Alcohol Withdrawal


Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment Boston MA

Alcohol dependence or alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a common addiction and unfortunately, becoming more prevalent over the last three decades. Clinically, alcohol use disorder or alcoholism is characterized by drinking more or for a longer period of time than intended, unable to cut back, becoming sick for an extended period of time as a result of drinking too much, inability to concentrate due to cravings, inability to care for a family, hold down a job, or perform in school due to drinking, continuing to drink despite problems, decreased participation in activities which were once important, finding oneself in dangerous or harmful situations as a direct result of drinking, continuing to drink despite exacerbating another health problem, feeling depressed or anxious, and finally, developing tolerance.

Alcoholism-Extent of Problem

  • Nearly 15.1 million Americans have alcohol use disorder.
  • Nearly 88,000 people die annually from alcohol-related causes in the U.S.
  • 3rd leading preventable cause of death in the U.S.
  • 50% of liver disease deaths attributable to alcohol misuse

Alcohol Withdrawal symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms typically occur two to four days after stopping alcohol consumption. People with significant alcohol symptoms and those who have been drinking in excess for weeks, months, or years must consult with a physician due to the medically risky and dangerous nature of alcohol detoxification. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include nausea, vomiting, shakiness, sweating, decreased or lost appetite, tremors, and/or disorientation.

Alcohol Detox

There are two typical treatment options for an individual’s requiring alcohol detox. Most importantly, if the person is experiencing significant withdrawal symptoms, he/she should consult a primary care doctor, a qualified addiction medicine doctor, or go to the nearest emergency room. Some patients can be detoxed at home, but most people with significant symptoms or who are at high risk for complications, like withdrawal seizures and/or delirium tremens, are managed in a hospital. The purpose of acute detox at home or in the hospital is to manage withdrawal symptoms with drugs that make detox relatively comfortable and help prevent life-threatening complications like seizures, delirium tremens, and death. Acute detox is not the end of treatment; rather, it is the beginning of care which most patients require on an outpatient basis.

Alcohol Treatment Options After Acute Detox

There are a variety of evidence-based treatment options after detox concludes. Options for alcohol treatment after acute detox have evolved over the last few years to a structured treatment program which involves:

  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOP)
  • Outpatient follow-up with an addiction medicine doctor for medication-assisted therapy (MAT)
  • Follow up with a primary care doctor
  • Group therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Sober community support
  • Spiritual guidance based on patients faith and belief system

Unique Health provides care in this spectrum of treatment from acute detox at-home to follow-up care with addiction physicians, psychologists, and counsellors.

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