Posts tagged ‘addiction’

Alcoholism is not just bodily dependence on alcohol but also a mental dependence. It results in chronic disease and disruption of interpersonal, family and work relationships. Over a period of time, alcoholism affects the brain, central nervous system, liver and heart. Alcoholism may develop at any age, and occurs 4 times more often in men than women.

Factors which lead to the development of alcoholism may include a genetic predisposition, emotional factors like depression, dependency, anger, etc., crisis situations like bereavement, unemployment, family influences such as alcoholic or divorced parents, social and cultural pressures to drink and possibly body chemistry disturbances.

Early stages:
· Low tolerance for anxiety.
· Need for alcohol at the beginning of the day, or at times of stress.
· Insomnia; nightmares.
· Habitual Monday-morning hangovers, and frequent absences from work.
· Preoccupation with obtaining alcohol and hiding the drinking habit from family and friends.
· Guilt or irritability when others suggest drinking is excessive.

Late stages:
· Frequent blackouts; memory loss.
· Delirium tremens (tremors, hallucinations, confusion, sweating, rapid heartbeat). These occur most often with alcohol withdrawal.
· Liver disease (jaundice, internal bleeding, bloating).
· Neurological impairment (numbness and tingling in hands and feet, declining sexual interest and potency, confusion, coma).
· Congestive heart failure (shortness of breath, swelling of feet).

· Chronic liver disease.
· Gastric erosion with bleeding; stomach inflammation.
· Neuritis (inflammation of the nerves), tremors, seizures and brain impairment.
· Inflammation of the pancreas.
· Inflammation of the heart.
· Mental and physical damage to the foetus if a woman drinks during pregnancy.
· Family members of alcoholics may develop psychological symptoms requiring treatment and support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

It is important to provide children with a loving stable family environment. Alcohol, if used, should be used in moderation to provide healthy role models. It has often been seen that parents or relatives give a young child a taste of alcohol from their own glasses. This should not be done as children can wrongly get encouraged into drinking alcohol at a very early age. Besides the danger of developing a habit, alcohol at a young age puts a strain on their livers and can cause liver damage.

The first and most difficult step of treatment is to admit that the problem exists. Psychotherapy and counselling would also be important along with medical treatment. Having a normal well balanced diet is essential, vitamin supplements such as thiamine and folic acid may often be necessary. Thiamine is present in cereal grains, rice bran, outer layer of rice, dry beans, peas, soya beans, peanuts, nuts, liver, heart, kidney, egg yolk, milk, green leafy vegetables. Folic acid is present in good amounts in broccoli, chick peas, peas, brown rice, bananas and oranges.

HOMOEOPATHY – Homoeopathy treats alcoholism at depth like it does other illnesses. Persistence with treatment is essential. A Homoeopathic physician will take into account the alcoholic individual’s life situation, and prescribe based on the patient’s individual stresses and weaknesses, thereby offering a support system along with treatment to reduce the body’s craving for alcohol, and deal with the adverse effects of alcohol on the body. In this way, Homoeopathy is a safe, gentle and effective means of getting an individual out of alcohol’s trap.