As the brain matures, experiences prune excess neural connections while strengthening those that are used more often. Many scientists think that this process contributes to the steady reduction in gray matter volume seen during adolescence (depicted as the yellow to blue transition in the figure). As environmental forces help determine which connections will wither and which will thrive, the brain circuits that emerge become more efficient. However, this is a process that can cut both ways because not all tasks are desirable. The environment is like an artist who creates a sculpture by chipping away excess marble; and just like bad artists can produce bad art, environments with negative factors (like drugs, malnutrition, bullying, or sleep deprivation) can lead to efficient but potentially harmful circuits that conspire against a person's well-being. Coming KLEAN: Stories of Overcoming Addiction, The Documentary (Rated R)
Anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts are all common results of alcohol dependency. This is because prolonged heavy drinking effects the neurotransmitters in the brain which regulate mood. Two of the most important neurotransmitters for mood are dopamine and serotonin, which are responsible for creating the positive feelings vital for a healthy mind. Research shows that the levels of both serotonin and dopamine are often heavily altered in the brains of alcoholics, leading to deteriorating mental health and, often, a negative spiral of alcohol use.
This is an ongoing debate in the medical community, but it is generally agreed that there is no one cause for the development of addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, contributing factors may include a genetic predisposition to develop addictive tendencies, an environment that is permissive of drug abuse, access to illicit substances, and certain developmental issues. The existence of a Dual Diagnosis is one of the biggest risk factors for the development of addiction.
Addiction is an all-consuming disease, using much of an individual’s time, energy and resources. There are many physical, mental and emotional signs of addiction. If you or a loved one are experiencing a combination of these signs, treatment may be a stepping stone for long-term recovery. Looking for signs and symptoms of drug abuse can be the first step toward identifying an addiction: Inside NHS detox centre - Victoria Derbyshire
Unfortunately, only 20% of those who abuse alcohol will ever get help. Part of the reason that many people choose not to get help may be the blurred lines between socially acceptable drinking and alcoholism. While any usage of illegal drugs is considered a problem, a certain amount of alcohol usage is considered normal and acceptable. For more information about how much alcohol is safe to consume and how to tell if you or a loved one qualify as having an alcohol use disorder, read our guide to alcohol addiction.

When you stop using alcohol altogether, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. The detoxification stage is the first step in the recovery process. It involves eliminating alcohol from your body completely. The most severe withdrawal symptoms generally surface within the first 24 to 48 hours after your last drink. While some symptoms are minor, others can be more serious. Your treatment specialist will be able to give you medications in order to help alleviate some of the pain.
For example, drinking as a way of coping with difficulties or stress, instead of confronting the sources of those difficulties or stressors, is an early indication that someone is relying too heavily on alcohol. Feelings of shame during or after drinking, or trying to hide evidence of drinking, point to a person who is not in control of their drinking habits.

We understand that withdrawal is uncomfortable. We also realise that the unpleasantness of withdrawal is that which persuades a lot of alcohol addicts to forgo treatment. The staff at our treatment facilities do their best to make patients as comfortable as possible and to help them through the difficult moments of withdrawal. The good news is that withdrawal is only temporary. It will eventually pass if you are willing to let it run its course.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) once referred to substance abuse and substance dependence as diagnostic terms. However, in the updated fifth edition (DSM-5), these terms are replaced by the singular substance use disorder, which is broken into mild, moderate and severe to refer to the physical and mental impairments through recurrent substance use.
The best way to tell your loved ones that you’re addicted is to be as honest and as open as possible. Be prepared for the possibility that they won’t understand your disease — even today, many people don’t realize that addiction is a chronic condition on the same level as diabetes, cancer, or hypertension. Your loved ones may criticize you; they may even try to persuade you that you don’t have a problem. It’s important to stand firm in your new self-awareness and stay on track with your plan for treatment.
It’s vital to bear in mind that the process of recovery is not complete the moment you leave rehab – in fact, it is often best to work on the basis that recovery is never complete, and that it is a lifelong process at which you need to work continually in order truly to protect yourself from temptation and the chance of returning to the terrible condition of addiction.
UKAT have already treated over 1,000 people with alcohol addiction in our private residential rehabilitation centres this year, the vast majority of which had to be medically supported during their initial detoxification stage. Going 'cold turkey' from alcohol is extremely dangerous; the individual could experience seizures, hallucinations, sweating, anxiety, depression, tremors and nausea.( Eytan Alexander 2 Oct 2018 )
Outpatient treatment is the next step down in a continuum of care. It is also a rehabilitation option for individuals whose addiction is less severe and doesn’t require inpatient treatment. Clients in this phase of rehab drug treatment visit the facility regularly, but do not stay overnight. This approach allows the individual to receive drug treatment while maintaining family and job responsibilities.

Research the history of the Treatment Center or facility.  What is their success rate?  Can you find any medical recommendations for them online from members of the established rehab or medical community?  How long has the Center been in operation?  Is their leadership on solid ground?  Are there any signs of financial corruption associated with the Center that is readily visible on the Internet?  It is your responsibility to dig for this information.  If you cannot find any information about a given Treatment Center online or at your local library, move on to the next Center on your list! 3 Stages of Drug Alcohol Rehab-How It Works

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