alcohol and depression

What Is the Connection Between Alcohol and Depression?

What if you were sliding further into depression without even knowing it?

Many people use alcohol as a coping mechanism to deal with their depression. However, there are many scary links between alcohol and depression.

Wondering what the connection really is? Keep reading to find out!

Chicken and the Egg Problem

There is a simple reason that people are confused about the connections between depression and alcohol. First of all, it’s not always clear which causes which!

For example, many people with depression turn to alcohol as a way to seek relief. This works temporarily because of how alcohol affects the brain (more on this later).

However, alcohol dependence and alcoholism can cause a number of negative consequences in someone’s life. And such consequences put them at extreme risk of developing depression.

We’re going to do a deeper dive into all of the factors surrounding the issue. However, it’s important to understand how each of these things can effectively cause the development of each other.

Depressingly Common

Many people claim to have depression. And morbid jokes about depression have become the regular subject of memes. But just how common is depression?

On average, depression affects one out of every fifteen people every year. And there is a higher potential for depression among those who are in their teens and twenties.

This means that there are over 200,000 people suffering from depression in the United States alone. It’s almost certain that you know someone who is currently suffering.

Now that you know approximately how many people experience depression, it’s important to know how both depression and alcohol affect the chemicals in your brain.

Chemical Connection

As we mentioned before, many who suffer from depression turn towards alcohol as a form of treatment. And this is an approach that may work…right up until it stops working, that is.

Depression is persistent because it involves the chemistry of your brain. When your brain experiences a chemical imbalance, you may experience depression.

This is why most antidepressants seek to restore some of that chemical balance. Unfortunately, most antidepressants are expensive and require prescriptions, meaning that not everyone who needs them will be able to get them.

Because of this, many people turn towards alcohol as a cheaper and more accessible way of treating depression. And while it may provide temporary relief for some people, this relief is not lasting.

Basically, alcohol can temporarily help someone feel good by boosting certain neurotransmitters and blocking others. And it can help someone with activities ranging from socialization to sleep.

When a depressed person stops drinking, though, their depression may be worse. They may experience increased stress levels and feel like many of their symptoms are worse.

Different Kinds of Depression

Alcohol affects many people with depression in different ways. This is largely due to the fact that there are so many different kinds of depression.

Some people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder. As the name implies, SAD symptoms primarily last through the winter, resulting in what many simply identify as the holiday blues.

Psychotic depression is on the more extreme end of things. This can cause extreme paranoia, insomnia, emotional instability, and even hallucinations.

Persistent Depressive Disorder refers to symptoms of depression lasting for two years or more. Such symptoms may include poor self-esteem, difficulty making decisions, poor concentration, and social isolation.

Finally, there’s Major Depression. This is when depression symptoms begin to affect someone’s daily life. Symptoms may include low energy, irritability, frequent crying, and thoughts of suicide.

Alcohol may alternately hold off or exacerbate any and all of these symptoms. So while alcohol affects different depressions in different ways, it’s good for all depressed people to avoid it altogether.

One Thing Leads to Another

We have focused on how depression can lead to alcoholism as a form of coping with symptoms. But how does alcohol consumption itself lead to depression?

First, there is nothing inherently wrong with mild, occasional drinking. And many studies suggest there may even be health benefits to drinking the occasional glass of wine.

However, regular drinking may eventually turn into alcohol dependence or outright alcoholism. And this eventually starts having a negative impact on a person’s personal and professional life.

If someone begins losing friends or even a job due to their drinking, they will experience sadness and regret. And this may eventually blossom into full-blown depression.

It’s true that not every heavy drinker develops depression and not every depressed person is a drinker. But the risk factor for one thing leading to another is very clear.

Diagnosing Depression

You now know exactly how prevalent depression is. But do you know how to diagnose depression in yourself or those you love?

The best way to seek diagnosis is to seek out a medical professional who has experience with depression. However, there are some “warning signs” to be on the lookout for in your own life.

For instance, those whose mood often fluctuates or who experience insomnia may be at risk. Similarly, those who think about harming themselves or others are at risk of depression.

Persistent feelings of sadness are a major warning sign. And, as we have discussed, regular use of alcohol may be a factor.

The final warning sign is whether these feelings have begun to affect your personal or professional life. If the answer is “yes,” then you may well have depression.

Treating Depression

There are many kinds of therapy and forms of medication that can help treat depression. However, those with alcohol dependence and depression may need more specialized treatment.

Numerous treatment centers are able to treat alcohol dependence and depression at the same time. This can help to restore the body and mind simultaneously.

Keep in mind that alcoholism and depression have another big connection: the first step in getting better is admitting that you need help!

Alcohol and Depression: The Bottom Line

Now you know more about the link between alcohol and depression. But do you know who you can turn to for help?

At 1st Step Behavioral Health, we are ready to help you rediscover the real “you” again. To begin that journey, just contact us today!

complications of alcoholism

13 Complications of Alcoholism: How Long-Term Heavy Drinking Affects Your Body

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that there are over 16 million patients diagnosed with alcoholism in the US. Understanding this disease may be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done. But it’s not impossible if it means saving yourself or the people you love the most.

Check out this article to familiarize yourself with the many short and long term complications of alcoholism. Arm yourself with this knowledge today so that you can avoid complications further down the road for you and your family

Alcohol and Consumption Metrics

To begin to understand the short and long term complications of alcoholism, it’s important to consider some of these metrics to understand their significance with alcoholism.

What’s a “Drink”?

In the US, alcoholic beverages contain approximately 0.6 ounces (or 14.0 grams) of pure alcohol. These levels of alcohol are found in the following beverages:

  • 1, 12-ounce bottle or can of beer;
  • 1, 5-ounce glass of wine;
  • 1, 8-ounce glass of malt liquor; and
  • 1.5-ounces of distilled liquor.

Casual/Heavy Drinking

You might have heard the terms “casual” or “heavy” drinker. Each label is defined by the different number of drinks consumed in a specific time frame.

“Casual” drinking for men includes drinking two alcoholic beverages a day. For women, “casual” drinking means consuming one alcoholic beverage a day.
“Heavy” or chronic drinking for men is defined as consuming more than 15 drinks per week. For women, this number is defined as eight or more drinks in a week.

Blood Alcohol Content

Blood alcohol content (BAC) refers to how much alcohol is present in your bloodstream. If someone has a BAC of .20, that means that .2% of their blood is alcohol. BAC levels will depend on the number of drinks consumed, how long it took someone to finish the drinks as well as their own body weight.

Short Term Complications of Alcoholism

There are many short term complications you may notice in a chronic drinker. These complications may seem temporary in nature and only have immediate consequences. Some of these short term complications include:

1. Sudden Weight Gain

More alcohol in your day means more calories in your system. Those drinks don’t come for free.

The added disadvantage is that alcohol is also an appetite stimulant. You might be taking in more food or making poor eating choices when you drink.

2. Blurry/Distorted Vision

Drinking will cause your pupils to dilate and constrict at much slower speeds. This reduces your eye’s ability to adjust for shadows and brightness. Drivers who have been drinking can’t adapt as quickly when facing oncoming headlights.

3. Blood Shot Eyes

Alcohol dehydrates your system and your eyes look tired and red. If you have excessive amounts of alcohol in your system, the blood vessels on your eye’s surface will get dilated and create an inflamed, red appearance on the surface. Alcohol can also cause the vessels in the whites of your eye to become enlarged.

4. Insomnia

Some may think that drinking alcohol can help stimulate sleep. Alcohol, however, interferes with the body’s regulating system to bring on sleep and stimulate sleep homeostasis. Alcohol will also interrupt a good night’s sleep because it relaxes the muscles in the upper airway and makes snoring a symphonic possibility for anyone around (including you!)

5. Seizures

Seizures happen when there are too many chemical changes attacking the brain that increases its electrical activity. Research is divided on whether drinking or drinking withdrawals are the main culprit for seizures. Regardless of the source, seizures can be traced back to dehydration and low blood sugar that can result from drinking.

6. Anxiety

Alcohol will alter your serotonin “feel good” hormone levels. Alcohol can also lower your blood sugar and increase your heart rate. As a result, some may experience more anxiety or panic attacks.

7. Garbled Speech

When alcohol enters your system, your brain slows down your reflexes and ability to time your movements. Drinking can also suppress your bodies production of glutamate that stimulates energy and excitement. As a result, drinkers will begin to slur their words or slow down their speech.

8. Sweating

Drinking alcohol will increase your heart rate and enlarge your skin’s blood vessels. This will trigger your perspiration. Your body will either react with excessive sweating immediately or long after you’ve finished drinking and gone to bed (night sweats.)

9. Nausea

When your stomach is exposed to too much alcohol, it produces more than it’s normal share of stomach acid. The end result is an ongoing feeling of nausea.

Long Term Complications from Alcoholism

Over the long term, the severity and number of complications associated with alcoholism increase dramatically. Long term complications associated with alcoholism include chronic health problems such as strokes, liver or heart disease. In 2018, alcohol was cited as the cause of 2 million deaths worldwide.

Here are some examples of long term complications that can result from too much drinking:

10. Diminished Brain Functions

Alcoholism is considered a disease because it can change the function and complete genetic makeup of one of your most important organs – your brain. The brain’s primary parts include the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and limbic system.

Heavy drinking shrinks these areas that control our mobility and ability to perform executive functions. Examples of some of these brain diseases include dementia and Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome.

11. Stomach Complications

Too much stomach acid in your system from drinking can cause a host of health problems such as ulcers, gastritis or internal bleeding. Extreme levels of stomach acid can also cause stomach cancer.

12. Kidney Failure

Alcohol diminishes your kidney’s ability to filter damaging substances from your blood. High alcohol levels will also diminish hormones that can help proper kidney functions. Excessive amounts of alcohol will also dehydrate your body and impair the cells that are necessary for the kidneys to do their job.

13. Liver Failure

Our livers are the primary organ that processes alcohol. Liver enzymes can metabolize alcohol, but only in small doses. Any unabsorbed alcohol levels left sitting in our systems lead to cirrhosis, fibrosis or hepatitis.

Next Steps

If you or a loved one is fighting alcoholism, it’s time to act now. Contact your physician and get their guidance on how to recognize any complications from alcoholism that appear in your life. They can also help you create a plan for treatment and avoid relapse.

Don’t forget to check our website for more helpful advice on how to recognize the symptoms of alcoholism. Educate yourself today so that you can stop the destruction of this deadly disease. 

inpatient alcohol treatment

Why You Need Inpatient Alcohol Treatment and How It Can Help

In recent years it was reported that about 16 million people abused alcohol. It can be assumed that these numbers are much greater since not everyone addicted to alcohol participated in the study.

If you want true recovery from your alcohol addiction, it pays to get inpatient alcohol treatment from professionals. 

To learn more about this treatment and why you need it, read on. 

Why You Need Inpatient Alcohol Treatment

First off, what exactly is inpatient alcohol treatment?

With inpatient care, as opposed to outpatient treatment, you stay at the facility, in contrast to part-time programs that you go to in between your regular life. 

The following tips will let you know why inpatient care is more beneficial to your recovery:

1. You Have Plenty of Options For Your Inpatient Treatment

Right now, there is an increasing number of inpatient facilities that are offering services to patients like you.

Because this form of treatment is so successful, you have your pick of plenty of professionals and can find the style of care that works for you. In addition to choosing treatment styles that work, you can find some great rehab facilities all over the map, so you can get detox and rehabilitation in an area that suits you. 

2. These Services are Confidential

When you seek inpatient treatment, you will be glad to know that everything is completely confidential. Because your care and information are protected, you are able to maintain your privacy as you get your life back in order. 

By getting away for a bit, you don’t have to worry about maintaining a daily schedule and will instead be left to your own privacy to heal. 

3. It Allows You to Live Onsite to Get the 24-Hour Care That You Need

By taking advantage of inpatient services, you will get access to professional help around the clock. 

By living onsite, you’re always only a few steps away from assistance. Companies that offer inpatient care go above and beyond to provide comfortable living quarters and nutritious food that you can enjoy. 

They also offer workout facilities and therapeutic treatments that will help you relax and unwind as you get the healing that you need.

When you are living in the same place where you’re receiving your treatment, there is no question about whether you can make it to appointments, and it does away with any decisions that might get in the way. 

By having access to this level of care, you can cut out distractions and focus on your care, which is the most important part of moving forward with your life and health. 

4. Inpatient Care Handles Recovery Holistically

It is always best to get holistic treatment when you are trying to recover from alcohol abuse. 

Inpatient facilities often focus on holistic care, so that you can heal inside and out, rather than just treating your symptoms. Holistic care means getting access to things like exercise, mental health counseling, yoga, meditation and sauna treatments. 

You will be able to get rid of the substance’s physical hold on your body, while also reverse engineering the mental and emotional patterns that are causing you to suffer from addiction. 

By tackling this as a holistic issue, you are more likely to get the permanent treatment that you need. 

Embracing the spiritual and scientific wonders of mindfulness meditation can help you beat your alcohol addiction. It helps you to think clearly and notice your thoughts so that you are able to resist cravings and truly get the healing that you need. 

5. Access to Top-Notch Medical Care Protects Your Safety

Of course, you are also getting access to medical care that lets you detox safely. 

The symptoms of withdrawal can be incredibly intense, to include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, fever, and other problems. If you are going through these kinds of problems, you will definitely want access to medical care that protects you.

They’ll continuously check your vitals and see to it that you’re looked after. 

6. You Can Also Take Advantage of Aftercare Options

It’s not just about the preliminary services. Inpatient treatment also extends to aftercare. 

By getting the aftercare that you need, it offers you a smooth transition back to your regular life. When you have professional service that bridges the gap, you are less likely to relapse. 

Many patients make the mistake of going through treatment, while failing to be as diligent about securing aftercare, and they end up relapsing as a result. 

7. Inpatient Care is Highly Effective and Can Help You Get Your Life Back

Most of all, inpatient care gives you quality results. 

Since addiction to alcohol is so dangerous and debilitating, you’ll need to be all in on getting your life back in order. People that look to inpatient care often find supportive relationships with other recovering addicts that can last a lifetime. 

Seek the Best Inpatient Care You Can Find

Inpatient alcohol treatment is your best case scenario when you are trying to beat alcohol addiction and get yourself back on track. 

By focusing on these points, you will be better able to get treatment that will be useful for you. We take pride in helping people to recover from all sorts of substance abuse issues. 

If you are in need of inpatient treatment solutions that will work, we’ve got the track record to prove it and can help you get your life back in order. 

When you’re in need of the best addiction treatment around, contact us online or get in touch by calling 1-(866) 319-6126.

overcoming alcoholism

7 Strategies You Can Use In Overcoming Alcoholism

Are you tired of your drinking habits? Do you want to quit drinking permanently? Or would you like to tone it down?

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drugs Use and Health, about 6.7% of adults who had Alcohol Use Disorder in 2014 received treatment. You too can overcome alcoholism if you take the right steps.

With this in mind, here are seven strategies you can use in overcoming alcoholism

1. Compare Benefits Against Costs of Drinking  

It is hard to quit alcohol when you don’t see anything wrong with it. Alcohol users need to think of all the benefits they will get if they stop drinking, and weigh them against the cost of consuming alcohol.

The list containing the advantages of drinking may look like this:

  • Consuming alcohol makes me forget my problems
  • It is my way of relaxing and unwinding
  • I’m fun when I drink

After that, you can write down the list of potential benefits of quitting drinking, for example:

  • I will save more money and invest
  • I will perform better in my job and maximize returns from it
  • I will not get into a fight with my family and other people

The list will make you see the reality and help you pick the best option. When you have strong reasons to quit, you will be motivated to stop drinking even if you don’t feel like it.

2. Set Goals for Overcoming Alcoholism 

This is the time to make clear, specific and realistic goals. You goals tell you what you truly want, make you believe in yourself, and hold you accountable for your failures. Your goals can be something like:

  • I will drink only on weekends starting from this date
  • I will drink water whenever I feel like drinking alcohol
  • I will drink only on the last Saturday of every month

Once you set your goals, it is essential to tell your family and friends. They can help you achieve them. They can remind you whenever you forget to follow through your goals. Also, be ready to seek help whenever you need it.

You must also keep off all the sources of temptations. Keep alcohol away from your home, avoid going to your favorite drinking joints, and stop spending time with your drinking buddies. 

3. Decide Whether to Cut Back or Quit Drinking Completely

Those who are not addicted to alcohol, i.e., those who can control their drinking, may want to opt for reducing the amount of alcohol they drink. In this case, you should set a limit on how much you want to tone down and keep track of your drinking.

However, it is advisable to quit even if you can control your drinking because even the little dosage can cause alcohol-related diseases.

Those who can’t control their drinking (alcoholics), should decide on quitting entirely.

4. Find All the Support You Need

When you are recovering, especially as an alcoholic, you need all the support you can get from the relevant people. Support can come from:

  • Friends, Colleagues, and Family

They can offer their moral support, give financial assistance, or keep you on your toes throughout the recovery journey. They can motivate you to keep fighting the battle to recovery even when you feel like giving up.

  • Rehab

Those who need medical supervision to help them withdraw safely from alcohol will require rehab. Here you will get treatment for your addiction. It offers a safe environment to detox, and you will get comprehensive therapy to help you recover from alcoholism and live the happy life you desire.

  • Therapists 

They can provide simple or intensive counseling depending on how severe your problem is. This will help you develop personalized strategies to get sober.

  • Self-Help Groups

The group’s members support and encourage one another to stay alcohol-free. The best known are 12 step programs. An example is Alcohol Anonymous.

5. Build a New Meaningful Life

Getting support from friends, therapists, rehab, and self-help groups is only the beginning. You need to build a new life where alcohol has no place. The following steps can help you start a new positive life:

  • Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle

Eat the right food, exercise (insert external), and get enough sleep to live a happy life. You’ll also help the body recover and develop a strong immunity after being subjected to alcohol abuse.

  • Develop New Life Goals to Achieve

This is the time to focus on those big dreams you’ve always wanted to achieve in life: Financial freedom, touring the world, starting your own family, going to the gym, and many more.

Whatever your dreams and aspirations in life are, focus on them since the new lifestyle will make you forget about alcohol.

  • Build New Social Connections

You won’t need your drinking buddies anymore. Build a new friendship that conforms to your new lifestyle. Many groups are dedicated to helping alcoholics recover, and you should feel free to join any that suits you. These new connections help you avoid relapse and improve faster. 

6. Manage Your Cravings and Triggers

It is easy to relapse to your old drinking ways if you give in to cravings and triggers. Avoid activities and places that make you crave for alcohol. You will have to lose some of your friends too if they interfere with your recovery.

In those moments when you crave alcohol, look for something that can distract you until the urge to drink disappears. You can call and talk to a friend, take a walk, drink water, or do any other thing apart from drinking.

7. Control Relapse and Setbacks in Your Recovery 

Quitting alcohol is a long journey. Sometimes you will slip back to drinking, but whenever it happens, aim towards preventing it from happening again. Talk to your therapist of self-help group if you struggle with regular relapses.

It is also important to remember what triggered your slip. It may be stress, financial constraints, or even meeting up with an old drinking buddy. Take measures to control these triggers and prevent future relapses in your recovery journey. 

Overcoming Alcoholism is Possible

The journey to overcoming alcoholism is long, and you need a helping hand to walk you step by step throughout the road to an alcohol-free life. However, it is possible to pull yourself out of the snares of alcohol addiction.

1st Step Behavioral Health’s caring and dedicated professionals are here to help. Contact us today to book an appointment.

Signs That You’re Facing Alcoholism

Some people are able to consume alcohol without any problems. However, others find it difficult to stop drinking alcohol. Habitual alcohol abuse can easily lead to alcoholism. It is important for alcoholism to be treated as soon as possible. One of the keys to getting the proper treatment for alcoholism is to recognize the signs. 

You Have a High Tolerance 

People who drink frequently and in excess have a tendency to develop a tolerance. The higher your tolerance is, the more alcohol you will have to drink to get the same effects. Many people have to drink 12 beers just to get a buzz. 

You Experience Withdrawal Symptoms 

If you have an alcohol addiction, then your body is dependent on alcohol to function. You will likely experience withdrawal symptoms if you attempt to stop drinking. These withdrawal symptoms can be intense and may include things such as tremors, fatigue, nausea and withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawal can also cause blackouts. 

You Cannot Control How Much You Drink 

If you find yourself setting drinking limits and unable to stay within those limits, then you may have an alcohol addiction. You may also find that attempts to cut down on drinking are futile. The reason that it is difficult to control your drinking is because alcoholism is a disease. 

Your Priorities are out of Order 

Alcoholism can cause problems in your personal life. You may start to overlook your priorities as the result of alcoholism. You may find that you are spending more money than you can afford. You may also find that you are neglecting responsibilities at work and school. 

Your Relationships are Negatively Impacted 

Because alcoholism can cause you to neglect your friends, spouse and children, your relationships with them may suffer. You may also find yourself being more irritable and argumentative. This can also have a negative impact on the relationships that you have with other people. 

You Try to Hide Your Drinking 

If you find yourself lying about how much you drink, then this may be a sign of alcohlism. People who are able to control their drinking typically do not feel the need to lie about it. You may lie to protect the ones that you love. However, if your family members find out that you are lying, then this can have a negative impact on the relationships that you have with them. 

Your Appearance Has Changed 

It is common for people with alcoholism to neglect their appearance. Poor hygiene, bloated face and dull hair are some of the physical signs of an alcohol problem. Alcohol can also deplete the vitamins and minerals in your body, which can cause you to develop a shoddy experience. 

You Keep Drinking Despite the Consequences 

You may be fully aware of the consequences of drinking. You may see the way that alcohol has started to impact your life. You may even feel guilty about your drinking. However, you may keep drinking despite all of the consequences. 

Alcoholism does not have to ruin your life. You can attend Broward County drug rehab and get your life and health back in order. Contact us today.

That Empty Hand: Silent Triggers of Alcoholism

Some of the most powerful triggers that cause trouble for a person fighting alcoholism are seemingly small. It’s easy to overlook them, but if we are aware of these triggers, we can prepare for them and avoid them.


A Culture of Drinking

Drinking brings with it an entire lifestyle. Coworkers getting together after work, drinks on a date, birthday celebrations, popping open champagne on New Year’s. Depending on your culture, there can be a lot of elements of life that include or are based around alcohol that it makes it really hard to escape. It is really important to surround yourself with people who understand that you are trying to find healthier alternatives to this aspect of your social life. Until you’ve been sober for a really long time, it can be really challenging to be out with a group of friends when they’re drinking and you’re not. But if you are with other people and no one’s drinking, the challenge is much easier.

Environmental Memory

The human brain works in a weird way. We store associated memories together. That’s why if you’re listening to a song while you’re cooking, the next time you cook you might get that same song stuck in your head. When you go to places that you were accustomed to drinking or smoking, your brain is going to assume you want to do those things again and put pressure on you. One thing you can do is to mix it up and find new venues and go to some new places that you don’t have those instincts for.


The Empty Hand

When you see people who have successfully dealt with their alcohol addiction, often you’ll see a bottle of water in their hand. Partially this is due to the instinct to be drinking, but partially it’s because many people just feel like their hand is empty when they’re not drinking. Something as little as a bottle of water can be part of a solution to ground themselves and fight against relapse.


When if you get sober, it’s important to build a plan to avoid relapse. If you’re in Florida and you are ready to learn more about alcohol detox, call us today at (866) 319-6126.


The Challenges of Alcohol Detox

Because alcohol is legal, many people underestimate its addictive power. We also tend to neglect just how challenging withdrawal from it can be.

What are the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?

Withdrawal from alcohol can be incredibly challenging. Detox involves many physical and mental symptoms including:

  • Anxiety
  • Shakiness and tremors
  • Sweating and fever
  • Seizures
  • Visual or auditory hallucinations
  • Vomiting
  • Accelerated heart rate

While a person’s experiences may vary, for a person addicted to abusing alcohol these symptoms may begin to set in as early as six hours after their last drink. The withdrawal is at its worst for the next twenty-four to seventy-two hours. Then it begins to subside over the next seven days.


The Benefits of Medically-Supervised Alcohol Detox

Many people fail to recognize just how challenging alcohol is to clean up from for some addicts. It’s been estimated that around fifteen percent of the population has had some degree of alcohol dependence. Of those who attempt to go sober, half will develop withdrawal symptoms and of these about four percent will have severe symptoms.

Successfully dealing with alcohol dependence is best achieved through the help of medical professionals who can recognize the withdrawal symptoms. There is also South Florida alcohol treatment, which can help with not only the detox, but also help you with what comes next. Developing a strategy and new coping skills is really important. There are small changes you can make (such as keeping a glass of water to keep your hands full when a bottle feels absent) but larger changes also need made. A person with alcohol dependency needs to look at their life and find sources that lead to their addiction. Experienced therapists and support groups can help here. They can also help you develop new strategies for dealing with triggers.

If you think you may be dependent on alcohol, please give us a call at (866) 319-6126.

Alcoholism – Not So Harmless

It is easy to forget in the society we live in that alcohol is a byproduct of fermentation, with negative effects on most wildlife, but it is mild enough for people that it is considered a pleasant experience. It is a chemical with addictive properties and impairs judgement and motor functions. However, the global marketplace bottles it up, puts colorful labels on it, and markets it to adults on a national and international scale. While this is not an indictment on the merits of alcohol itself, it is important to remember this: alcohol is an addictive substance and should be consumed carefully.


A Normalized Addiction

People who end up going to rehab for alcohol usually find themselves at rock bottom, the lowest experience in their lives. When society normalizes consumption and even over-consumption of alcohol, it gives permission to a person to let themselves enjoy themselves by having fun. But constantly chasing “fun” will often lead to a nasty end to the chase. On the flip side of all of the glamorous media footage of people enjoying alcohol and having a good time are the poor souls vomiting in public restrooms and poisoning their livers. And past even that is the person drinking recklessly and without supervision to tell them when they’ve had enough.


Digging a Deeper Hole

An often forgotten aspect of alcoholism is the monetary cost. Beer and liquor cost money, and after a fair bit of it. If a person begins to spiral down into addiction, then tragically, so too does their bank account. If you’re consuming a lot of alcohol you’re also spending a lot on alcohol as well, and this makes it harder to climb back up if you hit rock bottom. Being in the lowest place can be a lot harder if you don’t have the financial resources available to escape that hole.


Thankfully, there are many options available to those who require alcoholism detox in South Florida. To learn about those options or to schedule a meeting with an addiction specialist, contact us as soon as possible.

Do Genetics Cause Alcoholism?

Do Genes Have an Impact on Whether or Not Someone is an Alcoholic?

The way that your genetics influences whether or not you might end up with alcoholism, officially referred to as “Alcohol Use Disorder”, can actually make up about half of what leads a person to having an issue with alcohol abuse. Interestingly, however, that means that genes by themselves are not the cause of becoming an addict.  

And there are different ways that different genes can increase or decrease a person’s risk for alcohol use disorder. As noted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), “Multiple genes play a role in a person’s risk for developing AUD. There are genes that increase a person’s risk, as well as those that may decrease that risk, directly or indirectly.” Furthermore, some gene variants can cause people to become especially flush while drinking, have noticeably increased heart rates, severe nausea, or other immediately and unpleasant reactions to alcohol beyond inebriation. Regarding these, the NIAAA says, “Many people who experience these effects avoid alcohol, which helps protect them from developing AUD.”


Genes May Also Play a Role in Treating Alcoholism

Just as genetics can mean people react differently to consuming alcohol, their genes can also lead to different reactions to medicines sometimes used in treating alcohol use disorder. As far as naltrexone is concerned, the NIAAA has said it “has been shown to help some, but not all, patients with AUD to reduce their drinking. Research has shown that patients with AUD who also have variations in a specific gene respond positively to treatment with the drug, while those without the specific gene do not.”


It is important to note, however, that nobody has genes that dictate that they can’t end their alcohol use disorder. Millions of people have put a stop to their alcoholism with the help of rehab centers, and First Step Behavioral Health has the tools and experience to help get you off alcohol, too. Contact us today to beat your addiction and return to sober living.


Alcohol Rehab Center in Florida | How To find the Best Alcohol Rehab Center in Florida

If you have found yourself in a situation where you are looking for the best alcohol treatment centers in Florida, you likely already have a lot on your mind already. However, and just like any other service you might be in need of, not all drug and alcohol rehab centers in Florida are alike. That does not necessarily mean that one is better than another (although that can be the case in some circumstances), but that there will likely be a best alcohol treatment facility in Florida for you or your loved one.

Keep in mind that if someone needs help, any of the drug and alcohol rehab centers in Florida are more than likely going to be sufficient to help break the addiction. That being said, don’t hold out on going to a rehabilitation facility simply because the center that’s convenient to you doesn’t offer exactly what you want – going through any rehab is superior to waiting when that wait just means you and your loved ones have to continue suffering through hard times.

Nevertheless, if you have the chance to “comparison shop” (for lack of a better term) for an addiction treatment center, there are two primary things that should drive your search: treatments offered and the comfort of the addict.


Alcohol Addiction Treatments to Consider

As implied above, different alcohol rehab centers in Florida use different methods to treat alcoholism. Usually, these varying methods are in place to address the unique situations that people are in when substance abuse takes over their lives.


Mental Health and Dual Diagnosis

Two very important aspects that need to be considered when looking for a good alcohol rehab facility in Florida are the mental health of the patient and whether there is a dual diagnosis at play. From south Florida to Pensacola and everywhere else in the state, those two aspects need to be considered by anyone looking for alcohol detox.

Possible mental illnesses and dual diagnoses change how a rehab facility approaches the patient’s path to sobriety. Note: “dual diagnosis” in relation to alcohol and drug abuse means addictions to more than one substance.


Patient Comfort

In mentioning comfort here, we don’t mean physical comfort as any Florida rehab center with inpatient treatment will offer excellence in the way of peacefulness and physical comfort. What we mean here is comfort in being able to express oneself. Because of this, many Florida detox centers offer treatment options where patients with similar backgrounds are kept together. Treatment programs can be built around nearly anything, including age groups, languages, religion (or lack thereof), career paths (professionals, veterans, etc.), and more.


Alcoholism Affects More than the Patient

Finding the best alcohol rehab center in Florida for you or a family member will also mean thinking about how much -or little- the addiction treatment program will have the patient’s family participate. Family therapy sessions done right can even mean the difference between successfully treating the alcoholism through rehab in Florida versus facing relapse after relapse. Likewise, these treatments help family members understand how difficult fighting addiction can be and helps them better assist a loved one going through alcohol detox.

Keeping these things in mind can help you find the right alcohol rehab facility for you and the important people in your life.