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Weston Price
Weston Price

Can I Still Drink If I Only Had A Problem With Drugs


You have probably heard the facts before - driving while impaired or intoxicated is a serious traffic safety problem in the United States. In New York State, more than 40 percent of all highway deaths involve impaired driving. But the facts and statistics do not tell the whole story. Behind the numbers are thousands of lives cut short, permanent or disabling injuries, and families devastated because someone drove while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.




Can I Still Drink if I Only Had a Problem with Drugs



When you drink alcohol or take other drugs, safe driving is not possible. Not every impaired or intoxicated driver causes a traffic crash, but each one is dangerous, putting the lives of himself or herself and those sharing the road at risk.


Young people, who have less experience with alcohol or drugs and driving, are at high risk. Drivers under age 21 are approximately 4 percent of the driving population, but 7 percent of the impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes. This is one reason the driver license revocation penalties are more severe for young drivers who drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.


Because driving "under the influence" is so dangerous, the penalties for alcohol or drug-related violations are tough and enforcement is important. The chance of apprehension and conviction are high and New York State law strictly limits your ability to plea bargain when charged with an offense related to alcohol or drugs.


You do not have to look or feel intoxicated for these things to occur. The symptoms of alcohol consumption can begin long before you become intoxicated or even legally impaired and begin with the first drink.


Never drink alcohol while you are taking other drugs. It could be dangerous, often enhancing the effects of the alcohol and the other drug. For example, taking one drink while you are also using a cold remedy could affect you as much as several drinks.


In New York State, you can be arrested for any of these offenses: aggravated driving while intoxicated (Agg-DWI), driving while intoxicated (DWI), driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more (.08 BAC), driving while ability impaired by a drug (DWAI-drug), driving while ability impaired by alcohol (DWAI), or driving under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs.


It takes only a few drinks to increase your BAC to levels at which it is illegal to drive. And remember, the effects of alcohol on your ability to drive begin at even lower BAC levels after just one drink.


The only method to effectively reduce your BAC is to not drink over a period of time. Coffee, exercise and cold showers cannot reduce your BAC and the effects of alcohol. They can help you remain awake, but it can not change your BAC or make you sober.


It is a traffic infraction for a driver or passenger in a motor vehicle on a public highway, street or road to drink a beverage containing alcohol or to have a beverage containing alcohol. It is also a traffic infraction for a driver or passenger in a motor vehicle on a public highway, street or road to burn marajuana or cannabis. The penalty for a first conviction is a fine up to $150, a mandatory surcharge, a crime victim assistance fee, and possible imprisonment of 15 days. Additional offenses within 18 months bring higher penalties. The law exempts passengers in vehicles like stretch limousines and other vehicles that display a commerce certificate or permit issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation or the NYS Department of Transportation.


The law also makes it a felony to drive drunk with a conditional license, which is a license that may be issued by the DMV when someone is convicted of an alcohol-related offense. Such a license may be used only for driving to and from essential destinations such as school, work and medical appointments. The conditional driver license will be revoked if the motorist does not comply with the court terms or for a conviction for any traffic offense except parking, stopping or standing.


Drinking alcohol while taking metronidazole is not recommended because the combination of metronidazole and alcohol can cause a reaction (often referred to as a disulfiram-like reaction) in some people. Symptoms may include flushing, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. There has been one reported death associated with this reaction. The product information and health professionals recommend not to drink alcohol during metronidazole treatment and for 3 days after finishing the course.


Several studies that have investigated the reaction of metronidazole with alcohol have found evidence of the existence of this interaction to be absent or weak. It does seems that the concern attached to this reaction is overstated. It is possible that the reaction could just be a side effect of metronidazole or potentially only occur in a small sub-group of susceptible people, because the reaction does not appear to occur in everybody.


It can be dangerous to combine certain prescription drugs, OTC medicines, dietary supplements, or other remedies. For example, you should not take aspirin if you take warfarin for heart problems. To avoid potentially serious health issues, talk to your doctor about all medicines you take, including those prescribed by other doctors, and any OTC drugs, vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies. Mention everything, even ones you use infrequently.


When you travel, your health care provider may recommend that you adjust your medicine schedule to account for changes in time zones, routine, and diet. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about these changes before you depart. Carry a list of all the prescription drugs, OTC medicines, and supplements you take and the phone numbers of your doctors and pharmacists. When flying, carry your medicines with you; do not pack them in your checked luggage. Take enough medication with you in case you need to stay longer. Always keep medicines out of heat and direct sunlight both at home and when traveling.


Taking many medications can also increase the risk for side effects and other unintended problems. Researchers are studying deprescribing, an approach to safely reduce or stop medications that are potentially inappropriate or unnecessary. Read how NIA supports research on polypharmacy and deprescribing to help ensure older adults take only those medicines they need to help them live full, healthy lives.


Some medications need to be taken when your stomach is empty because food or drink can affect how they work. Taking medicines on an empty stomach generally means that you should take your pills at least two hours before you eat or two hours after you eat. However, this is only a rough guideline. Be sure to follow the instructions from your pharmacist about exactly when to take your medications.


It has long been known that marriage (or other long-term, committed relationships) and substance abuse don't mix. Having a partner who drinks too much or uses drugs is very much like throwing a stone into a still pond: the effects ripple out and influences all that is near. In the case of a partner who uses drugs or drinks too much, the effect is felt by his or her children, relatives, friends, and co-workers. However, many would argue that, aside from the abuser, the greatest price is often paid by the abuser's partner.


Couples in which a partner abuses drugs or alcohol are often very unhappy; in fact, these partners are often more unhappy than couples who don't have problems with alcohol or other drugs, but who seek help for marital problems. As drinking or drug use gets worse, it starts to take more and more time away from the couple, taking its toll by creating an emotional distance between the partners that is difficult to overcome. These couples also report that they fight and argue a great deal, which sometimes can become violent. It is often the fighting itself that can create an environment or situation in which the partner with the drinking or drug problems uses these substances to reduce his or her stress. When the substance use eventually becomes one of the main reasons for fighting or arguing, what we see happen is a vicious cycle, in which substance use causes conflict, the conflict leads to more substance use as a way of reducing tension, conflict about the substance use escalates, more drinking or drug use occurs, and so on. Couples in which a partner abuses drugs or alcohol have a very difficult time getting out of this downward spiral; fortunately, we also know of proven ways to help these relationships and, in the process, help the substance abuser recover. So, if you or your partner is having a problem with alcohol or other drugs, there is hope.


There are several tell-tale signs that drinking or drug use by a partner is causing harm to the relationship to the point that help from a treatment professional may be needed. The following are some of the common danger signals often seen in couples in which a partner has a substance use problem:


Although most couples will not show all of these danger signs, if even one of these is present in your marriage or relationship, it indicates that it may be time for you to "take stock" of the relationship and think about making it better. That is likely to mean that drinking and drug use will need to stop and the problems in the relationship will need to be identified and addressed. If you or your partner are showing signs of having a problem with drugs or alcohol and there are problems in the relationship, it is common to hope these things will take care of themselves over time. Unfortunately, that rarely happens. The better thing to do is to get treatment as soon as possible, or at least call and ask about treatments that may be available to you. If you don't, the problems are very likely to get worse.


There are many different treatments available that can be effective in reducing or eliminating problems with alcohol or other drugs. Some treatments involve individual counseling, others involve group counseling, and still others involve self-help meetings and support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotic Anonymous. So, if you have a problem with drinking or drug use, it is worth it to enter treatment, not only for you, but also for your partner, children, friends, and others. If your partner has a problem with drugs or alcohol, getting him or her to enter treatment may be one of the best things you can do for him and your relationship.


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