This week, the 3rd week of October is National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week. To continue my segment on better living through better health and freedom here, and throughout the year to come, in order to implement great healing–I will feature articles designed to improve physical, emotional and spiritual healing, especially from the waning COVID-19 era.
Versatileer Brings you this post in regards to more safe living, through awareness of any college student’s alcohol usage.
Great Reasons For Anyone Honor National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week
Awareness is key to mastering status of anyone being fully aware whether or not it is just a few drinks, or whether alcohol use is leading to even larger problems with addiction of alcohol or any substance. Denial changes a person’s focus, morals and being able to see the truth of whether or not a person can be really aware of whether or not addiction is leading to problems of any type. To make matters worse, justifying and rationalizing can blind a person from seeing the control a substance, including alcohol is having on their life. Denial generally changes the factor of importance of having one more drink or other substance into “all that matters”, leaving important daily, weekly, and monthly tasks to be on the “backburner”, and if left undone for long periods of time, can leave a devastating factor on their life, and also their family’s life, employment, legal issues, medical issues and even death. It is absolutely most important that if someone is an addict, that they realize the status–sooner than later. There is nothing wrong with a drink or two, but if the need becomes that there is obsession and compulsion to have a drink–being more important than all the things in life, then there well may be a problem. Anybody can live life without the need to drink and enjoy the freedom of real life. There are several resources and people who can become real friends whereby the person in need of help do not have to address a problem alone. Think of doing these changes in lifestyle can be as ugly because of the great unknown. Alleviating that the person seeking assistance don’t have to go through this along can reap many rewards and better healthy living though a life that does not include alcohol. Note that having a drink is one thing, but having to have a drink to feel normal is another. There are actually some benefits in having a drink especially if the person is in an older age category. There are several resources listed later at the bottom of this article.
Excessive drinking can be any more than what doctor’s consider above average, sometimes as much as a couple drinks or more, especially if a person develops a need to drink alcohol on a daily basis. Also note, that if the person who drinks a few is an addict, that the alcohol may seem a safe alternative than drugs, but can lead to an eventual relapse. Also, note that the “weekend warrior”–the person who has to drink every weekend is not off limits. The reasons for these are that alcohol really does stay in trace amounts in the human system for at least a week. Also the fact that people drink, despite the published facts, drinking causes all sorts of physical, spiritual and emotional problems that can be disastrous. Everyone who establishes problematic drinking does it at their own set pace, there is no set timing to state that someone has crossed that line. It can become a really big problem if someone gets in their car and gets in an accident, that can cause property damage, injury and death to the person drinking and other pedestrians and drivers. Research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has revealed that drunk driving was the second-highest cause of fatal accidents at 16%, with speeding in at number one, and distracted driving at third worst cause.
Alcohol Detection Tests:
With freedom from the use of alcohol, it offers the general relief immediately from the mind from running its wheels from being presented by an employer or other required test, a negative test result. It is important to note that there are several types of tests, including the breathalyzer, so whichever test is required is the test results that will be obtained–on demand. Positive results from drinking even days ago, if the employer or other required test is not a breathalyzer. According to the PubMed Central at National Library of Medicine, tests have been reported by some sources to be able to measure blood alcohol content (BAC) in the blood for up to 6 hours, on the breath for 12 to 24 hours, in urine for 12 to 24 hours (72 or more hours with more advanced detection methods), in saliva for 12 to 24 hours, and in the hair for up to even 90 days or more. The reason alcohol doesn’t stay in the system as long as some drugs is that it is that it dissipates (is breathed out in the lungs and goes right through the pores in skin) in addition to being filtered by the kidneys and other organs. Alcohol is not only water soluble (not fat-soluble), the agent that intoxicates also dissipates through the lungs and the pores directly without being completely filtered through kidneys, etc. The most highly used and fairest way any employer, educational, or family member including a parent can issue the demand for alcohol and/or drug testing, is the simple, random (luck of the draw out of a hat) drug screen. The reason this should be documented is that there be no discrimination basis. Obviously arriving at any job, inspiring reasonable suspicion can be implemented be again, being documented, and a then issuance of the drug screening. And, finally, of upmost concern, any accidents on the job or at school are immediate reasonable timing of a drug screen and can be listed on the hiring process; and also may be mandatory as per the employer’s insurance purposes. Screening for legal purposes is always issued on a signed document upon entering into any probation or parole sentence, and can and will be implemented at the drop of a dime. Note that the testing may be accurate by the tested person being accompanied by a observant, due to tampering by the person being tested. Most provisions call for the process to be observed by the person signing off on the tests.
General Alcohol Window With Possible Positive Testing:
- SAMHSA-5 Urine Test: 10-12 hours
- Hair Test: N/A
- Oral Test: Up to 24 hours
- Sweat Test: N/A
- Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG) Test: Up to 48 hours
By giving up alcohol for a day, the person taking the challenge to give up liquor for one day won’t have to worry about this one! As far as counting drinks, each 12 ounce beer, 8 ounce glass of wine, or 1-1/2 ounce shot of 80 proof liquor is considered one drink. More than two drinks regularly poured (not a bartender’s long-pour) consumed in a one hour period are too much, as for each drink consumed adds up to .03 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), and .08 BAC is the limit in most states and municipalities between getting a DUI. Also weight can determine being impaired, but the results of the breathalyzer are constant. Bartenders who practice long-pouring do not do a service to persons counting drinks, and also violate several civil laws including BASSET Alcohol Training certification, because if they are to long pour drinks–the people consuming drinks cannot be able to meter their drinking. Drinking fades over a period of time at a constant rate of exactly .03 BAC per hour. So having three drinks and wait an hour, a passing breathalyzer is possible. Same thing is very true with testing. The clock cannot be slowed down when it comes to testing. Keep in mind that if the tested person has a CDL classification, or drives a school bus for a living–as per USDOT requirement, most detection testing is measured at half the standards, moving the required fail rate at half the amount (in Illinois a .08% becomes .04%). This becomes a constant standard for all CDL drivers, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week even in off hours or while not driving a truck or bus.
Sources for testing:
It is so nice to look up at the blue skies, not have to worry about scurrying through the college years hunkering down problems with substance use problems including alcohol, not to have to worry about “well, what test will it be next time?” when it comes to going too far–and looking like an alcohol test is deemed necessary due to suspicious behavior. There are multiple sources for biologic specimens (often referred to as “biological matrices” in the scientific literature):
- Breath, with a detection of minutes to hours
- Blood, with a detection of minutes to hours
- Saliva, with a detection of minutes to several hours
- Urine, not detected for minutes; minutes to weeks window-depends on type of test
- Sweat, not detected for couple hours, minutes to days
- Hair, not detected for a day or better, with a detection of days to years
- Meconium, not detected for almost a week, with a detection of weeks to months
The breathalyzer (the most widely used worldwide detection test) uses the general specification of measuring BAC through the measuring of alcohol content breathed out of the lungs. It has a very low failure rate, and is almost specifically accurate, with the exception of whether cross contamination while testing is observed, such as using hand sanitizers, mouthwashes or other impurities. The test gives such immediate results, that on the spot retesting can come to the proper conclusion. Biological Matrix Tests can vary for accuracy due to common differences, such as weight, sex, metabolic rate and other various elements; plus there is a rate for “false” positives and defective and stale (over the date limit) tests. Tolerance can become a very big enemy of the drinker, as it masks the ability to control use of alcohol and can makes it possible to start a heavy drinking binge or bender due to the fact that the person drinking is not feeling “high” until a large portion of alcohol is consumed, and can disguise the fact that someone may be over the limit and the amount consumed the previous night may still be in the body the next morning or beyond. The reason is that the body becomes used to the alcohol and/or drugs, essentially a “tolerance”, because it starts to meddle with the body’s natural enzymes, and/or D.O.S.E., of which is explicitly explained in my article: International Day Of Happiness – How to Get Your Daily D.O.S.E. of Happiness When it comes to passing a breathalyzer and other detection tests, it is not an art of passing, but a science. It is not possible to alter the results if a person has had too much to drink. Don’t forget that alcohol, marijuana, a lot of over the counter drugs, and prescriptions that are mind altering and mood changing, are all considered drugs, even if they are legal.
Assessment of Dependence:
Signs of an Alcohol Problem:
Overuse of alcohol or other substances can be at anyone’s realm if complete awareness is not observed–at all times! It is also important to know that alcoholism is a medical diagnosis, and only really is arrived at between a doctor and the patient. A person can select to address being an alcoholic, but the condition medially is only between the privacy of the doctor/patient relationship, for medical purposes. Also, the challenge should not be entered into if the person seeking help is really in a medical condition whereby the need to drink is physically necessary. The need to visit a hospital may arise because just taking a day off for a medically diagnosed alcoholic is dangerous to be done without medical attention. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a medical condition. Medical doctors diagnose it when a patient’s drinking causes distress or harm. The condition can range from mild to severe and is diagnosed when the patient answers a questionnaire with two or more “yes” answers to these questions:
In the past year, has the person:
- Had times when an occasion has ended up drinking more, or longer than intended?
- More than once wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?
- Spent a lot of time drinking? Or being sick or getting over the aftereffects?
- Experienced craving—a strong need, or urge, to drink?
- Found that drinking—or being sick from drinking—often interfered with taking care of the person’s home or family? Or caused job troubles? Or school problems?
- Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with the person’s family or friends?
- Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting, or gave pleasure, in order to drink?
- More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased the chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)?
- Continued to drink even though it was making feelings of depression or anxiety or adding to another health problem? Or after having had a memory blackout?
- Had to drink much more than the person once did to get the effect that the person wanted? Or found that the person’s usual number of drinks had much less effect than before?
- Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, the person had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, or sweating? Or sensed things that were not there?
Positively having a “yes” with any of these symptoms may indicate a problematic drinking condition that may already have cause for concern. The more symptoms, the more urgent the need for change. A health professional can conduct a formal assessment of symptoms to see if AUD is present. For an online assessment of any person’s drinking patterns, go to RethinkingDrinking.niaaa.nih.gov
Resources on Assistance to Control:
Starting With a Primary Care Doctor:
For anyone thinking about treatment, talking to a primary care physician is an important first step—he or she can be a good source for treatment referrals and medications. A primary care physician can also:
- Evaluate a patient’s drinking pattern
- Help craft a treatment plan
- Evaluate overall health
- Assess if medications for alcohol may be appropriate
Individuals are advised to talk to their doctors, with complete honesty, about the best form of primary treatment. Delaying treatment does not assist the individuals overall physical, mental, spiritual and/or emotional health–time is not an asset when it comes to treatment. Things usually regress given more time and avoiding the problem through the use of denial. There are many of types of professionals that are involved in care. Many health professionals can play a role in treatment. Below is a list of providers and the type of care they may offer.
Options for Treatment:
When asked how alcohol problems are treated, commonly a 12-step program or 28-day inpatient rehabilitation come to mind first, but may have difficulty naming any other options. In fact, there are a variety of treatment methods currently available, thanks to significant advances in the field over the past 60 years. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and what may work for one person may not be a good fit for someone else. Simply understanding the different options can be an important first step.
Options for Treatment:
Behavioral Treatments: Behavioral treatments are aimed at changing drinking behavior through counseling. They are led by health professionals and supported by studies showing they can be beneficial.
Medications: Three medications are currently approved in the United States to help people stop or reduce their drinking and prevent relapse. They are prescribed by a primary care physician or other health professional and may be used alone or in combination with counseling.
Support Group Assistance:
There Is Help Out There:
Alcohol affects people of all ages, races, sexes, and does not discriminate. It could be any member of your family, a friend, co-worker or acquaintance. Also, if someone involved with alcohol is an addict, the chances of relapsing on another drug of choice are very high during and after drinking. It is really important to note that when someone does have a problem, that unless they are true to themselves and not only seek help, but want a change in lifestyle–all the help in the world will not assist them.
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), for persons directly seeking membership if they think that they have a drinking problem.
- Al-Anon Family Groups, for families, peers, and persons being affected by someone with a drinking problem.
- Narcotics Anonymous (NA), for persons directly seeking membership if they think that they are an addict in combination of a drinking problem or without a drinking problem.
- Nar-Anon Family Groups, for families, peers, and persons being affected by someone with an addict’s behavior with or without a drinking problem.
- Celebrate Recovery, for persons directly seeking recovery with a Christian based 12-step program.
- Other 12-step programs. . .
All 12-step programs provide peer support for people quitting or cutting back on their drinking, and if there is another addiction, the other resources may be in the individual’s best interest to trial. There are programs for families, peers and friends who are directly affected by problematic drinking and/or addiction. Combined with a treatment plan led by health professionals, mutual-support groups can offer a valuable added layer of support. Many health professionals in most modern times even have direct information to provide to individuals to find a proper support group. Even though the anonymous nature of mutual-support groups make it difficult for researchers to determine the success rates compared with those led by health professionals, many have become most assured in these modern days that they are indeed a complete asset in the reliance of being able to overcome a problem such as alcohol dependence.
There is room for every college student to realize that it is no joke to getting over-involved with the use of alcohol and/or substance use. Dedicating life to getting through college with great grades and having time to balance life is paramount for every college student. That is why the National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week is important.
National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week