Alcohol is rarely mentioned on lists of the most dangerous and deadly drugs, but with the amount of damage it does to those who abuse it, maybe it should be. In 2015, the groundbreaking National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH) showed that among those surveyed, over 50% reported consuming alcohol at some point during the past month.
The same survey reported that as of 2018, 14.4 million U.S. adults had an alcohol use disorder (AUD) and out of that 14.4 million, only 7.9 percent received treatment for it. The result is that an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes each year.
Why Alcohol Addiction Treatment Is Important
Because alcohol is one of the most commonly used substances, it often goes unnoticed when it is abused. The fact is, alcohol abuse and addiction can cause diseases like liver and heart disease, and alcohol-related auto incidents cause thousands of deaths annually. In addition to this, people with alcohol addiction — called “alcoholism” — are more likely to be unable to keep up with their civic, social, and familial responsibilities, creating a strain on society as a whole.
That stat that only 7.9% of people struggling with alcohol abuse and addiction get the treatment they need based on information provided by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism is important. The goal of Palm Beach Recovery Center is to provide a place where people with alcohol addiction can receive safe, effective alcohol detox, the first part of the foundation for recovery.
Signs of Alcohol Addiction
According to WebMD, there are several signs to look out for in yourself or someone else, to recognize potential alcoholism:
You drink more or longer than you plan to
Drinking causes problems at work, school, or in relationships
You tried and failed to quit drinking alcohol
You spend a lot of the time either under the influence or hungover
Alcohol motivates many of the decisions you make
You keep having to drink more to get the same effect
Found that not drinking for a short period of time makes you feel sick
While none of these symptoms necessarily mean that you or someone close to you is struggling with alcohol addiction, two or more of these signs together should be cause for alarm.
Alcohol use and abuse are extremely common so many of these signs have become normalized in society, but that doesn’t make it less dangerous. For example, in college environments, binge drinking, a dangerous form of alcohol consumption that involves consuming many alcoholic beverages in a short period of time, is glorified. This can lead to long-term issues like liver diseases, as well as an overdose, referred to by the name “alcohol poisoning”.
What Is Alcohol Detox?
Palm Beach Recovery Center uses industry best practices to ensure that our patients are able to detox safely and effectively. This means that we use medically-assisted detox, in which patients stay in our facility throughout the process.
What to expect
When you or a loved one enter our facility for alcohol detox, we’ll start with an intake screening, where we build a personalized treatment plan for you. While detox from alcohol doesn’t tend to vary much between patients, we need to know if there are any other medical conditions that may put you at higher risk during withdrawal.
Medically-assisted alcohol detox involves a medically-trained specialist’s oversight while your body rids itself of all alcohol. For alcoholics, this can be a dangerous period of time, as your body goes through withdrawal.The length of withdrawal and the need for medical support varies on a case by case basis, however, for some users withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening without proper oversight.
What Are the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?
During alcohol detox, patients will experience alcohol withdrawal. This usually lasts 5 to 7 days, and is associated with the following symptoms, according to WebMD:
Nausea and vomiting
More serious withdrawal cases may experience hallucinations and even seizures, which is why it’s important to have medical supervision while undergoing detox.
In about 5 percent of alcohol withdrawal cases, the patient experiences something called delirium tremens (DTs). During this phenomenon, a patient undergoing withdrawal will experience vivid hallucinations and delusions, along with:
Increased heart rate and blood pressure
Fever and heavy sweating
In cases where DTs occur, they will typically begin between 48 and 72 after the patient begins to detox.
It’s important to remember that alcohol detox goes in stages, so if a patient doesn’t experience one of the above symptoms of withdrawal at the beginning, it doesn’t mean they won’t at some point.
For example, the first phase usually involves anxiety, shakiness, and trouble sleeping, which patients experience for roughly 24-48 hours. The next 24-48 hours is considered to be stage 2, in which high blood pressure and increased heart rate, as well as fever and intense sweating, may occur. In most cases, these symptoms continue until the end of detox, but in severe cases, patients may experience seizures hallucinations during stage 3.
Why You Should Undergo Alcohol Detox With Us
These withdrawal symptoms are unavoidable when the body detoxes from alcohol dependence. Although alcohol withdrawal is one of the most common, it is also one of the most dangerous and potentially fatal. This, in combination with the fact that unsupervised detox isn’t usually effective, is the reason why you should never try to detox outside of a safe environment, assisted by medical professionals.
For safe, effective, medically-assisted alcohol detox, Palm Beach Recovery Center can help.
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