Going through medical detoxification can help people with physical addictions avoid harming themselves too much by quitting alcohol. However, those who complete this process only have the first battle, not the war. Coping with an alcohol problem can take a lot of willpower, and it can also take an understanding of why you drank in the first place, and this may require treatment for the psychological problems that caused it. Thus, undergoing medical detox should not be seen as some kind of magic cure for people with alcohol problems. This can be a very important first step toward recovery, but once it does, many other factors come into play, including the type of family and friend support network available to the drinker.
If someone with a physical alcohol dependence attempts to quit smoking without medical assistance, abstinence from alcohol will cause the body to go into an emergency. This can burn so much energy that memory loss or even death can be caused by the brain being deprived of vital vitamins. However, these risks can be significantly reduced if a person undergoes medical detoxification, which means that they are given medications regularly for days or even weeks.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to vomit every five minutes or hallucinate about pink elephants or insects that crawl all over the rooftop to have any degree of physical addiction. Many people are physically addicted without realizing it. It is possible that someone with a physical addiction does not drink first thing in the morning or even during lunch. They can work all day without drinking, but when they get home, they will be very anxious if they don’t start drinking right away. These arousal levels will begin to decline within a quarter of an hour after the first drink, and then continue until you lie down.
It is not uncommon for drinkers who fall into this category to pursue successful careers and place great importance on the fact that they are not really “alcoholics”. The classic defense follows the principle: “I only have a couple of drinks at night to relax from stress and tension in the office.” But restless drinkers often underestimate alcohol consumption by at least half, so “couple” can easily mean three or four, and a glass of wine or liquor poured at home can easily add up to three or four pubs. So, they could drink about 15 drinks in the pub every night.
Other symptoms of physical dependence include morning craving for alcohol, sweating, tremors, hiding alcohol from friends and family, and an increasingly irritable and controversial issue either while drinking or when the drink is not available. Even those who simply experience mild anxiety, anxiety, or sleep problems while trying to surrender can develop a physical dependence that deserves medical attention.