Alcohol Addiction Treatment Centers
Alcohol abuse is a problem for many in the nation.
It is also a challenge for those who are close to the addicted person. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, there are close to 17 million adults diagnosed with an alcohol abuse disorder. Of this group, less than seven percent even attempt to seek treatment. As such, it is believed the number of people with an alcohol abuse disorder is much higher, as people have a tendency to hide their addiction. There is a bright side! Thirty-three percent of those who seek treatment remain sober for at least one year.
What Causes Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol, like many drugs, has mind-altering capabilities. Methanol is a substance that is similar to other addictive and psychoactive substances. Illicit chemicals work to inhibit the brain’s normal neurotransmitter system that signal satisfaction for human needs such as drinking fluids, eating good food, and meeting new people. Ethanol has the ability to disrupt this system by providing pleasure signals on its own. Thus, a person becomes addicted to the joy of drinking and the feeling of euphoria that alcohol produces.
Ethanol overstimulates the brain’s reward system. These good feelings are imprinted upon a person’s subconscious causing the brain to want more and more alcohol. If alcohol cannot be found, the brain sends out a panic signal. For the alcoholic, their subconscious mind either signals the pleasure of alcohol or signals panic when none is available.
Developing a Tolerance for Alcohol
Alcohol works on the body and mind from two directions. First, an addiction is created. Second, tolerance is developed which causes the alcoholic to consume more and more to feel the same feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. Consumption is increased, and the dependence becomes psychological or physical. It can also be both. The alcoholic arrives at a state where their body begins to exhibit symptoms of withdrawal, even while they increase their consumption. Alcohol abusers will do anything to avoid these terrible feelings of withdrawal. Their actions tend to make a bad problem much worse.
Spotting the Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse and Addiction
The signs are not difficult to spot, and may include periods of memory loss and blackouts. Naturally, alcoholics will have a compulsion to consume liquor. They may drink in the morning, during lunch, and immediately after work. Stress-related issues will keep them looking for the next drink. While their consumption may be social at first, it can quickly become a secret or solitary endeavor. While other people may notice and mention their actions, the alcoholic is at a stage where drinking seems normal.
They are likely to become more irritable, and will even become aggressive, the more others confront them about their problem. When they do not have a drink, they may notice excessive sweating, feelings of nausea, and even vomiting or tremors. Recent work problems, challenged social relationships, and problems with the law are red-flags there may be an alcohol abuse problem as well.
What to Expect During Alcohol Detoxification
Addiction treatment has to start with detoxification. This is the only way to manage the alcoholic’s return to normal. Alcohol addiction is a state where the body depends on rewards delivered by the alcohol. The withdrawal process should be monitored by people highly trained in their field because withdrawal can be accompanied by seizures, fits of delirium, hallucinations, anger, and a loss of appetite. Even if a person’s appetite was left intact, their body can no longer absorb needed nutrients.
Alcoholics commonly exhibit high nutritional deficiencies. Their alcoholic condition compromises their Vitamin-B’s ability to remove alcohol from the body, which serves to compound the severity of their condition. Oral nutritional treatments may be given to help restore the body back to a measure of health. If withdrawals are too violent, the patient may receive intravenous treatments. The patient’s health is a major concern at every step of the detoxification process.