Factors Linked to Hangovers

what causes a hangoverIf you ever experienced a hangover after heavy drinking, you know it is no laughing matter. The sufferer typically has a headache, feels sick, dizzy, sleepy, irritable and thirsty. A person with a hangover may also experience elevated levels of anxiety, regret, shame, embarrassment as well as depression.

The severity of a hangover is closely linked to:

  • The amount of alcohol consumed.
  • Whether the sufferer had enough sleep; the less sleep the worse the hangover.
  • Whether the sufferer was already dehydrated before the drinking began.
  • Whether the sufferer had drank enough water during the drinking session.
  • Whether the sufferer had ate a meal before drinking started.
  • The amount of sleep the sufferer got afterwards.

What are the signs and symptoms of a hangover?

The signs and symptoms of a hangover generally start to occur when the drinker’s blood alcohol drops considerably–typically, the morning after a night of high alcohol consumption, and may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Body and muscle aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy, tiredness, fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Problems focusing or concentrating
  • Sensitivity to loud sounds
  • Depression
  • Moodiness
  • Stomachache
  • Trembling or shakiness
  • Vomiting

Clearly, a night of fun can take a turn for the worse and wreak havoc in the form of a hangover. Since alcohol is toxic, it really is important to be kind to your body and drink responsibly.

If you or someone you know frequently experiences hangovers, it may be a sign of a drinking problem or alcohol abuse. For a free and confidential consultation, please call Gateway Foundation’s 24-Hour Helpline at 877-505-HOPE (4673).

Chicago Welcomes New River North Rehab Center

On Friday, May 17, 2012, Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment’s President & CEO Michael Darcy greeted guests at an Open House celebrating a new outpatient treatment center in Chicago’s River North district. More than 50 Chicago-area guests comprised of health care, education, corporate and public sector professionals came out to the new treatment center and met the clinical team, Medical Director Dr. Sandra Gupta and Clinical Supervisor Nick Turner MSW.


Pictured (l to r) at Gateway Foundation Chicago River North ribbon-cutting ceremony are: Joe Beale, Gateway Foundation; Peggy Luce, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce; Vivien Smith-Del Toro, Sodexo; Nick Turner, Gateway Foundation Chicago River North; Michael Darcy, Gateway Foundation (front); Dr. Phil Welches, Gateway Foundation (back); Aaron Hanson, Alkermes; Dr. Sandra Gupta, Gateway Foundation Chicago River North; Tom McCabe, Gateway Foundation; and Gloria Bloodsaw, Gateway Foundation.


Pictured (l to r) are: Gloria Bloodshaw, Gateway Foundation, Kathleen Burge, ERS Employee Resource Systems Jim Korenich, ERS Employee Resource Systems; and Nick Turner, Gateway Foundation Chicago River North.


Pictured (l to r) are Kevin Conlon, Conlon Public Strategies and Michael Darcy, Gateway Foundation.


Pictured (l to r) are: Frank Severino, Gateway Foundation; Peggy Luce, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce; and Amy Ponce, Hazeldon.

River North Rehab Center Counters Addiction with Mindfulness

Gateway Foundation Clinicians Author Forthcoming Clinical Guide on Mindfulness-Based Sobriety

Chicagoans in outpatient treatment at Gateway Foundation’s new River North rehab center are learning how a purposeful, value-driven life can trump alcohol and drug abuse. The integrated approach outlined in a book created by Gateway Foundation clinicians combines mindfulness-based therapy, motivational interviewing and relapse prevention therapy to help individuals with substance abuse issues.

“Typically when addiction takes over, a person’s priorities are compromised. Our integrated approach is intended to help individuals identify their own values, strengthen their motivation and tackle other mental health problems that may lie at the root of their addiction,” explains Nick Turner, Clinical Supervisor at Gateway Foundation Chicago River North and co-author of forthcoming book, Mindfulness-Based Sobriety.

Research has indicated that mindfulness-based therapy is highly effective in treating emotion dysregulation, stress, depression, and grief—all emotions that lie at the root of addiction. Motivational interviewing helps people learn to change the behaviors that cause addiction. And finally, relapse prevention therapy teaches individuals with addiction to anticipate and cope with potential relapse.

The forthcoming book, Mindfulness-Based Sobriety: A Clinician’s Treatment Guide for Addiction Recovery Using Relapse Prevention Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing, combines all three of these highly effective treatments offered at the River North rehab center. Available in January 2014, the clinical guide was written by Nick Turner MSW, Gateway Foundation Clinical Director Dr. Phil Welches and Sandra Conti MS.

“Research suggests that mindfulness practices are useful in the treatment of pain, stress, anxiety, depressive relapse, disordered eating and addiction. As clinicians, we developed the guidebook in order to better fulfill our mission of reducing substance abuse and co-occurring mental health problems,” says Dr. Phil Welches, Clinical Director, Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment and co-author of book.

Outpatient treatment programs at Gateway Foundation also include substance abuse education and group counseling as well as individual and family counseling as needed. Located at 444 N. Orleans St., Gateway Foundation’s new River North rehab center offers outpatient treatment after work Monday through Thursday from 6-9 p.m. For more information, please visit RecoverGateway.org.

Our Newest Alcohol & Drug Treatment Center: Chicago River North!

May 17: Open House Celebration at New Outpatient Drug Treatment Center

Chicago River North Drug TreatmentJoin us for light refreshments while networking with Gateway Foundation‘s clinical team and other professionals. Learn how Gateway Foundation’s clinical team and other professionals successfully guides individuals through treatment and provides ongoing support for their lasting recovery.

Open House Activities:

  • Meet Gateway Foundation’s President & CEO, Michael Darcy, as well as our clinical team of substance abuse experts.
  • Learn more about mindfulness and relapse prevention from the authors of a new upcoming book, Gateway’s Dr. Phil Welches and Nick Turner MSW, LCSW, CADC.
  • Talk to Addiction Recovery Associate Nadine Rauch about medication trends that offer advanced treatment options for alcohol and opiate addiction.
  • Obtain valuable recovery resources. We will be handing out educational materials including wall clings, magnets and brochures.

Chicago River North
Friday, May 17, 2013
2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Please RSVP by May 15, 2013
Learn more about this event

Outpatient drug treatment programs at Gateway Foundation include substance abuse education and group counseling as well as individual and family counseling as needed. Located at 444 N. Orleans St., Gateway Foundation’s new River North rehab center offers outpatient treatment after work Monday through Thursday from 6-9 p.m. For more information, please visit RecoverGateway.org.

Mesirow Financial Invests in Employees with Substance Abuse Education

An independent financial services company headquartered in Chicago, Mesirow Financial recently recognized Alcohol Awareness Month in April with an informative substance abuse presentation for its employees. More than 100 employees took part in a training seminar on April 24, 2013, led by Nick Turner, Clinical Supervisor at Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment’s new treatment center in Chicago’s River North district. Mr. Turner covered topics dealing with alcohol abuse, current drug trends and treatment options available.

“Our partnership with Mesirow Financial has been growing over time. We have had the opportunity to raise awareness about substance abuse at a number of health fairs in conjunction with Mesirow Financial and shared educational resources to meet their needs,” explains Joe Beale, Outreach Coordinator for Gateway Foundation. “We encourage other Chicago companies to follow Mesirow Financial’s lead and do more to include substance abuse education programs in their wellness initiatives.”

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment

Pictured (left to right) are: Elizabeth Rively (Mesirow Financial), Nick Turner (Gateway Foundation River North), Emily Griffin (Mesirow Financial) and Janice Moman (Mesirow Financial).

Nick Turner Mesirow

Gateway Foundation Clinical Supervisor Nick Turner

Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment

Elizabeth Simer (Mesirow Financial) and Nick Turner (Gateway Foundation River North)

Alcohol Dependency & Women

Drinking Alcohol Poses More Health Risks for Women

A considerable downside of frequent alcohol consumption is a higher rate of health risks —especially for women. Women’s bodies are more sensitive to the effects of alcohol than men’s bodies. As a result, women who drink are more prone to particular health risks, including breast cancer, heart disease and liver damage.

Women and Men should know the USDA guidelines and consume moderate amounts of alcohol. A standard drink is roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in:

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits

The USDA defines moderate drinking as:

  • Up to 1 drink per day for women
  • Up to 2 drinks per day for men

It’s important to note that alcohol effects each person differently based on factors that can include weight, general health and family health history. Even within the USDA moderate drinking definition, abuse can occur if alcohol is consumed too quickly or if other underlying issues exist.

Women Report their “Usual number of drinks per drinking occasion”

  • 1 Drink – 48.2% of women
  • 2 Drinks – 29.9 % of women
  • 3+ Drinks – 21.9% of women

Consumption reports from women past-year drinkers ages 18+. According to the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.

Learn more about Alcohol Abuse and Women.

Why do women face higher risk of Alcohol Dependency?

Research shows that women start to have alcohol-related problems at lower drinking levels than men. One explanation is on average, women weigh less than men. In addition, alcohol disperses in body water, and pound for pound, women have less water in their bodies than men. So after a man and woman of the same weight drink the same amount of alcohol, the woman’s blood alcohol concentration will tend to be higher. Other biological differences, including hormones, may contribute, as well.

What are the health risks?

Breast Cancer
There is an association between drinking alcohol and developing breast cancer. Women who consume about one drink per day have a 10% higher chance of developing breast cancer than women who do not drink at all.

Liver Damage
Women who drink are more likely to develop alcoholic hepatitis (liver inflammation) than men who drink the same amount of alcohol. Alcoholic hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis.

Heart Disease
Chronic heavy drinking is a leading cause of heart disease. Among heavy drinkers, women are more susceptible to alcohol-related heart disease than men, even though women drink less alcohol over a lifetime than men.

Any drinking during pregnancy is risky. A pregnant woman who drinks heavily puts her fetus at risk for learning and behavioral problems and abnormal facial features. Even moderate drinking during pregnancy can cause problems. Drinking during pregnancy also may increase the risk for preterm labor.

Some women should never drink at all, including:

  • Anyone under age 21
  • Anyone who takes medications that can interact negatively with alcohol
  • Anyone who is pregnant or trying to conceive

Need help for Alcohol Dependency?

If you or someone you know needs help with alcohol dependencyGateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment can help. With treatment programs tailored to meet the specific needs of adult men and women and teens, Gateway’s team of experienced professionals has been helping individuals overcome substance abuse for more than 40 years.

For more information or to arrange a free and confidential consultation, please call 877-505-HOPE (4673).

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