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Alcohol Abuse Treatment

What is Alcohol Abuse?

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) and addiction are chronic diseases of the brain and body that can be fatal. Alcohol can be habit-forming to the brain and body, as the body can develop a dependence on the presence of alcohol to function correctly with long-term use. 

Addiction and dependency may not be the same for people who abuse or misuse alcohol. A person who abuses alcohol does not have to drink every day. Many adults in the United States from ages 18 to 34 years old report abusing alcohol at least four times a month. “Abuse” can be either how often you drink or how much you consume when you drink; both forms of abuse can form an addiction, including brain chemical dependencies and risky behaviors.

If drinking has created many problems in an individual’s life, there are options for drug and alcohol abuse treatment, including medical detox, counseling, group therapy, and 12 steps anonymous meetings. Treatment centers that provide this comprehensive approach are available all over the country.

Alcohol Detox

Withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking can be painful to experience, but there is a safe and effective way to detox alcohol from the body. Alcohol detox is the first step in treatment, and it’s a crucial one, as some of the withdrawal symptoms can be fatal. Medical professionals will closely monitor the person to provide safe transitions from detox to a residential inpatient program and additional treatment options. The duration of withdrawal symptoms varies but generally lasts about two weeks after flushing alcohol entirely out of the body; the severity of symptoms usually relates to the level of use.
Common withdrawal symptoms include:
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Hallucinations
More severe symptoms include:
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Extreme hallucinations
  • Disorientation
  • Delirium tremens
In alcohol detox, there is a timeline process. A patient may experience withdrawal effects from 12 since the last drink to over a week. Critical periods to notice would be 30 hours after the last drink. After one week, many symptoms of alcohol withdrawal will taper off. Medical professionals can administer certain medications, like benzodiazepines and Naltrexone, to help ease the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms and decrease the risk of relapse.

Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse and its effects can look just like being intoxicated or indicate a more serious disease of addiction. The symptoms of a person abusing alcohol can be thus:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired judgment
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Problems breathing

Binge drinking and heavy drinking can be weighed by the amount you drink in a given amount of time. For men, five drinks within two hours and four drinks per two hours for women is considered heavy consumption that can have detrimental effects. There are numerous problems associated with heavy drinking, indicating a serious addiction, dependence, and abuse. Such issues can be:

  • Health problems
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Car accidents
  • Violence
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Cancer of the breast, mouth, liver, and colon
  • Memory and learning problems

Alcohol is also very dangerous to the fetus during pregnancy, which can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, or numerous conditions upon birth and life.

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How Is Alcohol Abuse Diagnosed?

AUD, or Alcohol Use Disorder, is a chronic disease of addiction defined by the compulsive use of alcohol, not being able to control how much one drinks, and having negative states while not drinking. Some signs of chronic alcohol abuse, or alcoholism, can be:

  • Neglecting major responsibilities
  • Depression
  • Declines in performance at school or work
  • Preoccupation and cravings
  • Inability to control drinking
  • Needing to increase use
  • Withdrawal

Drinking alcohol releases endorphins in the brain. These can also slowly rewire your brain to become more dependent on drinking to feel the same way. There is no single way to predict who may become more dependent. Genetic and environmental factors both play a role in one’s tendency toward addiction. Mental health can also contribute to a drinking problem. Many people who are addicted may also have bipolar disorder, anxiety, or depression.

Alcohol Abuse Treatment

Our Alcohol abuse treatment center offers detoxification, mental health counseling, group therapy, 12 step meetings, and psychosocial education. Professionals can treat alcoholism with medication; simultaneously, engaging in therapy can significantly help prevent relapse and achieve sobriety.

Detox is a process where medically supervised interventions make it safe for the addicted person to flush alcohol entirely out of the body. Adjusting to a lack of alcohol in the body has many steps and stages. Many people may choose to stay as an inpatient at one of the centers to recover effectively. It is imperative to go through medical detox when there has been alcohol abuse to minimize the uncomfortable and potentially deadly effects of withdrawal.