Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

An addiction to alcohol is a powerful one, and while humans have always found ways to make alcoholic beverages, alcohol abuse can result in a number of damaging effects, both physical and emotional. Withdrawing from alcohol is very serious, if not life-threatening, in those who have drank heavily for months, years or even weeks. Let’s take a look at the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and why attending private addiction rehab is the best option, particularly for severe cases.

The More You Drink

The more alcohol you drink on a regular basis, the more severe symptoms are when you stop. Symptoms are worse if combined with other medical conditions, and most often occur in adults, though children and teenagers can also experience alcohol withdrawal. Types of medical conditions that worsen the effects of alcohol withdrawal symptoms include susceptibility to seizures and infections, as well as diseases such as lung and heart disease.

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome occurs in heavy drinkers, with symptoms emerging in as little as two hours after the person stops drinking. However, most experience symptoms eight hours after drinking ceases. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome include anxiety, shakiness, seizures, hallucinations, irregular heartbeat and delirium tremens. The death rate from the latter, which includes confusion, fever and rapid heartbeat, is between one and 15 percent.

Additional Symptoms

Other alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Nervousness
  • Clammy skin
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Inability to think clearly
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pallor
  • Alcohol craving

Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The detox process, no matter what the substance, is an intense, often painful process that requires medical supervision. Seizures and delirium tremens are two particularly frightening alcohol withdrawal symptoms that require the help of medical professionals. If you or someone you love has an alcohol dependency that requires medical attention, the decision to enter a private detox center is a way to ensure you’ll receive the best care possible. The right facility will feature on-call staff to assist you with whatever you need, day or night, and provide comfortable accommodations where you can rest and recuperate. A high end rehab facility will also feature healthy meals to ensure you or a loved one receives the essential nutrients imperative for rebuilding stasis.

Don’t deal with the effects of alcohol withdrawal alone or otherwise without the right type of supervision! Take care of yourself by entering a luxury drug rehab facility where you can overcome your symptoms and begin your journey of recovery.

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Should I Detox at Home?

The first step to beating a serious drug addiction is drug detox. The drug detoxification process can be extremely difficult, mentally, physically and emotionally. When a person abuses drugs or alcohol, they become dependent on the substance in a variety of ways. First, there is the mental emotional dependence – using a substance to feel a certain way. Next, there is the physical dependence, in which the body must have drugs or alcohol to function. After a while, the body and minds simply cannot function without drugs or alcohol – and when a person attempts to quit, they can be put into severe emotional, mental and physical distress.

The Dangers of At Home Detox

The idea of doing an at-home detox can seem like a good one, until you start to really consider all the factors. Detoxification is an extremely intense process, and few patients understand just how difficult – or dangerous – it is to go it alone. You often hear about addicts who think they are going to “lock themselves in a room” for a week and detox. No matter how strong the desire to get clean is, at home detox seldom works. Detoxification can be extremely painful and scary. Detox patients can suffer from chills, sweats, severe nausea, full body pain, intense headaches, tremors and seizures. A patient can be disoriented, delusional, and violent and suffer from extreme anxiety, stress and depression. These severe symptoms can lead to dangerous medical conditions and without the care of medical professionals, could place a patient’s health in jeopardy. Often, people attempting to detox at home end of relapsing because they simply can’t handle the physical, mental and emotional withdrawal symptoms. They can also become a risk to themselves and others.

Drug Detox Centers

Drug detox centers are proven to be an effective way for addicts to detox from drugs and alcohol in a safe way. At a drug detox center, a patients is assessed and a detoxification plan is created specifically for their unique needs. A plan is put into place to safely and effectively help rid the body of toxins and manage pain. These medically guided detoxification treatment options include the use of saunas to help the body sweat and release toxins that have been built up in the internal organs, medication to help manage pain and medication to help the body ease off of severe drug addiction. An addition, counseling, therapy and support therapy techniques are used to help a patient manage the complex emotional issues and mental stress and pain that can arise during the alcohol and drug detox process. Finally, drug detox centers are a safe and comfortable place, where a patient is completely removed from the stresses, influences and stress of the outside world. Each day is focused completely on detoxification and recovery, which greatly improves an addict’s chances of complete recovery.

Drug Detox Los Angeles

If you’re looking for a safe and effective center for drug detox, Los Angeles’ The Hills Treatment Center is a top private detox center with a high success rate for helping addicts detox from drugs and alcohol and overcome their addictions. The Hills Treatment Center is a luxury drug rehab and detox center that offers comfortable sleeping arrangements, one on one staff, world class meals and support therapies such as massage and yoga. To learn more about The Hills Treatment Center’s private detox center, visit our website for more information.

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10 Reasons Residential Treatment Works for Addiction

Considering residential treatment for an addiction, whether drug or alcohol-related, is a courageous decision and the first step on the journey of recovery. Private addiction rehab offers many benefits other programs simply cannot, but if still on the proverbial fence about entering residential treatment, check out 10 reasons why it works for addiction:

1) Structure

Residential drug and alcohol treatment programs feature a structured environment. This structure is very important when undergoing detox or during any other time early in the recovery process, as relapses are still a possibility. A residential treatment program schedule is packed with healthy activities, from individual and group therapy to exercise, art programs and more.

2) Round-the-Clock Care

These programs feature 24/7 care, which again reduces the possibility of relapse. Patients frequently have trouble sleeping and experience other withdrawal symptoms in addition to emotional and mental pain and fear. The ability to talk to a staff member in a supportive environment therefore contributes to an easier recovery. Many staff members are recovering addicts themselves and are more than happy to share their experiences with patients.

3) Comfort

Another benefit of a residential treatment program is comfort. Rooms are furnished with cozy beds and other comfortable furnishings that invite patients to relax as their bodies heal. Such comfortable, relaxing settings are generally much more attractive to patients than a hospital or institutional environment.

4) “Whole Person” Treatment

Entering a drug or alcohol residential program allows the “whole person” to heal. This includes the healing of the emotional self through assorted counseling sessions and spiritual activities, as well as the physical self via nutritious meals, sleep and exercise. Addiction affects the mind and the body, making it necessary for both to heal during recovery.

5) Support

The support of others going through the same recovery process is yet another benefit of residential drug and alcohol programs, as it’s helpful for the patient to know he or she is “not alone.”

6) Connection

Whether with a roommate or other patients at the facility, it’s entirely possible to make friends for life while in treatment. This builds on the previous benefit, as forming bonds with those who also struggled with addiction is very helpful, particularly during those early days in the “real world” when it helps to have supportive friends.

7) Medication Support

Some patients require medications for certain health issues or withdrawal symptoms while in recovery. A residential program offers medication support, as staff can administer medications in a safe manner.

8) Focus

Entering a residential drug or alcohol treatment facility allows the patient to focus entirely on recovery. The distraction of a job, school, friends and family and other activities that make up daily life have been removed, and with them the temptations of drugs and alcohol.

9) Education Support

Private rehab facilities may provide education-related support to patients attending school, such as Wifi and IT amenities. This allows patients to continue their educational pursuits without interruption.

10) Family Therapy

Along with individual and group sessions, family therapy is another common option during residential treatment. This is especially helpful to patients coming from a family with a history of addiction.

The benefits of residential care when recovering from drug or alcohol dependency cannot be overstated! A safe, structured environment offers patients the opportunity to recover fully while receiving the support of staff and other patients, making the next step in the process—sober living—that much easier.

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Taking Direction in Rehab

Addicts and alcoholics check into a residential treatment center to get the 24 hour a day care they need in early sobriety. Rehab offers a fresh start, new scenery and like minded people working towards the same goal of recovery. Many alcoholics and addicts go to rehab out of state in hopes to avoid distraction and “start over”. Some check in to ritzy places with world class chefs and masseurs while others check into decidedly more modest treatment centers with cot like beds and multiple roommates. In Los Angeles alone there are a plethora of rehab facilities to check into, but one thing always remains the same: the addict is going to live by a new set of rules.

Treatment centers aren’t designed to punish the addict and alcoholic but rather to instill new ideas and behaviors conducive to recovery. While every rehab offers a different schedule, the addict’s day is usually pretty well mapped out. Some may balk at the seemingly rigid schedule as they’re handed a sheet depicting the weekly itinerary. Most alcoholics and addicts are defiant towards structure and have a hard time playing by anyone’s rules but their own. Selfishness and self centeredness are key characterizations of the addict and its not unusual for them to be used to doing things “their way” even if its at the expense of others.

A lot of the rules and guidelines at a treatment center may seen pointless and stringent. Its not uncommon to see an addict try and talk their way out of doing a chore or attending a meeting. Addicts are full of excuses for why they are above the law. This entitled sense of self is another characteristic that defines addicts and alcoholics. Learning to go with the flow of life and work with other people is an important part of recovery. If an addict were to check into rehab and refuse to get out of bed all day they would be missing the experience. This is a time to change and form new habits. Its not going to be easy for someone that’s used to getting their way all the time, but part of recovery is surrendering to a new way of living. It is of no value to the addict to continue to live life on their terms only.

The staff isn’t out to get you, so arguing is futile. Treatment offers us the opportunity to learn how to coexist with other people in a harmonious way. Addicts like to put up a good fight, especially if their egos are threatened. It is not uncommon to see a patient complaining at a staff member or yelling at their roommate. With emotions seen for the first time in years, early sobriety can make us testy and angry. Mending and building new healthy relationships with others is paramount in recovery.

At first the days of treatment may seem to stretch on forever. The “finish line” may be nowhere in sight—but that isn’t the purpose of treatment. In recovery there is no finish line. Yes, the day will come to check out of rehab, but if its given a fair shot, the process will help develop new tools for living a happy, sober life.

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Letting Go of the Past and Staying in the Present

Letting go of the past won’t happen over-night but it is possible. It is a gradual process that can be achieved through communication and honesty with yourself and others.

Remember there is a difference between letting go of the past and repressing the past memories that haunt us. Repression is highly damaging to oneself as everything bottled up keeps building until one erupts both emotionally and physically. Letting go of the past can be simply processing everything you had done when drinking or using. Uncovering the reasons why you had done them and how you can move on from it and not allow it damage your future.

Staying in the present is essential in recovery. We cannot progress until we leave the past behind us. Being mindful of the future is important but don’t get stuck in the future either. Future ‘tripping’ is almost as harmful and being stuck in the past. As AA says; ‘one day at a time.’ Of course it is important to make plans for the immediate future and big changes to keep us occupied each day. We shouldn’t completely ignore the future. However when our concern for the future creates unreasonable levels of anxiety and catastrophe takes place this is when it can become harmful to recovery. Assuming the worst is not uncommon but it can eventually control you and divert your attention away from sobriety and sometimes lead to a relapse.

The best method of all is just to stay concerned with each day as it comes, be aware of feeling in the present as that is what is important. True it is important if you were feeling sad yesterday, but if you are feeling different today then that is the new reality of much more significance. Instead of looking to future and worrying about what’s ahead keep present and tackle issues as they come day to day.

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Welfare Applicants Required to Drug Test to Receive Benefits

As of May 31st 2011 a new law was passed in Florida requiring all those applying for welfare benefits to pass a drug test in order to receive these benefits. Rick Scott, the governor of Florida, and others strongly promote this new law despite controversy from others, most prominent of who are the American Civil Liberties Union. Rick Scott promotes this bill as it gives peace of mind to taxpayers who are currently paying up to 30% of their incomes. Tax payers should be able to pay this in knowledge that they are not simply paying for those unemployed to fuel drug usage. Rick Scott is hoping that in the long-run this new law will give both peace and mind to tax payers while also creating savings from all those who fail the test and don’t receive benefits.

The law works by drug testing all those applying for welfare benefits. If the applicant tests negative then the state pays for the test. If however the applicant tests positive then they may not apply again for a year unless they can prove they have attended a self-paid treatment center. Then they may re-apply after 6 months. If an applicant fails a drug test for the second time they are made ineligible to apply for welfare benefits for three years.

The American Civil Liberties Union strongly opposes the new law; it claims that the bill is a violation of the recipient’s constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure. On June 1st the ACLU sued to stop the implementation of this new law which now also requires all applicants for state jobs to be tested for drugs and all existing employees can be randomly tested. Applying for welfare benefits is optional and so there can be no debate as to the violation of recipient’s rights as the application itself is not mandatory. Alongside this all employers are allowed to drug test their employees at random so how is this any different?

The new law only affects actual money benefits not food stamps so those who fail the test are not completely cut off by the state. The Bill also has a ‘protective payee’ system aimed to help children with drug-abusing parents. This happens when an adult supporting children fails to pass the drug test. In this instance then another adult can be drug tested, usually another family member, and if test negative can obtain the money for the welfare of the child.
There are some concerns about the potential financial consequences of this new law. 13 years ago Florida ran a pilot drug testing project targeted at poor residents on temporary cash benefits from the state. Less than 4% of the 8,800 applicants tested positive for drugs. All in all, this venture cost the state and tax payers almost $2.7 million.

According to the Department of Children and Families report since July 1st when this law was implemented only 2.5% of the welfare applicants have tested positive and failed the test. In contrast to this it is estimated that 8.9% of the general population illegally use drugs according to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. With drug testing companies charging $10 to $25 per drug test, making them the biggest beneficiaries of this law, it is estimated that this new law could create $515,000 to $1.27 million costs to tax payers annually.

Oklahoma in fact had proposed a similar bill to that of the one Florida has now passed. Oklahoma however withdrew the bill as it was believed it would end up costing more money that it would save.

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Seeking Addiction Treatment Out of State

Some alcoholics and addicts may want to explore the option of seeking treatment out of state. There are many plus sides to checking into a rehab facility away from home. Although the distance can be hard for some parents, some believe that the addict will have less of a chance to leave rehab if they are out of state. The possibility of meeting up with old friends while going to treatment in a familiar city can pose a threat to those in early recovery.

The alcoholic or addict may also find relief knowing they are going to a place far from home. They may feel like they are getting a fresh start. This can help avoid any distractions a facility close to home may offer. An alcoholic or addict may find that a certain facility out of state is more tailored to their needs.

Depending on the client’s experience at their treatment center, they may find the network of sober people in the area reason enough to stay after treatment. Many alcoholics start a new life over out of state because of the positive experience they had while in rehab. They make new friends and find new purpose in life. Regardless of whether or not you decide to seek treatment close to home or many miles away, the most important thing is to attend the facility that will provide you with the maximum amount of recovery.

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People, Places, Things- How Much do We Have to Change?

Being sober doesn’t mean that we have to abandon every relationship we have, nor does it mean we have to change all the things we like to do. It may be helpful to take a look at some of the people in our lives, the places we hang out and the activities were participating in. This doesn’t mean that we become shut ins. Recovery opens up a new world of possibilities and allows us to get back into life.

If we’re honest with ourselves and serious about staying sober, we will be able to see the areas of our life which need changing. You may be going to the bar with some old friends, and while you’re not drinking, what are your motives? Do you have a justifiable reason to be there or are you just trying to catch some of that euphoria from our drinking days. Many of us do go out dancing at bars and clubs in sobriety, but if you’re there every night that may be something worth taking a look at.

We don’t have to get rid of all the people in our life up until our sobriety, however, it’s probably not a good idea to hang out with someone who is a drug dealer. We have to ask ourselves if this is the type of person we want to be spending time with today? Is my sobriety at risk? In trying to form new habits and behaviors and there are often acquaintances from our past that may stifle our recovery.

The “things” category can seem a little vague. This can be characterized by a wide variety of behaviors, often relating to unhealthy or harmful habits from our drinking and using days. For example, stealing would classify as being dishonest, and honesty is a basic principle to live a sober life by. It would be incongruent with our recovery if we still participated with criminal activity.

Some of us have perfectly loving people in our lives and never had a criminal past. The major changes ultimately for all of us must come from within. Participating in recovery means accepting change and practicing a new way of life. It is wise to get a network of sober friends. There is a lot to learn from the people that have come before us if we’re willing to listen to it. There may be new activities you find yourself enjoying in sobriety, or old ones you have neglected due to drinking and using. In recovery, we are able to see the things that aren’t working for us anymore. Some behaviors take more time to change, but we can’t beat ourselves up. The best we can do is maintain honesty and willingness to go to any lengths to protect our sobriety.

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Rebuilding Relationships in Sobriety

Recovering alcoholics and addicts are not going to change over night, therefore relationships that have been strained over the years are not going to be healed or mended right away. Sometimes when we get sober we wish to make right all we have done wrong immediately. We wish that on the basis of our sobriety alone, our friends and family will trust and respect us. This is not reality. Mending relationships can take time effort on our behalf.

Being physically sober is just the beginning of our recovery journey. We have done damage to ourselves and to others. With the help of a sponsor or a therapist we are able to see clearly the ways we have affected the lives of others through selfishness and destruction. Sometimes we have no idea that we have wronged a person until we get completely honest with ourselves.

Family and Friends aren’t always on the one-day-at-a-time program and may not be impressed that you have simply stayed sober. Often they want results of healthy behavior and restitution for the harm we have caused over the years. It’s too much for us to expect to regain trust of our family and friends after a short period of time. Good relationships don’t happen overnight for us, this is something we have to nurture on a daily basis.

How can we expect ourselves to know how to have good relationships if we’ve been leaving a trail of wreckage in people’s lives for years? Recovery is like being reborn and given a new set of tools for living. Of course we’re not going to know what a healthy relationship looks like if we’ve never had one. This is where we trust the experience shared by our friends in recovery to help guide us into better living. With a clear view of ourselves and our behaviors, we can take new approaches to the way we treat people. For some, it may mean consistently calling their relative once a week. For others maybe it means showing up for a friend in a time of need. Sometimes it’s as simple as offering to pick someone up from the airport without expecting anything in return. Our friends and family like consistency. We want to become dependable people.

Don’t be upset if your friend or family member is wary about getting close to you. Our drinking and drugging has caused people a lot of pain and it’s not realistic to think that everyone will be so forgiving. Recovery takes daily effort and relationships need time to heal and grow. Listen to people that have relationships you admire. What are they doing differently?

Because alcoholism is a family disease, our friends and families may chose to go to Al-Anon or other family support groups to help build better skills for themselves. Often alcoholics themselves have found these support groups helpful in recovery as many of us deal with Al-Anon or codependency issues.

While we can’t expect all of our old relationships to be healed in recovery, if we work hard we can build new and healthy relationships.

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Prescription Medication in Sobriety

Life still goes on in recovery and sometimes that means having to endure surgery or hospital stints. The doctor just prescribed narcotic painkillers—now what? Being alcoholics and having learned about our disease, we have found that we can’t safely use alcohol or drugs in any form. One Vicodin may spur what’s known as the physical allergy inside us Alcoholics. But what if we’re badly injured and require pain medication? For us, waking up the beast seems inevitable upon taking Vicodin or other opiates. This is where honesty is key in maintaining sobriety.

Some of us really do require pain medication. If we our honest with ourselves, our doctor and someone close to us such as a sponsor, we are more likely to stay sober. When talking to a doctor it is helpful to inform them of your alcoholism and drug addiction to help protect you physical sobriety and practice rigorous honesty.The doctor will do their best to prescribe you with only what you really need. Some have found it helpful to give their medication to a trusted friend or sponsor to administer to them as directed to prevent slips while under the influence of a narcotic. Sometimes your doctor may prescribe a non-narcotic pain med for you to try first. There have been countless stories of people with long term sobriety relapsing on narcotic pain pills because they failed to be honest.

It is ultimately up to each individual to determine their own sobriety. Staying honest helps us to check our motives when deciding if we really need pain pills or if we are trying to catch a “freelapse” from the buzz. Some find themselves wanting to continue taking their prescription even when the pain subsides. If you are having trouble being honest with yourself, call someone first before making any decisions. We will sometimes come across busybodies that wish to enforce strong opinions on outside issues and medication as it relates to sobritety, but at the end of the day these matters are between you, your doctor and your higher power.

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