Making the choice to stop drinking alcohol is one of the best decisions an alcoholic can ever make, but it might also be one of the most scariest (ironically). After breaking ties with alcohol, people will start to suffer from debilitating side effects that can range from irritating periods of cold sweats and tremors to terrifying hallucination and seizures. For whatever reason, alcohol is particularly difficult to break away from, and that can often deter people from undergoing detox in the first place. However, if you are concerned about the side effects of alcohol withdrawal, you can always talk with your doctor about specific medical treatment for your condition. Let’s take a closer look at some examples.
Outpatient Treatment Options
Keep in mind that all forms of treatment you will receive will be entirely based on the symptoms you are experiencing. For people suffering from mild to moderate withdrawal, they will typically receive a four-day prescription of medication to combat anxiety, and doctors will schedule the patients for rehabilitation as a follow-up. (If your withdrawal symptoms become severe at any point, though, go to the emergency room, not your doctor’s office.)
On many occasions, doctors prescribe benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety drugs) to treat delirium tremens (a severe side effect of withdrawal) or to prevent seizures. Keep in mind that mixing other drugs with benzodiazepines can have disastrous consequences.
Here are some other drugs that are prescribed to patients suffering from mild withdrawal:
- Beta-blockers: These drugs slow down the heartbeat and minimalize tremors. In some cases, doctors will prescribe these along with benzodiazepines.
- Anti-seizure drugs: These drugs may be prescribed to reduce the need for benzodiazepines.
Treatment for Severe Cases
In many cases, though, outpatient treatment is not enough. If you are a hardcore alcoholic and are seeking to detox from the drug, you will need round-the-clock care for a severe case of withdrawal. Here are some examples of conditions that require more in-depth treatment:
- Delirium tremens: An estimated 20% of people die from untreated delirium tremens. In the case of this health problem, doctors administer anti-anxiety medications through an intravenous route (injection/IV) and deliver Lidocaine for irregular heartbeat. Restraints may also be needed.
- Seizures: For the most part, seizures are treated through benzodiazepines. However, for people with severe cases of withdrawal (or a history of epilepsy or brain problems), doctors will administer Dilantin, particularly for uncontrollable incidences.
- Psychosis: In some cases, people may suffer from hallucinations or delusions and exhibit violent behavior. One variety of psychosis (Korsakoff’s syndrome) is caused by a deficiency in Vitamin B1, and doctors may administer this vitamin via intravenous route to help the patients.
Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Abuse or Alcoholism
Alcohol withdrawal can easily be one of the most frightening aspects of healing. During the course of the recovery process, you will suffer from minor to severe symptoms that may include night sweats, hallucinations, fevers, anxiety, and sadness, but always remember that you can find the strength to overcome these problems. However, you must always seek medical attention when you have decided to cut ties with alcohol, as the withdrawal process can be notoriously dangerous. Never attempt to do this without the supervision of a trained specialist.
If you are suffering from a severe case of alcoholism or alcohol abuse or have a friend or loved one who is coping with this illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process of alcohol withdrawal and detox and guide you along the rocky road of rehabilitation. Soon enough, you will experience a faster and much more efficient recovery.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your mental illness and take an extra step toward becoming a healthier person.