Alcohol withdrawal is a severe medical condition that can be life-threatening. If you or someone you know has been physically dependent on alcohol, withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on how long and how much they drank. It can lead to an uncomfortable experience, but many treatment options are available for overcoming this addiction. Below we’ll discuss what it’s like to go through alcohol withdrawal and some potential treatments for successfully recovering from alcohol addiction.
Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal
Alcohol withdrawal is referred to as “delirium tremens” (DTs), which can be very severe. Symptoms include:
- Confusion, disorientation or both;
- Tremors or shakiness in the hands, legs, lips, tongue and jaw;
- Anxiety which may result in panic attacks;
Spacing out, similar to what someone would experience if they were experiencing delirium without alcohol withdrawal symptoms. This includes not focusing on something that should typically be easy for them. The person may also start losing track of time regularly while withdrawing from alcohol addiction.
The first withdrawal symptom is anxiety, which can start within hours of the last drink. Tremors may also occur within six to 24 hours after the person’s last drink. The most severe symptoms, such as seizures and DTs, usually happen between 48 and 96 hours after the person’s last drink. However, some people may continue to experience milder symptoms for weeks or even months after quitting alcohol.
Stage of Admission to a Treatment Facility
The first stage of alcohol withdrawal is known as “protracted detoxification”. This means that the symptoms will vary in severity, possibly depending on how long and how much someone drank. The second stage of treatment should focus primarily on stabilizing the person so they can work towards overcoming alcoholism. There are many other options for people who need additional support during this process but do not necessarily require medically supervised detoxification or an inpatient program for addiction recovery. In addition, the second stage of alcohol withdrawal includes supporting the person and their family or friends through this difficult time. The third step is usually ongoing aftercare, which focuses on relapse prevention techniques. Again, there are many options for people who do not require medical supervision during detoxification but need constant care to stay sober long-term. This may be an outpatient program, 12-step meetings or therapy.
Types of Treatments Available
At the Louisville Addiction Treatment Center, we understand that alcohol withdrawal can be a difficult and uncomfortable experience. That’s why we offer many different treatment options to ensure that each person has the best chance to overcome their addiction. Our range of services include:
- Medical detoxification: This medically supervised program helps people overcome their physical alcohol dependence. We use medication and other treatments to help stabilize the person and make them more comfortable during detoxification.
- Inpatient rehabilitation: This is a 28-day program where patients live at our facility and receive 24-hour care from our staff. This option is ideal for those who need intensive treatment or have a history of severe alcohol abuse.
- Outpatient rehabilitation: is an option for people who need ongoing care but do not require inpatient treatment. We offer many different therapies, including individual therapy and group support sessions with other patients or alumni of our program.
- Family programming: Our family programs are an excellent resource for those who have loved ones struggling with addiction and those whose primary goal is to learn how to help their loved ones recover from this disease. All families receive the same level of support during this process to communicate effectively and overcome obstacles together as a team.
- Other services: These include holistic therapies such as acupuncture, massage therapy and yoga along with traditional therapeutic options like play therapy for children going through alcohol withdrawal symptoms due to parental alcoholism.”
What is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)?
An Intensive Outpatient Program, or IOP, provides a step-down level of care for those who don’t require inpatient treatment but need more support than what is available through traditional outpatient programs. IOPs usually meet three times per week for several hours and offer a combination of group therapy, individual counseling and 12-step programming. This type of program can be very beneficial for those new to recovery or have relapsed in the past.”
How long will my loved one need aftercare?
Aftercare is typically recommended for a minimum of six months, but it may be necessary for some people to continue receiving ongoing care for up to two years or longer. The main goal of aftercare is to provide support and relapse prevention techniques so that the person can maintain their sobriety long-term. This may include attending 12-step meetings, meeting with a therapist or participating in an outpatient program.”
At the Louisville Addiction Treatment Center, we understand that alcohol withdrawal can be a difficult and uncomfortable experience. That’s why we offer many different treatment options to ensure that each person has the best chance to overcome their addiction.