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General Information About Alcoholism

According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about 16.6 million American adults age 18 and up had an alcohol use disorder in 2013. This includes alcohol abuse and dependence characterized by heavy and binge drinking. The NIAAA defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that leads to a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 g/dL, usually occurring in a 2 hour time span after 5 drinks for men and 4 drinks for women. SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, defines heavy drinking as the consumption of at least 5 drinks on the same occasion in 5 consecutive days within the last month.

Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction

Addiction to alcohol is a physical and emotional dependency. Alcohol is a depressant that taps into your nervous system and disrupts the way your brain and nerves naturally send, receive, and process information through neurotransmitters. With sustained, excessive exposure to alcohol, your body becomes physically dependent, altering the function of certain neurotransmitters so that the brain can work normally when alcohol is in your system. Living under the influence becomes your body’s natural state of being, craving increased amounts of alcohol so you can continue to function without experiencing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

Some key symptoms to look for in alcohol abuse include:

Frequently drinking as a means of relieving stress; Neglecting responsibilities at home, school, or work due to your drinking; legal problems caused by drinking; Using alcohol in dangerous situations (driving under the influence, knowingly mixing alcohol with prescription drugs, operating heavy machinery while drunk); Continuing to drink even though it is causing serious problems in your personal relationships.

Medical Intervention

Medical Intervention is Necessary

Detox is required before you enter rehab and long-term recovery programs. Detox removes the harmful chemicals from your body, reducing the risk of seizure, delirium tremens, high blood pressure and other serious health consequences that can occur when you give up drinking. Medications are used to treat withdrawal symptoms, allowing you to remain safe and comfortable through the process.Rehab gives you the tools you need to stay sober and live a happy and fulfilling life, free from addiction.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Anxiety; Shakiness; Sweating; Insomnia; Vomiting and nausea; Headaches; Fatigue; Depression; General irritability In severe cases, alcohol withdrawals may include confusion, seizures, hallucinations, and fever.

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Dangers of Alcohol Abuse

Dangers of Alcoholism

Abusing alcohol is a danger to you and those around you. Alcohol dependency not only ruins your physical health, but also affects your mental and emotional health. An addiction to alcohol causes you to make bad choices, do and say hurtful things to those you are closest to, and lose control of your life.Addiction to alcohol is a danger to you and those around you. Along with long-term diseases, alcohol can lead to:

  • Drunk or impaired driving, which accounts for about one death every 51 minutes in the U.S. according to the CDC
  • Alcohol poisoning, which dramatically affects your heart rate, breathing, gag reflex, and body temperature and can lead to coma or death
  • Aspirating vomit while sleeping, which can cause infections, choking, or death
  • Reckless behavior and decision-makinga

Effects of Alcohol Consumption

Effects of Alcohol

As a depressant, alcohol is designed to slow down the messages that the central nervous system sends to the rest of the body, leading to a generally slower reaction time. This can cause:

  • Slurred speech
  • Distorted vision and hearing
  • Reduced coordination
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Drowsiness
  • Impaired judgment

*Drinking alcohol also causes your body to produce more acid. This extra acid can irritate your digestive system, causing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and a general upset stomach.

Complications of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol dependency leaves you vulnerable to a wide range of long-term diseases and disorders, including:

Stomach ulcers or stomach cancer, Liver disease (cirrhosis, hepatitis, cancer) cardiovascular disease (heart failure, high blood pressure, heart attack) diabetes, stroke, increased stress and anxiety, depression and dementia.

Along with long-term diseases, alcohol addiction can lead to:Drunk or impaired driving, which accounts for about one death every 51 minutes in the U.S. according to the CDC. Alcohol poisoning, which dramatically affects your heart rate, breathing, gag reflex, and body temperature and can lead to coma or death. Aspirating vomit while sleeping, which can cause infections, choking, or death. Reckless behavior and decision-making

Recovery from Alcohol Abuse

Recovering from alcohol abuse often requires more than just willpower. Remember, alcohol addiction creates very real changes in your brain chemistry. Medication can help sustain the chemical balance in your brain while you start to recover. Some common medications used to support recovery from alcohol addiction include:

  • Antabuse is one of the oldest drugs used for the treatment of alcoholism, gaining approval over 50 years ago. The medication works by inhibiting your body’s ability to absorb alcohol.
  • Naltrexone blocks endorphin receptors in the brain to prevent cravings for alcohol and reduce the pleasure received from consuming alcohol.
  • Campral acts on chemical messenger systems in the brain to ease withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and mood swings.
  • Topamax, while approved by the FDA to treat seizures, is not yet approved for the treatment of alcoholism. However, it is sometimes prescribed off-label to reduce or avoid symptoms of long-term withdrawal.

Find an Alcohol Treatment Center in Georgia

We can help you find an inpatient detox facility that fits your personal needs. If you have any questions, or are ready to admit yourself, please call us now at 678-771-6411 and take the first steps to recovering from alcohol abuse.

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Georgia Drug Detox Call: (678) 771-6411
Georgia Drug Detox is here to assist you with your detox goals in whatever way we can. Get in touch with our friendly and well-trained representatives today to answer your questions and get you on the road to a clean and sober life.