For an addict, taking that critical first step to sobriety can be extremely scary due to painful withdrawal symptoms that can include anxiety, irritability, nervousness, vomiting, diarrhea, insomnia, elevated blood pressure, tremors, seizures and hallucinations. Heavy users like Chris, who had a 20 year history of “using everything you can imagine,” become maintenance drinkers – drinking daily, to avoid these terrifying withdrawal symptoms. He admits, “To avoid throwing up and shaking uncontrollable, I had to start each morning with 6 shots of vodka just so I could get out of bed.”

After being diagnosed with pancreatitis, a result of his chronic drinking, Chris decided he wanted to live but knew he physically wouldn’t survive without our help. He spent three days in our medically supervised Detox program which seeks to ease the side effects of withdrawal and clear the way to a healthy and rational recovery. While on the unit he received compassionate treatment for his withdrawals and attended group therapy sessions and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings – a combination of treatment that he says helped him through a horrible time. He states, “The staff really took good care of me and made me feel like someone cared. Getting sober and getting my life back has been a wonderful experience.”

Chris is now clean and sober and plans to stay that way. Today he maintains a healthy lifestyle working out regularly and staying active with his girlfriend. He shares, “Sobriety is a lot better then dying. I have a life to live now.”

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