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             15 April, 2024

Category:  Articles » Self Improvement » Addictions


Alcohol Withdrawal is Opposite From Alcohol Effect

         Views: 3118
2008-08-07 06:49:19     
Article by Ned Wicker

It's been a tough day and many people look forward to pouring a drink, settling down in an easy chair and relaxing. Or as one person put it, "I have a meeting with 'Jack' after work." Whatever the ritual, alcohol and relaxation are paired together, as if relaxation were not possible without alcohol. There is that temporary feeling that all is well, as the troubles of the day melt away. However, for those who abuse alcohol or are alcoholics, the flip side of that relaxing moment is anything but pleasant. Take away the alcohol and life becomes rather difficult.

According to Deborah A. Finn, PH.D. and John C. Crabbe, PH.D., alcohol withdrawal syndrome is characterized by hyperactivity of the nervous system.* People use alcohol as a means of relaxation. It is a central nervous system depressant. Finn and Crabbe explain that the hyperactivity is triggered by the brain's attempt to "function normally despite the inhibitory effect of chronic alcohol consumption."

Simply stated, the brain thinks there's something wrong if alcohol is not present. The of the calming effects of the alcohol turn into opposite reactions. The person can become agitated and anxious, and they crave a drink to feel better. In medical terms, the alcohol-induced cycle neuronal inhibition and excitation is taking place. Once depressed, the central nervous system becomes over activated. You've heard of seeing "pink elephants" when a person is coming down off of alcohol. This is a visual disturbance, and audio disturbances are also common. The person might develop a headache and feel sick, like an extreme hangover. The severity of these symptoms are dependent on the individual. For those experiencing withdrawal, there is often the craving for a drink to rid themselves of the discomfort. A hangover for most people is just a mild form of alcohol withdrawal. For the chronic drinker, the alcoholic, the symptoms can be much more severe.

Coming off of alcohol can be uncomfortable, as the hallucinations, or delirium tremens usually occur between 48 and 72 hours after taking the last drink. People can become disoriented. Worse yet, some have experienced heart attacks and grand mal seizures, leading to death in a small percentage of people.

Alcohol withdrawal, even for people who are highly motivated, can be a true battle for health and well being. If a withdrawal is not treated, it could lead to more severe withdrawals in the future. Therefore, withdrawal and detoxification should have a medical component, as management of the symptoms is needed. Withdrawal is the major stumbling block in treatment, because the alcoholic's brain is craving the alcohol to get back to "normal." It is possible to go through detoxification without the agony of the withdrawal symptoms, as medical treatment is available. Patients can go into treatment without having to suffer the extreme discomfort, or worry about the life-threatening consequences. Medicines to assist in this process have helped restore normal brain function, and allow people to move to the next step in the treatment process. By easing the detoxification and withdrawal process, the chances for success in treatment are greatly enhanced.

We are body, mind and spirit. The medical has made great strides in treating the body and mind, making successful treatment and recovery more probability than possibility. There is always the possibility, however, of relapse. The spirit needs treatment in recovery. The elimination of pain and discomfort is huge in freeing the spirit.

Specialized in: Alcoholism - Alcohol Addiction - Dui - Addiction
URL: http://www.alcoholism-support.org
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