Alcohol Addiction Rehab in McAllen, TX

While alcohol is a social lubricant to most people, to some, it is a dangerously potent physical and psychological addictive agent. The CDC estimates that 17% of the population experience alcohol addiction at some point. What this means is that to these people, drinking alcoholic beverages becomes central to their existence, often to the exclusion of everything else. In their minds, the attachment that they feel to alcohol becomes an uncontrollable force. At the Drug Rehab Centers alcohol addiction rehab in McAllen, we offer our clients some of the most advanced treatment programs in McAllen. With a call to our rehab center, addicts and their families can begin learning about how they can access professional expertise.

What is Alcohol Addiction?

Repeated and intensive exposure to alcohol causes harmful changes that take place in the brain. Addictive behavior comes about through two kinds of change in the brain: physical change and psychological change.

Both kinds of change occur through the action of alcohol on the brain's reward center. Under normal circumstances, the brain's internal mechanisms control the reward center to produce feelings of joy, happiness and well-being of varying intensity to match different life needs. Alcohol, however, overrides the brain's mechanisms. It forces the reward center to produce feelings of intense joy.

When such interference occurs often enough, the brain's control mechanism is suppressed. The reward center, then, has no choice but to depend on the presence of alcohol to produce even normal, everyday levels of well-being. Without regular drinks of alcohol, the alcohol user goes into depression, a condition that forces further alcohol use. The brain is said to be physically dependent at this point -- it needs alcohol to even function at a normal level.

Since the brain's own control mechanism for the reward center is no longer functional at this point, withdrawing from alcohol can be dangerous. It can send the brain into a state called withdrawal. When supplies of alcohol are cut off, the brain attempts to regain control of the reward center. During this process, the brain's neurotransmitter levels go haywire, producing some very serious physical symptoms. Convulsions, seizures and hallucinations can be expected. If the right medical intervention is not available, permanent injury or death can occur.

Exposure of the reward center to large quantities of alcohol produces another form of addiction called psychological addiction. When the reward center is forced to produce pleasure, it attaches to the emotion. Once this happens, the person using alcohol is said to be psychologically addicted. To his mind, the pleasures of alcohol override all reason and logic. Cravings become central to the alcoholic's existence. Logic, thought, reason and willpower are powerless against this attachment. The brain of the alcoholic is chemically trained to crave alcohol.

How Does One Treat Alcohol Addiction?

Psychological addiction makes it very hard for the addict to understand the need to quit. Often, an intervention conducted by a professional interventionist is necessary. Once the addict does see that it's necessary to quit, often, he may feel the need to attempt to quit on his own. Addiction is able to create a strong form of stubbornness.

The interference of the treatment professional is felt to be undesirable. Self-treatment, however, is dangerous. Forcing the physically addicted brain to withdraw from alcohol can cause injury or death. It takes treatment at an alcohol addiction rehab.

The Detoxification Course

In rehab for alcohol addiction, the addict is placed on a detoxification program — a course in which he is made to steadily lower his alcohol intake level. Withdrawal symptoms usually begin within 24 hours, rise to the peak of their intensity over the next 72 hours, and then begin fading.

In rehab, it is the responsibility of the addiction specialists in attendance to pay close attention to the patient, to administer medications for comfort, and to also keep dangerous symptoms from causing injury. It is also the job of the alcohol withdrawal treatment center to offer psychological guidance and counseling to help the patient develop motivation to go through the process.

What Happens After Detoxification?

Detoxification aims to get the brain off its physical addiction to alcohol. Once detox concludes, the brain no longer routinely experiences withdrawal symptoms or cravings. Many addicts make the mistake of assuming that they are completely cured at this stage, and quit alcohol treatment.

This is a mistake, however. As we tell our clients here at our center for alcohol addiction rehab in McAllen, detox is not a cure for alcoholism. It is only a form of treatment that addresses withdrawal symptoms. Alcoholism has no cure; it can only be managed. When an addict comes out of detoxification, he is still an addict, even if not one who experiences cravings every day. Cravings return soon, however, in a matter of months. Nearly every addict who quits rehab after detoxification experiences relapse -- a return to addictive behavior.

Relapse Prevention Program at the Alcohol Addiction Rehab in McAllen

Once detox concludes, the patient needs to begin accepting psychological treatment called relapse prevention in McAllen. It is the only scientifically valid approach to managing addiction after detox. It involves engaging in intensive personalized therapeutic programs over the course of several months in which the patient works with a psychologist several hours each day to learn the mental and psychological skills needed to stay away from cravings in the future.

It takes alcohol treatment centers run to rigorous scientific standards to deliver effective treatment against the physical and psychological addiction that alcohol produces. At the Drug Treatment Centers alcohol addiction rehab in McAllen, our experts deliver scientifically the treatment options to hundreds of patients each year. If you would like to take a closer look at the treatment that we offer, you're welcome to call us (877) 804-1531.

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