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- Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment Methods and Options for Help
The chronic abuse of alcohol, otherwise known as alcoholism, is a disease that affects millions of Americans every day. Even when an alcoholic resolves to quit drinking, alcohol withdrawal can have many unpleasant effects on the body and possibly lead to relapse. Because some aspects of withdrawal can be dangerous, especially for severe alcoholics, medical intervention may be necessary. In the end, a combination of treatment methods is essential in safeguarding against relapse. If you're serious about getting help today, please call 1-888-579-6784 to get in touch a network of supportive alcohol withdrawal specialists.
Adults are typically at highest risk for alcohol withdrawal. Likewise, the more a person drinks, the greater the odds are that he or she will suffer alcohol withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may begin in as little as five hours after the last drink. On the other hand, several days may pass before withdrawal begins. Symptoms typically persist for days or weeks, but gradually decline in severity. Alcoholics who have previous experiences of withdrawal symptoms are likely to experience them again, because the chemical pathways of addiction are more firmly established.
The most common alcohol withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, depression, fuzzy thinking, fatigue, and irritability. Many recovering alcoholics also report trouble sleeping and frequent headaches. Alcohol depresses the central nervous system, so when alcohol is removed the nervous system rebounds and can trigger mood swings or a rapid heart rate. The most profound type of alcohol withdrawal is called delirium tremens, which can result in hallucinations and severe mental confusion.
Consult with your doctor if you've made the decision to stop drinking. Your doctor can recommend home remedies or prescribe medications to ease the discomfort of alcohol withdrawal. A national helpline at 1-888-579-6784 will get you connected with an addiction specialist or rehab facility in your area.
Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment Methods and Options for Help
Effective treatment for alcoholism generally begins with medical intervention and proceeds to behavioral therapies. Naturally, treatment is most successful when patients realize their condition and proactively seek help. Denial is a common component of the alcoholic mindset, along with ignorance of negative consequences. Acknowledgement of a problem is an enormous step in the right direction.
Anxiety is one of the most common and unpleasant of all alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Alcoholics know from experience that a drink will ease their anxiety, meaning that relapse is a concern during the first stages of recovery. Fortunately, a variety of medications has been developed to lessen anxiety during alcohol withdrawal treatment. Tranquilizer-type drugs, when administered properly, can take the edge off high anxiety and allow the recovering alcoholic to progress toward the next stage of treatment. Sleep aids can reduce insomnia and possibly ward off night terrors.
For the more severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms, inpatient medical attention is beneficial. Anti-seizure and antipsychotic drugs can reduce the chances of long-term damage to the brain. Doctors, nurses, and addiction counselors can all provide 24/7 support when you receive inpatient detoxification. Many recovering alcoholics benefit from constant medical attention and experience better outcomes following the initial treatment. At any rate, relapse will be nearly impossible when the patient is in a hospital setting.
A craving is a powerful urge to drink. Many recovering alcoholics report that cravings persist for long after the physical symptoms of withdrawal have subsided. Recently, pharmaceutical companies have developed drugs to counteract the craving for a drink. Some of these drugs, like Antabuse, cause illness when a person drinks alcohol. This negative reinforcement serves to erode the link between alcohol and positive feelings. Other drugs work to disrupt the chemical messages that result in cravings.
Alcohol withdrawal treatment requires treating both the body and mind. Because depression is so typical of recovering alcoholic, anti-depressant medications are commonly prescribed after the initial alcohol withdrawal symptoms have subsided. Similarly, a healthy, balance diet goes a long way toward improving overall health. Alcoholics often suffer malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies, so a multivitamin supplement is usually a wise addition at mealtime.
Complete recovery from alcohol addiction requires a commitment to change. Group and individual therapy sessions often help recovering alcoholics rediscover the value in their own lives. Support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, have proven invaluable in the lives of many recovering alcoholics. In the early stages of alcohol withdrawal, individual cognitive-behavioral therapy can offer coping mechanisms for dealing with depression and anxiety. For some alcoholics, the presence of friends and family at an intervention can provide the momentum needed to turn their lives around.
Alcoholism is a disease with both physical and mental consequences. Long-term alcohol abuse leads to a dependence on alcohol that will require a serious commitment to undo. The effects of alcohol withdrawal are unpleasant, but temporary. Recovery from alcoholism begins with admitting the problem and seeking professional help. It's never too late to get sober and return to a meaningful life. By calling 1-888-579-6784 today, you're taking that critical first step.