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Tag Archives: alcoholism

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.

Why the High-Functioning “Alcoholic” is Still Dealing with Alcoholism

Alcoholism 7Alcoholism often brings to mind images of a negative stereotype, but a good number of people addicted to alcohol bear little resemblance to the stereotype. They are people who meet several diagnostic criteria for alcoholism while still managing to hold their life together with apparent success. They are high-functioning alcoholics.

The high functioning alcoholic goes to work or school each day, pays their bills and may have an intact marriage; but beneath the surface, things are not as they should be. They are good enough, though, for the person to feel justified in denying that they have any kind of alcohol problem. After all, alcoholics don’t mow their yard, get promoted and remember birthdays ….right?

The high functioning alcoholic may do all of this and more, and yet have an addiction to alcohol that is degrading the quality of their life and the lives of close family members. For example, one sign of alcoholism is tolerance for alcohol. Does the person need to drink more alcohol today to achieve the same feelings than they did in the past? People who drink habitually develop a tolerance for alcohol and will need ever-increasing amounts of it.

Another sign of alcoholism is a preoccupation with alcohol. If the person spends a significant amount of time thinking about drinking, or planning when, what and where to drink it is an unhealthy distraction. Alcoholics become edgy and uncomfortable if they cannot have a drink at the time and place where they expect to be able to drink. They don’t recognize this as withdrawal, but that is just what it is.

Another sign of alcoholism is a changing social landscape. People addicted to alcohol enjoy spending time with others who drink and rarely with anyone else. They will avoid social occasions which don’t include alcohol and won’t have close friends who do not also drink.

The high-functioning alcoholic usually thinks they are just fine, when they are anything but. For help knowing how to approach someone in your life contact the professionals at Family Guidance. They understand and can offer needed support.

How to Tell When Binge Drinking is Turning Into Alcoholism

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 38 million Americans misuse or abuse alcohol. One out of every six Americans binges regularly. Heavy drinking accounts for more than 80,000 deaths per year and is the number three cause of preventable fatalities. So how can a person know if they are on a downward slope toward alcoholism?  There are some warning signs alongGet-Help-Now2 the way.

1. You are Drinking Heavily Every Weekend
If you have several drinks in a row every weekend, it could be a warning sign of an alcohol addiction. Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women in a single episode. If this describes your weekly drinking, take inventory.

2. You Drink More Than You Plan to Drink
If you go out with co-workers expecting just to have one or two glasses of wine but wind up drinking more every time, it could signal an addiction. Try keeping tabs on your alcohol consumption. Write down exactly how many drinks you have per night, per week and per month.

3. Your Drinking is Filled with Memory Gaps
If you find that you forget portions of your evening of drinking it’s a red flag. Binge drinking affects memory.

4. Drinking Becomes More Important Than Your Responsibilities
If your drinking affects your job responsibilities, taking care of your family or other responsibilities then your drinking is out of balance. Alcohol addiction doesn’t happen overnight.

5.  People Around You Voice Concern
Ask yourself if you would be willing to let someone else assess your drinking levels. If not, why not? Would you be willing to allow a loved one to set your drinking limit? Again, if not, why not? When people around you mention concern or you avoid hearing their concern there is a possibility that casual drinking may be moving toward the direction of alcohol dependence or addiction.

If any of these symptoms sound familiar, you can get help. Contact the professionals at Family Guidance today.