Overcoming Alcohol Use Disorder
Who does Alcohol Use Disorder Affect?
Alcohol is not subjective, nor is it selective, because of its accessibility and availability, it can affect anyone at any age and any walk of life. Though there are laws and regulations regarding consumption, alcohol seems to be one of those substances that is tangible and does not discriminate, which increases the risk of Alcohol abuse, leading to Alcohol Use Disorder.
Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) currently affects more than 15 million people in the United States. Alcohol is the fourth leading preventable cause of death in America and according to the NIAAA, approximately 88,000 people die each year due to an alcohol-related cause. Also, a shocking 401,000 adolescents ages 12-17 have had AUD, while the remaining 14.4 million are 18 or older.
What are the Signs?
Signs of Alcohol dependency can range from immediately apparent to gradually apparent depending on the person. Those who have an alcohol dependency can isolate themselves and choose to be secretive about their activities and consumption. There are many signs and symptoms related to AUD. that can help you or a loved one recognize alcohol dependency.
To assess whether you or a loved one may have AUD, here are some questions to ask.
- Had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer than you intended?
- More than once wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?
- Spent a lot of time drinking? Or being sick or getting over the aftereffects?
- Experienced craving — a strong need, or urge, to drink?
- Found that drinking — or being sick from drinking — often interfered with taking care of your home or family? Or caused job troubles? Or school problems?
- Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends?
- Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure, in order to drink?
- More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)?
- Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem? Or after having had a memory blackout?
- Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want? Or found that your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before?
- Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, or sweating? Or sensed things that were not there?
What to Expect and How to Seek Help
If you find yourself concerned with your answers to any of these questions, you seek out support and assistance immediately to help yourself or your loved one decide what to do next. There are many ways to begin the recovery process, and one of the first things that you must do is recognize that your body must detox from alcohol. This can be a difficult process without support so seeking out treatment options such as New Outlook Detox or entering into a rehabilitation facility is ideal to overcome the withdrawal process.
There is no concrete timeline for alcohol withdrawal; however, it is typically held that withdrawal will follow the following general timeline, as detailed by the National Library of Medicine (NLM).
- Roughly 8 hours after the first drink: The first stage of withdrawal symptoms may begin.
- After 24-72 hours: Symptoms generally peak in this time period, and stage 2 and 3 symptoms can rapidly manifest.
- 5-7 days later: Symptoms may start to taper off and decrease in intensity.
- Beyond the first week: Some side effects, particularly the psychological ones, may continue for several weeks without treatment.
The most serious form of alcohol withdrawal is delirium tremens (DTs), which occurs in 3-5 percent of individuals in alcohol withdrawal, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, and it can be fatal without treatment.
Alcohol withdrawal side effects and symptoms can be broken down into three stages:
- Stage 1: Stress or anxiety, sleep deprivation, nausea/vomiting, and abdominal pain are characteristic of this stage, which begins 8 hours after the last drink.
- Stage 2: High blood pressure, increased body temperature, unusual heart rate, and confusion come with this stage, which begins 24-72 hours after the last drink.
- Stage 3: Hallucinations, fever, seizures, and agitation come with this stage, which tends to begin 2-4 days after the last drink.
How New Outlook Detox Can Help
New Outlook Detox offers detoxification services for safe alcohol withdrawal management and guidance in seeking long-term treatment. Every individual who walks through our doors is family to us, and we are dedicated to helping you or your loved one find their path to recovery. Contact Us for more information regarding Alcohol Detox Services.
Moving Forward after Detox
Unlike other addictive substances, alcohol is legal to those over age 21 and readily accessible. Numerous people drink on a regular basis with no issues. Alcohol Use Disorder is difficult to overcome due to its accessibility and social acceptance. After detoxing from Alcohol, the next steps in recovery are crucial to your sobriety. We encourage seeking outpatient or inpatient treatment, Alcoholics Anonymous, and counseling for yourself and your family. Our affiliated non-profit organization, Family Life Center, can provide resources for your next steps for recovery.