Alcoholism, which is now clinically referred to as alcohol use disorder, is a serious disease. Even those who seem the most carefree and euphoric while drinking can be struggling with deeper, darker issues than what he or she allows to surface. No matter how one’s alcohol use disorder might present, this disease is deadly if treatment is not obtained.
The 2015 report released by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) stated that 15.1 million Americans ages 18 and older had alcohol use disorder. Men, who have always been more likely to struggle with alcohol use disorder, made up 9.8 million of these individuals, while women made up 5.3 million.
Alcohol use disorder is not just impacting the lives of adults throughout the United States, but it is also occurring in the American youth. Approximately 623,000 youth-aged individuals between 12 and 17 had alcohol use disorder in 2015. Unlike adults, females had higher rates of alcohol use disorder than males, with 5.3 percent of females having AUD in comparison to 5.1 percent in males.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) estimates that 88,000 people die each year from alcohol-related causes. This makes alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the country, sliding in right behind tobacco and poor diet/physical inactivity.
This information shows just how prevalent alcohol use disorder is within the nation. And, despite tireless efforts by people from all corners of the United States, there still remains a negative stigma surrounding this disease. For many, this stigma prevents them from obtaining professional treatment.
However, when someone is dependent on alcohol, he or she requires alcohol detox in order to properly treat their disorder as comprehensively as possible. For some, that treatment begins with the many stages of detox.
Alcohol Dependence and Withdrawal
Many people who have alcohol use disorder are dependent on alcohol. The extreme at which they are dependent is determined by how much and how often he or she uses. Some individuals with alcohol use disorder are able to stop drinking and only experience very minor withdrawal symptoms that can be easily managed (such as those who binge drink). Others, however, go through a much more complex withdrawal. This is because the body is now accustomed to having alcohol in its system. However, now that it is no longer being consumed, the body works to function without it. This is known as dependence.
When someone who is dependent on alcohol stops using, he or she will have withdrawal symptoms. The more he or she drinks and the longer that he or she does so, the more likely he or she will struggle with painful withdrawal symptoms. Common alcohol withdrawal symptoms include, however, are not limited to, the following:
Withdrawing from alcohol can be deadly, which is why attending an alcohol detox can be critical. While the symptoms above are not life-threatening, there are symptoms that can lead to death if not appropriately treated.
Delirium tremens, also known as DT’s, are serious withdrawal symptoms. Those who experience these symptoms can struggle with the following:
Thankfully, an alcohol detox can help those withdrawing from alcohol do so safely and effectively.
Alcohol Detox Center
When enrolled in alcohol detox, individuals can have peace of mind knowing that they are in the best hands possible. With a team of dedicated and experienced medical and mental health professionals, alcohol detox can provide the most comprehensive, evidence-based care to help individuals make it through the process of detox.
Many individuals with alcohol use disorder make attempts to detox on their own, however, find that they go right back to using because of the pain caused by withdrawal symptoms and/or powerful cravings. However, an alcohol detox center can help ease these temptations through medication-assisted treatment, or MAT.
While more commonly known for its ability to help those recovering from opioid use disorder, medication-assisted treatment is a widely utilized form of care for those detoxing from alcohol. Medications including disulfiram (Antabuse), acamprosate (Campral), and naltrexone (Vivitrol) are different medication-assisted treatment options for individuals who are struggling with the physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal. These medications, specifically naltrexone, can help reduce cravings, allowing individuals to obtain a strong foothold in their recovery.
Each one of these medications will be administered by a healthcare provider. Providers are also able to administer other over-the-counter medications to help treat additional withdrawal symptoms, such as Tylenol for headaches, Pepto Bismol for gastrointestinal problems, and so on.
Alcohol detox does not stop there. Alcohol use disorder is not only a physical disease, but it is also a psychological one. When individuals are detoxing from alcohol, they can experience hallucinations, anxiety, depression, and other psychiatric complications. In order to maneuver through these feelings, mental health professionals can provide resources to clients. These resources can include writing a prescription medication for something such as anxiety and teaching clients different coping skills that can get them through the challenges they are facing.
With both physical and psychological efforts going towards clients, the staff in an alcohol detox will keep working to help each individual connect to the continued care that suits them and their needs best. This may include a professional recommendation to enter into inpatient treatment or an outpatient program, depending on what will benefit the client most.
Get Help Today Through an Alcohol Detox Center
If you can’t find a way to end your alcohol consumption on your own, do not feel hopeless. An alcohol detox can help you get going in your first steps of treatment.
You are not alone. Millions of people have alcohol use disorder, and many of them have decided not to reach out for help. If you do not get professional care for this disease, you can suffer extreme consequences, up to and including death.
Call us today to discuss your options for alcohol detox today. We can help.
“While detox services are not offered at our Breathe Life Healing Centers facility, we do refer clients who need detoxification services to a qualified and licensed provider partner. We will make sure you receive the highest care of medical detoxification.”