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Withdrawing From Alcohol: Symptoms and Addiction Treatment in Massachusetts

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be potentially life threatening and occurs when people who have been drinking heavily for weeks, months, or years either stop or significantly reduce their alcohol consumption. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can begin as early as two hours after the last drink and can persist for weeks. The symptoms range from mild anxiety and shakiness to severe complications, such as seizures and delirium tremens (DTs).

If you live in Massachusetts, since alcohol withdrawal symptoms can worsen very quickly it is important to seek medical attention at an alcohol treatment center in Massachusetts, even if the symptoms seem mild. The appropriate alcohol withdrawal program and treatment can reduce the risk of experiencing seizures or DTs. It is especially important to go see a doctor if you have previously experienced alcohol withdrawals, or if you have serious health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, or a history of seizures.

Massachusetts alcohol treatment center, Treatment Alternatives, gives a run-down of the causes, symptoms, and treatment of alcohol withdrawal:

Causes. Heavy prolonged drinking, more specifically, excessive daily drinking will disrupt the brain’s neurotransmitters. Chronic alcohol consumption also suppresses glutamate activity, a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of excitability. To maintain equilibrium, these neurotransmitters have to start functioning at a much higher level, a phenomenon known as tolerance.

When heavy drinkers suddenly stop or reduce their alcohol consumption significantly, the neurotransmitters are no longer being suppressed and rebound resulting in brain hyper-excitability. This is why the effects associated with alcohol withdrawal are the opposite of those associated with alcohol consumption.

Symptoms. According to the leading addiction treatment centers in Massachusetts, symptoms depend on how much and how long a person has been drinking. Minor withdrawal symptoms often occur 6-12 hours after a person stops drinking. Between 12-24 hours after they stop drinking, people may experience visual, auditory, or tactile hallucinations.

The symptoms include:

-Shaky hands
-Mild Anxiety

Withdrawal seizures usually happen between 24-48 hours after someone stops drinking. DTs usually begin between 48-72 hours after stopping drinking.

The symptoms of DTs (which peak at 5 days) include:

-Disorientation, confusion, and severe anxiety
-Hallucinations which cannot be distinguished from reality
-Profuse sweating
-High blood pressure
-Racing and irregular heartbeat
-Severe tremors
-Low-grade fever

Treatment. Mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms are preferably treated in an outpatient setting, around supportive family and friends. Outpatient detoxification is safe, effective, and less expensive than inpatient treatment centers in Massachusetts. The goals of treatment are to reduce immediate withdrawal symptoms, prevent complications, and begin long-term therapy to promote alcohol abstinence. Inpatient treatment may be required if the person is pregnant, does not have a support system, history of multiple detoxifications, severe withdrawal symptoms, or medical or psychiatric illnesses.

Prescription drugs used to treat alcohol withdrawal include benzodiazepines such as Valium, Librium, Ativan, and Serax. These medications control shakiness, anxiety, and confusion that is associated with alcohol withdrawal, and reduces the risk of seizures and DTs.

If you or a loved one are suffering from an alcohol addiction or feel as if you are on the verge of alcohol addiction, contact Treatment Alternatives of Massachusetts today, and plan a personalized recovery journey today!

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