Inpatient Alcohol Rehab, Alcohol Treatment Centers
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Only 1.3 million of the 16.6 million adults who are diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder ever seek treatment. Health experts estimate the number of alcoholics to be substantially higher because of underreporting and the tendency for individuals with drinking problems to be really diagnosed.
Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction
An individual who has alcohol addiction problem will typically show the following manifestations:
Problems with work, social relationships, and brushes with the law.
A Look at Alcohol Addiction
The active ingredient of alcohol, ethanol, is a well-known mind-altering chemical. It’s effects on the mind and the body, are similar to other psychoactive or addicting substances. Normally the pleasure or reward system operates on the satisfaction of the different fundamental needs of the human body including hunger, thirst, friendship, and even sex. When these needs are met or are satisfied, an electrical impulse is generated to the reward center of the brain where neurotransmitters are released to make you feel good.
Alcohol and other addicting substances disrupt this normal reward or pleasure system by replacing the signals going to the reward center of the brain. Normally receptors that are supposed to receive and transmit the electrical signals or messages to the reward center, are effectively blocked or bypassed by the chemicals present in the alcohol and drugs. These chemicals, because they still stimulate the reward center, thus produce a variety of pleasurable feelings that get imprinted onto the subconscious. It is this mechanism that triggers the addiction craving for alcohol. Due to the pleasurable feelings derived from alcohol consumption, the subconscious is directing the mind to get more alcohol. If this cannot be achieved, the abuser will then go into a panic. The subconscious then begins to understand two very important things about alcohol – alcohol brings pleasure and not having alcohol is panic inducing.
The process of alcohol addiction is closely related to the development of tolerance and dependence, both physical and psychological. Tolerance develops when the body no longer feels the effects of the alcohol. It is no longer bringing the abuser intense pleasure. The only way to address this is by consuming more alcohol in greater amounts or at greater frequencies, or even both. Dependence occurs when the physiologic and psychological effects of alcohol have to be maintained. Withdrawing alcohol can bring about intense withdrawal symptoms that the individual tries to avoid at all cost.
Alcohol Addiction Detoxification
Like the treatment for any other addiction, the management of alcohol addiction always starts with detoxification. Since the body is already attuned to the physical and psychological rewards of alcohol, not consuming alcohol will bring about intense withdrawal symptoms including headaches, tremors, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and sweating. Confusion, irritability, insomnia, and nightmares can also occur. Anxiety, which can lead to panic attacks in severe alcohol withdrawal, can also ensue. These symptoms require careful monitoring by highly trained alcohol addiction treatment personnel. In some cases where the withdrawal symptoms are deemed severe, medical-assisted detoxification is needed. This is especially indicated in alcohol withdrawal-induced seizures, hallucinations, and delirium tremens.
During the detox process, nutritional support is imperative because alcohol is known to suppress appetite and disrupt the body’s ability to absorb and utilize nutrients. It is not uncommon to see severe multi-nutrient deficiencies in a chronic alcoholic. B-vitamins and minerals must be provided in addition to aggressive hydration to help facilitate the removal of alcohol from the body. For individuals suffering severe delirium tremens, a concoction of thiamine, folate, and other vitamins can be administered intravenously.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment
The real alcohol addiction treatment begins with the use of highly individualized cognitive behavioral therapies. Sprout Health Group offers individual counseling and group therapy workshops. Communication is very important as the individual is assisted in tracing the roots of his alcohol addiction. This is needed in order to guide the individual into recognizing the irrational nature of his thoughts that has led to his alcohol addiction. Of equal importance is the role group therapy session. They offer the development of healthier and more acceptable patterns of behavior, in relation to the management of alcohol addiction.