Most people drink in moderation, going no further than a couple of drinks a day. With some people, however, innocent drinks with friends each evening quickly goes out of control. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, one in four adults cross the line each month, indulging in at least one drinking binge during this period. While most do manage to find their way back, others drink more and more often, to the point where they become unable to quit. At our rehab for alcohol addiction in Cuyahoga Falls, we work with and help hundreds such people each year.
If there was one thing that we could point to as the greatest defense against the addiction trap, it would be knowledge. Poor or incorrect information is one of the greatest enemies of communities battling substance abuse and addictive behavior. If you struggle with an excessive alcohol habit or with alcohol addiction, the first thing that you should do, even before you deny that you have problems, is to start reading up about it, and talking to experts. You can start right here with the information below. You could then give us a call with any questions.
Irresponsible drinking doesn't always lead to addictive behavior. In some people, however, a genetic vulnerability to addictive behavior or the existence of underlying psychiatric conditions, tend to lead there.
According to guidelines by the CDC, a risky drinking pattern involves getting to the point where one is able to knock back five or more drinks in a two-hour period. At first, such a drinker usually does not feel the need to often indulge in such drinking. At some point, however, the gaps become smaller, and simple personal resolve is no longer enough to stay away. When every attempt to stop ends in failure, it's safe to call it addiction.
There are other ways to recognize addiction, as well. Addicts often drink during the day, get into difficulties over their behavior both at work and at home, and get caught by the law for behavior such as drunken-driving. If you drink a lot even when you have clear knowledge of how your drinking leads you into trouble, it points to addiction.
A region in the brain called the pleasure center is at the core of addictive behavior. The brain closely controls the pleasure center to release small dribbles of neurotransmitter to evoke feelings of pleasure or well-being every minute of every day. It is such low levels of pleasure that make everyday life acceptable or even enjoyable.
Alcohol is pleasurable because it commandeers the brain's reward center to force the release of large quantities of the neurotransmitters responsible for pleasurable feelings. When a person routinely abuses alcohol, the brain is no longer able to control the pleasure center. It gives up control to the alcohol present in the system. When this happens, the brain is said to be physically addicted on alcohol. Such physical reliance on alcohol is one of the defining characteristics of addiction.
Cravings -- the other defining characteristic -- come about through overexposure to alcohol, as well. It is one of the functions of the pleasure center to learn deep attachment to activities that lead to pleasure. When large quantities of alcohol repeatedly force the release of massive amounts of pleasure, the pleasure center learns an indelible loyalty to the substance. The brain then creates deep cravings for alcohol that cannot be overcome through resolve or willpower. A brain in this condition is said to be psychologically addicted to alcohol.
Attempting to simply give up alcohol is not a good way to quit addiction. As we tell our clients with alcohol addiction in Cuyahoga Falls, a pleasure center physically addicted to alcohol relies not on internal mechanisms, but on alcohol for everyday control. When a supply of alcohol is stopped, the neurotransmitter levels in the pleasure center and elsewhere in the brain go haywire over a period of several days until natural controls are re-established.
During this period, the brain tends to experience severe symptoms. From seizures and convulsions to hallucinations and cardiac arrest, the effects can be dangerous, indeed. Many of those who attempt to quit addiction on their own die in the attempt.
Detoxification centers, usually a part of full-fledged alcohol addiction facilities, exist to help addicts quit in a safe and well-ordered way. Addiction specialists offer supervision, and administer medications to help counter every dangerous symptom of drug withdrawal in Cuyahoga Falls. The process takes two weeks or longer.
At the conclusion of drug detox in Cuyahoga Falls, the brain has usually learned self-reliance again, and no longer feels routine cravings or withdrawal symptoms. At this stage, however, the brain is still far from free of addiction. Detoxification only addresses physical addiction. Psychological addiction remains, and can assert itself at any time. It takes months of alcohol addiction recovery treatment called relapse prevention at an alcohol rehab, for addicts to learn the skills that they need to handle these cravings.
Most people who continue with their addictions do so because they have little knowledge of how addiction works, and no clear concept of how they might make a clean escape. The more you learn, the more confidence you gain, and the more surefooted your escape becomes. You should come talk to one of our experts for alcohol addiction in Cuyahoga Falls. You'll learn all about how scientifically managed alcohol addiction treatment programs can help you fight your addiction. Call us now at (330) 645-8001.