Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Study: Alcohol-Related ER Visits Soar, Especially Among Women

Between 2006 and 2014, the rate of visits to the ER for alcohol-related issues increased by nearly 50 percent – especially among females and middle-aged drinkers, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

“In just nine years, the number of people transported to the ED [emergency departments] annually for medical emergencies caused or exacerbated by alcohol increased from about 3 million to 5 million,” said NIAAA Director George F. Koob, PhD, in a statement. 

“These findings are indicative of the detrimental effects that acute and chronic alcohol misuse have on public health, and the significant burden they place on our healthcare system.”

What’s behind the dramatic increase in alcohol-related ER visits? The study authors say it remains a mystery, in part because the same nine-year period showed a mere 2 percent increase in per capita alcohol consumption and only an 8 percent increase in overall ER visits.

"The lowest hanging fruit in terms of hypotheses is that there must be an increase in risky drinking in some people," study author and neuroscientist Aaron White told NPR.org

Perhaps the most concerning part of the study was that the increase of chronic alcohol misuse-related visits, such as alcohol withdrawal and alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver, was primarily driven by females (6.9 percent versus 4.5 percent in men, annually). 

“Recent studies suggest that the drinking habits of females and males are becoming more similar in the United States,” said White. “The larger increase in the rate of ED visits among females compared to males provides further evidence of narrowing gender gaps in alcohol use and related harms. This trend is concerning given that females appear to be more susceptible to some of the detrimental health effects of alcohol.” This includes liver damage, heart disease and breast cancer.

According to the NIAAA, women face higher risks than men because:
  • Women typically start to have alcohol-related problems at lower drinking levels than men
  • Women typically weigh less than men
  • Pound for pound, women have less water in their bodies than men do, and alcohol resides predominantly in body water
Alcohol Abuse Treatment for Women 
Rising Roads Recovery is dedicated to helping women who are struggling with alcohol use disorder and/or a co-occurring mental disorder. Our treatment center was created to inspire women to thrive in recovery. To learn more, call today: 866-746-1558.



Thursday, January 11, 2018

Street Drugs and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

Did you know that roughly one in 20 women – or 5 percent – take street drugs during pregnancy? And, according to a recent California-based study, marijuana use among moms-to-be climbed from 4.2% to 7.1% from 2009 through 2016. 

Whether pot, cocaine, heroin or ecstasy, street drugs and pregnancy just don’t mix — and can cause devastating (even fatal) effects before, during, and after pregnancy for you and your baby-to-be. This is because many substances pass easily through the placenta, so the drugs you take during pregnancy, to some degree, reach the baby. In fact, when a baby is exposed to drugs in the womb before birth, he or she can experience severe drug withdrawal immediately or up to 14 days after birth.

Complications caused by street drugs don’t just end after childbirth. Drug addiction can also lead to mental health issues and severely impair your ability to parent. In turn, as the child grows older, his or her physical, mental and emotional development will suffer. 

Risks of Substance Abuse During Pregnancy
Many women who use street drugs may use more than one drug and also have other unhealthy behaviors, like smoking and drinking alcohol, according to the March of Dimes. This makes it a bit tricky to pinpoint exactly how each drug affects pregnancy. Still, there are plenty of adverse health effects linked to these risky behaviors, including: 
  • Infertility
  • Problems with the placenta
  • Preterm labor
  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth
  • Premature birth 
  • Low birth weight
  • Smaller-than-normal head size (called reduced head circumference)
  • Heart defects
  • Birth defects
  • Infections, including hepatitis C, HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) and Zika
  • Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) 
Addiction Treatment for Moms-to-Be
Pregnancy is the perfect opportunity to take charge of your health and change any patterns of alcohol and/or substance use. At Rising Roads, we understand the unique challenges of women and our female staff can help you start on a healing path toward lasting sobriety. To learn more, call us today: 866-746-1558.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Special Report on Women's Wellness

What does wellness mean to women and what wellness challenges do women face the most? The consumer health website Everyday Health set out to answer these questions and more with a first-of-its-kind survey entitled “Special Report on Women’s Wellness 2017.” The report, which analyzed results from 3,000 women, ages 25 to 65, across a geographic, economic and cultural spectrum, is divided into 11 sections including:  
  • The Stress of Anxiety
  • Harassment Reckoning 
  • Sexual Health and STDs 
  • Sleep
  • Millennial
  • Finances 
  • Work-Life Balance 
  • Body Image and BMI
  • Wellness Predictors
Some of the survey findings include:
  • 50 percent of women reported that stress and anxiety tops their list of wellness challenges.
  • 67 percent of women said they were more likely to stress out or get anxious, compared with 33 percent who said they were more likely to meditate or calm themselves.
  • 81% of women are not getting a good night's sleep on a weekly basis.
  • One third of the respondents, across all age groups, are more afraid of loneliness than a cancer diagnosis.
  • 50 percent feel "loved, cherished, supported or special to someone else."
  • 50 percent laugh out loud weekly, if not daily.
  • 1 out of every 2 respondents worry about the health and wellness of someone else on a daily basis.
  • Nearly 75% of women surveyed claim body and self-image negatively affect their wellness.
  • 69% of women identify financial security as one of the top values that matter most to their overall wellness, with 1 in 2 worrying about their finances weekly.
  • 7 out of 10 women would prefer to be known for their brains over their bodies.
  • 75 percent of survey respondents say they put caring for themselves last
The hope is that these results shed light on how to make women feel empowered and inspired to live their best lives and achieve their highest level of wellness. To this end, along with the results, Everyday Health gathered reactions and tips from more than a dozen health experts. 

One area of particular concern, according to the experts, was selflessness. "It's second nature for women to put everyone else ahead of [us], but when we do that, our own health suffers, Laura Berman, PhD, a world-renowned sex and relationship educator and therapist, popular TV, radio, and internet host, a New York Times bestselling author, and an assistant clinical professor of ob-gyn and psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, told Everyday Health.

We can't be our best selves if we are tired, cranky, and miserable. Self-care is our responsibility and our right as human beings.

Take Back Your Health
At Rising Roads our staff is here to help women put their physical and mental health first. To learn more about our psychiatric consultations and addiction treatment programs and offerings, call us today: 866-746-1558.
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