September 15, 2014
Monday on GTU Joey Douglass from LDS Hospital Behavioral Health talked about alcoholism and alcohol abuse. There are an estimated 8 million people in America dependent on alcohol and it’s not always clear to see when drinking has crossed the line from moderate or social use to alcohol abuse.
Alcohol definitely has a place in our society, if used appropriately. It’s used in medications, celebrations, cooking and religious ceremonies and can be harmless and enjoyable. The problem is that it has a high potential for abuse and dependence. Signs of abuse are often found when close relationships suffer due to frequent arguments related to drinking, physical fights, engaging in risky behaviors like drunk driving and a host of health problems and legal troubles like being arrested for a DUI or public intoxication.
The body can become physically dependent on alcohol which makes heavy and repeated use difficult to stop for the user, and a medical concern. Some signs and symptoms of withdrawals can be tremors (fine motor movements of the hands, tongue and even eye lids); diaphoresis (heavy sweating), tachycardia (fast heart rate), mood instability, and even delirium.
Help is available. Treatment options for Alcohol Abuse:
Seek professional medical treatment. Let them help you determine the best course of action. Detoxing from alcohol on your own can be dangerous and even deadly! According to signs and symptoms of withdrawal usually are apparent within 6 hours from the last drink but can occur sooner than this. Even if the blood alcohol level is still significantly elevated. Seizures and delirium can occur. Your medical team will decide the best treatment options to help avoid this.
After safely detoxed, continuing treatment is a necessity. The person needs to stay away from alcohol. Complete cessation with an active plan is the key to success and many people increase their success after detox when they participate in formal intensive counseling.