How To Treat Alcohol Withdrawals At Home

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One of the first questions that many alcoholics ask others when they are trying to quit drinking is how to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms and alcohol detox symptoms at home.

The answer to this question is quite simple: if you are experiencing alcoholism withdrawal symptoms or are expecting that you will be going through alcohol withdrawal symptoms due to the fact that you are quitting drinking, you should seek immediate medical assistance rather than treating alcohol withdrawal symptoms or alcohol detox symptoms at home.

Should Anyone Treat Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms At Home?

When people who drink excessively try to stop drinking, they almost always experience alcoholism withdrawal symptoms (also called alcoholic withdrawal symptoms or alcohol detox symptoms by some people).

Regrettably, one of the first things that many of these individuals ask other people is how to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms at home.

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The answer to this question is very important:

People who are experiencing alcoholism withdrawal symptoms should not treat these alcoholism withdrawal symptoms at home.

Instead, they need to seek medical assistance immediately so that their doctor, emergency room personnel, healthcare provider, or urgent care center personnel can assess the severity of their alcohol withdrawal symptoms and suggest the best option for treatment.

To understand all of the reasons why people suffering from alcohol withdrawal symptoms should immediately seek medical assistance, please continue reading.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a group of alcohol withdrawal symptoms (also called alcohol detox symptoms) exhibited by individuals who stop drinking alcohol after a pattern of continuous and excessive alcohol consumption.

These symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can range from mild to moderate to severe and include both behavioral and psychological aspects.

Mild to Moderate Psychological Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The following represents mild to moderate psychological alcoholism withdrawal symptoms that typically occur within 6 to 48 hours after the last alcoholic drink:

  • Anxiety

  • Feeling nervous or jumpy

  • Depression

  • Fatigue

  • Irritability

  • Nightmares

  • Rapid emotional changes

  • Difficulty thinking clearly

Mild to Moderate Physical Alcoholism Withdrawal Symptoms

The following represents mild to moderate physical alcohol withdrawal symptoms that typically occur within 6 to 48 hours after the last alcoholic drink:

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nausea

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Vomiting

  • Pulsating headaches

  • Clammy skin

  • Abnormal movements

  • Sweating (especially on the palms of the hands or on the face)

  • Sleeping difficulties

  • Tremor of the hands

  • Looking pale

  • Involuntary movements of the eyelids

  • Enlarged or dilated pupils

Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The following represents severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal that typically occur within 48 to 96 hours after the last alcoholic drink:

  • Muscle tremors

  • Extreme confusion

  • Severe autonomic nervous system overactivity

  • Black outs

  • Convulsions

  • High fever

  • Seizures

  • Delirium tremens (DTs)

  • Visual hallucinations

  • Agitation

Most Alcohol Withdrawal Cases Don't Require Hospitalization

Recent research demonstrates the fact that every person who is experiencing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal needs to receive professional medical treatment.

Having said this, it can be pointed out that around 95% of the alcoholics who quit drinking alcohol suffer from mild to moderate alcoholism withdrawal symptoms and can usually be treated on an out-patient basis by a healthcare professional.

The remaining 5% of alcohol dependent people who experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms, however, suffer symptoms of alcohol withdrawal so severe that they must be treated in a hospital or in an alcohol rehabilitation facility that specializes in detoxification.

Non-Drug Detox Programs

A number of different techniques exist for treating alcohol withdrawal. While some of these treatments use medications, many, however, do not.

Indeed, according to current research studies, the safest way to treat mild symptoms of alcohol withdrawal is without medications.

Such types of non-drug detoxification use screening and extensive social support throughout the withdrawal process.

Other non-drug detoxification programs, moreover, use vitamin therapy (especially thiamin) and proper nutrition in treating mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Detoxification with Drugs

Alcoholism researchers claim that chronic alcoholics who cannot maintain abstention should receive drug therapy to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms or alcohol detox symptoms.

By using medications, these alcoholics are less likely to experience possible brain damage or seizures.

Recent research demonstrates that the drugs most likely to produce effective results when treating alcohol withdrawal symptoms are the benzodiazepines, namely, the longer-acting benzodiazepines like Valium and Librium or the shorter-acting benzodiazepines such as Ativan and Serax.

Traditionally, when administering benzodiazepines, physicians have employed a progressive decrease in doses over the time-frame of the withdrawal process.

In addition, due to the fact that these drugs allow for measurable dose reductions and do not linger in the person's system numerous authorities have suggested that intermediate to short half-life benzodiazepines should be used for treating withdrawal symptoms.

Outpatient and Inpatient Detoxification Programs

The research on inpatient and outpatient detoxification programs is also important. Studies have shown that inpatient detoxification is more effective and longer-lasting than outpatient detox programs.

The important issue here is the following: the more severe the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, the more likely that inpatient detox programs should be used.

Perhaps the most important lesson to be learned from the above discussion is this: When experiencing alcoholism withdrawal symptoms, always see your healthcare provider or your doctor immediately so that he or she can assess the severity of your situation and suggest the best option for treatment.

Conclusion: How To Treat Alcohol Withdrawals At Home

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms. When alcoholics stop drinking, they almost always experience alcoholism withdrawal symptoms..

In fact, it is the fear of experiencing these alcohol withdrawal symptoms that is one of the primary reasons why alcoholics need to drink everyday.

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Equipped with the information articulated above, the next time someone asks you how to treat alcoholism withdrawal symptoms at home, you can say to them: "You shouldn't treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms at home--you need to seek medical assistance immediately so that the seriousness of your symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be appropriately evaluated and the best option for treatment can be implemented."

Having said this, if this situation describes you, then you need to be honest with yourself and admit that you have a drinking problem.

Once you have taken this step, consider making it a priority to talk with an alcohol abuse and alcoholism professional about getting alcohol treatment as soon as possible. In fact, if you are concerned about your drinking behavior, please call your local drug and alcohol treatment center today and make an appointment.

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