Around 85% of people over the age of 18 have consumed alcohol at least once before. Alcohol can quickly become a serious problem if a person happens to become addicted to it. The disease of addiction is hard to fight but alcohol withdrawal symptoms can also be a pain to go through.
But what can you expect from alcohol withdrawal? Is there a way to make the process go more smoothly? If you are addicted to alcohol, is it always necessary to go through withdrawal symptoms?
Keep reading and learn more about it below and why alcohol addiction is such a serious problem.
What You Need to Know About Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction can be a tricky thing to deal with because it can happen without you even realizing it. More than that, once this addiction sets in, it can be hard to get rid of. Keep in mind that not everyone who drinks alcohol gets addicted to it.
Obviously, there are many people who can have a glass of wine or a beer with dinner and stop there. However, there are some people who drink alcohol and then develop a craving for it which eventually turns into an addiction. It is not well understood why some people may become addicted while others do not.
It is believed that genetic factors have something to do with it. For example, if your parents or grandparents were ever addicted to alcohol, there is a good chance that you may also become addicted. Whatever the case, once an alcohol problem comes into play, a variety of issues can arise.
Alcohol addictions tend to start slowly and, over time, can take over a person’s life. A drinking problem can make a person behave foolishly or it can make a person aggressive and even violent. This, of course, can ruin a person’s relationship with his or her loved ones.
Besides, that, an addiction like this can also ruin a person’s career if the individual is not able to get to work on time or do the work that he or she is supposed to do for the day. This is not to mention that alcohol addiction can seriously ravage the body.
Liver disease is one of the main consequences that alcoholics tend to face. This is because the liver is the main organ that processes alcohol in the body.
Drinking alcohol once in a while and in moderation won’t do much harm to the liver.
However, when a person drinks alcohol all the time, especially hard liquor, the liver will not be able to handle these high amounts of alcohol. Over time, the cells in the liver will start to weaken and the liver will become fatty which will make it inefficient at its job which is to filter alcohol out of the blood. If the alcohol problem progresses, cells in the liver can actually start to die off, creating scar tissue.
This is known as cirrhosis of the liver. Once scar tissue begins to form, it will be impossible for the liver to heal or to function in a healthy way. Instead, its function will decline at a steady rate as fewer and fewer functional liver cells become available.
At a certain point, the liver will hardly be able to filter the blood anymore. As a result, alcohol and other toxins will start to build up in the body. This, of course, can cause a variety of health issues such as heart problems, swelling, pain, trouble breathing, and more.
If this continues, the toxins in the body can eventually build up to such an extent that death will occur. This is why it is important to stop alcoholism early before it can get to such a serious point. But what should you know about treating alcohol addiction and withdrawal symptoms?
Treatment Options for Alcohol Addiction
Treating alcohol addiction can be hard for a variety of reasons. For one, the alcoholic may not even realize that they have a problem, so they may not try to seek help or they may not even accept help. Sometimes, an intervention is even in order.
Whatever the case, it is important to get to the root of the problem if you want to stop the addiction. People usually abuse alcohol to escape something. For example, if a person suffers from depression, that person may indulge in excessive amounts of alcohol to escape that feeling.
Of course, alcohol is not the answer or the fix to this problem and, most likely, it will make the underlying problem worse. It will just numb the person for the time being or make them momentarily forget about their problems. Another reason why a person may abuse alcohol is to escape past trauma.
In any case, therapy can help. Therapy will allow the person to get to the root of their problems. Once they better understand their problems and why they use alcohol as a crutch, they will have more power to get past their addiction.
What You Need to Know
A detox center can also be a very helpful route of treatment. A detox or rehab center has all the resources a person would need to power through their addiction. Such a center usually has licensed therapists on hand to help the person through their addiction and help them understand why they are addicted to alcohol in the first place.
Besides that, these centers can also help addicts get through their withdrawals. This is important because the withdrawals are often so unpleasant that they can spur a person to go back to their addictive behaviors. In some cases, withdrawal symptoms can even be dangerous.
This is especially true for those who have been consuming large quantities of alcohol for many years. Quitting such a severe addiction can be very difficult, but with the right help and support, anything is possible. After the withdrawal symptoms, the person’s head will be much clearer and their body will be in a much healthier state.
This will give them the foundation to stay sober. But what exactly is the withdrawal process like?
All About Alcohol Withdrawal
Going through withdrawals is arguably one of the hardest parts of the entire recovery process. Withdrawal symptoms occur when an alcoholic stops drinking. They occur because the body is not used to functioning without the presence of alcohol.
As a result, the body will start to revolt against itself because it craves alcohol so much. Because the body and brain crave alcohol to such a severe extent, this will manifest various symptoms which are usually very unpleasant. The exact symptoms will vary from person to person, but some symptoms are more or less the same for everyone.
For example, a very common withdrawal symptom is nausea. This may be accompanied by vomiting or abdominal cramping and diarrhea. The person may also have very little to no appetite.
This, of course, can render the person very weak and dangerously dehydrated. This is why it is important for a person to go through withdrawals in the safety of a rehab center where trained staff are on hand to help. Other symptoms include anxiety, sweating, and changes in sleep patterns such as insomnia.
What to Know
A person may start to shake even if they don’t feel cold. All of these symptoms are characteristic of the human body trying to get rid of the remaining traces of alcohol and trying to adjust to there not being any alcohol left in the body.
This process tends to be harder for those who have been addicted to alcohol for years rather than just a few months.
In some cases, an alcoholic may experience acute withdrawal symptoms such as seizures and hallucinations, but fortunately, this doesn’t happen very often. If it does happen, it will occur during the first 48 hours of withdrawal. For up to 72 hours, the individual may develop a fever or feel like they have the flu.
After 72 hours, the severity of the withdrawal symptoms will start to decrease. After about a week, the person will start to feel much better and they may be well enough to start considering therapy and other treatment options.
Recovering From Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction can be hard to kick, especially since the alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be so severe. Some people may experience nausea and vomiting while others may experience chills, insomnia, and even seizures or hallucinations. But after the withdrawals, a rehab center can help that person get back on their feet.
To learn more about recovery, click here.