Alcohol Addiction Treatment

If you take a look at the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States, roughly half can be directly attributed to alcohol and tobacco use. Treatment for alcoholism is a complex, highly-nuanced process, because the drug you’re addicted to is legally available everywhere. As of 2014 there are an estimated 130 million+ individuals in the US who consume alcohol on a regular basis.

While it’s unlikely that someone is going to offer you a tray of syringes loaded with heroin or base-pipes filled with meth or crack at a restaurant; alcohol will always be readily available, and you’re going to have the perpetual opportunity to witness many individuals having drinks, getting drunk, having a good time, and then going about their lives without any apparent problems. It can be extremely difficult bordering on impossible to remove alcohol from the people, places, and things that kickstart your cravings, and restart the downward spiral of self-hate, hopelessness, and addiction.

Alcohol is a neurotoxin, the fact that it’s legal tends to make individuals overlook the medical research with regards to what it’s doing to your body and brain. The actual damage opiates and opioids like heroin or OxyContin do to your body, is very limited, whereas alcohol is somewhere near the very top of the harm scale for the most dangerous and damaging drugs you can possibly do. Chronic use of crack or methamphetamine, are the only two molecules which cause more damage than long-term alcoholism.

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What is Alcohol Addiction?

Alcoholism is one of the leading addictions in the United States. Alcohol is consumed in many forms, including beer, wine, and hard liquor. The alcohol content by volume (ABV) varies based on the beverage, too.

For instance, beer has one of the lowest ABV, with a range between 2% and 12%. Popular brand-name beers often have a BAV between 4% and 6%, and a person usually needs to drink between three to five servings of these beers to feel intoxicated. Comparatively, craft beers generally have a BAV of 11% to 12%. Because the BAV of craft beers is higher than that of many popular brand-name offerings, a person likely requires fewer servings of craft beers to feel intoxicated.

Wine addiction is a problem for many Americans as well. On average, a 5-oz. serving of wine has the equivalent alcohol content of 12 oz. of beer. Wine may be perceived as a “classy” alternative to beer. As such, people may drink wine more frequently at parties and other social gatherings without realizing its impact. Perhaps even worse, wine addiction may occur due to depression, anxiety, and other emotional and/or psychological factors. If a person consumes wine in an effort to drown out negative feelings, this individual may develop a wine addiction that lasts for an extended period of time.

Liquor includes tequila, gin, rum, and vodka, among other alcoholic beverages. It has a higher ABV than beer or wine and may be mixed with water, juices, or other drinks. Or, people sometimes consume liquor “neat,” i.e. straight from a bottle or glass.

People who are dealing with a severe alcohol disorder may struggle to start or finish the day without an alcoholic beverage. Meanwhile, the physical, psychological, and emotional damage associated with persistent alcoholism can be devastating for both an addict and his or her loved ones.

What is Binge Drinking?

Binge drinkers are men who consume an average of five or more alcoholic beverages or women who consume four or more alcoholic beverages within four hours or less. A binge drinker may find it tough to stop drinking without assistance. Over time, binge drinking may lead to alcoholism.

Symptoms of Alcoholism

Alcoholism can usually be self-diagnosed. Some of the most common symptoms of alcohol addiction include:

  • Inability to See the Problem: An alcohol addict continues to consume excess amounts of alcohol without identifying the health dangers associated with this behavior.
  • Tolerance: An individual develops a tolerance to alcoholic beverages and requires a higher volume of alcohol before he or she feels the desired effects.
  • Physical Issues: An alcoholic may shake, feel tired, sweat, and experience other physical symptoms after the effects of alcohol wear off.
  • Inability to Stop: An alcohol addict cannot stop consuming excess amounts of alcohol, even if he or she wants to do so.
  • Alcohol on Top of Mind: An alcoholic spends significant amounts of time thinking about consuming alcoholic beverages and how they will make him or her feel.

For those who are dealing with or know someone who is dealing with one or more of the aforementioned symptoms, alcohol addiction treatment is key. With alcohol abuse treatment, an individual can take the first step to overcome his or her alcohol addiction.

Why Is It So Hard to Seek Alcohol Addiction Treatment?

There are so many reasons why the struggle with alcohol addiction is insidiously difficult to win. The difficulties most people have as they seek alcohol treatment—and the reasons why they fail to—are all connected. One of the biggest elephants in the room when it comes to alcohol addiction is simple: our entire society is enabling alcohol addicts, so long as they manage to “keep it together” to a reasonable degree.

The beverage industry in the United States was worth a whopping $354.2 billion by 2014, and alcoholic beverages are worth 60 percent of that total. That means about $212 billion or more was at stake by 2014 in the conversation about America’s alcohol habit. Several recent trends, such as a push for medical marijuana, have also intensified the alcohol industry’s drive to maintain its status and grow.

The industry lobbies hard for what it has. In the second quarter of 2010, the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America spent $260,000 lobbying Congress and agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration. That same quarter, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, Inc., spent $1,300,000 lobbying Congress and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. The Beer Institute, which includes Heineken USA Inc., Anheuser-Busch InBev, and MillerCoors, spent $250,000 that same quarter to lobby Congress, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (who puts out regulations concerning things like driving while intoxicated), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Health and Human Services. That quarter, Anheuser-Busch also spent $820,000 alone for lobbying, while MillerCoors spent $680,000.

It’s legal for companies that make alcohol to lobby, and their product is legal. But this kind of spending and power has led to a normalization that has made it harder to see alcohol addiction as the problem that it is.

Another factor in seeking alcohol addiction treatment is the difficulty presented by quitting completely and eliminating alcohol use from your life. This is difficult even with other substances, but with alcohol occupying the privileged place it does in our world, the difficult becomes the dreadful, and seemingly impossible. Anyone who’s gone through recovery will tell you: being unable to avoid the problem means being at risk of relapse—all the time.

Alcohol Withdrawal

Because alcohol is a legal substance and carries little social stigma, the effects of recovering from alcohol dependence are typically minimized. However, alcohol withdrawal is a potentially life-threatening condition. As people who have been drinking heavily for years—or even just for months or weeks—try to stop drinking or significantly reduce their alcohol consumption, they often experience alcohol withdrawal.

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can begin as soon as two hours after the last drink. They range in severity from moderate to severe and potentially fatal. They may persist for weeks, and throughout their duration they pose a threat to the sufferer. Some alcohol withdrawal symptoms are relatively simple and less severe, such as shakiness and anxiety; however, other complications are severe, including delirium tremens (also called DTs) and seizures.

DTs are typified by confusion, fever, rapid heartbeat, and shakiness, carry with them a death rate ranging from 1 to 5 percent. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, including the DTs, can worsen quickly and sometimes without warning, so even if you are experiencing relatively mild symptoms, it is best to go through alcohol rehab with medical supervision. The alcohol detox process is complex, and the right supervision can reduce your risk of developing seizures or DTs caused by alcohol withdrawal.

The best way to get off alcohol is indisputably in a supervised setting if you’ve experienced alcohol withdrawal episodes in the past, or if you have other serious health conditions that requires care, such as heart disease, a history of seizures infections, or lung disease. Should alcohol withdrawal symptoms become severe, it is a medical emergency. If you or anyone you know begins to experience fever, hallucinations, irregular heartbeat, seizures, or severe confusion as a result of alcohol withdrawal, get to an emergency room or call 911. If you are already in a secure, medically supervised setting, you can receive care with confidence.

Why is alcohol detox so disruptive to the system? In large part because prolonged, heavy drinking, especially when it takes place daily, disrupts the neurotransmitters in the brain, those chemicals that transmit vital messages. For example, although alcohol consumption enhances the effect of GABA at first, chronic consumption suppresses GABA activity. Since GABA is the neurotransmitter which produces feelings of calm and relaxation, chronic alcohol consumption means that your brain needs more and more alcohol to produce the effects you’re craving. This is called alcohol tolerance, and it is closely related to alcohol dependence.

The neurotransmitter glutamate is also suppressed by chronic alcohol consumption. Glutamate produces feelings of excitability, and when it is suppressed, the brain seeks equilibrium, producing more glutamate and forcing the glutamate system to function at a far higher level than it does in those who either drink moderately or don’t drink at all.

So, what happens when chronic alcohol consumers stop or reduce their intake? These neurotransmitters are suddenly no longer suppressed, and instead experience a rebound effect. This causes brain hyperexcitability, which produces the unpleasant and dangerous symptoms correlated with alcohol withdrawal. Anxiety, agitation, DTs, irritability, seizures, and tremors, are all rebound effects and part of alcohol withdrawal.

How severe any given person’s alcohol withdrawal symptoms are typically depends on how much they drink and for how long they have been drinking.

Minor symptoms of alcohol withdrawal usually appear 6 to 12 hours after the last drink. In fact, symptoms often begin while there is still a level of blood alcohol that is measurable. These alcohol withdrawal symptoms include: anxiety, headache, insomnia, nausea, shakiness, sweating, and vomiting.

Between 12 and 24 hours after the last drink, some people going through alcohol withdrawal experience hallucinations, either auditory, tactile, or visual, which usually end within 48 hours or so. These are the less serious alcoholic hallucinosis, not to be confused with the hallucinations associated with DTs. How can you tell? In general, those hallucinating within the grip of the DTs are not aware that they are hallucinating; as far as they know, what they’re experiencing is real.

 Alcoholism Treatment

Physically, ibogaine is extremely effective in blocking cravings for alcohol and reducing alcohol consumption, by increasing the levels of a brain protein called GDNF (glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor). Having noribogaine on-board post-ibogaine treatment helps to significantly reduce cravings and alleviate depression, while the spiritual component of ibogaine — the visions you may experience while undergoing ibogaine treatment — provide an introspective phase that can help you understand and process past events and traumas that contribute to self-medicating with alcohol.

 

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Articles About Alcohol Addiction Treatment

How to Break the Cycle of Alcohol Addiction

This article details the cycle of alcohol addiction, including how it works, what it’s like, what makes it happen, and most importantly, how someone trapped inside of it can break it. Particularly for people who have recovered from alcoholism and broken the cycle of alcohol addiction themselves, when they see their friends or loved ones fighting the same destructive alcohol addiction that they once struggled with (or are still coping with), this post offers important facts.

Sometimes the only missing ingredient standing in the way of recovery is motivation to get us through the process. Evidence-based advice and honest discussion can serve as that motivation for halting that dangerous cycle of alcohol addiction. Breaking the cycle is not ever going to be an easy thing to do. But it doesn’t have to be impossible with the right kinds of support.

Ibogaine for Alcohol Addiction: Does it Really Work?

You may be thinking, ibogaine is for treating serious drug addicts, like people who use heroin. So does ibogaine for alcohol addiction really work? This kind of question is especially likely to come up during a time when media attention to the American heroin epidemic is finally high—as it probably always should have been.

However, although there’s no doubt that we should be worried about drugs like heroin, addiction to alcohol is just as harmful, and at least as dangerous—maybe even more so, considering the fact that its legal and socially acceptable status gets it a pass in most circumstances. Even young people who use alcohol are usually seen as “no big deal.” But alcohol addiction is widespread and responsible for extensive health problems in our nation, and many deaths. This article deals with whether ibogaine works for alcohol addiction, providing the latest research into alcohol addiction, ibogaine, and neurochemistry, along with a frank discussion of using ibogaine to treat alcohol addiction.

How to Pick the Perfect Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center

Most alcohol abusers were once casual drinkers, social drinkers, who just wanted to have fun, fit in, or let off a little steam. No one pictures themselves years down the road, unable to function without alcohol, with tremors in their hands, and organs on the brink of failure. No one imagines the day they’ll be unable to drive because of DUIs, or out of a job and estranged from family because of their drinking. But that’s what alcohol addiction does—and usually no one notices until it’s too late, because abuse of alcohol is widespread in our society, and few people take it very seriously. No wonder it’s so hard to find the perfect alcohol treatment center.

With the right information, choosing the perfect alcohol treatment center is going to be much simpler. This blog provides advice on this crucial choice, from making certain you’ll receive the best medical and psychological care, to how to clarify your priorities and needs going into treatment. It also discusses ensuring that an alcohol treatment center approaches addiction with evidence and science, and offers the right mix of amenities that provide comfort and security.

Ibogaine – A Cure for Alcoholism?

This article introduces an early investigative news report that was one of the first introductions the American public had to the ibogaine story. This blog also discusses the story, offering supplemental history and facts to place the video into context. The newscasters describe ibogaine as a “cure” for alcohol addiction, and the post discusses that idea.

Like any addiction, alcohol addiction has no instantaneous cure. Ibogaine, however, is as close as anything gets to that goal, even for the longtime, serious heroin users interviewed in the news report. Alcohol addiction changes the chemistry of the brain, causing physical cravings, and this is what the ibogaine treatment “resets,” breaking the cycle.

When to Know to Seek Help for Alcohol Addiction

Why is asking for help so hard? Maybe, in part, it’s because our society doesn’t see alcohol addiction as being in the same class as addiction to other substances and illegal drugs, even though it too can be deadly and threaten loss of everything you care about. When you need assistance with alcohol addiction, it is difficult even to know it’s time to seek help. How can you be sure? After all, this all started with a few glasses of wine after work, or a few beers with friends.

This post discusses when to know to seek help for alcohol addiction. It offers a complete list of symptoms and signs of alcohol addiction, so you can cut through the fog of alcohol and what it tricks your mind into seeing. It also describes why those symptoms mean you need help.

Polysubstance Abuse Disorders and Ibogaine

Addiction to anything means a complex mix of problems are present, and this is also true for alcohol addiction. Addiction to alcohol plus other drugs means that the situation is even more complicated. This article details how to identify polysubstance abuse, provides details about the issues that characterize it, and explains how ibogaine can be used to manage polysubstance abuse. The blog also offers a deeper look at symptoms and signs of alcohol addiction and polysubstance addiction.

Don’t wait another day to get your life back. Find out what ibogaine treatment for alcohol addiction and polysubstance abuse disorders can do for you. Explore what you can expect from the recovery process and how to prepare for it.

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