Why withdrawal is deadly
Often a person who is addicted to alcohol or drugs may live in a state of denial for a long period of time. Addiction and alcoholism is the only disease people fight to keep, especially when they are in a place of denial. They will come up with a hundred excuses why it is ok to drink and just as many lies to hide the fact that they are addicted to drugs. Addiction and alcoholism alike often places a person in a cycle of shame and guilt and in order to get rid of these feelings they in turn use and drink more.
They begin to ignore the devastation they are causing to themselves and their loved ones. Ignoring consequences that their behaviour causes could lead to such devastation as losing a job, a partner, or even causing their own death.
Because of shame and guilt it is often incredibly hard for an addict or alcoholic to reach out for professional help in order to get clean and sober.
This might be out of fear of losing a job, or an array of other things. Often times people might find themselves in a relationship where both partners are abusing substances, making it all the more difficult to stop.
Addiction and alcoholism can feel like a death sentence, but the truth is there is ample hope in breaking free of these bonds. However, every addict and alcoholic should be aware of the dangers of getting clean without professional and medical help. And so should their loved ones.
The dangers of alcohol withdrawal
When a person has been drinking heavily over a long period of time alcohol begins to make changes in the brain. The body overall becomes completely dependant on the substance. Just as with any other drugs there will be cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal from alcohol should under no circumstances be done without the help of a professional in the medical field. Alcohol withdrawal can lead to tremors, seizures, fevers, hallucinations and even death. It cannot be overstated how incredibly dangerous it is. Medically supervised detoxification from alcohol is the only way to avoid these dangers.
How much is too much?
It has been suggested, that a person who drinks more than four alcoholic drinks on a daily basis is putting himself or herself at risk. As with any mind-altering substances the body begins to crave more alcohol with prolonged drinking. This could quickly lead a person to not only drink in the evenings, but eventually during the day starting as early as first thing in the morning in extreme cases.
Once a person’s mind becomes preoccupied with drinking and they cannot go without it they are in serious trouble. The dangers of alcohol is often misjudged, as alcohol is legally available and socially acceptable.
The dangers of opioid withdrawal
Many people may be under the impression opioid withdrawal cannot lead to fatalities, but unfortunately that is not true in all cases. A young and healthy person may survive heroin or morphine withdrawal, but often this is not the case. A person who has been using heroin for a number of years may have been sharing needles and have hepatitis, meaning that their liver has been compromised or they could be suffering from heart disease. For such a person withdrawal can be fatal.
Often addicts combine various drugs with one another, and they are not always sure of the strength of the drugs being sold to them. Addicts may combine heroin with with benzodiazepine and add alcohol to the mix as well.
Surviving withdrawal from a mixture of drugs is difficult, even if an addict originally survived withdrawal from their primary drug of choice.
The true facts behind the danger of Benzodiazepine withdrawal
Benzodiazepine withdrawal also poses life-threatening symptoms. After a person, who may not even originally have been an addict, who have been exposed to high doses of benzodiazepines they may experience hallucinations, panic attacks, muscular pain, psychotic behaviour and even seizures. These are life-threatening symptoms. The danger of benzodiazepine withdrawal is that symptoms may show as soon as 24 hours later, or may take as long as two weeks. Often times benzodiazepines are taken with alcohol increasing the development of psychotic behaviours causing a person to act completely differently than how they normally would. This can cause a person, while under the influence of both these substances to turn to self-harm, or they might harm others.
How to get a loved one successfully sober
Interventions are often used as a first step to approach a loved one who is in the grips of addiction or alcoholism. This usually involves members of the family, friends and an addiction counsellor. During an intervention the addict or alcoholic is confronted by these individuals and urged to make the right choice by entering a rehabilitation facility. It is of paramount importance that loved ones seek the help of a professional addiction counsellor. Often family members themselves are unaware of the dangers of withdrawal and forcing the user to go cold turkey could be fatal. Loved ones should have a simple, yet effective plan in place. This is by no means an easy process and professional guidance is essential.
After an intervention medically supervised detoxification will be the next step. This will be done inside the rehab facility under supervision of a professional in the medical field. Medication will be given to prevent tremors, seizures or any other withdrawal symptoms, which could be fatal. It is of great importance that the addict or alcoholic is deeply honest with the medical practitioner about his or her consumption, so that the practitioner can prescribe the correct amount and type of medication. When an alcoholic or addict lie about their consumption a practitioner could under prescribe leading the patient to still experience symptoms, which could lead to fatality. Therefore it is important to make this very clear to the patient.
After successful medically supervised detoxification the addict or alcoholic should remain within the rehab facility for a duration of time, as physical addiction is not the only part the addict or alcoholic needs to be freed from. As is often said in the various support groups, “you did not get addicted in one day,” thus it also means recovery is a process that takes time. Recovery is a life-long process, one that needs to be fought for every day, one day at a time.
Houghton House employs the expertise of medical professionals to guide the addict and alcoholic through the initial stages of safe withdrawal. Thereafter the person is housed in an inpatient programme where behaviours and lifestyles are looked at. Houghton House follows the 12-step programme, which has lead a great many addicts and alcoholics to recover. One on one counselling sessions with professional addiction counsellors and psychologists, as well as group therapy gives the addict or alcoholic an in depth chance to evaluate their lives and the way forward. This is a rehabilitation centre that has the long-term recovery of each and every addict and alcoholic at the heart of what they do.
Many o the addiction counsellors at this facility have walked the harrowing road of addiction themselves and have successfully recovered. This fact makes them an expert in the field of treating those who are struggling along the same journey, and adds hope.
Contact Houghton House today for more information and assistance in getting your loved one sober.
For more information on how to get help for yourself or a loved one to start a new life, call Houghton House now:
office hours: 011 787 9142
24/7 emergency help line: 079 770 7532