Alcohol withdrawals and how to stop drinking
- - What are alcohol withdrawals?
- - Naltrexone therapy in alcohol dependency treatment
- - Tips for giving up alcohol
- - Effects of regular heavy drinking
What are the long-term effects of regular heavy drinking?
Alcohol effects on brain
Drinking too much can affect your concentration, judgment, mood and memory. It increases your risk of having a stroke and developing dementia.
Alcohol effects on heart
Heavy drinking increases your blood pressure. Drinking can also lead to heart damage and heart attacks.
Alcohol effects on liver
Drinking three to four standard drinks a day increases your risk of developing liver cancer. Long-term heavy drinking also puts you at increased risk of liver cirrhosis (scarring) and death.
Alcohol effects on stomach
Drinking even one to two standard drinks a day increases your risk of stomach and bowel cancer. It may also cause stomach ulcers.
Alcohol effects on fertility
Regular heavy drinking reduces men's testosterone levels, sperm count and fertility. For women, drinking too much can affect their periods.
Top four tips for giving up alcohol
- To connect with the sober community
Giving up alcohol requires seeking help. This can be done in whatever way works for you. Regardless it being Alcohol Anonymous, a local support group or an online forum, you need to be reaching out and talking to people.
2. To learn more about alcohol
One of the things that can help you with giving up alcohol as well as keep you from relapsing is educating yourself about what alcohol consumption really does to the human body. The effects of alcohol to your body are devastating.
3. Simultaneous self-discovery is important
You need to understand why you are drinking if you want to stop. You need to find out what experiences have caused you to drink and resolve them at the root. This can be done through therapy or participating in alcohol-free challenges. Basically, anything that works on transforming your beliefs to align with your true moral values will help.
4. Remember that giving up alcohol is possible!
Alcohol Withdrawals and Naltrexone
Naltrexone is a prescribed medication that is commonly used for treating alcohol dependency. While it is not a magical cure for alcoholism, this medication has proven to be extremely beneficial when used in the forms of implants along with some form of psychotherapy.
Before starting Naltrexone, a person must not be physically dependent on alcohol or other substances, such as opiate drugs. This is because patients with alcohol or drugs in their system may experience side effects (alcohol withdrawal or opiate withdrawal) of the medication when combined with other substances.
To avoid any uncomfortable symptoms, medical providers typically wait until after the home detox or an inpatient detox process is complete before administering this medication. One must stop consuming alcohol at least 48 to 72 hours before administrating Naltrexone.
What is alcohol withdrawal?
Alcohol withdrawal is the name for the changes that occur when somebody who has been drinking heavily for a long time suddenly stops or significantly reduces alcohol intake.
Among people who drink heavily long-term, their brain chemistry adjusts because it is constantly exposed to alcohol's sedating effect or depressant effect.
The brain makes more stimulating chemicals, such as serotonin or norepinephrine, to compensate for the effects of alcohol.
Therefore, when alcohol is withdrawn suddenly (alcohol withdrawal), the brain is overstimulated.
Some of the milder symptoms of alcohol withdrawals that can be experienced including headaches, nausea and vomiting. However, some patients experience more severe symptoms such as tremors, hallucinations, seizures and delirium tremens, which is when there is a dangerous shift in a person's breathing
Alcohol withdrawals may happen, but not necessarily.