Alcohol is one of the most commonly used and legal drugs in the United States. Two out of three American adults report drinking alcohol and half of the alcohol is consumed by heavy drinkers. Alcoholism is an addiction that occurs over time. It effects the body physically and it can change the way the brain works to process information and emit emotions.
Alcoholism effects people in many ways and is considered to be a contributing factor in more than 50 percent of accidents, suicides, and violent crimes. Addiction to alcohol can also cause a number of health problems, including, but not limited to heart and liver diseases, cancer, and brain damage.
Even though there are many reasons why people may turn to alcohol in times of stress and depression, almost all alcoholics use alcohol as a coping tool or a way to make themselves feel better. Alcoholics often drink in order to make themselves feel more at ease in social situations and others use it to deal with stress. Family history is known to play an important role in alcohol addiction and children of parents who are alcoholics are more likely to become alcoholics themselves.
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Alcohol detox is the first step that a person must take to cleanse the body from the toxic effects of alcohol. These toxins did not enter the body overnight, they have been compounded over time and it will take an alcohol detox process to rid the body of its dependence on alcohol. If a person thinks that they can curb their addiction on their own they probably will not fare well. The hold that alcohol has on the body is too powerful for many people to be able to control it. Seizures, hallucinations and other problems are of concern for heavy drinkers during withdrawal and can lead to a longer alcohol detox process. Unlike withdrawal from many other substances, alcohol withdrawal can lead to death without proper medical supervision and intervention.
The neuronal receptors in the brain are affected every time that one takes a drink. The body relaxes and one begins to lose full awareness of what they are doing or of what they have done. When the brain's receptors are continually flooded with alcohol because of long term use it will lead to a decrease in responsiveness by the brain's receptors. That is the reason that people develop a tolerance to alcohol and require more and more alcohol to achieve the same effect. When there have been multiple attempts at alcohol detox this will create a greater craving for alcohol which can make the recovery process more difficult. At an alcohol detox center, staff understand the importance of getting the job done right the first time.
Alcohol detox is usually accomplished in an inpatient medical facility. The first job of therapy is guiding the patient to a point of readiness, willingness and desire to stop drinking. Medical management of alcohol withdrawal during detox is often not sufficient to prevent long term abstinence from alcohol. Further addiction treatment modalities must be implemented in order to prevent relapse.
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