Anyone who is an alcohol dependent and tries to undergo self-detoxification should be forewarned because going through the withdrawal process entails several complications and may even result to death. The abrupt cessation of alcohol intake may lead to withdrawal symptoms like headaches, nausea, anxiety, mild to severe seizures, irritability, among others. This stresses the importance of seeking professional medical assistance that is adept at providing support to patients undergoing alcohol detoxification.
There are varied alcohol detox protocols to choose from but doctors select the ones suitable for the patient in terms of the duration and type of substance abuse. Prior to any alcohol detox program, doctors first assess the condition of the patient to determine the appropriate alcohol detox protocol and treatment to use to treat the withdrawal symptoms.
Most doctors make use of a CIWA-Ar, an instrument that is able to measure the degree of withdrawal symptoms by rating them. After this has been done, doctors then administer an alcohol detox protocol.
Overview of an alcohol detox protocol
This is an example of alcohol detox protocol: The diagnosis of a patient such as acute alcohol intoxication is stated in the patients record as well as the type of activities the patient is allowed to undertake, as in complete bedrest. The attending doctor would usually instruct to give the CIWA-Ar test again until the score is below 10 within a 24-hour period. Close monitoring and additional assessments may also be required.
Then, three separate instructions are given out for the specific medications that may apply. For instance, either of the following may be administered to prevent withdrawal symptoms: 200 mg of Chlordiazepoxide (Librium) divided into four doses within 24 hours, and then 25mg every six hours for eight divided doses; Diazepam (Valium) given at 10mg four times a day, then reduced to 5mg every six hours for eight doses; or 8mg of Lorazepam (Ativan) for the first day in four divided doses, then 1mg at six-hour intervals for eight doses.
For the treatment of withdrawal symptoms, doctors choose any of these: Chlordiazepoxide (Librium) given every hour at 50 to 100 mg, or Diazepam (Valium) administered hourly at 10 to 20 mg, or Lorazepam (Activan) 3 6mg also on an hourly basis. These medications administered in an alcohol detox protocol have been proven effective in alleviating withdrawal symptoms and lead to the quick recovery of patients. Most doctors administer them in strong doses and then gradually into lower, divided doses.
If the condition of a patient persists despite the oral treatment, or if withdrawal symptoms range from agitation and hallucinations, close monitoring is required and a specific alcohol detox protocol may be administered: 2 5mg of Haloperidol (Haldol) through IM (intra-muscular) or IV (intra-ventricular) injection; a similar dose of Haldol given with 2 4mg of Lorazepam (Activa) through (IM/IV).