Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment
The purpose of alcohol withdrawal treatment is to help reduce withdrawal symptoms, prevent any medical complications from arising and provide therapy to facilitate abstinence from future alcohol use. Many different types of alcohol withdrawal treatment are available. The method of treatment that works best for your individual needs will depend on a variety of factors including: your own commitment to recovery, your health, the amount of time that you have been drinking, the level of alcohol consumption, the severity of the withdrawal symptoms and individual lifestyle factors.
If your symptoms are mild to moderate, you may find that outpatient treatment provides a safe and effective means of care where you can receive support and guidance while working toward your recovery goals. Your family and friends will need to help you if you choose outpatient detoxification and you will have to remain deeply committed to your recovery as relapse is a very imminent danger when alcohol detox takes place in an outpatient setting, but if you work at it and you are not suffering from severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms than this method of treatment can work.
If you do not have a reliable network of support at home through your friends and family members or if your alcohol withdrawal symptoms are severe, inpatient or residential alcohol treatment may be the safest and most suitable choice. Inpatient alcohol treatment provides around-the-clock medical care, intervention, complete removal from instances in which alcohol is readily available and consistent support that is the most effective option of treatment for those who have moderate to severe dependence on alcohol.
A number of prescription medications are widely used in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal and addiction. Benzodiazepines such as Valium or Ativan are commonly prescribed to help reduce the anxiety and tremors that occur in early alcohol withdrawal, but both of these medications have a risk of causing subsequent addiction so it’s important to consider the potential risks prior to taking any such medication.
Mild to moderate symptoms can also be treated with Clonidine which is a blood pressure drug that has been found to help ease stress and promote relaxation in patients who are withdrawing from alcohol and certain other substances. Clonidine should not be taken long term as the effects can be counterproductive if the medication is taken for more than a couple of days.
Beta-blockers including Tenormin and propranolol are sometimes used to reduce the tremors associated with alcohol withdrawal. These medications work to slow the heart rate and can reduce the risk of heart attack or other adverse medical complications during alcohol withdrawal. Often times, beta-blockers are prescribed in conjunction with benzodiazepines to help reduce the symptoms of mild to moderate alcohol withdrawal.
The types of medications that are used in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal will depend on the symptoms that you are experiencing and the severity of these symptoms. Severe alcohol withdrawal is best treated in a residential or hospital-like setting as this allows around-the-clock medical care and immediate medical intervention to take place in the event that there is an adverse reaction or complication during the alcohol detoxification process.