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Colorado Alcohol Addiction
alcohol addictions

Colorado Alcohol Addiction

Penalties for Colorado alcohol addiction have increased in 2015. The new Felony DUI law went into effect on August 5, 2015, making the 4th DUI on record a Class 4 felony. Colorado alcohol addiction in Colorado can now cost you up to six years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines. If that’s not a good enough reason to seek treatment for Colorado alcohol addiction, there are plenty of other reasons to do so. That’s just some of the damage Colorado alcohol addiction can cause. The disease also has debilitating physical and psychological effects that can lead to premature death as well.

What are The Causes of Colorado Alcohol Addiction?

Numerous people drink and not everyone gets addicted. The cause of addiction in any person can vary widely and have a biological, social, and even psychological basis. Drinking alcohol provides a nice buzz that lessens inhibitions and stimulates the reward centers of the brain. This may be the initial reason people drink, but it’s not the sole reason people become addicted. People who have a psychological issue, like social anxiety, may use alcohol as a way to lessen their inhibitions in public and become dependent on it. Others may have a family history of alcoholism and inherit a weakness to the disease. Still others may belong to a demographic that has a predisposition to alcoholism, like Native Americans. Someone who is elderly and suffers a death of a loved one can become an alcoholic to hide depression. What happens over time is that whatever the reason they need the effects of alcohol, a tolerance is built up in the addict’s body and that tolerance leads to craving for the substance and overdrinking to get the same effects. Once the body requires the substance to feel normal, then it becomes a full blown addiction as the addict loses control of how much or when they’re drinking.

What Happens to the Brain and Body of an Alcoholic?

According to the Scripps Research Institute, new research indicates that alcohol impacts the brain by mimicking GABA, a neurotransmitter in the brain. The neurotransmitter typically suppresses spasms in the body and neuronal signaling. In addition, after suppression, dopamine and serotonin are released in the brain. This floods the reward center of the brain and produces a pleasant feeling. However, if the alcohol is then suddenly withdrawn, the same mechanism can prove dangerous. Instead of suppressing spasms, the brain lacks GABA and alcohol isn’t there either to take its place. What happens is that alcoholics that try to quit without medical help can end up with seizures, hallucinations, and tremors and it can be fatal. Even if they never suffer a delirium tremens (DTs) episode, an alcoholic is impacting every major organ in their body with alcohol abuse. It can cause damage to the liver, the heart, the pancreas, the kidneys and the brain. It can happen in a single night of binge drinking or it can happen over time. Thus, anyone suffering from acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms or alcohol poisoning needs medical treatment as soon as possible.

What Happens During Withdrawal and Detox

Detox is the first step towards rehabilitation. It is not an overnight solution. It takes anywhere from 5 to 7 days and needs to be done under the care of a medical professional. They will prescribe medications to help manage the withdrawal symptoms, like chlordiazepoxide. The dosage will be gradually tapered to help wean the patient of the effects of the drug even as they dry out. The patient is not allowed to drink alcohol during this time and they are regularly tested using a breathalyzer. In addition, special attention is paid to nutrition, with vitamin supplementation as alcoholics tend to eat poorly and are also low on vitamin B1. If a patient is known to experience DTs or seizures, they might be hospitalized during the detox phase to give them 24×7 supervision. Otherwise, outpatient detox can be done if the withdrawal symptoms are as minor as cravings, anxiety, or headaches. The degree of treatment will depend on whether the withdrawal symptoms are severe or not.

The Long Road Back to Recovery

Detox is just the initial treatment. Eventually, a person serious about their road to recovery needs to enter rehabilitation to uncover the root issues that drove them to Colorado alcohol addiction. They will need personal and group counseling to uncover the triggers that contributed to their disease. They will need to undergo cognitive behavioral therapy to change ingrained behaviors that are causing them to relapse into addiction. They will also be educated on relapse prevention. The road to recovery can mean a change of environment into sober living apartments. They will need to enter rehab programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and be diligent in attending meetings. They will need counseling for themselves and their families to get through Colorado alcohol addiction. There are family dynamics that play a role in the development of the disease that need to be addressed in group counseling sessions with everyone present. The more they know about what led them to become an alcoholic and how to prevent a relapse the more likely that they will remain sober longer. It can take up to a year for these methods to take hold and produce long-term results and requires a new found commitment to their health, their families, and their community. However, the result is that they can get a whole new lease on life and resolve issues that plagued them their whole life. So it is well worth the effort.

If you or someone you know is fighting alcoholism, don’t do it alone. Seek out local resources and treatment centers to help you or your loved ones back on the path to health safely. Catching the disease early can help reduce the damage to the body, mind, and spirit of a person under the throes of alcoholism. Call today to start on the road back to recovery.