Sunday, September 13, 2009

Risk of alcohol abuse increases after gastric bypas surgery

Sacramento, CA
On Friday's Live_Online at 11 a.m., we learned that an unintended consequence of gastric bypass surgery is the risk of alcohol abuse, said Laura Lagge, a certified alcohol and drug counselor with New Dawn Recovery in Citrus Heights.

Lagge told viewers she's seeing more women who turned to gastric bypass for their weight problem now struggling with alcohol abuse.

She said after the surgery, alcohol enters a person's system more quickly and the effects are stronger.

Lagge said, "If you are considering gastric bypass, tell your doctor truthfully about how much alcohol you currently drink." Once the surgery is done, patients must reduce the amount of food and beverages they consume or face serious health consequences, such as alcohol abuse.

Several high profiles DUI cases involving women, most recently the off-duty Sacramento County deputy who crashed into a Natomas Starbucks, prompted Friday's discussion on women and addiction.

Lagge added that alcoholism and addiction is a disease that "strikes all kinds of people, regardless of age, race, economic standing, gender or education."

"Having the disease does not mean you are immoral, weak or defective," and that recovery is a gradual process, like any other chronic disease, she said.

If you're wondering if you have a drug or alcohol problem, Lagge said consider the following questions:

1. Have you ever felt you should cut down or try to control your drinking or drug use?

2. Have you ever felt guilty or bad about your drinking or using drugs?

3. Do you ever take a morning eye-opener to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover? Do you use drugs or drink daily or weekly? Do you use prescription medications more often than prescribed?

4. Are alcohol or drugs sometimes more important that other things in your life, such as your family or your job?

5. Do you find yourself lying to your spouse, your kids, or your employer to cover up your drinking or using?

6. Have you ever switched from one type of drug to another to either prove you're not addicted or to help with withdrawal symptoms from another drug?

7. Have you had problems with your job, your relationship, finances, legal or your health due to your drinking or drug use?

8. Have friends or family members expressed concern for you about your drinking or drug use?

9. Have you gone to work or driven while intoxicated or in a drug-induced haze?

10. Have you been drunk or high more than four times in the past year? Do you sometimes stay drunk or high for days at a time?

11. Do you need more alcohol or drugs in order to do something (start the day, have sex, clean the house, socialize, for example) or to change how you feel?

12. Do you need more of the drug or alcohol in order to get the same effect?

13. Are you uncomfortable when you have to be somewhere where no alcohol or drugs will be available?

Lagge said if people answer yes to two or more of the above questions, "they are at the very least abusers and would benefit greatly from stopping."

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