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Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Feb 15 | 2014

Am I going through Alcohol Withdrawal?

We often hear people asking the questions: Am I going through Alcohol Withdrawals? How do I know if I am going through Alcohol Withdrawals? The only way to answer that question is to consult a doctor. Alcohol Withdrawal refers to a collection of withdrawal symptoms that emerge after a person has stopped drinking. Typically, this kind of symptomology indicates that the alcoholic has drunk for a long enough period of time to have damaged their Central Nervous System, their brain, and their liver. This sort of drinking leads to severe withdrawal and may need a medically managed detox.

Alcohol dependence is very dangerous and detoxing from Alcohol may require medical supervision to be conducted safely. If you are experiencing signs of alcoholism seek medical attention.

General Signs of Acute Alcohol Withdrawal

Typically, the discomfort and severity of one’s alcohol detox will be proportional to the nature of their drinking and in what quantities they consumed alcohol. Alcoholism of this variety, in which entrenched pathology is present, necessitates comprehensive treatment that takes into account the full spectrum of addictive pathology; in addition to implementing the most effective clinical protocols. In situations where a person has developed dependence to alcohol, measurable changes to the Central Nervous System will usually emerge, in addition to other personality disturbances.

Alcohol Withdrawal can emerge with either mild or severe symptoms and sets in approximately 5 to 10 hours after one’s last drink. In most cases, symptoms peak at around 60 hours, with acute symptomology largely disappearing after day 5.

Physical and Psychological Signs of Acute Withdrawal
During the acute phase, when the person is fully immersed in detoxification, the brain is actually engaged in a series of operations that are by-products of the detoxification process and as such considered to be aberrations. Symptoms that indicate a person is experiencing Acute Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome include:

  • Shakiness, Tremors, Convulsions and/or Seizures
  • Chills, Sweating, Clammy and Pale Skin
  • Anxiety or Stress
  • Depression, Anger, Extremely volatile; Mood Swings.
  • Depersonalization, Confusion, Psychosis
  • Presence of Intermittent or Persistent Headaches.
  • Loss of Appetite, Weight Loss/Gain, Nausea/Vomiting
  • Sleep Disturbances, Restlessness, Fatigue.
  • Increased Blood Pressure, Rapid heart-rate.
  • Dilated Pupils, Sensitivity to Light
  • Death.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment that successfully addresses the issues accompanying a dual diagnosis patient must work as one intervention, with each condition being thought of as part of a whole. The first phase of any treatment plan, however, is detoxification (Dual Diagnosis essentially refers to a condition in which one’s alcohol addiction plays out in tandem with another mental health disorder).

Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment

Long-term studies indicate that psychotherapy in conjunction with a medical detox is effective tools for treating the withdrawal symptoms that occur during the acute phase. At ARC, our clinical program and our treatment team is cross-disciplined to address the many facets of the addictive condition. At ARC the primary, operative principle is to meet the client where they are at, and from there create a personalized treatment plan that will honor them as an individual and strive to do away with assumptions based upon conventional or standardized modes of clinical care.

At ARC, a dual diagnosed client is carefully assessed by one of our physicians to determine the correct course of action to rid the person of their physical dependence to liquor. During and after this initial phase a comprehensive treatment plan is developed, taking into consideration all of the factors that contribute to a client’s mental health status, including family history and medical history, in addition to all relevant psychological factors. As such, treatment at ARC includes individual and group counseling, attending 12 Step meetings and working a 12 Step program, psychotherapy, as well as education and supplemental, alternative therapies such as nutrition and exercise.

Social Model Treatment
Unique to ARC’s treatment strategies is utilizing the social aspects of the residential inpatient treatment. Alcoholism is in part a disease of isolation. The addict isolates themselves, and also ends up isolating loved ones, friends, and family. The social component of addiction treatment is vitally important, without which treatment cannot occur. The group must be used to organically create an environment in which a chemically dependent person learns to express feelings, process emotions, successfully resolve conflicts, and essentially learn to develop and maintain healthy relationships that will be crucial to their long-term recovery. If successful, the social element of ARC addiction treatment will act as a map of sorts that the client will unconsciously carry over into other aspects of their life.

Family Support
Treatment for acute alcohol withdrawal also must take into consideration the family component. At ARC, we offer a family support program. Family support is provided with group therapy, couples counseling, and family therapy. This network of support encourages and supports loved ones to become a part of the client’s process of recovery, and in turn fosters their own growth.

Advanced Holistic Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment

As with all diseases that are chronic and debilitating, alcoholism impacts virtually every aspect of the alcoholic’s life. ARC’s staff, counselors, and therapists, represent the best and most advanced cross-disciplined team available. This is crucial for creating comprehensive, therapeutic strategies that will address all of the facets treatment. No one therapeutic style is necessarily better than another, but instead must be regarded as parts of a whole; and effective treatment always requires a certain amount of latitude and flexibility with regards to clinical protocols.

It should be noted that no one single therapy provides a cure, and that the most successful interventions combine different therapeutic styles in conjunction with various medications. This is where the need to utilize an integrated approach becomes necessary. At ARC, alcohol withdrawal treatment is distinguished by the comprehensive programs created by our multi-dimensional staff, which includes aftercare programs specifically tailored to the needs of each individual.


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