Alcoholism and the Body

Alcohol taken in moderation has little effect on an individual's health. But taken in large quantities consistently over a long period of time can cause a great deal of damage to one's health and well being. Alcohol is processed through the liver. Long-term effects of heavy drinking can cause liver damage, resulting in cirrhosis of the liver. Pancreatitis, hepatitis, cognitive impairment, brain damage and an increase in the risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease have all been linked to heavy alcohol usage. In addition, the risk for accidents increases greatly.

The good news is that the body has a tremendous ability to repair itself once alcohol is removed. At SouthCoast Recovery, we offer medically supervised detox to ease your body through the withdrawal process. We are also the only alcohol rehab on the West Coast to offer an all-natural detox that bathes the brain in naturally-occurring amino acids called NeuroTransmitter Restoration therapy. Following detox, we provide holistic therapies, a gourmet chef and daily access to physical activity to help support your body's repair process.

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Alcohol's Physical Effects on the Body

The initial effects of alcohol in the body are negligible. It's only after continued heavy drinking over a period of time that the body begins to suffer the effects of continued alcohol in the body. Someone who has grown accustomed to the presence of alcohol tends to suffer from poor coordination, impaired cognitive ability and judgment, and poor health due to a lack of nutrients. Alcohol operates on the Central Nervous System (CNS). After the body has grown used to the presence of alcohol, withdrawal symptoms can result in severe convulsions or seizures as well as auditory or visual hallucinations. Irregular heartbeat, increased risk for stroke, night sweats and night terrors are all possible effects of a lowering of alcohol in the system.

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Alcohol's Effects on Women vs. Men

Women process alcohol and drugs differently than men because their bodies have less water and more fatty tissue. This means the toxins stay in their bodies longer, putting women who abuse alcohol or drugs at a greater risk than men for substance-related health problems. It also increases the likelihood that a woman will be the victim of violence or sexual assault.

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How Alcoholism Affects a Fetus

Drinking alcohol while pregnant has been shown to cause birth defects. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) describes the effects of alcohol on an unborn child, including low birth weight, facial deformities, brain damage, impaired muscle development and learning disorders.

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The Stages of Alcoholism

The early stages of alcoholism can be mistaken for a desire to have fun and drink socially with friends. Alcohol usage generally begins to increase, often with the individual finding it desirable to have a drink prior to events or functions and may find that he or she continues to want to drink long after the others have called it a night. This stage may be seen more as a phase or healthy appetite for drinking. Physical withdrawal symptoms mirror the typical hangover others suffer from. School or work typically are not yet affected or if so, mildly.

In the middle stages of alcoholism, the need for alcohol increases dramatically. Alcohol problems skyrocket and begin to infiltrate many life areas, including work and relationships. Physical cravings for drinking replace eating, while morning drinks to ease anxiety and the shakes, blackouts and more severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms set in.

Later stages of alcoholism indicate a complete loss of control over alcohol. The ability to work or maintain relationships is seriously compromised. There may be loss of home, car or freedom due to run ins with the law while intoxicated. Serious health problems set in. Constant drinking, confusion, delusion and severe withdrawal symptoms including seizures, hallucinations and night terrors as well as a complete lack of interest in food.

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Heal the Physical Effects of Alcohol at SouthCoast Recovery

SouthCoast Recovery offers a world-class staff including a clinical therapist with 44 years of experience, certified drug and alcohol counselors and skilled holistic practitioners who all come together to design a wellness plan for you. We will tailor a program to help heal the physical effects alcohol has wrecked on you, regardless of how long you've been drinking.

SouthCoast Recovery offers medically safe detox to ease you through alcohol withdrawal safely and with as little discomfort as possible. We have a gourmet chef who prepares nutritious meals to help nourish you back to health, along with detoxification massage and acupuncture to help ease cravings and any discomfort you may experience as a result of neglecting your physical health.

Removing alcohol from your life will help heal the physical effects of long-term alcohol use on your body. We also have a physician on staff to help oversee the healing process so you can feel safe knowing you're in good hands.

Call us at 1-866-847-4506 – professional assistance is available 24/7.

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