Tag Archive for: rehab

signs that alcohol is killing you

Notice the Dangers of Alcohol Before it’s Too Late

Too much of anything, no matter how much pleasure it brings, can lead to harmful effects. Take anything you might enjoy—eating chocolate, shopping, playing blackjack, even working. Any of these could cause harm if it is overdone.

The adverse effects of overindulgence are well known. This can cause obesity, bankruptcy, harm to the body, mental distress, and more. The same can be said about alcohol. An occasional drink is not a problem. But if drinking takes on a major role in your life, the effects can be very harmful.

Alcoholism is a widespread problem in the U.S., with 88,000 deaths each year attributed to alcohol. Ethyl alcohol is a highly toxic substance that can cause extreme damage to someone’s life. A drinking problem can harm you both physically and psychologically. Not only yourself but others if they are hurt or killed due to drunk driving.

For many, the harmful effects of heavy drinking may not be clear for some time. But at some point, it will become obvious that alcohol is killing you.

Heavy Alcohol Consumption Defined

The CDC has set guidelines that help people to be aware of what constitutes heavy drinking. According to the CDC:

  • Excessive drinking: 8 or more drinks in a week for women; 15 or more drinks in a week for men.
  • Binge drinking:  4 or more drinks in a single session for women; 5 or more drinks in a single session for men.
  • A “drink”:  A 12-ounce beer, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces or wine, or 1½ ounces of liquor.

5 Signs Alcohol is Killing You

It is mind boggling just how hard alcohol is on the brain and body. The signs alcohol is killing you may creep up slowly, with a symptom here or there. Or it may hit you all at once with a liver that has ceased to function, as in late stage alcoholism. Here are 5 signs that alcohol is killing you:

  1. Cardiac symptoms. Long-term heavy drinking takes a toll on the heart. A sign of a serious cardiac issue that could result in death is a heart arrhythmia, another term for abnormal heart rate. Alcohol can also cause alcoholic cardiomyopathy. This is when the heart muscle weakens and cannot pump enough blood to the organs. This can result in organ damage or heart failure.
  2. Cognitive problems. Excessive alcohol use can lead to brain damage, which shows up first when cognitive function is reduced. Memory problems are another sign. Thiamine (B1) deficiency often results, leading to brain damage.
  3. Gastrointestinal problems. Heavy drinking can cause excess stomach acid, such as acid reflux which can lead to gastritis. It also causes problems in the stomach lining, such as ulcers and bleeding. The loss of blood can lead to anemia, causing extreme fatigue.
  4. Liver disease. Alcohol is highly toxic to the liver. The problem with liver disease is that the signs of it may not be noticed until later stages. This happens with cirrhosis. It often begins as fatty liver disease. It is a fatal condition unless a liver transplant succeeds.
  5. Cancer symptoms. Excess drinking causes an increased risk of many types of cancer, most of them deadly. Types of cancer linked with heavy drinking include oral, throat, esophageal, colon, rectal, pancreatic, liver, and breast cancer.

In addition to these health effects of alcoholism, other very bad consequences can be caused in other ways. These include legal problems due to DUIs, loss of a job, divorce, custody battles, and money problems.

Detox and Withdrawal

The first step in recovery will involve detox. Withdrawal symptoms range from mild to severe depending on factors like drinking history, age, health, and mental health.

The detox timeline is fairly consistent. What is not so easy to predict is acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome or the DTs. This health emergency emerges on days 3-4 in about 5% of those going through detox. But of those who it affects, there is a 15% death rate.

Detox Timeline:

Stage 1: Symptoms commence 6-12 hours after the last drink. This early phase lasts only one day and includes such symptoms as hand tremors, headaches, and nausea.

Stage 2: Symptoms peak during this phase, which begins on day 2 and usually lasts two days. This stage includes such symptoms as vomiting, sweating, confusion, fever, irritability, mood swings, heart palpitations, anxiety, and insomnia. Those with a more severe alcohol problems may also have hallucinations, mental confusion, and high blood pressure. There is also a risk of seizure.

Stage 3: The final two days will see the symptoms subside as the brain becomes stable. While the intense symptoms start to decrease, some still feel the psychological effects. These include depression, anxiety, irritability, and insomnia.

Comprehensive Treatment for Alcoholism Recovery

After the detox is complete, the individual will be stable enough to begin treatment. Treating alcoholism relies on a group of therapies that are designed to work in tandem. Treatment helps them change toxic behaviors and equips them with new coping skills.

These rehab elements include:

Psychotherapy: Therapy is at the heart of treatment. Using evidence-based theories such as CBT, DBT, and motivation enhancement clients learn new thoughts and behavior patterns. Therapists will work with clients to assist them in changing thought distortions that have led to the drinking problem.

Group work: Group therapy allows clients to share about the events in their lives that have led to the problem of drinking. These peer support groups provide a safe place to help each other while in rehab.

12-step program: A.A.’s 12-step program is often added to the treatment plan, but not always. There are non 12-step recovery programs available as well, and some rehabs offer both types of meetings.

Recreation therapy: Restoring health after alcoholism is a key focus during rehab and beyond. Nutritional counseling and outdoor fitness provide ways to improve brain health and wellness.

Holistic activities: To learn how to reduce stress is key in recovery. Many rehabs today offer holistic activities that teach clients how to relax. These might include yoga classes, massage, guided meditation, art or music therapy, and mindfulness training.

Golf Drug Rehab Provides Effective Treatment for Alcoholism

Golf Drug Rehab is a unique rehab program located in South Orange County. Using a blend of evidence-based therapies and golf recreational therapy, clients balance recovery work and enjoyable pastimes. For any questions about the program, please connect with Golf Drug Rehab today at (877) 958-5320.

Clonazepam Withdrawal

Many Americans struggle with anxiety disorders and insomnia, two conditions that can impair normal daily functioning. The most common treatment for these maladies is a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, which includes diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan), and clonazepam (Klonopin). Clonazepam is unique among the benzo class due to its rapid onset along with a long half-life. Clonazepam can stay in someone’s system for up to three days.

Clonazepam is usually only prescribed for a short duration, such as two weeks, as the drug has a high risk of dependence and addiction. The lingering effects of the drug, staying in the body for days, can increase the risk of increased tolerance. The sedative effects, as well as mild euphoria, make it a popular medication. It is possible to become physically dependent on clonazepam in just a couple of weeks’ time.

As the individual begins to ramp up dosing to continue to experience the initial effects of the clonazepam, the brain becomes accustomed to the higher levels of the drug in the system. Clonazepam affects the GABA receptors, with is how the nerve cells transmit messages throughout the brain system, slowing brain activity. Over time, neural pathways become altered in response to the impact of dopamine, and the body now requires the drug. This is physical dependence.

Making the decision to get help for a clonazepam dependency or addiction is a difficult one. The individual is keenly aware that clonazepam withdrawal will be an unpleasant experience, keeping many from taking that first step toward recovery. But it should be understood that in a supervised detox environment, clonazepam withdrawal symptoms are closely monitored and interventions will be provided ongoingly.

Effects of Clonazepam Use

It is hard to imagine that the innocent looking little pill could have such devastating effects of some individuals. But, as with all benzos, clonazepam is a powerful sedative that can quickly develop into a dangerous habit, leading to both physical and psychological dependence. Some of the effects that can be experienced from long-term or excessive clonazepam use may include:

  • Impaired cognition
  • Vertigo, dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Mental confusion
  • Sleep problems
  • Short-term memory disruption
  • Numbness or heaviness in arms and legs
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Suicidal ideation

Because benzos are habit forming, increased tolerance to the drug may lead some to double up on dosing or take the drug more often than is prescribed. Of the benzos, clonazepam has a higher risk of overdose due to its longer half-life. Signs of a clonazepam overdose may include:

  • Loss of coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Clammy skin
  • Profound confusion
  • Delirium
  • Slowed respiratory rate
  • Coma

Breaking Free From a Clonazepam Addiction

It is a dangerous mistake to believe that one can just stop taking these drugs cold turkey. Benzodiazepine addiction is one of the most dangerous to detox from and must be accomplished under the care of a trained detox team. Abruptly stopping the clonazepam use will swiftly bring on intense rebound effects, meaning intense symptoms of anxiety and agitation, convulsions, and potential seizures. For this reason, clonazepam withdrawal must be a gradual process, conducted through a scheduled tapering process of the drug.

Clonazepam withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Shakiness, tremors
  • Shortness of breath, hyperventilation
  • Sweating
  • Muscle spasms, aches, and pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Tinnitus
  • Blurred vision
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Restlessness
  • Depression
  • Feelings of bodily detachment
  • Delirium
  • Memory problems
  • Grand mal seizures

A detox professional will assign a tapering schedule that will basically trick the body into thinking it is not in withdrawal. This process takes time, but the clonazepam withdrawal symptoms will be greatly diminished. Generally, clonazepam detoxification can take 1-3 weeks, depending on the length of history of the drug abuse and other factors. Lingering psychological symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, or agitation, do occur for a small number of individuals and may last for months.

Rehab for Benzo Addiction

Transitioning from detox over to treatment is an essential aspect of achieving a lasting recovery from the addictive behaviors associated with benzo dependence. Without making fundamental shifts in thoughts and behavior patterns, drug use will likely return as soon as a triggering incident occurs. Rehab teaches clients how to manage these triggers and to rely on alternative responses using the recovery skills taught in therapy.

Addiction treatment can be obtained in either an outpatient or residential environment, with pros and cons to consider for each option. Generally, more entrenched addictions, poly-drug addictions, and dual diagnosis (both drug addiction and a mental health disorder) are best treated in a residential program.

Tips for Managing Stress and Anxiety Without Drugs

In addition to rehab providing psychotherapy, group therapy, 12-step groups, and addiction education, it also utilizes several holistic methods to teach clients how to manage stress without medication. These holistic practices can be accessed at home, and some are accessible anywhere. These practices include:

  • Mindfulness training. This teaches the individual to focus their attention on the moment while also concentrating on breathwork.
  • Yoga. Yoga classes can be accessed at gyms, yoga studios, or online videos and teach individuals the practice of slowly posing the body to help induce relaxation.
  • Exercise. Regular exercise, especially cardio, can help individuals reduce stress levels, improve sleep quality, and enhance the mood while also benefiting physical wellbeing.

Golf Drug Rehab Provides Clonazepam Addiction Treatment in Orange County

Golf Drug Rehab is an upscale golf-centered rehab program located in a coastal community in Southern California. Our unique program utilizes an evidenced-based approach to treating benzo addiction and dependency, offering the most effective psychotherapies for profoundly changing addiction behaviors and replacing them with positive, constructive ones. By providing our clients with access to three stellar golf courses, recreational golf therapy helps balance the work of therapy with the relaxation-inducing properties of engaging in an outdoor activity. For more information about our program, please contact Golf Drug Rehab today at (877) 958-5320.

effects of quitting drinking timeline

Examining the Stages of Alcohol Detox and Withdrawal

When considering treatment for an alcohol addiction one of the biggest deterrents to following through is the fear of going through the detox process. Alcohol detoxification involves a period of about 5-7 days following cessation of drinking when the toxins related to alcohol are purged from the body. During this timeframe, the body and brain will attempt to recalibrate and stabilize as it adjusts to the absence of alcohol. Alcohol detox is an unpleasant phase of recovery, but a necessary first step on the journey to living a satisfying sober life.

Understanding the effects of quitting drinking timeline can help prepare someone for what to expect, as well as assure them that a detox program will make medications available to ease the withdrawal symptoms throughout the process. Knowing that they will be closely monitored and will receive interventions as needed goes a long way toward easing anxiety related to the detox experience.

What Happens During Alcohol Detox?

When an individual has a long history of excessive alcohol consumption their brain chemistry is altered as a result. By the time the person is addicted to alcohol, the brain has turned over the job of dopamine production to the alcohol and ceases to produce it naturally anymore. Alcoholism alters many other bodily systems over time as well. Because of these adaptations, when alcohol intake is interrupted by the decision to get sober the body scrambles to adjust. This period of adjustment and stabilization is the detoxification phase of recovery.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms start off feeling like a bad hangover, but quickly escalate in severity. In fact, alcohol detox does carry risks and should always be supervised by trained detox professionals who can quickly manage any urgent health event that might arise. These providers will ensure that the detox process goes as smoothly as possible by administering needed medications as the withdrawal symptoms dictate. Benzodiazepines are offered to minimize the risk of seizures, aid in managing anxiety, and also help promote sleep. Other medications will manage gastrointestinal distress, headache, and fever.

What Are the Stages of Alcohol Detox?

Alcohol detox and withdrawal can vary dramatically from one individual to another. The factors that influence how severe the withdrawal symptoms might include the length of time the person engaged in heavy drinking, how much they would typically drink in a day, their age, whether there are conditions, and if there is a co-occurring mental health disorder. For this reason, the effects of quitting drinking timeline described here are just a general template, as each person will experience variations of it.

Mild Stage: Once an individual has stopped drinking they can expect withdrawal symptoms to emerge at about the 8-hour mark. The withdrawal symptoms in the first stage of detox include:

  • Sweating
  • Fuzzy thinking
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Hand tremors
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Clammy skin
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of appetite

Moderate Stage: Within 12-48 hours withdrawal symptoms begin to become intensified. It is important that vital signs are constantly monitored at this point as symptoms can suddenly become problematic. The withdrawal symptoms in this middle stage include:

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Profuse sweating
  • Fever
  • Mental confusion
  • Irritability
  • Changes in respiratory rate

Severe Stage: Days two and three are the time during alcohol detox when symptoms can suddenly become dangerous. Most will not experience these severe symptoms, but individuals with a long history of heavy alcohol consumption and co-occurring health issues are at the highest risk of the most severe withdrawals called delirium tremens (DTs). The withdrawal symptoms during the late stage of detox include:

  • Fever
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium
  • Trembling
  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Seizures

Comprehensive Treatment For Alcohol Addiction

It is an error to believe that all that is needed to enjoy a long-lasting recovery is to go through detox and withdrawal. This is not the case! After successfully completing the effects of quitting drinking timeline there is some additional work to be done. Until the alcoholic learns how to change their addictive behaviors, and this is done through extensive individual and group therapy, they will simply return to drinking once the cravings return.

Addiction treatment covers a range of therapies and classes that equip the recovering alcoholic with coping tools, conflict resolution skills, stress-reduction techniques, relapse prevention planning, and a recovery community. These integrated treatment elements prepare the individual for managing life without alcohol, giving them the best shot at sustained, life-affirming recovery.

Golf Drug Rehab Provides Detox for Alcohol Addiction Recovery

Golf Drug Rehab is an upscale addiction treatment program serving Orange County, California. Understanding the effects of quitting drinking timeline, and how to mitigate withdrawal symptoms, the expert detox staff will safely guide clients through the detox phase of treatment. Following detox, a comprehensive addiction treatment program will provide the client with the means to remain sober, including psychotherapy, coping skills, stress reduction techniques, holistic tools, and relapse prevention strategizing. Golf Drug Rehab is unique in its blending of evidence-based treatment methods with recreational golf to round out the program. For more information about the program, please contact Golf Drug Rehab today at (877) 958-5320.

Residential-Drug-Rehab-for-Men

Getting treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction is serious stuff. The programs demand a high level of commitment and motivation to be effective. Distractions while in treatment can reduce the effects of therapy, even sabotaging one’s efforts completely, so this makes a good case for seeking a residential drug rehab for men only. In a gender-specific program, individuals find they have fewer distractions and may even be more comfortable in the rehab setting.

Residential drug rehab for men is designed to acknowledge the specific needs and preferences of males, better targeting the therapies that might resonate better overall. These programs tend to incorporate recreational therapy into the rehab, as outdoor activities have been shown to enhance the commitment level as well as improve physical and emotional wellbeing.

When is it Time to Get Treatment For Drug Addiction?

In what seems like the blink of an eye, someone may find themselves suddenly dependent on prescription medication, such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax, Ativan, or Klonapin. The body adapts quickly to the introduction of such medications, increasing its tolerance to the drug’s effects. As tolerance ratchets up, so does the dosing. The individual notices that they no longer get the same results they had enjoyed earlier and will begin to take the medication more frequently.

Once the body has adapted to the increased dosing, it begins to rely on the drug to produce certain chemicals that once were produced by the brain. If the individual attempts to discontinue using the drug they will soon experience highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The reflexive response to this is to revert back to using the drug in order to avoid these painful withdrawal symptoms, continuing the cycle of drug abuse and addiction.

How to Prepare for Rehab

When deciding to get professional help for a drug dependency or addiction, it is important to prepare mentally for the treatment process. Men are, by nature, not as introspective or connected to their emotions as females, but in order to get the most out of therapy, it is important to be open. Therapists will work with the male client to explore areas in their lives that may have fueled the extended use or abuse of a substance, so it helps to enter rehab with a certain openness to the process.

Prior to entering a residential program, it helps reduce stress if the client takes care of any loose ends at work or home. Rallying a strong support system is also helpful, as rehab is just the launching pad for long-term recovery. Another important consideration is to plan for continuing care options following rehab, such as planning for a period in sober living and understanding the need for ongoing outpatient therapy.

Detox and Withdrawal

Some people make the mistake of believing they can safely detox off of a powerful opioid or benzo on their own. This will not only fail as soon as the withdrawals begin to emerge but can also be dangerous. Unforeseen withdrawal symptoms can present serious health risks during detoxification.

For these reasons it is important for the client to enter a detox program, often provided at the residential rehab itself. A detox can provide:

  • Ongoing monitoring of vital signs and withdrawal symptoms
  • Trained detox specialists who can intervene promptly in an emergency
  • Medications to help ease withdrawal symptoms and increase comfort
  • Psychological support to guide the client safely through the detox process

Treatment at a Residential Drug Rehab for Men

After the detox and withdrawal is completed, the individual will be in a much better frame of mind to enter the active phase of treatment. Addiction treatment should be individualized to the specific needs of each client, ensuring the best rehab experience and outcome. Therapies are selected based on the individual client’s intake interview and assessment, designed to meet their unique treatment needs.

The therapies a client will engage in a rehab will include the following:

  • Individual talk therapy sessions
  • Group therapy sessions
  • Family therapy or couples therapy if applicable
  • Classes that teach about addiction and relapse prevention
  • Inspiring guest speakers
  • Recovery group meetings
  • Medication-assisted therapy if applicable
  • Experiential therapies, such as yoga and mindfulness meditation
  • Recreational therapies

Residential rehab programs can vary in duration, from one month up to six months or more depending on the acuity of the addiction or drug dependence. When rehab is approached with a positive, committed mindset it can result in enduring, life-changing effects.

Golf Drug Rehab is a Residential Drug Rehab for Men with Golf Therapy

Golf Drug Rehab is an elite men’s drug and alcohol rehab situated in South Orange County, California. The exquisite coastal setting provides the perfect backdrop for making life-changing commitments to recovery, providing a serene and health-restoring environment. Golf Drug Rehab blends evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical therapy, solution-focused therapy, and medication-assisted therapy with golf therapy. Offering three spectacular local golf courses to enjoy while in rehab gives clients a much-deserved respite from the hard work of rehab that doubles as a key recovery tool. For more information about the program, contact Golf Drug Rehab today at (877) 958-5320