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Alcohol Detox Protocol
When an excessive drinker abruptly stops drinking alcohol, he or she typically experiences alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
When an individual reaches this point, however, he or she needs professional alcohol treatment that features an alcohol detox protocol.
Such an approach controls the alcohol withdrawal symptoms in a harm-free environment so that the body can rid itself of the alcohol that has been ingested.
Alcohol Detox Protocol and Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
An alcohol detox protocol is a traditional form of alcoholism treatment that is usually carried out under the supervision of a medical doctor in an alcohol treatment clinic or facility. Such a protocol is frequently the first step employed in an alcoholic treatment program.
Due mainly to the relatively long time-frame needed for the completion of the alcohol detox protocol, these programs are typically part of an inpatient alcohol treatment program.
According to the research literature, it is important to medically treat every person who is experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
This obviously applies to the approximately 95% of the people who experience mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms when they quit drinking alcohol.
Thankfully, the overwhelming majority of these people will be to receive alcohol treatment on an out-patient basis by a healthcare practitioner.
Unlike the majority of people who experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms, however, 5% experience symptoms so severe that they need to be treated in a hospital or in an alcohol rehab facility that specializes in alcohol detoxification.
Non-Drug Alcohol Detox Protocol
A number of non-drug alcohol detox protocols are available for treating alcohol withdrawal. In fact, according to the scientific research literature, it has been shown that the least problematic way to treat mild withdrawal symptoms is without drugs.
Non-drug alcohol detox protocols like these usually use screening and comprehensive social support all through the withdrawal process. Other non-drug alcohol detox protocols, moreover, employ vitamin therapy (especially thiamin) and proper nutrition when treating mild withdrawal symptoms.
Alcohol Detox Protocol: Using Drugs
Numerous medical doctors and alcoholism research scientists think that people who experience severe alcohol withdrawals and chronic alcoholics who cannot sustain their sobriety are prime candidates to receive drug therapy to control their withdrawal symptoms.
Not only this, but when a drug-oriented alcohol detox protocol is employed, alcoholics are less likely to experience possible seizures and/or brain damage.
Recent research findings strongly suggest that the drugs with the highest likelihood of producing effective results when treating alcohol withdrawal symptoms are the benzodiazepines.
Examples include the shorter-acting benzodiazepines such as Serax and Ativan and the longer-acting benzodiazepines such as Librium and Valium.
Traditionally, when doctors have used benzodiazepines, they have employed a progressive decrease in dosage over the time-span of the entire withdrawal process.
Additionally, since the shorter-acting benzodiazepines allow for measurable dose reductions and since they do not remain in the person’s body for an excessive period of time, many practitioners and researchers have stated that intermediate to short half-life benzodiazepines should be employed in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
After a person overcomes his or her withdrawal symptoms, other doctor-prescribed medications such as disulfiram (Antabuse) or naltrexone (ReViaT) can be prescribed to help prevent the person from returning to drinking after he or she has suffered a relapse.
For instance, due to the fact that Antabuse triggers very unpleasant effects such as flushing, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness if alcohol is consumed, it has proven to be a strong deterrent to drinking even with those who are chronic alcoholics.
On the other hand, Naltrexone (ReViaT) is used in a totally different manner in that it targets the brain’s reward circuits and reduces the alcoholic’s craving for alcohol.
Alcohol Detox Protocol: Inpatient versus Outpatient Status
Alcoholism researchers have found that an inpatient alcohol detox protocol is more effective and longer-lasting than outpatient treatment.
As a result, the more excessive the alcohol-related withdrawal symptoms, the more likely that inpatient alcohol treatment programs should be considered.
Conclusion: Alcohol Detox Protocol
Even though 95% of the people who quit drinking alcohol experience mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms, every person who suffers from alcohol withdrawal needs a professional alcohol detox protocol in an alcohol treatment facility.
The critical lesson to be learned about alcohol withdrawal symptoms, thus, is this: when experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms, always see your healthcare practitioner or doctor immediately so that he or she can appraise the severity of your withdrawal symptoms and recommend the most effective alcohol detox protocol for your particular situation.