Physical dependence on a drug can cause serious withdrawal symptoms if a person suddenly stops using the substance or severely reduces the dose. The withdrawal process itself can be uncomfortable and dangerous. Some of the classic signs of withdrawal include tremors, cold sweats, involuntary movements (e.g., jerking, twitching, or shaking), nausea and vomiting, muscle cramps and bone pain. Because withdrawal can be dangerous, proper medical detox can be a life-saving step in recovery.
As the brain matures, experiences prune excess neural connections while strengthening those that are used more often. Many scientists think that this process contributes to the steady reduction in gray matter volume seen during adolescence (depicted as the yellow to blue transition in the figure). As environmental forces help determine which connections will wither and which will thrive, the brain circuits that emerge become more efficient. However, this is a process that can cut both ways because not all tasks are desirable. The environment is like an artist who creates a sculpture by chipping away excess marble; and just like bad artists can produce bad art, environments with negative factors (like drugs, malnutrition, bullying, or sleep deprivation) can lead to efficient but potentially harmful circuits that conspire against a person's well-being. Coming KLEAN: Stories of Overcoming Addiction, The Documentary (Rated R)
Even relatively moderate drug use poses dangers. Consider how a social drinker can become intoxicated, get behind the wheel of a car, and quickly turn a pleasurable activity into a tragedy that affects many lives. Occasional drug use, such as misusing an opioid to get high, can have similarly disastrous effects, including overdose, and dangerously impaired driving.
As with treatment for most substance abuse problems, there are two angles to treating an alcohol problem. The first step is to break the physical dependence on alcohol. As mentioned above, cutting off alcohol after developing an addiction to it can cause withdrawal symptoms that could be severe enough to drive a patient back to drinking. For that reason, the detoxification process of treatment often involves the careful administration of drugs like anti-anxiety drugs to help wean the patient off their dependence on alcohol and through the process of acclimatizing to life without alcohol.
Though alcohol dependency may come in various guises, the chemistry at the heart of it is the same for everyone. When problematic drinking habits continue over a period of time, it leads to long-term electrical changes in the brain, which causes the compulsive attitude towards alcohol that characterises alcoholism. The brain is essentially being hijacked by chemicals, which steer the mind’s attention towards finding and consuming more alcohol.
We respect that your time and energy is limited. You want to make up for lost time with your friends and family, and commit yourself to your responsibilities. You are more than your past addiction, and while it is important to maintain strong bonds with the recovery community, it should no longer take up your whole life. Searidge’s aftercare program offers a variety of options that will work with your specific daily responsibilities and needs.
Alcohol addiction treatment at Priory is delivered as part of a comprehensive Addiction Treatment Programme. Our Addiction Treatment Programmes typically last for 28 days, and consist of you staying at one of our nationwide hospital sites on a residential basis, for the duration of this time. During treatment, you will have the opportunity to undergo a medically assisted withdrawal detoxification process if this is required, before undergoing intensive individual and group addiction therapy in order to address the source of your addictive behaviours, increase your self-awareness and take steps towards recovery. Whilst 28 days is the recommended treatment time for alcohol addiction, treatment lengths at Priory can be flexible according to your unique needs, requirements and commitments. How to Quit Drugs Without Rehab - Are Drug Addiction Rehab Facilities Even Effective Long Term?