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Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal Information

Alcohol withdrawal treatment helps people handle the signs and symptoms associated with stopping the use of this addictive drug. Because people who are addicted to alcohol may also be addicted to other substances, drug withdrawal treatment is sometimes necessary at the same time as alcohol detoxification.
Withdrawal from drugs and alcohol can be an uncomfortable process. The person may experience physical or psychological symptoms that are painful or even dangerous. In most cases, alcohol withdrawal symptoms begin within about five to 10 hours after stopping alcohol use. However, for some people, it may take days for symptoms to appear. After they begin, alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually increase over a period of 48 to 72 hours, and they may continue for weeks. In many cases, this detoxification process can be eased with medical assistance.

Signs and Symptoms of Withdrawals

One major sign of undergoing withdrawal from alcohol or other drugs is the presence of cravings for the substance. Anxiety and nervousness are also signs of withdrawal from alcohol. Some people may experience depression when withdrawing from drugs or alcohol, and thoughts of suicide may occur. Fatigue, difficulty thinking clearly, and bad dreams are other potential withdrawal symptoms. An individual who is withdrawing from drugs or alcohol might also experience physical symptoms, such as headaches, sweating, nausea, loss of appetite, a rapid heartbeat, insomnia, clammy skin, and tremors. In some cases, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous or severe. They may include confusion, fever, hallucinations, and seizures.

Withdrawal Treatment Methods and Options for Help Detoxing

Withdrawal from alcohol can be accomplished in an inpatient or outpatient setting. It is best done under the care of a qualified medical professional, who can watch for potentially dangerous signs. In some cases, medication can help reduce the symptoms of withdrawal and make detoxification easier. Benzodiazepines are one class of drugs commonly used for this purpose. However, the recovering addict may become addicted to these drugs, so they are not always an ideal choice. Another option is to use anticonvulsant drugs, which are not addictive.

After detoxification is complete, it is important to continue treatment. Treatment after withdrawal involves learning how to avoid alcohol and investigating the reasons for the initial addiction in order to stay clean and sober in the long term. Call our free helpline at 1-888-935-1318 Who Answers? to speak to an addiction treatment advisor and set yourself on the road to successful alcohol withdrawal treatment.

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