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Month: August 2022

Alcohol Detox: Timeline and Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcoholism, consuming more than seven drinks a week for women and 14 for men, can increase the chances of many health consequences. In addition, liver disease and cardiovascular disease are the leading affected systems by alcohol abuse. The body and mind become dependent upon the substance. With the decision to stop the cycle and break the addiction, treatment professionals can set an alcohol detox timeline. Unfortunately, 15.1 million adults have an alcohol use disorder, according to The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Sadly, they also establish that only 6.7% will seek treatment. By learning about the alcohol detox timeline, a person can better protect themselves and their loved ones from tragedy.

What is Alcohol Detox?

Alcohol detox is the safe, medically supervised treatment to begin the recovery plan for an alcohol use disorder. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are extreme. Monitoring by experienced professional staff during alcohol detox ensures adherence to the alcohol detox timeline. Alcohol detox presents with uncomfortable symptoms, and medical emergencies can occur.  The main goal of alcohol detox is to rid the body of alcohol and keep addicts as comfortable as possible.

What is Alcohol Withdrawal?

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a set of symptoms occurring upon cessation of alcohol consumption. Prolonged alcohol usage can disrupt the regular neurotransmitter activity in the brain. In addition, the body builds tolerance to alcohol with the addiction spans. The higher the tolerance level to alcohol, the longer the alcohol detox timeline increases, and the danger increases for withdrawal. 

The alcohol detox timeline contains three stages of withdrawal symptoms. Never attempt detox from alcohol without medical assistance from trained professionals. The severity of the alcohol dependence by the symptoms below describes the stages of withdrawal. Detox with medical monitoring decreases the severity of these symptoms while monitoring essential body functions. 

  • Stage One: (Mild) symptoms of headaches, anxiety, irritability, insomnia
  • Stage Two: (Moderate) symptoms of stage one and rapid heart rate, sweating, confusion, and low-grade fever 
  • Stage Three: (Severe) disorientation, hallucinations, and seizures with fatal potential

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

According to the general alcohol detox timeline, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can begin only hours after the last drink. In addition, factors such as gender, weight, age, length of alcohol abuse, the severity of alcohol usage, mental health, and physical health determine the withdrawal timeline and symptoms. Once the addict begins to experience the withdrawal symptoms, they rebound and drink again for relief. 

Signs and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may include:

  • Headaches
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Tremors or shakes
  • Insomnia, trouble sleeping, nightmares
  • Fatigue
  • Mood changes, irritability
  • Light and sound sensitivity
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances, including nausea and vomiting
  • Heart palpitations
  • Increased blood pressure or heart rate
  • Hyperthermia
  • Rapid abnormal breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Profuse sweating
  • Fever
  • Impaired judgment and memory, confusion

Delirium tremens can be one of the most severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, senior or middle-aged alcoholics are at a high risk of developing respiratory arrest, cardiac arrhythmias, and aspiration pneumonitis. These potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms require immediate medical attention. Alcohol detox timelines guide professionals through this challenging process.

Alcohol Detox Timeline

An alcohol detox timeline refers to the onset of withdrawal symptoms once detox begins and the series of symptoms that continue to present throughout detox. Withdrawal symptoms can start as soon as four to twelve hours after the last drink. The second day of withdrawal can be challenging. Alcohol clears the body quickly, and by day four or five, withdrawal symptoms may begin to subside. Severe cases can produce withdrawal symptoms for up to a month. Detox can be longer if combined with another substance, and a significant health condition is present, or if this is not the first attempt at sobriety.

An average detox timeline appears similar to the following timeline:

  • 6-12 hours after the last drink: early mild withdrawal symptoms of headache, mild anxiety, insomnia, slight tremors, and upset stomach
  • By 24 hours: same symptoms as early withdrawal symptoms plus visual, auditory, or tactile hallucinations
  • 24 to 72 hours: previously experienced symptoms begin to peak and level off, seizures, seizure prophylaxis, withdrawal delirium (DTs)

After Detox: Finding Effective Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment

Understanding the alcohol detox timeline, withdrawal symptoms, detox, and treatment options, maintaining sobriety is a lifelong 12-step process. Living a sober life brings many challenges, and undergoing a solid treatment plan with qualified professionals at the helm, is just the beginning. After detox and achieving a medically stable state, aftercare is essential. Inpatient or intensive outpatient programs, including a solid support system, must follow. Relapse is highly probable without a recovery program to provide the tools needed to continue sobriety. 

Finding a treatment center offering all possible solutions to an alcohol use disorder provides the most effective success rate for future sobriety. Individual therapy, group or 12-step meetings, lifestyle skills training, and new holistic therapies cover the basis for well-rounded treatment plans. In addition, a clear understanding of the alcohol detox timeline can help the support system engage with treatment plans. Recovery is a lifelong struggle.

Safely Detox From Alcohol in Atlanta, G

Alcohol detox is terrifying. If you are experiencing the downfalls of alcoholism or someone you love needs help with alcohol addiction, we are here to help you. The Retreat of Atlanta understands the alcohol detox timeline and the desperation involved with alcoholism. We offer professional treatment teams familiar with alcohol use disorder. We can help design your detox and treatment plan. Contact our admissions page today and begin your journey to lasting recovery.

The Barriers to Addiction Treatment

False beliefs, stigma, and geographic barriers are the most common reasons for the barriers to addiction treatment. Addiction treatment is costly, and many services may or may not be covered by insurance. The difficulty lies in finding treatment in areas where there is no access to treatment centers. Individual cases are multifaceted and may require addiction treatment and a co-occurring mental illness. Although 12-step groups and some self-help programs are available for low cost or free, being available in some locations presents a challenge.

Barriers to addiction treatment can also include the challenge of requiring the addict to admit that addiction is present. Reaching out for help is difficult in itself, but combined with the stigma that surrounds addiction, reluctance to try to get help remains a solid barrier. Those struggling with dependency may worry about their addiction affecting major life factors, such as their jobs and relationships. Users are adept at finding their drug of choice, but finding treatment for addiction can be a game changer. Many users are not insured or have limited insurance coverage.

What are Some Common Barriers to Addiction Treatment?

The six major barriers to addiction treatment can be overcome with help. Additionally, finding a treatment center that provides excellence with intake can make or break the possibility of a successful recovery. It’s a sad situation when 90% of addicts do not seek professional health when facing their addiction. This is not a small problem; 21 million people are addicted in the US. Addiction numbers are catastrophic.

Denial

The major barrier to addiction treatment is the addict. This issue lies in reaching out to people who do not believe they have an addiction problem. Despite all the signs and symptoms experienced due to addiction, they deny its existence. 95% of addicts find themselves in this predicament. Denial is a major barrier to addiction treatment.

Social Standing and Privacy

With addiction resides an overwhelming stigma attached to it. What will other people think? Fear of judgment might have been an original trigger for their addiction, to begin with. Fear and anxiety about being an outcast and having their privacy invaded by social gossip, addicts do not want to undergo any more feelings of discomfort or pain inflicted by others.

Fear of Treatment

Lack of education concerning treatment plans for addiction is often addressed with an initial conversation with an intake professional. The fear that treatment could mean a loss of job, family, or friends is another barrier to addiction treatment. Employers are often very understanding towards those who are seeking treatment. Fear can be addressed with the help of a strong support system of family and friends.

Time Constraints

Who has time to spend in treatment when they have a life and responsibilities? Treatment plans can be very flexible, and some allow for outpatient treatment, allowing a patient to continue to work while undergoing therapy and a structured treatment opportunity. The goal for all parties involved in developing a treatment plan is a successful ending and a sober lifestyle for the addict.

Admission Difficulties

Barriers to addiction treatment can include admission difficulties when trying to enter a program. Remaining committed can allow for a few bumps to take place in the recovery road. Insurance, assessments, and financial issues can all be resolved with an educated intake professional helping you.

Cost

If any programs are available to assist the addict in securing treatment, the treatment center intake professional can help find them. The twelve-step programs available at no cost can be identified and recommended if the cost remains an issue after the assessment.

Overcoming the Barriers to Addiction Treatment

Overcoming barriers to addiction treatment is challenging. Structural, systemic, personal, societal, and socioeconomic reasons block beliefs that treatment can be obtained and a successful recovery journey is possible. For those who cannot afford treatment, there are options still available for those willing to make sobriety a commitment in their life.

Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous are self-help groups available in most cities throughout the country that are totally free. This option for those who cannot afford conventional treatment programs in a recovery center is a workable therapy option. Many people have been successful in recovery with the support from the group settings and the step-by-step processes. Breaking this barrier to addiction treatment is a hopeful and positive choice.

Contacting a treatment center to evaluate the options open is a clear plan for overcoming the barriers to addiction treatment. Insurance problems can be worked through depending on the addict’s individual plan, or if not insured, government programs may be available. An experienced intake professional can explain what types of help they can offer and then extend a helpful hand if other needs must be addressed.

Furthermore, education reduces stigma and doubt. Fear and anxiety will continue to reign unless the addict is given the opportunity to learn what is available and possible. Resolving issues one step at a time can be the answer to barriers to addiction treatment. Because of this, support is available once the commitment to change has been made. The first barrier to breaking addiction is acceptance of the addiction, commitment to change, and then making the decision to reach out for help.

Overcome the Barriers to Addiction Treatment in Atlanta, GA

Overcoming the barriers to addiction treatment while living in the Atlanta, Georgia area can be initiated by contacting us at the Retreat of Atlanta. We have intake professionals who are eager to resolve your barriers and make it possible for you to experience a successful recovery program. Contact us today! We have caring and compassionate professionals who are eager to help you!

The Effects Of Hallucinogens On The Brain

Recreational drug users may be taking dangerous substances without thinking about the negative effects of hallucinogens on the brain. While hoping for a pleasant “trip,” many people receive the exact opposite. When a person consumes hallucinogens, they impact both the neural circuitry and serotonin production of the brain. Serotonin controls perceptions, moods, and thinking processes, as well as stress and panic responses. According to SAMHSA’s 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, among people aged 12 or older, 0.1% have experienced a recent hallucinogen use disorder. For these reasons, arming oneself with knowledge about hallucinogens and their dangers could mean the difference between recovery and tragedy.

What Are Hallucinogens?

Hallucinogens are a class of drugs that interact with the chemicals and neurotransmitters within the brain that control mood and thinking processes. Because of this, the effects of hallucinogens on the brain are significant and unpredictable. Users report either pleasurable or unpleasurable experiences or “trips,” that can last up to twelve hours. As a result, users lose the ability to recognize reality. This, combining with an inability to think or communicate logically makes for a very dangerous scenario. Experiences with these drugs are individual and differ with the type of drug and the personal traits of the user.

Hallucinogenic drugs include two types of drugs – classic hallucinogens and dissociative drugs:

  • LSD (D-lysergic acid diethylamide – classic): LSD is a powerful mind-altering chemical. LSD is derived from ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains. Effects include hallucinations, mood fluctuations, visual distortions, and other sensory distortions.
  • Psilocybin (4-phosphoryloxy-N, N-dimethyltryptamine – classic): Also known as “shrooms,” this drug presents itself in edible and drinkable forms. Mushrooms originate in tropical or subtropical regions of South America, Mexico and the US. The effects are similar to those produced by LSD.
  • Peyote (mescaline – classic): A small cactus containing mescaline is soaked in liquid to make a drink. Mescaline is often made in a laboratory. The effects are an altered state of consciousness that involves hallucinations.
  • DMT (N, N-dimethyltryptamine – classic): Growing naturally in Amazonian plants and also produced in labs, the effects are consistent with hallucinations, an altered sense of time and depersonalization. In addition to DMT, Ayahuasca also called “hoasca,” “aya,” and “yage” is made from plants containing DMT.
  • 251-NBOMe (classic): A synthetic drug with effects like LSD and MDMA, is much more potent.
  • THC (Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol – classic): THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana, causes paranoia, anxiety, and hallucinations.
  • Ketamine (dissociative): Taken in the form of powder, a pill, or injectable liquid, Ketamine causes visual disturbances and disorientation. Ketamine, known as the date-rape drug can be unknowingly added to drinks.
  • PCP (Phencyclidine – dissociative): This drug is either snorted, smoked, swallowed, or injected into the veins. Effects include an out of body experience.
  • Dextromethorphan (DXM – dissociative): This cough suppressant can manifest in a range of negative psychological and physical effects.

Effects Of Hallucinogens On The Brain

Short term effects of hallucinogens on the brain includes the temporary drug induced psychosis the user experiences after ingesting the drug. There is no way to control the outcome of the user’s experience with the drugs. Each use can be different and unpredictable. With diminished ability to recognize reality and an inability to think or communicate rationally, the short and long term effects can produce a number of symptoms indicative of psychosis. Long term effects can occur for an unknown period of time. Just one experience with the drug is enough to produce these terrifying effects.

Short Term Effects of Hallucinogens on the Brain Include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Emotional or mood shifts
  • Nightmares and paranoia
  • Delusions, panic reactions or impulsiveness
  • Visual disturbances and spiritual experiences
  • Altered states of awareness and perception
  • Anxiety and nervousness

Long Term Effects of Hallucinogens on the Brain Include:

  • Increased tolerance of the drug
  • Extreme withdrawal symptoms including cravings, headaches, sweating, depression, anxiety and irritability
  • Flashbacks or persistent psychosis manifesting in paranoia, visual disturbances, confusion, unstable mood swings
  • HPPD: Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder which can occur after just one exposure to the drugs

Are Hallucinogens Addictive?

The effects of hallucinogens on the brain can include addiction. Building a tolerance to hallucinogens will produce physical and mental withdrawal symptoms if usage is not increased and continual. While drug seeking behaviors are not supported, tolerance is just as dangerous. LSD and psilocybin point to this reaction.  Additionally, other hallucinogens have unknown addictive potentials. PCP has proven to be addictive with withdrawal symptoms manifesting as cravings, headaches, and sweating.

Benefits Of Professional Treatment For Drug Addiction

The benefits of professional addiction treatment for drug addiction are shown by the success rates of those who have a solid treatment plan. Professional medical and mental health providers work together to make assessments, help clients detox from drugs and alcohol, and design treatment plans that include different types of therapy. Struggling users must learn how to live their lives in a sober and healthy fashion. Lifestyle training that includes learning the importance of taking care of diet, nutrition, exercise, sleep habits and self esteem is vital. The brain can rebound from the effects of hallucinogens on the brain with professional addiction treatment.

Find Relief From Hallucinogens in Georgia

If you have concerns about the effects of hallucinogens on the brain and are living in Georgia, Retreat of Atlanta offers treatment that could benefit you greatly. Our professional staff is ready and able to address your concerns, answer your questions and initiate treatment options quickly and responsibly. Stop living in fear of the effects of hallucinogens. Contact us today to begin your recovery!

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