Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a life-long medical condition that involves compulsive use of alcohol despite negative consequences. Alcohol addiction is sometimes progressive, meaning it grows worse with time and can impact a person’s physical, mental, social, and financial well-being.
Tree House Recovery’s alcohol addiction treatment center in North Carolina provides a holistic approach to recovery that includes fitness programming, group therapy, and support for co-occurring mental health concerns. Reach out at 910-812-1728 or connect with us online to learn more about our substance abuse treatment programs.
Dangers of Alcohol Addiction
Because of its legality and widespread use, alcohol’s biggest danger is the false sense of security that comes with using it. The most recent research says that one in eight people struggles with alcohol addiction. What’s more is that alcohol can be addictive to anyone, not just people with alcohol use disorder. With enough consumption, anyone can develop a physical dependence on alcohol, meaning that they would experience withdrawal symptoms if they stopped drinking.
Alcohol Overdose Rates:
Alcohol addiction kills about 95,000 people a year. Considering that many of these deaths are vehicular, alcoholism is one of the most expensive mental health issues and has cost the country as much as $249 billion a year.
Alcohol Overdose Symptoms:
If you believe someone is overdosing on alcohol (also called alcohol poisoning) it’s critical that you call 911 immediately. Treatment for alcohol poisoning includes stomach pumping to induce vomiting, activated charcoal to neutralize leftover alcohol in the stomach, and intravenous fluids to keep the person hydrated. Depending on the severity, a person may also need a tube inserted in their throat to ensure their airway stays open.
Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning Include:
- Slow breathing (less than eight breaths a minute)
- Irregular breathing (a gap of more than 10 seconds between breaths)
- Blue or pale skin
- Low body temperature
Relying on at-home remedies for intoxication can be lethal when it comes to alcohol poisoning.
Signs of Alcohol Addiction
The most recognizable signs of alcoholism are signs of frequent intoxication and indications of alcohol withdrawal when they haven’t had a drink in some time. This includes:
- Alcohol on the breath
- Loss of coordination or stumbling
- Slurred speech
- Bloodshot eyes
- Loss of memory (blackouts)
Changes in Behavior
- Irritability or large mood swings
- Making excuses for excessive or frequent drinking like relaxing, stress, or feeling normal.
- Drinking instead of tending to your responsibilities and obligations
- Becoming isolated and distant from friends and family members
- Drinking alone or in secret
- Feeling hungover when not drinking
Effects of Alcohol
If you think someone is drinking excessively, there are tell-tale signs of intoxication you can look for:
- Loss of motor control
- Lack of inhibition
- Passing out
- Slurred speech
- Falling down
- Alcohol on the breath
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can begin as soon as five hours after your last drink. But for some people, symptoms may take longer to develop. Because alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening, you should never attempt an alcohol detox at home. Symptoms are:
The most serious possibility for alcohol withdrawals is called delirium tremens (or DTs) which can start about three days after the last drink. DTs can lead to deadly seizures which is why it’s important to always use a medical detox when quitting alcohol.
The Tree House Approach to Alcohol Addiction Treatment
There are three phases necessary to treat alcohol addiction effectively. It starts with medical detox to help overcome withdrawal symptoms and is followed by an evidence-based treatment program. The last step is creating an individual maintenance plan that includes relapse prevention strategies and life skills.
Detoxing from alcohol can be dangerous and should not be done at home. The best way to start your journey away from alcohol is with a medically assisted detox where you’ll have 24-hour supervision. Doctors can also prescribe tapering medications that will decrease the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Once your physical dependence to alcohol decreases, it’s important to pursue further treatment that will address the root cause of your addiction. Detox is not enough to create a long term sobriety.
While Tree House Recovery does not offer a medical detox program, we can refer you to one of our trusted partners.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment
Bringing alcohol addiction into remission means understanding the reasons you enjoy or crave being intoxicated. To do that requires therapies that address addiction’s three components:
- Biology: Just as the brain affects the body, the body affects the brain. That’s why all good treatment programs include a fitness component.
- Psychological: Unmasking trauma, negative thought patterns, and learning coping skills is vital to sobriety. So is learning what triggers cravings.
- Social: Forming deep meaningful connections, finding support communities, and avoiding isolation are all necessary to create long-term enjoyable sobriety.
There are challenges waiting in life that may not exist while in rehab. That’s why creating an aftercare maintenance plan is crucial. Every aftercare plan is different, but many include healthy lifestyle activities, hobbies, therapeutic exercises, and plans for new social/sober communities to join.
Find a Holistic Approach to Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Tree House Recovery
If you’re struggling with an alcohol addiction, we understand how difficult it is to ask for help. But the first step on your journey to recovery is admitting that you need assistance overcoming addiction.
Tree House Recovery in Wilmington, NC offers an evidence-based treatment program that incorporates all three aspects of addiction: the physical, mental, and social. Our program is designed to help men and women overcome their unique challenges and develop the skills they need to live a fulfilling life in sobriety.
Contact us at 910-812-1728 or reach out online today to learn more.