AlcohoL Treatment Services
Southern California Sunrise Recovery Center
ALCOHOLISM AND WITHDRAWAL
Though a popular and widely socially accepted activity, drinking alcohol can destroy a person’s life. This doesn’t happen overnight, of course, but after long-term heavy drinking. Many U.S. adults have felt a hangover, but that doesn’t typically lead to problematic drinking habits.
But, alcohol is problematic for over 3 million people in the United States who have alcoholism. Alcoholism — also known as alcohol use disorder — has varying severities and is used to describe anyone with the following symptoms:
- Inability to control the amount of alcohol they drink
- Failure to stop drinking or cut down usage
- Strong cravings to drink
- A need for large amounts to feel the effects of alcohol
- Drinking despite experiencing physical and social problems
- Reducing time spent on hobbies or previously enjoyable activities
- Engaging in unsafe behaviors while drink, such as driving
- Physical withdrawal symptoms
Alcohol is considered an adult choice and is socially accepted, so signs of its abuse might not be evident at first. Heavy drinkers may think their behaviors are okay until they start feeling the repercussions of their drinking habits.
AUD is considered a brain disease like any other mental health disorder. Alcohol use disorder is the most common substance use disorder in the United States. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that about 16 million people in the United States suffer from AUD.
People with Alcohol Use Disorder suffer from the consequences of their drinking but continue to drink alcohol to excess regularly. They may have run-ins with the police, get a DUI, or repeatedly miss work or social events, among other things.
People with AUD also feel harsh physical effects when they suddenly stop drinking.
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Health issues caused by heavy alcohol use:
- Heart issues — enlarged heart and high blood pressures, which can lead to heart failure
- Liver disease — a fatty, inflamed liver that can eventually become permanently scarred
- Diabetes issues — problems regulating blood sugar resulting from liver damage
- Digestive complications — inflamed stomach and esophagus lining, and interference with nutrient absorption
- Weakened immune system — increased chance at developing additional illnesses
- Neurological problems — difficulty thinking, dementia, and memory loss
- Sexual organ issues — birth defects in pregnancy, erectile dysfunction, or menstruation issues
- Eye issues — involuntary rapid eye movement and weakened eye muscles
- Bone Damage — thinning of bones and increased chance at a fracture
- Cancer — higher risk of developing various cancers
ALCOHOL WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME
Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS) is what someone experiences when they have become dependent on alcohol. Unfortunately, AWS can become a life-threatening condition.
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. It slows down users, affecting motor functions and brain chemistry. After extended periods of use, the body starts to adapt to this change as it would with any other substance of abuse. The body’s response to alcohol dependency is to produce extra stimulating chemicals like serotonin and norepinephrine.
Then, when an alcoholic suddenly stops drinking, these extra chemicals put the brain on overdrive. Overstimulated, the mind and body go into a panic and produce a variety of dangerous symptoms.
The first phase of the withdrawal process can begin as soon as eight hours after the person’s last drink. During this stage, symptoms are typically mild and include anxiety, insomnia, and nausea. The next phase of withdrawals usually occurs between one and three days after the last drink and includes elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, confusion, and agitation. The third phase of the withdrawal process is the most dangerous. Some of its symptoms are fever, hallucinations, and seizures. These symptoms usually occur two to four days after the last drink.
Tremors typically come between the five and 10-hour mark after drinking alcohol. The peak for these shakes is 24 to 48 hours. Accompanied by this are raised blood pressure, rapid pulse, rapid breathing, anxiety, sweating, vomiting, nausea, lucid unpleasant dreams, insomnia, and frustration.
A heavy alcoholic could experience seizures in as little as six hours after a drink. Peak risk for seizure is 24 hours after the last drink and could happen for another 24 hours.
An alcoholic’s overstimulated brain might start to see imaginary projections after about a day of not drinking. This could last a couple of days. Hallucinations are different for each alcoholic but could cause schizophrenic-like thinking. This could be detailed visual hallucinations but are more commonly small moving objects like bugs.
Delirium Tremens, or DT for short, causes dangerously unhealthy breathing patterns, blood circulation, and temperature control. Peaks risk for this begins at the two to three-day mark after a drink but can be delayed by more than a week. The heart accelerates, blood pressure rises, and the brain gets less blood. The result of this is disorientation, unconsciousness, anger, nervousness, heavy sweating, and insomnia.
Our Laguna Niguel Alcohol detox
Alcoholic recovery professionals like ours at the SoCal Sunrise Laguna Niguel Alcohol Detox know how to treat a patient going through these brutal withdrawal symptoms. We have access to medicines that aid in the detox process and give all the physical and mental care a patient needs. All our treatment facilities monitor a patient’s vital signs and do everything in our power to avoid harsh symptoms.
A progressive detox program can be the foundation for a successful recovery from alcoholism. Southern California Sunrise Recovery Center’s Laguna Niguel alcohol detox program utilizes the latest in evidence-based resources to make the detoxification process as comfortable, safe, and effective as possible.
The timeline for an alcohol detox typically lasts between five and seven days. This process can sometimes take longer if there are medical complications or if other substances are being abused along with alcohol. Our addiction treatment centers also specialize in drug rehab for cocaine, opioids, benzos, and meth. So, alcoholics with other substance use disorders can be accommodated.
Our rehab center offers a medication-assisted detox to help relieve the physical symptoms of withdrawal. This level of care optimizes our client’s chances of successful recovery. Our team of addiction treatment experts provides encouragement and motivation for our clients. Once our clients’ bodies and minds are free from the toxins created by alcohol abuse, we help them transition to the next phase of their recovery.
We have a passion for helping others, and we’ve helped others recover from alcohol addiction. If you or a loved need to safely detox from alcohol, contact Southern California Sunrise Recovery Center today!