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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Detoxing

03/03/2004

Question:

When an alcoholic is detoxing will they appear to have drank when they haven`t?

Answer:

This can happen if the patient takes a medication like Librium to detox and it accumulates or is given in too high of a dose. Librium is long-acting and higher doses are usually given at the beginning of detox. However, if the patient has liver disease (i.e., alcoholic liver disease) they cannot metabolize Librium and it accumulates and appears as sedative intoxication which is the same as alcohol intoxication. Thank you for your question.

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Response by:

Edna M Jones, MD, MRO Edna M Jones, MD, MRO
Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University