Alcohol addiction is a significant problem in the United States. Statistics recently complied by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, sometimes abbreviated as NSDUH, found that more than 15 million American age 12 and older were addicted to this substance. Many have tried to beat this dependency. However, alcohol is one of the hardest addictions to conquer.
The Reasons Alcohol Is So Addictive
Arguably, what makes alcohol so easy to become dependent on is the impact said substance has on the nervous system. When people consume alcoholic beverages, their brains release mood-elevating hormones, such as endorphins and dopamine. That said, in some people, alcohol consumption precipitates the release of even more mood-enhancing chemicals, further stimulating their dependence.
As the habit progresses, the brain releases an increasingly greater concentration of mood chemicals. Eventually, the brain and body develop a greater dependency on the release of these chemicals to function. Ergo, a significantly greater quantity of alcohol are needed to complete that process. In fact, alcohol can alter brain chemistry to the point that pertinent actions like decision making and impulse control can be compromised.
Additionally, the availability of alcohol makes it easier to obtain. To those over 21 years of age, the substance can be purchased legally. Moreover, said the chemical is far less expensive than most other drugs and does not have to purchase in the corner of a dark alley.
The Alcohol Withdrawal Process
Addiction experts opine that alcohol withdrawal is amongst the most difficult and serious. Withdrawal occurs in stages. The first stage typically begins within eight hours of the dependent’s last drink and might precipitate manifestations like nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort and shakiness. During the second stage, which sets in roughly one to three days after the subject last consumed alcohol, might consist of cardiovascular symptoms like an increased pulse rate and elevated blood pressure and general manifestations like a decreased body temperature and mental problems like confusion. The last and final stage, commencing anywhere from two to four days after the consumer’s last drink, might comprise symptoms like uncontrollable tremors, hallucinations, raised body temperature and convulsions.
Alcohol Withdrawal Can Be Fatal
Moderate to severe alcohol withdrawal processes almost always present discernible dangers and, if not properly managed, could prove fatal. There are several circumstances in which alcohol withdrawal could cost the dependent subject their life including:
When The Person Is Severely Dependent
Individuals who have consumed significant quantities of alcohol for prolonged periods stand at an increased risk of experiencing more trying withdrawal processes and potentially fatal complications.
If The Addict Possesses Any Mental Illnesses
Individuals with mental illness might not be able to bear the psychological strain associated with alcohol withdrawal.
When Co-Morbidities Exist
Chronic alcohol usage can precipitate a host of serious physical illnesses. Any of these maladies can weaken a dependent’s body to such a marked extent that they might not be able to tolerate the physical demands of withdrawal.
When The Most Serious Symptoms Manifest
End stage alcohol withdrawal symptoms can result in occurrences like uncontrollable convulsions and delirium tremens, which sends the addict into an ultra hyperactive state where they experience intense confusion and uncontrollable shaking that could quickly proceed to cardiovascular and respiratory collapse if immediate medical attention is not employed. Few people, regardless of how mentally or physically strong they are, can survive this without help.
<strong>Managing Alcohol Withdrawal</strong>
Most cases of alcohol withdrawal should be supervised through a process known as medical detoxification. During said procedure, which can take place inside a healthcare facility like a hospital or inside the confines of an in-patient rehabilitation facility, the addict is gradually weaned off alcohol in a controlled, medically monitored setting. If need be, the patient is administered medications to control burgeoning withdrawal manifestations.
Though both hospital and in-patient detoxification programs often prove effective in eliminating the alcohol from the dependent’s body, in-patient detoxification might yield better results over the long haul. This is because in-patient detox is typically followed by an extended stay inside a treatment facility in which recovering addicts are provided instruction on how to overcome the psychological factors that led to their addiction.
Individuals who are tired of living an alcohol-dependent life are encouraged to contact us. Though we are located in Palm Beach County, Florida, our team of experienced staff members have helped people from across the United States conquer their alcohol addictions in a safe, comfortable atmosphere. Call us at 800-737-0933.