Alcohol Detox Center in Memphis, TN
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Alcohol detox is the first step in recovery from alcohol addiction (also called “alcohol use disorder” or “alcoholism”). At Detox West in Memphis, TN, we understand how difficult the decision to attend detox for alcohol addiction can be. However, getting sober from alcohol addiction is essential to living a happy, healthy, and stable life.
Alcohol use disorders (AUD) adversely impact the lives of Americans every day. The 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reports that “among people aged 12 or older in 2020, 10.2 percent (28.3 million people) had a past-year alcohol use disorder.” At Detox West in Memphis, TN, we offer detoxification and rehabilitation programs to safely help you recover from alcohol addiction.
What is Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol addiction is a chronic and relapsing mental disease. Without alcohol addiction treatment, your addiction could worsen and lead to negative consequences in your life. Though people drink in many settings, such as birthdays, weddings, sports events, or at home to de-stress after work, alcohol is still dangerous. Some people manage to use alcohol safely and in moderation. However, others struggle to control how much they drink and develop a physical dependence on alcohol.
Developing a physical dependence on alcohol can lead to addiction. Once a person has become dependent on alcohol, they feel the need to drink to function normally in day-to-day life. Moreover, when people with alcohol dependence cannot access alcohol, they may experience deep distress and go to great lengths to drink. They might lie about their whereabouts and how they have been spending their money. Dependence can progress into addiction if left untreated, and an untreated addiction can lead to adverse short and long-term effects. Once alcohol addiction happens, it is essential to seek professional help from medically supervised detox centers such as Detox West in Memphis, TN.
What are the Short-Term Effects of Alcohol?
The short-term effects of alcohol can occur following the first drink and intensify when you consume more alcohol. Many people drink in social situations to loosen up, to fit in due to peer pressure, or to feel more confident. Despite these reasons, alcohol affects brain areas responsible for thought and perception. Many people find that drinking helps with feelings of self-esteem and confidence. However, these feelings are fleeting and can lead to regrettable or even dangerous behavior while under the influence of alcohol.
Short-term effects of alcohol include:
- Poor attention span
- Memory loss
- Motor impairment
- Reduced inhibitions
- Breathing issues
The short-term effects of drinking can be severe if you drink heavily or use additional drugs along with alcohol (polydrug use). People often use alcohol alongside other substances, such as marijuana, cocaine, or benzodiazepines (or “benzos”). Mixing alcohol with other substances poses a serious health risk. Polydrug use can lead to overdose and can be fatal.
What are the Long-Term Effects of Alcohol?
The long-term effects of alcohol can have dire consequences on your physical and mental health. Alcohol misuse eventually leads to neural changes in the brain, impacting our mood, behavior, and cognitive function. For example, someone may have impaired cognitive function like poor memory or poor decision-making skills after prolonged drinking. These changes can negatively impact your professional, personal, academic, familial, and romantic well-being.
In the long-term, alcohol misuse can lead to:
- Alcohol use disorder (AUD)
- Cardiovascular issues (stroke, heart disease)
- Liver disease
- Increased risk of cancer
- High blood pressure
- Depression and anxiety
- Poor social and financial well-being
Prolonged alcohol misuse can lead to dependence. The more you drink, the greater your body’s tolerance to alcohol. Tolerance means you must consume more alcohol to achieve the desired effects, which leads to dependence. Alcohol suppresses your nervous system, and your brain “overfires” to compensate. When you stop drinking, the brain takes time to get used to firing on a normal level. This “overfiring” leads to withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking. In addition, drinking too much can lead to alcohol poisoning, which can be fatal.
What is Alcohol Withdrawal?
Alcohol withdrawal occurs when you suddenly stop drinking after developing physical dependence. When you use alcohol for a prolonged period, your body gets used to having it in your system. If you suddenly stop drinking, you are subject to a range of withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be unpleasant and uncomfortable feelings, thoughts, and sensations.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can also be life-threatening if you don’t have professional support to treat a severe addiction. Furthermore, people experience withdrawal symptoms on a physical, psychological, and emotional level. The severity of withdrawal symptoms depends on:
- History of alcohol use
- Co-occurring physical or mental health conditions
- How much alcohol you drink
Physical Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Your body must adapt to a lack of alcohol during detox. Physically, this change can manifest as withdrawal symptoms like:
- Muscle pain
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Shaking, tremors
- Reduced appetite
- Fluctuating body temperature (hot and cold flashes)
- Increased heart rate
Psychological Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
The psychological symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:
- Poor concentration
- Mood swings
- Powerful cravings for alcohol
- Delirium Tremens (DT)
Due to the severity of withdrawal symptoms, you should not attempt to detox alone without support. Your symptoms could be deadly if you drink heavily for long periods of time. Detox West Tennessee can help you get the professional help and support you need to safely detox from alcohol. You might also need help dealing with additional mental health factors related to alcohol abuse.
The Link Between Alcohol and Anxiety
Anxiety is a natural experience that affects most of us throughout life at one point or another. However, anxiety disorders are medical conditions whereby people feel anxious for no reason. People with anxiety disorders might use alcohol to “self-medicate” for their symptoms since alcohol is a depressant.
Alcohol reduces inhibitions and can provide feelings of temporary confidence and high self-esteem. People with anxiety disorders often lack these feelings and may use alcohol as a crutch to reduce feelings of everyday stress. Many people with anxiety disorders drink to unwind when they feel irritable, tense, or nervous. However, using alcohol to ease anxiety symptoms ultimately has the opposite effect. Anxiety symptoms can come on within a few hours of alcohol consumption and persist throughout the following day.
Ironically, anxiety is also one of the most common withdrawal symptoms of alcohol. Withdrawal anxiety can be so severe that a person may feel driven to use more alcohol to cope. When there is already an underlying anxiety disorder, alcohol use can worsen over time, creating a harmful cycle.
Alcohol and Pregnancy
There is no safe time to drink alcohol during pregnancy. Alcohol in the mother’s bloodstream also enters that of the baby. Drinking while pregnant can affect the growth and development of a baby’s brain and central nervous system (CNS). Additionally, some babies can have specific physical characteristics associated with specific conditions of mothers who drink while pregnant.
Excessive alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to:
- Birth complications
- Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
Alcohol and Liver Disease
Excessive alcohol consumption leads to organ disease and failure. One of the most common issues faced by those who abuse alcohol is liver disease, specifically alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD).
The liver is a complex organ responsible for:
- Filtering toxins in the blood
- Helping digestion
- Regulating blood sugar
- Fighting disease and infection
The liver filters toxins like alcohol from your system. Excessive drinking can strain your liver by overloading your liver with additional toxins from alcoholic beverages. Some liver cells die in the process of filtering, even when you don’t drink. The liver can repair itself to keep functioning, however, excessive use of alcohol puts a lot of pressure on the liver and reduces its ability to regenerate.
Some of the risks of alcohol use disorder on the liver include:
Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Alcohol fatty liver disease can come after a short period of heavy drinking. However, you can recover when you abstain from alcohol. Your liver can repair itself over time as you maintain sobriety.
Prolonged alcohol use can cause alcoholic hepatitis, which is one of the leading causes of alcohol-related death. Like fatty liver disease, this condition is also reversible due to the liver’s ability to heal. However, if left untreated, alcoholic hepatitis can be life-threatening.
Cirrhosis of the Liver
Cirrhosis is a severe condition in which excessive use of alcohol scars the liver. The condition is not easily reversible, but you can prevent further damage by abstaining from alcohol.
Medical Alcohol Detox Centers in Memphis, TN
Medical alcohol detox centers in Memphis, TN offer inpatient support to manage withdrawal symptoms and begin recovery safely. During inpatient detox, you will be kept away from drinking triggers and access to alcohol. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome can be extremely challenging to overcome. Trying to detox alone is dangerous due to the severity of the withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol dependence.
Addiction often has its roots in unresolved trauma or other mental health conditions. When you stop drinking, the thoughts and feelings you want to escape can resurface, which can be emotionally overwhelming. Heightened emotions can combine with feelings of hopelessness and despair and result in suicidal thoughts and ideation. Detox and withdrawal must be medically supervised to keep you safe during this process.
You might use prescription medications during detox in a process called medication-assisted treatment (MAT). These medications can lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse. Your treatment team might recommend some of the following medications during detox:
- Anticonvulsants (e.g gabapentin)
At Detox West Tennessee, we will assess your overall physical and mental health to ensure we deliver the best treatment plan to begin your recovery.
Alcohol Detox in Memphis, TN
At Detox West Tennessee, we provide compassionate support for those struggling with alcohol addiction. We offer traditional medical treatment along with holistic care that heals the body, mind and spirit. Choosing between the right alcohol detox centers in Memphis, may seem like a challenge, but our team is ready to answer any questions you may have. You or your loved one deserve a life free of the negative consequences of addiction. Call us today or visit our admissions page to begin your recovery from alcohol addiction.
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Paying for Detox
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You can find us very easily at our two convenient locations, Memphis and West Tennessee.