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    Signs and Tests That Can Assess Alcohol Abuse

    Last updated 11 months ago

    You might know that a friend, coworker, or loved one has an alcohol abuse problem simply by observing him. Perhaps he smells of alcohol or slurs his speech at work. Maybe he hides bottles of alcohol in places he thinks you won’t find. Yet as obvious as an alcohol abuse issue might be, clinical tests can provide conclusive evidence of both the addiction and its severity. These tests can alert substance abuse treatment counselors and physicians to the extent of a patient’s problem and provide direction on how best to address his physical needs.

    Getting a Magnesium Blood Test

    Magnesium is a mineral that is essential to human health. While the skeletal system holds most of the body’s magnesium, the blood contains an ample supply of it as well. However, excessive alcohol consumption can affect magnesium counts in the blood. A magnesium blood test, which assesses magnesium levels, can indicate the extent to which a person is abusing alcohol. A low magnesium count may point to an alcoholism problem.

    Submitting to a Blood Count Test

    Alcohol abuse can affect other blood components as well. A complete blood count test can determine the levels of several different blood elements, including the amount of hemoglobin, white blood cells, and red blood cells. A complete blood count test of someone who suffers from alcoholism may yield differing results than that of a person who does not have an alcohol abuse problem.

    Undergoing a Liver Function Test

    The liver plays a fundamental role regarding the consumption of alcohol. Each time a person consumes an alcoholic beverage, it is up to the liver to process the toxic elements. If an individual suffers from an alcohol problem, though, the liver may not be able to keep up with these processing demands. As a result, it can experience permanent scar tissue. A liver function test can reveal the presence of this tissue damage.

    Let Las Encinas Hospital help you regain control of your life from alcoholism. Our Pasadena addiction treatment facility offers confidential and compassionate care for individuals who suffer from alcohol-related problems. If you would like to learn more about our chemical dependency options, call (888) 348-2165.

    Steps to Take Following Substance Abuse Treatment

    Last updated 11 months ago

    Substance abuse treatment can help you break free from addiction, but living sober is a lifelong commitment. It demands that you put into place actions to help you remain resolute when the pull of addiction is strong. The following steps can help you avoid circumstances that may make you vulnerable to relapse.

    Ask for Support

    Substance abuse treatment requires the help of friends and family to provide the support you need as you contend with your addiction issues. When you complete your chemical dependency care, your loved ones can become even more important in your recovery process. Friends and family can provide the outlet you need to express your emotions. They can help you find activities on which you can focus when you feel compelled to use again. They can also provide a mirror of your progress as you continue your journey towards a drug-free future.

    Focus on Fulfillment

    Addiction often becomes the center of a person’s thoughts and desires. After substance abuse treatment, that energy must be put toward healthier endeavors. Upon finishing formal treatment, becoming proactive about the hobbies and interests you love can help facilitate your recovery. If your work or home life contributed to your addiction issues, now is the time to changes those circumstances. You can also turn to pastimes such as physical activity and the arts to satisfy the void that addiction once filled.

    Practice Self Care

    Addiction relapse is common when individuals do not take the proper steps to look after their own wellbeing. Establishing healthy habits such as eating right and sleeping enough each day and night can provide the foundation you need to avoid returning to your addiction. Stress can also prove a catalyst for returning to addiction habits. Take the proper precautions to avoid circumstances that could raise your stress levels.

    Las Encinas Hospital can give you the tools you need to permanently free yourself from your substance abuse problems. Visit our website to find out more about our addiction treatment programs for Pasadena area residents. You can also call (888) 348-2165 to schedule an appointment with one of our chemical dependency counselors.

    How Prescription Painkiller Abuse Starts

    Last updated 11 months ago

    Abuse of prescription painkillers is on the rise. The exact number of people with addictions to prescription painkillers is unclear, but experts believe that millions of Americans are struggling with painkiller dependency. For high school students, only marijuana is more popular than prescription opioids. In one study, one in 10 high school seniors admitted that they had used Vicodin within the past 12 months. How does painkiller addiction start? Consider the facts:

    Easy Access

    More people have access to prescription painkillers than ever before. In fact, for much of the past decade, Vicodin was the most widely prescribed drug of any kind. Although better pain control is beneficial to many patients, more liberal prescribing puts these drugs into the hands of more people. Not only does this increase the chances of addiction for the patients themselves, but it also creates a new avenue of access for the patients’ children, spouses, and friends.

    Pre-Programmed Vulnerability

    Most doctors agree that some people have genetic predispositions to addiction. When people with these dispositions are prescribed prescription painkillers, abuse is a very real risk. Painkillers can deliver a feeling of euphoria and then trigger a craving in the brain for more. The next dose reinforces the cycle, and addiction can take hold. Eventually, the need to take greater doses of the drug more frequently than prescribed will set in. Experts believe between five and 10 percent of people have genetic predispositions to addiction.

    Environmental Factors

    Not everyone who is genetically prone to addiction will abuse painkillers, and not everyone addicted to painkillers has a predisposition to addiction. Environmental factors also play a role. Stress and depression, which are often exacerbated by pain, can make the relief of painkillers irresistible. Having family and friends who abuse drugs also increases the risk of addiction.

    Are you or a loved one struggling with prescription painkiller addiction? Las Encinas Hospital is here to help you face your chemical dependency issues and reclaim your wellbeing. Call (888) 348-2165 anytime, 24-hours a day, to learn more about substance abuse treatment program in Pasadena.

    Understanding the Dangers of Methamphetamine Abuse

    Last updated 11 months ago

    Methamphetamine is a highly addictive, stimulant drug. Those who engage in meth substance abuse develop dangerous side effects involving the body and the mind. Meth acts on the central nervous system to release a cascade of dopamine, causing feelings of pleasure. Over time, however, the dopamine receptors in the brain are destroyed, leading to potentially permanent damage to the brain. Since meth is so addictive, users will need to undergo an intensive substance abuse treatment program.

    Physical Effects

    Substance abuse exacts a heavy toll on the user’s body. Users tend to suffer ill effects from insomnia, malnutrition, and weight loss. They run the risk of damage to the liver, kidneys, and lungs, and they are at an increased risk of life-threatening events such as stroke. Methamphetamine also has a detrimental effect on a user’s oral health from a combination of factors such as increased dry mouth, poor nutrition, poor oral care, and drug-induced teeth grinding. Meth users commonly display broken, rotting teeth.

    Psychotic Symptoms

    Although users take meth to feel a sense of euphoria, this substance will alter the structure of the brain, preventing users from feeling any joy at all. This substance abuse problem is also commonly characterized by psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and anxiety. Users may become extremely aggressive or severely depressed.

    Lifestyle Risks

    Since methamphetamine lowers a person’s normal inhibitions, use of the drug can lead to potentially dangerous lifestyle choices. Meth users often have multiple sexual partners and fail to use condoms, placing them at risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Furthermore, substance abuse causes significant financial and legal problems for the user.

    Substance abuse has devastating consequences for the user and his or her family members. With the intensive addiction treatment program at Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena, you can overcome chemical dependency and rebuild your life. Call us today at (888) 348-2165 to speak with one of our friendly representatives.

    When Moderate Drinking Signals a Larger Problem

    Last updated 11 months ago

    Do you worry that perhaps you drink too much or too often? While every person has his own tolerance threshold, some signs can indicate that your drinking habits may be leading to more serious addiction consequences. By keeping in mind the following factors that frequently point to an alcohol addiction, you can better determine if you need help to control your drinking behavior.

    Binge Activities

    Perhaps you refrain from drinking all week only to indulge once the weekend comes. Yet no matter how many days that you restrict your drinking habits, if you tend to consume more than three or four drinks in one sitting, you may be in danger of developing an alcohol problem. This type of behavior, which addiction experts refer to as binge drinking, is a common component among individuals who suffer from alcoholism.

    Excited Behaviors

    One reason why so many people binge drink is because it makes them feel good. If you habitually consume multiple alcoholic beverages in a short period of time, it may be because of the emotional response you experience. Studies indicate that individuals are more likely to drink more than they should if their habit results in positive emotions, such as confidence or elation. Should you experience this type of reaction when you drink, it can prompt you to keep drinking so that the euphoria you feel does not end.

    Other Risk Factors

    If you are questioning your drinking habits, it is important to take a look at other possible risk factors that may encourage your behavior. Heredity is a known risk factor for alcoholism, so take a moment to consider if you might have a genetic predisposition to it. Especially when you combine a family history of addiction with other dangers such as a social network that values drinking activities, you may be putting yourself in a position to develop an alcohol problem.

    Would you like to talk to someone about your drinking habits? Call Las Encinas Hospital at (888) 348-2165 to discuss your concerns with a qualified addiction specialist. You can also visit our website to find out more about how our Pasadena chemical dependency treatment center can help you manage your addiction behaviors.

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