Holistic Remedies for Alcohol Withdrawal

Holistic Remedies for Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome is the set of symptoms you experience when you reduce or stop drinking cold turkey after binge drinking or long term drinking. Any excessive use of alcohol can lead to tolerance, physical dependence, and alcohol abuse. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome occurs because, once alcohol is no longer in your system, your central nervous system goes into and over-active state. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome may include seizures and delirium tremens and may lead to nerve cell damage and death.

Kindling

Some people who have repeatedly gone through cold turkey withdrawal without tapering off become more and more likely to have bad withdrawals from even small amounts of alcohol. This phenomenon is referred to as “kindling.” The way to avoid kindling is to taper off.

Holistic Drug Treatment

You may not want to go to a traditional drug treatment facility. Take comfort in knowing that there are holistic drug treatment programs that do things a bit differently than typical treatment centers. But, if you are trying a Do-It-Yourself alcohol detox, here are some things to keep in mind:

Taper off Alcohol

It is best not to quit drinking alcohol cold turkey. Alcohol withdrawal is a serious condition. Tapering means to limit your drinking to keep alcohol withdrawal symptoms from starting. Slowly reduce how much you drink; the taper can take anywhere from a couple of days to a week or even longer. It all depends on body chemistry, how much alcohol you’re used to drinking, for how long, and also keep in mind the kindling effect – so if you’ve gone through withdrawals before, this time might be more severe and/or last longer. If, on your first day without alcohol, you start to feel alcohol withdrawal symptoms, then that is a sign that your taper is not done yet.

Holistic Remedies for Alcohol Withdrawal

First, make sure to increase fluid intake when withdrawing from alcohol. Drinking water, alone, is not enough. Be sure to take in electrolytes, too, because an imbalance in these can cause serious problems.

Holistic Remedies for Alcohol Withdrawal #1: Acorn – alcoholic cravings; enlarged spleen and liver

Holistic Remedies for Alcohol Withdrawal#2: Angelica – alcohol cravings; creates aversion to alcohol; relieves gas, bloating, colic, headache; enlarged spleen; anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic.

Holistic Remedies for Alcohol Withdrawal #3: Calanatts – alcohol cravings; restorative for brain, nervous system; relieves gas, cramps, distention; improves appetite and exhaustion

Holistic Remedies for Alcohol Withdrawal #4: Cayenne – stops vomiting; alcohol cravings; improves appetite; reduces irritability, anxiety and tremor; induces calm and sleep; reduces Delirium tremens (the DTs), chills

Holistic Remedies for Alcohol Withdrawal #5: Celandine – liver problems; liver detoxifier; calms emotions (i.e. anger, depression) during withdrawal or cravings; for general sluggishness, difficulty concentrating and mental dullness

Holistic Remedies for Alcohol Withdrawal #6: Hops – sedative that relieves anxiety-related withdrawal symptoms; aids the DTs; helps irritability and restlessness; promotes healthy digestion; relieves insomnia

Home remedies for Alcohol Detox #7: Kudzu – traditional use in China for various side effects of alcohol such as hangover, thirst, gastric bleeding, loss of appetite; alcohol cravings

Holistic Remedies for Alcohol Withdrawal #8: Milk Thistle – protects against damage to the liver by alcohol, drugs and toxins; regenerates damaged liver tissue; essential for cirrhosis; restores proper nerve functioning; eases a racing heart or palpitations.

Holistic Remedies for Alcohol Withdrawal #9: Passionflower – treats insomnia, delirium tremens and muscle spasms; restful sleep

Holistic Remedies for Alcohol Withdrawal #10: Wild Lettuce – produces a general sense of well-being, calms excitability, relieves pain; mild sedative for insomnia

Other Options

If all else fails, consult your doctor who can prescribe certain medications, such as benzodiazepines (benzos like Valium, Xanax, Ativan), to treat your alcohol withdrawal syndrome. These can be taken at home by carefully following his/her instructions. You do not necessarily need to go into a medical   detox facility. However, it might be suggested to you by your doctor to do so. If you find it difficult to see it through, you may want to consider entering a holistic detox treatment program to help you with alcohol withdrawal and alcohol abuse.

 

 

 

Sources:

http://hamsnetwork.org/

http://www.homemademedicine.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/

What is SMART recovery?

What is SMART recovery?

SMART Recovery (Self Management and Recovery Training) is an international non-profit organization which provides assistance to individuals seeking abstinence from addictive behaviors. The approach of smart recovery is secular and science-based using non-confrontational motivational, behavioral and cognitive methods. Meeting participants of smart recovery learn recovery methods derived from evidence-based addiction treatments.

Smart recovery emphasizes four areas which they call the 4-point program in the process of recovery. The 4-point program of smart recovery includes: building motivation, coping with urges, problem solving and lifestyle balance. The smart recovery tools used are various types of therapy including cognitive behavioral therapy. Smart recovery does not use the twelve steps like AA or NA and is actually listed as an alternative to AA and the twelve steps. Even though smart recovery is listed as an alternative it is also suggested as a supplement to a twelve step program.

Smart recovery was incorporated in 1992 as the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Self-Help Network, the organization began operating in 1994. SMART recovery is recognized by the American Academy of Family Physicians, as well as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). NIDA and NIAAA are agencies of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Smart recovery meetings are free for all wishing to attend, and are intended to be informational as well as supportive. Over 800 weekly smart recovery group meetings led by volunteer facilitators are held worldwide.

Smart recovery meetings are also held in correctional facilities in many states including: Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

In smart recovery there are stages of change, seven of them and these changes are essentially how the smart recovery program works.

  • Stage one of smart recovery change: pre-contemplation: at this stage of smart recovery the participant may not realize that they have a problem.
  • Stage two of smart recovery change: contemplation: the participant of smart recovery evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of the addiction by performing a cost/benefit analysis.
  • Stage three of smart recovery change: determination and preparation: the participant completes a change plan worksheet.
  • Stage four of smart recovery change: action: The participant in smart recovery begins to seek out new ways of handling their addictive behavior. This can include self-help, the support of addiction help groups or professional guidance from a counselor etc.
  • Stage five of smart recovery change: maintenance: At this stage a few months of smart recovery have gone by and the participant in smart recovery’s behavior has been changed and now seeks to maintain their gains.
  • Stage six of smart recovery: Relapse: although it is not inevitable, relapses even in smart recovery are normal and part of the change cycle and if they are handled well can serve as a learning experience in overcoming addiction.
  • Stage seven of smart recovery change: termination: once the participant in smart recovery has sustained a long period of change they may choose to move on with their lives and graduate from smart recovery.

Non 12 Step Rehabs

Non 12 Step Rehabs

Non 12 Step Rehabs are treatment programs that employ other approaches and techniques to treating substance abuse and addiction, instead of the 12 Step approach.

The 12 Step approach, also called the Disease Model, has long contended the maladaptive patterns of alcohol and substance use displayed by addicted individuals are the result of a lifelong disease that is biological in origin. This perspective renders the alcoholic and/or addict essentially powerless over their problematic behaviors and unable to remain sober without the use of a spiritual program that places their problem in a Higher Power, much like someone with a terminal illness are unable to fight the disease by themselves without medication. Behavioral treatment, therefore, necessarily requires individuals to admit their addiction, renounce their former lifestyle, and seek a supportive social network who can help them remain sober. Such approaches are the features of Twelve-step programs, originally published in the book Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939.

Non 12 Step Rehabs apply different approaches such as:

Non 12 Step Rehabs: Person-Centered Therapy (PCT)

PCT is a form of talk-psychotherapy. The goal of PCT is to provide clients with an opportunity to develop a sense of self wherein they can realize how their attitudes, feelings and behavior are being negatively affected and make an effort to find their true positive potential. In this technique, therapists create a comfortable, non-judgmental environment by demonstrating congruence (genuineness), empathy, and unconditional positive regard toward their clients while using a non-directive approach. This aids clients in finding their own solutions to their problems.

Non 12 Step Rehabs: the Cognitive Models of Addiction Recovery

  • Relapse prevention

Four psychosocial processes relevant to the addiction and relapse processes: self-efficacy, outcome expectancies, attributions of causality, and decision-making processes. Self-efficacy refers to one’s ability to deal competently and effectively with high-risk, relapse-provoking situations. Finally, decision-making processes are implicated in the relapse process as well. Substance use is the result of multiple decisions whose collective effects result in consumption of the intoxicant.

  • Cognitive therapy of substance abuse

This therapy rests upon the assumption addicted individuals possess core beliefs, often not accessible to immediate consciousness. The cognitive therapist’s job is to uncover this underlying system of beliefs, analyze it with the patient, and thereby demonstrate its dysfunctionality.

  • Emotion regulation, mindfulness and substance abuse

Emotion regulation in the treatment of substance abuse; mindfulness based approaches

Non 12 Step Rehabs: Behavioral Models

Behavioral therapy lays much emphasis on the use of problem solving techniques as a means of helping the addict to overcome his addiction.

Non 12 Step Rehabs: Holistic Drug Treatment Approach

The perspective of a holistic drug rehab is similar to that of a 12 step rehab: that alcoholism and addiction are a physical, spiritual, and psychological disease, meaning it pertains to the body and the mind. This approach differs from a 12 Step rehab in that it offers many holistic practices to improve spiritual as well as physical and mental health and may include but does not necessarily include the 12 Steps. A few of the practices that are included in holistic drug treatment are but are not limited to:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Ayurveda medicine
  • Natural diet
  • Exercise
  • Counseling
  • Herbal remedies
  • Homeopathy
  • Acupuncture
  • Bodywork
  • Energy-based therapies
  • Prayerful intention

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org

http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov

The Effects of Alcohol on Fitness

The Effects of Alcohol on Fitness

The Effects of Alcohol on Fitness

As we head into spring, the days are getting warmer, the clothes skimpier, and many of us are heading to the gym to get in shape. And while a cold beer after a hard workout may sound enticing, you may want to consider the effects of alcohol on fitness before you indulge. Alcohol consumption, even moderately, can reverse all the work you just put in at the gym.

The Effects of Alcohol on Fitness: Athletic Performance

Athletic performance requires coordination and cognitive precision, so your ability to exercise and play sports can be negatively affected by alcohol. Alcohol impairs reaction time, balance, and hand eye coordination.

In addition, alcohol acts as a diuretic, which means it increases the speed at which fluids and electrolytes leave the body. This can impair the body’s ability to stay hydrated, especially while working out. Alcohol also increases the production of lactic acid-causing and increase in muscle soreness, and can dilate blood vessels which increases sweating and causes further dehydration.

The Effects of Alcohol on Fitness: Weight Gain

Alcohol contains what nutritionists call “empty calories.” This means that one of the effects of alcohol on fitness is that it contains a lot of calories with no nutritional value. Also, alcohol consumption increases belly fat.  Experts recommend that you limit your intake to one drink a day and keep an eye on overall caloric intake.

The Effects of Alcohol on Fitness: Muscles

One of the most negative effects of alcohol on fitness is the way that it inhibits muscle growth. Protein synthesis is the main way that the body builds muscle. It is the growth process within muscle cells. Drinking alcohol can inhibit this process. Excessive alcohol consumption slows the growth process down by up to 20%.

Another major way that alcohol affects muscle growth is that it affects the release growth hormone. Growth hormone plays a role in building muscle, stimulating cell growth, and promoting bone growth. When this hormone is low, it’s going to affect muscle growth. Growth hormone is usually secreted during sleep, and since alcohol can disrupt natural sleep, growth hormone production can be inhibited up to 70%.

Binge drinking can also cause a drop in testosterone levels while increasing cortisol, a hormone that destroys muscle. Avoid drinking alcohol right before or after hitting the gym.

The Effects of Alcohol on Fitness: Heart Health

Many people have heard that drinking alcohol can be good for your heart, but it must be pointed out that these health benefits extend only to moderate drinking (one to two drinks a day). Once drinking passes that point, alcohol can actually damage your health.  And keep in mind that the positive benefits of moderate alcohol consumption likely only apply to people who are 45 and older.

Overall, if you are looking to get fit this spring, its best to limit yourself to moderate drinking or cut out alcohol altogether. Most of the effects of alcohol on fitness are negative, and they can counteract the good things you are doing for your health like exercising and eating right.

Sources:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/345415-the-effects-of-alcohol-on-fitness/