A Promise Made, A Promise Kept

I spent a good portion of my day yesterday speaking to a potential new patient. She, very clearly, was nearing the end of her road. She was depressed, lonely, and afraid. She had a very common story to tell. She told how alcohol had slowly but surely taken a greater and greater role in her life over the years. Leading her to the point where there was essentially nothing about her life that made sense to her any longer. She has been drinking, on most days, merely to stave off the shakes and the other symptoms of the DT’s. More than anything else as I was speaking to her I had the impression that she was tired, profoundly tired. I really related to her story, the pain and humiliation, the loneliness and despair, and being tired.

Reflecting On Past Experiences

Your Past Doesn’t Define You

Our conversation yesterday led me to spend a great deal of time reflecting on my own experience with alcoholism, and recovery. It has been a little over nineteen years since I have had to consume alcohol. I say “had to” intentionally, during the last several months of my drinking life there was nothing more I wanted to do than not drink. In fact, I would wake up each day and promise myself that I wasn’t going to. Everyday I had plans and designs built around this one ambition. Yet each day I would find myself drunk by mid-afternoon. Bewildered, terrified, and alone. I could not explain to myself how this kept happening. Nothing about my life made sense any longer. I was useless to all who knew me. Above all else I was tired. It was from this pit of despair and futility that a miracle happened.

granite mountain behavioral healthcare

I would love to share with you what my journey into recovery was like (and I may some day). The joys, and setbacks, the miracles that defy explanation that happened along the way. This however is not why I am writing today. I am writing today merely to extend a simple promise to any who read this that may be suffering like I was. When I first entered recovery a simple promise was made to me. I was promised that if I did the work necessary to stay sober, I would be able to have a life that made sense to me. What I have received is that and infinitely more. Upon the simple basis of minding the few things I learned early in recovery to do each day I have been able to stay free from alcohol for nearly half my life. In that time I have gone to university, been married, have two amazing kids, and am working in a career that is both personally meaningful and socially impacting. Just as importantly though it’s the simple things. I can sit in a quiet room at peace. My mind, for the most part, feels calm. I wake up most days excited for what the day will bring. This is not to say that this life has not been without its struggles. I have lost loved ones, bravely (and not so bravely) walked through health crisis, lost jobs, you name it. Life has continued to take its course, through it all, the good times and the tough, I have not found it necessary to put alcohol into my body (nothing short of a miracle)

Believing You Can Overcome Addiction

The First Step To Getting Clean Is Always The Hardest

Nineteen years ago if you would have told me this was possible I would not have believed you. If I had made a list of everything I had wanted out of life, I would have sold myself way short. All I wanted was to be able to make it through a day without needing to be drunk. What I have been given is a life of purpose, meaning, and usefulness, that gets better and better with each passing day.

Please know, I have not written this account to be self congratulatory. Rather, if you are reading this and are suffering from addiction I want to make you a simple promise. One that was made to me many years ago. If you will daily do the simple work that recovery requires, you can have a life that makes sense to you.

Until next time
Your friend in service,

Rob Campbell
VP of Communications & Market Development


If you or your loved one is in need of treatment for substance use disorder call us today at 1.844.878.3221. We are here to help!

What To Expect During The Alcohol Detox Process

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We have received many questions lately through our website, social media, and intake line related to the process of alcohol detox. As a result I thought I would write an article laying out the detox process as it relates to alcohol use disorder. I will endeavor to cover the stages of detox, the symptoms associated with each, and some tips on how to make the process easier. 

I would like to start by stating some facts which are germain to the topic.

  1. Alcohol is the third leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States.  Almost 90,000 people a year die of alcohol related deaths in this country

  2. 1 out of every 3 emergency room visits in the United States is related to alcohol use

  3. More than 17.6 million Americans suffer from some form of Alcohol use disorder

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The above statistics make clear the scope and nature of the social problem that alcohol use disorder presents. It affects every community in our country, and many families. If you or a loved one are suffering from alcohol use disorder know that you are not alone, and that help is available if you want it.

When an individual who has been drinking excessively decides that it is time to stop drinking it is seldom wise to undertake this process alone.  Rather it is advisable to place yourself under the care of a doctor or other medical professional.  It is perhaps because of the wide acceptance of drinking in our society that many underestimate the severity of the alcohol withdrawal process, thinking it “won’t be that bad”. Conversely the alcohol detox process can be one of the most challenging both mentally and medically speaking.  The withdrawal process from alcohol is most often characterized as having three distinct phases. They are:

  • Phase 1 typically begins from 6 hours to 24 hours after an individual last consumes alcohol.  The severity of the the symptoms during this phase will be determined by how long and how much alcohol a person has been consuming.  The typical symptoms of the first phase of withdrawal can include; nervousness, anxiety, headache, nausea, vomiting, tremors, loss of appetite, tremors, and mood swings.

The first phase of withdrawal can last for anywhere between 24 and 72 hours. 

  • Phase 2 typically sets in from 24 to 72 hours after an individual last consumed alcohol.  The typical symptoms of this phase can include; increased levels of mental confusion, irregular heart rate, difficulty breathing, muscle rigidity, increased blood pressure, and in some cases hallucinations.  It ought to be clear that this phase is potentially much more dangerous to an individual, and often requires one be under the care of trained medical staff.

  • About one out of three people enter into phase 3 of withdrawal from alcohol.  This phase is called Delirium Tremens (DT).  A person can enter DT anywhere from 3 days after cessation of drinking to as long as 2 weeks after last consuming alcohol.  This phase of withdrawal is the most dangerous and absolutely requires an individual to be in some form of inpatient treatment.  Some of the symptoms include; disorientation, dissociation, hallucination, Grand Mal seizures, and in some cases death.

If you or a loved one are considering cessation of drinking, consult with a medical professional and seek treatment. There are many medications available to help ease the symptoms of detox from alcohol, and a trained medical professional can help you to make sound decisions as to their potential to help. 

The withdrawal process from alcohol can be dangerous and the decision to undertake the process can be frightening.  However, if you or a loved one is in a position where life is becoming impossible it is important not to let the fear of detox keep you from transforming your life.  Many of us have been through it and when we look back believe it was the most important decision we have ever made.  It is my hope that this short article has answered many of the questions the reader may have regarding the process of detox.  If after reading this you still have questions or concerns please reach out to our team.  We are happy to help whether you utilize our services or not.  The most important thing to us is that you or your loved one gets the help they need.

 

Your friend in service,
Rob Campbell

VP of Communications & Market Development


If you would like to speak to a professional about treatment for you or your loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!


1. CDC, Fact Sheets: Alcohol Use and Your Health (2018), https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm.

2. Lisa Mahapatra, 1 out of 3 ER Visits Are Alcohol Related (IBT: 2013), http://www.ibtimes.com/1-out-3-er-visits-are-alcohol-related-heres-what-patients-drank-charts-1395699.

3. NCADD, Facts About Alcohol (2015), https://www.ncadd.org/about-addiction/alcohol/facts-about-alcohol.