Overview of Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms and Detox Treatment

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Alcohol addiction has ruined many lives. From professional careers to family, many people have lost their livelihood and loved one from this drug. But as much as many people want to stop taking it, most of them fear dealing with the withdrawal symptoms. One thing that’s common in the drug addiction society is withdrawal and detox. So, how to detox from alcohol? Well, there are a number of ways which can be used to do this. Although some people usually carry out the detox from home, this method isn’t safe. If you want to get your life back and sober up, this article provides the basic information about alcohol withdrawal detox.

Table of Contents

  1. What is Alcohol Detox?
  2. Alcohol Detox Symptoms
  3. The Alcohol Detox Process
  4. Alcohol Detox Treatment 
  5. Alcohol Detox Treatment: To Admit or Not

What Is Alcohol Detox?

This is a treatment process that involves the removal of alcohol content in your system. An alcohol detox process can last for a couple of day, weeks, and sometimes months. During this stage, the patient may suffer from withdrawal symptoms but they are usually managed. While the detox process is a vital step in overcoming alcohol addiction initially, it is not an effective type of treatment if it’s used alone.

Alcohol Detox Symptoms

The detox phase when it comes to alcoholism is a period that contains withdrawal symptoms. They may be mild or severe. Note that the severity of the withdrawal symptom depends on how long and the level of alcohol use. For instance, those who are considered to be heavy alcoholics usually suffer from serious and even life-threatening symptoms.

Mild alcohol detox symptoms may feature:

  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea

Severe alcohol detox withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Tremors
  • disorientation
  • hallucinations and seizures
  • Delirium tremens

The Alcohol Detox Process

The detox process helps to treat symptoms of alcohol addiction or withdrawal. It normally involves three steps which help to determine the mode of treatment plan and the transition process. According to the Substance Abuse & Mental-Health Services Admin. Below are the three steps which should be used:

Evaluation

During this stage, the aim is to gather as much information as possible in order to determine the correct treatment. The evaluation stage may involve blood tests, social assessment, psychological, and medical assessment as well as screen for physical and mental conditions.

Stabilization

This stage involves a psychological and medical process. Stabilization helps you to get through an acute withdrawal phase or intoxication. The steps that are involved here include administration of medications to reduce the withdrawal symptoms, proper nutrition, and familiarizing with various treatment options. If it’s appropriate, your medical report may be released to close family members and friends.

Transitioning

During this step, the alcoholic will be prepared to undergo the treatment or substance abuse. Medical staff will give you details of the treatment program. Additionally, you will be advised on what you should aftercare.

Alcohol Detox Treatment

At the moment, the FDA has approved only three types of medications for alcohol detox treatment. Alcoholism is a problem that can be tackled with certain drugs and that’s why some patients are sometimes admitted. The three drugs include:

Antabuse

This medication is also known as disulfiram. Antabuse discourages patients from being alcoholics. When an alcoholic takes this medication and they take alcohol, they will experience a severe reaction that leads to serious illness. This type of alcoholism treatment uses behavioral psychology to stop the affected individuals from taking alcohol.

ReVia

It’s also known as naltrexone. ReVia helps to reduce alcohol cravings and it was previously used to treat heroin and Vicodin drug addictions. However, ReVia isn’t used to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms in patients who are recovering from alcohol addiction.

Alcohol Detox Symptoms

Campral

This medication is used to inhibit the functions of the excitatory-neurotransmitters. Overall, it reduces alcohol cravings and it’s suitable for those people who are in programs for alcohol abuse recovery. Note that Campral is only effective if you have abstained taking alcohol for a couple of weeks or several days.

Apart from conventional medical treatment, there are also holist treatments and other non-traditional forms of therapy. They include:

Alcohol Detox Treatment: To Admit or Not

Alcoholism is a problem that has different faces. While an individual might think that they can abstain completely, they may easily find themselves taking more bottles than ever.  According to the American National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence, over 30 percent of adults in this country have abused alcohol or they have been dependent on it at certain points in their lives. It’s because of hospitals keep on getting calls about alcohol poisoning, alcohol addiction or alcohol addiction withdrawal. While it’s possible to give the affected individuals treatment as outpatients, admission is sometimes considered.

Alcohol withdrawal admission usually requires a lot of assessment. First, the patient’s history in relation to alcohol will be checked. This will help the medical personnel to establish how much alcohol the individual has been taking. Additionally, they will also be able to determine if they have had previous episodes of withdrawals and side effects they experienced. From this, the doctor will decide if they are fit for admission or outpatient treatment. According to the UNC protocol, an alcoholic can be admitted with that have a withdrawal symptom score of more or equal to 8.

Final Thoughts

Alcohol addiction is now considered as a disorder and women who drink it while pregnant risk exposing their babies to fetal alcohol syndrome. While the detox withdrawal symptoms are bound to occur, it’s important to seek professional help. The sooner you seek assistance, the better and easier your road to recovery will be. Just start the journey and you will see improvement within a couple of days.

Reference

  • https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/alcohol-abuse/withdrawal-detox/#gref
  • https://www.health.harvard.edu/addiction/alcohol-abuse
  • https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/alcohol
  • https://www.helpguide.org/articles/addictions/overcoming-alcohol-addiction.htm/
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