Alcohol is one of the most socially-acceptable drugs on the planet. In fact, over 86 percent of Americans admit to drinking at least once, while up to 70 percent report drinking in the last year. Nearly 55 percent report having a drink at least once a month, while another 26 percent binge-drink regularly. Around 6.6 percent “drink heavily” almost all the time.

Those are terrifying statistics when you consider that alcohol causes nearly 88,000 deaths every single year. But the truth is that alcoholics often find it difficult or even downright impossible to break free of drink, even if they have the best of intentions. Physical side effects such as trembling, nervousness, nausea, and delirium tremens can make withdrawal extremely uncomfortable.

Alcoholics often feel compelled to keep drinking just to stay alive – and if their addiction is severe enough, this might even be true. Severe withdrawal can lead to seizures, coma, or even death unless managed carefully by medical professionals in a safe environment. This is why inpatient detoxification is so important to helping people achieve sobriety in the long run. Community-based support, including AA meetings, are also critical to achieving a permanent sober lifestyle.