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Alcoholism Withdrawal

Alcoholics risk physical harm or even death during detox, and alcoholism withdrawal needs to occur under medical supervision.

The dangers of acute alcoholism withdrawal include headache, nausea, vomiting anxiety, delirium tremens, convulsions, cardiac arrest and a number of other very uncomfortable symptoms; and although detox from heroin or cocaine can be difficult and uncomfortable, alcohol is one of the few drugs that can induce withdrawal symptoms severe enough to be fatal.

Alcoholism withdrawal symptoms can be reduced in severity through the appropriate and controlled use of sedative anti convulsant medications such as benzodiazepines, and with other anti seizure and anti convulsant drugs; and for best safety, acute withdrawal should occur under constant medical observation.

While the initial days of alcoholism withdrawal present the greatest dangers of seizure or even death, alcoholism withdrawal symptoms continue with lessening severity for weeks and even months after cessation of use. Lingering anxiety, persistent sleep disruptions and strong urges to drink are all a part of long lasting and relapse provoking alcoholism withdrawal symptoms.

There are some drugs, such as acamprosate, that aim to restore alcohol damaged neural functioning and thereby reduce the severity of experienced alcoholism withdrawal symptoms...but for the most part, recovering alcoholics need time and therapy to emerge through the pains of acute and longer term withdrawal, and to resist the continuing compulsions to drink during this challenging period.

Intensive and lengthy participation in drug and alcohol treatment programs; with an emphasis on psychosocial therapies, cognitive behavioral training, and appropriate pharmacological interventions help recovering alcoholics understand and better manage the reoccurring symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, and gives them the life strategies they'll need for continued resistance to alcoholism withdrawal induced temptation.

The urge to drink during alcoholism withdrawal can overwhelm the best of intentions for sobriety, and because of the inherent dangers of withdrawal, no one with a serious history of abuse and dependency should attempt to detox off of alcohol alone. Medical supervision and a detox away from access to alcohol ensures that the process proceeds with maximal comfort and safety, and keeps the alcoholic away from drinking until the worst of the withdrawal symptoms have passed.