Alcohol abuse is a growing problem in the U.S. along with combining alcohol with other drugs. This lethal combination causes many biological and psychological issues including death from overdose. When alcohol is mixed with other drugs it increases the adverse effects of those drugs on the body. Alcohol is often used in combination with stimulants, cocaine, marijuana, heroin, analgesics, sedatives, anti-depressants and anti-psychotics.
Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease, and research has found that there is a hereditary component to it. Studies have shown that most alcoholics have a genetic predisposition to alcohol abuse and that is the primary reason why they drink. Often psychological issues and mental disorders play a secondary role in alcohol abuse. Once a person becomes dependent on alcohol, they will lose control over their drinking habit. They will experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop drinking and this makes it very hard to stop without the help of experienced medical professionals.
Alcohol abuse and dependence will begin to affect the person’s life in many ways. They will begin to have physical and mental problems that may cause them to drink more. They may start to engage in foolish and risky behavior. Drinking can also affect their personal and social relationships, tearing apart families, marriages and friendships. Most often, alcoholics do not fulfill their responsibilities and this may cause loss of employment and finances. Many homeless people are the victims of alcohol and drug abuse and dependence.
Alcohol abuse affects the liver, pancreas, heart, brain and immune system. Some of the many adverse effects of alcohol abuse and addiction are: irregular heart beat, cancer, liver failure, depression, suicide ideation, malnutrition, dehydration, mal-absorbtion, ulcers, sexual dysfunction, psychosis, schizophrenia, panic disorders, confusion, damage to the peripheral and central nervous system, epilepsy and perception/cognition impairment.
Treatment for Alcohol Abuse
There are many wonderful treatment programs available to anyone who needs help with alcohol abuse or dependence. Detox from alcohol is the first step in recovery, and inpatient rehab facilities offer the safest and most effective care. During the detox from alcohol, the patient is monitored and medically assisted to treat any problems that may arise during the detox process. Detox from alcohol can be life-threatening if not properly managed. Monitoring the patient assures that they will be kept safe and stable. The patient will be weaned off of the alcohol and given a substitution drug, such as benzodiazepines, to help prevent withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms occur because the brain and body are trying to readjust to the lower levels of alcohol.
Withdrawal symptoms may begin as early as two hours after the cessation of alcohol. The symptoms of the detox from alcohol will vary according to how severe the drinking was. Some of the alcohol withdrawal symptoms include: confusion, fever, dehydration, insomnia, rapid heart rate, headache, irritability, nausea, vomiting, sweating, increased blood pressure and nightmares. Delirium tremons is a more severe case of alcohol withdrawal and some of the symptoms are: fever, tactile hallucinations, numbness, extreme confusion, seizures, itching, burning, auditory and visual hallucinations and heart failure. The symptoms of delirium tremons usually cease after the first week of alcohol cessation.
Treatment for alcohol abuse may require the use of IV liquids to treat dehydration. Vitamin and mineral supplementation may also be given to treat malnutrition that often occurs from chronic alcohol abuse. Sedatives and medications are also used to help ease symptoms of the detox from alcohol. Treatment for alcohol abuse has new technology and tools to help the recovering alcoholic. There are medications available to assist alcoholics as they try to reduce their intake of alcohol. Another very effective treatment for alcohol abuse is behavior modification therapy. It helps the patient change destructive thoughts and behavior patterns that lead to substance abuse. To assist in recovery, there is 24/7 help available via the internet. Treatment for alcohol abuse is readily available to all who want it, and wish to start life anew.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.