2. Then, alcohol detox if necessary – Alcohol withdrawal generally begins 3-5 hours after the last drink, but may not require anything more than medical supervision. During the detox period of alcohol rehabilitation, you will be monitored by medical staff 24-7 to make sure that the withdrawal is not complicated or dangerous. In extreme cases of alcohol withdrawal, medication may be necessary to prevent or treat seizures or DTs (delirium tremens). But in most cases, medical staff will only need to monitor you to ensure safety.
Drug addiction causes sufferers to experience physical and psychological dependency on illicit, mind-altering substances. Habitual drug use causes changes in the structure and operation of the brain that deepen and reinforce drug addiction, to the point where a desire to stop using drugs is not enough to make it happen. Drug addiction is a destroyer of hopes, dreams, and lives, but with inpatient treatment plus a comprehensive aftercare program drug addicts can find lasting relief from the ravages of chemical dependency, regardless of how long they’ve been addicted.
Drug addiction treatment can typically be divided into three phases: detox, therapy and long-term recovery. When discussing the treatment of drug addiction, many people focus only on the first phase, detox; while detox is of course a crucial component of treatment, it is only one element and having gone through detox and withdrawal if an addict believes that their recovery is complete they are almost certainly doomed to fall back into addiction very quickly since the underlying causes of their addiction have not been addressed.
Mental health problems. If you suffer from a mental health problem, whether or not it has been diagnosed, and whether or not you take medication for it, you are at higher risk for addiction. Mental health problems include anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, bipolar personality disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to name a few.
For the average person who does not suffer from alcohol addiction, a drink every now and again is both normal and non-problematic. For the alcohol addict though, a single drink every few days is not enough. The addict’s body has become dependent on alcohol for daily functioning, while the mind is convinced that it is not possible to get through the day without drinking.
It’s vital to bear in mind that the process of recovery is not complete the moment you leave rehab – in fact, it is often best to work on the basis that recovery is never complete, and that it is a lifelong process at which you need to work continually in order truly to protect yourself from temptation and the chance of returning to the terrible condition of addiction.
Alcohol dependence or abuse rates were shown to have no correspondence with any person's education level when populations were surveyed in varying degrees of education from ages 26 and older. However, when it came to illicit drug use there was a correlation, in which those that graduated from college had the lowest rates. Furthermore, dependence rates were greater in unemployed populations ages 18 and older and in metropolitan-residing populations ages 12 and older.
Commitment and follow-through are key. Recovering from alcohol addiction or heavy drinking is not a quick and easy process. In general, the longer and more intense the alcohol use, the longer and more intense the treatment you’ll need. But regardless of the treatment program’s length in weeks or months, long-term follow-up care is crucial to your recovery.
If a person is experiencing seizures and hallucinations when attempting to stop drinking, it may be due to a condition called delirium tremens (DTs). This is a serious condition that requires medical intervention to detox from alcohol. Because of the risk of DTs, a person struggling with alcoholism should never attempt to quit drinking altogether. In order to withdraw from alcohol, medical detox is required.
The physician should have AA literature in the office (dates and places of meetings), have the AA phone number available, and know about other treatment services in the community, including referrals for medical consultants or specialists in chemical dependency. No randomized trials of AA have been performed, but a US Veterans Administration study suggested that patients who attended meetings did much better than those who refused to go.