Alcohol is the most commonly abused drug in the world, and is responsible for close to 300 billion dollars in lost revenue each year in the United States. This drug is sold in stores on every block and has been tied to human history and modes of celebration since man has been able to catalog events. Perhaps because of its acceptance as a social drug individuals don’t always recognize that they have a problem or have become dependent upon use of the drug. It starts off as a mostly social drug and then over time grows into a drug that is habitually used until finally the addict is unable to control his or her use. This is the cycle of alcoholism. Unfortunately, many alcoholics and individuals who abuse alcohol are prevented from understanding the seriousness of the drug because unlike an opiate withdrawal from alcohol may not even begin until days after cessation of use, and therefore are left with a feeling that it is “easy to quit” when that is the farthest thing from the truth.
Chemical dependency on alcohol can and does happen and with unpleasant results.
It is not at all uncommon for individuals who are alcoholics or even those around them to underestimate the dangers of the drugs or assess those mental, physical and social risks of the drug because it is legal. After all, could a drug as dangerous as heroin, meth or cocaine be sold at the grocery store? Most people would answer “no”. However, they would be wrong. Alcohol costs the US population more money and is the cause of more deaths than those more famous killer drugs. Alcoholics routinely damage brain and liver function, and are unable to sustain healthy and positive intimate and familial relationships.
Unlike heroin, alcohol is less obvious in its abuse. Most people do drink alcohol. Most people do not shoot up heroin. Its use often goes by unnoticed for various reasons until it reaches the tipping point. Beer is one of the most commonly abused versions, at least in the beginning. It contains usually 3-10% alcohol content, wine is a little more, and so alcoholics tend to graduate their use from these drugs to harder substances as their tolerance grows. By the time an individual is using vodka or whisky with regularity, they have reached a threshold of abuse.
What usually begins with a desire to feel and be gregarious and social can quickly escalate past social encounters and into individuals finding excuses to drink. When the individual reaches the point where they are drinking alone or are physically uncomfortable if they go a length of time without a drink, he or she has reached a level of addiction and dependency that requires treatment.
Despite its proliferation into grocery and even drug stores, alcohol is a dangerous drug. Withdrawal from long term alcohol abuse can cause delirium tremens, or DTs. DTs can be mild or violent. Many people have died from DTs even in hospital environments which is yet another reason why medical professionals will recommend that people who wish to stop their pattern of alcohol abuse do so in a drug or alcohol rehab or hospital setting.
All of our alcohol treatment patients will be safely detoxed from the effects of alcohol in a medically monitored environment. We have doctors and nurses with years of alcohol detoxification experience behind them to help our patients gently and safely withdraw from the drug and cleanse the body of its effects. The effects of withdrawal can be uncomfortable at times and therefore we have a 24 hour staff available to assist patients with this process and will intervene medically when necessary.
Once our patients have a successful detoxification experience we can then work on the underlying causes of abuse in our therapy programs. Much is now known about alcoholism and drug addiction. There are both genetic aspects to the condition and environmental. Some alcoholics and addicts have underlying comorbid disorders which affect their propensity to do a drug. Our assessment process is all about trying to understand the “whys” of a patient’s alcohol addiction and alcoholism so that we can tailor an appropriate treatment and recovery program for them. This will include individual therapy, group and peer counseling sessions, holistic and alternative methods, and recreational ventures.
Whatever works is our motto, and we are prepared to work with our patients to find the right path out of their addiction.