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Alcohol Withdrawal

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Alcohol withdrawal are symptoms that happen when a person who drinks an excess of alcohol stop suddenly. Excess use of alcohol is considered to be more than 15 drinks a week for men and more than 8 a week for women. No matter how many drinks a person has in a day or week if drinking disrupts someone's routine (such as going to work or performing daily tasks) it can be considered excess alcohol use.

Physical symptoms can range from mild to severe and include: headache, loss of appetite, increased heart rate, nausea, insomnia and even seizures. Psychologically a person can become nervous, anxious, feel depressed and experience mood swings. In the worse cases of alcohol withdrawal a person may suffer from confusion and hallucinations, become agitated and even experience black out episodes.

The more heavily a person drinks the more likely they are to have alcohol withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking. Withdrawal can occur in as little as 5-10 hours after a last drink, but may not show up for a week or ten days later. The symptoms peak with 2 to 4 days but many of them may persist for more than a week.

If a person is showing signs of alcohol withdrawal, they should go to an emergency room since withdrawal is a serious and often life threatening condition. Excessive alcohol use lead to medical problems such as liver disease and brain damage.

Many people who suffer from alcoholism will go through the mild physical symptoms (headache, nausea, insomnia) often and will develop a tolerance to their suffering. Some people will try to overcome alcohol addiction on their own and say that they are not going to drink again. Most times they fail. There have been cases where people try to detox themselves at home. This can lead to serious mental and physical problems and even death. A person who will not seek professional help will often harm their loved ones or even commit suicide.

Alcohol rehab is the only way a person who suffers alcohol withdrawal symptoms can break free of their use. They should be treated in an inpatient alcohol treatment center where they can be monitored closely. They can also be evaluated for the any medical conditions associated with alcohol abuse.

The first step in alcohol recovery involves detox. This involves ridding the body of the toxins in alcohol. Detox is the hardest part of treatment. To help a person get through this period, drugs such as Xanax or Valium may be given to treat anxiety and depression associated with detox.

Counseling is a very important step in recovery. One-on-one counseling can help a person find the reason for their addiction. Group counseling is a time where patients will come together and share their experiences of addiction and efforts of recovery.

After a person has finished an inpatient treatment, they face many obstacles once they are back in their home surroundings. The best thing a recovering alcoholic can have is the love and support from their family and friends.

References:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/
http://www.med.unc.edu/alcohol/prevention/

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