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The fact of the matter is that the decision to recover is ultimately up to us; the individual. We must be willing to take that initial step. Yet, after we clear that first hurdle, there is no need to make any other choices alone. In fact, it is advised that we utilize the help of as many people as possible on our road to recovery. It is especially important to rely on professionals as they more deeply understand alcohol withdrawal treatment.

Understanding Alcohol Withdrawal

Put in the simplest terms, alcohol withdrawal starts as soon as we take that last drink. Alcohol will usually leave the bloodstream between six to twelve hours; however, this may vary depending on how much alcohol the individual has ingested before that last drink.

The initial process of alcohol leaving the bloodstream is not the entirety of alcohol withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawal, or alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS), is a series of symptoms that occur when individuals with severe dependence on alcohol stop drinking.

These symptoms can range from mild to severe. The most severe symptoms could even be deadly. According to the peer-reviewed write-up titled Alcohol Withdrawal by authors Newman, Gallagher, and Gomez, “Alcohol withdrawal symptoms occur when patients stop drinking or significantly decrease their alcohol intake after long-term dependence. Withdrawal has a broad range of symptoms from mild tremors to a condition called delirium tremens, which results in seizures and could progress to death if not recognized and treated promptly. The reported mortality rate for patients who experience delirium tremens is anywhere from 1 to 5%.” Furthermore, this mortality statistic is emblematic of why treating alcohol withdrawal is so important.

How Is Alcohol Withdrawal Best Treated?

The most important aspect to understand is that alcohol withdrawal treatment should be left to the professionals. Taking this crucial step can, quite literally, be life-saving. Medical detox professionals can ensure that the individual gets all the proper care and attention needed to treat alcohol withdrawal as safely and as comfortably as possible.

Part of this care must include nutrient and vitamin replenishment, as many people who are going through alcohol withdrawal are severely nutrient-deficient. As explained by the journal titled Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, “Chronic alcoholic patients are frequently deficient in one or more vitamins. The deficiencies commonly involve folate, vitamin B6, thiamine, and vitamin A. Although inadequate dietary intake is a major cause of vitamin deficiency, other possible mechanisms may also be involved. Alcoholism can affect the absorption, storage, metabolism, and activation of many of these vitamins.”

Alcohol withdrawal can also be related to something called Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, also known as “wet brain.” According to the write-up titled Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, by Doctors Akhouri, Kuhn, and Newton, “The cause of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a deficiency of thiamine or vitamin B1. Individuals with poor nutrition for any reason are at risk for this disorder. The most common social factor associated with Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is chronic alcohol abuse, leading to decreased absorption and utilization of thiamine.” A professional alcohol detox will address these deficiencies which will also help with alcohol withdrawal.

Alcohol Withdrawal Best Treated With Alcohol Detox

Treating alcohol withdrawal in a professional setting can greatly reduce the intensity of alcohol withdrawal. One of the major reasons for this is that professionals can help to ensure that the detox process happens in a safe timeline, avoiding the pain often associated with going “cold turkey.” Medical professionals also have the ability to use certain medications, such as sedatives, to help people get through some of the more intense side effects of alcohol withdrawal.

Professional alcohol withdrawal treatment can also set an individual up for success after they have completed the detox process. They can quickly help an individual get into a recovery program, such as an inpatient program, a partial hospitalization program (PHP), or an intensive outpatient program (IOP). This is crucial because, without a plan after detox, the potential for a relapse goes up exponentially, and with that relapse, another dangerous journey leading to alcohol withdrawal begins. In other words, this is the vicious cycle of addiction.

Healing From Addiction and Mental Illness With The Phoenix Recovery Center

Here at The Phoenix Recovery Center, we understand that taking that first step toward recovery can be the scariest one. We also know that part of that worry may come from the fear of alcohol withdrawal. Fortunately, we can help take that anxiety and worry away.

Remember, once we take that first step, we don’t have to do this alone. We are a community that looks out for one another’s recovery, and here at The Phoenix Recovery Center, we are proud to be members of that community, helping each other “one day at a time.”

It is important not to treat alcohol withdrawal as if it is “normal.” It is not a hangover; it is dangerous. If alcohol withdrawals are present it is important to reach out for professional help, as dealing with them on your own can be dangerous (even fatal in some instances). A professional medically supervised detox can also help you get connected to a recovery program once the detox process is over. If you feel like you or a loved one is struggling with issues of addiction, mental illness, or both, we can help get you on the road to long-term recovery. For more information about the dangers of alcohol withdrawal syndrome, Please contact The Phoenix Recovery Center at (801) 438-3185.

The Phoenix Recovery Center
489 W. South Jordan Pkwy
Suite 400
South Jordan, UT