If you are addicted to alcohol and have made the decision to stop drinking, you can expect a number of unpleasant physical symptoms, including headaches, nausea, vomiting, trembling, sweating and insomnia. More severe effects can include convulsions or hallucinations. You may also feel upset, anxious or depressed.
When you arrive at the Ottawa Withdrawal Management Centre (OWMC), we will assess your health condition in order to determine whether withdrawal in our Centre is appropriate for you. We may refer you to a hospital if need be.
If our evaluation determines that it is safe for you to withdraw in our Centre, you’ll be assigned a bed in the observation unit, where we will offer continuous support and monitoring. Most people begin with an observation period of 4 to 24 hours. When the worst of your symptoms have settled, you can begin a treatment program that includes counselling, acupuncture, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) sessions and more meetings with other groups. A counsellor will be available to discuss your long-term treatment goals and plans. After your stay, you may call us any time, day or night, to talk about your recovery or ask for more support.
Once they have been through the initial withdrawal phase, most people will need additional treatment to help them reach their recovery goals. This could mean residential or outpatient treatment, individual or group therapy, certain medications, self-help groups or mutual help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous/Smart Recovery.
For more information about alcohol addiction, visit the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health website.