Understanding Alcohol Dependence

Understanding Alcohol Dependence


Alcohol withdrawal is a big deal! Hundreds of thousands of men and women suffer from Alcohol dependence all over the world. They have been dependent on alcohol for so long that alcohol withdrawal, when consumption is stopped, is acute and dangerous, as it can result in seizures! In high-quality, trusted Alcohol Rehabs in New Jersey, patients go through time-tested treatment protocols to help them mitigate withdrawal symptoms, address cravings and enter recovery. Entering treatment for alcohol dependence is the surest way to enter recovery.

  • Dependence on alcohol is physical as well as psychological. Alcohol can change brain functioning by altering dopamine reward systems in ways that leave the person chemically dependent on alcohol. Also, alcohol is used as a coping mechanism and people become psychologically dependent on alcohol to deal with stressors.
  • As with all addiction, cravings for alcohol is progressive in nature. As with other substances, tolerance develops over time – a higher quantity of alcohol is needed to achieve the same high.
  • While anyone can get addicted to alcohol, genetics is a pre-disposing factor.
  • Over 14 million adults in America suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder, or alcohol dependence.
  • One in 14 adults suffering from alcohol use disorder received treatment for alcohol withdrawal and alcohol dependence.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

After a period of heavy alcohol abuse, the body becomes chemically dependent on alcohol. Stopping alcohol use abruptly can lead to severe acute withdrawal symptoms, including seizures and stroke. Consequently, an individual afflicted by an addiction to alcohol must seek medically monitored detoxification when they stop consuming alcohol.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be treated effectively at many Alcohol Rehabs in New Jersey. Some milder alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Headaches and/or migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety

More acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Extreme fever
  • High blood pressure
  • Delirium Tremens, or DTs
  • Inconsistent heartbeat and/or heart-related issues
  • Confusion and/or disorientation
  • Seizures

Alcohol Dependence and Genetics

An addiction to alcohol and alcohol dependence have a genetic component. As per WebMD, a person’s risk of becoming dependent on alcohol is 3-4 times greater if a parent has an issue with alcohol. Other factors, such as peer pressure, mental illness, etc., also play a role.

A thorough psycho-social evaluation, coupled with the quantification of withdrawal using withdrawal scales leads to determination of treatment. Oftentimes, withdrawal levels are serious enough to raise the risk of seizures or stroke.

That is why an individual suffering from alcohol dependence should seek treatment immediately. Sadly, most individuals addicted to alcohol go through a denial phase where they do not see their alcohol use as a problem.

Identifying Alcohol Use Disorder

Tolerance to alcohol increases over time and most individuals refuse to acknowledge that alcohol use is a problem. Use of alcohol has crossed over from casual social drinking to alcohol dependence when a person is unable to stop alcohol consumption despite negative consequences. Alcohol use is a problem is it:

  • Negatively impacts relationships
  • Is used to cope with stress
  • Leads to financial distress or job loss
  • Causes an increase in risky behavior
  • Produces tremors when consumption is stopped abruptly

Talking About Alcohol Abuse in a Non-Judgmental Manner

If your loved one has issues with alcohol, it is important to broach the subject in a non-judgmental manner. Instead of saying. “You are an alcoholic!” try, “You may have issues with alcohol.” Do not conclude that the individual has a problem with alcohol on your own. The individual affected by alcohol may also be more open to suggestions from an objective third party. The goal is to not make the person defensive but encourage him or her to engage with treatment professionals. Try to get a substance abuse treatment professional involved so that they can do a professional assessment.


Nobody plans to get addicted. Dependence on alcohol may develop due to many reasons. The recent Mental Health Day opened up dialogues about alcohol dependence, alcohol withdrawal and alcohol treatment in the context of individuals using alcohol to self-medicate for mental health issues.

Addiction is a chronic disease and there should be no stigma associated with the disease. Addiction is not a moral shortcoming or a behavioral problem. The functioning of the brain changes and keeps the cycle of addiction going. A non-judgmental approach and utilization of outpatient treatment modalities will help to vastly reduce the stigma around addiction and enable more people to access treatment in a timely manner. Most alcohol rehabs in New Jersey have professional staff that view addiction as a disease and facilitate access to treatment in a non-judgmental manner.

So, don’t wait! Reach out NOW!


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Alcohol Addiction

If you are unable to stop consuming alcohol despite wanting to, or despite negative consequences, you may have become dependent on alcohol.
Alcohol withdrawal syndrome can develop when you suddenly stop drinking alcohol after a period of frequent and substantial consumption, be it vodka, whiskey, wine or beer.

If you try to stop consuming alcohol and experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms, it is chemical dependence. Dependence on Alcohol can develop even after just a few months of intense use. Drinking more alcohol than intended, or drinking alcohol at odd times of the day may negatively impact your relationships, social functioning and work performance.

Alcohol is a disinhibitor and the chances of indulging in risky behaviors increases after alcohol use. If you cannot stop consuming alcohol despite a visible increase in risky behavior, you may have a hard time quitting. Many individuals suffer from a dependence on alcohol – as per the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, more than 15 million adults in the United States suffered from an alcohol use disorder in 2015. That number has only increased sharply in 2020 due to stress and isolation related to Covid-19.

Understanding the dangers of alcohol abuse and the dangers of quitting cold turkey can help you make informed treatment choices. Alcohol is one
of the most commonly consumed beverages in the world and it may not be perceived as a “dangerous” substance when compared to, say, heroin,
which conjures up a host of negative images.

However, alcohol withdrawal can be much more dangerous than withdrawal from heroin, as it can cause seizures. Consequently, it is important to seek medical assistance at a detoxification facility when trying to quit alcohol.

What Causes Alcohol Withdrawal?

Alcohol is considered as a ‘sedative hypnotic’ – it depresses the central nervous system, but people benefit from the feeling of relaxation it delivers. In limited quantities, alcohol stimulates good conversation and reduces social anxiety. However, when consumed in large quantities, defined as more than 4 drinks for a man and more than 3 drinks for a woman in a day, could lead to drowsiness, impaired motor function, difficulty breathing and blackouts.

As a depressant, alcohol has an effect on the brain and the nervous system. It also slows down brain function and changes the way nerves communicate with each other. Your body actually works hard to keep the brain in an “awake” state and nerves communicating with each other. It is
used to having alcohol around all the time and is now always in this high alert state.

When you stop using alcohol, the brain keeps going at this 90 miles per hour speed which causes the withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, shaky hands, headache, nausea, vomiting, and sweating. Some may also develop delirium tremens, hallucinations high blood pressure, and memory loss. Alcohol withdrawal can also bring on seizures, stroke or even death. That is why alcohol detox needs to happen in a medical setting with appropriate monitoring.

Luckily there are many alcohol detox centers in New jersey that can effectively address the problem. Whether you are located in Ocean county, or Morris county, in Short Hills or in Toms River or in Edison, there is always a treatment center near you. Alcohol withdrawal in New Jersey can be treated through outpatient detoxification or inpatient detoxification. While Inpatient detoxification has been the norm for alcohol detox to address alcohol withdrawal symptoms in New Jersey, the new, innovative model is outpatient, ambulatory detoxification. Ambulatory Detox centers in New Jersey can address alcohol withdrawal as effectively and safely as inpatient detoxification, while providing the added advantage of integrating the home environment into treatment. Because the patient has the convenience of going home to their family at the end of each day in detox, they can test the skills learned in therapy and find out what works and does not work. This flexibility delivers better results to the patient because when they finish treatment they have adapted a set of coping skills that is best suited to their own living situation, not a generic one.

Safety is Important in Managing Alcohol Withdrawal

At New Jersey-based Center for Network Therapy NJ, our clinical team is highly experienced in managing withdrawal from alcohol. Customized medication protocols are adopted to ensure that the detox process is safe and smooth.

If you are looking for a safe and highly effective alcohol treatment program, please contact us for a smoother road to recovery. Call a treatment expert today if you or a loved one is experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Personalized and safe rehabilitation is extremely important for us at the Center for Network Therapy. If you experience the alcohol withdrawal
symptoms listed below, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation at no cost to you. The Center for Network Therapy has 3 locations: West Orange, New Jersey, Middlesex, New Jersey and Freehold, New Jersey.


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