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  1. Keys, Vicky A. MSN, RN-BC


Overview: For a chronic drinker, sudden alcohol withdrawal because of an unexpected hospitalization can lead to escalating withdrawal symptoms and even death if unrecognized and untreated. Nurses need to be aware of the prevalence of alcohol abuse in the United States and consider the possibility of unplanned alcohol withdrawal in their patients. This article discusses the effects on the body of chronic alcohol intake, the potential symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, and ways to recognize and treat these symptoms through early assessment and consistent intervention.


Keywords: alcohol abuse, alcoholism, alcohol withdrawal, alcohol withdrawal delirium, alcohol withdrawal syndrome, Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment of Alcohol Scale, Revised, hospitalization, substance withdrawal syndrome