What Is Alcohol Withdrawal
One of the most clear signs of alcohol dependency is experiencing alcohol withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawal is the changes the body goes through after a person suddenly stops drinking after prolonged and heavy alcohol use. Over time, both the body and the brain becomes dependent on drinking frequency and patterns. When you abruptly stop drinking, your body is deprived of the effects of alcohol and requires time to adjust to functioning without it. This adjustment period causes the painful side effects of alcohol withdrawal, such as shakes, insomnia, nausea, and anxiety.
In addition to uncomfortable side effects, alcohol withdrawal syndrome can trigger life-threatening health complications. Whether youve been drinking for weeks, months, or years, its possible to experience alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Professional care from a specialized alcohol rehab facility is highly recommended for those attempting to quit drinking as withdrawal can be extremely dangerous.
Types Of Behavioral Treatments
CognitiveBehavioral Therapy can take place one-on-one with a therapist or in small groups. This form of therapy is focused on identifying the feelings and situations that lead to heavy drinking and managing stress that can lead to relapse. The goal is to change the thought processes that lead to alcohol misuse and to develop the skills necessary to cope with everyday situations that might trigger problem drinking.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy is conducted over a short period of time to build and strengthen motivation to change drinking behavior. The therapy focuses on identifying the pros and cons of seeking treatment, forming a plan for making changes in ones drinking, building confidence, and developing the skills needed to stick to the plan.
incorporates spouses and other family members in the treatment process and can play an important role in repairing and improving family relationships. Studies show that strong family support through family therapy increases the chances of maintaining abstinence , compared with patients undergoing individual counseling.
Brief Interventions are short, one-on-one or small-group counseling sessions that are time limited. The counselor provides information about the individuals drinking pattern and potential risks. After the client receives personalized feedback, the counselor will work with him or her to set goals and provide ideas for helping to make a change.
How To Deal With Alcohol Withdrawal At Home
Some people avoid medically supervised rehab because they prefer natural remedies for alcohol withdrawal. Slowly tapering off alcohol is the safest way to naturally overcome alcohol withdrawal, and many at-home remedies can help you cope with mild withdrawal symptoms. However, medical treatment is necessary to treat major symptoms of withdrawal.
Home remedies for alcohol withdrawal include:
- Nothing can replace the value of water. The body requires it to function. When youre dehydrated, you can experience irritability, fatigue and confusion. Some people mistake symptoms of dehydration for symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
- Drinks that Contain Electrolytes
- Water is important, but individuals should also consume beverages that contain electrolytes. Electrolytes are vital nutrients, including calcium, potassium and sodium. Alcohol intoxication and withdrawal can create electrolyte imbalances, which causes side effects such as muscle spasms, numbness and seizures.
- A Healthy Diet
- A healthy diet includes eating foods that contain the proper balance of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats. These nutrients help the brain and other organs function. If a person is malnourished, the body doesnt have the energy it needs to recover from alcohol dependence.
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Medication To Stop Drinking
Medication has been an option for many decades, and despite having a strong success rate it is not very well known. Fortunately, this is starting to change.
The original medication for alcoholism is disulfiram, also known as Antabuse. This prescription drug causes you to feel ill when you drink any amount of alcohol, and is now considered a fairly harsh way of quitting. Still, for some people, disulfiram remains an effective choice.
There are now milder options as well. Since the 1990s, naltrexone has been approved by the FDA to treat alcohol use disorder. This drug limits the pleasurable effects of drinking without making you feel sick. Naltrexone is a key component in the Sinclair Method, which uses targeted doses of this drug to help people moderate or quit over time. It is also available as a monthly injection , or as a daily pill.
For those who have already quit and want help managing cravings, there is also acamprosate, an abstinence maintenance medication that helps rebalance your brain chemistry. And beyond these, there are several off-label medications that can be useful, including gabapentin, topiramate, and baclofen. There is even research in progress to see if kudzu, an herbal remedy from traditional Chinese medicine, can help limit drinking.
Any of these medications can make a big difference in battling physical addiction, making the psychological parts of alcohol dependence easier to work through.
Matrix Intensive Outpatient Treatment For People With Stimulant Use Disorders: Counselor’s Family Education Manual W/cd
This comprehensive kit provides substance use disorder treatment professionals with a year-long intensive outpatient treatment model. Professionals can use this model when treating clients who are dependent on stimulant drugs, such as methamphetamine and cocaine. Access family education sessions and handouts.
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Find Out If Youre Misusing Alcohol
Your doctor or another health care provider can help with the diagnosis. They may say you have alcohol use disorder if you:
- Feel like you have to drink
- Cant control how much you drink
- Feel bad when you cant drink
When you meet with your doctor, talk about your goals. Are you trying to drink less or stop drinking completely? Together, you can start to make a treatment plan. You doctor also can refer you to a treatment center or experts who can help.
How To Stop Drinking Without Rehab
This is a common question, and the answers turn out to be many and varied. You can go the support group route, as discussed above. You can also find a program that gives you a similar level of medical support as rehab, but without the expense or disruption. Ria Health is one of several programs now offering rehab at home through telemedicine. This means access to expert medical advice, coaches, prescription medication, and digital tracking toolsall from your phone or personal device.
In addition to these options, there may also be outpatient programs, or other affordable forms of medical care near you. Talk to your doctor about whats available. If your doctor thinks its safe, there are also ways of cutting back on your own beforehand. The Sinclair Method may be able to help, and there are a number of apps on the market that can help you quit drinking.
To summarize, regardless of which path you choose, you have choices. If you dont think rehab is right for you, there is likely an option that will suit you better.
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Alcohol Detox At Vertava Health
Tapering yourself off alcohol is not always an easy decision, but it can be worth considering for many people. Alcohol abuse and addiction affects millions of adults in the United States each year, and can have serious consequences on physical and mental health.
If you need help figuring out how to taper off alcohol, or want to find alcohol detox services near you, our treatment specialists at Vertava Health can help.
Vertava Health offers several treatment programs and resources for people struggling with drug and alcohol abuse, including:
- medical detox services
- inpatient and residential rehab programs
- long-term rehab
- outpatient treatment services
Contact us today for free and confidential support in finding alcohol detox services that suit you or your loved ones needs.
This page does not provide medical advice.
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 Long Does It Take To Detox From Alcohol
Detox is the process of removing toxins, such as alcohol, from the body. During this time, people with alcohol addiction may experience withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, tremors or hallucinations.
This process can be painful and, at times, dangerous. The length of alcohol detox depends on various factors, including the severity of a persons alcoholism. The more severe the substance use disorder, the longer detox takes.
Nanci Stockwell of Advanced Recovery Systems talks about the average duration of alcohol detox and the factors that affect the length of detox.
Challenges Of Cutting Down On Alcohol Intake
For some drinkers, cutting down on the amount of alcohol they drink simply does not work. They may cut back for a short period of time, but they soon find themselves back to drinking at their usual level. This is especially true of heavy drinkers who are surrounded by the triggers that encourage drinking and lack the support needed to encourage change.
Those who find that they cannot taper off the number of drinks for any significant length of time probably have developed a severe alcohol use disorder or have become what is commonly known as an alcoholic. For others, simply cutting back the number of drinks can bring on alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Moreover, substituting one kind of beverage for another does not help you taper off alcohol if you consume the same number of standard drinks as you usually have. For example, one 12-ounce can of beer contains the same amount of alcohol as a 5-ounce glass of wine or a mixed drink containing 1.5 ounces of alcohol.
With these things in mind, you need to weigh the pros and cons of tapering your alcohol useideally with someone you trustto make a fully informed decision.
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Do Not Encourage Their Drinking Behavior
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.
Alcohol Use Statistics: Drinking Percentiles
A study of over 44,000 college students in 1997 found the following pattern of alcohol use:
- 37% of students drank less than 1 drink per week.
- 50% of students drank no more than 1 drink per week.
- 70% of students drank no more than 4 drinks per week.
- The top 20% of students drank at least 8 drinks per week.
- The top 10% of students drank at least 13 drinks per week.
- The top 5% of students drank at least 20 drinks per week.
These are useful statistics to know when dealing with adolescents who say âeverybody drinks to get drunk in college.â
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Guaranteed Prescription For Recovery
The July 2013 issue of the DMC Campfire newsletter featured an article aimed at the families of addicts entitled, “How Can I Help?” The article included what DMC calls a “Guaranteed Prescription for Recovery. Things you can start doing to help your loved one.”
The following suggestions have been adapted from Dunklin’s prescription for recovery. Although they are aimed at Christian families struggling with addiction, the principles can be applied by everyone.
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:
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Types Of Professionals Involved In Care
Many health professionals can play a role in treatment. Below is a list of providers and the type of care they may offer.
|Provider Type||Treatment Type|
Primary Care Provider
M.D., D.O. , additionally you may see a Nurse Practitioner or Physicians Assistant
Medications, Brief Behavioral Treatment, Referral to Specialist
M.S.W. , L.C.S.W.
Variesmost States require some form of certification
|Individuals are advised to talk to their doctors about the best form of primary treatment.|
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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What You Can Do: Advice For Family And Friends
If someone you love has a drinking problem, you may be struggling with how to help them and how to avoid being overwhelmed. You are probably feeling a combination of anger, fear, shame, and sometimes even guilt. At times, it may seem easier to ignore the problem. But denying it will only cause more damage to you, your family, and the person drinking. I hope some of these suggestions will help.
Form New Positive Habits
Most alcoholics develop a drinking routine. In order to stop drinking, you need to break your old habits and replace them with healthier alternatives. If you always drink at home after work in front of the TV, its time to unplug. Make a commitment to do a different activity to unwind. This can be going for a walk, writing, reading a book or spending time with family.
In the beginning, its a good idea to avoid long periods of free time alone. When youre out in public or with friends , you will find it much more difficult to indulge your old habits.
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Sober Recovery Expert Author
As you know, any substance that goes into your body must be broken downjust like any other food or beverage. So when you drink, the substance passes through the body and ends up in the bloodstream. Thats why consumption is often measured through ones blood alcohol content, or BAC.
As alcohol flows through your body, your body is then tasked to break it down and metabolize it. When you drink excessively, your body has to work overtime to go through the substance and could cause you to reek in the process.
Here are three ways alcohol consumption can create unusual body odors.