Chicago: The Windy City
The great city of Chicago is estimated to have over 2.7 million residents, with over 48 million, annual visitors who come around to see the city’s many historic and exciting venues. The city is rife with activities and ways to spend your time: over 4,980 restaurants, 200 theaters, 60 museums and 90 art galleries, Chicago knows how to keep you occupied during your stay.
Chicago first became a city in 1837 and since then has been the hub of multiple history events for our country. In 1885, the Home Insurance Company, the world’s first skyscraper, was built; the first time an atom was split (leading to nuclear power) was at the University of Chicago underneath Stagg Field; in 1914 the term “Jazz” was first coined by native musicians, including Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa.
Looking closer at the history angle, Chicago also hosted the first U.S. presidential candidate debate on television, broadcast on September 26 in 1960. The debate was between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon and was televised from Chicago’s CBS Studios. Chicago also elected the country’s first female, African-American senator in 1992.
The city is truly a spearhead for historical, progressive acts and has brought to life many incredible events in American History, even in the arts: Disney founder, Walt Disney, was not only born in Chicago back in 1901, but also went to school at the Institute of Fine Art.
Alcoholism: What You Need to Know
Alcohol dependency presents a wide range of mental, physical and even societal problems in the victim. There are a few different factors that contribute towards someone being an alcoholic, so if you suspect a friend or family member, or perhaps even yourself, of having a dependency on alcohol then this is for you.
For starters, alcoholism can run in the family. Genetics can give us a predisposition to being susceptible to acquiring a dependency on alcohol, but this doesn’t mean we’re born alcoholics. Instead our environment and the surrounding attitude towards alcohol has a much larger impact on the substance than genetics do, but it is still a factor to be considered.
Heavy drinking, and even binge drinking, can become prevalent as a result of stressful situations, like losing a job or a loved one. Financial issues, family drama, and anxiety can all bring about the desire to drink. Having the occasional drink or relaxing after a long day with a glass or two of wine are not the issue here, the issue is having multiple drinks in one sitting.
Binge drinking, which is where you have upwards of four or more drinks within a two-hour period, can be triggered by stress. Another instance of alcoholism could simply be having drinks throughout the day: having alcohol multiples times a day, throughout the course of said day, can be a very strong sign of alcohol dependency. The best ways to prevent becoming dependent on alcohol is remembering to take breaks from alcohol, and/or saving it for special occasions.
Detox: The Bite of Withdrawal
The detox process is where your body is without the substance that it is addicted to, subsequently removing the harmful toxins from alcohol and putting your body in a sober, clean state. If you drink regularly then you might have a pretty significant tolerance to alcohol, meaning it takes more for you to feel drunk than someone with a low tolerance.
As this tolerance gets built-up to be stronger and stronger, we enter into deeper risk of suffering withdrawal symptoms whenever our body does not get the amount of the substance that it is used to receiving, or when we drop it altogether. The more our body is used to bringing in, the more dangerous the side-effects of withdrawal can be, and they are already very dangerous in their own right.
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include anxiety, headache, confusion, insomnia, nightmares, high blood pressure, and delirium tremens. Delirium Tremens (DT) are one of the most severe withdrawal symptoms of alcohol abuse and carries with it both physical and psychological side-effects.
Victims of DT can experience hallucinations (audible, visual, and tactile, the sensation of feeling something that do not exist), extreme confusion and agitation, and seizures. If you notice these symptoms in a friend or family member, you need to get them emergency medical help immediately.
With a wide range of side-effects and symptoms that can affect you, the detox process can be a very scary phase when it comes to recovery. The good news is that there are many treatment programs throughout the country, as well as numerous detox facilities that can aid in your recovery.
These facilities will sometimes prescribe certain drugs in order to help suppress and mediate the symptoms of withdrawal, making your detox phase a little easier to handle. Depending on the severity of the alcoholism, detox may take anywhere up to 14 days in order to fully clear the system of the toxins.
Once the alcohol is out of your body and your system is sober, the rehabilitation and treatment can truly begin. There are different ways to treat alcoholism, ranging from support groups to medication, and they can all be effective in their own right. It depends on the person, the severity of their dependency on alcohol, and the way that person reacts to different methods of treatment.
One method is to go through what is called Behavioral Treatment: this is where health professionals target their treatment towards changing the behavior behind drinking through counseling. The goal is to find the reasons we drink to excess and why we feel the need to constantly consume alcohol in order to find better ways to deal with those situations.
Another method is to use medication as a way to treat not only the withdrawal symptoms but also to help reduce a person’s drinking in order to prevent relapse. These medications are prescribed by a primary care physician or another professional in the health field. Two medications often used in this treatment process are Vivitrol and Naltrexone, both having shown fair success in reducing the cravings and withdrawal symptoms for drinking.
Another highly successful method of recovery is to join a mutual-support group, such as AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or other 12-Step programs. These groups off peer support and a community of others who wish to quit the habit of drinking, searching for strength in numbers.
The people in these meetings are either like yourself, someone seeking to kick the habit, or those who are currently sober and looking to stay that way so they come to the group meetings to continue getting support. Since the program keeps its members anonymous, it can be difficult to compare its success to medical treatments, but the fact the programs have been alive and consistent for nearly 80 years speaks for itself in some ways. There are plenty of success stories to go around when it comes to AA.
How Do I Help?
This is question you may find yourself asking on a frequent basis. You want to bring your concerns to your friend or family member’s attention, but you’re not sure how and you don’t want to offend or upset them, right? Fortunately, there is help this as well: interventions have been used for a long time and have proven successful in getting alcoholics to recognize that their drinking is affecting others, as well as their own personal, and professional, health.
We’ve all seen interventions in some form through Hollywood: every now and then a TV show or movie depicts loved ones, friends, and occasionally a priest, all banding together in order to support the alcoholic. Everyone goes around in a circle reading off of a piece of paper about how the person’s drinking has affected each one of them on a personal level.
The truth of the matter is that this is only one method of intervention and is only fit for certain scenarios. There are numerous other methods of orchestrating an intervention and each is effective for a certain situation.
Specialists are ready and able to speak to you about the different kinds of interventions you can host and counsel you on the best method. These specialists can also attend the event and help to make sure that it stays on track.
With family, things can often get heated: people get defensive, offended that their own family thinks something negative, and before you know it the entire reason you came together in the first place can become an oversight. This is why specialists exist and why they take their job so seriously when it comes to getting help for someone who is suffering from the disease of alcohol dependency.
If you know someone suffering from this affliction, then the time to get help is now. Get in touch with a specialist today and start making plans to get the person you love, whether they be family or friend, the help they not only need, but the help they deserve. Call a specialist today, for a brighter tomorrow.
Remember we are talking about how A Better Today can help someone who has a substance abuse problem even though they live in Chicago IL