Alcohol detoxification is essentially the abrupt termination of alcohol consumption in patients who are suffering from alcohol addiction. This procedure is commonly coupled with replacement of other medications that also have similar but opposite effects on the body in order to avoid alcohol detox. While this procedure can be successful in removing alcohol dependency, it is not without its own side effects.
The major side effect of alcohol detoxification is alcohol poisoning. A common cause of intoxication when drinking heavily is the presence of contaminated bloodstream caused by the excessive consumption of alcohol. The patient may experience severe symptoms such as seizures, confusion, and severe drowsiness. As a result of experiencing withdrawal, the person is more susceptible to acquiring minor or fatal injuries nearby emergency room.
It is very important for people suffering from alcoholism to seek treatment in an inpatient treatment program as soon as possible. Most hospitals will not admit patients who refuse to participate in treatment. Unfortunately, there are several people who are either incapable or refuse to comply with treatment programs. While in inpatient alcohol detoxification treatment, they are closely monitored and prescribed by experts. This is one of the reasons why it is more recommended to undergo inpatient treatment program.
In the process of alcohol detoxification, patients are usually given certain medications such as benzodiazepines and paracetamol. These medications are used in the treatment of patients experiencing withdrawal symptoms. These drugs are given to reduce the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms that the patient experiences. In general, patients are advised to refrain from taking these drugs for at least two weeks. They may gradually be introduced to these drugs one week at a time and then be slowly weaned off them.
Alcohol detoxification can also include a fixed tapering dose of anti benzodiazepines. The doctor usually determines the ideal fixed tapering dose by considering the physical and psychological conditions of the patient. If the patient is in poor health, doctors will often prescribe low doses of anti benzodiazepines which can be continued for a period of time to address the condition. Doctors may also follow a regimen wherein a single dose of a specific drug will be administered and stopped after a defined period. A regimen based on fixed tapering doses is more appropriate for people who are suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms.
The combination of treatments which has been previously mentioned can also be used. These treatments may consist of different types of therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Drug Withdrawal Programs (DIP), and Alcohol Training. CBT is a treatment that concentrates on changing a person’s perception about alcohol. Alcohol training is normally done in an outpatient setting. Whatever treatment option for a patient chooses, it is very important for them to be able to fully disclose their medical histories and to seek the help of a certified physician while undergoing any alcohol detoxification or treatment.