For many people, having a glass of wine or a beer is a form of relaxation. For others, drinking alcohol can be a way to numb the pain of mental, social, and physical problems. Alcohol affects everyone differently, and there are specific dangers that go beyond slurred speech. Once you understand how it can negatively impact your life you can better assess if you have a problem. Once consumed, alcohol is converted into acetaldehyde, which is a poison similar to formaldehyde. Excessive drinking can cause numbness, blurred vision, lightheadedness, and poor judgment.
Drinking alcohol in moderation will allow the liver to do its job and flush out the toxins from your body. Heavy drinkers experience alcohol toxicity, and the liver can no longer metabolize the alcohol. Acetaldehyde caused by alcohol, creates serious health problems when released into the bloodstream. Long-term drinking can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, liver damage, and hepatitis. Studies have shown that there may be gender differences in how alcohol damages a person’s health.
How Alcohol Affects Women
Women who are alcoholics increase their risk of breast cancer by five percent. Alcohol affects fertility, therefore, decreasing a woman’s chance of getting pregnant. Regular consumption of alcohol can lead to amenorrhea, anovulation, and abnormal development of the endometrial lining. Women who are pregnant and drink increase their risk of miscarriage and pre-term birth.
How Alcohol Affects Men
Long-term binge drinking with men can permanently affect their central nervous system. This can lead to tremors, memory impairment, and concentration problems. Men also run the risk of developing gout a painful buildup of acid in the joints. In men, alcohol abuse can cause hair loss, a beer gut, redness of the face, and breast enlargement. Serious risks include colon cancer, liver cancer, erectile dysfunction, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Why You May Need Inpatient Rehab
The road to a sober life is not an easily paved one. It requires hard work and a commitment to lifelong recovery. Taking the necessary steps forward can help you live a better quality of life. The rehabilitation process is dependent on the type of a person’s addiction and severity. However, most inpatient rehab facilities share the same fundamental processes:
* Continued recovery
During the intake process, you and the rehabilitation center will determine if the inpatient treatment is right for you. You may have to undergo diagnostic screenings and go over your alcohol history. If you suffer from mental health issues, they will also be addressed during your treatment. Physical detox in inpatient treatment is only the first stage. Behavioral therapy, group therapy, and family therapy are necessary to achieve long-term behavioral change.
A good inpatient facility will change their program as your circumstances change. They should also provide comfortable housing and good-quality food. No one wants to stay in a treatment center for long if it feels like being in jail. In an inpatient facility, Personnel staff will care for you 24/7. It helps eliminate as much stress as possible and removes the temptation of relapse. Inpatient treatment is ideal for individuals who have long-standing addictions. It can occur in either a hospital or a residential facility. There are luxury facilities available with resort-style amenities that can help you stay more comfortable.
Detox from alcohol can be dangerous depending on the individual’s history of abuse. If the alcohol abuse is severe, it is not advised that they detox on their own. Some may require medication that can be administered by a nurse at the inpatient facility. Detox removes any trace of alcohol or drugs from the body. When done with the supervision of a medical professional, it can be a safe process.
The body may experience withdrawal symptoms within the first 24 hours of treatment. Typical withdrawal symptoms of alcohol abuse include:
* Extreme depression
* Excessive sweating
* Rapid heart rate
Depending on the level of your addiction, the inpatient facility staff will assess the types of medication you may need. Benzodiazepines are often prescribed to help recovering alcoholics calm anxiety, reduce the chance of seizure, and decrease the intensity of withdrawal symptoms. Barbiturates can help relieve discomfort, irritability, and stress by acting as a mild sedative.
After detox, the real work comes into play where the individual will need to address what’s behind their addiction. Individual therapy can address why the substance abuse started through doing inner work. Patients will develop strategies on how to get involved in interests and hobbies that don’t include alcohol. Individual therapy is an important process to help alcoholics make behavioral changes. Group therapy allows recovering alcoholics to engage with their peers. It makes people feel like they are not alone in the recovery process. Through family therapy, addicts can hear with a clear mind on how they affected their loved ones with their addiction. Many inpatient programs welcome family members and encourage them to reveal the pain caused. This can also help families settle many unresolved issues.
Recovery is not complete once the patient leaves a rehabilitation facility. It requires lifelong work and support. Staff at an inpatient treatment center will assist patients with an aftercare plan. Some offer follow-up programs and ways to help them return to a healthy life. Many recovering alcoholics will require regular therapy sessions after leaving treatment. Continuing group therapy for the continual support is important. Inpatient treatment can make a recovering alcoholic feel like they are part of a community.
Treating addiction as soon as possible is essential for success. Even if inpatient treatment is not done voluntarily, you still can achieve sobriety through the program. Different programs and rehabilitation facilities work for different individuals. Inpatient treatment programs increase your chances of staying healthy and sober long-term. If you or someone you love is struggling with alcoholism call 866-802-6848 for help. Your call will always remain private, confidential and secure.