Alcohol seems to be ubiquitous in modern society, and unhealthy drinking habits have almost become a social norm. We will likely find alcohol at work events, whether business lunches, networking events or even client presentations. We may even find ourselves presented with alcohol as a reward for hitting targets, winning a contract or simply as a present from a colleague. Then, of course, there are after-work drinks, a seemingly important part of peer bonding, but one that is all too frequently bound with peer pressure.
We understand how hard it can be to escape from these situations and to find the resolve within yourself to stand apart and put your health and happiness as your first priority. At Revoke by Animo Healthcare, we’re committed to providing accessible and comprehensive treatment services that will help you navigate these complicated scenarios and give you the tools needed to live a joyful life free from alcohol.
A DISEASE THAT CAN AFFECT ANYONE
Alcoholism is a disease that does not discriminate. It can impact anyone, regardless of age, gender, status, or ethnicity, and while it can surface quickly, it may also take many years to develop.
Alcohol addiction can feel all-consuming and it can affect all areas of life. Factors involved in the development of an alcohol addiction include environment, biology, psychology and sociology. For example:
- Biological factors – a person’s genetics and physiology can make them more susceptible to the feelings of reward and pleasure that alcohol gives them as well as having a potential tendency towards repetitive behaviour.
- Environmental factors – a person’s location can play a part, with those living near drinking establishments or shops selling alcohol more likely to drink as it is easily accessible. Affluent groups are also more likely to excessively consume alcohol; contrary to many popular beliefs.
- Social factors – upbringing, early exposure to alcohol, friendship groups, religion, lifestyle and culture all play a part in a person’s relationship to alcohol and their view of consumption.
- Psychological factors – as alcohol is a depressant, people with stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions are more susceptible to alcoholism.
THE EFFECTS OF HEAVY USE
The consumption of alcohol affects multiple bodily functions and has a sedative effect on the brain, suppressing certain neurotransmitters. The suppression of these neurotransmitters, including glutamate which creates excitability, is what causes the person drinking to feel relaxed, and aids sociability. Alcohol also increases the effects of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which is responsible for feelings of euphoria. Once the body becomes dependent on alcohol, the brain struggles to return to its natural state, and more of the substance is required to produce the same effects.
A heavy alcohol user’s brain will remain in this overactive state due to continued, prolonged exposure to alcohol. When blood alcohol levels drop, the neurotransmitters are no longer inhibited by alcohol and the brain struggles to adjust to the imbalance and has to work harder to remain alert and function optimally.
A clear sign of alcohol dependence is experiencing Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS). AWS occurs once a person suddenly stops drinking after a period of prolonged regular excessive alcohol use.
The body and brain become dependent on alcohol being present and when you stop drinking abruptly your system struggles to function without it.
You do not need to be an alcoholic to experience AWS as heavy drinkers or binge drinkers will commonly experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms as the overproduction of glutamate and underproduction of GABA causes you to feel shaky, restless, and anxious.
However, an alcoholic or heavy drinker is likely to experience severe AWS including tremors, seizures, and high blood pressure. The most severe symptoms often occur two to five days after a person stops drinking. Professional, specialist treatment is recommended for those attempting to quit alcohol as AWS can trigger life-threatening health complications.
ALCOHOL WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME
AWS can range from mild to severe and in rare situations can prove fatal. Symptoms typically begin within eight hours after the last drink and tend to spike between three and five days. Milder symptoms can last for an extended period.
If you have been consuming alcohol excessively for a prolonged period and suddenly stop, you are likely to experience some of the symptoms listed below. It is important to note that a person’s propensity to a particular symptom varies from individual to individual and factors including age, BMI, health, and lifestyle can all impact the severity and duration.
Physical Symptoms of AWS:
- Dilated pupils
- Excessive sweating
- Difficulty sleeping
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Appetite loss
- Elevated heart rate
- Pale skin
Psychological Symptoms of AWS:
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Insomnia and disturbed sleep
- Nightmares or night terrors
- Extreme mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
Severe Withdrawal Symptoms:
Delirium Tremens (DTs) is a severe consequence of alcohol withdrawal and can be fatal if left untreated. Symptoms of DTs include:
- High fever
- Extreme agitation
- Extreme confusion
- High blood pressure
- Hallucinations (visual, auditory, or sensory)
TREATMENT FOR ALCOHOL ADDICTION
Everyone’s experience of alcohol addiction is different and The Revoke Programme caters to these individual needs.
We understand that it is impossible for many people to enter a residential facility as it would mean being away from work and family. Our individualised treatment programme enables you to recover while still maintaining your daily responsibilities, and is designed and led by medical experts who will help guide you to lifelong recovery.
Our programme combines different treatment options including:
- Individual therapy
- Cognitive-behavioural therapy
- Family therapy
- Couples therapy
At Revoke by Animo Healthcare, we offer a therapeutic healing approach. As you progress through the programme, we re-evaluate and adapt your plan, so you receive the most effective treatment for you at all times.
Through effective professional treatment, you can focus on recovery and living the life that you deserve.
Join Our Community
Revoke by Animo Healthcare offers a full range of specialist alcohol rehabilitation treatment plans to ensure you can recover and can lead a positive, fulfilling life free from alcohol.
If you have been struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, Revoke by Animo Healthcare can provide the therapeutic support you need. Please call us for more details, to ask any questions, or to schedule an assessment and start to reclaim your life today.
We are here to help
You are not alone. Reach out to us today if you would like to find out more about The Revoke Programme by Animo Healthcare.
The Revoke Programme by Animo Healthcare is a leading outpatient treatment programme and is part of the Animo & Associates Group.