Alcoholism: Risk Factors, Signs, and Symptoms

Basics of Alcohol DetoxAlcohol detox helps a person start recovering from alcohol, yet the process is more complicated than its simple definition would suggest.  Overseen by a doctor or other medical professional, detox aids with withdrawal symptoms. It is a difficult process for any addict, especially those who have gone through it before and know what is coming: fierce mood swings, vomiting, extreme headaches, nightmares, shaking, and sometimes more severe symptoms such as seizures and delirium.  However, heavier drinkers often are the only patients who should worry these latter symptoms.  Withdrawal varies from person to person, depending upon age, sex, and other aspects of their background.  What kind of substance was abused also factors into the length and difficulty of detox.

Quitting an addiction is more difficult with more detrimental substances—cocaine, meth, and heroine among them. Detox is an absolute necessity.  It helps make the basis for a successful treatment.  If there is no detox, there will still be toxins in the body from alcohol consumption, causing more alcohol cravings, and as such, there can be no successful start to any treatment under these conditions: it sets a person up for failure from the beginning. Some alcohol abusers should consider a professional clinic.  If there are other health risks present, withdrawal will only be more arduous.  Previous failed attempts at detox are another reason medically supervised efforts can make detox successful. General practitioners are certainly competent, and the medication is often the same too, but medical professionals have more experience with cases of complicated detox, and can better handle any complications.

Yet people should consider where to go for treatment.  Alcohol detox centers usually have different ways of handling detox. The subtle variances between them can make or break the success for an addict.  Alcoholics should always inform the medical staff if he or she is imbibing any other drugs along with alcohol: it affects the kind of drugs and treatment needed.  The medication used in detox is a large source of helping a person.  Xanax and Valium help ease pain, while electrolytes and fluids replenish the body of lost nutrients.  Part of the medication process actually involves vitamins, too.  When alcoholics finally make it to detox, alcohol has depleted their bodies of necessary vitamins.  Vitamin B, specifically B1, often gets distributed to patients.  An insufficiency of vitamin B is one of many problems contributing to complications later on for a long term alcoholic, the brain usually receiving most of the damage for vitamin B deficiency.

Alcohol detox is just the initial step to the good of recovery.  It not only makes the body a clean slate for rehab, but also the mind, which is where substance abuse problems originate.


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