Alcohol is a neurotoxin, and as such it destroys neurons in the brain. Chronic alcohol dependence and 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 you treat alcohol dependence problems , people commonly think of 12-step programs and alcohol dependence 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:
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 in alcohol dependent persons, who have discontinued drinking, is called alcohol withdrawal. 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, irritability, 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 are best suited for in an alcohol detox center.
One of the safest settings to overcome alcoholism is intensive outpatient alcohol treatment. This ensures that recovering alcoholics are carefully monitored and supported, providing better care for patients who begin treatment in a detox center. Intensive outpatient treatment usually separates the drinker from alcohol-related social and environmental situations 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.
- 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?
- Has Alcohol interfered with taking care of your home or family and caused job and/or school problems?
- Continued to drink while causing trouble with your family or friends?
- Decided to drink versus pursuing activities that were important or interesting to you?
- Getting into situations while or after drinking that increases 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 dependence 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 dependence 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
Prolonged and excessive drinking can lead to tolerance and physical dependence on alcohol. Putting a sudden stop to alcohol intake can lead to AWS – which happens when the central nervous system can no longer adapt to a lack of alcohol.
AWS symptoms – which range from mild anxiety and tremors to more serious health issues; such as seizures and delirium tremens (DT). These symptoms can begin as early as two hours after the last drink and persist for weeks after. Other AWS symptoms include:
- Heart rate changes
- Increased Blood Pressure
Alcohol is one of the hardest substances substances that addicts detox from, and one of the most serious complications of AWS is Delirium Tremens (DT) . DT is a life-threatening condition that can cause severe mental and nervous system changes.
The symptoms of DT, which usually begin around 2 to 3 days after the drinking has stopped (and typically peaks at 5 days) include:
- Disorientation, confusion, and severe anxiety
- Hallucinations (primarily visual) which cannot be distinguished from reality
- Severe tremors