Alcohol detoxification and withdrawal symptoms management

Written by: Dr Oscar D’Agnone
Edited by: Kalum Alleyne

Alcohol dependence is a serious problem across the UK and the world. It is highly recommended that those who have to use alcohol to function normally should get professional help, particularly if they start to notice withdrawal symptoms. Dr Oscar D'Agnone, a psychiatrist with over 40 years of experience helping people beat addiction, is on hand to describe some of these symptoms.




When is an alcohol detox necessary?

Alcohol affects everyone differently, depending on a wide range of factors, so even those who don’t drink regularly may need a detox. If withdrawal symptoms are mild, you should be able to detox at home without any medication.


Can heavy drinkers detox at home?

Home detox is also possible for heavier drinkers, although it has to be monitored more closely. People who drink over 20 units a day, or those whose withdrawal symptoms are more frequent and difficult to deal with, may need medication to help reduce the unpleasant side effects of quitting alcohol. In these cases, patients are usually prescribed a tranquilizer called chlordiazepoxide to help ease anxiety, insomnia and other symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.


When is it necessary to go to a rehab centre?

For those with more severe dependence, a rehab centre stay may be necessary for alcohol detox. Generally speaking, the more severe the alcohol dependence, the worse the withdrawal symptoms will be, so a longer-term, holistic approach is required. It’s also vital to be in the hands of professionals who will support you safely through the most difficult stages. As for the withdrawal symptoms, the first two days of an inpatient detox are usually the most unpleasant. However, patients usually notice an improvement after this, and the detox can be completed successfully within a week of their last drink.


What are some of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal?

Some of the most common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are:

Alcohol detox programmes provide the right clinical and emotional support needed during alcohol withdrawal.


Dr Oscar D’Agnone provides alcohol detox programmes and monitoring that can help you stop drinking, visit his profile to request an appointment.

By Dr Oscar D’Agnone

Dr Oscar D'Agnone MD MRCPsych is one of the most senior and respected psychiatrists and medical addiction specialists in the UK specialising in anxiety disorders, addictions, alcohol-related problems, trauma (PTSD), depression and ADHD. He is currently CEO and Medical Director of  Seagrave Healthcare/The OAD Clinic, a leading private institution providing mental health and addiction treatment in central London for over 15 years.

Until November 2018 Dr D'Agnone has been Honorary Professor of the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences at the University of Manchester, member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the International Society of Addiction Medicine.

With over 35 years of experience as a consultant psychiatrist treating patients with mental health and addiction problems, Dr D'Agnone provides complex psycho-neuropharmacological interventions to manage or resolve challenging situations for his patients and their families suffering the consequences of mental health problems. Throughout his career he has held many managerial positions, leading large teams of doctors, nurses and psychologists through various treatment settings across Europe and America. As a result, he has obtained a rich clinical experience that has allowed him to develop and offer a problem-focused pragmatic approach to the variety of pharmacological and psychosocial interventions for his patients.

Dr D'Agnone has taught in many European and American universities and institutions and published numerous medical papers and books on addictions and has published widely in the professional medical press. In addition, he often presents at noteable national and international scientific conferences and is the senior adviser for various governments and pharmaceuticals on policy strategy and the research and development of new drugs.

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