effects of alcohol

Effects of Alcohol on the Body and Brain

Drinking alcohol affects the body and brain in many ways. The effects of alcohol change depending on how much and how often people drink. While everyone experiences alcohol effects in different ways, it’s important to know the general effects of this drug. In some cases, having a deeper understanding may motivate people toward getting the help that they need.

Effects of Alcohol on the Body

Alcohol use really takes a toll on the body. Studies show that it affects a number of systems in the body, including:

  • Digestive system
  • Central nervous system
  • Excretory system
  • Circulatory system

All of these systems are necessary for the body to function properly. Unfortunately, alcohol can knock them out of sync and disrupt their functions. Over time, alcohol can cause a number of serious health problems because these systems function poorly.

In terms of digestion, alcohol causes inflammation of the pancreas. The inflammation hinders the ability of the organ to regulate metabolism and aid digestion. Alcohol can damage the digestive system, causing abdominal fullness, gassiness or even diarrhea.

The drug also makes it hard for the digestive tract to absorb vitamin B and control bacteria. Because of an inability to absorb certain nutrients, many alcoholics suffer from malnutrition. Alcoholics run the risk of developing throat, esophageal, and mouth cancer as well.

Sexual and Reproductive Health

Alcohol inhibits hormone production in men, which can lead to both erectile dysfunction as well as testicular issues.

Women aren’t safe from the effects of this drug either. Studies show that women who drink heavily may stop menstruating because they become less fertile than women who don’t.

Shrinking Frontal Lobes

Although most people think that alcohol only impacts the body, it has dangerous psychological effects too. Alcohol travels quickly through the body and into the brain. Over time, it shrinks the frontal lobe, causing slurred speech and dizziness.

Shrinking frontal lobes cause a number of other problems as well. People often find it harder to talk and concentrate. Damage to this area of the brain also causes memory loss and confusion over time.

Don’t Let Alcohol Ruin Your Body and Mind

While people think of drinking as a social event, the effects of alcohol on the body and brain are real. Now that you know what alcohol addiction does to the body, you know how important it is to get help for alcohol abuse or addiction. At 1st Step Behavioral Health, we provide substance abuse programs to help you overcome alcoholism. Some of the different programs that we offer include:

Fight back against your addiction, and start a new life. Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from getting help. Contact 1st Step Behavioral Health today at (866) 319-6126 for more information.

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How Alcoholism Affects Different Members of the Family

While people with an alcohol addiction must detox and work through their problems, family counseling is a necessity during treatment. Over time, alcoholism has a strong impact on the family and friends of alcoholics. From the genetic component of addiction to relationship quality, family members are intensely involved in the addiction.

Alcoholism Is Often a Family Problem

While scientists aren’t sure which genes are responsible for addiction, research shows that there’s a strong genetic component. Someone with an alcoholic parent is far more likely to become an alcoholic than if the parent wasn’t an alcoholic. This doesn’t mean that the addiction is inevitable, but it does mean that individuals should be careful about substance abuse issues if a family member is addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Families Can Be Hurt by Alcoholism

Over the course of an alcohol addiction, the alcoholic’s behaviors can cause severe problems in his or her family. Alcoholics may be destructive to the people or possessions around them. They may act in an abusive manner or experience conflict with their spouse. If alcoholic women are pregnant, their addiction could cause fetal alcohol syndrome.

For children, an addiction can lead to severe repercussions. Children are more likely to become addicted if the parent has substance abuse problems. They may witness cases of domestic violence or be abused. Children and spouses may feel isolated, and economic hardship may become a problem. Alcoholics are also more likely to deal with infidelity, jealousy and divorce in their personal relationships.

Coping With Alcoholism in a Family

When someone is an alcoholic at home, the family members tend to go through several emotional stages over time. The first stage is normally the concern stage. At this time, the family members are genuinely concerned and want to help. Often, family members don’t realize how severe the problem is at this stage.

Afterward, families tend to enter the defense and adaptation stages. In the defense stage, the family members may ignore the addiction and may defend their actions. Some family members may even feel like they are partly to blame for the addiction. As family members transition to the adaptation stage, they begin to change their habits to adjust for the addiction. Some family members may resort to substance abuse to cope, or they may try to become the perfect family member.

In the last stage, family members enter the exhaustion phase. At this point, friends and relatives are completely exhausted. They may become depressed as they lose sight of their own self-worth. In addition, family members may continue to enable addictive behaviors.
When addicted individuals are ready to treat their alcoholism, family therapy and counseling is an important component of treatment. The whole family must learn how to break the cycle of denial, exhaustion and adaption. Professional drug and alcohol rehab is the key to overcoming an addiction. To find out more and begin your journey to sobriety, call 1st Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126.

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What PHP Rehab is for Those Suffering from Drug or Alcohol Addiction

PHP Rehab

Partial Hospitalization Treatment Program: What is it?

Before we explain what a partial hospitalization program entails, it’s essential to understand what an addiction is. Determining what treatment suits your needs best starts with an accurate diagnosis. Our trained specialists will accurately diagnose what you’re going through.

This diagnosis will then serve as a foundation for which the treatment plan is created. Addiction is a disease and must be treated from the inside out. 

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a chronic disease that affects the brain’s reward, motivation, and memory functions. It occurs when an individual becomes dependent on a substance and cannot function normally without it. These substances range from opiates to alcohol to heroin. Each addiction is unique to the individual.

Someone with an addiction will neglect other areas of their life. Instead, they focus on fulfilling their toxic habits. 

Signs of Addiction 

It’s essential to recognize the signs of a substance abuse disorder sooner rather than later. The sooner you can address these symptoms, the sooner you can begin the road to recovery. Addiction doesn’t have to take over your life. There is the potential to live a much more fulfilling, sober life. 

Addiction can typically be spotted by noticing:

  • Lack of control, or inability to stay away from toxic habits
  • Isolating oneself, like abandoning commitments or ignoring relationships
  • Ignoring consequences, such as sharing needles despite health concerns 
  • Physical effects, like withdrawal symptoms or needing a higher dosage to chase a high

The degree of intensity for each sign is dependent upon the frequency of use and the addiction itself. A healthy and stable individual can generally identify a harmful habit and get rid of it. This is not the case with someone with an addiction. An addict will always justify their decisions.

Recognizing symptoms is a crucial first step in conquering addiction. Being self-aware may not always be easy, but it can make the difference between life or death. 

Symptoms of Substance Abuse Disorder: A More In-Depth Look 

There’s a variety of warning signs one can look out for. Addiction shows itself differently in each person. However, some common signs show throughout most addicts. 

These signs generally include:

  • Ignoring obligations at school, work, or home (e.g. failing classes, missing work, neglecting your children).
  • Using drugs under dangerous conditions or taking risks while high. Examples include driving while intoxicated, using dirty needles, or having unprotected sex.
  • Legal issues, such as arrests for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence or stealing to support a drug habit.
  • Unstable relationships. Addicts often struggle to maintain healthy relationships in their life. This can be detected by noticing fights with your partner or family members, often resulting in the loss of a relationship.
  • You’ve developed a drug tolerance. Tolerance occurs when the person no longer responds to the drug in the way that person initially responded. This results in a higher dose needed to achieve the same effect as the first time they used the drug. 
  • Loss of control over your drug use. You may find yourself feeling powerless. You promise yourself that the drug user will stop, but you always end up back in the same place where you began. 
  • Your life is centered around drug use. You spend a lot of time using and thinking about drugs, figuring out how to get them, or recovering from the drug’s effects.
  • You’ve lost interest in things that used to bring you joy, such as hobbies, sports, and socializing, as a result of your drug use.
  • Your drug use continues, despite the painful consequences. It’s causing significant problems in your life—blackouts, financial issues, infections, mood swings, depression, paranoia. However, you continue to use the substance. 

What is PHP Treatment for Addiction?

Deciding what type of treatment program to attend can be an overwhelming decision. You may find yourself trying to weigh out all the different options, wondering where you’ll fit in best. The most thought-of rehab program is typically an inpatient program. This is where patients live in residence at a facility for up to 90 days, depending on their situation.

However, this isn’t the right choice for everyone, and certain patients would benefit more from a partial hospitalization treatment program (also known as PHP). PHP rehab is a type of outpatient care where patients stay at the facility daily to receive treatment but then go home at night.

PHP treatment programs are designed for patients whose addiction isn’t completely out of control and perhaps hasn’t been going on for a long time either. Therapies such as group and individual counseling, as well as art and music therapy, are available in these programs. 

Patients can choose to attend intensive outpatient or general outpatient programs after PHP if they desire.

Is a PHP Treatment Program Right for Me?

PHP may be a great fit for you if you need more intensive programming than an outpatient program, but you’re not at the level of requiring a residential program. PHPs are the perfect in-between. Although residential treatment is often ideal for most patients, it’s not always realistic. 

Each patient has a unique set of needs that’s dependent upon their circumstances. PHP treatment is likely a good match if:

  • You are struggling with co-occurring disorders 
  • Your use drugs on an almost, if not daily basis
  • Your living situation is stable, safe, and supportive
  • You have obligations you must attend to, such as work, school, or children. 

PHPs are also a common step-down option if you have just completed a residential or inpatient program and are looking to continue treatment.

Struggling with Substance Abuse: Why a PHP Treatment Program is a Great Option 

One of the main reasons people choose partial hospitalization treatment programs is that they don’t have to spend weeks isolated from their families. Instead, they can have that organic support during treatment. Not all addicted patients have the same situations or the same needs, and so not every treatment program is right for all patients. 

PHP is designed for those who want intensive treatment but appreciate more freedom and flexibility. Typically, patients spend several hours on weekdays at the facility participating in a structured schedule that’s personalized to their needs.

Core Benefits of a PHP Treatment Program

Partial hospitalization programs have many benefits. They offer almost identical resources to a residential program. These benefits not only help you in the recovery process but long after as well. These benefits include:

Medical Care

Many people who are dealing with mental health or behavioral health disorders benefit from prescribed medicine. When a PHP patient has been prescribed medication, the individual will meet with a psychiatrist and/or nursing staff members for medication management services. 

Medication may also be prescribed during the detox process

Medication will never be used as a solution to addiction or any other mental health concerns. However, it may potentially be used as a supplement to a treatment program.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is a significant part of the treatment. Group therapy provides patients with the opportunity to share their insights, learn from the experiences of others, and give and receive support with fellow peers. Group therapy sessions also provide secure and structured environments in which individuals can practice productive interpersonal communication.

Individual Therapy

One-on-one sessions between patients and counselors provide opportunities for individuals to process emotions during the recovery process. These individual sessions are scheduled based on the patient’s availability. Our treatment programs are tailored to your needs. It’s all about making it work for you. 

Family Counseling

The impact of mental illness, behavioral health disorders, and problems with substance abuse is rarely limited to the afflicted individual. Family members and close friends feel the effects of substance abuse, as well

Family therapy and other family support sessions can help to heal painful wounds and can help family members learn how to provide the most effective support. 

PHP Treatment at 1st Step

1st Step Behavioral Health offers a wealth of mental health and substance abuse treatment resources. Each program at our facility focuses on rebalancing patients’ physical, mental and emotional states through therapies that address all these aspects. 1st Step Behavioral Health is a comprehensive treatment center that works with patients from the very beginning starting with the assessment.

Group and individual therapy are emphasized at 1st Step Behavioral Health, but patients also have the option to explore art and music therapy.

We consider dual diagnosis and family treatment to be amongst our top priorities. Many patients don’t receive adequate addiction treatment when they have co-occurring issues such as PTSD, depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder. 

Call Us Today

We personalize our treatment for each patient. A PHP treatment program offers a variety of resources and benefits. It’s not just about treating the disease. It’s about treating the person as a whole. 

If you’re struggling with addiction, seek help with us today. We’ll help you get the treatment you need. Call 1st Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126 or contact us here for more information about available programs.


The Many Detox Clinics in Florida and How to Choose

The Many Detox Clinics in Florida and How to Choose

If your life has been taken over by addiction to drugs or alcohol, you’re probably wondering where to turn for help. One of the first steps in recovering from addiction may be to attend medical detox, but there are many detox clinics in Florida to choose from so it might be overwhelming when you begin your search.

Before you make a decision, here are some factors to consider that might help your choice. To begin with, you need to make sure you actually need detox and you can do that by getting an assessment and referral from 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida.

Other considerations in choosing a detox clinic are whether they offer personalized treatment to address individual needs, what type of comfort measures they offer and whether they emphasize good nutrition during the process. When you have answers to these questions, you will be in a much better position to decide where you want to go for treatment.

What to Expect at Detox Clinics

Once it’s certain that you need detox, the next question you may have is what to expect at detox clinics. The first step in entering detox is usually to complete an assessment, and this is important in order for patients to receive the proper treatment. For example, if you abuse more than one substance, it’s vitally important that staff are made aware of this so they can provide the right medication. Many patients fear that medical detox will be an uncomfortable process. In fact, the goal of detox is to make patients as comfortable as possible.

Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and opiates are very uncomfortable and those attempting it alone very rarely get through the withdrawal period before relapsing. The goal of medical detox is to alleviate these symptoms and allow patients to complete the detox period and feel refreshed and ready to move onto the next phase of recovery.

Treatment After Detox Clinics

Detox is only the starting point in the process of recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, and the next step is going to a recovery center to treat the actual disease of addiction. 1st Step Behavioral Health offers both dual diagnosis treatment and long-term care through residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and general outpatient care.

The goal of 1st Step Behavioral Health is to prevent patients from attempting to fix themselves and instead realize that addiction is a disease that requires professional medical attention. 1st Step Behavioral Health primarily offers family and discussion therapy to help both patients and family members understand addiction and what triggers and worsens it.

Addiction is a disease that destroys lives every day. The only answer to overcoming addiction is through professional drug and alcohol rehab. Take that first step today and call 1st Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126 for more information about programs that can help.

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An Inpatient Alcohol Detox Program is Part of a Full Continuum of Care

Many times when patients dealing with alcohol addiction decide to get treatment, the first step is an inpatient alcohol detox program. Whether you need detox or not depends on the amount of time you have been abusing alcohol and the quantity you regularly consume. An assessment is usually performed at the beginning of treatment and then detox, if necessary, will be recommended at that time. You may know that you need detox if you have ever tried to quit alcohol and then experienced a myriad of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

An alcohol detox program is an intervention to mitigate withdrawal symptoms when patients have formed a chemical dependency on the substance. Your body and brain begin compensating for the use of alcohol over a period of time and ceasing use could cause severe symptoms like seizure or stroke. Medically monitored detox uses various medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms and help patients detox from the substance safely. Ultimately, detox addresses the physical aspect of addiction to drugs or alcohol.

What to Expect at an Inpatient Alcohol Detox or Drug Detox Program

Inpatient alcohol detox is the first step on a journey to recovery from alcohol addiction and it usually lasts from a week to 14 days. Withdrawal symptoms are typically mitigated with medication, but patients might experience headache, depression, fatigue or nausea among other symptoms. 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida primarily uses Suboxone Medication Therapy for opiate addiction, as an example.

Another important aspect of detox is giving patients access to good nutrition and healthy food. Addiction, whether to alcohol or drugs, tends to have terrible effects on the body and many patients also experience a lack of appetite, which makes it even harder to get decent nutrition. During detox, patients are likely to feel some manner of sickness and fatigue, which can be mitigated with healthy eating and exercise.

Treatment After an Inpatient Alcohol Detox Program

Detox is only the beginning of recovery from addiction and if patients stop at detox, most likely they will experience a relapse. At 1st Step Behavioral Health, a step-down level of care is available and usually starts with detox, then proceeds to inpatient care and from there partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and then general outpatient. With this model, patients can gradually transition from intense treatment to less intense treatment as their recovery progresses. This is often very beneficial to patients with long-term addiction issues as it can be difficult to transition from a period of treatment directly back into regular life again.

Overcoming addiction doesn’t happen overnight, but with professional drug or alcohol rehab it is possible. Don’t wait to reach out and find help. Make that important decision today and give 1st Step Behavioral Health a call today at (866) 319-6126.

alcohol rehab

Where Can I Find A No-Nonsense Alcohol Rehab in Pompano Beach?

Overcoming an addiction is likely the focus of your life right now. Alcohol rehab provides the hope, strength and support you need to gain sobriety and end alcohol addiction once and for all. When your objective is no-nonsense treatment that works, and not on expensive distractions you can enjoy with loved ones after sobriety has been achieved, you will be glad to know about a no-nonsense alcohol rehab in Pompano Beach, Florida called 1st Step Behavioral Health.

Focused Alcohol Rehab for Focused Recovery

You’re likely well aware that it’s nearly impossible to overcome alcohol addiction alone. You need knowledgeable professionals guiding and supporting you each step of the way through recovery into long-term sobriety. This focused care is needed during alcohol treatment—far more than optional programs that provide recreation and distraction.

There are several types of alcohol treatment programs that can be accessed according to your personal situation and needs, including:


Inpatient drug and alcohol rehab provides the safety, security and peace of mind of 24-hour supervision with individualized treatment planning according to the patient’s unique needs. Step-down treatment of inpatient programs enable patients to progress through phases of early recovery into sustainable sobriety.

Partial Hospitalization (PHP)

Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) often follow inpatient treatment. PHP provides patients the continued structure and guidance they need while overcoming alcohol addiction in combination with semi-private residential freedom.


After PHP and inpatient treatment, outpatient programs provide patients with community freedom and independent decision-making in real-life scenarios in combination with continued guidance and support. Outpatient program participants often live independently and pursue their careers or education while continuing treatment.

Intensive Outpatient Programs

Intensive outpatient (IOP) combines structured addiction treatment, counseling and unsupervised living. Patients who have completed inpatient, PHP or residential treatment are usually best suited for the step-down care IOP provides. IOP treatment is still comprehensive like PHP programs, but affords more freedom like outpatient rehab.

Getting the No-Nonsense Alcohol Rehab You Need

When you’re ready for treatment and want to work on sobriety and lasting recovery in safe, supportive and guiding environments instead of indulging in recreation, no-nonsense alcohol rehabilitation programs are what you want. These programs are more rare now than ever before, as many newer establishments work to competitively “wow” patients into treatment through costly recreational programs. But recreation doesn’t provide sobriety and instead substantially extends cost of programs while taking the focus off of what matters most: strong, lasting sobriety.

A no-nonsense program for rehabilitation from alcohol dependence ensures patient recovery is guided and supported through provision of medical assessments, life skills development, individual therapies, group therapy, dual diagnosis treatment and other care needed for strength toward a healthier, happier future with freedom from alcohol.

1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, FL for Alcohol Treatment

Life-changing rehabilitation from alcohol addiction is available for patients in Pompano Beach, Florida. At 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, even those who feel overcome by their addiction can gain the help they need to re-instill hope toward a more complete, fulfilling and sober future.

Call 1st Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126 for more information or to start the recovery process. Forget fads and the expense of frills and gain the focused treatment you need.