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Family Guidance Blog

Major League Pitcher Sabathia Seeks Treatment for Alcoholism

Sabathia’s Message: “Alcoholism is an Unprejudiced Disease”

alcoholismIf you reach the pinnacle of your career,  have crowds of adoring fans and earn an undreamed salary, it would be hard to imagine that anything could be better. But Major League Baseball pitcher CC Sabathia could tell you differently. The 35-year old Yankees player and father of four recently went public with his years-long struggle with alcoholism and his steps toward recovery.

Sabathia tells the public how he has spent the past three years hiding his illness until he finally sought professional treatment. He tells how he tried to overcome alcohol addiction on his own with some success – a few months of sobriety – only to “fall off the wagon” and back into heavy, secretive binge drinking.

The pitcher described travelling with his team only to spend entire weekends holed up in his hotel room consuming all the alcoholic beverages in the mini-bar. This happened repeatedly and Sabathia says he spent great energy hiding his struggle. Near the end of this year’s season, he reports experiencing a three-day alcohol binge during a weekend ball trip to Baltimore. It was then that he decided to get help.

Though the baseball playoffs were just ahead, Sabathia made the decision to sign himself immediately into a 30-day treatment center. This kind of decision risked his relationships with teammates, not to mention Yankee fans. Fortunately, Sabathia was surprised by an outpouring of team support for his choice to get help.

The other outpouring of support has come from Sabathia’s own family. His wife and children, the oldest of whom understands fully what has transpired, are all on his team.

Sabathia’s message to a watching and listening public? As summarized from interviews, it doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, down and out or at the peak of success – alcoholism is an unprejudiced disease. It affects all people and needs to be treated just as any other disease would.

At Family Guidance Center we’ve seen treatment establish a path to lasting recovery for those living with alcohol addiction. We know things can change. Contact us and let us help you.

 

Things Which Trigger Alcoholism Are Often Risk Factors for Depression as Well

Understanding the Link Between Alcoholism and Depression

alcoholismDepression and alcoholism share many similar symptoms and can sometimes stem from the same biological causes. Depression often can bring a risk factor for alcoholism and alcohol abuse can increase a person’s risk of becoming depressed. Over 30 percent of those with depression, also struggle with alcoholism.

Some people may face a greater pre-disposition towards alcoholism or depression, but outside factors also play an important role. Environmental factors are one example. People who experience violent traumas in youth, for instance, can be more likely to develop depression or a negative relationship with alcohol as they grow older.

Even if you had a traumatic childhood or have alcoholism in your family tree, you still don’t have to accept depression or alcohol abuse as part of your life. You do need to know that if you are depressed, drinking alcohol may deepen your depression. But whether you are living with one disease or both, help and hope are available.

At the Family Guidance Center we can help you escape the downward spiral of depression. We can also help you to develop new tools for coping other than alcohol. Life can be bright, purposeful and filled with opportunities to meet your goals. Just because you’ve experienced risk factors, doesn’t mean you cannot reach out for help. Let us show you how today.

Alcohol Abuse Among Senior Adults

People Over Age 60 May Turn to Alcohol Abuse as Late Life Changes Occur

alcohol abuseAlcohol abuse is a real issue for a significant number of Americans over age 60. A National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2013) reported that more than 14 percent of people ages 60-64 engaged in binge drinking and close to five percent in that age range were regular heavy drinkers. Misuse of alcohol is an issue that can affect those of any age, even senior adults.

For many, alcohol abuse may start early in life and continue throughout adulthood. There are some, however, whose misuse begins much later and is referred to as late-onset alcoholism. This later-life alcohol abuse is often triggered by one or more of the many changes that come during these years. The empty nest and sudden change in family dynamics can prompt a change in drinking habits. So, too, can retirement and the loss of daily purpose and socialization, divorce or the death of a spouse, health issues and decline in income. Someone who never over-drank as a young person may find that they are turning to alcohol more in later life when confronted with one or more of these losses.

Maybe you never had a problem with alcohol abuse when you were younger, but recognize symptoms of alcohol abuse in your senior years. If you recognize these symptoms, if loved ones in your life or those you work with share concern about your drinking, if you drink more and sooner in the day than you plan or if you find yourself turning to alcohol on a regular basis to cope – please visit us at Family Guidance Center. Our mental health professionals are here to talk to you and help you with a treatment plan to start you on the road to recovery.

Alcohol Dependency in America

Recognizing the Signs of Alcohol Dependency

alcohol dependencyAlcohol dependency refers to a person’s overuse of alcohol. According to the U.S. CDC and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, around 10 percent of adults in this country meet the diagnostic criteria for being alcohol dependent while over 30 percent of Americans qualify as heavy drinkers. Alcohol dependency doesn’t develop in one night. It often happens over time and many Americans are moving into high-risk drinking without understanding the risks.

You may begin with just a single beer or glass of wine each night after work. Later, you begin to drink two, three or more each evening and more than that while socializing on weekends. So what determines if you are still in the low-risk zone or have moved toward alcohol dependency? There are several questions you can ask yourself to determine if you have a dependence on alcohol, but it’s critical that you be honest with yourself when answering.

First off, think about whether you’ve ever hurt yourself while drinking? What about hurting someone else when you were drinking? Do you have trouble getting to work on time or being up in time to help the kids get off to school because you’re tired or hung-over from drinking? If you’re honest, do you feel edgy if you can’t have a drink? Do you drink to escape sad or negative feelings?

Answering yes to any of these questions is enough to stop and consider your drinking habits and seek outside help. The mental health professionals at Family Guidance Center can help. Call us today and we can talk about the best treatment options to help you get started on the road to recovery.

Alcohol Abuse Among Older Adults

Signs of Alcohol Abuse to be Aware of

alcohol abuseAccording to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) around 80,000 American seniors engage in alcohol abuse. The actual number of seniors abusing alcohol could be higher since physicians may attribute signs of abuse such as depression, sleep problems, poor appetite or falling to normal symptoms associated with aging. Further, since many seniors may not mix socially as often as younger adults, alcohol abuse may not be quickly recognized by friends or co-workers.

You may be the only one watching for signs of alcohol misuse by a senior loved one, so know what to look for. Main signs of an alcohol abuse problem include finishing their drinks in rapid succession and becoming irritable or testy if they can’t drink every day. Other symptoms to watch for include a poor appetite, harming themselves when drinking or using alcohol to escape problems or in order to be able to cope with difficulty.

Another sign of alcohol abuse is hiding how much you drink so you may need to pay close attention in order to determine just how much your loved one is drinking. Older bodies do not metabolize alcohol as quickly or efficiently as younger ones.

Alcohol abuse is serious at any age. For seniors, it can aggravate existing health issues and may be deadly when combined with certain medications. If you suspect that your older loved one is abusing alcohol, help them to know that they are not alone and help is available. Contact us at Family Guidance Center. We can help you with advice on encouraging your loved one to seek help and we can help them learn how to break the habits of alcohol abuse.