Tag Archives: alcoholism

Tag Archives: alcoholism


How adolescent drinking causes troubles in adulthood

Experts know that drinking during the teen years can result in a plethora of short-term consequences, but a new study finds that negative long-term effects can also linger into adulthood.

According to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, binge drinking during the teen years can lead to psychological problems later in life, and possible alcohol abuse in adulthood.

The researchers found that lasting brain changes occurred due to the effects on a protein necessary to form and maintain brain cell connections in the amygdala. The amygdala is key to mood regulation, including anxiety and fear.

Alarming Results

The study examined the amygdala tissue of deceased individuals who began drinking heavily before the age of 21, people who began drinking after the age of 21 and individuals without a history of alcohol abuse.

The findings were startling. Researchers found that those who began drinking prior to the age of 21 had irregularities in the brain not observed in the other two groups.

Study author Subhash Pandey explained that a crucial protein required for normal brain development, and for neural connections, had been altered due to the effects of alcohol abuse.

According to Pandey, “If levels are lowered due to alcohol exposure, then the brain will not develop normally, and we see that in these brain samples where there are abnormalities in another synaptic gene, ARC, possibly making abnormal connections between neurons.”

There is Hope 

In layman’s terms, the effect of alcohol abuse early in life raised the risk for psychological impairment later in life. This was due to adverse changes in the adolescent drinkers’ amygdala, which later was correlated to a higher risk of emotional problems.

For example, negative emotional states including anxiety, stress and irrational moods were suffered in greater numbers among the group of subjects who began drinking early, as compared to the other two study groups.

Recovery is possible—recover your unique, purposeful, sober life by reaching out to the dedicated experts at Cumberland Heights.

Addiction is a chronic, progressive and potentially fatal disease. For over 50 years we have carefully provided the highest quality of care for adults, adolescents and families who suffer from, or are affected by this devastating disease.

Our nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center is located on a peaceful, pastoral 177-acre campus on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. We provide a continuum of services through two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes.

At Cumberland Heights, we always put the patient first, and value the importance of family participation in the recovery process. Take the first step toward healing by calling us at (866) 899-5231 today.

Recovery Live Podcasts

Recovery Live Podcasts - Liz Stanislawski from Cumberland Heights sits down with a few key figures in recovery to discuss life and what sobriety means to them.

Recovery Live Podcasts

Liz Stanislawski from Cumberland Heights sits down with a several key figures in recovery to discuss life and what sobriety means to them.

Listen to podcasts on your Apple® iPhone, Apple iPad, Google Android®, Mac/PC, Alexa smart speaker – and even in your car. For free!

Episode 1:

Cumberland Heights - Recovery Live Podcast - Travis Meadows

Travis Meadows Podcast – God did for me what I couldn’t do for myself.

Liz talks candidly with “Nashville’s Favorite Underdog” Travis Meadows about losing his brother at a young age, cancer, addiction and his treatment journal that inspired an album. Even with so much success, writing songs for Eric Church, Brothers Osborne and Wynonna Judd, Meadows says his biggest triumph is making it this far in his sobriety journey.

Episode 2:

Cumberland Heights - Recovery Live Podcast - Addiction is about isolation. Recovery is about connection.

Jaime G Podcast – Addiction is about isolation. Recovery is about connection.

Liz sits down with Jaime Gibbons – Cumberland Heights’ Alumni Relations & Volunteer Coordinator – to talk about what 16 years of sobriety looks like and how engaging with friends in recovery kept Jaime clean. Also in this episode: relationships that make you sick, a spiritual awakening while free-falling 30 feet, and Jaime’s greatest triumph in recovery. Hint: It’s a person and he only stands about 2.5 feet tall.

Episode 3:

Cumberland Heights - Recovery Live Podcast - Addiction is about isolation. Recovery is about connection.

Alexis H Podcast – I’m 100% grateful I’m an addict.

When Alexis went to treatment the first time she decided she was going to prove everyone wrong and not take any suggestions. When that didn’t work the first or second time, she decided to finally take all of the suggestions her third time in treatment. Now sober for 4.5 years, she talks about how recovery got her through her parents divorce, allowed her to experience true joy for the first time and made it possible for her to help other women like her struggling.

Episode 4:

Cumberland Heights - Recovery Live Podcast - Life actually has meaning to me now

Alex H Podcast – Life actually has meaning to me now.

Spending his early 20s in the restaurant industry meant late nights, free booze and social night caps. But as Alex explains, things got out of hand quickly and he found himself at Cumberland Heights. Fortunately, now in recovery, he’s able to use his talents as a chef to serve others fighting similar demons.

Learn the danger of mixing anger and alcoholism

Previous research has shown that some of us have greater tendencies towards anger. Whether this has stemmed from genetics and upbringing, mental illness or simply the people we’ve spent time with over the years, anger can begin to flourish into our lives – and out of control – if we’re not careful. Anger in and of itself isn’t a bad emotion – but it’s how we utilize the anger that says a lot about the healthiness (or unhealthiness) of our relationship to it.

When alcohol is added to the mix, it often perpetuates those feelings of anger because they were already there underneath the surface – and in many cases, a person can display more aggression than they would sober, because their sense of judgment is now clouded by the alcohol. Dr. Robert O. Pihl, professor of psychology and psychiatry at McGill University, told Very Well Mind, a website that publishes information related to all things psychology, this year:

“Alcohol is involved in half of all murders, rapes and assaults. But the dynamics of this association are complicated, which is why any research that focuses on explaining this relationship is important for society in general.”

Those who find that they’re more irritable when drinking should carefully watch their drinking and behavioral patterns – if close attention isn’t paid, that person (and those around them) could be in harm’s way. Signs of alcoholism could also warrant a need for formal treatment, and the sooner that treatment is sought, the greater the chances that a person can learn healthy coping mechanisms – along with healthier ways to express anger – before it reaches this point.

If you’re ready to seek help for addiction, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today. It’s never too late to seek treatment – and in doing so, you’ll open your horizons for a healthier, happier life.

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 two 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. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.

Connection between anxiety and alcoholismAnxiety is one of the most uncomfortable feelings to have because we’re essentially locked in this state of confusion – of not knowing what to do – but feeling as though we need to act immediately in order to solve whatever it is that we’re worried about. Like a deer frozen in headlights, our mind puts us in panic mode while throwing logic out of the window; it is for that very reason that many people turn to substances. In 2016, a young woman shared her story with anxiety and alcohol via Tonic, a website that provides entertainment and stories related to mind, body, healthcare and more. She stated,

“…For years I’ve struggled with an anxiety disorder that went largely undiagnosed and it manifested in the form of panic attacks…I wanted to be liked, included, and the same as everyone else…alcohol became the perfect device for soothing anxiety and turning off my mind.”

As it turns out, drinking to relieve stress and anxiety isn’t that uncommon; a 2017 study published in the journal Alcohol emphasized that alcohol can indeed reduce symptoms of stress-related disorders (such as anxiety) temporarily – but the problem comes when addiction is developed. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) states that 15 million adults in the United States have an anxiety disorder, and there are several signs that alcohol is being used to help reduce the symptoms of this condition:

  • Drinking four or more times in a week
  • Having 5 or more alcoholic drinks in a day
  • Not being able to stop drinking once a person has started
  • Needed a drink in the morning in order to get “going” for the day
  • Feeling guilty after drinking
  • Having a friend, coworker, family member or other relative express concern about a person’s drinking habits

Since alcohol is typically considered a socially acceptable activity in today’s society, this can make alcoholism much more difficult to detect. If you have a loved one who may be struggling with alcoholism, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today.

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.

a couple whose intimate relationship is impacted by alcoholism.One individual shared their story via DrugFreeWorld.org about their experience with alcoholism and how it affected their social relationships. Jamie stated,

This past year I have gone to work drunk, blacked out in clubs and bars and can’t remember getting home…I have destroyed two relationships because I hurt them so much through my drinking, but I put drinking first.”

As the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) states, alcoholism can bring about a number of issues within relationship-contexts:

  • Violence
  • Marital conflict
  • Infidelity
  • Jealousy
  • Economic insecurity
  • Divorce
  • Fetal alcohol effect

Previous studies have shown that intimate relationships can experience vicious cycles of fighting and arguing, especially if one spouse is lying to the other or if one spouse isn’t happy with the others’ alcohol abuse. These relationships aren’t the only ones affected, however; children, relatives, coworkers, friends and more can all be strained when alcoholism is involved.

A 2016 study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found that after assessing 181 couples where one had an alcohol use disorder (AUD), relationship satisfaction was shown to decline longitudinally. Another study assessed some of the relational issues that couples face when alcoholism is involved, and these were the five main themes discovered:

  • Emotional distancing
  • Increased conflict/arguments between partners
  • Regret/remorse for actions while intoxicated
  • Partners reaching out to friends/family members for support around partner’s problematic drinking, and
  • Unbalanced support or care between partners in the relationship

Even when a partner enters recovery, it’s difficult for many couples to get back on track with their relationship between so much damage has been done. In these instances, couples therapy is needed. A licensed therapist can work with couples to help them understand the nature of addiction and how it has impacted their relationship, which often serves as the basis for recovery groundwork. From then on, tools can be developed to help partners better understand and work with one another.

If you or a loved one have been struggling with alcoholism, it’s time to seek help. Don’t wait any longer to restore your mind, body and spirit.

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.

College students: a culture of drinking and drug useCollege students have long been the center of drinking advertisements and commercials, which doesn’t happen by chance. For many years now, colleges have upheld a “drinking culture” that has made it nearly expected for young adults to binge drink as an act on their “freedom” and independence. While it all seems like fun and games, this culture of drinking has sparked a lot of issues in terms of substance abuse and the development of alcoholism later (and even earlier) on. In an interview on WBUR Radio where students talk about college drinking culture, Madeleine D’Angelo, a 21-year-old senior at Boston College in Maryland, stated,

“… [Blacking out is] part of our language. It’s very common to have someone say, ‘Oh, I can’t even remember what happened last night, I blacked out.’”

Sure, drinking is the norm for college students – but what are the statistics on this?

The Dangers of College Drinking Culture: Facts and Statistics

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that about 1,825 college students between the ages of 18-24 die each year from alcohol-related injuries, including vehicle accidents. About 696,000 students are assaulted each year by another student who has been drinking and 97,000 students report alcohol-related sexual assault. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence sought to assess just how prevalent the connection between college drinking culture and issues such as sexual assault was related – of 704 survey responses from males and females in college, researchers discovered that victimization was associated with heavier drinking, along with other factors.

About 20% of college students meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder (AUD), yet a very small percentage of these actually seek help for it. If it’s seen as “normal” to drink heavily while in college, it makes sense that many college students aren’t seeing anything wrong with it; what they don’t realize, however, is that peer pressure and experimentation can lead to some dangerous consequences.

Social Work Today previously highlighted the tragic story of a young woman in college who was involved in a tragic accident related to drinking and driving. Emergency room visits are only a lucky outcome for many, compared to the large number of college students who die each year from alcohol-related incidents. Some other direct consequences of alcohol abuse for college students include:

  • Poor academic performance through skipping class and difficulty concentrating
  • Dropouts
  • Injuries
  • Criminal activities
  • Health issues such as liver damage, high blood pressure, inflammation of the pancreas and more

With all of these harmful effects that clearly aren’t taken as seriously as they should be in college settings, what can be done to help our young adults seek help?

Interventions for College Students

NIH Medline Plus suggests that parents talk to their college children early on in the semester that they attend school, so they can successfully adapt to campus life. Parents can also inquire about campus policies regarding alcohol, in addition to following up with their children frequently to ensure their safety.

Ultimately, it’s about changing the drinking culture in colleges by informing students of the real-life consequences that can result from binge drinking. The more support we can provide, the more likely they are to monitor their use or at least consider seeking help if it’s needed.

Many young adults in college fail to achieve major milestones once addiction has entered their lives, which makes recovery that much more important. 12-Step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) have been evidenced to help many people build their sense of spirituality – a major component that many college students are beginning to face – along with tools and strategies for combating negative thought patterns, triggers, cravings and more. Along with peer-led support groups, such as 12-Step programs, young adults can find the following to be very beneficial for their recovery:

  • Gender specific treatment to meet their needs
  • Experienced healthcare teams who are familiar with addiction and recovery
  • Engagement in a caring yet challenging community as to better equip them with developing a strong recovery identity
  • Close communication with their educational institution, so they can continue reaching towards their academic goals while in recovery
  • Comprehensive education on the disease of addiction and how it affects the mind, body and spirit
  • Individual and group therapy
  • Family therapy, to help rebalance the family system and promote peace at home

Don’t Wait – Seek Help Now

If you’re a college student who may be noticing signs of alcoholism or a related disorder, speak with someone from Cumberland Heights today. The sooner you seek help, the greater the possibility of reversing or minimizing some of the damages that alcohol may have caused to your body. You have an entire life ahead of you, with so many roads and possibilities to take. Make the choice to place your happiness and health as a top priority today – you won’t regret it.

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.

Living life sober of alcoholThe path to sobriety is a long, winding road, but so many people find immense healing and transformation along the way.

If you’re just beginning your journey or are contemplating it, you’re not alone in feeling apprehensive.

Recovery means change and change can be scary – but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t improve your life in ways you never thought possible.

Holly Glenn Whitaker, the founder of HipSobriety.com, a website that shares her personal story with addiction and eating disorders, explained some of the most inevitable changes those in recovery are likely to experience via Self.com.

These are noted:

  1. Friends will change.
  2. Social situations will change as sobriety is placed as a higher priority.
  3. You will learn more about your true self – and your real personality that is no longer masked by substances.
  4. Questions may come your way about why you don’t drink or use other substances and you’ll become more confident in responding with however you feel is appropriate.
  5. Intimacy will take on an entirely new meaning.
  6. Certain friends or potential love interests may no longer be interested in the “sober” you – and that’s okay because they weren’t meant to be in your life anyways.

Not only will your social circumstances change, but you’ll witness some amazing changes in your mind, body and spirit, too. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment sought to explore how abstinence affected those in addiction recovery. Participants who successfully quit substance abuse for one year showed greater life satisfaction, executive functioning and less psychological distress compared to groups who did not practice sobriety.

We have to stop fearing change. This type of fear is what holds us back from living a life that will benefit us in so many ways; if you’re ready to start your journey to recovery today, speak with someone from Cumberland Heights. The time is now.

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.

PTSD and Alcoholism: A Common Co-Occurring Disorder

When we’re faced with a traumatic event, stress kicks in – and there’s no doubt that as our fear response becomes more present than ever, our entire system can be affected – even long after the event has occurred. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious condition that impacts around 13 million people in the United States each year. Characterized by nightmares, paranoia, anxiety, depression, anger and more, PTSD can be debilitating. For those who don’t seek help, the stress and exhaustion can eventually catch up – and with seemingly little ways to turn, substance abuse often becomes a coping mechanism.

Alcohol has been widely promoted in our society as a way to have fun, relax and forget about stressors. The term, “self-medication”, is used when a person is trying to manage their emotional upsets by drinking or using drugs – alcohol, for instance, can mask some of the painful symptoms of PTSD by causing a person to become more relaxed. Even though it may feel like a few drinks helps lessen that anxiety or other symptom, however, it’s only temporary – and the symptoms of PTSD will reappear. In other cases, alcohol can worsen the symptoms – which makes it all the more difficult to manage.

Last year, researchers conducted a study regarding PTSD and alcoholism that was published in The Journal of Psychiatry and Neurological Sciences. They wanted to know how anxiety, depression and PTSD symptoms as a whole were associated to alcoholism, and they found that while anxiety and depression severity did have an impact on alcohol-related issues, PTSD symptoms were the most significant predictor. These types of co-morbidity (also known as dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders) can be even more debilitating for a person, as they now must deal with the symptoms of PTSD and fulfill the never-ending demands of addiction.

Despite the fact that PTSD and alcoholism is a common occurrence, there is so much help available – making recovery more possible than ever before. It’s a hard reality to face, but the symptoms of PTSD won’t go away unless you work through the pain you’re experiencing and find a ground for healing. After a traumatic event, grief and sadness should be felt – but after some time has gone by, it’s important to move forward and find strength again.  Resilience is crucial to build after a devastating event, because you still deserve to have a happy, healthy, fulfilling life.

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-campus, we are made up of 2 twelve-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.



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