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Alcohol Addiction and de-addiction

Alcoholic drinks are the most popular drink throughout the globe. It acts both as a stimulator as well as a depressor. The content of an alcohol differs with different types of drinks, and so does its effects. The various drinks arranged in the increasing percentage of their alcoholic contents are as follows:-

Drink type Percentage of Alcohol content

Beer  2-6%

Cider  4-8%

Wine  8-20%

Tequila  40%

Rum   40% or more

Brandy  40% or more

Gin  40-47%

Whiskey  40-50%

Vodka  40-50%

Liquors  15-60%

As evident from the data above, it can be observed that fermented drinks like beer or wine contain lesser content of alcohol as compared to the distilled drinks like rum, vodka or whiskey. Though classified as a depressant, alcohol has been proved to have stimulant effects on a person based on the amount of alcohol he has taken in. Alcohol initially acts as an energizer and helps one loosen up after a hectic day, but its overdose has the opposite effect on him. Consuming too much of an alcohol subdues one’s senses granting him a feeling of calmness or numbness.

Although it might not have much effect on an occasional drinker, it possesses various short term and long term effects on the habitual drinker. The short term effects include diarrhea, vomiting, headache, unconsciousness among various others but persistent alcohol dependence causes alcohol poisoning, ulcer, liver damage and even cancer.

According to the report by World Health Organization (WHO), alcohol annually causes the deaths of nearly 85,000 people (3.5% of preventable causes of death) globally.


When an individual who has been a habitual drinker suddenly tries to cut down his alcohol consumption to de-addict himself, he ends up suffering from a life-threatening condition called alcohol withdrawal syndrome. The withdrawal symptoms can commence as soon as two hours after the last drink and keep getting worse. Its symptoms include fever, hallucinations, seizures, vomiting and extreme agitations. In this scenario, it becomes essential for one to seek the medical help.

is a period of medical treatment done by the medical professionals to help an addicted person get his rehabilitation done. It involves administration of the medication as well as counseling. The ultimate objective of alcohol detoxification is to make a person de-addict and help him being a responsible member of the family and the society. According to the severity of addiction, the type of detoxification process and durations varies.

  • Inpatient detoxification: inpatient detoxification is a process for individuals who exhibit life-Alcohol detoxification threatening withdrawal symptoms. These people are admitted into the rehab centers and apart from getting the medication administered in the facility are also under the constant vigilance of professionals.


  • Outpatient detoxification: Outpatient detoxification is provided to individuals who show little-to-mild withdrawal symptoms. These individuals do not require to get admitted to the rehab center and can simply travel to the rehab facility or the hospital to get his rehabilitation process done. Ambulatory detoxification is an outpatient service which can be offered at health care center or the patient’s home and involves delivering of detoxification and referral services according to the pre-determined schedule.

An inpatient detoxification includes the admission and constant supervision and treatment of an addicted drinker and usually takes more time (5-14 days) as compared to outpatient detoxification which takes average 6.5 days. With the outpatient setting, an individual can get his rehab done while dispensing his normal societal and familial duties. Outpatient detoxification is also more convenient as a person need not be in a facility for extensive days and can be with his family all throughout the duration. It is also more cost effective than the inpatient option.

Both inpatient and outpatient detoxification has their own share of pros and cons, but which procedure is to be followed completely depends on the severity of addiction.

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