Alcohol is America’s favorite drug.
It dominates the numbers when it comes to substances of abuse, with an estimated 17 million people in the US excessively drinking alcohol annually.
In addition to drastic numbers that seem to keep increasing, alcohol withdrawal is one of the most dangerous types of withdrawal. Not only can it lead to chronic health issues, but withdrawal from alcohol can also be fatal if not treated properly in a medical setting.
Do you have a problem with alcohol?
The first step in understanding alcohol addiction is identifying whether or not you may have a problem. According to the NIAAA, alcohol abuse contains one or more of these characteristics:
- Had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer than you intended?
- More than once wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?
- Spent a lot of time drinking? Or being sick or getting over the aftereffects?
- Experienced craving — a strong need, or urge, to drink?
- Found that drinking — or being sick from drinking — often interfered with taking care of your home or family? Or caused job troubles? Or school problems?
- Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends?
- Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure, in order to drink?
- More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)?
- Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem? Or after having had a memory blackout?
- Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want? Or found that your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before?
- Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, or sweating? Or sensed things that were not there?
Addressing alcoholism isn’t exactly a cake walk
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, it might be time to get some help. Recognizing a problem within yourself is perhaps the single most crucial step you can take when attempting to recover from alcoholism. However, that’s not always the case when dealing with another person.
Approaching someone else in an attempt to discuss their potential alcohol abuse can create serious conflict and often result in resentment from all parties involved. This is a very delicate subject and should be approached with caution, but should never be ignored.
More often than not, the individual experiencing the problem with alcohol will have to recognize the problem for themselves before they are willing to admit that there is even a problem in the first place.
In some cases, a person may verbally indicate that they *may* have an alcohol problem in order to appease those who are trying to help even if they don’t truly believe it. Regardless, any form of acceptance from the individual abusing alcohol should not be wasted, and professional help should be sought immediately in order to avoid the dangers of alcohol withdrawal.
Alcohol withdrawal can be potentially fatal if not handled correctly
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can include tremors, seizures, and hallucinations. It is important that the user addresses these issues with a qualified professional in order to safely detox from alcohol and transition into a lasting life of recovery.
Here at La Via Detox and Behavioral Health, we pride ourselves on our holistic approach to alcohol detoxification. We start with an initial assessment to understand the client’s needs and problems, and then we create a custom treatment plan for that client to give them what’s medically needed during the detox process.
After the physical part is over, we help the client develop an aftercare plan that may include IOP or one-on-one sessions with one of our counselors.