Alcohol is a drug that is commonly known and used throughout the world. Alcohol was once an illegal drug, like heroin or cocaine. However, since the end of prohibition in 1933, it’s completely legal to people 21 years of age and older. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, which means it slows down the functioning of the brain and respiratory system. Those under the influence describe a decrease in anxiety and stress. Many adults use alcohol as a social lubricant, to feel more at ease when meeting new people.
People under the influence typically feel lowered inhibitions, loss of coordination, and slurred speech. Alcohol is a drug that is commonly abused. Whether people are drinking every day, are binge drinking on the weekends, or only drink once in a while in excess, the effects of alcohol abuse can still be deadly.
Dangers of Alcohol
Alcohol-related deaths are higher than any other drug-related deaths. Not all problem drinkers are physically addicted to alcohol, there are some who binge drink, which is just as dangerous. Binge drinking is when someone a large amount of alcohol is consumed within a 2-hour period. For male binge drinkers, this would be 5 or more drinks, and for females, this would be 4 or more drinks. Binge drinking is most prevalent in people under the age of 24. In fact, 42.8% of people under age 24 report binge drinking.
Although the binge drinkers’ body is not yet dependent on alcohol, prolonged binge drinking can lead to liver damage, physical injury, and eventual dependency on alcohol. You might not notice someone is developing a drinking problem, but some tell-tale signs that someone is struggling are: their life is beginning to be negatively affected by alcohol by job loss, DUI’s, bar fights, broken relationships, or financial problems.
Signs of Alcohol Abuse
A person who is intoxicated on alcohol will show many immediate signs and symptoms. There are also long-term effects of continuous drinking. A person under the influence of alcohol tends to have bloodshot eyes, slur their speech, and make repetitive statements. They also tend to exhibit agitation, disorientation, and poor or impaired judgment. An intoxicated person can also experience difficulty standing still or maintaining balance while walking. Negative short-term side effects caused by problem drinking can include having trouble breathing, experiencing headaches, nausea, and subsequent vomiting. Alcohol is a depressant, and long-term use can exacerbate depression and anxiety. More severe physical symptoms can include hand tremors, brain damage, psoriasis, chronic pancreatitis, and cirrhosis of the liver.
Alcohol withdrawal can be very dangerous and potentially deadly. During alcohol withdrawal, someone may experience physical pain and mental anguish. Physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal begin 5 to 10 hours after the last drink and typically last 4 to 6 days. Mental anguish may last longer than your initial alcohol withdrawal, depending on how much and for how long you drank. Physical withdrawal symptoms include hand tremors, nausea and vomiting, and a fever. Mental alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as depression, nightmares, or panic attacks. Delirium tremens is life-threatening tremors that occur 12 to 48 hours after stopping drinking. Delirium tremens can cause hallucinations, violent shaking, seizures, and heart problems. 1 out of every 20 people will experience these dangerous withdrawal symptoms if quitting drinking cold turkey.
Helping A Loved One
Are you worried about you or your loved one’s alcohol withdrawal? At all Amatus Health’s detox and recovery programs, we treat the mental, physical and spiritual aspects of addiction. You will be seen and assessed by our on-site doctors or nurse practitioner, who will administer care during your treatment and help you deal with both acute and post-acute withdrawal symptoms. All necessary medications will be delivered on-site, and every patient has access to psychiatric care when needed.
Contact Atlanta Detox Center
The best way to treat bath your alcohol addiction is by seeking help. Entering treatment allows medical professionals and clinical therapists to determine the severity of the addiction, find and treat any underlying co-occurring disorders, and helps those addicted to alcohol learn new coping skills, create recovery communities and finally end their addiction to alcohol. Amatus Recovery Centers located around the country can help make this process easier. Every facility evaluates patients and learns about their history with addiction. This helps us create a treatment plan specifically for you.
Once a treatment plan is created, a team of dedicated professionals will determine the severity of the addiction and if medical detox is needed. Detox can include uncomfortable symptoms, but 24-hour medical professionals will help to ensure safety and comfort. After the withdrawal symptoms subside is when an individual can continue the path of recovery during inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, or outpatient programs.