Alcohol is defined as a liquid that is colorless and flammable. It is used in beverages such as beer, wine, and spirits and is made by the fermentation of sugar in foods like various fruits, vegetables, or grains. Fermentation is the process in which the sugars react with either bacteria or yeast. The level of alcohol in an alcoholic beverage depends upon the amount of time the food is fermented. Alcohol is considered a depressant and, with excess usage, can cause its drinkers to experience feelings of depression. However, it can also give people the ability to feel a little “looser”, or less anxious. As one drinks more alcohol, the body begins to build tolerance for it.
Once this dependence occurs, one may become unable to function without the alcohol because the brain becomes dependent upon the alcohol, making the person alcohol dependent. Such dependence can be a result of several different factors. Firstly, a person who already drinks may be likely to turn to alcohol for relief if he or she has heightened stress levels due to a job or other stress-inducing situation. Another factor could be the age at which one begins drinking. If someone starts to drink alcoholic beverages as a young person, it is possible that alcohol dependence could be formed as the tolerance level increases. Also, people who have issues with depression or anxiety may seek the temporary relief of alcohol. Genetics may play a part in causing alcohol dependence, but, it is believed that one’s genetic makeup paired with one’s environment has more of an impact on dependence formation than simply genetics alone. Some people have a makeup of genetics which makes them inclined to dependence and, if they are surrounded by other heavy drinkers, may tend to become dependent on alcohol. This may be the case especially for those who have alcohol-dependent family members.
Some symptoms of alcohol dependence include illness due to alcohol consumption, tremors after drinking, withdrawal symptoms after a period without drinking, and lack of self-control while drinking. Another sign is the failure to meet obligations and responsibilities due to excessive drinking. These obligations may include work, school, or even relationship responsibilities. There are different medication-assisted treatments which can assist those who are dealing with alcohol dependence.
An effective way to become free of alcohol dependence is Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). It is a treatment method which combines medicine and behavioral therapy to help people who have become dependent on medications and alcohol. MAT reduces the discomfort one feels while going through withdrawal from dependence-causing medications and alcohol. Vivitrol is a medication that can help as it is nonaddictive and can decrease alcohol cravings. It disallows alcohol users to experience the euphoria of alcohol. This means that patients, should they drink too much, can still become intoxicated but they will not “feel drunk”. They will still have poor coordination and be unable to function properly. However, they will no longer experience the feelings they once had while under the influence of alcohol. Thus, this leads drinkers to gradually lose the desire to drink alcohol.
There are many benefits to this kind of treatment. It is an outpatient treatment, which enables patients to get the help they need at the time they need. It is also cost-effective in that it eliminates the need for a hospital stay. MAT is safe for patients and is supervised by experts who understand the process of drug detox process. Diablo Valley works to make the detox process easier for patients who have struggled with alcohol dependence. Book an appointment today to start the road to becoming free from alcohol dependence.