When a person becomes addicted to alcohol, he or she will find it extremely difficult to put the glass down for good. That’s because beating alcohol addiction on your own isn’t something that everybody can do, but it isn’t a reason for you to feel ashamed. Indeed, our New Jersey drug and alcohol treatment center knows alcoholism is a medical disorder. We are here to help those who are suffering from substance use disorders, including alcoholism.
What is Alcoholism and Its Effects?
Alcoholism is defined by alcohol use that causes significant problems for the person consuming it. It’s characterized by the inability to control one’s drinking habits and being unable to think of anything other than getting the next drink. Someone with an alcohol use disorder continues to drink even though it results in negative consequences.
More importantly, an individual experiencing an alcohol use disorder eventually must drink an increasing amount of alcohol to obtain the desired effects. If the person decreases alcohol consumption or stops, this person begins to experience withdrawal symptoms.
Our addiction treatment center in New Jersey uses criteria from the American Psychological Association (APA) to determine whether an individual needs a treatment plan for alcohol abuse:
- Drug Effects – An increased tolerance for alcohol paired with experiencing withdrawal symptoms when reducing or cutting out drinking.
- Social Problems – Disinterest in activities a person once enjoyed as well as a disinterest in work, social, or school-related opportunities.
- Risky Use – Drinking alcohol in risky scenarios despite the consequences.
- Impaired Control – Substance abuse that can’t be stopped or reduced despite an effort to stop.
The APA also writes that alcoholism affects not only the body, but the brain as well. “Brain imaging studies show changes in the areas of the brain that relate to judgment, decision making, learning, memory, and behavioral control,” writes the APA. As for the body, constant substance abuse can cause lifelong health complications, especially with drinking alcohol.
What are Other Signs Someone Needs an Alcohol Rehab in NJ?
Several signs inform our medical professionals a New Jersey resident could benefit from our alcohol rehab in NJ. They include the following:
- Craving alcohol
- Going on frequent binges
- Feeling guilty when they do drink
- Looking forward to drinking alone
- Experiencing gastrointestinal issues
- Thinking about alcohol all of the time
- Drinking in the daytime or while they are working
- Experiencing tremors when they are not drinking
- Frequently drinking more than they planned to drink
- Performing dangerous tasks even while intoxicated
- Being uncomfortable when they cannot have a drink
- Having memory loss or blacking out because of alcohol use
- Hiding the amount of alcohol they drink from friends and family
- Drinking that causes financial, emotional, and legal consequences
- Becoming defensive when loved ones tell them they need addiction treatment
- Needing an increasing amount of time to procure, drink and recover from consuming alcohol
Of course, some tri-state residents may not realize that they need help from a New Jersey drug rehab center. It’s better to have a discussion about substance abuse with them than ignore the fact that they need a treatment plan for alcohol abuse. If they are aware that they need drug addiction treatment but are nervous about the cost, outpatient alcohol treatment in New Jersey could be a viable option.
What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Drinking?
When you stop drinking in general after consuming a copious amount, your blood/breath alcohol content (BAC) will lower over time. Sometimes a person’s BAC is so high that it can lead to serious health repercussions, like alcohol poisoning, even as time goes on.
A dramatic change happens after an individual stops drinking for those who need alcohol rehab. Alcohol is a drug like any other, meaning it’s highly possible to develop a dependence with consistent, heavy use. People who stop drinking in this position might find themselves struggling with physical and mental withdrawal symptoms. Attending outpatient alcohol treatment programs in the tri-state area can help avoid succumbing to temptation in recovery.
How Long Does it Take for Brain Chemistry to Return to Normal After Alcohol Use?
Drinking alcohol acts as a drug by affecting the brain’s regular chemistry. For instance, it increases chemicals in the brain that play a key role in pleasure and relaxation. Individuals who drink occasionally will find that their brain chemistry returns to normal levels within a day.
The same can’t be said for people suffering from an alcohol use disorder. Detox typically lasts around two weeks (this varies per person). After this period of time, individuals attempting to achieve sobriety will find that their brain chemistry returns to its former state for the most part. Yet, a severe alcohol addiction can translate into permanently imbalanced brain chemistry.
Who is at Risk of Developing an Alcohol Use Disorder?Binge Drinkers
Binge drinkers are more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder. However, every binge drinker doesn’t necessarily develop the disorder. Binge drinking for men means consuming five or more alcoholic drinks within a two-hour time period. For women, it is consuming four or more alcoholic drinks in that amount of time. People who drink a large amount of alcohol are also at risk of alcohol use disorders.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) states that, if someone begins to drink alcohol before the age of 15, he or she is approximately four times more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder later on. Many drug and alcohol rehab centers in the state of New Jersey offer treatment programs for adolescents.
People With Genetic Predispositions
The NIAAA also stated that a person’s genes present approximately 50% of the reason that someone develops a substance use disorder. Specifically, if a parent or a close relative had an alcohol use disorder, you have a greater risk of also developing this disorder.
Why Alcohol Addiction Treatment Services Are Necessary
Professional treatment is necessary because alcohol use disorder is a disease of the brain. When people drink alcohol, it causes the brain to release dopamine. As a result of this, the brain associates alcohol with pleasurable feelings, and the person begins to crave it.
As people continue to drink, they develop a tolerance that causes them to drink more alcohol so that they can obtain the desired effects. When they begin to drink less alcohol, they experience withdrawal symptoms, but they can relieve these symptoms by drinking more alcohol. Therefore, the addiction prevents people from being able to stop using or slowing down the use of alcohol.
The process described above is what makes it so hard for people to reduce or stop their use of alcohol on their own. That’s why they need to get help from professionals in alcohol rehab in NJ.
What Are Alcohol Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms?
When people slow down or stop drinking alcohol, they experience several withdrawal symptoms:
- Mood swings
- Pain in the abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Differences in the heart rate
- Increased body temperature
- Disorientation and hallucinations
One particularly serious form of alcohol withdrawal is known as “delirium tremens” (DTs). It also causes several symptoms, including the following:
- Deep sleep that may last for an unnaturally long time
Delirium tremens can also cause seizures without the other symptoms. This can occur 12 to 24 hours after a person’s last drink of alcohol.
It’s a concern if the person has experienced complications from alcohol withdrawal in the past. If someone has been a heavy drinker daily for several months, the danger of delirium tremens increases. It also tends to afflict you if you have been using alcohol for at least 10 years.
What are Generalized Tonic-Clonic Seizures?
Generalized tonic-clonic seizures affect the entire body. They also go by the name of grand mal seizures. This is a very important reason that you need treatment or alcohol detox in New Jersey and throughout all areas where people are struggling with alcohol use disorder.
If you begin to experience delirium tremens symptoms or generalized tonic-clonic seizures, you need to be in one of the treatment centers in New Jersey where you can receive treatment for these conditions. An outpatient alcohol treatment program in New Jersey wouldn’t be appropriate in this scenario because of the severity. Substance abuse or addiction treatment will need to be more intense for those experiencing DTs.
What to Expect During Medical Detox in New Jersey
Medical detox is the first step in treating alcohol use disorder. Because the withdrawal symptoms described above begin so quickly after you take your last drink, they make it extremely difficult for you to allow the toxins from the alcohol to be cleansed from your body. There’s also the possibility that this process can be dangerous for you.
When you are in the outpatient alcohol treatment program in New Jersey at Kingsway Recovery, the medical staff will be there to ease the severity of the symptoms. Our medical personnel will administer medications that ease nausea and other symptoms.
In an inpatient alcohol detox program, you will have medical professionals supervising you 24 hours a day. They will be there when you need them to adjust your medication, and they will wean you off of the medicines when it is safe to do so.
Why Detox is Crucial Before Treatment Programs in New Jersey
During the detoxification process, other problems can present themselves that you weren’t necessarily addressing when you were drinking alcohol. For example, many people experiencing alcohol use disorders also exhibit symptoms of a mental health disorder.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 37% of people with alcohol use disorder also had a mental health disorder. When people have two medical conditions at the same time, it’s called co-occurring disorders. Individuals in New Jersey should make sure that they look into treatment programs that address overcoming addiction and mental illness.
Why Do Substance Use Disorders and Mental Health Disorders Occur Together?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse or NIDA stated that substance use disorders and mental health disorders often co-occur for three possible reasons:
- Substance use can lead to a mental health disorder.
- Mental health symptoms may lead people to self-medicate by drinking alcohol.
- Both substance use disorders and mental health disorders have common risk factors.
According to public health surveys, approximately 50% of people diagnosed with mental health disorders will also be diagnosed with a substance use disorder. In comparison, about 50% of people diagnosed with substance use disorders will also be diagnosed with mental health disorders.
How Does This Occur?
A New Jersey resident may have been experiencing symptoms of a mental health disorder. To combat these symptoms, he or she may have decided to take a drink to calm anxiety. When this occurs, it causes symptoms of both disorders to present themselves even more. Another possibility is that alcohol causes disruptions in the brain that are also present in mental health disorders.
While you are in alcohol rehab in NJ, our staff also diagnoses and treats mental health disorders at the same time that they treat your withdrawal symptoms. Treating an alcohol use disorder without treating the mental health disorder does not offer you the best outcome for your substance use disorder treatment. The most appropriate alcohol abuse treatment plan is to treat both disorders at the same time.
Treatment for Alcohol Addiction in New Jersey
As was mentioned above, the medical detox program is only the beginning of the treatment process. After it is over, treatment for substance use disorder continues in an outpatient alcohol treatment program at Kingsway Recovery. This combines treatment methods and addiction counseling.
After alcohol detox in NJ, you have the option of entering our intensive outpatient alcohol treatment program (IOP). An intensive outpatient program provides substantial medical attention without a large time commitment. This program is for you if your alcohol use disorder isn’t severe enough to need inpatient treatment. You or your loved one don’t have to live at the treatment center, and this is often a relief to many people.
Group therapy gives people many things that they miss while they are focusing on alcohol. For example, as you were spending most of your time on alcohol, you were not socializing or engaging with people as often. Group therapy gives you the chance to work on your socialization and communication skills so that you can become accustomed to this part of life again.
Because you need a lot of support when you are in a treatment center, our alcohol abuse treatment plan also includes support groups. Support groups provide our clients with the structure that alcohol use removes from their lives. Because of our support groups, you will have discipline in your life again.
You or your loved one also need individual therapy. This is when you will work one-on-one with your counselor to address the issues that are specific to you. Group therapy is necessary, but some subjects aren’t appropriate for a group setting. This will be the time that you or your loved one will be able to bring up subjects that might be uncomfortable in a group setting.
Beating Alcohol Addiction in New Jersey is Possible
Beating alcohol addiction means that you must do things that are uncomfortable at times. One of those things is entering into an alcohol detox New Jersey and Kingsway Recovery for continued treatment. Contact us to overcome your addiction today.