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The Connection Between Bipolar Disorder and Alcoholism

Bipolar disorder and alcoholism can go hand in hand. Oftentimes, individuals with undiagnosed, or even diagnosed bipolar disorder turn to alcohol as a means of coping with and self-medicating the symptoms of the condition.

They are more likely than not unaware of the risks of this practice. Leading to severe impacts in all aspects of their life, these individuals end up with more complications had alcohol not been a factor. 

Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2

Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2 are both considered to be mood disorders. Both are characterized by mood instability, with depressive states that consist of extreme sadness, loss of interest, and changes in sleep and/or appetite. However, it is crucial to note that Bipolar 1 and 2 are very different conditions, despite the similarities.

Bipolar 1 consists of manic episodes lasting 7 days or requiring hospitalization. The manic episodes are often accompanied by depressive episodes. Bipolar 2, on the other hand, is characterized by hypomanic episodes and depressive states; however, there are no full-blown manic episodes.

Overall, bipolar 1 has more severe and impairing manic episodes, while Bipolar 2 has hypomanic episodes that are less severe and can be perceived as being positive. Both conditions are treatable under professional care, and medications and therapy can help manage them.

Bipolar 2 and Alcohol Abuse

Bipolar 2 is a treatable condition when under the care of mental health professionals. However, individuals often struggle with this condition and are unaware of its existence. This can lead to unsettling symptoms, and turning to substances to cope with depressive states. The practice of drinking, in itself, can be dangerous.

When Bipolar 2 is left undiagnosed, and individuals begin drinking to cope, it can lead to them struggling with bipolar disorder and alcoholism, together. These conditions often co-occur with one another, complicating both conditions. While alcohol can seemingly provide relief from mania and depression, it can exacerbate the symptoms. As a result, this can lead to heavier drinking. 

Signs of Undiagnosed Bipolar Disorders

Many different signs could be indicative of undiagnosed bipolar disorders. These symptoms could be more obvious, or more subtle. However, those who exhibit symptoms should be seen by a mental health professional to prevent complications of the condition. Some symptoms can include extreme mood swings consisting of high highs (mania) and low lows (depression).

There may be periods of racing thoughts, high energy, and impulsivity during manic episodes that are followed by a sense of sadness, loss of interest, and fatigue during depressive episodes. Those exhibiting symptoms should seek professional help as soon as possible to prevent struggling with bipolar disorder and alcoholism. 

Can Drug and Alcohol Abuse Cause Bipolar Disorders?

There is no evidence to suggest that drugs and alcohol cause bipolar disorder. However, there is plenty of evidence suggesting that these substances can lead to the onset of bipolar that may not have manifested itself fully yet. There is also evidence that these drugs and alcohol can exacerbate the symptoms of bipolar.

Additionally, there is evidence that substances can increase the risk of developing addictions in those who are predisposed and struggling with bipolar. Bipolar disorder and alcoholism can go hand in hand, and it is fairly common for someone who is struggling with alcohol to suffer from mental health conditions like bipolar disorder. 

Which Comes First—Alcohol Abuse or Bipolar Disorders?

There is a complex relationship between bipolar disorder and alcoholism. Some cases show that alcohol abuse occurs as a means of self-medication and coping with the highs and lows of bipolar disorders, and in other cases, alcohol abuse can cause the symptoms of bipolar disorders to become more prevalent.

It can trigger the mood changes that characterize bipolar, and lead to severe challenges in the individual’s life. Having an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan can make a difference in the outcome of struggling with these conditions. 


Treatment for bipolar disorder and alcoholism can be helpful in the individual being able to maintain their life, with minimal impact. Both alcoholism and bipolar can make life extremely difficult, and without proper treatment, the impacts can only become greater. Dual diagnosis treatment can make a world of difference in the trajectory of an individual’s life who is struggling with substances and mental health. 

Lithium for Bipolar Disorder

Lithium is a mood stabilizer that is a cornerstone in bipolar treatment. It is highly effective for managing mood swings and helping to prevent relapses in bipolar disorder. The drug helps reduce the frequency and severity of manic and depressive episodes that make up bipolar disorders. It is vital to monitor lithium levels in the blood while on this medication to gauge its effectiveness and prevent side effects. 

Trauma Therapy

Many individuals who have struggled with mental health and substance abuse have experienced some kind of trauma in their lifetime. These may play a role in these conditions. Trauma therapy has the goal of helping these individuals to begin facing and healing from these traumas. As a result, they can gain control of their lives again.

Trauma has a profound impact on the human brain, and responses to trauma can be devastating. Having proper care can help to reduce its impact, making life easier.  

Begin Healing Today

Bipolar disorders are a life-altering diagnosis. If left untreated, there can be devastating results including alcohol addiction. Alcohol addiction is another severe condition that can impact a person’s physical and emotional health. If you or a loved one have found yourself struggling, there is help available.

At Lexington Addiction Center we strive to provide the best care for individuals struggling with mental health conditions like bipolar disorder, as well as addictions like alcoholism.

Call us today and begin your journey of healing. 


Delirium Tremens: Signs, Causes, and Detox

Struggling with alcohol addiction leads to an array of health concerns, including delirium tremens. Alcohol addiction affects the brain and body negatively in different ways, leading to long lasting impacts on health and wellness. Often, those struggling with alcohol have a hard time ending their drinking due to the effects of alcohol withdrawal, and can require professional help to prevent complications like delirium tremens, or DTs. Understanding DTs and the effects it can have on your body is crucial to getting the proper care.

Delirium Tremens Overview

Delirium tremens is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal. It is a rare and life threatening condition that occurs after a period of heavy drinking, usually in individuals with a history of alcohol addiction and severe withdrawal symptoms. Not everyone struggling with alcohol will exhibit signs of alcohol withdrawal, and only a small percentage of those that do will experience DTs. The symptoms of DTs usually progress from withdrawal symptoms. This can include agitation and irritability, confusion, tremors, tachycardia, hallucinations and seizures. If proper medical care is not sought out, this condition could be fatal.

Delirium Tremens and Final Stage Alcoholism

Final stage alcoholism is just as life threatening as delirium tremens is, and also requires professional and medical intervention. During final stage alcoholism, a person has generally been struggling with alcohol for a longer period of time and has begun to experience long term repercussions from drinking. This can include damage to vital organs, like their liver, that results in the need for long term medical care. Individuals with final stage alcoholism are more likely to develop delirium tremens as they begin the process of detoxification from alcohol. Those who are experiencing final stage alcoholism should seek professional help for alcohol addiction in order to be closely monitored to prevent complications such as DTs. 

Signs of Delirium Tremens

Individuals who are experiencing signs of potential delirium tremens should seek medical attention immediately. These signs include:

  • Confusion
  • High blood pressure
  • Hallucinations
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Disorientation
  • Panic attacks
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Excessive sweating
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue

The signs and symptoms of DTs are similar to alcohol withdrawal. However, these symptoms progressively worsen as time goes on. Receiving medical care as swiftly as possible helps to prevent complications and even death. 

Does Delirium Tremens Go Away On Its Own?

Delirium tremens can cause permanent damage to the brain. If left untreated, a person could have long lasting effects of the condition, or it could result in death. It is a condition requiring medical intervention and treatment in order to overcome DTs. There are a number of potential risks when an individual is experiencing DTs. These risks should be monitored by medical professionals as they can provide the best course of action in order to prevent worsening of symptoms and further damage to the brain and other vital organs in the body. It is important to stress the need for medical attention for anyone who is going through withdrawal from alcohol and experiencing signs and symptoms of DTs. These symptoms can progress quickly and have devastating results. 

How Long Does It Last?

Much like withdrawal from alcohol, there is no real set time frame for recovery from delirium tremens. There is a general timeline that can be given of what to expect, and potential length of time it can be expected, however everybody heals and recovers at different paces. Some people may exhibit symptoms for longer periods of time, and others may begin to recover quicker. Generally, symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can begin as little as 6-24 hours after drinking has ceased. Within 12-48 hours, more severe symptoms like hallucinations or seizures can occur. This is when normal alcohol withdrawal can progress into delirium tremens. Symptoms of delirium tremens, with proper care, may subside in 3-4 days, but can take 8-10 days to fully recover. 

Treatment and Detox

An individual who is experiencing symptoms of DTs should treat it as a medical emergency. It should be treated and managed under round the clock care either in a hospital ICU or inpatient setting. This provides the capability of medication being administered to treat the symptoms, preventing further complication. Once stabilized, and symptoms of withdrawal have subsided, a person can then undergo the much needed care for alcohol addiction in order to prevent the cycle from continuing. Medication assisted treatment can be beneficial for individuals who have experienced delirium tremens, as it usually occurs in individuals with a longer history of alcohol abuse. This form of treatment helps individuals to gain long term sobriety, through assistance from preventative medications. 

Overcoming Alcoholism

Struggling with alcohol addiction can cause a wake of destruction in a person’s life. It can lead to fractured relationships, job loss, as well as mental and physical repercussions. The right kind of help can assist an individual to overcome their addiction to alcohol and begin to repair the damage caused by alcohol addiction while regaining control of their life. If you or a loved one struggle with alcohol, we can help. Lexington Addiction Center offers comprehensive, proven care to individuals struggling with alcohol so they can overcome and begin a healthy and productive lifestyle. Call us today and begin your journey of recovery.

What is Alcohol Hepatitis?

Addiction to alcohol is a struggle that many people face on a daily basis. Alcohol hepatitis is a condition that often arises as a result of alcohol addiction. Identifying risk factors and symptoms can help save someone’s life. With a rapid onset of symptoms that can result in irreversible damage, this condition can lead to devastating results. Ending alcohol use and having proper medical care is crucial to avoiding these negative results. 

Alcohol Hepatitis Overview

The liver is a vital organ within the body. It is located in the upper right abdomen, beneath the rib cage. It is the second largest organ in the body, and its functionality is crucial for the body to perform vital tasks. Alcohol hepatitis is a form of alcohol-related liver disease. This condition occurs when someone consumes more alcohol than the liver is able to process.

The main function of the liver is to process food and drinks, filter out toxins, and metabolize nutrients. When excessive amounts of alcohol are introduced into the liver for processing, it can result in liver swelling and a decline in functionality. If the liver isn’t able to process and filter out toxins introduced by alcohol, it can result in swelling and a backup of these toxins. 

Alcohol Hepatitis and End Stage Alcoholism

End-stage alcoholism is the final, most severe stage of alcoholism. It can result from years of excessive drinking and lead to a myriad of physical and mental health conditions that can be detrimental. Depression, hallucinations, malnutrition, alcohol-related brain issues, as well as heart and liver disease could become prevalent. Alcohol hepatitis during end-stage alcoholism can be dangerous. If continued drinking occurs, the person’s liver could continue to be damaged.

As the liver continues to swell, and the liver cells are being continually damaged by alcohol, it can result in scarring. This swelling and scarring prohibits the liver from properly functioning. Irreversible liver scarring that impairs its function is known as cirrhosis. This is an incurable condition and in order to prevent further damage, one must stop drinking immediately and seek medical help to treat potential symptoms that may arise.

Alcohol Hepatitis Risk Factors

The risk factors of alcohol hepatitis include heavy drinking for long periods of time. As the person’s liver continues to break down the alcohol over time, it begins damaging liver cells. This results in swelling and damage to the organ. Another of the risk factors is having other existing forms of hepatitis. This can make someone more at risk of developing alcohol hepatitis, thus it is not advisable that these individuals drink alcohol.

A person’s gender assignment at birth can also be a factor as women are more susceptible to developing this condition. Other factors such as genetics and obesity can also play a role in a person developing alcohol hepatitis. Those struggling with alcohol should be vigilant when it comes to potential liver damage. If they feel there is a problem, seeking medical help as soon as possible can help prevent devastating results. 

Alcohol Hepatitis Treatment

Struggling with alcohol can be extremely difficult. Alcohol hepatitis can make this struggle even more difficult. Treatment for this condition begins with diagnosis. A doctor will begin by taking a complete medical history and performing a physical examination. From there, questions regarding history of alcohol use can occur. Blood tests can help determine the functionality of the liver, and ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRI scans can show any existing damage to the organ. 

The first step to treating alcohol hepatitis is to stop drinking. Continued alcohol consumption will continue to cause damage to the liver and result in further scarring and build-up of fats and toxins within the organ. When detected early, ending alcohol abuse can reverse liver damage. Anyone who finds themselves at a point where drinking has led to this condition should seek professional help to overcome alcohol addiction.

Detoxification can help to remove the substance from the body. The symptoms of withdrawal associated with alcohol can be extremely uncomfortable and can lead to life-threatening effects. Professional monitoring in a safe and healing environment can make this process more bearable. It can also help to ensure someone’s safety as they are bettering their life.

From there, getting continued help in order to remain abstinent from alcohol consumption is crucial. Necessary life and coping skills make a huge difference in the lives of individuals seeking recovery from addiction to alcohol. Help is available. Seeking help and adhering to a plan for treatment can help to not only increase quality of life but also to reverse this deadly damage to a vital organ. 

Overcoming Alcohol Addiction is Vital

Alcohol abuse and addiction can be extremely dangerous and detrimental to the life and well-being of the individual struggling. Alcohol hepatitis can result in major impacts on health and even premature death. In order to prevent these impacts, one must quit drinking. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction to alcohol, there is help available. At Lexington Addiction Center we provide much-needed care for individuals who are struggling to begin healing and learning to live life alcohol-free.

Contact us now and begin a journey of healing and recovery.

The Dangers of Mixing Oxycodone and Alcohol

Most prescription medications come with a warning label stating not to drink alcohol with the medication. This warning applies to mixing oxycodone and alcohol just as with any other medication. Both of these substances affect the way a person thinks and feels, so when the two are combined, those effects are exacerbated because the other substance is present. The way the body reacts to the effects can be unpredictable. This is why the warning exists. 

What is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a prescription pain reliever used to treat people with moderate to severe pain. It comes in tablet and liquid form to be administered through IV in hospital settings. It is habit forming and can lead to addiction to it in those who take Oxycodone long term. Because of the habit-forming properties, as well as the effects of the drug, it is a controlled substance only legally attainable through a prescription from a licensed medical doctor.

Effects of Oxycodone

When taken as prescribed, Oxycodone is effective in the treatment of pain. Oxycodone can cause a euphoric feeling in those who take it, and this leads to people abusing the drug. Some of the effects of this drug include drowsiness, lightheadedness, nausea, and constipation. Other side effects of this medication can include:

  • Decreased sex drive
  • Chest pain
  • Hives
  • Loss of appetite
  • Agitation and mood changes
  • Itching
  • Rash

Some of the effects can be heightened when Oxycodone and alcohol are mixed, leading to unpredictable effects and reactions.

Is it Addictive?

Oxycodone is a habit-forming medication that can lead to addiction in those who take it long-term. When used to treat chronic conditions, the body can become dependent upon this drug in order to feel any relief from pain, and it can also affect the pleasure senses. When the body becomes accustomed to certain levels of Oxycodone being taken, it can cause tolerance. This leads to needing more and more of it in order to feel relief, later resulting in an addiction to the drug.  

Dangers of Mixing Oxycodone and Alcohol

A physician should never prescribe Oxycodone to someone they know abuses alcohol. This is because the warning label clearly states to not mix Oxycodone and alcohol. The dangers associated with mixing Oxycodone and alcohol include damage to the brain. Both of these substances have profound effects on the brain and its structure. Anyone who has drunk alcohol knows that it affects reaction times, mental clarity, and the ability to form memories. When Oxycodone and alcohol are used together, these effects can be heightened.

Both Oxycodone and alcohol affect the way a person feels things. If someone is going through a bout of depression or suffers from it long term, these two substances can make those feelings of worthlessness, uneasiness, and depression so much more extreme. Being that they both affect the central nervous system (CNS), vital processes such as breathing can be affected by these two substances. Using them in conjunction with one another can make those effects more profound.

Other dangers of mixing Oxycodone and alcohol can include high or low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, lowered heart rate, seizures, as well as liver and other organ damage. 

Signs of Addiction

When it comes to addiction, there are many signs to look out for in a friend or family member. This can include things like secrecy, lying, manipulating, or participating in risky behaviors like drinking and driving or theft. Other things that could be indicative of addiction to Oxycodone and alcohol can be:

  • Withdrawal from enjoyable activities
  • Isolation
  • Lying about usage
  • Drinking in secret
  • Hiding the use of the medication
  • Physical symptoms when the substances aren’t used
  • Blacking out

When someone becomes addicted to a substance and then stops using it, it can lead to some severe withdrawal symptoms. It is highly suggested to be monitored by medical professionals when this happens to prevent complications.

Alcohol and Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms

Both Oxycodone and alcohol dependence comes with the risk of physical withdrawal symptoms if the substances are abruptly stopped. The body has become accustomed to their effects and when it is no longer receiving them, it physically has to remove the substances resulting in these symptoms. Everyone experiences different symptoms and intensities. Generally, the symptoms experienced can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, seizures, low blood pressure, dehydration, insomnia, restlessness, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts or behaviors, and muscle pains or cramping. Some of these symptoms can lead to severe consequences if not addressed, this is why it is suggested to be professionally monitored while going through them. 

Recovery in Kentucky

Struggling with an addiction to prescription painkillers like Oxycodone mixed with an alcohol addiction can be extremely detrimental. There are many complications that can occur as a result of this combination. Recovery is possible. Lexington Addiction Center offers a safe place to heal and begin the next chapter of life. If you or a loved one are struggling, contact us today and begin the next phase of life free of the chains of addictive substances.