Alcoholism, also known as alcohol dependency or alcohol use disorder (AUD), is one of the most common substance abuse issues in the world. In the United States, it is estimated that about 18 million adults suffer from some form of alcohol use disorder. Because alcohol is legal, people often develop alcoholism without necessarily realizing they have a problem—or the realization may occur very slowly. However, if someone is abusing alcohol, it often quickly begins to affect other areas of their life, and can spiral out of control. Help for alcohol use disorder is available at Soul Surgery’s alcohol rehab in Scottsdale, AZ.
Some warning signs of problematic drinking that either are, or can lead to, alcoholism are blackouts or short-term memory loss, choosing to drink rather than deal with work or family obligations, wanting secrecy or privacy while drinking, extreme mood swings, and feeling hungover any time the person is not drinking. There are also many questions that a licensed medical professional, such as the physicians at Soul Surgery, may ask to determine whether a patient is suffering from alcoholism. These may include diagnostic questions from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM): Have you continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem? Have you lost interest in other activities and hobbies since you started drinking? Have you felt an urge or craving to consume alcohol? Or, have you gotten into situations while drinking that increased your chances of harming yourself or others (i.e., drinking and driving)?
If a person is struggling with alcohol use disorder, they may make the difficult and life-changing decision to become sober.
What Happens When You Stop Drinking? When is it Necessary to Go To an Alcohol Detox Center?
The first step to recovery from alcohol dependency is to abstain from alcohol use. The detoxification process can be complicated, though, as withdrawal symptoms can be severe. When one is initially detoxing, he or she can experience acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms. These sudden and often severe symptoms include nausea, anxiety, headaches, irritability, seizures, and delirium tremens. Delirium Tremens, commonly known as ‘DTs,’ occurs when your nervous system experiences sudden changes from the lack of alcohol.
Approximately eight to ten hours after someone’s last sip of alcohol, additional symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome can occur. These include fevers, rapid heartbeats, nightmares, hallucinations, and even periods of lost consciousness. Because these symptoms can be dangerous, detoxing in a secure environment with compassionate professionals who are committed to your care and recovery can make a big difference in the entire detoxification process.
Medications Utilized in Alcohol Detox Centers
Because the detoxification process can be so difficult on your mind and your body, patients sometimes look to medication-assisted treatments to minimize the painful symptoms of detox. Soul Surgery Rehab has several medication-assisted treatment options they offer patients, but with the understanding that medication is simply a part of a larger, integrated, and patient-focus plan to help you recover from alcohol dependency. There are several medicines that are typically used to help ease the symptoms of alcohol detox and withdrawal, and the medication used will depend on the needs of individual patients and their medical histories.
The medicines commonly used are:
The American Society of Addiction Medicine recognizes the use of benzodiazepines in the early stages of alcohol detoxification. Typically, benzodiazepines are used to treat seizures, anxiety, and insomnia, and they do so as well when applied to reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Some commonly used benzodiazepines are Ativan, Valium, and Librium.
Disulfiram is known as Antabuse by brand and is a medicine that works on the premise of aversion therapy. It’s given to those who are working on abstaining from alcohol to curb their craving. It does so by creating a situation where a person taking the drug and drinking alcohol will have severe reactions that make them violently ill. The medicine works on the behavioral belief that one will not want to drink while on the medication because the reaction is so severe, and they’ll abstain from alcohol. Disulfiram/Antabuse does not address specific withdrawal symptoms, though, and one must be motivated to stop drinking enough that they’ll continue to take the Antabuse.
Acamprosate is also known by the brand name Campral and works by inhibiting neurotransmitters in the brain. The FDA has approved it as a drug to reduce cravings for alcohol and to be used within a formal alcohol recovery program. It is most effective when one has already abstained from alcohol for several days/weeks and in conjunction with therapy and support such as what Soul Surgery Rehab offers.
Naltrexone goes by the brand name ReVia and originally was used to reduce cravings in those who suffer from opiate misuse disorders. There is research that suggests that Naltrexone is more effective for reducing the cravings of alcohol than it is for lowering opioid cravings, and is most successfully used in formal treatment programs like the ones found at Soul Surgery Addiction and Mental Health Rehab.
Alcohol Rehab Scottsdale AZ
When it comes to alcohol rehab, Scottsdale, Soul Surgery Rehab is a premier facility that specializes in evidence-based and progressive treatment options customized for each individual. Soul Surgery Rehab has Intensive Outpatient Programs as well as Partial Hospitalization Programs. All of Soul Surgery’s outpatient programs focus on healing the whole person and include counseling, medication, IV therapy, holistic treatments and eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR), among other things to bring about successful alcohol recovery.
Soul Surgery Rehab knows that long-time sobriety is the result of hard work and effort, as well as reliable support and commitment to one’s emotional, mental, and physical recovery. The team of caring, licensed clinicians, want to help determine the right treatment path for each individual and help them lead lives full of positive changes and freedom from alcohol dependency.