How Casual Drinking Leads to a Need for Alcohol Treatment

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August 02, 2016

Woman seeking alcohol treatmentDrinking alcohol is common in America. Despite being known as a social lubricant, increased consumption gradually becomes a problem. Before you know it, your “casual” drinking transforms into a life-crippling dependency. You may have even gotten to the point where you’re considering alcohol treatment.

The Road to Needing Alcohol Treatment

Most people start drinking in their teens or early 20’s. What starts out as an innocent way of blowing off steam can morph into catastrophic consequences. In 2012, over 17 million Americans—or about 7% of the country—were diagnosed as having Alcohol Abuse Disorder (AUD).  Sadly, in that same year, only 1.4 million of those people sought alcohol treatment.
Because seeking help is mistakenly viewed as a weakness, many people think they can beat their alcohol addiction without medical intervention. They think, “I can stop whenever I want.” What most people struggling with alcohol addiction don’t realize is that it’s not a question of willpower. Much like cancer, alcoholism is a legitimate disease.

Understanding Alcoholism

Because alcohol releases dopamine and makes us feel great short term, it causes people to not even consider the long-term dangers. Long-term drinking affects the brain, liver, heart, pancreas, and immune system. Mentally, alcohol can affect memory retention. Physically, it can eventually cause you to develop an irregular heartbeat or cirrhosis of the liver.

Alcohol Treatment Begins With Detox

When you’ve decided that enough’s enough, getting alcohol treatment is a noble choice. Generally, long-term, heavy drinkers begin treatment with detox. During quality detoxification, medical professionals rid your body of those dangerous chemicals. While this is a necessary step in the recovery process, you could experience painful withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive headaches
  • Insomnia

Delirium tremens, or DTs, are less common but more serious. Those with DTs may experience:

  • Disorientation
  • Hallucinations
  • Severe Tremors
  • Fever
  • Irregular heartbeat

While not impossible, you should never attempt detox on your own. Experienced professionals at an accredited alcohol treatment facility can prescribe medications to curb your withdrawal symptoms.
Located in Jacksonville, Florida, Lakeview Health is an accredited facility specializing in alcohol addiction. Our staff understands the recovery process and offers a full continuum of care starting with alcohol detox. If you’re tired of alcohol controlling your life, call us today at (866)704-7692.

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