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Alcohol Addiction

Short-Term & Long-Term Effects Of Alcohol

For most people, alcohol is not a substance of abuse. It is something we use to relax after a long day, to socialize with friends, or to celebrate special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. In many circles, those who choose not to use alcohol are ridiculed for their abstinence, while those who use it excessively are celebrated as “the life of the party”.

Being the life of the party does not come without a cost, though. Excessive use of alcohol can have far-reaching effects not only on a person’s health, but also on their relationships and financial security.

The Difference Between Alcohol Abuse And Alcohol Addiction

Before we go into how excessive alcohol consumption can affect a person, it is important to make the distinction between alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. Many people use the two terms interchangeably, although it is inaccurate to do so.

Alcohol addiction is a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol that cannot be controlled. The addicted person feels that they have to continue drinking in order to survive. In some cases, this is accurate: unsupervised withdrawal from alcohol can be extremely dangerous, and even fatal.

Alcohol abuse is any problematic use of alcohol. This encompasses several behaviours, including:

  • Use of alcohol that results in violent or aggressive behaviour
  • Exceeding the alcohol consumption guidelines laid out by health authorities
  • Drinking to the point of becoming physically ill
  • Use of alcohol that results in impaired driving or other criminal activity
  • Regular episodes of being under the influence of alcohol

While it is fair to say that people with alcohol addictions have, at some point, engaged in alcohol abuse, the reverse is not always true. Many people who abuse alcohol are able to control their consumption. They may limit their drinking to certain days or occasions, and they do not experience cravings or withdrawal symptoms while sober.

They can still suffer some of the effects of excessive alcohol consumption, though, such as adverse health events and relationship breakdowns.

How Much Alcohol Is Too Much?

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use & Addiction has compiled some recommendations for the safe use of alcohol. These include the following:

  • Adults who were assigned female at birth should not exceed a maximum of two drinks on any one day, for a total maximum of 10 drinks per week
  • Adults who were assigned male at birth should not exceed a maximum of three drinks on any one day, for a total maximum of 15 drinks per week
  • People up to the age of 24 should limit consumption to one or two drinks at a time, no more than twice a week
  • No alcohol should be consumed if you are driving a vehicle or operating machinery
  • If you are using prescription medication, speak with your doctor or pharmacist about alcohol use
  • Avoid consuming more than two drinks in a three-hour period
  • Your own personal risk factors may reduce your limits – for example, your body weight, age, and existence of medical conditions

What does biological sex have to do with consumption guidelines?

Those who are biologically female differ in several respects to those who are biologically male. Females generally have a lower body weight, but their body fat percentage tends to be higher. Since alcohol is stored in fat cells, this could put biological females at higher risk of long-term health effects. In addition, males produce higher amounts of alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme, which aids in breaking down alcohol.

Short-Term Effects Of Alcohol

Mood swings

In most adults, the body is capable of metabolizing around one unit of alcohol per hour. Consuming anything over and above that can lead to intoxication. While intoxicated, you may experience the following effects:

  • Impaired motor skills, which can result in accidental injury or death
  • Impaired judgment and lowered inhibitions
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Mood swings and the potential for aggression or violence
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness

Except in cases of alcohol poisoning, these effects usually pass when the body has metabolized all of the alcohol. However, during the period of intoxication, your risk of injury or death is significantly higher than it is while you are sober.

Long-Term Effects Of Alcohol

If you regularly consume large amounts of alcohol over a sustained period of time, you could be at risk of serious long-term effects, including the following:

  • Liver disease, including fatty liver, hepatitis, and liver fibrosis
  • Various cancers, including breast, esophageal, colorectal, and throat
  • Heart complications, such as cardiomyopathy, stroke, and irregular heart beat
  • Cognitive effects, including learning difficulty, memory loss, and limited attention span
  • Digestive complaints, including ulcers and pancreatitis
  • Reproductive health problems, such as erectile dysfunction, irregular menstruation, and reduced fertility

The Dangers Of Alcohol Withdrawal

long-term effects of alcohol

If you are concerned about the long-term effects of your alcohol consumption, it is not too late to stop. Some of the effects listed above will start to reverse when alcohol use is discontinued. However, alcohol withdrawal can have serious effects when attempted without medical supervision. The safest way to withdraw is to check in to a detox facility, where you will be under the care of medical professionals who can manage and treat withdrawal symptoms as they arise. At the very least, you should ensure that during your withdrawal, you are with somebody who can get medical care to you should the need arise.

The Use Of Alcohol During Pregnancy

There is a misconception that it is safe for pregnant women to have the occasional glass of wine. However, no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy has been established. The medical community therefore recommends complete abstinence during pregnancy, and in those who are intending to become pregnant. However, if you were consuming alcohol prior to finding out that you were pregnant, there is no need to worry. If you discontinue all alcohol use, you can still have a safe and healthy pregnancy.

If you consume alcohol throughout your pregnancy, your baby could be born with fetal alcohol syndrome. This can result in a low birth weight, slow growth, heart defects, intellectual disability, poor motor skills, and more.

Alcohol And Lactation

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, alcohol can be passed from a parent into the breast milk they produce. One standard drink per day may be safe as long as the parent does not nurse within two hours of consuming that drink.

Getting Help For Alcohol Addiction

If you are concerned about your alcohol consumption or that of a loved one, it is never too late to seek help. At 1000 Islands Rehab Centre, we will create a alcohol addiction treatment program that is tailored to your unique needs and circumstances. We will take care of you at all stages of your recovery, from detox right through to a comprehensive aftercare program for your post-rehab days. To find out more, or to book your stay, give us a call.

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Alcohol Addiction

Have Canadians Been Drinking More Alcohol During The Pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our daily lives. Our lives pre-pandemic were governed by things like our daily commute and our interactions with people. In COVID-19 times, we are having to plan our lives around lockdowns and restrictions. We are working from home, attending school remotely, and shopping online. Even our healthcare has largely gone virtual, with appointments with doctors and therapists taking place over the phone or via Zoom.

Our daily routines have been turned upside down. Instead of rushing out the door, we are setting our kids up for online classes before settling down in our own hastily assembled home office spaces. Gatherings with friends take place via a computer screen. We cannot go to the gym, so we make do with workouts in our living rooms and walks around the block.

Our consumption of foods and beverages has also changed. A phrase that people have been increasingly using is “pandemic pounds” – the weight gain associated with eating less healthily as a result of being stuck at home. Many of us resort to takeout or microwave meals because we’re tired of constantly cooking for family members who, unlike the “before” times, are home 24/7.

Has this change in consumption extended to alcohol? Are Canadians drinking more wine, beer and spirits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?

To answer this question, let’s first take a quick look at what “typical” alcohol consumption looks like in Canada.

Typical Alcohol Consumption In Canada

Alcohol is by far the most used and abused substance in Canada. During pre-COVID times, around 77% of Canadians consumed alcohol at least once in a one-year period. At 83%, the highest rate of alcohol use was among young adults aged 20-24. 78% of people aged 25 and older reported alcohol use, and in a troubling trend, 59% of youth aged 15-19 were using alcohol.

Although there has been some variance from one year to the next, these numbers have been relatively stable over the last decade.

Has The Pandemic Changed Alcohol Consumption In Canada?

According to a Statistics Canada survey done in January 2021, 54% of Canadians who consumed alcohol prior to the pandemic have not changed their drinking habits. The remaining number is split roughly evenly between those who have increased their alcohol consumption and those who are drinking less.

When we break down the change in alcohol drinking habits by age, an interesting picture emerges. While increases in alcohol consumption have occurred fairly uniformly across age groups, teens and young adults (ages 15-29) have decreased their consumption at much higher rates than older people.

Another thing that seems apparent is that the pandemic has produced more heavy drinkers. Prior to 2020, 11% of Canadians had at least five drinks on the days they consumed alcohol. By January 2021, this number increased to 18%.

Why The Changes In Alcohol Consumption?

why the changes in alcohol consumption

Human beings are creatures of habit. Even the more adventurous people among us like to have some semblance of order: sleeping at certain times of the day, following some kind of work schedule, buying groceries from a favourite location.

When any singular element of someone’s daily routine changes, other things have to change to accommodate it. If you get a new job, you have to change your morning commute. If you take up exercise, you may have to get up earlier to get to the gym. If you get a dog, you have to buy dog food and set aside time for daily walks.

For most people, alcohol consumption is just part of that daily routine, and it is one of the things that can vary depending on the changes that are going on in one’s life. It is not surprising that for almost half of the Canadian population, the massive routine changes that have come with the pandemic have led to different drinking habits.

Why Are Some People Drinking More During The Pandemic?

Any change – even a positive one – is stressful, and the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in complete changes to many people’s lives. According to an April 2020 report by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, 94% of Canadians reported that they were staying home more as a result of the pandemic. Major routine changes experienced by many include:

  • Working from home
  • Supervising school-aged children who are learning remotely
  • Reductions in exercise due to fitness centres and pools being closed
  • Shopping for groceries online
  • Eliminating social gatherings
  • Reducing or eliminating travel
  • Spending more time on household chores as a result of everyone being home at all times

The top three reported reasons for increased alcohol consumption are:

  • Lack of a regular schedule resulting from the above-mentioned disruptions
  • Boredom resulting from lack of social interaction
  • Stress resulting from all of the changes plus anxiety about the pandemic itself

Other reasons cited include loneliness and online social gatherings.

Why Are Some People Drinking Less During The Pandemic?

Drinking alcohol is closely linked with social gatherings, especially among younger adults who are more likely to drink alcohol only when they with other people. This could go a long way to explaining why younger adults have cut back on alcohol consumption far more than older people. The lack of opportunities to socialize is by far the number one reason for decreased alcohol consumption.

Other reasons include wanting to be healthy to reduce COVID risks, caring for dependents, and trying to regain health after having had COVID-19.

Alcohol Sales As An Essential Service

alcohol sales as essential service

Throughout the pandemic, the sale of alcohol has been regarded as an essential service in most parts of Canada, including Ontario. Many people have questioned why this is the case. On the face of it, there do appear to be arguments in favour of limiting alcohol sales.

Some countries have taken this approach. In South Africa, for instance, alcohol sales have been banned outright during the most severe phases of lockdown. Two factors have driven this decision: the concern about alcohol-fueled domestic violence incidents while lockdowns make escape difficult for the victims, and the goal of keeping alcohol-related trauma cases out of hospitals that need space for COVID patients.

There is a dangerous risk to this approach, though: by cutting off access to alcohol, we run the risk of everyone with an alcohol addiction going into withdrawal at the same time. Alcohol withdrawal without medical supervision can be extremely harmful – in some cases, fatal. For someone who is addicted, alcohol sales are indeed essential.

It is reasonable to believe that most jurisdictions worldwide responded to the pandemic as best they could with the information and resources available to them. A lesson learned could be that access to alcohol should be balanced with mental health services for people with addictions, and social services for those who are victims or at risk of becoming victims of alcohol-induced crimes. These services should be available to anyone who needs them, regardless of whether there is a global health crisis. If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic has done a great job of highlighting areas where these services are lacking.

Why Is The Data Important?

There are those who would argue that these statistics are “just numbers”, and that alcohol addiction is a serious issue regardless of what is going on in the world. And yes, it is true that help needs to be accessible to anyone who needs it, but by having an understanding of the impacts of a major event like a pandemic, policy makers and service providers can create targeted programs and awareness campaigns.

The world was not prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic: by taking the learnings from this experience, programs and response plans can be put in place for any future crises that may arise on a local, national or global scale.

Getting Help For Alcohol Abuse & Addiction

If you think you have a problem with alcohol abuse or addiction – whether it is related to the pandemic or not – it is never too soon or too late to get help. At 1000 Islands Addiction Centre, we will provide medical supervision to enable you to detox safely, and then we will put together a customized alcohol addiction and recovery program that is right for you. Contact us without delay so that you can reclaim your life.

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Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol Abuse And Addiction In Canada

Few substances have cultural, religious, and social significance in the same way alcohol does. Since the beginning of time, alcohol has been a cornerstone of celebrations and ceremonies. It has been regarded as an indicator of wealth in some societies, and one of poverty in others. Some religions ban alcohol consumption; in others, it is an integral part of worship.

Given that alcohol has been an integral part of life for so many generations, it is perhaps not surprising that it is the most commonly abused substance in most parts of the world. According to the World Health Organization, alcohol is responsible for around three million deaths worldwide every year.

Here in Canada, it is estimated that over 20% of people who consume alcohol do so in excess of low-risk drinking guidelines. Substance abuse in Canada costs around $46 billion per year: alcohol and tobacco account for 63% of this amount.

But the true cost of alcohol abuse and addiction goes far beyond a dollar amount. People caught in the grip of an alcohol addiction are at risk of losing their relationships, their health, and even their lives.

What Is The Difference Between Alcohol Abuse And Alcohol Addiction?

Although the terms “alcohol abuse” and “alcohol addiction” are sometimes used interchangeably, they are two distinct conditions.

According to the American Psychological Association, alcohol abuse is a pattern of alcohol consumption that has “significant and recurrent adverse consequences”. These consequences can manifest in many ways: acting violently or dangerously while under the influence; failing to meet work or family obligations; being pulled over for impaired driving.

Alcohol addiction, on the other hand, is a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. Some signs that you may have an alcohol addiction include the following:

  • You feel as if you need alcohol in order to function
  • You consume ever-increasing amounts of alcohol to achieve the same effects
  • When you do not have access to alcohol, you suffer from intense withdrawal symptoms and cravings
  • You consume alcohol at inappropriate times – for example, first thing in the morning, while driving, or while at work
  • You are unable to stop drinking once you start, in spite of wanting to

While many people do suffer from both alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction, this is not always the case. Many people who abuse alcohol are not addicted: they may drink excessively but limit this behaviour to certain days, or specific social gatherings. They do not rely on alcohol to get them through their day. However, if you do abuse alcohol, you are at higher risk of developing an alcohol addiction at some point during your life. An alcohol rehab program can help you, whether you abuse alcohol, are addicted to it, or both.

What Factors Contribute To Alcohol Abuse And Addiction?

It should not come as a surprise that alcohol is the most widely abused substance in the world. Many societies are set up in a way that makes excessive alcohol use not only easy or acceptable, but desirable.

A Friendly Neighbourhood Liquor Outlet For Everyone

In Ontario alone, there are almost 900 LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) stores and convenience outlets. Additionally, wine and beer can now be purchased at more than 300 grocery stores across the province. While most liquor retailers do their best to follow safe alcohol sale guidelines, such as checking IDs to verify age, and refusing to sell to individuals who appear to be intoxicated, no system is perfect. One method by which people with alcohol use disorders hide their addictions is by purchasing from several liquor retailers in rotation. The sheer availability of retailers makes this very easy.

A Society That Celebrates Drinking

society that celebrates drinking

But while availability of alcohol might make life logistically easier for people with alcohol addictions, societal attitudes are more of a problem. People are often pressured to drink alcohol at social gatherings. If they decline, they are referred to as “party poopers”, or persuaded to have “just one”. Meanwhile, those who drink to excess are seen as “the life of the party”. This perpetuates the notion that one must drink alcohol in order to have a good time, and this could result on people drinking in spite of not really wanting to. After all, no one wants to go to a party and be regarded as “boring”.

An Escape From Stress

For many people, alcohol is an escape. Sometimes people need ways to cope with the stress of major life events, like job loss or spousal separation. Sometimes, alcohol provides a way to avoid the lasting effects of trauma that has been witnessed or experienced. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) estimates that people with mental illnesses like depression, anxiety and PTSD are twice as likely as the general population to develop substance use disorders. With mental health stigmas still alive and well, many people are hesitant to seek the help they need, and they may fall into alcohol consumption as a coping mechanism.

What Are The Effects Of Alcohol Abuse And Addiction?

Like many substance use disorders, alcohol addiction can have far-reaching effects.

Physical And Mental Health

The World Health Organization states that harmful alcohol use – whether as a one-time occurrence or as an alcohol consumption pattern – can cause over 200 physical and mental health conditions. These include various cancers, liver disease, stroke, digestive complaints, depression, anxiety, and psychosis. In addition, people who are alcohol impaired are more likely to engage in behaviours that could result in injury or death, such as impaired driving.

One of the most dangerous elements of alcohol addiction is the effects of withdrawal. For people who have been consuming large amounts of alcohol for an extended period of time, unsupervised withdrawal can lead to high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and seizures. Delirium tremens, often referred to simply as “the DTs” is a serious seizure condition that can be fatal.

Relationships

relationships

Alcohol abuse and addiction can result in the erosion of relationships with family members and close friends. This happens for several reasons, one of them being the fact that alcohol abuse can make a person behave aggressively. Many incidents of domestic violence begin with excessive alcohol consumption, and it doesn’t take long for family members to fear the person who is drinking.

But even in the absence of domestic violence, relationships can suffer. The person with the alcohol addiction may start to withdraw, favouring alcohol use over other activities. Combined with the deception of trying to hide the addiction, this can alienate family members. Many marriages have broken up due to alcohol addiction; many children have been removed from parents for whom alcohol use had taken precedence over family.

Finances

There are two elements to this one. First, alcohol doesn’t come free, and for people with an addiction, it is a necessary expense. Progressively larger amounts of alcohol need to be consumed in order to achieve the same effects, and it can easily get to the point where the addicted person has to choose between buying liquor or putting food on their table.

Secondly, excessive alcohol consumption often goes hand-in-hand with erratic behaviour. The addicted person might start showing up late or not at all. They may drink while at work, and this can affect work performance and interactions with coworkers and customers. Eventually, the individual may lose their job.

How To Get Help

If you feel that you are experiencing an alcohol abuse or addiction problem, or if you are concerned about someone you love, help is available. It is strongly recommended that you enter a medically supervised detox program, since withdrawal from alcohol can be extremely dangerous if attempted alone. At Thousand Islands Rehab Centre, we will get you through your withdrawal safely, and then we will design a comprehensive alcohol addiction rehab program that is tailored for your needs and circumstances. To get started, call us at 855-929-4045.

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Alcohol Addiction

What to Expect from Alcohol Addiction Rehab

If you are struggling with alcohol addiction and you realize you need help with your addiction, you need to take steps to recover and achieve sobriety. Your recovery journey from alcohol addiction begins with detox.

From there, you’ll start your addiction treatment, which usually requires you to enrol in a rehab program. Following treatment, you’ll continue with after-care therapies and support groups to help you stay on the right path.

The above is only a quick summary of what alcohol addiction rehab entails. In this article, you will learn everything about what to expect from alcohol rehab. At its end, you will have answers to every question you have about alcohol addiction treatment.

Am I Addicted to Alcohol?

Many people struggling with alcohol addiction hardly know they are addicted to the substance. When you become addicted to alcohol, it eventually leads to a chronic disease known as alcohol use disorder. At this point, you are dependent on the substance and won’t function properly without it.

There is no single known cause for alcohol addiction. Behavioural, psychological, and genetic factors can contribute to it. When you become addicted to alcohol, it alters your brain and neurochemistry. Hence, you may become unable to control your actions.

There are many ways to tell if you are addicted to alcohol. You may exhibit one or all of these symptoms:

  • Drink alcohol frequently and in increased amounts.
  • Become highly tolerant of alcohol or lack of hangover symptoms.
  • Drink alcohol at inappropriate times or places.
  • Always visit locations where alcohol is available.
  • Damaged relationships with friends and loved ones.
  • Become dependent on alcohol to function properly.
  • Hide alcohol from your loved ones or superiors.
  • Increased lethargy, depression, or emotional stress.
  • Problems at work.
  • Legal problems.

Continued alcohol use may lead to a slew of medical problems like:

  • Ulcers
  • Sexual issues
  • Congenital disabilities
  • Vision problems
  • Increased risks of cancer
  • Diabetes complications
  • Bone loss
  • Suppressed immune function

If you are addicted to alcohol, you may also put others at risk. Drunk people may showcase violent behaviours, drive under the influence, become suicidal or homicidal, among others. To avoid these and many other complications, you should treat your alcohol addiction.

relation issues

Treatment Procedure for Alcohol Addiction: What Happens at Rehab

Many people struggling with alcohol addiction are hesitant to seek addiction treatment. They hear myths about the procedure and withdrawal symptoms they may experience and grow cold feet. However, this should not be the case.

You should seek information about alcohol addiction treatment instead of dwelling on hearsay. This article will show you there is no need to fear what happens during alcohol rehab.

Alcohol treatment begins from the moment you realize you need help with your addiction. No matter the number of people trying to talk you out of your addictive behaviours, only you have the final say and can decide you need help. Only when you come to this realization yourself will you be motivated to take the necessary steps to your recovery.

The next step is to enrol in an alcohol addiction treatment center. At the center, medical professionals will examine you to get some vital information. After the assessment, you will proceed to detox. After detox, you will take part in multiple therapies and treatments. After your treatment, you will also engage in post-recovery therapies and counselling to keep you on the sobriety path.

People ask “How long does alcohol rehab take?” Rehab usually takes between 28 to 30 days. Sometimes, it can take 60 or 90 days. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recommends a 90-day treatment program for addiction patients.

Check-In and Assessment

Once you check in to an alcohol rehab center, the rehab’s staff will interview you to find out more about you. The assessment is necessary because they need to know the nature of your substance abuse. They also need to know if you have co-occurring conditions.

The answers you provide will help the rehab center customize a treatment plan for you. The answers you provide will also influence what to expect from alcohol addiction rehab.

This is because every person will have a unique treatment plan customized for them. Even though the ultimate goal is to recover from addiction and attain sobriety, your alcohol rehab plan will differ from another patient’s.

Detox

After your assessment, you will undergo detoxification. Detox is aimed at getting rid of all the traces of alcohol in your body after long-term use and abuse. This stage of alcohol addiction recovery is critical and may be difficult for some persons. However, it’s necessary because your body can’t cleanse itself of the traces of alcohol without it. Without detox, you are not mentally and physically ready for alcohol addiction rehab.

Detox prepares you for what to expect from alcohol rehab. Everyone’s experience with detox is different. Your experience depends on the type of alcohol you consumed, the quantity consumed and the duration of use. Based on these factors, detox can last from a day to two weeks. More severe cases can last for a few months.

During detox, you may experience some withdrawal symptoms as your body adjusts to the absence of alcohol. These symptoms can range in intensity from mild to life-threatening. Most times, the severity and duration of your alcohol use play a role in the kind of withdrawal symptoms you will experience.

The mild symptoms of alcohol detox are:

  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating

More serious withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Disorientation
  • Extreme hallucinations
  • Delirium tremens (rarely occurs)

Delirium tremens is not common, but it is the most serious symptom of alcohol withdrawal and detox. You may experience it within two to five days after your last consumption of alcohol. Delirium tremens can cause death. However, it is rare for people to develop it after quitting alcohol.

Because of the severe nature of some alcohol withdrawal symptoms, medical professionals must be on hand. Hence, what to expect from alcohol rehab at this stage is you being surrounded by health professionals. They are monitoring your reactions and taking note of any sudden symptoms. This way, you get all the help you need immediately.

If you develop symptoms in alcohol rehab, you may be given medications to treat them. These medications include benzodiazepines, naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram.

Benzodiazepines are for treating alcohol withdrawal symptoms during the detox phase. Naltrexone helps reduce your alcohol cravings. Acamprosate helps your brain to function normally again after quitting alcohol. On the other hand, disulfiram acts by producing severe reactions if you consume alcohol.

Related Article: Medical Detox Cost in Canada

detox alcohol addiction

Alcohol Rehab Programs

After the detox stage of your alcohol addiction treatment, the next phase is the rehab stage. There are two alcohol rehab programs. These are inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab.

In inpatient rehab, you will live inside a hospital or rehab center. In the center, you will have round-the-clock medical care and attention. You will partake in several activities aimed at steadily pushing you towards recovery.

In outpatient rehab, you don’t stay in a rehab center or facility. Instead, you’ll receive treatment for your addiction while continuing with your daily activities. Outpatient rehab usually entails regular appointments with a healthcare professional or therapist. You’ll also partake in counselling sessions, individual and group therapies.

These alcohol rehab programs also differ from each other in cost. You will pay more for inpatient rehab than for outpatient rehab. Inpatient rehabs require multiple trained and experienced medical staff. Inpatient rehabs also offer more services than outpatient rehabs. These factors contribute to its cost.

However, if you are suffering from severe alcohol dependency or are a long-term alcohol user, you should enrol in inpatient rehab. You may experience more severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms and will need more medical care and attention. Outpatient rehabs are recommended for people with mild withdrawal symptoms.

Rehab therapy and treatments

Therapies are a major part of what to expect from alcohol rehab. After detox, your rehab treatment begins, whether in an inpatient or outpatient rehab center. You will undergo various kinds of therapies during your treatment and recovery process. These therapies help your cravings for alcohol, prevent relapse, and maintain a sober lifestyle.

The therapies you will undergo include:

Individual Therapy

In individual therapy, a medical professional will work with you privately. There will be one-on-one sessions to reflect on your addiction and how it has affected your lifestyle. During these therapeutic sessions, you will gradually find healing and reconnect with your true self.

During these sessions, your therapist will also identify the factors triggering your addiction. This is an important aspect of what to expect from alcohol rehab. After identifying these triggers, your therapist will teach you how to deal with or get rid of them healthily.

The therapist will also fashion out the right kind of therapy suitable for you. There are different forms of therapies, but behavioural therapies are effective in dealing with alcohol addiction.

During alcohol addiction rehab,  different therapy forms you may undergo include:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Motivational enhancement therapy.
  • Dialectical behaviour therapy
  • Interpersonal therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Experiential therapy
  • Holistic therapy.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy

It helps in unearthing the thoughts or feelings that cause you to indulge in alcohol abuse and addiction. It eventually reduces your chances of relapsing during and after treatment.

Trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy

This therapy accounts for trauma and its impact on behaviours. It helps you connect your trauma with your behaviour. Therefore, you can break the link between trauma and your alcohol consumption behaviour.

Motivational enhancement therapy

In this form of therapy, you’ll learn how to change some behaviours or negative thoughts linked to your addiction. Motivational enhancement therapy is usually used for treating patients with co-occurring conditions.

Dialectical behaviour therapy

This is another therapy recommended for people with dual diagnoses. With it, you’ll learn ways to deal with your alcoholism and co-occurring disorder through motivational enhancement and behavioural skills.

Interpersonal therapy

It helps you build a social network and other support structures that can help you deal with loneliness, negative thoughts, and other things that increase addictive behaviours. This therapy aims to strengthen your resolve to remain sober.

alcohol group therapy

Psychodynamic therapy

What to expect from alcohol rehab when it comes to psychodynamic therapy is the exploration of your emotions. This therapy form helps you uncover subconscious thoughts connected to your addiction.

If you can identify these thoughts, you can determine the underlying cause of your addiction. Psychodynamic therapy also helps you avoid situations that can cause relapse.

Experiential therapy

This therapy uses non-traditional treatment methods to help alcohol addiction patients overcome repressed emotions and feelings.

Holistic therapy

It is a therapy form that focuses on an addiction patient’s overall wellbeing. Besides your overall well-being, it also treats physical withdrawal symptoms. Some examples of this therapy are yoga, meditation, art therapy, and acupuncture.

Marriage or Family Therapy

If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, it’s likely your family is also affected. An important aspect of what to expect from alcohol rehab is family counselling.

During family counselling, your family members, who may be aggrieved with your behaviours, can air their grievances. Besides airing grievances, they also get to know how they may have contributed to your addiction with their actions or inactions.

This kind of therapy can become an emotional rollercoaster but tends to serve a good purpose in the end. It is also key to your healing, recovery, and sustained growth after alcohol addiction rehab. Your family members or spouse will learn how best to support you going forward. You will also have strength, knowing you have your loved ones solidly behind you.

Planning for Post-Recovery Treatment

One important part of what to expect from alcohol rehab is that it prepares you for life after treatment. It does this by educating you about things you should note as you return to a normal life after treatment.

This part of rehab is important because transiting from rehab to your everyday life can be topsy turvy. However, if you already know what to expect ahead of time, it becomes easier to navigate.

During post-recovery sessions, you’ll learn the community resources and groups where you can find support. Besides support, these groups serve as motivation and offer some sort of coping mechanism to help you avoid relapse after addiction recovery.

You should join support groups after your alcohol addiction treatment. These groups are important because they help you stay on the recovery path. In these groups, you will meet individuals who have experiences similar to yours. These shared experiences and other people’s success stories after addiction recovery help you stay sober,

Alcohol addiction recovery support groups include:

  • 12-Step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous
  • SMART Recovery
  • Al-Anon

Besides these support groups, you should also partake in follow-up therapy and counselling. Go for medical evaluations, take up new healthy hobbies that boost your wellbeing and keep you away from the bottle.

Tips to Ensure a Successful Rehab Program

Knowing what to expect from alcohol rehab is good. What is even better is having a successful rehab. The rehab center plays a role in helping you achieve recovery, but you have a bigger part to play.

Here are some things you can do to make your alcohol rehab effective:

Stay focused on little goals

Don’t overwhelm yourself with huge goals during your recovery process. Instead, start with the small goals you can achieve and gradually move up to bigger goals. These small goals help you stay focused on the bigger goals and encourage you on your journey.

Have a supportive network

While in an alcohol addiction rehab center, you will develop new relationships. These relationships can be with other patients, your therapist, counsellors, and other medical staff. These new friends will become your support network during and after rehab. You can get insights, resources, and tools from them, which keep you on the recovery path.

Your family and close friends are also part of your support network. They are always there for you when you need someone to speak to about troubling situations. While building a supportive network, keep away from relationships that will lead you back into alcohol addiction.

Hold on to something that motivates you

During rehab, what to expect at an alcohol treatment center is not complete without discussing feelings of tiredness and wanting to give up. It is good to have a motivating factor to hold on to at such times.

It can be a picture of your family, a lifelong memory, or your vow to yourself. Whatever it is, it should encourage you to stay on your path to sobriety and achieve your goals.

Don’t think it will be an easy ride

A bumpy ride is a part of what to expect from alcohol rehab. Hence, you will encounter setbacks during your journey. When this happens, don’t become moody and look to give up. Instead, pick yourself up and remember what your end goal is.

Take part in all alcohol addiction rehab activities

During rehab, you should partake in the rehab center’s activities. These activities will help you attain sobriety and a healthy lifestyle. You’ll also continue with the things you learn in rehab after your treatment. If you don’t take part in these activities, you risk relapsing soon after treatment, which is not good enough.

Continue with treatment after rehab

After your alcohol addiction rehab, don’t think your battle with addiction is over. You should continue your treatment by joining support groups, going for counselling sessions and therapies.

These activities will keep you sober and prevent relapse or alcohol triggers. You should also make new friends that help you stay sober and do away with those who lead you into alcoholism.

How Do I Choose a Good Rehab Program?

A good rehab program is key to a successful recovery. If you enrol in a rehab center that does not do a thorough job with its treatment techniques, you may find yourself going back to your old ways sooner than later. Though you have a bigger role to play in your journey to sobriety, the right kind of addiction treatment center will make things easier.

Here are some things to consider before choosing a rehab center:

  • Does it have a license?
  • Does it have trained and professional staff?
  • Does it offer counselling and medical services?
  • Does it offer aftercare services?
  • What will it do to prevent a relapse?
  • Is it affordable?
  • Does it accept my insurance coverage?
  • Does it have good reviews and success stories?

If the rehab center you are considering answers these questions satisfactorily, then you should go for it. However, if you feel it is not good enough, you should seek better options. If you have little confidence in a facility, you may not take your treatment seriously. This defeats the purpose of alcohol rehab treatment.

Related Article: How to Choose Between Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab

Conclusion

Alcohol recovery is not as complicated as mainstream media makes it seem. As long as you choose the best rehab centre, they have the experience and expertise to make it easier for you. More importantly, the results — sobriety — are well worth it.

Here at 1000 Islands Rehab Centre, our specialists will develop a treatment plan for you based on your exact needs. Contact us today to learn more about our alcohol rehab programs.

Categories
Alcohol Addiction

The Cost of Alcohol Rehab Programs in Canada

The cost of alcohol rehab is a commonly asked question these days. The reason is simple. There is an increasingly growing volume of heavy alcohol drinkers in Canada. According to Statista, about 19.1 percent of consumers above 12 years are “heavy drinkers”. This is tantamount to addiction.

While there is a treasure trove of information online, including this, you can’t get better without action. Just consuming information is not enough to get you off alcohol addiction. If you’ll get better; if this article will fulfill its purpose, your taking action is the required premise.

It’s not enough to know everything about alcohol addiction without taking action. Hence, as you go through this article that adequately details the cost of alcohol rehab programs, you should have your mindset to take action immediately.

What Does an Alcohol Rehab Program Entail?

The cost of alcohol rehab varies from one facility to the other. This is due to several factors the later part of this article will explore. However, the concept of alcohol rehabilitation remains the same – to help alcohol addicts go back to leading a normal life. This sounds easier than done.

Addiction can be powerful. It happens at a level that seems to override the will of the individual in question. This is simply due to the dependence of the brain on alcohol to derive satisfaction and happiness that results from dopamine release.

It’s a vicious cycle from “just one sip” to getting addicted, trying to withdraw, then back to relapse. If you are trying to undergo withdrawal by yourself, this is most likely the reality. Hence, it’s better to subject yourself to an alcohol rehab program. The reason for this is simple — you will be in the care of a professional, in a controlled environment, with easy access to treatment.

Alcohol rehab programs are designed to help stop dependence on the use of alcohol. Alcohol addicts, like other addicts, always feel like they can’t do without the substance. This is not true.

Generally, addicts, of whatever substance, don’t always acknowledge their condition. They’ll claim that they aren’t addicted to the substance, and they can stop whenever they feel like it. For the most part, this is untrue. They find themselves unable to stop.

And for those that finally acknowledge their condition, there is a characteristic sombreness that follows. Even while the addicts experience this sadness, they still find it near impossible to stop craving the substance.

This is where alcohol rehab programs come in. All of these institutions have a basic activity template, irrespective of the pricing for alcohol rehab programs they put forward.

The very first process is to check you in. you go through an interview, which helps the experts assess your case A consultation with the doctor in-charge will do this. It will also help the facility customize your alcohol addiction treatment journey. This when the duration of your stay will also be put into consideration. Typically, the alcohol addiction program should take between 30 to 90 days.

Though, for the most part, addiction recovery is always a life-long journey of sobriety. But when you put in the work, you can get the help you need on time and start the journey back to normalcy.

Alcohol Detoxification

Upon completion of the check-in consultation, you’ll go through detoxification. Detox is the process whereby your body is rid of the alcohol substance.

The substances accumulate in the body after long use, which builds dependence. The purpose of this detoxification is to make withdrawal smoother and less painful. According to WebMD, this period always comes with symptoms like anxiety, headache, vomiting, shaky hands, nausea, sweating, and insomnia).

There is no fixed experience attributed to detoxification. This difference in experience varies greatly with the intensity of alcohol abuse. As such, you shouldn’t try to achieve detox yourself.

Even if you know the prescription of your friend with alcohol addiction, you shouldn’t self-medicate. Detox is best-done by a professional, in a controlled environment.

After detoxification, therapy follows. There are different therapies that specialists administer to different persons. People have peculiarities. Hence, you shouldn’t compare your treatment to another person.

Also, a specialist may decide to change your therapy based on the real-time realities of your condition. While this influences the cost of alcohol rehab, it’s totally necessary. If you aren’t responding well to a particular therapy, the specialist can decide to make changes.

life or addiction

The need for support during alcohol rehab

Like every form of therapy, support is very important. You have to open up about your condition to your family and friends. Without them, it may be difficult to scale through the process.

During recovery treatment, you can either be an outpatient or an inpatient. If you are an outpatient (a patient who isn’t admitted into the facility), you need support from family and friends to prevent a relapse.

As an inpatient (a patient admitted into the facility), you’ll need support from family and friends. During the period of your stay in the facility, you’ll probably not be working. To clear bills and ensure your mental wellbeing, you’ll need the support of family and friends. Although as an inpatient, you’ll also enjoy support from the staff of the facility.

Hence, once you have decided to get treatment, you must be ready to rely on others. You must prepare your mind to effectively communicate with others.

Related Article: The Cost of Meth Addiction and Other Substance Abuse Rehab in Toronto

The Types of Alcohol Rehab Program and How it Affects Cost

There are different alcohol rehab facilities out there. These institutions leverage different types of treatment — a fact responsible for the differences in the cost of alcohol rehab.

Traditional Addiction Treatment

This type of treatment for alcohol addiction has been in practice for about eighty years — since the 1940s. It’s an effective program that has seen thousands of people recover since its existence. You can either be an inpatient or an outpatient in this program.

In this program, you get a mentor who will monitor your journey back to normalcy. There are bound to be highs and low; moments you will enjoy or get frustrated at the program.

But, you have to console yourself with the fact that you aren’t the only one with alcohol addiction. There is no better good you can do for yourself at the moment than recovery.

Holistic Addiction Treatment

This is a thorough treatment process that doesn’t hold back on whatever process is needed to get you completely whole. The strategies of holistic addiction treatment tackle both your emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental issues relating to addiction.

There are several of these therapies. They may seem minor, but when you diligently follow through, you are on the path to recovery. These include; cinema therapy, shopping therapy, art therapy and cooking therapy. These different activity therapies have the aim of taking your mind and subconscious off the craving for alcohol.

You don’t have to go through all the therapies. You simply need to choose the one that works for you. Based on the therapy you choose, how much to pay for alcohol rehab programs varies.

The 12 step Alcohol Rehabilitation Programs

While there are different types of luxurious and affordable alcohol rehab programs out there, the principles are the same. The approaches may be different, but they are looking to achieve the same result.

These different treatment options are necessary to prevent increasing cases of health hazards that result from alcohol. With 1.3 million Canadians estimated to be suffering from alcohol addiction, doubling down on treatment is the right to do. If you are looking to exclude yourself from the statistics of addicts, you need to know these steps by heart.

  • You should admit that you are powerless against addiction. Only when you stop lying to yourself that you can stop whenever you want, can you start to recover.
  • You should take a personal inventory
  • You should not be shy in admitting your wrongdoings to the authority, yourself, and loved ones
  • You should be willing to go through corrections by the authority
  • You should earnestly seek the help of the authority in removing the shortcomings
  • Knowing your wrongdoings to others, and being willing to make a change
  • Contacting those your addiction may have negatively affected and apologizing
  • Ensuring a continuous personal inventory
  • Earnestly pursuing enlightenment and connection to the authority
  • Being ready to help other in similar situation realize the 12 steps.

What is the Cost of Alcohol Rehab?

Many people always ask if the cost of alcohol rehab is worth it. We think that’s a question that shouldn’t be asked. Not only does alcohol addiction pose terrible health risks, but it also leaves the victims a shadow of themselves.

If you don’t take care, it can affect other areas of your life drastically. This is why “how much is alcohol rehab” is the right question to ask.

It is hard to give a hard figure to the cost of alcohol rehab. This is due to the several factors that come to play in the process. However, on a general basis, below is a breakdown to expect.

  • For a 30 days drug detox; you’ll spend between $250 and $800 per day. This range considers the various influencing factors that we talk about in the next section.
  • For 3 months of outpatient care, the cost of alcohol rehab spans between $1400 and $10,000.
  • A 30 days intensive outpatient program costs anywhere between $3000 and $10000.
  •  For the resident, inpatient, programs, the cost of alcohol rehab can rise to between $5000 and $80,000.

You should note that these price ranges aren’t set in stone. It is still possible that you may find more affordable treatments. These are standard pricing for alcohol rehab programs that takes into account the provision of basic amenities.

You can also always get recommendations from family members, friends, or colleagues who got similar treatment. This will help you narrow your search for standard alcohol rehab facilities.

Hand holding a paper sheet with no alcohol sign over a crowded street background. Stop to drink symbol prohibited icon. Refuse to be dependent.

Factors that determine the Cost of Alcohol Rehab in Canada

Several factors influence the cost of alcohol rehab in Canada. The shifts may not be exceptionally significant, but these price variations add up. If you are looking to get an affordable alcohol rehab program, you need to consider the following.

The Type of Program

As we explain earlier in this article, there are different types of alcohol recovery treatment. The difference in treatment process requirements and needs influence the cost. Hence, you need to be aware of the type of program that fits your budget.

Furthermore, different treatment programs come with differing benefits. Hence, you need to be clear on what you are getting from the facility. You shouldn’t jump at a facility because you know someone there. Carry out due diligence to know if their alcohol rehab programs will suit you.

How long the treatment will be

This is another important factor to consider. Above, the template of pricing we provided is mostly for 30-day programs. Frequently, there may be a need for treatment extension, which attracts extra cost.

The duration of the treatment, however, tracks back to how responsive you are to treatment. Since you have no control over how well you respond, it’s left to the specialist to place you on the right treatment from the get-go.

Addiction treatment is a lifelong commitment, which requires you to spend money, no matter how small it is. For instance, if you are leveraging cooking therapy to fight your alcohol cravings, you’ll need to spend money on food ingredients. The longer the therapy takes, the more money you get to spend.

Location

The location also plays a great difference. Generally, hospitals and facilities situated in the countryside will cost way less than those in the cities. Hence, you should check for the best locations.

Also, you don’t want to choose a location that’s too far from you. Whether you’re going in for inpatient or outpatient alcohol rehab, a distant location means you’ll be spending more time and energy. Because you’ll be visiting the specialist frequently, you’ll need somewhere close to home.

Amenities

This is one of the major differences between rehab centers, even if they offer the same process for alcohol addiction recovery. The better the amenities available at the treatment facility, the more the cost you will incur.

For instance, some facilities have sports arenas, cinemas and gyms. These are facilities that can give patients an enjoyable experience. However, all these culminate in an increased cost of using the alcohol rehab center.

 Insurance

Alcohol addiction is a health issue. Hence, insurance is an important factor to consider. While the government enacts several policies to help citizens, it won’t take on the whole cost of treatment. Though, UVIC reports that Canada isn’t doing enough as regards alcohol rehab policies, unlike America.

For this reason, individuals shouldn’t rely so much on government policies to subsidize alcohol addiction treatment. This is where personal insurance comes to play.

You can also insure your health, which will provide you with full or partial financial support during treatment. For instance, some insurance companies may cover 3- days of treatment, while others may cover more.

The insurance you have can also influence the treatment quality and type you receive. It determines what you get as the client. Do your due diligence to know everything about your insurance company as regards rehab. If you won’t be getting any insurance coverage, you’ll be spending more money on alcohol rehab.

 Inpatient or Outpatient

These are also important influences to note. If you will be living in the facility, it will cost you more. For chronic alcoholics, inpatient treatments are the best. This is to monitor withdrawal (which will have intensive symptoms), triggers and provide more effective therapy.

Outpatient treatment, generally, costs less, but it is less effective. For chronic consumers, continuing to live in an uncontrolled environment results in frequent relapses. This in turn will add to the cost of alcohol rehab.

Medications

Different patients require different drugs and medications during alcohol rehab. Hence, depending on your peculiarity, the cost of your drugs may be different from that of others. Also, the more chronic your addiction is, the more medication you’ll probably need.

Related Article: Heroin Addiction Treatment Cost in Canada

Final Take

The cost of alcohol rehab differs from place to place and from specialist to specialist. However, whatever the pricing may be, it’s all worth it in the long run. Alcohol addiction can be terrible. The negative effects can spiral if they are not brought under control soon.

Not only does it leave you feeling terrible about yourself. But alcohol addiction can also make you pick up terrible habits like stealing to afford another bottle. Alcohol addiction can also cause work-related issues for victims.

When these problems pile up, it makes the addiction more difficult to curb. This can lead to co-occurring conditions like depression. At this stage, the tendency of the vicious cycle – of alcoholism and depression – stopping is near zero. Though treatment will also remain possible, it becomes three times harder.

This is why you need to leverage alcohol rehab programs in the Greater Toronto Area. Here at 1000 Islands Rehab Centre, you will have access to facilities and experts that are ready to help and get you back in shape. Whatever the cost you have to incur, it’s all going to be worth it in the long run. Get help now!

Categories
Alcohol Addiction

What Are The Signs Of Alcohol Abuse, Dependence And Addiction?

What Are The Signs Of Alcohol Abuse, Dependence And Addiction?

The use of alcohol is not only socially acceptable but expected. If you have a hard day at work, you wind down by going home or to a bar and having a beer. Birthdays and anniversaries are celebrated with champagne, and expensive wine is considered to be a staple at fancy dinner parties. People who drink a little too much are thought of as “fun”, and we mock those who refuse to drink at all.

Alcohol Abuse, Dependence And AddictionWe have normalized alcohol consumption to the point that alcohol abuse is difficult to recognize in ourselves or in others. So while we may think that we’re just always up for having a good time, we may actually be developing alcohol abuse and dependence issues. When we become so used to seeing our neighbour with a beer that we don’t even notice it, they might already be an alcoholic without even realizing it.

What Are The Signs Of Alcohol Abuse?

So if it’s that difficult to even know when you or someone else has a problem, what are you supposed to do? How and when does it eventually become obvious that your alcohol consumption has gone beyond the realm of what is “normal”?

There are some signs of alcohol abuse that you can look out for. Fortunately, some of these can be caught early.

You often drink more than you intended to

If you find yourself frequently uttering the words, “One more can’t hurt”, you may need to take stock of how much alcohol you are consuming. Most people are able to attend a social gathering and limit themselves to one or two drinks. Even those who would usually have a glass of wine at a dinner party find it easy to abstain if they are the designated driver. You may be starting to toe the line of alcohol abuse if you want to say no to that extra beer but find that you just cannot resist, or if hasty arrangements have to be made for an alternate driver.

You drink to recover from a stressful day

There is nothing wrong with kicking back with a glass of wine after a long day, but if this becomes your primary means of dealing with stress, you may be treading in dangerous territory. Not only are you increasing your reliance on alcohol, but the underlying source of your stress is also going unresolved. If you recognize that you are in this situation, you can take immediate action by seeking healthier ways to handle stress, possibly with the help of a therapist.

You end up in dangerous situations when you’ve been drinking

The problem with being drunk is that you are often in denial about being drunk. So you may engage in risky behaviour, either believing that it is safe or not care that it isn’t. A lot of impaired driving incidents happen as a result of someone insisting that they are “fine to drive”. If your job requires you to operate dangerous machinery, you may persist in this after you’ve had a few drinks over lunch. Also, another sign of alcohol abuse is if Friday and Saturday nights are rife with fistfights and unsafe drunk sexual encounters.

You intentionally seek out activities that involve alcohol

Some people are able to maintain their interests if they can find a way to combine these interests with drinking. For example, you may develop a sudden interest in the 19th hole at the golf course, or you may start serving wine at the book club meetings you host. Other people will simply abandon their previous interests. Instead of going walking on the beach, they will stay home so they can drink. They will gradually fade away from the team sport they participated in; their kids may start to have more sleepovers at Grandma’s house. It’s the little things that point to alcohol abuse.

Your health is starting to decline

This happens for two reasons. First, as people increase their consumption of alcohol, they tend to neglect aspects of health and wellness, like nutrition and exercise. And second, the alcohol itself can cause damage to the liver and increase the heart rate and blood pressure. If you drink alcohol regularly, and you have a general sense of feeling run-down, you may need to put a pause on your alcohol consumption.

You tell yourself that you need to stop drinking

Even if you don’t fully recognize that you have a problem, something may make you aware of the extent of your consumption. You may look at the empty bottles in your kitchen and get a shock. Or you may be going over your bank accounts and see a lot of transactions at the liquor outlet. If you are saying to yourself, “Maybe I should cut down on the drinking”, you may need to stop and think about whether that is actually true.

Related article: Be in the Know: Canada’s Latest Alcohol Addiction and Recovery Facts

What Are Alcohol Dependence And Alcohol Addiction?

If you are abusing alcohol regularly over a prolonged period of time, you can become dependent on alcohol. This means that you no longer merely enjoy a drink: you actually need it in order to function. If you deprive yourself of it, you start to experience withdrawal symptoms that can be uncomfortable. Once you become addicted, alcohol is no longer just a part of your life. It is your whole life. Once you reach this point, withdrawal can be almost impossible; in some cases, it can be life-threatening.

Common signs of alcohol dependence

Alcohol dependence manifests differently for everyone, but some of the more common signs include the following:

signs of alcohol dependence

  • You need to have a drink as soon as you wake up
  • You routinely deal with hangovers by having another drink
  • You frequently call in sick to work or school
  • You cancel plans with friends at the last minute
  • You experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking

Common Signs of Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction affects everyone differently depending on factors like age, state of health, and whether alcohol is consumed with other substances. Common signs of addiction include the following:

  • You regularly consume alcohol while at work, or while you are driving
  • You disguise your alcohol – for example, by pouring it into a commuter coffee mug
  • You use money intended for bills and living expenses to purchase alcohol
  • You hide your alcohol consumption from friends and family members
  • You continue to use alcohol in spite of deteriorating relationships
  • You continue to use alcohol in spite of deteriorating physical or mental health
  • You buy alcohol from multiple locations in order to avoid suspicion
  • You use alcohol, even when you know it could result in you being in an unsafe situation

Symptoms Of Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol addiction is one of the most difficult substance use disorders to combat. Mostly, this is because the use of alcohol is not only socially acceptable, but in some cases, socially expected. We live in a world where celebrations revolve around glasses of sparkling wine and people fill up their refrigerators with beer before “watching the game on TV”. Those who refuse alcohol at parties are greeted with reactions ranging from mild surprise to mockery and insults. For some, a standard response to alcohol withdrawal symptoms – which may feel like a bad hangover – is to simply drink more alcohol.

All of this contributes to alcohol being the most widely abused substance in the world, and for alcoholism being the addiction that people are least likely to seek help for. Loved ones may not be in a position to help, simply because it can take a long time for them to realize that there is a problem.

Our lax social attitude toward alcohol use is accompanied by the belief held by many that overcoming alcohol addiction is simply a case of not having another drink. There are two major pitfalls to this plan: first, people who try to quit any substance without help are far more likely to give in to cravings and start using the substance again, and second, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be extremely dangerous – in some cases, fatal.

What Is Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome?

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) is the name given to the collection of symptoms that can occur when the body is deprived of alcohol — to which it has become accustomed. AWS typically starts several hours after the last drink and can go on for about a week. Symptoms include physical effects such as headaches and nausea, and mental effects like anxiety.

What Causes Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome?

Alcohol addiction starts with tolerance. If someone who has never consumed alcohol has a glass of wine, it can have a tremendous impact on them. They might feel sick or get sleepy; a shy person may become outgoing; someone who is cautious might take risks. 

If that person has a glass of wine each day, in time they will get used to it. And in order to achieve the same effects, they have to drink more. The body becomes tolerant to increasing amounts of alcohol, to the point where the tolerance becomes a dependence. 

What this means is that the body does not merely tolerate the alcohol, it relies on it. And if it is suddenly deprived, it cannot cope, and withdrawal symptoms set in. The person will start to feel ill, and anxiety will set in if alcohol is not available.

Common Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

The first few hours

Six to twelve hours after the person has their last drink, the initial impacts of withdrawal will be felt. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms during this phase include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • A mild feeling of the jitters
  • Agitation and anxiety that may be amplified if no alcohol is available

The first day

The headaches, nausea and vomiting generally pass without incident, but the other symptoms can become worse. The individual may experience the following:

  • A sense of confusion and disorientation
  • Uncontrollable hand tremors that interfere with the ability to perform tasks like eating and operating basic household items
  • Jitters that escalate into seizures

Day 2-3

Around the second or third day, the withdrawal symptoms escalate. They may include:

  • Continuing seizures that are worsening in frequency and intensity
  • High blood pressure and elevated body temperature
  • Insomnia
  • In severe cases, the person will experience delirium tremens

What Is Delirium Tremens?

Delirium tremens, colloquially referred to as “the DTs”, is the most severe form of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. This condition can be fatal if not managed properly: an out-of-control body temperature, complications from seizures, and wild fluctuations in the heart rhythms can result in death. Anyone experiencing the following symptoms of delirium tremens should be provided with immediate medical care:

  • Agitation, irritability and rapid mood swings
  • A deep sleep that goes on for an unusual length of time
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Delirium
  • Increased or irregular heart rate
  • Elevated body temperature
  • High sensitivity to light, sound and touch
  • Grand mal seizures

Does delirium tremens happen to everyone?

It is estimated that around half of all people who quit drinking experience withdrawal symptoms in any form. Of those, 3-5% experience delirium tremens.

You may be at high risk of delirium tremens if:

  • You have been addicted to alcohol for more than ten years
  • Your average daily consumption is equivalent to 2-3 bottles of wine, 7-8 pints of beer, or a pint of hard liquor
  • You are more than 40 years of age
  • You have suffered a head injury
  • You have an illness at the time of withdrawal
  • You have a history of seizures
  • You have experienced delirium tremens in the past

How To Safely Withdraw From Alcohol

If you are addicted to alcohol – and especially if you are in a high-risk group for delirium tremens listed above – you should first talk to a medical professional before stopping your use of alcohol. Your doctor or addiction counselor may recommend that you undergo medical detox. 

Withdraw From Alcohol

This is a process whereby you are under the supervision of a doctor, who will monitor your vital signs and treat your withdrawal symptoms as they arise. 

If you choose to withdraw from alcohol without medical help, it is important that you do not do so alone. Ensure that you are in the company of a support person who will be able to identify the signs of delirium tremens and immediately ensure medical help if needed. 

Important Facts About Alcohol Addiction

When taken in excess, the adverse effects from the use of alcohol are most often irreversible. These alcohol addiction facts will surely be a starting point to correcting your mindset about drinking.

You are drinking more than you think you are

This seems untrue, but it is, and it is one of the many reasons you don’t feel compelled to know how to stop drinking. It is one of the essential facts about alcohol abuse that you should always think about. With every bottle you take, there is an average of 14 grams of concentrated alcohol. 

Also, when you take a regular beer, there are about 12 ounces of alcohol in there. There is 5 ounce of it in wine and about 8 or 9 in liquor. And on many occasions, especially when out with friends, it is more likely that you’ll mix two or more of these substances.

The truth is, you will most likely not feel like an alcohol addict. You are most likely not a drunkard. But, when you notice that you are taking beyond 4 bottles of your favourite alcohol drink per day, it calls for concern.

Alcohol alters your brain

Whenever your brain notices that you are trying to make a habit, it changes physically, to create a condition that helps you perform that task better. Hence, whenever your brain notices that you are frequently taking in alcohol, it interprets that you are trying to get better.

It changes and creates a condition that makes it easy to continue drinking seamlessly. Once this change occurs, there is no going back, and it may be problematic for a lifetime, even if you do change later on. It’s best to seek professional help from an addiction treatment expert near you now!

The effect of alcohol is different for each gender 

Another interesting alcohol addiction fact is that the bodies of men process alcohol differently from that of women. This difference is caused by factors including stomach enzymes, the concentration of water in the body, the muscle to fat ratio, and the presence or absence of some hormones. 

For women, when alcohol is absorbed, it is broken down more slowly, and they can suffer more damage from alcohol addiction. However, for men, drinking excessively is common because the body breaks it down fast, which will inevitably lead to the symptoms stated above. Either way, alcohol addiction is detrimental.

Alcoholism is partially generic

Genetics also has a role to play in alcoholism. Though environment and exposure play a significant role in alcoholism, parental genes also play a part. Though this risk is not definite, as scientists state, it is only a 50-50 chance that the parent’s genes will bring about addiction in a person. However, it is only right to note this, no matter how minute the occurrence is.

Alcohol can cause death

According to reports, about 88,000 persons die as a result of alcohol yearly, because several people drunk-drive. On the grimy side, this makes it one of the leading causes of death that can be prevented. By staying sober, over 80,000 deaths can be prevented.

Binge drinking is dangerous

Binge drinking refers to the condition of drinking too much within a short period. This is a widespread occurrence in people that are between the ages of 18 and 22 years. Taking this much within a short time can lead to dangerous alcohol body levels — a situation that comes with severe health consequences.

Alcohol withdrawal comes with severe side effects

It’s best to fight alcohol addiction ASAP. This is because with extended dependence on addiction if you stop drinking totally, and suddenly, the agitation of some nerve cells occurs. This can lead to a condition known as delirium tremens that comes with severe side effects including vomiting, unconsciousness, strong cravings, cold skin etc 

Tips for Getting Rid of Alcohol Addiction

Beyond the alcohol addiction facts, there are several ways with which you can work on yourself to get rid of this menace.

  • Therapy: This is the best way to stop drinking, as you rely on the professionalism and expertise of a therapist to lead you through the side effects that come with alcohol withdrawal
  • Support group: This is a typical recommendation in therapy, especially for those that suffer addiction to one disorder or another. Your support group can be a group of friends and family that will help at every stage of the addiction recovery process.

Recovery Does Not End With Alcohol Withdrawal

Safe alcohol withdrawal is an important first step in the journey to sobriety, but it is not the only step. Addictions almost always have a root cause, and a comprehensive rehab program will help you explore those causes, and either resolve them or learn more positive ways of dealing with them. 

With the right approach and plenty of support, you can overcome your alcohol addiction and lead a positive, productive life. In terms of support, it doesn’t get better than addiction treatment experts. 

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

It is never too soon or too late to get help for alcohol addiction. This can look different for different people: some may need to make some significant lifestyle changes, and perhaps find a local 12-steps program that works for them; others would do better in an inpatient addiction rehab program.

For alcohol addiction treatment to work, it should be customized to the individual, and the goal should be to resolve the issues that lie beneath the addiction. While detox is an important first step – and one that should be done under medical supervision – it is by no means the only step on the path to recovery. Contact 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: How To Avoid Alcohol After Recovery

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Alcohol Addiction

How Long Does Alcohol Withdrawal Take?

The timeline for alcohol withdrawal varies from one individual to another. It also depends on certain factors. For a person addicted to alcohol, stopping drinking should be a welcome idea. However, such a person must do it in a medically advisable manner.

Seeking medical advice is critical because abrupt withdrawal from alcohol can be life-threatening. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms range in severity. While some are mild, others are very severe. The latter category can become so intense and cause a long-term damage, illness, or death. 

In this article, you will gain more knowledge about how long alcohol withdrawal takes. You will also learn about the symptoms of withdrawing from alcohol and how to treat them. 

What is the Timeline for Alcohol Withdrawal? 

The duration of alcohol withdrawal varies for each person. It also depends on factors such as how long you drink and the average quantity of alcohol consumed. The presence of physical or mental health issues is also a factor. Generally speaking, a timeline for alcohol withdrawal looks like this: 

Stage 1

This starts six to twelve hours after your last drink. The symptoms you will experience at this stage include nausea, anxiety, and headaches. You will also experience low appetite, insomnia, and stomach pains. 

Stage 2

This usually takes place 12 to 24 hours after the last period of alcohol consumption. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms may increase to include hallucinations.

Stage 3

From 24 hours to 72 hours, the symptoms will begin to wear off. However, protracted symptoms can stay for more extended periods, running into weeks. Between 24-48 hours after drinking, you will be prone to seizures. 

From 48-72 hours, you may also experience fever, sweating, high blood pressure, and confusion. At this stage, you may also have delirium tremens accompanied by auditory hallucinations. This can sometimes lead to death. 

The symptoms of withdrawal begin to decrease in intensity after 5-7 days. Some side effects, especially psychological side effects, may continue after the first week. 

Protracted Alcohol Withdrawal

This is a condition that one may experience after severe withdrawal from drinking. It usually lasts for about a year. Symptoms include anxiety, tremors, high blood pressure, insomnia, increased heart rate, and respiratory issues. 

Some persons may experience other symptoms like decreased energy and metabolism. They may also experience fatigue and mental weariness. 

What are the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

Based on the timeline, you now have an idea of what to expect from alcohol withdrawal. However, you must note that these symptoms are not the same for every person. 

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually change in intensity within a short time. Hence, there’s a need to remain careful all the time. 

You can classify alcohol symptoms into mild, moderate, and severe symptoms. Mild symptoms include: 

  • Mild headaches
  • Gloominess
  • Mild tremors
  • Mild Itching
  • Nausea
  • Light and sound intensity 

Moderate symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Frequent itching and nausea
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety and sweating
  • Burning sensation or numb feeling
  • Poor mental alertness
  • Being uncomfortable around bright lights
  • Visible tremor when you stretch your hands out

Severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms include: 

  • Hallucinations
  • Severe tremor
  • Constant nausea and vomiting
  • Profuse sweating
  • Acute Confusion

Withdrawal delirium or Delirium tremens (DTs) is an extreme symptom of alcohol withdrawal. It can cause death. One of the signs of this condition is a change in your consciousness level. It is more common in older persons with a history of heavy alcohol consumption. If your liver functions poorly and you experience severe withdrawal symptoms, you may be prone to DTs. 

Since it is a Central Nervous System (CNS) depressant, an abrupt stop to alcohol consumption is dangerous. This is because when you consume alcohol regularly, your CNS gets used to the feeling. Quitting abruptly will lead to CNS excitability, causing seizures, a DTs symptom. With that in mind, it is essential to seek professional help when withdrawing from alcohol. 

Related article: Why You Should Not Attempt Alcohol Withdrawal At Home

What is the Treatment for Alcohol Withdrawal?

Treatment for Alcohol Withdrawal

Most of the symptoms that come with alcohol withdrawal usually fade off after five days. However, some of these symptoms remain for more extended periods. It is best to treat these kinds of symptoms with the help of professional alcohol addiction treatment services. 

Treatment at such centers is much safer. Also, it helps you manage potentially harmful symptoms you may experience. A good alcohol addiction treatment centre will monitor you at each stage of the withdrawal process. Also, they will ensure you remain in great condition with supportive therapy. 

This therapy gets you set to return to everyday life. It also trains you on how to manage drinking urges. A doctor will tell you the treatment best for you and guide you through it. However, treatment doesn’t reduce the duration of your withdrawal timeline.

Detoxification is the first step to alcohol withdrawal treatment. It ensures you do not have severe symptoms. Alcohol addiction treatment aims to ease the patient’s withdrawal symptoms. It also gives patients the support they need to navigate the phase.

Some typical alcohol withdrawal treatments include: 

  • Observing the patients to know the degree of their symptoms
  • Use of anti-anxiety drugs. Benzodiazepine is an example of such medication. It helps you reduce the anxiety you may experience during withdrawal.
  • Use of anti-seizure drugs like Depakote to prevent seizures. 
  • Use of Beta-blockers, which help to slow the heart rate. These blockers also reduce the tremors you may experience. Sometimes, beta-blockers help patients to curb their urge for alcohol. 

Detoxifying and withdrawing from alcohol can be a strenuous exercise. It exhausts you physically, mentally, and emotionally. This is why you are best in the hands of alcohol addiction treatment centers. 

Should You Do Alcohol Withdrawal at Home?

Alcohol Withdrawal at Home

Many people wonder if they can perform alcohol withdrawal from the comfort of their homes. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you can do it home. However, you must do it with the supervision of a medical professional. Never practice alcohol withdrawal without the supervision of a professional. 

However, when you have to manage mild withdrawal symptoms from home, ensure you keep to the appropriate medications. Always check-in with your supervising physician when you need to. Don’t leave anything to chance.

The case is different when you show the risk of severe symptoms or have such symptoms. Then, it is always best to manage your treatment at an alcohol addiction treatment center. For those wondering how long does alcohol withdrawal take, they should also know they are prone to severe health consequences. Hence, staying within the walls of a facility to manage your recovery process is key to your safety. 

Generally speaking, it is always best to undergo your alcohol withdrawal at a treatment center. Most times, early recovery patients undergo their detoxification at treatment services. After the detoxification process, they continue with the rest of their treatment from home. On the other hand, patients with protracted withdrawal symptoms undergo the full process at treatment facilities.

Other Potential Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

We have been able to highlight the symptoms and timeline for alcohol withdrawal. However, there are other potential dangers associated with alcohol withdrawal. These often-overlooked dangers can do more damage over time.

The first one is the potential addiction to treatment pills. We have discussed some of the medicines used to treat alcohol withdrawal. Regardless, it is important to note that said pills can open ways to new addictions.

We will discuss these pills in detail and you will learn of their potential addictive properties. Ensure to always get prescribed pills from certified pharmacists. Also, learn about the potential addictive properties of any alcohol treatment pills before using them.

Potential Addictive Treatment Pills

Here’s what you need to know:

Benzodiazepines

These drugs are known for their calming effects. They are popular sedatives that are used for alcohol withdrawal treatment. They help to reduce the probability of seizures during alcohol withdrawal.

However, excessive use of this drug can lead to serious health problems. Due to its suppressive nature, you may become dependent on it. Here are some of the side effects of using benzodiazepines.

  • Blurred Vision
  • Feebleness
  • Dizziness
  • Poor decision making
  • Random mood shifts
  • Risk-taking habits, such as driving under the influence

Neuroleptic medications

These drugs help in depressing nervous system activity in the body. This is especially beneficial for alcohol withdrawal as it relaxes the nervous system and minimizes stress.

However, care must be taken while you use this drug. Abuse of these medications can lead to metabolic imbalance and severe weight gain. Other side effects may include

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Dizziness
  • Epilepsy

Beta-Blockers

beta-blockers abuse

These are known to be one of the safest options for combating alcohol withdrawal. They prepare you for what to expect during alcohol withdrawal like high blood pressure. This beta-blockers help regulate the heart by blocking adrenaline from flooding the heart.

However, regular and medicated intake must be considered. Excessive use of these beta-blockers can lead to a very slow and irregular heartbeat. Other potential symptoms of beta-blockers abuse are

  • Tiredness
  • Cold feet and hands
  • Migraines
  • Lightheadedness
  • Depression
  • Breath shortages
  • Constipation

In the end, you are responsible for the number of drugs you take in. Treatment pills are great for mitigating alcohol withdrawal. But you need to bear in mind not to switch one addiction for the other.

Ensure to consult a medical professional before using any treatment pills. Determine how long the alcohol withdrawal takes on your first consultation with a licensed addiction treatment expert. This will help you navigate any potential pitfalls of drug abuse.

Relapse in Alcohol Withdrawal

Relapse in Alcohol Withdrawal

Picture this scenario. You have not tasted alcohol in weeks. You have been taking your prescribed medicines. Your withdrawal symptoms are reducing. Then it happens, you decide to have a sip of alcohol and throw your recovery out the window.

This is called a relapse and it is just as damaging as alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It is important to note that a relapse is not a death sentence. However, it is important to understand and know how to manage it.

Relapse is when a person who for some time has abstained from drinking, starts to drink again. Even if it is just one drink, it is called a relapse.

Especially, if the person is sober and has been abstaining from drinking for any amount of time. To define other habits and health problems, the word may also be used.

Relapse is considered a part of the rehabilitation process for alcohol withdrawal. While preventing relapse is a recovery objective, it is not rare to undergo such incidents. For the sake of remaining sober, but also for wellbeing, it is important to prevent relapsing. As it can lead to a binge or even life-threatening overdose, relapsing can be risky.

Factors that can Cause Relapse in Alcohol Withdrawal

For a variety of reasons that may differ by person, relapse may occur. However, certain general factors make it more probable. These are some of what to expect during alcohol withdrawal.

For example, without health intervention or even assistance from family and friends, you can easily relapse. Wanting to get sober on your own is a long uphill struggle.

Hence, you are far more likely to suffer relapses following multiple times of remission. Here are several other factors that induce or lead to relapses in drinking:

Quitting Cold Turkey

When it comes to alcohol withdrawal, stopping suddenly is not the best way. This can give a shock to your system that is already used to the substance.

Uncomfortable symptoms are likely to arise immediately. This can make you return to drinking to curb the discomfort.

Anxiety and Stress

Withdrawal-related anxiety and stress have been studied in persons seeking to abstain from alcohol. Changes to the brain caused by intense and sustained drinking can cause an elevated stress response. This is a factor in relapse, making alcohol withdrawal treatment difficult.

Untreated Mental Health Issues

Experiencing difficult circumstances in life or experiencing mental disease symptoms may cause a relapse. Ensure that any other mental health issues you may have are also treated along with your alcohol withdrawal.

Personal Triggers

Person triggers also function as signs that contribute to relapse. This could involve a specific colleague or a certain pub. Your feeling or mood also factors in and can return you to drinking actively. Make sure to know your triggers and avoid them frequently.

Going Through a Cycle of Relapses

While determining how long alcohol withdrawal takes, ensure you are not caught in a cycle. Passing through several periods of remission and relapse makes a person more likely to relapse. 

Exposure to Alcohol

Alcohol exposure is a significant contributor to relapse. To use alcohol as a cue to drink more, addiction conditions the brain. For this cause, hearing, smelling, or tasting a tiny amount will lead to a relapse.

Hence, you need to ensure that you keep your home alcohol proof. Do well to let your friends know about your situation. This will make them create an alcohol-free environment for you even when you visit them.

Preventing a Relapse During Alcohol Withdrawal

Relapse prevention is a procedure and a part of the treatment for alcohol withdrawal. Knowing the truth about relapse and how frequent it comes is important. You need to also implore practical techniques to consciously attempt to avoid it.

For long-term success, enroll in an alcohol withdrawal treatment center. In relapse prevention, these are some major methods used:

  • Identifying reasons for drinking by a person
  • Planning how best to prevent triggers
  • Learning to understand the signs that a relapse can occur and implementing strategies to avoid it
  • Learning effective coping skills when a trigger is experienced or when a high-risk scenario is inevitable
  • Setting a proper timeline for alcohol withdrawal to prepare the body for symptoms.
  • Having a clear strategy on what to do if there is a relapse
  • When required, bringing the relapse strategy into effect
  • Treatment and service preparation after placement in a residential treatment center
  • Improving the mindset and confidence of a person in his or her abilities to avoid a relapse
  • Developing a balanced overall lifestyle with adaptations that lower the likelihood of relapsing
  • Learning and using strategies for anxiety control to cope with difficult circumstances and negative feelings
  • Employing techniques of studying and exercising to control the temptation to drink
  • Developing and developing safe new hobbies and alcohol substitution behaviours

By implementing any of these preventive methods, you will be minimizing your alcohol withdrawal. You will also be reducing your chances of a relapse.

FAQs about Alcohol Withdrawal 

Alcohol Withdrawal 

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about alcohol withdrawal.

What Happens When You Quit Alcohol? 

When you decide to stop consuming alcohol abruptly, it leads to alcohol withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be severe and lead to complications if you don’t manage them properly.

How Long Does Alcohol Withdrawal Take?

The duration of alcohol withdrawal depends on an individual. It also depends on the quantity of alcohol you consume and how long you consume it. 

The recovery process usually takes three stages, depending on the symptoms you exhibit. These stages may last between 6-72 hours. For persons showing protracted symptoms, recovery will take days, weeks, months, and even years.

How Best Do I Manage My Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment? 

It is best to treat withdrawal symptoms in alcohol addiction treatment centers. Even if you want to undergo your recovery process at home, do so under a professional’s supervision. Whether you recover at home or a center is dependent on the severity of your symptoms. 

Should I Avoid All Treatment Pills When in Alcohol Withdrawal?

No, there are some very effective treatment pills to use. The important thing is to use them under supervision to prevent new addictions.

Are There Any Non-Addictive Treatment Pills?

Beta-blockers have been known to be typical non-addictive. Regardless, caution needs to be taken when using them

Is Relapse Inevitable?

It may not be inevitable, but it can be managed greatly once you notice it on time

Is There a Treatment For Relapse At All?

There is no miracle cure for relapse. However, you can condition your body to resist alcohol for so long. This can lead to your body adapting to the alcohol withdrawal.

Are There Any Centers For Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment in Canada?

Yes. There are a great number of treatment facilities in Canada that can help with alcohol withdrawal.

Conclusion

You now have better information about alcohol withdrawal. You also have a better understanding of the symptoms and treatment. When withdrawing from alcohol, ensure that you have the supervision of professionals. It is always best to undergo your withdrawal process at alcohol addiction treatment centers. 

If you want the best treatment tailored to your needs, then look no further. Try our addiction treatment services for the best treatment experience you can get. 

By now, you are also familiar with other means of easing your alcohol withdrawal. Ensure that you don’t self medicate with treatment pills. Always consult a professional at any reputable alcohol withdrawal center.

Relapse is not the end. There are many ways to manage it and keep your body on the road to recovery. Make sure to go over the various methods of relapse prevention.

Contact 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: How Alcohol Abuse Affects Family Relationships And Friendships

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Alcohol Addiction

Teenager Underage Drinking – Causes, Effects, Help

Talking to a teenager about their underage is a delicate yet necessary step. However, many people are at a loss for what to say and how to do it. If you need help with underage drinking in your teenager, go through this article.

Do you think your teen is too young to discuss alcohol underage? 

As early as puberty, certain kids decide to start drinking alcohol. There is no doubt that this is not good decision-making. But, how do you communicate that to them?

Alcohol addiction at an early age will likely lead to significant long-term health consequences for the teenager. Moreover, it raises the risk of other patterns of drug abuse and addiction. This can lead to brain growth disorders, and affect vital internal organs.

Aa such, it is crucial that you speak to him or her about the consequences of alcohol abuse. But the bigger question remains ’how do you motivate the teen to quit drinking?’ In this article, you will discover tips to manage teenage alcohol use.

Before talking to a teen about alcohol, it is best to first identify the symptoms and seek suitable recovery services. That is, figure out why they are drinking in the first place. Here are some pointers to help you.

Why Do Teenagers Drink?

Why Do Teenagers Drink

This section will help answer the question; why is my teenager drinking? Generally, teens are more susceptible to the use of alcohol. This is because they are in a more adventuristic phase. So, they will take risks and search out new and exciting experiences to feel more independent. Often, this may involve alcohol consumption.

Also, some teenagers tend to become more self-conscious and seek clues on how they match up to their peers. To appease mates, those who feel left out may experiment with alcohol. To help with their underage drinking, you’ll need to interact with them to figure out the problem.

Finally, teens may resort to drinking to deal with school pressures. They may also drink to alleviate the stress of transitions like from high school to college. 

More Causes of Underage Drinking

Teenagers may attempt to claim their individuality and develop their identity as they grow up. Sometimes, they seek to do this in ways that are questionable – alcohol use. As a concerned adult, you will, no doubt, want to help with overcoming underage drinking. Here is some insight into the common causes of underage drinking.

  • Sometimes teenagers feel a need to confront figures of authority that they look up to, including parents and teachers. One way they challenge this control is to use alcohol. Unfortunately, most youths do not completely realize the dangers to their health and actions.
  • According to a study, most youths who start drinking early get it free of charge. They either get it from friends, family members or find it in the home. In other words, continuous access to liquor increases the potential for its consumption and addiction in teens.
  • A major reason many underage people consume alcohol is due to social or peer pressure. If a teenager has a circle of friends, they are likely to start drinking themselves.
  • Also, many youths use alcohol because they see others doing it. They experience alcohol consumption by their friends, families, and other adults. They see them use it to feel comfortable and then try to drink for the same reasons.

Now, there are several ways to tackle underage drinking. But first, you must identify why the teen is drinking. Hopefully, you now know some of the various causes.

Related article: Can I Drink Alcohol While on Birth Control?

How to Know If your Teenager is Drinking

How to Know If your Teenager is Drinking

Abuse of alcohol has noticeable effects on the body. Early detection of these symptoms can help with underage drinking management. If your child shows strong signs of liquor abuse, you may need to secure alcohol addiction treatment services.

Some of the physical symptoms of substance addiction by a teenager are:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Changes in patterns of appetite or sleep
  • Appearance degradation
  • Smaller pupils
  • Getting sick or tired often
  • Smelling like liquor
  • Staggered walking
  • Empty bottles in the room of the teenager or the trash  
  • Falling school performance
  • Reduced participation in once-enjoyed events or interests, such as sports, etc
  • Alterations of social groups
  • Becoming disconnected or isolated
  • Suspicious behaviour
  • Cash Theft
  • Lying about alleged substance misuse, or being defensive,
  • Other shifts in character, actions, and behaviours
  • Sudden changes in mood

Once you notice any of these signs, carefully engage your teenager on why they are drinking. Remember, it is never late to start talking to a teen about alcohol abuse.

Effects of Underage Drinking

Underage drinking leads to all kinds of unhealthy behaviours in your teen. Unfortunately, its effects can be long-lasting and severely damaging. However, the right intervention and help with underage drinking can halt these destructive effects.

Alcohol-related fatalities

A major cause of teen car accidents is alcohol-related driving. Teen drowning, overdoses and homicides have all been associated with the consumption of alcohol.

Dangerous Sexual activity

Drinking teens may become sexually active faster and have sex more than non-drinking teenagers. Furthermore, teens that drink are much more likely to have unprotected intercourse. This may lead to teenage pregnancy.

Problems with education

Problems with education

Over the years, teens who drink seem to have more issues with academics than teens who don’t drink. While they may not necessarily be failing, their grades usually drop. It takes help with underage drinking to help them get back on track.

Alcoholism

People who start drinking as teenagers are more likely to experience alcohol dependency. Indeed, underage binge drinking increases the risk of alcohol abuse later in life. Showing them non-alcoholic alternatives is one of the effective tips to manage teenage alcohol use.

Criminal crime

Often, teenagers who drink turn to crime. Sometimes, it is a bid to get money for booze. Other times, they use crime to fulfill their alcohol-induced fantasy. Theft, rape, robbery etc are all crimes that go hand-in-glove with underage drinking.

Criminal crime

How to Help with Underage Drinking

You may be uncertain about what to say, that is perfectly understandable. Also, it is likely that your teen will want to stop the discussion the first few times, that’s fine. To help with underage drinking, continue the conversation, at a more comfortable time. You will have a better effect on your teen if you speak regularly than if you speak just once.

Be realistic with them

Sometimes, teenagers feel that alcohol makes them cool or happy. Explain that it is possible that a person feels “elevated” by drinking alcohol. But, be sure to mention that it is a depressant that can induce depression and rage as well.

Discuss the basis for not drinking

Explain the dangers of teen drinking and be frank if you have a personal history of alcoholism. Tell your child why they could be more prone to excessive consumption of alcohol and accompanying health issues.

Discuss the basis for not drinking

Project scenarios and reactions to alcohol offers

You need to prepare your child for when someone offers them alcohol. Brainstorm with your teenager and decide how to react to alcohol offers. It may be as straightforward as saying no or asking for soda instead.

Be prepared for questions

Your teen may be wondering if when you were a minor, you drank alcohol. Accept if you did, and connect traumatic moments to your drinking as a lesson. This makes talking to a teen about alcohol more comfortable.

Having a relationship of confidence will help with underage drinking discouragement for your teen. You should also spend time together as this will make communication feel more natural for your teen.

Know the habits of your teens  

Take notice of the plans and whereabouts of your teenager. Also, encourage engagement in after-school and weekend events under supervision. This will make it easier to detect and limit alcohol use.

Set up rules and ramifications

Rules might involve avoiding gatherings where alcohol is consumed. Whichever rules you create, commit to and execute the consequences of violation.

Set an example

When you drink, do it with moderation. Also, describe how you obey rules, such as not drinking and driving. This will suggest to your teenager that they can imitate you.

Foster positive connections

Your teen is more likely to drink if their friends drink, too. Get to meet the peers of your teens and their kin. Track what your children are doing to keep them safe, cooperate with other parents. By doing this, you ensure that your teen hangs out with a positive circle of friends.

Conclusion

Alcohol is readily available today and sold widely in society. Indeed, some people consider the consumption of alcohol as a natural part of growing up. To help with underage drinking, we need to tackle this narrative.

There are many dangers of underage drinking. This includes car accidents, fatalities, robberies, etc. Sadly, oftentimes, the user not only puts himself at risk but other members of the society – such as in motor accidents.

Moreover, people who start drinking early tend to have major alcohol issues later in life, like alcoholism. They also have an increased risk of several negative outcomes. Examples include unsafe sexual behaviour and low academic success.

In light of this, it is best to quickly identify teenagers who drink alcohol and take action to help them. Our groundbreaking and systematic treatment methods at 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre have proven effective in this regard.

Do you want help for your teenager who is drinking alcohol? We deliver premium alcohol addiction treatment in Canada to help kick bad drinking habits. Furthermore, we help minimize substance experimentation as well as the challenges that surround substance use in young people.

Related article: How to Help a Loved One With a Drinking Problem?

 

Categories
Alcohol Addiction

Can I Drink Alcohol While on Birth Control?

It can be a late-night drink and a sofa snuggle or a romantic dinner with liquor. Alcohol and sex always end up together, whether intentional or not. Thankfully, if you drink alcohol while on birth control, it doesn’t spell doom.

However, this is a different case if your birth control method is memory or behaviour based. You may be swallowing a pill or using a condom at a time. You will need to be cautious when taking alcohol in this case.

Most people in the United States drink alcohol at least once in their lives. According to recent research, over 60% of all U.S. adults report consuming alcohol. Therefore, a lot of women worry about the effects of alcohol on birth control.

We have established that alcohol has no significant impact on the efficacy of birth control. However, alcohol intake can increase the birth control failure rate, but why and how? This article will address how alcohol affects birth control.

Types of Birth controls

Birth controls are great for preventing unwanted pregnancies. However, they aren’t all 100% perfect. They work effectively but vary in usage. Below is a list of popular birth control methods.

As far as safety goes, you can drink alcohol while on birth control, provided you use this kind of contraceptive correctly:

  • Implants 
  • Vaginal rings
  • Shots of Depo-Provera
  • Birth control pills
  • IUDs
  • Patches
  • Emergency pills (“morning after”) 
  • Condoms 

We will go into detail on each preventive method and its efficiency. This information will prove useful in deciding how alcohol affects birth control.

Related article: How Long Does Alcohol Withdrawal Take?

The Birth Control Implant

The Birth Control Implant

It is a small thin pipe about the same size as a matchstick. The implant is inserted in the arm by a doctor or nurse. It can reside there for up to 3 years. It’s more than 99 percent reliable in its execution. It is great for women who don’t want to think about taking birth control regularly. For those that drink alcohol while on birth control and often forget, this method suits them.

Vaginal Rings

With regular use, the vaginal ring is 91% successful. It’s a little plastic ring that is inside the vagina. It needs to be cleaned once a month, which you can do at home. It is 99 percent effective when done the right way and changed on time.

Shots of Depo-Provera

The Depo-Provera shot, known by the popular brand name, needs to take place every 3 months. It has normal usage effectiveness of 94 percent. It is secure and easy but has to be used to be fully successful on time. If administered on time, 99% is successful.

Birth Control Pills

It is a popular method among people who drink alcohol while on birth control. With regular use, it is approximately 91% successful. It is 99 percent effective with perfect application. The pill is taken daily and can drastically reduce the risks of drinking alcohol while on birth control.

IUDs

IUDs

Intrauterine devices are lightweight compact plastic instruments that a doctor or nurse positions in the uterus. It is a long-term form of birth control which, depending on the IUD. They can prevent pregnancy for 3-12 years. They are more than 99% successful.

Patches

The patch is also 91% efficient for normal use and 99% for optimal use. It slowly causes hormonal fluctuations that prevent pregnancy. It has to be substituted every 3 weeks.

Emergency Pills

They are also known as morning-after pills. They are commonly used to correct uncertainty among people that drink alcohol while on birth control. You take them after sexual intercourse has occurred. It helps to flush away the potential sperm cells and eggs.

Emergency Pills

Condoms

They are the only method of defending against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. However, they can be a drastic effect of alcohol on birth control if you forget to wear them. Male condoms are 98 percent effective for the prevention of conception with perfect use.

Effects of Alcohol On Birth Control

Alcohol does not explicitly affect how birth control functions. Yet alcohol can interact in various ways with birth control. Alcohol use can greatly influence the efficacy of birth control in women.

The main issue with alcohol combination is the effect alcohol has on your actions and judgment. This is particularly relevant for people who regularly drink alcohol while on birth control. You will need to be more cautious.

In most situations, light drinks will not mess with the decision to use birth control. However, people must pay particular attention to how they use birth control. Even medium drinking can raise rates of failure on how alcohol affects birth control.

Examples are forgetting to take a pill or adjusting a vaginal ring. A hangover makes you more likely that you forget your pill or patches while you are intoxicated. This could lead to an unwanted pregnancy.

Alcohol increases the risk of sexually transmitted (STI) illness due to incorrect use of condoms. Women may forget to use the right contraceptive usage due to drowsiness under the influence of alcohol.

There is also the risk of vomiting immediately after taking the pill. This will hinder the medicine’s absorption and reduce its efficacy. Vomiting within 2 hours of taking the pill can lead to expulsion of the pill from your system.

Furthermore, alcohol may not affect your birth control if you correctly administer it. However, missed doses or delayed replacement of the device increases your chances of becoming pregnant.

And if you start drinking once you get pregnant, your unborn child could be in danger. Most women are not aware of their pregnancy for 4 to 6 weeks. They may be intoxicated during this period, which unwittingly hurts the developing fetus.

Additionally, when you drink alcohol while on birth control, the alcohol stays longer in you. This is because; the body can’t effectively metabolize both birth control and alcohol together.

This leads to alcohol staying longer in your system and making you feel drunk for longer. This will affect your cognitive functions and may lead to errors in birth control usage.

Also, alcohol can affect the efficacy of birth control by reducing the inhibitions of an individual. Drinking will cause someone to do something they wouldn’t normally do while they are sober. Thereby, this increases the risks of drinking alcohol while on birth control.

Someone who drinks excessively may be careless with a sex partner and forget to use a condom. They might be so confused that they don’t recognize that they have unprotected intercourse.

How To Manage Birth Control Risk When Drunk

Manage Birth Control Risk When Drunk

Ovulation may occur if one dosage of birth control is skipped or missed. If you skip a pill, ensure you use a different form of birth control for a while. You can also try alcohol addiction treatment to slowly wean yourself off the habit.

Birth control drugs are particularly successful in avoiding accidental conception when administered properly and regularly. Fortunately, women’s access to reliable contraceptives from creative health companies is getting simpler and more convenient. Do drink responsibly and use a back-up condom if you intend to drink while using birth control.

How To Ensure Birth Control Effectiveness While Intoxicated

In case you decide to go out to drink alcohol while on birth control, you can plan. Even, if it’s a random moment of drinks with friends. You can quickly set an alarm or discuss a backup plan with your partner.

  • Use reminder apps to track your pill inventory
  • Take the pill early in the morning rather than the evening when circumstances are unexpected.
  • Bring emergency protection including spermicides and condoms.
  • Pick a less demanding contraceptive option like IUD or implant where

FAQs About Drinking Alcohol While on Birth Control

Q: Are there any pills I can take after a drunken night where I am unsure of my use of birth control?

A: Yes, you can take emergency pills to flush out your system.

Q: What are the hormones in birth control?

A: Estrogen and Progesterone.

Q: Why do I need to wear condoms if I take the birth control pill, patch or ring?

A: We urge and advise you to use condoms to protect you from sexually transmitted diseases.

Conclusion

Women have several different birth control methods available, which are extremely successful if properly used. There are several options on how to drink alcohol while on birth control. The right decision can be made easy with the aid of a knowledgeable physician.

Alcohol usually has no significant effect on the effectiveness of birth control. The only question is how alcohol impacts your subconscious and the willingness to use your contraceptives. You may like the occasional alcoholic drink but are concerned about missed doses. You can therefore explore multiple options with your doctor.

Additionally, you may want to give up alcohol consumption as a whole. Fortunately, we got you covered on this. We offer a strong alcohol addiction treatment program. Here at 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre, we will provide you with the right steps to lead you to sobriety. Contact us today to start your giant leap to an alcohol-free world.

Related article: Why You Should Not Attempt Alcohol Withdrawal At Home

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Alcohol Addiction

How to Help a Loved One With a Drinking Problem

Having to help a loved one with a drinking problem can be very challenging. People whose loved ones struggle with drinking often complain of the emotional trauma that comes with it. While the alcoholic may not realize it, you are left to deal with the negative impact. Therefore, the need to know how to help with a drinking problem becomes essential. 

Alcohol abuse, like any other substance abuse, harms the health of the alcoholic. Their families are laden with medical bills to pay. As a result of this, they put so much strain on their finances. Also, excessive drinking or alcoholism affects the jobs of the alcoholic. Although, there are some alcoholics who despite their problem perform extremely well at work. Notwithstanding, the families of the alcoholic still bear the brunt of their actions — whether financially or even physically.

Wondering how to help with a drinking problem? In this article, we give you tips for helping an alcoholic. Additionally, we discuss how to recognize your loved one has a drinking problem. 

How to Recognize Your Loved One Has a Drinking Problem 

Not everyone who drinks has a drinking problem. Drinking problems range from mild to severe. However, most alcoholics will deny they have a drinking problem. Recognizing the signs of alcoholism precedes knowing how to help with a drinking problem. 

Your loved one may have a drinking problem if they,

  • Prioritize their drinking above you or their relationship with others.
  • Lie about their drinking habit or cover it up
  • Resort to drinking as a means of dealing with mental health issues e.g. mood disorders, paranoia, depression, etc.
  • Drink more than usual or than they plan to

When you notice some or all of these signs of drinking, take the necessary actions. You may want to get them to seek alcohol addiction treatment

Drinking Problem

Steps To Help a Loved One With a Drinking Problem

For alcoholics, dealing with a drinking problem isn’t always an easy ride in the park. Many struggle to get sober on their own but end up failing. Some even seek alcohol addiction treatment services but stop mid-way. With your constant support, you can get them to conquer drinking.

Also, when helping with a drinking problem, consider talking to the alcoholic while they’re sober. This ensures that they’re in the right frame of mind to have the conversation. Additionally, involving people they love and respect can help.

Getting them to the phase of recovery requires some effort on your part. Here are steps on how to help with a drinking problem.

Be informed 

Be informed 

Informing yourself is the first step in helping someone with a drinking problem. By this, we mean getting to know all you can about alcoholism. With proper knowledge, helping the alcoholic becomes easier. Also, it helps you to understand their moods, attitudes, and behaviour better.

However, knowing all about alcoholism should not excuse the alcoholic’s bad behaviour. They still should be responsible for their actions and their consequences. Rather, this knowledge should allow you to see alcoholism as what it truly is, a disease. Just like every other disease, alcoholism has symptoms. Also, it has something responsible for kick-starting it. By acquiring knowledge, you understand that alcoholics suffer too and are in need of help.

Additionally, when you get knowledge, you know how to help with a drinking problem. You know things to do and not to do. You are aware of the things you do that aren’t helping your loved one. Finally, you’ll know how to react and deal with their moods. 

Talk to them

Another effective way to help with a drinking problem is to talk to your loved one about it.  They may not be aware of the effect their heavy drinking has on you. While it’s not unusual for alcoholics to deny or reject help, still, talking helps.

Talking to them when they’re sober yields better results than when they’re drunk. While they are drunk, they may react violently or become defensive. Start calmly. The last thing they want is for you to raise your voice at them. Here are a few tips to help you talk to them.

  • Don’t in any way try to threaten them. It often doesn’t end well.
  • Use the sandwich method. Praise, correction, then praise. They already feel bad about their addiction. They don’t need you to make them feel worse.
  • Be patient when talking to them. Try to explain how their alcoholism is also affecting you.
  • Don’t bring up past events. Let the conversation be free of their past actions but the most recent ones.

Following these tips prevents outbursts of anger or violence from your loved one. More importantly, it gives you the calm necessary to pass your message along.

Don’t enable their behaviour

Enabling the behaviour of your loved one is the same as being codependent. This makes you lose yourself while worrying too much about your loved one. Your mental and emotional health is as important as theirs.

Other than forcing them to get treatment, focus on how you can help yourself during this phase. An alcoholic is the only person who can decide to get treatment. The earlier you realize this, the less emotional stress you go through.

In addition to this, codependency causes you to place your loved one’s happiness above yours. The recovery process is a long one. Your loved ones will need you to be healthy to help them through that process.

To help with a drinking problem, you can take a strict decision not to enable their behaviour. Worse issues tend to come up during alcohol addiction treatment. If you continue enabling their behaviour now, it’ll affect you later on. Sometimes, allowing a crisis to happen is the wakeup call your loved one needs. This helps them to admit they need addiction treatment. If you always rush to help them during crises, they may decide to forego treatment.  

Involve others

Involve others

Another way to help with a drinking problem is to involve others. Invite people they love over and be honest about your loved one’s drinking problem. Hiding the truth won’t do the alcoholic any good. 

While involving others, discuss alcohol addiction treatment options available for your loved one. Discuss how to get your loved one into alcohol rehab. Also, talk about the consequences of your loved one’s drinking problem. 

Some consequences can be as bad as getting a divorce or getting a restraining order. The consequence should be able to get your loved one to agree to seek treatment. Coupled with the tips above, you can decide to get a therapist to help you talk to your loved one. They’ll be able to tell your addicted loved one what they need to hear!

Encourage and support your loved one

Encouraging your loved one is a good way to help with a loved one’s drinking problem. By encouraging them we are not saying you should enable their behaviour. During this phase of their lives, they need to know they aren’t alone. You can encourage them by acknowledging their efforts to become sober.

Also, by encouraging them, you’re showing support. You can show support by doing the following:

  • Taking them to the therapist for their appointments.
  • If they are in a rehab centre, visit them often. Doing this makes them know that you care.
  • Work out with them.
  • Attend support groups with them

FAQs About Alcohol Addiction and Abuse

Here are answers to some common questions. These answers will help you guide your loved one to making the right choice.

To reduce drinking or quit totally?

To reduce drinking or quit totally

If your loved ones can control how they drink, then they may not need to quit. It’s possible to drink and not affect your health. However, when it becomes unhealthy, they may need to quit.

Does setting drinking goals help?

Yes, if they plan on cutting down on drinking, you can help by setting goals. Set realistic goals. Also, don’t try to rush the process.

How can I take care of myself during this process?

You can start by attending to your own needs. Also, talk to a therapist. Dealing with a loved one’s alcohol addiction on your own may lead to a major breakdown.

How do I know I’m enabling their behaviour?

You know you’re enabling their behaviour when

  • You cover up for them.
  • You make excuses for them.
  • You always come to their rescue.
  • You continue accepting their bad behaviour.
  • You always conform to their wishes

To Sum It Up

The addiction recovery process isn’t always easy. Knowing how to help with a drinking problem can make the process less tasking. After recognizing signs of alcoholism, it’s important to ensure your loved ones get treatment. However, the decision to seek professional help is solely theirs to make.

In this article, we discuss steps to help your loved one with a drinking problem. Also, we give you tips on how to talk to them about their alcoholism. Essentially, this article is your best guide on how to help with a drinking problem.

Still wondering where to get the best alcohol addiction treatment services in Canada the USA? 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre offers experienced therapists and custom treatments to help guide your loved one back to sobriety. Contact us today!

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