Alcohol Withdrawal in Philadelphia, PA

Alcohol withdrawal in Philadelphia begins when an alcoholic tries to decrease or stop their alcohol intake altogether. The brain and body are suddenly deprived of the substance they had come to depend on for daily functioning. This results in a reaction by the brain and body manifested as withdrawal symptoms.

Causes of Alcohol Withdrawal

As a person drinks alcohol, chemical changes in the brain occur. Once the brain receptors are seriously affected, they may stop functioning completely, Alcohol withdrawal symptoms occur when alcohol is stopped. Because brain receptors are no longer working properly and there is no alcohol to take their place, the body has a negative reaction.

Also, homocysteine chemicals rise during alcohol withdrawal, creating a condition known as excito-neurotoxicity. This condition increases the severity of withdrawal symptoms. When homocysteine levels rise too high, toxins may build up in the brain, causing seizures and tremors. The most serious of this is delirium tremens, also known as DTs.

Alcohol Dependence and Withdrawal

Alcohol dependency occurs when the drinker's body and brain have become dependent upon alcohol. Physical and mental cravings result, demanding more alcohol to stay comfortable. Alcohol dependence is characterized by tolerance and withdrawal.

Length and Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal in Philadelphia

The length of time and the level of severity of withdrawal depend on how long and how much alcohol a person has been consuming. How many previous withdrawals the person has experienced will also play a factor. Symptoms can occur as soon as two hours.

First 12 hours: Shaking, headaches, sweats, anxiety, nausea, vomiting

Next 24 hours: Confusion, hallucinations, shaking, agitation

Next 48 hours: Convulsions, seizures, muscle spasms and possibly all prior withdrawal symptoms

After 48 hours: Symptoms subside although in severe cases it can progress to delirium tremens (DTs). The DTs need immediate medical attention, The DTs can last anywhere from four to 12 days. Hallucinations, disorientation, seizures, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure and fever are all possible.

Medical Alcohol Detox

Alcohol rehab begins with a medical detox. For health and safety reasons it is highly recommended to have a professional detox. Medical professionals keep a person comfortable and protected from possibly fatal symptoms. Also, any emergency situations can be dealt with immediately by qualified personnel. Home detox is not recommended.

Medications Used for Alcohol Withdrawal in Philadelphia

Benzodiazepines will lessen the severity of symptoms and are used for seizures prevention. Vitamins and supplements will be used to replenish nutrients. Thiamine, folate and pyridoxine, administered intravenously, helps alleviate symptoms. Anticonvulsants such as topiramate and carbamazepine are used for seizure and convulsion prevention. Antipsychotics, in conjunction with benzodiazepines, are used to control agitation or psychosis.

Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome Assessment

An assessment is used to examine the particulars of an individual's situation to proceed with a personalized rehab plan tailored to the person's needs.

Past History:

  • Amount of alcoholic consumption
  • Duration of alcohol use
  • Last time an alcoholic drink was consumed
  • Number of alcohol withdrawals previously experienced
  • Co-existing mental health conditions
  • Any other substance abuse


  • Co-existing medical conditions
  • Medical conditions related to allergies
  • Blood alcohol test prior to detox to check the level of alcohol

Residential Treatment for Continued Abstinence

Residential treatment offers continuous around-the-clock care and supervision. A person can work on sobriety in a safe and controlled environment with no temptations to drink. A medical alcohol detox, controlled withdrawing process, and comprehensive alcohol abuse therapy make residential treatment a wise choice. Any emergencies can immediately be addressed as well.

Alcohol treatment centers Philadelphia has the knowledge to help you or a loved one find the help they so desperately need. They can be reached at (877) 804-1531 and will be happy to assist you in finding the best rehab for your specific needs.

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