A Treatment Center Alumni Shares Her Story of Hope and Recovery
Alcohol detox is a painful experience for alcoholics who want to stop drinking. The painful effects of alcohol detox are both physical and psychological. These effects are extremely dangerous. In fact, alcohol detox centers warn that no one who drinks heavily and consistently should attempt alcohol detox alone. Withdrawing from alcohol could cause the body to go into shock, and eventually cause death.
Typically, alcohol detox centers medically supervise all patients during the detox process. In order to reduce the negative symptoms associated with the process, doctors prescribe medication to reduce the effects of alcohol withdrawal. Some common medications used by alcohol detox centers to help patients with severe withdrawals are Valium and Ativan. However, these drugs are benzodiazepines, which are highly addictive. Alcoholics can be prone to become dependent on other drugs besides alcohol. Therefore, many alcohol detox centers are using alternatives that prevent death for the patient but eliminate the dangerous addictive factor of drugs used to treat their patients.
Recently, a study probed the effects of two alternative medications to benzodiazepines. The study was conducted on alcoholics withdrawing in Italy. In the study, 111 patients were given either pregabalin(Lyrica), taipride(A European antipsychotic) and Ativan.
The results of the study were as follows: All of the three medications showed benefits for eliminating withdrawal symptoms. Improvement for headaches and disorientation fared best for patients given Lyrica. These results show that Lyrica was more effective than the benzodiazepine for relieving withdrawal symptoms than Ativan, but it does not have addictive properties. The antipsychotic taipride does not have addictive properties either. This drug was equal in effectiveness to the addictive drug, Ativan.