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Hazards of binge drinking

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There is a stark difference between alcohol abuse and alcohol dependency as Binge drinking is consuming an excessive amount of alcohol occasionally but their drinking habit can cause damage to most of their organs. They can have alcohol poisoning if their blood alcohol level rises to dangerous levels.There are repeated negative impacts on a person’s health and wellbeing because of them abusing alcohol.

Alcohol Abuse

Drinking excessively, Binge Drinking and Drinking irresponsibly (Often in dangerous situations) are things that differentiate a user of alcohol to an abuser of alcohol. An alcohol abuser does not need alcohol to function in life and does have some control over their drinking.

Alcohol Dependency

There are usually four common symptoms to classify someone as being dependent on alcohol. They are:

Craving for alcohol – Like any other drug, the craving for alcohol can become so intense that the person is willing to do anything (unethical or immoral) for alcohol

Physical Dependency- If they don’t have alcohol in their system, they tend to experience withdrawal symptoms of Nausea, Sweating, strong stomach cramps and vomiting.

Tolerance – People develop a high level of tolerance to the effects of alcohol. They need more of it to feel any intoxication.

Lack of Control – Person can’t seem to stop themselves from drinking.

Here is what Dr. Vihan Sanyal, a Mumbai based psychotherapist says “ Alcohol Abuse and dependency, unfortunately, is very common in our society. According to the The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (DSMIV), alcohol abusers are those who continue to drink despite recurrent social, interpersonal, and legal problems as a result of their alcohol use. Many people are not aware of the difference between the two and more importantly the consequences of their habits of consuming alcohol. Greater awareness is required to bring positive change in our society.”

WHAT IS BINGE DRINKING?

Binge drinking is drinking an excessive amount of alcohol occasionally. Binge drinkers don’t usually drink every day. They often justify their drinking habit by saying things like, “I drink occasionally and socially, I don’t drink every day. I am not an alcoholic!”. “I enjoy drinking; however, it does get too much for me as I don’t drink every day like some of my friends”. “I am perfectly healthy because I drink occasionally”.

Binge drinkers don’t realize that their drinking habit can cause damage to most of their organs. They can have alcohol poisoning if their blood alcohol level rises to dangerous levels (Often common in binge drinkers) and this can become fatal.

They are at a greater risk of becoming addicted to alcohol and start to depend on it. It can cause episodes of amnesia and cause blackouts. Some people become aggressive while they are intoxicated and get into physical fights and hospitalization.

The following morning after the drinking episode, the result is often of shame, anger, and regret and of guilt.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M DRINKING TOO MUCH?

A person needs to ask themselves if their drinking habits are risky or harmful.?

Dr.Sanyal advises “It is always better to seek help early. I have helped many clients who have come to the clinic with a binge drinking concern. I was happy to see that they recognized the problem and sought help for it. They are now able to enjoy a healthy lifestyle without being worried about the ill habits of binge drinking.”

INDIAN STATISCTICS ON DRINKING

Here are a few hard facts found in recent studies:

1. Kerala has reported to have the highest number of alcohol consumption in the country

People in this state drink 8 litres per capita, four times more than any other state.

2. People in states of Haryana & Punjab are next on the list of heavy consumers of alcohol.

3. India is one of the largest producers of alcohol. It produces 65% of alcohol beverages in the South Asian Region.

4. 80% of consumers in India prefer hard liquor over beers.

5. 14 million people are dependent on Alcohol in India

6. More people drinking with the intent of getting intoxicated and binge drinking than in the past.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF EXCESSIVE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION?

1. Dependency can lead to financial instability and financial crisis

2. Loss of Employment

3. Rise in domestic violence

4. Inability to sustain long-term relationships

5. Rise in cases of rape and of marital rape

6. Drink driving and accidental deaths

7. Alcohol-related convictions (Including Murder)

8. Alcohol-related deaths

9. Changes of permanent damage to the developing brain of children and teenagers

10. Can lead to the use of other drugs

11. Can result in damage of brain cells.

Dr.Sanyal explains that “People often underestimate the severity of the damage alcohol consumption can cause. Research conducted on alcohol consumption has shown significant amount on brain damage in just 4 days of drinking. Binge drinking, especially, adversely affects a person’s brain cells.”

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE PREVENTIVE MEASURES A PERSON CAN TAKE?

· Be fully aware of the problems your drinking habit can cause you and your loved ones.

· Consume your drink slowly and try to spend the duration of the social event with just one or two drinks

· Drop the amount of drink per glass (from a 60ml to a 30ml, etc)

· If you are a habitual drinker, never attempt to completely stop drinking (Going cold turkey), this can have serious consequences for your health.

· Know you triggers. What gets you in the mood for drinking, avoid these triggers

(People, places, events)

Dr. Sanyal cautions people, “Please be sensible and responsible while drinking. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of entering drinking competitions with friends. Be aware of the ill effects of excessive drinking (Especially Binge Drinking). Also please take extra care if you are taking medication for an illness. Some medicines react adversely to alcohol. They are not to be mixed.”

WHAT ARE THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF EXCESSIVE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION ON OUR MENTAL HEALTH?

Alcohol affects our moods, cognition and reasoning abilities. It has the ability to intensify any dormant emotions or traumatic episodes from our past, leading us deeper into grief and depression. The person is often consumed by these negative thoughts and emotions, it can easily transform into suicidal thoughts and actions.

Dr.Sanyal states, “People are not aware that regular consumption of alcohol changes brain chemistry. We have a “Feel good” Neurochemical called serotonin (It is a mood enhancer). Alcohol is a substance which is known as a downer, it reduces the amount of serotonin in our brain which leads to people feeling depressed. This can be counterproductive if a persons’ moto to drink is to feel less depressed!”

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE TREATMENT OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR PEOPLE WITH A DRINKING PROBLEM?

MEDICATION – There are a number of medications available which reduce cravings, help with impulse control and with de-addiction. It is best to consult a psychiatrist who can suggest the best medication for the patient.

PSYCHOTHERAPY – Different modalities which are available in psychotherapy like CBT, NLP & Hypnotherapy can all help a person to curb the tendency of drinking excessively or to completely avoid alcohol where necessary. Often therapy is used in combination with medication to help such cases.

REHABILITATION PROGRAMS – We have a number of rehabilitation programs and facilities to help clients and their families cope with the addiction and dependency problem.

Dr.Sanyal Says, “I have worked closely in treating people abroad, as well as in India who has had a history of Alcohol Abuse. I have done so using therapeutic modalities with fantastic results. Psychotherapy has all the tools necessary to support people who are often tired of fighting a constant battle with their addiction.”

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World Alzheimer’s Day 2020: Everything you must know about the brain disease

The theme for World Alzheimer’s Day 2020 is “Let’s Talk About Alzheimer.”

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Alzheimer disease

World  Alzheimer’s Day is observed every year on September 21. The day aims at raising awareness and challenge the common stigma that surrounds Alzheimer related dementia.

According to Alzinfo, every 65 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer’s disease. At current rates, experts believe the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s will quadruple to as many as 16 million by the year 2050.

The theme for World Alzheimer’s Day 2020 is “Let’s Talk About Alzheimer.” The day was first observed in 2012.

What is Alzheimer?

Alzheimer, in simple terms, is a brain disease that negatively affects memory, thinking, and behavior. These changes interfere with daily living. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Most people with the disease get a diagnosis after age 65. If it’s diagnosed before then, it’s generally referred to as early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Symptoms of Alzheimer:

According to the National Institute on Aging, in addition to memory problems, someone with Alzheimer’s disease may experience one or more of the following signs:

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life, such as getting lost in a familiar place or repeating questions.
  • Trouble handling money and paying bills.
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or leisure.
  • Decreased or poor judgment.
  • Misplaces things and being unable to retrace steps to find them.
  • Changes in mood, personality, or behaviour.
  • Withdrawal from friends, family, and community.

Stages of Alzheimer:

  • Stage 1. There are no symptoms at this stage but there might be an early diagnosis based on family history.
  • Stage 2. The earliest symptoms appear, such as forgetfulness.
  • Stage 3. Mild physical and mental impairments appear, such as reduced memory and concentration. These may only be noticeable by someone very close to the person.
  • Stage 4. Alzheimer’s is often diagnosed at this stage, but it’s still considered mild. Memory loss and the inability to perform everyday tasks is evident.
  • Stage 5. Moderate to severe symptoms require help from loved ones or caregivers.
  • Stage 6. At this stage, a person with Alzheimer’s may need help with basic tasks, such as eating and putting on clothes.
  • Stage 7. This is the most severe and final stage of Alzheimer’s. There may be a loss of speech and facial expressions.

Treatment Of Alzheimer:

Alzheimer’s is most commonly identified through patient and family history, and by talking to the immediate family about the presence of symptoms. Also, brain imagining may be suggested to check for beta-amyloid protein deposits. As of today, there is no curative treatment for Alzheimer’s. Drugs are usually administered to manage symptoms and healthy lifestyle changes.

Despite this, Alzheimer’s is one of the most expensive diseases to get treatment for. The global cost of dementia is estimated to be around $1 trillion currently.

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At 7, child prodigy honours literary legacy with first book

They added that the title of the book, cover page and all the illustration are also a part of her creativity.

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Abhijita a student of Class II

New Delhi, September 20: Padma Bhushan recipient Rashtrakavi Maithalisharan Gupts and Santkavi Siyaramsharan Gupt’s great grand daughter Abhijita Gupta, who is all of seven years and a child prodigy, has penned her first collection of stories and poems.

The book titled ‘Happiness All Around’, and was launched by Oxford Bookstores’ children’s wing, Oxford Junior in collaboration with Invincible Publishers. Seven-year-old Abhijita, taking after her family’s literary legacy, had started writing at a very tender age of five years.

The collection is an attempt to give children something to read, written by someone of their own age. (Abhijita Gupta – “The little poet”/Facebook)
“Abhijita is a student of Class II and is a third generation writer, to poet duo Rashtrakavi Shri Maithalisharan Gupt and Santkavi Shri Siyaramsharan Gupt. She is an avid reader and very expressive with her pen. She wrote her first story when she was a little over five years. By the grace of goddess Saraswati, she is carrying forward the traits of her forefathers and we hope she extends the legacy of Sahitya Sadan Gharana,” her parents Ashish Gupt and Anupriya Gupta said.

They added that the title of the book, cover page and all the illustration are also a part of her creativity.

“For her, every little thing around her matters: what she sees, she hears, she touches, she smells, she tastes and she feels — constantly soaking in the environment around her. And, her debut book proffers just that – the pure senses and humane values like an elixir.”

The collection is an attempt to give children something to read, written by someone of their own age. The book could prove equally useful for parents of young children, as it gives an insight into the mind of a six-seven year old and what thoughts and things interest her. The writings have been left untouched so that the innocence, mistakes included, of the child are not diluted.

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Covid-19 joblessness pushing youths to extremist groups in Northeast

Adding to this are the reports of a large consignment of China-made weapons reaching the hands of the secessionist Myanmar-based radical groups, who share close links with militant groups in India’s Northeast.

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Unemployment Rate in India

India’s Covid-19 pandemic lockdown is now giving headaches to the national security agencies. Youth, left jobless during the pandemic, are reported to be joining the banned rebel groups such as the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and other such, in droves.

Adding to this are the reports of a large consignment of China-made weapons reaching the hands of the secessionist Myanmar-based radical groups, who share close links with militant groups in India’s Northeast.

The emerging scenario is threatening to upset the delicate balance achieved through years of hard work by the Indian security and intelligence officers, according to senior executives in the national security establishment, who requested to stay unnamed, citing government service rules.

The Arakan Army (AA) — which seeks an independent homeland in Myanmar’s Rakhine state — has received the fresh cache of Chinese weapons and is known to be one of the key suppliers of arms and ammunition to the rebel groups in Northeast India.

In addition, the AA opposes India’s Kaladan Multi Modal Project, which provides states like Mizoram — a landlocked province — an outlet to the sea through the Sittwe port in Myanmar, officials said. Interestingly the AA has not opposed the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor.

Security agencies have told the government that insurgent groups active along the Indo-Myanmar border find easy recruits among youth left unemployed by Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.

“The successful induction of the Chinese-made weapons by the AA will have an impact on the security situation in India’s Northeastern states, as much of these weapons are finding their way to some of the dormant militant groups of the Northeast,” the official said.

“The new weapons provide firepower to the northeastern groups whose ranks are increasing as youth left jobless by the pandemic are signing for militant groups.”

Strengthened by new recruits and rearmed, the Khaplang faction National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) — a banned militant group of Northeast based out of Myanmar — is gathering along the Indo-Myanmar Border in areas such as Mon to plan and execute attacks against the Indian security forces.

In 2016, the NSCN (K) killed 18 soldiers of the Indian Army, forcing India to launch cross border strikes on the militant hideouts taking refuge in Myanmar.

Worryingly, for India, peace talks with the Naga rebel groups have failed despite efforts of the Narendra Modi government.

Agencies have warned that groups like the People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK) had recruited 15 fresh cadres in Assam. “There was recruitment of 10-15 cadres by the Karbi People’s Liberation Tiger in the outfit,” the source said.

Further, United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) had recruited 15-20 youths in the outfit from Meghalaya.

In Tripura, intelligence input indicates that extremist Parimal Debbrama of National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) is trying to revive his group and some newly recruited members of the outfit had completed their basic training in a hideout of Khagrachari District of Bangladesh.

“These cadres are planning to infiltrate into India for operations,” the source further added.

Intelligence agencies also stated that the India-Myanmar border remained susceptible to threat due to the presence of insurgent groups.

“Many insurgents groups are camping in Myanmar and trying to infiltrate through Tirap, Longding and Changlang districts of Arunachal Pradesh, Mon District of Nagaland and Charaideo district of Assam,” the source said.

(Sumit Kumar Singh can be reached at [email protected])

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