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Alcohol Addiction and Alcohol Rehab

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Alcohol detox and inpatient alcohol rehab are essential in helping addicts regain control over their lives. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the number of alcoholic liver disease deaths in 2009 was 15,183. This number continues to escalate over time. It is possible to stop the progression of alcoholic liver disease but this must begin with alcohol detox.

How does alcoholism develop?

Alcohol is widely consumed as a legal liquid drug and most people grow up with alcohol as part of their daily lives. Alcohol is used in cooking, social interactions, religious services and celebrations. However, alcohol becomes an issue when it is used excessively. The progression of excessive use does not happen overnight. Contributing factors to the development of alcoholism include:

  • Predisposition – Family history of alcoholism
  • Mood disorder – Chemical imbalances in the brain cause the alcoholic to look for ways to self-medicate
  • Opportunity – Being around people who drink or in other situations where drinking is encouraged may incite alcoholic behavior

Any of these three contributing factors play an important part in the development of alcoholism. Most individuals experiment with drinking alcohol. However, once an individual recognizes that alcohol can change moods, a stronger relationship with drinking develops. Alcoholics no longer drink for social reasons; they instead drink to alter feelings that are uncomfortable and unwanted. As more alcohol is consumed, an alcoholic individual develops a tolerance and will need to increase consumption to achieve alcohol’s same initial effects. As this pattern develops, the alcoholic experiences both physical and psychological damage.

Physical and Psychological Damage of Alcoholism

The Drug Abuse Warning Network issued a report stating that from 2005-2009 there were 137,512 emergency room visits among 12-20-year-olds. The statistics continue to grow as alcoholism increases in our society. Most of these emergency room visits are due to alcohol poisoning. However, prolonged alcohol abuse can also produce irreversible damage. Physical Damage of Alcoholism:

  • General Appearance
    • Hand tremors
    • Jaundice
    • Rosacea
    • Swollen fingers and nose
  • Gastrointestinal Tract
    • Acute pancreatitis
    • Gastrointestinal bleeding
    • Liver damage
    • Recurrent diarrhea
  • Cardiovascular
    • Palpitations
    • Cardiomyopathy
    • Anemia
  • Respiratory
    • Chronic obstructive airways disease
    • Recurrent chest infection with pneumonia
  • Central Nervous System
    • Seizures
    • Blackouts
    • Ataxia
    • Insomnia
    • Hallucinations
    • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome

Psychological Damage:

  • Anxiety
    • Excessive worry
    • Fear-based thoughts and behaviors
  • Depression
    • Isolation
    • Negative thinking
    • Suicidal thoughts
  • Nervousness/Irritability
    • Seeming on edge
    • Inability to be comfortable
  • Personality changes
    • Unstable thoughts, feelings, and behaviors

Family and friends are usually the first to recognize when their loved one may be exhibiting the physical and psychological effects of alcoholism. Alcohol addiction treatment is warranted to help reduce the physical and psychological damage that alcohol produces. An intervention guide is available at Stepping Stone’s website for family members and loved ones who need guidance in helping their alcoholic.

Getting Help

Alcohol addiction treatment is the first step an alcoholic needs to take to gain his or her health back. Alcoholism is a serious disease and stopping alcohol consumption should take place under medical supervision. At an inpatient medical detox, the alcoholic will be monitored as he or she starts the process of addiction treatment. Detox is only the first step of recovery. Being free of toxins helps but is just the beginning of getting clean. Both physical and psychological damage will need time to heal and inpatient alcohol rehab is the safest place for an alcoholic who has just completed detox. Cravings and urges to use will be intense for the newly detoxed alcoholic and staff at an alcohol rehab will be able to help the alcoholic through this process.

Questions? Call or Ask By Chat Now!

If you or a loved one suffers from alcohol abuse and would like to stop, please call 866-957-4960 and one of our Stepping Stone Center admissions coordinators will be able to assist you. Many of our coordinators understand the courage it takes to enter addiction treatment as many of them are in recovery themselves.


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