The use of alcohol has become so popular across the United States that many people fail to recognize if they are consuming far too much. Many people find that alcohol enables them to relax and feel more comfortable in a social setting. When people drink in moderation, such as one drink or less each day for women or two drinks or less each day for men, there are few risks associated with alcohol consumption.
However, when people consume too much alcohol too frequently, it can have an overwhelming impact on their mental, physical, and social health and well-being. It can also pose overwhelming financial consequences as well. It takes true courage for an individual to realize that their use of alcohol has a negative impact on their life.
When a person finally decides to stop drinking, they often wonder if it is okay to do so cold turkey instead of going to alcohol rehab. To understand whether or not this is dangerous for you to do, it is important that you understand the alcohol use disorder is and what you can expect should you quit drinking abruptly.
What Is Alcohol Use Disorder?
Alcohol use disorder is described by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism as a medical condition that is characterized by a person’s impaired ability to stop consuming alcohol or control their alcohol use. This impaired ability is present despite adverse occupational, social, and health consequences that a person may experience.
When determining if a person struggles with substance use disorder, a healthcare professional will use a set of approximately 11 questions in order to assess their use. The questions that are provided by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) include:
In the past year, have you had any time when you:
- Drank more than you intended or longer than you intended?
- Frequently found that you wanted to cut down on the amount of alcohol you drink or stop drinking altogether but were unable to?
- Spent a significant amount of time drinking and feeling sick or getting over the aftereffects of alcohol use?
The number of questions that a person answers yes to can indicate that they may have a problem that they should seek alcohol rehab for.
How Do People Become Addicted to Alcohol?
The fact that alcohol is legal for individuals who are over a certain age, combined with the fact that it is readily available at several locations across the city, means that individuals have the ability to purchase alcohol at any time. Unfortunately, alcohol is still harmful to individuals, especially when it is used in excess.
As individuals increase the amount and frequency that they drink, they build a tolerance for the substance. As a result, they get the feeling that they want more or they need more. As a result, they will drink more in order to achieve the effect that they desire. Over time, individuals begin to feel symptoms or side effects of not having alcohol in their system. In order to feel better, they turned to alcohol use. As a person continues on this vicious cycle, they develop an addiction to the substance.
When a person wants to stop consuming alcohol, they may consider going to an alcohol rehab or quitting cold turkey.
Is It Dangerous to Quit Cold Turkey?
Those struggling with alcohol use disorder may feel that they need to quit drinking suddenly. Unfortunately, it can be incredibly dangerous for a person to stop consuming alcohol cold turkey. In some cases, it can lead to life-threatening consequences.
When a person who suffers from severe alcohol use disorder stops drinking, they will usually start to feel symptoms of withdrawal within 12 to 24 hours. At this time, a person may begin to experience extreme mood swings, feel agitated, have increased anxiety, or feel depressed. In addition, they may also feel physical symptoms, such as sweating, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, or even an increased heart rate. In severe cases, a person may experience delirium tremens, which can include hallucinations, seizures, or shaking.
In addition to these symptoms, individuals may experience ketoacidosis, which occurs when the pancreas stops producing the insulin needed by the body. This can result in rapidly developing metabolic problems, excessive thirst, and cardiac issues. Instead of quitting cold turkey, individuals who struggle with alcohol use disorder can benefit greatly by going to alcohol rehab.
How Alcohol Rehab Can Help
Alcohol rehab can provide those struggling with substance use disorder the ability to safely detoxify their system of harmful substances. While in alcohol detox, you will have the ability to slowly read your system of alcohol while under the close supervision of medical professionals. Trained medical professionals will be able to make sure that your side effects and symptoms are not severe. In some cases, medications may be available to help alleviate some of the symptoms that you feel throughout the withdrawal process.
After going through detox, you will be able to begin an alcohol rehab program in order to develop safe habits that you can implement into your daily life. This can include exercise, nutritional classes, meditation, and even music therapy. Individuals who go through alcohol rehab will generally participate in various types of counseling as well. The treatment that you will be provided in alcohol rehab will be dependent on various factors, including your age, the severity of your addiction, and various other factors.
If you are interested in seeing how alcohol rehab can help you take back control of your life after dealing with a substance use disorder, it is important that you reach out to our team today.
Let Our Chattanooga, TN, Professionals Help
At Iris Wellness Group, we understand the challenges that individuals who struggle with alcohol use disorder face in their everyday lives. We understand that this persistent condition can impact nearly every aspect of your health and well-being. For this reason, we are committed to helping you take back control of your life and combat your addiction. To see how our team can help you move forward, contact our Chattanooga, TN, facility today.