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Living With an Alcoholic

Living with an alcoholic can be like living with a deceitful child and it can be very frustrating. If the alcoholic in your home is your spouse, you might be thinking about divorce. If it is your parent, you might be the chosen scapegoat and blamed for everything and are thinking about running away. This is normal. It isn’t anybody’s fault. An alcoholic needs help… not to be abandoned. An alcoholic is very deceitful about his or her drinking. If you ask the person if they are drinking, they will deny it until they are blue in the face. There is no point discussing the drinking and fighting about the drinking unless you and other family members have a plan to get he or she into a detoxification facility.

An alcoholic will never show up at public events and make up lies on why they weren’t there. However, they might be better off not embarrassing you with the public drunkenness and taking the chance in getting another D.U.I. Alcoholics cannot even tell themselves the truth about the fact that they have a problem, don’t expect them to be true to you until they are sober.

An alcoholic will do whatever it takes to get that next drink. They will lie, cheat, and steal until they have another drink. If you don’t go get the booze for them, then they will go get it themselves and risk their life trying to do it.

Living with an alcoholic is frustrating because you have to let them hit the bottom before they can be helped. You and your family might have to force he or she into a facility. Don’t worry about hurting their feelings, you are helping them in the long run. Don’t think that the alcoholic in your home hates you. They might when they are drunk, but they don’t really. They just know that you know they have a problem, but can’t face it themselves.

Being the child of an alcoholic can be difficult especially if you are blamed for everything. Don’t worry. Alcoholics always choose one of the kids to blame for the problems associated with their drinking. It is not really you and they really don’t hate you. It is the alcohol that has taken over their body causing them to be mean and deceitful.

Living with an alcoholic can be made a positive experience when you understand the disease, and seek to get your family member the help they need.

Alcoholism Facts: Learn the Truth

Learning the facts on alcoholism can help save a family member’s life. Alcoholism is a disease that is treatable if treated properly and not left untreated for too long a period of time. If the disease goes untreated, alcohol will eventually have negative impacts on the liver and can lead to death.

So your dad has a beer every night when he gets home from work. That doesn’t mean he is an alcoholic. Neither does the fact that Larry drinks straight from the keg for almost an entire minute upside down only on Friday nights. The fact is that alcoholism is a disease. Alcoholism is a physiological disease that has control over the body. Alcoholism is not psychological and an alcoholic cannot make a rational decision on when to stop. An alcoholic cannot stop drinking on their own.

Symptoms that you might see from an alcoholic are bottles of liquor being stashed in the house in odd places. This means they are hiding the liquor. Alcoholics have been known to be closet drinkers and hide their drinking. Some alcoholics have been known to steal liquor, rather than paying for it because they don’t want anyone to know they are drinking. They will have plenty of money in their wallet or purse to pay for it. The concept is the hiding the drinking. Blacking out and not remembering things is another symptom. When the person is not drinking, they are vomiting or shaking and having major withdrawals until they have another drink in their system because their body needs it.

Some people believe in holding interventions for alcoholics and having them admit they have a problem. Alcoholic facts show that this is the first big step to recovery. It is hard for an alcoholic to admit they have a problem and usually they will not admit that until after they have been to treatment. An alcoholic will usually deny drinking and deny knowing anything about the bottle stashed under the kitchen sink in a shoe box.

Learning alcoholism facts can help you find out if one of your family members has a problem. Pay attention to the signs and symptoms of these facts and maybe you can save a family member or friend’s life.

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Learn the Alcoholism Signs

If you or someone you know has a problem with drinking alcohol, you should familiarize yourself with alcoholism signs. Both alcohol abuse and alcoholism can cause many different problems for the individual including health issues, legal troubles, and interpersonal struggles. The differences between the terms alcohol dependence and alcoholism can be controversial, but alcoholism is generally associated with a dependence on alcohol.

Here are some signs of alcoholism.

  • Needing to drink daily or frequently in order to function.
  • Drinking alone.
  • Being unable to stop or reduce drinking.
  • Finding and making excuses to drink.
  • Keeping alcohol consumption a secret from others.
  • Trembling in the morning before drinking.
  • Becoming angry when someone confronts the person about his or her alcohol consumption.

Individuals with an alcohol problem may become violent when drinking or may blackout and not remember events that occur while drinking. The individual may have poor eating habits and stop caring about personal hygiene. Alcohol becomes an obsession for the individual and other commitments and relationships often become less important than finding the next drink.

Individuals who show signs of alcoholism and who want to stop drinking should talk to their doctor or an alcohol counselor. Going to an AA meeting can also help a person come to terms with their drinking. Many alcoholics will deny that they have a problem, which can be very difficult for their family and friends.

Chronic heavy alcohol use produces a number of problems which may drive a person to get help. Health problems are common. Organs that help absorb and digest alcohol, like the liver, pancreas and stomach, are particularly vulnerable. Heavy drinkers are also more likely to have accidents and injuries.

Interpersonal, work, and legal problems can also influence an alcoholic to get help. Many alcoholics experience divorce, broken families, loss of jobs, arrests for drunk driving, and the loss of friends. These experiences may help the alcoholic see that she or he needs to get help and to stop drinking.

Alcoholism signs should not be ignored. If you or someone you know exhibits signs of alcoholism, you should explore treatment options. In patient treatment programs tend to have the most success, but out patient treatments can be used for individuals who are at a low risk for serious withdrawal symptoms and complications.

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How to Do Alcohol Detox at Home

Some individuals want privacy and the comfort of home during detox so they choose alcohol detox at home programs. 95 percent of individuals who stop drinking experience mild or moderate withdrawal symptoms. For these individuals, a home detox program may be one alternative.

Research shows that in patient detox programs tend to have better success than out patient programs. However, in some cases a home alcohol detox program may work better for an individual. There are circumstances that would make an individual want to detox at home such as family responsibilities, the need for privacy, or the greater comfort of familiar surroundings.

Regardless of where you decide to detox, you should be under the care of a physician. Although most people will not experience severe symptoms, those that do occur can be unpleasant or uncomfortable. By working with a doctor, you’ll be safer and the doctor can prescribe medications if the withdrawal symptoms become too unpleasant or if you need help with your alcohol cravings.

Alcohol detox at home has been used in various countries, including the United States for many years. Generally, this option should only be used when the risk of serious complications is low. Before beginning a home alcohol detox, you should consult with a medical professional so that the risk can be assessed and you can be cleared medically for the program.

Some studies indicate that patients may be more likely to seek treatment earlier when getting treatment at home is an option. Home treatment is also great for individuals in rural areas without easy access to in or out patient programs. Finally, detoxing at home can be much less expensive than pricey in patient programs.

Before you decide on detoxing at home, you need to consider your situation and assess what barriers you will have at home to your sobriety. For some people, in patient programs are more successful because of the more consistent social support and the access to medical professionals whenever needed. Consider whether the change of scenery will be a good or bad thing for your recovery.

Alcohol detox at home makes sense for some individuals, particularly if they are at a low risk for serious symptoms and there are few barriers at home to challenge the detox process. If you are interested in an at home alcohol detox program, consult with a medical professional about the process and to make sure that you are medically cleared to participate.

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Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment: What Can You Do?

Doctors recommend that individuals should have alcohol withdrawal treatment when they are attempting to quit drinking and detox. Research indicates that 95 percent of individuals who stop drinking alcohol will experience mild to moderate symptoms like headaches, sweating, rapid heart rate, shakes, or nausea. Another 5 percent will suffer sever symptoms that could be life threatening such as seizures, DTs, convulsions, and hallucinations.

Any individual who is detoxing should receive medical treatment and supervision. Inpatient treatment programs tend to be more successful than outpatient ones in part because of the increased support given to individuals in these programs. However, any treatment is better than no treatment at all.

Professionals may recommend several different types of treatment. Non-drug treatments can be used alone in individuals with mild symptoms or in combination with drug treatments for those with more moderate or severe symptoms. Non-drug treatments may include counseling, extensive social support, proper nutrition, acupuncture, and vitamin therapy among other alternatives.

Whether an individual chooses drug therapy or not, non-drug therapies often help individuals not only cope with symptoms of withdrawals, but also in the transition to non-drinking behaviors. Support is an essential element of treatment and should not be under-estimated. Physical cravings for alcohol will subside as detox time passes, but psychological dependence will still need to be dealt with.

For individuals with more severe symptoms or in various other situations, doctors might prescribe medications to help the person detox and stop drinking. Medications might include sedatives, anti-anxiety medications, and those that reduce cravings for alcohol. Antabuse, for example, produces effects like vomiting and dizziness if the individual consumes alcohol while taking the drug. This helps the individual stop drinking. A doctor should always oversee the use of such medications in case other side effects develop.

Opinions vary on what alcohol withdrawal treatments are best. Treatments to some degree vary from person to person, but doctors still disagree about the best ways to approach detox situations. You should talk to your doctor about what treatment they recommend and if you want, get a second opinion on how to handle detox from another doctor or rehab facility.

What researchers do agree on is that anyone attempting to detox needs an alcohol withdrawal treatment program. Whether the symptoms are mild or severe, detoxing can be unpleasant or even dangerous. Working with a doctor or rehab facility to detox will help keep the individual safe and enhance their chances of success.

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What to Expect When You Detox From Alcohol

A detox from alcohol is a program that rids the body alcohol and provides a physical and mental readjustment to life without the addictive substance. A detox program can be in an inpatient rehab center or conducted on an outpatient basis. Medications are used in some circumstances to reduce the symptoms of withdrawal and help reduce the alcoholic’s need for a drink.

Alcoholics need to detox from alcohol before other treatments and therapies can begin. With alcohol still in the body, the alcoholic will continue to physically crave the substance and recovery will be even more difficult to achieve. Anyone attempting to detox should be under the care of a medical profession and inpatient treatment centers are highly recommended.

Withdrawal symptoms can be mild to severe and some may require medication to treat. Some individuals may experience shaking or sweating as the body detoxes. Symptoms like headaches, nausea, anxiety, and a rapid heartbeat may accompany shaking and sweating. Hangover symptoms of someone who drinks occasionally stimulates the effects of withdrawal from more chronic use.

These mild to moderate symptoms are generally not considered dangerous, although some doctors may prescribe medications to help with them. The symptoms are more uncomfortable and irritating than dangerous. Cravings for alcohol often accompany the symptoms, making sobriety difficult to achieve.

More severe withdrawal symptoms include hallucinations, convulsions, seizures, delirium tremors, and cardiovascular disturbances. Currently, there are no known cures for delirium tremors, or DT’s. Because of the seriousness of these severe withdrawal symptoms and the fact that death can occur as a person attempts to detox, medical help is essential.

Many factors influence which symptoms a person will develop when she is detoxing from alcohol, such as the individual’s alcohol consumption history. Although some can be uncomfortable or unpleasant, it is important to remember that continuing to drink will cause severe physical and mental problems. While the detox symptoms can last for several days or weeks, stopping will help prevent more serious health problems from occurring.

Individuals who wish to detox from alcohol should consult with a medical professional and enter a rehab program if at all possible. Detox under the supervision of a doctor and therapist can alleviate or reduce the symptoms that the individual might encounter. The social support can also help the individual through the detox process and give the person a better chance to stay sober.

What are the Three Alcoholism Stages?

Studies suggest that there are three alcoholism stages that individuals go through if they continue to drink. The stages can each last for a number of years before the next one happens. The stages can be grouped into early, middle, and late alcoholism. By understanding the three stages, you will be better able to see problems developing in yourself or in loved ones.

Early Stages

In early stages of alcoholism, an individual begins to drink to affect their moods, forget about problems, and think more about alcohol. Physically, the individual needs to drink larger quantities of alcohol in order to get the same effects that he used to get from smaller amounts. The person may also appear to be functioning normally even when she is drinking large quantities of alcohol.

With early stages, it is likely that neither the person nor the people around them will recognize the signs of beginning alcoholism. Higher functioning while drinking contributes to this as well as the improvement in mood while drinking.

Middle Stages

By the middle stages of alcoholism, individuals are experiencing a greater need to drink. Drinking larger and larger amounts and beginning to drink earlier in the day are common signs. The individual’s tolerance from the early stages begins to disappear and the individual become drunk more easily. Withdrawal symptoms can occur if the person stops drinking or cuts back.

The person may deny that drinking is a problem, but he can no longer judge how much alcohol his body can handle. Stomach problems, blackouts, and hangovers may be common.

Late Stages

During late or end stages of alcoholism, the individual becomes obsessed with drinking. Others can often identify a problem and the individual neglects other aspects of their life in favor of alcohol. Mental and physical health deteriorates as many of the body’s organs have been damaged. Relationships are also damaged or destroyed.

If the individual continues to drink, alcohol will eventually kill the person. Suicide, injuries, or accidents are common as well as death due to the health issues created over time. Malnutrition, liver damage, B1 deficiencies, and damaged cells all contribute to health issues.

Understanding the stages of alcoholism can help you get assistance for a loved one or for yourself. Learn about the warning signs of alcoholism and do something if you see a problem developing. Alcoholism stages will continue unless the drinking is stopped and the person commits to sobriety.

Understanding Your Alcohol Detox Medication Options

During an alcohol detox program, doctors often prescribe an alcohol detox medication to help alcoholics deal with withdrawal symptoms and to help them resist drinking in the future. A number of drugs are commonly used and researchers continue to look for more options to fight alcoholisms. Doctors prescribe the medications for different aspects of the recovery process.

If you’re doctor recommends using a detox medication, find out as much information as you can about the medication. Knowing about potential side effects, uses, and how to properly take the drug will help you feel more comfortable with the drug and will increase your chances of success with it. Be sure to ask your doctor about any questions that you have and any side effects that you might encounter.

Some of the common detox medications that doctors prescribe include:

 

  • Acamprosate (Campral) helps control a person’s craving for alcohol. This medication is often used after detox to help the individual continue sobriety.

 

 

  • Disulfiram (Antabuse) makes an individual feel ill when they consume alcohol. The pleasurable effects of alcohol are slowed down and the person feels sick.

 

 

  • Naltrxone (ReVia) operates in the same way that disulfiram does.

 

 

  • Thiamine (Vitamin B1) can help prevent Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which causes permanent brain damage to some chronic alcoholics.

 

 

  • Anti-Anxiety medications may be used to treat delirium tremens which can happen during withdrawal.

 

 

  • Sedatives can be prescribed to help treat common withdrawal symptoms like headaches and nausea.

 

 

  • Painkillers are also sometimes prescribed for convulsions and seizures that can happen during detox.

 

Depending on the situation, doctors may prescribe other medications. In addition, other therapies may be used in detox situations including counseling, proper nutrition, acupuncture, and other ways to help support the individual going through detox.

Studies show that inpatient detox programs are more successful than outpatient ones. This could be due to the increased support and medical supervision of withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your doctor or alcohol counselor about what options and medications may be right for your individual situation.

An alcohol detox medication can help you get and stay sober. However, you should think of medication as one part of a larger strategy. By approaching alcoholism from multiple angles, you’ll be more likely to find a treatment that works for you.

Healing an Addiction at a Drug Alcohol Rehab Program

Going to a drug alcohol rehab program doesn’t give you a 100 percent guarantee that you’re going to kick your habit, but it’s a good place to start.

What Drug Alcohol Rehab Programs are About

Drug alcohol rehab programs are solely about helping the addict recover. These places are safe places where drug addicts and alcoholics can recover from their addiction without having access to drugs or alcohol. These centers are located all over the country. Most of them require the patient to stay in the center. This is to keep them from gaining access to drugs and alcohol while they’re in the middle of their recovery. Addicts are very susceptible to relapses, so it’s best that they’re physically removed from substances.

Every drug and alcohol rehab program is different. Some of them are faith based and others are not. They all include some sort of therapy including group therapy, individual therapy, family therapy or a combination of both. Some drug alcohol rehab programs are free and others cost money. If you can find a drug alcohol rehab program that specializes in your particular addiction, it’s best to go to this center.

Drug alcohol rehab programs also have detoxification centers. This is where an addict or alcoholic goes while their body is withdrawing from the abused substance. Withdrawal is an ugly experience to watch and an even uglier one to go through. Withdrawal symptoms include profuse sweating, seizures, hallucinations, dehydration, stomach cramping, vomiting, cramps and other mental and physical side effects. Withdrawal symptoms vary according to the type of addiction a person has. They tend to be more intense in addicts and alcoholics that have been involved with an addiction for a long period of time. An addict or alcoholic will spend roughly seven days in the detox center. They usually start therapy when they leave detox.

Unfortunately, these places cannot guarantee that the addict will heal. Addiction is a physical as well as a psychological problem. Because there are so many components involved with addiction, it’s very hard for a person to recover.

What to Expect

If you’re going to a drug alcohol rehab program, expect to go through one of the hardest couple of months of your life. If you’re going into one of these programs, you’re probably well aware that kicking a drug or alcohol addiction isn’t easy. If it were, you wouldn’t need to go to the drug alcohol rehab program and you certainly wouldn’t be reading this article.

Drug and alcohol rehab is a mentally, physical and emotionally exhausting process. When an addict is deprived of drugs or alcohol, they have to face all the painful issues in their life. They have to face all of the things that drove them to the substance. They have to face all of the people they’ve hurt. They have to face themselves and the destruction they’ve done to their lives.

However, if a person can complete a drug alcohol rehab program, they’ll learn important skills to help them continue fighting the addiction for the rest of thier lives.

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The Ugliness of Alcoholism Withdrawal

Alcoholism withdrawal is a very real and very serious problem that requires medical attention and follow up treatment.

What is Alcoholism Withdrawal?

Alcoholism withdrawal is a body’s response to not having enough alcohol. This happens to serious alcoholics when they do not give their body alcohol for a period of time. Because alcoholics feed their bodies excessive amounts of alcohol every day, their bodies go into withdrawal when they are deprived of alcohol for a period of time. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can last 5-10 days after the person has had their last drink. Sometimes it lasts longer, especially if the person is also a drug user.

Sometimes alcohol withdrawal symptoms are nominal. A person may experience some shaking or get the sweats. The technical term for this is delirium tremens (DT). In more advanced stages of DT, the person will become confused, anxious or hallucinate. Mild symptoms of alcoholism withdrawal include rapid heart rate, vomiting, enlarged pupils, clammy skin and abnormal eyelid movement. Very serious alcoholism withdrawal symptoms include fever, convulsions and blackouts. Severe alcohol withdrawal problems can be compounded if the person has also been using other drugs, including tobacco.

If you or someone you love is experiencing alcohol withdrawal, they need to see a doctor. These symptoms can become sever and can result in serious health problems so they need to be treated. Fortunately, many people who experience alcohol withdrawal have been put in the hospital or are in being detoxified. Detoxifying a person means that they have been confined to an area (usually a hospital) and have been forced not to drink for a period of time.

Doctors will monitor the symptoms and will be able to help in the event that the person experiences seizure. They can also prescribe medication that will help ease the feelings of anxiety and restlessness. However, the doctor may not give an alcoholic these medications because they want the body to get to a normal, drug-free state. They also may not want the alcoholic to trade one addiction for another.

Doctors can also provide someone who’s going through alcoholism withdrawal with emotional support. They can lead a willing alcoholic to support groups and help them find treatment plans.

Avoiding the Tipping Point

Alcoholism is a tricking disease because it can sneak up on people. An alcoholic usually starts out as a social drinker. They drink with friends on weekends and have a few drinks a couple of times a week. Then the number of drinks and the frequency with which they drink increases. However, they may not notice this because they’re preoccupied with other things in their lives.

To keep yourself from slipping into alcoholism, pay very close attention to your drinking habits. If you’re frequently in situations that involve alcohol, keep a written record of when you drink and how much you drink. Also, pay attention to your genetics. If alcoholism runs in your family, you’re much more likely to be an alcoholic than someone who does not have alcoholism in their family. Alcoholism withdrawal is a wicked experience, but it can be avoided if you make a serious effort not to go down that road.