Controlling Your Alcohol: When to Stop

People want to know when enough’s enough. This applies well to alcohol. When is it healthy and when is it bad for you? There is a line that separates it, but the line is not very visible. How can someone tell when they’ve crossed the line?

When is Too Much, Too Much?

Some of you may have found yourselves in a situation where you have to drink. You’re pushed into it because either it’s rude to reject, or you’re pressured by your peers. Out of respect, you drink, you talk you dance. Then they urge you, or your urge yourself. Before you know it, you’re tipsy and a minute later you’re drunk.

The key to stopping is when you feel the “buzz.” Despite alcohol having sedative properties, its initial effect is to give you a feeling similar to downing an energy drink. When you feel that telltale buzz, it’s time to stop drinking. The rest is now up to your willpower.

How Else Can I Avoid Drinking Too Much?

Apart from stopping at the buzz, there are ways you can avoid accidentally drinking too much.

  • Avoid Situations That Will Enable Your Drinking

You can’t drink if you’re not there. Simple as that. This is once again a matter of willpower over your desires. If you really can’t avoid it, then at least control yourself.

  • Alternate Drinks

Don’t drink the hard stuff on the first go. Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. If there’s no other option, at least alternate between water and liquor. Staying hydrated is the key to avoiding a hangover.

  • Eat First

You’ll tend to drink less if your stomach is full. Eat a good share before start drinking. With a filled stomach, your body will be able to process alcohol slower and more efficiently.

  • Avoid the hard Liquor and Spirits

If you want to drink for a long period, avoid spirits and hard liquor. Stick to drinks with low alcohol content. Make sure you stop drinking as soon as you feel the buzz.

Managing You Drinking

Now that you know how to manage your drinking per session, how can you avoid turning it into a habit?

 

  • Address your Problems and Stresses

 

Alcoholism begins when you use alcohol to cope with your problems. Address these problems until you get what peace of mind you can gather. The fewer problems you have, the fewer reasons for you to drink.

 

  • Stop at Two Drinks a Day and Drink Only Five Times A Week

 

This is based on WHO’s guidelines on alcohol consumption. A “drink” is approximately 15 grams of pure alcohol, aka, a shot of rum or a can of beer. Only drink two per day and never drink for more than five days a week.

What if I’m already an Alcoholic?

Seek help. Consult your physician and inform your loved ones. There are also support groups that offer group counseling and possibly land you a sponsor for your recovery. Alcoholism has become a disease that destroys the individual, along with their families, so if you know one, or are one, find help. There’s no shame in taking the first steps to a healthier life.

 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Divorce

When most people think of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) they think of people who have come out of a war zone, tragic accident or some other life threatening event. It doesn’t occur to most of us that divorce can also lead to this same condition.

Jennifer’s story – the divorce

Speaking to a close friend who is a divorced single mom, she told me about her experience of divorce and the onset of PTSD. Jennifer sat down and explained that after 10 years of marriage, it was “not so suddenly” over. There were many years prior to the end of the marriage that were abusive, not in the physical sense but certainly emotionally.

As a Christian, she felt it was her duty to God to make the marriage work. Out of the 10 years of marriage, all but maybe one of them was shear self torture, but she stuck it out because she felt it was her calling to love her husband and surrender her personal desires to what she felt God wanted her to do. Going back and forth trying to do the will of God and being beaten down emotionally by the man who promised to love and cherish her eventually wore her down.

Jennifer had three counselors (both Christian and non-Christian), all telling her that she needed to leave the relationship. She finally gave up and walked away with her son in tow. She felt she had failed God, failed her son, and didn’t have the strength to start life all over.

Lashing out

I could see the pain in her eyes as she talked about the first year of separation. It wasn’t hard to imagine what a nightmare it was between losing everything that she had, her home, her job, her friends, worldly possessions, to the back and forth of custody battles. Through this nightmarish process she found she was no longer the person she once was.

Jennifer found herself boiling over for what would normally be seen by most people as very minor offenses. Any change or unexpected event shook her world and she found herself panicking over simple things like needing to go to the grocery store.

She told me that the first week she had moved in with her father. Her sister had called at the last minute asking her to babysit. Jennifer said she felt angry and betrayed. After all, didn’t they understand that she was the one in pain and needed support. Her thoughts instantly negative, here her sister was calling not to see how Jennifer was doing but because she wanted Jennifer to do her a favor.

Lack of sleep was the norm, tossing and turning each night. When she finally would fall asleep, it wasn’t long before she was waking up with troubling thoughts racing through her head that she simply couldn’t turn off.

Gone was Jennifer’s joy and spontaneous nature. She lived in constant fear wondering what disaster was coming next. She avoided her family and didn’t seek out new friendships because she no longer trusted anyone. She lived in her little closed in world and wanted no distractions or disturbances to the precarious balance of her day. She was socially unfunctional.

As I listened to her tell her story, I could see the remembered pain in her eyes. She spoke about her sister being confused and hurt because she would become hostile anytime her sister would introduce an unplanned event or ask a favor of her. She told how she had not been behaving in her typical friendly fashion, eager to help and was afraid she would never be who she once was, someone she liked. She also felt guilty that she didn’t want her nephews around because it added noise and chaos to her day. The guilt she felt over her feelings and actions towards her family only made things worse.

Seeking help – diagnosis of PTSD

Eventually she said she found the courage to seek help, to try to figure out why she was behaving so poorly. Jennifer was shocked when after one conversation with a psychologist he informed her that she was experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder! It had never occurred to her.

Once “armed” with this new information, she spoke with her sister (who was the brunt of her behavior) to apologize and explain why she had been behaving so badly. She asked her sister if she could help by giving her some notice when she would going to need help with the kids and not to take it personally if she was noticeably upset. Jennifer also asked her sister to give her a few days to process the request so that instead of being a disruption to her plans, it would become a part of her schedule.

Healing after divorce and PTSD

With this simple diagnosis and a course of action to minimize the stress, she was able to get rid of the guilt since she no longer had to see the pain in her sister’s face. Jennifer now understood and could manage her reactions better with the extra time that her family graciously allowed to mentally process and incorporate changes.

I was curious to know about Jennifer’s relationship with God since He was very important in her life. Jennifer explained that she came to accept and forgive herself for the failure of her marriage. She knew and accepted that God was not shocked by this event. She explained to me that ultimately, He gave had given her what she asked for, a child that she could raise in a way that would honor Him. Since her now ex-husband was very much against her faith, being divorced has made raising her son to love God much easier.

It was slow, but life did improve for Jennifer, and while even five years later she says she’s not fully back to her “old self, ” the moments of panic are just that…a moment. I can see the joy in her eyes now as her confidence and self worth has returned and, as she says, “life is good!”

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Women: What Causes this Anxiety and How to Treat It?

Being afraid when danger arises or becoming upset when something bad happens to is a natural physiological and psychological reaction. Everyone experiences this fear often within their lifetime. People who are stressed, anxious, and upset for weeks or even months later are oftentimes affected with post-traumatic stress disorder: feeling afraid long after the danger is over. This type of disorder not only affects the person with PTDS, but also the people around them.

Many seem to associate post-traumatic stress disorder with men who have experienced war. Although this assumption is quite accurate, many neglect to understand that women experience this anxiety as well. Sexual trauma is usually the number one reason why women experience PTSD; however, there are other causes for the disorder, including the following:

  • being victimized by violence or witnessing violence
  • death of a loved one or close friend
  • war
  • accidents (car or plane crashes)
  • natural disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires)
  • sexual assault
  • mental and/or physical abuse

Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

People who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder oftentimes experience the trauma over and over again in the form of flashbacks or bad dreams. The ability to escape the traumatic experience is difficult because persistent thoughts and memories continuously haunt them. These emotional scars cause distance between loved ones and people they were once close to. Other symptoms that are related to PTSD are:

  • uncontrollable scary thoughts
  • avoiding places that may trigger a flashback or terrifying memory
  • feelings of sadness and guilt
  • often feeling isolated and alone
  • sleep disorders
  • irritability and edginess
  • angry outbursts
  • persistent thoughts of hurting oneself or others

If feelings of anxiousness, anger, and frightfulness last for longer than a month, then it is possible that post-traumatic stress disorder is the cause. It is important for individuals who are experiencing two or more of these symptoms to seek professional help. Doctors can devise treatments that can help victims of PTSD better cope and regain their lives.

Treatment

Post-traumatic stress disorder can be treated and a doctor can help. Treatment may include cognitive behavioral therapy, medication, or both.

During cognitive behavioral therapy the person suffering from the disorder confronts memories that are associated with the event or events causing the trauma. People are taught to understand that the incident that occurred is not their responsibility and that there is no real reason for them to have feelings of guilt. Cognitive behavioral therapy also educates people about the disorder and its effects.

Medications are often used to treat PTSD. Doctors usually prescribe antidepressants that help decrease the physical symptoms associated with illness. Some examples of these are: Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac, and Wellbutrin. These medicines help alter environmental information that will trigger fearful thoughts, as well as decrease anxiety, depression, and panic.

The length of treatment varies from person to person. It can take as long as six to 12 weeks for some and for others, it can take years. It is important for those who are suffering from PTSD to understand that treatment that may work for one person does not necessarily mean it will work for them.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a very serious mental illness that can severely alter a person way of life. Seeking professional help to deal with feelings of fear, anxiety, and anger attributed to traumatic events is critical.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children: What Are the Signs and Symptoms of PTSD in Youth and Adolescents?

Post-traumatic in children is similar to post-traumatic stress disorder in adults, with some important differences. The following signs and symptoms of PTSD in youth and adolescents highlight those differences.

Causes of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Children

“Children who are undergoing a major change in their routine or environment, such as starting a new school, can experience a tremendous amount of stress and exhibit increased amounts of irritability, which can lead to aggression in some cases,” writes Linda Chokroverty, MD, in 100 Questions and Answers About Your Child’s Depression or Bipolar Disorder. She adds that aggression can be part of post-traumatic stress disorder in children.

A child doesn’t necessarily need to be abused or harmed outright to experience PTSD or exhibit anxious behavior. Stressful events can include seeing marital conflict between parents or witnessing disturbing activities. Anything that involves the threat of serious harm, fear, helplessness, disorganization, or horror can lead to post-traumatic stress. Also, what’s “disturbing” to one child may not be disturbing to another – each child responds differently to his or her environment.

Signs and Symptoms of PTSD in Children

The following diagnostic criteria or signs and symptoms of PTSD in youth are from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).

  • Recurring and distressing memories of the event. In young children, repetitive play may reveal themes of the stressful event.
  • Repeated dreams of the event. Children may experience frightening dreams without remembering or recognizing the content of the dream. Difficult falling and staying asleep is another sign of PTSD
  • Reliving the stressful event. Flashbacks, hallucinations, and feeling as if the past event was happening in the present. Young children may reenact the event.
  • Intense anxiety, panic, or distress at cues. Youth or adolescents who are exposed to internal or external reminders of the event may experience panic or anxiety attacks.
  • Persistent avoidance of things associated with the event. Children with post-traumatic stress disorder may avoid thoughts, conversations, activities, places, or people associated with the stressful event.
  • Irritability, anger, aggression, other mood disturbances. Anxious behaviors in children with PTSD can also include difficult concentrating, feelings of detachment or dissociation, memory loss, or an exaggerated startle response.

Children with PTSD may exhibit some or all of these anxious behaviors. To be formally diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, children must exhibit these signs and symptoms for one month or longer. It’s crucial for children who may be struggling with PTSD, panic attacks, or anxious behavior to see a psychologist or doctor as soon as possible.

Given up Smoking? How to Never Smoke Again: Tips for Stopping for Good and Staying Free of Cigarettes Forever

Quitting smoking is only half the battle; stopping smoking for good can be just as tough. Learning to deal with nicotine withdrawal symptoms and breaking the habit of smoking is the key to avoiding the temptation of cigarettes and never smoking again.

What to do When There is the Urge to Smoke

When the urge to smoke strikes, consider the reasons for giving up smoking in the first place. These may include:

  • Improved overall health and less wrinkled skin
  • Not smelling of smoke all the time
  • Fear of getting cancer or another smoking-related disease
  • Preventing an early death due to smoking
  • Fear of one’s children becoming smokers
  • Not having to stand outside in the freezing cold just to smoke
  • Not being in the grip of an addiction
  • Having more money to spend on better things

Make use of smokers’ help lines, support groups and website forums for someone to talk to if things get really tough. Nicotine replacement therapy, although it’s not for everyone, can greatly increase the chances of a smoker staying stopped when nicotine cravings kick in.

How to Break the Habit of Smoking

Many smokers miss the repetitive hand to mouth action of smoking. Chewing sugar free gum and snacking on healthy foods such as nuts, carrot sticks and fruit can help with this. To keep the hands busy, play with something else other than a cigarette, such as a pencil, coin or ring. Take up knitting or sewing, or play a computer game. Avoid situations associated with smoking until the urge to smoke has faded.

Contrary to popular belief, nicotine does not reduce stress because it is a stimulant. What smokers perceive to be stress is often actually nicotine withdrawal. Cigarettes merely calm the craving for nicotine they created in the first place. Find other ways to cope with stress and relax, such as deep breathing exercises, listening to music, herbal teas, chatting to a friend, yoga and other forms of exercise.

Is it OK to Smoke the Odd Cigarette?

Having one cigarette, or the odd one here and there, is a slippery slope. It is true that smoking one or two cigarettes a day is better than smoking 20 a day, but unfortunately, due to the addictive nature of nicotine, one cigarette often leads to another, until an ex-smoker has reverted back to old habits and is a smoker again.

Similarly, changing to lower tar cigarettes is not likely to help much either. Smokers who switch to a lighter ‘healthier’ brand often tend to inhale more deeply, taking more puffs of each cigarette and smoking more cigarettes to compensate for the lack of strength.

Smokers sometimes even feel that by having just one cigarette every now and again will prove they have kicked the habit and that they have it under control. This will do nothing to help nicotine withdrawal symptoms go away. Just one puff of a cigarette can lead someone to start smoking again, it is better for most smokers to stop completely.

What if Other Smokers are Unsupportive?

When a smoker decides to quit, he or she will hopefully be surrounded by people who are supportive of that decision. However, there may be the odd so called ‘friends’ who will still offer their cigarettes, perhaps even forcefully, and attempt to sabotage a smoker’s efforts to quit. If this happens, break the cigarette in half and waste it; they probably won’t offer again.

Ex-smokers should praise themselves for managing to go without cigarettes, it is quite an achievement. But it is important to take quitting smoking one day at a time rather than thinking about never smoking again. Just focusing on getting to the end of the day without smoking is far easier, especially in the beginning.

Alcoholism

The Dangers of Dry Drunk Syndrome: Understanding the Warning Signals of an Approaching Relapse

Dry Drunk Syndrome is something that is much debated among recovering alcoholics and addiction specialists. There are different views about what these symptoms actually mean or even if there is such a thing as a “dry drunk.” Most would agree, though, that there are usually certain warning signs that occur prior to relapse and if these can be spotted and dealt with then relapse may be prevented.

What is Dry Drunk Syndrome?

Dry Drunk Syndrome is often used to refer to people who are exhibiting many of the same behaviors as a drunk even though they are no longer drinking. Or to put it another way, they are no longer drinking but are not acting sober. This type of behavior could include such things as:

  • constantly complaining about their recovery and appearing overly cynical
  • attempting to justify or downplay their former addictive behavior
  • constantly full of self-pity
  • a lot of anger about being classed as an addict
  • no interest in trying anything new
  • hanging around bars and spending a lot of time watching other people drink
  • always thinking about the good times they had drinking; this is called “romancing the drink”
  • blaming other people for all their current and past problems
  • continued manipulative behavior
  • secretive behavior and isolating from people around them

Exhibiting these symptoms does not necessarily mean that a person is a dry drunk; most recovering addicts will have bad days now and again. Dry drunk syndrome is more to do with a set of negative behaviors that continue over a period of time.

The Importance of Spotting the Signs of Dry Drunk Syndrome

Those exhibiting the signs of dry drunk syndrome may be at increased risk of relapse and this is why understanding what is going on is important. Becoming sober does not turn people into saints and many will continue to have personal issues just like everyone else. However, those experiencing a dry drunk are unlikely to find much satisfaction in recovery and so are at a high risk of relapse unless a change of course is initiated.

In many instances the symptoms of dry drunk can be a great tool because they warn people that they are taking a wrong turn in their recovery and this can encourage them to get back on path. If the symptoms are taking seriously and treated then it can lead to an even stronger recovery afterwards. The real problem occurs when people ignore what is going on and allow things to deteriorate.

Dry drunk syndrome is a group of symptoms that may warn of an approaching addiction relapse. Spotting these symptoms may work a useful relapse prevention tool.

What is a Sponsor in Narcotics Anonymous or NA?: Sponsorship is a Key Part of Working a 12 Step Program of Recovery

Sponsorship is an important tool for people recovering from drug addiction and alcoholism in fellowships like Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous. An essential part of 12 step recovery is the idea that one addict can most fully and truly understand and help another. Sponsorship is derived from this powerful concept.

While the practice of sponsorship is present in all 12 step fellowships, this article will deal most specifically with its role in Narcotics Anonymous, or NA.

A sponsor is an experienced member of NA who can offer a newer member support and guidance as they learn how to stay clean. Additionally, a sponsor helps a sponsee begin working the 12 steps on which the program of Narcotics Anonymous is based.

It’s Important to Have a Sponsor in Narcotics Anonymous

One of the first things a newcomer to in NA hears is the suggestion that he should choose and start working with a sponsor as soon as possible. This suggestion is based in the common experience of the fellowship’s members. Doing anything new can be nerve-racking. This is especially true for a person who is detoxing from drugs and at a low point physically, mentally and emotionally. Folks don’t walk into a Narcotics Anonymous meeting because everything in their life is going well.

Getting clean is not easy, especially in the beginning. Even people who are attending meetings regularly and trying to stay clean can feel deeply disconnected from this strange fellowship with a language, literature and energy that is different from anything most using addicts have ever encountered. Having a sponsor early in the game gives a newcomer a trustworthy person to take questions to.

How to Ask Someone in Narcotics Anonymous to Be a Sponsor

If an addict is attending meetings in an area, he will probably come into contact with some people who are around regularly. By listening carefully to what different members have to share before, during and after the meetings, many people find themselves naturally drawn to certain others.

Members of Narcotics Anonymous come from all walks of life. They share similar experiences, but their paths are unique. It is important for a new member to pick a sponsor they can relate to and what this means will be different for different people.

As a rule, it is a good idea for men to sponsor men and women to sponsor women. Most sponsor-sponsee relationships become intimate and it is easier to get to the benefits of that close friendship without the potential distraction of sexual attraction.

Sponsorship is personal and individual and there are as many ways to sponsor people as there are people willing to act as sponsors. No special training is required, but most people learn about how to be a sponsor from their own sponsor. A drug addict who wants another recovering addict to sponsor them should simply ask the person directly.

What to Expect from Sponsorship in Narcotics Anonymous

The Narcotics Anonymous informational pamphlet regarding sponsorship gives some guidelines, but does not set out many absolutes. There are as many ways to sponsor and be sponsored as there are members in the fellowship of NA. The specifics of how this relationship unfolds is left up to the two people involved.

The fellowship does suggest that a sponsor be someone who has worked the steps and who has an active relationship with his own sponsor. A sponsor is not a guidance counselor, a marital therapist, a parole officer, a parent or a boss. A sponsor does not have magical, godlike powers or abilities or any special training that makes them worthy above others to assume the role of sponsorship. A sponsor is not perfect.

A sponsor is a recovering addict who is willing to personally extend himself to another recovering addict who wants to get better. In the end, it is a relationship based on the bonds of shared friendship, experience, strength and hope.

Alcoholism

Surviving a Hangover: Recovering from Christmas Festivities

As December dawns, one’s thoughts turns to the Christmas office party or night out, but at the same time one must consider the risks heavy drinking brings.

The National Health Service website states that more than 10 million people in Britain drink more than the recommended daily amount. Men should drink no more than three to four units of booze a day; women no more than two to three.

Consequences of Heavy Drinking

With the congested party season around the corner, it is important to know how to survive the binge-fest and return home in reasonably good shape.

The consequences of heavy drinking stem further than the average short-term hangover. Over-indulgence on alcohol can affect all major organs in the body, as shown below.

  • Alcohol can cause damage to the brain, causing blackouts, anxiety, violence, depression and other mental problems.
  • Drinking causes high blood pressure and also damage to the heart, stomach and lungs.
  • Hepatitis and cirrhosis are common ailments associated with alcohol; fatty deposits develop in the body, causing inflammation in the liver and increasing the risk of associated cancers.
  • Alcohol also dehydrates the skin, weakens the bones, and causes weight gain.

More Effects of Heavy Drinking


Add to that the financial loss and social stigma of being a heavy drinker, and even the most hardened party-goer can see why they need to drink less on nights out. The most serious consequences of a wild Christmas night are the results of losing inhibitions in sexual activity, whilst being drunk can result in anti-social behaviour, crime, losing a job due to poor performance or drunk driving, and damaging friendships and relations with colleagues or relatives. Know your limits and stick to them!

Avoiding Hangovers

Happily there are many methods and ways to avoid the dreaded hangover, reduce the harmful effects of drinking, and make sure that this Christmas is a happy and safe one. The NHS suggests the following:

  • Before going out, have a carb-rich meal that fills the stomach, as the foods helps to break down the fats in alcohol. A turkey rich Christmas dinner might be a good idea!
  • Remember that dark coloured drinks such as whiskey and brandy usually result in worse hangovers than lighter drinks such as vodka or, well, water.
  • Speaking of which, where possible drink water or soft drinks in between alcoholic drinks. Another top tip is to place a glass of water on the bedside table before venturing out.
  • If feeling fragile the morning after, rehydrate with water as much as possible and use over-the-counter remedies such as aspirin, paracetomol or Alka-Seltzer.
  • A fry-up, especially one containing eggs, may help to settle the stomach, as can sugary foods or vitamin rich soup. Avoid where possible caffeinated drinks like tea or coffee as these can dehydrate the body further, and do not use the “hair of the dog” method of drinking more booze, as this only delays the symptoms of a hangover.

Merry Christmas!

Also on a night out, always travel together in large groups, keep an eye out for one another, and make sure you only use official public transport when going home, especially when under the influence. Better still, the kind-hearted non-drinker can be a designated driver for the night and give lifts home if he/she wishes. Whatever the occasion, stay safe, be sensible, but have a brilliant festive season!

Addiction

Facebook Addiction Disorder: How to get rid of it

With more than 500 million users (The Facebook Blog) – this amounts to more that 7.3% of the world population – Facebook might be ‘the’ niche of the 21st century. It is undeniable that it has changed the idea of social networking in the whole world.

You can now befriend your best buddy from kindergarten without talking to him or her and know that he or she is in Russia studying Oceanography, or you can un-friend your flatmate after you had a fight with him or her about the fact that she did not clean the kitchen properly.

You might also have caught some mice, been bitten by a few zombies and know that your ex just got dumped by his current and now ex girlfriend/boyfriend while you were working.

What makes Facebook so addictive?

Many social networks have existed before Facebook and many have cropped up after it, but it still remains the most popular. The main reason behind this is that Facebook plays on the basic human nature: that of self-obsession and curiosity. Facebook has become a tool for humans to put forward these instincts without having anybody to point the finger at them – one can share whatever they like and one can read whatever they like. The Facebook platform also allows the user to keep in touch without really doing so: a wall post, a ‘like’ or a poke is all that is required.

Gone are the awkward meetings on the streets with someone you haven’t met for ten years or more – you do not even need to catch up because Facebook already did it for you. Gone are the awkward moments of forgetting a close one because Facebook already did it for you; you can even send a ‘gift’. Gone are awkward actions of trying to get everyone together for a party because a Facebook event is all you need to finalise your guest list.

When does it become addiction?

The average student spends half their week on the site, keeping up with the newsfeeds, messages and events. The average parent spends half the same time trying to see what their child is up to. Facebook becomes a portal for communication; people “Facebook”, people stalk. The need to know increases by the minute when the tool is available to do so; during some free time, Facebook users find themselves on the site, trying to ‘catch up’ with what others have been up to.

Facebook becomes a tool for procrastination because it is much more interesting to stay up at night to browse the photos of your friend who has just been travelling than to finish your assignment due in the morning. In brief, Facebook is the form of voyeurism which people love engaging into – because it’s legal to do so.

How to get rid of the addiction?

It is hard to break a habit when one is so used to it; Facebook, in most people’s life, is equivalent to the mobile phone, the TV or even regular meetings at the local coffee-shop with your best friend. When did the fun of Facebook-ing stop and when did the need start? And how to regain control of your life?

  1. Keep track of every single minute you spend on Facebook

The problem with Facebook is that you do not actually consider the amount of time you spent on the site; the amount of information increases exponentially by the minute and there is not enough time in a day for you to keep up with everything.

Social-networking is not a bad thing, too much of it is. Keeping track of your Facebook moments will force you to consider the amount of time you spend on the site and maybe even discourage you from Facebook-ing too much.

  1. Make a list of the things you love to do when you are not on Facebook (And do them!)

Facebook is so tempting that you tend to forget the little things in life that you love; you might be an avid reader but have been struggling to finish that latest novel you’ve bought a few months ago, you might be an amateur chef but you have not tried the sweet and sour chicken recipe you found last week on the internet or even, you might just love to sit down with a cup of coffee and watch the rain as it falls against your window. Whatever it is, the little pleasures of life are what make it worth living.

  1. Explore the world.

We’re not telling you to go travel to China (Facebook is banned there, so they do not actually have that problem), but there is more to the world than a Facebook status. You might actually discover that you love to garden in the time that you used to spend on Farmville or shopping with your friends is more interesting than Sorority Life. The world outside is often full of surprises – learn to appreciate and love it.

  1. Deactivate your Facebook Account.

If everything else fails, it comes down to this: deactivate your Facebook account. The Facebook Team will entice you by saying that your best friend, your mother or your co-worker who is not even in the same department as you and whom you have never talked to will miss you but if they do, there are other means to contact you. It is not the end of the world if you do not know if A and B are still in a complicated relationship or D is sad because his dog died. It will itch you in the beginning, you might activate and deactivate it a few times but it is worth it. Just go out and get a life.

However, the first step to solving a problem is to admit that you have a problem to begin with. Surfing on Facebook might not be considered to be a health hazard but any obsession is unhealthy (Lawrence ASJ). Facebook plays on the human psyche and the basic instincts that morals are often ignored, enforcing the idea of it being a form of permissible voyeurism.

Addiction

Preventing Alcohol Abuse in College Students

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) offers a lot of insight into why people drink, how it becomes a problem and how to combat the problem. For the issue of college binge drinking, the NIAAA suggests normative re-education or social norms marketing to get a hold of the situation. Normative re-education means that you go in, teach students what normal and responsible drinking habits are, and then allow the chain action to the result which will lead to an overall decrease in excessive underage drinking.

Social Norms Marketing at Work

The article outlines several trials in which normative reeducation was attempted. In those 22 random trials, 7,275 participants were tested using web/computer feedback, individual face-to-face feedback, group face-to-face feedback, and mailed feedback about social marketing campaigns. The web/computer feedback consisted of online surveys and similar online feedback. The individual feedback was one on one surveys and the group feedback consisted of groups of people coming together to talk about the results. Mail-in feedback was paper surveys.

The campaign showed alcohol problems, peak BACS, frequency of drinking, quantity of drinking and binge drinking. From the trial results, it was shown that the web/computer feedback showed significant reductions in excessive drinking for 16 months after the trial. The individual sessions resulted in a decrease of drinking at the six-month check in, and the group sessions produced a decrease that lasted for three months. Mailed-in feedback generated no results.

Another social solution would be for parents to educate their children about the issues of drinking.

Parental Involvement with Underage Drinking

NIAAA reported on an experiment they tried to get parents more involved in the education of their children. This trial created a 45-page handbook that taught parents how to have discussions about alcohol use with their children. This handbook outlines university alcohol policies and consequences of any sort of violation. Three hundred and forty-seven parents were included in the intervention group. Seventy-two percent of that group evaluated the handbook and 83% reported reading most or all of the handbook. The results of the study said the students of parents who had read the handbook and had abstained from drinking prior to college were less likely to start drinking, and those who had engaged in drinking were less likely to increase their alcohol use during freshman year, although the second statistic was for females, not males. Overall the results indicated that parental involvement will help decrease alcohol abuse in college students.