Treatment for Alcohol Addiction
The treatment for alcohol addiction starts with the first step of any recovery process: accepting the fact that a problem exists, and that the problem must be treated. People with alcohol dependency tend to be reluctant in acknowledging that they have a disorder at all, and making this first step toward acceptance can be a process in itself. The impact that alcohol abuse has on all aspects of a person’s life makes it necessary that this type of problem is professionally treated. As Herbert Gravitz and Julie Bowden said,
“Alcoholism is a devastating, potentially fatal disease. The primary symptom of having it is telling everyone–including yourself–that you are not an alcoholic.”
Treating alcoholism by merely cutting back on consumption will not help deal with the disease. “Solutions” like this only enable the addiction by making it seem like drinking in smaller quantities is more acceptable. The truth is, it’s not. Treatment will require a person to give up alcohol completely, and putting down the bottle for good is one of the biggest changes an alcoholic will have to make. No matter a person’s strength, the temptation to fall back into drinking habits is too compulsive. A person cannot deal with these feelings on their own: they need professional help and a proper intervention plan to implement true change in their behavior.
Alcohol and The Brain
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. It has the tendency to reduce and inhibit brain activity, either partially or completely. Alcohol influences gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, which is a neurotransmitter. The interaction of alcohol and these GABA receptors explains why people feel relaxed and at ease when drinking. When a person over-drinks, GABA pathways are overstimulated, and this is when those feelings of contentment and relaxation are amplified to the point of over-sedation: entire body function is affected as a result.
A person will begin slurring their speech, and their ability to walk is impaired. Simple conversations become incoherent, memory loss is common, and sometimes total blackouts occur; where an individual drinks so excessively that the alcohol prevents the brain from forming new memories.
When a person drinks on a regular basis, the brain becomes accustomed to the presence of alcohol in its neurotransmitters. The brain eventually develops a tolerance towards the substance, and its effects are lessened unless the user consumes more and more, which is where we see addicts begin to spiral and lose their grasp on reality.
Alcohol and The Body
In this strive for emotional oblivion, users tend to remain ignorant of the negative impacts that alcohol casts on life and health. Aside from alcohol’s effect on the brain, it can lead to severe cardiovascular implications. A person can develop alcoholic cardiomyopathy, a chronic condition that weakens heart muscles and affects its ability to pump blood. Alcoholism also heightens the chance of a stroke and can even lead to hepatitis, a leading cause in liver failure.
Alcoholism and The Family
Alcoholism also has a heavy impact on the family, social and professional life of the user. Alcoholism has been a significant reason for the increased divorce rate in the country. Teenage drinking problems have been traced back to influence from alcoholic parents. 18,000 people have died from alcohol-related vehicle collisions this year alone. These reasons make it necessary for alcoholism to be treated professionally: bringing a person back to a healthy and responsible life affects their own state as well as the lives of everyone around them.
Content for Arizona Addiction Recovery Centers created by Cohn Media, LLC. Passionate and creative writing and broadcasting, covering addiction rehab, health care, entertainment, technology and restaurants. Advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity. www.cohn.media
Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Arizona Addiction Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 888.512.1705.