Alcohol abuse is the leading cause of preventable death, shortening the lives of those who die by nearly 29 years. If you struggle with alcohol, you already know how difficult it is to stop on your own. Board-certified psychiatrist Pragnesh Patel, MD, and the team at Instic Health have helped many patients get better control over their alcohol use, preventing and treating alcohol addiction with customized treatment plans. Don’t wait to seek help for an alcohol problem. Call the office in Plant City, Inverness, and New Port Richey, Florida, or use the online booking feature to request an appointment today.
Alcohol abuse, also called alcohol use disorder, refers to drinking excessively or binging on a regular basis. Though you can abuse alcohol without becoming addicted, it’s easy to cross that line without knowing it happened.
Addictions develop from the effect of alcohol on your brain. Alcohol boosts levels of brain chemicals like dopamine that make you feel happy, self-confident, and uninhibited.
As you keep drinking, your brain changes and starts to depend on the high levels of dopamine. If you stop drinking, you develop strong cravings that make it hard to resist the need to drink.
Over time, your brain develops a tolerance to the amount you typically drink. Then you have to keep drinking ever-increasing amounts to achieve the same pleasurable effects.
Signs of an alcohol abuse problem include:
Even if you can keep up with your daily responsibilities, it doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. About 20% of those with a heavy drinking problem function normally until they reach an advanced stage of addiction.
Whether you’re worried that you drink too much or you’ve already noticed signs of an addiction, it’s important to seek help rather than going cold turkey.
Quitting cold turkey can lead to serious withdrawal symptoms. In severe cases, you can develop delirium tremens, which causes shaking, seizures, hallucinations, high blood pressure, and a fast heart rate. Delirium tremens can cause fatal breathing problems or a heart attack.
The team at Instic Health evaluates your health and your alcohol habit to determine the safest way to stop drinking. The length of time you’ve been drinking and the amount of alcohol you normally drink determine if you need a medically supervised detox.
During a medically supervised detox, you receive safe medications that prevent withdrawal symptoms while your body clears alcohol out of your system. The same medications help your recovery by curbing cravings.
If you don’t need medication to safely detox, Instic Health offers many other treatments to help you recover from alcohol abuse, such as individual and group therapy.
To take that first step, call Instic Health, or book an appointment online today.