Which medications are used as support | Alcohol Withdrawal

Which medications are used as support

Medication is often used as a supporting measure in the context of alcohol withdrawal. There are two types of medication that can be used as the main substances but must never be given at the same time. These are benzodiazepines and clomethiazole.

Both of these drugs have stimulant effects via certain receptors in the brain, and so they also reduce the many withdrawal symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal. However, they should only be used from less than 1‰ blood alcohol to avoid possible excessive sedation, i.e. damping of the body. Depending on the accompanying symptoms, various other drugs can be used.

In the case of an increased heart rate, for example, beta-blockers can be given to lower the heart rate. To reduce the hallucinations, so-called antipsychiotics can be given. These are drugs that intervene in the dopamine metabolism, such as Haloperidol.

There are various over-the-counter drugs that are said to help with alcohol withdrawal. These are often very easy to find on the Internet. However, the effectiveness of all these drugs has to be examined very critically.

Up to now there is no drug that can be scientifically proven to promote alcohol withdrawal. Therefore, caution is advised here. In case of doubt, a doctor should always be consulted about possible medication.

What is the recidivism rate for alcohol withdrawal?

The relapse rate in alcohol withdrawal is unfortunately relatively high. There are various statistics which can prove that, if therapy is carried out, about one third of the persons concerned will relapse after half a year. After one and a half years, about half of the affected persons start drinking again.

Without a successful therapy, however, the relapse rate is as high as 70%, which is significantly higher. This is often due to inadequate implementation of the necessary therapy. Many people underestimate alcohol withdrawal and try to carry it out in their everyday life.

Often this is also due to a feeling of shame, which can be explained by the social reputation of the alcohol disease. However, if a therapy is started, it is often not carried out consistently enough. A lack of insight or an unstable and unsupportive environment can be possible causes. It is therefore very important to seek advice from a counselling centre or to confide in another person from the immediate environment if thoughts of a return to alcohol consumption arise.