What Do You Do? Scenario 5

Solution: 

These symptoms that you’re noticing are all signs of alcohol abuse- and you’re right to be worried. Despite myths that alcoholism doesn’t start until after college, alcohol abuse is common among those that are college aged. Before having a conversation with your friend, remember that you’re coming from a place of concern and compassion, not judgment.

It’s important to plan the discussion ahead of time- think of specific situations in which his drinking has brought negative consequences, and set aside uninterrupted time alone to speak with him. This isn’t an easy process, as your friend may lash out or deny that they have a problem. Keep in mind that the path to recovery is anything but an easy process, and that you cannot hold yourself responsible for his change.

Many colleges have support networks in place for those with alcohol abuse issues. Providing your friend with some resources may be helpful- many programs and services can be found within student health services.

Click here for our blog on having a conversation with a student struggling with alcohol abuse: http://www.feinbergconsulting.com/conversation-student-struggling-alcohol-abuse/

 

If you or a loved one needs professional support recovering from substance abuse or addiction, Feinberg Addiction Services is here to support you. We provide comprehensive assessments, interventions, treatment center recommendations, case management, recovery coaching, family coaching, and additional continuing care services that promote long-term recovery. Call 877.538.5425 to speak with an addiction professional today.

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What Do You Do? Scenario 4

Solution

Don’t assume that she will sleep it off. Unconsciousness and unresponsiveness is a dangerous symptom of alcohol poisoning, and medical assistance needs to be called immediately. Even though she has stopped drinking and is passed out, BAC levels continue to rise in the body because alcohol is still being absorbed into her bloodstream. This means that her condition can worsen, and may lead to brain damage, breathing and heart complications, and even death.

Arrange her position so that she is laying down in “recovery position”- on her side, and her head also to the side, making sure that she does not roll over onto her back or stomach. This position prevents choking if she vomits, as alcohol poisoning dulls the gag reflex. Do not try to make her vomit, for this could induce choking. Stay with her until help arrives, check that she is breathing properly, and do not leave her side.

You may be worried about getting in trouble for calling for help, especially if you are underage. However, remember that the consequences of not getting your friend the medical assistance that they clearly need are far greater and potentially irreversible. In addition, there is a policy called Medical Amnesty in place in many colleges across the United States. This policy grants some legal immunity to intoxicated minors who seek medical help for themselves or someone else. Above all, saving your friend’s life is your number one responsibility in this situation.

 

If you or a loved one needs professional support recovering from substance abuse or addiction, Feinberg Addiction Services is here to support you. We provide comprehensive assessments, interventions, treatment center recommendations, case management, recovery coaching, family coaching, and additional continuing care services that promote long-term recovery. Call 877.538.5425 to speak with an addiction professional today.

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Sources and more information:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alcohol-poisoning/symptoms-causes/dxc-20211603

https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/effects-on-the-body/alcohol-poisoning/#whattodo

http://www.medicalamnesty.org/

What Do You Do? Scenario 3

Solution

It is a complete myth that drinking the same amount as others will result in the same level of intoxication and Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) for you. It’s crucial to drink at your own pace, regardless of how much others are drinking, because each individual processes alcohol differently. Main factors affecting alcohol processing are sex and weight– BAC tends to rise with fewer drinks for women and people with less weight than for men and those with more weight.

Other personal circumstances include how much you’ve eaten, alcohol tolerance, metabolism, emotional state, hydration, and more. Drinking too much in a short time can lead to alcohol poisoning. Make sure to drink responsibly, keeping in mind your own limits and pace!  

Click here to check how your sex and weight affects BAC: http://www.brad21.org/bac_charts.html

 

If you or a loved one needs professional support recovering from substance abuse or addiction, Feinberg Addiction Services is here to support you. We provide comprehensive assessments, interventions, treatment center recommendations, case management, recovery coaching, family coaching, and additional continuing care services that promote long-term recovery. Call 877.538.5425 to speak with an addiction professional today.

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Sources and more information:

https://www.bactrack.com/blogs/expert-center/35040901-how-many-drinks-does-it-take-to-reach-0-08-bac

https://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/SpecialFeatures/alcoholmyths.aspx

 

What Do You Do? Scenario 2

Solution

Make sure that the designated driver does not drive anyone home: it’s not worth the risk of an accident, injury, legal implications, and even death. Impairment of skills crucial to driving can occur even if obvious signs of intoxication are not observed. For example, a decline in visual functions, the ability to multitask, coordination, ability to steer, and response time in emergency driving situations all typically take place below the “legally impaired” BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) of 0.08. Explain to the designated driver that for the sake of everyone’s safety — the person him/herself, you, your friends, and everyone on the road — that driving is not an option. If still insistent, tell them that even under a BAC of 0.08, serious legal repercussions can arise from “noticeably impaired driving,” especially if they are under 21.

Opt for another form of transportation, either public transportation, a taxi/Uber, or a ride from a sober person. Many college campuses also offer Safe Ride programs, which provide students with free, reliable transportation to take them home late at night. You could also wait until the morning to drive home. If you are at or nearby a trusted friend’s house, staying the night at their place is an option.

 

If you or a loved one needs professional support recovering from substance abuse or addiction, Feinberg Addiction Services is here to support you. We provide comprehensive assessments, interventions, treatment center recommendations, case management, recovery coaching, family coaching, and additional continuing care services that promote long-term recovery. Call 877.538.5425 to speak with an addiction professional today.

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Sources and more information:

https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html

What Do You Do? Scenario 1

Solution

First and foremost, your friend needs someone to stay with him. His clouded judgment, declined coordination, and potentially rising Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels could pose a danger to his health.

Despite common myths, walking does not sober up an intoxicated person. On the contrary, the loss of coordination coupled with walking heightens the chance of injury from falls, auto accidents, etc. Take another form of transportation, like driving him home if you have not been drinking, campus Safe Ride programs, public transportation, or call a taxi to get him home safely.

Lead your friend to a quiet place so he can sit down and relax. Make sure he stays warm since a high BAC can lower body temperature. Do not let him drink any more alcohol, and do not force him to eat, as he is at risk for choking. If he wants to drink, give him water to rehydrate. Contrary to myths that certain actions that sober up a person (such as drinking coffee and taking a cold shower), only TIME will get the alcohol out of a person’s system. Coffee will dehydrate the person even more, and a cold shower can dangerously lower the person’s already low body temperature. Do not give him medication, as it could combine with the alcohol and cause greater danger; even aspirin can irritate the stomach lining.

Make sure to keep monitoring your friend’s condition, and seek medical assistance immediately if his condition worsens or if you notice signs of alcohol poisoning

Taking care of an intoxicated friend can be a long and challenging process, but you are ensuring their health and potentially even saving their life.

 

If you or a loved one needs professional support recovering from substance abuse or addiction, Feinberg Addiction Services is here to support you. We provide comprehensive assessments, interventions, treatment center recommendations, case management, recovery coaching, family coaching, and additional continuing care services that promote long-term recovery. Call 877.538.5425 to speak with an addiction professional today.

 

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Sources and more information:
https://subabuse.uni.edu/health/intoxication  
https://shs.wustl.edu/EmergenciesAndCrises/Pages/Immediate-care-of-an-intoxicated-person.aspx

Staff Stories: Larissa Babak – Blazing A Trail & Finding Adventure!

Larissa (left) and Jenny, the Marketing team, at our Company Picnic! I am so grateful for everything I’ve learned from Jenny.  

I’m unapologetically happy to label myself a word nerd, and as my self-imposed label suggests, any excuse to look up a dictionary definition fills me with joy. Right now, Feinberg Consulting is conducting a challenge for employees to document their summer adventures. This led me to ask Google a question: what’s the official definition of adventure?

An unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.

Reading this definition, I feel like the dictionary is asking me to write my own. I can file a lot of my life under the category “an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.” Sure, there are monumental adventures, like moving to a new city full of strangers. But isn’t trying a new restaurant an adventure? Or reading a new book? I would even define watching a scary movie that could potentially result in a week of sleep loss as adventurous. Big adventures get all the credit for being brave, but there’s excitement to be found in the little adventures piecing together every day.

I think bravery, which links together the unusual, exciting, or hazardous, has to figure into the adventure equation. Having the courage to face the journey is the root of moving somewhere new or jumping into a scary movie. Because, as great as adventures can be, we all know that some don’t end well. We lose sleep over the movie, or we fall asleep during the movie. Sometimes we get lost as we wonder how we’ll find our way back to the trail.

And, even worse, grand adventures, the ones where our hearts fill up with joy, must end eventually.

Later this month, I’m embarking on an adventure of the monumental variety. After almost two years at Feinberg Consulting, I’m moving to East Lansing for Michigan State University’s Master’s program in Digital Rhetoric & Professional Writing. In addition to taking classes full-time, I will be a graduate assistant at the University’s Writing Center.

I’ve never been more excited for this adventure! And scared. And curious about what’s ahead for me. In this moment, I feel ready to embrace so much. I also feel really sad to let go… what I’ve found on the path so far has taught me more than I ever could have imagined.

Working in the Marketing department at Feinberg Consulting for the past (nearly) two years has been its own kind of adventure. One of my main responsibilities has been creating content for the blog, so scrolling through feels like a personal, online road-trip. I see a variety of landscapes: virtual ones, like infographics, informational articles, and videos. The scenery forms around a range of topics, from the value of a case manager to fun Halloween recipes. Sprinkled along the road are numerous awesome company accomplishments, particularly the Joint Commission Accreditation in 2017!

I’ve learned A LOT about writing, design, and marketing here. Beyond the mechanics of the job, though, the greatest part of my Feinberg Consulting journey has been getting to work with and learn from the amazing people around me. I can’t emphasize enough how valuable Feinberg Consulting’s team approach to care is. Every client doesn’t just have one person they can turn to. They have a team. A team who works hard every single day to ensure families receive peace of mind during any crisis. Feinberg Consulting’s team is constantly trailblazing as they support families to save lives.

In one of my favorite Wisdom Wednesday quotes, Ralph Waldo Emerson writes, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Google’s definition is missing the real meaning of an adventure: it’s found in the bravery along the trails we blaze. I’m ready to be brave and leave my trail. I hope you’re ready to head out on your own brave, unusual, exciting, potentially hazardous adventure, too! If you’re scared, don’t worry. There’s a team around you, cheering for you in the rugged, wonderful unknown.

 

4 Signs an Aging Loved One Needs Help

Most of our clients and their families were aware of care management and home care services before they asked for our assistance, but for one reason or another they never took action. Once they begin working with us, however, they say they wish they had called us sooner.

Here are 4 important signs our care management or home care services can help you or your family. If any of them resonate with you, don’t hesitate to call us at (248) 702-6510 or email us at contact@feinbergconsulting.com to learn how we can help.

1. Time with Family Doesn’t Feel Like Family Time: It can be hard to accept needed care from a son, daughter, or other family member for a variety of reasons, and it can be just as hard for them to provide it. Our mission at Bridgeway is to assist seniors in continuing lives of dignity, quality, and respect. By hiring professional care managers or caregivers, you and your family can focus on what matters most.

2. A Shrinking Support System: Many seniors don’t want to ask for help because they fear they will be forced to live in a care facility. Bridgeway’s goal is the opposite. We take great pride in helping seniors stay in their homes and maintain their privacy and independence. That’s why we offer a wide range of home care services designed to bring their lives into balance and create peace of mind. Our professional caregivers can provide transportation, pick up medications, prepare meals and assist with shopping and hygiene. They are companions who know how to keep seniors safe and enjoying their homes.

3. Medical Care Has Become Overwhelming: Dealing with doctors, nurses, insurance companies, attorneys, hospitals, medication schedules and equipment companies isn’t natural; it takes years of experience and specialized training. Our Care Managers are prepared to handle the most complex medical and legal situations. They make sure seniors get the best treatment so they can focus on being great parents, grandparents, friends, and contributors to society.

4. A Crisis Has Occurred: When crisis strikes, decisions need to be made very quickly. It can be hard to know what to do. For these types of situations, we’re available 24/7 and can begin work right away. We develop individualized, agreed-upon plans and make sure they’re implemented so seniors receive the level of care they deserve.

If these signs ring true to you or a loved one, call Bridgeway Care Management & Home Care. Caregiving can be very overwhelming, and our care managers are skilled to deal with any crisis, illness, or aging concerns. Additionally, we can provide 24-hour professional caregiving for your loved one.

Having A Conversation With A Student Struggling With Alcohol Abuse

College students letting loose on a Friday night, drunkenly dancing with red solo cups in their hands. An enormous pile of beer cans at a tailgate, and thousands of students preparing for the big football game, wearing their school apparel. These images, linking college and alcohol use, are so pervasive and so constant that they have merely become a norm for many of us.

Most high school and college students undergo mandatory alcohol education that aims to combat this perpetuation. These programs teach the risks associated with heavy alcohol use, such as alcohol poisoning, addiction, and legal consequences.

But what do you do when your roommate stumbles home, barely conscious, for the fifth night in a row during finals week? Or when you notice your soft spoken friend becoming belligerent along with her increased drinking? What if you’re a parent and you visit your college student multiple times to see empty bottles strewn about their room, along with growing piles of unfinished schoolwork?

Of course, no person is the same when it comes to alcohol abuse; the causes, circumstances, and consequences vary. Here are some things to keep in mind when starting a conversation with someone who may have an issue with alcohol.

1. Alcohol abuse is a legitimate and serious issue that affects many college students, and it may be more common than you think. 

You may have heard in the past, “you’re not an alcoholic until after college” or “no one can have an alcohol problem in college, heavy drinking is just a part of the experience.” It is true that drinking is prevalent on college campuses; 4 out of 5 students drink alcohol. However, this culture masks the high number of students with serious alcohol abuse problems. Research has shown that those aged 18-24 had the highest rate of past year alcohol dependence, out of all other age groups. In addition, 20% of students qualify for alcohol abuse disorder.

Misconceptions can trivialize this illness for affected college students and prevent them from realizing the severity of their condition and seeking help. Clearing these myths may be a crucial part of recognizing a problem.

 2. Alcoholism is a disease, not a moral weakness or personality flaw.

In the past, alcoholism was often misunderstood as a moral failing, or a result of lacking willpower. Although these ideas are less prevalent today, stigma around those with this disorder still lingers. It is important to remember that your loved one/friend is first a person, and then a person with alcoholism. Compassion and warm concern, instead of judgment, is necessary for support.

3. Actions speak louder than words.

Support is not only about discussing your concerns and encouragements, but also about being willing to act. The college culture generally equates drinking with socializing or entertainment; 74.4% of students reported that they drink to enhance social activity, and 71.1% reported drinking to give them something to do. This is an especially difficult atmosphere to prevent or limit alcohol consumption. Supportive action could come in the form of avoiding alcohol-centered social scenes (like house parties and bars) in favor of spending time with friends watching a movie, playing cards, going to concerts or sports events, etc.

 4. You cannot be responsible for their change. 

Beginning the path to recovery is anything but a simple process. The person may deny their problem or lash out when approached about their drinking habits. Most importantly, the process requires the dedication of the person and often a team of professionals to guide them toward recovery. An intervention may be an option for those who remain resistant to seeking help despite their dangerous situation.

 5. Planning is key.

Thinking of specific situations in which this person’s drinking brought negative consequences is essential in backing your concern. It’s also important to set aside enough uninterrupted time alone to have this conversation. Planning the discussion ahead of time can help you express your concern in the most caring and effective way.

 6. There are an array of sources for help, both on and off campus.

Feinberg Addiction Services is here when you need someone to talk to- whether it’s about having this conversation with someone, your own struggles with alcohol, or seeking help for a loved one. Feinberg Addiction Services is designed to support in creating long-term recovery through case management, recovery coaching, and family coaching. Call 877.538.5425 to have a confidential conversation.

Many colleges also have support networks in place for students seeking help for alcohol abuse issues or for those in recovery. These programs can often be found within student health services.

University of Michiganhttps://www.uhs.umich.edu/aodresources

Michigan State Universityhttp://olin.msu.edu/healthpromo/atod/resources.htm

Grand Valley State Universityhttps://www.gvsu.edu/aces/community-providers-21.htm

Central Michigan Universityhttps://www.cmich.edu/ess/Pages/CMCREW.aspx

Online assessments and confidential hotlines are also available to anyone.

Assessment: http://www.rehabs.com/assessments/alcohol-addiction-quiz/

Confidential hotlines:

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) National Hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

Alcohol Abuse and Crisis Intervention: 1-800-234-0246

These conversations are tough to have and the person may not immediately seek help- however, by bringing up your concern, you can start a ripple leading to positive change. There is hope for recovery with a supportive community of loved ones and professionals.

Sources and more information

https://www.uhs.umich.edu/helping

https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/collegefactsheet/collegefact.htm

http://www.hazelden.org/web/public/has90412.page

http://www.alcoholscreening.org/learn-more.aspx?topicID=12&articleID=31

https://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/statistics/consequences.aspx

https://alcorehab.org/alcoholism/college-alcohol-abuse/

http://www.cehd.umn.edu/fsos/projects/alcohol/tips.asp

https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2014/14_0329.htm

Walking Side By Side: The Value of Recovery Coaching

To really understand the value of recovery coaching, we need to understand peer recovery coaching. Recovery coaching is a strengths-based support for people with addictions—alcohol, other drugs, codependency, or other addictive behaviors. It’s action driven with an emphasis on improving present life and reaching goals for the future. Recovery coaches can help clients find resources for harm reduction, detox, treatment, family support and education, and local or online support groups. Recovery coaches can even help a client create a change plan to recover on their own.

Traditionally, people have been told in rehab that, in order to recover, they must attend 90 meetings in 90 days and tell all their life issues to someone they do not know. Then, they are sent back into the addictive world they came from alone. This scary approach leads to a very high reoccurrence of the disease.

Recovery coaches work with the recovering person and show them that there is a good life outside of addiction. How do we do this? We reflect how the coach stays clean/sober and walk side by side with them. Coaches, through action-planning, help guide the recovering person to set personal goals, both short and long-term. Generally, each week, we follow up with this person, reviewing how well they are implementing each goal into their new life’s journey. Also, we follow-up weekly to see if their goals allow them to accomplish improvement in a significant way.

Recovery coaching’s objective is to be the go-to person when an individual needs help staying free from addiction and living life on life’s terms. Coaches accomplish this through mutual honesty and respect.  This approach allows us to help them with all life issues, not just addiction. Sometimes, people who struggle with addiction have never had to take care of the simple life’s responsibilities we take for granted, such as checking accounts, bank accounts, alarm clocks, and many more everyday skills.

The true value of a recovery coach for the recovering addict is they now have someone with similar life experiences walking with them in their new recovery journey. Not just a doctor or therapist—someone with empathy who truly understands the addictive pain. Generally, their coach is the first person they can be honest with and will treat them with respect, and a coach does not judge them. The main goal is to demonstrate that a full, meaningful life in recovery is possible and worth working hard for.

As a recovery coach myself, I’ve seen how successful this model can be in creating long lasting contented recovery. The bottom line is, walking hand in hand with someone as a recovery coach creates great results.


Don Chouinard-Certified Recovery CoachAbout The Author

Don Chouinard has been a recovery coach for Feinberg Addiction Services since 2016. He is a Certified Recovery Coach and a Recovered Member of AA. He joined the team because he wants “to help others to recover from addiction, pass on the recovery knowledge presented to me, and practice the 12-step lifestyle in all my affairs. Feinberg was the type of outstanding company I wanted to be part of.” His hobbies include increasing his acceptance of a power greater than himself, meditation, travel, cooking, collecting model trucks and living life to the fullest.

 

Getting To Know A Care Manager: Karen Rosenberg

What is your position at Feinberg Consulting? 

I am a Geriatric Care Manager for the company’s care management and home care division, Bridgeway.

How long have you worked here?

 I’ve worked here for three years.

Why did you decide to join the company?

I joined the company because I was ready to return to my work in geriatrics. I was drawn to the culture of camaraderie I found at Feinberg Consulting and Bridgeway Care Management & Home Care.

What is your favorite part of your job? 

My favorite part of my job is having the opportunity to be in service to others. I have the privilege of meeting interesting people with diverse backgrounds;  nurturing these new connections enables me to support the needs of individuals and families in the aging process. There is no greater reward than being in a position to help others, especially at a time of life that can be fraught with questions and feelings of vulnerability.

 What is unique about Bridgeway’s approach to senior care? 

Bridgeway represents a unique approach to senior care in its business model, which emphasizes the importance of a team approach to care. Caregivers, Care Managers, Client Service Managers…we all work together to create a cohesive unit. We are empowered by the knowledge that we form a compassionate care team of talented professionals dedicated to the families we serve.

What do you want families to know about the value of hiring a Care Manager? 

I want families to know that peace of mind is achievable, even in moments when the care of an aging loved one feels overwhelming and uncertain. A care manager advocates, counsels, and collaborates with families to ensure that the needs of all parties are being met. Sensitive issues inevitably need to be discussed and a care manager can help families navigate these conversations. By creating a context of trust, families can have open, thoughtful dialogue which leads to decisions that maximize everyone’s well-being.

You’ve contributed several awesome pieces of writing to our blog. How does writing help you in the work you do?

Writing helps me process my experience. It enables me to channel the myriad of emotions I feel into something recognizable and relatable. I find it cathartic to take my thoughts — which usually feel like they are continuously swirling around in my head — and express them in writing. When my words resonate with others, the process becomes that much more meaningful to me.

What are your favorite hobbies outside of work? 

My hobbies outside of work include all aspects of my life as a mom of four incredible children. Yoga, reading, and listening to music all contribute to my overall sense of peace and well-being.

Karen and her family on vacation!