Finding Help for the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal
Anyone who has a history of chronic drinking or binge drinking knows how uncomfortable symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be. After so long, the body comes to depend on alcohol’s effects to function normally.
In cases where a person wants to stop drinking, these effects work against him or her at every turn making it all but impossible to abstain for any length of time. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal not only crop up at the beginning of recovery, but can linger for months or even years into the recovery process. Under these conditions, finding help for symptoms of alcohol withdrawal becomes necessary.
Fortunately, there are a range of alcohol rehab options available, each of which addresses specific challenges a person faces in the recovery process. When all is said and done, alcohol addictions are highly treatable provided a person follows through on treatment directives.
Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can start as soon as six to 12 hours after a person’s last drink. Heavy drinkers in particular experience the worst of effects, otherwise known as alcohol withdrawal symptom.
Alcohol acts as a depressant, slowing down chemical processes in the brain. According to the University of Iowa, heavy drinking causes considerable damage to brain functions, which translates into any number of problems within the body’s major systems.
Over time, alcohol has a cumulative effect, causing widespread brain chemical imbalances to form. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal develop out of these imbalances as the brain loses its ability to regulate bodily functions.
Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal
Alcohol detox programs specialize in easing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal as well as helping a person address the underlying issues that drove him or her to alcoholism. While everyone’s detox experience differs, symptoms commonly experienced include:
- Loss of energy
- Problems sleeping
Ultimately, the severity of symptoms experienced determines what intensity of treatment is most necessary. As a general rule, the more severe the drinking problem the more intensive the treatment setting should be.
Alcohol Rehab Treatment Interventions
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal most affect a person’s physical and psychological well-being. For people with mild to moderate drinking problems, most if not all physical symptoms will cease after detox. For heavy drinkers, physical withdrawal symptoms can persist for months or even years into the recovery process. In both cases, psychological withdrawal may also persist for months into recovery.
Alcohol rehab treatment options are many, with different programs treating different levels of addiction. While the intensity of treatment may differ, the types of interventions used remain the same. Treatment interventions commonly used include:
- Drug education counseling
- Group therapy
- Individual psychotherapy
- Medication therapies
- Support group work
The long-term effects of chronic drinking on the brain’s chemical system leave those in recovery highly susceptible to relapse and continued alcohol use. Without some form of physical support, the likelihood of maintaining abstinence for any length of time is low.
Medication therapies, such as Antabuse, naltrexone and Campral help eliminate symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and enable a person to become fully engaged in the drug rehab process.