Most people who are drinking alcohol daily (or on most days) will experience some symptoms of alcohol withdrawal when they stop drinking (Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome). Less serious alcohol withdrawal symptoms include sweating, shaking, nausea, diorrhoea; and anxiety, restlessness and difficulty sleeping.
Withdrawal symptoms occur because the body has become dependent on the sedative effects of alcohol.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be very unpleasant- which leads to craving- and then to ‘relief drinking’
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can also be dangerous.
More serious alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:
- Alcoholic hallucinosis- hearing your name or music, seeing mice/rats running around, or spiders. These experiences tend to be very disturbing.
- Withdrawal seizures- these are very serious and can be fatal.
- Alcohol withdrawal delirium (Delirium Tremens or DTs)- in this state the patient is confused, disorientated, agitated and often fearful and aggressive.
During the pre-admission risk assessment before admission any medical risks are considered along with individual’s suitability for our overall treatment programme.
Medically Assisted Alcohol Detoxification ‘Alcohol detox’
For a patient who is Alcohol Dependent and at risk of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome the safest and quickest way to stop drinking is with a Medically Assisted Alcohol Detoxification ‘alcohol detox’.
During an ‘alcohol detox’ a strong, sedative medication Diazepam is given 4-5 x daily to prevent the Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms. The Diazepam will also stop any anxiety symptoms and ensure sleep.
On admission, Diazepam is given immediately when alcohol withdrawal symptoms start. More Diazepam is then given (every hour if needed) to ensure that the alcohol withdrawal symptoms are well controlled. Diazepam is then given 4x daily for 7-8 days. Extra doses of Diazepam can be given if there is difficulty sleeping.
Diazepam is a very effective medication which works almost immediately; and is recommended by the NICE Guidelines.
The rehab's team of professional staff support and monitor residents 24/7 safely though any medically assisted detox minimising any drug or alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
‘Alcohol detox’ is only the initial stage in the treatment of Alcoholism and Alcohol Use Disorders. Following the ‘alcohol detox’ it is essential that all patients engage fully with the residential rehab treatment programme. This will identify underlying emotional issues which caused the continued drinking.
Most importantly, the residential rehab treatment programme will give you a plan for a happy, healthy alcohol-free life.