Most people can have a drink or two and never suffer a day in their lives. Others never develop a taste for alcohol and choose not to drink at all. Then, there are the millions of Americans who become addicted to alcohol at some point in their lives who could use an alcoholic rehab. For these people, there is no such thing as one or two drinks.
Most people addicted to alcohol have an average of ten drinks per day. This number doesn’t include the days where they binge drink and consume dozens of drinks. There is actually a medical term for people who abuse alcohol – Alcohol Use Disorder. About ten percent of Americans suffer from this disease.
When people realize – or are told – they have a problem with alcohol, they try all kinds of things to quit. One dangerous thing people do is quit drinking cold-turkey. They don’t realize that their brain has changed due to their years of drinking. The brain simply doesn’t react to the absence of alcohol the way it would in someone without alcohol dependence.
Why It’s Important to Take Advantage of an Alcoholic Rehab
For people who have a dependence on alcohol, certain things happen in their brain. When they have too much alcohol, their brain reacts one way. It causes slurred speech, stumbling, and coordination problems. When they have too little alcohol, the brain also has a certain reaction. Rather than thank them for avoiding alcohol, it rebels.
If you suddenly quit drinking alcohol, your brain is going to go into shock. You may suffer from panic attacks and even seizures due to alcohol withdrawal. Your brain is used to receiving the stimulation of alcohol and your neurotransmitters won’t know how to react.
In order to safely and comfortably withdraw from alcohol, you want to rely on a superior alcoholic rehab center. They will be by your side with experienced medical professionals specifically trained on how to handle people in alcohol withdrawal. They can administer certain medications to make your detox less dangerous and less uncomfortable.
You Can Safely Detox at an Alcohol Treatment Center
One problem unique to people dependent on alcohol is something called the kindling effect. Each time you relapse and start drinking again, your body and brain build a stronger and stronger tolerance to alcohol. This means that every time you quit drinking, the withdrawal is going to get worse.
When you quit drinking the first time, your brain has a struggle with not receiving the alcohol. Each time you resume drinking and try to quit again, your body has a harder time adjusting to the loss. The brain has a harder time every time you quit. It is so used to the changes in how its neurotransmitters work, that it cannot handle the change.
Essentially, your withdrawal symptoms are worse every time you quit drinking. As the name kindling suggests, it is just like a fire. In order to keep a fire growing, you continue to feed it with kindling. Your dependence on alcohol works the same way. The dependence gradually gets stronger and stronger every time you feed it.
What Are the Effects of Kindling?
Repeated relapses not only increase the withdrawal symptoms but also increase your body’s sensitivity to the withdrawal itself. The first time you experience kindling, most of the effects are emotional. This usually happens after the second or third relapse. The effects include:
As your illness progresses, the kindling has a physical impact on your body. After repeated attempts at getting sober, the body will go through delirium tremens, otherwise known as the DTs. Symptoms of DT include:
- Mood changes
- Fever, sweating, and chest pains
The seizures caused by alcohol withdrawal can be deadly if not treated properly. It is certainly not something you want to attempt to resolve on your own.
The best way to overcome kindling is to attend an inpatient, medically-assisted detox. You should consider checking into an alcoholic rehab program. Your doctor will be able to prescribe medications to help you overcome the symptoms of the DTs and withdrawal. These medications are used on a short-term basis. The goal is not to replace one addiction with another. This is why it’s important to take advantage of a full spectrum, medical alcoholic rehab program.