Archive for the ‘alcoholism’ Category

Cleared2Drive can Alert Parents to the Symptoms of Alcoholism

December 4, 2010

disordered thinking black-outs increased irritability treatments intervention Cleared2Drive Good2Go sober medications prevention detoxification addict parents teens peersWhen the body becomes so accustomed to alcohol that the person loses complete control over his will to control his drinking, he/she is known to have developed the condition of alcoholism. It is actually a chronic disease, which causes the body to become dependent on alcohol. One classic sign of alcoholism is that the person keeps on drinking, although he/she knows that it is causing all kinds of problems in his/her life. This problem cannot be dealt without help.

Alcoholism Physical Symptoms

The symptoms may vary or get intense as the person steps in the higher stages of alcoholism. One noticeable sign of alcoholism in men and women is a strong feeling which causes or compels the person to drink, even if he/she wishes not to. Also, the addict loses his/her ability to keep a check on the amount of alcohol he/she drinks. The person probably would drink till he/she passes out. Another one of the physical symptoms of alcoholism is the body developing a tolerance to alcohol so that it requires a high amount of it, to feel its effects.

Alcoholism Psychological Symptoms

The psychological symptoms arise when the neurological functions of the person start getting disrupt by the too much intake of alcohol. The symptoms which indicate the malfunctioning of the nervous system include alcohol dementia, short-term memory loss, confusion, disordered thinking, drinking in secret, feeling guilty post drinking, black-outs, losing interest in things which were important once, increased irritability, and feeling a strong urge to have a few pegs soon after getting up.

Treatment of Alcoholism

In most cases, people who are close to the addict help him/her realize about the problem and that he/she requires help. Depending on how grave the problem has become, different treatments for alcoholism are brought into practice. They may consist of counseling, a short period of intervention by an expert or advising a residential inpatient stay, removal of freedoms – like installation of the Cleared2Drive system which will only permit them to drive when completely sober. The treatment plan may consist of detoxification and dealing with the withdrawal symptoms, counseling, medications, coping with psychological problems and preventing complications.

Know that early intervention is the best way to prevent the development of alcoholism, especially in teens. Parents must always be on their toes about the lifestyle that their kids are beginning to lead. Their influence and that of peers and media are some very important elements when it comes to prevent alcoholism. Parents must also watch out for signs and symptoms in their kids which are indicators of alcohol problem. These may include losing interest in studies or hobbies, disturbance in relationships with friends and family, poor performance in studies, mood changes, abnormal behaviors, etc. Installation of a Cleared2Drive system is also a way to raise the red flag.  If all of a sudden your child can no longer start their vehicle, this should alert parents that there some sort of abuse issue with their child.

Parents can keep their kids from getting into alcoholism by setting good examples with their own alcohol use. Having an open discussion with them and making them aware of the repercussion of drinking do provide a great deal of help in preventing alcoholism in teenagers.

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How to Prevent College and Underage Binge Drinking

November 30, 2010

The best way to combat the issue of excessive college drinking is to educate college students more about the issues and consequences of drinking. As stated before, many college students will observe others and attempt to model their drinking habits after what they see their peers doing. If student B sees student A drinking excessively, he will more than likely follow the same actions. Student C will follow student B’s lead, student D will follow student C’s lead, and soon a cycle that is difficult to break out of will form.

College Drinking

In “College Drinking:  reforming a social problem”, Dowdall talks about the image of college drinking. He mentions a legendary picture of John Belushi from the 1978 movie Animal House. In that picture Belushi is wearing a sweatshirt that says “College” and holding an empty bottle of Jack Daniels. The picture, as well as the movie, represents underage college drinking as a game. It was after the release of that movie that activities such as “ pre-gaming” (drinking a lot of alcohol over a short period of time prior to going out) and drinking games became more prevalent.

An article in Alcohol Research and Health pointed to several solutions, including peer refusal and family involvement. The magazine pointed that most pressure for young adults to drink comes from peer and family, so positive reinforcements in both areas will only help the situation.

Other research concurs that parental reinforcement will help with the problem. Buffalo News reported that parents need to start teaching their kids about alcohol misuse and abuse at a young age. Alcohol is a legal psychoactive drug that affects parts of the brain, and drinking while the brain is still developing could lead to physiologic and psychological damage. Parents also need to teach teens about “alcohol over dosage,” which include signs such as vomiting, cold and clammy skin, shallow breathing and unresponsiveness.

College students learn by observing. By instilling good values and morals in a young adult before they leave for college, there is a better chance the student will handle alcohol responsibly. But let’s not be blind or hide our head in the sand.  If you even think that your child might be drinking, start drinking, or could succumb to peer influence to drink, then installation of a Cleared2Drive would certainly be wise.

For college students two of the best ways to help prevent excessive drinking are parental involvement and peer guidance.  For parents, installation of a Cleared2Drive System provides the much appreciated Peace of Mind.

15-Year Old Recovering Addict Working Wonders with Other Teens

November 27, 2010


All of us here at Cleared2Drive wants to salute Hallie Odom of Nashville TN.   Read and see why.

They come from the poorest and wealthiest of neighborhoods. They wouldn’t hang out if it weren’t for what they have in common. And none of them can talk about what is said.  All of the 10 teens in the group have parents who battle drug and alcohol addictions. Most of them have at least one parent in prison. And most have developed alcohol or drug addictions themselves.  Their leader is Hallie Odom, the 15-year-old daughter of a psychiatrist mother and a recovering alcoholic physician father.

The group is Alateen. Hallie’s is one of two of its kind in Nashville and one of 2,300 worldwide, according to Alcoholics Anonymous, the group’s umbrella organization. There are an estimated 18 million alcoholics nationwide. These are their children.  “The group offers the kids a place to heal,” said Ann Charvat, interim director of Reconciliation Ministries, where the meetings are held. “Compassion becomes an option to self-loathing.”

For Hallie, a St. Cecilia Academy sophomore, alcoholism wasn’t about beer and wine. Her father had quit drinking before she was born. But he had a short temper. He didn’t know how to deal with not drinking, she said.  Hallie, who was adopted as an infant, isn’t sure why she started drinking, using drugs and partying.  But, at the age of 12, her parents already didn’t know how to handle her, she said.

Sent to treatment

She was first sent to treatment when she was in seventh grade. Everyone thought she was pregnant. She wasn’t. Her parents, who have since divorced, sent her to a 9-month wilderness program in Utah.

She slept outside. Ate with sticks. Went to the bathroom in the woods. She was forced to write her life story. It ended up being 36 pages. “I had to live in my own head for once,” she said. “I was forced to realize all the pain I had caused my parents.”

She was next sent to a horse camp in Northern Utah. She was gone for a total of 15 months. When she came back, she and her family went to hours of therapy each week with two therapists. She’s still learning about herself, her parents and why she does what she does. But she wants to help others.

Over the summer, she started the local Alateen group in West Nashville. She attends the other Nashville group, as well. Alcoholics Anonymous sent her a packet, complete with its famed serenity prayer and 12 steps. Her role is not to counsel these teens, but to share her struggles and, most importantly, to listen.

“Hallie offers a unique perspective because she’s had more training than most adults who lead groups.  She’s been there. She’s experienced the solution. She’s more than competent to share it. She illustrates that these kinds of problems don’t discriminate. They affect all kinds of people,” Charvat said.

The group’s mission is to help teens turn their focus on themselves and away from the people and things in their lives that can’t be controlled.  “It’s more just me pushing them to talk,” Hallie said. “There’s such a strong tendency to hold everything in.”

‘We are not powerless’

Hallie talks like a therapist. She knows exactly how to eloquently express her feelings and is quick to analyze why she feels the way she does. She’s not ashamed of her story, only hopes that others see her as an inspiration.

She whispers, though, when she is asked about the teens in her group. “I don’t think they have any idea how much I really get out of talking and listening to them,” she said. Because all the expensive far-away camps and the clinical jargon of the hours upon hours of therapy can’t compare with the simple lesson that she learns in Alateen:  She is not alone. “We are not powerless over our lives,” she said. “We are not powerless.”

No,  she definitely is not.  Kudos to Hallie!

Australia must have oodles and oodles of money!

November 23, 2010

Cleared2Drive Australia impact consequences of dangerous driving impaired driving drunk driving doctor emergency hospital tragedy police ambulance

All of us here at Cleared2Drive have been wondering since we read about the new $50 million center Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission (TAC) is planning to establish to teach teenagers about the  impact and consequences of dangerous driving,  “Do you really need to spend $50 million on a building to accomplish that?”

The facility is designed to have learner drivers speak with victims of road trauma and emergency workers and use simulators which replicate drunk driving.  Premier John Brumby says young drivers will be offered incentives to attend the center, such as free driving lessons. “It will confront young people with the experience of the police, of the ambulance, of the emergency services worker who deal every day with the aftermath of road accidents and road tragedy,” he said.

I just can’t believe that they think an incentive of “free driving lessons ” is an enticement to any teenager anywhere in the world.”  Come on, lets be honest here . . . Teenagers don’t want more driving lessons!  We adults should know that most teenagers  believe they already know it all!

Maybe they would be better off to spend the $50millon on alerting parents of know it all teenagers as to what can really be done to prevent impaired driving, like having a Cleared2Drive unit installed on the family vehicle.

Ignition Interlock Summit Helps States in the Fight Against Drunk Driving

November 16, 2010

Last year, 10,839 people died because of alcohol-related car crashes.

Although this number declined 7.4 percent from 2008 to 2009, none of these deaths ever should have happened. And even a single death due to drunk driving is one too many.

Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Centers for Disease Control met with members of the Governors Highway Safety Association for a National Ignition Interlock Summit. This was a full-day work session to help state safety professionals figure out how to get a handle on drunk driving.

Impaired driving is involved in 32 percent of all crashes on American roads. But an ignition interlock system that blocks a convicted drunk driver’s vehicle from starting when that driver is impaired can prevent many of those crashes and save lives.

In 2006, MADD launched a Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, calling for increased use of ignition interlocks for impaired driving offenders. The Department of Transportation has been a strong supporter of this campaign, and in the last four years, interlock use has more than doubled from approximately 100,000 in 2006 to 212,000 in 2010.

But that covers only a small percentage of the 1.4 million drunk drivers arrested last year in the US.

Today, all states except Alabama and South Dakota have laws that authorize ignition interlock use for at least some offenders. Yet we know that one-third of those 1.4 million arrests involve repeat offenders, and we know that many fatal drunk driving crashes also involve repeat offenders.

 

MADD DOT NHTSA CDC Ignition interlock system impaired driving alcohol-related car crashes US Department of Transportation

Alcohol Related Traffic Fatalities per State

That’s why 13 states have passed mandatory ignition interlock laws for all drunk drivers–including first offenders.

And that’s why DOT is providing technical assistance and support to help states move toward increasing their interlock use and strengthening their laws and interlock programs.

As I said in September, when I announced the drop in drunk driving deaths, our roads are the safest they’ve ever been. But, to make America’s roads even safer, we are committed to continuing our vigorous fight against drunk driving. Ignition interlock systems are a critical part of that fight, and I urge states to make the best use of this valuable tool.

Reprinted from the US Department of Transportation