how long does it take to detox from alcohol

How Long Does it Take to Detox from Alcohol?

Alcohol addiction and the length of detox is dependent upon a variety of factors due to the severity of the addiction. Alcohol is a powerful substance that can cause extreme physical and mental effects. Long-term abuse can result in damage to many vital organs, including the kidneys, liver, and heart.

In addition to possible health risks, alcohol abuse can also lead to bad choices. Some of these choices could result in severe harm or death to one’s self or others. Driving while intoxicated or having unprotected sex are two potentially dangerous risks of binge drinking or abusing alcohol.

Many people who struggle with an addiction to alcohol eventually reach a point where they realize they have a problem. At this point, they may wish to get help. For various reasons, some of these people try to get clean on their own by attempting self-detox. 

Though these attempts are grounded in good intentions, they’re commonly unsuccessful and can lead to the user giving in to the temptation for another drink; thus, the cycle of addiction picks up right where it left off.

Signs of Alcohol Addiction 

Alcoholism is a serious illness that not only hurts the user but those around them as well. Alcohol addiction can take over your life if not treated sooner rather than later. But no matter what stage you’re in, recovery is possible.

Recognizing the signs of alcohol addiction allows you to put a stop to overdrinking. The sooner you’re aware, the sooner you can take action. While there is no exact formula for determining whether or not someone is an alcoholic, symptoms often co-occur. 

Many alcoholics experience similar symptoms. Although every patient’s challenge is unique, there are similarities within all kinds of addictions.

Some of the more common symptoms of alcohol abuse are:

  • Experiencing temporary blackouts or short-term memory loss
  • Exhibiting signs of irritability and extreme mood swings
  • Making excuses for drinking such as to unwind, deal with stress or feel normal
  • Choosing to drink over more important obligations
  • Becoming isolated and distant from those close to you
  • Drinking alone or in isolation
  • Feeling hungover when not drinking
  • Changing appearance and group of friends you hang out with

No matter how minor a drinking problem may appear, alcohol abuse symptoms should not be ignored. Choosing to detox from alcohol is a choice that can turn your entire life around. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be time for you to enroll in treatment and begin the detox process.

Recognizing Alcohol Addiction

Determining alcoholism starts with understanding what kinds of questions to ask. There are multiple screening tools we use to assess our patients. One tool is known by the acronym CAGE – a questionnaire that measures the severity of an alcohol problem. If you answer “yes” to two or more CAGE questions, we strongly recommend that you call us today. We’re here to help. 

The four CAGE screening questions are:

  1. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
  2. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  3. Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
  4. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get over a hangover?

Whether it’s you or a loved one struggling with alcohol addiction, it’s sometimes hard to see the situation from a non-biased perspective. We urge you to look at things from an honest angle. Ask yourself these questions and answer them truthfully.

There is no shame in going through obstacles. You have the power to change your life and use your pain to catapult you forward. To begin the recovery process, medical detox is necessary. Keep reading to learn more about how a detox from alcohol could help. 

So, How Long Does it Take to Detox from Alcohol?

For anyone serious about getting sober, medical detox is a necessary and crucial first step of the recovery process. Self-detox is not only dangerous but can also have fatal consequences. With professional assistance, it’s considered a safe and effective method of treatment.

The amount of time it will take to complete medical detox from alcohol will vary from person to person. Generally, this process takes about 7-10 days. However, several factors will help determine the exact time frame, as well as the severity of the withdrawal symptoms each faces. 

Some of these include:

  • How long the individual been drinking
  • Whether alcohol consumption is used in conjunction with any other addictive substances
  • How much alcohol the individual consume daily
  • Whether the individual has co-occurring mental health symptoms that could have resulted from the long-term abuse or a co-occurring mental disorder

Medically-assisted detox for alcohol addiction is the first step in ridding your body of toxins and starting fresh. Thinking about how long it will take to detox from alcohol may be intimidating. However, we assure you that the long-term reward of sticking it through is beyond worth it. The recovery journey has its ups and downs. But you’re strong enough to get through it.

The Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can begin as early as two hours after your last drink. Within 24 to 48 hours upon cessation, symptoms generally start to appear. This is when you may experience the most uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, such as insomnia, rapid heartbeat, changes in blood pressure, sweating, tremors, and fever.

The severity of side effects will be dependent upon each person’s unique addiction. How long detox takes will also be dependent upon the severity of withdrawal symptoms. For instance, delirium tremens is one of the most severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Delirium tremens can become prevalent within the first 48 hours after your last drink. It involves confusion, severe shaking, hallucinations, and high blood pressure. Although delirium tremens is rare, it can be life-threatening. 

Heavy drinkers who suddenly stop drinking may experience any range of dangerous symptoms. This is why it’s crucial to undergo medically-assisted detox in a monitored and safe setting.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms generally follow this timeline:

Six to 12 hours post-ingestion

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Shaking
  • Nausea and vomiting

12 to 24 hours post-ingestion

  • Disorientation
  • Hand tremors
  • Seizures

48 hours post-ingestion

  • Seizures
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure
  • Tactile, auditory, and visual hallucinations
  • High fever and excessive sweating
  • Delirium tremens

Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment

As mentioned above, detox is necessary. The type of detox program or level of intensity needed for effective alcohol withdrawal management will depend on the severity of the addiction. The magnitude of alcohol dependence and the risk of experiencing a complicated withdrawal. 

Our dedicated medical staff will evaluate you before any kind of treatment. We’ll make sure your current state is accounted for, and each step forward is as comfortable as possible. The specific detox method will vary based on the patient. However, you generally have the option of detoxing in an inpatient or outpatient setting.

Medically-Assisted Detox

Benzodiazepines or other sedative medications may help to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Medication is not a cure for alcoholism. However, several medications have been proven to aid in recovery when used as part of an overall plan involving counseling, group therapy, and social support.

Outpatient Detox for Alcohol

Outpatient detox for alcohol withdrawal may be the right level of care for people at low risk for severe withdrawal. Withdrawal progress is monitored through frequent check-up appointments within our facility. If additional care is needed, we can modify the treatment accordingly.

Inpatient Detox

Undergoing the detox process while residing at our facility is generally the best option. This is ideal for those struggling with a severe addiction to alcohol. Inpatient detoxification also provides individuals with a trigger-free setting. In other words, stimuli that might increase the risk of relapse is removed from their environment.

Help is Available for You or a Loved One

Now that we’ve answered the question, “how long does it take to detox from alcohol,” it’s time to explore your options. For successful and long-lasting results, detox should be immediately followed by extensive addiction treatment at a reputable rehab facility, such as 1st Step Behavioral Health.

Treatment is about using a wealth of resources to treat alcohol addiction. We tailor our treatment programs to meet each patient’s needs. From therapy to medical care to massage services, your comfort and security are our priority.

We’ll give you the tools to continue long-lasting sobriety after your treatment with us. We’re not just a treatment facility; we’re a family that’s in this together.

Our treatment programs include:

  • Personally assigned medical physician and therapist
  • Individual, group, and family therapies
  • Long-term care lasting up to one year
  • Recovery coaches on staff to assist patients with job/recovery skills
  • 2-bedroom, fully furnished apartments that offer the convenience and comforts of home
  • Holistic and recreational therapies such as yoga, art, music, wellness, massage, and acupuncture therapies

Beat Alcohol Addiction with Detox

There is no reason to let alcohol addiction control your life any longer. At 1st Step Behavioral in Pompano Beach, Florida, you can overcome your active addiction and learn how to successfully maintain your sobriety for many years to come. 

Our team of expert physicians, psychologists, and other medical professionals are eager to help you make this life change. Call 1st Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126 or contact us here for more information about available programs.

bi-polar disorder and alcoholism

Bipolar Disorder and Alcoholism: Understanding this Common Occurrence

Alcohol abuse, also commonly referred to as alcoholism, is no stranger to most communities. In fact, every year, countless individuals become aware of an alcohol use disorder in their lives or in the lives of someone they love.

It’s always difficult to come to terms with the truth about an addiction problem. And it’s often very challenging to figure out what to do about the issue. It can be even more difficult when alcoholism is paired with another health concern, such as bipolar disorder.

Those who suffer from the co-occurring disorders of alcohol use disorder (AUD) and bipolar disorder often struggle to overcome either or both issues. This is mainly due to the way these disorders affect one another.

In many cases, bipolar disorder and alcoholism combine to create a really big problem in the lives of those affected by these disorders. Sometimes, alcohol use can worsen the effects of bipolar disorder and vice versa.

This is why treatment is so important. If you or someone in your life is struggling with an AUD and bipolar disorder, it’s time to truly understand the seriousness of this occurrence and learn what you can do to help turn things around for the better.

Defining Bipolar Disorder and Alcoholism

First of all, it’s important to begin by understanding these two disorders. What exactly does it mean to have bipolar disorder and how does it affect those who are living with it?

Well, bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder that causes people to become psychologically unstable. It’s a mood disorder that affects the way people think, feel, and behave. Often, the effects can be very drastic and intense.

Many individuals who suffer from bipolar disorder experience moments of extreme depression in addition to intense states of euphoria. Often, individuals deal with major shifts in emotions and moods. This can cause people to behave and act differently than normal.

Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder, is a problem that many people deal with. It is an uncontrollable use of alcohol. Since this substance is legal, it’s fairly easy to access. So, sadly, many people become dependent on alcohol and may eventually abuse is and develop an alcohol addiction problem.

When Alcohol Use and Bipolar Disorders Co-Occur

Perhaps, you’re wondering how or why people end up living with bipolar disorder and alcoholism. Well, the truth of the matter is that these co-occurring disorders affect people as a result of various factors.

In other words, the reason behind this occurrence varies from case to case. But, for many people, bipolar disorder leads to the development of alcohol use disorder. Those who suffer from the effects of bipolar disorder often struggle with deep depression because of their mental health disorder.

Sadly, it’s common for people who feel depressed to seek comfort in substance use. Some may turn to drugs. Maybe they begin using medications and prescriptions that are meant to help them overcome depression. But, after using the substance for a while, they may have grown dependent on and addicted to that drug.

This can also happen in cases where people turn to alcohol in order to cope with the negative effects of bipolar disorder. Some individuals seek comfort in drinking. But, the relief they feel is only temporary and leaves when the effects of alcohol wear off.

In order to escape from the unpleasant impact of bipolar disorder, including depression, uncontrollable thoughts, irritability, agitation, and low self-esteem, many individuals use alcohol. But, again, the stress-relieving effects that people get when they drink wears off after a while.

When reality returns, the desire to escape also comes back. As a result, some people may resort back to alcohol use. This can turn into a problem with excessive drinking. Eventually, these alcohol use habits can become extremely problematic.

Alcohol use disorder is dangerous for more reason than one. This addiction problem affects individuals’ lives on multiple levels. And the effects can be intensified when the alcohol use problem co-occurs with bipolar disorder.

How Bipolar Disorder and Alcohol Use Affect People

When a person suffers from bipolar disorder, he or she may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Poor judgment
  • Appetite loss
  • Manic episodes
  • Racing thoughts
  • Euphoric episodes
  • Excessive worry
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Loss of energy
  • Memory problems
  • Lack of concentration
  • Excessive or lack of sleep
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Suicidal ideation and thoughts of death

The intense changes in mood and emotions can cause people to feel very overwhelmed. It’s difficult to understand and work through the effects of bipolar disorder. So, it goes without saying that people who suffer from this disorder often struggle to lead regular and normal lives.

Bipolar disorder can impact people’s day-to-day lives. In many cases, people who are suffering from this mental health disorder have trouble focusing in school, keeping up with family responsibilities, establishing and maintaining meaningful relationships, and holding jobs.

All of these things can contribute to the development of alcohol abuse. And, if a person becomes addicted to alcohol, he or she may begin to experience even more difficulties in maintaining a normal schedule.

Alcoholism can cause people to feel:

  • Depressed
  • A lack of energy
  • Less motivated
  • Alone and isolated
  • Distanced from loved ones

No doubt, as these effects combine with the symptoms of bipolar disorder, individuals may struggle to manage their lives and may experience a downward spiral.

Unfortunately, this is has been the case in many people’s lives. But, thankfully, there is hope for those who are dealing with these co-occurring disorders!

Finding Hope and Help at 1st Step Behavioral Health

If you’ve been struggling with alcoholism and bipolar disorder, then you know just how difficult it can be to overcome these problems. Fortunately, though, a professional dual diagnosis treatment program can help you to find freedom and peace once and for all!

Here at 1st Step Behavioral Health, we work to help people to find the freedom they truly deserve. You don’t need to continue struggling with alcohol abuse and the effects of bipolar disorder. Let us help you! Just call us today to get started on the journey to recovery.

alcohol and depression

What Is the Connection Between Alcohol and Depression?

What if you were sliding further into depression without even knowing it?

Many people use alcohol as a coping mechanism to deal with their depression. However, there are many scary links between alcohol and depression.

Wondering what the connection really is? Keep reading to find out!

Chicken and the Egg Problem

There is a simple reason that people are confused about the connections between depression and alcohol. First of all, it’s not always clear which causes which!

For example, many people with depression turn to alcohol as a way to seek relief. This works temporarily because of how alcohol affects the brain (more on this later).

However, alcohol dependence and alcoholism can cause a number of negative consequences in someone’s life. And such consequences put them at extreme risk of developing depression.

We’re going to do a deeper dive into all of the factors surrounding the issue. However, it’s important to understand how each of these things can effectively cause the development of each other.

Depressingly Common

Many people claim to have depression. And morbid jokes about depression have become the regular subject of memes. But just how common is depression?

On average, depression affects one out of every fifteen people every year. And there is a higher potential for depression among those who are in their teens and twenties.

This means that there are over 200,000 people suffering from depression in the United States alone. It’s almost certain that you know someone who is currently suffering.

Now that you know approximately how many people experience depression, it’s important to know how both depression and alcohol affect the chemicals in your brain.

Chemical Connection

As we mentioned before, many who suffer from depression turn towards alcohol as a form of treatment. And this is an approach that may work…right up until it stops working, that is.

Depression is persistent because it involves the chemistry of your brain. When your brain experiences a chemical imbalance, you may experience depression.

This is why most antidepressants seek to restore some of that chemical balance. Unfortunately, most antidepressants are expensive and require prescriptions, meaning that not everyone who needs them will be able to get them.

Because of this, many people turn towards alcohol as a cheaper and more accessible way of treating depression. And while it may provide temporary relief for some people, this relief is not lasting.

Basically, alcohol can temporarily help someone feel good by boosting certain neurotransmitters and blocking others. And it can help someone with activities ranging from socialization to sleep.

When a depressed person stops drinking, though, their depression may be worse. They may experience increased stress levels and feel like many of their symptoms are worse.

Different Kinds of Depression

Alcohol affects many people with depression in different ways. This is largely due to the fact that there are so many different kinds of depression.

Some people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder. As the name implies, SAD symptoms primarily last through the winter, resulting in what many simply identify as the holiday blues.

Psychotic depression is on the more extreme end of things. This can cause extreme paranoia, insomnia, emotional instability, and even hallucinations.

Persistent Depressive Disorder refers to symptoms of depression lasting for two years or more. Such symptoms may include poor self-esteem, difficulty making decisions, poor concentration, and social isolation.

Finally, there’s Major Depression. This is when depression symptoms begin to affect someone’s daily life. Symptoms may include low energy, irritability, frequent crying, and thoughts of suicide.

Alcohol may alternately hold off or exacerbate any and all of these symptoms. So while alcohol affects different depressions in different ways, it’s good for all depressed people to avoid it altogether.

One Thing Leads to Another

We have focused on how depression can lead to alcoholism as a form of coping with symptoms. But how does alcohol consumption itself lead to depression?

First, there is nothing inherently wrong with mild, occasional drinking. And many studies suggest there may even be health benefits to drinking the occasional glass of wine.

However, regular drinking may eventually turn into alcohol dependence or outright alcoholism. And this eventually starts having a negative impact on a person’s personal and professional life.

If someone begins losing friends or even a job due to their drinking, they will experience sadness and regret. And this may eventually blossom into full-blown depression.

It’s true that not every heavy drinker develops depression and not every depressed person is a drinker. But the risk factor for one thing leading to another is very clear.

Diagnosing Depression

You now know exactly how prevalent depression is. But do you know how to diagnose depression in yourself or those you love?

The best way to seek diagnosis is to seek out a medical professional who has experience with depression. However, there are some “warning signs” to be on the lookout for in your own life.

For instance, those whose mood often fluctuates or who experience insomnia may be at risk. Similarly, those who think about harming themselves or others are at risk of depression.

Persistent feelings of sadness are a major warning sign. And, as we have discussed, regular use of alcohol may be a factor.

The final warning sign is whether these feelings have begun to affect your personal or professional life. If the answer is “yes,” then you may well have depression.

Treating Depression

There are many kinds of therapy and forms of medication that can help treat depression. However, those with alcohol dependence and depression may need more specialized treatment.

Numerous treatment centers are able to treat alcohol dependence and depression at the same time. This can help to restore the body and mind simultaneously.

Keep in mind that alcoholism and depression have another big connection: the first step in getting better is admitting that you need help!

Alcohol and Depression: The Bottom Line

Now you know more about the link between alcohol and depression. But do you know who you can turn to for help?

At 1st Step Behavioral Health, we are ready to help you rediscover the real “you” again. To begin that journey, just contact us today!

inpatient alcohol treatment

Why You Need Inpatient Alcohol Treatment and How It Can Help

In recent years it was reported that about 16 million people abused alcohol. It can be assumed that these numbers are much greater since not everyone addicted to alcohol participated in the study.

If you want true recovery from your alcohol addiction, it pays to get inpatient alcohol treatment from professionals. 

To learn more about this treatment and why you need it, read on. 

Why You Need Inpatient Alcohol Treatment

First off, what exactly is inpatient alcohol treatment?

With inpatient care, as opposed to outpatient treatment, you stay at the facility, in contrast to part-time programs that you go to in between your regular life. 

The following tips will let you know why inpatient care is more beneficial to your recovery:

1. You Have Plenty of Options For Your Inpatient Treatment

Right now, there is an increasing number of inpatient facilities that are offering services to patients like you.

Because this form of treatment is so successful, you have your pick of plenty of professionals and can find the style of care that works for you. In addition to choosing treatment styles that work, you can find some great rehab facilities all over the map, so you can get detox and rehabilitation in an area that suits you. 

2. These Services are Confidential

When you seek inpatient treatment, you will be glad to know that everything is completely confidential. Because your care and information are protected, you are able to maintain your privacy as you get your life back in order. 

By getting away for a bit, you don’t have to worry about maintaining a daily schedule and will instead be left to your own privacy to heal. 

3. It Allows You to Live Onsite to Get the 24-Hour Care That You Need

By taking advantage of inpatient services, you will get access to professional help around the clock. 

By living onsite, you’re always only a few steps away from assistance. Companies that offer inpatient care go above and beyond to provide comfortable living quarters and nutritious food that you can enjoy. 

They also offer workout facilities and therapeutic treatments that will help you relax and unwind as you get the healing that you need.

When you are living in the same place where you’re receiving your treatment, there is no question about whether you can make it to appointments, and it does away with any decisions that might get in the way. 

By having access to this level of care, you can cut out distractions and focus on your care, which is the most important part of moving forward with your life and health. 

4. Inpatient Care Handles Recovery Holistically

It is always best to get holistic treatment when you are trying to recover from alcohol abuse. 

Inpatient facilities often focus on holistic care, so that you can heal inside and out, rather than just treating your symptoms. Holistic care means getting access to things like exercise, mental health counseling, yoga, meditation and sauna treatments. 

You will be able to get rid of the substance’s physical hold on your body, while also reverse engineering the mental and emotional patterns that are causing you to suffer from addiction. 

By tackling this as a holistic issue, you are more likely to get the permanent treatment that you need. 

Embracing the spiritual and scientific wonders of mindfulness meditation can help you beat your alcohol addiction. It helps you to think clearly and notice your thoughts so that you are able to resist cravings and truly get the healing that you need. 

5. Access to Top-Notch Medical Care Protects Your Safety

Of course, you are also getting access to medical care that lets you detox safely. 

The symptoms of withdrawal can be incredibly intense, to include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, fever, and other problems. If you are going through these kinds of problems, you will definitely want access to medical care that protects you.

They’ll continuously check your vitals and see to it that you’re looked after. 

6. You Can Also Take Advantage of Aftercare Options

It’s not just about the preliminary services. Inpatient treatment also extends to aftercare. 

By getting the aftercare that you need, it offers you a smooth transition back to your regular life. When you have professional service that bridges the gap, you are less likely to relapse. 

Many patients make the mistake of going through treatment, while failing to be as diligent about securing aftercare, and they end up relapsing as a result. 

7. Inpatient Care is Highly Effective and Can Help You Get Your Life Back

Most of all, inpatient care gives you quality results. 

Since addiction to alcohol is so dangerous and debilitating, you’ll need to be all in on getting your life back in order. People that look to inpatient care often find supportive relationships with other recovering addicts that can last a lifetime. 

Seek the Best Inpatient Care You Can Find

Inpatient alcohol treatment is your best case scenario when you are trying to beat alcohol addiction and get yourself back on track. 

By focusing on these points, you will be better able to get treatment that will be useful for you. We take pride in helping people to recover from all sorts of substance abuse issues. 

If you are in need of inpatient treatment solutions that will work, we’ve got the track record to prove it and can help you get your life back in order. 

When you’re in need of the best addiction treatment around, contact us online or get in touch by calling 1-(866) 319-6126.

Best Tips To Stay Sober In 2019

When a new year rolls around, many people resolve to improve their lives. For many struggling with alcoholism, one of the most common resolutions is to get sober. But along with making this resolution, a tremendous amount of hard work will need to be done on a daily basis to make this resolution a reality. If you’ve decided to turn your life around and get sober, here are some of the best tips to make your journey one that is successful. 

Have Realistic Expectations 

When many people make a resolution to get sober, they often have unrealistic expectations. As a result, if they have even the most minor of setbacks, they feel as if all hope is lost. To keep this from happening to you, have realistic expectations surrounding your goals. For example, accept the fact you will be tempted each day to take a drink. However, by surrounding yourself with positive people, getting involved in a treatment program, and having faith in yourself, you will be able to overcome any obstacles that get in your way. 

Set Limits and Boundaries for Yourself 

To get and stay sober, it is vital you set limits and boundaries for yourself. For example, don’t let yourself get stressed out over someone else’s expectations of you. Along with this, if you feel someone is trying to control or manipulate your feelings in order to pressure you into drinking, be willing to stand up for yourself. By doing so, you’ll realize you have the courage of your convictions, as will those around you. 

Make Smart Decisions 

For many people attempting sobriety, one of the hardest situations comes when they attend a gathering where others may be drinking. If you find yourself in these situations, there are a number of things you can do to ensure you make smart decisions. For example, if you are offered a drink, remember you always have the option to decline, even if you feel awkward doing so. Along with this, if you simply feel too pressured or uncomfortable in the environment, be willing to excuse yourself and leave. By doing so, you can ensure that rather than relapse, you chose to put yourself first, ahead of the alcohol. 

Health and Wellness 

When you are working on sobriety, remember to make health and wellness a daily part of your life as well. By eating nutritious foods, choosing a form of exercise you enjoy, and making sure you get plenty of rest, you will start to see just how much better you feel without spending your days with a drink in your hand. As you progress forward with the physical aspects of your health and wellness plan, your mental outlook will also improve, making your journey of sobriety that much better. 

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll have a much greater chance of attaining and maintaining your goal of sobriety. Thus, if you are in need of alcohol rehab Pompano healthcare and mental health professionals often recommend First Step Behavioral Health. Get in touch with us now to learn more about getting sober in 2019 and making that a lifelong change.

Overcoming Alcoholism

They say it takes 21 days to break a habit, but unfortunately, with habits like alcoholism, this is not typically the case. Overcoming alcoholism is a lifelong process with a full modification of behaviors and a continuous focus on mental health. There is no definite amount of time that it will take to recover however, everyone is different. You have to live one day at a time until the desire to consume alcohol eventually fades away, and it will! Some factors that affect how long recovery will take include length of use, amount of alcohol use, other drugs consumed, and mental health issues. 

Physical Recovery

Depending on the severity of your drinking habit, physical recovery can be difficult. During the first few weeks of recovery, heavy users will experience mild to severe withdrawals. Withdrawals can begin as soon as six hours after the user’s last drink. If withdrawals are too severe, you may require emergency medical attention. 

Alcohol Withdrawal symptoms include: 
• Headache 
• Shaky Hands 
• Nausea and vomiting 
• Insomnia 
• Clammy skin, heavy sweating 
• Hallucinations 
• High blood pressure 

Withdrawal symptoms typically dissipate in one to two weeks. A treatment plan will be necessary immediately following withdrawals. Once the person feels well enough, he or she should attend regular Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, and an outpatient treatment facility, to ensure he or she is successful in getting and staying sober. Places like our facility for drug and alcohol rehab in Ft. Lauderdale, can be a great place to start helping you or your loved one on the way to overcoming alcoholism and/or substance abuse.

Overcoming Alcoholism

Relaxation, exercise, and balanced nutrition can improve the physical and assist with the emotional health of people recovering from alcoholism and/or drug addiction. A complete refocus of ones’ everyday actions and routines are vital to have a lasting solution to what has become UNMANAGEABLE.  

The reality is If you got to the point in your addiction that you are actively seeking professional outpatient or inpatient treatment, for your alcohol and/or drug problem, you probably were not practicing good physical and/or nutritional health. In order to achieve a healthier lifestyle, you must find new and healthier things to put your valued energy into – first you remain sober and then, you change your life. This is how WE start:

Recreation and Relaxation 

To overcome alcoholism and/or substance abuse, you have to “Get Moving and Get Involved!” It’s time we show up to our own lives and give ourselves something that can positively impact our lives rather than bring us down!

Involvement in a recreational and/or physical activity can benefit your recovery by reducing the stress that can be a trigger for relapse and give help us learn healthy coping skills that teach us that life is about endurance, unfortunately not the commonly told and believed, fairy tail bliss. It also will help assist you in overcoming your alcoholism and/or addiction by fighting boredom; which for most is what our industry likes to refer to as a trigger. 

The below list of healthy recreation and relaxation examples will benefit you emotionally and help to restore a sense of balance to your unbalanced life.

  • Work out; gym, walk, jog, swim, yoga, join a local sports team, etc.
  • Take up a hobby; diving, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, etc.
  • Join groups that tie in your new lifestyle trying to include your new hobbies 
  • Take care of YOU; massage, change your hairstyle/color, buy yourself something, etc.
  • Pray/Meditate; READ, attend religious meetings, talk to YOU and praise creation, listen to a self-help book, etc.

Of course, becoming more active will help you in your journey to overcoming alcoholism and/or addiction and help you to not only feel better physically; but to improve your overall physical and mental health. This will help your recovery by lessening the severity of any post-acute withdrawal symptoms that will reoccur.

Be Kind To Yourself 

If you have not been physically active at all or for a long period of time, you should discuss it with your doctor to make sure you don’t do more harm than good! Overcoming alcoholism and/or addiction is hard enough. Setting unrealistic goals or making drastic changes to your routines could wind up hurting you NOT helping you.

This part of the process will also help you “visualize” your new life and will help motivate you in your change. You can do this and for once, let people guide you to a new way of life and a much deserved new positive look and feel on life.

Be nice to you. People will be watching you for years to come because we’ve gotten to this point; so YOU will need to be your best friend – at least for a while! Start saying only positive things about yourself and mostly to other people.

Pay attention to your silent inner dialogue “negative self-talk”, because often we don’t even realize WE are the ones doing it to ourselves! Acceptance is key, right? Well, accept this – how you speak to yourself or about yourself creates the most damaging types of abuse: SELF Destructive Behavior.

That’s right, the problems begin with us. By being kind to yourself while you are overcoming alcoholism and/or addiction, will help offset what is already a difficult, painful and lengthy recovery and likely we face a lot of concerns and unfortunately judgment by our loved ones or those we’ve hurt during our addiction. That’s why WE have to focus on ourselves because we need all the love we can get!

The overall goal is to become more active at a level and pace that you are comfortable with. Doing this is the smartest way to overcoming alcoholism and/or addiction and make real and lasting progress in improving your overall health. 

Poor Eating Habits 

You can only get so far with physical activity alone. We must also develop a healthier lifestyle through good nutrition. As alcoholics and/or addicts, we spent way too much time with our drug of choice which is always the priority. When that happens, we begin to neglect ourselves and those around us. WE no longer matter. Only the sickness and how we can keep feeling ok – or so we told ourselves that. 

Often research shows that many alcoholics and/or addicts suffer from some level of malnutrition. Most harmful and addictive drugs suppress appetite. This has a physical effect on the body and we can do that with nutritional care.

Alcohol, Malnutrition, and Medical Complications 

Poor eating habits in alcoholics and/or addicts have been found to increase the risk of experiencing the following medical conditions:

Liver Disease: Alcoholic liver damage is caused primarily by alcohol itself, but poor nutrition may increase the risk of alcohol-related liver damage.

Pancreatitis: There is some research that suggests that alcohol’s damaging effect on the pancreas may be exacerbated by a protein-deficient diet.

Neurological Problems/Brain Damage: Nutritional deficiencies caused by alcoholism and/or addiction can have severe and permanent effects on neurological and brain function. Specifically, thiamine deficiencies, often seen in alcoholics and/or addicts, can cause severe neurological problems or brain damage. All addictive substances act within our brains to produce happy, surreal and euphoric effects. However, they also can cause damage to the brain due to seizures, stroke, and direct toxic effects on our brain cells.

Substance abuse often leads to addiction, a brain disorder that occurs when repeated drug use leads to changes in the function of multiple brain circuits that control pleasure/reward, stress, decision-making, impulse control, learning and memory, and many other vital functions. These changes make it harder for those with an addiction to experience what most consider to be shared common happiness in life; food, sex, or healthy relationships and common activities.

Overcoming alcoholism and/or substance abuse puts you on the right path towards finding healthy and happy rewards without the use of harmful and/or deadly substances. Some people will experience a decrease in their brain function. 

Alcoholics and/or addicts may find themselves making little mistakes like leaving lights on or cabinet doors open, forgetting things, just not functioning quite as well as before the abuse took hold; but fear not, this will go away with time. As brain cells repair themselves, the cognitive ability will be restored. Memory will increase along with hand and eye coordination. Everything just needs time to heal, so be kind to yourself and give yourself the time you need. You deserve it.

Pregnancy Complications: Alcohol and/or substance abuse alone is toxic to a fetus, but accompanying nutritional deficiency can affect healthy fetal development often causing defects or even leading to death  Not only can nutritional deficiencies of an alcoholic and/or addict mother negatively affect the nutrition of a fetus, but drinking alcohol and/or substance abuse will restrict nutrition flow to the fetus; preventing a developmentally healthy baby.

Good Nutrition Helps 

Like physical activity, good nutrition helps with overcoming alcoholism and/or addiction by lessening some post-acute withdrawal symptoms that you will likely experience. Eating healthy will help rebuild your body’s strength which has been worn down by alcohol and/or drug abuse.

If you are in an outpatient program, you will be asked about your usual eating habits and how much you know about good nutrition. Your current diet choices will be discussed so that the proper steps on how to eat healthier and feel better in your recovery can be suggested.

Choosing a Balanced Diet 

The key is to eat a balanced diet, following the dietary guidelines and choosing food from the different food groups — meat, poultry, and fish; dairy products; fruits and vegetables; and bread and healthy grains. The recommended servings are five fruits and vegetables per day.

Long-Term Effects of Untreated Alcoholism and/or Substance Abuse 

Unfortunately, untreated alcoholism and/or addiction can have lasting and sometimes permanent unwanted negative effects on your mind and body. Some of the harmful effects of alcohol and/or addiction will not surface until many years later; yet another reason to work on a lasting recovery program that will help you overcome your alcoholism and/or addiction. 

Getting Help 

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism and/or addiction and need help, contact us today at (866) 319-6126. A staff member can assist with any questions that you may have about our inpatient and outpatient programs. You may also visit our facility and speak with an addictions counselor.

References:

https://www.verywellmind.com/exercise-and-nutrition-for-alcohol-or-drugs-abstinence-69443

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/health-consequences-drug-misuse/neurological-effects

Signs That You’re Facing Alcoholism

Some people are able to consume alcohol without any problems. However, others find it difficult to stop drinking alcohol. Habitual alcohol abuse can easily lead to alcoholism. It is important for alcoholism to be treated as soon as possible. One of the keys to getting the proper treatment for alcoholism is to recognize the signs. 

You Have a High Tolerance 

People who drink frequently and in excess have a tendency to develop a tolerance. The higher your tolerance is, the more alcohol you will have to drink to get the same effects. Many people have to drink 12 beers just to get a buzz. 

You Experience Withdrawal Symptoms 

If you have an alcohol addiction, then your body is dependent on alcohol to function. You will likely experience withdrawal symptoms if you attempt to stop drinking. These withdrawal symptoms can be intense and may include things such as tremors, fatigue, nausea and withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawal can also cause blackouts. 

You Cannot Control How Much You Drink 

If you find yourself setting drinking limits and unable to stay within those limits, then you may have an alcohol addiction. You may also find that attempts to cut down on drinking are futile. The reason that it is difficult to control your drinking is because alcoholism is a disease. 

Your Priorities are out of Order 

Alcoholism can cause problems in your personal life. You may start to overlook your priorities as the result of alcoholism. You may find that you are spending more money than you can afford. You may also find that you are neglecting responsibilities at work and school. 

Your Relationships are Negatively Impacted 

Because alcoholism can cause you to neglect your friends, spouse and children, your relationships with them may suffer. You may also find yourself being more irritable and argumentative. This can also have a negative impact on the relationships that you have with other people. 

You Try to Hide Your Drinking 

If you find yourself lying about how much you drink, then this may be a sign of alcohlism. People who are able to control their drinking typically do not feel the need to lie about it. You may lie to protect the ones that you love. However, if your family members find out that you are lying, then this can have a negative impact on the relationships that you have with them. 

Your Appearance Has Changed 

It is common for people with alcoholism to neglect their appearance. Poor hygiene, bloated face and dull hair are some of the physical signs of an alcohol problem. Alcohol can also deplete the vitamins and minerals in your body, which can cause you to develop a shoddy experience. 

You Keep Drinking Despite the Consequences 

You may be fully aware of the consequences of drinking. You may see the way that alcohol has started to impact your life. You may even feel guilty about your drinking. However, you may keep drinking despite all of the consequences. 

Alcoholism does not have to ruin your life. You can attend Broward County drug rehab and get your life and health back in order. Contact us today.

The Challenges of Alcohol Detox

Because alcohol is legal, many people underestimate its addictive power. We also tend to neglect just how challenging withdrawal from it can be.

What are the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?

Withdrawal from alcohol can be incredibly challenging. Detox involves many physical and mental symptoms including:

  • Anxiety
  • Shakiness and tremors
  • Sweating and fever
  • Seizures
  • Visual or auditory hallucinations
  • Vomiting
  • Accelerated heart rate

While a person’s experiences may vary, for a person addicted to abusing alcohol these symptoms may begin to set in as early as six hours after their last drink. The withdrawal is at its worst for the next twenty-four to seventy-two hours. Then it begins to subside over the next seven days.

 

The Benefits of Medically-Supervised Alcohol Detox

Many people fail to recognize just how challenging alcohol is to clean up from for some addicts. It’s been estimated that around fifteen percent of the population has had some degree of alcohol dependence. Of those who attempt to go sober, half will develop withdrawal symptoms and of these about four percent will have severe symptoms.

Successfully dealing with alcohol dependence is best achieved through the help of medical professionals who can recognize the withdrawal symptoms. There is also South Florida alcohol treatment, which can help with not only the detox, but also help you with what comes next. Developing a strategy and new coping skills is really important. There are small changes you can make (such as keeping a glass of water to keep your hands full when a bottle feels absent) but larger changes also need made. A person with alcohol dependency needs to look at their life and find sources that lead to their addiction. Experienced therapists and support groups can help here. They can also help you develop new strategies for dealing with triggers.

If you think you may be dependent on alcohol, please give us a call at (866) 319-6126.

Environmental Challenges When Quitting a Substance

One of the biggest challenges to sober living is our environment. We must find ways to clean up that environment and also to find ways to cope with what we can’t control. The fact that it is external to us, however, makes this easier said than done.

Some Common Situations

  • You’re two months sober and your company wins a big project. The boss celebrates by taking everyone out to drink.
  • You have a family history of alcohol abuse but your friends insist on taking you out drinking for your 21st birthday.
  • You have been doing the same type of drug as your roommates but have decided that it’s time to quit, but they aren’t.
  • Getting together with your friends implies drugs will be used.
  • In your culture alcohol or certain types of drugs are used in work or ceremonial situations and you want to stay clean but also participate in your cultural activity.

What would you do?

 

Coping Strategies

Living sober is hard because not everyone has the same perspective…and not everyone is as supportive as they would be in an ideal world. Too many people have relapsed because of pressure from their coworkers or friends.

Often this peer pressure comes from ignorance from the situation you’re in. It can also come from fear. Change is scary and maybe your friends can’t accept that the you they’ve known is going to emerge from recovery different. The old lifestyle will not fit the new you. They may also want to be avoiding looking in the mirror because if you need to get clean, maybe they have a problem they are in denial over.

It can be challenging dealing with environments–particularly work and family–where our decision to pursue a healthy lifestyle is not respected. Fortunately, there are are drug programs in Florida that can help us not just with detox, but also how to cope with triggers and our environmental challenges. Call us for more information about drug rehab in Broward County: (866) 319-6126.

 

The Nature and Nurture of Addiction

We often hear people describe certain things as being in their genes. While it’s true that our genes describe many of our attributes, it is rarely the case that something has a specific one. Usually traits are expressed by a combination of genes. This means we are unlikely to ever find a specific “addiction gene“. A person with a family history of addiction is more likely to be susceptible to substance abuse–but they are not predestined for it and can avoid it. Similarly, a person with no family history of drug abuse can become addicted depending on their life circumstances. Ultimately, it comes down to both nature and nurture.

 

Nature

Let’s be clear: everyone has some potential for addiction, it’s hardwired into our biology. But some people have a familial predisposition for it that others might not have. Often this goes beyond just drugs and alcohol and may express itself in compulsive eating, hoarding, and even codependency.

For those of us with that predisposition, every time we use drugs or alcohol, it reinforces the brain’s “wiring” that increases our reliance on them. It doesn’t mean that every child of an alcoholic parent is destined to repeat their path–but it does warrant extreme caution.

 

Nurture

Nurture is many things. It includes the environment we grow up in, and how safe we feel. A person who might not have a family history of addiction might still find themselves on a bad path. Often, people without the family history can find themselves in trouble because their guard is down and they think it can’t happen to them.

If you’re a parent, you need to take extreme care to create a secure environment for your children, especially if there’s a family history of substance abuse. Call us at (866) 319-6126 to learn more about what options are available in South Florida to provide a clean and sober place to detox in, regardless of what the family nature may be.