Alcohol Home Detox
Is Alcohol Home Detox Safe?
EHD also published its own article on the subject titled: Is Alcohol Home Detox Safe? Read it here.
Withdrawal Symptoms during Detox
- elevated pulse
- elevated blood pressure
- diaphoresis or sweats
- heart palpitations
- tremors, fine to moderate hand tremors
- Additionally, dependent individuals may experience seizures when they cut back or stop drinking alcohol.
Medication for Withdrawal and Detoxification
Medication can be prescribed that will decrease the negative symptoms of alcohol detox and decrease the chance of a life threatening event, such as seizures or delirium tremens. Historically, Benzodiazepines or Phenobarbital have been utilized to manage withdrawal. Additional medications have recently begun being used to assist with withdrawal. Only a physician or nurse practitioner can prescribe the appropriate medication. EHD partners with competent prescribers.
Examples of benzodiazepines used for alcohol withdrawal are:
- Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Chlorazepate (Tranxene)
A Barbiturate, Phenobarbital, is an effective medication for Alcohol Detoxification. And should only be used with medical supervision.
These medications must be used judiciously to effectively manage the detoxification process. It is important to have clinicians who are expert and comfortable in prescribing and monitoring these medications.
Medication Management to Sustain Recovery
- Naltrexone (Oral pill: Revia) (Monthly injection: Vivitrol)
- Acamprosate (Campral)
- Disulfuram (Antabuse)
We strongly encourage clients to consider the use of these non-addictive medications, individually or together, to enhance the chances of sustaining recovery and preventing relapse. We work with the client and the prescribing clinician to evaluate the potential use of these medications.
The use of other types of medications, including antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and other psychotropics may assist in sleep, relapse prevention, and sustaining recovery.
EHD strongly encourages the client and the client’s family to consult with the client’s physician or primary care provider to discuss options related to the medical detoxification of alcohol at home or anywhere else. Options for the client will range from hospitalization to some type of supervised outpatient detox.