Alcoholism & the Holidays

For many people, the holidays are a time for sharing and giving. But for alcoholics, it can be dangerous because the urge to drink may be enhanced. This is especially true for the alcoholic in alcoholic families. Parties and holiday activities involve the use of alcohol and many people receive alcohol as a gift. People who are lonely may have the urge to drink.

We live in a drinking society with certain activities that promote the use of alcohol and are glorified in the media. Examples include sports: the Superbowl and the World Series to name a few. Many liquor ads show young people having fun with handsome actors and actresses. This is to promote the idea if we drink a certain brand or beverage we will be transported to an exotic backdrop where everyone is having a great time. Reality is much different. Holiday beer and beverage ads do not show all the problems that alcoholism and excessive drinking cause. People who are not alcoholic can enjoy a few drinks and the closeness that is a component of social drinking.

The holidays can be a dangerous time for the alcoholic. One can easily be fooled by the celebrating spirit of the holiday season and forget that alcohol has an adverse effect on them. Even people who don’t have a drinking problem can drink too much during the holiday season and get into trouble.
The alcoholic can still enjoy the holidays without drinking.

Here are some tips on having a sober, safe, and fun holiday season:

  • Do not go where others are drinking if you have the urge
  • Call a sober friend if you are feeling lonely
  • Go to a 12-step meeting
  • Go to a safe place if you are wanting to drink
  • Ask your host for a non-alcoholic drink or bring it with you
  • Give reasons as to why you don’t want a drink, you can give any reason you want
  • Go out with sober friends to support each other in drinking environments
  • Make sure you are not too hungry, angry, lonely or tired (HALT) when you go out
  • Go to a sobriety party -many 12-step clubs have sober Christmas parties

Your recovery must be your number one priority regardless of the time of the year. If you look back on other times when you drank during the holidays, you may find that drinking inhibited your ability to have fun. It is the alcoholic’s responsibility to live life on life’s terms without taking a drink.


We at Exult can help by giving you a safe place and encouragement. Please join our Sober Holidays support group if you are interested in having a group to talk to about holiday stress while in recovery. Our group will meet Wednesdays at 6pm. It is free to attend. If you are interested in signing up, please call 469-714-0006 or email us at

James Fox, Exult Healthcare

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Drug Take-Back Event

McKinney Drug Take-Back Event

On Saturday, October 27th, 2018 the City of McKinney Police Department and the Collin Count Sheriff’s Office will host their periodic DEA Nationwide Drug Take-Back event. From 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Public Safety Building, people “can safely dispose of all accumulated expired, unwanted, and unused prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous. You do not have to be a resident of McKinney to participate.”

For a list of what they will or won’t take and other information, visit the event page here.

Date: October 27, 2018
Time: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Location: Public Safety Building
2200 Taylor Burk Dr.
McKinney, TX 75071
Contact: 972-547-2844
Questions? Email us.
Cost: Free
Link: More information

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Panelists from Judge Lela Mays' Honest Talk

Dr. B Speaks on “Honest Talk About Mental Health and Addiction” Panel

Dr. B with Judge Lela Mays

Last night, Dr. Bhargava spoke on a local panel discussing substance abuse, mental health, and local resources for support. The town hall event—moderated by Judge Lela Mays—featured panelists from a variety of government and healthcare services related to mental health and addiction to answer questions about community resources and funding issues.

Missed the discussion? Dr. B will be participating in the next panel which will be held on October 16th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at UT Dallas ECS TI Auditorium. (See flyer for more details.)

Honest Talk Poster



By: Gabby Lundy, Exult Healthcare

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Suboxone Onsite

Suboxone (Buprenorphine/Naloxone) Onsite

Our facility provides Medicated-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Suboxone (Buprenorphine/Naloxone).

Medicated-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of FDA- approved medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders.

We follow an integrated approach that includes med management, counseling and behavioral therapies.

Our physicians have taken the proper training and are approved to safely administer Suboxone to treat opiate addiction. We have trained counselors and therapists to offer behavioral therapies.

Medications Used in MAT

FDA has approved several different medications to treat opioid addiction and alcohol dependence.

A common misconception associated with MAT is that it substitutes one drug for another. Instead, these medications relieve the withdrawal symptoms and psychological cravings that cause chemical imbalances in the body. MAT programs provide a safe and controlled level of medication to overcome the use of an abused opioid. And research has shown that when provided at the proper dose, medications used in MAT have no adverse effects on a person’s intelligence, mental capability, physical functioning, or employability.

Medications used in MAT for opioid treatment can only be dispensed through a SAMHSA-certified OTP. Some of the medications used in MAT are controlled substances due to their potential for misuse. Drugs, substances, and certain chemicals used to make drugs are classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) into five distinct categories, or schedules, depending upon a drug’s acceptable medical use and potential for misuse. Learn more about DEA drug schedules.

Opioid Dependency Medications

Methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are used to treat opioid dependence and addiction to short-acting opioids such as heroin, morphine, and codeine, as well as semi-synthetic opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone. People may safely take medications used in MAT for months, years, several years, or even a lifetime. Plans to stop a medication must always be discussed with a doctor.


Methadone tricks the brain into thinking it’s still getting the abused drug. In fact, the person is not getting high from it and feels normal, so withdrawal doesn’t occur. Learn more about methadone.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women must inform their treatment provider before taking methadone. It is the only drug used in MAT approved for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Learn more about pregnant or breastfeeding women and methadone.


Like methadone, buprenorphine suppresses and reduces cravings for the abused drug. It can come in a pill form or sublingual tablet that is placed under the tongue. Learn more about buprenorphine.


Naltrexone works differently than methadone and buprenorphine in the treatment of opioid dependency. If a person using naltrexone relapses and uses the abused drug, naltrexone blocks the euphoric and sedative effects of the abused drug and prevents feelings of euphoria. Learn more about naltrexone.


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Video Game Addictions

Anyone that has ever played a video game knows that video games are very enticing. The environments, bright vivid colors, challenges, and ability to create your own world makes video games an easy seller.

However, too much of a good thing can sometimes be a bad thing.  Video games have gotten harder to turn off and developers are making new content daily.  There is never a time where video games get redundant or boring anymore. Games like Fortnite are free to download on any game console and are constantly making updates.  These types of features keep gamers engaged for hours because they don’t want to miss the latest gadget or level. Gamers are soaking this up to the point that video game addiction is more relevant.

You can notice when someone is addicted to video games because they:

  • Don’t have the motivation to do anything else
  • Sacrifice time at work or school to play
  • Become alienated from friends and family
  • Play in secret or lie about how long he or she has been playing
  • Increasingly ignore personal hygiene
  • Lack hours of sleep

These are red flags that someone might have an addiction. Video game addictions should be taken seriously, because this can lead to physical health effects like carpal tunnel syndrome or experiences with headaches, back aches, and major weight changes.

Acting quickly is a serious matter and seeking outside help may be your best option. Also, another option is to create distractions through strenuous activities like sports or working out. Some gamers use video games as a crutch or an escape for uncomfortable situations in life that they feel are too hard.  As a friend or parent, you should not allow the gamer to rely heavily on a game to face their problems and help them learn to cope with the reality of life.  While you may be wanting to take extreme action when you offer help, eliminating the games all together may be a bit much. Start by setting a strict schedule that only allows a perfect amount of time for video games.  No matter what action you take, just remember that you are not alone.

Talking to someone is always an option, and even though video games sound harmless, addiction is not.  Professionals understand that addiction is a serious matter, and they know how to help.  If you have a friend, family member, or feel as if you have a game addiction please feel free to contact Exult Healthcare at (469) 714-0006 or email us at today.


Wallstreet Journal –


Written by: Lauren Thompson, Exult Healthcare

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