- 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 multiple symptoms. Known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), the symptoms affect many people in the early phases of abstinence from numerous substances. PAWS differs from individual to individual because it has a direct correlation with the intensity and duration of one’s substance use. Symptoms may flare up and subside in a tidal like fashion. These symptoms include impairments in energy, concentration, attention span, memory, sleep, appetite, and mood—most commonly anxiety, irritability, anger, and depression.
Psychoactive drugs change the chemistry of the brain. One of the consequences of active addiction is lower levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for producing highs that drive us to repeat a behavior and plays a part in mood regulation. In active addiction, the brain’s natural reward system becomes impaired and one’s ability to cope with stress is undermined. In the early stages of recovery dopamine and endorphin levels remain low. Low levels of dopamine create a biochemically-based depression. It can take between four weeks to two years for the brain to manufacture enough endorphins and dopamine to replenish its inventory of these vital chemicals.