Alcohol withdrawal refers to the symptoms that occur when a person’s alcohol intake suddenly stops. Exposure to alcohol over a prolonged time leads to physical and psychological or mental dependency on the alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms make it hard to stop drinking even for addicts who admit that they have a problem. Medical detox within a rehab treatment center is the only way for alcoholics to comfortably remove the substance from their system to begin therapy.
For inquiries about recovery and detox, call Drug Rehab Centers Elizabeth at (908) 329-2158.
The symptoms that people experience will vary from one person to the next. The severity will also be different. Those who have been drinking the highest volumes for the longest time will tend to experience the most severe symptoms.
The body develops tolerance to alcohol, and, in common with other drug abusers, alcoholics will tend to increase their intake over time. Many alcoholics arrive at a stage where they cannot last more than a short time without topping up their alcohol levels, and will even wake up during the night to do this.
When people have reached this level of addiction, their withdrawal symptoms will be dangerous and frightening. It is people at this stage who experience the DTs. DT stands for “delirium tremens.” It is an appropriately named condition, because people undergoing the DTs are extremely delirious, with vivid and frightening hallucinations, while their bodies undergo severe trembling and spasms, the “tremens” part of the condition.
Other symptoms commonly experienced during alcohol withdrawal are:
As can be seen from the severity of the symptoms, people with very strong alcohol dependency would face a living nightmare if they tried to detox without medical help. Doctors would strongly advise against this, as the patient is at risk of dying.
Most alcoholics who eventually look for help to cure their addiction have been drinking for many years. Therefore, the majority of them will have to expect severe withdrawal. The best way to deal with this is for them to sign up for residential care.
Residential treatment programs work best because the patient’s progress is continually assessed throughout. Most patients will be given drugs with a sedative effect to counter the worst physical responses to withdrawal. Drugs like Valium are prescribed for comfort. The patient will be given high doses initially, and the dosage will be reduced gradually as the withdrawal symptoms decrease in severity.
Alcoholics should note that the residential stage of treatment is only the beginning of the entire recovery process. Residential therapy will consist of medical detox from alcohol, followed by detoxing from medications used during the treatment. Residential therapy programs are used to try to prepare addicts mentally for the battle they will face to remain sober.
Patients will be assessed at the outset to decide which program is most likely to succeed. Most patients will be advised to stay in residential care for many weeks. The residential period of some programs lasts for months. The majority of people will undergo medium-length residential therapy, followed by aftercare outpatient therapy.
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