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Monday, April 25, 2016

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Center provides resources for those battling alcoholism

Center provides resources for those battling alcoholism 

Alcoholism can affect anyone, but the statistics are not in men’s favor.

“Alcoholism does tend to affect adult males more often than females,” said Chal Rascoe Jr., Willis-Knighton’s Addiction Recovery Center’s nursing coordinator.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men are twice as likely to binge drink than women, and they consistently have higher rates of alcoholrelated deaths and hospitalizations than women. Male drivers involved in fatal car accidents are twice as likely to have been intoxicated.

The Addiction Recovery Center is a place for those with alcoholism to turn. There, Rascoe manages the day-today operations. He said the center is an intensive outpatient program, allowing clients to live at home and continue working during treatment. They also offer evening and weekend hours to help those with day jobs.

“There is an amazing recovery community in this area and getting our clients plugged into that community is an essential component of our program. This helps our clients maintain the goal of lifetime sobriety,” Rascoe said. The center offers a free, weekly aftercare group for those who have successfully completed the program, and they serve as a community resource for anyone seeking information on substance abuse.

For family members who worry their loved ones could have alcohol use disorder or for individuals who worry they could be suffering themselves, Rascoe said the hallmark sign is continuing to drink despite encountering repeated negative consequences associated with the use of alcohol. Consequences could be drunkdriving arrests, alcohol-associated health problems such as liver and heart disease, absences at work and continual conflict with family, stemming from an individual’s inability to fulfill roles.

“The husband and/or father could create the conflict through his misbehavior while intoxicated or by avoiding family activities to consume alcohol instead,” he said.

For those undergoing treatment and for the families of those affected, Rascoe said not to lose hope.

“The good thing about alcohol use disorder alone in the diagnostic formulation is that it typically responds very well to treatment,” he said. Rascoe said the most difficult part of the road to recovery is engaging in an honest conversation about one’s issues with alcohol.

Men are twice as likely to binge drink than women, and they consistently have higher rates of alcohol-related deaths and hospitalizations than women.

“Once that happens, it follows a certain course, and we often see a marked improvement in as little as two weeks with the understanding that recovery will be a lifelong process,” he said. However, if someone has not yet experienced the first honest conversation, resources are available for family members to provide education and help in setting healthy boundaries. Rascoe recommends Al-Anon, “an excellent resource for those with family members who are still drinking or using.” He also said that a therapist, social worker or substance abuse counselor can help provide education and insight, as well as plan to address the issue.

However, the intense interventions many are aware of, often displayed in movies and television shows, are not usually the best option.

“What we see on television by way of the dramatic confrontations are often the very worst thing that we can do when confronting a loved one. Unfortunately, without education and professional guidance, this is exactly what happens because we don’t know what else to do,” Rascoe said.

The Addiction Recovery Center offers a free assessment prior to a client’s admission, and treatment can begin at a variety of levels of care, depending on the individual addiction. The center offers treatment in alcohol abuse and alcoholism, opioid abuse and dependence, drug abuse and addiction, cocaine dependence, marijuana dependence, methamphetamine dependence, synthetic drugs and prescription drug abuse.

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For more information on the Addiction Recovery Center, call 212-5072.

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