2004 | Volume 1 | Issue 2
can fall into two separate categories: problem drinking and actual
physical dependence on alcohol. Problem drinking is commonly emotional
in its roots, whereby the alcoholic uses drink to avoid feeling.
Alcohol dependence is where the person needs alcohol in order
four times as many men than women are affected, however, alcohol
use and abuse is quickly on the rise with females and younger adults,
even children. Women are more affected by alcohol than men due to
lower body weight, lower water content, higher fat content and less
of the enzyme that breaks down alcohol. Not only do women develop
liver disease from a lesser amount of alcohol, they are at a higher
risk of developing osteoporosis as alcohol adversely affects bone
overall rate of premature death related to alcoholism is 50 to 100
percent higher for women than for men. Women are also more likely
to have psychological troubles such as anxiety, eating disorders
and depression, which can often be occurring prior to drinking becoming
a problem. Thus, treating the alcohol dependency does not mean the
emotional and mental difficulties are immediately cured. Actually,
as the person has lost her ?crutch?, dealing with the strains of
life may even be more difficult than previously experienced.
tends to run in families, and this is for a couple of reasons. First,
there is the physiological dependence alcohol can have on the body.
Heredity is involved in almost fifty percent of the risk of becoming
an alcoholic. Environment also plays a large role because too often
the normal emotional development of a child has not been allowed,
due to the constant upheaval caused by the alcoholic?s behaviour.
There is little stability, and children of alcoholics can find themselves
either taking on too much or too little responsibility, possibly
leading to emotional or relationship troubles further on in life.
Socially, the family may feel the need to hide the alcoholic?s problem,
not speaking about it and leading to the ?enabling? behaviour that
can affect the family?s ability to reach out and ask for help. There
is a social stigma attached to alcoholism, which if properly understood,
would be treated as a disease and not a result of poor willpower.
Glandium Spiritus - Spirit ditilled from Tincture of Acron
Kernels, frequently used for alcoholism
Sativa - Common Oat, used for detox and nervous system
The body sees alcohol
as a poison. Some of the effects of chronic alcohol use include
damage to the liver, brain, duodenum, pancreas and central nervous
system. The brain is affected because the amount of oxygen is reduced
to the brain in addition to alcohol harming the cells themselves.
This can result in disorientation, amnesia, hallucinations, emotional
swings and in severe cases, seizures and neurological complications.
Every cell in the body is damaged metabolically and the immune system
is depressed by alcohol. If an alcoholic continues to drink, the
life span can be shortened by up to fifteen years.
95 percent of alcohol
is processed by the liver at the rate of about ¼ to ½
ounce per hour. Continued use of alcohol reduces the liver?s ability
to produce digestive enzymes, resulting in poor assimilation and
use of proteins, fats, B vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins A, D,
E and K. Amino acid deficiencies occur, reducing the body?s store
of zinc, vital for immunity. Excessive amounts of fat are then accumulated
in the liver, as they are not being metabolised. In time, the liver
cells can become inflamed and may die, which is hepatitis. The final
stage is cirrhosis, a disease whereby the liver is inflamed, hardens
and scars, preventing the normal passage of blood through the liver.
This impairs the vital function of detoxification, the liver?s primary
function. An estimated one out of five alcoholics is affected by
The liver is not the
only organ to show damage from alcohol. The peripheral nervous system
can be inhibited, resulting in a loss of sensation in the hands
and feet, with difficulty walking. Chronic drinking inflames the
pancreas, leading to an even further reduction in digestion and
can lead to diabetes. There is an increased risk of mouth, throat,
stomach and colon cancer due to the toxicity of alcohol. Add to
the common partner in crime, smoking, and you increase the risk
of cancer by 50 percent. High blood pressure, reduced testosterone,
enlargement of the heart and visible dilation of blood vessels just
beneath the skin?s surface are results of alcohol and can often
lead to heart failure.
Vomica - King of drinking and debauchery
Drinking while pregnant
can lead to foetal alcohol syndrome. This can present with lower
birth weight, stunted growth, smaller brains, lower intelligence
and even retardation. The liver of the foetus is not developed and
cannot handle the alcohol; therefore it remains in the circulation,
depressing the central nervous system of the developing baby. In
addition, joints, fingers, limbs, and facial features can be deformed,
plus heart and kidney defects. Some children will become hyperactive
and have learning disabilities - all this from even moderate amounts
of alcohol taken during pregnancy, especially in the first three
to four months.
Alcoholics who quit
drinking suddenly may suffer withdrawal symptoms. Shaking, insomnia,
hallucinations, convulsions, anxiety, rapid pulse, fever, profuse
perspiration and emotional mood swings can occur. There are various
medical terms for these stages of withdrawal. Delirium tremens (DTs)
usually covers the symptom picture of anxiety, confusion, nightmares,
and possibly terrors. The floor can feel as though it is moving,
the walls are falling or the room is rotating. It is vital to recognize
that delirium tremens can be fatal and should be treated under medical
supervision. There can also be hepatic coma, as the alcohol-damaged
liver cannot rid the body of toxic substances. It is suggested that
patients be given Vitamin B injections, which will help support
the nervous system while they are withdrawing. With proper nutritional
supplementation, there is the possibility of liver regeneration,
so long as the damage has not been too severe.
In the UK, there are
one million registered alcoholics and drug addicts. Considering
that only 1/5 of all addicts will register, the appropriate figure
is somewhere around 5 million people with an addiction. Then multiply
this number by five - the parent, spouse, child, friend or work
colleague whose life is affected by the alcoholic?s disease, and
you have roughly 25 million people trying to cope with this destructive
behaviour. Half the population of the UK is directly involved and
there is no sign of it slowing down.
to help recover from alcohol addiction include Nux vomica and
especially Avena sativa used for detox and nervous system support.
Other support remedies to consider are Opium and Quercus if it
fits the case. Use daily in a low potency such as a 6c with a
liver support remedy in mother tincture such as Chelidonium, Carduus
marianus, Taraxacum or Hydrastis. Deeply suppressed emotions will
probably need to be addressed as well. Think of Carcinosin, Aurum,
Staphysagria, the Natrums, Lycopodium, Lachesis and Sepia. If
there is a family tendency towards alcoholism look at the nosodes,
especially Syphilinum. The important thing to remember is that
recovery is a process, and treating alcoholism is rarely straightforward.
"The Nelson Clinic
#73, Duke Street
London WIK SBY
Phone 020 - 74078428