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    Is confusion during detoxification normal?

Posted on Wed, 1 Jun 2016 in Drug Abuse
Question: My husband detoxed at a center with medical supervision (released yesterday after two days) but still has bouts of complete confusion. He is clear and functioning well one minute and then seems incoherent the next. Is this normal?
Answered by Dr. Ashok Kumar 15 minutes later
Brief Answer:
No it is not normal

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for using Healthcaremagic.

I read your query and understand your concerns.

Presence of confusion is never normal in a person discharged from the hospital. It may be due to withdrawal effect of substance or medication prescribed by doctor.

Confusion during detoxification can last for one week but it is important to review the medication as they can be the cause of confusion for your husband.

In addition the coexisting medical condition, if any, could contribute toward confusion development.

I request you to talk to his doctor for reevaluation of medical condition as soon as possible.

I hope this helps you.
Thanks and regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
Follow up: Dr. Ashok Kumar 2 hours later
He was thinking clearly after he left the facility yesterday. By afternoon he was showing signs of severe confusion. This morning he is clear again but he goes back and forth. His last day to use Vicodin was Saturday. I'm trying to figure out if he is just taking a while to get back to normal. When using, though he took 30-40 tablets a day, he never showed this level of disorientation. He has been evaluated repeatedly, urinalysis and blood work was clear, liver enzymes only slightly elevated, kidney function good. I don't look forward to a third ER visit if this is normal.
Answered by Dr. Ashok Kumar 32 minutes later
Brief Answer:
This is withdrawal delirium if he is not taking

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for reverting back to me.

Fluctuating nature of illness with evening worsening (sun downing) is hall mark of delirium (confusion) which can present during withdrawal as well as during intoxication.

Since he stopped vincodin on Saturday there is chance he may continue to have these episodes for next two or three days.

In case he is still taking than there is possibility there is interaction between vincodin and his prescription medicines or simply intoxication.

I understand your desire to not to visit ER but in my opinion it will be better to see his doctor again as delirium can have significant morbidity as well as mortality.

I hope this assists you further.
If you have any further query, I would be glad to help you.
If not, you may close the discussion and if possible you may rate the answer for my future patients.
In future if you wish to contact me directly, you can use the below mentioned link:
Thanks and regards.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Ashok Kumar


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