Alcohol is something that most people take for granted. The majority of adults in the UK can enjoy a beer or a glass of wine without losing control over the amount they consume. However, for some people, alcohol can become something they cannot function without.
It is important to realise that alcoholism is an illness, one that develops over time. Nobody wakes up an alcoholic after the first time they get drunk. Those who develop this illness tend to do so gradually. The choice to drink alcohol is one made by the individual; if they like the taste or how they feel when they are drinking, they are more likely to drink again.
The more a person drinks, the more he or she will need to experience the same effects; this is because their body has become tolerant to the effects of the alcohol. In short, their body adapts to the changes inflicted on it by alcohol. It then begins to expect the alcohol in regular doses and, if the alcohol does not arrive, it must adapt again; this is why individuals who are dependent on alcohol experience withdrawal symptoms when they do not drink.
Recovering from Alcoholism
Most alcoholics live in denial for a long time about the fact that they have a problem. They do not believe that they could be classed as alcoholics because in their mind they do not fit the profile. This can prevent them from accessing help when they need it.
It often gets to the stage where the alcoholic can no longer deny the obvious problems his or her drinking habit is causing and he or she will finally accept help. This typically means detoxing from alcohol to get rid of the chemicals from the body. Detox is just the first step in the recovery process; just because a person manages to get clean does not mean he or she has recovered from alcoholism. The affected individual must learn how to live without relying on alcohol, which is usually done through a programme of rehabilitation.
Why Detox Must Be Supervised
Because alcohol affects almost every cell in the body, it can be complicated to withdraw from it. For that reason, those detoxing from alcohol are typically advised to do so in a safe and secure, supervised facility. It is impossible to know who will experience life-threatening withdrawal symptoms before the process begins, so having someone with you when you detox is vital.
While detox carried out in a supervised facility is the safer option, there is no guarantee that a patient will not experience severe symptoms. In fact, former footballing legend Paul Gascoigne has recently spoken about how he died in rehab when detoxing from alcohol and how doctors had to resuscitate him.
Pauls struggles with alcohol are well known, and he has been in and out of rehab seven times. He said, “Last time was three years ago, and that was in Cottonwood where I passed away apparently, erm I thought that would be enough. Some people get it quite early and get the addiction in hand, sometimes fear a bit.”
Paul was speaking to Good Morning Britain hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, where his struggles were compared to those of late footballer George Best, who died from alcohol-related liver disease in 2005. Pauls answer was, “He’s passed away, I’m not.”
He also spoke of the support he receives for his illness. The Providence Projects . the support I get from them is fantastic, and sometimes I feel embarrassed getting the support because there are people who arent fortunate that live on the streets with my illness and they dont really get the support, so sometimes to help myself I go and help another person. Every day I try and do three good deeds, even if its giving someone a fiver, a pack of cigarettes you know – even a little sandwich.