Geno (Stockton, CA)
Anxiety can be a challenge for many adults, especially those juggling the pressure of work, and the ongoing needs of family. Oftentimes, alcohol is used as an de-stresser at the end of long and taxing day.
When we drink, alcohol changes levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which can actually worsen anxiety. For many, the initial effects of alcohol include a sense of calm and a “buzz” that often takes a person to another place. The truth is, people often feel more anxious after the alcohol wears off. Alcohol-induced anxiety can last for several hours, or even for an entire day after drinking.
This was especially true for Geno, a 57-year-old husband and father who works for a local company. Geno describes himself, noting he has OCD: “In my job I have to be meticulous, because my bosses and our clients absolutely expect the best. Oftentimes my OCD causes a lot of stress as I navigate my work day.”
Everyday stress was a trigger for Geno and soon his social drinking, which was common for him and his peers, turned into heavier, daily drinking after work. Gardening, one of his favorite pastimes, was no longer enough to relieve the angst he felt at the end of the day, which is when the vodka and soda took over.
“So much was happening all around me and so I gravitated, more often than not, to vodka and soda. One turned into three and soon I was drinking seven at a minimum every night,” he continued.
He decided to make a change when his wife and son began noticing that his pattern was a problem, he began to feel embarrassed and knew he had to do something about the amount he was drinking. Going away to rehab was not an option and AA was not something he could see himself being a part of.
Geno searched Google and found Ria Health. What he liked most about the program was having the ability to manage his alcohol intake without giving up drinking altogether. He also liked that the program would allow him to set his own goals and a coach was always there to help him.
He started the program over the holidays and began seeing an immediate improvement. “It was one of the toughest times of the year for me to begin tackling my drinking, but I was determined to face the challenge head on,” he said.
Within the first few weeks, Geno began seeing a noticeable difference. Even when his drinking started creeping up again, he turned to his expert coach to help with his struggles. Without any judgement or stigma, she was able to get him back on track.
“Geno was very patient and along with counseling, moderation management techniques, and medication, he has managed his cravings and reduced his intake,” commented Laura, his licensed Ria counselor. “He was well aware that change would not happen overnight and his patience has paid off. Every week we are seeing progress and although there have been setbacks, 95% of the time he has been achieving his goals.”
So much has changed for Geno since he entered into the program. His relationships with family have improved and there are no more disagreements with his wife about how much he is drinking. He also sleeps better and does not feel tired when he wakes up.
“Having the ability to control my drinking is empowering. My life has truly changed for the better,” he said. “I’ve recommended the Ria program to friends and colleagues and am an advocate for how this program has transformed my life.”
Ria Health case studies are stories of actual Ria members. Names and some details have been changed to protect members’ privacy.