Super Bowl Parties May Hide the Signs of a Functioning Alcoholic

Whether it’s an over-sized plate or an overfilled glass, overindulgence is not unusual on Super Bowl Sunday. For a functioning alcoholic, this can be an excuse to overdo it on the drinks while blaming it on the game.

About half of those with a drinking problem are functioning alcoholics. A functioning alcoholic is someone who can hold down a job, pursue a career or care for children while continuing with his or her alcoholism. Some can do these things successfully, but the question becomes, how well are they handling their role of spouse, parent, driver, financial manager or community volunteer while under the influence?

In identifying a functioning alcoholic, it’s not one single event that people need to watch for, but whether there’s a pattern of behavior, according to Lori Dammermann, Executive Director, Gateway Carbondale.

“One night of over-drinking at a Super Bowl party doesn’t necessarily mean someone is a functioning alcoholic, although if this happens on a regular basis that’s a cause for concern,” Dammermann said.superbowl_alcohol

One misperception about functioning alcoholics is that they drink every day. For some of them binge drinking is more common, especially among women.

Some key signs that someone could be a functioning alcoholic:

  • Hides alcohol use from others
  • Drinks more than they say or admit
  • Drinks to reduce stress or boost self-confidence
  • Drinks far more than others during social drinking
  • Becomes irritable or anxious when refraining from alcohol
  • Becomes defensive or angry if someone comments on their drinking
  • Behavioral changes when drinking: from shy to social, from amiable to aggressive

It’s important for someone who is a functioning alcoholic to understand the health risks for them may be just as serious as they are for someone who has a more obvious addiction to alcohol. Many people do not know what are considered moderate drinking amounts. Learn about USDA moderate guidelines for drinking alcohol.

Are you concerned a loved one may be a functioning alcoholic? Learn more about functioning alcoholics online or call Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers for a free consultation at 877-505-HOPE (4673).

On-The-Go Recovery Support with Mobile Apps

Happy Independence Day! While many people will be celebrating the holiday at barbeques and festivities where alcoholic beverages are in abundance, it can be an especially challenging holiday for people in recovery.

For extra inspiration this week and beyond, check out all of the mobile apps dedicated to recovery support available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android devices. Download the apps for an instant uplifting message whenever needed or find a recovery support meeting anytime, anyplace!

Here are some of our favorite recovery apps:

afternoon affirmations

Afternoon Affirmations sends you a message each day with an affirmation to help calm the soul. This notification happens each day at 1p.m. There will be a new affirmation in the app each day, and you can turn the reminder off in the settings if you wish.

 

intheroomsInTheRooms is for the 23 hours that you are not in a meeting.

** Anonymity Statement: InTheRooms is a completely safe and secure, private network of people in recovery.

 

12 steps AA12 Steps AA Companion is the original sobriety tool! Includes a Big Book reader, sobriety calculator, notes, AA contacts database and more. $2.99.

 

NA recoveryNA Recovery Literature features 12 steps, 12 traditions, 12 concepts and group readings.

 

 

Find more recovery support information at RecoverGateway.org/RecoverySupport.

 

 

Gateway Springfield Takes Polar Plunge

Gateway Foundation Springfield Polar Plunge

Front (kneeling): Tammy Kmett
Front row (l to r): Lisa Kelber, Heather West, Mercedes Kent, Brittany Thomas-Ottino, Hayle Wendling, Amie Woods, Clairice Kiley, Amanda Leasman and George Campbell.
Back row (l to r): Chris Greenhalge, Jan Ruby, Jo Paul Jones, Tyrone Wilkins, Steve Vaughn, Rhonda Taylor, Dyanna Behrends, Thomas Sipes and Maddie McGuire.

The team of substance abuse counselors and professionals at Gateway Foundation Springfield joined together to support a special cause on Feb. 23, 2013, taking the Polar Plunge into Lake Springfield to raise $1,946 for the Special Olympics of Sangamon, Menard, Macoupin and Morgan counties.

“When our Clinical Psychologist and Program Director Dr. Brittany Thomas-Ottino announced that she would take the plunge if 15 others would join her, everything snowballed from there,” explains Gateway Foundation Administrative Assistant and Polar Plunge participant Tammy Kmett. “We rallied together a19-member team, and our Executive Director Kerry Henry was generous enough to donate team t-shirts.”

The chilly, 30-degree morning began with the Springfield Fire Department breaking ice from portions of the lake in order for the plunge to take place. All 19 members of the team did indeed take the plunge for Special Olympics, and many are eager to do it all over again next year.

“While the temperatures were freezing and there was ice floating all around us, we had an experience that we will most definitely talk about for days to come,” says Ms. Kmett.

Rejuvenation through Nutrition

nutrients and substance abuse recoveryDid you know that alcohol and drug abuse prevents the body from properly absorbing and breaking down nutrients and expelling toxins?

Consequently, people in recovery have a special need for foods that are high in nutrients to rebuild damaged tissues, organs and regain appropriate functioning of the various systems, including the nervous and gastrointestinal systems.

For example, substance abuse prevents the body from processing essential nutrients, such as amino acids like tyrosine and tryptophan. These amino acids are important for production of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, three neurotransmitters responsible for emotional stability and mental clarity.

Substance abuse also inhibits the absorption of vitamins, such as B vitamins and vitamin C. The benefits of B vitamins are many. They bring your body into balance and help with stress, energy levels and disease prevention. Vitamin C is a vital nutrient required by the human body for the growth and repair of tissues and is an antioxidant.

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