Alcoholism is a serious problem that affects people from all walks of life. Millions of Americans are currently suffering from the adverse effects of alcohol abuse and addiction, with only a small percentage of people receiving adequate levels of treatment for their disorder. Alcohol withdrawal is a necessary part of the detoxification process, with addicts suffering from a range of symptoms as they treat their addiction. Medications are sometimes used during the alcohol withdrawal process, with patients then guided towards therapy and relapse prevention programs.
Alcohol withdrawal is formally known as alcohol withdrawal syndrome, with patients experiencing a range of symptoms as they rid their body of alcohol. Similar to other substances that have a sedative-hypnotic mechanism, including benzodiazepines and barbiturates, withdrawing from alcohol can be fatal if not properly treated at a professional rehab center. The heavy consumption of alcohol desensitizes specific receptors in the brain, resulting in tolerance and physical dependence. The extent of tolerance is related directly to the extent of abuse, with the length of addiction also having an effect along with a range of individual factors.
To get treatment for your withdrawal symptoms, call Alcohol Treatment Centers Augusta at (706) 664-2763.
Alcohol withdrawal is a serious process that lasts between one and three weeks, with an extended period of three to six weeks generally following on from this initial phase. The first phase of withdrawal involves a range of physical withdrawal symptoms, with the later stage involving long-term psychological effects.
Typical physical symptoms include shaking, headaches, sweating, anxiety, nausea and vomiting, with the protracted withdrawal phase also likely to include a range of psychological symptoms like depression, anxiety and craving. Drug treatment centers can deal with the entire withdrawal process, helping patients through medical detoxification and directing them into behavioral therapy programs.
Residential treatment is often required for alcohol addiction, with patients supervised during the withdrawal process and guided into further treatment. While out-patient programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) can be highly valuable for recovering addicts, people who are breaking an addictive relationship with alcohol for the first time should seek the services of a dedicated treatment center.
Patients who have relapsed back into alcoholism are also advised to seek residential treatment, with many patients having to go through multiple rehabilitation courses before they find long-term success. Residential treatment allows patients to access medical staff and medications 24 hours a day, in a safe environment that may also be connected to ongoing therapy and relapse prevention programs.
Medications are often used to treat the alcohol withdrawal syndrome, with popular examples including benzodiazepines, anticonvulsants and antipsychotics. Vitamins are also commonly used during the withdrawal phase, with the prophylactic administration of thiamine, folate and pyridoxine highly recommended before the patient starts to consume fluids or food. Benzodiazepines are the most common drugs used to treat alcoholism, with drugs like Xanax and Valium often used to suppress the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and manage the patient’s anxiety and sleep problems.
Benzodiazepine dependence can become a problem, however, so it’s very important for recovering alcoholics to receive professional care and advice when administering these drugs. Other drugs may sometimes be used to manage the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, including clonidine, haloperidol, olanzapine and paraldehyde. The type of medications used depends greatly on the extent of addiction, with doctors also evaluating patients for secondary substance abuse disorders, mental health problems and co-occurring disorders.
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