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Tag Archives: alcohol addiction

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.


How the Alcohol and Health Connection Affects Many Vital Organs

The Link Between Alcohol and Health Risks

alcohol and healthThe association between alcohol and health is broader than many people realize. You may know that alcohol slows down communication from the brain. Messaging becomes sluggish with each serving of alcohol which is why people who’ve had a large amount to drink can have slurred speech and an unsteady gait. Those are short-term consequences of drinking but alcohol and health are linked in several ways with a more long-lasting effect.

Alcohol and Your Heart

Heavy alcohol consumption can permanently weaken your heart muscle. The affected heart will not beat or pump blood efficiently. Insufficient blood flow, in turn, deprives vital organs causing them to also become weakened and inefficient.

The Liver and Brain

Your liver is your body’s de-toxifier. With prolonged alcohol consumption your liver can become less efficient at breaking down the toxins contained in alcohol. The alcohol damages your liver and the increased exposure to toxins can eventually do harm to the brain. For pregnant mothers who drink, the alcohol can cause permanent harm to the unborn child’s brain.


Your pancreas is responsible for aiding in digestion and metabolization of the food you eat. Continued alcohol exposure can dysregulate this function sending enzymes and acids to the wrong place. The pancreas eventually becomes inflamed and is at risk for becoming cancerous.

Long-term heavy alcohol exposure may also harm your lungs, stomach and kidneys. Alcohol and health – overall health – are inextricably linked. At Family Guidance Center we understand this link and can help you on the road to a healthier life. Call us today to talk about our alcohol treatment program, it could be a life-saving decision.

A Growing Trend of Alcohol Abuse Among Older Adults

Alcoholism 7A rather large segment of the American population – the Baby Boomers – will soon be semi or fully retired. That fact will impact demand on things like health care and pharmacy. It may also impact demand for substance abuse treatment. A recent article in the professional journal Addiction finds a growing trend of alcohol and substance abuse among our senior citizens.

Millions of Seniors Affected
According to the report there are currently 2.8 million senior (over age 50) adults in this country abusing alcohol. By 2020, experts predict that number will reach 5.7 million. And the number of older adults with diagnosable alcohol abuse has been climbing steadily since at least 1992. Further, while most older people turn to alcohol for self-medication, six percent abused illicit drugs in 2013.

Why Seniors Struggle
The later years of life are filled with many changes, not all of them welcome. Retirement can mean the loss of identity for many who feel that who they are was tied up in their career. It also can mean a change in economic status. Combine that with deteriorating physical strength and wellness and the frequent loss of friendships either through death or moves to be nearer adult children.

But a senior doesn’t have to intentionally adopt alcohol abuse as a coping mechanism. As the body ages, its ability to metabolize slows down considerably. This means that the few drinks which were no trouble in a person’s 30s or 40s can be too much when they are 50, 60, 70 or older. A drinking problem can develop just because a person doesn’t understand the affects of alcohol on their body as they age.

It’s Not Too Late
If an older adult in your life is trapped in alcohol abuse, it’s not too late for things to change. Many seniors in their 60s and 70s have engaged in rehab treatment and overcome addiction to alcohol or prescription drugs. Call us at Family Guidance Center today and ask how we can help you intervene in a loved one’s life and end the abuse. Sometimes, the strong voice of a loved one is what it takes to turn things around.

NFL Team Owner Shares Stigma Around Addiction May Keep People From Seeking Help

Donald Sterling is battling for ownership of his LA Clipper basketball team after recent offensiveAddiction 6 comments were made public. It’s a story that has captured national headlines. But perhaps with less visibility another problem has been brewing.

The controversy centers on Jim Irsay, owner of the NFL Indianapolis Colts franchise. On March 16, 2014, Irsay was pulled over by police while driving in an Indianapolis suburb. Police asked Irsay to submit to a blood alcohol test, a request he refused. By state law, that refusal triggers a one year suspension of Irsay’s driver’s license.

Eventually police officers obtained a warrant that demanded the blood test. But driving while intoxicated was only part of Irsay’s problem. At the time of his arrest, police also found nearly $30,000 worth of prescription drugs and cash money in his car. Effective May 27, 2014, the owner’s driver’s license was suspended for one year. Irsay is also facing four felony charges of possessing a controlled substance.

Irsay has refused most requests for comment, but did grant a print interview with The Indianapolis Star. During that interview Irsay made several oblique references to alcoholism and addiction. He said alcoholism and addiction, while similar to physical diseases such as heart disease or leukemia, still bear a cultural stigma. That stigma, he said, keeps many people from asking for help. The owner mentioned his own family history alluding to unsuccessful battles with alcohol or addiction, especially in the lives of his dad and granddad.

Irsay never directly reported addiction to prescription drugs or alcohol, although the owner has spent time in rehab treatment. He did say, however, that he takes prescription painkillers to deal with back and hip discomfort under the supervision of a physician.

The question making recent headlines is this: if the NBA will go to great lengths to deal with inappropriate language, should the NFL be involved when a team owner has an obvious problem with substance addiction? So far NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has taken no action.

If someone in your life is struggling to acknowledge  a dependence on alcohol or prescription drugs, you don’t have to sit by and do nothing. Contact the addition treatment professionals at Family Guidance. They can discuss some next steps you can take to help your loved one. Call them today.

Many Kinds of Hidden Alcohol Risks

Alcoholism 7Alcohol is such a commonly used substance in this country that it is easy to assume that it must be relatively harmless. But it is important to keep in mind that alcohol is a highly addictive substance. It is all too easy to transition from light drinking to something far from healthy.

Heavy drinking increases a person’s risk for many kinds of problems including physical, medical and psychological.

Physical Alcohol Risk
Alcohol is responsible for a large number of physical injuries in the U.S.

  • 60 percent of deadly burns and drowning
  • 50 percent of traumatic injuries and sexual assaults
  • 40 percent of deadly falls, fatal car crashes and suicides

Medical Alcohol Risk
Drinking too much damages the body in ways that lead to many kinds of serious health concerns. Overdrinking increases a person’s risk for:

  • Stomach ulcers
  • Liver disease
  • Multiple forms of cancer
  • Stroke
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Birth defects

Psychological Alcohol Risk
Around 18 million Americans have a diagnosed alcohol misuse disorder. Many more live with alcohol abuse and dependency without ever being diagnosed or seeking help. People who have developed a psychological dependency on alcohol face greater chances of:

  • Depression
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Relationship problems

Misusing and abusing alcohol is also linked to legal problems. Heavy drinkers are more likely to be arrested or have their driver’s license suspended for driving under the influence of alcohol. They also miss more days at work and have trouble keeping up with demands on the job.

It is hard to pinpoint the moment when alcohol consumption transitions from a matter of light, social use into an area of misuse and associated alcohol risk. There are diagnostic tools which can assess your current alcohol use. If people around you are concerned or if you feel unable to curb your current level of drinking, contact Family Guidance center and request a simple evaluation.