Alcohol dependence is one of the most common substance use problems and a leading cause of preventable death. If you struggle with alcohol, don't quit on your own. Get medical care from the experienced professionals at Corebella Health & Wellness. They prescribe medications that stop cravings and withdrawal symptoms, which is essential because alcohol withdrawal can cause severe health problems and potentially turn deadly. To schedule an in-person or telemedicine appointment, call the office in Tempe, Glendale, or Scottsdale, Arizona, or use the online booking feature today.
You can drink excessively without developing an addiction. But the more alcohol you consume, the easier it is to become dependent.
An alcohol dependence develops due to the effect alcohol has on your brain. Alcohol quickly boosts the levels of brain chemicals that make you feel happy, confident, and uninhibited.
As you keep drinking, your brain changes and starts to depend on the higher levels of chemicals. Then your brain creates uncontrollable cravings for alcohol and, if you stop drinking, you experience withdrawal symptoms.
Over time, the brain develops a tolerance to the amount you usually drink. Then you need to keep increasing your consumption to get the same pleasurable effects. That's when you have a full-blown addiction.
The top signs of alcohol dependence include having urges to drink, experiencing withdrawal if you stop drinking, and the need to drink more.
Your behaviors also change, so you may:
Keeping up with your work responsibilities doesn't let you off the hook. About 20% of people with alcohol dependence keep functioning until they reach an advanced stage of addiction.
In the advanced stage, you may experience symptoms of chronic health conditions. Alcohol dependence contributes to problems such as cardiovascular disease, cirrhosis, anemia, dementia, pancreatitis, and nerve damage.
When you decide to stop drinking, you should not do it on your own — suddenly quitting leads to serious withdrawal symptoms. In severe cases, you may experience shaking, seizures, hallucinations, and a fast heart rate. That condition, called delirium tremens, can lead to a heart attack or fatal breathing problems.
Corebella Health & Wellness evaluates your health and determines the safest way for you to stop drinking. For most people, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the best option.
During MAT, you receive medication, such as Vivitrol®, that stops your cravings and prevents withdrawal, allowing you to detox safely. MAT also includes counseling that supports your ongoing recovery. With counseling, you discover what makes you turn to alcohol and learn the coping skills you need to prevent a relapse.
If you're ready to stop drinking and reclaim your life, call Corebella Health & Wellness to schedule an in-person or telemedicine appointment.