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Are Drunk Words Really Sober Thoughts? 

Alcohol is the most widely used drug in the world, and in the United States alone, excessive alcohol use is responsible for about 88,000 deaths annually, according to the CDC. With this in mind, why do so many people drink? Why is alcohol legal at all?

The explanation is simple: The alcohol industry lobbies like no other. Every year, the alcohol industry spends $1 to $2 billion trying to convince people that drinking is fun, cool, normal, and, most importantly, harmless. While drinking can be relatively harmless for some, it can be devastating and even fatal for others.

Alcohol lowers inhibitions, which can make it a great catalyst for socialization and making friends. Unfortunately, it can also be a great catalyst for making a complete and utter fool out of yourself. Anyone who has overindulged in booze on Saturday has probably made an apology or two on Sunday.

Are Drunk Words Really Sober Thoughts

People like to say that drunk words are sober thoughts. This old adage implies that the things people say when they’re drunk, however crass, rude, or vile, are indicative of their actual thoughts and feelings.

Is it true? Does alcohol act as a kind of truth serum? The reality is that it’s not quite that simple. While alcohol can cause people to blurt out things they believe but would normally repress, sometimes drunk talk is just nonsense.

Here’s an overview of what experts know about the short- and long-term effects of consuming alcohol:

Short-Term Effects of Drinking Alcohol

Lowered Inhibitions

Inhibitions refer to inner impediments to free activity; in other words, they’re filters, and they’re a necessary part of a functioning society. If everyone ran around doing and saying the first thing that popped into their heads, chaos would quickly ensue. Ethanol, the psychoactive component that gets people drunk, temporarily lowers these inhibitions, which is why people often quip that drunk words are sober thoughts.

In some circumstances, the lowering of inhibitions can be a good thing. Shy people can come out of their shells a bit and be less self-conscious. On the other hand, the lowering of inhibitions can cause people to be rude, obnoxious, politically incorrect, and even violent.

Blacking Out

Blacking out refers to drinking to the point of short-term memory loss. The scary part about this is that people who are blackout drunk can often still function relatively normally. They can walk, engage with others and even drive or operate machinery. This temporary memory loss can be partial, but it can also be complete; it’s not unusual for someone who blacks out to remember nothing.

Many people who get blackout drunk are horrified when they learn about their previous day’s actions, and a good number of them wake up in jail.

Loss of Coordination

Alcohol affects GABA, one of the brain’s neurotransmitters. This slows people’s reaction times and makes them clumsy. When people drink enough, it can be nearly impossible to walk or even stand.

Increased Blood Pressure

Excessive alcohol consumption temporarily raises blood pressure, which, in itself, isn’t that big of a deal. Repeated binge drinking, however, which is defined as drinking four drinks within two hours for women and five drinks within two hours for men, can lead to long-term increases in blood pressure.

Long-term high blood pressure increases the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular conditions. Additionally, alcohol contains a lot of calories. This often leads to weight gain, which also increases the risk of high blood pressure.

Lower Body Temperature

Alcohol widens blood vessels, which makes more blood flow to the skin. This makes drinkers feel warm, but it’s only temporary; the extra heat dissipates quickly, and this is why drinking alcohol is not an effective way to prevent hypothermia.

Other short-term effects of drinking alcohol include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Vomiting
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty concentrating

Long-Term Effects of Drinking Alcohol

People who drink alcohol to excess over a long period of time are at risk of the following conditions:

Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

When the liver processes alcohol, it also creates a toxic compound called acetaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Over time, this substance damages liver cells, causes inflammation, and weakens the body’s immune system. Fatty liver disease is the first stage of liver disease caused by alcohol and can eventually advance to alcoholic hepatitis and, eventually, cirrhosis.

Alcoholic Hepatitis

Alcoholic hepatitis is the second stage of liver disease, and it’s serious. symptoms of alcoholic hepatitis include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Low-grade fever
  • Tenderness in the abdomen
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weakness and fatigue

Alcoholic hepatitis can be fatal, especially for those who continue to drink. People with alcoholic hepatitis run the risk of developing cirrhosis, the final stage of liver disease.

Cirrhosis

Whenever people drink to excess, the liver is damaged and attempts to repair itself. This repair process causes scarring, also called fibrosis, and over time, the buildup of scar tissue impairs the liver’s ability to function properly. Some symptoms of cirrhosis include:

  • Bleeding or bruising more easily
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin)
  • Confusion
  • Itching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swelling of the legs, ankles, or feet
  • A buildup of fluid in the abdomen

Liver damage caused by cirrhosis is almost always permanent, but it can be slowed or stopped when the underlying cause is treated.

Cardiomyopathy

People who drink heavily over many years can develop cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle that impairs its ability to pump blood through the body. The main symptoms are shortness of breath, coughing or difficulty sleeping when lying flat, pressure or discomfort in the chest, and a pounding, fluttering or rapid heartbeat.

Cardiomyopathy is generally mild at first, but it gets worse over time. Depending on the type and severity, cardiomyopathy can be life-threatening.

Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol use disorder, more commonly referred to as alcoholism, describes a pattern of problematic alcohol consumption. Because more than half of all Americans consume at least one drink per day, it can be difficult to determine whether someone’s drinking constitutes a clinically-significant problem. To help remedy this, the DSM-5 identifies 11 factors that constitute problem drinking:

  1. Drinking more or for longer than intended.
  2. Repeated failed attempts to stop drinking
  3. Spending a lot of time drinking alcohol or recovering from its effects
  4. Strong urges to drink
  5. Failing to fulfill major responsibilities (work, school, relationships, etc.)
  6. Drinking when it could be dangerous, such as when driving or operating machinery
  7. Experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms
  8. Foregoing activities one used to enjoy in order to drink
  9. Needing more alcohol to achieve the desired effects
  10. Drinking despite the fact that it’s making physical or psychological conditions worse
  11. Continuing to drink even though it’s damaging personal relationships

Alcoholism is considered mild, moderate, or severe depending on how many of the above factors a person experiences in a 12-month period.

What To Do if You Think You Have a Problem

Be Honest With Yourself

It may sound like a cliche, but admitting you have a problem really is half the battle. Acknowledging your drinking problem will allow your brain to work on correcting it actively.

Don’t Bother Feeling Ashamed

Alcohol abuse is an incredibly common problem; at any given time, the United States alone has more than 14 million problem drinkers, and in all likelihood, that figure is a gross underestimate.

Gauge the Severity of Your Problem

Go through the DSM’s 11 factors, and answer honestly. If you decide that six or more factors apply to you, your drinking problem is likely severe. For severe cases of alcoholism, self-detoxification can be dangerous. In these cases, it’s best to get professional help. Supervised detoxification will greatly decrease your risk of dangerous side effects, and medication can significantly ease your withdrawal symptoms.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask for Help

If it was easy to fix a drinking problem, it wouldn’t be much of a problem. Your odds of success are greatly increased when you have a good support system. Addiction is both physical and mental, and both aspects need to be addressed. There are people who dedicate their lives to helping people quit drinking, and a lot of them do so because they’ve struggled with alcohol themselves.

Never Give Up

Perseverance is king. Most people who successfully quit drinking relapse at least once; it’s often part of the process. Relapsing can help people determine what their personal triggers are and provide invaluable insight on how to avoid them in the future.

Tips for Surviving Day One of Drug Detox

Drug addiction is more than just a hard way of life; it is a disease of the mind and emotions that cause people to need drugs to cope with their feelings. The drugs and alcohol that cause addiction, in time, also become a physical necessity they must ingest so they can function. Drugs that cause physical dependency will cause debilitating withdrawal symptoms. Heroin, Fentanyl, Prescription pain killers, Benzodiazepines, and Alcohol are the hardest to endure without help. Each of these substances causes serious physical addiction and severe withdrawals when the person does not use them frequently. Drug detox symptoms also make the person feel depressed, anxious, agitated, suicidal, and desperate. 

We have seen thousands of people come to detox strung out and at their end. The following several tips will promote peace of mind and make day one and after easier. 

Tips for Surviving Day One of Drug Detox

Tip #1 Relax and let the Medications Work

Our drug detox center will provide you medications upon arrival. Most drugs and alcohol make someone feel very anxious, discontent, and unable to relax. Heroin and other opioids are infamous for the intensity of insomnia that lasts for many days. All opioid users will be prescribed opioid replacement medications and sleep meds to alleviate their symptoms. Benzodiazepine use also causes restlessness. Benzodiazepine detox symptoms are managed with a safe taper protocol and sleep medications. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are also treated with a benzodiazepine. All other drug types receive strong medications to make someone feel better fast. When you arrive at detox, a doctor will meet with you immediately and start your medications. 

#2 Bring your Tobacco or Vape

Drug detox is not where you will be pressured to quit smoking or vaping—most people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol smoke or vape. We allow smoking and vaping outside. The staff and support team only want you to safely get through the detox portion and encourage you to continue with your recovery. Getting clean and sober is a huge step and continuing to enjoy cigarettes and vaping is expected. All counselors and doctors will provide nicotine cessation patches if you want to quit smoking or vaping. Still, bring your cigarettes and vape supplies. 

#3 Don’t Think About the Future

Drug detox is emotionally and mentally hard. The physical symptoms can be reversed, but the mental and emotional symptoms will be challenging. We provide support in numerous ways so that you don’t have to worry about what will happen after detox. Once you stabilize and feel healthy, a therapist and counselor will begin working with you to decide if you want treatment and what program option is best for you. It is also essential to know that you can leave the detox and not go to treatment. We see most of our patients so relieved from getting clean and sober that they want to stay that way and go to treatment. 

#4 What the Experts Recommend for Day One at Drug Detox

The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances in science and health write how necessary detox is and why day one is critical. It is the first day of no drug/alcohol use, and you are away from home. They acknowledge how tender each patient’s state of mind is and how necessary proper emotional and mental health support must be in detox. 

Research indicates that addressing psychosocial issues during detoxification significantly increases the likelihood that the patient will experience safe detoxification and go on to participate in substance abuse treatment. Staff members’ ability to respond to patients’ needs compassionately can make the difference between a return to substance abuse and the beginning of a new and more positive way of life. (NCBI)

#5 Garden State Detox Will Help You Make a Safe Plan

The first goal is to make you feel comfortable and attended to while at detox. The second goal is to provide you with enough encouragement, safe medications, and support so you will desire to keep your recovery going. Patients are always admitted into treatment the same day they finish detox. The programs that are an option for everyone after detox include inpatient, outpatient, intensive outpatient, extended care, and sober living. Since your detox is personalized, so will be your treatment plan. While in the medically supervised drug detox, you will receive a custom treatment plan tailored to meet your needs. 

Getting admitted to Garden State Detox is fast and affordable. We have helped the most downtrodden addicts and alcoholics become happy to be clean and sober, and they stay that way. Our experts can get you in right now to detox and into a personalized treatment program that works. Call, chat, or email to begin.

Why Is a Medical Drug Detox Necessary?

Detox, also known as detoxification, is the first stage in the recovery process for most drug and alcohol addictions where the body is cleansed of the substances that are polluting it.

One of the biggest obstacles to recovery is the fear of the withdrawal process. Many drug and alcohol addicts will continue their addictive behavior long after they want to quit, simply to avoid the detox process and painful symptoms that accompany the withdrawal. Some even try to detox from their addictions at home, suffering through days of discomfort and violent withdrawal only to go back to abusing drugs and alcohol to relieve the pain. This is where a Medical Drug Detox is necessary.

Why Is a Medical Drug Detox Necessary

What is a Medical Drug Detox?

A medical detox facility is a treatment center that is staffed with doctors and nurses trained in helping patients cope with the withdrawal symptoms of early drug or alcohol abstinence. Without medical care, these withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant, dangerous, and even life-threatening.

During detox, the patient stops using the substance or substances to which they’re addicted completely. This results in their body experiencing withdrawal, a painful, uncomfortable, and often terrifying series of symptoms ranging from cravings to hallucinations. In some cases, withdrawal symptoms such as seizures can even cause death, meaning that proper medical supervision, such as, at a medical detox is critical. This is especially true for alcohol and opioid detox. During withdrawal, medical intervention is often necessary to keep the patient safe and comfortable.  Some of the most common interventions include medication and therapy.

Patients are significantly more likely to complete a supervised medical drug detox than an unsupervised detox. There are a number of reasons for this, including increased comfort, better safety, having a support system, the love and connection provided by treatment professionals, and increased motivation. Once a patient gets through detox, their eventual likelihood of successfully obtaining sobriety goes up dramatically.

Is Medical Drug Detox Needed?

Detox is needed when someone is abusing alcohol, heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, pills, or other addictive substances. When someone consumes large amounts of alcohol on a daily basis, they can become dependent on it. This is the same with heroin and opiate pain medications, which also may require detox. Other pills such as benzodiazepines, known as benzos, (Valium, Xanax, etc.), barbiturates or barbs, Soma, and Ultram also cause withdrawal symptoms and may require detoxification.

But not every person needs medical detox. People who need medical detox are those who have a physical addiction to certain drugs:

  • Heroin
  • Prescription pain pill
  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine/Methamphetamine
  • Benzodiazepines (Benzos)
  • Barbiturates (Barbs)
  • Others depending on the situation and diagnosis
  • Would experience great discomfort withdrawing without assistance
  • Would risk their health withdrawing without medical supervision

How Long Does Medical Detox Take?

There is no set time for medical detox. It could be from a few days up to 2 weeks depending on the situation and the severity.

Is Medical Drug Detox Enough?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) states:

Medical detoxification safely manages the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal associated with stopping drug use. However, medical detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug use. Although detoxification alone is rarely sufficient to help addicts achieve long-term abstinence, for some individuals it is a strongly indicated precursor to effective drug addiction treatment.

Although patients will often leave a medical detox facility feeling better than they have in years, those that do not transition from detox to continuing addiction treatment are almost certain to relapse.

While the main priority of every detox program is to ensure safe withdrawal in a medically supervised setting, at Garden State Detox we also believe that every effective detox program should set a solid foundation for long-term sobriety, and prepare each individual client for a seamless transition to the next appropriate level of clinical care.