Community Detox: Important Information

Important Information

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When undertaking assisted withdrawal, you are required to stop drinking alcohol and its effects are replaced by medication. This involves providing an adequate initial dose to prevent severe withdrawal symptoms (including seizures, severe anxiety or instability), but also to withdraw the medication before physical dependence on its effects begins. The medication is then reduced at a rate that prevents withdrawal symptoms (without promoting over-sedation) and ultimately stopped altogether.

The process is conducted in a safe and structured manner to reduce the likelihood of potential adverse events. The structured approach will include careful assessment and discussion of your suitability for a community alcohol detoxification. This discussion will take into account several factors including your motivation, current physical and mental health, social support, consideration of any absolute contraindications e.g. history of seizures or delirium.

Withdrawing from alcohol can be accompanied by withdrawal symptoms, such as shaking, anxiety, feeling jumpy and nervous, feeling irritable, sweating, nausea, racing thoughts and insomnia. With medication, the worst aspects of withdrawal can be relieved. However, alcohol intoxication places a burden on the body and, as a result, you should expect to experience some discomfort. Medications you will be prescribed are safe but can cause drowsiness. As a result, during detoxification, it is recommended that you refrain from driving, operating machinery or undertaking any tasks that require being alert. Also, the medication is not safe when taken together with alcohol and thus if you resume drinking you must stop taking it at once.

In recent years, medications have been developed which when ingested, work to deter you from drinking alcohol. These medications work by producing a chemical reaction if you consume alcohol alongside the prescribed drugs. This may be an option you would like to discuss following detox.

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