Alcoholism is a dangerous brain disease that affects millions of people each and every year. Unknown to most, alcoholism is actually one of the most dangerous forms of substance abuse because people wrongly assume that the legality of the substance justifies it as being safe. The ease of access to the substance and acceptability of it in social settings, make it all too easy to develop alcohol dependence. Often before people even realize it, their once social drinking habit has led to alcoholism.
Abuse leads to addiction, which is characterized by constant cravings and an inability to control consumption. When someone attempts to go without drinking, they often experience physical symptoms of withdrawal. Without help from an alcohol rehab center, alcoholics may eventually develop any one of a number of serious medical conditions.
Effects of long-term alcoholism include:
• Cardiovascular disease
• Cirrhosis of the liver
A major roadblock for many in overcoming alcoholism is the fear of enduring the physical symptoms that often accompany withdrawal. Symptoms may begin one to three days after taking a drink. Depending on the length and severity of the addiction, symptoms of withdrawal may range from nausea, vomiting and irritability, to life-threatening cardiovascular problems and seizures. At alcohol rehabilitation centers, clients receive 24-hour medical monitoring while undergoing the process. Safe medical detox provides individuals with interventions that manage side effects and ease the discomfort.
Following detox, clients enter therapy to uncover the reasons for the addiction. Individuals learn to change negative thoughts and behaviors. Many need to deal with emotional or mental disorders. Comprehensive recovery treatment combines therapy with structured living and ongoing support. Licensed and specially-trained counselors and therapists work with alcoholics to develop positive, healthy life patterns that help individuals maintain sobriety. Therapy also includes the coping skills and recovery tools needed to deal with or reduce stress, prevent relapse and establish support networks.
Rehabilitation centers such as the ones recommended by Drug Treatment Centers New Brunswick recognize the importance for recovering alcoholics to participate in aftercare programs. These recovery centers often create care plans that include options for ongoing support after clients finish treatment. Psychological effects of chemical dependence may last for up to two years after the drinking stops. For this reason, some may opt to reside in sober living facilities until gaining the confidence needed to return to normal daily life. Others prefer having a resource coach and attending group meetings. All play an important part in staying sober.