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When “Social Drinking” has Gotten Out of Control

When “Social Drinking” has Gotten Out of Control

Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends…

April 24, 2019

Q: Mr. Pedometer, I have a dear friend whose “social drinking” has gotten out of control. Any tips on friendly advice I might offer?

A:  April is Alcohol Awareness month, sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD). Here’s what they offer:

“Drinking too much alcohol increases people’s risk of injuries, violence, drowning, liver disease, and some types of cancer. This April, during Alcohol Awareness Month, NCADD encourages you to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of drinking too much.

“If you are drinking too much, you can improve your health by cutting back or quitting. Here are some strategies to help you cut back or stop drinking:

  • “Limit your drinking to no more than 1 drink a day for women or 2 drinks a day for men.

  • “Keep track of how much you drink.Empty Alcohol Bottles
  • “Choose a day each week when you will not drink.
  • “Don’t drink when you are upset.
  • “Limit the amount of alcohol you keep at home.
  • “Avoid places where people drink a lot.
  • “Make a list of reasons not to drink.
  • “If you are concerned about someone else’s drinking, offer to help.”

One of the ways you might help your friend is to copy the above list to share. If health concerns don’t seem to convince your friend to limit alcoholic beverages, perhaps you could remind him/her that reducing drinking alcohol is a great way to lose weight…and save money!

If your friend is unable to stop drinking on his own, below are some things that can help you to help your friend.

Learn All You Can About Alcoholism and Drug Dependence

Utilize the resources we have provided including, Learn About Alcohol, Learn About Drugs and Family Education.

Speak Up and Offer Your Support

Talk to the person about your concerns, and offer your help and support, including your willingness to go with them to get help. Like other chronic diseases, the earlier addiction is treated, the better.

Express Love and Concern

Don’t wait for your loved one to “hit bottom.” You may be met with excuses, denial or anger, but be prepared to respond with specific examples of behavior that has you worried.

Don’t Expect the Person to Stop Without Help

No doubt, you have heard it before — promises to cut down, to stop, but it doesn’t work. Treatment, support, and new coping skills are needed to overcome addiction to alcohol and drugs.

Support Recovery as an Ongoing Process

Once your friend or family member is receiving treatment, or going to meetings, remain involved. While maintaining your own commitment to getting help for yourself, continue to support their participation in ongoing care, meetings and recovery support groups. Continue to show that you are concerned about their successful long-term recovery.

  • Don’t Preach: Don’t lecture, threaten, bribe, preach or moralize.
  • Don’t Be a Martyr: Avoid emotional appeals that may only increase feelings of guilt and the compulsion to drink or use other drugs.
  • Don’t Cover Up, lie or make excuses for them and their behavior.
  • Don’t Assume Their Responsibilities: Taking over their responsibilities protects them from the consequences of their behavior.
  • Don’t Argue When Using: Arguing with the person when they are using alcohol or drugs is not helpful; at that point they can’t have a rational conversation.
  • Don’t Feel Guilty or responsible for their behavior, it’s not your fault.
  • Don’t Join Them: Don’t try to keep up with them by drinking or using yourself.

Helping a friend with an addiction is very difficult but you may be the only help they get. Educate yourself and reach out for help from professionals. You could be saving your friends life and the lives of others.

Hope Line

800-622-2255

24hr Affiliate Referral

Hope Help Healing

EAT RIGHT, MOVE MORE, AND SLEEP WELL TO BE WELL.

 

Cell phones while driving put many in danger

Cell phones while driving put many in danger

Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends…

April 17, 2019

Q:  Mr. Pedometer, I have noticed more and more people ignoring the law and using cell phone while driving. Just Drive Logo for Driver Awareness month Don’t people realize the dangers to themselves and others?         

A:  Sadly, your observations are correct.  April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, so here’s what the National Safety council has to say about the problem:

  • “Drivers talking on handheld or hands-free cell phones are 4X as likely to be involved in a car crash.”
  • “Contrary to popular belief, the human brain cannot multi-task. Driving and talking on the phone are two thinking tasks that involve many areas of the brain.  Instead of processing both simultaneously, the brain rapidly switches between two cognitive activities.”

  • Talking to someone on a cell phone while driving is more dangerous than conversing with someone in the car. “Drivers distracted by cell phones are more oblivious to changing traffic conditions because they are the only Man taking picture with cell phone while drivingones in the conversation who are aware of the road.  In contrast, drivers with adult passengers in their cars have another set of eyes and ears to help keep the driver alert of oncoming traffic problems.”

  • “A controlled driving simulator study conducted by the University of Utah found that drivers using cell phones had slower reaction times than drivers with .08 blood alcohol content, the legal intoxication limit.”

This is a good month to take the pledge to drive cell-phone-free.  It could save your life (and the lives of others).

Take the Pledge online.

I pledge to Just Drive for my own safety and for others with whom I share the roads. I choose to not drive distracted in any way – I will not:

  • Have a phone conversation – handheld, hands-free, or via Bluetooth
  • Text or send Snapchats
  • Use voice-to-text features in my vehicle’s dashboard system
  • Update Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo or other social media
  • Check or send emails
  • Take selfies or film videos
  • Input destinations into GPS (while the vehicle is in motion)
  • Call or message someone else when I know they are driving

Before you start your car, turn off your phone and Just Drive.

EAT RIGHT, MOVE MORE, AND SLEEP WELL TO BE WELL.

Building Healthy Communities Where We Live

Building Healthy Communities Where We Live

Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends…

April 3, 2019

Q: Mr. Pedometer, you have encouraged us to stay well, but shouldn’t we also be building healthy communities where we live as well?        

A:  Good question! The first week in April happens to be National Public Health Week, Green Logo for National Public Health Week - build healthy communities where we livewith different topics each day. Their first topic is “Healthy Communities,” and here’s what the American Public Health Association had to say:

“Happy National Public Health Week!

Each day of National Public Health Week zeros in on a different public health topic, and today’s is “Healthy Communities.” It’s the perfect opportunity to kick off conversations around this year’s National Public Health Week’s theme of “Creating the Healthiest Nation: For science. For action. For health.”

“By now, the research is crystal clear: People’s health, longevity and well-being are connected to their communities — the places we live, learn, work, worship, and play. Whether it’s healthy housing, clean drinking water, or safe places for kids to play, many opportunities to improve health happen far outside the doctor’s office. In fact, some of the greatest opportunities to create the healthiest nation start with smart policies that prioritize people’s health.

“On this first day of NPHW [or later in the week], call on decision-makers to consider health in all policies, and ask your members of Congress to prioritize public health funding. Help us raise awareness of the critical role of public health systems in keeping us safe from preventable disease and injury. And don’t forget: We all have a role in creating healthier communities. Use this week to think about ways you can partner with family, friends and co-workers to make a positive difference. For more on today’s [April 1] NPHW theme and ways to take action, read our fact sheet and help spread the word on social media.”

We clicked on the link, and the following excerpt reminded us of how fortunate we are in where we live:

“Smart local policies that prioritize health can make a difference. For instance, research shows Walk'n' Talk group walking in a park -build healthy communities where we livethat well-maintained sidewalks can encourage physical activity and that safe biking networks lead to more cycling and fewer injuries among bicyclists. Rates of preventable deaths — such as deaths from heart disease, diabetes and cancer — typically go down in communities where local public health spending goes up. Other research finds that deaths from cardiovascular disease, diabetes and the flu decline significantly in communities that expand their networks in support of population health goals. “

In the Tri-Valley area, visionary city leaders have been building a healthy community by provided us with parks, trails, and safe sidewalks that encourage us to get outside and enjoy walking. Take advantages of these benefits, and encourage your friends and family members to do so also. Let’s support a healthy community!

If you would like to join a walking group and start enjoying your community or start your own; see the “Start Your Own Walking Group” section of the World Walk To Wellness Website.

EAT RIGHT, MOVE MORE, AND SLEEP WELL TO BE WELL.

Be Aware Of Air Quality During Fire Season Before You Head Out To Walk

Be Aware Of Air Quality During Fire Season Before You Head Out To Walk

With wildfires raging at both ends of California and filling the air with smoke we need to be even more aware of the air quality where we live before we head outside to get our steps in for the day or for any other reason.  We hope that most of the fires will have been quelled before this weekend.  However, there are several ways (besides looking up at the sky) that you can determine whether it’s healthier to stay indoors.

Woman wearing a protective face maskThe Bay Area News Group newspapers warned that “everybody is at risk” when the smoky air is loaded with soot particles that can affect our lungs and even our bloodstream.  Most severely affected are children (whose lungs are still developing) and those who have respiratory conditions, such as asthma and COPD.

Become familiar with the Air Quality Index, which rates air pollution levels on a scale of 0-500.  Each day, these forecasts are printed on the weather page of the Bay Area News Group papers (including the East Bay Times) and can be found online (see below).

Air Quality Index

  • 0-50 = Good air quality
  • 51-100 = Moderate
  • 101-150 = Unhealthy for sensitive people
  • 151+ = Unhealthy for all

“Anything between 150 to 200 has the potential to affect even healthy people, but patients with chronic heart or lung conditions can also be at risk for exacerbating underlying conditions,” according to Sharon Chinthrajah, a pulmonologist, and an allergist with Stanford Health Care.

“The amount of fine particulate matter registered across the Bay Area on November 9 was the second-highest ever recorded since the metric started being tracked almost 20 years ago,” according to Kristine Roselium, a spokeswoman for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. (The highest was October 13, 2017.)

You can check for Air Quality Index listings at SpareTheAir.org. The newspaper article also cited AirNow (a government site) or PurpleAir.

For some of us who are fortunate to have good health, being outdoors for an hour of moderate walking is no problem.  For others, on Spare the Air days, it can lead to hospitalization for life-threatening pneumonia.  Quality air masks (N95 respirators) can help, but many stores no longer have them in stock.

Staying indoors, with doors and windows shut tight, maybe the best for those at risk.