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Trying to quit drinking at home with withdrawal symptoms

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I have a friend who is trying to quit drinking at home. It has been 19 hours since his last drink. His symptoms have gotten better throughout the day but have included chills, sweats, nausea, anxiety, shakes, muscle fatigue and overall weakness. His drinking was daily and on average he consumed about a quart of vodka a day. When I first submitted my question (it seemed to not work and disappeared), he has improved even more. He is keeping Gatorade down and grapes (a handful). My question is there a 'point of no return' during this process that it would be catastrophic to continue at home? If the symptoms (from my research they run on the higher end of moderate) continue to improve, is that a good sign or can't they improve then nosedive? He has no Insurance and finances to go to the hospital or doctor so I am trying to help him at home but don't want to endanger him and would like to know what to look for.


Category: Family Physician-GP

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Expert:  Dr. replied 4 Days.

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Patient replied :

This is my first time on this site, so I am not sure you've seen the question so I am reposting.
I have a friend who is trying to quit drinking at home. It has been 19 hours since his last drink. His symptoms have gotten better throughout the day but have included chills, sweats, nausea, anxiety, shakes, muscle fatigue and overall weakness. His drinking was daily and on average he consumed about a quart of vodka a day. When I first submitted my question (it seemed to not work and disappeared), he has improved even more. He is keeping Gatorade down and grapes (a handful). My question is there a 'point of no return' during this process that it would be catastrophic to continue at home? If the symptoms (from my research they run on the higher end of moderate) continue to improve, is that a good sign or can't they improve then nosedive? He has no Insurance and finances to go to the hospital or doctor so I am trying to help him at home but don't want to endanger him and would like to know what to look for.


Expert:  Dr. replied 3 Days.

Hello,

Thank you for asking your query at DoctorSpring.

The symptoms he experiencing is probably symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. No there is nothing like a ‘point of no return’. Neither it would be catastrophic to continue at home. But if the person has medical access the symptoms can be better controlled with drugs like benzodiazepines. Nutritional supplementation and IV fluids can also give. This mean it will make the path of recovery slightly easier and more comfortable and easier for the patient, but mostly will not affect the end result.

Just watch for his symptoms. Incase if there is sudden deterioration of the symptoms with or without mental status changes or loss of consciousness the patient might need medical care. Use your judgement in this regard, it will be alright. If you feel the symptoms are unmanageable you should think getting of medical care. Hopefully this might not be needed.

Please make sure the patient is rested in a quiet environment and taking nutritious high protein meals. A vitamin supplement (which has Vit B1 or Thiamine) can be taken twice a day for 2 weeks and then once a day. There is high chance the patient might rebound and start consuming alcohol . In that case, you will have to resort to medical treatment and possible drug therapy.
Hope this helps

Please feel free to ask followup questions.
Thank you.


Patient replied :

I'd hug you if I could!! This helps very much and I had already gotten the vitamin supplements you spoke of. No this isn't a question but I wanted to thank you!!!!


Expert:  Dr. replied 2 Days.

Thank you !!! I am glad that I could offer some help in your good effort. All the best.


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