The Widespread Need for Alcohol Detox
Alcoholism is a progressive disease that, if left untreated, can eventually destroy victims’ lives. It is the most common addiction-related problem in the United States. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that every year in America, approximately 5,000 people below the legal drinking age die from alcohol-related incidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that each year approximately 88,000 Americans of all ages die as a result of alcohol. Alcohol abuse impacts physical and psychological health, as well as quality of life. The longer abuse continues without proper alcohol detox, the more likely it is that alcoholism will develop.
What is Alcohol Detox?
Alcohol detox is the process by which the body is purged of all the chemicals that have built up through substance abuse. The process almost always includes a withdrawal period, which can range from mild to severe. Those with a longer or heavier history of drinking should seek help from a professional alcohol detox facility. Experts who are trained in alcohol detox can make patients considerably more comfortable during their withdrawal period, and intervene in the event of a medical emergency.
The severity of the withdrawal period will vary based upon how much and how long a person has been abusing alcohol; however, some of the common symptoms include:
- Stomach Illness (Nausea, Vomiting and Diarrhea)
- Headaches and Migraine
- Extreme Changes in Body Temperature
- Flu-like Symptoms
- Depression and Anxiety
In extreme cases, alcohol withdrawal can lead to tremors, seizures and delirium tremens (DTs). DTs include disorientation, accelerated heartbeat and fever. Although very low, there is a risk of death that comes with DTs.
What Happens without Alcohol Detox?
Many alcohol abusers are often in denial regarding how serious their problem actually is. This causes their problem to get worse and may lead them to think they can stop drinking any time they want. When they try and quit by themselves or “cold turkey”, the withdrawal period often winds up being too overwhelming and leading them to relapse. Even those who are able to recognize that they have a problem and are legitimately seeking help often wind up succumbing to the rigors of withdrawal. It is estimated that 90% of recovering alcoholics experience relapse at least once in their lives.