If you have a loved one here in Philadelphia who can’t control their drinking, it’s normal to wonder why. Most of the world is able to handle their liquor without a problem. They can drink as a social lubricant, to unwind after a stressful day or go out for a drink with coworkers, but the situation is much more difficult for an alcoholic. You may wonder why the person can’t just have one or two beers like you and call it a night. Why can’t they see that their drinking is causing problems in their life, so they need to keep it under control? The answer is because they have lost the power of choice. Although the situation may seem hopeless, a Philadelphia alcohol rehab can help your loved one overcome their addiction to alcohol.
What is an Alcoholic?
Addiction is a mental illness that affects roughly one in twelve people. These addicted types have an abnormal prefrontal cortex that causes them to compulsively drink and obsess about drinking throughout the day. There may be instances where they can stop drinking for days, weeks or months, but they’ll often return to drinking because they don’t understand how powerful the disease of addiction can be.
The pleasure system in the brain is a necessity for basic human survival skills. It’s what tells people to drink water when they’re thirsty and eat when they’re hungry. Our ancestors also developed their prefrontal cortex throughout evolution, which triggers the “fight or flight response” to let them know if a situation was too dangerous. For example, a hunter would know that it’s a bad idea to not go after an antelope that was surrounded by a pack of lions because they may get hurt or killed. This is the basic human function that an alcoholic lacks.
An alcoholic gets pleasure from alcohol like everyone else, but they’re unable to logically understand when it’s causing them harm. Alcoholics will continue to drink even though it’s causing problems with their friendships, family relationships as well as relationships with their spouse. They’ll even continue to drink when they begin experiencing health problems or have had near-death experiences like car crashes.
When a person drinks alcohol, the pleasure system is stimulated and it releases a natural chemical called dopamine that gives the person a buzz. Alcoholics have an intensified feeling of pleasure because their prefrontal cortex is unable to stop the flow of dopamine. The alcoholic immediately begins craving more from the time they take their first drink, which causes them to be unable to stop until they run out of alcohol or unless they can’t get more.
Alcohol Dependency and Withdrawal in Philadelphia
There are often times when an alcoholic has a moment of clarity and wants to stop drinking, but the symptoms of withdrawal can be extremely painful, uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. Compared to other addictive substances like prescription medications, heroin, meth and cocaine, alcohol has some of the worst symptoms of withdrawal. When an alcoholic experiences withdrawal, their symptoms can include nausea, anxiety, delirium tremens, body tremors, hallucinations and seizures.
The reason the alcoholic begins experiencing symptoms of withdrawal is because their mind and body become dependent to alcohol being introduced to the system on a regular basis. The body has a natural need to constantly maintain homeostasis, so when they stop drinking or try to control their drinking, their nervous system and organs go into a state of shock trying to compensate for the lack of alcohol.
The Rationalizations and Justifications
Due to the constant mental obsession and physical craving for alcohol, alcoholics will justify and rationalize their drinking to extreme measures. Whether they’re trying to avoid the intense symptoms of withdrawal or minimizing the problems they’ve had, their mind tells them that they need alcohol in order to survive. Their drinking takes precedence over their families, finances and health.
An alcoholic is unable to see their problem with alcohol, which causes them to doubt that they need the help of friends, family or a Philadelphia alcohol rehab. Even if their friends and family point out what they can’t see, they believe that the world is against them, which can cause the alcoholic to drink even more. Even when they get a DUI or into an accident, they believe that it was just a situation of bad luck rather than their drinking being the actual issue.
How a Philadelphia Alcohol Rehab can Help
When an alcoholic has an honest desire to get sober, a qualified Philadelphia alcohol rehab center can help them. The addict will be able to receive treatment in both an individual and group setting where they will find that they can overcome the disease of addiction. One of the most important parts of the rehabilitation process is learning what has been triggering the addict to drink because most of the time the person doesn’t know how to handle life’s situations.
Through Philadelphia Alcohol Rehabilitation, they’ll learn how to deal with life on life’s terms in a healthy way. One of the other benefits is that they’ll begin to see that they aren’t alone in their addiction because they’ll be surrounded by others who are dealing with similar issues as well as the same compulsion to drink. These people can become a very powerful support group, which can also lead to lifelong friendships.