On-line Counselling

We would like to inform you that we continue to be available for online addiction counselling. Due to the ongoing unfavourable epidemiological situation, the addiction counselling takes place on-line only, either via Skype videocall or via other online videocall platforms as agreed individually. The fee for one counselling session remains the same and can be found in the current Price list.

Dry February – “Suchej únor”

You have probably heard of “Dry January”, a public health campaign that encourages people to abstain from alcohol for one month – the whole January. This campaign is known especially from countries like the United Kingdom and France. There is a similar campaign run in the Czech Republic – however, the month the campaign is concerned with is February. The campaign is called “Suchej únor” (= Dry February) and its aim is to encourage Czech people to find out how they feel without alcohol. It motivates people to stay sober the whole February and focus on physical and mental health instead. This year is the 9th year this campaign is running.

Why is this campaign more important than ever?

The current Covid-19 epidemic has had a substantial impact on our lives and has brought an increased level of stress in our population for many reasons, including existential problems, mental health issues and ongoing uncertainty of what will happen next. It has been shown that the current situation worsened problems of people who are addicted to alcohol and/or who engage in harmful alcohol drinking (drinking alcohol that causes harm to the body and mind) and/or risk  alcohol drinking (frequent drinking even of small amounts of alcohol or binge-drinking). Significant proportion of people addicted to alcohol experienced worsening of their addiction, decompensation of their state and related problems.

Trying to stay sober for one month can help in assessing how much under control you have your drinking. And also, one month without alcohol will help you in many areas of life: your concentration and thinking will improve, your liver will have a rest, you will feel more relaxed and you will have more energy. Your sleep will improve, as well as your mood and sex. Your complexion will get better, you might lose some weight and you will feel healthier and refreshed. And of course, you will save much more money each month when not spending for alcohol.

If you have no problem in staying without alcohol for one month, congratulations! Maybe you will abstain from alcohol for the next month as well or you are more comfortable when drinking alcohol less than before.

If you feel you might not have drinking under your control or you struggle with alcohol addiction, know that you are not alone and that there are many people, specialists and ex-addicts who are here to help you.

If you want to talk about your problems with a specialist, feel free to contact us – we are here to help you.

Diabetes and illicit drug use

How does illicit drug use affect diabetics?

About one third of the Czech adult and teenage population has tried an illicit drug. Most people have an experience with experimental or recreational use of illicit drugs such as marijuana (cannabis), ecstasis, club drugs and cocaine. These drugs are typically used as a one time thing “to try it out” or at parties, clubs or with friends as a type of a social activity.

Every tenth person has diabetes – a disease when blood glucose level is increased in consequence of lack of insulin. Diabetes can occur already in young age (especially type 1 diabetes, when the affected person is dependant on regular insulin application). As diabetics reach teenage years and early twenties, it can be expected that some of them try an illicit drug with their peers and a part of them use illicit drugs recreationally or regularly.

It is essential for diabetics to control their blood glucose level as the control of blood glucose level is impaired in this disease. Drugs can case fluctuations in blood glucose. Therefore, risks of illicit drug use in diabetics are also too low or too high blood glucose, apart from typical risks associated with drug use. These blood glucose fluctuations cause other health complications.

Illicit drug use is also connected with specific lifestyle that can lead to decreased caution in blood glucose control. An example is marijuana that increases appetite and is typically associated with worsened self-control of blood glucose level by measuring devices, irregular insulin application and irregular food intake. This can lead to fluctuations in blood glucose in diabetics and to life-threatening complications.

Increased blood glucose level and associated ketoacidosis (a life-threatening and dreaded complication of diabetes that occurs with lack of insulin in the body and high blood glucose levels) can be caused by cocaine or MDMA (ecstasis). Increased blood glucose is seen as feelings of thirst and dry mouth and frequent urination. Symptoms of ketoacidosis are also vomitting, stomach ache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, confusion and difficulty breathing.

As ecstasis is often used in clubs, it can cause together with increased physical activity from dancing low blood glucose level (hypoglycemia). Low blood glucose level can be recognized as a state similar to being drunk – the person wobbles, is confused, unable to think straight, sweats a lot and can even loose consciousness. The first aid in cases when the person is still conscious is to give the person pure sugar (e.g. sweet juice, tea with sugar, a cube of sugar). If the person is losing conscioussness, it is necessary to call an ambulance.

Considering potential and even life-threatening risks in case of illicit drug use in people with diabetes, it is important to discuss this topic and be aware of effects of drugs on diabetics. Diabetics should be sufficiently informed about possible risks and precautions to avoid complications as part of diabetics will try illicit drugs at some point in their lives.

As this is an issue that is not properly discussed in journals and it is still a taboo for some doctors, we were very happy that the Czech journal “Vnitřní lékařství” (a journal for doctors, mainly internists and general practitioners) published our article on this topic.

The article in Czech (only abstract in English) can be found on the website of the journal.

Individual counselling back in our office

We are pleased to inform you that individual counselling will be taking place again in our office in Kandertova street – our office will be open starting this Monday, 11th May. Skype counselling is still available. Counselling is provided in concordance with recommended anti-coronavirus measures – keeping distance at least 2 metres, nose and mouth covered with a face mask or a scarf during counselling sessions, not shaking hands, payment by card or by a bank transfer in advance and hand disinfection available in our office.

Jana Malinovská