Drinking alcohol is an accepted part of social life for many people. From family gatherings and tailgate parties to happy hours and family functions, alcohol use is seen as the norm. While many people don’t experience negative consequences while drinking, some people can become dependent and develop an alcohol addiction. Despite its status as a legal and “accepted” substance, alcohol is a highly addictive and dangerous drug.

For those struggling with problem drinking, simply “plugging the jug” won’t solve their addiction. In fact, those who suffer from alcohol abuse need professional treatment, including detoxification. The first question many people ask when entering rehab is, does alcoholism require detox? The answer to that question is a resounding yes.

What Causes Alcoholism?

As with addiction to other substances, there isn’t an exact cause of alcoholism. Instead, there are several factors that can lead people to develop an alcohol addiction. Some of the most common causes are the following:

  • Family History—people with a family history of alcohol abuse are more likely to develop an alcohol addiction. However, alcoholism doesn’t have to run in the family for someone to develop an alcohol use disorder. In some cases, simply being around family members who drink frequently can put people on the path towards alcoholism.
  • Mental Disorders—another common cause of alcohol addiction is the presence of a mental disorder. People who suffer from a mental disorder may feel guilt and shame regarding their mental disorder. Instead of getting the mental help they need, they will often turn to alcohol in order to cope with their feelings. While alcohol may temporarily ease the symptoms of mental disorders such as anxiety and depression, using alcohol as a primary coping mechanism will make their mental condition worse—and they will likely develop an alcohol addiction.
  • Stressful Environments­—another major cause of alcoholism is high levels of stress at both work and home. This is especially true if people have high-stress professions such as those found in the medical and legal fields. Additionally, problems at home and the constant juggling of work and family commitments can create high levels of stress that may lead people to drink alcohol.
  • Peer Pressure—for teens and young adults, peer pressure can be a huge factor in the development of alcoholism. During this crucial period of social development, kids may start drinking in order to fit in or to be seen as “cool” by their peers. This pressure can also be seen in adults and especially in the workplace, where people may hit up a happy hour after work or attend work parties or other functions where alcohol is present. 

What are the Signs of Alcoholism?

The signs of alcoholism are difficult to detect. People who are alcoholics become experts at hiding their drinking from family and friends. If people approach those with alcohol issues with concern, they can become very defensive about their drinking. Frequently, people with an addiction to alcohol will blame others for their drinking or rationalize their behavior. Despite this difficulty, there are telltale signs of alcohol addiction that are easy to spot. These signs of addiction can include the following:

  • Smell of alcohol on their breath that can linger for hours after their last drink
  • Dry skin and brittle fingernails
  • Poor hygiene
  • Yellowish eyes and pale skin
  • Chronically tired and “feeling sick”

Other signs of alcoholism include drinking more than initially intended, having intense urges and cravings to drink, and increased problems with family, work, and school because of drinking. Additionally, people who are alcoholics have an increased lack of interest in the activities and hobbies they once enjoyed.

Does Alcoholism Require Detox?

If you or a loved one have a drinking problem, undergoing professional treatment will give you the best chance at long-term sobriety. While you may be ready for treatment, you may feel unsure about the detox process. You may think you can fully recover from alcoholism without detox. Again, you may ask the question, “does alcoholism require detox?”. The truth is that detox is often a necessity not only for your recovery but also for your overall health.

Alcohol is a powerful depressant that affects the brain and central nervous system. When you withdraw from alcohol, your brain, and nervous system will become overstimulated. As a result, you will experience a variety of potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms such as the following:

  • headaches
  • anxiety
  • tremors
  • insomnia
  • fatigue
  • mood changes
  • heart palpitations
  • increased blood pressure or heart rate
  • rapid abnormal breathing

If severe cases, you can experience what is known as delirium tremens (DT’s). This potentially life-threatening condition includes the following symptoms:

  • tremors
  • hallucinations
  • seizures
  • high blood pressure
  • irregular breathing

Because withdrawal from alcohol can be dangerous, medical detoxification is a must. During the detox process, experienced medical personnel will administer medications and utilize other interventions to minimize the discomfort and danger associated with alcohol withdrawal. Once you are physically and mentally stable, you can transition into an intensive treatment program.

How to Find Alcohol Detox in Los Angeles

Call Safe Harbor House toll-free today if you need alcohol detox in Los Angeles. Our alcohol detox programs are designed with your health in mind. Our experienced medical staff will work with you in creating a detox program that fits your specific needs. Our alcohol detox program will help you safely detox from alcohol in a comfortable and secure environment.

Call us right now and learn more about our medical detoxification services.

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