Most people regard alcohol as a socially acceptable drink, but tend to forget that it is also a potent and addictive drug. When people who are addicted to alcohol want to quit, they need to stop drinking, and that will trigger alcohol withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawal is one of the most severe things people can undergo, and it may even cause dangerous seizures that can lead to death.
Call (205) 319-3099 to speak with the experts at Alcohol Treatment Centers Birmingham.
Addictive substances like alcohol will cause chemical and physical changes in the brain when they are taken in excessive quantities or over long periods. The new physical and chemical makeup becomes the norm for the dependent body. When the addict or alcoholic stops taking the addictive substance, the body automatically goes into defense mode. It is this that triggers the symptoms and effects that are termed alcohol or drug withdrawal.
Unlike many drugs, alcohol has quite a low addictive index. What that means is that alcohol can safely be taken in reasonable quantities without any unpleasant side effects such as addiction taking place. That is why the vast majority of people who take alcohol (about 87% of American adults have done so at least once) do not have any subsequent problems.
Even people who abuse alcohol by drinking too frequently or indulging in regular binge drinking sessions can normally do so for quite some time before they build up a physical dependency on alcohol. People who are so addicted that withdrawal will be severe normally took years to arrive at that stage.
Very few alcoholics will be able to stop drinking and not experience some withdrawal symptoms. The majority of seriously addicted alcoholics must be prepared to undergo an excruciating withdrawal experience. The extent and the severity of the symptoms that an alcoholic will experience will vary depending on the individual alcoholic. Other factors such as the length of time he or she has been addicted, and the daily alcohol intake leading up to the time he or she quits will also play a part.
The following are just some of the more commonplace symptoms:
By the time they seek help, alcoholics have often developed a habit of drinking around the clock. This is often what is known as a “topping up” exercise. The pattern that alcoholics frequently follow is topping up throughout the night, even walking up sporadically to do so, and during the morning or the working day. They will then engage in a prolonged drinking session lasting many hours between the end of the working day and bedtime. It is not unusual to find alcoholics who can consume an entire bottle of spirits in this period. Such people are more likely to suffer the severest symptoms.
There is no way of bypassing the withdrawal process when a person quits alcohol. The most common treatment model is to have the alcoholic enter a medical detoxification program within a sterile, professional rehabilitation center.
Medical intervention is used to reduce the agony of withdrawal as much as possible. Alcoholics can attempt withdrawal at home, but this is a risky strategy. Firstly, the alcoholic’s access to prescription medication will be restricted. Secondly, without the therapeutic support of an addiction specialist, the alcoholic is more likely to relapse.
If you or a loved one is in need of alcoholism treatment, call Alcohol Treatment Centers Birmingham today at (205) 319-3099. We can help.
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