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Monthly Archives: April 2014

Learning New Strategies for Managing ADHD

ADHD 14Adolescents and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) do not always have a formal diagnosis and they are not always taking medication to cope with their condition. Many have spent a lifetime developing coping strategies that counterbalance their personal challenges. But one day, life throws them a curve ball and suddenly they aren’t sure how to cope. Maybe that someone is you.

The unsettling event could be one of a number of things. For instance, you may have moved into a new community, gotten married or had a job change. Any significant situation that arises can show that your old ways of coping are simply not working in the new circumstance.

If you’re an adolescent it could be the transition from middle school to high school. The new workload, class sizes and changing schedules are overwhelming. You want to keep up but the many distractions; difficulty keeping things organized and general stress of the environment make it hard.

If you are an adult the tipping point can be reached due to other changes. Relationship changes such as the entrance into marriage or becoming a parent mean major changes in terms of roles and expectations. Your schedule becomes less predictable as demands on you multiply and it can expose challenges in coping strategies you’ve never seen before.

Even something wonderful like a promotion at work can bring on unforeseen challenges. So too can negative situations such as a personal injury. Without even realizing it, you may have been coping with your ADHD through exercise. But if an injury suddenly limits your ability to exercise, new coping mechanisms will be needed.

The good news is that there are new coping methods to learn. Adolescents and adults with ADHD can be taught new ways to think, schedule and positively manage challenges associated with ADHD.  If you are finding that life is suddenly feeling out of control, contact the mental health professionals at Family Guidance. They understand what you are facing and know how to help.

The Effects of Alcohol Consumption in the Workplace

According to the National Council on Drug Addiction and Alcoholism around 15 million Americans are heavy drinkers. Heavy drinking takes a toll on every aspect of life, including a person’s work life. Someone may be dependent on alcohol or they may be an occasional binger, but either way, abuse of alcohol leads to negative results on the job.

People who drink heavily tend to demonstrate a higher level of absenteeism from work. And even whenAlcoholism 8 they are at work, people who had a lot to drink the night before or who drink during lunch or scheduled work breaks work less efficiently and can place themselves or others in dangerous situations.

Workers with some form of drinking problem are 2.7 times more apt to cause an injury at work compared to workers without a drinking issue. Hospital emergency room staff report that 35 percent of workplace injuries they see involve misuse of alcohol. And 16 percent of patients who suffered a workplace injury show up in the emergency room with alcohol in their system.

Whether the person is an dependent on alcohol or drinks inappropriately around work-times they bring harm to the work environment. Problem drinkers are often late to work, drowsy at work, bring down the morale of fellow workers and bring a greater risk for conflict to the office.

They are also more likely to be involved in a deadly work-related accident. The person who abuses alcohol is more likely to harm themselves and those around them.

Because drinking affects the workplace so dramatically Employee Assisted Programs were developed to offer intervention. These programs have enjoyed great success in confronting alcohol misuse and in getting workers and their families to take advantage of local services for treatment.

Family Guidance is a community resource for anyone struggling with alcohol addiction or dependence. Family Guidance offers programs for the person and also for the family of that person, because drinking affects everyone in the home. If you or someone you care about, perhaps even someone at work, has a problem with alcohol, let them know about Family Guidance Center and the help available before the problem escalates even further.

A New Alcohol Risk: Moms Turning to Wine to Ease Parenting Anxiety

Alcoholism 7No one ever said that being a mom is an easy job, but many young moms today are finding the stress of motherhood overwhelming. An alarming number of them said they soothe frayed nerves with a glass – or two or three – of wine. And the trend of drinking moms isn’t isolated to just one state; it’s a phenomenon sweeping across the nation.

The appearance of social pages like Martinis and Minivans and Moms Who Need Wine pretty much tells the story. So too does the number of new wine labels aimed at young moms. Names like Mommy Juice, Mommy’s Time Out and Mad Housewife are designed to cash in on this new market niche. Could it be a sign of a drinking epidemic? Are mommies the new alcohol risk?

Quite possibly. Treatment facilities around the country say that the number of young women (mothers) coming in for help with alcohol addiction has been on the rise. One popular morning news show conducted an online survey designed to find out what young moms had to say on the subject.

The survey showed that 40 percent of the moms who participated said they used alcohol to unwind and de-stress from parenting, sometimes while the kids were playing at the park. One-third of the moms reported having more than seven drinks per week. Do the mommies think there is an alcohol risk here? Well, 34 percent of them said that they felt some of their friends had a problem with alcohol. Only 15 percent thought they themselves had a problem.

Because these young women find that having a cocktail is a socially acceptable way to deal with anxiety, few of them view the behavior as an alcohol risk. Some say they have been behind the wheel of their car with young children in the backseat after consuming, and have friends who have engaged in the same behavior. Many times, the behavior is unknown to a spouse and continues to escalate due to the progressive nature of alcohol addiction and dependence.

There’s no reason to wait until drinking becomes a danger to others, or yourself. If you think you may be drinking too much, you can find help. Alcohol addiction wears many faces… including moms and dads. Family Guidance Center can help moms find other ways to deal with the difficult job of parenting. Don’t assume that you’re too young to need help. Don’t avoid getting help because you feel ashamed — the disease of alcohol addiction affects millions of people across all walks of life, and it can be treated for a return to quality of life. Call Family Guidance Center today.

NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month a Good Time to Address Prevention and Treatment

NCADD 1April is a time of year when many adolescents get ready for high school milestones like prom and graduation. While these are naturally celebrated events, they are also known for their connection to underage drinking. For this and other reasons, the month of April has been designated by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., to be observed as NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month.

Each year alcohol related disorders impact over 18 million Americans, and many times, problematic alcohol use begins in youth. Some of this stems from alcohol abuse within the home or family unit. Figures from the NCADD show that up to a quarter of children residing in U.S. households has a relative living with the disease.

When compared to young adults who abstain from alcohol till they are at least 20-years-old, adolescents who drink before their fifteenth birthday face quadruple the risk of alcohol dependency. Youngsters are particularly vulnerable to alcohol abuse because of peer pressure and all of the emotions that go along with transitioning into adulthood. Poor coping skills, a family history of alcoholism, and feelings of anxiety or depression may all be reasons why teens turn to alcohol. The effects of underage drinking can be devastating – alcohol poisoning, deadly car accidents, date rape, and a habit of abuse are all potential negative consequences of teen alcohol use.

Dependency is then an issue that can haunt adolescents into adulthood. Some of the problems associated with the disease include:

  • Decreased productivity within the workplace
  • Increased burden on the healthcare system
  • Increased risk of domestic abuse and divorce
  • Greater criminal activity
  • More motor vehicular crashes and drunk driving episodes, resulting in the loss of 16,000 lives each year

The theme for the 27 annual observance of NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month is “Help for Today. Hope for Tomorrow.” The focus of this year’s efforts is directed toward prevention and elimination of stigma that often stands in the way of affected individuals and their recovery. For questions about alcoholism or local programs geared toward alcohol treatment, contact Family Guidance Center.


3 Keys to Having a Plan When Parenting a Child with ADHD

14110068_sBeing a parent can be trying even under normal circumstances. Raising a son or daughter affected by a mental health condition such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) will certainly present additional challenges. But having a plan, and knowing how tough situations will be handled in advance, can help alleviate frustrations for both you and your child. A set plan also helps prevent the potential for reacting out of a place of negative emotion and should include ways to mentally recharge to minimize the possibility of a stress build-up.

  1. Be aware of your triggers. Yes, your triggers. Maybe you have a stress reaction when your child demonstrates a lack of focus or attention. Or maybe you don’t know how to handle it when he becomes hostile or belligerent. We’re all familiar with the concept of a time-out as applied to children, but it’s perfectly ok for parents to recognize they may need a cooling off period as well. Something as simple as leaving the room and taking a quick break, shifting gears, or practicing deep breathing can keep a frustrating circumstance from spiraling out of control.
  2. Build a strong support network. Stay in regular contact with doctors and mental health professionals. Reach out to other parents of ADHD children. Talk to the school counselor, and enlist the support of other family members and friends. It helps to know that you have someone to talk to if you need to get things off your chest and recognize that you are not alone.
  3. Exercise often and participate in extracurricular activities. Exercise itself is a huge stress reliever and can provide the mental clarity needed to embrace overwhelming, everyday life events. Also, taking time for yourself and enjoying life outside of being a parent are important, but often overlooked keys to helping you be the best parent you can be.

Parental guilt would have us believe it’s best to be a martyr, but taking care of yourself puts you in a better position to care for your family. If you or someone you know would like more information about raising a child with ADHD, contact Family Guidance Center.