Alcohol Abuse

In Rockville Center, Long Island for Town Hall

Sunrise Detox in Rockville Center, Long Island

A great message from kids for kids

Rockville Center Against Youth Substance Abuse

The Rockville Center, Long Island Town Hall meeting tonight is dedicated to “Underage Drinking and Drug Use”, and Sunrise Detox is there represented by myself (Joe Horrocks) and my associate Joe Chelales.

The Long Island treatment center Sunrise Detox Long Island is now open, convenient to both Nassua and Suffolk counties in a new facility built on an estate in Brentwood.

The topics of discussion range widely from prevention through treatment issues, with concerned parents, loved ones, police and policy makers looking to discuss all sort of related issues. With the rise in heroin use, a record numbers of overdose deaths in NY & on Long Island, people want information and answers.

Community Support for Keeping Kids Safe

Tonight's meeting is co-sponsored by the Rockville center Coalition for Youth, the RVC School District, the RVC Youth Council, the RVC Police Dept., as well as Dynamic Youth COmmunity, “Don't Press Send”, St. Agnes, and Senator Todd Kaminsky's office.

Joe Chelales Sunrise Detox on Long Island

Joe Chelales of Sunrise Detox on Long Island at the Rockville Center Town Hall

The kids have done a great job with Live your Life Drug Free” T-shirts, and a community Scrabble board made up of tiles contributed by students.

Some of the messages the kids placed into their “Tile Your Own Way” Scrabble board? Everything from the classics like “Crack is Wack” and “Don't Be A Fool, Stay In School” to a few I have never seen before, including “Don't Do Drugs, The Thrill Can Kill“, “Destroy What Destroys You” and “A Friend Indeed won't make you Smoke that Weed“.

Rockville Center residents address the Town Hall panel to discuss the need for Narcan response in the community (an emergency response to heroin overdose)

Sunrise Detox on Long Island

We will be busy tonight offering information and insider knowledge to everyone with questions, as much as we can. There is never enough information when you are faced with an addiction in your family, or your own life, or when addressing an epidemic of drug and alcohol abuse in the community.

NJ DUI Checkpoint Yields No Arrests : Everybody Knew

If everyone knows about a DUI checkpoint, it works to prevent DUI in New Jersey.

The New Jersey State Police set up a DUI checkpoint outside the PNC Arts Center after a country music concert this past weekend. Nearly one fourth of the cars entering the southbound Garden State Parkway to leave the concert passed through the DUI checkpoint. The concert ended at almost 11pm. Almost 200 vehicles/drivers were actually checked by State Police sobriety-checkers.

Not. One. DUI.

Of almost 200 drivers checked, not a single DUI discovered. Everyone considers this a success. But what does it mean? Are people at country music concerts refraining from drinking? Not likely. Have people discovered secret ways to appear completely sober when checked by trained State Police? Not likely.

What changed was “the war”.  The War on DUI changed. Police announced ahead of time that they would be checking.

Police dropped specifics into social media and the press: Don't drink and drive. We're checking, and you will get caught.

Instead of an unexpected covert operation to “catch” impaired drivers leaving a popular concert venue, the Police raised awareness of the dangers of driving while impaired, or even taking a risk of driving after having been drinking. “Make sure you have a designated driver”, they recommended. “Don't take the risk”, they suggested. “We will be watching”, they warned.

The objective of the sobriety checkpoint is to reduce the number of crashes due to impaired driving – NJ State Police

Apparently, people listened. They did not drink and drive. And the roads were probably much safer.




1,000 New Jersey Residents are in Substance Abuse Treatment, Every Day

In New Jersey on any given day, nearly 1,000 people are in a clinic or hospital receiving substance abuse treatment. Most have entered a detox program (Sunrise Detox in Stirling services over 100 individuals every month) for what is typically a week to ten days of medically-supervised treatment. The initial detox is needed to stabilize them medically, so they can prepare for rehab or another treatment plan. The rest are in hospitals, also receiving detox before further treatment.

People are often surprised by the high numbers. Nearly 1,000 moms, dads, workers, professionals… one thousand New Jersey residents every day, getting treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction. Nearly half (42%) are in for heroin and prescription pain killers (heroin is an opiate, and many painkillers are synthetic opiates known as opioids, also highly addicting). Over 30% of the rest are in for alcohol abuse (dependency).

These data are from 2010. The trend lines for both alcohol and opiate abuse have increased dramatically since then, so today's numbers are likely to be even higher.

Potential Malnutrition In Pregnancy

Researchers have found that women of childbearing age who drink are less likely to take multivitamin supplements, and risk malnutrition in pregnancy.

No big surprise there.  However, it's important to remember that alcohol consumption prevents the body's proper absorption and utilization of nutrients, even if they are present in the diet.  So if pregnancy occurs, the baby gets a double-whammy: exposure to alcohol and a mom who could be suffering from malnutrition.  Not good.

Women Who Drink Before Pregnancy Less Likely to Take Multivitamins

Need More Proof That “Non-Alcohoic” Beer Is A Bad Idea?

The taste of beer, without any effect from alcohol itself, can trigger dopamine release in the brain, which is associated with drinking and other drugs of abuse, according to Indiana University School of Medicine researchers.

Read more:

Alcohol Awareness 72 hour Challenge.. without Cheating

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. Can you go 72 hours without alcohol (and no cheating!)

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. Can you go 72 hours without alcohol (and no cheating!)

Next week the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence is asking everyone to take a challenge. The “April is Alcohol Awareness Month” campaign includes an Alcohol-Free Weekend, April 5-7. This 72 hour “no alcohol” challenge could take place on any weekend, and in fact it does take place fairly often in many families across the country. When drinking is a problem, families struggle with “could you please just not drink for this… wedding, BBQ, trip, etc etc”. The same challenge… can you please try to not drink just-this-once.

The family goal is usually maintaining peace and avoiding problems associated with problem drinking. The goal of the national campaign is to raise awareness of the relationship you may have with alcohol. In both cases, it’s a plea for awareness (and possibly action, which can lead to positive changes). If you can’t go 72 hours without alcohol, there’s a decent chance you have an alcohol dependency (emotional or physical). In this case, it’s the National Council asking you to try, because they know many people aren’t aware of their dependency. If it’s your loved ones who are asking you to try, then obviously someone suspects there really is a problem.

My version of the 72 hour challenge is slightly different. I’d suggest… Can you live your life over ta 72 hour period without drinking alcohol, and without cheating?

Can you successfully complete the weekend chores without a drink? Can you interact and relate and socialize and get along with your neighbors etc. without a drink? Even if you simply want to drink, or simply enjoy a drink, or feel you deserve to enjoy your weekend the way you’d like to, can you go 72 hours by choice without alcohol.

On the third day, after you have successfully achieved 55 or 65 hours without alcohol, can you complete the 72 without rewarding yourself for your accomplishment with…. a drink?

For many, alcohol dependency is rooted in a desire to succeed in living life without the complications that come from the boredom, the anxiety, the irritating neighbors, and the daily stressful challenges of real life. But alcohol used to cope with reality is still alcohol dependency, and alcohol dependency is often a path to more serious trouble down the road.

Some of the challenges I expect will crop up with a real world 72 hour no-cheating challenge include the following:

  • socializing alcohol-free without conflict… where “cheating” is deciding not to go, sneaking a drink or getting high instead;
  • sitting through family dinner without a drink… where “cheating” is deciding you’re not hungry, or you will eat later by yourself or otherwise skip the meal;
  • spending time with the family having fun without sneaking a drink… where “cheating” is deciding to smoke pot instead or taking a long nap;
  • attending a “no alcohol” event without feeling something’s missing… where “cheating” is bringing your own, deciding to take something else beforehand;
  • going to the movies without buying alcohol… where “cheating” is drinking beforehand or bringing some of your own or deciding not to go this time;
  • watching a ballgame without pregaming… where “cheating” is smuggling in your own or announcing you really don’t want to go.

Can you be bored, anxious, or angry without a drink? For three days? Do you know how to cope with those feelings without using alcohol? And if you can make it through 72 hours, what is your desired activity for day 4? Is it “catching up”?

Celebrity Rehab: Addiction Kills 100 Americans Every Day

Following the death of Mindy McCready, there has been buzz about deaths from addiction. McCready was the fifth cast member on Dr. Pinsky's “Celebrity Rehab Show”  to die from either suicide or overdose.  This seems unusual to many people, some of whom think the statistic reveals something about the show. But the unfortunate truth is people die from addiction every day. Addiction kills.

According to the Centers for Disease Control,  100 people die from drug overdose every day in America.

More than 12 million Americans report using prescription pain medication without a medical reason. Even more frightening — 55 % of prescription drugs taken off label are acquired from a friend or family member.

The number one cause of death with prescription painkillers is respiratory failure. Breathing stops, due to the overdose.  In January of 2012 I urged for increased adoption of prescription drug monitoring programs.  Thankfully, more  states have adopted these programs following Florida and New Jersey. According to the National Conference of State Legislators, 43 states have now passed or filed Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs.

But prescription drugs aren't the only path to death by sedation after overdose. A 2011 World Health Organization report claimed that alcohol related deaths now outnumber deaths from AIDS worldwide. More than 2.5 million people die each year from alcohol. In the former Soviet Union, 1 in 5 deaths are related to alcohol. Alcohol,  according to the W.H.O., also accelerates 60 different types of diseases.

What are we missing here? The disease of Addiction is a deadly epidemic that we need to look at further. Medical detoxification, treatment and a strong aftercare are only the beginning. On a daily basis I personally wonder why we as a society are not doing more. Why aren't we taking more preventive measures for this serious problem we face.

As an addiction professional I am reminded daily that addiction kills. I know only too well of the countless lives of celebrities, famous people, sons, daughters, mothers, and husbands that have ended way too early. People like you an me.