Varies by drug


Manage alcohol withdrawal


Create a safe environment to reduce the risk of injury. Reorient the patient frequently to people and the environment as the level of intoxication changes. Create a calm, nonjudgmental atmosphere to reduce anxiety and agitation.

Alcoholic withdrawal can occur as early as 48 hours after the blood alcohol level has returned to normal or, more unusually, as long as 2 weeks later. Monitor for early signs such as agitation, restlessness, and confusion. Keep the room dark and decrease environmental stimulation. Avoid using the intercom. Remain with the patient as much as possible. Encourage the patient to take fluids to diminish the effects of dehydration. Avoid using restraints unless the patient is at risk for injuring herself or himself or others.

As the patient recovers, perform a complete nutritional assessment with a dietary consultation if appropriate.

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