At Heritage Treatment Foundation we use the Holistic approach to alcohol addiction recovery

Alcohol – Description

Alcohol affects the central nervous system in similar ways to other depressant drugs, producing relaxation and disinhibition at low doses, while at higher doses, producing intoxication, impaired judgement and coordination, and at very high doses, coma and death.

Short-Term Effects

Alcohol affects the central nervous system in proportion to the amount of alcohol in bloodstream. Usual effects of small doses are euphoria, drowsiness, dizziness, flushing, release of inhibitions and tensions. Larger doses produce slurred speech, staggering, double vision, stupor. Alcohol, even in fairly low doses, impairs driving or the operation of complex machinery. In combination with other drugs, small doses of alcohol may produce exaggerated effects. A “hangover” with headache, nausea, shakiness and vomiting may begin 8 to 12 hours after a period of excessive drinking. Very large doses can cause death by blocking the brain’s control over respiration.

Long-Term Effects

Regular consumption of more than two drinks a day may gradually bring about liver damage, brain damage, heart disease, certain types of cancer, blackouts (loss of memory), impotence, reproductive problems, ulcers, and disorders of the pancreas. Chronic heavy use may result in disruptions of the drinker’s social, family and working life. Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy may result in babies with alcohol-related pre- and postnatal development and growth delays, learning and behavioural disorders, and other CNS problems and physical abnormalities. Since there is no definite information regarding a safe quantity of alcohol use during pregnancy, the prudent choice for women who are or may become pregnant is to abstain from alcohol.

Tolerance and Dependence

Regular use induces tolerance, making increased doses necessary to produce desired effect. In the case of chronic use, people may drink steadily without appearing to get drunk. Their condition may go unrecognized, even by themselves for some time. Chronic drinkers are likely to become physically and psychologically dependent.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms may range from jumpiness, sleeplessness, sweating, nausea and vomiting, to tremors, seizures, hallucinations and even death.

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