Treatments for a recovering alcoholic includes detoxification, alcohol detox medications, emotional and psychological counselling, healthy diet and of course, the love and support of family and friends.
The process of detoxification causes unpleasant side effects called withdrawal symptoms. Some of the common symptoms include nausea, headaches, and anxiety while the more serious symptoms are hallucination, seizures and high blood pressure. Without alcohol detox medications to alleviate the pain, withdrawal can be very dangerous. At some cases, it has been recorded to cause death. Not all alcohol detox medications serve to relieve pain, there are also detox medication given to the person to help keep him off alcohol.
The most common medications given as treatment to withdrawal symptoms include:
* Anti-anxiety medicines are use to treat withdrawal symptoms such as delerium tremens (DTs)
* Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) is used to prevent Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome that causes permanent brain damage due to excessive alcohol abuse.
* Mild sedatives may treat common withdrawal symptoms such as headache and nausea.
* Painkillers and stronger doses of sedatives are used to treat convulsions and seizures
Medications for Detox
The following are Alcohol Detox medications given to help keep the reformed drinker away from alcohol:
* Acamprosate (Campral) controls a person’s craving for alcohol.
* Disulfiram (Antabuse) makes the person feel ill when consuming alcohol. It actually works by slowing down the pleasurable effect of alcohol, making the patient feel nauseated.
* Naltrxone (ReVia) works with the almost same philosophy as Disulfiram. It reduces the pleasurable effects off alcohol.
It is important to remember that a professional health provider should prescribe these medications. Self-medication can cause more harm to the person. Also, families and friends should not depend on alcohol detox medications alone in keeping the person sober. They should be vigilant in doing follow up check-ups on the person every few weeks.