BENZODIAZEPINES FOR ALCOHOLISM WITHDRAWAL
Benzodiazepines (or Benzos) are a class of man-made medications. There are a large number of drugs classified as Benzodiazepines, each of which is different. In general, however, Benzodiazepines depress the central nervous system (the nerves in the brain) to some degree and cause drowsiness and sleepiness. Although the exact mechanism by which each Benzodiazepine works is not fully understood, it involves enhancing the effects of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and therefore reducing brain activity.
Alcohol use impacts the way the brain functions. This rewiring becomes increasingly severe the longer and more severe alcoholism continues. By this point the alcoholic’s brain has become dependent on alcohol to function properly. When the addicted individual ceases consuming alcohol, the brain is thrown into disarray. This causes Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS). Alcohol withdrawal can be extremely painful, cause seizures, restlessness, hallucinations, nightmares, heart palpitations, and vomiting, among other unpleasant effects. In some cases, alcohol withdrawal can even be fatal.