Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, WHO, nearly 13.5% of deaths of people between 20 and 39 years are caused by alcohol.
Alcohol consumption is part of many cultures’ celebrations and pastimes. However, in recent years, there’s been a worldwide trend toward increased use and abuse of this liquid drug. People are becoming more dependent on alcohol.
With so many people overusing or abusing alcohol, many look around and think that they don’t have a problem. However, people who drink in excess tend to flock together. Your drinking buddies may drink more than you, however, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have a problem.
There are many helpful tools for learning more about alcoholism that can help you determine whether you need professional help. The National Institute of Health, NIH, has outlined some of the symptoms of alcohol abuse disorders.
Warning signs include reducing other activities so that you can drink, drinking despite it causing problems, drinking more or for longer than intended, and wanting to stop but can’t. For more information visit this page by the NIAAA and find out more.
No matter the scenario, if you have problems associated with your drinking, you need help. Alcohol is a substance and substance abuse disorders are claiming more lives every year in the United States. Get help before it’s too late.
While you’re drinking, you regularly put alcohol in your system. Your body gets used to this and adapts to its new normal state. Your body fights all the time to keep its temperature and blood sugar at a consistent level – to maintain homeostasis.
Removing the substance completely induces withdrawal symptoms, which is the body’s response to the change in homeostasis.
Alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances to stop suddenly. The sudden removal of alcohol causes a host of withdrawal symptoms, some of which can be deadly.
Seizures are one of the big concerns when someone is embarking on alcohol withdrawal. The seizures are a response to the absence of alcohol in the body and can be fatal. People who experience seizures can suffocate from their own vomit or cause life-threatening head injuries in the collapse.
Due to the extreme risk seizures pose, anyone who’s been drinking regularly should consult with a medical professional or locate a nearby detox center or rehab before starting the withdrawal process.
Alcohol withdrawal comes with a number of other, less dramatic symptoms as well. Restlessness and sleep issues like insomnia or trouble staying asleep are common symptoms. Nausea, vomiting and sweating are other clues that your body became physically dependent on alcohol. Other withdrawal symptoms include racing heart, emotional instability, feeling paranoid or like something is missing.
Everyone’s different and symptoms experienced by one person may not be felt by another. No matter what your symptoms are at the moment, if you’ve been drinking heavily or drinking consistently for an extended period of time, you should seek medical help ASAP.
One of the most frequent questions regarding alcohol withdrawal is, “how long do alcohol withdrawals last?”
The answer is that everyone will have a different duration for withdrawal symptoms. However, there’s some consistency for the duration of symptoms. The consensus is that alcohol withdrawal lasts approximately a week, though the same symptoms or intensity of symptoms isn’t experienced the same over this 7-day period.
There are roughly four periods in this week-long withdrawal. First, is the initial 12-hours after stopping. The next phase is 12-hours to 1 day without drinking, followed by the 3rd phase which consists of day 2. The last five days make up the final phase.
In general, the first 48-hours without alcohol are the worst. The body sends signals to your brain demanding that alcohol be consumed. It may feel like your body is tearing itself apart. Others have commented that they felt in the most desperate sense that they couldn’t breathe, even though their breathing was fine.
Due to the amazing discomfort and risks involved with stopping alcohol use, anyone who thinks they have a problem and need to stop absolutely must seek medical attention. Medical professionals can relieve the intensity and prevent the more dangerous symptoms. This makes the process more pleasant and removes the life-threatening nature of quitting alcohol.
The first step is always recognizing that you have a problem. The next step can seem overwhelming; however, it doesn’t have to be. There are a number of ways to find a rehab and detox center that fulfills your needs.
Often, people who seek medical attention for alcohol abuse, dependency or addiction are given the recommendation that they not stop drinking until they’re under the care of medical professionals. This suggestion surrounds the dangers of stopping alcohol suddenly.
Treatment centers are well equipped to help you safely stop drinking and find the tools to stay sober for the long haul. The first step is getting the alcohol cleared from your system. The detox phase of treatment is the most medically intensive period. You may require medication or additional treatments such as IV therapy. Whatever you require, you can be sure that you’re headed in the right direction.
Substance abuse treatment programs often focus on learning new ways of coping with stress, while teaching clients about the disease of addiction. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, CBT, and other methods of behavioral modification have proven to profoundly change a person’s outlook.
Substance abuse disorders are often accompanied by other mental illnesses. Depression, anxiety, PTSD and bipolar disorder are some of the commonly seen co-occurring mental illnesses with addiction. People who struggle with a mental illness like bipolar disorder or depression may use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate and soothe symptoms they experience. However, people quickly become addicted and the problems compound exponentially.
Treatment centers are well-versed in treating clients with co-occurring disorders. Both issues must be addresses simultaneously in order for the person to stay healthy. Depending on the disorder accompanying substance abuse, the treatment may be drug therapy, trauma therapy or some other relevant process.
“No matter how far down the scale you have gone…” you will see that you’re not too far gone, and your best life is still ahead of you, teaches the Big Book of Alcoholic Anonymous. You deserve better than addiction has given you. You can and will, with treatment, find the peace, happiness and purpose you dream of.