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Monday, July 31, 2017

New Study: College Students Aren't Binge Drinking As Much

A new study shed light on binge drinking among young adults (ages 18 to 24) and there’s both good and bad news. 

First, the good: Binge drinking – which researchers defined as five or more drinks at one time – is down among college students. It declined from 45 percent in 2005 to 37 percent in 2014, according to the results published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

And now, the bad: Among non-college students, binge drinking increased by 4 percent between 1999 and 2014. And alcohol-related overdose hospitalizations and deaths rose among 18- to 24-year-olds.

Study author Ralph Hingson thinks the disparity may be due to college administrators who are working to curb troublesome drinking. "Among young adults who aren't in college, there aren't the same organizational supports to implement interventions, and that may be contributing to why binge drinking is increasing in that group," Hingson said in a statement.

Two other possible factors: less disposable income to spend on alcohol and the lowered legal limit for drivers, say researchers, who began the study in 1998 following the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) decision to start a task force looking at college drinking. 

How Much Is a Drink?
To avoid binge drinking and its consequences, college and non-college students are advised to track the number of drinks they consume over a give period of time, notes the NIAAA. In the U.S., a standard drink contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol. 

A few examples: 
  • 12 ounces of beer with 5 percent alcohol content
  • 5 ounces of wine with 12 percent alcohol content
  • 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits with 40 percent alcohol content
Although these standard drink amounts are helpful guidelines, they don’t necessarily reflect customary serving sizes, says the NIAAA. A large cup of beer, an over-poured glass of wine, or a single mixed drink could contain much more alcohol than a standard drink. What’s more, the alcohol content within each type of beverage can also vary.

Sobriety College at Hope Academy
If you are or someone you love is a college student caught in the throes of substance abuse, Hope Academy may be the ideal rehab program for you. Our peer-based rehab program provides the safety and support you need to succeed in school and at sobriety. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Study: ADHD Meds Tied to Lower Substance Abuse Risk

Contrary to popular myth, using medication to treat attention deficient hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) helps to prevent substance use disorders among adolescents and adults with ADHD, according to new research.

The study, which involved nearly three million people with ADHD in the United States, found that medication lowered the risk in men by 35 percent and women by 31 percent. The results were published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

“This study contributes to growing evidence that ADHD medication is linked to lower risk for many types of harmful behavior, including substance abuse,” said Patrick D. Quinn, a postdoctoral researcher who led the study. “The results also highlight the importance of careful diagnosis and compliance with treatment.”

When ADHD Drugs Become Dangerous
Indeed, if you have ADHD, prescription stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin have numerous benefits. However, abusing these drugs or using them when you don’t have ADHD, can lead to some serious health problems, including:
  • Disrupted brain function
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Loss of sleep
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Heart attack or stroke
  • Increased body temperature

Combining prescription stimulants with other drugs or alcohol can also be dangerous. This is because stimulants can conceal the effects of alcohol, for example, making it harder to gauge your level of intoxication. The result: over-consumption, significant impairment of coordination and judgment, blacking out, passing out and potential death.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Young Adults
Did you know that 70 percent of people with a substance use disorder are also battling an additional mental illness? If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction and ADHD don’t wait to seek treatment. As addiction worsens, so does the co-occurring condition — and vice versa. At Hope Academy, we specialize in treating both diseases simultaneously. To learn more, call us toll-free today: 866-930-4673.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Study: Binge Drinking and Your Brain

Binge drinking can do some serious damage to your brain, according to a mini review published in Frontiers in Psychology. 

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men — in about two hours, notes the NIAAA.

Researchers found that this type of heavy drinking among young adults can lead to a thinning or reduction of areas of the brain that impact: 
  • Inhibition
  • Memory
  • Verbal learning 
  • Decision making and reward processing
  • Alcohol cue reactivity
  • Socio-cognitive/socio-emotional processing
What’s more, "these brain alterations, as a result of heavy alcohol use during adolescence and young adulthood, could result in increased risk of developing an alcohol use disorder later on in life,” said study author Anita Cservenka, Assistant Professor at Oregon State University.

More Side Effects of Binge Drinking
Binge drinking can result in serious health, safety and academic risks. Binge drinkers who consumed alcohol at least 3 times per week were roughly 6 times more likely than those who drank but never binged to perform poorly on a test or project as a result of drinking, according to the NIAAA. Over time, frequent binge drinking can also cause damage to the liver and other organs.

Other consequences of binge drinking include a higher risk of:
  • Alcohol use disorders
  • Car crashes
  • Drunk-driving arrests
  • Sexual assaults and unsafe sex
  • Suicide attempts
  • Injuries  
Stopping the Side Effects of Alcohol Abuse 
The best way to combat the physical and emotional health consequences of a substance use disorder is early intervention. Don’t wait. If you or someone you love has a drinking problem, Hope Academy can help you get the help you need today. To learn more about our young adult alcohol rehab, call toll-free today: 866-930-4673.

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Advantages of Combining College and Rehab

Recovering from an addiction doesn’t have to put a stop to your education. Yet transitioning to college when in recovery from a substance use disorder can be challenging. While most young adults relish the freedom and independence of going away to school, the additional social pressures to drink or use drugs — plus the stress of being apart from loved ones and trusted treatment professionals — can be detrimental to recovery. 

For many young adults, combining rehab and academics into one program is the perfect solution for sustained recovery. Beyond helping you to reach your recovery and academic goals, participating in a college program at a well-established rehab center can offer you or someone you love a wide range of benefits and advantages, including: 
  • Lessens relapse triggers and risk of relapse.
  • Offers a structured learning environment.
  • Keeps you on track by making sure you are going to class and doing homework.
  • Provides periodic drug tests.
  • Minimizes “taking a break” or a “stop-start” approach to education. 
  • Keeps you focused while achieving your sobriety and education goals.
  • Teaches strategies for coping with the stress of college-oriented tasks.
  • Builds a sober social network of peers.
  • Provides sober extracurricular activities. 
  • Gives added support via a dedicated academic counselor to help you balance sobriety and academic.
About Sobriety College at Hope Academy
If you are or someone you love is a college student caught in the throes of substance abuse, Hope Academy may be the ideal rehab program for you. Our peer-based rehab program provides the safety and support you need to succeed in school and at sobriety. We even provide transportation to and from the center, school, and sober activities. To learn more about our college home and sobriety program, call today: 866-930-4673.

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