Before we go on to discuss the specifics of alcohol addiction, it is pertinent to describe what is really meant by the words ‘alcohol addiction’. Alcohol addiction is also known as alcoholism, this is a very chronic disease caused by being addicted to alcohol, leading to deterioration in health and social functioning.
Some of the challenges faced by alcoholics include slurred or ambiguous speech, clumsiness and very poor balance, stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, blackouts and liver damage. It is also very possible for an alcoholic to reach a certain level of intoxication that could become life threatening. In such cases, the person has imbibed in too much alcohol which his or her system cannot handle, this is known as alcohol poisoning, and this makes the respiratory system become stressed and the person can stop breathing.
When it comes to recovering from alcohol addiction it is good to know that there are many natural supplements that can help. Listed below are just a few of the main ones.
- Vitamin B - B vitamins are essential in breaking addictions to alcohol and drugs. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) helps to reduce fatigue and brain fog and is often deficit in alcoholics which can lead to serious complications. It is advised to supplement with thiamine which can serve as a compensation for poor absorption. Niacin (vitamin B3) and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) also go a long way in helping the body recover from alcohol addiction. A very easy way to get all the B vitamins is to take a B-complex supplement..
- Amino Acids - The amino acids carnitines, glutamine and glutathione, when combined, may be able to reduce alcohol-related stress on the body as well as fluctuations in the blood sugar, which can help reduce cravings.
- Dandelion and Passion Flower may also be used in reducing alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Dandelion can also help with any liver related problems associated with alcohol abuse.
- Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) - Studies have shown that the chinese herb Kudzu can help to reduce cravings for alcohol and reduce the amount a person drinks.
- Ginseng – This herb naturally breaks down alcohol in the system and flushes away toxins that linger in the body, it can also lower the rate at which the body absorbs alcohol inside the stomach and digestive tract. Because of the medicinal prowess of ginseng, it reduces the symptoms of withdrawal and helps manage cravings.
Lifestyle Changes To Assist Recovery
- Surround yourself with like-minded and supportive people - Creating a healthy social system will aid you in making good choices and sticking to your goals. You should not hesitate to ask your close friends or relatives, “ help me stop drinking” and you will be amazed at the number of people who will be willing to support you. Try to follow up and make plans with the people you have spoken with about your addiction, they will want to be with you and will help to schedule activities or time together that do not involve alcohol. Surround yourself with happy active people and resist the urge to be all alone at home or heading to a bar. Getting out and volunteering in your community, joining a gym or signing up for art classes can also be of great benefit. Activities like these can provide a much needed distraction from cravings and negative thoughts. The most important key is to surround yourself with people who will not tempt you with alcohol, but will supply you with healthy interactions.
- Avoid temptation and triggers - Avoiding activities that you associate with drinking is a very important step to a successful recovery. If you have a group of friends that you always drink with it is probably best to avoid them, especially when you are just beginning your recovery. If certain situations or emotions trigger your desire to drink, it is best to avoid those as much as possible as well.
- Learning from mistakes and relapses – It is not unusual for a recovering alcoholic to go months or even years without having a single drink and then a situation happens that causes a person to relapse. Don’t beat yourself about this and don’t let this weigh you down or discourage you in anyway. Mistakes are bound to happen, instead of feeling disappointed, down, weak or worthless, think about what led to the relapse. It could be a stressful day and you felt you needed a drink to make you calm or perhaps you were at a party and someone who was unaware that you quit drinking offered you some drink and you don’t want to feel bad turning down the offer and you felt “well just one won’t hurt.” Whatever the reason may be, look at the result and how it made you feel, think about what you can do to avoid repeating that mistake in the future and learn by it.
It is important to remember that no matter how many time you fall down, you can always pick yourself back up. Recovering from an addiction is a long process that requires determination and support and love from family and friends. With the help of nutritional supplements, lifestyle changes and emotional support you can succeed and live a healthy happy life.