Why is Detoxification a Must to Get Rid of Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol Addiction | Gratitude Lodge

Alcohol is one of the deadliest substances in America. Statistics show that an estimated 95,000 people die annually from alcohol related causes, making it the third leading cause of preventable death next to tobacco and obesity. Many of the deaths are due to the ravaging effects that alcohol addiction has on the body and the brain, as well as untreated withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol detox can lead to serious conditions and be fatal, which makes it important to properly detox in an alcohol rehab center with medical staff.

What is Alcohol?

Alcohol is a depressant that affects the central nervous system in the body and the way the brain functions. Alcohol essentially slows down brain function and causes relaxation, drowsiness, slurred speech, decreased inhibitions, and problems with coordination. Alcohol slows down response times and causes you to lose rational thinking.

Alcohol temporarily acts as a stimulant by releasing dopamine in your brain, giving you an increase in confidence and self-esteem. It reduces anxiety in the process, but that feeling does not last long. With the confidence boost and the “feel good” effect you experience, it makes you want to keep using alcohol, building up a tolerance and leading to alcohol addiction in the process. This makes it difficult to quit without seeking medical help.

 

Reduced Brain Function and Mental Disorders

Along with reduced brain function and the natural chemistry no longer working properly, the brain becomes reliant on alcohol to function. If you stop using alcohol, symptoms begin as your brain works to reset itself. This can bring on mental disorders that can also lead to co-occurring disorders. 

A co-occurring disorder is when you have a substance abuse disorder and a mental disorder at the same time. Mental disorders like anxiety and depression can surface during addiction and even during the detox process. Both disorders need to be treated simultaneously to avoid potential relapse. This is best accomplished in an alcohol rehab center near me where there are licensed therapists to help you through the detox process by treating the mental disorder.

Liver Damage

Not only is the brain affected by alcohol addiction, the liver is also affected. The liver is responsible for breaking down toxic substances like alcohol in your body for processing. When a person is a heavy drinker, their liver has a hard time keeping up with the breakdown process, resulting in damage to your liver with built up scar tissue. 

Illnesses such as liver disease, fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis can occur as a result of the damaged liver. These require medical treatment and if complications arise during detox, the medically trained staff at a credentialed alcohol rehab center can get you in the treatment program you need to help manage the illness.

Alcohol Detox/Withdrawals

Alcohol detox is a period of time where the body naturally gets rid of the alcohol after you stop drinking. Withdrawal symptoms can begin within 12 hours after your last drink. Symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Shakiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Seizures
  • Delirium tremens

Physical symptoms begin to subside after about a week but mental symptoms can last weeks or even months.

Delirium tremens is a serious condition that occurs in longtime alcohol users and can be fatal if not treated properly. Symptoms include:

  • Agitation
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Disorientation

If left untreated, it can lead to respiratory and cardiovascular collapse, and eventual death. An alcohol rehab center will monitor you through the detox process to manage symptoms that arise and make sure you are getting proper care and medications to help ease the discomfort and avoid the possibility of relapse. 

Why is Detox Important in Alcohol Addiction Treatment?

Detoxing is important if you want to live a healthy, sober lifestyle and restore broken relationships with family and friends that may have come from addiction. Alcohol addiction treatment in an alcohol rehab center means that you get to put the focus off of addiction and back on your health. You have the chance to exercise, eat balanced meals, get better sleep, and receive medical treatment for any illnesses that may have occurred as a result of addiction during your rehab stay. 

Your mental health also improves because of therapy sessions. Mental disorder symptoms become more manageable as you gain self-confidence and self-respect throughout this journey. Detox also leads to a clearer way of thinking and restored brain health.

Alcohol Rehab Center Near Me in Southern California

Alcohol rehab is just a phone call away. If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, reach out to Gratitude Lodge today. We are here to help guide you through detox and alcohol addiction treatment so you can start fresh. We offer alcohol detox as well as a recovery program following detox, so you are fully prepared to live a sober life.

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