As if the Coronavirus isn’t already worrisome enough, researchers suggest a higher vulnerability for drug users. Those who struggle with addiction may be at higher risk for complications and death upon contracting the virus. COVID-19 and addiction are truly not a good mix.
The Coronavirus wreaks havoc on the lungs. Those who smoke cigarettes, marijuana, and those who vape may have a harder time fighting off the virus.
But those who use drugs such as methamphetamine and opioids are also vulnerable during this pandemic.
Methamphetamine causes breathing problems. The constriction of blood vessels heightens the risk of heavy damage to the respiratory system. Users already face damage to their kidneys and livers as a result of methamphetamine use. Both long and short-term users will be in a vulnerable position.
Opioid users face even more complications due to the effects of slow breathing. Increasing the likelihood that if an opioid user contracts COVID-19 they will experience additional complications in terms of oxygen levels. With little to no oxygen coming to the brain, this could rapidly result in brain damage.
Should Drug Users Seek Help During This Time?
The short answer is yes. Drug users should seek help during this time. Addiction treatment centers all over the US have been rapidly adapting their programs. This includes adding numerous health and safety measures to combat the spread of Coronavirus. Fighting addiction and the coronavirus at the same time is not easy. It’s been described as fighting an epidemic in the middle of a pandemic. Addiction treatment centers must still save lives during this time.
Treatment center staff have been working hard over the last few weeks to implement health and safety measures. Most centers are requiring any and all staff that are able to work from home to do so. Telemedicine has been implemented across all groups, individual sessions, and visitations. Many treatment centers have implemented an initial quarantine for new patients.
It’s important to remember that just like the COVID-19 pandemic is a life-or-death situation, addiction continues to be a life-or-death situation during the pandemic.
How To Get Help
While this is a difficult and unprecedented time you can get help today! Do not hesitate to reach out and call us at 1-888-906-0952. We will connect you with a treatment center that fits your individual needs.
Another aspect of the coronavirus outbreak is an indefinite period of self-quarantine. The Arizona government has enacted a stay-at-home order and advised all non-essential personnel to stay home and work remotely if possible. You shouldn’t leave your house unless you have to. Obviously, quick grocery runs are fine, but long social gatherings with others must be minimized. This is an essential step that can save lives and slow the spread of Coronavirus. However, it doesn’t make life easy for those who are in recovery from drugs and alcohol. Still with adequate preparation, you can stay sober during the Coronavirus quarantine.
Dealing With Isolation
Isolation is challenging for most in recovery. It’s usually also a contributing factor to addiction in the first place. Preparing yourself in advance is the responsible thing to do to safeguard your recovery. Support and being accountable are the pillars of recovery. You’ll hear this a lot in the rooms of recovery meetings. There are ways to make your time at home more comfortable, rather than making you more stressed or alone.
Staying Sober through the Coronavirus Quarantine
Listen to Recovery Speakers
Listen to a recovery speaker online. There are a plethora of recordings and guest blogs of those that have been through treatment and recovery. Inspiration is easy to find online and a lot of the time you can connect directly with the speaker. This helps to continue to hear the experience, strength, and hope of others. You can hear from those who have gained knowledge and wisdom through their recovery process. Who knows, you might relate to some of the stories that you hear. This can help with staying sober through the Coronavirus quarantine.
Stay connected with important people in your life. Whether you’re dialing in to a remote NA meeting or catching up with your sponsor, keep those good influences around in the days ahead. Try to be intentional about calling relatives or friends to check-in; you’ll get some social interaction, and they’ll know that you’re okay. Checking up on others in recovery during this time can be very beneficial.
Online Recovery Meetings
One of the good things about those in recovery is resilience. As soon as the Coronavirus hit, recovery communities raced to figure out an alternative way to continue to spread the message and be of service. You can stay connected using this AA online meeting resource. You’ll want to select current or upcoming meetings to be a part of. If you don’t have to speak, but it’s always good to share. In recovery, it’s important to not keep our feelings and thoughts bottled up. At least you know you’re in an online recovery meeting where people understand you.
Another good option for a meeting is the 6’oclock Rush Hour Group of AA. You can join the meeting here at 6 pm every weekday. You can also join the SMART Recovery online community if the 12-Steps aren’t your thing.
We also encourage staying active. Create a list of activities to entertain yourself. There’s so much we can do in this time of isolation. You can learn how to play a new instrument, clean the house, or learn a new recipe! It’s essential that you keep yourself occupied to avoid getting trapped in your head during the quarantine.
According to the stay-at-home order hiking, walking, running, biking, and golfing are not prohibited activities. If you do choose to go out and stay active doing these sports, it’s essential that you do so in small groups and use precaution.
Ask For Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The days ahead are uncertain, which means that you may find yourself in an unprecedented situation in your recovery. If you’re in early recovery this can feel intimidating. Take the time to call and talk to your support systems such as your therapist or sponsor. Reach out to those you trust and talk to them about how you feel.
Staying sober through the coronavirus is possible and we believe in you. How do you stay active during the quarantine? Share with us below in the comments!
Governor Ducey issued a stay-at-home order for the state of Arizona. Ducey made this decision based on clear empirical evidence that social distancing is the most effective way to combat the spread of COVID-19.
But what does that mean for those who are seeking treatment for drug or alcohol addiction?
Addiction treatment centers like facilities located in Phoenix and Scottsdale fall into the category of essential businesses.
Although essential, addiction treatment centers in Arizona must implement safety guidelines. Namely, those set forth by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC).
These guidelines are being fully adhered to in addiction treatment facilities. This includes screening patients over the telephone and then in person upon arrival. Then a subsequent mandatory quarantine during the first stages of treatment.
After quarantine patients will mostly attend individual, group, and family therapy via telemedicine. All telemedicine platforms used are fully HIPAA compliant.
A Better Today wants you to know that the doors of many treatment facilities are still open and you can still safely get addiction treatment during this time.
Isolation is never ideal for someone who is struggling with addiction. Phoenix and Scottsdale residents struggling with addiction need to have help available.
This is why we consider it a critical mission to connect individuals with life-saving addiction treatment. We will continue to strive to direct individuals to safe places to get help for addiction during the Coronavirus pandemic.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, don’t hesitate to call us. It is fully possible to get into a rehab safely during the Coronavirus pandemic. In fact, with the guidelines set forth, it is likely that a closed and protected rehab environment is safer.
COVID-19 otherwise known as the Coronavirus began its spread at a seafood market in Wuhan, China. It has now arrived to spread in the United States, with the CDC reporting 4,226 confirmed positive patients in the country. The death toll of the US has reached 75, as this virus is especially dangerous for the elderly and immunocompromised.
People are making personal sacrifices across the globe to slow the spread of coronavirus. Schools, malls, movie theaters, sports seasons, and restaurants have temporarily closed. We’re washing our hands and cleaning surfaces more than ever, as well as not touching our faces.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine has already released Coronavirus guidelines on recommended precautionary steps to take to protect patients.
Is it Safe to go to Treatment?
If you are facing a drug and alcohol addiction problem right now, it’s natural to wonder if it is in your best interest to pursue treatment during this outbreak. No matter what, it is always a wise decision to get help for a drug and alcohol addiction.
Treatment centers will continue to diligently follow ASAM Coronavirus precautions. Furthermore, during these times of uncertainty, we’re diligently monitoring the latest information from the World Health Organization and CDC.
The health and safety of staff and patients is the highest priority.
The World Health Organization advises every country’s citizens to be diligent in the following:
- Stay informed: Get information from trustworthy public health authorities.
- Wash your hands regularly: Use soap and warm water for 30 seconds or use antibacterial rub.
- Maintain social distancing: Keep three feet between you and another person.
- Avoid touching your face
- Sneeze and cough into a tissue or your sleeve.
Coronavirus Precaution Measures for Addiction Treatment Providers
Lipi Roy, MD, MPH suggests the following coronavirus precautions at addiction treatment facilities:
- Screen visitors to the facility by phone. Ask them about common coronavirus symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath. Also, ask about their previous activities. For example, were they recently exposed to someone who tested positive for the disease? Or, did they do any recent traveling abroad?
- Take careful precautions in the waiting room. Roy suggests, “Post signs about hand hygiene and cough etiquette. Advise people to sit six feet apart. Mask and isolate sick patients in private rooms, if possible.”
- Make medications widely available. Some facilities may need to consider a temporary overhaul of their process. For example, patients commonly come in for care on a daily basis in opioid treatment programs. But doctors may need to prescribe medications multiple times per week instead. Fewer visits to the facility diminish the spread of the disease.
- Modernize therapy sessions. In other words, replace face-to-face sessions with video chats.
- Sanitize surfaces: Be diligent in maintaining clean and sanitized surfaces that people frequently touch. These may be doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, cabinets, remote controls, and much more.
Don’t Let Coronavirus Stop You From Making a Positive Change
Almost 22 people out of every 100,000 died of a drug overdose in 2017, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s 22 too many, especially considering that addiction is a manageable disease. However, a University of Washington Health Sciences clinician, Judith Tsui recognized that a polydrug addiction was obstructing her treatment efforts. She began to question whether there are complications of meth and heroin use in treatment.
This information is critical because the rates of overdose on these substances are substantial. In 2017, a whopping 47,600 men and women died of an opioid overdose. Another 10,333 died of a psychostimulant overdose. Overall, about 5,000 died of an overdose of a combination of opioids and psychostimulants, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
A common example of psychostimulants and opioids is meth and heroin. Evidence has proven that treatment can lead to recovery of each addiction. In fact, “policymakers and healthcare system leaders. . .are beginning to embrace recovery as an organizing framework for approaching addiction as a chronic disorder from which individuals can recover,” said the surgeon general’s report.
“So long,” it continues, “as they have access to evidence-based treatments and responsive long-term supports.” Although addictions to each of these substances are manageable, there are often complications of meth and heroin use in treatment. In other words, a polydrug addiction to meth and heroin can make recovery harder.
What Does This Mean for People Addicted to Meth and Heroin?
Tsui and her colleagues needed to know more about this. They were concerned about the number of patients dropping out of treatment after she gave them buprenorphine. She was using buprenorphine to treat their opioid addiction, but it didn’t help their meth addiction.
She and her colleagues conducted a large study of 799 people. As a result, it produced the same conclusion. Tsui explained, “Methamphetamine use was associated with more than twice the risk for dropping out of treatment for opioid-use disorder.” Accordingly, it’s critical to treat patients for both addictions for successful recovery. Tsui agrees.
“The next step is to build into treatment models how we can help those patients who struggle both with opioids and methamphetamines to be successful,” she said. This is especially important because police offices in the West Central regions of the U.S. have reported that meth is making a comeback in their areas.
Although it’s hard to understand why, it’s harder for patients to overcome a polydrug-use disorder. Tsui surmises that they perceive it as a necessity. “A substantial proportion of these patients are homeless and may use meth to stay awake at night just to stay safe and keep an eye on their belongings,” Tsui noted.
Is Recovery from Meth and Opioid Use Impossible?
Although clinicians need to conduct more studies, Tsui and her team suspect that the answer is in the use of buprenorphine for opioid addiction. In fact, they’re interested in learning more about how to approach treating an addiction to methamphetamine and opioids.
However, that doesn’t make recovery from a meth and opioid addiction impossible. In other words, you can receive effective treatment for this polydrug addiction today. Choose a reputable substance abuse treatment center.
While buprenorphine is an evidence-based medicine for heroin addiction, no similar medicines exist for meth addiction. That’s because clinicians haven’t been able to develop one yet. Consequently, it can be more difficult to remain in treatment for patients addicted to meth and opioids.
Addiction doctors can treat the symptoms of meth abuse, withdrawal, and recovery with what’s available now. With NIDA funding research into this very subject, pharmaceutical solutions are imminent for meth addiction.
For example: clinicians are studying the following:
- Ibudilast and Minocycline: Inflammation of the nervous system, which occurs with heavy meth use
- Antidepressants: Withdrawal symptoms
- Antipsychotics: Improve overall effects of long-term meth use
- Naltrexone and Buprenorphine: Reduce the euphoric effects of meth
- Hormones (Cholecystokinin-8 and Oxytocin): Reduce the euphoric effects of meth
Clinicians are also studying alternative non-pharmaceutical treatment for meth abuse:
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: NIDA describes this method as a non-invasive way of “stimulating the brain using magnetic pulses.”
- Neurofeedback: Teaches people how to manage their own brain function.
- Vaccines and Antibodies: These cutting-edge methods engage the immune system. Together, they keep the drug from entering the brain.
Meanwhile, addiction professionals have helped countless people overcome the disease without these methods.
How Can People Using Meth and Heroin Stop?
People with polydrug addictions may find recovery more difficult than those with one. But that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. In fact, there are many people who were addicted to both with success stories today. That means that with qualified and experienced treatment, you can overcome any addiction.
According to NIDA, a qualified treatment program for a meth and heroin addiction must include the following:
- Medical Detoxification
- Individualized Treatment Plan: “Treatment varies depending on the type of drug and characteristics of the patients,” says NIDA.
- Must Address All Aspects of the Person: Treatment must also address “medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal problems,” according to NIDA. It must also be appropriate for his or her “age, gender, ethnicity, and culture.”
- An Adequate Time in Treatment: NIDA has found that most people with addictions need at least 90 days of treatment. Many need much more. They explain, “Recovery from drug addiction is a long-term process and frequently requires multiple episodes of treatment.” They also suggest that successful treatment plans for those with meth and heroin addictions “include strategies to engage and keep patients in treatment.”
- Behavioral therapies: As a mental health disease, these therapies are effective in healing the disruptions polydrug use caused in the brain.
- Aftercare Plan: Therapists should help their patients carefully develop an aftercare plan to further their abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
You don’t have to “feel ready” to overcome a meth and heroin addiction. Treatment helps you overcome the denial that hinders that feeling. In fact, getting help before you’re ready, may head off any serious consequences you may otherwise experience.
Construction workers are an integral part of our infrastructure. In fact, without their skills and hard work, countless buildings in towns and cities across the country wouldn’t exist. They make up one of the largest employment sectors in the U.S. Because of the nature of their work, the link between construction workers and substance abuse is growing.
Many construction workers do labor-intensive work every day. In these environments, there’s a significantly higher risk of injury. Doctors often prescribe opioids to manage their pain. Opioids are well-known for successfully managing moderate pain. They’re also well-known for their addiction potential.
Not only is construction work physically taxing, but it’s also dangerous. In fact, New York University conducted a study that revealed: “construction workers are more likely to use drugs than workers in other professions.”
“Compared to all other professions,” says the study, “construction workers had the highest prevalence of misusing prescription opioids (3.1 percent vs. 2 percent) and cocaine use (1.8 percent vs. 0.8 percent).” But that’s not all.
“Construction workers also had the second-highest prevalence of marijuana use after those in-service jobs (12.3 percent vs. 12.4 percent, compared with 7.5 percent in non-construction occupations). It’s clear that construction workers are looking for pain relief. Many of them find opioid addiction instead.
This is certainly a concern because of the risk of injury that comes with these occupations. The vicious cycle with construction workers and substance abuse is difficult to break.
The Vicious Cycle with Construction Workers and Substance Abuse
The Law Offices of Howard Kitay have been representing construction workers for over 30 years. “Falls are the leading cause of death in construction. Construction workers often work from great heights, such as the tops of buildings, tall scaffoldings, and ladders.”
But that’s not all. The law firm notes that they’re also vulnerable to collapsing trenches, cave-ins, strikes by falling objects, back injuries from heavy lifting and more. The intensity of the pain these accidents cause can be mild, moderate, or severe.
The people in these dangerous occupations visit a doctor to heal their injuries and manage their pain. Although doctors prescribe opioids for pain, the prescriptions are not unlimited. As rules change for doctors who prescribe opioids, their practices are more mindful.
Instead of prescribing medications until the pain stops, they prescribe them for shorter periods of time. That means they renew prescriptions for opioids less often than they did before the opioid epidemic. Frequently, patients develop an addiction to the pain pills by the time they take their last one.
This compels them to turn elsewhere for the pills. However, getting the same pills on the street is quite expensive. For that reason, construction workers often replace them with cocaine, heroin, or fentanyl. All of these are significantly less expensive.
They use cocaine to stay awake during overnight shifts or long hours due to tight deadlines. Some occasionally drink alcohol to spice up tedious jobs, in addition to managing pain. Others simply have the mindset of “Work hard, play hard.” This leads to a major concern with construction workers and substance abuse.
Construction Workers and Substance Abuse Lead to Missed Days at Work
Construction work is sporadic. It often relies on weather and the availability of projects. Any days of missed work is a hardship on people who work in this industry. So, many of them work while they’re sick or injured if they can.
At first, they may perceive drug abuse as helpful in maintaining their attendance at work. Substance abuse eventually leads to absences at work. First, as your tolerance builds up to the drug, you need more. That’s because it’s no longer effective as your body becomes used to it.
So, this tool (no pun intended) that some construction workers rely on to cope with demanding construction work isn’t effective anymore. With the break-through of pain happening more often, construction workers find that they must miss work more often. Additionally, the symptoms of withdrawal are intense, which leads to even more absences.
Another downfall with construction workers and substance abuse is that they become unreliable to their managers. That’s because addicted construction workers miss more work than their counterparts without the struggle of addiction. As time goes on, these downfalls gradually get worse.
The good news for construction workers with addictions is that they’re not alone. There are many treatment centers that can help.
How Treatment Can Help
Addiction isn’t a death sentence, although it can feel that way. The truth is that treatment has been proven to help patients overcome addiction. Addiction is a mental health disease with physical, mental and emotional symptoms. While it isn’t curable, you can certainly manage it after treatment.
A medically supervised detox keeps the patient stable and comfortable while the body goes through withdrawals. Behavioral therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, family therapy, group therapy, and individual therapy is an effective treatment for addiction.
Treatment centers are committed to evidence-based treatment for construction workers. Construction workers and substance abuse have a unique relationship. They understand the distinctive needs of a person in this dangerous profession. Most construction workers who come into a treatment center to get help feel that their jobs depend on their ability to use illicit substances.
They provide confidential services, as well as help with the Family Medical Leave Act process. They also offer more than detox and evidence-based treatment. Services include a variety of alternative therapies, aftercare, outpatient treatment, 12-step meetings, and more.
Independent living facilities are a key component in helping many people in recovery. It allows them to get stable on their feet with new habits and coping mechanisms. They live in a safe place without drugs and alcohol.
We care about construction workers, and substance abuse doesn’t need to be a part of their future. Whatever your recovery goals may be, A Better Today Recovery Services wants to help. Call us today. Let us empower you to make the life changes you need.
Steffen lived through some tragic adversities as a child growing up. Although his family loved him, he felt alone in dealing with his pain. The hardship of his mental illness, bipolar disorder was also difficult to carry. He became addicted to heroin. Hear this message from the grieving family of an addict.
Steffen went to counseling and tried medication. But the medication made him feel like “a zombie.” So, he stopped taking it and turned to drugs and alcohol for relief.
Steffen grew up, got married, and had three children. But he was also nursing a severe heroin addiction throughout these years. Soon the addiction got in the way of his ability to be a husband and father.
Although he finally found his way to addiction treatment, the journey wasn’t easy. However, he left the treatment center with hope in recovery and with new lifelong friends and family.
Upon returning home, he relapsed. The small amount of heroin he took had an adverse interaction with the new medications he was on for bipolar disorder. Three days after he returned home from the treatment center, he died of a heroin overdose.
“I walked into his room to find him unresponsive,” recalls his mother. “I knew when I saw his face that I lost my oldest son.” She doesn’t want her son’s death to be in vain. Steffen’s mother shares, “If we [Steffen’s family] could save one person through our devastation, that’s our number one goal here.”
A Message from the Grieving Family of an Addict
Their advice to anyone currently struggling with a substance addiction is to “surround yourself with positive people. People who care and love you.”
“You are worth it,” she continues. “Embrace your success. Be proud of yourselves. Even though we don’t know you, we think you’re worth it.” She ends with a profound message of hope.
“And I have endured this pain totally sober. So, if I can do this, we can do this,” she says with her family by her side, “then you guys can endure anything that comes your way.”
“Just please take care of yourselves and do what you need to do.” This grieving mom certainly knows the agony of losing her child. She wants to save other moms from having to know it, too.
You’re not alone. Addiction treatment does work. If you or someone you care about needs help with substance abuse, call A Better Today Recovery Services. We’ll connect you with a treatment center that will help you find your way out and show you how to build a meaningful, joyous life in recovery.
Are you addicted to drugs and alcohol? Do you think it’s too late to ask for help? If drugs and alcohol are taking over your life, it’s never too late to get sober. Whether it’s been a year or more living with addiction, you can still overcome its hold by getting professional help. Read on to learn more about treatments and support for you during this difficult time.
What is Drug Addiction?
Are you unable to stop taking drugs or alcohol? When someone abuses a substance, they can’t stop their destructive intake even when parts of their life is negatively affected. Why is it so hard to recover? According to A Better Today Recovery Services, too much drug and alcohol abuse can lead to affecting the actual structure of your brain.
This means you will become physically dependent on the drug and require medication to reverse or weaken your addiction. What might have started as social drinking or trying something new, affects your brain so much that it becomes a disease that you can’t run away from.
Why You Need Professional Help
People often ask addicts “Why can’t you just quit?”. The trouble is that it’s not as easy as it sounds and it’s not the same for some people. Without professional help, you could end up dependent on the drug, because your brain is telling you it wants more and more. Even if you want to quit, it can take over your free will to do so. There are treatment options out there that can help you get through the worst of your cravings.
Family Support and Therapy
Has your personal life become affected? If you are lucky, your family might understand that you need help to get better. Having the support of your family can be crucial in recovering from addiction. They can assist you in researching the best treatment center for you, but they can support you throughout the process by being there for you. Knowing that you have them in your corner during your stay in an inpatient treatment center can benefit your recovery.
You might also need their assistance during and after your treatment by going through family therapy. Working through family issues can reduce the chances of relapse occurring in the future.
Treatment Plans For Your Addiction
People around you might tell you that you’re too far gone to seek help from medical professionals. Or maybe doubts are lingering in your head that you’ll never get sober. However, no matter how addicted you are to drugs, you can reach a life of sobriety again. It’s never too late to get help, but you still have to ask for it. After you admit you need professional help, then you can figure out which treatment option is right for you.
If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol for a long time or have an extreme addiction, then you might require inpatient rehab treatment. Inpatient is more expensive since they need you to live on-site with 24/7 medical supervision. Medical professionals can administer drugs and other types of treatments to help combat what your altered brain is telling you to do.
This treatment is excellent for those who aren’t able to trust themselves to live on their own while trying to remain sober after their detox process. Inpatient is also more strict than outpatient since you are on a routine schedule that includes individual and group sessions with a therapist. There could be other activities during the day to help distract you from your cravings.
A professional therapist can also help identify your triggers that make you use drugs. They can create a prevention plan with you that will give you tips on how you can overcome your urges. This will help reduce your chance of relapsing after you leave rehab.
Are you short on extra cash? Or do you need to keep your job? Sometimes life is too difficult to get the treatment you need, but this is where outpatient therapy can help. It is more affordable since you can live at home. You will still have to attend individual and group sessions with your therapist. Outpatient rehab also allows you to work around the hours you have to work or take care of your children.
However, being tempted to visit old hangouts or people associated with drugs could be a downside to this treatment. After your detox, you might not trust yourself from going back to your former habits. You might have to work harder to resist going back to using drugs again.
Relapses Can Occur
There’s always a treatment plan out there that’s perfect for you, but remember that addiction is a disease. This means that it could take several tries recovering in a treatment center. You might want a quick fix, but that isn’t always going to happen.
Be prepared to go through the relapses just like anyone else with a disease, such as diabetes or heart disease. As reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there is a 40- 60% relapse rate for those with substance abuse disorders. However, even if you are among those who relapse, this doesn’t mean everything is too late for you.
You might have to pick yourself back up and start over again. This sounds daunting and hard, but this is life as an addict. Your life will be full of challenges since there’s no cure for addiction. Remaining vigilant in staying clean is essential, but relapsing is all a part of the recovery process.
Try not to give up on yourself even if you face several relapses because there’s always a perfect treatment plan for you out there. So, ask for help today by contacting an addiction treatment center near you. You won’t regret asking for help in getting and staying sober. It will show your family you want to make healthier choices for yourself. You can be happier without drugs and alcohol poisoning your brain and your life.