Homeopathic Remedies for
Alcohol Withdrawal

Medically Reviewed By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited : May 7,  2021 | 4 Sources


Homeopathy, if overseen by a qualified practitioner, can alleviate many of the symptoms associated with alcoholism detoxification

Homeopathic remedies for alcohol withdrawal- what are the symptoms - Alcohol withdrawal symptoms refers to manifestation of the changes an alcoholic’s body goes through when he or she person suddenly stops drinking after heavy and prolonged alcohol use.

The process of cleaning the body from the alcohol substance to overcome its addiction is called alcoholism detox. Detox is the first (necessary) step in overcoming alcohol dependence

Not everyone who stops drinking experiences withdrawal symptoms, but most people who have been drinking a high quantity for an extended period of time will experience some form of withdrawal symptoms if they stop drinking suddenly.

Understanding the alcohol withdrawal symptoms that may follow the short term and long term stopping of drinking is critical for avoiding unnecessary complications and dangers. For more on the treatment of alcohol withdrawals read Diazepam and alcohol withdrawals.

What Causes the Signs of Alcohol Withdrawal?

When a drinker consumes large quantities of alcohol over weeks, months or years – their body attempts to safeguard its internal stability and processes.

The body, particularly the brain, adapts to the presence of alcohol by compensating for alcohol’s effect on the central nervous system (CNS).

Alcohol, specifically Ethanol, has an overall suppressing effect on CNS activity. Most of the clinical effects can be explained by the interaction of alcohol with various neurotransmitters and neuroreceptors in the brain.

Another thing to understand is that while your body is adjusting to the continuous effects of Ethanol, it increases naturally occurring chemicals to respond to this. When a person stops drinking all at once, their body is still producing extra chemicals out of habit despite not having ethanol in the body.

This overstimulates the brain which leaves it over active which can lead to difficulty concentrating.

Physical dependence to alcohol occurs with the long term use of alcohol. Due to the down regulation of brain receptors, more alcohol is needed to reach have the same effect. This is also known as tolerance. This process is also responsible for the physical alcohol withdrawal symptoms that are often alleviated with an eye-opener, or a drink when a person wakes up in the morning.

The Severity Of Alcohol Withdrawal...

The severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms vary, depending on various factors including age, genetics, and, most importantly, degree of alcohol intake, length of time the individual has been misusing alcohol and number of previous alcohol detoxes.

The period of time in which the symptoms occur and peak range from 5 - 10 hours after the last drink (drinkers in the early stages of alcoholism) up to 48 - 72 hours (for alcoholics in the advanced stages) and may persist for weeks and even months. 

Mild to Moderate Psychological Symptoms

  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Depression
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability or easy excitability
  • Jumpiness or shakiness
  • Nightmares
  • Rapid emotional changes
  • Anxious
homeopathic remedies for alcohol withdrawalImage by Александр Александров

Mild to Moderate Physical Symptoms

  • Clammy skin
  • Enlarged (dilated) pupils
  • Headache
  • Insomnia - Sleeping difficulty
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pallor - An abnormal loss of color from normal skin
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Tremor of the hands or other body parts

The Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Agitation - An unpleasant state of extreme arousal (stirred up or excited), increased tension, and irritability. May also be easily confused
  • Delirium Tremens - Withdrawal has a wide range of symptoms starting from mild tremors to a severe condition called delirium tremens. This condition results in in seizures and could even progress to death if not identified and treated promptly. It is a state of severe confusion, visual hallucinations, physical shaking, high blood pressure.
  • Fever

Alcohol Withdrawal Seizures - The physical findings or changes in behavior that occur after an episode of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Alcohol seizures can lead to serious complications such as death.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Prolonged Alcohol Withdrawal

Prolonged alcohol withdrawal syndrome occurs in many alcoholics where alcohol withdrawal symptoms continue beyond the acute withdrawal stage (the first 72 hours) but usually at a sub-acute level of intensity and gradually decreasing with severity over time.

Some withdrawal symptoms can linger for at least a year after discontinuation of alcohol. Symptoms can include:

  • Craving for alcohol.
  • Inability to feel pleasure from normally pleasurable things (also known asanhedonia).
  • Clouding of sensorium.
  • Disorientation
  • Nausea and vomiting or headache.
  • Insomnia

In addition to the amount of alcohol consumed and the duration of the alcohol intake just before cessation of drinking - a history of withdrawal episodes appears to be a critical factor in the intensity of withdrawal symptoms.

The Kindling Graph

Many alcoholics experience numerous withdrawal episodes during the course of their illness. This is a common characteristic of a chronic and progressive disease. Kindling is the phenomenon where repeated alcohol detoxifications lead to an increased severity of the alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

For example, binge drinkers may initially experience no alcohol withdrawal symptoms but with each period of resumption of drinking followed by abstinence, their withdrawal symptoms intensify in severity and may eventually result in full blown delirium tremens with convulsive alcohol withdrawal seizures.

This effect can also be observed in those who fall into the advanced alcoholic category.

homeopathic remedies for alcohol withdrawalhomeopathic remedies for alcohol withdrawal

Given the high rate of regressions among alcoholics, each withdrawal episode may perhaps best be viewed not as an isolated event but as part of a potentially long-term process that can lead to dangerous exacerbation of withdrawal symptoms with each subsequent episode.

The harsh reality is that alcohol relapses are a common experience. Addiction research has shown that 50%-90% of alcoholics relapse.

Treatment for Alcohol Withdrawals

Alcohol withdrawal is a serious medical condition that could rapidly become life threatening, if not treated properly or in time.

Call your health care provider or go the emergency room if you think you might be in alcohol withdrawal, especially if you were using alcohol often and recently stopped. Do not minimize symptoms you are experiencing. Doing so, would interfere with your health care provider’s ability to identify an appropriate course of action.

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms persist after treatment. Go to the emergency room or call the local emergency number (such as 911) if seizures, fever, severe confusion, hallucinations, or irregular heartbeats occur.

It is essential that you only attempt to withdraw from alcohol under medical supervision. This which will help you relax ensuring that you do not have alcohol withdrawal anxiety and, more importantly, you don't suffer from alcohol withdrawal seizures which can be fatal.

Detoxification means weaning a patient from a psychoactive substance in an effective and safe manner by progressively removing the dependence producing substance.

There are three treatment options when considering detoxification:

1. Outpatient Detox- Most patients suffering from alcohol withdrawal could be treated effectively and safely as outpatients. This would be appropriate for individual who fall into the low and moderate risk level for withdrawal symptoms. These individuals would be seen by their provider with frequent check-ups. Your provider may provide medications that would ease the symptoms of withdrawal.

2. Medically Monitored Detox- This option would be appropriate for individuals who fall into the moderate to severe risk level of withdrawal. This option would include being in a medical facility for a brief period of time, around 24 hours, while being consistently monitored by medical doctors as well as nurses. Again, medications would likely be provided to ease the symptoms of withdrawal.

3. Medically Managed Inpatient Detox- This option would be appropriate for individuals who fall into the sever risk level of withdrawal. Individuals who are at risk of severe withdrawal, or those who suffer from concurrent serious psychiatric or physical disorders, or who do not have adequate support, should ideally be managed in an inpatient setting. This option would include staying in an inpatient setting, possibly a rehabilitation center, for several days. Common medications that may be used for individuals at this level of risk include:

  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antinausea medications
  • Blood Pressure medications
  • Sedatives to help reduce anxiety
  • Benzodiazepines

Detoxification

When thinking of detoxification, the general conclusion is to see your General Physician. In most cases, your doctor will conduct an assessment and prescribe medications that can ease some of the symptoms that come about during alcohol withdrawal.

Another common recommendation is to go to some support group meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Smart Recovery. Depending on the severity of your withdrawal symptoms, your Physician may strongly encourage you to detox in a medical facility so that you can be monitored by health care professionals.

What you don't hear much about is homeopathic remedies for alcohol withdrawal like homeopathic detox option. Is this a viable option for alcohol withdrawal? Is there hope in a self-tailored holistic alcohol treatment regime?

One thing to be mindful of with this option is where your information is coming from. There is a plethora of information on the internet about how to have a homeopathic detox.

Some sources come from knowledgeable health care professionals, while others may come from an individual experience with detoxification.

There are also online courses that can teach you the who, what, when and how to have a homeopathic detox.

Alcohol withdrawal is a serious, potentially fatal, condition that should not be looked at lightly. When getting information about a homeopathic detox, check your sources!

The preferred source would be a Licensed Medial Professional, who can perform an effective health evaluation and talk to you about the different homeopathic options that may help relieve some of your alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

There are physicians who are familiar with and use homeopathic practices.

homeopathic remedies

Alcohol Withdrawal; Causes, Symptoms and Dangers

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms occur when someone reduces or stops alcohol consumption after prolonged periods of excessive drinking.

When a drinker consumes large quantities of alcohol over weeks, months or years – their body attempts to safeguard its internal stability and processes. The severity of withdrawal symptoms depends on various factors including age, genetics, and, most importantly, degree of alcohol intake, length of time the individual has been misusing alcohol and number of previous alcohol detoxes.

Part of the reason why our bodies go through withdrawal after a prolonged period of excessive drinking is that our body grows accustomed to the safeguard measures it is used to. When you stop drinking all at once, your body is still acting as though you are drinking which contributes to symptoms experienced.

The period of time in which the symptoms occur and peak range from 5 - 10 hours after the last drink (drinkers in the early stages of alcoholism) up to 48 - 72 hours (for alcoholics in the advanced stages) and may persist for weeks and even months.

  • Clammy skin
  • Enlarged (dilated) pupils
  • Headache
  • Insomnia - Sleeping difficulty
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pallor - An abnormal loss of color from normal skin
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Tremor of the hands or other body parts
  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Depression
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability or easy excitability
  • Jumpiness or shakiness
  • Nightmares
  • Rapid emotional changes

As previously stated, do not attempt to go through withdrawal without consulting with your doctor. Depending on your use and history of detoxes, you may be at a higher risk for concerns such as seizure’s and death.

If you find yourself interested in going the homeopathic route for your detoxification process from alcohol, it is strongly recommended that you do so with a family member or friend with you. The purpose of this would be that they could help monitor you and call for emergency services should you take a turn for the worst.

What Is Homeopathic Remedies for Alcohol Withdrawal Exactly?

First let's get a firm understanding on what is meant by the term homeopathy. Homeopathy is a treatment system developed by German physician Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843).

The whole system of homeopathy rests on the belief that "like cures like" In other words, homeopathy suggests that that which causes the symptoms in a person of health will heal the same symptoms in an ill person.

This, of course, does not mean that the homeopathic remedy for alcohol withdrawal is to drink alcohol.

What it does mean is that each symptom of alcohol withdrawal needs to be treated by using minuscule amounts of a substance, that in larger amounts of the substance WOULD CAUSE the symptom in someone not going through alcohol withdrawal.

If you or someone close to you wants help and advice on quitting drinking then take a look at the following pages:

The Specific Homeopathic Remedies for Alcohol Withdrawal

If you are working with a Homeopathic Physician, withdrawals symptoms will be treated individually. Some common homeopathic remedies for the withdrawal symptoms above are:

  • Arsenicum for anxiety and compulsiveness,
  • Nux vomica for nausea, vomiting, or bowel discomfort, tremors and headaches
  • and/or Staphysagria to help suppress emotions. 

Other common recommendations include natural remedies that can help ease some of the symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal. Some examples of this would be:

  • Vitamin B- Can help someone think more clearly
  • Electrolytes- Can help with dehydration
  • Ginseng- Can help with fatigue
  • Valerian Root- Can help with insomnia
  • Primrose Oil- Can help with other withdrawal symptoms

Another common recommendation is to take time to eat nutritious food, drink plenty of water and rest if needed. It is not uncommon for individuals who drink heavily to have poor choices when it comes to their diet. This can contribute to nutrient deficiencies. The other factor to consider would be that alcohol actually impairs your body’s ability to absorb nutrients as it would if you were not drinking. Nutrient dense foods you could try include nuts, eggs, carrots and fish.

It is essential you contact a Homeopathic Physician or your General Physician before attempting to withdraw from alcohol. It is incredibly dangerous to attempt to stop drinking while not under medical supervision. Alcoholism detox is not just unpleasant, it can lead to seizures and even death.

Statistics 
Effectiveness Of Homeopathic Remedies For Alcohol Withdrawal

Research on the efficaciousness of homeopathic remedies for alcohol withdrawal has been limited, and has not painted it as an effective option for alcohol withdrawal. While homeopathic practices may help decrease a person’s withdrawal symptoms, the concern is that it may not work as well for everyone.

Unlike approved medical practices and medications, homeopathic approaches are not backed by research and studies that that support its use and effects. There is some research that shows some effectiveness for homeopathic approaches for alcohol withdrawal.

1.   In 1993 S. Garcia-Swain from the Hahnemann College of Homeopathy, Albany, California, conducted a double-blind placebo-controlled trial which applied homeopathy to chemical and alcohol dependency. Results showed that those who took the homeopathic remedies had lower relapse rates than those who did not.

2.   A study undertaken by the Central Council for Research in Homeopathy (CCRH) at its Clinical Research Unit, Varanasi, India , administered homeopathic remedies to addicts undergoing withdrawal. The study found that with 241 cases; 209 cases showed improvement with homeopathic treatments whereas 32 cases did not.

There is a paucity of research when it comes to the use of homeopathy and alcohol withdrawal and more needs to be done to convince a skeptical majority.

Conventional medicine offers little in terms of pharmacology to help patients overcome alcoholism, homeopathy claims to offer over a 100 remedies for alcoholism alone. This would call into question the behavioral side to addiction.

Mental health concerns are often common in individuals who struggle with alcoholism. This would include depression, anxiety, mood disorder and a history of trauma or abuse. Mental health treatments such as psychotherapy has been proven effective in the treatment of mental health concerns such as the ones listed.

Taking the statistical evidence above into account and the "treat the entire person" mentality together, multiple approaches to treatment are perhaps the best answer.

Psychotherapy, good nutrition, exercise, support group attendance, and a sound homeopathic alcohol detox plan are not mutually exclusive of each other and are all worth your time to research.

All of these approaches can be performed simultaneously with great success if a strong commitment to treatment can be created. Formulating a plan with your physician would be an ideal situation.

Do your research regarding homeopathic remedies you want to explore, and be prepared. Try and remain open to their feedback regarding homeopathic approaches as they are the trained, licensed and experienced medical professionals.

Alcohol addiction is a challenging mental illness to live with, however having a healthy recovery is possible. There is no point in a person’s life where it is “too late” to make a change for the better. 

If you found this page helpful, then the following may be of interest to you:

Options After Detox

After a person completes detox, the automatic question is what now?

There are several options available, which can accommodate those who are willing to stop drinking and those who are not. It is important to be honest with oneself about their motivation for recovery. There are two forms of motivation; internal and external.

  • Internal motivation could be a person wanting to be healthier, to improve relationships, improve job functioning. 
  • External motivation would be outside factors such as pending legal concerns, being told they could lose their job if they continue and if a spouse threatens to leave if something doesn’t change.

For those who are not ready to stop drinking, they may consider a harm reduction approach. Further information about this can be located throughout this guide.

From a clinical stand point, if a person experiences alcohol withdrawal, one could assume that they have seen negative impacts of their drinking on their physical health and other areas of their life. If this is true, it may be time to begin considering a sober lifestyle.

A common recommendation for individuals after completing detox programs is a rehabilitation program. The hope for these programs is that a person will come out with a better understanding of addiction, addictive behaviors, their triggers and have a better idea of how to cope. For individuals with co-occurring mental health concerns, psychotherapy may be a healthy option as this likely had an impact on their drinking behaviors.

Recovery, similarly to addiction, looks different for every alcoholic. Options for approaches to recovery and further information on treatment options can be located throughout this website.



If you found this page helpful, then the following may be of interest to you:



Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl

Licensed Medical Health Professional 


Hello!

I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More



Sources:

Alcohol Facts and Statistics from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/alcohol-facts-and-statistics  

American Family Physician. Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome. March 15, 2004. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2004/0315/p1443.html

Basic Information About Alcohol Withdrawal: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000764.htm 

Harvard Health Publishing. Alcohol Withdrawal. April 2019. https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/alcohol-withdrawal-a-to-z

Managing Alcohol Withdrawal: https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public

Medline Plus. Alcohol Withdrawal. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000764.htm

NCBI. Clinical management of alcohol withdrawal: A systematic review. Jul-Dec 2013. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4085800/


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