What price do kids pay when parents or guardians drink too much? We know that bad things happen when a parent or guardian drinks too much, and any price or pain is too much. But now we’ve got proof: A new national study showed that 7.4 percent of surveyed respondents reported that children in their care experienced harm as a result of someone else’s drinking. That’s whole lot higher than the previous studies in the U.S. which found general child maltreatment rates of about 1 to 2 percent. How, exactly, are kids hurt by alcohol abuse in their homes?
There’s a new helper with a heartbeat for our beloved addicts and alcoholics in some treatment centers: therapy dogs. Recovery from chemical dependency is tough and lonely work, and people in inpatient recovery centers often miss the encouragement, companionship and support of their canine companions.
Learn how the Betty Ford Center brings unconditional love home in the form of wet noses, kisses and wagging tails that signal better days ahead. “To have this big furry red creature love them unconditionally without judgment….is healing for the patients in a way we could not have foreseen,” reports one staff member at the Betty Ford Center.
The therapy dogs help people connect with emotions, give the residents something to touch and love, keep people from leaving the facility against medical advice, and encourage and cheer everyone in sight. Sounds like just what the doctor ordered for residents and their families. Watch this brief and heartwarming video to snag some of that sunshine for yourself.
No one ever starts out with the intention of being a drug addict. “Mom and Dad, I want to be an addict or alcoholic, yoked to alcohol or other drugs. I want to be unemployable, destitute, at death’s doorstep.”That’s not how substance abuse (AKA substance use disorder) is born.
Instead, it usually begins with playful experimentation that has no harmful consequences. It may begin with a drink that lubricates the wheels of conversation or helps squash anxiety or depression. It may begin with doctor-prescribed pain pills after an injury or surgery. But pretty soon, as if the switch is flipped, drinking to excess or drugging is not by choice anymore. When you’ve turned that corner, you need to drink or take drugs so you can merely make it through the day without getting physically sick or mentally anguished. Then the other dominoes fall: jail, dishonesty, car accidents, child neglect, job loss…the list goes on and on.
People only get sober when life stops working for them, and the consequences of their drug or alcohol abuse become overwhelming. I stopped drinking initially because I was on the verge of losing my job. And when I gave up alcohol, I couldn’t visualize how my life would work. Where would I be without my alcohol and a social life built around a bar and a bottle? (Guess what? The drinking buddies vaporize when you don’t share their obsession with alcohol because that was the only thing you ever had in common.) So I filled that social gap with the camaraderie and support found in three or four AA meetings a day.
It’s unthinkable: America’s opioid epidemic is driving the rationing of life-saving resources. Hospitals are overwhelmed with overdoses, small-town morgues are running out of space for the bodies, and local officials from Kentucky to Maine are struggling to pay for attempting to revive, rehabilitate or bury the victims. Some cities are even setting limits on the number of time a First Responder can try to save an individual’s life. Learn how these three strikes can take on a deadly new definition of "You're out!".