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How To Come Off Alcohol Addiction

Drink Lots Of Fluids That Contain Electrolytes

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Many people with alcohol use disorder suffer from dehydration and nausea during withdrawal. Drinking lots of fluids, especially fluids with electrolytes, will help to address dehydration and nausea. Sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium are electrolytes commonly found in sports drinks. Ensuring youre consuming electrolytes helps your body better hydrate itself, which can help get over alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

What Happens When You Stop Drinking Cold Turkey

One out of every 12 adults in the United States suffers from alcohol dependence, making alcohol the most regularly used addictive substance in America, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence reports. Drinking large amounts of alcohol regularly can cause the brain to get used to the way that alcohol interferes with neurotransmitter transmission, movement, and absorption.

Alcohol disrupts regular levels of these neurotransmitters in the brain, and the more the brain becomes accustomed to the artificial interference, the more it will rely on alcohol to keep these levels stable. After a person becomes dependent on alcohol, dopamine and GABA activity is altered, leading to uncomfortable and even dangerous withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop drinking. Alcohol is a substance that should never be stopped cold turkey without professional intervention, care, and supervision.

Can You Prevent It

Treating alcohol withdrawal is a short-term fix that doesn’t help the core problem. When you talk to your doctor about symptom relief, it’s a good idea to discuss treatment for alcohol abuse or dependence. The doctor can give you advice to help you stop drinking.

Show Sources

Royal College of Physicians: âAlcohol Use Disorders: Diagnosis and Clinical Management of Alcohol-Related Physical Complications. NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 100.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome.”

Alcohol Health & Research World: “Complications of Alcohol Withdrawal,” “Introduction to Alcohol Withdrawal,” “Treatment of Alcohol Withdrawal.”

State Government of Victoria: “Withdrawal.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Care of the Patient Undergoing Alcohol Withdrawal.”

UpToDate: “Patient education: Alcohol use — when is drinking a problem? .”

Industrial Psychiatry Journal: âClinical management of alcohol withdrawal: A systematic review.â

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When Is It Time For Treatment

Alcohol-related problemswhich result from drinking too much, too fast, or too oftenare among the most significant public health issues in the United States.

Many people struggle with controlling their drinking at some time in their lives. More than 14 million adults ages 18 and older have alcohol use disorder , and 1 in 10 children live in a home with a parent who has a drinking problem.

Treatment For Alcohol Withdrawal During Detox

The Hard Truth: Common Signs That You Have an Alcohol Problem

No one should attempt to detox from alcohol alone. Medical professionals at hospitals and recovery centers are able to help people with the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. For example, doctors and nurses often provide detox patients with Benzodiazepines and medications to help them cope with anxiety and avoid seizures. They also monitor their patients blood pressure and other vital signs and make sure they stay hydrated.

In addition, recovery centers often have therapists and counselors on staff to talk to patients and help them manage their emotions as they progress through detox. Someone who is detoxing at a treatment center will probably also receive a thorough diagnosis of any physical or mental problems which co-exist with their addiction.

Common Questions About Rehab

Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional: October 22, 2019

Deborah Montross Nagel

  • Deborah has a Masters Degree from Lesley University and has been certified as an Addictions Counselor in PA since 1986. She is currently a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor CAADC. She is nationally certified as a MAC Master Addictions Counselor by NAADAC . Her 37 years of experience and education are in addiction, recovery, and codependency. Addiction affects the entire system around the addict. There is no “bad guy” in the system. Fight the addiction, and help the addict. I help loved ones restore sanity to their lives and hence encourage change. Recovery is possible!

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Signs Of An Alcohol Problem

Alcohol use disorder is a medical condition that doctors diagnose when a patients drinking causes distress or harm. The condition can range from mild to severe and is diagnosed when a patient answers yes to two or more of the following questions.

In the past year, have you:

If you have any of these symptoms, your drinking may already be a cause for concern. The more symptoms you have, the more urgent the need for change. A health professional can conduct a formal assessment of your symptoms to see if AUD is present. For an online assessment of your drinking pattern, go to

How Long Does It Take

According to the American Addiction Centers, initial detox takes about a week. However, a person may find that their symptoms continue for longer. In most cases, a person can expect the following timeline:

  • About 8 hours after the first drink, the initial stage of withdrawal symptoms begins.
  • After about 2472 hours, symptoms generally peak.
  • After about 57 days, symptoms may decrease in intensity.
  • After the first week, some side effects, particularly the psychological ones, may continue.

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Is It Safe To Detox From Alcohol At Home

Safety levels vary from person to person. It depends on the severity of alcohol use.

If you do not experience severe withdrawal symptoms, at-home detox may be an option for you. However, for many people, alcohol withdrawal is a medical emergency.

However, at-home detox is typically not recommended. The detoxification process for people with alcohol use disorder can be a dangerous experience. Supervision and support increase a persons chance of successful, long-term recovery.

The benefit of self-detox is that it is significantly less expensive than medical support. However, the early stages of sobriety pose a dangerous risk for medical complications. People also face the highest risk of relapse during this time.

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome are dangerous. They include:

  • Elevated heart rate and blood pressure
  • Delirium tremens

How To Detox From Alcohol Safely

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It is possible to safely detox from alcohol at home without medical supervision. But extra caution should be taken if youre detoxing on your own. Alcohol withdrawal can cause serious health issues that require medical treatment.

To avoid severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms, you should slowly reduce alcohol consumption. Cautious tapering may take longer than medically supervised detox, but it will help you avoid major health problems.

Tapering can help you overcome alcohol dependence, which is a side effect of chronic alcohol use that causes cravings and withdrawal. Detox doesnt treat addiction, which is a disease characterized by compulsive behaviors, such as chronic alcohol use.

If youre addicted to alcohol, its unlikely that youll be able to recover without some form of addiction treatment. You may be able to detox at home and recover from alcoholism with the help of support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. However, medically supervised detox and professional rehab are more likely to help you maintain long-term sobriety.

Nanci Stockwell of Advanced Recovery Systems discusses the risks of detoxing at home and the benefits of detoxing from alcohol and other drugs in a safe environment.

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Rationale For Tapering Down Instead Of Cold Turkey

We do know that tapering off is a standard medical practice for other drugs. Patients taking antidepressants, for example, are usually not taken off their medication abruptly but have their dosages gradually reduced.

We also know that products used to help people quit smoking, such as nicotine patches or gum, are designed to gradually wean smokers off nicotine by slowly reducing the amount of nicotine they consume.

Common sense tells us that quitting cold turkey from a 12-beer-a-day habit is going to be more stressful than tapering down slowly. That doesn’t mean to suggest that home detox is either an effective or reasonably appropriate.

Generally speaking, alcohol home detox is neither the most effective nor the safest method of quitting alcohol. However, it is inexpensive and may be suitable for someone whose job, relationships, and well-being are not in jeopardy.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment In Dallas Tx

Home » Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Alcohol addiction, sometimes known as alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, or alcohol use disorder , is a complicated, chronic brain disease. It affects not only the person who drinks, but also family and friends. It can cause problems at home, work, or school. And it can be incredibly hard to stop.

What we really want you to know about alcohol addiction is that its treatable.

Our treatment programs will help you quit drinking and stay sober. We offer medically assisted detox treatment to help you withdraw safely from alcohol, along with psychiatric support to address dangerous behaviors and habits. Well help you identify triggers people, places, and things that prompt you to drink and learn strategies to change or avoid them.

At our Dallas, TX-area facilities, we treat the whole person, not just the illness. Your treatment plan will be unique to you, focused on your short-term and long-term goals for recovery. It may include medically supervised detox, talk therapy, and recreational therapy. Youll also have opportunities to participate in peer support groups, like Alcoholics Anonymous.

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Historical: Detoxification With Alcohol

Alcohol was itself used as a detoxifying agent through gradual weaning that commanded support in the 18th and early 19th centuries . By the mid-19th century, the Temperance movement strongly influenced the way habitual drunkenness is conceptualized and had widened its focus to condemnation of all alcoholic beverages. This made it difficult to advocate gradual weaning as a justifiable intervention. A literature search found just two recent reports concerning the use of alcohol for alcohol detoxification , although there are reports in other medical specialties .

Richard Saitz suggested that Alcohol should not be used to treat withdrawal for several reasons . First, using alcohol as a treatment would promote its acceptability to the alcoholic. Second, alcohol has known toxic effects that are not shared by the safer benzodiazepines. Third, in one clinical study, alcohol was inferior to the benzodiazepine, chlordiazepoxide .

Alcohol Withdrawal Can Be Uncomfortable Learn Twenty Different Ways To Keep Your Mind Occupied While Facing Alcohol Withdrawal

How to cut down on alcohol

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can range from slightly uncomfortable to being an extreme nuisance. In turn, it can be challenging to figure out what helps with alcohol withdrawal. If you have an alcohol dependency, then youve likely been using alcohol for some time. Long-term alcohol abuse is commonly caused by an underlying condition or physical pain in which alcohol was used to self-medicate those issues. Often, people will be tempted to turn back to alcohol to ease the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms.

The key to successful withdrawal is to consult with an addiction treatment professional ahead of detox and to know the alcohol withdrawal timeline as well as detox strategies, like how to taper off alcohol. There are also some natural remedies and activities people can partake in to keep their minds occupied and help pass the time as withdrawal symptoms fade. Here are twenty ways to cope with alcohol withdrawal.

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Regimens For Alcohol Detoxification

Three regimens for alcohol detoxification using benzodiazepines are most commonly followed ,

  • Fixed tapering dose regimen fixed doses of benzodiazepines are administered at scheduled intervals regardless of symptom severity. The initial doses are decided based upon the presenting severity of withdrawal and the time since last intake. This is best suited for out-patient setting where close monitoring is not possible . Consequently, a fixed-dose regimen may be preferred in admitted patients if CIWA-Ar scores cannot be accurately performed .

  • Symptom triggered regimen benzodiazepines are administered according to the withdrawal symptoms as assessed by withdrawal rating scales e.g. CIWA- AR. The ratings are done at a fixed schedule and drug doses are administered as per withdrawal severity. It needs training in applying scales and trained personnel. A symptom-triggered regimen is preferred in most cases of AWS because it results in the administration of less total medication and shorter duration of treatment . This regimen may also reduce the risk of under medicating or over medicating a patient since dosing is based upon withdrawal symptoms . The efficacy of symptom-triggered regimens, however, depends on the validity of patient assessment.

  • Involve Your Loved Ones

    Family and friends can provide encouragement and support when you stop drinking.

    Maybe your partner, sibling, or roommate is also thinking about making a change. Changing drinking habits together allows you to support each other while also boosting your motivation and accountability.

    Turner notes the importance of bringing along a trusted support person when attending events that involve alcohol. Its often easier to turn down a drink when you dont have to do it alone.

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    How Can I Help Someone Through Withdrawal

    Overcoming addiction can be hard. It is important to start the process in a safe and secure environment, such as at home, a detox facility or hospital. If you need to support someone through withdrawal, talk to a doctor , another health professional, or a drug and alcohol service before starting.

    If you are helping someone with an addiction, encourage the person to exercise and eat healthy food. Distract them, reassure them and remind them why they want to quit.

    How To Safely Treat Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

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    Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can shift quickly and violently you can experience minor symptoms to extremely severe side effects in a matter of hours. There are many alcohol treatment programs that focus on helping individuals overcome drinking problems, no matter how minor or how serious. Specialized rehab facilities offer many benefits to those struggling with alcohol addiction. For example, treatment providers will be able to help alleviate some of the most painful of withdrawal symptoms, as well as provide 24/7 support through the entire recovery process.

    As there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating alcohol abuse, recovery programs usually consist of:

    Inpatient Treatment

    Inpatient rehab facilities offer a safe, supervised environment for patients struggling with alcohol addiction. With 24-hour care, this is the most intensive form of treatment and typically entails 30, 60 or 90-day programs.

    Outpatient Treatment

    Outpatient rehab allows patients to attend to their daily responsibilities while in recovery. This option is best suited for those with less severe forms of alcohol abuse since individuals will be around drinking triggers and other influences.

    Medication-Assisted Therapy

    To help relieve uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, many treatment programs offer medication-assisted therapy. Certain prescribed medications can treat alcohol withdrawal, allowing patients to focus on other aspects of recovery.

    Individual Counseling

    Support Groups

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    Can You Get Addicted From Short

    All opioids are chemically related and interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the body and brain. Opioid pain relievers are generally safe when taken for a short time and as prescribed by a doctor, but because they produce euphoria in addition to pain relief, they can be misused and taken in a different way or in a larger quantity than prescribed, or taken without a doctors prescription. Regular use, even as prescribed by a doctor, can lead to dependence and, when misused, opioid pain relievers can lead to addiction, overdose incidents, and deaths.

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    Causes Of Alcohol Withdrawal

    Alcohol has what doctors call a depressive effect on your system. It slows down brain function and changes the way your nerves send messages back and forth.

    Over time, your central nervous system adjusts to having alcohol around all the time. Your body works hard to keep your brain in a more awake state and to keep your nerves talking to one another.

    When the alcohol level suddenly drops, your brain stays in this keyed up state. Thatâs what causes withdrawal.

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    Dispose Of Any Alcohol Or Intoxicants In The House

    If your family member is an alcoholic, you are going to have to get rid of any alcohol in the house. Even if you only have a bottle of brandy you use to make the family Christmas cake every year, it has to go.

    Youll also need to remove household products that can be used to get high:

  • Mouthwash and breath fresheners contain alcohol. One brand of mouthwash allegedly has over 26 percent alcohol by volume. A recovering addict could drink these in an attempt to get drunk, even though they dont taste very good.
  • Hand sanitizers contain a large amount of alcohol. Some varieties are over half alcohol content by volume. Internet videos share information on how people can distill and ingest these products. Drinking the liquid derived from hand sanitizers is very dangerous, and can lead to kidney and liver damage.
  • Vanilla extract contains 35 percent ethanol per volume. This is approximately the same amount by volume as brandy or rum. Its an FDA requirement for pure vanilla extract. If the label doesnt say that the product contains this level of alcohol, then it is likely an imitation extract.
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    Do Not Encourage Their Drinking Behavior

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    Some of your actions, although with the best of intentions, will backfire and fuel an addicts alcohol abuse. Keep these pointers in mind so that you dont unknowingly support their behavior.

    1. Never cover up for an alcoholicThis one is a no-brainer. Make no excuses for an alcoholic. Wondering how to help an alcoholic spouse? Dont enable them to sustain their addiction. Do not protect their substance use, even if it looks like they have learned the rules of safe drinking. This means you should separate yourself from all empathy towards their behavior. If you truly love the person, you will hate their addiction.

    2. Do not bail an alcoholic out of jailThere are countless cases where an alcoholic will end up in prison. He or she may have been driving under the influence of alcohol or have committed another alcohol-related crime. It is important you let them hit that rock bottom and realize what a mess their life has become. Let your alcoholic friend or family member realize the damage theyre doing to themselves and those around them.

    3. Do not stand behind their actionsHow to support an alcoholic and his or her behavior? Clean the mess they made. As harsh as this sounds, you should never take responsibility for the actions of an alcoholic. If you approve of their habits, an alcoholic will carry on acting as before, knowing there is someone they can use as a shield. Let them face the consequences themselves.

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