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Alcohol Withdrawal: Poor Concentration and Impaired Memory

Alcohol Withdrawal: Poor Concentration and Impaired Memory

Alcohol withdrawal has multiple signs and symptoms. Previous blogs have been written about a number of signs and symptoms, including: anxiety, tremors or shakes, appetite disturbance, and sleep disturbances.  Another symptom may be poor concentration and/or impaired memory.

Poor concentration and impaired memory in conjunction with consistent alcohol intake may be signs of an Alcohol Use Disorder, further, poor concentration and impaired memory may be symptoms of an alcohol withdrawal syndrome. These symptoms may present as a clouded sensorium. The mind is fuzzy or clouded and the client does not always think straight. 

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal that may contribute to poor concentration and impaired memory are: Anxiety, agitation, irritability, sleep disturbances, or poor nutritional intake. Alcohol withdrawal in itself may cause poor concentration and impaired memory related to the brain’s response to alcohol withdrawal.

Poor concentration and/or impaired memory, along with other symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are a red flag, a warning to the alcohol dependent person that they are experiencing a significant withdrawal. A person experiencing these symptoms should seek medical help from their primary care practitioner, the emergency room, or another qualified health care provider.

Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

Poor concentration and impaired memory may be signs of a Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. 

Other symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety, Restlessness, Irritability, and agitation.
  • Tremor or shakiness, elevated heart rate, and elevated blood pressure
  • Appetite disturbance, nausea, and / or vomiting
  • Trouble sleeping, intense dreaming, nightmares

Indications of a more severe withdrawal syndrome:

  • Increased sensitivity to sound, light, and tactile sensations
  • Hallucinations (See, Hear, or feel things not really there)
  • Delusions, usually paranoid or persecutory
  • Grand Mal Seizures; Tonic-clonic seizures.
  • Hyperthermia or elevated fever
  • Delirium with disorientation to time, other people, place, and the situation

Executive Home Detox provides a private in home detox for clients who cannot or will not access conventional treatment. EHD can assess the concentration and memory impairment over a period of days and communicate the assessment to a qualified physician who is managing the medical oversight of the detoxification.


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