Why is there a need for alcohol rehabs?
Alcohol Use Disorder, also referred to as alcoholism, is among the most prevalent substance use disorders in the world. The most common definition for Alcohol Use Disorder is a chronic brain disorder marked by compulsive drinking, loss of control over alcohol use, and negative emotions when not drinking. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), in 2019, approximately 14.5 million people in America live with Alcohol Use Disorder. Moreover, just under 100,000 people in the United States die annually from alcohol related causes, making alcohol the third highest preventable cause of death in America.
Additionally, the effects of alcohol on the brain and body will have slightly different effects from person to person but the mechanisms of neurological change remain the same. Alcohol affects the way neurons communicate with each other and can impact the areas of the brain that control motor function, balance, memory, and speech. This results in an increased likelihood of causing injury to oneself or others. Prolonged heavy use will cause neurons to shrink in size and over time, will impact the body’s ability to process alcohol creating problems in the liver and other vital organs. Additionally, heavy use can result in blackouts, which are an impaired ability to consolidate long and short-term memories. Moreover, an alcohol overdose may occur from excessive drinking and can lead to the body shutting down life supporting functions such as temperature control, heart rate and breathing.
The common signs and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal drastically change over the first 72 hours of not drinking. After years of heavy alcohol consumption, withdrawal may lead to severe symptoms including seizures and death. Therefore, it is important for heavy drinkers to consider seeking help during their first few days of detoxification.
Here are some of the most common symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal over the first three days.
12 – 48 Hours:
48 – 72+ Hours:
- Delirium tremens
- Heavy sweating
- High blood pressure
- Vivid hallucinations and delusions
If you or a loved one is experiencing Alcohol Use Disorder, we can help. Call us today to speak to one of our qualified treatment professionals in Berkshire County.
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