A Surprising Statistic

Between drugs and alcohol, it is the latter that is more popular and widely-used. In fact, alcohol is the most abused substance in the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than two million people die every year as a result of alcohol abuse. This is why alcohol detox is so important for addiction recovery.

The Dangers of Alcohol Addiction

Since alcohol is a legal substance and is socially acceptable most of the time, it leaves a lot of leeway for people to develop alcohol addiction without really noticing any of the negative consequences. Something as harmless as social drinking could potentially develop into more than a habit— regular drinking could establish a physical and/or psychological dependence on alcohol.

Signs of an Alcohol Addiction

Unlike other addictions, alcohol addiction can sometimes be hard to identify. Most people struggling with alcohol dependency suffer in silence; they hide their addiction and pass it off as ‘heavy drinking.’ What they fail to realize, however, is that the effects of alcohol abuse are just as severe as those of drug addiction— and, in some cases, actually worse. But how do you know for sure if you have an addiction? If you do any of the following, you may have alcohol dependency:

  • drink alcohol daily and/or binge-drink during weekends
  • lie about how much and/or how often you drink alcohol
  • hide alcohol and any evidence of drinking
  • constantly crave alcohol
  • spend a lot of time thinking about or planning for your next drink
  • drink at work, at inappropriate times, or in secret
  • frequently abandon commitments in favor of intoxication
  • black out or lose consciousness because of intoxication
  • regularly get injured when intoxicated
  • steal alcohol or money to buy alcohol
  • drive under the influence
  • get into legal trouble for intoxication
  • experience physical reactions when you don’t drink alcohol
  • feel unable to function without alcohol

The Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse can open the door for a variety of other health issues; physical, mental or emotional. Additionally, the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol addiction can be deadly without medical assistance and supervision. An untreated dependency on alcohol can cause long-term problems like:

  • anemia
  • anxiety
  • brain damage
  • cancer
  • depression
  • gallstones
  • gout
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • immune system dysfunction
  • liver disease
  • malnourishment
  • nerve damage
  • osteoporosis
  • pancreatitis
  • seizures
  • ulcers and gastrointestinal problems
  • vitamin deficiencies
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (‘wet brain’)

Alcohol Detox at Discovery Institute

For anyone suffering from alcohol addiction, it is crucial for alcohol detox to take place within a medically-supervised setting. Just like with any other substance addiction, detoxing with professional help always:

  • increases the likelihood of a successful, long-term recovery
  • reduces the risk of relapse
  • reduces the risk of health complications due to withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms are always uncomfortable, but for the people who try to detox without professional help, it can be so unbearable that they relapse just to find relief.

Detoxing in a safe medical facility guarantees that this won’t happen. At Discovery Institute, we provide medical care that ensures relief of withdrawal symptoms during detoxification. In addition, medical detox at Discovery is as safe as it is comfortable. The medical staff is always there to manage or even prevent potentially life-threatening effects of alcohol withdrawal. If you need help recovering from an alcohol addiction, call Discovery Institute today for more information about our detox program.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.