Author Archives: thedrinkingwomanrevisited

SOMETHING TO HELP

The news lately about all the school shootings have been tough. If you feel isolated, uncomfortable you may want to know that SAMHSA cares. 

This is their message:  “Please know that SAMHSA stands with you during these troubling times and offers support to help you and your loved ones cope with this trauma, including our Disaster Distress Helpline – call or text 1-800-985-5990 (for Spanish, press “2”) to be connected to a trained counselor 24/7/365.”

Do it your are not alone.

IMPORTANT NEWS

On July 16, 2022, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) will transition to an easy-to-remember, 3-digit number (988). This represents an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen and expand the existing network of over 200 locally operated and funded crisis centers across the country.

In advance of the 988 transition in July, the Lifeline Suicide & Crisis Network is looking to bring on new volunteers and paid employees to answer calls, chats, and texts from people in crisis. All employees and volunteers receive training, so if you are a caring person who wants to help those in crisis, apply today.

Find YOUR opportunity: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/988/jobs

Read more about 988 at https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/988

The Statistics are out. The pandemic has made life harder.

The pandemic has made some parents lose jobs, not be able to pay bills, or feel locked up, miss going out, all resulting in more drinking, more drugs, shouting, unkindness and in some cases hitting. What can you do about this? Number one is do not go through this alone. Get in touch with Ala-teen and share your problems. Remember all is anonymous and on line so what you say will stay in the group. Remember all are in the same boat as you. Do you have a favorite counselor or teacher in school? A good friend in school? Are you vaccinated? In that case you might find a place to stay with a relative, a good neighbor, anyone with whom you have stayed previously. Take a Covid test before you ask to be taken in to make sure that you do not have the virus and will keep the family safe. If you decide to move in with appropriate friends remember to leave a note on your pillow telling your family where you are. If they phone demanding that you come home tell them, “I am safe where I am. I don’t feel safe at home. I will stay in touch with you.” Only go if you have a safe place to stay. If you do stay home and your parents are not kind to you remember that life it too hard for them. You might say, ” I am your son/daughter and I love you.” 

Making Prevention a Priority

Making Prevention a Priority During National Drugs and Alcohol Facts Week SAMHSA (Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administation): tells us
“Recent research tells us that how youth and young adults perceive harm from drugs and alcohol is often wrong. SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) from 2020 shows that 57 percent of youth ages 12 to 17did not think there was great harm in having five or more drinks once or twice a week. Even more concerning is that as many as 62.6 percent of those in that age group did not think it was very harmful to smoke marijuana once or twice a week.”
Really?

You all see what has been going on in your home and how it has kept you from having a good and healthy life.

So if no one is talking to you about the facts of life about drugs take matters in your own hands. Go to this site  https://store.samhsa.gov/?f%5B0%5D=series:5567   or  https://store.samhsa.gov/     (in the search put in Tips for Teenagers or just Teenagers)    and ask that the info be sent to you. Share it with your siblings and friends. If you are in Ala -teen bring these brochures with you
Take good care of  yourselves. Just do it.

Lets talk movies

Sure, you can find info about the latest movies on the internet. But here is one I think will be of interest to those of you who are living with an alcoholic parent or parents or other loved ones. When Love Is Not Enough is based on the true story of  Bill Wilson and Robert Smith co-founders of Alcoholic Anonymous. Once Bill was sober he devoted himself to helping other alcoholics. Lois, Bill’s wife, felt neglected and when she learned that other wives living with recovered alcoholics felt the same way she started Al-anon. Today we have Al-Anon also for husbands who live with that problem. And lets not forget Ala-teen. The movie truly shows what it was like living with an alcoholic before he stopped drinking. You can see the movie on YouTube for free. The more info you have about alcoholism the better you can cope. Remember you are not alone. 

A Few Words

I just looked at the last few blogs where I wrote telling you to be careful during the holidays. But you know what? You need to be careful all the time, protective of yourself. So read those blogs again.

Right now lets talk high school and also if you are out of high school. What I am getting at is careers. Ask yourself what work would you like to do if you could do anything you wanted. Do you like working with your hands, like expressing yourself, like working with children, like teaching? Let these thoughts flow. Never graduated high school. Never mind let these thoughts still flow. You can always get a high school equivalency degree. Go to the library and ask to see information on the career you picked. Find an expert who can help you. There are today agencies geared to help your ethnic group. Google for example, Blacks who want to be engineers, or Latinos who want to go into medicine. Ask your librarian to help you find agencies who will help you. There are groups in the various religious groups, groups in your nationality. Be proactive.  Ask, ask, ask.

New Year Is Here

By: CAPT Jeffrey A. Coady, Psy.D., ABPP, Acting Director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and SAMHSA Region 5 Administrator

 As individuals, we look forward to getting together with friends and family to celebrate the holidays. It’s also a time when prevention can play an especially important role. December is a deadly month for impaired driving.

The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2019 during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, 210 lives were lost due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes. That’s 210 people in one week who didn’t make it home because either they or someone with whom they came in contact chose to use alcohol and then get behind the wheel. That same year, more than 10,000 people died from drunk driving crashes alone.

These deaths were preventable. That’s why for more than 40 years, preventionists across the country have observed National Impaired Driving Prevention Month in December to raise awareness that impaired driving can be deadly and to put strategies in place for all of us to make it home safely.

As everyone takes precautions to be able to safely return to in-person events, more and more celebrations are being added to the calendar. It could be an intimate dinner at a friend’s house, perhaps a happy hour to celebrate a return to the office, or a gathering of high school friends home from college. In each instance, alcohol and other substances may not be necessarily at the center of the fun but are a common denominator.

Alcohol-impaired driving crashes—which range from being under the influence of substances to distracted driving to speeding—increase throughout December as more people travel. SAMHSA’s 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed over 26 million people ages 16 or older drove under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs during the past year. Approximately 17 percent of these people were 20 to 25 years old.

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death and nonfatal injury among U.S. adolescents, resulting in approximately 2,500 deaths and 300,000 nonfatal injuries each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While NHTSA’s “Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving” campaign addresses driving under the influence of just alcohol, it’s important to note that many substances can impair driving, including marijuana, opioids, methamphetamines, or even prescribed or over-the-counter medications.

The good news is that prevention works. As we come together this holiday season, educate yourself and others on the risks of driving while impaired and take steps to stay safe. We can start with the science. There are no shortcuts to “sobering up” and preparing to drive; a person’s coordination and reaction time are slowed long before they actually show signs of intoxication. Coffee is not a cure-all. And even slowing or stopping drinking an hour or more before planning to drive does not mean the alcohol has “worn off.”

These deaths were preventable. That’s why for more than 40 years, preventionists across the country have observed National Impaired Driving Prevention Month in December to raise awareness that impaired driving can be deadly and to put strategies in place for all of us to make it home safely.

As everyone takes precautions to be able to safely return to in-person events, more and more celebrations are being added to the calendar. It could be an intimate dinner at a friend’s house, perhaps a happy hour to celebrate a return to the office, or a gathering of high school friends home from college. In each instance, alcohol and other substances may not be necessarily at the center of the fun but are a common denominator.

Alcohol-impaired driving crashes—which range from being under the influence of substances to distracted driving to speeding—increase throughout December as more people travel. SAMHSA’s 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed over 26 million people ages 16 or older drove under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs during the past year.

**

A note from your blogger: I would like to think that all of you who follow this web site are careful, responsible drivers. The courageous one is the person who admits she/he has had too much to drink or indulged in other drugs.  But what do you do if a parent has had too much to drink or is on meds which may cause side effects? Hide the keys. If others are around ask for help. Get someone to drive that person home. If you have an understanding neighbor run for help. When your parent is sober discuss with him/her how you worry when he or she drinks, takes drugs and decides to drive. Tell your parent how much you need a parent and driving under the influence just endangers your family life. Speak up. If your parent yells at you say something like, “Just listen to yourself. Here, I am trying to say that I am your son (or daughter) and I love you and don’t want you hurt.”

Happy Holidays and A Happy New Year

We have spoken of this many times. It is so important. Have a list where you can go if things are not going well at home. A friend, a relative, a neighbor? Be prepared. And remember you can always go to an  Al-anon or an Ala-teen meeting. Very important leave a note pinned to your pillow letting your family know where you are.

Know others with the same problem as yours then talk to them.  Make sensible plans together. Perhaps join an outing club. See if some of your local church members will let you join them in their homes.  Also remember just because you may be disgusted with your parent or family for drinking and you have made a vow that you will not be like that does not mean that you should use a substitute such as marijuana or other non-related alcohol drugs. A drug is a drug. Think this through carefully. If need be discuss it with a counselor. Go to https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=141164708  for info on how our brain does not attain full maturity until age 25.

Be good to yourself. Guard your health. Let your brain mature unimpaired by alcohol or drugs.

Halloween is coming

Halloween means party time.

You all know how I always talk about how you should have a safe place to go to if things get out of hand at home – how important it is to be prepared.

This time I want to talk about how you are influenced by the alcoholism in your home. While you may complain about how tough things are at home think about how subconsciously you may be copying your family. Do you drink? Make a list of how you may be copying your family. Do you shout? Hit? Or drink while acting smooth as if nothing were wrong. Are you seeking addictive substances because you think it makes feel you better? Try to find someone who will help you work out these problems.

There is a reason most U.S. States don’t permit drinking in the teen years and many as well in the early 20’s. Scientists today know that our mind is not fully mature until age 25. You can damage your brain before it is fully developed.

And yes, after it is fully developed, if you drink out of social proportion, you can as well damage your brain. If you are taking other substances look up their effects on line. The internet is like a medical dictionary. Know what you are doing.

Be good to yourself.