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Uncle in late-stage alcoholism?

by Shawn
(Nakhon Sawan, Thailand)

Hello, I have an uncle who is suffering in late stage alcoholism and I believe is going to die soon. He is located in Nakhon Sawan, Thailand. I've been told he needs a medical detox. I can send more info if necessary. Any help in the right direction is appreciated. Thank you

Comments for Uncle in late-stage alcoholism?

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He absolutely needs medically-supported detox!
by: Debbie Wicker

Dear Shawn,

So very sorry that your uncle is suffering but so glad you're there for him. Alcohol detox can be fatal and must be medically supervised.

Let me explain what detox is so that it may be clearer why it is so medically dangerous. The first thing to understand is that our brains are VERY adaptive. So that when we drink alcohol our brain chemistry adapts and changes to allow us to process the alcohol we've consumed. That's why we get drunk, it's our brain processing the alcohol.

The more we drink over a longer period of time, the more our brain changes to accommodate the alcohol. When we stop drinking our brain immediately tries to change itself back to how we were before we drank alcohol.

In your uncle's case, because he is in end-stage alcoholism, these brain changes can be severe and need medical support to help manage the symptoms and negative effects of the brain changing back. That's where delirium tremors and other difficult symptoms come from.

Your uncle has likely tried to quit and realizes he CAN'T without experiencing these very incapacitating symptoms. That's why he needs to go to a hospital and tell them he needs help to detox from alcohol. Once there he should be in a much better place to stop drinking and get the help he needs.

Sadly, once he is through detox, if he drinks ANY alcohol, his brain will likely immediately return to as it was when he was if full stage alcoholism. He will need to go through detox medically supervised detox again. That's why alcohol addiction treatment is so critical for him after detox, and also why treatment is SO challenging.

Please find Al-anon meetings and read the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book to learn what you're dealing with and how to support your uncle during this difficult time.

Debbie

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