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What causes alcohol withdrawal?

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Alcohol has what doctors call a depressive effect on your system. It slows down brain function and changes the way your nerves send messages back and forth. Over time, your central nervous system adjusts to having alcohol around all the time. Your body works hard to keep your brain in a more awake state and to keep your nerves talking to one another. When the alcohol level suddenly drops, your brain stays in this keyed up state. That’s what causes withdrawal.

From: What Is Alcohol Withdrawal? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Royal College of Physicians: “Alcohol Use Disorders: Diagnosis and Clinical Management of Alcohol-Related Physical Complications. NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 100."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome."

Alcohol Health & Research World: "Complications of Alcohol Withdrawal," "Introduction to Alcohol Withdrawal," "Treatment of Alcohol Withdrawal."

State Government of Victoria: "Withdrawal."

Cleveland Clinic: "Care of the Patient Undergoing Alcohol Withdrawal."

UpToDate: "Patient education: Alcohol use -- when is drinking a problem? (Beyond the Basics)."

Industrial Psychiatry Journal : “Clinical management of alcohol withdrawal: A systematic review.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on August 27, 2017

SOURCES:

Royal College of Physicians: “Alcohol Use Disorders: Diagnosis and Clinical Management of Alcohol-Related Physical Complications. NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 100."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome."

Alcohol Health & Research World: "Complications of Alcohol Withdrawal," "Introduction to Alcohol Withdrawal," "Treatment of Alcohol Withdrawal."

State Government of Victoria: "Withdrawal."

Cleveland Clinic: "Care of the Patient Undergoing Alcohol Withdrawal."

UpToDate: "Patient education: Alcohol use -- when is drinking a problem? (Beyond the Basics)."

Industrial Psychiatry Journal : “Clinical management of alcohol withdrawal: A systematic review.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on August 27, 2017

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What are the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal?

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