Long term alcohol abuse can result in a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. When this occurs, and individual can experience serious side effects if they decide to stop drinking abruptly, or even limit their drinking. This is known as withdrawal, and can by extremely uncomfortable, both physically and mentally. If you are abusing alcohol and want to quit, then a medical detox programs can help you to manage the withdrawal symptoms, and is the safest approach.
Physical Withdrawal from Alcohol Abuse
Physical withdrawal symptoms depend on the intensity and frequency of your drinking. Often times, even though someone is abusing alcohol and psychologically dependent, they haven’t yet become physically addicted. Physical withdrawal symptoms are a clear indication of alcohol abuse, and can include the following:
- tremors of the hands (also known as “the shakes”)
- uncontrollable sweating
- auditory hallucinations, which consists of hearing things that aren’t really there
- visual hallucinations, where an individual sees things that aren’t real
Some of the less severe, but still very uncomfortable, symptoms of a physical tolerance to alcohol are sweating and shaking hands. These effects can be startling, and occur most strongly the morning after drinking after all of the alcohol has left the body. Alcohol metabolizes more quickly than other drugs, leading to withdrawal symptoms that can begin as early as 12 hours after the last drink.
The most severe withdrawal symptoms are strokes, which have the potential to kill, or leave the alcoholic permanently disabled. If you have been drinking frequently for more than a year, than a medical detox is the safest means of detoxifying. In addition to making the process more comfortable, it can prevent or manage potentially deadly consequences, like strokes.
Psychological Withdrawal from Alcohol Abuse
Many alcohol abusers become psychologically addicted to alcohol long before they are physically addicted. Psychological addiction also comes from heavy drinking, and can leave the alcoholic restless and uncomfortable if they are not able to drink. Although the psychological withdrawal does not have the potential to be fatal, its symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable.
- Some of these symptoms include:
- a generally sense of depression or hopelessness
- overwhelming feelings of anxiety
- strong fluctuations in mood, including irritability
- inability to focus, or restlessness
- difficulty sleeping, or insomnia
Individuals who frequently abuse alcohol tend to experience strong psychological withdrawal. Sometimes alcohol abusers do not experience these symptoms, which usually is a result of less frequent drinking. Binge drinking is a common occurrence, and consists of isolated, intermittent episodes of more than five drinks in men, and more than four drinks in women. This is the minimum amount to constitute binge drinking, and often results in much more than 4-5 drinks.
Treatment for Alcohol Abuse
If you or someone close to you begins to withdrawal after not drinking, then there is a strong indication that they are addicted to alcohol. Recovery from alcohol abuse is most effective when offered through intensive inpatient treatment, and can help manage and control an individual’s withdrawal symptoms. At Northbound Treatment Services, recovery usually begins at our oneEIGHTY medical detox, where the individual’s withdrawal symptoms are addressed through 24 hour medical supervision.
After graduating from oneEIGHTY, clients begin their intensive inpatient treatment. Treatment is modeled after evidence-based solutions that have been proven effective in helping individuals recovery from alcohol abuse. Some of these treatment strategies include cognitive behavioral therapy, one-on-one appointments with a therapist, group therapy, 12 Step attendance, and experiential therapy. Each treatment plan is created based on the specific needs of the client, and is modified to tackle any new challenges that may arise. Northbound’s most important goal is to help clients to reach one year of continuous sobriety.
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