Alcoholism can have a huge impact not only on the life of the alcoholic, but on the lives of their loved ones as well. It can ravage an alcoholic’s body, as well as their mind and spirit, and it can hurt their careers and relationships, too.
However, even though an addiction to alcohol may be highly destructive, it can still be difficult to quit drinking. That doesn’t mean, though, that there aren’t options, and that there isn’t anything that can be done. By taking time to seek professional help and doing things like finding an alcohol detox facility it can be possible to quit and start on the path to recovery.
Knowing When To Get Help
One of the first big hurdles that many alcoholics experience is figuring out when it’s time to ask for help. Many may be aware that they have a problem, but they might not think it’s that bad, or at least that it isn’t bad enough to warrant getting professional help.
They may even have friends and family members imploring them to seek help, but may still believe that their issues are not that serious. The first, and for some, the most difficult step in recovery is realizing that your issue may be beyond your control, and that you need help to get back on track.
This may also be a difficult time for those who have a loved one who is addicted to alcohol, as well. Even though you may see your loved one struggling, it may be difficult to convince them that they need to do something about their drinking. While you may feel powerless, it can help to remember that it isn’t your fault, and that seeking help is ultimately a choice they will have to make.
Alcohol’s Impact on the Body
Alcoholism doesn’t just hurt your relationships, it can do substantial damage to your body. Not only does it have a negative impact on brain function, thinking patterns and mood, but it can also cause serious damage to your heart, and your other organs, especially your liver. Beyond that, it can make you more likely to develop other health problems like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. While alcohol can be detrimental in the short term, the longer that you drink heavily, the more serious that these issues will be, and the more likely you are to develop a serious health issue as a result of your drinking.
Initial Withdrawal Symptoms
The initial symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can kick in very quickly for some, sometimes even within a few hours of not drinking. Because alcohol affects your central nervous system, it can have a wide range of symptoms. Some of these include shakiness, sweating, anxiety, paranoia, depression, insomnia, vomiting and headaches. For those that are severely addicted to alcohol, there may be more serious symptoms such as hallucinations or delusions. How long these initial symptoms last will depend on the individual and the severity of their addiction, however, it is common for these symptoms to last between 24 to 48 hours.
Peak Withdrawal Symptoms
After the initial symptoms have passed, you may then begin to experience the next phase of withdrawal. This phase can include many of the same symptoms as the first, but they will tend to be less severe. The peak of your symptoms can occur around 3 to 4 days, and as with the initial symptoms will depend on how long you have been drinking and how much you drink.
During this time you may feel your symptoms begin to subside or fluctuate. Additionally, getting through this process can be dangerous for some, especially if they have preexisting health issues. Depending on how severe your symptoms are, it may be best to undergo this process at a professional facility, to ensure your safety, rather than to try and detox at home on your own.
The Bottom Line
Alcoholism can be destructive not just for the alcoholic, but for their entire family, and for their friends, too. Additionally, even though an alcoholic may want to stop, they may still find it difficult to do so. That doesn’t mean, though, that their situation is hopeless. Alcoholism can be overcome, and for many, the first step is as simple as accepting the help they need.