As with addiction to any other drug, addiction to alcohol is an attachment that is hard to escape. When you are addicted, an attempt at disengagement can be dangerously painful, and sometimes, even life-threatening. Safe withdrawal from alcohol requires medical observation and treatment. At our center for alcohol withdrawal treatment in Utica, our experts offer addicts treatment programs that are evidence-based and scientifically proven.
We are among the rare few alcohol withdrawal centers to offer such treatment programs in Utica. If you would like to speak to one of our experts about questions that you have about alcohol withdrawal, call us at (315) 580-3113.
Chronic, heavy drinking hampers brain activity. Many neurotransmitters — chemicals in the brain that help with signaling — tend to see disruption.
The GABA neurotransmitter is one of the most significant targets of alcohol in the brain. When alcohol use first starts, its effect is to raise levels of this neurotransmitter to produce feelings of pleasure and calm. With prolonged and excessive alcohol consumption, however, the brain's levels of this neurotransmitter are suppressed. The effect, usually, is a tendency to drink even larger quantities to raise levels of GABA again. This cycle leads to a spiraling alcohol habit.
Alcohol also affects activity of a neurotransmitter named glutamate, a chemical responsible for the feeling many would call a "rush." Prolonged exposure to alcohol suppresses glutamate levels, as well.
When an attempt is made to give up drinking, these neurotransmitter levels lose the restrictive action of alcohol, and rebound to extreme levels. The result is the alcohol withdrawal condition. It produces a range of dangerous effects.
Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol begin mere hours after the last drink is taken. Depending on how long addiction has persisted, the addict may experience tremors, anxiety, nausea, insomnia and erratic cardiac function. Past the first 24 hours, withdrawal can progress to far more serious effects such as seizures and delirium tremens, a condition that includes hallucinations. These effects peak five days past cessation.
The withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol cessation are collectively termed alcohol withdrawal syndrome. The syndrome is dangerous for several reasons. Not only can it cause permanent injury, death is a possibility, as well. It is known to occur in 5% of cases where medical intervention isn't available.
The only medically acceptable way to address cessation of alcohol is to look for inpatient alcohol withdrawal treatment programs.
When addiction experts attending on an addict suspect the arrival of alcohol withdrawal syndrome, they conduct a physical exam. Doctors look for complicating factors such as liver disease, cardiac disease or pancreatic vulnerability, and do blood work.
Once a complete picture of the patient's health is available, doctors offer medications for treatment of the symptoms. Benzodiazepines such as Valium and Librium help calm down tremors, seizures and anxiety. Anticonvulsants such as Tegretol may be essential, as well.
The suppression of seizures and other alarming withdrawal symptoms is essential not only for patient safety, but also to ensure reasonable response to treatment further down the line. In an effect called kindling, the appearance of seizures is seen to cause complications that make full disengagement from addiction impossible.
If you are considering alcohol withdrawal treatment centers, it's important that you make the right choice between inpatient and outpatient rehab.
Outpatient alcohol withdrawal treatment programs may be acceptable for certain kinds of mild addiction. Alcohol, however, is one of the most complex forms of addiction. Inadequate caregiving at detox or another stage may well result in deterioration of the health or in failure of treatment.
Inpatient rehab in Utica is able to deal with complications far better. Addictive conditions where patients experience mental disorders alongside of addiction, for example, are very common; for such difficulties, treatment is best delivered in a setting where there is medical supervision available at all times.
The successful management of withdrawal symptoms and detoxification is an important step. It is only one part of the journey to freedom from alcohol, however. Once the withdrawal symptoms of addiction are taken care of, addicts still remain addicts. While they may not experience cravings every few hours, cravings can show up unexpectedly.
Long-term relapse prevention therapy is essential to the success of any plan to quit alcohol. At our center for alcohol withdrawal treatment in Utica, we offer not only the most advanced detoxification programs, but a full complement of long-term therapeutic services, as well. If you'd like to understand the process of alcohol cessation better or sign up for treatment, call us at (315) 580-3113.