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Natural Cures For Alcoholism
There are claims that nutritional or other natural cures for alcoholism exist. Cure is a strong word. Most addiction specialists insist on using ‘treatment’ instead. “Cure,” in this context means no more cravings, not the ability to drink socially – abstinence is still required.
To understand the rationale behind natural cures for alcoholism, the theory of imbalance has to be mentioned. Alcoholism is seen as primarily resulting from imbalances in body biochemistry (although some will mention spiritual and psychological contributions as well). The remedy then becomes restoring balance, generally nutritional balance. The first step then becomes a detoxification. This is similar to the withdrawal used under medical supervision – vitamins, hydration and several days to weeks of abstinence. In nutritional cures, other substances are added – chelating agents and mega-doses of vitamins to “cleanse the system.”
Natural Cures For Alcoholism: No standard protocol
There is no standard protocol, but popular programs often come from books on the subject. It is sometimes promoted as a strength of natural cures for alcoholism that they can be customized based on the results (or lack of results) during treatment. Clinics or websites may offer their own set of recipes, adding or subtracting depending on symptoms. Standard medical care for alcohol withdrawal will include the following supplements, which alcoholics are usually deficient in:
- * B complex and vitamin C – water soluble vitamins usually low in alcoholics.
- * Selenium, magnesium and zinc – also depleted because of alcohol metabolism.
- * Amino acids used to add resources and reduce cravings – carnitine, glutamine and glutathione. This may be replaced by a healthy diet instead.
Natural Cures For Alcoholism: Herbs
Herbs are another type of natural cures for alcoholism. Currently, there are no good scientific studies to back them up. Some used are milk thistle, dandelion and kudzu. Other herbs have been recommended.
Natural Cures For Alcoholism: Homeopathy
Homeopathic remedies – these are given as diluted extracts and matched to symptoms. Lachesis, Nux vomica, arsenicum album and staphysagria are a few in the formulary.
Natural Cures For Alcoholism: Acupuncture
Acupuncture is sometimes thought of as natural cures for alcoholism, but should be more accurately classified as a traditional remedy. It is not recommended as a single therapy, but has been used in combination with other treatments.
Natural Cures For Alcoholism: Statistics hard to come by
Actual statistics are difficult to come by with natural cures for alcoholism. Because these treatments are usually not paid for by insurance companies and are not FDA approved, there is little in the way of hard data. Anecdotal evidence is available, but often, alcoholics will try many different ideas at the same time. It is hard to credit any one over the other. Programs offered based on nutritional supplements (as those offered in Narconon) often use doses so high they might be more properly called medication than natural cures for alcoholism. Furthermore, these programs usually have components that mirror AA or NA with group meetings, counseling and so on.