Alcohol Withdrawal in San Diego

Are you uncertain about which strategies can best manage alcohol withdrawal?

At La Jolla Recovery alcohol withdrawal rehab, we can attend to your unique physiological and personal needs to have a detoxification process that is not only reduced in discomfort but science-based and supportive of extending the recovery process and outcome. Alcohol withdrawal can be a severe change for the body when consumed for prolonged times or increased measures, and we want you to know we are a non-judgment space where we will serve your care and unique needs. La Jolla Recovery is a medication-assisted treatment optional facility and intends to provide all the resources to minimize physical discomfort and increase sober outcomes. From work to family, let us take care of your detox and rehabilitation needs from day one.

Have you ever wondered how much alcohol a person has to drink (and for how long) before they risk developing a withdrawal syndrome after sudden abstinence? Do you wonder which methods are best to diagnose and quantify the severity of alcohol withdrawal? If yes, keep reading.

Alcohol Withdrawal 

Descriptions of alcoholism withdrawal, including delirium tremens (DTs), have filled the medical literature since the late 18th century.  Decades later, alcohol withdrawal was labeled “brain fever” secondary to “frequent and excessive intoxication.” In that same year, the syndrome was called delirium tremens. More than a century later, in 1953, Fraser induced an abstinence syndrome (manifest by tremulousness, seizures, and “canine delirium”) in chronically alcohol-intoxicated canines. Our understanding of these syndromes grew when Victor and Adams used a naturalistic setting to study 206 patients hospitalized for alcoholism. After their patients’ alcohol intake ceased upon hospitalization, 12% had seizures, 18% developed hallucinations, and 5% developed Delirium Tremens. All these symptoms were related to the cessation of alcohol consumption.

History of Alcohol Withdrawal

Over the years, a variety of treatments have been tried for symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.  In the early 20th century, lumbar punctures were utilized; decades later, hydrotherapy became a common treatment, and by the mid of the century, both electroconvulsive shock therapy and insulin coma therapy were seen as choices for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal.

In 1994, Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine recommended adequate nutrition and diligent recognition of central nervous system (CNS) symptoms of withdrawal, with the subsequent administration of another CNS depressant (with a taper of the medication over 3–5 days). Benzodiazepines with a short half-life were recommended for patients with liver disease; however, medications with longer half-lives (chlordiazepoxide or diazepam) were generally chosen. More modern medications such as suboxone, Sublocade, and Vivitrol have shown positive outcomes in craving and withdrawal as well.

Alcohol Withdrawal Statistics and Prevalence

At some time in their lives, 20% of men and 10% of women in most Western countries will have an alcohol-use disorder, defined as repetitive alcohol-related problems in at least 2 of a dozen areas of life. These conditions can decrease the life span by a decade and are associated with severe impairments in social functioning and many medical problems. Although alcohol-related conditions occur in persons from all social levels and affect more than 20% of patients in most medical settings, few physicians have been adequately trained in identifying and treating these severe problems. About 50% of persons with alcohol-use disorders have symptoms of alcohol withdrawal when they reduce or discontinue their alcohol consumption; in 3 to 5% of these persons, either convulsions or severe confusion (a delirium), or both develop. 

Withdrawal symptoms associated with depressants such as alcohol include insomnia, anxiety, and increased pulse and respiration rates, body temperature, and blood pressure, as well as a hand tremor. Because of the fast action of ethanol (beverage alcohol), withdrawal symptoms usually begin within 8 hours after blood alcohol levels decrease, peak at about 72 hours, and are markedly reduced by day 5 through 7 of abstinence. Alcohol withdrawal and the severity of its symptoms must be closely monitored to identify the most effective treatments. 

Background Alcohol withdrawal delirium (AWD), commonly known as delirium tremens, is the most severe manifestation of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. The classic clinical presentation of AWD includes hyperpyrexia, tachycardia, hypertension, and diaphoresis. The incidence of AWD averages 5% in placebo-treated alcohol-dependent patients entered into clinical trials of inpatient drug treatment for alcohol withdrawal. Clinical features of alcohol withdrawal syndrome can appear within hours of the last drink, but delirium typically does not develop until 2 to 3 days after cessation of drinking. Alcohol withdrawal delirium usually lasts 48 to 3 days, but there have been case reports of much longer duration. Initial studies found mortality to be as high as 15%, but with advances in treatment, mortality rates have fallen, with more recent studies indicating mortality of 0% to 1%.

Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment may be used for the appropriate treatment of alcohol withdrawal delirium. Medications should not be used as a stand-alone treatment for alcohol withdrawal, delirium, or other symptoms, so a comprehensive detox approach is suggested. Medical and clinical attention to the proper alcohol withdrawal and detox will be provided to your unique needs.

Severe alcohol addiction and withdrawal symptoms like delirium tremens do not add to the fear or anxiety of getting help or beginning the alcohol detox step. La Jolla Recovery combines cutting-edge western techniques with eastern modalities at our state-of-the-art addiction and detox center. Contact our experienced team of clinicians if any of these alarming signs of alcoholic intoxication feel familiar to you. Be aware that a loved one may have a dual diagnosis such as mental health and abuse substances such as heroin, prescriptions, or cocaine. Whether adhering to 12 steps or needing an approach that is non-spiritual such as Practical Recovery, we want to provide the right program for your alcohol detox and withdrawal needs. The beaches of La Jolla, Pacific Beach, and Mission Bay will wake you up with a breeze to support the positive transition towards health. After detox, you might choose to continue recovery at one of our rehabs or outpatient centers. Are you wondering to choose inpatient or outpatient? We’re here to answer all your rehabilitation questions. If abusing Klonopin, benzodiazepines, or opiates, we will attend your alcohol withdrawal with the proper attention, including multiple substance addictions or opiate support.

Need help for proper alcohol withdrawal and detoxification in San Diego, California?

We offer professional attention for alcohol withdrawal with a setting of comfort and relaxation. Contact an alcohol detoxification professional today to begin a journey away from alcohol abuse.

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