Tag Archives: Alcohol Abuse

Tag Archives: Alcohol Abuse


talking to teen about alcoholNew Year’s is a holiday that sparks a lot of anxiety for parents, as holiday celebrations mean easier access to substances for teens. Most parents want to have that conversation with their kids on the dangerous effects of alcohol and drug abuse, but they aren’t quite sure what to say. As a subject that’s difficult to discuss, you still don’t want to skip it. Previous research has shown that parents who express their view on drugs – in particular, that they don’t want their kids using them – are more likely to warrant more favorable responses from their teens when the time comes that they’re approached with it. As a parent, you want to make sure that you’re telling your teen exactly what they need to make an informed decision – so what do you say?

Your Teen Mag gives some excellent pointers:

  • Have a discussion and set expectations but don’t lecture your teen
  • Express steps for being safe if they do decide to drink – because the reality is that while we cannot control what our teens decide to do, we can suggest ways they can be safe if they do move forward with it
  • Emphasize just how dangerous it is to drive under the influence or to be in the car with someone who is under the influence

Adolescents and teens are likely going to face experimentation and peer pressure, but maintaining a respectful, open dialogue with your teen is most likely going to give you the most favorable outcomes. As your teen is in a stage where their brain is still developing, they want explanations – not commands – for why they shouldn’t drink or use substances. Make it a collaborative effort and they’ll be much more likely to refrain from use (or at least take safety precautions if they do).


Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.

It’s a typical day — you’ve arrived home from work, and you’re ready to settle in for a comfortable evening. You drop your keys on the counter and head for the kitchen, thinking about the bottle of wine or the six-pack of beer waiting for you. But it’s not there. You forgot; you’d meant to stop at the store, and then on your way out your manager asked you to cover for a coworker next week, and you were distracted. How do you feel?

Maybe a little bummed out; you were looking forward to having a drink with dinner, and it’s just the icing on the cake of a hectic week — but speaking of cake, that ice cream in your freezer will probably get your mind off things just fine.

Or maybe there’s a twinge of something else — a deeper level of anxiety, a headache coming on, a surge of unexplainable frustration. You really needed that drink; it’s part of your routine and you know you won’t be able to relax or sleep well without at least a buzz. You can’t stop thinking about it. Maybe you’ll go to the bar down the street for dinner instead of cooking as you’d planned.

If your drinking has become a regular habit that you rely on to feel calm, happy or comfortable, it might be time to take a step back and evaluate whether your relationship with alcohol is a healthy one. Alcoholism doesn’t always look the same; not everyone fits the stereotype of an alcoholic who is always drunk and spends every cent they earn on plastic bottles of liquor. Alcoholism can affect people of all backgrounds, ages and genders, and can be difficult to identify because drinking alcohol is so common. If at any point you start to worry about the drinking habits of yourself or a loved one, you should consider learning more about the signs of alcoholism, or think about reaching out to an alcohol addiction treatment center for help.

To determine if you or a loved one has a drinking problem, we encourage you to learn more below.


On July 28, 2012, I was at a complete loss. Despite years of trying to control my drinking, I had yet again approached a social situation with intentions to “just have one,” only to wake up that morning with no recollection from the night before. All I knew was things had not gone well. My girlfriend (now wife) made a simple ultimatum – alcohol or her, but I couldn’t have both. It was an ultimatum I’d heard many times before, in various forms, but something about this time was different. I was done trying to keep up the illusion I had any semblance of control with my drinking. Despite my very best efforts and sincere intentions, I simply could not predict how much I would drink once I had the first sip of alcohol. I was finally willing to admit I was powerless over this disease.

The 12 Steps are the solution which continues to show me there is a better life I can live if I am willing to be humble, take action and trust my Higher Power.

For years, I’d used alcohol to fill a deep void in my life. I spent a lot of time and energy trying to convince others I didn’t have a problem, and I could quit any time. The problems with these statements were they were completely false, and deep down I knew it. I knew I was lying to myself, but I was terrified to come out and actually admit I was powerless when it came to drinking. It terrified me to think I might be perceived as weak by my friends and family. The great paradox of admitting I was powerless over my drinking was it created an opportunity to allow something else in, and for me that something else was God. My Higher Power gave me the strength to forge ahead during some difficult times in my recovery, and continues to do so today.

After that moment of surrender, I was able to admit I needed help. I made my best effort to stay humble and to listen to the wisdom of others who had gone before me. They showed me there was a better life waiting for me, but only if I was willing to trust to the process and go to any lengths to get it. In essence, my admission to being powerless and understanding my life was unmanageable led me to identify the problem, which was Step 1. Once I identified the problem, I could then work towards the solution.

After five years in recovery the one thing I remind myself each day is powerlessness is not the same as helplessness. I admit I am powerless over my disease to create an opportunity for something bigger than me (my Higher Power) to lead me through my sobriety. What is essential about this admission is I take action each day to maintain the spiritual condition that allows me to remain sober. Once I take Step One, and I’ve admitted I am powerless and my life has become unmanageable, I’ve identified the problem. Next, I then have to take the necessary steps towards the solution. The 12 Steps are the solution which continues to show me there is a better life I can live if I am willing to be humble, take action and trust my Higher Power.

 


Brandon Antoskow, LPC-MHSP is the clinical coordinator in the Men’s Program at Cumberland HeightsBrandon Antoskow, LPC-MHSP is the clinical coordinator in the Men’s Program at Cumberland Heights. He has been at Cumberland Heights for over three years, and enjoys watching the miracle of recovery take form each and every day. Brandon lives in Franklin, TN with his wife Kelsey and dog Cash.


By: Brett Martin
WKRN New Channel 2, Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Addiction is sweeping the country and impacting young people every day. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 25 percent of teenagers who use drugs become addicted before they turn 18.

“Drug addiction is chaotic,” said a former addict at Cumberland Heights in northwest Davidson County. Addiction is becoming far too normal for people, including teenagers. “Not all of them have gotten to that point, especially the youth, where they could be addicted, but they are definitely on a path,” said Dean Porterfield, Director of Adolescent and Young Adult Services.

There is no doubt in Alex Booth’s mind that he is a recovering addict. Booth is 28 years old now and once was hooked on pain pills. “Drinking on the weekends, partying, having fun was all that I really cared about, and it’s not realistic to have that kind of lifestyle,” said Booth. Booth came to Cumberland Heights years ago. He said without their help, he might not be alive today.

“I was on death’s door when I got to Cumberland Heights. I had a very low heart beat from being on so many depressants for so long,” said Booth. That is a scary reality for many teenagers and young adults. “I had pretty much given up and I said, ‘Do whatever.’ I’d follow any suggestion,” Booth told News 2.

A report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse says 50 percent of teens have tried alcohol and 40 percent have used some kind of illegal drug by their senior year in high school.

Porterfield said most of the teenagers coming to them are addicted to alcohol and marijuana and headed down a dark path with prescription pain pills. “We are starting to see teenagers and young adults getting into substances at a faster rate and a more lethal rate,” said Porterfield. Porterfield said the biggest challenge is making sure teenagers understand the disease and want to get help. “It’s not uncommon for someone to get to us and have the drug history, substance abuse history of someone that is much older,” explained Porterfield.

That is something Booth said was a huge hurdle for him and others who have hit rock bottom.

“I remember being a teenager and thinking that I had the entire world figured out,” Booth said.


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