Knowledge Base
  • How do I know if I have a problem with alcohol?

    For most people who drink, alcohol is a pleasant addition to eating and other social activities. This short assessment (CAGE) will help determine if you might have a problem with alcohol.

    Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
    Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
    Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
    Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning (as an eye-opener) to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?

    If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may have a problem with alcohol. An evaluation will provide more information and what type of treatment would be appropriate if needed. If you would like to schedule an evaluation, please call us at 307-733-3908.

  • Common Symptoms During Recovery

    Recovery from alcohol and drug use causes many symptoms. These occur as the body attempts to repair the brain and other organs. Known as post acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), the symptoms often start 7 to 14 days after stopping alcohol and drug use.  They peak over the next 3 to 6 months. If you want to have long-term recovery, you must learn how to manage these symptoms.

    Some of the common symptoms are:

    Inability to think clearly - May have trouble with problem solving and concentration.

    Memory problems - Forgetful and not able to remember recent things.

    Emotions are over-active or numb - Emotions are out of proportion to the event. May lose control and do something rash or impulsive. May have emotions shut down and feel numb. May have mood swings.

    Sleep problems - Trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking early. May have changes in sleep patterns. May have dreams, often about using, that disrupt sleep.

    Coordination problems - Dizziness, trouble with balance, problems with hand and eye coordination, reflexes slow causing person to be clumsy and prone to accidents.

    Symptoms may worsen during times of high stress and often occur at set times. For alcohol dependence there seem to be cycles of symptoms. The cycles happen around 30, 60, 90, 120 and 180 days, and around the one and two year marks of sobriety. Even with treatment, the body needs at least one year to return to normal physical functions. Brain functions and emotions may take at least two years to return to normal.

    Long-term users of opiate pain killers, stimulants like cocaine and amphetamines, and benzodiazipines like Valium or Klonopin are on different cycles when they stop using. They may have symptoms for up to 10 years.

    Awareness of your own symptoms is the first step to managing them. Talk to your counselor or doctor about ways you can manage them effectively.