Wednesday, July 10, 2024

How Long Does It Take To Overcome Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol Detox At Vertava Health Ohio

Alcoholism: A Doctor Discusses Alcohol Withdrawal, Detox and Treatment

Alcohol withdrawal can be an uncomfortable and difficult process that should not be attempted alone. Entering an inpatient rehab program for supervised detox can reduce the length of the withdrawal process, lessen the risk for relapse, and provide proper treatment to keep a person safe during detox.

Alcohol detox at Vertava Health Ohio offers a quiet and supportive environment for people to receive treatment capable of meeting their needs throughout acute withdrawal. This includes special considerations for patients with unique needs during alcohol detox program, such as pregnant patients, elderly patients, and those with severe alcohol dependence.

Beyond the initial detox period, patients within our alcohol rehab program receive comprehensive care to help manage cravings and other lingering symptoms. Through our treatment program, patients can safely detox and learn healthy life skills to overcome their harmful relationship with alcohol and begin their path towards recovery.

Contact Vertava Health Ohio today to learn more about our alcohol detox services and rehab programs.

This page does not provide medical advice.

How To Overcome Alcohol Addiction

Alcoholism is a severe use of alcohol which makes it hard for the victim to control his/her drinking habits. Another name for alcoholism is alcohol use disorder. Alcohol use disorder exists in three categories or stages: mild, moderate and severe.

Each of these categories has symptoms which distinguish them and are characterized by adverse side effects. Like in many cases, if disregarded, the consequences can be irreversible.

Time and again, people affected by alcoholism feel that they cannot do anything without taking a few sips.

When one gets to those levels, everything around them gets affected for instance, an individuals professional goals, private matters, relationships, and overall body health. With time, the consistency in alcohol abuse worsens and results in complications.

The Causes Of Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol affects multiple bodily functions that results in alcohol withdrawal when attempting to stop. First and foremost, excessive drinking excites and irritates the central nervous system. Alcohol has a sedative effect on the brain in which it suppresses certain neurotransmitters, causing people to feel at ease after drinking. This is why when consuming alcohol, people experience initial feelings of happiness, increased sociability, and relaxation.

In a heavy, long-term drinker, the brain is almost continually exposed to the depressant effects of alcohol. This causes the person to develop a dependence on the substance. Once the body becomes dependent on alcohol, it requires more and more of the substance to produce the same effects. When someone abruptly quits drinking, the neurotransmitters are no longer inhibited by alcohol and the brain scrambles to adjust to the new chemical imbalance causing the debilitating side effects of withdrawal which are separate from the feel good effects of alcohol consumption.

Alcohol withdrawal side effects vary from person to person. Many people are hesitant to quit drinking because of the thought of experiencing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms is scary. However, its important to note that alcohol addiction treatment professionals can provide prescription medications to help relieve pain. By reducing withdrawal symptoms, you will be able to focus on recovery and getting better.

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Tips For Finding The Best Addiction Treatment

Theres no magic bullet or single treatment that works for everyone. Everyones needs are different, so its important that you find a program that feels right to you. Any alcohol addiction treatment program should be customized to your unique problems and situation.

Treatment doesnt have to be limited to doctors and psychologists. Many clergy members, social workers, and counselors also offer addiction treatment services.

Treatment should address more than just your alcohol abuse. Addiction affects your whole life, including your relationships, career, health, and psychological well-being. Treatment success depends on examining the way alcohol abuse has impacted you and developing a new way of living.

Commitment and follow-through are key. Recovering from alcohol addiction or heavy drinking is not a quick and easy process. In general, the longer and more intense the alcohol use, the longer and more intense the treatment youll need. But regardless of the treatment programs length in weeks or months, long-term follow-up care is crucial to your recovery.

When To Seek Help

How Do You Know If You Need To Stop Drinking: Am I an Alcoholic?

A person should seek help if they notice that they or someone they love has symptoms of alcohol use disorder. Seeking help can be challenging for the person who is struggling with addiction. Loved ones and friends can help by letting the person know that they are not alone in their struggle.

If a person is unsure whether they need help, Recovery Worldwide suggest that they use a tool called CAGE, which is a short questionnaire that healthcare professionals may use to help screen people for treatment.

If a person can answer yes to two or more of the CAGE questions, they should consider seeking treatment.

The CAGE questions are as follows:

  • Have you ever felt that you should cut down on your drinking?
  • Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  • Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
  • Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get over a hangover?

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How Long Do Alcohol Cravings Last

A singular intense craving for alcohol typically lasts between 3-5 minutes. These sudden urges to drink can arise frequently throughout the recovery journey. Theres no way to determine exactly how long an individual will continue to experience alcohol cravings, but we can look at common patterns to help give us an idea of what to expect. Its important to remember that this experience is incredibly common, and that with time and practice cravings will become significantly more manageable.

How To Stop Drinking Without Aa

There are advantages to joining a support group, but if AA is not the right fit for you, there are other options. To begin with, other support groups exist, including SMART Recovery, Moderation Management, LifeRing, Women for Sobriety, and Secular Organizations for Sobriety . There are also online communities, such as Daybreak, and Sober Grid. Each of these options allows you to find allies, people with common goals, and a larger, sober community. None, however, require you to believe in a higher power, or work within the 12 steps.

There are also many options besides abstinence. You dont need to quit completely if that doesnt work for you, nor do you need to white-knuckle it using sheer willpower. Medications now exist that can let you cut back or quit gradually, and reduce your cravings. Not only can these make the process less stressful, they often have a higher success rate than AA or quitting without assistance.

The Sinclair Method is one strong example of this. TSM makes use of naltrexone to control cravings over time, and boasts up to a 78 percent long-term success rate. It doesnt necessarily involve community support, however. According to the American Psychiatry Association Guidelines for treating Alcohol Use Disorder, evidence-based therapy support centered around behavior change is recommended in combination with pharmacotherapy for alcoholism.

Continue Reading: Alternatives to AA

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What Happens During Alcohol Withdrawal And Detox

Alcohol stays in your system for varying amounts of time based on your body weight, metabolism and how many drinks youve had. Once you stop drinking, you can expect to experience certain symptoms, especially if you are a chronic drinker.

We surveyed 2,136 American adults who either wanted to stop drinking alcohol or had already tried to quit . Of those surveyed, 1,559 had detoxed before. We asked them about their alcohol use, reasons for drinking, alcohol-related outcomes, health and more.

Respondents withdrawal symptoms lasted for an average of 4.83 days. For 95% of respondents, withdrawal symptoms lasted for two to eight days. This range stayed the same whether they were using home remedies for alcohol withdrawal or detoxing at a medical facility.

Respondents who had detoxed from alcohol reported experiencing the following withdrawal symptoms:

  • 47% reported irritability
  • 49% reported stress or anxiety
  • 34% reported hand tremors
  • 24% reported nausea or vomiting
  • 24% reported mood swings
  • 23% reported rapid heart rate
  • 13% reported hallucinations
  • 11% reported delirium tremens
  • 8% reported seizures

Across the board, heavy alcohol users were more likely to experience withdrawal symptoms. Heavy drinkers more than doubled their risk for hallucinations during detox, being 2.39 times more likely than other alcohol users to experience them. Compared to others during detox, heavy drinkers were:

Getting Sober Is Not Easy

How I overcame alcoholism | Claudia Christian | TEDxLondonBusinessSchool

It may seem obvious, but probably the biggest reason that failure rates appear high in recovery programs, is that getting sober is damn hard. Theres no getting around it.

No matter what program of recovery you choose, most of the people in the program will relapse at some point. Successful, long-term recovery requires massive action on the alcoholics part. Whether you do it within the traditional boundaries of AA, or following a more unconventional path, it might take more than one try to get it right.

Ashraf Ali, MD Chris Elkins, MA 6 sources

Before you try to achieve sobriety, you need to think about your drinking habits. The way that a social drinker stops drinkingis different from the way that ahigh-functioning alcoholic quits drinking. People with the disease of alcoholism require formal treatment. Thosewho arent addicted to alcohol may be able to quit on their own or with the help of friends.

You can find out if youre addicted to alcohol by taking analcoholism assessment quiz. These quizzes help you determine whether you meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder the medical term for alcoholism, alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse. Thediagnostic criteria for an alcohol use disorder were published in the American Psychiatric Associations fifth editionof the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

You can decide how much help you need to quit drinking based on the results of the quiz.

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Detox From Severe Alcohol Addiction

For those with severe alcoholism, detox takes longer. Severe alcoholics may experience delirium tremens when they stop drinking. Delirium tremens is a set of severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms that often affects people with late-stage alcoholism. These symptoms may include confusion, hallucinations and tremors.

Delirium tremens is a rare and serious condition. In fact, research has indicated that about 3 to 5 percent of people hospitalized for alcohol withdrawal experience delirium tremens, according to The New England Journal of Medicines report.

Delirium tremens symptoms typically begin about three days after the start of detox. They generally last two to three days, but they can extend past eight days depending on the severity of withdrawal effects. Delirium tremens can lead to death.

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What Are Some Treatments For Alcohol Abuse

Dr. Paul Linde, Ria Psychiatrist, discusses the different options people have to reduce or stop drinking alcohol.

There are many options for treating alcohol misuse, dependence, or addiction. Some involve methods of cutting back or quitting on your own. Some, on the other end of the spectrum, involve medically supervised withdrawal, or residential rehabilitation programs . Then there are middle-ground options, including medication for alcoholism, support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and SMART recovery, and recovery coaching .

Finding a system that works for you is crucial, and fortunately many of these programs or methods can be combined, mixed and matched for your personal needs.

But its also true that some methods work better than others.

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Psychological Effects From Drinking

According to the American Psychiatric Association , abuse of alcohol is strongly associated with a co-occurring diagnosis of another mental health disorder. Whether or not this association is causal, such that drinking alcohol causes an individual to develop other psychological issues or having some other psychological issue causes a person to drink alcohol excessively, is strongly debated. As it turns out, both of these explanations are likely.

Nonetheless, individuals with any form of mental illness can increase the effectiveness of their recovery by refraining from alcohol use, and individuals with alcohol use disorders can enhance their recovery by getting treatment for any co-occurring issues with depression, bipolar disorder, stress, etc. Recovery from any mental health disorder is significantly enhanced if an individual does not drink alcohol. The rate and quality of recovery from a mental health disorder depends on a number of factors, including the persons motivation, their engagement in treatment, their social support, etc.

When Does Alcohol Withdrawal Start

Alcohol Withdrawal Mood Swings

Alcohol withdrawal will begin once the levels of alcohol in the bloodstream drop below what is normal for the person. Mild symptoms may begin as early as six hours after the last drink for some people. The time it takes withdrawal to start depends on factors like age, gender, genetics, overall health and alcohol use history.

Withdrawal symptoms can also occur when alcohol use is significantly reduced but not stopped entirely. The start of alcohol withdrawal symptoms may be longer and less obvious in these situations.

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How Much Alcohol Will Kill You

Alcohol overdose, or alcohol poisoning, can be serious. You can overdose when there is a high enough amount of alcohol in your system to cause life-supporting functions such as breathing or heart rate to dangerously slow or shut down.4

As your BAC rises, you may begin to feel more negative effects of intoxication and your risk of overdose increases: 4

  • 06% 0.15% BAC: speech, memory, attention, coordination, balance moderately impaired driving ability significantly impaired
  • 16% 0.30% BAC: significant impairments in speech, memory, attention, balance, reaction time, and coordination driving ability dangerously impaired judgment and decision-making impaired risk of blackouts vomiting loss of consciousness
  • 31% 0.45% BAC: risk of life-threatening overdose and risk of death from suppression of breathing, heart rate, and body temperature

Symptoms of an overdose include: 4

  • Profound mental confusion.
  • Pale or bluish skin color.
  • Low body temperature.
  • Slow heart rate.
  • Slowed or irregular breathing.

Your risk of overdose increases if you binge drink which, by one definition, entails consuming 4 drinks in 2 hours for a woman or 5 drinks in 2 hours for a man. Extreme binge drinking is drinking 2 or more times the binge drinking thresholds. Drinking a large amount of alcohol in a short time greatly outpaces the livers ability to clear alcohol from the body and leads to a rapid increase in BAC. 4

Up To 24 Hours After You Stop Drinking

Withdrawal symptoms are likely to begin within the first 24 hours of stopping drinking. Depending on the individual and how often alcohol is consumed, they might start from as little as two hours after their last drink. If you were to drink alcohol every night, the withdrawal symptoms may be more severe than someone who only drinks on weekends.

Early symptoms will be mild. They may include anxiety, hand tremors and shakes, sweating and headaches. As time goes on, alcohol cravings will grow and a feeling of fatigue and depression could begin.

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Is It Possible To Treat Addiction

Yes, addiction and substance use disorders are treatable. Like other chronic, relapsing diseases, such as asthma or heart disease, addiction isnt curable but it can be successfully managed through proper treatment. Addiction has a relapse rate similar to other chronic diseases for example, the relapse rate for asthma or high blood pressure is 50-70%, while addiction has a relapse rate of around 40-60%. Addiction relapse is considered to be a normal part of the recovery process relapse does not mean that treatment has failed, but can mean that your treatment plan or treatment methods need to be re- evaluated.10

Effective treatment plans benefit from being individualized and constantly adjusted to your changing needstaking into account all of your biological, psychological, and social considerations. Your plan may involve a continuum of care, starting from the moment you enter detox, which focuses on treating withdrawal and helping you become medically stable. Once youve completed detox, youll be ready to transition to additional rehabilitation. Though treatment lengths vary, research supports relatively longer periods of treatment for optimal treatment outcomes. As a formal treatment program comes to an end, youll then move on to aftercare, which is designed to promote lifelong sobriety.5,8,13,14

Why Detox From Alcohol Is So Important

How long does naltrexone take to work? | The Sinclair Method for Alcohol Addiction

The first step in getting treatment for alcoholism is the detox stage. In this stage, you will completely have alcohol flushed out from your body. Generally, the symptoms of withdrawal will subside in about 1 to 2 weeks after they begin. However, in some cases, it can take a bit longer depending on how severe your alcohol use disorder is. Once you get through this stage, you can focus on various other stages in your recovery process such as therapy, substance-free activities, support groups and other options.

If you are ready to enter an alcohol detox program now, dont hesitate to reach out to our Harmony Recovery Group today. We can help you get started with your sobriety and assist you as you detox from alcohol.

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Evaluating The Costs And Benefits Of Drinking

Make a table like the one below, weighing the costs and benefits of drinking to the costs and benefits of quitting.

Is drinking worth the cost?
Benefits of drinking
  • Id have to find another way to deal with problems.
  • Id lose my drinking buddies.
  • I would have to face the responsibilities Ive been ignoring.

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