How to Treat Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
What Is Alcohol Withdrawl?
Alcohol withdrawal syndrome can develop when you suddenly stop drinking alcohol after a period of frequent and substantial consumption, be it vodka, whiskey, wine or beer.
If you are unable to stop consuming alcohol despite wanting to, or despite negative consequences, it is an addiction.
If you try to stop consuming alcohol and experience withdrawal symptoms, it is chemical dependence.
Alcohol withdrawal can develop after years or even months of consistent consumption. Drinking more than intended, or drinking during or just before work hours may interfere with your work and family relations.
If you indulge in risky behavior after alcohol use, as alcohol is a disinhibitor, and yet have a hard time quitting, you are not alone. As per the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, more than 15 million adults in the United States suffered from an alcohol use disorder in 2015. That has only increased since then.
Understanding the dangers of alcohol abuse and the dangers of quitting cold turkey can help you make informed treatment choices. Alcohol is one of the most commonly consumed beverages in the world and it may not be perceived as a “dangerous” substance when compared to, say, heroin.
However, alcohol withdrawal can be much more dangerous than withdrawal from heroin. That is why it is important to seek medical assistance at a detoxification facility when trying to quit alcohol.
What Causes Alcohol Withdrawal?
Alcohol is considered as a ‘sedative hypnotic’ – it depresses the central nervous system, but a side benefit is a feeling of relaxation. In limited quantities, alcohol stimulates good conversation and reduces social anxiety. However, when consumed in large quantities, defined as more than 4 drinks for a man and more than 3 drinks for a woman in a day, could lead to drowsiness, impaired motor function, difficulty breathing and blackouts.
As a depressant, alcohol has an effect on the brain and the nervous system. It also slows down brain function and changes the way nerves communicate with each other. Your body actually works hard to keep the brain in an “awake” state and nerves communicating with each other. It is used to having alcohol around all the time and is now always in this high alert state.
When you stop using alcohol, the brain keeps going at this 90 miles per hour speed which causes the withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, shaky hands, headache, nausea, vomiting, and sweating. Some may also develop delirium tremens, hallucinations high blood pressure, and memory loss. Alcohol withdrawal can also bring on seizures, stroke or even death. That is why alcohol detox needs to happen in a medical setting with appropriate monitoring.
Safety is Important in Managing Alcohol Withdrawal
At the Center for Network Therapy, our clinical team is highly experienced in managing withdrawal from alcohol. Customized medication protocols are required to ease the withdrawal symptoms smoothly.
If you are looking for a safe alcohol treatment program, please contact us for an easy road to recovery. Call a treatment expert today if you or a loved one are experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Personalized and safe rehabilitation is extremely important at the Center For Network Therapy. If you experience the alcohol withdrawal symptoms listed below, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation.
Dr. Cidambi is a leader in addiction treatment and innovator of safe and effective ambulatory (outpatient) detoxification level of care for alcohol, benzodiazepines, opiates, and suboxone. Prior to founding the Center for Network Therapy, she completed her residency in Psychiatry at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn and an Addiction Medicine Fellowship at NYU/Bellevue Hospital in New York. Due to the successful detoxification program, Dr. Cidambi was featured frequently by media outlets, including NPR, CBS, NY Times, and Wall Street Journal.