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Month: June 2021

Why is Alcoholism Considered a Chronic Illness

Why is Alcoholism Considered a Chronic Disease?

Why is Alcoholism Considered a Chronic Disease?

Although many of us think of alcoholism as “just a bad habit,” it is proven to be a chronic physical disease as well as a mental disorder. This fact puts alcohol addiction in a new light and helps to find better ways to treat it. Here we have discussed why alcohol abuse is a chronic disease with the mention of trusted sources:

Alcoholism

Consumption of alcohol at uncontrollable excessive levels is considered alcoholism. Individuals who suffer from alcohol addiction find it hard to manage their drinking. Alcoholism can be in mild to severe stages and the difficulties of treating it relate to the severity.

Over 14.5 million people in the US suffer from alcohol use disorder. Here are the signs of alcoholism as a disease:

  • Drinking more than a regular person and consuming alcohol regularly
  • Feeling uncomfortable and hungover when you stop drinking
  • Short-term memory losses and blackouts
  • Drinking alcohol alone and hiding it from everyone else in your life
  • Distancing yourself from your family and loved ones
  • Having mood swings
  • Drinking alcohol over other daily tasks and responsibility

Alcoholism is a major issue in the US and it affects people personally and socially. Many of us have a tendency of blaming this issue on addicted people but it should be realized that it is a mental and physical issue.

Definition of Chronic Disease

Before understanding alcoholism as a chronic disease, we must understand the definition of chronic diseases and what differs them from regular diseases. The simplest definition is diseased which doesn’t just go away and lasts three months or more. It is complicated to cure these diseases with medicines only.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that six out of ten people in the US suffer from at least one chronic disease. This number is huge and is caused by various factors. CDC’s research also shows that chronic diseases are the top reason for disability and even death in the United States.

In short, chronic diseases are conditions that are hard to cure with only medication, and these conditions may last for a long time. However, with proper medication and lifestyle, it can be managed and even treated. Progressive alcoholism sounds familiar with the definition of chronic disease as it starts as something harmless and ends up being a life-changing problem that becomes complicated to control and even harder to cure.

The Facts

Chronic diseases and alcoholism share similar symptoms. The following information from George Washington University Medical Center gives an in-depth understanding of the relation:

  • Chronic diseases have genetic components and so does alcoholism.
  • Alcoholism and chronic diseases can be managed and cured with medication and behavioral changes.
  • Addiction to alcohol and chronic diseases have common symptom control and relapse pattern.

Why is Alcoholism a Chronic Disease

There are enough reasons why alcoholism is considered a chronic disease. Some of them are:

Genetics: Genetics is a reason for alcohol use disorder amongst 40-60% of the people with alcoholism. Just like diabetes and heart diseases that can run in a family, alcoholism can be affected by genetics. So, if you have an ancestor or family member who has alcohol addiction, you may be prone to alcoholism and more like to develop it compared to others.

Environmental Factors: Like diabetes, along with genetics, environmental factors play a big role in alcohol addiction. The availability of alcohol, the acceptance of alcohol usage in your family or friend group, and many other similar factors let you develop an addiction.

Relapse: Like other chronic diseases, relapse is possible during the treatment of alcoholism. Proper treatment and management are essential for treating it, otherwise, relapse can make it worse.

No Definite Cure: Just like most other chronic diseases, alcoholism does not have a cure. It has to be managed with medication and lifestyle changes. You cannot just stop using alcohol right away because it may cause many withdrawal symptoms.

Treatment

Since alcoholism is such a complicated chronic disease, treating it can be hard. That’s why it requires medication and lifestyle changes. It is best to be under supervision during the treatment of alcohol use disorder. In case you are suffering or you know someone who is addicted, you can get help from Retreat of Atlanta or a quality rehab facility in your state to find the best treatment.

FAQs

Is alcoholism a disease?

According to The American Psychiatric Association, alcoholism is considered a disease. It is also called the modern disease theory of alcoholism. Alcoholism is often a result of genetics and the environment. AMA also counts alcoholism as a disease under both medical and psychiatric sections. Some can develop alcoholism without any genetic involvement. Such addiction can also start from the availability of liquor and mental conditions.

Is alcoholism curable?

The chronicity of diseases makes them harder to cure. Alcoholism, being a chronic disease, can also be complicated to resolve. However, it is not impossible. If you have an alcohol addiction and want to quit suddenly, it may cause issues like anxiety, mood swings, high blood pressure, etc. That’s why slow detoxification with the help of certified individuals or rehab is the best way to treat alcohol addiction.

Is alcoholism considered a mental illness?

Along with physical dependence on alcohol, alcoholism becomes a mental illness and develops psychological dependence. Moreover, American Medical Association counts alcoholism as a disease under both medical and psychiatric sections. Adding to that, some mental illnesses can facilitate addiction and even be the reason to begin the addiction.

Conclusion

Being a chronic disease, treating alcoholism could be a hard and complicated process. That’s why if you or someone you know is suffering from alcohol addiction, know that it will take time and a lot of effort to recover. However, it is best to start the process of recovery and detoxification as soon as you can!

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Is Alcohol Detox Dangerous To Do By Yourself

Is Alcohol Detox Dangerous To Do By Yourself

Is alcohol detox dangerous to do by yourself? Many people decide that it may be beneficial for them to detox at home. Unfortunately, this decision is usually made because they feel that the challenging situation that they find themselves in is much easier to address at home.

While there may be hope and some success stories, alcohol detoxing at home can have serious health risks if the individual is not aware of the alcohol withdrawal effects as well as the risks that accompany alcohol withdrawal if not managed properly.

In this article, we will discuss what alcohol withdrawal is, the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, and the potential risks of detoxing without professional assistance.

Alcohol Detox Withdrawal Explained

Alcohol withdrawal can be described as a set of dangerous symptoms that start after the brain has realized that the body is lacking alcohol from its system after long-term dependency.

In other words, the body has become physically dependent on alcohol and has reached a state of alcohol dependence. This means that the body requires alcohol for it to feel and function normally. 

Once this happens withdrawal symptoms start to occur. This is a natural process in which the body works hard to try and remove toxins from the system to reach a new state of normal.

Common Alcohol Detox Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms often mimic the symptoms that a person would experience during detox drugs such as cocaine and heroin. During this process, the body starts to react to the detoxification by opposing the intoxicating effects of the alcohol. 

 

When people are intoxicated, they tend to feel relaxed and calm. Unfortunately, once the withdrawal process has begun a person starts to experience various adverse symptoms.

 

These symptoms can include but are not limited to the following

  • Increased Perspiration
  • Elevated Heart Rate
  • Insomnia
  • Intense Dreams and Nightmares When Sleeping
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Restlessness and Anxiety
  • Poor or No Appetite
  • Memory Problems
  • Sensitivity to Stimuli Such as Light and Sound

In severe cases that are left untreated by medical professionals’ symptoms may include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Heart Failure
  • Death

The Safest Ways in Which to Detox at Home

Despite the risks, the most common reason for individuals to want to detox from home is that they feel they would have a better level of comfort in their own home and can remain anonymous without having to endure any financial obligation.

 

If you feel that you must detox from home, then there are several things you need to do to make your journey as safe and as bearable as possible.

#1 Remove the Problem

Make sure that you have no alcohol in your home. This includes alcoholic beverages, cough syrups, and any other alcohol-based solutions. This is one of the most critical steps because as soon as a person starts to experience the discomfort from the withdrawal symptoms, the temptation to feel normal again could take over and alcohol will be sought out and consumed.

#2 Take Leave

You are going to have to take a leave of absence from any obligations or work that you may have. The time for recovery has to be your main focus to succeed.

#3 Do Not Be Alone

When you are detoxing from alcohol at home you mustn’t be alone. A friend or family member should ideally stay with and monitor you during the detoxification process. This will help to keep you safe and stop you from pursuing alcohol to ease the symptoms. 

 

If your symptoms get too severe you will also need to have another person around that can get you medical assistance as soon as possible.

The Typical Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

Eight to Twelve Hours After the Last Drink

These symptoms are initially relatively mild and may include a slight headache together with some anxiety, tremors, and an upset stomach.

After One Day

After just one day some individuals may already start to experience hallucinations.

One to Three Days

One to three days after withdrawal the individual may start to experience seizures. This requires close monitoring as well as seizure prophylaxis. Delirium may also start to occur.

The Risks of At-Home Alcohol Detox and Withdrawal

Detoxing from home can be serious and could potentially have life-threatening risks. It is due to this fact that alcohol detox is normally better treated and managed by a medical professional or rehabilitation center. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be very severe depending on how long your body has been addicted to the substance.

Individuals who experience these symptoms often have the symptoms for weeks and without medication, the management of these symptoms can be extremely difficult thus causing the individual to turn back to alcohol.

To manage these symptoms a professional at a rehabilitation center will assess the reaction of your body to the detoxification process and administer medication to minimize any severe and life-threatening side effects.

When it comes to alcohol withdrawal symptoms medication can sometimes mean all the difference between a successful and unsuccessful detox.

Medications used during alcohol withdrawal management can include:

  • Sedation Medications
  • Anticonvulsants for Seizures
  • Antipsychotics to Help with Hallucinations
  • Blood Pressure Medcications

Why You Should Choose Professional Alcohol Detox Treatment

Each patient is different, and a professional can know whether or not detox should only include observation and monitoring or whether medical intervention needs to be put into place to prevent life-threatening situations.

 

During care at The Retreat of Atlanta, you or a loved one can create a customized treatment plan. You will also have regular meetings with our multidisciplinary team, which includes licensed clinical therapists, mental health technicians, and nursing staff that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our focus is to create a safe, comfortable, and stable environment in which to help our patients during their withdrawal process.

The Stages of Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment

The Elevation Stage

The patient must be assessed by a medical professional. In most cases, blood tests, mental and physical screening will all be considered to ensure that the correct treatment is administered.

Stabilization

During this part of the process, acute symptoms of the withdrawal process are monitored, and medication is usually given to patients if needed to reduce any distress or discomfort.

Aftercare

The process of the alcohol detox program is relatively short, so patients must be moved to the next stage of care. This can be via inpatient or outpatient treatment programs all depending on the needs of each individual. Long-term maintenance and aftercare are needed to ensure long-lasting sobriety.

 

At the Retreat of Atlanta, our goal is to place you in the best facility possible so that you can heal and attain long-term sobriety. Our mission is to assist anyone who approaches us to find the best rehabilitation center for them to recover from their addiction.

The Reality

If you are a person who is trying to detox from alcohol you would think that in theory, if you gradually reduce your alcohol intake over some time that this would allow the body to adjust to the detoxification without any side effects.

Sadly, in reality, this theory is rarely the case as addiction tolerance and physical dependence makes people want to drink more over time. This is especially true if the person trying to detox s doing so from home.

The best way to make a success of your detoxification journey is to allow yourself to be treated in a professional, safe, and supportive environment.

At The Retreat of Atlanta, our team is here to represent you and help you to overcome the many challenges or roadblocks that can be encountered during the early days of recovery. 

Dealing with these problems alone can be overwhelming. Let our teamwork with you on all the legal, financial, technical, and other issues so that you don’t have to.

 

At The Retreat of Atlanta, we will assist you to thrive during your early recovery days.

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