Do you try to limit your drinking because you
- have started waking up late for work?
- say you will only drink on the weekends but still find yourself drinking daily?
- need an alcoholic drink to start your day, almost like the cup of coffee or Diet Coke® you used to have in the morning?
- have not fully remembered what happened after a long evening drinking at a bar and no memory of coming home to bed?
At Denver Recovery Center, we are committed to helping our clients move beyond these behaviors and find their new beginnings. We understand that many people addicted to alcohol may be scared to start treatment and may not fully believe it is what they need.
- worry about not meeting family, social, and work obligations.
- be embarrassed over how they might be viewed by people.
- feel shame, guilt, or remorse for past behaviors while under the influence and feel powerless to change.
Not fully understanding how much alcohol has already been affecting all of these things truly makes it hard to realize a major change needs to occur to you or your loved one’s overall lifestyle. And with the right program support, the “need” turns to a “want” to change. That truly is the turning point to effective recovery and embracing new actions.
Denver Alcohol Binge-Drinking Higher Than National Average
According to 2019 data released by Denver Public Health, just over one in four, or 27%, of Denver adults participate in binge-drinking. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines binge-drinking as when “men consume five or more drinks or women consume four or more drinks in about two hours.”
Binge-drinking doesn’t mean you have an alcohol use disorder, but you are more at risk of developing one. Two-thirds of the adult population consume alcohol in any given year. Five percent of the adult population falls in the heavy-drinking category.
“Most of us use alcohol – we’re very familiar with it, hence we don’t see it,” says Dr. Bill Burman, executive director of Denver Public Health. “But let me be clear: Denver has a drinking problem.”
The CDC defines alcohol use levels as drinks per week:
- Light alcohol use is typically considered three or fewer drinks.
- Moderate alcohol use is between four and 14 drinks for men and four and seven drinks for women.
- Heavy drinking is considered more than 14 drinks for men and more than seven drinks for women.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Need Managing Before Addiction Treatment Begins
People who have been drinking alcohol daily for years, consumed large amounts regularly, or have been on and off alcohol but drink heavily when they do may notice physical and mental withdrawal symptoms upon stopping the use of alcohol.
Does This Describe You?
Your story might be a little different, but maybe it goes something like this. Looking to shake off their fuzziness upon waking 12 hours after their last drink and calm their shaky hands, they take a few swigs of vodka. This is typically not even to achieve intoxication. After years of being used to a regular course of alcohol in their body, the morning shots are almost like a necessary medicine just to return to a semi-productive state.
Throughout the day the swigs may get longer and more frequent and then evening comes, and it’s time to have a beer after a long, busy day working. Four hours and eight beers later, they nod off until the morning routine starts all over again.
Safe, Supervised Detox Recommended
When someone is looking to stop drinking and stay sober, they aren’t going to have those early vodka shots to calm their nerves in the morning withdrawal. A detox center is very prepared to help manage all the alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and a treatment center knows therapy cannot begin until the physical side reaches a more stable level.
When you regularly drink too much it changes how your body operates. Since alcohol is a depressant, your body ramps up activity in your brain and nervous system. It helps you stay awake and keeps signals moving through your nervous system. When you reduce or stop your alcohol intake that amped-up activity doesn’t go away — which creates alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Quitting alcohol use abruptly will cause you to have withdrawal symptoms, and medical supervision is advised. By checking in with your doctor or a substance use treatment center and doing a full evaluation of where you are in your addiction, it can be determined if an alcohol detox facility is the safest route to go before pursuing treatment.
This is a time to monitor your physical vitals and have a non-stimulating environment in which to rest, recover, and manage your withdrawal symptoms.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Severity
Your symptoms may prove stronger or less intense than someone else’s based on how much you drink. A man who drinks three beers a day may be suffering from alcohol use disorder. If he stops drinking, he’ll likely experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Yet, he can probably expect milder symptoms than a similar man who drinks four or five beers a day.
Similarly, the amount of time you spent drinking too much can affect your symptoms. Let’s say Bill spent six months drinking four shots of vodka a day. John spent six years drinking four shots of vodka a day. All other things being equal, John can expect more severe symptoms than Bill.
Assuming your drinking wasn’t too extreme for too long, your symptoms should fall into the mild range. That means within six hours or so of your last drink, you’ll experience some of the following symptoms:
- Trouble sleeping
- Trembling hands
If your drinking was heavier, you can expect a few extra symptoms. Within a day or two you’ll likely experience
- all of the mild symptoms
- increased blood pressure
- confusion or hallucinations
- severe mood swings
- possible seizures
Very heavy drinkers experience more severe versions of all of the mild and moderate symptoms.
A small percentage of people get delirium tremens, the most serious of all alcohol withdrawal symptoms. This condition creates delusions, along with fever, racing pulse, and very heavy sweating.
Delirium tremens typically develop after three days without a drink and generally last from 48-72 hours. Delirium tremens can prove deadly without medical care. This is one of the reasons why anyone with an alcohol use disorder should not go cold turkey at home.
Withdrawal-related hallucinations and delirium tremens aren’t the same things. Many people withdrawing from alcohol experience hallucinations. Only around 5% of all individuals going through withdrawal experience delirium tremens.
Alcohol Rehab Treatment Helps Build Life Without Alcohol
After you finish detox and the physical symptoms go away, you still need a good rehab program to support you. Rehab programs
- help you discover the reasons you drink too much
- arm you with coping techniques that help you stay sober when you leave the program, avoiding relapse
Relapse can occur for those who don’t stay vigilant to their behaviors and fail to use the tools they learned in rehab.
If you’re looking for rehab in Colorado, Denver Recovery Center is ready to help. Alcohol addiction is not as simple as “just don’t drink.”
As a whole philosophy, we are holistically focused, meaning we treat the mental health and physical factors of addiction, along with strengthening the full person: mind, body, and soul.
Denver Recovery Center uses an individualized approach to therapy. This means that our staff members will get to know your strengths, personal struggles, and goals for a happy, fulfilling life. After getting the opportunity to learn more about you, we create a specific program with individualized goals and objectives, so you have a better chance to succeed in treatment.
We offer several therapy programs that will be customized for your benefit, such as
- Family therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a specialized therapy designed to help you change your thought patterns, which will in turn change the way you perceive and react to the world around you.
- Dual diagnosis
During intake, you will be screened for other disorders, whether it is another substance addiction or a mental health issue. Dual conditions are also called co-occurring, and each disorder must be addressed for a successful program.
Dialectical behavior therapy is a modified version of CBT with an added important factor of self-acceptance.
- Individual therapy
- Outdoor therapy
Outdoor therapy programs help a person “reset” the chaotic cycle of obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. By using the calming effects of nature, you can break free of the thought patterns that contributed to drug use in the first place. You can begin to see a world outside of the selfish behaviors that caused so many struggles in your life.
- 12-Step programs
The 12 steps refer to a planned program with action steps along the way. These guiding principles should be followed in programs for treatment. If followed correctly and in order, they should guide you through the very difficult process of breaking free from alcohol addiction.
They will remain an important part of your recovery program after alcohol addiction treatment to keep you focused on the goals set during rehab. Revisiting them often helps reduce the chances of relapse.
Alcohol Detox First Step To Your New Beginning Without Alcohol
Denver Recovery provides intensive outpatient rehab programs as well as a partial hospitalization program. Our professional staff has expertise in treating alcohol addiction.
Don’t let alcohol or fear of withdrawal decide what kind of life you’ll live. With a combination of help from the right medications and our holistic, evidence-based rehab program, you can reclaim your life and your health. Put yourself and your family first over alcohol. You can put it behind you with detox and a solid rehab program. Call Denver Recovery today at (844) 602-3175 and start your recovery.
- What Happens To Your Body Physically When You Stop Drinking?
When alcohol toxins leave your system, you will temporarily feel the physical effects in your system. You may feel sluggish, have disrupted sleep, sweat and feel clamminess, notice trembling in your hands, feel nausea or loss of appetite, and suffer from dehydration.
- What Does Your Body Feel Like When You Stop Drinking?
Your body will feel the effects when alcohol is removed, both physically and mentally. Alcohol interacts with your brain’s inner lobe and affects functions such as memory recall, judgment, understanding, reasoning, and automatic motor functions. As new cells grow without alcohol interruption, these effects will improve. Depression could also develop without treatment.
The short-term physical effects such as sleep disorder, sweating, clamminess, trembling hands, nausea, appetite loss, and overall sluggishness, will improve with time.
- What Happens To Your Body After Three Weeks of No Alcohol?
Mentally, your motivation and mood improve as serotonin balance is restored. As these improve, you will likely participate in more social events than the often-isolating drinking environment you experienced. Physically, your appetite will improve, you may experience weight loss without empty alcohol calories, your internal organs will improve, and functions such as digestion, and regular sleep patterns will eventually be restored. The fuzzy, low-energy state you experienced can be replaced by a sharper brain and more physically engaging behaviors.