How to Help With Alcohol Withdrawals

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Alcoholics can rarely quit drinking by themselves.
Alcoholics can rarely quit drinking by themselves. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Alcohol can be extremely addicting. While some people are much more susceptible to alcoholism than others due to genetics and environmental factors, anyone can go through alcohol withdrawal if they developed the habit of drinking too much. Withdrawal symptoms can be very severe, both physically and psychologically. Headaches, clammy skin, nausea, shaking, insomnia and depression are common signs of alcohol withdrawal. If someone you know is suffering through these problems, there is only so much you can do to help, but your assistance could make all the difference toward recovery.

Things You'll Need

  • Soda crackers
  • Sports drinks
  • Organic food
  • Blankets
  • Prescription medication with doctor approval

Take the alcoholic to a doctor, if at all possible. If the alcoholic is experiencing delirium tremens, which are often severe hallucinations, doctor intervention is a must and 9-1-1 should be called. This is also true if the alcoholic has another existing medical condition. If the alcoholic is not experiencing DTs and you can't get him to a doctor, call a doctor regularly to keep the physician updated on his current condition so you can follow experienced medical advice.

Remove alcohol from the house. Alcoholics will often seek out alcohol aggressively when going through withdrawal and the only way of preventing them from locating some is to ensure none is in the home.

Hide the car keys or keep them on you. The alcoholic may wish to drive somewhere for alcohol and is in no condition to drive when in a withdrawal state.

Keep the alcoholic hydrated. She may have severe nausea and be vomiting. If she can't keep water down, try a small amount of sports drink and several soda crackers, which often assist with nausea.

Keep the alcoholic nourished by feeding him organic food and vitamin supplements if he can hold them down. Processed "junk" food can make withdrawal symptoms worse and coffee can make the alcoholic more upset and edgy. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends magnesium supplements to help prevent seizures and to lessen withdrawal symptoms.

Provide blankets. The alcoholic could alternate between feeling very hot and very cold and blankets can make the cold periods more bearable.

Follow a doctor's instructions regarding the administering of any prescription medication and stick to the times and amounts on the bottle.

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