The Dangers Behind ‘Risky Drinking’

There is no doubt that alcoholism can do tremendous long term damage. But it’s important to remember that shot chugging and rowdy nights out can cause harm in the short term as well. In fact, a new study is pointing to just that. Recent research published on outlined the large of amount of young men who participate in “risky drinking” and very real dangers that go along with it.


For the record, the way risky drinking was described in the study pertained to fistfights, intoxicated driving and unprotected sexual behavior. Bar binging is certainly known to contribute to all of those things, as is the newfound “freedom” of turning 21. The research did show a strong connection of bad boozing behavior among men who are just reaching that age.


In conclusion, the study’s author felt that loose drinking laws and perhaps 21-year-old immaturity could merit a re-evaluation of each state’s legal drinking age.


“A growing body of evidence suggests large increases in criminal behavior and mortality coinciding with a young adult’s 21st birthday, when alcohol consumption becomes legal,” author and University of Wisconsin professor Jason M. Fletcher stated. “The policy implications from these findings have focused on the need to reduce drinking among young people, potentially by enforcing stricter alcohol controls.”


Upon further examination, Fletcher also stated that the statistics show an increase in alcohol-related deaths and violent crimes among males aged 21. Again, he emphasized that parental interventions are an important tool in keeping these young men grounded. But one of the more curious data points showed that this group is close to their families and often times living with them. Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to have regular conversations with college-aged children about alcohol.


“It might be a reasonable intervention to remind parents of individuals about to turn 21, that especially their sons, about these negative consequences,” Fletcher emphasized to The Fix. “Maybe they could at least be part of these interventions, in terms of reducing these risky behaviors right around the legal age of drinking.”


We couldn’t agree more with that advice. Not only is this risky drinking behavior a gateway into violence and physical harm; once intoxicated driving enters the picture, it could easily lead to death. We encourage all parents to stay close to their sons and daughters as they approach their young 20’s. Open dialogues and regular check ins are crucial as they enter this exploratory (and potentially addictive) stage of life.


Addiction Article Recap: Week Of Nov 28

Happy holidays VRC friends! We hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend. And we also want to make sure you enjoy knowledgable insights about our industry. That’s why we continue to put out our Article Recap, which chronicles important stories related to addiction and recovery. This time out, we’re sharing some very important headlines that cover alcoholism, marijuana health and heroin OD increases. Yup these are all pretty heavy subjects, but they send a powerful message about how important sobriety really is.


Scroll below for our quick synopses and remember; if you have addiction related articles that you’d like published, shoot us an email at


Headline #1: Heroin Deaths In Ventura County

This particular article was tough to swallow because it’s so close to home. The Ventura County Star recently shared a very alarming stat. Apparently, drug addictions are taking a major toll on its residents. After a lull in overdose deaths over the past two years, Ventura County is now showing a drastic rise in heroin-related deaths. Last year shooting up killed 33 people there, with a concentration in the communities of Oxnard and Simi Valley. According to the paper’s stats, that now puts the county ahead of the drug fatality rate across California. Deputy Chief of Police Joseph May told the Star that this deadly epidemic impacts everybody and knows no bounds. “There are no racial boundaries. There are no financial boundaries. There are no geographic boundaries,” he exclaimed. Our prayers are certainly with those families and if anyone in Simi, Oxnard or beyond needs help, Valley Recovery Center’s door is always open.


Headline #2: Marijuana Heart Health

We always hear about marijuana being a “harmless” drug. While it does carry less of a risk than let’s say heroin or cocaine, that statement is definitely not true. In fact, researchers from St. Luke’s University Health Network in Pennsylvania have discovered that chronic smokers are twice as likely to develop heart issues than those who abstain. Culling data from 44 states, the org found a significant link between pot and TVRB, also known as stress cardiomyopathy. This particular condition can weaken heart muscles and create chest pain, dizziness and shortness of breath. The study also found that marijuana users were more likely to develop depression, anxiety and tobacco habits. But their primary concern was the drug’s impact on the heart. “[Users] should be aware that certain cardiovascular abnormalities and complications can occur from marijuana use,” St. Luke’s  Dr. Amitoj Singh told “If you are using marijuana and develop symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath, you should be evaluated by a healthcare provider.”


Headline #3: HBO Tackles Alcoholism

From Game of Thrones to The Sopranos, HBO has been known to create some powerful television programs. Well now, the cable network  is setting its sights on alcoholism with a new documentary titled Risky Drinking. The two-hour feature follows the lives of four young people who are struggling with alcohol dependence. Each portrayal delves deep into the dangers of drinking, from health problems, to family turmoil, to brushes with the law and beyond. So far, the doc is generating a lot of positive buzz and is even getting screened on college campuses throughout the country. There is still no word on its HBO premiere date, but we expect to hear an update soon.