Inpatient Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism report that 16.6 million adults are diagnosed with an alcohol disorder; however, less than 7 percent attempt to seek treatment. Experts believe that the statistics are incorrect because most people are afraid to admit that they have a problem; therefore, the number of affected people should be a lot higher. Those who do seek help and treatment from alcohol addiction programs increase their chance at becoming sober and maintaining sobriety for at least a year.
Understanding and Assessing Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol’s main ingredient, ethanol, causes mind-altering effects, much like those in psychoactive and addictive substances. Neurotransmitters in the brain are inhibited due to the frequent consumption of alcohol, which negatively affect the mental rewards system of the brain. Normally, neurotransmitters send a pleasure signal to the brain after a human receives satisfaction, such as eating food, drinking fluids and making friends; however, when substance abuse occurs, the neurotransmitters are thrown off and begin to produce the satisfaction feeling only when a substance is used. It no longer knows what is pleasurable without the substance.
Alcohol and other addictive substances confuse the pleasure receptors and expel the standard transmission and reception of reward signals. The chemicals found in alcohol overstimulate the reward system and produce a variety of euphoric feelings which are then imprinted onto the subconscious. The imprint effect triggers addiction and the craving for alcohol, causing the brain and body to want more alcohol. If the craving is not satisfied, the brain is confused and falls into a frenzy. This is addiction, when alcohol or any other substance causes both pleasure and panic.
Alcohol addiction begins when a person develops a tolerance for, and dependence on, it. Tolerance is characterized by the body getting so used to the substance in its system that it no longer feels the effects if used in normal dosages; therefore the body will begin to feel less of a pleasurable effect, causing the user to consume more alcohol more frequently in order to feel the effects again. When a user needs to constantly feel the effects, this becomes dependency. Dependence can happen physically, psychologically, or both. Because the pleasure centers are destroyed, the body will continuously want alcohol, rather than real pleasure, to stimulate the neurotransmitters. If the body does not receive alcohol in a timely manner or in a big enough quantity, it will begin to display withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawing can cause intense discomfort, something that users try to avoid; usually by consuming more alcohol, which increases their risk of overdose and death. Withdrawal symptoms can be treated through the use of alcohol addiction rehabilitation at treatment centers.
Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction
Someone who has an alcohol addiction or dependency may display one or more of the following characteristics:
- Blackouts and/or memory lapse
- Compulsion to constantly drink alcohol
- Inability to control their cravings
- Drinking in secret or solitary drinking
- Inability to limit alcohol intake
- Increasing amounts or frequency of alcohol consumption
- Intense belief that alcohol drinking is normal
- Irritability and aggression when confronted about their alcohol consumption
- Nausea, tremors and sweating if the individual does not drink
- Problems with work, social relationships and brushes with the law
Alcohol Addiction Detoxification
Every addiction treatment, whether it be for drug or alcohol addiction and dependency, begins with detoxification. Because the user has become accustomed to the physical and psychological rewards of alcohol, they will experience intense withdrawal symptoms during the detoxification period, including:
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Night terrors
Alcohol detoxification and withdrawal require monitoring by a professionally trained staff of doctors, therapists and addiction treatment personnel. In some cases, the symptoms of withdrawal are so severe, such as seizures, hallucinations and delirium, that a user will need medically assisted detoxification.
Another important step in the detoxification process is nutritional support. Alcohol is an appetite suppressor and nullifies the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Chronic alcohol abusers often have severe nutritional deficiencies, including Vitamin-B, which increases hydration and aids in removing alcohol from the body. Most vitamins and minerals are administered orally; however, in some severe cases, where standard methods are ineffective, they are administered intravenously. Either way, nutrient intake is essential for the safety of the patient and to help ease the detoxification process.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment
After detoxification, recovery plans are crafted to meet the needs of each individual. Sprout Health Arizona utilizes the best practices, such as cognitive behavioral therapies, counseling and group therapy, in order to ensure a straightforward and uncomplicated recovery. Communication between patients and our staff is extremely important; it helps us trace the roots of their addiction, as well as recognize individual struggles and needs, in order to develop the right steps toward recovery. Group therapy is just as important as the individual communication between patients and our staff. We believe that group therapy offers insight into other’s addiction, such as their behaviors and mistakes and how to learn from them. It also creates a support network which is invaluable and crucial to living and maintaining a life of sobriety.