ASAM Pocket Guidelines and Patient Guide

Alcohol Withdrawal Management

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2 Key Points Î Alcohol withdrawal can appear in a multitude of ways in every type of medical setting. • An estimated 32.5% of emergency department visits are alcohol related. a • An estimated 2–7% of patients with heavy alcohol use admitted to the hospital will develop moderate to severe alcohol withdrawal. Î Alcohol withdrawal management alone is not an effective treatment for alcohol use disorder. Î Withdrawal management should not be conceptualized as a discrete clinical service but rather as a component of the process of initiating and engaging patients in treatment for alcohol use disorder. Î Since alcohol withdrawal is increasingly managed in outpatient settings, national guidance is needed on tailoring withdrawal management interventions to specific setting. Î Agents other than the standard benzodiazepines are emerging as effective alternatives in certain situations. a MacLeod JBA, Hungerford DW. Injury. 2011;42(9):922-926.

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