Tolerance and Withdrawal
The emotional and physical impacts of alcohols manifest during addiction and when people try to get clean. The development of a tolerance to a alcohol usually causes increased doses, which in turn causes addiction. When the addiction is identified as an issue and you go to alcohol rehab, the withdrawal symptoms appear and make it more difficult to stay clean. Understanding the processes of tolerance and withdrawal is therefore vital for both preventing and beating alcohol addiction.
Alcohols inject different chemicals into the brain and impact on its functioning. The euphoric, mind altering effects of alcohols are produced by this complex chemical interplay, and it also causes tolerance and withdrawal. The brain adapts to suit the substances it receives, and eventually a alcohol user’s brain will be hard-wired to function with that specific chemical injection. It prepares itself for continued use, and consequently needs more of the substance to produce the same effect. This is the cause of alcohol tolerance. As the user takes more and more of the substance, the brain becomes even more dependent on the effects.
Your brain’s natural quest to protect its functioning causes both alcohol tolerance and withdrawal. When somebody takes alcohols, they are adding another element to the structure of their brain. It has to re-shuffle in order to continue working, and as time passes and the bonds become cemented, it becomes more dependent on that element. Alcohol addicts often feel like they need to take alcohols in order to feel “normal,” because their brain is so used to working with it. In order to feel the same effects as the first dose, the user needs to satisfy those basic needs and then take even more to achieve euphoria.
If the substance is taken away, it’s like removing a key structural component of the brain. The brain desperately wants that chemical in order to avoid having to restructure again. As well as this, chemicals such as noradrenalin which are suppressed by alcohol use flood back into the brain, and it has to learn how to deal with them again. This can make the process difficult for the alcohol user, and causes many of the symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal.
Tolerance and withdrawal are therefore caused by the same thing: the brain’s adaptation. Thinking about it in terms of neurology and chemical injections helps you understand the mechanism, but it’s important to remember that a person essentially “is” their brain. The change the brain is going through makes them irritable, depressed, restless and anxious. As well as this, they might have trouble sleeping, concentrating and interacting socially. These are emotional effects of alcohol withdrawal, and are experienced by the majority of alcohol users.
Depending on the specific substance the person is taking, they may also experience physical withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol, opiates and tranquilizers cause physical withdrawal symptoms like tremors, sweating, increased heart rate, nausea and vomiting. Alcohol rehab facilities are equipped to help people deal with these symptoms, and provide a range of alcohol treatments to help manage them. This is especially helpful for alcohol and tranquilizer withdrawal, because these can also have potentially fatal consequences.
This article should help you understand the causes and effects of alcohol tolerance and withdrawal. These factors contribute to the problem of alcohol addiction and make abstinence more difficult, so they are central to alcohol rehab. We can provide you with free advice on the different alcohol rehab facilities available, and how each one can help you or your loved one get through withdrawal. Get in touch with us for advice or any further information on tolerance and withdrawal.