Alcoholism is a progressive disease. It starts out with drinking more often than most people, and worsens until the alcoholic begins to have physical, emotional, and sometimes legal problems. If drinking interferes with everyday life, it is time to seek help. Some alternative therapies for alcoholism involve homeopathy and alternative medicines for a holistic approach to treatment.
Homeopathy is a natural, gentle system of medicine that uses remedies to treat illness and relieve discomfort in an array of health conditions. It is thought that homeopathic remedies are able to stimulate a person’s bodily systems to deal with stress and illness more efficiently. Research is currently being undertaken to understand how and why these remedies work on a physical and emotional level. Specific homeopathic remedies may be helpful during the period of withdrawal from alcohol or drugs.
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For many years, the usual treatment for an alcoholic was to detox in a facility, then go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in an effort to maintain sobriety. The detox phase will be shorter or longer, the severity and length depending on the amount of alcohol consumed. Six to 12 hours after alcohol cessation, sometimes while patients still have a measurable amount of alcohol in their blood. These symptoms include:
- Trembling hands
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Difficulty sleeping
Up to 24 hours after alcohol use stops, visual (seeing) tactile (feeling) or auditory (hearing) hallucinations may occur. After alcohol is completely out of the system, seizures can occur, usually at about 48 hours. Symptoms of DTs (delirium tremens), which are at their worst around five days, include:
- Disorientation, confusion, and high anxiety
- Hallucinations, which can’t be distinguished from reality
- High blood pressure
- Racing and irregular heartbeat
Some options are to see your primary care doctor, and get some diazepam for the withdrawal period. Or, you can check yourself into a detox clinic to have supervised care while detoxing. However, there are holistic methods that you can try when you are trying to get away from alcohol. Some homeopathic medicines your doctor may discuss with you are as follows:
- Arsenicum for anxiety and compulsiveness
- Nux vomica for nausea, vomiting, or bowel discomfort
- Staphysagria for excessive emotions
- Hyoscyamus for delirium tremens (DTs)
Some techniques such as acupuncture and/or cognitive therapy can be successfully used as whichever route you choose, be aware that detoxification causes significant stress on the body. Always be sure to have a physician overseeing your care as you travel the road to sobriety.