Alcohol Detox: What Is It Like and How Does It Work?

Although delirium tremens is unlikely, roughly 30% of those who get it will also develop Aspiration Pneumonia. A medically-assisted withdrawal helps prevent serious complications, keeps track of a patient’s health condition, and relieves any painful effects. Disulfiram is specifically used to treat chronic alcoholism or alcohol addiction. This medication causes very unpleasant effects when alcohol is consumed. Therefore, Disulfiram can only be prescribed after withdrawal symptoms from alcohol have subsided.

Alcohol Detox

The more severe your symptoms, the more likely they are to have a dangerous impact on one of the more crucial functions. If you have other addiction risk factors, or if you regularly binge drink long enough, you may develop chemical dependence or addiction. TK If you have a family history of alcoholism or a personal history with an addiction of any kind, Alcohol Detox you should avoid binging. Benzodiazepines and anticonvulsants reduce psychomotor agitation and prevent progression of withdrawal symptoms,22 and should be administered early. There is no evidence that any one medication is superior in treating AWS, but long-acting benzodiazepines are preferred.22 Table 3 summarizes oral medications used to treat AWS.

Linking Withdrawal to Alcoholism Treatment

The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can range from mild to serious. If you drink only once in a while, it’s unlikely that you’ll have withdrawal symptoms when you stop. But if you’ve gone through alcohol withdrawal once, you’re more likely to go through it again the next time you call it quits.

Tremors and lack of coordination can also cause major injuries, which a person in detox can’t treat properly. Even mild hallucinations can cause a medical emergency, without proper supervision. Alcohol is poisonous, so the liver has to filter it and convert it into something less deadly.

Best Foods for Alcohol Detox

Submit your number and receive a free call today from a treatment provider. By the time you’ve completed your first week of detox, many of the withdrawal symptoms will begin to taper off. While some symptoms may persist for a few weeks, most of them are minor and can be treated with medication. Of all of the mentioned medications, Chlordiazepoxide is the medication that is most widely used to treat alcohol withdrawal.

  • If you have any of these risk factors, it’s important that you withdraw from alcohol at a medical facility that’s equipped to prevent and treat alcohol-related complications.
  • When the CIWA-Ar score is less than 10, or the SAWS is less than 12, medication dosages can be reduced and eventually discontinued.
  • In addition to seizures, prolonged sleep disturbances, mood changes, and fatigue can also be present.
  • Although benzodiazepines have a long history of successfully treating and preventing withdrawal, there is no consensus on the ideal one to use.
  • However, less than five percent of people will develop delirium tremens when quitting drinking.

You may also feel mentally foggy, like you can’t completely focus or concentrate. This is why it’s often necessary to set aside days for resting and allowing your body to heal if you’re going through alcohol withdrawal. Though symptoms typically begin within eight hours after your last drink, you may not experience any until several days later. These symptoms tend to spike around 24 to 72 hours after your last drink, though milder ones may persist for much longer in some people.

How Alcohol Works in the Brain

Residential treatment, along with medically-supervised detox, is a much safer method. About 8 hours after the first drink, the initial stage of withdrawal symptoms begins. The information provided by is not a substitute for professional medical advice. View our editorial content guidelines to learn how we create helpful content with integrity and compassion.

This is known as a hyper-excitable state which results in an array of symptoms broadly categorized as withdrawal syndrome. Symptoms of withdrawal syndrome include seizures, tremors, cardiovascular complications, and hallucinations. Medical detox from alcohol allows patients to mentally and physically prepare to proceed to the next step in the treatment process. It also lowers the chances of relapsing into alcohol consumption and increases patients’ chances of sobriety in the long run. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms will begin within the first eight hours.

Alcohol Detox Timeline Summary

Withdrawal symptoms can be very unpleasant, and a medical detox can enable quick treatment using effective IV medications that could not be used at home. This provides comfort and reduces the worst alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The best way to ensure that a person undergoes an alcohol detox in Massachusetts safely is to enter residential treatment at a facility specializing in drug detox in MA. While the rehab process can seem daunting, medically-monitored detox lowers the dangers that come along with severe withdrawal symptoms.

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