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Sober N Clean

While alcohol addiction is a difficult problem when you are addicted, staying sober can be even more of a problem. However, if you are supported by a large group of people, including family, friends and fellow alcoholics you have a much greater chance of staying sober for a long period of time.

Sober N Clean is a small group of recovering alcoholics who support each other through their recoveries. While there are currently just under 200 members, most members login at least several times a week to participate in conversations on how to better themselves and keep on a sober path. Some of the top members on Sober N Clean have thousands of posts. They help keep the forum active and able to help the addicts who turn their lives into something positive. Sober N Clean is mainly focused to be a forum, but it provides so much more information to people who need help with their addiction. There are resources for how to quit, how to stay sober and how your loved ones can help your overcome your addiction. In addiction, Sober N Clean has links to knowledgeable products such as The Addicts Guide and Getting Sober: What to Expect.

There are plenty of ways that you can bond as a community on Sober N Clean as well. With an on-site arcade, chat, and site directory you can find plenty more information no matter what time of day that it is. While there are still relatively few members on Sober N Clean, some posts and threads have racked up thousands upon thousands of views. Not only can your story help a recovering alcoholic who is a member on Sober N Clean, but you may be able to help an alcoholic who has never been sober before.

You do not have to be addicted to alcohol to join the Sober N Clean community, there are addicts of substances who posts as well. There are many similarities between addictions that you can see as a visitor on Sober N Clean. Addicts of all kinds who are trying to get their lives back on the right path need constant support and mentoring in order to avoid going back to their previous addiction filled lives. There are sections of Sober N Clean for family of recovering addicts as well. Being a family member or a friend of an addict can be extremely difficult. Some families try to distance themselves from the addict or even push the addict out of their lives. However, on Sober N Clean you can remain a vital part of your addict's life and allow them to crush their addiction throughout their recovery. Whether you are an addict, recovering addict, or family member of an addict, Sober N Clean has a section that can help you turn your life around.

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The Addicts Guide

The Addicts Guide

Do you hate your addiction? Are you ready to kick it for good? Do you have no clue where to start? The Addicts Guide is here to help you kick your addiction for good. While The Addicts Guide was originally written for readers who had difficulty with alcohol, it's information can be applied to many other addictions, especially with drugs.

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Six years of blood, sweat and tears have been poured into The Addicts Guide in order to help you get the information that you need about becoming sober. An addiction recovery plan, which is necessary in order to fully recover from your addiction is also key to The Addicts Guide. Drug addiction recovery is not done in one day, or even one month. You will need to work at your addiction treatment for many years to come. The Addicts Guide will give you hundreds of helpful tips that will make sure you stay on the right path while you are recovering from your addiction.

There is help out there for addicts. Whether you are addicted to alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, or heroin The Addicts Guide is here to help you. Through expert knowledge, and helpful advice you can conquer your addiction. The Addicts Guide also provides plenty of support for you after you have beat your addiction, to prevent you from ever relapsing! Get The Addicts Guide today to save yourself and your loved ones from further pain and suffering from your addiction.


What's in the budget for addiction scientists? Scientists were among the likely beneficiaries of President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment

The conventional wisdom used to be that alcoholics had to hit bottom before they got better. But it can be a long, slow way down. A new government Web site called "Rethinking Drinking" aims to help people recognize problem patterns earlier and catch themselves before they fall.

"Most people don't know what 'drink responsibly' means -- they think it means not getting tanked," says Mark Willenbring, director of treatment and recovery research at the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. "But there are levels of drinking that raise your risk for alcohol problems just like high cholesterol raises your risk for heart disease."

* Are you drinking too much? Join the discussion at Journal Community.

Health Mailbox

* Columnist Melinda Beck answers readers' questions about "textile dye dermatitis" and "empathetic pain" syndrome.

Behind the NIAAA's effort is a new understanding that there is a spectrum of alcohol-use disorders, which some experts hope will replace the current criteria for "abuse" and "dependence." The old definitions were based on observing addicts in treatment. Several large studies of drinking in the general population show that some patterns clearly pave the way for future problems.

The NIAAA say you are at "low-risk" for serious problems if you consume no more than four standard-size alcoholic drinks a day for a man or no more than three for a woman. That may sound like a lot, but you can't drink like that every day. The weekly "low-risk" limit is no more than 14 drinks for a man or seven for a woman. Drinking more daily, or weekly or both carries higher risk of abuse or dependence.

At, you can plug in your average consumption and see how you compare with the general population and problem drinkers. Since this is anonymous, you can try different amounts and see what they mean.

Some 37% of Americans always stay within the daily and weekly limits, according to the site. Only two in 100 of them progress to serious alcohol problems.

But 19% of Americans exceed either the daily or weekly levels; one in 12 of those people has already progressed to alcohol abuse or alcoholism. About 9% of Americans exceeds both the weekly and daily limits; half of them have alcohol problems.

Very few Americans exceed the weekly limits without exceeding the daily limitations, according to Dr. Willenbring. That contrasts with drinking patterns in Europe, where people are more likely to have wine with lunch and dinner on a daily basis.

About 35% of Americans don't drink at all. "That can be a real eye-opener for people who drink heavily and surround themselves with other people who drink a lot," says Ann Bradley, an NIAAA spokeswoman.

Even "low-risk" drinking can be risky for people with bipolar disorder, liver disease, abnormal heart rhythm and chronic pain, the Web site notes. It also links to a list of dozens of medications that can react adversely with alcohol, including drugs for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pain and depression.

The limits are lower for women than men not just because of their size. According to the NIAAA, women's bodies tend to have less water so the alcohol tends to become more concentrated and more damaging to organs like the liver.

The Web site also notes that being able to "hold" a lot of liquor is actually a warning sign of dependence. And driving and judgment can be impaired even if you don't feel a buzz.
Safer Spirits

Most people are at low risk for alcohol problems if they stay within these limits:

* Men: No more than four standard-size drinks on any single day and no more than 14 weekly.
* Women: No more than three standard-size drinks on any single day and no more than seven weekly.

*Source: NIAAA

Knowing the size and strength of a "standard" drink is critical, so the site has a size chart and a content calculator. Some cocktails contain as much alcohol as three standard drinks. A wine bottle usually holds five 5-oz. glasses.

"Rethinking Drinking" leaves it up to you whether and when to change your habits, though it notes that alcohol is a factor in many fatal accidents and increases the risk of heart and liver disease, depression, sleep disorders, diabetes and many cancers. One section discusses the merits of cutting down versus quitting completely. Another lists pros and cons to consider—including "I'd need another way to wind down."

In focus groups when the site was tested, "some people got very quiet and engaged when they got to this part. It turned into an intervention," says Maureen Gardner, who co-authored the program.

The site also lists strategies for changing drinking habits, from "space and pace" (no more than one per hour) to "avoiding triggers" (recognizing external situations and internal emotions that tempt you to drink). An "urge tracker" lets you record times when you wanted a drink and why, what you did and what you might have done differently. A section on "refusal skills" helps you plan ahead to say no in social situations.

Dr. Willenbring hopes the site, and a downloadable print version, provides a tool for doctors, clergy and others who counsel people concerned about their drinking habits.

Awareness already seems to be rising, says Eileen Travis, director of a New York City Bar Association program that assists lawyers with substance abuse. "We get calls all the time from people who say they think they have a problem and want to stop before it gets bad—many more than in the past, when the only people we dealt with were in trouble in some way," she says.

Studies show that just five minutes of discussion with a primary-care doctor can reduce heavy drinking by 25%. Exploring online all by yourself might be just as useful.
source: Wall Street Journal


New Zealand drinking more in 2008

New Zealanders are drinking more according to the latest figures, and that means more weekend binges and young people lured onto alcopops, says the agency promoting responsible use of alcohol.

During 2008 the total volume of alcohol available for consumption increased 3.4 percent to 486.4 million litres from 2007, Statistics New Zealand said today.

The volume of pure alcohol available per person aged 15 years and over increased 3.3 percent to 9.5 litres. It was the highest volume since 1994.

Spirits and spirit-based drinks now represent 14.3 percent of the total alcohol available for consumption, continuing a steady increase since 1996.

Consumption of spirits increased to 8 million litres, up 5.5 percent on the previous year and now accounts for 25 per cent of the total consumption of alcohol per capita.

"People are drinking more; on one level it is as simple as that, said Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand (ALAC) chief executive Gerard Vaughan.

The figures on their own, if they showed people were increasing their drinking across the week and in a responsible manner, would not be a concern, but ALAC knew that wasn't the case, he said.

Other statistics showed the huge harm and cost on the police and hospital systems, he said.

With its drinking age, alcohol availability and drink-driving restrictions, New Zealand had a liberal drinking environment, he said.

While acknowledging that alcohol was an enjoyable part of New Zealand life, the big harm was from our drinking patterns. "Unfortunately New Zealanders do not drink in a sophisticated manner. We are a country that tends to save up our drinking for a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night and drink large amounts."

Mr Vaughan said increase in spirit consumption was driven by the emergence of the relatively-recent ready-to-drink products, or alcopops.

That was concerning because of its packaging, high sugar, masking of the alcohol taste and high alcohol content made them attractive to younger drinkers. They were also priced to appeal.

"If your intention is to get out of it then it won't cost you that much."

ALAC had tracked community attitudes over the last five years and seen significant shifts in understanding of problems of binge drinking.

"But I think we haven't really made the impact into the binge drinking culture.

"It's taken us 100 years to firmly establish a problematic drinking culture. We need to think this is about generational change."

The Statistics NZ figures are taken from the New Zealand Customs Service, based on duty paid, and indicates how much is actually released to the market but not what is actually consumed.

Beer was still the most popular type of alcoholic beverage in New Zealand and last year there were 322.5 million litres of beer available, which makes up 66.3 percent of the total beverage available for consumption. Wine was up 2.3 percent to 94.2m litres

Meanwhile, the number of cigarettes available for consumption was up 4.3 percent, to 2.5 billion in 2008.
This increase in cigarettes contrasted with a decrease in the amount of tobacco available for consumption, which was down 3.7 percent to 870 tonnes in 2008.


One In Five Men End Up Hooked On Alcohol

At least one in five men in developed countries are at risk of abusing or becoming dependent on alcohol during their lifetimes, researchers in the United States said on Sunday.

The risk is about half that for women, who have an 8% to 10% chance of becoming dependent on alcohol. And despite the popular belief that nothing works, there is help in the form of several effective treatments, they said.

"This is a serious problem," Dr. Marc Schuckit of the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System and the University of California said in a telephone interview.

He said men have roughly a 15% lifetime risk for alcohol abuse, and a 10% risk for alcohol dependence.

"Once you carry one of these diagnoses regularly, you tend to cut your life short by 10 to 15 years," he said.

His findings, published in the journal Lancet, are meant to guide doctors on how to spot and treat their patients for alcohol dependence disorder.

This includes a range of problem drinking behaviours such as spending too much time drinking, having trouble stopping once started, skipping important life events to drink or recover from a binge, and setting and exceeding a self-imposed limit on the number of drinks a person plans to consume.

The definition also includes more classic signs of alcohol addiction such as withdrawal.

They said repeated heavy drinking increases the risk of a temporary bout of depression by 40%. And 80% of people who are dependent on alcohol are regular smokers. Some 40% to 60% of the risk of problem drinking can be explained by genes, and the rest by environmental factors, Schuckit said. That may explain why women have a lower lifetime risk.

"This is a cultural issue. More women than men are lifelong abstainers. A higher proportion of women than men never open themselves to the possibility of alcoholism be-cause they never or very rarely drink," Schuckit said.

He said heavy drinking raises the risk of heart disease and cancer, even in those who do not smoke. And despite perceptions that treatments do not work, he said most patients with alcohol-use disorders do well after treatment.

About 50% to 60% of men and women with alcohol dependence abstain or show substantial improvement in a year after treatment, which can include drugs such as Forest Laboratories Inc's Campral or acamprosate, naltrexone, also known as Revia and Depade, and disulfiramacamprosate or Antabuse. Schuckit said these should be used in combination with therapy aimed at helping people change their behaviours.
source: The National Post


Alcohol control at home parties

Adults who supply booze to other people's children without parental consent will soon be liable for a hefty fine.

Police Minister Jim Cox yesterday announced the crackdown to prevent the "horrific, unpleasant and sad" effects of underage binge drinking at private parties.

The law changes were prompted, in part, by the case of Penguin boy Taylor Forward who was supplied with vodka and fell into a campfire at a friend's party in 2005.

"Too often we hear and see the effects of young people being supplied with alcohol and left unsupervised," Mr Cox said.

"Not only can this result in direct harm from excessive alcohol consumption, it also means young people are at risk of forming binge-drinking behaviours and not learning responsible drinking."

The change means the adult supervisor at the party would take full legal responsibility for the actions of underage drinkers at the event.

That could create a scenario where invitations to underage parties could go out with parental consent forms granting children permission to drink.

"I think if invitations went out and parents were prepared to take responsibility for other under 18s, and a permission slip was put in there, that would be a great idea."

Mr Cox rejected suggestions the laws would have the effect of normalising underage drinking, but would allow parents to introduce their children to alcohol in a controlled way.

Assistant Commissioner Phil Wilkinson was confident the new legislation could be policed.

"As it stands at the moment, on private premises it is legal for underage people to drink, so this extends it and gives parents an additional level of control over what their children do," Assistant Commissioner Wilkinson said.

Taylor Forward's mother Vicki welcomed the move, which follows a 3 1/2-year fight for legislative change.

"This is not to stop everyone drinking when they are under 18 but it is about having more control and accountability to protect kids," Mrs Forward said.

State Schools Parents and Friends Associations president Jenny Branch said underage parties were still a big problem.

In 2007 the National Drug Strategy household survey found 22 per cent of teenagers over the age of 14 drank alcohol on a weekly basis.

"I have heard of cases where kids go out every weekend -- parents feel like they are losing kids to places they don't want them to be and a life they don't want their children to be in," Ms Branch said.

"Hopefully these new laws will give children and parents the opportunity to negotiate what is responsible and what is not."

Australian Hotels Association state manager Steve Old lauded the proposed crackdown.
source: The Mercury


Parental tips to curb teenage binge drinking

Teenagers die from alcohol related illness or injury more than anything else.

With that in mind the Sydney Western Area Health Service is desperatley pleading with parents to educate their teens about the risks of excessive drinking.

Sydney West Area Health Service Drug and Alcohol Network Acting Nurse Manager Cathleen Addison-Wilson said it was estimated more than 40 per cent of 16-17 year olds occasionally binge drink.

Furthermore, up to 22 per cent of boys and 18 per cent of girls aged between 12-16 years old reported drinking on a weekly basis. .

"Alcohol impacts upon an individual’s capacity to make rational choices and evidence is clear this is even more so for adolescents, placing them at further risk of harm and injury from misadventure," said Ms Addison-Wilson.

"Over recent years, we’ve seen an increase in `alcohol-pops’ – pre-mixed alcohol and soft drinks. When young people consume these drinks, which are in effect a stimulant and depressant mix, they are more likely to black out and take part in anti-social behaviour."

Ms Addison-Wilson said parents should know where their teenage children were when they out for the evening and who they were with.

"Most alcohol related issues occur when young people are returning home," she said.

Ms Addison-Wilson suggests parents make a 'contract' with their adolescent to pick them up, regardless of their level of intoxication.

"This has been shown to reduce the chance of injury, assault and anti-social behaviour," she said.

Ms Addison-Wilson said it was vital for parents to communicate with their teenager as they became more exposed to alcohol – through their mates, peers and the media.

"The attitudes and actions of teenagers are often heavily influenced by what they see and hear at home. If you choose to discuss your own alcohol use with your teenager, it is important not to glorify your own behaviour," she said.

"Be careful not to sound hypocritical. If you drink, try to avoid getting drunk in front of them."
source: Street Corner