Holiday Binge Drinking: 5 Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Holiday Binge Drinking: 5 Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse

When the holiday season reaches its peak, parties and the prevalent cheerful mood give us every reason to bring out the booze and raise a toast to the numerous celebratory occasions in our lives. But on the flip side, even those who tag themselves as social drinkers tend to cross the line and indulge in binge drinking, especially in these hard times of social distancing. As more and more people are forced to go into self-quarantine and remain at home for days on end due to the pandemic created by the deadly novel coronavirus, binge drinking has taken on a new form and meaning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, binge drinking has emerged as the commonest pattern of alcohol abuse in the USA.

Alcohol Addiction

Dr. Indra Cidambi, an addiction expert and a leading exponent of Addiction Medicine, draws our attention to the 5 warning signs of alcohol abuse, particularly during the holiday season; more to the point, during this trying time when isolation is the order of the day and there’s little else to do.

The first symptom seen in people with alcohol addiction is the emotional crutch that alcohol becomes. People who suffer from stress while going about their daily routine sometimes find it too difficult to go on, particularly now, when being cooped up at home causes a sense of isolation from the rest of the world. This leads to some people reaching out for the bottle and indulge in binge drinking to find an escape route from this novel type of stress.

Dr. Cidambi states that nearly all individuals trying to cope with addiction end up abusing their preferred substance due to emotional issues. She adds that drinking alcohol as a way to alleviate feelings of negativity is a dangerous practice because it merely offers a short-lived respite from stress and can take the form of alcohol abuse in the long run.

Second, one of the early signs of alcohol abuse is not realizing one’s limits, i.e., not realizing you went overboard until it was too late. A lot of people keep drinking without realizing the number of drinks they’re having and, as a result, are taken by surprise by the inebriation that rapidly engulfs them.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, if the quantity of alcohol consumed results in the blood alcohol percentage reaching 0.08% or more, it is defined as binge drinking. In other words, consuming alcohol can be termed as binge drinking if men consume about 5 drinks or more and women have 4 drinks or more in a span of 2 hours.

The third warning sign that Dr. Cidambi points out is not being able to stop once you start. She explains that if an individual invariably finishes an entire bottle of wine after opening it or drinks a bottle of beer but still feels the need or urge to keep at it until they’ve reached a point of intoxication, the person is unable to check their drinking habit and might be suffering from addiction.

According to evidence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of 6 adults in America indulges in binge drinking approximately 4 times in a month, drinking around 8 drinks per binge-drinking session.

Fourth, if a person starts letting responsibilities slide, it is a warning sign that the individual might need help. Dr. Cidambi draws our attention to the fact that if an individual starts neglecting important tasks or jobs, the person may have a drinking issue. She adds that if a person gives undue importance to drinking over their routine activities or tasks, it is a signal to take it easy.

For instance, if a person is was partying the previous night like there’s no tomorrow and ends up being late for work, or an individual opts for drinking instead of exercising, it is time to seek help.

Finally, if a person is not comfortable in social situations with no alcohol, they should consider seeking help. During the holiday season, some individuals feel uneasy and, in all probability, turn down invites if they are faced with a situation where they are invited to social gatherings and are aware of the fact that their drinking habits would be frowned upon by another person.

According to Dr. Cidambi, it is alright to enjoy a drink or two but if someone needs at least a couple of drinks to interact with other people at a social gathering, the person might have an issue.

Dr. Cidambi points out that a majority of people who indulge in binge drinking should not be tagged as alcoholics, and a drinking problem does not necessarily end in addiction all the time. But if you are aware that a person indulges in binge drinking or consumes excessive amounts of alcohol, it is prudent to get in touch with a physician and sign up for a substance abuse evaluation or enroll in alcohol and drug treatment programs in your area to seek assistance.


Help with alcohol addiction

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How to Identify the Telltale Signs of Addiction in your Kids?

How to Identify the Telltale Signs of Addiction in your Kids?

Summer holidays have arrived and it’s time for students to head home from college and teenagers to look forward to spending time outside school. According to Dr. Indra Cidambi, an addiction expert and a leading name in Addiction Medicine, excessive free time on their hands and, invariably, no adult supervision, results in enhancing the susceptibility of these kids to cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. That’s why this is the right time to keep a close watch on your children’s habits and look for any evidence of addiction. It has also recently been found that adolescents are more exposed to the dangers of substance abuse in the summertime.

Dr. Cidambi has been working with patients suffering from substance abuse disorders for more than 10 years and has observed that people who have addiction issues began experimenting when they were as young as 13 years old – with marijuana. Therefore, the sooner you talk to your children about substance abuse and look out for warning signs, the better. Although we are all aware that addiction brings about a change in an individual, it is often not easy to recognize the signs in your own kids as they take you by surprise and are often confused with the challenges of growing up.

Identify addiction in kids

There are 5 common changes that can be identified in people suffering from substance abuse. Dr. Cidambi speaks about these changes:

  • First, one can notice a change in friends. As your child starts getting addicted and substances take precedence and start consuming your kid’s life, it typically results in a change in who they hang out with. Your child starts spending more time with his or her “new friends” who support and approve your kid’s newly discovered lifestyle, while the old group of friends slowly start disappearing as they do not want to be a part of such behavior or activities. Dr. Cidambi believes that, in many cases, adolescents end up with a substance abuse problem as a solution to overcome stress or gain acceptance by their peer group, whom they find to be “cool.” She adds that it is necessary to speak to your children each day and try to be aware of what is happening in their lives, help them to understand their feelings, and nurture an atmosphere where they can turn to you first and seek assistance in finding a solution to the issues bothering them.


  • Second, one should be cautious about changes in behavior. According to Dr. Cidambi, substance abuse seen in young children can be reflected in changes in mood, difficulties in doing homework or slipping grades in school, social interaction changes, worsening mood swings, and increased risk-taking. Dr. Cidambi further explains that one can easily notice the changes in a person during social interactions. For example, if your kid is extrovert but, all of a sudden, prefers to keep to himself or herself or looks away when speaking to anyone, you should be concerned. If your child is irritated, stays depressed or morose, that should also ring alarms bells as it could be a telltale sign. Automobile accidents, driving irresponsibly or recklessly, and unexplained scratches or dents on the vehicle could be early warning signs.


  • Third, changes in appearance should be looked at carefully. Dr. Cidambi states that if your child’s appearance catches you off-guard, chances are that something is wrong. She adds that if your kid becomes sloppy about the way they dress, sports an untidy or disheveled look or suffers from a continuing case of a runny nose, it could be time for you to sit down and talk to your child. Although it is not easy to accept the harsh fact that your kid is gradually starting to look like an addict, it is vital to identify and recognize changes in the way they look; particularly, glassy or red eyes, inexplicable marks on the legs or arms or a preference for arm-covering clothing in summer, and incessant scratching of the arms and face.

Addicted Child


  • Fourth, a change in their favorite hobbies deserves attention. Dr. Cidambi points out that if your child does not enjoy their hobbies or the things that they loved doing previously, like playing soccer, dancing, ice-skating, or training in gymnastics or martial arts, it could be that they have become obsessed with acquiring and abusing alcohol or drugs and it is dominating all facets of their being. The hobbies that they once found stimulating seem to lose their importance. The activities or hobbies that had positive and constructive elements and resulted in emotional and intellectual motivation fail to attract them as they turn to alcohol and drugs to deal with the emptiness this creates.


  • Lastly, a change in eating habits is one of the most easily noticeable signs of substance abuse. Dr. Cidambi emphasizes that usually, parents tend to quickly notice this sign of substance abuse. Based on what they’ve become dependent on, your kid can develop several new food habits, the sudden urge to keep eating (aka the “munchies”) or a loss of appetite. These sudden shifts in dietary habits can result in a harmful effect on your kid’s health and wellbeing and nutritional requirement and need to be dealt with.


Drug Rehab NJ

If you’re worried about your children and are exploring options for drug rehab centers in NJ, you can contact us for guidance and more details on treatment options for addiction, signs and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and suboxone withdrawal, and substance abuse evaluation. For more information, please visit us at


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Is Your Physician Unknowingly Boosting Your Addiction?

Is Your Physician Unknowingly Boosting Your Addiction?

talk to kids about vaping

Opioid and benzodiazepine abuse are a significant issue in the U.S. Some patients may be unaware of the fact that they are now addicted to either benzodiazepine or an opioid until they give it up and start feeling the effects of benzodiazepine withdrawal or opioid withdrawal; at this point, the need to detoxify becomes increasingly important.

Often, patients rush to seek the advice of their doctors or turn to urgent care centers and other facilities offering medical intervention. Although the health care patients receive there is medically sound, a considerable number of doctors are not too proficient at understanding controlled substances and are absolutely clueless about the fact that these medications are habit-forming.

Doctors and nurses treat a large number of patients on a daily basis and are invariably swamped with too much work. If a person comes with a complaint of acute pain, prescribing opioids is often the easier option.

Dr. Cidambi believes that many doctors lack the expertise to delve deep into and understand the cause or source of a patient’s anxiety or pain because a majority of these physicians and nurses are family practitioners who don’t always have the knowledge or expertise that a psychiatrist or pain specialist does. More than 50% of these medicines are prescribed by nurses or doctors who are primary care providers.

This begs the question: why do some doctors unknowingly prescribe medications for alcohol withdrawal or suboxone withdrawal and facilitate a patient’s addiction to controlled substances?

When to Prescribe Opioid or Benzodiazepine

  • Pain: If a person is suffering from pain, one can prescribe opioid medicines only if the pain is acute. If the pain is due to an ankle that’s been sprained or because of muscular cramps during the menstruation cycle, one should steer clear of opioid medication. Patients should always ask their primary care providers regarding the risks associated with opioid medications; one should aim at striking a balance between the risks involved and benefits they can expect.

If a patient takes opioid medications for pain for a duration of more than 90 days, they should undergo a substance abuse evaluation to find out whether they are developing an addiction.

The best approach is to wean a patient away from these medications as fast as possible and prescribe pain medications that are non-addictive. One can also consider alternative methods of alleviating pain, like yoga, massage, meditation, or acupuncture.

  • Anxiety: Often, patients suffering from anxiety are prescribed benzodiazepines but it should not be given for extended periods as part of any therapy plan.

Several patients who take benzodiazepines for diagnosed mental health disorders develop a reliance on these medicines. Once a patient successfully completes the acute phase of the treatment plan, they can be introduced to alternative treatment options that are just as effective in the long term.

  • ADHD: Highly addictive medicines are commonly prescribed by doctors for patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. These medicines are also known as stimulants. Two common medications that are prescribed for patients suffering from ADHD are Ritalin and Adderall. Patients often misuse such medication.

If the medicines are used for a long duration and affect a loved one’s quality of life, it might be time to transition to other forms of therapy.

Patients who use such medicines are often not addicted to them in the beginning. Although there is an improvement in the symptoms of anxiety or acute pain, such patients may find it difficult to perform their daily activities normally or get through the day without them.



What Can Aid the Withdrawal?

If a patient decides to quit these medicines cold turkey, they might find it extremely difficult if they’ve developed a chemical dependence on it. Also, it might be counterintuitive to suddenly stop taking these medicines because it exposes them to the risk of having a stroke or a seizure.

Drug Rehab NJ

Get in touch with as soon as possible if you have any queries on prescription drugs and related chemical dependency or require advice and guidance on addiction.


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