Most severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms occur in the first three to four days after stopping drinking. Detoxification involves taking a short course of medication to help reduce or prevent withdrawal symptoms. Medications such as Valium (diazepam), Librium (chlordiazepoxide), or Ativan (lorazepam), members of the benzodiazepine family, are usually used for detox.
Note: These PET scans compare the brain of an individual with a history of cocaine use disorder (middle and right) to the brain of an individual without a history of cocaine use (left). The person who has had a cocaine use disorder has lower levels of the D2 dopamine receptor (depicted in red) in the striatum one month (middle) and four months (right) after stopping cocaine use compared to the non-user. The level of dopamine receptors in the brain of the cocaine user are higher at the 4-month mark (right), but have not returned to the levels observed in the non-user (left).
As for programme length, residential rehab usually lasts between four and twelve weeks. Many experts believe that shorter programmes do not give patients enough time to recover while longer programmes run the risk of institutionalising patients and making them fearful of returning home. The one exception for longer stays is dual diagnosis. People recovering from a dual diagnosis circumstance may require longer stays.
Drugs affect the way a person thinks, feels, behaves and how they look. But substance use disorders are often accompanied by co-occuring mental health disorders like anxiety or depression. Some people may use drugs as a form of self-medication for these issues, while other people may develop a mental health disorder after taking substances. Either way, it’s important to look out for psychological and behavioral changes in friends or loved ones who might be struggling with addiction: Documentaries on Alcoholism | RecoveryNavigation.Com
As a person’s drug abuse turns into addiction, they will develop an increased tolerance to the drug, requiring larger doses of it in order to achieve the desired “high.” If addiction is left untreated, the end result is always devastation and loss on every level; the further along in the disease of addiction a person gets, the harder it will be for them to recover. Thus, treating drug addiction as soon as possible is always the best option.
At Priory, we recognise that without appropriate treatment, alcohol addiction can result in a whole host of long-term physical and psychological problems, and can even be fatal. However, it’s important to understand that you don’t’ have to struggle alone; alcohol addiction is treatable and our medically trained, expert addiction treatment team, consisting of psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists, are able to offer comprehensive and personalised alcohol addiction treatment at our specialist hospitals and wellbeing centres.
For example, someone with bipolar disorder that suffers from alcoholism would have dual diagnosis (manic depression + alcoholism). In such occasions, two treatment plans are needed with the mental health disorder requiring treatment first. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 45 percent of people with addiction have a co-occurring mental health disorder.
Use any setbacks in recovery as a learning experience and recognise that while you may have made a mistake, you do not have to make it worse by continuing to drink. Get yourself to your nearest fellowship meeting or call your sponsor as soon as possible. You will then need to take a good look at what led to your setback. It is important that you take the time to do this so that you can avoid another occurrence in the future.

If you fear that your loved ones will reject or judge you, consider inviting them to a session with a substance abuse counselor or a 12-step meeting. Educating your loved ones about the realities of drug addiction may make them more receptive and supportive. Having the support of professionals and peers will also help you stick with your convictions about recovery.

Take an inventory of how you experience the craving. Do this by sitting in a comfortable chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands in a comfortable position. Take a few deep breaths and focus your attention inward. Allow your attention to wander through your body. Notice where in your body you experience the craving and what the sensations are like. Notice each area where you experience the urge, and tell yourself what you are experiencing. For example, “My craving is in my mouth and nose and in my stomach.” Rehab for Drug Addiction I The Feed
Another approach is to use medicines that interfere with the functions of the drugs in the brain. Similarly, one can also substitute the misused substance with a weaker, safer version to slowly taper the patient off of their dependence. Such is the case with Suboxone in the context of opioid dependence. These approaches are aimed at the process of detoxification. Medical professionals weigh the consequences of withdrawal symptoms against the risk of staying dependent on these substances. These withdrawal symptoms can be very difficult and painful times for patients. Most will have steps in place to handle severe withdrawal symptoms, either through behavioral therapy or other medications. Biological intervention should be combined with behavioral therapy approaches and other non-pharmacological techniques. Group therapies including anonymity, teamwork and sharing concerns of daily life among people who also suffer from substance dependence issues can have a great impact on outcomes. However, these programs proved to be more effective and influential on persons who did not reach levels of serious dependence.[37]

Inpatient medical residential treatment involves pharmaceutical therapy and medication management from health care professionals to help clients safely work through recovery. It’s at this time that co-occurring disorders are also diagnosed and evaluated (dual-diagnosis). Inpatient drug rehab centers like The Recovery Village are designed with clients in mind. The Recovery Village offers a variety of wellness programs, therapy options and medical support structures to ensure clients have the tools they need to heal.
Inpatient usually offers more services, but it tends to cost more. Outpatient is a less-expensive option that's generally safe and effective for people with mild or moderate alcohol withdrawal. It works best if your physical and mental health is good, your home is stable, you have support at home, and you don’t have a long history of problem drinking. Drug Addiction : How to Recover from Alcohol Addiction
But perhaps the biggest indicators of an alcohol problem are the withdrawal symptoms if a problem drinker goes without alcohol. A casual or moderate drinker can cut off their intake of alcohol with no adverse effects. If a problem drinker tries to do the same, they may feel some effects of withdrawal within eight hours of their last drink, such as the following:
In the past, alcohol rehab programs provided a standardized set of treatments for each patient, regardless of age, gender, psychiatric history, or demographic group. Today, alcohol treatment programs and alcohol treatment centers have become more specialized in order to meet the needs of a diverse, highly varied group of patients. Choosing a course of treatment has become more complicated, but the results of a careful search are likely to be more successful — and more satisfying to the individual.
Denial is common among those suffering with alcoholism. Your loved ones may have tried to discuss the problem with you, but you were unable to see things as clearly as them. Denial is one of the body’s defence mechanisms and is employed by the brain to protect you from a harsh reality. It can be useful for a short period but if it continues, can end up causing harm.
Living on a limited income is challenging enough; having to deal with recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction on a limited income is even more so. Finding help with treatment can make ease some of this burden, and it can help those struggling with addiction to get their lives back. Once recovery is in progress, it can help to be surrounded by others who understand and who can help the recovering individual through the process, such as by participating in self-help groups and other counseling programs.

Remember though, overcoming alcoholism is a process. Less than half of individuals relapse after achieving one year of sobriety. That number reduces to less than 15 percent who relapse after five years of sobriety. For the greatest chance of long-term sobriety after completing an inpatient or outpatient program, you should participate in local support groups and continue with counseling. Treating alcoholism is an investment in your future. It will not only make a huge difference in your life, but also the lives of those around you such as family members and friends. Rehab Nightmare: Drugs, Chains and Canes - Full Documentary - BBC Africa Eye
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