Medications Used During Alcohol Detox

alcohol detox medicationsOvercoming alcoholism requires tremendous courage and determination. Similar to other addictions, alcoholism is a maladaptive coping device.  Although habitual alcohol abuse will eventually destroy the body, mind and spirit of individuals suffering, the detox journey is no simple feat. Integral to the healing process are a plethora of physical and emotional obstacles, many of which need to be overcome for successful treatment. With the support of compassionate professionals and proper medication, overcoming alcoholism is possible.

The goals of a successful alcohol detox entail resuming physical and emotional health. However, before an individual can explore the causative root issues of his/her alcohol abuse, all individuals must return to a state of physical health. Typically, this initial stage of detox requires a complete physical cleansing. As the physical body grows accustomed to surviving without alcohol, individuals will experience intense withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Fever
  • Tremors
  • Episodes of delusion or hallucination
  • Seizures
  • Rapid changes in heart rate and/or blood pressure

Medications Used

Due to the sensitive nature of the detox process, doctors may employ a variety of medications. According to research reported in the New York Times, 95 percent of individuals will experience the mild withdrawal symptoms of anxiety, irritability and insomnia. The more severe symptoms of seizures and delusions affect a smaller percentage of individuals recovering at approximately 20 percent.

For many individuals, anti-anxiety medications are effective; however, other individuals continue to experience the debilitating side effects of hallucinations and seizures. In such cases, doctors will employ anti-seizure medications – including Tegretol or Depakote.

Medication sometimes plays a pivotal role in the alcohol detox process. Before individuals can delve deep into the role alcohol plays in their lives, they must first be medically stable. Unfortunately, this stage sometimes requires dealing with discomfort.  Although uncomfortable, modern science has created medication to ease the pain. While individuals will vary in the severity and duration of their withdrawal symptoms, anti-anxiety medication can create a foundation on which to heal; thus, it is sometimes used in detox programs.

If you’d like more information on the alcohol detox process we employ here at The Oaks at La Paloma, call us today.