Alcoholism is a chronic, often progressive disease that can be fatal. The condition involves a preoccupation with alcohol and impaired control over alcohol intake. Alcoholism usually involves physical dependence on the drug alcohol, but genetic, psychological and social factors contribute to this addiction.
Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is the name for the symptoms that occur when a heavy drinker suddenly stops or significantly reduces their alcohol intake. Prolonged and excessive use of alcohol leads to mental and physical dependence. The withdrawal syndrome is largely a response of the body to lack of alcohol. With Alcohol withdrawal, one may experience a combination of physical and emotional symptoms, from mild anxiety and fatigue to nausea. Some symptoms of Alcohol withdrawal are as severe as hallucinations and seizures. Withdrawal usually begins 6 to 24 hours after the last drink. To be classified as alcohol withdrawal syndrome, patients must exhibit at least two of the following symptoms: increased hand tremor, insomnia, nausea or vomiting, transient hallucinations (auditory, visual or tactile), psychomotor agitation, anxiety, tonic-clonic seizures, and autonomic instability.
Alcohol Withdrawal and Alcohol Addiction – Homeopathy Treatment & Homeopathic Remedies
#Nux vomica [Nux.v] Nux is the great anti-alcoholic remedy. It corresponds to the tremor, to the nervous affection, to the headache, to the bad taste. It also corresponds to delirium tremens, where every little noise frightens and the victim finds no rest any place, springs up at night and has frightful visions. The tremor is marked with ugliness and irritability and gastric disturbance. It is the remedy for the acute results of a spree; the morning big head is often large enough for the Nux cap, and the “rich brown” taste corresponds beautifully. It is a remedy to be given while the patient is still under the influence of liquor or any of the stages of alcoholism. Agaricus will sometimes control the characteristic tremor when Nux fails.
#Hyoscyamus [Hyos] When delirium tremens occurs this is usually one of the first remedies indicated. The delirium is constant and loquacious, rarely inflammatory enough for Belladonna or maniacal enough for Stramonium; the pulse is small and quick and compressible, the skin is cold and clammy, the patient is tremulous and picks constantly at objects in the air. Marked sexual excitement, desire to expose person and fear of poison. The vision are those of persecution, are \terrifying, and the patient makes efforts to escape. Constant insomnia is an excellent indication; outburst of laughter alerting with weeping may also occur. Dr. Butler says that for the production of sleep no remedy compares with Hyoscyamus in the tincture, five or ten drops in a half glass of water, and teaspoonful doses given half-hourly.
#Cannabis Indica [Cann.i] A very reliable remedy in acute alcoholism. Some violence, talkativeness and active mind; subjects crowd upon it, delusions and hallucination relate to exaggerated subjects time,space, etc.; face flushed, pupils dilated, perspires easily. Surprise is constantly expressed on the countenance.
#Opium [Op] This is a remedy indicated in “old sinners” who have had the delirium tremens over and over again. There is a constant expression of fright or terror, they have visions of animals springing up everywhere, they see ghosts, the sleep is uneasy, the breathing is stertorous. It is especially indicated in those cases simulating apoplexy. Lachesis has visions of snakes and hideous objects. It has a choking sensationin throat which awakens suddenly from sleep. Stramonium is suitable in habitual drunkards. The prevailing mental characteristic is terror,all hallucinations and illusions are fright and terror producing. It has visions of animals coming at him from every corner and he tries to escape. The face of Stramonium is bright red, not dark red as in Opium. Arsenic has visions of ghosts, with great weakness; diseases from overuse of alcohol; patients must have their accustomed drinks; great tremulousness and nervous weakness. Suicidal tendency constantly annoyed by bugs and vermin that he sees upon his person and unceasingly tries to brush them off. Belladonna, too has delirium with visions of rats, mice,etc.,and so has Calcarea carbonica. Belladonna is easily distinguished from Opium, and Calcarea comes in as a last resort after Belladonna and Stramonium have ceased to do good. Aconite also has worked well in the acute mania of delirium tremens where the prevailing attitude is fear. Fears darkness, ghosts, with the same desire to escape found under Belladonna. Ranunculus bulbosus given in the tincture has been found to be most calming in attacks of delirium tremens. It is undoubtedly one of our best remedies in the treatment of acute alcoholism. The writer has prescribed this remedy with good results.Phosphorus sees faces peering at him from all parts of the room.Cimicifuga is useful in cases that are mentally depressed and tremor is a prominent symptom. The delirium is mild and the hallucinations of sight relate to small objects; there is persistent sleeplessness and physical restlessness. Avena sativa is a valuable remedy in alcoholism where the victim is nervous and sleepless almost to the point of delirium tremens. It is also a useful remedy in the opium and cocaine habits. Strophanthus has also been successfully used.
#Sulphuric acid [Sul-ac] This is the remedy for chronic alcoholism. It corresponds to inebriates on their last, who are pale and shriveled and cold, whose stomach will not tolerate the slightest amount amount of food. They cannot drink water unless it be well whiskied. They area quick and hasty in everything, and have a great and constant craving for brandy. It comes in long after Nux vomica, perhaps after Keely and other cures have failed over and over again. It suits the sour breath and vomiting of alcoholic dyspepsia. It may be given low. “Should it produce a diarrhea Pulsatilla is the proper antidote.” (Dr. Luther Peck.) The constant craving for brandy reminds one of Sulphur, Nux vomica and Arsenicum, all of which have craving for spirituous liquors.