When someone is abusing alcohol, friends and family members may shrug the problem off with the comment that "it's just alcohol." Even alcoholics themselves may figure their problem is not that terrible. At least they are not addicted to opiates or other hard drugs. The problem with this reasoning is that, while alcohol may be legal, using it in excess is still very harmful. And attempting to recover from alcohol addiction on your own is not wise, either. Here are some reasons why professional treatment is essential for those who abuse alcohol.
Alcohol Withdrawal Can Be Deadly
Did you know that alcohol is actually one of the most dangerous substances to withdraw from? If you're addicted to alcohol and stop using it suddenly, within about 48 hours, you can develop a condition called delirium tremens. This leads to fever, high blood pressure, confusion, and extensive sweating. Some people also develop seizures when withdrawing from alcohol, and it is not unheard of for people to die.
Because withdrawing from alcohol is so dangerous, you really do want to go through withdrawal in a supervised treatment program. Doctors can help you slowly wean off the alcohol and manage any symptoms that come up along the way.
Alcohol Abuse Signifies an Underlying Problem
In most cases, alcohol abuse is actually a symptom of the problem rather than the heart of the problem. It is often brought on by depression, anxiety, PTSD, or some other mental health issue. If you stop using alcohol but do not diagnose and treat the underlying problem, it won't be long before you revert back to using alcohol again.
In a professional treatment program, you'll work with doctors and therapists to discover and treat the underlying conditions leading to your alcoholism. This will lead to a lower risk of relapse and a more effective recovery.
Alcoholism Can Be Lonely
When you're addicted to alcohol, you can feel very alone and isolated with your problems. This loneliness can lead to suicidal thoughts, and it can make it nearly impossible to stop drinking. In a treatment program, however, you will be with others who share your struggles. You will come to find that you're not alone, and there are others who can relate to you. Through group therapy and counseling, you'll feel supported and reassured, which can make a huge difference in your recovery process.
It's not "just" an alcohol addiction. It is substance abuse and it deserves to be treated as such. Reach out to a substance abuse treatment facility near you to learn more.