No different than drug addiction, alcoholism in American has become a major public health crisis and epidemic. Pinellas County, FL is no exception.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, in 2014, an at least 16 million adults were diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder. That included 12 million men and nearly 6 million women.
Additionally, almost 680,000 youths from the ages of 12-17 reportedly had a alcohol use disorder. For this age group however, females (367,000) outnumbered males (311,000) by 16%.
In 2014, the NIAAA also reported that at least 88,000 people die every year from causes alcohol-related causes. There were nearly 10,000 impaired driving fatalities, and over 2,200 persons died of acute alcohol intoxication.
Alcohol detoxification is similar to many other types of withdrawals from psychoactive substances. Moreover, is not typically a very fun experience. However, alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) can also be fatal. Because alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) sedative, detoxifying effects are precisely the opposite, resulting in overstimulation and excitement of the CNS.
Also, users who attempt withdrawal on their own often experience severe depression, anxiety, and even panic. For this reason, some users may consider suicide, or quickly relapse.
The longer-lasting and severe the alcoholism, the more severe effects of withdrawal will likely be. Indeed, heavy, life-long drinkers frequently suffer many of the worst effects of detoxification.
12-24 Hours – Visual or auditory hallucinations
24-72 Hours – Delirium tremens
Detoxing in a clinical environment not only ensures constant medical supervision, but also increases the patient’s comfort, safety, and general well-being. Vital signs are monitored 24-7, and withdrawal effects can be mitigated with medication.
Critically, experienced medical staff are continuously available, and medication for depression, anxiety, tremors, and hypertension may be administered as applicable.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology