If you or a loved one has a drinking problem and is ready to make changes to return to a functional life, the type of treatments and/or medications used to assist in the transition from addiction to sobriety can affect the outcome. Alcohol is one of the most challenging substances to eliminate in the lives of those addicted and can produce severe withdrawal symptoms. Using alcohol detox medication under close medical supervision can reduce withdrawal symptoms substantially and improve the likelihood of achieving long-term freedom from alcohol addiction.
Withdrawal Symptoms from Alcohol Can Be Dangerous
As little as two hours after your last drink, alcohol withdrawal symptoms may begin to appear. Symptoms range from mild anxiety to severe issues such as seizures and delirium tremens (DTs) characterized by rapid heartbeat, confusion and fever, which are fatal in approximately 1 to 5 percent of all cases. Alcohol detox medication can greatly reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms when prescribed by a qualified medical provider.
Due to the severity of withdrawal symptoms, people who have been drinking heavily for an extended period of time are safest handling their detox period in an inpatient care center, where appropriate alcohol detox medication can be administered with competent medical care and helpful staff members who are present 24 hours each day.
Benzodiazepines are First Choice for Alcohol Withdrawal
The many different medications within the benzodiazepine category show the best results against alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Intermediate to brief lasting benzodiazepines such as Ativan and Serax are preferred over longer lasting varieties such as Valium and Librium. With the shorter half-lives (or the length of time it takes for the body to eliminate one-half of the detox medication from the body), medical providers can more easily reduce the dose of the chosen medication over a relatively long period of time, as the ultimate goal is freedom from all drug dependence.
Inpatient Facilities Provide Support and Therapy
In addition to the medical care you will receive in a residential alcohol detox center, therapy sessions can help you transition back into a healthy life and maintain the positive changes. Since you will be surrounded by others who are experiencing similar challenges, finding support from other addicts within the facility increases the number of reasons why long term success rates from people who have completed inpatient alcohol detox treatment is much higher than those who attempt to quit drinking independently.