What is Alcohol Withdrawal?

The term alcohol withdrawal is a name given to the process that used to be referred to as the DT’s, which some people will have heard described in some detail as people’s experiences of what they thought they saw and felt when they began to stop drinking or taper of alcohol.

DT’s are one way of understanding alcohol withdrawal, but there is a broader understanding of the term that is probably more important. Anyone who has had a serious problem with alcohol and suddenly decides to stop is at risk of the body reacting in certain ways which can be damaging or dangerous to their health.

In addition many people who have drug problems or are alcoholics will have also used drugs of various sorts, either prescription or nonprescription, which can have an added impact on the process.

Anyone entering a rehab is likely to be under a lot of pressure, both internally and externally concerning their drinking and/or drug use. A lot of the pressure will be concerning the buildup to the point when they decide to/been forced to enter a rehab.

There might be some concern about the possible effects of alcohol withdrawal, but for many people it will not be at the top of the list.

This is an area where it is crucial to get it right.

Alcohol Withdrawal

Anyone entering a rehab should be absolutely clear that the individual needs to be assessed by a qualified medical team who can decide whether or not the individual needs medical support and supervision when coming off alcohol and/or drugs.

This assessment is critical. The process of overseeing alcohol withdrawal can be done in the rehab itself if they have the necessary staff and facilities, or in a local clinical facility that the rehab has arrangements with.

The nature of the effect of alcohol withdrawal, especially if it is complicated by use of other substances as well, is one that needs to be assessed on an individual basis. For many people, coming off drinking will not be a problem, for other people it potentially is.

This is why it is essential that a rehab has fully qualified medical staff who have experience of alcohol withdrawal, of detox, especially where drugs are concerned and need to make that decision concerning help.

It can sometimes help in this process if you check the website of the rehab concerned, and see how much emphasis they place on the need to assess an individual for help with a detox.

Quite often a rehab will list specific drugs that they can offer help with, and this should imply that they have medical/clinical staff who have experience in dealing with these drugs. This can be checked upon admission, but should be a good indication of their experience.