Driving Without Insurance and Drunk Driving.

How do I know if I have a drinking problem? This is a frequently asked question. The question by itself is a clue that there may a problem.

A person once asked me that. In context considering the setting I thought it was unusual. The reason for the question presented perhaps a week later.

This person had been apprehended, tested for alcohol and charged with OUIA, leaving the scene of an accident that involved a personal injury “hit and run.” Testing showed him to be .12 BAC.

BAC is blood alcohol content. .08 is the legal limit in this state. Weight and sex have a lot to do with BAC. If you are a stubborn drinker you should know your BAC statistics and how long it takes for the liver to detoxify one ounce of alcohol.

This link can help you if you have questions like how do you know. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/personal-health-_b_5656653

Drunk driving is a very serious problem and offense. It’s deadly. It kills people and ruins families and lives. I could go on and on about this as I lost by brother involving driving under the influence. This link could help you. https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving

Then, there is driving without insurance. Really? We can actually rationalize this behavior? This is simply irresponsible and anti-social. You could at least by basic liability insurance covering the other people involved in an accident. You could benefit by knowing more about this. https://www.dmv.org/insurance/penalties-for-driving-without-insurance.php .

Anxiety, stress and other life problems can be parts of the drunk driving problem. Learning stress management coping skills can be helpful. Use the “Catch it. Check it. Change it” strategy previously addressed.

You can learn more about this in my Criminal Justice and Addictions Counseling piece that can be found in the catalog. Free coaching comes with that document. So, if you are having these problems and want to get unstuck call me now at 808 385 4550.

The cost is $145.00. The Benefit far outweighs the cost. You spend more each week on alcohol or other drugs than this. For some it’s more than that per day.

Then, consider the fines, attorney’s fees and insurance premiums increases. The benefits far outweigh the cost.

Call me now at 808 385 4550.

Women, Men, Stress and Drug Problems.

Do women and men respond the same way to stress?

No, they don’t. Our bodies react differently to stress and how we deal with it.

Today, with the Coronavirus threatening our children and our lives we may need new and better ways to meet the challenge. The link just below has helpful tips: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/urban-survival/202003/new-research-stress-quarantine-and-5-ways-feel-better

What about gender specific drug problems? Do women use drugs for the same reasons? Are men and women introduced to drugs and use the same way?

“Research has shown that women often use drugs differently” as you will see by the highlighted area in this article: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/substance-use-in-women/sex-gender-differences-in-substance-use

Do men’s and women’s bodies react differently to stress? Being informed about how our bodies and brains react to stress and drugs can help us to respond differently. We can notice what we notice. “Hey! I’m tense. Angry. What is that about? They sure do react differently: https://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/features/stress-gender#2.

Knowing this and having new skills such as “Catch it. Check it. Change it” mentioned in previous posts can help us cope better. Hopefully it will reduce domestic violence too.

Catch it.

Imagery and visualization can help. When you notice you are stressed out or angry you have done the first step: Catch it. Visualize the situation.

Check it.

Next you examine or check it for usefulness or harm. Is it positive or negative? Should you get rid of the thought or image? You decide “Yes. It needs to go.

Change it.

What do you do? Change it. Make a picture of the ideal you with a new positive coping skill that works for you. Visualize the new you, over there, about 10 feet away. It’s the you that makes you safe, proud and happy.

Notice if it’s in black and white or color. Let’s say it’s in color. Now – make it a little bigger, a little brighter and move it a little closer. Does it feel worse, the same or – better. Let’s say it feels better.

Visualize, Strategize, Actualize.

Okay then. Move it slowly a little closer. A little closer as it feels better and better. As it gets right up in front of you – wrap your arms around the new you with the new coping skill that can keep you, your kids and your partner better protected and avoiding domestic violence.

If you would like more information about this or would like to do an exercise on the phone, call me: 808 385 4550.

Also, if you like this, please forward it to friends, family and colleagues. You can do the Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn thing too.

Drug Problems, Anxiety and Stress.

Anxiety and stress can create an imbalance leaving us vulnerable to alcohol and other drug problems, relapse and recidivism.

As you probably know, relapse is returning to thinking about or to using drugs of choice. Irrational thinking goes with substance use disorder.

The substances could be alcohol, other drugs or even food. Food is a substance.

Thinking that you can go back to binging, using or committing crime to feel better (self-medicate) is a classic example of the irrational thinking that goes with these challenges.

Irrational thinking goes with depression and other mental health issues such as ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder. It can cause us to feel frustrated, angry, anxious, etc.

The thoughts seem to be true and real at time. They are justified. Justification, mollifying, etc., are characteristics of what is going on with the person. They are the ‘tip of the iceberg’ so to speak.

Taking Control.

The key is to understand that this happens and your brain is playing tricks on you. Nobody is broken as I’ve pointed out earlier. It’s just a matter of finding how they work and knowing there is a better way to react. So, when we notice that we don’t feel good or right about a person, place or thing we can be on guard to the fact that it is time to use a coping skill.

Information sources.

As I’ve mentioned before, “Catch it. Check it. Change it” is a great tool to have at your disposal. Imagery too is a great way to feel better – some say – in an instant. psychologytools.com is the source of the check it piece.

If you’d like more information about imagery helping you, call me at 808 385 4550. We can do an exercise on the phone. It’s also available in the Catalog section of my site – Criminal Justice and Addictions Counseling.

Judith S. Beck has a whole chapter of her book dedicated to Imagery. The book is called Cognitive Behavior Theory.

Catch the problem, check and change it. When you change it, make a picture of a very satisfying situation about 10 feet in front of you. The way you see a happy, ideal outcome. It is a picture of a positive person, place or thing that makes you feel great – in charge.

Next, if it feels good to you, make it a little bigger, a little brighter and move it slowly closer to you. Experiment with that. You can try black and white vs in full rich color.

If it’s color that does it for you, experiment with different colors. Again, a little bigger, a little brighter, a little closer. Lock in that skill and you can turn a sad situation into a happy one – any time.

Substance Abuse and Stress.

Worry about your family, layoffs, work, income loss and your health due to C-19 can wreak havoc on your thinking. This post will not protect you from the virus. Only science, doing what the professionals tell us (shelter in place – isolate) and time can do that.

You do have the strengths and resources to manage your beliefs, thoughts attitude and fear about this. Let’s just focus on your visual resources first.

  1. Make a picture of the stress C-19 is causing. It’s right in your face. It feels scary. It’s a ten, the worst of a scale of 1-10. Let it go. As you let that go, look away, think of your phone number backwards. Take a deep breath and…
  2. Now, make a picture of five things in your life that you are grateful about. See pictures of people in the family that you love and who make you happy. Maybe it is the object of your affection. See that person right in front of you with a big, happy smile. How does that feel? Make the picture a little bigger, a little brighter, a little closer, a little warmer. How does that feel? Better, right?
  3. Okay. Now you have a choice. You can see how one helps you with the other. You have a choice of which one to think about.
  4. Repeat as needed. You can do it ten times to condition the new response. You can use this for anything in the future.
  5. As you consider the future, visualize where you might need this skill again. What picture will you use to give you the strength you will need to overcome that feeling? Focus on that positive, happy picture. See it in rich detail. Is it in color? Is it near, far. Is there any sound? Is it warm?
  6. Now, lightly press your right thumb and forefinger together to “anchor” this feeling for 10 seconds or as needed to capture that feeling.
  7. Let’s test this. Think of a situation where you ordinarily would feel stress. “Fire” your anchor – press your thumb and forefinger together. When you do that your brain gets the message that you want that positive feeling again. What do you see, hear and feel that helps you feel better?

When you think about this – don’t you think you could use this as a relapse prevention skill if you have exercise, diet, alcohol and other drug problems too?