Medications Used During Alcohol Detox - Mandala Healing Center
Alcohol detox is the first step you must take to overcome alcoholism. The problem is detoxing from alcohol and just stopping drinking aren’t as easy as they sound. When you stop drinking, you may notice that you don’t feel so well. And, the longer you abstain from alcohol, the worse your symptoms get. You may even continue drinking for the sole reason of avoiding withdrawal.
Well, the food news is there are many medications used during alcohol detox in West Palm Beach that can help you get through withdrawal safely and comfortably. These medications can alleviate discomfort and help you make it through detox without picking up a drink. They will also keep you safe by helping prevent potentially fatal complications.
The Importance of Medical Detox for Alcohol Withdrawal
Even in the mildest of cases, alcohol withdrawal syndrome is uncomfortable and tedious. In the most serious cases, however, withdrawal can be potentially deadly. Seizures are very common among people who are detoxing from alcohol, especially those who are chronic drinkers. On the other hand, you may be susceptible to delirium tremens (DTs) – the most severe form of alcohol withdrawal where seizures and hallucinations occur. Regardless of your circumstance and the severity of your symptoms, the safest way to detox is at a medical detox facility in West Palm Beach.
While you are detoxing, doctors can prescribe a variety of different medications that are used during alcohol detox. Some of these are intended to prevent seizures while others are intended simply to make you more comfortable. Medications can help reduce the severity of symptoms, shorten the alcohol withdrawal timeline, and prevent life-threatening complications.
No matter how long you’ve been drinking, it is always in your best interest to detox in a medical setting.
Alcohol Detox Medications
In severe instances of alcohol withdrawal, detox professionals in West Palm Beach may prescribe medications to help you manage your symptoms. Here are the different kinds of medications that may be used.
Benzodiazepines are the most common type of medications used during alcohol detox in West Palm Beach. These medications help reduce nearly all symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and prevent seizures. Examples of benzodiazepines that are FDA-approved to treat alcohol withdrawal are:
- Valium (Diazepam)
- Librium (Chlordiazepoxide)
- Tranxene (Clorazepate)
- Serax (Oxazepam)
If you are prescribed a benzodiazepine, you may start at a high dose and gradually taper down.
Seizure medications, also known as anticonvulsants, may be prescribed to help manage acute alcohol withdrawal, particularly during the severe stages. Examples of these medications include:
- Neurontin (Gabapentin)
- Trileptal (Oxcarbazepine)
- Depakene (Valproic Acid)
- Tegretol (Carbamazepine)
These may be used in replacement of or alongside benzodiazepines to help manage seizures and other symptoms.
Barbiturates are another class of medications you may be prescribed during alcohol detox, however, they aren’t used as frequently as benzodiazepines. They are used to treat cases that are resistant to benzodiazepines or those who need intensive care.
In addition to benzodiazepines, anticonvulsants, and barbiturates, other medications may be used to help manage your symptoms during your stay at an alcohol detox in West Palm Beach. These include:
- Antipsychotics like haloperidol
- Alpha-2 agonists such as clonidine
- Beta-blockers like propranolol or atenolol
- Baclofen, a GABA-B receptor
Alcohol Treatment Medications (After Detox)
The above-listed medications are generally only used during the detox period. However, you may be prescribed other medications during treatment to help you cope with cravings. All of these medications can only be taken once the alcohol has left your system and you have detoxed completely.
Acamprosate (Campral) is used alongside counseling and peer support. It helps restore balance in the central nervous system by balancing glutamate and GABA in the brain. It does not prevent withdrawal symptoms and does not adversely interact with alcohol. Acamprosate does help reduce cravings.
Disulfiram (Antabuse) is a medication that inhibits the enzyme needed to metabolize alcohol. As a result, people who drink while taking this medication will get sick. Mixing alcohol and disulfiram can cause sweating, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, and headache. These negative effects are thought to help discourage people from picking up a drink.
Naltrexone (Vivitrol or Revia)
Although originally approved to treat opioid use disorder, Naltrexone comes in the form of a monthly injection (Vivitrol) or a daily pill. It helps decrease drinking behaviors and the desire to drink. This medication cannot be given to patients who have hepatitis or liver disease.
Find an Alcohol Detox in West Palm Beach Today
At Mandala Healing Center, we know that asking for help is almost always the hardest part of getting sober. It is also a necessary first step in living the life you deserve. If you or a loved one are struggling with alcoholism, you don’t have to suffer in silence. We can help. To learn more about our West Palm Beach alcohol treatment program or to start detox today, give us a call.