significant influences. Both inherited and environmental influences are called “risk factors.”

But risk is not destiny. Just because alcoholism tends to run in families doesn’t mean that a child of an alcoholic parent will automatically develop alcoholism.

This article was taken from:

Compulsive Gambling

Our residential gambling treatment team understands and knows how to treat the complex psychiatric disorder called compulsive gambling.

Our philosophy is to be a compassionate center for the treatment of compulsive gambling , integrating individual psychotherapy, family therapy, hypnotherapy, art therapy and wellness issues with a belief in the Twelve Step Program. We provide clients with the essential tools to achieve and maintain abstinence and recovery and restore healthy functioning with a sense of health and well being.

Please fill out the information to the side or or call 877-559-WELL to start treatment.

Alcohol Addiction

Our residential alcohol treatment team understands and knows how to treat the complex psychiatric disorder called alcoholism.

Our philosophy is to be a compassionate center for the treatment of alcoholism, integrating individual psychotherapy, family therapy, hypnotherapy, art therapy and wellness issues with a belief in the Twelve Step Program. We provide clients with the essential tools to achieve and maintain abstinence and recovery and restore healthy functioning with a sense of health and well being.

Please fill out the information to the side or or call 877-559-WELL to start treatment.

Nations pledge crackdown on online alcohol ads

From our local NBC station:

Associated Press Writer

GENEVA (AP) – Countries around the world are pledging to get tough with companies that market beer and liquor on social media networks such as Facebook, warning that such promotions threaten to entice a new generation into harmful drinking patterns.

The crackdown is part of a strategy endorsed Thursday by the World Health Organization’s 193 members, breaking decades of global inaction on one of the leading causes of death. It also puts national governments on a collision course with an industry wary of new taxes and advertising controls.

Brewers and liquor manufacturers have trumpeted their brands online, and their sites on Facebook are booming. Heineken counts 400,000 people who “like” its beer, while vodka maker Absolut and alcopop brand Smirnoff Ice are nearing a half-million each.

But the Global Alcohol Producers Group – representing Heineken, Diageo, Anheuser-Busch InBev and others – called WHO’s strategy an “important and constructive step forward in helping address alcohol issues around the world.”

Spokeswoman Carol Clark said the group wanted to work with WHO to reduce alcohol abuse, and voiced support for minimum age requirements, drunk driving laws and other optional measures suggested in WHO’s report.

In the 24-page report, WHO warned that alcohol was being “marketed through increasingly sophisticated advertising and promotion techniques.” Sports, concerts and sponsorships are being joined by e-mails, texts, podcasting and social media to reach consumers, some of them underage.

Online sites have been used by European youths organizing massive binge drinking festivals that are being increasingly scrutinized by authorities. Last week, a 21-year-old man died in France after an accident at an alcohol-drenched party organized on Facebook attended by 10,000 young revelers.

The nonbinding resolution comes less than a month before soccer’s World Cup in South Africa, which is expected to be watched by over a billion people. Anheuser-Busch InBev is a sponsor and its brand Budweiser will grace the trophy for each match’s best player.

“Reducing the impact of marketing, particularly on young people and adolescents, is an important consideration in reducing harmful use of alcohol,” WHO said. Ads shouldn’t target young people – even of drinking age – because this could also attract adolescents, it said.

The strategy isn’t a legal treaty and it lacks the teeth of WHO’s 2005 landmark tobacco accord, which requires ratifying governments to fight smoking. But WHO guidelines can send a powerful message that countries are ready to work together on tougher international laws for products from cigarettes to booze.

Harmful drinking is the third leading risk factor for disability and premature death in the world, with 2.5 million deaths each year linked to alcohol, WHO said. That figure includes 320,000 people between 15 and 29, and the agency said many others are sickened with heart and liver diseases, cancer and even HIV/AIDS because of alcohol abuse.

“Alcohol is the risk factor for many other things,” said Dr. Shekhar Saxena, director of WHO’s mental health and substance abuse department. “Usually it is not perceived as the killer, but it is.”

WHO intensified its alcohol work in 2008,and has faced fierce lobbying from industry groups, which at one point were excluded from discussions. They have argued that advertising bans and higher taxes don’t reduce drinking.

WHO also argued that taxes help reduce alcohol abuse.

“The more affordable alcohol is … the more it is consumed,” its strategy said, calling for minimum prices on drinks and taxes and other pricing policies to reduce underage drinking and bingeing. “Consumers, including heavy drinkers and young people, are sensitive to changes in the price of drinks.”

But that reasoning was rejected by SABMiller, the brewer of Miller Lite, Pilsner Urquell and other beers. It warned that minimum prices and high taxes could hurt public health by leading people away from safe brands toward cheaper, homemade moonshines and brews.

How Our Therapy Works

Having the following different therapies plus real time sharing of clinical notes allows a synergy to compress treatment. Your over 15 hours per week of individual therapy equals much more because using different modalities eases the breakdown of barriers and increases your understanding of yourself.

– An Addiction Psychiatrist/ Clinical Director
Having a full time addiction psychiatrist, who also does individual treatment, allows one to have the benefit of the diagnosis of co-existing psychiatric disorders and appropriate pharmacotherapy.

– Psychodynamic Psychotherapist/Trauma Therapist
The therapist helps the patient get to primary problem that has contributed to their addiction. With the aid of all therapists sharing information the synergy allows staff and clients to understand the problem/problems in the shortest possible time.

– Peer Support Counselor
Having someone who has walked the steps of the addict and has found recovery gives hope and insight. Seeing that recovery is possible allows an individual to get on the right road for themselves.

– Addiction Therapy
The therapists educate the patients about their addiction and help them cope with life without escape to their addiction.

– Art Therapy
Art therapy is employed to help the individual uncover causes of their addiction. Our art therapist, who has 20 years of experience in the field. Your art and , acknowledged tests the therapist interprets for the individual.

– Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy is used to help with abstinence both short and long term. Hypnosis helps to reduce barriers so that the individual can explore conflicts that he has suppressed for many years.

– The Family Program
A family program is suggested after the second week of treatment. This allows the family to begin to understand the addiction, their own issues and how the entire family best support their loved one.

– Body/Personal Trainer
An exercise program is designed for you, a proper diet of nutritious meals prepared by our award winning chef, nutritional education, massage and yoga all aid in your recovery.

Hypnotherapy for Addiction Recovery

The inpatient addiction treatment at Williamsville Wellness integrates numerous therapeutic methods to form a synchronized healing effect. One rather unique method is hypnotherapy…clinical hypnosis within individual psychotherapy.

Hypnosis is a collaboration between therapist and patient, so that the therapist’s hypnotic message to the unconscious mind speaks on behalf of the patient. Thus, patients gain self control of addiction impulses and behavior. Patients are empowered!

At Williamsville Wellness clinicians possess advanced credentials and experience, and the hypnotherapist’s credentials can be examined from his Charlottesville, Virginia website:

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