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Harmful Effects of Alcohol

Since one blog is insufficient to list all the harmful effects of alcohol this is in continuation of the previous blog. In the previous blog I had listed all the harmful effects of alcohol on the Central Nervous System. But since alcohol is drunk the most harmful effects are on the gastrointestinal tract. However, I have seen one patient who used to inject alcohol when he was unable to drink it because of vomiting, but that was an exception. Mostly alcohol is drunk, In the esophagus or food pipe it causes heartburn, which has got nothing to do with the heart but a burning sensation in the chest because of acid reflux from the stomach. Because of alcohol the cardiac sphincter of the stomach becomes loose and the acid present in the stomach is able to come into the mouth also. The lining of stomach is used to this concentrated Hydrochloric acid but the lining of the food pipe is not and it literally gets burnt as a result of the acid reflux causing pain in the chest called heartburn. There may be sour eructations also present. Because of vomiting alcohol can also cause Mallory Weiss Syndrome which is nothing but a tear in the mucosa of the food pipe and is a medical emergency. In the stomach, it causes an increase in the secretion of Hydrochloric acid. In fact to diagnose acholorydia – a condition in which there is a congenital absence of the secretion of Hydrochloric acid, a little alcohol is given through the nasogastric tube to ascertain the diagnosis. The increased acid may cause gastritis.  Small quantities of alcohol increase the appetite but large quantities can suppress it totally. Some alcoholics only drink and I frequently see patients who have not eaten for days. The next main organ to suffer from the harmful effects of alcohol is the pancreas. Pancreas are an important organ of digestion and glucose metabolism. It has an endocrine part which secrete insulin and glucagon and an exocrine part which secretes digestive juices to digest proteins and fats. Acute pancreatitis is a very painful condition and one of the main causes is alcohol intake. It is not dose dependent,i.e., if a person is a heavy drinker it is not that it is more likely to occur. It can occur even in moderate drinkers. Repeated attacks of acute pancreatitis can lead to chronic pancreatitis which can lead to diabetes due to the scarring of the pancreas. There is a condition called acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis in which the pancreas burst and all the secretions go into the abdomen. It is the most painful condition known to medical science. The digestive juices of the pancreas start digesting the lining of the abdomen from inside. It is as if a piece of metal is being eaten by acid corrosion. It is a medical emergency in which the pain is the most important feature. On a scale of 1-10, if the pain of a lady giving birth for the first time is 9 then the pain of acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis is 10. The pain is so severe that the person goes into shock because of the pain itself. Alcohol can cause or aggravate IBS, i.e., irritable bowel syndrome. IBS is a chronic and debilitating disease which can be quite uncomfortable. But the organ most affected by alcohol intake is the liver. Liver is a very important organ doing a lot of functions which are essential for good health. It is a well known fact that the liver of alcoholics gets affected in a bad way. You don’t have to be a doctor to know that. But liver has tremendous capacity to heal itself also. If in a healthy person you cut off the entire liver and leave a matchbox size portion, it will grow back, provided you don’t insult it on a daily basis by drinking alcohol. The condition which occurs in liver because of drinking is called cirrhosis. There are many causes of cirrhosis but alcoholic liver disease is chief cause of cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is a morphological diagnosis, that is to say, the diagnosis is made by observing the liver. In olden days dead bodies were dissected to know about the anatomy of the body and its parts. They found that the liver of alcoholics was gnarled and lumpy and in many cases shrunk. These days we make the diagnosis ultrasonically.

All this is done in detailed medical inputs at Sahyog and that is why it is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi.

Substance Abuse Counselor

Harmful Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol has so many Harmful Effects that 1 blog is not sufficient for it. Alcohol is a legal drug that has been causing so much grief for so many people around the world. Everybody who drinks is not an alcoholic,  in fact if 100 people drink, on average only 12 are alcoholics; rest are social drinkers. An alcoholic is a person who is not able to guarantee how much he is going to drink or who cannot guarantee his behavior after drinking. People generally know how much they are going to drink but an alcoholic has no brakes and is not able to stop. They do not get into trouble every time they drink but every time they get into trouble they have been drinking. Whether it is fights, brawls, disagreements at home, legal trouble, the list is endless. The behavior of every person changes a little bit after drinking alcohol but in an alcoholic the change is quite stark. Most people become garrulous, jovial or in some case even maudlin but the alcoholics can become antisocial too.

Now let us discuss what deleterious effects alcohol has on the human body. Let us start by the harmful effects on the Central Nervous System. The Central Nervous System consists of the brain and spinal cord. The first and most apparent effect is loosening of inhibitions. There is sort of brake in our prefrontal cortex part of the brain which stops us from doing stupid things like using abusive language in front of elders, looking left and right before crossing a road etc. Even with small quantities of  alcohol this brake is removed. Because of this a person may seem more excited than usual, whereas it is a known fact that alcohol is a depressant and slows down the neuronal activity. A person under the influence looses his inhibitions and may end up doing things he would not even imagine doing in a sober state. The next harmful effect of alcohol is seen on the memory. Both short term and long term memory is affected. Some times the alcoholic comes out of a black out without any remembrance of the previous night. He may not even remember how and when he got home and what all he said at the party. Alcohol directly effects the nerve cells by killing them but memory is not a function of the number of neurons, in fact it is a function of the connections between the nerve cells. Due to this fact the memory deficit can be overcome by doing mental and memory exercises, but the loss of neurons may lead to cerebral atrophy, which is a common finding in alcoholics who are growing old. Next harmful effect of alcohol is very interesting, the damage is caused by drinking but the effect is not seen until the person stops drinking. Till the time he is drinking he is fine but on stopping alcohol he may develop Wernicke’s Encephalopathy or Korsakoff’s Psychosis. These two conditions are named after the people who first described it. Earlier they were thought to be different diseases but now they are considered to be two ends of the same spectrum. The main cause is Thiamine deficiency and in Wernicke’s Encephalopathy the persons brain becomes soft and is also called ‘wet brain’. In Korsakoff’s  Psychosis the person has visual and auditory hallucinations and may be delirious. Luckily the effects are reversible with medication, otherwise they may even be fatal. The next harmful effect of alcohol on the CNS is the effect it has on reflexes of the person. The reflexes become slow. That is why the old adage that don’t drink and drive. One can devise an experiment on a simulator where a person slams on the brake after seeing a child on the screen in front. After drinking even legally permissible quantities of alcohol the time is greatly increased. The next harmful effect of alcohol is on the secretion of anti diuretic hormone. It suppresses its secretion. Anti diuretic hormone is secreted by posterior pituitary gland. As a result, the person urinates more after drinking alcohol.

All this is explained at Sahyog and that is why it is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi.

Harmful Effects of Brown Sugar

Brown Sugar or Smack is the adulterated form of Heroin. Because Heroin is so expensive it is adulterated with many things like talcum powder, lactose and many-many other things to increase its bulk. Pure Heroin is white in color but because of adulteration the color changes to brown and since lactose or glucose is a common adulterant the name Brown Sugar came about. Heroin is made from opium and opium comes from the poppy plant. Poppy plant has very beautiful flowers and at the base there is a pod called ‘dodha’. A cut is given at the base of the flower and the milky juice that exudes from it is allowed to turn black on exposure to air. This is then scraped off and becomes raw opium. Opium is called the mother of all drugs as many medicines are made from it. It has been used as a medicine since ancient times.

Opium and all its products including Brown Sugar are highly addictive. This is the main drawback of opiates. The addiction liability is very very high. In toxicology opium is classified as a somniferous poison.

The common opiates which are abused are raw opium, heroin and brown sugar, cough syrups containing codeine, Spasmoproxyvon capsules containing dextropropoxypene,  morphine and pethidine, fentanyl etc.

Opiate addiction has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. and thousands of people die because of overdose. There the most common opiates are prescription based.

The most prominent effect of opiates is euphoria. This effect is what makes the opiates so addictive. Even though there is rapid tolerance to this effect, i.e., a person stops feeling euphoria after a few times but the brain remembers it and the person keeps on taking it because of euphoric recalls. During the withdrawals there is intense dysphoria.

The next effect is analgesia or pain relief. Opiates are still considered the gold standard as far as pain relief is concerned because not only do they increase the pain threshold but also modify the emotional reaction to pain. During withdrawals there is bone pain and because of this the addict goes back to using his substance again.

There is vomiting initially because smack stimulates the chemo receptor trigger zone in the brain resulting in vomiting of central origin. It is effortless and projectile. In contrast the alcoholic retches and his vomit is not projectile. But the body soon becomes tolerant to this effect and vomiting ceases. There can be vomiting during withdrawals as well.

One effect which remains constantly is constipation. The smack or heroin addict is perpetually constipated. The person never becomes tolerant to this effect. The constipation is because of three reasons. All the sphincters go into a spasm thereby reducing the propulsion of food. The secretion of all the digestive juices is reduced causing constipation and the speed of peristalsis is also reduced. All contributing to constipation. During withdrawals there are loose motions.

Another organ which never becomes tolerant is the pupils of the eye. They become constricted and are typically described as pin-point. During withdrawals they dilate.

Under the influence of opiates the blood vessels dilate resulting in excessive sweating. During withdrawals there is piloerection and cold sweats are common.

Opiates suppress all secretions and during withdrawals they are reflexively increased.

All this is taught in medical inputs at Sahyog and that is why it is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi.

 

Substance Abuse Treatment in Delhi

Harmful Effects of Marijuana

Marijuana or Cannabis or Ganja is the opening batsman, i.e., many people start using drugs from Marijuana. It has been made legal in many countries, not only for medicinal use but also for recreational use too. Many states in the U.S. now permit its use. That is not to say that it is harmless. It has got its own harmful effects. Many youngsters say that it is now legal, but then so is alcohol. And alcohol has been legal for such a long time and so many people suffer deleterious effects of alcoholism which cause so much morbidity and mortality.

Marijuana is derived from the hemp plant. It is commonly known as weed or grass. Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa is the Latin name for the plant. Ganja is the flowering top of the plant. Hashish or Charas is the resinous extract of the plant and rest of the plant is called Bhang. Whatever the form, the active ingredient in all three is the same, namely, Tetrahydrocannibinol or THC in short. It grows wild in many parts of Asia and Americas and Africa. But people cultivate it now for their own personal use. Cultivation is also done since it has become legal. THC content has nearly doubled over the past few years as hybrid and high yielding varieties are now cultivated. It is most commonly smoked but it many also be eaten like Bhang or Hash Cookies etc. THC is the psychoactive chemical found in Marijuana.  While THC is not physiologically addictive it is definitely psychologically addictive as evidenced by the drug seeking behavior of addicts when they do not get their dose. It has no withdrawal symptoms except mild headache, insomnia or lack of appetite. Mood swings may also occur.

Pharmacological effect of THC is that it opens the gate at the level of the spinal cord which regulates the inflow of sensory information to the brain. As a result of this increased sensory input lot of people have this misconception that they become more artistic after consuming Marijuana. Colors seem more vivid and music also takes on a different sensory perception because of this. It is one of the few psychoactive substances which has no known lethal dose, that is to say you cannot die because of overdosing on Marijuana.

While it may not be lethal Marijuana is not without serious side effects. THC is a psychoactive substance and has been found in the fatty tissue of the brain even eight years after the person stopped using Marijuana. The most serious harmful effect of Marijuana is that it causes Amotivation Syndrome. The person who uses Marijuana lives in a dream world of his own and never gets down to actually doing the physical action required for work. It is an ideal nasha for two kinds of people, a king or a beggar. People who do not have to work in life. For everybody else it is a strict no-no, especially for addicts. With any substance there is use, misuse and then abuse. Abuse of Marijuana is very common. Very few people are able to use it and do their day to day work.

Next deleterious effect of Marijuana is that it is a “gateway drug”. People who use Marijuana are more likely to use other drugs also. It is as if weed is the opening batsman and the other substances follow soon after.

The most harmful effect of Marijuana is that it may cause Cannabis psychosis. It does not cause it in everyone who uses it but it is a distinct entity. It is not dose dependent, that is to say more use does not seem to increase the incidence but more of an allergic reaction. A single joint may flip a person. Anti-psychotics and total abstinence from Cannabis is required and the treatment is long drawn. Whether it causes psychosis itself or precipitates a preexisting underlying psychosis cannot be determined. But its accumulation in the fatty tissue of brain is well known.

So, Marijuana may be herbal but it is not without its harmful effects. If you were to come to know before a flight that the pilot has had a few joints of Cannabis, would you feel safe to fly in that flight? While it is better than most other intoxicants it is not safe for addicts and people who have to do some work or study in life.

All this is explained at Sahyog Detox and De addiction Clinic and that is why it is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi.

 

Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi

Sahyog Detox and De addiction Clinic is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi by a long margin. At Sahyog proper treatment of alcoholism and addiction is done and how to recover from it is also explained in detail.

Addicts and alcoholics are basically self centered. Instead of having a relationship with others they have a relationship with their addictive Self. In Recovery the person has to practice “To thine own Self be True”. This is the beginning of Recovery: Self care and a relationship with Self. A practicing addict has a relationship between Self and the Addictive Self whereas a recovering addict has a relationship between Self and ohers.

Trust is the basis of any relationship. There cannot be any relationship if there is no trust. Whether the relationship is within oneself or with others. If a relationship is not based on trust it becomes a struggle. Trust allows us the ability to heal and the freedom to connect with others.

Reaching Out                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Once addicts begin to accept their disease, they are ready to form relationships outside of themselves. For this they must feel safe. Then a person reaches out to others. The addict can even reach out for help. He or she is able to challenge the inward flow of addiction. The addict may reach out to family, friends, a Higher Power or the community. Eventually he or she will form intimate relationships.

Spiritual Higher Power                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               In the beginning all seems lost.  Dealing with people seems frightening. The relationship with Self is too fragile. So, a relationship with a Spiritual Higher Power if often a logical choice.

Intimacy                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Addiction is more powerful than me but then so is Recovery. One is based on dishonesty and destruction while the other is based on care and honesty. Addicts in Recovery want to have intimate relationships with others. Addictive logic says people are not to be trusted. Recovering addicts change that and start by having intimate relationships first with other Recovering Addicts.

Honesty                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     The Recovering Addict sees other Recovering Addicts talk honestly about themselves. Even the bad things that they did without shame or guilt. Their honesty challenges the addictive belief system.

All this is taught in detail at Sahyog and that is why it is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi.

Substance Abuse Counselling

Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi

Sahyog Detox and De addiction Clinic is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi.

I have been working in this field for nearly 20 years and what I have come to realize that patients and their families need to understand the process  of addiction, recovery and relapse prevention thoroughly. By understanding addiction people come to know what is going wrong in their lives and those of their loved ones. This allows them to break the denial and see the truth about addiction and what it is doing to their lives. It is also important to understand the recovery process as it gives a road map to guide their lives and stay on course as they recover. It also helps them to identify where they are in their recovery and what steps they need to take to further their recovery process. There is a nice slogan First things First. Knowing the recovery process helps them to know what things are first and more important. Knowing about Relapse Prevention is also a must as it teaches us to understand the relapse process, recognize and manage the high risk situations and recognize the personality and lifestyle patterns that can lead to a relapse.

All this is done at Sahyog and that is why it is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi.

Stages of Addiction

Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi

Sahyog Detox and De addiction Clinic is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi for many reasons. The main reason being that it offers complete and proper treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction.

One basic question arises, why do people drink alcohol and use other mood altering drugs in the first place and after using them why do they continue to use them, especially, since they are dangerous and cause harm. Why are people willing to take that risk? People start using alcohol and drugs because of three reasons, curiosity, peer pressure and cultural pressures. People who start out of curiosity do so because they want to experience what drinking and drugging is all about, they want to experience it first hand. They try it see if they like it. Many young people do not trust the information they get about alcohol and drugs from adults. Many kids don’t have that kind of relationship with adults they can trust or confide in. Kids do not believe the government sources or news for information. They usually get information from other kids who themselves might be drinking or using drugs, and decide to see it for themselves. This is called experimental use of alcohol and drugs.People who start drinking alcohol or using drugs because of peer pressure do so because they want to fit in. They think that alcohol and drugs are a ticket to a new circle of friends. They think that drinking and drugging will help them get along with other people. They also believe that if they don’t drink or use drugs they will be rejected and left out. Fear of being left out and not belonging are major fears of youngsters. These fears can override reason, fear of consequences and personal knowledge. People who start using alcohol and  drugs out of an automatic cultural response usually belong to a subculture that views alcohol and drug use as normal.

All this is explained to patients at Sahyog and that is why it is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi.

Detoxification Centre in Delhi

Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi

Sahyog Detox and De addiction Clinic is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi for a variety of reasons, main one being that it offers proper and complete treatment of alcoholism and addiction. As part of their treatment the patients are asked the question why do they use alcohol and drugs? What do they want to get out of it? What do alcohol and drugs do for them? Surprisingly, most people answer in one of the eight options :-                           To get high                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                To relax                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      To be more social                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       To manage feelings                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   To get more energy                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   To block out pain                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       To be more spiritual                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   To have better sex

Some want to feel euphoria and that is why they want to get high. Some people feel good when start using alcohol and drugs, in fact, they feel better than they have ever felt before. After a while, euphoria becomes the feeling they need to have – the feeling they become willing to do just about anything to get.

The phenomenon of euphoria – plus tolerance explains why some people progress to more frequent and heavier use of their drug of choice, and eventually develop progressive addiction.

If you are addicted and do not like the way you feel then relief is just a swallow away. This drug induced sense of power is a false sense of power. You are no stronger, tougher or more competent than you were before. You just feel like you are.

Most drug induced spiritual experiences are not genuine.

Alcohol does increase the desire for sex but takes away the performance.

All this is explained in detail to patients at Sahyog and that is why it is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi.

De Addiction Method

Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi

Sahyog Detox and De addiction Clinic is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi by far for a variety of reasons. Sahyog offers complete and proper treatment of alcoholism and addiction. As a part of therapy the patients are taught the RADAR approach to problem solving. All alcoholics and addicts have difficulty facing problems. They get stressed and then they do not handle stress very well.

One of the ways to problem solve is to remember the acronym RADAR. R stands for Recognize. To recognize means to know that they are stuck. The first A stands for Accept. They not only recognize they are stuck but also know there is nothing to be ashamed about or feel guilty about it. They understand that they are fallible human beings who periodically have life problems. The D stands for Detach. They turn their problems over. This means they back off and gain perspective. The second A stands for Accept Help. They turn to a Higher Power for courage, strength and hope. They turn to other people for help and support. The final R stands for Respond with Action.

Problems just don’t go away; they need to solve them. They need to take positive action to get unstuck.

All this is taught at Sahyog and that is why it is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi.

Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi

Sahyog Detox and De addiction Clinic is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi by far. Sahyog offers complete and proper treatment of addiction and alcoholism. As a part of treatment the patients need to realize that addiction is a treatable condition. It may be incurable but it is definitely treatable.

Initially, the patients do not realize that they were developing dependency on drugs and alcohol and that they needed help to come out of it. They thought that an alcoholic or an addict was a person who spent all his time drunk or using drugs, staggered when walked, fell down in the gutter, became violent and beat up his wife and parents. Because of this mistaken notion, they could not accept the fact that they were dependent on alcohol or drugs. After coming to a treatment center, they realize that alcoholism and addiction is a treatable condition and recovery is a process. It is not a moral weakness, not a lack of will power, not a sin, not a crime. They are told that treatment requires total abstinence from drugs for life.

A dependent person is one whose alcohol and drug use causes continuing problems in any areas of his life like family, relationships, job, finances etc. and he continues despite these problems. The dependence on alcohol and drugs prevents them from  seeing these problems.

At Sahyog we treat all these problems and that is why it is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi.