Its socially acceptable, cheap and available almost everywhere, but have you any idea of the dangers behind alcohol?
Alcoholism is a progressive disease, often not taking full effect until someone is in their 50’s. It’s a very ‘normal’ thing to pop to the pub when the suns shinning or after work for a glass of wine or two, however some of us just have the genetic pre disposition of addiction, and the child of an addict in 8x more likely to develop an addiction themselves. This literally means some of us have been born as an addict and for those, that one glass of wine will never be enough.
Unfortunately, the common preconception of an alcoholic is someone who isn’t well maintained, sitting on that park bench, drinking their vodka out of a brown paper bag. This is absolutely not the case and simply the definition of an alcoholic is someone who puts one drink in them and doesn’t know when to stop.
Once alcohol has its grips on you it is not only very hard to stop but it is very dangerous. Alcohol withdrawal is something that needs to be taken exceptionally seriously. Withdrawals can include shakes, sweats and sickness and in major cases also cause seizures.
So how does someone who is in the cycle of alcohol addiction stop?
Sadly, just stopping really is a no go. In the early stages of alcohol abuse, stopping is not the problem, staying stopped is the main challenge. Once an alcoholic is in full addiction and physically dependent on alcohol withdrawals involved in stopping can be a real health risk. Withdrawal symptoms can start as quickly as 2 hours following the last drink. Mild withdrawals can cause slight tremors and anxiety which would make it very difficult for someone trying to stop with their own will power. More serious withdrawals can cause seizure and delirium tremens which can be very detrimental to someone’s long term health.
Many alcoholics will try and cut down their drinking and feed their denial of addiction with their own reduction techniques. Unfortunately, this technique very rarely works. As an alcoholic truly cannot and does not know when to stop after that first drink, abstinence in this way can just be impossible. Although reduction techniques can sometimes work as a short term solution, the addict’s tolerance and lack of control over drinking can lead to the alcohol intake quickly creeping back up to an unmanageable amount. If the reductions are teamed with withdrawals, then the addict can be taking some really dangerous risks with their health.
A medical detox is the most highly recommended and the most effective way to detox from alcohol. Medical detoxes are most commonly carried out in residential rehabs where doctors are available to be able to prescribe a variety of treatments to help an alcoholic detox comfortable and safely. The idea of a medical detox is to use medication just for the time that the detox is being carried out and the patient to leave alcohol and substance free at the end of their treatment. A medical detox would typically last 7-10 days and the treatment could include benzodiazepines such as Librium alongside relaxants such as Diazepam, Lorazepam or Oxazepam.
What do we recommend?
The easiest and most effective way to stop drinking is certainly in a residential rehab and having a medical detox. There are a variety of rehabs available all over the country covering many different price ranges all with highly qualified teams or doctors, consultant psychiatrists and councillors to help not only with abstaining from alcohol, but with supplying tools to remain ‘dry’ long term.
Rehabs offer a range of different programs but for alcohol all will start with detoxication and medically managed withdrawal. Allowing the body to detox safely is critical and this is an essential primary stage of treatment for alcoholics.
It doesn’t stop there!!
Often alcohol is the solutions, not the problem. Underlying physiological issues can be the reason behind peoples drinking and the real reason why someone is looking to change the way that they feel and escape from reality. Not dealing with these underlying issues is the main cause of relapse in alcoholics.
The amount of physiological treatment given in a residential rehab is dependent on the length of the stay. Whilst counselling, group sessions and one to one therapy is carried out alongside any length detox the ‘full’ rehabilitation program is 28 days. Good physiological treatment is absolutely essential and if a full program is not carried out in a residential rehab there are alternate intensive outpatient solutions such as The Online Rehab available to have in place as an aftercare solution.
If you are looking to detox from alcohol, please call Help4Addiction on 0203 955 7700
If you are looking for further support following a medical detox, please visit www.theonlinerehab.co.uk