What is alcoholism?
The term alcoholism is a confusing one and this is replaced by the current nomenclature “alcohol dependency”. Drinking habit is gradually increasing in our society. This is the price one should pay for living in a complex modern society. It become a Problem when-
1.changes appear in the body.
2.Symptoms develop for which medical aid is necessary. Or
3.When symptoms develop due to abstinence.
The following are some of the feature of alcohol abuse.
1.It is believed that drinking upto 20 units of alcohol for men and 13 units for women per week is not associated with healthy hazard.
2.It definitely occurs when consumption of alcohol is more than 50 units for men and 35 units for women in a week.
Types of Alcoholism:
1.Acute Alcoholism- Tolerance to alcohol from person to person. Early symptoms include euphoria and talkativeness. Latter on concentration is impaired and the subject becomes forgetful.
2. Alcoholic Coma- Coma may rarely develop after alcoholic intoxication. The features are similar to those of Insulin Coma.3. Acute Alcoholic Hallucinosis- This rare condition developed after heavy drinking or on withdrawal. Patient hears hallucinatory voice of threatening. Patient remains in a fearful mood.
4.Chronic Alcoholic Hallucinosis- This rare condition may develop from acute hallucinosis or may develop as such. Rhythmical, repetitive hallucinatory voice may be heard.5.Chronic Alcoholic Brain Syndrome
6.Chronic Alcoholism- It is the result of persistent imbibitions to alcohol for a long time. Due to this tolerance limit is increased. In the premonitory phase irritability and deterioration of personality are seen. Lack of intelligence and concentration develop and the patient tells a lie deliberately. Gradually depression and excitements are seen. The patient becomes a permanent liar. Dementia develops. Epileptic convulsion and delirium tremens may also develop from time to time.
7.Foetal alcohol Syndrome- In women taking alcohol regularly the following changes are seen in the offspring:
a. Low birth weight
b. Mental retardation with I. Q of about 60.
c. Developmental anomalies particularly of heart and face.
-There is commonly breech presentation. Delayed post natal growth and anomalies of behavior are seen.
8.Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome-
The following features are seen
Homeopathic Treatment of Alcoholism:
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.
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, and 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 sensation in 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 bulbous 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.
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 of food. They cannot drink water unless it is well whisked. 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 Kelly 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. Tartar emetic may be useful when mucous gastric derangement predominates as after beer, with tendency to pneumonia, and accompanied by cool sweat. Capsicum in ten drop doses of the tincture will stop the morning vomiting, sinking at the pit of the stomach and intense craving for alcohol in dipsomania, and promote the appetite. It reduces the agitation and tremor and induces calm sleep. Delirium tremens will often be speedily relieved by Capsicum. Cantharis. Continual attempts to bite; sexual excitement; face pale, yellow, dysuria. Spiritus glandium quercus. Burnett recommended this remedy as an antidote to the affects of alcohol, and Dr.A.F.Schulz, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, reported to the writer that in his opinion it will frequently cause disgust for alcoholic beverages. He has had success from its use.
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.
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 is 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.
Note: Do not use these Drug directly, without doctor consultation.