Welcome to the Second issue of The Alcoholism Guide newsletter.

Deciding to give up drinking is a hard task and one that is easy to put off.

"I'll stop next Monday, beginning of the week and all that"

"One last party and then it's on the wagon."

"I can't possibly quit now, not with all the stress at work, once I've finished the report, then I'll do it."

We've all done it - made promises and then when the time comes made another promise for a future date and carried on as normal.

Actually stopping drinking is a major achievement in itself. A major psychological barrier has been broken.

And yet, another quickly appears on the horizon..Alcohol Withdrawals and the cravings that accompany it.

Before I go any further, let me just emphasize alcohol withdrawal is very dangerous without medical supervision.

It is essential that you consult a physician/doctor prior to stopping drinking

However, the symptoms that accompany withdrawing from alcohol can be alleviated.

This month I've added a number of pages to The Alcoholism Guide that explore alcohol withdrawals and the medication that can help cravings for alcohol.

As always, if you have any questions or queries about alcoholism please contact me.

Managing Alcohol Withdrawals

  • Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal The symptoms people experience when quitting drinking vary widely. This is due to a number of factors including the severity of the drinking, the length of an individual's drinking history and how many times alcohol withdrawal has been attempted before.
  • Diazepam and alcohol. Diazepam is the most widely used drug to treat withdrawals from alcohol. Yet, in many cases it is not required, there are gentler, more 'natural' remedies for mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
  • Using naltrexone for the treatment of alcohol withdrawals. Naltrexone is prescribed for those experiencing cravings for alcohol. Cravings for alcohol are strongest in the first month or two of recovery. Although naltrexone does not work for everyone, it is yet another tool that can be utilized for overcoming alcoholism.
  • Vivitrol is the injectable form of naltrexone. Its main advantage is that it is given in monthly injections, thus making it unnecessary to remember to take the pill form on a daily basis.
  • Kudzu is a Chinese herb used by some alcoholics to stem cravings for alcohol. Research seems to show that it has a definite effects on these craving. If you want a natural remedy, then maybe this is the route to take.
  • And finally......

  • Alcoholism stories is a new feature at The Alcoholism Guide where YOU can share your experiences of alcoholism with others (You don't have to give your name). Whether you are an alcoholic, think you might be an alcoholic, live with an alcoholic or are a recovering alcoholic then you are welcome to contribute.

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Deborah Morrow, M.S. Addiction Psychology, is the director of treatment programs for The Alcoholism Guide website. In her practice Deborah provides on-line coaching and support for those dependent on alcohol or who require other services such as relapse prevention or court mandated services. (Read More)

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