Is Alcoholism Really A Brain Disease?

Is alcoholism a brain disease

Many people don’t know alcoholism is a brain disease because they only see the outward manifestations of the disease. But the truth is addiction is a chronic brain disease that goes far beyond behavioral problems and poor choices.

In August 2011, the ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) released its new text “The Definition of Addiction (Long Version),” which for one of the first times ever, extended addiction to include behaviors rather than just drug and alcohol abuse. A group of almost 100 addiction experts worked long and hard to arrive at the new definition of addiction and concluded that addiction is more about the brain; not about the alcohol, drugs, sex, or gambling. It is about the neurology of the brain not the outward behavior that we so often associate with alcoholism.

So why is alcoholism a brain disease?

Alcoholism affects the brain’s reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry to the extent that the alcoholic person’s motivations are altered so that their alcoholic behavior has no replaced healthy, self-caring behaviors. This is what may make some alcoholics seem insane and willing to give up so much for booze.

The brain’s reward system is also altered so that the memory of other rewards such as food, sex, and drugs or alcohol, now trigger a biological as well as a behavioral response, to engage in the alcoholic behavior again despite the negative consequences, and in some instances, even though the alcoholic doesn’t even find pleasure in drinking.

Alcoholism also affects the front cortex of the brain. When alcoholism affects the front cortex of the brain it also alters impulse control and judgment. This results in what many alcoholics describe as needing to drink to feel normal. The ASAM calls it the pathological pursuit rewards, when addicts return to their addictive behavior to feel as good as you would on a daily basis.

The front cortex of the brain is responsible for inhibiting impulsivity and delaying gratification also. Because this area of the brain continues developing into young adulthood the ASAM say this could be why early onset exposure to alcohol and drugs leads to the development in alcoholism in many people. Think about it. When you are younger you are learning how to control impulses and delaying gratification. For instance, waiting to go hang out with friends until after you finished homework. If drugs or alcohol are involved in this development process of course it is going to alter the brain’s ability to control impulse and want for instant gratification.

So how is alcoholism as a brain disease treated?

A comprehensive alcohol treatment program should focus on all active and potential substances and behaviors that could be addictive. A alcohol treatment program must also give tools to not only deal with the health issues in the body but also the mental issues in the brain. Because alcoholism is a brain disease doesn’t mean alcoholics are off the hook either; they must take responsibility for their behaviors and begin doing something to change them. Usually these changes happen in alcohol rehabilitation center.



If you need help with your addiction give us a call now at 1-800-984-4003.

Alcohol Addiction Facts

                                     Alcohol Addiction FactsEven though alcoholism is the most common addiction in the United States, many people are unaware of the alcohol addiction facts. Everyone should have an understanding of the following alcohol addiction facts so that we can work together to move towards a cure for this deadly disease.

  • Alcohol addiction or alcoholism is a disease; it is not a moral failing or a matter of will power.
  • Even though it is illegal to consume alcohol before the age of 21, roughly 5,000 people under the age of 21 die from an alcohol-related incident including car crashes, homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning, and other related injuries every year in the United States.
  • It is estimated that 20% of teens in the United States can be labeled as “problem drinkers”. In fact, it is estimated that 25 percent of the alcohol consumed in the United States, is done so by those too young to purchase it legally.
  • Another important alcohol addiction fact is that alcohol is one of, if not the most, dangerous drugs to quit. One out of three people suffering from severe alcohol addiction who try to quit without medical help will die due to complications from alcohol withdrawal. All those who are suffering from alcohol addiction should seek medical help to quit.
  • It is possible to have a problem with alcohol, even when it has not progressed to the point of alcoholism. Problem drinking means you drink too much at times, causing repeated problems, but you are not completely dependent on drinking. Both problem drinkers and alcoholics should seek professional help.
  • One of the most important alcohol addiction facts is that alcohol addiction has little to do with what kind of alcohol you drink, how long you have been drinking, or even exactly how much you drink.
  • Alcohol addiction affects people from every type of background, but here are several characteristics that can increase the risk that a person will develop alcoholism. These are known in the scientific community as “risk factors.
  • Children of those who suffer from alcohol addiction are 4 times more likely than others to suffer from alcohol addiction themselves.
  • “Binge Drinking” defined as five or more drinks in a sitting for men and four for women, can increase chances of developing alcohol addiction

These alcohol addiction facts can seem scary but the important point is that there is help available. Thousands of facilities in the United States offer alcohol and drug rehabilitation and treatment services, ranging from short-term residential or in-patient hospitalization to long-term, outpatient counseling and therapy. Treatment can be effective in helping people learn to live a life of sobriety. There is no cure for alcohol addiction, but the disease can be treated and people can live in remission. It is possible for those with an alcohol addiction to recover and live a normal life. If you or someone you know has an alcohol addiction, you should seek help from addiction professional as soon as possible. Untreated alcohol addiction can be deadly.


If you need help with your addiction give us a call now at 1-800-984-4003.

What is alcohol rehab and why should I go?

What is alcohol rehab?

What is alcohol rehab?

Alcohol rehab is the shortened term for alcohol rehabilitation centers. Addicts and alcoholics go to alcohol rehabs to try and stop drinking or using drugs. Alcohol rehab is one of the most effective and powerful ways to break the cycle of alcoholism and addiction. This is why so many alcoholics and addicts choose to go to alcohol rehab when they want to stop drinking and getting high. Alcohol rehab is entirely focused on helping alcoholics and addicts overcome not only their physical addiction but also their psychological addictions to alcohol and drugs. During alcohol rehab, an addict and alcoholic will usually go through stages the first being alcohol detox. After alcohol detox, the addict or alcoholic will go to inpatient or counseling and aftercare. Each one of the processes in alcohol rehab is made to treat a different part of addiction and alcoholism in order to address the physical, psychological and/or social aspects of the disease. An alcohol rehab usually incorporates healing, healthier living and emotion and therapeutic support.

So why should you go to alcohol rehab?  Here are some reasons why you should go to alcohol rehab.

  • The biggest reason you should go to alcohol rehab is because it could save your life. It is no surprising fact that many people die at the hands of their alcoholism and drug addiction. Going to alcohol rehab and getting the benefits of what it is could literally save your life.
  • Another great reason to go to alcohol rehab is that it gives you some time away from the alcohol and drugs. A lot of the times if we are struggling with addiction or alcoholism it can be very hard or nearly impossible to stay clean even 24 hours. At alcohol rehab you will be in a safe place where you don’t have to worry about the staying clean part. You can get some time away in a safe alcohol rehab and get some actual clean time under your belt.
  • Going to alcohol rehab gives you a better chance at staying sober for the long run. Going to alcohol rehab can set you up for long-term sobriety by introducing you to 12 step meetings, people who can help you in your recovery or even introduce you to a therapist and counselor that can help you to continue growing in recovery
  • Going to alcohol rehab is a great way to get connected with other people who have the same goal to stay sober. People who are in alcohol rehab often share information and stay in touch which is a great way to get support in recovery. Have a support network in recovery within alcohol rehab and after it is imperative to staying sober.
  • Going to alcohol rehab can give you your life back. You can gain back everything you have lost if you go to alcohol rehab. This means relationships, your job, your dreams, your health and you can even gain some things you didn’t have when you went in the beginning. For instance you may have new hobbies such as yoga or reading.


If you need help with your addiction give us a call now at 1-800-984-4003.

5 Signs You May Need Rehab

I want to go to rehab

5 Signs You May Need Rehab

Most of the time when people are drinking too much, they don’t ask themselves tough questions. They believe that they have fooled everyone around them into thinking that their drinking is under control. Usually, however, the only person they are fooling is themselves. Those occasional twinges of guilt or introspection can easily be drowned by having a few more drinks, so the drinker is often the last to admit that he or she really has a problem.  If you are having one of those moments where you think you might have a problem, these 5 signs you may need rehab could help.

5 Signs You May Need Rehab: Your drinking is causing problems

One of the first signs you may need rehab is when your drinking starts causing problems in your life. If you are having problems in your relationships, legal problems, financial difficulties, or other issues due to drinking, and you still continue to drink, you may need rehab.

5 Signs You May Need Rehab: You make promises to yourself or others about your drinking that you can’t keep.

A major sign you may need rehab is making promises to yourself or others about your drinking that you later break. You may promise yourself that you won’t ever get that drunk again or you will no longer drink and drive. You tell your family that you will cut down on your drinking or quit. You may even really mean it when you make these promises. But inevitably, you end up right back where you swore you’d never be (i.e. drunk behind the wheel or suffering from a major hangover).

5 Signs You May Need Rehab: You lie about drinking or hide the evidence

This sign you may need rehab is somewhat related to the previous one. You make promises about your drinking, you don’t keep them, and then you lie about it. Or maybe you haven’t made any promises, but you feel like you need to consume how much or how often you drink. On some level, you know that others will not approve of what you are doing.

5 Signs You May Need Rehab: You drink or use drugs in the morning to cure a hangover or deal with the “shakes.”

One of the biggest signs that you need rehab is using alcohol or drugs to cope with a hangover. Hangovers and shaking hands are symptoms of acute withdrawal from alcohol, and it means your body has become dependent on alcohol.

5 Signs You May Need Rehab: You avoid social situations that do not involve alcohol.

Many problem drinkers are unable to enjoy themselves without drinking. They will avoid any activity that doesn’t involve alcohol, or they will drink even though it is inappropriate in a certain social situation.  Sometimes unconsciously, problem drinkers seek out other people who drink like they do so they can justify how much they are drinking. Isolation is also a common behavior among problem drinkers. If you notice this behavior in yourself, you may need rehab.

If you need help with your addiction give us a call now at 1-800-984-4003.

How to abstain from alcohol

Alcohol Abstinence

How to abstain from alcohol

Learning how to abstain from alcohol can be extremely difficult or it could be extremely easy. It all depends on the person who is trying to remain abstinent. So, if you are looking to refuse any alcoholic beverages either for the next few days or for the rest of your life, here are some ways how to abstain from alcohol.

Find different ways to relax.

A lot of people use alcohol as a way to relax after a long hard day at work or even just as part of a routine on the weekends. This is why finding ways to relax is a great way to abstain from alcohol. Find something else you enjoy doing that will allow you to relax after work or at other times. Some things you can do to relax are: take a hot bath, join a yoga class, exercise, meditate, and use relaxation tapes or Ipod mixes.

Talk back to your thoughts.

If you stay aware of your thoughts you may be able to combat them. So when you start having thoughts run through your mind about mixing a drink, needing a drink or wanting a drink, then talk back! Tell your thoughts to “Be quiet!” or say to yourself “I am not going to drink today so don’t even go there.” Talking back to your thoughts may not always work but it can work for a certain amount of time if you really feel like you want a drink.

Just go with it.

Cravings to drink don’t last forever in fact that come and go rather quickly. When the urge to drink hits you just sit back and observe it and see how quickly it comes and then watch how quickly it leaves.

Get some sleep.

A lot of people overdrink because they can’t get to sleep. Even if you don’t suffer from insomnia or didn’t suffer from insomnia before you started drinking you may find it hard to fall asleep now that you are abstaining from alcohol. Luckily, there are other methods of falling asleep such as using benedryl, melatonin, and valerian root. Exercise can also help with the bedtime blues. If you really can’t get some sleep once you start abstaining from alcohol than maybe see your doctor for prescription sleep aids, which are still better than using alcohol and you don’t have to deal with the hangover.

Find other things to do rather than drink.

The best way to abstain from alcohol is to find activities that you can’t do while drinking and that you find way more enjoyable. For instance you can volunteer for a cause you believe in, create a web site or blog, and write a book, paint, knit, or pretty much anything other than drink. Finding other hobbies or things you liked to do is a great way to abstain from alcohol.

See a therapist.

Some people drink alcohol because of underlying issues. Getting professional help from a therapist may help to deal with issues such as anxiety, depression, OCD, or other conditions that could benefit from therapy and medication. A therapist can help you work through some of your life issues which may be the reason you drink.

There are multiple tools you can use to abstain from alcohol and none of them are necessarily going to make it easy especially if you are the alcoholic type of drinker. Using your own will power can work to abstain from alcohol but it’s going to take work and practice and it is definitely not going to be perfect at first. This is a great way to start abstaining from alcohol.

If you need help with your addiction give us a call now at 1-800-984-4003.

Meth Mouth and Crank Bugs

Meth Mouth and Crank Bugs

Meth Mouth and Crank Bugs

Meth Mouth and Crank Bugs

Methamphetamine, also known as Chalk, Crank, Croak, Crypto, Crystal, Fire, Glass, Meth, Tweek, or White Cross, is a central nervous system stimulant. It increases energy, awareness, and alertness. In high doses, it causes a feeling of euphoria. Methamphetamine can be prescribed by a doctor, but this is rare, as its medical uses are limited. Most “street meth” is chemically concocted in small, illegal laboratories.

Meth is a crystalline, white, odorless powder. It dissolves easily in water. Meth can be taken orally, snorted, smoked or injected.

Meth acts on dopamine receptors in the brain. It stimulates the receptor to release a rush of dopamine which stimulates brain cells, increasing mood and energy. Dopamine is closely related to the reward centers in the brain, which is why meth use has such a high incidence of dependence and addiction.  Methamphetamine has also been shown to have a neurotoxic effect on dopamine neurons over time, inducing Parkinson’s-like symptoms in long term users.

Meth Mouth and Crank Bugs: What are they?

Long term users often notice a quick degeneration of their teeth. This condition is known as “meth mouth.” Experts believe that this condition is caused by a combination of “dry mouth” caused by the drug, poor oral hygiene, and grinding of teeth often observed in meth addicts. The dry mouth reduces the amount of protective saliva around the teeth. Most meth users don’t brush or floss regularly, and meth, a stimulant, causes users to grind and clench the teeth. Meth mouth is further exacerbated when meth users drink a lot of sugary soda, which the drug sometimes causes them to crave. The teeth of a meth user eventually get so rotted, they can fall out.

“Crank Bugs” are when a meth user hallucinates that they have insects crawling on them. It is common for a meth user to scratch and pick the skin trying to get rid of these imaginary crank bugs. As a result, the skin becomes pocked or scarred.

Meth causes a rush of blood to the skin and a rise in body temp which results in sweating. The sweat causes even more blood to rush to the skin, which then causes the sweat to evaporate, taking the skin’s natural protective oil with it. The combination of these create a sensation on the nerve endings on the skin, which can feel like something is crawling on the skin (crank bugs). The scientific term for crank bugs is “Delusional Parasitosis.”

Meth mouth and crank bugs are part of what causes the swift deterioration in appearance in meth users. Often, you can see the results in just a few weeks or months of using the drug. Meth mouth and crank bugs cause the teeth to look rotted and black and the skin to be scarred. Often, the scratching and itching of the skin causes infection, which produce even bigger scars. Also, meth users often experience a decrease in sleep and appetite, which can contribute to the devastating effects of meth on personal appearance.

Find out more about Meth at The Meth Project.

If you need help with your addiction give us a call now at 1-800-984-4003.

Hangover Movie: Get Him to the Greek

Hangover Movie: Get Him to the Greek

This is one of my favorite movies of all time. Russell Brand plays Aldous Snow (his character from Forgetting Sarah Marshall) a British rock star that has struggled with addiction. In the opening scenes, Aldous Snow goes from the recovered drug addict we knew in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, relapses on drugs and alcohol, and his fame takes a nose dive.

Jonah Hill plays Aaron Green, a talent scout working at an LA record company who is a big fan of Aldous Snow and his band, Infant Sorrow. He pitches the idea of an anniversary concert, the record company agrees, and he’s off to bring Aldous Snow from London to the Greek Theatre in LA. Sounds simple, right? Not when you’re dealing with a drug addict who only cares about the next high. Hilarity ensues as Aldous and Aaron get themselves into a number of ridiculous situations-Aldous looking for the next party, and Aaron trying to keep them on schedule.

I expected this movie to be funny, and it was, but it also had a legitimate emotional side that I didn’t expect. Russell Brand, a recovering drug addict himself, gives one of the most accurate portrayals of the debauchery and heartache of addiction I have ever seen.  A definite must see.

If you need help with your addiction give us a call now at 1-800-984-4003.

Legal Ways to Get High pt. 2

Legal Ways to Get High Pt. 2

We shared with you in a previous post some legal ways to get high. Well that didn’t cover all the legal ways to get high. There are more things in your house, grocery store, tobacco shop and hardware store than you thought that are legal ways to get high.


You sprinkle a little of it in your eggnog, you pinch a bit on top of your apple pie or peach cobbler and you’ve probably have it in your spice cabinet. Out of all the legal ways to get high this is probably one of the most surprising.

 So how is nutmeg a legal way to get high?

 Well, nutmeg contains myristicin, a natural compound that has mind-altering effects if it is ingested in large doses. The buzz from nutmeg can last one to two days and can cause hallucinations similar to those produced by LSD. While you may be thinking about putting a larger amount of nutmeg into your apple pie now to achieve this legal high, think again. It takes a large amount of nutmeg to feel any effects and well it has some pretty nasty side effects.

This is the downside to most legal ways to get high-they have awful side effects. Hey, but don’t most illegal drugs? Yeah, pretty much. That may be why their legal because they aren’t meant to be used to get high and they aren’t pleasant. After 30 minutes of taking a large “dose” of nutmeg you can expect to experience severe gastrointestinal reactions including extreme nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. That’s just after 30 minutes. In a few hours you can also suffer from heart and nerve problems due to this legal way to get high.


If you know anything about inhalants you probably have heard of this legal way to get high and wondered what happened to the good old days of sniffing glue and sharpie markers? Well not so much anymore, you’re behind with the new generation. Kids these days are huffing Freon as one of our legal ways to get high. Scary, huh?

You can find this legal way to get high in your AC unit. Freon is used to cool the warm air pulled in by the AC unit. Kids now are draining the Freon gas from inside the unit and then inhaling it. The gas from Freon produces euphoria, light-headedness and can cause one to pass out. Unfortunately Freon also produces sever negative side effects. Huffing Freon as one of the legal ways to get high can lead to death, memory problems, liver damage, kidney damage, and lung damage.

This may be number two on our legal ways to get high pt. 2. But you might want to refrain from huffing your AC’s Freon gas and prevent severe consequences and/or death.


Last but definitely not least on our list of legal ways to get high pt. 2 is catnip. I know what you’re thinking because I thought it to. You can get high legally off of Snowball’s treats? No, not exactly. That’s not the right kind of catnip. This catnip, also known as Nepeta, is a plant of the mint family. It has spotted white flowers. Its’ name comes from the fact that its pungent smell is attractive to, well, cats. Oh and did we mention it is also a legal way to get high. You can smoke catnip or make it into a tea. Catnip has been used throughout history to help with cramps and indigestion. Supposedly catnip is a good alternative to marijuana and is a legal way to get high. There are no real signs that there are super bad negative effects although the legal high is so mild most say it isn’t worth it.

Alrighty, there are your legal ways to get high pt. 2 remember just because its legal doesn’t mean it’s. The end.

Disclaimer: These were gathered from the websites various websites on the Internet and we do not condone or support any means of getting high; whether legal or illegal. Use at your own risk. This article is for informational purposes only.

If you need help with your addiction give us a call now at 1-800-984-4003.