My Husband Hides His Drinking

When you are newly married, you discover new things about your spouse every day it seems. Many of these new revelations can be exciting and add to the quality of your relationship. You may, though, find that you will have disagreements about how to load the dishwasher or who should do the laundry. When you learn things you wish you didn’t know about your spouse, it can become a serious issue. For example, if your husband hides his drinking you need to know the signs and understand how to handle the situation effectively.

Honesty and Alcohol Use Disorder

Honesty can be the first casualty of alcohol use. The fact that your husband is hiding his drinking is part of the denial behavior that is common among individuals who are addicted. He may also place blame for his alcohol use or the consequences of his drinking on you or on other people or situations. He may also become defensive, saying that drinking is his choice.

Other behavioral issues that can arise when your husband hides his drinking include dismissing the fact that his alcohol use is a problem, comparing himself to others whom he considers to have a bigger problem, and rationalizing his drinking.

Impact on Your Marriage

You have probably noticed the signs that indicate your husband is drinking and hiding it from you. His behavior may be causing damage to your marriage already. These signs can indicate a drinking problem in your relationship:

  • You have noticed his drinking habits and argue with him about his behavior frequently.
  • His drinking and lying behavior has created other issues, such as money problems, shirking his responsibilities, and staying out late often.
  • You’ve had to cover for him more than once after he has been drinking. You may have had to call in “sick” for him at work.
  • He is more affectionate after he has been drinking, even though he denies it.
  • He defends his drinking, saying he needs to reduce his stress after work or when he is worried about the family finances, for example.
  • The two of you have become more isolated from friends and family that you used to see on a regular basis.
  • He may become abusive after bouts of drinking, then apologize after sobering up as he promises not to ever do it again.

A Chronic Disease

When you consider how to handle the situation with your husband, keep in mind that alcohol use disorder is a chronic disease. As difficult as it may be, especially when you are newly married, try not to become angry when discovering that your husband has been drinking and has been lying to you about it. For your sake and for his, try to maintain a sense of patience and peace. You can be mad at the disease rather than at your spouse.

It can help to have an honest, straightforward discussion. Talk to your husband about how his drinking and lying is affecting you and your marriage. Avoid statements that start with “you,” such as “you always …” and instead use “I” statements. Say something like “I’m having trouble sleeping because you seem to be keeping some late nights lately.” Be firm but gentle as you begin the discussion.

Above all else, don’t enable your husband. Enabling involves making excuses and trying to prevent your spouse from suffering the consequences of his drinking. You may do this because you want to help, but in reality it can only make the situation worse. The best thing to do is to help your husband realize the effects of his disease, his alcohol abuse, and to help him get the help he needs.

Gender-Specific Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Your husband can get the help he needs at PACE Recovery Center. We will work with him and you to help identify the underlying causes of his addiction, including stress factors associated with your drinking. Detox and supervised withdrawal will help him safely process the mental and physical symptoms so he can move forward with a healthy recovery.

If your loved one is struggling with substance abuse or mental illness, please contact PACE Recovery Center to learn more about our programs and services. We offer gender-specific treatment for men who have a desire to turn their life around. Recovery is possible, and we can help.

Facts About Xanax

The prescription medication alprazolam is in a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, which are available only by prescription. One brand name for alprazolam is Xanax. There are many facts about Xanax that are important for the individual taking this medication, particularly how its use and misuse could lead to an addiction.

What Does Xanax Do?

Xanax is primarily prescribed for anxiety disorder and panic disorder. It can also be prescribed for the treatment of sleep difficulties or help with alcohol withdrawal. A common condition for which Xanax is used, generalized anxiety disorder involves excessive anxiety or worry that could include symptoms such as fatigue, low energy, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, irritability, and muscle tension.

Panic disorder, which Xanax can also be prescribed to treat, occurs when an individual experiences unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear. Physical symptoms of panic disorder can include shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating, heart palpitations, and nausea. The person experiencing panic disorder may also fear future episodes.

Xanax works by attaching to a receptor in the brain known as the GABA-A receptor. By binding to this receptor, the drug has a calming effect in the brain, reducing the effects of these disorders. It can usually help relieve the anxiety symptoms relatively quickly.

How Long Does Xanax Last?

Even though it may act quickly on the symptoms of panic or anxiety, the effects of Xanax can be brief. Most people who take the drug will feel its strongest effects for about two to four hours. The individual may feel lingering effects for several more hours. How long Xanax lasts can depend on several factors, including the person’s age, weight, metabolism, and if they are taking any other medications.

It is important to avoid drinking alcohol and to not take any illegal drugs while taking Xanax. These substances may decrease the benefits and increase the adverse effects of the medication. Most importantly, the use of alcohol can increase the risk of an accidental overdose when taking Xanax.

While it is in the system, Xanax can cause drowsiness. Combining it with other medications that can also cause drowsiness can also be dangerous. Medications that should be avoided when taking Xanax include antihistamines such as Benadryl; codeine cough syrup; narcotic pain medication such as morphine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone; sleeping medication such as Ambien; and other anti-anxiety, antipsychotic, anticonvulsant, and antidepressant medications.

How Long Does It Take to Get Addicted to Xanax?

Xanax can be habit-forming. A person can build up a tolerance to Xanax fairly quickly. They may notice that it takes longer than usual to feel the effects with each dose and that the calming effects of the drug wear off sooner than usual. Although alprazolam is safe and effective when used appropriately, a physical dependence on the drug can develop after two or more weeks of daily use. An emotional or physical dependence can build up even when the medication is used as directed by a healthcare professional.

Someone who has a prescription for Xanax should not take a larger dose, take it more often, or take it longer than was originally prescribed. When an addiction forms and the individual tries to stop its use suddenly without professional help, they can experience withdrawal symptoms. These can include shaking, headache, blurred vision, seizures, sleep difficulties, nervousness, depression, aggressive behavior, weight loss, difficulty concentrating, and irritability.

How Long Does It Take for Xanax to Wear Off?

When taken properly, Xanax will remain in the average adult’s body for about 11 hours. Everyone metabolizes medications differently, though, so that number could be different depending on other factors such as age and body weight. Xanax has been known to remain in the body from between 6.3 to 26.9 hours.

Addiction and Mental Health Support for Men

At PACE Recovery, we optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your addiction to drugs or alcohol, including an addiction to Xanax and other medications, and mental health issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

The professionals at PACE understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

Why Young Men Should Seek Counseling

April is Counseling Awareness Month. While men can be hesitant to seek out counseling, perhaps because of a perceived stigma around asking for help, therapy sessions can be very helpful in addressing issues with addiction or mental health. Young men should seek counseling to discover the many ways it can benefit them so they can get the help they need.

Why Men Avoid Counseling

Many people may be hesitant to seek help for mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, but researchers have found that young men are the least likely of all demographics to seek professional help. In fact, these individuals typically have a greater need for psychological intervention, as the onset of mental illness usually occurs in early adulthood. Suicide rates are also high among young men between the age of 15 and 24.

Young men may experience a sense of embarrassment, discomfort, shame, or even fear around asking for help with mental health issues. The stigma of mental illness, as well as challenges in managing and communicating their distress, can catch young men in a cycle of avoidance. They often wait until they are severely distressed before they reach out for help.

In addition, men can feel that they will lose control if they disclose personal information in a counseling session, as they tend to have a greater need for confidentiality. When these men do not get the help they need, however, they may turn to alternative coping mechanisms, including alcohol and drugs, in an attempt to relieve their emotional and physical pain.

Mental Health Issues

The five most common mental health issues that can be indications that young men should seek counseling are anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis and schizophrenia, and eating disorders.

  • Anxiety: Over 3 million adult men are diagnosed with panic disorders or phobias every year.
  • Depression: Over 6 million men suffer from depression every year.
  • Bipolar disorder: Approximately 2.3 million Americans are diagnosed with bipolar disorder each year, and about half of those are men. This disorder affects young men, especially, with onset occurring between the ages of 16 and 25.
  • Psychosis and schizophrenia: Out of the 3.5 million adults in the US who are diagnosed with schizophrenia, 90% of those who are diagnosed before age 30 are men.
  • Eating disorders: Men account for 10% of those individuals with anorexia or bulimia and 35% of those with binge-eating disorders.

Men and Mental Health Symptoms

Men tend to experience depression and other mental health issues differently than women. Men who suffer from depression may exhibit symptoms such as:

  • Taking physical risks, being more aggressive in activities such as driving, and having unsafe sex
  • Losing interest in their job
  • Experiencing problems with sleeping
  • Being more irritable than usual
  • Experiencing physical pain with headaches or digestive issues
  • Becoming more controlling, abusive, or violent
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope with their symptoms of depression.

How Counseling Can Help

Young men should seek counseling because ignoring mental health issues such as depression or anxiety won’t make them go away. Men may tend to think that talking cannot help their situation. By participating in counseling, though, they will find that issues that are weighing heavily on them mentally will become less stressful as they talk about them more openly. Talk therapy, in particular, has been found to be an effective treatment for depression and can also help in developing new coping skills.

Therapy on an individual basis can help reassure men of the confidentiality of their discussions, even though all counseling sessions are confidential by nature. Individual therapy can give young men the safe space they need to explore their thoughts, concerns, and feelings. Young men who seek counseling will find that they become more self-aware and are able to improve the quality of their mental and physical health and improve the quality of their life.

Help for Young Men at PACE

Asking for help is a sign of strength. When you need help with your mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and mood disorders, it is time to reach out to the professionals at PACE Recovery. We optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your mental health and substance use issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

At PACE, we understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

Stress-Related Drinking in College Students

April is Stress Awareness Month and Alcohol Awareness Month, an opportune time to examine the connection between stress and alcohol. For college students, this is also a time of excitement and anxiety. They have been through many challenges and are looking toward finishing up their year at school. They also need to be aware of the consequences of stress-related drinking in college students, especially how it may impact their health and their success in school and in life.

The Stress of College

Young people who head off to college are going to a completely new environment and a new situation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges of going to college can be even greater. During “normal” times, college can be stressful enough. Researchers have found that between 75% and 80% of all college students report being “moderately stressed and between 10% and 12% report being “severely stressed.”

College students are transitioning from adolescence to young adulthood and are trying to establish their own identities. Add to this the challenge of living independently for the first time and balancing academic demands with new relationships and existing family demands. Each of these factors can be stressful in themselves and the stress is certainly compounded for most college students.

Drinking in College

The 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that 54.9% of full-time college students between the ages of 18 and 22 drank alcohol in the past month, with 36.9% engaging in binge drinking and 9.6% engaging in heavy alcohol use (defined as binge drinking on five or more days during the month). These rates of binge drinking and heavy alcohol use are higher for college students than for those not attending college.

Stress-Related Drinking

A study conducted by Penn State researchers found that the more students drank to cope with their stress, rather than for fun or celebration, the higher their risk for experiencing problems with alcohol. The goal of the study was to determine how stress affected the students’ alcohol consumption.

Students participating in the study completed daily diary entries about their stress and drinking levels for two weeks each semester. They responded to questions about whether they had experienced stressors during the day, the cause of the stress, and whether they drank that day, including how many drinks they had.

The researchers found that the odds of a student drinking went up by 8% with each additional stressor. The amount they drank increased by 4%. On the days that the students reported no stressors but still drank, they had an average of 4.8 drinks. On days that they reported six stressors, they had an average of 5.9 drinks. An average of 15.7% of the daily entries were noted as drinking days, and those days also met the criteria for heavy drinking. The results indicated that stress-related drinking was prevalent among these participants.

The study also served as an indicator that stress-related drinking predicted future problems with alcohol for these students. They found that students whose odds of drinking increased the most with high-stressor days also had the most problems with alcohol by their fourth year of college. A total of 54 students, or 8.9%, of the participants showed a high risk for alcohol problems in their fourth year.

Consequences of Drinking in College

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) statistics indicate that drinking by college students contributes to 1,519 student deaths each year. In addition, there are an estimated 696,000 assaults by students who had been drinking and 97,000 cases of sexual assault or date rape each year associated with college drinking.

Other consequences include academic difficulties, such as getting behind in schoolwork or missing classes. While most students stress over being successful in their studies and may experience stress-related drinking as a result, drinking can actually cause them to perform more poorly on a project or test.

Health problems, injuries, suicide attempts, and driving under the influence of alcohol, as well as vandalism, damage, and involvement with the police have also been noted as consequences of drinking in college. In addition, about 9% of full-time students between the ages of 18 and 22 met the criteria for alcohol use disorder, according to a 2019 survey.

Gender-Specific Alcohol Addiction Treatment

When you have developed an alcohol addiction and want to stop drinking, we are here for you. We will work with you to help you identify the underlying causes of your addiction, including stress factors associated with your drinking. Detox and supervised withdrawal will help you safely process the mental and physical symptoms so you can move forward with a healthy recovery.

If you are struggling with substance abuse or mental illness, please contact PACE Recovery Center to learn more about our programs and services. We offer gender-specific treatment for men who have a desire to turn their life around. Recovery is possible, and we can help.

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