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Karen Arscott, DO, MSc

12:45 - 1:45 pm

Alcohol and Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Management

Dr. Karen E. Arscott is currently the addiction medicine physician at Malibu Wellness Ranch in Milford, PA and at the Withdrawal Management detox center at Dingman’s Ferry, PA. 

Learning Objectives

Both alcohol and benzodiazepines are used often in our society for the relief of stress/anxiety. Benzodiazepines are prescribed at an alarming rate in large quantities and over long periods of time without apparent concern for how to help a patient stop using these medications. Alcohol has become even more available – now sold in grocery stores and convenient stores. These two depressant agents cause changes in the nervous system which makes stopping “cold turkey” very dangerous. It is vital that all members of the healthcare and the general population understand what withdrawal management looks like for these substances. 

  1. Discuss how the human nervous system responds to repetitive use of either alcohol or benzodiazepines setting up the possibility of nervous system hyperstimulation.

  2. Explain why long-term benzodiazepine prescriptions should be avoided. And how as short as two weeks of consistent benzodiazepine use may set up a dangerous withdrawal. 

  3. Describe the risks in outpatient withdrawal of either alcohol or benzodiazepines and why this should be avoided whenever possible. 

  4. Discuss the rationale for the management medications in withdrawal management of alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal. 

Biography continued...

Dr. Arscott grew up in Dunmore, PA and graduated from Dunmore High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree with a double major in Biology and Chemistry form Marywood University. She received her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and Master of Clinical Science degrees from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is fellowship-trained, and board certified in addiction medicine by the American Board of Preventative Medicine. In addition, she is residency trained and board certified in Neuromuscular medicine by the American Osteopathic Board of Neuromuscular Medicine. 


Dr. Arscott has been a member of the Lackawanna County Medical Society Board for many years and a Board of Trustee member of the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association (POMA). She is leader in the lung cancer fight and serves as National Ambassador for GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer, and Co-Chair of PA Lung,


Dr. Arscott is an educator and has presented on addiction medicine and interprofessional education locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and has conducted research which has been presented and applauded internationally. Dr. Arscott has multiple publications involving a variety of topics. 


She resides in Waverly Township, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Jim and daughter Sophia. The couple has a daughter (Maureen), son-in-law (Fraser) and two grandchildren living close by.

Presentation Slides

Click below for presentation slides.

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