Disease Index

Homeopathic Medicine for Alcoholism & Alcohol Addiction

Last modified on November 12th, 2018

Dr. Manish Bhatia

Homeopathy can help in alcohol withdrawal and de-addiction. Find the best homeopathic medicine for alcoholism symptoms & alcohol addiction.

Are you looking for a homeopathic cure for alcoholism? This article discusses the homeopathy treatment of alcohol addiction along with the best homeopathic medicine for alcoholism treatment and managing the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

Definition of Alcoholism

Alcoholism is defined as the addiction of consumption of alcoholic drinks, in terms of,

  • Taking alcohol frequently since long time.
  • Inability to control drinking once it has begun.
  • When a person tries to stop drinking, physical dependence manifests as withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, confusion, tremors, palpitation, nausea, vomiting, sleeplessness.
  • Tolerance or need to consume more quantity alcohol to achieve the same effects.
  • A variety of social and/or legal problems arising from alcohol use.

Worldwide Alcohol Abuse and Addiction

WHO’s Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health, suggests

  • The harmful use of alcohol results in approximately 2.5 million deaths each year.
  • Alcohol is a causal factor in 60 types of diseases and injuries and a component cause in 200 others.
  • Almost 4% of all deaths worldwide are attributed to alcohol, greater than deaths caused by HIV/AIDS, violence or tuberculosis.
  • Alcohol is also associated with many serious social issues, including violence, child neglect and abuse,
    and absenteeism in the workplace.
  • Worldwide, about 11.5% of drinkers have weekly heavy episodic drinking occasions
    (Table 7), with men outnumbering women by four to one.
  • Alcohol consumption is estimated to cause from 20% to 50% of cirrhosis of the liver,
    epilepsy, poisonings, road traffic accidents, violence and several types of cancer.

Alcohol abuse in India

India once had a reputation as having a culture that promoted abstinence towards drugs like alcohol. Things have changed and there is now serious problems arising due to alcohol abuse, 15 people die every day – or one every 96 minutes – from the effects of drinking alcohol, reveals an India Spend analysis of 2013 National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, the latest available.

The per capita consumption of alcohol in India increased 38 percent, from 1.6 litres in 2003-05 to 2.2 liters in 2010-12, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, which also revealed that more than 11 percent of Indians were binge drinkers, against the global average of 16 percent.

Homeopathy Treatment of Alcoholism

homeopathic medicine for alcoholism

Homeopathy treatment is a natural form of medicine based on the principle of symptom similarity. Homeopathic remedies are derived from natural sources and are diluted and potentized to make them safe. Homeopathic literature says that when a remedy, which covers your symptoms very well, is administered, it is able to affect a cure rapidly and gently, even of long standing and inveterate cases.

Homeopathic medicine for alcoholism is selected on the basis of patient’s disease symptoms, physical general symptoms (like thirst, thermal sensitivity, perspiration, food cravings and versions etc), and mental emotional symptoms. As we know everyone has his own nature, different life circumstance and different response to those circumstances. The homeopathy doctor takes into consideration everything to treat the patient holistically.

Homeopathy is a wonderful support for those withdrawing from drug or alcohol addiction. Not only it relieves the immediate symptoms, it also works to heal the underlying cause, whether inherited, acquired, emotional or psychological and gradually helps the patient to restore his health.

Homeopathic Medicines for Alcoholism and Alcohol withdrawal Symptoms:

  • Nux vomica
  • Hyoscyamus niger
  • Arsenic album
  • Opium
  • Cannabis indica
  • Sulphuric acid
  • Ranunculus bulbosus
  • Agaricus
  • China officinalis
  • Cocculus indicus
  • Coffea cruda
  • Zicum metallicum
  • Pulsatilla

There are hundreds of medicines in homeopathy for alcoholism and alcohol withdrawal support. Few are discussed here.

Homeopathic Medicines for Alcohol Addiction & Withdrawal

Nux vomica

  • Nux vomica is the great anti-alcoholic remedy.nux vomica homeopathy medicine for alcoholism.
  • When patient has tremor, headache, and bad taste.
  • It also corresponds to delirium tremens (Severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, confusion and hallucinations.), where every little noise frightens and the victim finds no rest in any place, springs up at night and has frightful visions.
  • The tremor is marked with ugliness and irritability and gastric disturbance.
  • It is a remedy to be given while the patient is still under the influence of liquor or any of the stages of alcoholism.
  • Headache, morning-after drinking.

Arsenicum album

  • wonderful homeopathy medicine for alcoholism.
  • It has visions of ghosts, with great weakness
  • Diseases from overuse of alcohol. Liver cirrhosis.
  • Patients must have their accustomed drinks
  • Great tremulousness and weakness.
  • Suicidal tendency and constantly annoyed by bugs and vermin that he sees on his person and unceasingly tries to brush them off.
  • Arsenic patient is restless, anxious and chilly.

Hyoscyamus

  • When delirium tremens (Severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, confusion, high blood pressure, fever and hallucinations.) occurs this is usually one of the first remedies indicated.Hyoscyamus niger homeopathy medicine for alcoholism.
  • The delirium is constant and loquacious,
  • 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.

Cannabis Indica

  • A very reliable homeopathy remedy for alcoholism specially 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.

Opium

  • This is a remedy indicated in “old sinners” who have had the delirium tremens over and over again.opium homeopathy medicine for alcoholism.
  • 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 Sertorius.
  • Opium has a choking sensation in throat which awakens suddenly from sleep.
  • 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.
  • Suicidal tendency constantly annoyed by bugs and vermin that he sees upon his person and unceasingly tries to brush them off.

Sulphuric acid

  • This is the homeopathy medicine for chronic alcoholism.
  • Patients who are pale and shriveled and cold, whose stomach will not tolerate the slightest amount of food.
  • They cannot drink water unless it be well whisked.
  • They are quick and hasty in everything, and have a great and constant craving for brandy. It comes in long after Nux vomica, and other cures have failed over and over again.
  • It suits the sour breath and vomiting of alcoholic dyspepsia.

Ranunculus bulbosus

  • One of our most effective agents for the removal of bad effects from the abuse of alcoholic beverages.
  • It is very useful in acute stage of delirium tremens.
  • It has the calming effect.

Agaricus muscaris

  • Homeopathy medicine for alcoholism that has aggravation from motion, coitus, pressure touch
  • Headaches with sensation head swollen
  • Loquacity. Agaricus has great mental excitement and incoherent talking, immoderate gaity alternates with melancholy.
  • Perception of relative size of objects is lost, takes long steps and jumps over small objects as if they were trunks of trees-a small hole appears as a frightful chasm, a spoonful of water an immense lake.
  • Physical strength is increased, can lift heavy loads.
  • Chorea – involuntary muscle spasms and twitching that ceases in sleep

Stramonium

  • 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.
  • Suicidal tendency constantly annoyed by bugs and vermin that he sees upon his person and unceasingly tries to brush them off.

Cimicifuga

  • 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

  • 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.

Other remedies

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.

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.

The homeopathic medicine 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.

Why people become addicted to alcohol?

Cause of Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a result of a combination of genetic, psychological, environmental and social factors.

Alcoholism and genes

There are lots of studies suggests that certainly there is a link between genetics and alcoholism. People having family history of alcohol consumptions are more prone to have alcohol addiction even they are grown up in the non-alcoholic environment. However, the connection of an actual gene is yet to be verified as one of the main causes of alcoholism.

Alcoholism and families

Other similar scientific studies have shown that children of alcoholics are more likely to develop alcohol problems compared to the general population. The prevalence of alcoholism in first-degree relatives is three to four times more compared to the general population.

Even if a person has a long family history of alcoholism it does not mean that he or she will become an alcoholic. Alcoholism remains to be a result of environmental and genetic factors. Genetics only increased the risk of being one but it doesn’t have to shape a person’s destiny.

Alcoholism and youngsters

Usually youngsters start drinking alcohol because their friends drink. By adapting friend’s habit they feel that they are adapting the environment. So peer pressure is the strong cause of alcoholism in young people.

Alcoholism and stress

In recent scenario lifestyles generated psychological disorder like stress, anxiety and depression also play significant role to make a person alcoholic. As alcohol produces depressive state and euphoria, it gives temporary relaxation from their psychological symptoms.

What alcohol does in your body?

homeopathy treatment for alcohol addiction and withdrawalAs soon as alcohol enters onto blood stream it crosses blood brain barrier.The blood-brain barrier (it is a highly selective semi permeable membrane barrier that separates the circulating blood from the brain, prevents many toxins from entering in brain) does not prevent alcohol from entering the brain, so the brain alcohol level will quickly become equivalent to the blood alcohol level. Alcohol potentially affects the entire brain, all at once.

Alcohol interferes with the actions of various neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the chemical present in neurons by which signals from the brain transmitted to the target organ. There are basically two types of neurotransmitter one which transmit signal to increase target organ’s activity are called ‘excitatory’ neurotransmitter, another which transmit signal to decrease the target organ’s activity called ‘inhibitory’ neurotransmitter.

Now when you take alcohol as soon as it crosses blood brain barrier it inhibits activity and action of excitatory neurotransmitter and increases activity and action of inhibitory neurotransmitter result in state of euphoria.

Euphoria is an affective state in which a person experiences pleasure or excitement and intense feelings of well-being and happiness. That has been reported during the early (10–15 min) phase of alcohol consumption.

90% or more of the alcohol a person drinks is metabolized by the body, mainly metabolized in the liver and a little bit in the stomach. The rest is excreted unchanged by the kidneys into urine, by sweat glands, and by the lungs as a person breathes out.

How people become addicted to alcohol

Neuroadaptation refers to changes or ‘adaptations’ that occur in the brain for repeated stimuli.

In context of alcohol or any drug, when it is used in excessive quantity beyond body’s need, brain start developing tolerance or adaptation for the chemistry of that substance to offset that drug effect.

Neuroadaption has multiple stages, once neuroadaptation has occurred, removal of alcohol from the organism leads to a withdrawal syndrome.

Alcohol Withdrawal

After long and chronic exposure to the alcohol person become so dependent that if he tries to stop or cutoff the quantity he develops set of symptoms labeled as withdrawal symptoms.

Symptoms are classified into three stages depending on the time of their onset.

  • Stage 1 (mild)  develops after 6 to 7 hours of last drink:

Anxiety, insomnia, nausea, abdominal pain and/or vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, tremors, depression, foggy thinking, mood swings, and heart palpitations

  • Stage 2 (moderate) develops after 12 to 24 hours of last drink:

Increased blood pressure, body temperature and respiration, irregular heart rate, mental confusion, sweating, irritability, and heightened mood disturbances

  • Stage 3 (severe/delirium tremens) develops in first one or two days of last drink:

Hallucinations, fever, seizures, severe confusion, and agitation

Withdrawal symptoms are the major cause for relapse to alcohol-seeking behavior.

Effects of alcohol addiction

alcoholism signs and symptoms, alcohol withdrawal, detox and rehab

Acute Symptoms of Alcoholism

In the brain, alcohol interacts with various neurotransmitters to alter nerve function. Alcohol’s depressive effects result in

  • Difficulty walking,
  • Poor balance,
  • Slurring of speech,
  • Poor coordination
  • Impairment of peripheral vision.
  • At higher alcohol levels, a person’s breathing and heart rates may be slowed and vomiting may occur (with a high risk of the vomit being breathed into the lungs, potentially resulting in aspiration pneumonia.)
  • Still higher alcohol levels may result in coma and death.

Chronic Symptoms of Alcoholism

Long-term use of alcohol affects virtually every organ system of the body:

Nervous system.

  • Alcohol causes sleep disturbances, sleep quality is diminished.
  • Numbness and tingling may occur in the arms and legs.
  • Wernicke’s syndrome and Korsakoff’s syndrome, which can occur together or separately, are due to the low thiamine (vitamin B-1) levels because alcohal prevents vitamin B-1 absorption and storage. Which is characterized by mental confusion, amnesia (a permanent gap in memory), and impaired short-term memory. Other symptoms include ataxia (weakness in limbs or lack of muscle coordination, unsteady gait), slow walking, rapid, tremor-like eye movements, and paralysis of eye muscles.
  • Fine motor function (e.g., hand or finger movements) may be diminished, and sense of smell also may be affected. In the advanced stages, coma can occur.

Homeopathic medicines like Agaricus, Cannabis indica and Hyoscyamus are specially suitable when nervous symptoms are pronounced.

Gastrointestinal system

  • Inflammation of stomach, may lead to ulcers and hemorrhage in advance stages.
  • Acid reflux from stomach to food pipe (esophagus)
  • Dilatation of blood vessels of lower end of food pipe (esophagus) may cause uncontrollable hemorrhage (esophageal varices)
  • Inflammation of pancrease (Pancreatitis)
  • Malabsorption leads to malnutrition
  • Liver complaints such as fatty liver (enlarge and fill with fat), inflammation (hepatitis) or cirrhosis (fibrous scar tissue develops in liver)

Avena sativa, Nux vomica and Acid-sulphuricum are the homeopathic medicine for alcoholism when gastric symptoms are pronounced.

Blood and immunity

Alcohol may cause changes to all the types of blood cells. Red blood cells become abnormally large. White blood cells (important for fighting infections) decrease in number, resulting in a weakened immune system.

This places alcohol-dependent individuals at increased risk for infections and may account in part for the increased risk of cancer faced by people with alcoholism. Platelets and blood clotting factors are affected, causing an increased risk of bleeding.

Homeopathy remedies like China, Nux vomica, Avena sativa, Pulsatilla etc are useful homeopathic medicines for alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Heart –

Small amounts of alcohol cause a drop in blood pressure, but with increased consumption, alcohol raises blood pressure into a dangerous range (hypertension).

High levels of fats circulating in the bloodstream increase the risk of heart disease. Heavy drinking results in an increase in heart size, weakening of the heart muscle, abnormal heart rhythms, a risk of blood clots forming within the chambers of the heart, and a greatly increased risk of stroke due to a blood clot entering the circulatory system and blocking a brain blood vessel.

The best homeopathic medicine for alcoholism where cardiac symptoms are pronounced are Strophanthus, Cocculus indicus, Cannabis indica.

Reproductive system –

Heavy drinking has a negative effect on fertility in both men and women. It decreases testicle and ovary size and interferes with both sperm and egg production.

Avena sativa, Cannabis indica and Zincum can help restore fertility in alcohol addicts.

Pregnancy and Alcoholism

Maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy contributes adversely to a fetus’s development. Abnormalities in infants and children associated with maternal alcohol consumption may include

  • Prenatal and postnatal physical retardation,
  • Neurological deficits (e.g., impaired attention control),
  • Mental retardation,
  • Behavioral problems (e.g., impulsivity),
  • Cognitive difficulties (e.g., lower IQ scores, more learning problems, poorer short-term memory functioning)
  • Skull or brain malformations and facial malformations (e.g., a thin upper lip and elongated flattened midface).

Check yourself – Are you Addicted to Alcohol?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a diagnostic tool for mental disorders issued from American Psychiatric Association.

It has 11 criteria for diagnosis of alcohol use disorder.

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a medical condition that doctors diagnose when a patient’s drinking causes distress or harm. The condition can range from mild to severe and is diagnosed when a patient answers “yes” to two or more of the following questions.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

(DSM–5)

1Had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer, than you intended?
2More than once wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?
3Spent a lot of time drinking? Or being sick or getting over other aftereffects?
4Wanted a drink so badly you couldn’t think of anything else?
5Found that drinking—or being sick from drinking—often interfered with taking care of your home or family? Or caused job troubles? Or school problems?
6Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends?
7Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure, in order to drink?
8More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)?
9Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem? Or after having had a memory blackout?
10Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want? Or found that your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before?
11Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, restlessness, nausea, sweating, a racing heart, or a seizure? Or sensed things that were not there?
The presence of at least 2 of these symptoms indicates an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).

The severity of the AUD is defined as:

Mild: The presence of 2 to 3 symptoms

Moderate: The presence of 4 to 5 symptoms

Severe: The presence of 6 or more symptoms

Treatment for Alcoholism

The person with alcoholism often resists that he or she has an alcohol problem and needs to stop drinking. Treatment cannot be forced on adults unless it is a condition imposed by a court of law.

The alcohol-dependent person will most likely develop withdrawal symptoms so first aim of the treatment is to relive withdrawal effects.

Withdrawal will be different for different individuals, depending on the severity of the alcoholism as measured by the quantity of alcohol ingested daily and the length of time the patient has been alcohol dependent.

There are some conventional drugs for alcohol withdrawal and many homeopathic medicines that can help reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Types of Treatment

Behavioral Treatments

This is part of alcoholism rehab. Aim of behavior treatment is to change drinking behavior through counseling also known as alcohol counseling. Behavioral treatments involve working with a health professional to identify and help change the behaviors that lead to heavy drinking. Behavioral treatments share certain features, which can include:

  • Developing the skills needed to stop or reduce drinking
  • Helping to build a strong social support system
  • Working to set reachable goals
  • Coping with or avoiding the triggers that might cause relapse

 Conventional Medications

  • Naltrexone can help people reduce heavy drinking.
  • Acamprosate makes it easier to maintain abstinence.
  • Disulfiram blocks the breakdown (metabolism) of alcohol by the body, causing unpleasant symptoms such as nausea and flushing of the skin. Those unpleasant effects can help some people avoid drinking while taking disulfiram.

Not all people will respond to medications, but for a subset of individuals, they can be an important tool in overcoming alcohol dependence.

This list of homeopathic medicines for alcoholism and alcohol withdrawal support is neither exhaustive, nor complete. Please consult your general physician in person to find out about alcoholism symptoms, alcohol withdrawal, rehab and treatment centers for alcoholics. For homeopathy treatment of alcoholism, consult a qualified homeopath/doctor in person.

About the author

Dr. Manish Bhatia

Dr. Manish Bhatia

- BHMS, BCA, M.Sc Homeopathy (UK), CICH (Greece)
- Ass. Professor, Organon & Homeopathic Philosophy, SKH Medical College, Jaipur
- Founder Director of Hpathy.com
- Editor, Homeopathy 4 Everyone
- Member, Advisory Board, Homeopathic Links
- Co-author - Homeopathy and Mental Health Care: Integrative Practice, Principles and Research
- Author - Lectures on Organon of Medicine vol 1 & 2. CCH Approved. (English, German, Bulgarian)
- Awardee - Raja Pajwan Dev Award for Excellence in the Field of Medicine; APJ Abdul Kalam Award for Excellence in Homeopathy Education
- For consultation, seminars or clinical training, write to asha@hpathy.com

4 Comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *