The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that over 18 million American youth, teens, and adults have an alcohol use disorder. Unlike some other addictions, such as cocaine or certain prescription drugs, alcohol dependence does not happen after a single use; it emerges from a pattern of long-term alcohol abuse.
Is Alcohol Addictive?
Alcohol is considered the most commonly abused yet legally purchased addictive substance in the nation. The chemical properties of alcohol have physical and psychological effects on the user. When you drink, your body produces excess dopamine and endorphins.
These are the chemicals responsible for producing feelings of joy, satisfaction, and pleasure. They also act as the body’s natural pain reliever. Long-term abuse of alcohol leads to functional and physical (structural) changes in your brain, including alterations in its chemistry.
The longer you drink, the more you “want” to drink to ensure you can repeat or maintain the feelings of happiness and pleasure that result from drinking. Without help from a Texas treatment program, alcohol abuse often evolves into alcohol dependence and addiction.
Does Alcohol Cause Withdrawal Symptoms?
Alcohol is addictive because it alters how the brain perceives reward. The brain’s reward system is essential because it influences critical behaviors, including eating, sleeping, working, and socializing. Alcohol changes the way your brain sends messages back and forth. Over time, your brain and central nervous system become accustomed to having alcohol around, making it difficult to function without it.
When you decide to get sober, and the levels of alcohol in your body suddenly drop, your brain continues to seek alcohol, which causes withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe. How withdrawal impacts you depends on how long you have struggled with alcohol and how often you drink.
What are Common Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?
The signs and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal will vary from person to person. But, like withdrawal from many other substances, there are several common symptoms most people may experience. Typical early withdrawal symptoms include headache, anxiety, depression, mood swings, cloudy thinking, sleeping problems, stomach upset, appetite changes, and shaking or tremors.
Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms (sometimes called AWS) can occur in those who struggle with severe alcohol addiction. The most significant of these is DTs or delirium tremens. DTs are shaking and tremors you may experience when detoxing from alcohol. Delirium tremens often occur in individuals suffering from severe alcohol addiction, extreme alcohol withdrawal symptoms, or who have completed detox before. Unfortunately, DTs can lead to seizures, making them one of the more life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. DTs are, unfortunately, relatively common.
Some statistics show they occur in between 5 and 14% of alcohol withdrawal cases. The most common symptoms of DTs are fatigue, intense confusion, fever, hallucinations, and the increased potential for life-threatening seizures.
How to Find Alcohol Detox Programs Near Garland, Texas?
The decision to seek addiction treatment is not easy. If you or a loved one struggles with addiction and is ready to begin your journey to sobriety, contact the caring admission staff at Dallas Detox Center today. Let the staff members of our Dallas-area rehab work with you to develop an individualized alcohol detox and withdrawal plan.
Defeating alcohol addiction can be challenging. Achieving and maintaining lasting sobriety requires ongoing work and commitment; however, the dedication to your health and an addiction-free life are more than worth the effort. If you are ready to start a new journey free from alcohol today, contact the Dallas Detox Center for more information about our luxury Texas detox treatment.