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Alcohol has been used for thousands of years by nearly all civilizations. Before the colonial era, the native populace of the land that would ultimately become the US used to produce alcohol. They used alcohol as a trading medium, usually bartered for animal skins and other natural resources. Today, alcohol is an important part of most social events. Many of us resort to a glass or two at home after a long day. While evidence has proved that alcohol is a health benefactor, it is not without its fair share of risks when consumed excessively.

Alcohol abuse and addiction

The abuse and addiction to alcohol is not new to us since people have been abusing it for centuries. The effects of alcoholism are countless and potentially deadly, not to point out destructive to the addict's family, work, and goals. These effects are not only consequential for the addicts but those around him/her too. The effects of alcoholism can be both physical and psychological and they comprise short and long term, both of which might be life threatening. Perhaps one of the toughest effects to deal with are those side effects that occur when the body has not had any alcohol.

The dangers and risks of alcohol

The effects of alcohol, while devastating, are largely unknown to the world population. As we mentioned earlier, the effects of alcohol can be long term or short term. Some long term physical effects of alcohol comprise increased vulnerability to liver cancer, liver cirrhosis, and other life threatening ailments. The longer one abuses alcohol, the higher the chances of other effects being experienced as well as addiction developing. The most rigorous form of alcoholism is dependency. Physical alcohol addiction is usually characterized by withdrawal signs when alcohol consumption is intercepted, by tolerance to alcohol effects and by the existence of alcohol-related diseases.

Short-term alcohol abuse effects include hangovers, nausea, fatigue and headaches. Some of these short-term effects can occur in as short as 10 minutes after an individual starts drinking, and as the addict continues to drink, the effects felt may have serious consequences. Some of them include reduced inhibitions, wherein the drinker's behavior can change and he or she might end up engaging in some unethical activities. Among the two types, it is the short term psychological effects that can negatively affect not only the addict but also the people around him or her.

Withdrawal symptoms

Most people who suddenly stop consuming alcohol suffer from withdrawal symptoms owing to the body reacting to the sudden cutting off of the liquid that it had become reliant on. Alcohol withdrawal symptom is a term used to refer to the body's state once alcohol is suddenly cut off after a long period of drinking. It is difficult for an addict to escape either part of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Even frequent drinkers will experience the effect when they stop consuming alcohol without the help of rehab centers. The body takes a lot of time to adapt to this new habit and this is when withdrawal symptoms manifest.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be mild or severe depending on how long and the amount of alcohol that has been consumed. Severe symptoms are experienced by those that have consumed large amounts of alcohol for a long period of time while mild symptoms are synonymous with people who have taken alcohol over a short time. These withdrawal symptoms are otherwise known as DTs, delirium tremens and if not controlled can result to death. When addicts are undergoing mild withdrawal syndromes, they become anxious, irritable, and will sometimes vomit and suffer from sleeplessness.

Recovery process

Alcohol recovery might be a painful process for an individual to undergo and emotionally draining too since it is not easy to decide to quit overnight. The very first step to addiction recovery is for the addict to acknowledge addiction and start the journey to a brighter future. Admitting and making changes can be hard, and nowhere is this obvious than when one is dealing with alcoholism. Once you have admitted and decided to make a change, it is time to start exploring your rehab treatment options. When searching for a treatment center, you have to bear in mind that there's no treatment option that is right for every patient.

The third step to addiction recovery is finding support. Irrespective of the treatment option that you choose, you will need some help along the way. Talk to your family and friends about your choice to seek treatment, and you ought to ask them to offer you support. After completing alcohol abuse rehab, you need to learn new habits. You might have been abusing alcohol to help you cope with stress. Learning new habits can help you cope with stress. Also, finding new social outlets is a great idea and, in most cases, new hobbies.

Treatment options

Since alcoholism affects a vast majority of the world population, multitudes of alcohol treatment facilities exist today. These treatment centers use a variety of procedures for the successful treatment of the condition. Inpatient treatment is among the many treatment procedures used by these facilities to help addicts achieve sobriety. Treatment can occur in medical or residential or hospital environment. Inpatient or residential treatment helps an addict to live in a different setting where they are kept under vigilance. In addition to medication, addicts are taught new ways to adjust to new conditions and prevent the relapse well.

Detox facilities are often the very first step in alcoholism treatment process and vary from rehabs in many ways. Whilst Detox centers are designed for a short term stay, the rehabilitation facilities are commonly meant for a longer term stay and offer counseling and other tools required to address the core issues behind the addiction. Offering psychological support for the alcoholics is part of rehabilitation process. This can include the creation of behaviors, group counseling, just to name a few. Each approach used helps the patient to deal with the stress as well as emotional crisis. It also offers great help in regaining self-confidence.

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