Although many people readily associate alcohol with having a good time, it actually functions as a depressant. People who continue to consume large quantities of alcohol during a single session will eventually experience the depressant qualities of alcohol, while also experiencing loss of control and coordination.
Over-consumption of alcohol leads to addiction in the US population, and this is a major concern, as backed by statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Across the five-year period of 2006-10, excessive consumption of alcohol has resulted in approximately 88,000 deaths. On average, the CDC has also found that the lifespans of those who died had decreased by an average of 30 years.
Traditional alcohol treatments often advocate the attendance of a 12-step program following the detoxification process. However, the issue with that approach is that it does not change depending on the needs of each addict. Now, the problem with that is that the needs and circumstances of every addict do not easily fit into the 12-step construct.
Alternatively, alcohol addiction can be more effectively treated through a holistic approach that goes beyond the physical approach of traditional treatment programs. Holistic alcohol treatment expands to also encompass the mental and environmental factors impacting addicts.
Only dealing with the physical factors is an approach that attempts to deal with the symptoms as opposed to the root cause. Holistic treatment will encourage addicts to talk about their problems and consumption habits in a manner that is tailored to them.
Through hours of counseling, addicts can begin to understand why they consume alcohol so heavily. By understanding why, it will be possible for addicts to stand a chance of saying no to alcohol when they have completed detox. Going through detox alone and attending a 12-step program is often not enough, and it is easy to see why.
Effects on the Body
After drinking alcohol, 20% will be absorbed by you stomach. The blood vessels of the small intestine will then absorb the remaining 80%. Alcohol will be sent to your brain and also your liver, where it will be metabolized from a toxic substance into a non-toxic substance. Because the liver requires time to complete the process, it is possible that overconsumption can cause death or coma through oxygen deprivation to the brain.
In addition to the short-term effects and immediate after-effects, which include hangover symptoms, alcohol can wreak havoc on the body in the long-term. The overconsumption of alcohol can result in higher blood pressure, in turn leading to strokes and heart attacks. Liver damage can result in organ failure, and subsequently death without a transplant. Brain damage can cause the early onset of mental diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Alcohol Inpatient Recovery
There are four factors that determine alcohol dependence, including regular cravings to drink, an inability to control drinking, symptoms of physical dependence, and a high tolerance for alcohol. Those factors will be common among heavily addicted drinkers, and breaking free from them will be more effective at an alcohol inpatient treatment center.
Alcohol inpatient rehab removed alcoholics from the environmental circumstances that often encourage them to drink. By leaving their surroundings behind, they can focus on going through the detox process in peace and surrounded by support.
Going cold turkey in giving up alcohol can result in major bodily pain from daily drinkers of many years. Medication is readily available in the average inpatient program, meaning that pain support is close by for those who need it during detox.
And during this time, addicts will also undergo on-site counseling to deal with the mental and environmental factors associated with their addiction. Dealing with the root cause is the single best way of beating addiction.
Recovering from Alcohol Addiction
Throughout the holistic recovery process, it is vital that addicts support their efforts by eating right, engaging in physical activities, and enjoying mental activities. These are the habits that will also be found in many recovered addicts years later.
Beating addiction does not end once detox has been completed. The mental challenges of staying clean will continue for some years to come, but it does get easier after the first year. By doing the right things and working with holistic addiction professionals, recovered addicts go on to live rewarding lives.