Is Exposure to Alcohol Ads a Bad Influence on Minors?

Many countries are now banning alcohol advertisements in public places, especially near schools. This has started a debate on whether minors are adversely influenced when exposed to alcohol advertisements. While opponents claim otherwise, proponents of the ban feel it does affect minors in a bad way. So, what’s the truth amidst all this hype?

The Purpose of Alcohol Advertisements
Alcohol advertisements are primarily meant to influence our choice of alcohol and not how we drink alcohol. This is the reason alcohol manufacturers don’t advertise their products on television when minors viewership is high. On the other hand, when the age of the viewers increase, those programs do allow alcohol advertisements and this has been a sore point with parents and activists who claim alcohol advertisements are sending adolescents to alcohol drug rehab, as the purpose of the advertisements is lost.

What Do Researchers Say?
RAND, a non-profit organization, conducted a study and found school kids from grades 7th to 9th can be adversely influenced by alcohol advertisements. This study took into account just the advertisements shown during late night shows, such as Saturday Night Live, David Letterman and Jay Leno. However, the study doesn’t really reveal whether it is the ads that influence kids or it is the staying up late that pushes minors to alcohol.

Researchers from University of Texas beg to differ, as their study shows there is no connection between alcohol ads and minors. The study does state that alcohol manufacturers have increased their advertising budget in the last four decades, but the overall consumption has remained steady.

The Verdict
While there are many studies that support both opponents and proponents of alcohol advertisements, scientific studies have shown that minors are affected and influenced by their parents and friends. Of course, this doesn’t take away the influence of advertisements, but compared to other factors, this impact is marginal. So, if more minors today are being sent to alcohol drug rehab, it has more to do with their home environment and social circles. One can’t really blame alcohol ads for this rise in alcohol abuse among minors.

It’s April: Say ‘NO’ to Alcohol This Awareness Month

You may think that binge drinking amongst the young is the stuff of trash television and teenage films, but kids in the USA are starting as young as 12, and the under 21s are responsible for the consumption of approximately 11% of all alcohol consumed across the country, and usually in binge sessions.

Alcohol Awareness Month is the perfect time to examine alcohol use and misuse, and there’s nothing better this April than using the month to say a firm “No”. Now in its 29th year, the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCADD) are focusing on the young in 2015, and state and nationwide events will focus on the very young, educating children about the dangers of alcohol abuse.

Battling alcohol issues in the young can be more confusing than for an adult, but much of the same applies in terms of seeking help:

  • Talk it out – find a trusted adult, parent, or teacher who can talk through what excess drinking might mean without passing judgment.

  • Take up activities as a distraction – if the stresses of the classroom are leading to alcohol abuse, extra sports or out of school activities will help with one of the major causes of turning to alcohol for young people; having nothing to do.

  • Effect on teens – Teenagers who drink to excess before they’ve even left school are four times more likely to be dependent on alcohol once they reach adulthood. Alcohol dependency support groups aren’t just for adults, and can help young people that need dedicated support.

The seeds of addiction are often there in childhood and the early teens, even before children have sampled drugs or alcohol, so looking out for signs of withdrawn or unusual behavior will help you to give your children the confidence they may need to seek help.

Enrich Your Relationship with Honesty This Valentine’s Day!

It can be very tempting early on in a relationship to be economical with the truth to make you look better to your new partner. We all do it, and often you both settle down to an open honesty that is healthy for your relationship. However, dating when in the grip of addiction, or even when undergoing recovery can be a minefield, leading to manipulative or even emotionally or physically abusive behavior.

The good news is that the counseling you undergo during recovery gives you the tools to examine patterns and learn how to break them.

  • Talk it out – Don’t assume your partner is aware of your thoughts and feelings; they’re not a mind-reader, and if you’ve been used to covering up your addiction you’re probably a master at hiding your feelings. Allow yourself to be vulnerable both in expressing your emotions, and listening to your partner’s hopes and fears too.

  • Walk; don’t run – Although it can be tempting to replace the false stability that substance or alcohol abuse once gave you with the immediate intensity of a serious relationship, constant communication to make sure you’re both equally invested is essential.

  • No relationship is bomb proof – We’ve all seen couples who appear to have the perfect relationship. They never argue, and they seem perfectly in tune with each other at all times. Unless they’re putting on a front for the outside world, there’s a good chance they work hard on their communication, and talk through any issues in their relationship with each other before they become a serious problem.

Whether you’re dating, or looking for a life partner, all relationships deserve honest and open communication. Even if you’re not for the long-haul, you’ll take positive experiences from this relationship into the next.

National Drug Facts Week: Engaging People to Empower Life

Just right around the corner is National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week, which helps promote better education on drug abuse and addiction among teens and how a community as a whole can prevent future drug abuse or addiction

When It Starts
Starting on January 26 and running until February 2, National Drug Facts Week holds various events throughout the United States with scientific experts reaching out to teenagers on the effects of drug abuse. This is a great opportunity for teens, and even adults, to learn more about the myths surrounding drugs and how they directly damage the brain and motor functions.

The Effect of Addiction
Drug addiction, whether it happens to be marijuana or alcohol abuse, directly alters the brain and how it is able to function. This can lead to nerve damage, memory loss, loss of certain motor functions, or even fatal reactions to the brain if treatment isn’t sought out.

What National Drug Facts Week Can Do
This is especially troublesome among teens, who are at higher risk of drug addiction and have a higher chance of brain damage because of drug use compared to adults. With National Drug Facts Week fast approaching, this is the perfect opportunity to seek out help right now with any troubled loved ones who are suffering from addiction and need to get better.

The first step to recovery is recognizing the addiction and then taking the necessary plan of action to be admitted into rehab in order to get better. Being surrounded by loved ones and the right kind of education can help during this recovery process and ensure that relapse doesn’t happen afterward and only the right information is known.

Love Your Liver: 5 Reasons How Alcohol Can Ruin It

Taking care of yourself means knowing exactly your weaknesses and strengths but this can be difficult for anyone, but especially for those suffering from addiction. If you or a loved one happens to be suffering from alcohol addiction, they need to begin to learn about loving their liver, their mind, and their body. One of the best ways is through learning about the main five reasons how they are ruining their health with addiction.

    1. Alcohol Addiction & Withdrawal
      The biggest health concern in terms of alcohol addiction is the withdrawal stage. In severe cases, withdrawal can lead to death or near fatal symptoms. In most rehab centers, a small portion of alcohol can be used in alcohol treatment in order to help the person recover safely. Going to the withdrawal stage is a serious sign that the addicted needs professional help and can thankfully find it at an addiction treatment center.

    1. Bad Liver or Liver Failure
      After years of alcohol abuse, the liver will become weaker and can suddenly go into failure. This is also another unfortunately fatal outcome if not treated right away. Liver failure is something that can be avoided or alleviated when caught early on or even prevented completely by admitting to addiction and then getting the treatment that is needed to be well.

    1. Overall Bad Health
      Much like smoking, prolong alcohol abuse without treatment is going to affect the entire body and not just the liver. The body becomes literally dependent on it after time and this can affect people as soon as they wake up and throughout the entire day (and night).

Simple tasks can feel like a chore or even light exercise can feel painful or tire someone out quicker compared to a healthy person. Not to mention long term alcohol abuse leads to ulcers, vitamin B deficiency, high blood pressure, and even cancer of the mouth and throat.

Instead of allowing alcohol to overrun your overall health and feeling sick or tired every single day, being proactive and taking the necessary steps toward being better can lead to an extended life as well as actually feeling healthier.

    1. Poor Mental State
      While alcohol does impair your mental capacity when you become drunk, it also has a prolonged affect in terms of your mental state. Most people turn to alcohol and other addictions during times when they are depressed or have other stress in their lives and this eventually leads to addiction.

Continuing on this path only deteriorates the mental state more. Depression can become worse, stress and anxiety will heighten, and in extreme cases, all of this pressure can lead to suicide. With alcohol treatment, it’s more than just detoxing the body, it is also detoxing the mind.

    1. High Risk of Permanent Damage
      Binge drinking in large amounts over time can lead to many problems, whether they are mental or health, but one of the worse ways that alcohol addiction can damage someone without death is permanent damage to the brain or body overall. Brain damage is more common in terms of permanent conditions and can lead to nerve damage, memory loss, amnesia, and loss of certain major motor functions or bodily functions.

Reaching out and finding help with alcohol treatment is the first step on the right path that can avoid most or all of these high risk problems. There is help and there is a solution beyond binge drinking and alcohol dependency.

Non-Alcoholic Christmas Drinks That Your Guests Would Love

The holiday season can be a difficult time for people looking to enjoy a non-alcoholic celebration. Rather than forgo the festivities, try one, or more, of the following drinks. Your guests will never miss the alcohol and all will enjoy a safe and alcoholic-free celebration.

Ginger Punch

      • Mix 3 cups of water and 1/4 cup minced ginger in a small pan and boil for two minutes then turn off the heat and let sit for fifteen minutes.
      • Strain and add 1/4 cup each of honey, molasses and cider vinegar. Add 3/4 cups lemon juice.
      • Finally, add six more cups of water to the mixture and chill overnight.

Raspberry Punch

      • Thaw four ten ounce packages of frozen raspberries and cook (with juice) for ten minutes. Strain the seeds.
      • Add one six ounce can of frozen lemonade concentrate and mix well.
      • Right before serving, add one two-liter bottle of ginger ale to the mix.

Lavender Delight

      • Boil seven cups of water.
      • Pour four cups over two tablespoons of lavender buds and three cups over 1/2 cup of sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar. Allow lavender buds to steep in water for fifteen minutes and strain into sugar mixture.
      • Add the juice of three lemons and ice.

Winter Warmer

      • Gather three whole cardamoms, eight whole cloves, one cinnamon stick and the peel from one orange. Tie them in a cheese cloth.
      • Place in three cups of water and bring to a boil then allow to simmer ten minutes.
      • Add 1/2 cup of raisins and 1/2 cup slivered almonds and continue simmering for another ten minutes.
      • Add seven cups of dark red grape juice and bring pot to a boil. Turn off. Stir and chill with spice bag still included.
      • When ready to serve, remove spice bag and provide honey for sweetener.

The Rapid and Dangerous Consequences of Alcohol Overdose

Consequences of Alcohol OverdoseAlcohol overdose is a cause for thousands of deaths per year. One of the biggest dangers of getting drunk is that people forget when to stop to the point alcohol addiction becomes a problem. Musician and singer Phil Collins recently admitted he nearly lost his life due to alcohol and prescription drug abuse. He was helped by professionals who blend traditional and visionary approaches together. Here are the main reasons why alcohol addiction can be destructive to yourself and others.

Risks of Alcohol Overdose
Toxic BAC level is reached depending on the following factors:

  • Gender: Men metabolize alcohol faster than women
  • Age: Older individuals metabolize alcohol slower than young people
  • Ethnicity: Genetics can play a role
  • Drinking History: A human liver can only tolerate so much alcohol
  • Food Intake: The less you eat the more intoxicated you can get from alcohol

Warning Signs of Abuse
Usually the more you drink, the higher your blood alcohol level gets. The brain can tell important systems to shut down if it detects too much alcohol in the body. Too much alcohol can cause the heart to stop. Here some other dangers of drinking too much, particularly when it involves the safety of others:

  • loss of balance
  • loss of rational judgment
  • angry and violent attitude
  • driving or operating machinery recklessly in a way that endangers others
  • clumsiness and reduced coordination
  • loss of consciousness
  • brain impairment resulting in slurred speech
  • willing to take more dangerous risks

Alcohol Treatment Therapy
If you want to eliminate alcohol addiction from your life, the first thing you should consider is a group that offers a safe, peaceful and comfortable environment. The most modern alcohol treatment therapy programs include transitional homes that are in an upscale gated community. A positive environment is crucial in order for the therapy to work.

How Early Intervention in Young Women Stops Addiction

Young Women Addiction InterventionTeenagers and young women are being exposed to drugs and alcohol almost every day, and at alarming rates. Studies show, that about 30 percent of high school girls admit to knowing that drug use, and the selling of drugs takes place in their school. Also, many of these young women admit to trying drugs (both prescriptions and over the counter) because they were readily available on school property.

Peak Periods of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Studies over the years have proven the peak periods of drug and alcohol abuse is primarily between the ages of 19 and 22. Although, the first instance of experimentation with drugs begins as early as the ages of 13 to 15.

The key to preventing long term drug abuse is to offer drug and alcohol rehab opportunities to teenagers and young women at the earliest point of drug abuse.

Preventing addiction involves breaking the cycle of use as well as teaching young women the dangers of drugs and clearing their common misconceptions about drug use.

Methods of Prevention
Early intervention and the use of alcohol and drug abuse awareness classes are effective when they are given at the right time. Today, several methods of prevention are being used in the alcohol and
drug rehab programs, these include:

  • Offering alcohol and drug rehab classes at the earliest point of use
  • Including parents and family members in the program
  • Activities and classes that dispel common misconceptions
  • Early intervention tactics that involve many different methods and techniques

By employing a multi-dimensional approach, and allowing the parents or family members to be involved as part of a solid support group, young women are less likely to increase their level of drugs use, if they are provided with effective rehab opportunities.

New Year Resolution: Cut Back on Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol RecoveryOne of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is cutting back alcohol intake or quitting it cold turkey. For people who have been on the fence about this decision, overindulgence during a New Year’s Eve party can motivate them to take the plunge. If you have made a New Year’s resolution to cut back or quit drinking, the following advice will get you on and keep you on the straight and narrow road.

For some people cutting back on alcohol consumption is difficult but not impossible. They are able to achieve desired lifestyle changes such as losing weight and avoiding hangovers by simply decreasing their intake. For other people, it is not so easy to make the change. They find that even with the best intentions they simply cannot control how much they drink. If you find yourself in this situation it may be time to quit cold turkey.

There are a number of other reasons why it may be preferable to quit instead of cut back as well. Physicians recommend that individual with family history of alcoholism with alcohol-related sexual dysfunction or sleep disturbances and/or who have had alcohol-related injuries quit drinking altogether. Additionally, there are a number of medical conditions i.e. hepatitis C, specific medications and alcohol use disorders that necessitate quitting.

If you fall into any of the previously mentioned categories and are a heavy drinker, it is best practice to consult with your physician before making any significant lifestyle changes. Your primary physician knows your medical history and current conditions and medications better than anyone and can make an educated recommendation for your alcohol consumption.

Regardless of your resolution on the matter, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You do not have to take the journey alone. There are resources available that can be a huge asset.

Alcoholism May Result in Hyper-Active Brain Dopamine System

If you are an alcoholic, or in danger of developing alcohol dependency issues, you may have long suspected that your issues aren’t entirely psychological and of your own making. New research from McGill University would suggest that your brain is wired up in such a way as to respond in a specific manner when you drink alcohol, and that if you have a tendency towards addiction, there is a greater dopamine response, i.e., the chemical in the brain that provides a sense of pleasure and reward in your brain when you drink.

These new findings could be exceptionally helpful in future treatments for addiction. Whatever circumstances may have occurred for you to find yourself in a position where you have dependency issues, your dopamine response is likely to be similar to the brain patterns observed in this research. Although similar studies have been carried out to observe compulsive drinking in rats in the past, in this case, a group of social drinkers between the ages of 18 and 30, including a group of higher-risk individuals, underwent brain scan examinations after drinking approximately three drinks in a quarter of an hour.

Their brain responses were significantly different than the low-risk group, so much so that the sedative effect of alcohol was almost entirely counteracted. Additionally, their tolerance to alcohol tended to be much higher, meaning that that second drink might seem both more attractive and necessary to “keep up” with their peer group.

If you’re looking for answers on how you developed your addiction issues, and what can be done to help you recover, this project will now give both you and your addiction team some clues not only to your brain make-up, but what might help you understand, and therefore manage dependency.