Fall in Blood Alcohol Concentration BAC

These consist of insomnia, headache, and nausea. Usually no treatment is required and there are no serious consequences of this acute withdrawal. The withdrawal syndrome following chronic long-term alcohol consumption (usually months to years), however, is a more serious disorder.

The natural history of alcohol dependence to the point of requesting or clearly requiring detoxification services is usually fifteen to twenty years. The average age of persons admitted to detoxification units is around 42 years. (That is not to say that persons as young as 20 or as old as 80 do not require detoxification services.) The withdrawal syndrome seen in persons requiring detoxification ranges from a mild degree of discomfort to a potentially life-threatening disorder.

The severity of the withdrawal syndrome is dependent on both the dose and duration of alcohol exposure. This is clearly demonstrated in animal studies (rats) where a severe withdrawal syndrome can be demonstrated following high-level exposure to alcohol in a vapor chamber in as short a time period as a week. Administration of alcohol into the stomach is associated with a longer time period for acquisition of physical dependence. In humans also, the severity of withdrawal depends on the amount of alcohol consumed and the time period during which it has been consumed. For practical purposes this means the amount taken on a daily basis for the weeks and months preceding detoxifi-

Addiction Research Foundation Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol (CIWA-Ar)



Pulse or heart rate, taken for one minute:

Blood pressure:.

NAUSEA AND VOMITING-Ask "Do you feel sick to your stomach? Have you vomited?" Observation.

0 no nausea and no vomiting

1 mild nausea with no vomiting

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