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Alcoholism in the Philippines

Alcohol is widely consumed in the Philippines. One reason for this may be that the
Spanish colonizers not only brought with them the Roman Catholic religion but also their
drinking culture. There is a generally positive view of alcohol among most Filipinos, but
there are growing concerns about the impact drinking is having on society. As the islands
become more urbanized there appears to be a growing reliance on alcohol to help people
deal with stress.

Drinking Culture in the Philippines


The most popular drink in the Philippines is beer followed by lambanog (whiskey made
from coconut) and wine. In the past drinking alcohol was predominately a male pursuit
but things have change in recent years. The Filipinos seem to be adopting a more western
approach to alcohol and so are developing all the problems associated with this. It is
common to see people drinking in the media especially in TV soap operas where it can
be portrayed as glamorous or sexy. The Philippines even has a month devoted to the
celebration of beer the Philippine Octoberfest has become hugely popular and is
sponsored by San Miguel.

Drinking Statistics in the Philippines


There are no available statistics on the full extent of the alcohol problem in the
Philippines, but there is little doubt that it is a real problem. Public drunkenness can be
occasionally witnessed and alcohol problems do cause havoc in some homes and
communities. The Filipinos are the second highest consumers of alcohol in South East
Asia (the Indonesians are first), and the number one wine drinkers. It is estimated that 5
million Filipinos drink on a fairly regularly basis it is believed that 39.9% of the
population drink on an irregular basis. A relatively small number of people will seek
medical help for alcohol problems, but this is likely due to the fact that most do not view
it as a medical matter even when their health has deteriorated as a result of the abuse.

Alcohol Abuse in the Philippines


Alcohol abuse is a problem in the Philippines it also seems to be on the increase. Most
worrying of all is that chronic alcoholics often fail to seek help for their problems, and
this means that they end up with incurable conditions such as liver cirrhosis.
The recommended level for safe alcohol consumption is:

* 2 drinks per day for adult men.


* 1 drink per day for adult women.
* 1 drink per day for anyone aged over 65.
* Those people who are younger than 18 should avoid alcohol completely.
* Anyone who has a problem controlling their intake should avoid drinking completely.

The above recommendations classify a drink as being a standard beer, or a standard glass
of wine. Anyone who drinks significantly above these limits can be described as abusing
alcohol, and the dangers of this type of behavior include:

* Those people who drink an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period of time will
be at risk of alcohol poisoning. This is a potentially life threatening event.
* Those individuals who abuse alcohol are at risk of developing alcoholism. Once people
become mentally and physically dependent in can completely destroy their life.
* Excessive alcohol intake can lead to physical health problems. It is not necessary for
people to be drinking for long before they enter the early stages of alcoholic liver disease.
* Drinking can seriously damage mental health it can lead to symptoms of depression
and exacerbate existent problems.
* Those who abuse alcohol are far more likely to commit suicide. This is because
intoxication makes people act impulsively, and it interferes with their ability to make
good decisions.
* Some people behave badly when they are intoxicated. They may become verbally or
physically abusive.
* Alcohol abuse is frequently related to domestic abuse.
* Those people who drink excessively will tend to be unproductive at work the next day.
* It means that the individual will be far more likely to have accidents.
* It can be a drain on finances, and some families may be doing without essential items
because the money is being spent on alcohol.

Underage Drinking in the Philippines


The legal drinking age in the Philippines is 18, but it is estimated that 60% of young
people will have at least tried alcohol before then. Underage boys are far more likely to
drink than underage girls, but the females seem to be closing the gap. The fact that so
many young people drink alcohol is a real worry because:
* Those individuals who drink at a young age are far more likely to develop
alcoholism later in life.
* Those young people who drink are in particularly danger of problems related to mental
and physical health. This is because alcohol interferes with normal development that
occurs during adolescence.
* Those people who drink at a young age are far more likely to experiment with harder
drugs. For some individuals their early experiences with alcohol will be a stepping stone
into lifelong drug abuse.
* Drinking prevents people from performing well in school. This means that the
individual may handicap their future due to poor academic qualifications.
* Alcohol abuse among the young can lead to promiscuous sexual behavior. This could
mean unplanned pregnancies or sexually transmitted disease.
* Those who are inebriated can more easily become the victim of a sexual assault.
* These individuals are more likely to commit crimes or become the victim of a crime.
* There is a worrying link between drinking at an early age and suicide. This is because
alcohol can make people more prone to this type of act.

Treatment of Alcoholism in the Philippines


Many Filipinos who become addicted to alcohol are resistant to any type of intervention.
There are a number of treatment options including:

* Alcoholics Anonymous has meetings in many parts of the Philippines. This fellowship
not only helps people escape their addiction but also gives them a program that allows
them to build a better life.
* There are a number of private rehabs in the Philippines but a growing number of
Filipinos are looking abroad for help. One of the best treatment facilities in South East
Asia can be found in Thailand.

Effects of Teenage Drinking

The effects of teenage drinking can be quite serious. Fortunately, teenage alcohol use is
on the decline. Still, it is a problem of note, with three out of four high school students
reporting that they have consumed an alcoholic beverage prior to graduating high school.
The most serious effects of teens drinking is that it
leads to adult dependence. The National Institute
on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that teens who start drinking before the age of
15 are four times more likely to develop an alcohol addiction than those who do not begin
drinking before the legal age of 21.

Drinking and driving is another danger of teenage alcohol use. Forty percent of all
alcohol-related fatal car crashes involve teens. Teens may not realize they are too
impaired to drive, or they may be afraid to call home for a ride. Regardless of the reason,
teens that drink often drive while under the influence.

Other effects of teenage drinking include decreased inhibitions that may lead to risk-
taking behaviors. Alcohol intoxication impairs the judgment and teens who are
intoxicated may engage in a number of dangerous behaviors.

Alcohol may also serve as a gateway drug into more serious drug use. Once teens
have decided alcohol use is acceptable, they may feel other drugs are also okay. Impaired
judgment may also lead to the experimentation with other drugs.

Teen alcohol use nearly always causes poor performance in school, if the teen is using on
any kind of a regular basis. Teens who use alcohol have trouble concentrating in class and
on assignments. They also have difficulty with peer relationships and with relationships
with teachers and other authority figures.

Teen alcohol use also causes family problems. Teens who use alcohol may withdraw from
the family and have difficulty with family relationships. They may demonstrate
behavioral problems as well.

There are also health risks involved with alcohol use. People today are well aware of the
health problems caused by excessive alcohol consumption. Health problems can include
stomach ulcers, liver problems, heart problems, and malnutrition. These problems
generally occur in people who have been drinking over a longer period of time and are
not always seen in teens, but can result as they grow older if they continue to drink.

Finally, teens who use alcohol may have legal problems due to their behavior. Underage
drinking is illegal, and teens who drink may engage in other illegal behaviors as well.

The effects of teenage drinking is a problem that worries parents, educators, and policy
makers alike. It is a far-reaching problem and affects us all directly and/or indirectly.

Preventing Teenage Alcohol Use


Fortunately, there are things that can be done to decrease teenage alcohol use. By simply
talking to their teenagers about the use of alcohol and the effects of teenage drinking,
parents can reduce the risk of their children drinking. Studies show that teens whose
parents talk to them about alcohol and drugs are 42% less likely to use those substances
than teens whose parents dont discuss the issue with them.

Parents can also help by setting good examples for their teens. If they drink, parents
should do so responsibly, and never drive while under the influence.

Most schools also provide educational programs designed to educate students about the
dangers of underage drinking. Some of these programs are more effective than others.
One popular program, DARE, involves local police officers coming into the schools to
talk to students about drugs and alcohol. Its effectiveness has been called into question,
but it is still one of the most widely used programs today.

Please feel free to write to us if you would like more information about how to prevent
teenage alcohol use.

Alcoholism Disease

We receive many inquiries into alcoholism disease, alcohol dependence and alcohol
abuse. This article briefly describes all three, based on the on-going studies many
physicians and scientists are doing in order to understand alcoholism and help with its
treatment.

Alcoholism was officially recognized as a disease


by the American Medical Association in 1991.
Overall, like any disease alcoholism follows a pattern, starting out slow and building
toward more and more harmful levels of addiction.

The major difficulty with alcoholism disease is that it isnt always easy to figure out the
triggering mechanism. Each person with the disease is unique and has a wholly individual
combination of contributing factors that need to be sorted and recognized. These factors
may include, but are not limited to a persons environment, genetics, having a family
member who was alcoholic, physical or psychological illnesses, and underage drinking.
Over time this disease may lead to alcohol dependence where a person feels that they
simply cannot stop drinking.

Understanding Alcohol Dependence


Humankind has been making and enjoying alcohol for thousands of years. It has become
part of nearly every important occasion from births and weddings to housewarmings and
dances. For young people drinking is also a right of passage into adulthood. In
effect, alcohol has become part of our social conditioning. When used in moderation, it
can even have positive effects. However, considering that approximately 13 million
people in the United States over-indulge, its obvious that this drug needs to be treated
with care. Alcohol abuse accounts for numerous employment issues, domestic problems,
financial struggles and physical illnesses.

Alcoholism disease creates some immediate effects on a person including emotional


changes that the individual may find pleasant. This happens when alcohol releases
chemicals in the brain that signal pleasure centers. This pleasurable aspect is part of what
causes alcohol dependence in some individuals. The craving for alcohol grows stronger,
and eventually a person cannot control their addiction. Additionally alcoholism lowers a
persons risk-taking constraints, making it easier and easier to consume greater
quantities of alcohol even when the dangers are well known.

Alcoholism Disease & Health


Long-term alcohol dependence leads to a variety of moderate to severe health problems.
The longer and heavier the consumption, the worse the physical results become. In
pregnant women, drinking can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome that causes deformities or
other deficiency in a child that can affect them for life. For some people alcohol opens the
door to becoming dependent on other drugs. Men may experience impotency; women
irregularity with their cycle. Additionally both men and women face the possibility of
depression, heart problems, cancer, and liver disease just to name a few.

You can follow this link to learn more about the medical consequences of alcohol abuse.

Getting Help
If you or someone you know has a drinking problem there are numerous medical, social
and religious organizations that you can turn to for assistance and information. It is very
important for friends and family members of an alcoholic to be educated about this
disease, its signs, progression, and risks. It is also important that friends and family
have a support system to help during difficult times.

Alcoholism is a life long disease that takes time and serious commitment to manage. The
drinker must be ready and willing to make a change, and dedicate themselves to staying
sober so that their quality of life returns. Stopping drinking may not reverse all the
negative effects of alcoholism, but it will negate the stress on ones job and family that
alcoholism brings.

Alcoholism Signs and Symptoms

Recognizing Problem Drinking: Alcoholism Signs and Symptoms


The prevalence, accessibility and social acceptance
of alcohol make it one of societys most
widespread and costly addictions. Recognizing the signs of alcoholism can be the first
step in getting help.

For the majority of people, regular social drinking doesnt lead to imminent abuse or
dependence. Yet, there are millions of individuals around the globe who have a physical
dependence or addiction to alcohol. They continue to drink in the face of severe
consequences to their careers, well-being and relationships. This is one of the signs of
alcoholism.

What causes a person to become an alcoholic? Research suggests genetics and family
history create a predisposition to the disease. There are also factors that increase
vulnerably such as the existence of an alcoholic parent, childhood conduct disorder, anti-
social behavior, or a transforming life event. Even where a person resides and the areas
cultural views on alcohol can play a role in the onset of the disease.

Alcohol abuse or dependence may not be readily apparent -- or even a concern -- to


someone with a drinking problem. However, recognizing alcoholism signs and symptoms
is a critical first step in fighting the disease.

Quick Screen Tool: CAGE Test


The CAGE test is an assessment tool to aid clinicians and others in identifying
alcoholism signs. It is one of hundreds of tools used to screen individuals and determine
treatment options. Many of these tools are available in the National Institute on Alcohol
Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) guide, Assessing Alcohol Problems: A Guide for
Clinicians and Researchers, which can be accessed online.

The CAGE test is comprised of four brief questions designed to detect alcohol abuse or
dependence. Answering yes to any CAGE question suggests a possible alcohol problem.
Answering yes to two or more questions indicates a high risk of alcohol abuse or
dependence. Note that CAGE questions are only guidelines not diagnostic criteria.

CAGE Test Questions:

1. Have you ever felt the need to Cut down on alcohol consumption?
2. Are you Annoyed when people question your drinking habits?
3. Do you feel Guilty about your alcohol use?
4. Have you ever used alcohol as an Eye opener to recover from a hangover?

Alcoholism Signs and Symptoms


Some signs of alcoholism include:
Cravings: Drinking may become an irresistible need and fill almost every thought
throughout the drinkers day.

Loss of Control: The alcoholic may be unable to control the driving compulsion to drink.

Physical Dependence: The body and brain of an alcoholic become dependent on the
drugs effect. Without a drink, the alcoholic may experience withdrawal symptoms such
as anxiety, irritability, nausea, and tremors. In severe cases, seizures may result.

Increasing Tolerance: Over time, the alcoholic will need more and more alcohol to
achieve the same results.

Appearance Changes: Poor dental hygiene, blotchy skin, foul smell, receding hairline
from alcoholism. Poor nutrition can result in many health issues.

Alcohol Abuse vs. Dependence


Those who abuse alcohol but have not yet become addicted or dependent have excessive
drinking patterns but do not have the alcoholism signs described above. Alcohol abusers
don't experience uncontrollable drinking, craving, physical dependence and tolerance,
while alcohol-dependent individuals may experience many of these signs of alcoholism.

Abuse of alcohol over a twelve-month period often results in one or more of the
following:

Problems meeting responsibilities at home, work, and/or school.


Risky behavior while drinking, such as drunk driving.
Legal problems that occur due to drinking, such as DWI (driving under the influence).
They continue to drink in spite of the negative effects of alcohol on work, health, and
family.

Other signs of alcoholism include:

Drinking alcohol to relax, relive stress, or get to sleep.


Drinking in order to socialize.
Hiding alcohol or empty bottles and/or lying about consumption.
Not able to recall events that occurred while under the influence.
Unable to quit drinking.
Worry about alcohol running out during a weekend or holiday.

Alcoholism Stages
Three Alcoholism Stages Inherent to the
Disease
Having no more than a drink or two a day for healthy men and one drink a day for
healthy women (non-pregnant) are typically considered acceptable levels of alcohol
consumption without incurring consequential health risks.

However, as the frequency or amount of drinking


increases, signs of alcohol abuse and dependence
become evident. Physical and mental health progressively deteriorates, and individuals
may jeopardize family and work responsibilities. Here are the stages of alcoholism that
may develop as a consequence.

Early-Stage Alcoholism
The early stages of alcoholism begin when individuals start relying on alcohol to enhance
their mood and escape from their problems. They begin thinking more and more about
their next drink and from where it will come.

Tolerance levels gradually increase as the body adapts to greater amounts of alcohol.
Since a drinker at this stage is often able to function without appearing impaired, it may
not be obvious to those around him or her that a drinking problem exists in the early
alcoholism stages.

Middle-Stage Alcoholism
The next stage of the disease is earmarked by an increasing need and desire for alcohol.
As a result, individuals drink greater quantities and more often, including consumption
earlier in the day and/or later into the evening.

The alcoholic is now losing control over drinking, and the body is no longer able to
process alcohol the same way it did in the early alcoholism stages.

Relationships at home, work and socially break down, and there can be mounting
financial and legal problems. At this point, the drinker may outwardly deny having a
drinking problem; while it is apparent to loved ones, friends and co-workers.

End-Stage Alcoholism
As the disease advances through the stages of alcoholism, the alcoholic becomes
obsessed with drinking to the exclusion of nearly everything else. Hangovers, blackouts,
stomach and other health-related problems are regular occurrences.
Physical and mental health continues to degrade as the bodys organs become
increasingly damaged and functionally impaired.

Does alcohol kill brain cells? - Follow the links to learn how alcohol affects the brain,
and for information on wet brain.

Malnutrition also takes its toll. Large amounts of alcohol interfere with the digestive
process and inhibit the passage of nutrients to the bloodstream.

Compounding the problem, a damaged liver from consumption prevents nutrients from
being converted into a usable form that the body can assimilate. Physical health is quite
poor by the time the alcoholic reaches the end alcoholism stages. (Follow this link to
learn more about the three types of liver disease caused by alcoholism: alcoholic
cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis, and steatosis.)

If the alcoholic continues drinking and does not


seek treatment, the disease will turn fatal. Whether
it be from direct damage to the body's organs and systems, accidents and related injuries,
or even suicide, death will likely be the final outcome of the end stages of alcoholism.

Understanding the warning signs of alcoholism can help prevent the disease from
progressing through the three stages. Take a look at our alcoholism signs and symptoms
section for more information.

For more information about the stages of alcoholism and alcoholism recovery, please
contact us.

Alcoholism and Marriage

What You Should Know About Alcoholism and Marriage

More than one-half of adults in the U.S. have a close family member who has abused
alcohol or is addicted to the drug. When the drinker is a husband or wife, the effect on the
marriage can be dramatic and damaging.

Not only is the mental and physical well-being of


the drinker at risk; the marriage relationship and
family unit can be significantly affected.

The psychological and other health-related ramifications to each affected family member
can be traumatic and long-lasting.
According to psychologist Neill Neill, Ph.D., if a spouse or partner shifts from enjoying a
drink to compulsively needing alcohol to feel okay, the non-alcoholic spouse may also
shifted from being giving and caring to being addicted to the partners care.

In other words, with alcoholism in marriage, compulsive caretaking often grows


alongside the deteriorating self-care of the compulsive drinker. An alcoholic spouse may
neglect or abuse his or her family, deplete financial resources, and create legal problems
for the family.

Dr. Neill emphasizes that alcoholics, like all abusers and addicts, lie (bold faced lies, lies
of omission, cover-ups, minimization), make excuses, blame others for their drinking, and
continue to use alcohol regardless of consequences.

If there are children present, they copy the behavior they see modeled by the drinker and
learn how to grow up and be alcoholics themselves.

The non-profit National Healthy Marriage Resource Center(NHMRC) offers answers to


some frequently-asked questions about alcoholism and marriage. A sampling of these
questions are below.

What Are The Effects of Alcohol Abuse on


Marital Satisfaction and Quality?
Marital distress. Alcohol abuse increases the feelings of marital distress. Individuals in
marriages in which one or both spouses is an alcoholic report higher levels of marital
distress or trouble than do married individuals who are not married to alcoholics.
Anger. Marital satisfaction is related strongly to a couple's ability to communicate
effectively. But heavy alcohol use is associated with more negative and hostile
communication, more expressions of anger, and less warmth and unity in the
relationship. These factors decrease a couple's satisfaction in their marriage and create
greater tension.
Everyday family responsibilities. Alcohol abuse decreases marital satisfaction because it
decreases the drinking spouse's ability to participate in everyday household tasks and
responsibilities. This inability leads to greater stress on the non-drinking spouse and
decreases satisfaction in the marriage.
Psychological distress. Alcohol abuse increases the psychological distress of the non-
drinking spouse. An adult's alcohol abuse also is related to children's increased social,
emotional,behavioral, and academic problems, which, in turn, leads to more stress in the
family and less marital satisfaction.
Does Alcohol Abuse Increase The Risk of
Divorce?
Yes. Some evidence for this is that divorced or separated men and women are three times
more likely to be alcoholics or to have an alcohol problem than are married men and
women.

With alcoholism and marriage, alcohol problems are related to increased rates of marital
violence, poor communication, and feelings of marital distress that lead to a greater risk
of divorce.
Differences between spouses in their drinking behaviors decrease marital quality and
increase the likelihood of divorce. One reason for this increased likelihood is that
drinking has an impact on the amount of time that partners spend together, especially if
the alcoholic frequently drinks away from home. The more time spent apart, the less
satisfied the nonalcoholic spouse becomes and the greater the potential for divorce.

How Does Alcohol Abuse Affect Communication


in Marriage?
Damaging communication. With alcoholism and marriage, alcoholic spouses tend to use
more negative and damaging communication (e.g., criticizing, blaming, contempt),
express more anger, and show lower levels of warmth when trying to solve a problem
than do nonalcoholic spouses. This kind of negative communication discourages the use
of positive problem solving skills such as open discussion and encouragement.
Less problem solving. Couples in which one partner is alcoholic engage in problem
solving less often than do other couples. Partners in such marriages may lose the desire
to engage in problem solving and give up when alcohol is involved because they
anticipate that the conversation will soon become negative. As this pattern continues
with alcoholism and marriage, important issues such as family finances, sexual intimacy,
and childrearing decisions go unresolved because it is easier to avoid communicating
than it is to deal with the stress and negative emotions that are associated with alcohol-
related communication problems.
Personality characteristics. Personality characteristics common among alcoholics also
can affect communication. Alcoholics tend to be less conscientious, less agreeable, and
more anxious and hypersensitive than are nondrinkers. These personality characteristics
make effective communication and problem solving more difficult.
Effects on the brain. Researchers believe that alcohol's effect on the brain may contribute
to the increase in the negative communication. Alcohol appears to impair a person's
ability to understand and properly interpret what a spouse is saying. Alcoholics tend to
interpret things their partners say in a very negative way and this leads them to respond
with greater anger and negative emotions.

Is Alcohol Abuse Related to Violence in


Marriage?
Alcohol abuse is frequently related to marital violence:

Among battered women, 40-60 percent reported that their husbands were heavy or
problem drinkers. Among married men admitted to alcohol treatment centers, 50-70
percent reported participating in partner violence, with 20-30 percent of these men
reporting having engaged in severe violence towards their spouses.
The more frequently men are intoxicated, the more likely they are to be verbally and
physically violent toward their spouses. Alcohol abuse is connected to increased
aggression and marital violence that tends to be more severe and more likely to result in
injury.
Spouses under the influence of alcohol tend to act more aggressively, perhaps because
their ability to think rationally is reduced. Alcohol tends to make individuals more
impulsive and to decrease their ability to restrain their aggression. This pattern is
especially noticeable among spouses who are more aggressive even without alcohol.

How Does Alcohol Abuse Influence Sexual


Intimacy in Marriage?
Alcohol abuse is related to sexual problems, such as lower sexual satisfaction and erectile
dysfunction among men. For women, alcohol abuse may slow down orgasm.

How Can Therapy Help Couples Struggling With


Alcoholism and Marriage?
Alcoholism is not simply an individual problem. Families often play a significant role in
the "cause" and "cure" of alcohol abuse. For this reason, research shows that therapy that
involves the spouse and possibly other family members is more helpful to overcoming
alcoholism than is only treating the individual who has the alcohol problem.

Alcoholism in the Workplace

Alcoholism in the workplace has a profound impact on safety and productivity. Most
heavy and binge drinkers have jobs, with more than sixty percent employed as full-time
workers.

According to the U.S. Office of Personnel


Management, the cost of alcoholism at work
ranges from $33 billion to $68 billion a year with absenteeism estimated to be four to
eight times greater among alcoholics and alcohol abusers.

Alcohol does not just affect the user: One in five employees have reported injuries or
exposure to dangerous conditions because of a co-workers drinking, or have had to go
beyond their regular work responsibilities to compensate for an employee who was
alcohol-impaired.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports, however, that a place of
employment can be an effective location for preventing or identifying alcohol-related
problems.

Programs to Combat Alcoholism in the


Workplace
To combat alcoholism in the workplace, many employers are creating comprehensive
drug-free programs. Typically, these feature five components:

A policy that explains why the program is being implemented (such as protecting worker
health and well-being); what behaviors are not allowed; and a clear explanation of what
will happen if the policy is violated.
The training of supervisors so that they recognize and keep track of performance
problems that may be the result of alcohol abuse, and can make referrals for testing.
Supervisors should not take it upon themselves to diagnose or counsel employees who
may have alcohol issues.
Providing employees with a thorough alcohol education program to include a review of
the companys policy, an explanation of alcohol addiction, how that addiction can
affect work performance as well as ones personal and family life, and how to get help
if they suspect they have a problem.
Creating a means of support for employees who have an alcohol problem. Employee
Assistance Programs (EAPs) have proven to be a very effective means for workers and
their families to get counseling and other services and are a much more constructive
option than firing the employee.
Drug testing can be a constructive tool for finding conclusive evidence of alcoholism at
work, opening the way for confronting the employee, getting them into treatment, or
bringing about some disciplinary action. Employers should check to ensure their alcohol
and drug testing procedure is in compliance with local, state and federal law before that
testing is instituted.

Creating an alcohol and drug-free workplace should be a collaborative effort between


employers and employees where the needs of both parties are recognized, the right to
privacy is protected, and mutual respect is a constant.

Teenage Alcoholism
Teenage alcoholism is a serious problem. One
study found that more than three million teens are
alcoholics. Despite the numbers, however, there is much that can be done about teen
alcoholism. Teen alcoholism is a very treatable condition.

Teenage alcoholism requires specialized treatment, however. Many treatment centers treat
both teens and adults, but these may not be the best places for teens to get help. Teens
face different issues than adults, and they also respond in different ways to different types
of treatment.

Here are some types of treatment that have proven effective for teens.

Group Counseling
Teens respond very well to group counseling. Individual counseling may be helpful as
well, but teens often lack the capacity for the introspection that is often the goal of that
type of counseling. It can also be difficult to get them to open up in a one-on-one
situation.

In group counseling, however, teens can support one another. Even teens that are
reluctant to speak are generally convinced by their peers to participate. With the right
facilitation, a sort of positive peer pressure can be created, in which teens can
encourage each other to abstain from alcohol.

Group sessions are also good places to provide teens with skills that they need in order to
avoid alcohol use. These include problem-solving skills and stress management skills.

Education About Teenage Alcoholism


Education is an extremely important part of the treatment of teenage alcoholism. Teens
rarely understand the dangers of drinking alcohol. They need to be educated about the
health risks they face when they drink. Because teens tend to feel they are invincible, they
sometimes do not feel these risks apply to them. Sometimes speaking with another teen
that has experienced serious health problems related to drinking can help.

Teens also need to be educated about the laws regarding underage drinking. It is illegal in
all states to drink if you are under the age of 21. In many states, underage drinking can
result in the loss of a drivers license. Studies have shown that can be a powerful
deterrent for many teens.

Academic Education
Teens suffering from alcoholism are quite often behind academically. Their drinking has
interfered with their schooling. They need to catch up to their peers so that school is no
longer a stressor and they can graduate on time.
Family Counseling
Family counseling is a crucial part of the treatment for teen alcoholism. Family
relationships are generally quite strained by the time a teen goes for treatment. Teens who
drink heavily usually withdraw from their families. They become defensive when family
members express concern about their behavior. Parents and other family members dont
know how to deal with the teens behavior and react with anger.

Family counseling is geared at repairing these relationships. Parents and teens need to
learn healthy communication skills. Family members need to learn how best to support
teens in recovery.

Family members often need to be educated about the disease of teen alcoholism, as well.
They often have many misconceptions about the disease, which will impede the
relationship with the teens.

Medical Treatment
Fortunately, most teens seeking treatment for teenage alcoholism have not been drinking
long enough to have developed serious health problems related to drinking. However,
some have, and a thorough medical evaluation is in order.

Teens that have been drinking heavily may also need to detox. Detoxing should always be
done under medical supervision.

As you can see, there are a number of components to the treatment of teen alcoholism.
These components work together to treat the physical, mental, and social problems
associated with the disease.

Consequences of Drunk Driving

The consequences of drunk driving are far reaching. The effects of drunk driving do not
affect only the drunk drivers, but many, many others.

Of course passengers in the car may be affected by


being injured in accidents, but they may be
affected emotionally by the trauma of accidents as well. Other drivers, passengers, and
pedestrians may be injured and emotionally traumatized in accidents as well. But beyond
that, there is the emotional trauma to family members and friends who may lose loved
ones or have to cope with severely injured loved ones.
Family members or friends may also feel guilty for letting loved ones drive while
drunk, although ultimately the driver is responsible for his or her own actions.

We should not ignore the consequences of drunk driving to the driver, however. In
addition to possible injury and death, there is the emotional trauma that may occur if he
or she causes injury or death to someone else. The guilt can be overwhelming. There can
also be legal problems as a result.

Coping With the Consequences of Drunk


Driving
If you are suffering from the effects of drunk driving, you are not alone. In 2006, there
were 16,005 fatalities in the U.S. alone from alcohol-related car accidents. Of course,
there were many more injuries than that from alcohol-related crashes. It is impossible to
even guess at the number of people affected by these drunk driving episodes.

But the point is, if you are suffering from the effects of drunk driving, there is help
available to you. Consider seeing a counselor to help you cope with your feelings.

You can contact Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) at 1-800-GET-MADD (1-800-
438-6233) and talk with a grief counselor on the phone. (You dont have to be a mother
to call).

A support group might also help. There you could talk to others sharing the same
experience. MADD might be able to refer you to a support group, or your counselor
might (if you are seeing a counselor), or you could contact a local hospital and ask if they
know of a support group. You could also try your local council on alcoholism.

If You Were the Drunk Driver


Coping with the effects of drunk driving may be even more difficult for you if you were
the drunk driver. You may be grieving the loss of friends or family members who died in
the crash, and feeling tremendous guilt. You may also be facing legal problems.

Even if you werent in a car accident, you may be facing some consequences for drunk
driving. If you got pulled over by the police, you may be facing mandatory jail time, as is
the law in many states. You will likely lose your drivers license. You will probably be
facing hefty fines.

Seek counseling to help you deal with your feelings, and seek treatment for your alcohol
problem. And yes, you do have an alcohol problem. If you drive when drunk, you have an
alcohol problem. Part of dealing with the consequences of drunk driving is going to be
admitting you have a problem and seeking help for it.
Now, you may be wondering if everyone who drives while intoxicated has an alcohol
problem? Our experts say yes. They may not be alcoholics, but they definitely have a
problem. It takes very bad judgment to drive while drunk. The effects of drunk driving
may not always turn out bad, but there is always that chance, and you should never, ever
risk it. Anyone who drives while under the influence should be assessed by a qualified
professional to see if treatment is needed.

Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

If you and your friends drink alcohol, its good to be aware of the signs of alcohol
poisoning. You should watch for the following alcohol poisoning symptoms in your
friends when they have been drinking:

Confusion.
Cold, clammy, pale, or bluish skin.
Low body temperature (hypothermia).
Repeated, uncontrolled vomiting (try to keep a person who is vomiting sitting up, so they
dont choke; if they must lie down, keep their head turned to the side).
Slow breathing (less than 13 times per minute, or no breathing at all for periods of 8
seconds or more).
Seizures.
Loss of consciousness (if someone who has been drinking falls asleep and you cant
wake them, it may be alcohol poisoning; if you are with someone who is drunk and they
fall asleep, you should wake them frequently to make sure they are not unconscious).
Alcohol poisoning can cause a person to go into a coma or it can cause death.

Not all signs have to be present to indicate alcohol poisoning for instance, loss of
consciousness without any other signs can still mean a person has alcohol poisoning.

As you can see, it may be difficult to recognize signs of alcohol poisoning in yourself or
to get yourself medical attention. If you are going to drink much alcohol, make sure your
friends know the alcohol poisoning symptoms so they can look out for you.

If you notice signs of alcohol poisoning in a person, you need to get them medical help
right away. Untreated, alcohol poisoning can result in death. Call 911 or get them to the
nearest Emergency Room. You can also call your local poison control center for advice.
Dont leave a person with possible alcohol poisoning alone until medical help arrives.
Causes of Alcohol Poisoning Symptoms
Your body can eliminate about one serving of alcohol per hour. One serving of alcohol is
one 12-ounce can of beer, one 10-ounce wine cooler, one 4-ounce glass of wine, or one
1.5-ounce shot of 80-proof hard alcohol. Some mixed drinks have more than one serving
of alcohol in them. If you drink more than one serving of alcohol in an hour, your blood
alcohol concentration level will rise, and the higher it gets, the more at risk you are for
alcohol poisoning.

Binge drinking is the most common cause of alcohol poisoning - for instance, drinking
five beers very quickly in the span of less than one hour. There are a number of factors
that can affect your blood alcohol levels, including how strong the alcohol is that you are
drinking, how quickly you consume it, and if you have any food in your stomach when
you drink it.

Your blood alcohol concentration can continue to increase even after you are no longer
drinking or after youve passed out. This is because the alcohol in your stomach will
continue to be absorbed. Therefore you can develop signs of alcohol poisoning even after
youve stopped drinking.

Treatment of Alcohol Poisoning Symptoms


Alcohol poisoning is primarily treated with supportive care while the body rids itself of
the alcohol. A person with alcohol poisoning symptoms is carefully monitored and their
airway is maintained so they dont choke or have trouble breathing. They may also be
given oxygen to help them breathe. They are also given IV fluids to prevent dehydration.

If a person survives the first 24 hours, their prognosis is considered good. It should be
understood, though, that alcohol poisoning is a very serious condition and can be fatal.
Anyone with signs of alcohol poisoning needs medical attention right away.