Alcohol Detox

alcohol detox

Alcohol is a clear and colorless substance that’s found in various drinks, such as beer, wine, and other such beverages. Alcohol is legal to use; however, despite the fact that this substance is legal, it is often the cause of problems within people’s lives, and therefore may even require detox.

The truth of the matter is that alcohol use is commonly the beginning of the road to alcohol abuse. Of course, people do not start drinking with the intention of becoming dependent on alcohol. But, in many cases, alcoholism is the result of continued and regular drinking.

Many people develop a dependence on alcohol rather quickly while it may take a little longer for others. In any case, though, it’s important to realize that alcohol dependence is very serious.

When a person abuses and becomes addicted to this substance, the consequences can be completely life-changing in a negative way. So, it’s best to seek help from a professional treatment center if you or someone you care about is dealing with alcoholism.

How Does Alcoholism Develop?

The National Institution of Health (NIH) comments on the complex nature of alcohol use disorder, saying that alcoholism actually “results from a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors, some of which have not been identified.”

While it’s true that not everyone who drinks alcohol becomes dependent on or addicted to it, a large number of the U.S. population has found themselves having a little too much alcohol too often.

So, how does this happen? How does occasional alcohol use become alcohol abuse and addiction? And why does this happen to some people but not others?

Well, specialists and professionals have found many different contributing factors when it comes to the development of alcohol addictions. In many cases, alcoholism can develop as a result of contributing to mental illness like depression. Alcoholism and depression or common co-occurring conditions.

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In other words, there are several different reasons why some people develop substance use problems. Each individual is different and unique. So, there is a unique combination of contributing factors in each case of alcoholism.

Regardless of the causes of addiction, however, the process is similar in each situation. Often, people use alcohol in an attempt to feel the euphoric results of alcohol. Eventually, their bodies and minds become dependent on that feeling.

In order to continue experiencing the pleasant effects of alcohol, people will continue to consume the substance. This results in alcohol dependence and, possibly, addiction.

Signs & Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse and Addiction

People who have become dependent on or addicted to alcohol may show different signs of this problem in their lives. They might experience specific symptoms that come with excessive alcohol use.

As a result, those who have developed alcoholism may deal with many negative changes, including physical, emotional, and mental changes.

Some of the common emotional signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse are:

  • Depression
  • Lack of motivation
  • Emotional withdrawal
  • Feelings of guilt or shame
  • Feelings of anxiousness
  • Hopelessness or helplessness

Physical and mental effects of alcoholism include:

  • Nausea
  • Shakiness
  • Heart problems
  • Liver damage
  • High blood pressure
  • Lack of coordination
  • Weakened immune system
  • Cognitive problems (memory loss, impaired thinking, delayed reactions, etc.)

Those who are suffering from an alcohol use disorder may have a hard time staying focused and concentrating. They may fall behind at school or work. Some may miss important appointments or stop tending to their responsibilities.

But, some may appear to function as normal, keeping up with family responsibilities and going to work and school without fail. But, they may still be struggling with some of the effects of alcoholism, including depression and anxiety.

Many times, those who are addicted to alcohol struggle to explain or even understand what they are feeling. It can be challenging to connect to loved ones. Sometimes, individuals struggle with feelings of guilt and they may feel ashamed because of their alcohol problem.

As a result of these negative emotions, many individuals feel like they can’t reach out for help. They might feel afraid to do so. Some may try to end substance use on their own, deciding to quit alcohol use “cold turkey”, or without treatment. But, this can be very dangerous and, in some cases, life-threatening.

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Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal is one of the main reasons why ending alcohol use is so difficult. The symptoms of alcohol use withdrawal can be very difficult to deal with. People in withdrawal can experience symptoms like:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Sleeping problems
  • Feelings of anxiety
  • Bodily aches and pains

Sometimes, withdrawal can become extremely uncomfortable for those who are going through it. After all, when a person is addicted to alcohol, it means that his or her body depends on the substance. It relies on alcohol in order to function, even though alcohol tends to disrupt normal functionality.

So, when people stop using a substance that their bodies are used to, their bodies tend to go into a sort of shock (withdrawal).

In some cases, withdrawal can be very intense and pose a major threat. As American Addiction Centers says, “Alcohol withdrawal can be fatal, as the brain and central nervous system experience a rebound after being suppressed by alcohol repetitively for an extended period of time.”

Suddenly stopping the use of alcohol can be dangerous. This is why professional detox and treatment are so important.

If you are suffering from an alcohol use disorder, it is best to get help right away. Choosing to get help from a rehabilitation facility can literally save your life.

Alcohol Detox and Treatment at Sana Lake

If you are dealing with alcoholism, you may feel alone in your struggle. Perhaps your family and friends are unsure of how to help you. Or, maybe you are concerned about whether treatment can actually help you.

Here at Sana Lake, we understand the challenges of overcoming alcohol abuse. It’s not easy to stop using a substance that your mind and body have become dependent on.

But, our compassionate team is dedicated to helping to save and change our clients’ lives for the better. You don’t need to go through this alone. You can end alcohol addiction in your life. Just contact us today to learn how we can help! You can also reach us by dialing (636) 707-2097.

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Article Reviewed by David Sherman, MD

David Sherman, MDDavid Sherman, MD is a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (FASAM) and board certified in Addiction Medicine with the American Board of Preventive Medicine. He is a native Missourian and graduated medical school at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine. Dr. Sherman completed a two-year fellowship in Addiction Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He leads a highly trained staff of master level certified addiction professionals. Men and women from all over Missouri and the United States come to Sana Lake Recovery Center to get the care they need and deserve.