Azithromycin and Alcohol, Dangers and Effects

Azithromycin And Alcohol Interactions

Azithromycin is an antibiotic commonly used to treat bacterial infections in the respiratory tract, skin, and genital area. Azithromycin is an effective medication for treating these infections, but there are risks if you drink alcohol simultaneously.

The serious and potentially harmful effects of combining Azithromycin and alcohol (azithromycin alcohol) are the reason for the warnings against alcohol consumption while taking Azithromycin. An increased risk of liver damage and toxicity is associated with taking Azithromycin and alcohol consumption.

Azithromycin’s gastrointestinal side effects, like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, can worsen with alcohol and last longer than expected.

Azithromycin is used to treat bacterial infections, but drinking alcohol can lessen the drug’s effectiveness and make the infection harder to treat. Combining azithromycin with alcohol raises the probability of cardiovascular complications like irregular heartbeat, chest pain, and rapid heartbeat. Combining Azithromycin with alcohol can exacerbate preexisting heart problems.

To prevent these side effects, Azithromycin patients should heed the drug’s warnings against consuming alcohol. Azithromycin users should abstain from alcohol while on the drug and for at least 72 hours afterward.

This article will explain why it’s not a good idea to combine Azithromycin and alcohol, what could go wrong if you did, and what you can do to minimize the risk of negative side effects.

Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Azithromycin?

Azithromycin is an antibiotic prescribed for various bacterial infections, including those caused by viruses. Alcohol consumption while taking Azithromycin increases the risk of drug interactions and adverse effects, even though Azithromycin is an effective treatment for these infections.

The potential for increased liver damage and toxicity due to alcohol and azithromycin is cause for serious concern. When combined with Azithromycin, alcohol can reduce the antibiotic’s effectiveness against bacterial infections. The gastrointestinal side effects of Azithromycin, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, can be amplified and prolonged by concurrent alcohol consumption.

It is strongly advised that alcohol consumption be avoided during Azithromycin treatment as the two should not be taken together. Increased heart rate, irregular heart rhythm, and chest pain are some cardiovascular complications that can result from combining azithromycin and alcohol.

If you took Azithromycin, you shouldn’t drink alcohol for at least 72 hours after finishing your treatment. The medication will have had time to leave your system by then completely, lowering the likelihood of negative interactions with azithromycin interactions with alcohol.

In conclusion, if you want your Azithromycin treatment to be as safe and effective as possible, you should not drink alcohol while taking it. If you have any questions or concerns about azithromycin interaction with alcohol, you should talk to your doctor.

Alcohol Abuse Statistics

High-Intensity Drinking is a new trend discovered by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Alcohol consumption “at levels that are two or more times the gender-specific binge drinking thresholds” is included in the definition of high-intensity drinking (HID).

There isn’t much peer-reviewed research because it’s still a new trend. According to the information that is currently available, HID is widespread among binge drinkers and is frequently related to important occasions, particularly 21st birthdays and athletic events.


140,557 Americans die from the effects of alcohol in an average year.

Source: NIAAA


1-in-10 Americans over the age of 12 have Alcohol Use Disorder.

Source: NIAAA


Over half of Americans increased their alcohol consumption during COVID-19 lockdowns.

Source: NIAAA

Alcohol Abuse Facts

Alcohol Abuse Overview

An unhealthy drinking pattern that interferes with daily tasks. Alcohol abuse occurs when a person has a major drinking problem but is not yet physiologically dependent on alcohol. The failure to fulfill significant work, school, or family obligations is a symptom, as are legal or social issues or drinking in risky settings, as when operating a motor vehicle. Support groups, counseling, or relapse prevention medication are all possible treatment options.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Treatment may include support groups, counseling, or medication to prevent relapse.

  • Medical procedure: Alcohol detoxification.
  • Lifestyle drug: Abstinence.
  • Medications: Sedatives, Vitamins, Alcoholism medication, and Antiparasitics.
  • Therapy: Counseling psychology and Family therapy.

Alcohol Abuse Symptoms

The failure to fulfill significant work, school, or family obligations is a symptom, as are legal or social issues or drinking in risky settings, as when operating a motor vehicle.

  • Behavioral: antisocial behavior, impulsivity, self-harm, or lack of restraint.
  • Mood: anxiety, general discontent, or loneliness.
  • Gastrointestinal: nausea or vomiting.
  • Whole body: craving or blackout.
  • Also common: are physical dependence, depression, or headaches.
  1. How Long After Taking Azithromycin Can I Drink Alcohol?

    If you took Azithromycin, you shouldn’t drink alcohol for at least 72 hours after finishing your treatment. The medication will have had time to leave your system by then completely, lowering the likelihood of negative interactions with the alcohol.

  2. How Long After Taking Azithromycin Can You Drink Alcohol?

    Waiting at least 72 hours after finishing a course of Azithromycin before drinking is advised. There will be less chance of adverse reactions to alcohol if you wait until the medication has cleared your system.

  3. Can You Drink Alcohol With Azithromycin?

    An increased risk of liver damage and toxicity, decreased medication effectiveness, and increased severity and duration of side effects are all possible when alcohol is consumed while taking Azithromycin.

  4. Can I Drink Alcohol While Taking Azithromycin?

    Due to potential adverse interactions and side effects, consuming alcohol while taking Azithromycin is not recommended. It’s best to abstain from alcohol while taking Azithromycin and to wait at least 72 hours after finishing treatment before drinking again.

  5. Azithromycin Can You Drink Alcohol?

    Because of the risk of adverse interactions and side effects, it is not advised to combine Azithromycin with alcohol.

  6. Can I Drink Alcohol With Azithromycin?

    Due to potential adverse interactions and side effects, consuming alcohol while taking Azithromycin is not recommended. It’s best to abstain from alcohol while taking Azithromycin and to wait at least 72 hours after finishing treatment before drinking again.

  7. Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Azithromycin For Chlamydia?

    If you have a bacterial infection like chlamydia, you shouldn’t combine Azithromycin with alcohol (azithromycin and alcohol). Consuming alcohol concurrently with medication use can increase the likelihood of undesirable side effects and drug interactions. It’s best to abstain from alcohol while taking Azithromycin and to wait at least 72 hours after finishing treatment before drinking again.

  8. Azithromycin And Alcohol How Long After?

    If you’ve just finished a course on Azithromycin, you shouldn’t have any alcoholic beverages for at least three days. This is because the effects of Azithromycin can linger in the body for days after administration, and mixing it with alcohol can amplify those effects. Your healthcare provider may have specific recommendations for you to follow when taking Azithromycin and alcohol.

It is generally not recommended to consume alcohol while taking Azithromycin or immediately after finishing the course of treatment.
It is generally not recommended to consume alcohol while taking Azithromycin or immediately after finishing the course of treatment.

Can You Drink Alcohol On Azithromycin?

It is generally not recommended to consume alcohol while taking Azithromycin or immediately after finishing the course of treatment. Azithromycin is an antibiotic commonly used to treat bacterial infections such as pneumonia, strep throat, and chlamydia. While Azithromycin can be an effective treatment option, it can also have potential interactions with alcohol that can increase the risk of certain side effects.

One of the main concerns with combining Azithromycin and alcohol is that alcohol can interfere with the effectiveness of the medication. Alcohol can also increase the risk of side effects such as stomach upset, dizziness, and headaches. Additionally, Azithromycin can stay in your system for several days after you finish taking it, which means that the potential for interaction with alcohol can persist even after you have completed your course of treatment.

Can I Drink Alcohol After Taking Azithromycin?

If you’ve just finished a round of Azithromycin, you shouldn’t have any alcoholic beverages for at least three days. This provides adequate time for the drug to be eliminated from the body and for any possible drug interactions to diminish. Because each patient’s situation is unique, it’s crucial to adhere to your healthcare provider’s advice on alcohol consumption while taking Azithromycin.

You should be aware of the risks and drink alcohol sparingly if you decide to do so after taking Azithromycin. Excessive alcohol consumption can increase the likelihood of adverse effects and reduce the body’s defenses against infection. Keep drinking water and pay close attention to your symptoms to see if they’re getting better.

In conclusion, though it might be tempting, you shouldn’t drink alcohol while taking Azithromycin. Avoiding interactions and side effects by not drinking alcohol for at least 72 hours after finishing a course of treatment is recommended. It is best to talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about drinking alcohol while taking Azithromycin.

Does Alcohol Affect Azithromycin?

Azithromycin is an antibiotic used to treat various bacterial infections, including the skin, the lungs, and the genitourinary tract. It is generally accepted that this medication is safe and effective when used properly; however, it is important to be aware of any possible interactions with other substances, including alcohol.

When combined with azithromycin, alcohol can increase the likelihood of gastrointestinal side effects like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In addition to decreasing or increasing the risk of side effects, alcohol can alter how the body metabolizes the medication.

It’s also worth noting that alcohol consumption lowers the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off an infection while on azithromycin. This may result in a lengthier healing process or more severe symptoms.

When taking azithromycin or any other antibiotic, it is best to abstain from alcohol. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation and avoid binge drinking. Any concerns you have about possible interactions between alcohol and your medication should be discussed with your healthcare provider, who may be able to offer more tailored advice based on your specific situation.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

People frequently consider 12-step programs or 28-day inpatient rehab when asked how alcoholism is treated, but they might struggle to name other choices. Several therapy options are now accessible due to considerable advancements made in the industry over the previous 60 years.

Ultimately, no one answer fits all, and what may be suitable for one person may not be for another. Merely being aware of your possibilities might be a crucial first step.

Alcoholism Treatment Options

  • Behavioral Treatments: With therapy, behavioral treatments try to alter a person’s drinking habits. Health professionals direct them, and research demonstrating their potential for good backs them up.
With therapy, behavioral treatments try to alter a person's drinking habits.
With therapy, behavioral treatments try to alter a person’s drinking habits.
  • Medications: To assist people in cutting back on their drinking and avoid relapsing, three drugs are now approved in the US. They can be taken independently or in conjunction with psychotherapy and are prescribed by a primary care physician or another healthcare provider.
  • Mutual-Support Groups: Peer support is offered by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step programs for those who are giving up or cutting back on drinking. Mutual-support groups can provide an invaluable additional layer of support when combined with care provided by medical experts. Researchers find it challenging to evaluate the success rates of mutual-support groups run by health professionals and those led by laypeople due to the anonymity of these organizations.

Azithromycin and Alcohol, We Level Up Dual Diagnosis Treatment

The definition of dual diagnosis (also referred to as co-occurring disorders) can differ between institutions. However, it is generally described as the specific treatment of someone diagnosed with a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder simultaneously. Treating dual-diagnosis clients is a critical aspect of our inpatient treatment experience because co-occurring disorders are strongly correlated with instances of substance abuse.

Creating a treatment plan that addresses the physical aspects of withdrawal, the psychological connection with drug use, and managing underlying mental health disorders is part of setting clients up for success. A thorough mental health analysis identifies possibilities for treatment. Meeting with mental health counselors and medical care providers means access to behavioral therapy and medication treatment. At our dual diagnosis treatment center, We Level Up can implement the highest quality of care. 

We recognize the fragile complexities of how mental and substance abuse disorders can influence others and sometimes result in a vicious cycle of addiction. That’s why we offer specialized treatment in dual-diagnosis cases to provide the most excellent chance of true healing and long-lasting recovery.

Accepting that you may be living with a mental illness can be challenging. However, treating the presenting substance abuse case can be magnitudes easier once properly diagnosed and treated. Only a properly trained medical professional can diagnose these underlying conditions. If you believe you are suffering from a disorder alongside addiction, we urge you to seek a qualified treatment center to begin your journey to recovery. Call We Level Up today.

Start a New Life

Begin with a free call to an addiction & behavioral health treatment advisor. Learn more about our dual-diagnosis programs. The We Level Up treatment center network delivers recovery programs that vary by each treatment facility. Call to learn more.

  • Personalized Care
  • Caring Accountable Staff
  • World-class Amenities
  • Licensed & Accredited
  • Renowned w/ 100s 5-Star Reviews

We’ll Call You

Azithromycin and Alcohol, Alcoholism Treatment Informative Video

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol addiction or dependence, is a condition that results from excessive consumption of alcohol. This disorder is characterized by repetitive and extreme drinking habits that can result in addiction and adversely affect an individual’s life. Various methods and tactics are implemented to address alcoholism and aid people in overcoming the disorder and ceasing harmful drinking behavior. These techniques focus on addressing the problem’s underlying causes and assisting the person in their journey toward recuperation.

Search Azithromycin and Alcohol, Dangers and Effects Topics & Resources
  1. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism:
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
  3. National Institutes of Health:
  4. Food and Drug Administration:
  5. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:
  6. National Library of Medicine:
  7. MedlinePlus:
  8. National Institute of Mental Health:
  9. National Institute on Drug Abuse:
  10. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

What Is Moderate Drinking?

Moderation is key to living a healthy life, but that can be hard to do if you don’t know where the line between “normal” and “too much” falls. Fortunately, there are specific and defined drinking levels that can help you determine whether your alcohol consumption habit is normal (or not). In this article, we’ll discuss how much to drink is too much; standard drink sizes; and exactly what is moderate drinking. 


The Different Drinking Levels: What Is Moderate Drinking?

Moderate drinking is considered to be two drinks or fewer for men, and one drink or less per day for women. The physiological differences between the genders play an important role in how quickly alcohol is metabolized and how much a body can safely tolerate. However, this is only part of the equation, as there are other factors that can affect how much a person can safely consume. Age, physical fitness, BMI, and weight are just a few factors that can play a critical role in determining a “safe” amount of drinking. 


Is Moderate Drinking Good For You?

Studies present conflicting information on whether moderate drinking is necessarily good for you, although it has been linked to having positive benefits such as lowering the risk of stroke and depression. Moreso, the distinction seems to be that moderate drinking is the amount a person can drink without incurring major health risks. Heavy drinking, and even the occasional binge drinking episode, can cause a lot of damage, very quickly. Still, there is no “safe” amount of alcohol consumption, as it is quite literally a toxic compound that the liver works hard to neutralize. 


Binge Drinking vs Heavy Drinking

Binge drinking is when an individual drinks a certain amount in a certain period of time. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), this is defined as when a man drinks five or more drinks at the same time (or within the span of a few hours), or in the case for women, four or more drinks. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism includes BAC (blood alcohol concentration) in their definition of binge drinking, which constitutes as drinking that brings the BAC level up to 0.08. 

Heavy drinking is less about the rapid succession of alcohol consumption and more about overall quantity. According to the NIAAA, heavy drinking for males is having 4 or more drinks in a single day or having more than 14 in a single week. For women, it’s 3 or more drinks in a day or 7 throughout the week. SAMSHA, however, defines it as five or more binge drinking sessions within the month. 


What’s In Your Cup? Standard Drink Size Definition

The size of a drink isn’t based on the cup that you’re drinking out of or the amount of liquid in it. Instead, drink size is based on the alcoholic content or ABV (alcohol by volume). Since this can vary greatly depending on whether it’s beer, wine, or hard liquor, the type of alcohol is the biggest determinant of what a standard drink is. 

In the United States, a standard drink is one that contains 14 grams of pure alcohol. Based on the average ABV of the respective beverage types, this equates to:

  • 12 ounces of beer (about 5% ABV)
  • 5 ounces of wine (about 12% ABV)
  • 1.5 ounces of hard liquor (about 40% ABV)

The higher the alcoholic content, the smaller the amount that qualifies as “one” drink. Although the exact amount can vary between the types of alcohol, this is still a helpful guide when trying to determine how many drinks you’ve consumed in a sitting. A single Long Island iced tea can contain two ounces of hard liquor in addition to liqueur (which has about 15-30% ABV) which is almost 2 standard drinks. Your standard pitcher of beer is 32 ounces, the equivalent of about 2.7 standard drinks. 


The Less You Drink, The Better

Ultimately, the healthiest amount of drinks is zero. While moderate alcohol consumption can minimize the likelihood that you put your health in danger or develop alcoholism, it is merely a guideline. It’s very possible for an individual to consume a “moderate” amount of alcohol but in an unhealthy way that rivals the negative effects of drinking in greater quantities.  

If you’ve found that your alcohol habits would land you in the bingeing or heavy drinker categories, cutting back can provide immediate benefits such as weight loss, improved cognition, and even better sleep. Finding it tough to ease up on drinking? You might have a drinking problem. Learn more about the signs of alcoholism, how it affects you, and what you can do to treat alcohol addiction



How Much Alcohol Is Safe To Drink Daily?

Many people across the globe enjoy a glass of wine with their dinner or whiskey on the rocks for a nightcap. In fact, they may enjoy it so much that it becomes a daily habit. On the other hand, some people drink unhealthy amounts on a daily basis. Individuals that drink habitually are likely struggling with an alcohol use disorder, also known as addiction. All of this begs the question, is there a healthy amount of alcohol consumption, and how much alcohol is safe to drink on a daily basis?

What Happens When You Drink Alcohol Every Day

The risks associated with drinking alcohol every day vary from person to person and case by case. Who is drinking, how much they drink, how often they drink, and why they drink are all factors that can influence the outcome. For instance, someone who drinks heavily is more likely to experience physical side effects. Additionally, the longer someone drinks heavily, the more likely serious health complications are to arise. 

Dangerous Alcohol Consumption

Drinking every day is particularly dangerous when multiple drinks are consumed in a single sitting. People who have preexisting conditions such as liver or heart disease are at a greater risk for developing serious complications from alcohol consumption. Additionally, a family history of alcoholism increases the likelihood of developing an alcohol use disorder yourself. Essentially, it is not safe for these individuals to drink alcohol on a daily basis, and drinking in high amounts on a regular basis is never safe. The dangers of alcohol consumption include:

  • Liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • Mental health issues
  • Nerve damage
  • Anemia
  • Cancer
  • Seizures
  • Gout
  • Reduced immune function
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Sleep problems

Psychological Significance of Drinking Every Day

Typically, when you ask if something is safe you are asking if it is physically safe. However, alcohol can have physical and psychological impacts. If someone is drinking alcohol every day, the first question to ask is “why?” Do you drink it because you enjoy the taste, do you do it to manage stress and anxiety, or for another reason. The reason for drinking can be a significant indicator of whether it is safe for an individual to drink alcohol or if it is being abused. 

Benefits of Drinking Everyday

Individuals who only have one standard drink per day are much less likely to experience any serious side effects from their alcohol consumption and may even see some benefit from drinking, such as stress relief. Hence, having a drink after a “long day”.

A systemic review, Does Drinking Reduce Stress published by Sayette M. A. (1999) explored stress-response damping (SRD); the idea that alcohol can lessen an individual’s response to stress. The review did cover studies that indicated “drinking can reduce stress in certain people and under certain circumstances”. However, some studies also reported incidents where stress was exacerbated by alcohol consumption. Sayette went on to identify and elaborate on an array of factors that play a role in alcohol’s SRD effects.

Essentially, some people may experience some benefits from drinking one or two alcoholics beverages per day, but not everyone. The potential risks of drinking alcohol every day greatly outweigh the possible benefits and there is no amount of alcohol that can be guaranteed to be safe.


Sayette M. A. (1999). Does drinking reduce stress?. Alcohol research & health : the journal of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 23(4), 250–255.

Is Alcoholism Genetic?

Alcoholism may not be the preventable and self-inflicted disease we believe it to be–at least, not entirely. Evidence of the hereditary connection to alcoholism is mounting. One finding is that the children of alcoholics are four times more likely to be alcoholics themselves. Numerous adoption studies have shown that rates of alcoholism are more closely tied to their biological parents, rather than the environment of their adoptive families. So is alcoholism genetic? An addiction that can be programmed into our DNA and impossible to override? Not entirely, but behavior and the personal choices individuals make aren’t the sole cause of alcoholism as one might believe.


Can Alcohol Alter DNA? 

Shockingly, yes. Addiction is usually looked at through the lens of ‘nature versus nurture’. However, epigenetics is an emerging field of research that is turning that old debate on its head. This relatively new field of study recognizes that environmental factors can cause genes to express themselves abnormally as they would with hereditary disease. These factors include age, environment, stress level, diet, drug use, or exposure to certain chemicals. Other types of alcohol-related epigenetic diseases include fetal alcohol syndrome, liver disease, and liver cancer. 

The repercussion of excessive alcohol consumption does more than change your DNA, however. These gene modifications can cause you to crave alcohol even more, significantly increasing the risk of developing alcoholism (though it’s important to note that addiction is a psychological affliction, one that genes may influence, but cannot cause outright). Further, these changes can be permanent and even passed down to offspring. To a certain extent, alcoholism can be a genetic condition, and individuals who inherit these genes can find themselves predisposed to chronic alcohol abuse. 


Genes Related to Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a complex and multifaceted disease, that involves hundreds of genes, all of which can be influenced by social and environmental factors. As such, there is no singular “alcoholism gene”. Research is still fairly young in this area, however, scientists have identified several genes that can contribute to the development of this chronic condition.

Alcohol dehydrogenase 1B (ADH1B) and aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) are the genes with the strongest ties to alcoholism. These are the genes responsible for the enzymes produced in the liver for alcohol metabolization, and some of their variants are better at processing alcohol than others. The more efficient these enzymes are, the quicker alcohol can be processed out of the body, the lower the chances of systemic toxic buildup and thus, and the lower the risk of developing alcohol use disorder.

Other genes related to alcoholism include: 

GABRA2 & CHRM2 – Associated with the increased EEG-β an inheritable trait and an indication of a parent with excessive alcohol exposure; believed to contribute to increased risk of developing alcohol dependence.

KCNJ6 – Helps to regulate the effects of opioid effects and pain management, as well as addiction.

AUTS2 – Deals with alcohol sensitivity and preference in the brain.

IPO11 & HTR1a – Increased susceptibility to addiction in general.

POMC – Integral part of regulating hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA), the dysfunction of which has a strong correlation with addictive behavior, particularly with alcohol cravings.

PER2 – Affects the body’s biological clock (circadian rhythms); disruptions of this gene are associated with increased alcohol consumption.


Genes Aren’t Everything

Scientists have long debated the relationship between alcoholism and our genes; whether it’s an inheritable part of our DNA or simply a behavior that we unconsciously learn. The truth is that it’s a bit of both. Although alcoholic parents can pass on a genetic predisposition to develop alcohol use disorder, behavior modifications can help us avoid triggering those metaphorical landmines in the first place. Moderation is key, as it is binge or chronic drinking that seems to detonate those detrimental gene expressions. For those already deep in addiction’s grasp, behavioral therapy at an alcohol addiction center can help individuals learn to override their genetic impulses. There is still much hope for an alcoholic even when alcoholism runs in the family.



Side Effects of Mixing Meloxicam and Alcohol

It’s well known that taking alcohol and painkillers together is a terrible idea, but how dangerous would it be to drink alcohol while taking arthritis medication like Meloxicam? The short answer: It’s very risky. It’s powerful and can cause major heart and gastrointestinal problems that could be life-threatening. Additionally, many of the specific side effects of this medication overlap with those caused by alcohol use. Read on to learn more about the side effects of mixing meloxicam and alcohol, why it reacts badly to alcohol, and how long until you can drink after having taken a dose. 


Meloxicam and Alcohol Side Effects

On its own, taking meloxicam exactly as directed can result in the development of deadly heart and stomach issues. Adding alcohol to the mix, however, increases the likelihood of those serious health consequences occurring. 


High Blood Pressure

One of the lesser-known side effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like meloxicam, is that itc can cause, or worsen, hypertension. This affects everything from your heart to kidneys and even your eyes. Alcohol is also known to cause acute blood pressure elevation as well (scientists believe this is because alcohol stimulates adrenal glands which result in your heart working harder and pumping more blood more quickly). 


Although the effects of alcohol on blood pressure are rapidly reversible and resolve themselves within a few hours of consumption, when paired with meloxicam’s significant half-life, the overlap can be deadly on the body. The resulting cardiovascular stress lays the groundwork for a stroke or heart attack–both of which can be fatal. 


Stomach Ulcer

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like these are known to irritate the digestive tract. Constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, and vomiting are fairly common. Far less common (and much more concerning) gastrointestinal side effects are the development of stomach ulcers. These are painful sores on the stomach lining that can interfere with digestion and result in a lot of discomfort. 


Heavy drinking can also contribute to the development of a stomach ulcer. Alcohol does so by increasing the amount of stomach acid which can lead to irritation. When alcohol and meloxicam are combined, they not only amplify the likelihood of developing an ulcer but can exacerbate the condition, resulting in the potentially life-threatening complication of a bleeding ulcer. Symptoms of this condition include sticky stools that are black or dark red, bloody vomit, and anemia. 


Kidney Problems

NSAIDs can cause two types of acute renal (kidney) injury and can lead to chronic kidney injury or failure. This is because the anti-inflammatory function of NSAIDs can inhibit the production of renal prostaglandins, important lipids that help maintain normal kidney function. With the kidneys producing fewer of them, these tiny bean-shaped organs can have a harder time regulating the balance of salt and water in the body (among other things). This can lead to fluid retention which can cause a domino effect that harms several vital organs and bodily functions in addition to the kidneys themselves. The longer NSAID, or in this case meloxicam, is used the greater these risks. Alcohol compounds these issues by directly interfering with your kidney’s ability to regulate fluid in the body. Alcohol compounds these issues by directly interfering with your kidney’s ability to regulate fluid in the body. 


How long to wait to drink alcohol after taking Meloxicam?

The average meloxicam dosage has a half-life of about 20 hours. Since it takes at least five half-lives for a substance to be considered out of your body, it can take up to 5 days for meloxicam to get out of your system. However, since meloxicam is usually prescribed for long-time use, drinking any alcohol at all while taking this medication is ill-advised. Essentially, there is no “safe” time-frame to have alcoholic after taking meloxicam. 


If you or someone you know is unwilling or unable to stop drinking while taking an NSAID like meloxicam, they’re putting their health in serious peril. Continuing to drink in light of painful side effects could be demonstrative of an unhealthy drinking compulsion. Learn more about identifying the signs of alcoholism and what to do when you confirm them. 

How Does Alcohol Age You? (Spoiler: It’s Not Pretty)

What do birthdays, teenagers, and alcohol have in common? They can make you feel really, really old. In the case of alcohol, it does so quite literally. How does alcohol age you exactly? In more ways than one. Its dehydrating effects can add years to your face, skin, and body to make you look older than you actually are. Not only that, but it affects you from the inside out, making you feel older as well from your joints to your memory (and everywhere in between). Learn the ugly truth about how alcohol prematurely ages you with these 5 shocking consequences. 

5 Ways Alcohol Makes You Look & Feel Older Than You Are


One of the most telling signs of age, alcohol plays a major role in causing premature development of fine lines and wrinkles. Alcohol is extremely dehydrating which can cause your otherwise supple skin to be parched and dry. This dryness makes your skin increasingly susceptible to creasing and also makes existing wrinkles more pronounced. 

Dark Undereye Circles

As if looking tired all the time wasn’t enough (alcohol can cause sleeping issues), alcohol can make sure that you look it too. While the dark circles under your eyes are mostly controlled by genetics, alcohol can make the discoloration much more pronounced and contribute to puffiness as well. The cause is once again, alcohol’s dehydrating effects. The drying effect on your skin causes this already thin piece of the epidermis to become even thinner and make the blood vessels underneath the skin more pronounced.


Charming on Santa Clause, not so much for someone wanting to maintain their youthful appearance. Alcohol can put your heart into overdrive, causing blood pressure to increase and putting pressure on blood vessels. This pressure can cause your skin to flush resulting in perpetually ruddy cheeks. Sometimes these blood vessels can burst, causing a condition called telangiectasia (the culprit of spider veins in the legs) that resembles decades of sun damage. 

Weight Gain

Keeping a trim figure becomes a lot harder as you get older, and drinking can make it even more challenging to keep the lean figure of your youth. Alcohol is a double whammy on your waistline as it slows down your metabolism and is full of weight-gaining sugars. The extra pounds can also make it more difficult to maneuver when doing your usual activities. While gaining a little weight doesn’t automatically make you look older, it can slow you down to make you feel a lot less spry. 

Earlier Likelihood of Degenerative Illnesses

Alcohol kicks off a chain of events that hasten the premature breakdown of your internal bodily functions. The result of which can cause a host of serious diseases well before your time. Diabetes, health attack, liver failure, kidney failure, stroke, dementia…These are just a few major ones that can seriously undercut your overall health. While there are a number of other factors that can affect the onset of these illnesses (diet, genetics, lifestyle), drinking can cause them to occur decades earlier than they otherwise would.

The Unflattering Effects of Alcohol Consumptions

Knowing the extent of how alcohols ages you, it’s a wonder why anyone drinks alcohol at all! A few drinks may seem harmless – or even beneficial – in the moment but they can have long-lasting repercussions that fast track your body’s signs of aging. Heavy drinking and binge drinking put you at the greatest risk of incurring undesirable side effects. To minimize both external and internal alcohol damage, the NIAAA recommends avoiding drinking more than three standard drinks per day and no more than seven total in a given week. If you’re having difficulty cutting back on your drinking, an alcohol rehab center can help before things escalate.


Social Drinker vs Problem Drinker: What’s The Difference?

You’re out for a night of fun with friends and your one drink has turned into half a dozen. You don’t normally drink this much, just every once in a while so it’s fine…right? Determining when you should be concerned about your drinking habit can be surprisingly difficult. 

Social Drinker vs Problem Drinker

The line between social drinker vs problem drinker is much narrower than you might think. Plus, most people tend to underestimate how much they drink (both the amount in a single sitting and the frequency in which they indulge) so trying to analyze your own relationship with alcohol can be tricky.

What is a Social Drinker?

A social drinker is considered to be someone who primarily drinks on social occasions and does so in moderation. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has defined this threshold based on gender. For women, this means a maximum of 3 drinks in a single day but no more than 7 drinks total during a week. For men, who have greater alcohol tolerance, this threshold is no more than 4 drinks in a given day, with a maximum of 14 drinks in a single week. This type of drinking pattern is considered to be low-risk with a very low likelihood of leading to alcohol addiction. 

These limits sound fairly reasonable, but those aren’t the only set of numbers that determine whether your drinking is high or low risk. It’s important to consider what a standard drink is. Drinking three pitchers of beer during one night is a vastly different amount of alcohol than drinking three cans worth. So when the NIAAA refers to a “drink”, they are referring to both set numbers of drinks and specific amounts per drink.

The Size of a Standard Drink

The size of a standard drink is determined by the alcohol content and is defined as a drink with 14 grams of pure alcohol. Naturally, the stronger the drink, the smaller the standard size will be. Your standard beer is about 5% alcohol. Wine is a bit stronger with an average of 12% alcohol content. Distilled spirits (gin, rum, tequila, vodka, whiskey, etc.) are some of the strongest with around 40% alcohol content. As such, the standard size of each will be:

  • Beer: 12.5 fluid ounces (the size of the average beer can)
  • Wine: 5 fluid ounces
  • Spirits: 1.5 fluid ounces


Let’s revisit our earlier comparison. Using the standard drink size, a pitcher of beer is typically 32 ounces and the equivalent of slightly less than 3 cans of beer. Drinking three pitches would actually equate to about 8 cans of beer, putting the drinker well beyond the limits of what’s defined as social drinking.

How does your drinking compare when measured using standard drink sizes? 

What is a Problem Drinker?

A problem drinker isn’t an official term or diagnosis. It is often used to describe drinking habits that have caused negative social, behavioral, financial or health consequences to a point where individuals feel the need (or are told) to cut back. Problem drinkers can self-correct whereas genuine alcoholics will find themselves both physically and mentally compelled to continue drinking heavily.

Drinking that falls under this category often falls in the realm of alcohol abuse, although it’s not necessarily always the case. Problematic drinking can include:

  • Binge drinking (drinking enough more than 4-5 drinks in a given day) 
  • Extreme binge drinking (more than 8-10 drinks in a given day)
  • Heavy drinking (binge drinking more than 5 or more days in a 30-day period)

Ultimately, what determines if someone is a problem drinker or not isn’t necessarily the health consequences of their drinking habit. Rather, it is their relationship with alcohol that is the most telling factor. The dysfunctionality of this relationship is primarily what separates problem drinking from alcohol use disorder. 

Is Your Drinking Habit Problematic?

Alcohol consumption is so commonplace that our sense of “moderation” can be seriously skewed towards viewing excessive drinking as normal. Have you’ve found that your drinking habits might be a reason for concern? If so, it doesn’t automatically mean that you’re an alcoholic. Alcoholism is a literal addiction to alcohol where your body has developed both physical and psychological dependence. 

One of the clearest signs that you might be an alcoholic is if you’ve tried to stop drinking but felt physically ill after doing so. Those aren’t hangover symptoms. They’re likely a sign of alcohol withdrawal and that you need help managing your drinking habit. Learn more about recognizing alcohol addiction and how to get treatment

Can Alcohol Cause Kidney Failure?

Drinking too much can cause a ton of health issues, one of them being compromised kidney function. Can alcohol cause kidney failure? Yes. This in turn can lead to liver disease or outright liver failure, the results of which can be fatal (how shocking that despite this, people still drink alcohol) Your kidneys play an integral part in your overall health and you cannot live without them. 

What Do Kidneys Do? 

To fully appreciate how important the kidneys are (and why their failure would be devastating to the body) let’s take a closer look at what the kidneys do. The kidneys are two small, bean-shaped organs located just beneath your ribcage. These tiny-but-mighty organs are involved with the urinary tract, hormone excretion, making sure your blood is clean and chemically balanced and removing harmful substances from your body. 

Your kidneys filter about 150 quarts of blood each day. During this process, toxic compounds are removed while the waters, salts, and minerals that your blood needs to power the rest of your body, are added. This is crucial to maintaining healthy nerves, muscles, and body tissue. Your kidneys also play a direct role in maintaining cardiovascular health as the control center for hormones that regulate blood pressure and the creation of red blood cells.

When the kidney is unable to perform its job, your body fills with fluid and waste products. This buildup can cause a host of other issues from tiredness to swelling of the limbs, to anemia. If this condition persists, the consequences can be fatal.

How Alcohol Damages Kidneys

Binge drinking and chronic alcohol abuse can spell bad news for the kidneys in more ways than one. Directly, alcohol impairs the kidney’s ability to regulate fluid in the body as well as the balance of vitamins and minerals. This imbalance can spark a number of disturbances well beyond the kidney’s normal scope and can result in exhaustion, confusion, difficulty breathing, chest pain, and swollen limbs. 

How does this happen? The presence of alcohol causes kidney cell walls to thicken causing enlargement of the kidney, a condition strongly linked to impaired kidney function. Simultaneously, alcohol directly interferes with the kidney’s release of vasopressin, an antidiuretic hormone the instructs the urinary tract to release as infrequently as possible in order to conserve body fluid (and is why alcohol makes you go to the bathroom more frequently than usual). Going to the bathroom more often causes an imbalance of electrolyte concentration – the cause of the majority of symptoms associated with kidney damage.

Types of Kidney Failure

There are two types of kidney failure: acute and chronic. Acute kidney failure is when the kidney suddenly loses its ability to function. This can be caused by an injury or other temporary impairment such as an infection or binge drinking. While it has the potential to be life-threatening in the relatively short time-frame that if occurs, this condition can be reversible.  

Chronic kidney failure, on the other, is the gradual deterioration of kidney function. Fluid or waste products accrue in the body over time and build up in the body. Unfortunately, the early stages of chronic disease are subtle and make little detection that there is an issue. By the time chronic kidney disease is detected, kidney function has likely already been significantly impaired. There are five stages of kidney failure, which are breaking up by the percentage of remaining kidney function:

  • Stage 1 – Over 90% of kidney function
  • Stage 2 – Between 89-60% of kidney function
  • Stage 3A – Between 59-45% of kidney function
  • Stage 3B – Between 44-30% of kidney function
  • Stage 4 – Between 29-15% of kidney function
  • Stage 5 – Less than 15% of kidney function

As the stage of kidney failure progresses, the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), the amount of blood the kidneys can filter in 1 minute, decreases as well, contributing to an even more rapid deterioration of symptoms.

Is It Kidney Disease or Kidney Failure?

The difference between kidney disease and kidney failure is the degree to which kidney function is impaired. Kidney failure is considered to be when 90% (or more) of kidney function is lost. A complete loss of kidney failure is called end-stage renal disease or ESRD). The only treatment options available are dialysis, when your blood is run through a machine to be cleaned, or a complete kidney transplant.

Signs & Symptoms of Kidney Failure

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Sleep problems
  • Frequent urination
  • Decreased mental sharpness
  • Muscle twitches and cramps
  • Swelling of limbs
  • Persistent itching
  • Chest pain (caused by fluid buildup in the heart)
  • Shortness of breath (caused by fluid buildup in the lungs)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) that’s difficult to control



What It’s Like Being Married To An Alcoholic

Being married to an alcoholic is hard – and making your marriage work can be even harder. Sometimes referred to as an alcoholic marriage, this unhealthy relationship dynamic takes a tremendous emotional, financial, and physical toll on the spouse as well as the drinker. Not only that, but it often causes irreparable harm to the very relationship itself which is why marriages where someone has an alcohol use disorder (AUD) have higher rates of divorce. Recognizing the signs that your spouse’s drinking habits have gone too far could save both the marriage and their life. 

10 Struggles of Being Married To An Alcoholic

Alcoholism doesn’t just happen overnight. The process is gradual, so much so that a spouse may not realize that their husband or wife is slowly becoming an alcoholic before their very eyes. Another reason why the development of a drinking problem goes undetected is that the spouse may be an enabler, making excuses for the husband or wife, and is unwilling to recognize the problematic behavior. 

1. They’re struggling at work or having difficulty keeping a job

One of the telltale signs of a drinking disorder is when it impedes crucial daily life such as school or going to work. An alcoholics’ work performance is usually the first to suffer, likely from calling out due to hangovers or being intoxicated during working hours. Once terminated, they may have difficulty finding new places of employment or maintaining a job for more than a few days or weeks at a time which can be a massive blow to household finances. 

2. They shirk family responsibilities

Marriage is a partnership, and things quickly become problematic when you can no longer rely on your partner. Whether it’s managing the household or rearing children, if your spouse is routinely dropping the ball, it’s a clear sign that their priorities have shifted.

3. Personal hygiene has deteriorated

Alcoholism is a disease that affects the body both physically and psychologically. One of the side effects of which include a growing disinterest in anything that isn’t alcohol. The result of which means that your spouse’s personal hygiene routine has suddenly taken an extended hiatus. 

4. They experience rapid mood swings

Alcohol interferes with neurochemicals, the resulting imbalance can result in the formation or aggravation of mental health disorders. Depression and anxiety are common developments in alcoholism and can result in your spouse quickly going between various emotional states.

5. They skip meals

Malnutrition and anemia are commonplace amongst alcoholics, one of the reasons being that they are known to skip meals in lieu of an alcoholic beverage. If your spouse is constantly passing on dinner but has a drink in hand, it could be a sign they’re at the point where alcohol outweighs their basic survival instincts. 

6. Unintentional weight changes

Another consequence of a drinking problem can be fluctuations in weight. If they are frequently skipping meals as mentioned above, you might notice them shedding the pounds seemingly without explanation. Conversely, alcohol use disorders can also cause significant weight gain since alcohol is loaded with carbs and sugars that are difficult for the body to burn. Further, alcohol interferes with the digestive system and can leave them with a slower metabolism that also contributes to weight gain. 

7. They engage in high-risk behavior

A chronic drinking problem can damage the part of the brain responsible for impulse control and rational decision-making. As such, you may notice your husband or wife engaging in increasingly risky behavior that they normally would not. This might look like gambling, illegal activity, or getting into frequent car accidents. However, this can also take the place of mundane behaviors like deciding to skip work or picking fights.

8. They’ve become physically abusive

The World Health Organization has identified drinking as a major factor in domestic violence against a spouse. This can include physical, psychological, or sexual forms of abuse. 

9. They’re abandoned their hobbies 

This is a common behavior of addicts. Over time, their thoughts and financial resources are consumed by the source of their addiction as both the psychological and physiological need for alcohol grow stronger. This behavior is concerning if your spouse is constantly canceling plans (especially ones that are part of their routine).  

10. Your sex life has taken a hit

It’s not unusual for there to be dry spells in a married couple’s sex life. However, if your intimacy has been lagging for an e

xtended period of time, it could be caused by alcohol’s libido-deflating effect in men. Numerous studies have shown that alcohol can lower testosterone levels.

alcohol-focused behavioral couples therapy

Protect Your Family, Get Help Today

An alcoholic spouse’s habits have negative repercussions that affect household dynamics, finances, and intimacy. These issues then create a domino effect of instability which affects spouses and their children. This is why alcoholism is considered to be a family disease as its effects extend far beyond the alcohol itself. Not sure how to broach the topic with your alcoholic husband or wife? Start with our addiction intervention guide that can help you navigate this sensitive but necessary subject. 

At Level Up Lake Worth, we offer family therapy to help couples and families work together to overcome the struggles listed above. We understand that the impacts of addiction never stop with the addict. Family therapy creates a safe space to talk honestly and for each member of the family to gain what they need to repair the unit as a whole.

Drugs Used to Treat Alcoholism & How They Work

Alcohol addiction is a disease that goes far beyond willpower. Chronic alcohol abuse can rewire your brain not only to crave a substance but physically require it in order to function. This dependence is why kicking a drinking habit is so difficult. Fortunately, there are several types of drugs used to treat alcoholism that target specific alcohol addiction side effects and help contribute to both short and long-term recovery efforts.

Disulfiram (Brand names: Antabuse)

This drug was the first of its kind to be FDA-approved for use as part of alcohol addiction treatment. Rather than treating symptoms of alcoholism, Disulfiram uses negative reinforcement to discourage alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol after taking this medication will induce unpleasant side effects like that of a bad hangover: nausea and vomiting, headaches, and sweating. When alcohol is introduced to the body with disulfiram already in the system, it produces a byproduct called acetaldehyde that is responsible for the previously listed effects.

Unfortunately, this aversion approach to alcohol abstinence can backfire, leaving little motivation for alcoholics to actually take this medication. As such, it’s often helpful to monitor individuals to ensure it’s taken. Disulfiram doesn’t necessarily need to be an ongoing medication and instead, can be reserved for use at times when temptation is at its strongest. This could be during extra-stressful events (example: holidays or losing a job) or at specific times of the day as part of a routine (example: after-work happy hour)

Naltrexone (Brand names: Revia, Depade, Vivitrol)

Initially approved for use in opioid addiction treatment, scientists stumbled upon Naltrexone’s ability to curb alcohol cravings. It does so by blocking opioid receptors which are responsible for causing feelings of pleasure. This prevents the pleasurable feelings that alcohol consumption might otherwise generate. Severing the reward pathway previously associated with drinking can help unravel alcohol’s hold on the brain which has been shown to be an effective means of reducing the likelihood of relapse. It is available in both pill form or as a monthly injectable. 

Acamprosate (Brand names: Campral)

The third of the three FDA-approved alcoholism medications, Acamprosate helps minimize the discomfort of the psychological-based alcohol withdrawal symptoms, which can include anxiety, depression, restlessness, and insomnia. It does this by interacting with GABA and glutamate transmitters – both of which levels get thrown off by the neurochemical changes caused by ongoing substance abuse. Otherwise, the discomfort caused by these imbalances can be a cause for newly recovering alcoholics to relapse.


One potential obstacle of this medication is that it requires a lot of pills: two of them three times a day. This can be especially difficult to keep track of if you are taking other medications at the same time.   


Its principal use is as an antiepileptic drug intended to treat and prevent seizures. The same mechanisms that make it effective for treating epilepsy can also counter some of the neurological consequences of alcohol addiction. It works similarly to acamprosate by affecting GABA and glutamate receptors (although the exact mechanism is unknown). Gabapentin increases the levels of GABA within the brain, which overall helps to normalize GABA activity.


Studies have shown that gabapentin can ease anxiety and insomnia (a side effect of alcohol withdrawal) and help reduce cravings. The long-term benefits of which can reduce instances of heavy drinking and encourage alcohol abstinence. Findings are promising as a potential new alcoholism treatment medication. It is not yet approved by the FDA but is currently used in other countries. 


Similar to gabapentin, this medication is primarily used to treat epilepsy and migraines. It has been found to be effective for treating alcohol dependence (although it is not FDA approved specifically for this purpose). Also like gabapentin, topiramate affects GABA and glutamate neurotransmission.


The exact mechanism in which topiramate is able to achieve this is unclear, but it is believed to reduce dopamine release –  a key aspect in the formation of addiction. This essentially works to deprogram the alcoholic to associating drinking with pleasure and to rely on this substance as their primary dopamine source. 

Can a Pill Cure Alcoholism?

The benefits of drugs used to treat alcoholism cannot be overstated, however, they can only do so much on their own. These medications can help deter releasing, but do not guarantee alcohol abstinence. It is always recommended that these drugs are used in conjunction with some form of counseling or therapy to promote long-term recovery from alcohol addiction


6 Signs You Need to Go To an Alcohol Rehabilitation Center

Alcohol is such a deeply integrated cultural norm that discerning when the occasional over-indulgence has become true alcoholism can be difficult. After all, it’s not unusual for a person to drink too much, and doing so doesn’t automatically make them an alcoholic. What ultimately sets a binge apart from a true disorder is the person’s relationship with alcohol. Wondering where your drinking habits fall on the scale? Here are 6 not-so-subtle warning signs that you have unhealthy drinking habits and might need to go to an alcohol rehabilitation center:

1. You lie about how much you drink

It seems that whenever you’re asked about your drinking habits you constantly find yourself downplaying the amount of alcohol you’ve consumed or making excuses about why you “needed” the drinks you had. Simply put: if you feel the need to fib or become defensive, odds are that deep down you know your drinking habits are well beyond what others would consider normal. Similarly, frequently drinking alone or in secret is another red flag that your drinking habits have surpassed healthy standards.

2. You’ve given up hobbies and other activities that used to bring you pleasure

Planning your next drink is never far from your thoughts and it’s gotten to a point where you’ll cancel plans to make sure that it happens. Or, perhaps your drinking has become so frequent (and the hangovers so intense) that you’re no longer functional enough to indulge in your usual past times. It’s one thing to have your interests change, but it seems like more and more of your usual leisure activities have fallen by the wayside but your determination to drink remains unwavering.

3. Your work performance has noticeably slipped

Even more concerning than abandoning your hobbies—things you like to do— for alcohol, is abandoning the things you have to do. If your drinking habits have noticeably impeded your ability to function in the workplace (or any other place where you wield a significant amount of personal responsibility), you’re demonstrating that you find alcohol to be more important than one of the cornerstones of special expectations. And since work is directly related to the ability to provide for ourselves, it also means you’re valuing alcohol over the risk of shelter and other life necessities.

4. You have multiple DUIs

Getting tangled with the law for an infraction is as damaging to one’s reputation as it is costly. Doing so multiple times shows a blatant disregard for both health and safety as well as basic rational decision making. Impunitive actions like a DUI are meant to discourage such behavior. Their failure as a meaningful deterrent shows just how upended your priorities have become and also highlights the loss of control you have over your actions.

5. You know you drink too much but don’t change

If your usual approach to drinking is to say “I know I shouldn’t be doing this but…” and then do it anyway, it’s pretty clear that you’re struggling with self-control and the ability to self-regulate your drinking. If your body is saying “no” but you feel like some invisible force is making you say “yes” against your better judgment, that’s a fairly obvious sign of an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

6. You experience withdrawal symptoms

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Experiencing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal is indicative of physical dependence—the body’s precursor to full-blown addiction. Your neurochemical balance has been altered to a degree that it can no longer function normally without alcohol. This can be considered one of the most obvious and urgent signs that you might need to go to an alcohol rehabilitation center. These symptoms most commonly manifest themselves as shaking, sweating, headaches, hallucinations, nausea, and seizures, and can occur in as little as a few hours after your last drink.

Find an Alcohol Rehabilitation Center Near You

There are an estimated 17 million adults and adolescents with alcohol use disorder (AUD). Sadly, the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that only 1 of every 10 seek or receive any treatment. Part of the reason for such dismal numbers is simply that most individuals aren’t aware that they have a drinking problem. 


Alcoholism is a serious and debilitating disease that will progressively get worse the longer it goes untreated. Exhibiting even one of these behaviors can be indicative of a potentially dangerous alcohol addiction. An alcohol rehabilitation center can help mitigate the unpleasant withdrawal effects and help with behavioral therapy for this chronic relapsing brain disorder. 

Drunk Driving During the Holidays & Accident Prevention Tips

‘Tis the season for office parties, gift exchanges, potlucks, and general merriment. As the weather cools down and the mood is increasingly festive, the dangers of driving under the influence are probably the last thing on your mind as you gather with loved ones this holiday season. In recognition of National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, we’re highlighting the increased danger of driving under the influence as well as ways to keep loved ones safe this season. 

5 Ways to Prevent Drunk Driving Accidents During the Holidays

Ask your host about staying the night

If we had a nickel for every alcohol-related mishap we heard about that started with “I was only going to have one drink”…It’s no secret that in a lively, social setting, drinking can quickly get out of control and we can imbibe more than initially planned. Anticipate this possibility and ask the party host whether you could spend the night in case your drinking gets out of hand. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a stressful situation at the end of the night scrambling for a last-minute option. You could get a cab or a ride-share home, but then you’ll have to come back for your vehicle (if you drove). Surge pricing and ride-share availability are other headaches you may have to deal with at the moment. 

Download ride-hailing apps ahead of time

Many cities offer complimentary transportation services during the holidays. Taking advantage of this freebie typically requires an app. Check whether there are any local services available to you and be sure to download the necessary apps in advance. You don’t want to be standing outside in the cold, trying to make a download on slow, spotty WiFi. Be sure to also check whether there are any other requirements such as having ID, a passenger minimum or maximum, and the hours of operation. 

Eat while you drink, but avoid salty foods

Eating food helps to slow the rate of alcohol consumption, giving holiday revelers a chance to sober up before it’s time to depart. Salty foods, on the other hand, could be counterproductive by making you feel thirsty and in turn, causing you to drink even more. Check with your host beforehand whether food will be available. If not, make a stop to get something that doesn’t need to be refrigerated or, offer to bring a dish to the party – your host will think you’re the perfect guest and you can ensure there’s something to snack on that you know you’ll enjoy, win-win!

Stop drinking 1-2 hours before the end of the party

If you’re a partygoer, avoid drinking an hour or two before departing. However, if there isn’t a clear end time for the party, deciding a cut off time may be difficult. More effective, would be for the host to remove any remaining alcoholic beverages once the party begins winding down. While this may not guarantee that all guests depart sober, it can lower their BAC enough to be the difference between an arrest, or even life or death. It takes about one hour for your body to metabolize one standard drink, and removes about 0.02 BAC from the bloodstream per hour. A “standard drink” is considered to be the following:

  • One 12 oz regular beer (4.5-6% alcohol)
  • One 12oz White Claw (5% alcohol)
  • One 7 oz malt liquor (7% alcohol)
  • One 5 oz glass of wine (12% alcohol)
  • One 1.5 oz shot of hard liquor (40% alcohol)
  • One 0.5 oz of Everclear (95% alcohol)


Avoid driving after midnight

Even being perfectly sober doesn’t spare you from the danger of roadways during the holidays. Most drunk driving, or other types of impaired driving, accidents typically occur during the late hours of the night, between 1 AM and 3 AM. This time often coincides with the closing of bars and other nightlife establishments, where tipsy patrons file out and unwisely, get behind the wheel. When you are on the road, stay as far to the right of the road as possible.

Prevent A Substance Abuse Tragedy this Season

Don’t let an accident or driving penalty caused by impaired driving interrupt your celebrations. The best way to avoid drunk driving during the holidays is to abstain from drinking altogether. If you or a loved one have a drinking problem that’s beyond their control, contact Level Up Lake Worth to give them the best gift of all: the chance to live a long, healthy life. 

Can Alcoholics Drink Non-Alcoholic Beer?

Non-alcoholic beer would appear to be the perfect solution for a recovering alcoholic: They can maintain their sobriety while once again partaking in social gatherings, or simply indulge in the signature tangy malt flavor of the most popular beverage in the world. Yet, the concept of alcohol-free beer is one of great controversy that has many wondering: Can alcoholics drink non-alcoholic beer and still be in recovery? 

What Is Non-Alcoholic Beer & Is It Real Beer? 

Yes, non-alcoholic beer is “real” beer and not just some mocktail being pushed as an alternative for your usual brewsky. Alcohol content, or lack thereof, has no bearing on beer’s classification. Beer is defined as any beverage made by brewing a cereal grain such as barley, wheat, or corn. Normally during the brewing process, the sugars from the starch source ferment creating ethanol. The result is beer’s standard 4-5% ABV (alcohol by volume).

Non-alcoholic beer is sometimes referred to by other names such as alcohol-free beer, zero alcohol beer, or “near-beer”. Depending on who you ask, however, certain names carry different meanings or even different alcohol allowances. That’s why no matter whether a beer is advertised as having no alcohol, it’s crucial to check and read labels.

How Non-Alcoholic Beer Is Made

There are two ways that beer manufacturers typically make beer without the alcohol content. They either remove the ethanol that’s naturally produced during the fermentation process or stop that process from happening altogether. Most non-alcoholic beer manufacturers opt for the former option, brewing beer as normal and then removing the ethanol that’s produced, although both methods can be expensive and time-consuming. The exact method of this extraction can vary with some manufacturers boiling the ethanol away while others use a physical filter to separate it. 

What’s In a Name? The Source of Controversy

Whether you’re for or against alcoholics drinking non-alcoholic beer, one thing that we can all agree on is that this product category is pretty misleading. Despite its name, non-alcoholic beer does, in fact, contain trace amounts of alcohol. Legally, as long as it contains less than 0.5% ABV, it can be considered a non-alcoholic beer (which is also sometimes referred to as alcohol-free beer, or de-alcoholized beer). 

The Pros of Non-Alcoholic Beer

Not everyone drinks alcohol to get drunk. Many supporters of alcoholics drinking non-alcoholic beer believe it a harmless act if a person is doing so for the taste. Drinking is deeply ingrained in our social customs and for many, the allure of drinking a beer isn’t to get rowdy or inebriated, but for nostalgic purposes. In that sense, non-alcoholic beer presents a rare opportunity for recovering addicts to indulge and reconnect with the malty beverage that accompanied many a pastime while maintaining their sobriety. 

Sure, there may be tiny traces of alcohol and the name is somewhat of a misnomer. But as long as they drink it without the intention of getting drunk, what’s the harm? It’s similar logic to that of decaffeinated beverages. The label may say that your coffee or tea may say “caffeine-free” and it’s accepted that trace amounts may still exist.

The Cons of Non-Alcoholic Beer

Opponents of so-called non-alcoholic beer feel that the presence of alcohol, no matter how tiny, can put recovering alcoholics in danger of relapse.  While an alcohol level of less than half a percent cannot cause someone to become intoxicated, simply re-introducing the substance back into the body could undo weeks, months, or even years of progress. 

Plus, having a low ABV doesn’t make non-alcoholic beer a risk-free substitute. Drinking several and in rapid succession could put enough alcohol in the system to make a person mildly inebriated (although they would likely feel very sick in the process). This could provide a dangerous temptation to misuse this seeming work-around, and end up being just as problematic as the real thing. 

Another case against this beer-alternative is that memory is a well-known and powerful player in addiction. Simply tasting the malt could cause cravings within the brain and send the individual on a path straight towards relapse. For this reason, even genuinely alcohol-free beers are considered a no-go. 

Final Thoughts: Can Alcoholics Drink Non-Alcoholic Beer?

Whether an alcoholic can safely drink a non-alcoholic beer without relapsing is a matter of personal preference. Some recovering addicts are wary of any amount of alcohol, no matter how small, and will even abstain from using wine in their cooking. For others who feel in control of their past addiction, it’s a chance to be reunited with a taste that accompanies their happiest moments. Ultimately, choosing to drink non-alcoholic beer is a highly personal decision by the individual recovering alcohol – there is no right answer.

The key to doing so safely and without jeopardizing your sobriety is to be honest and know your limits. For those who feel comfortable with the idea and want to try a non-alcoholic beer, we recommend setting up precautions to minimize detrimental outcomes. Things like only drinking in the presence of a trusted friend that would step in if consumption gets out of hand. 

If you are struggling with your addiction and are worried about relapsing, our experienced staff can help talk you through it. 

The Dangers of Fentanyl and Alcohol

What is Fentanyl and How Is It Used?

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid with a dangerous reputation. It can be 100 times stronger than morphine, and 50 times stronger than heroin. This increased potency means a greater likelihood of causing life-threatening opioid side effects or a fatal overdose. These already significant risks are amplified even further when fentanyl and alcohol are combined. Even in small doses, the combination can be quite the lethal duo.

Forms of Fentanyl:

  • Lozenge
  • Pill
  • Patch
  • Injectable solution
  • Powder 
  • Blotter paper 
  • Eye droppers 
  • Nasal sprays 

Fentanyl is classified as a Schedule II substance. This means that it has a high potential for abuse and can result in severe physical or psychological dependence. Other drugs in this classification include cocaine, methamphetamine, and oxycodone. This classification might come as a surprise seeing as how fentanyl is far more powerful than heroin, which is classified as a Schedule I, the highest tier. The reason for this is that fentanyl does have prescribed uses whereas heroin does not and is purely illicit. 

The Dangers of Fentanyl

Synthetic opioids are one of the leading causes of drug overdose deaths in the United States. Fentanyl leads those numbers and in 2017 resulted in nearly 30,000 overdose fatalities. Over half of all opioid-related deaths that year involved fentanyl. 

Unlike with other types of opioid abuse that are driven by misuse of a prescription (typically by a non-prescribed individual), the majority of illicit fentanyl usage is supplied by illegal manufacturing of the substance by clandestine laboratories.  

Although fentanyl operates as your typical opioid would, the higher potency means that the neurological reactions are much stronger, the effects on the body are more drastic, and the likelihood of addiction far greater. As little as a 2-milligram dose can be lethal (picture for scale). Fentanyl comes in a variety of forms and its versatility of consumption is a significant factor in why this dangerous substance is so widespread.

How Fentanyl Affects the Body

Fentanyl is fast-acting and works like your typical opioid. It is a mu-opioid receptor antagonist that controls pain and emotions. Once it has activated receptors, dopamine levels increase which blocks sensations of pain and sometimes results in feelings of euphoria. Fentanyl also acts as a depressant on central nervous system functions which can slow down breathing and digestion. One surprising difference between fentanyl and other opioids is that fentanyl does not seem to have the same cardiovascular effects that most other opioids do. The most common fentanyl side effects include:

  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Euphoria
  • Hypoxia
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Slowed or difficulty breathing
  • Sweating

Fentanyl and Alcohol: Making a Bad Situation Worse

Both fentanyl and alcohol are depressants. They both cause cognitive impairment and disruption to central nervous system functions but do so in different ways. The primary danger of using both substances together is where those side effects overlap: respiratory depression.

On its own, fentanyl can slow breathing to a dangerous rate and initiate a potentially-fatal chain of events. Slowed breathing means less oxygen intake, and this oxygen shortage leads to brain hypoxia which often results in a comatose state. From there, things can quickly get worse. The best-case scenario of the individual waking up from a coma could still result in permanent brain damage from the lack of oxygen. The worst? Death. 

In addition to brain hypoxia, the rise of carbon dioxide levels (caused by the lack of oxygen’s presence) can trigger hyperglycemia. Both of these conditions eventually lead to a change in the brain’s temperature and slow metabolic brain activity

Treating Polydrug Use and Abuse

Using alcohol with any sort of medication is generally a bad idea, and opioids even more so. Polysubstance abuse brings out the worst of each other and can often result in entirely new sets of less than desirable side effects. In circumstances of polysubstance abuse, treatment can be particularly difficult trying to extricate one symptom or trigger from another. Our experienced staff are well-versed in such types of addiction treatment and can help manage unpleasant side effects with our medical detox program. Contact us today to learn more and start your journey to recovery. 

Is Alcohol Withdrawal Headache Normal?

Alcohol withdrawal isn’t pretty; it can trigger a host of unpleasant physical and psychological symptoms that can last a few days or as long as a few weeks.  Some are mild and flu-like, with little cause for concern. Other symptoms can be severe, life-threatening, and require hospitalization. Fortunately, alcohol withdrawal headaches aren’t usually part of the latter category. They are a fairly commonplace symptom and on their own are not a cause for alarm.

Why Does Alcohol Withdrawal Cause Headaches? 

The cause of alcohol withdrawal headaches is the same as withdrawal itself. Alcohol withdrawal happens when the body has developed a physical dependence on the substance. The brain has learned to compensate for the dulling effect of alcohol by constantly releasing extra chemicals in order to keep up functions as normal. This overstimulation becomes the new normal – even when alcohol is no longer present. The discomfort that occurs is the adjustment period of chemical production returning to normal. 

How Long Do Alcohol Withdrawal Headaches Last? 

Alcohol withdrawal is not a clear-cut process. It can vary widely from person to person based on the severity of their drinking habits, and get very messy in the interim before the body re-adjusts to functioning without alcohol. Therefore, alcohol withdrawal-induced headaches can be difficult to predict. The average withdrawal process can take a few days or, in rare cases, over a month to pass. 

Types of Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can occur within hours after your last drink. However, the time distinction is not as important as the severity of the symptoms and does not follow a linear time-based schedule. Minor, moderate, or severe symptoms of withdrawal can occur at the very onset of the withdrawal process. 


The first stages of withdrawal begin around the 6-hour mark. Symptoms typically peak around the 48-hour mark and subside in intensity. Persisting symptoms that occur or worsen are usually attributed to delirium tremens, the most severe type of withdrawal. 

Minor Symptoms (Common)

The most common withdrawal symptoms are ones that affect the autonomic nervous system. These are functions that regulate the body’s automatic body functions like breathing, heart rate, digestion, reflexes, sneezing, etc., and typically cease after 48 hours.


  • Headache
  • Dilated pupils
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Higher body temperature
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia

Moderate Symptoms (Less Common)

Moderate symptoms include psychological side effects. These can begin 12-24 hours after withdrawal begins, and lasts significantly longer, for up to 6 days. 


  • Hallucinations (visual, auditory, or touch)
  • Seizures

Severe Symptoms (Uncommon)

  • Hyperthermia
  • Hypertensions
  • Fast breathing
  • Extreme sweating
  • Tremors
  • Delirium tremens

Alcohol & Headaches 

Headaches are one of the first symptoms of alcohol withdrawal to occur. They typically do so within the first 24-hours and can range in intensity from mild to severe (migraine-like). Headaches are often one of the first indicators the withdrawal is occurring. Withdrawal isn’t the only condition associated with headaches after heavy drinking, however. Hangovers are also known to leave heads pounding and bleary after a night of heavy drinking. Sometimes, hangover symptoms can be so severe that it is mistaken for withdrawal. 


Despite the similarities, headaches caused by withdrawal are completely different from those that occur as the after-effects of a binge drinking session. Withdrawal headaches are triggered by the absence of alcohol in the system, while hangover headaches are caused by too much alcohol being consumed at once. So while the pain may feel the same, the underlying cause of a withdrawal headache is much more serious.


If you have begun to experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms, it is recommended to have medical intervention for the detox process. Contact us today to learn more. 




Oxycodone and Alcohol: A Dangerous Combination

There’s a reason why most medications have a warning label against mixing with alcohol. In this specific instance, the danger of simultaneously using oxycodone and alcohol lies in that they have similar effects on the brain and central nervous system, although they do so in different ways. Both of these substances are depressants capable of causing irreparable harm to internal organs and a permanent imbalance of neurochemical levels. When combined, these two drugs make a deadly pair that amplifies each other’s negative effects and creates an entirely new host of dangers.

How They Work On Their Own

To better understand the risk that combining these drugs can cause, let’s look at how oxycodone and alcohol work independently.


Oxycodone is a fast-acting opioid and powerful pain reliever. It functions by binding to opioid receptors, slowing down messages to the brain while simultaneously triggering the release of dopamine. This results in pain relief and a feeling of euphoria or relaxation. With neurons no longer firing as normal, this depression of neuron activity causes multiple bodily functions including breathing, heartbeat, metabolism, and digestion to slow. This, in turn, can cause severe respiratory issues, low blood pressure, and constipation. Oxycodone can remain in the system for several days after the last use, making it dangerously easy to cause substance buildup within the body.


Alcohol, another depressant, causes a number of both chemical and physical changes within the body. Similar to oxycodone, alcohol also causes the slowing of neuron activity. Alcohol interrupts dopamine, serotonin, GABA, and glutamate circuits, each of which has some effect on mood, motor skills, cognitive functioning, and impulse control. Long-term alcohol abuse can cause permanent damage to the hippocampus and result in severe memory impairment. Physical long-term side effects include hypertension, cardiac stress, liver disease, digestive problems, and depression.  

Side Effects of Oxycodone and Alcohol Combined

Even the most mundane medications (like an antifungal cream) can have dangerous repercussions when exposed to an opioid. So it goes without saying that adding alcohol to the mix is bad news. 

  • Dangerously slow breathing – The brain can shut down if it doesn’t get enough oxygen, this can lead to a coma or death
  • Low blood pressure and cardiac distress
  • Severely impaired memory or memory loss
  • Drowsiness or unconsciousness
  • Increased likelihood of addiction

Both of these drugs are depressants that have a significant impact on central nervous system functions, combining them can make existing side effects turn deadly. And besides making an already bad situation worse, using oxycodone and alcohol together can cause withdrawal symptoms to be even more severe.

Treating Polysubstance Abuse

Polydrug users, those who abuse or are addicted to multiple drugs, are at much greater risk of experiencing compounded drug side effects. This is often a result of individuals using multiple drugs to “balance” the other out and stabilize drug side effects. This is a dangerous practice that can cause toxic buildup within the body which can unleash an entirely new set of damage to the body.

Polysubstance abuse can be incredibly difficult to treat and the chance of relapse is significantly higher. Medical detox is recommended for circumstances like this, where the effects of having multiple drugs in a system can be severe and require medical intervention. If you or a loved one find yourself addicted to multiple drugs at the same time, consult a Level Up Lake Worth addiction professional today. 

Can Alcohol Cause High Blood Pressure? Hypertension & Alcoholism

It’s common knowledge that heavy drinking can have long-lasting and detrimental effects on your liver, kidneys, and brain. However, many alcoholics fail to realize the detrimental relationship between alcohol and high blood pressure that puts their entire body at risk – not just a few organs. Can alcohol cause high blood pressure? Yes. Although scientists are still exploring the exact cause of the correlation, there is no question that the two are related.

Why High Blood Pressure is Dangerous 

High blood pressure or hypertension, is a health condition where the force against artery walls is higher than the normal – 130/80 mmHg to be precise. The higher your blood pressure levels, the harder your heart has to work to pump blood throughout your body. This leads to an increased risk of cardiovascular issues such as stroke, heart attack, and heart disease – the highest cause of death in the United States. High blood pressure can also be harmful to the arteries themselves, due to the excess force damaging the tissue and causing tiny tears.

High blood pressure kills as many as half a million Americans each year, but that isn’t the scariest part. What makes high blood pressure so dangerous is that it is a silent killer. Until something drastic happens there are rarely any obvious symptoms. Nearly half of the U.S population has high blood pressure and the majority of them don’t have a clue. As can be easily imagined, high blood pressure is particularly dangerous to alcoholics for several reasons.

Why Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure?

There are several direct and indirect factors at play in the relationship between alcohol and hypertension. Many of the ways that alcohol affects the body set the stage for high blood pressure to occur – but the trouble doesn’t end there. Several symptoms of alcohol and high blood pressure overlap, exacerbating internal organ damage in the eyes and kidneys and deepening the amount of cardiovascular stress. Binge drinking was shown to have a direct correlation with levels of bad cholesterol (LDL). To put it simply, alcohol causes the arteries to narrow due to the build-up of plaque similar to fatty foods.

Everyone knows that alcohol is pure sugar and carbs, a caloric bomb that can sneakily add on the pounds. Alcohol has another weight-gaining culprit at the cellular level. Excessive alcohol consumption triggers the cells associated with inflammation, which has a strong influence on weight gain, particularly those hard to lose pounds. This is a natural progression into another proponent of developing hypertension, obesity is a well-known aggravator of high blood pressure. When compounded with the plaque-building nature of heavy alcohol consumptions, can wreak havoc on an already overworked cardiovascular system. For this reason, it is impossible to determine a singular reason why alcohol affects blood pressure.  

Alcohol Withdrawal & High Blood Pressure

Because alcohol and high blood pressure are such a dangerous combination, scientists recommend complete alcohol abstinence. Many alcoholics in detox are disappointed to learn that becoming sober doesn’t automatically fix alcohol-related blood pressure problems. In fact, those who quit drinking cold turkey often find that it causes their blood pressure to spike. These effects are temporary, however, so it would be incorrect to say that alcohol withdrawal is a cause of high blood pressure.

What causes high blood pressure during alcohol withdrawal is similar to that which causes withdrawal symptoms in the first place: The heart, brain, and central nervous system have become accustomed to working extra hard to compensate for impaired bodily functions. Suddenly, alcohol is no longer in the system and your heart is still firing on all cylinders.  

Is High Blood Pressure Due to Alcohol Use Reversible?

Alcohol can have many lingering effects on the brain and central nervous system. Fortunately, high blood pressure caused by alcohol is one of the few effects that are almost entirely reversible. In a study that monitored the blood pressure of detoxing alcoholics, 92% of the participants saw their blood pressure decrease by the third day of withdrawal.

How to Manage Your Drinking and Lower Your Blood Pressure

Blood pressure and alcohol consumption can typically be managed by exercising moderation, although this can be much easier said than done. For those with a physical alcohol dependency, cutting down on drinking could trigger a number of other unpleasant side effects. Still, knowing that alcohol causes high blood pressure, and the potential health risks of which, make the short-term discomfort well worth it.

Level Up Lake Worth can not only assist with every stage of alcohol detox, including withdrawal but can provide additional insight into the state of your blood pressure and addressing any potential risks. Contact us today to take a proactive step towards improving your heart health and overall quality of life.

What is Alcohol Withdrawal Fever? Uncommon Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Can drinking alcohol make you hotter? Most people will say that it does – but we don’t mean in the sense of making people seem more attractive. Flushing skin, hot flashes, and increased sweating are common side effects of alcohol consumption (i.e.: alcohol blankets) that pass once alcohol has exited your system. The temperature-raising side effect associated with alcohol withdrawal, however, is not as harmless. Alcohol withdrawal fever is one of the less commonly addressed symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Knowing what it is could potentially save your life.   

What is Alcohol Withdrawal Fever?

Fever is a relatively common symptom of alcohol withdrawal. In most cases, fevers are low-grade (do not exceed beyond 100 degrees Fahrenheit) and can be attributed to some sort of indirect infection or illness. 


Instances where a fever has no determinable cause and persists for an extended period of time can indicate that the alcohol detox process has taken a nasty turn. This symptom is associated with the most severe type of withdrawal commonly known as delirium tremens (DTs).

Is Fever During Alcohol Withdrawal Dangerous? 

Fever can be beneficial to a detoxing alcoholic by indicating a related illness such as a kidney infection caused by dehydration. However, if an alcohol withdrawal-related fever persists for more than 72 hours it is often considered a medical emergency. The danger does not actually lie with the fever itself, which is more of an accessory symptom, but because of the other symptoms that accompany delirium tremens such as:


  • Cardiovascular collapse
  • Hallucinations (audial and visual)
  • High blood pressure
  • Extreme confusion and agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Seizure
  • Coma

Treatment for delirium tremens can take close to two weeks of hospitalization. It typically involves IV fluids to prevent dehydration and medication to treat seizures or other DT symptoms.

The Cause of Alcohol Withdrawal Fever

As is the case with most nasty withdrawal effects, they are usually brought on by quitting a substance cold turkey. Withdrawal symptoms only occur when the body has developed physical dependence, however. When this happens, the neurochemistry of the brain has been permanently disrupted due to the brain not having functioned normally for quite some time.


It is estimated that about 50% of alcoholics experience withdrawal symptoms when they eventually stop drinking. The effects, albeit unpleasant, are often relatively mild. These symptoms include headache, high blood pressure, or nausea and vomiting. Long-term heavy drinkers, however, have the highest risk of developing delirium tremens, which could land them in the emergency room. The likelihood of this occurring is low, only 5% of alcohol withdrawal ends up being this severe.


In the case of alcohol withdrawal fever, it is not serving fever’s usual purpose of heating the body to kill bacteria. Instead, it is a result of a dramatic shift in brain and nervous system activity. Excessive drinking suppresses neurotransmitters and forces them to work in overdrive to continue functioning. When you suddenly cause stop drinking, your neurotransmitters can take a while to catch up, slow down, and return to normal. This in-between period where your body is working extra hard to overcome a substance that isn’t there is what causes withdrawal and, in particularly bad cases, alcohol withdrawal fever.

Fever & Alcohol Withdrawal: What To Do Next

Seek medical help right away if you are undergoing alcohol detox and experience fever for more than 72 hours. High-grade or long-lasting fevers could be alcohol withdrawal fever caused by dangerous delirium tremens. This condition isn’t something you should try to wait out by yourself. Our medical detox treatments can help mitigate the worst of DT symptoms and make your alcohol withdrawal as comfortable as possible. Contact us today to see which of our alcoholic recovery options are best for you. 

Is Alcohol a Stimulant or Depressant?

The effects of alcohol can vary wildly from person to person. Some get energized and rowdy while others become weepy or aggressive. If you’ve ever wondered “Is alcohol a stimulant or a depressant?” the answer is alcohol is a little bit of both. 

The Difference Between Stimulants and Depressants

Whether alcohol is a stimulant or a depressant has nothing to do with how drinking makes you feel. A celebratory drink with friends can put you in high spirits, while a solitudinous sip after bad news can leave you somber and contemplative. It doesn’t matter. A drug’s classification as a stimulant or depressant (yes, alcohol is a drug) is solely determined by how it affects the body. 

What is a Stimulant?

Also referred to as “uppers”, stimulants are a class of drugs that can make users feel energized, alert, or confident. Stimulants affect the central nervous system (CNS) and work by speeding up the messages between the brain and the body. They target specific neurotransmitters and increase the levels sent to the brain. Stimulants are also considered to be a psychoactive drug for this reason. Physiological responses typically include an elevation in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing.

Even legal stimulants have the ability to be dangerous or addictive. Caffeine, for example, is one of the most commonly used drugs, with 90% of Americans consuming at least one caffeinated drink per day. Widely popular around the world and available in a variety of forms, this legal drug can result in unpleasant withdrawal effects that are both physical and psychological. Side effects of stimulants can include depression, anxiety, insomnia, or restlessness. Heavy or prolonged use can be fatal as a result of heart issues (irregular heartbeat, failure) or seizures.  

What is a Depressant?

A common misconception about depressants or “downers” is that they are related to depression or perhaps cause it. This class of drugs has nothing to do with mood. They are actually named so because they suppress the central nervous system – the complete opposite of stimulants. Depressants slow down the messages sent between the brain and the body. Lowered neurotransmission levels interfere with nerve receptors, thus reducing overall brain activity. 

Depressants primarily affect concentration and coordination. Substances like alcohol or GHB or marijuana will cause slower reaction times and impaired motor functions. Large doses can result in drowsiness, unconsciousness, and vomiting while long-term effects can include permanent cognitive and memory impairment, heart and liver damage, lung infections, and even an increased risk of cancer.     

So Is Alcohol a Stimulant or Depressant?

Alcohol can be tricky to identify since it has characteristics of both stimulants and depressants. Although formally classified as a depressant, the line isn’t black and white. 

The key differences between stimulants and depressants are the specific chemical alterations they make within the brain. Stimulants affect dopamine while depressants affect gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which decreases neuron activity. Since alcohol targets neither of those chemicals, alcohol doesn’t fit neatly into one classification or the other. 

The effects of alcohol on the body change depending on the stage of consumption, which also contributes to the confusion surrounding alcohol’s drug classification. In the initial stage of drinking alcohol, it is found to act as a stimulant, increasing levels of dopamine within the brain. Once the drink fully enters the system, it acts more as a depressant. Studies have associated this change in bodily response to the changes of BAC (blood alcohol content) levels. Rising BAC levels are energizing and cause an increase in neurotransmitter activity while falling BAC levels slow them down.

The Dangerous Potential of Alcohol Abuse

There is still much that scientists and doctors don’t know about alcohol. There have been hundreds of studies on this substance, and even to this day, it is unknown why alcohol affects some differently than others. One thing that is certain, however, is how devastating prolonged alcohol abuse can be on the body. 

Cognitive impairment caused by alcohol is often the direct culprit of otherwise avoidable accidents and mishaps. Internally, the risk of permanent organ damage is high and the long-term consequences can be dire. Just because a drug is legal doesn’t mean that it doesn’t carry risk. An estimated 2.8 million deaths occur worldwide each year. Don’t become a number, if you or a loved one is in need of alcohol detox or treatment for alcoholism, contact Level Up Lake Worth today.

What Are the 12 Steps of AA & What Do They Mean?

Since its creation in 1935, millions of alcohol addicts have joined Alcoholics Anonymous to curb their destructive drinking habit. The 12 Steps of Recovery, often referred to by its short-form ‘12 steps’. It is one of the cornerstones of this community-based organization. Members are encouraged to revisit these steps as often as necessary to ensure their recovery. If you are trying to get sober, learn what are the 12 steps of AA along with what they mean and how to apply them. 

What Are The 12 Steps From?

The steps used in today’s Alcohol Anonymous support groups are the same ones used by the organization’s founders in the 1930s. First outlined in The Big Book this text is still central to AA teachings and is considered one of the most influential books of all time. Designed to guide participants through various stages of self-awareness, the program has been instrumental in helping alcoholics get sober for nearly 100 years.

The 12 Steps of AA Explained

While it’s important to know the AA 12 steps, that’s only half the battle. Understanding the intent and how to apply these guidelines to your own life are a crucial part of getting sober with AA. Incorporating these steps may initially seem challenging to the non-religious member as several of the steps reference the concept of God. This is due to the organization’s Christian roots. Nowadays, many AA groups use secular interpretations of the 12 steps that are easily applicable to agnostic, atheist, and otherwise non-religious AA members. 

Step 1: “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Admitting you have a problem is the first step towards making a recovery. While it might be painful or embarrassing at first, acknowledging alcohol addiction is the most important part of achieving sobriety. 

Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Find a source of inspiration and strength beyond yourself. External motivators can help keep long-term goals in perspective during moments of weakness. If you are not religious, this “greater Power” could be a loved one like a spouse or your children, a person you admire such as a celebrity or friend, or even a hobby such as running or playing music.

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Acknowledge and embrace that you cannot control everything. By letting go of this expectation, you alleviate a considerable source of disappointment and frustration, which is likely a strong trigger for the desire to drink in the first place. This can also be interpreted as being open to advice and guidance from others such as therapists or doctors.

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

This encourages participants to take mental stock of their character and personality. Using workbooks and lists to physically write down adjectives and other identifiers is recommended. This self-assessment is important in developing honesty with oneself and identifying one’s shortcomings. 

Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Sometimes referred to as “Confession”, this continuation of self-evaluation can be challenging. Admitting wrongs may require owning up to an unpleasant or shameful past; as well as acknowledging the bad things we have thought or done to others and ourselves. This vulnerability is a powerful part of the 12 step process that requires courage and complete honesty. Sharing your darkest moments with another person might seem unthinkable and uncomfortable, However, many participants are surprised at how therapeutic this practice is.

Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Having the right attitude can make or break any substance abuse recovery effort and Step 6 is all about wanting to change. This is about developing the proper mindset rather than an actionable task. Therefore, it can be difficult to feel that this has been accomplished. It is recommended to talk to other people, such as a counselor, therapist, or sponsor who may be able to provide additional perspective.

Step 7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

This is about humility and taking action to create change. Whether accomplished through praying to a higher power or simply asking a friend to hold you accountable, this is an actionable step towards shedding your old ways.

Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Acknowledging the selfish, harmful, and potentially hurtful actions of our past can be acutely stressful. This reconciliation is often accompanied by immense feelings of guilt. This step, however, is about taking responsibility and learning to forgive ourselves. Facing the full brunt of the consequences of past behavior is an important reminder that alcoholism doesn’t just negatively affect the drinker.

Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

It’s one thing to come to terms with an unpleasant past, but to face the actual people we may have wronged is an entirely separate beast. By nature of interacting with anyone other than ourselves, things quickly become unpredictable. This is often a source of stress that can tempt participants back to old habits. If this is the case for you, consider additional alcohol addiction treatment options to prevent backtracking of progress. Remember, this is about taking ownership for past actions, not lip service to alleviate guilt.

Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

After achieving considerable personal awareness, your mindset has likely changed quite a bit throughout this process. This step is about constant and real-time reflection of your actions in your day-to-day life, and taking responsibility for them. Find yourself getting road rage in traffic? remind yourself that getting angry won’t make the lights change or the lights move any faster. This is the sort of self-check that step 10 encourages.

Step 11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

Whether you are religious or not, this step is all about strengthening your mental discipline. Whether through prayer or secular meditation, it’s about checking in with yourself; being gracious and forgiving with yourself for fallbacks, and being grateful for the progress you’ve made.

Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The final step of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Step program is by no means the end of an alcoholics recovery journey. This involves bringing the mindfulness acquired in each step into the every day. It also means sharing your story to help other alcoholics to introduce them to AA. 

You Finished the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous…Now What? 

Completion of the Alcoholics Anonymous steps won’t miraculously end your desire to drink. In fact, many successful recovered alcoholics still find themselves with cravings even decades later. AA members are encouraged to repeat this process as often as necessary for long-standing recovery.

The urge to drink can still persist even after multiple completions of the 12 steps. In cases like this, it’s highly recommended to seek additional alcohol addiction treatment. Rehab facilities like Level Up Lake Worth offer in-house 12-step group meetings. This makes it easy to get additional treatment in a single location. From individual counseling to alcohol detoxing, our dedicated team will be there every step as you overcome alcoholism. Contact us to learn more about how you can enroll in the Level Up Lake Worth 12 step program today.

A Guide to Alcohol Poisoning

Why is Alcohol Addictive?

Is Alcohol A Depressant?