Alcohol and drug withdrawal is the set of physical and psychological symptoms that occur when someone stops consuming psychoactive substances. Depending on the substance and extent of addiction, these symptoms can range from mild disturbances through to life-threatening complications.
Alcohol and drug withdrawal is often managed at drug rehab centers, where the detoxification process can be managed under medical supervision. Once the alcohol and drug withdrawal syndrome has been experienced, patients will normally be guided towards ongoing therapy and relapse prevention programs.
Get help today when you call Drug Treatment Centers Cary at (919) 443-3258.
Alcohol and drug withdrawal is a response to physical or mental dependence, with many substance causing both a physical-somatic and emotional-motivational withdrawal syndrome. When someone uses a particular psychoactive substance for an extended period of time, tolerance will often develop as the body and brain become accustomed to repeated exposure.
New connections are made as the brain adjusts to specific reward pathways, with the discontinuation of substance use causing an absence as the body adjusts to new conditions. Withdrawal is the experience of this process, with different substances causing the body to react in unique ways.
Alcohol withdrawal occurs when someone stops or dramatically reduces alcohol consumption after a prolonged period of use. Typical early symptoms include nausea, vomiting, hand tremors and insomnia, with more severe symptoms also likely in some cases. Withdrawal symptoms are likely to expand 12-24 hours after the last drink, with the withdrawal syndrome also progressing in terms of intensity.
Common symptoms during this period include mental confusion, hallucinations, tremors and agitation. If symptoms continue after the 24 hour period, the possibility of seizures should be anticipated, with delirium tremens likely if symptoms continue after 48 hours. A post-acute withdrawal phase is possible, with some recovering alcoholics experiencing depression and anxiety issues for months or even years after detox.
Alcohol withdrawal is often treated with medications, including benzodiazepines and naltrexone. After a patient has been through the detoxification process, they will normally be directed toward behavioral therapy and relapse prevention programs.
Conventional counseling is also useful in the treatment of alcohol use disorders, with groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) providing recovering addicts with the support and guidelines they need to ensure a successful long-term recovery. While detox marks the start of many treatment programs, therapy, relapse prevention and aftercare support are just as critical to their overall success.
Benzodiazepines are central nervous system (CNS) depressants commonly taken to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. Common drugs in this class include Valium, Serax, Xanax and Librium. Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome includes a range of physical and psychological symptoms that develop when someone stops drug intake.
Common symptoms include sleep disturbance, irritability, anxiety, memory problems, sweating, confusion, hand tremors, panic attacks and cognitive difficulty. In rare situations, benzodiazepine dependent people may also experience a protracted withdrawal syndrome, with symptoms lasting for months or even years after cessation of use.
Benzodiazepine dependence is generally treated with a gradual dose reduction, with a protracted withdrawal syndrome more likely to develop if drug intake is abruptly discontinued. Withdrawal is sometimes managed by substituting an equivalent dose of a short-acting benzodiazepine with a longer-acting drug, with Valium often used in this situation. Once a patient has been stabilized and evaluated, ongoing therapy programs and relapse prevention systems may be initiated by treatment centers.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from drug or alcohol dependence, it’s important to seek the services of a specialized drug treatment center. Find out how you can receive help today when you call Drug Treatment Centers Cary in (919) 443-3258.