woman thinks about the alcohol withdrawal timeline

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

When a person comes to a doctor’s office, two things will point toward a diagnosis of alcohol withdrawal: the first is long-term alcohol use with sudden cessation, and the second being symptoms typical of withdrawal (these will be explained in the following paragraphs). For the symptoms, physicians use a largely accepted algorithm known as the CIWA-Ar (Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment) protocol. This survey takes a snapshot of a patient to determine how severe their withdrawal is at a point in time during their visit.

What doctors look for when determining severity of alcohol withdrawal: The categories assessed by the patient include nausea and vomiting, tremor (often in the hands), auditory, tactile or visual hallucinations, sweats, anxiety, headache, agitation, and disorientation. Additionally, the doctor will measure heart rate, blood pressure, and do a physical exam. Each category is measured out of 7 points, with 7 being the worst (the exception to this is disorientation, which is measured out of 4 points). The maximum score in the assessment is a 67, with patients under 10 usually being safe without medication, and with any number over 20 being considered severe withdrawal. However, this scale is meant to determine the severity of withdrawal, and is not as helpful in laying out a timeline of when these symptoms will present. For that, it is more helpful to understand the body’s reaction to the cessation of alcohol use.

woman helps woman detox from alcohol

How to Help Someone Detoxing from Alcohol

Supporting a friend or family member through detox from alcohol can be a very difficult process. While you want to help your friend through their struggle, alcohol detox requires a lot of patience and preparation for all involved. Alcohol withdrawal can be very dangerous and even life-threatening, so it is crucial to learn as much as you can from a qualified medical professional.

Helping your friend or loved one recognize that they have an alcohol use disorder or dependence on alcohol is an important first step. However, alcohol detox is not something to enter lightly. Understanding the effects of alcohol detox and the symptoms of withdrawal can help you support your loved one through their journey of recovery.

example of nutrition for addiction

Nutritional and Vitamin Therapy is Essential in Alcohol Detox and Alcoholism Recovery

Imagine this: you have a few drinks with some friends and you have a great night. You do this again every weekend. Every weekend turns into weekdays, sometimes with your friends and sometimes in your living room alone. Some days, you start drinking in the morning to get your day started and suddenly, you can’t live without a drink in your hand.

More than 75,000 deaths annually are attributed to the excessive consumption of alcohol, according to Ralph W. Hingson, a Professor at the Boston University School of Public Health. Excessive Alcohol Consumption is also the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

Alcoholism (AUD) is a chronic disease characterized by the inability to control drinking due to both a physical and emotional dependence on alcohol. Those who struggle with alcoholism feel as though they cannot function normally without alcohol. In turn, this affects their professional goals, personal matters, and the family and friends in their lives.

woman refuses alcohol

Finding Personalized Alcohol Addiction Treatment

As we go through life, our experiences shape not only our perception of the world but the resilience in which we face life’s everyday challenges. When I look back at the last year of my life in comparison to all the ones before it, I can finally smile. See, there was a time when I felt irrevocably stuck- trapped, even. All I wanted day in and day out was a chance to hit the reset button- a chance I was finally awarded in recovery.

man talks to his family during a support group

Support Groups for Families of Addicts & Alcoholics

Being a pillar of strength, hope, and guidance for someone else is a very exhausting task, even for the most capable person. Support groups for families of addicts & alcoholics provide a much needed safe space to cope with the on-going strain they endure with this problem, so they don’t lose themselves in the process.

An addicted person is not just changing and negatively affecting their own life, but their attitudes and actions greatly affect those around them. Because of the ripple effect addiction has on loved ones, it is often called a ‘family disease’. Having an environment in which the loved ones can go and express concerns is needed for the overall long-term recovery of everyone involved.

man considers the effects of alcohol and the brain

The Effects of Alcoholism on the Brain

Have you ever stopped to think about the effects alcoholism can have on the human brain? Alcohol abuse can result in both short term and long term negative effects in the brain of the user. Knowing the symptoms of brain impairment can help you understand what’s going on in the body, and how the continued abuse of this substance can damage such a vital, complex organ over time.

Short-Term Effects of Alcoholism

A known effect related to brain impairment is the gaps in memory that may begin to occur; this is a result of disruptions in neurotransmitters. These are recognizable characteristics that friends or family can easily notice. Additional effects can include decreased coordination, slower reflexes, slurred speech and a lack of concentration. Again, these qualities may seem obvious to someone observing from the outside, but the person abusing the substance may not be aware of anything wrong.