If you are a heavy drinker, have recently had a single incident or multiple incidents where you have drunk too much, or are having problems stopping drinking on your own, you may be suffering from alcoholism.
Drinking alcohol to excess over a long period of time is not necessarily considered alcoholism. But being unable to stop drinking, or continuing to drink alcohol, even though it is having adverse effects on other areas of your life – such as your marriage, your career, your health or your relationships with others – could be indications that you do have a drinking problem.
There are also physical symptoms of alcoholism. These include having puffy face, bloodshot eyes, a barrel-shaped body, heart and vascular issues, and cirrhosis of the liver.
People who are not alcoholic usually don’t have a problem stopping drinking, especially in the short run. But true alcoholics often find it difficult, if not impossible, to halt their drinking without professional help.
Cost of In-Patient Alcohol Treatment
Most alcoholics will benefit from an inpatient alcohol treatment program that lasts anywhere from 29 to 90 days, depending on the severity of their disease. These types of treatment programs typically will incorporate a detoxification period in which the person is physically restrained from drinking alcohol. This is followed by a counseling and a treatment period, where the individual is taught how to live the rest of their life without drinking.
The problem is many of these programs are very expensive. If you don’t have health insurance and are paying for such a program out of your own pocket, it could cause a debt that could take months or even years to pay off.
That’s one of the reasons many people who believe they have a drinking problem will often try home remedies first. Not only are they often far less costly, but if they work it may mean that you may not actually be a true alcoholic in the first place.
Quitting Cold Turkey
Probably the most popular home remedy for alcoholism is simply to stop drinking “cold turkey”. This is when you set a date on which to halt your consumption of alcohol. Then, when that date arrives, you destroy all of the alcohol you have in your home and pledge never to drink again.
The problem with quitting cold turkey is that while your intentions may be good, your body’s physical need for alcohol may be stronger than your will. Like any addictive drug, alcohol actually makes its way into the cellular levels of your body. So when you suddenly deprive your body of the drug it needs, the physical response can be severe and violent.
Withdrawal symptoms can include violent shaking, vomiting, abdominal pain, intense irritability, confusion, dry mouth, and a racing heart. Some people can even go into cardiac arrest during withdrawal. So it’s not advisable to try it on your own if you believe you may be a serious alcoholic and have been drinking for a long period of time, such as for many years.
Another home remedy for alcoholism is to get help through a formalized program such as Alcoholics Anonymous. These are meetings you attend on a daily or weekly basis, or several times per week if necessary, in which you can share your experiences with other recovering alcoholics.
AA and other alcohol recovery programs typically include a 12-step program, or a similar structure, to help you work through both your long-term recovery. You typically will be paired with a sponsor – generally a recovering alcoholic who has been sober for many years – who can help guide you through the program, help talk you out of drinking when you are tempted, and assist you with getting back on track when you slip up and drink again.
A third home remedy for alcohol addiction is transference. This is when you replace your negative addiction – drinking alcohol – for a positive one, such as physical exercise.
People who are alcoholics tend to have a predisposition to the disease due to genetic or environmental conditions, such as growing up in a family of heavy drinkers. People with addictive personalities can sometimes find that they are able to transfer one addiction for another.
Another home remedy for overdrinking is the approach you might take towards weight loss: Do a little bit every day until you reach your goal. Tapering off your drinking over a period of time – such as several weeks or months – is often an effective way to purge the toxins from your body without going through full-blown alcohol withdrawal.
You eventually can get your drinking to a more manageable level or stop drinking altogether if you can develop enough self-control to limit your drinking a little a time.
Doing a Juice Cleanse
Some people find they can temper the effects of alcohol withdrawal if they go on an all-juice diet for a week to ten days while they are stopping drinking. Whether or not this will work depends on the severity of your alcoholism, how long you have been drinking to excess, your current physical condition, and your mental stability.
Stopping drinking is never easy. But if you can use a home remedy to cure your alcoholism, you may be able to save the time and expense of a formalized in-patient program.
Author Bio – This article is written by Paul Smith on behalf of The Cabin Chiang Mai, a professional alcohol rehab in Thailand.