Among the most significant public health issues, in the United States, are alcohol-related problems that result from drinking too much, too fast and too often; please, use this page as your official alcohol dependence resource.
Alcohol is a neurotoxin, meaning that alcohol harms nerve cells. Chronic alcohol abuse changes brain function but the degree of change is dependent upon the duration and amount of alcohol consumed. Alcohol is so destructive because alcohol is a very small molecule and is able to cross the blood brain barrier and rapidly enter the brain. Because alcohol is so small, it’s size means that it can fit into many different receptors and can reach many different regions. This is why heavy alcohol consumption causes extensive brain damage. There are 10 other cells, called glia, for every nerve cell in the brain that is actively engaged in thoughts, emotions, and movements, that provide important support to nerve cells. alcohol abuse damages both of these cell types. Losing a few critical cells due to alcohol-induced brain damage has lasting effects on decision-making, behavior and mood. When someone is dependent on alcohol, it means he is susceptible to withdrawal symptoms whenever he or she stops drinking. Withdrawal symptoms are the most powerful factor driving alcoholic behavior. A cluster of symptoms observed in alcohol dependent persons, who have discontinued drinking, is called alcohol withdrawl. Withdrawal symptoms can begin as quickly as 8 hours after the last drink. Initial symptoms intensify and then diminish over a 24 to 48 hour period. Symptoms such as sleep changes, rapid changes in mood and fatigue may last for weeks. Alcohol withdrawal includes: headaches, tremors, sweating, agitation, anxiety, irritabilitt, nausea, vomiting, heightened sensitivity to light and sound, disorientation, difficulty concentrating and hallucinations. Detoxification programs are designed to recuperate both the mind and body. Most people who go through alcohol withdrawal make a full recovery; but, acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and acute symptoms of withdrawal are best suited for in an alcohol detox center.
Alcohol is a neurotoxin, and as such it destroys neurons in the brain. Chronic alcohol use causes extensive brain damage. No matter how severe an alcohol problem may seem, most people will benefit from treatment. Our alcoholism rehab program utilizes a multitude of treatment and detoxification, pharmacotherapy, vitamin therapy, counseling, education and information. When asked how alcohol problems are treated, people commonly think of 12-step programs and alcohol counseling. Behavioral treatment is aimed at changing drinking behaviors through counseling. Counseling is led by health professionals and supported by studies showing they can be beneficial. Behavioral treatments include:
- Helping you stop or reduce drinking
- Building a strong social support system
- Setting reachable goals
- Helping you avoid relapse
One of the safest settings to to overcome alcoholism is inpatient alcohol treatment. This ensures that recovering alcoholics are carefully monitored and appropriately supported. Providing a better continuity of care for patients who begin treatment in a detox center. Inpatient treatment usually separates the drinker from alcohol-related social and environmental stimuli that causes relapse. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step programs provide peer support for people quitting or cutting back on their drinking. Combined with treatment led by health professionals, mutual-support groups can offer a valuable added layer of support. It is difficult for researchers to determine their success rates compared with those led by health professionals. Anyone thinking about treatment should talk to a primary care physician as an important first step — he or she can be a good source for treatment referrals and medications. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a medical condition that doctors diagnose when a patient’s drinking causes distress or harm. This condition ranges from mild to severe and is diagnosed when a patient answers “yes” to two or more of the following questions. In the past year, have you:
- Had times when you ended up drinking more and longer than you had intended?
- Tried to cut down or stop drinking, but couldn’t?
- Being sick or over the aftereffects?
- Having a strong urge to drink?
- Alcohol has interfered with taking care of your home or family and caused job troubles or school problems.
- Continued to drink while causing trouble with your family or friends.
- Decided to drink versus persuing activities that were important or interesting to you.
- Getting into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, or having unsafe sex)?
- Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or after having had a memory blackout?
- Had to drink much more than before?
- Found that you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, or sweating.
If you have any of these symptoms, the more urgent the need for change. Drinking can cause major health problems like;
- alcohol dependence
- cirrhosis of the liver
- pancreatitis and injuries from accidents
Excessive alcohol use has immediate effects that increase the risk of many harmful health conditions. These are most often the result of binge drinking and include the following:
- Motor vehicle crash, and injuries stemming from falling, drowning and burning.
- Murder, suicide, and sexual battery
- Alcohol poisoning
- Risky sexual behaviors, like unprotected sex resulting in unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.
- Miscarriage, stillbirth or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and problems including:
- High blood pressure, stroke, liver disease, heart disease and digestive problems.
- Memory and learning problems
- Mental health problems
- Social problems
- Alcohol dependence
Idiosyncratic intoxication is an unusual medical condition, usually occurring in drinkers with impaired impulse control and the elderly, whereby even a small amount of alcohol consumption produces severe change in mental state and behaviors. An idiosyncratic drinker may appear rageful, aggressive, and suicidal experiencing hallucinations, illusions and delusions. These symptoms occur rapidly, and are usually followed by amnesia. Idiosyncratic intoxication often occurs in drinkers with impaired impulse control and the elderly. Please click on the buttons below to navigate to each specific section of the Drug Information Resource.
Do you or a loved one suffer from a serious addiction? If so, please reach out to us today by clicking here.