MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Alcohol Addiction, Abuse & Dependency
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AN ETHANOL DEPENDENCE
Alcoholism is a dependence on ethanol (ethyl alcohol), resulting in chronic disease and disruption of interpersonal, family and work relationships. This dependence can be physiological, psychological, social, and/or genetic. Of the estimated 75 percent of the American population that consumes alcohol, one in ten people can be expected to have a problem with alcohol consumption. Another rough estimate indicates that one in 50 of the USA population is alcohol dependent. There are two separate classes of alcohol-related problems:
- Alcohol Abuse or "Problem Drinking". Problem drinkers use alcohol on a regular basis, and although they may need a degree of support or guidance, they are not as physically and/or emotionally dependent on the drug as chronic drinkers, or alcoholics.
- Alcohol Dependence, or Alcoholism.
The term alcoholism will be used loosely for practical discussion purposes, but it is important to remember this distinction.
According to the National Council of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence, some 18 million Americans abuse alcohol, and more than 100,000 die of alcohol-related causes. Alcoholism affects approximately 4 times as many men as women, but the incidence of alcoholism among women is on the rise, as is the use of alcohol by children, adolescents, and college students. The 2001 to 2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), directed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, found that in the United States population aged 18 and over there was a rise in alcohol abuse from 3.03 percent to 4.65 percent over a single decade (1991 to 2001), while at the same time there was a slight decrease in actual alcoholism from 4.38 percent to 3.81 percent. While complicated, the results of the survey indicate that, in general, there appears to be a decline in "heavy" drinking but that alcohol abuse across the board appears to be increasing, particularly among the younger study participants.
ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION OVERVIEW
People drink to socialize, celebrate, and relax. Alcohol often has a strong effect on people and throughout history, we have struggled to understand and manage alcohol's power. Research is being done to answer questions about alcohol such as:
Why does alcohol cause us to act and feel differently?
How much is too much?
Why do some people become addicted while others do not?
Alcohol’s effects vary from person to person, depending on a variety of factors, including:
- How much you drink.
- How often you drink.
- Your age.
- Your health status.
- Your family history.
While drinking alcohol is itself not necessarily a problem - drinking too much can cause a range of consequences, and increase your risk for a variety of problems.
CONSEQUENCES OF DRINKING TOO MUCH ALCOHOL
Alcohol enters your bloodstream as soon as you take your first sip. Alcohol's immediate effects can appear within about 10 minutes. As you drink, you increase your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level, which is the amount of alcohol present in your bloodstream. The higher your BAC, the more impaired you become by alcohol's effects. These effects can include:
Other risks of drinking can include:
- Reduced inhibitions.
- Slurred speech.
- Motor impairment.
- Memory problems.
- Concentration problems.
- Breathing problems.
People who drink too much over a long period of time may experience alcohol’s longer-term effects, which can include:
- Car crashes and other accidents.
- Risky behavior.
- Violent behavior.
- Suicide and homicide.
- Alcohol dependence.
- Health problems.
- Increased risk for certain cancers.
People make a wide variety of choices about drinking, including whether to drink at all, and how much to consume if they do decide to drink. Here are some general trends in the United States.
How many American adults (ages 18 and over) drank in the past year & how much did they drink?
(Source: Wave 1 NESARC, conducted by NIAAA's Laboratory of Epidemiology & Biometry Women Men Percentage who had at least one drink. 59.6% 71.8% Percentage who have never drank - lifetime abstainers. 22.5% 11.6% Percentage of binge drinkers - drinkers who consumed 4+/5+ (women/men) drinks within 2 hours at least once. 28.8% 43.1% How many drinks did drinkers usually consume on a drinking day? 1 drink 48.2% 28.7% 2 drinks 29.9% 29.0% 3 or more drinks 21.9% 42.3% How frequently did American adults (ages 18 and over) drank in the past year?
(Source: Wave 2 NESARC, conducted by NIAAA's Laboratory of Epidemiology & Biometry Percentage Who Drank: Women Men Daily 2.45% 5.78% Nearly Every Day 2.39% 4.98% 3 to 4 Times A Week 5.55% 10.00% 2 Times A Week 5.82% 10.46% Once A Week 6.77% 10.33% 2 to 3 Times A Month 8.27% 9.55% Once A Month 7.19% 6.72% 7 to 11 Times in the Last Year 4.44% 3.51% 3 to 6 Times in the Last Year 9.26% 5.67% 1 to 2 Times in the Last Year 8.73% 4.91% Never in the Past Year (Former Drinker or Lifetime Abstainer) 39.13% 28.09%
DEFINITION OF A STANDARD DRINK
Many people are surprised to learn what counts as a drink. The amount of liquid in your glass, can, or bottle does not necessarily match up to how much alcohol is actually in your drink. Different types of beer, wine, or malt liquor can have very different amounts of alcohol content. For example, many light beers have almost as much alcohol as regular beer - about 85% as much. Here is another way to put it:
- Regular Beer: 5% Alcohol Content
- Some Light Beers: 4.2% Alcohol Content
That is why it is important to know how much alcohol your drink contains. In the United States, one "standard" drink contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in:
- 12 ounces of regular beer, which is usually about 5% alcohol.
- 5 ounces of wine, which is typically about 12% alcohol.
- 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, which is about 40% alcohol.
How do you know how much alcohol is in your drink? Even though they come in different sizes, the drinks below are each examples of one standard drink:
Although the "standard" drink amounts are helpful for following health guidelines, they may not reflect customary serving sizes. For example, a single mixed drink made with hard liquor can contain 1 to 3 or more standard drinks, depending on the type of spirits and the recipe.
MODERATE - LOW RISK DRINKING
Moderate or "low-risk" drinking: Research shows that people who drink moderately may be less likely to experience an alcohol use disorder (AUD). These drinking levels, which differ for men and women, are:
- For Men: No more than 4 drinks on any single day AND no more than 14 drinks per week.
- For Women: No more than 3 drinks on any single day AND no more than 7 drinks per week.
To stay low risk for AUDs, you must keep within both the single-day and weekly limits. Even within these limits, you can have problems if you drink too quickly or have other health issues. To keep your risk for problems low, make sure you:
- Drink slowly.
- Eat enough while drinking.
Certain people should avoid alcohol completely, including those who:
- Plan to drive a vehicle or operate machinery.
- Take medications that interact with alcohol.
- Have a medical condition that alcohol can aggravate.
- Are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
HEAVY - AT RISK DRINKING
For healthy adults in general, heavy drinking means consuming more than the single-day or the weekly amounts listed above. About 1 in 4 people who drink above these levels already has alcohol dependence or alcohol abuse problems.
Binge drinking means drinking so much within about 2 hours that blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels reach 0.08g/dL. For women, this usually occurs after about 4 drinks, and for men, after about 5. Drinking this way can pose health and safety risks, including car crashes and injuries. Over the long term, binge drinking can damage the liver and other organs.
ALCOHOL EFFECTS ON THE BODY
Drinking too much on a single occasion or over time can take a serious toll on your health. Here is how alcohol can affect your body:
ALCOHOL USE DISORDERS
- Brain: Alcohol interferes with the brain's communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These disruptions can change mood and behavior, and make it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
- Heart: Research shows that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may protect healthy adults from developing coronary heart disease. Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including:
- Cardiomyopathy, stretching and drooping of heart muscle.
- Arrhythmias, irregular heart beat.
- High blood pressure.
- Liver: Heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver, and can lead to a variety of problems and liver inflammations including:
- Steatosis, or fatty liver.
- Alcoholic hepatitis.
- Pancreas: Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
- Cancer: Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of developing certain cancers, including cancers of the:
- Immune System: Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for disease. Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who do not drink too much. Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections – even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.
Alcohol use disorders are medical conditions that health care practitioners can diagnose when a patient's drinking causes distress or harm. In the United States, about 18 million people have an alcohol use disorder, classified as either alcohol dependence, perhaps better known as alcoholism, or alcohol abuse. Alcoholism, the more serious of the disorders, is a disease that includes symptoms such as:
People who are alcoholic often will spend a great deal of their time drinking, making sure they can get alcohol, and recovering from alcohol’s effects, often at the expense of other activities and responsibilities.
- Craving, a strong need, or urge, to drink.
- Loss of control, not being able to stop drinking once drinking has begun.
- Physical dependence, withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety after stopping drinking.
- Tolerance, the need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to feel the same effect.
Although people who abuse alcohol are not physically dependent, they still have a serious disorder. They may not fulfill responsibilities at home, work, or school because of their drinking. They may also put themselves in dangerous situations (like driving under the influence) or have legal or social problems (such as arrests or arguments with family members) due to their drinking.
Like many other diseases, alcoholism is typically considered chronic, meaning that it lasts a person's lifetime. However, we continue to learn more and more about alcohol abuse and alcoholism; and what we are learning is changing our perceptions of the disease. For instance, data from NIAAA’s National Epidemiological Study on Alcohol and Related Conditions has shown that more than 70 percent of people who develop alcohol dependence have a single episode that lasts on average 3 or 4 years. Data from the same survey also show that many people who seek formal treatment are able to remain alcohol free, and many others recover without formal treatment.
However severe the problem may seem, many people with an alcohol use disorder can benefit from treatment. Talk with your health care practitioner to determine the best course of action for you.
ALCOHOL & WOMEN
Women are physiologically more sensitive to alcohol than men are. Because of their bodies' lower water content and higher fat content, alcohol becomes more concentrated in the bloodstream and is also retained in their bodies longer. Also, men produce more alcohol dehydrogenase, the enzyme in the stomach that breaks down alcohol before it reaches the bloodstream, than women do. Even after you adjust for body weight, women are still affected more than men by the same amount of alcohol. This may be why alcohol abuse seems to have more serious long-term consequences for women.
The overall rate of premature death related to alcohol abuse is 50 to 100 percent higher for women than for men. Women develop liver disease at lower levels of alcohol intake than do men, and they are at increased risk for osteoporosis.
Alcoholic women are more likely than alcoholic men to suffer from other psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. Often, these disorders existed prior to the onset of alcoholism, which means that these problems do not go away once the drinking stops; usually, independent treatment is required. Early treatment for these disorders, however, may help prevent alcohol abuse from occurring.
ALCOHOLISM & FAMILY FACTORS
Alcoholism is a progressive disease that wrecks havoc on the mind as well as the body. Not only does alcohol affect the abuser by poisoning the entire body, but family and friends are victims, as well. While there is no agreement on the cause of alcoholism, genetic factors seem to play a large role.
Clearly, it is more likely to develop in children of alcoholics, so, finding a genetic marker for the disease might help to prevent it in many cases. If you have a family history of alcoholism, you should realize you are prone to it and understand the many significant and often life-threatening effects of too-heavy drinking.
MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Alcoholism
Extra Tip - Spouses and children suffer greatly from the addiction of a partner or parent. Self-help groups, such as ALANON, provide support for family of alcoholics; the groups are listed in local telephone directories.
ALCOHOL AFFECTS EVERYONE DIFFERENTLY
Alcohol affects everyone differently. Some become intoxicated with the first drink; others may be able to consume 4 or 5 drinks before showing any effects, often because they have built up a tolerance to the drug. In alcoholics, each drink triggers a craving for another. Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease that usually starts with acceptable social drinking. This leads to a drink for every mood: one to calm down, one to perk up, one to celebrate, one to "drown one's sorrows," and so forth. After a while the alcoholic needs no excuse to drink. In time, the alcoholic is completely controlled by his or her dependence on alcohol.
Overindulgence often leads to depression, anxiety, memory loss, and lack of coordination, and can exaggerate antisocial behaviors such as aggression and/or other personality disorders.
Intoxication also causes blood pressure and heart rates to be higher at first and then to decrease with prolonged consumption. Irregular, inefficient beating of the heart can lead to stroke. Respiration rates are lowered, and reflexes and reaction times slowed.
Alcoholics may become ashamed and angry at their compulsive behavior, and harbor deep feelings of inadequacy inside. This usually only leads to further alcohol abuse. They will use alcohol to numb their pain. They may also begin taking out their frustrations on those closest to them.
The National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence and the American Society of Addiction Medicine define alcoholism as "... a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations." Alcoholism is a complex disorder that is unique for each individual; no two cases are alike.
Some people drink moderate to heavy amounts of alcohol for years before becoming clinically dependent on it; others may become addicted to alcohol the very first time they ever take a drink. It is known, however, that alcohol itself is not the only cause of alcoholism. There is considerable debate as to whether alcoholism is principally caused by genetic, environmental, or psychological factors. While there are sizable bodies of evidence to support all sides, the truth probably lies somewhere in between; alcoholism is probably the result of a combination of the various factors. There are certain stress hormones that appear to be associated with alcoholism. Depression can lead some people to alcohol. A family history of alcoholism is common among both men and women with the disorder, and research has shown that heredity is involved in almost 50 percent of the time. Certain genetic factors may cause a person to be vulnerable due to an imbalance of brain chemicals.
THE METABOLISM OF ALCOHOL
Unlike other substances, alcohol is absorbed through the stomach and small intestines, allowing it to reach the blood stream quickly. The effect of alcohol is almost immediate. The body relaxes and stress may seem to be reduces. Judgment, however is compromised. Additional drinks will impair speech and hinder your movements. It takes the body about two hours to burn an ounce of alcohol, and nothing you do can speed up the metabolizing process.
The Drink-o-Meter Test - How much Alcohol have you consumed?
Erowid's Alcohol Vault
EFFECTS ON THE LIVER
Alcoholics are at risk for liver damage; if they become malnourished, they may develop cirrhosis; also, nerve damage from the alcohol abuse can hasten the deterioration of a person in a weakened state. However, a strong desire to quit, changes in diet and emotional therapy are often able to help turn an alcoholic's life around.
Alcohol is broken down in the liver, which also processes fat, glucose and hormones. Heavy drinking inhibits this organ's production of digestive enzymes, impairing the body's ability to absorb proteins, fats, minerals and other essential nutrients. The toxic effect of alcohol, therefore, causes an excessive amount of fat to accumulate in the liver.
Hepatitis can develop. Eventually cirrhosis of the liver, which prevents the organ's ability to filter out toxins and kills healthy cells, may threaten the alcoholic's life.
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: The Liver
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Cirrhosis of the Liver
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hepatitis
ALCOHOL-RELATED HEALTH PROBLEMS
ALCOHOL IS A POISON - A TOXIN WITH POTENTIAL FATAL CONSEQUENCES
As far as the physical effects of alcohol on the body is concerned, alcohol is a poison. Some of the effects of chronic alcohol consumption include damage to the brain, liver, pancreas, duodenum, and central nervous system. Excessive alcohol use can produce harmful effects on the brain and nervous system and can cause fatigue, short-term memory loss, weakness, and paralysis of the eye muscles. Alcoholism causes metabolic damage to every cell in the body and depresses the immune system. It may take years before the consequences of excessive drinking become evident, but if an alcoholic continues to drink, his or her life span may be shortened by ten to fifteen years or more. Alcohol consumption and alcohol abuse can have fatal consequences.
Alcohol is broken down in the liver. The liver processes 95 percent of alcohol ingested, at a rate of about 1/4 to 1/2 ounce per hour. The repeated consumption of alcohol inhibits the liver's production of digestive enzymes, impairing the body's ability to absorb proteins, fats, and fat soluble vitamins (Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K), as well as Vitamin B-Complex (especially Thiamin [Vitamin B-1] and Folic Acid) and other water-soluble vitamins. It inhibits Protein uptake, leading to amino acid deficiencies, and reduces the body's storage of Zinc. Many essential nutrients are not retained for use by the body; they are rapidly eliminated through the urine. The toxic effect of alcohol on the liver is very serious.
The normal liver will be smooth texture and firm to the touch.
Excessive amounts of fat accumulate in the liver, a result of alcohol's effect on the body's ability to digest fats properly.
Alcoholic hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver, can follow. It is a condition in which liver cells become inflamed and may die. In acute hepatitis, the liver may be enlarged and tender to the touch. Other signs and symptoms include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and tenderness, fever, jaundice (yellow skin), and mental confusion.
The progressive damage of hepatitis can lead to inflammation, scarring,
shrinkage of the liver and hardening of tissue, and formation of nodules.
The final, usually fatal, stage of alcoholic liver damage is cirrhosis of the liver, a disease characterized by inflammation, hardening, and scarring of the liver.
The liver may become small and hard, with extensive scarring and many nodules.
This prevents the normal passage of blood through the liver, inhibiting the organ's ability to filter out toxins and foreign substances.
The liver is one of the most robust organs of the body. It is the only organ that has the ability to regenerate itself after certain types of damage. Up to 25 percent of the liver can be removed, and within a short period of time, it will grow back to its original shape and size. It continually takes abuse, but if cared for properly, it will function more than adequately for decades. Alcohol is one of the toxins that the liver does not handle as well as others. The liver cannot regenerate after being severely damaged by alcohol.
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: The Liver - Description, Function & Health
There are many other health consequences of alcoholism as well.
Gastritis, or inflammation of the stomach lining, can lead to tearing in the upper part of the stomach and lower esophagus. Peptic ulcers also can form.
High blood pressure and cardiomyopathy (heart muscle damage) are possible. Problem drinkers may also experience visible dilation of blood vessels just beneath the skin's surface, as well as pathological enlargement of the heart that can progress to congestive heart failure.
SEXUAL FUNCTION OR MENSTRUAL PROBLEMS
Alcohol abuse can cause reduced testosterone production and erectile dysfunction in men and can interrupt menstruation in women.
Drinking during pregnancy is particularly dangerous. The consumption of alcohol during pregnancy can cause birth defects and increases the chance of miscarriage. Alcohol passes through the mother's placenta and into fetal circulation. This toxic substance depresses the central nervous system of the fetus. Further, the fetal liver must try to metabolize the alcohol, but since the fetus's liver is not fully developed, the alcohol remains in the fetal circulation. Women who drink during pregnancy generally give birth to babies with lower birth weights. Their growth may be retarded or stunted; their brains may be smaller than normal, and there may be mental retardation as well. Limbs, joints, fingers, and facial features may be deformed. Heart and kidney defects may occur. Some children exposed to alcohol in utero become hyperactive at adolescence and exhibit learning disabilities. Every drink a pregnant woman consumes increases her child's risk of being born with fetal alcohol syndrome, and also increases her chances of miscarriage. Even moderate amounts of alcohol may be harmful, especially in the first three to four months of pregnancy.
Excessive drinking can affect the nervous system. Alcoholics often experience damage to their peripheral nervous systems. This damage may show up initially as a loss of sensation in the hands or feet (numbness of extremities), with an accompanying difficulty in walking as well as disordered thinking and, eventually, dementia.
Alcoholics face an increased risk of getting cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, larynx, liver, and colon due to the direct toxicity of the alcohol. The risk is much higher for those who are alcohol abusers than for the general population.
SOCIAL IMPACT OF ALCOHOLISM
Alcoholism causes metabolic damage to every cell in the body and depresses the immune system. It may take years before the consequences of excessive drinking become evident, but if an alcoholic continues to drink, his or her life span may be shortened by 10 to 15 years or more. The social consequences of alcoholism can be very destructive as well. Alcohol abuse takes a tremendous toll on society through traffic and other accidents, poor job performance, and emotional damage to entire families. Alcoholism is currently the second major preventable cause of death in the United States, second only to cigarette smoking.
Most alcohol abusers enter treatment with great reluctance because they are in denial. They refuse to believe that they have a problem and often think there is a conspiracy against them by family, friends, or coworkers. Intervention must be handled carefully with professional advice. Treatment can vary with the individual. If the person to be treated is alcohol dependent, complete abstinence should be the goal. If a person is not dependent on alcohol but is experiencing adverse effects of drinking, reduction of the alcohol-related problems is required. Seek counseling or intervention. Intervention may involve alcohol abuse specialists, and should involve some type of goal-setting and behavior modification, along with counseling and follow-up care. Resident treatment programs for serious alcoholics are often complex and usually involve a professional staff.
Alcoholics who stop drinking often experience withdrawal symptoms, especially during the first week or so that they abstain from alcohol. Insomnia, visual and auditory hallucinations, convulsions, acute anxiety, a rapid pulse, profuse perspiration, and fever can occur. With time, however, and with appropriate supervision if necessary (as in a alcohol rehab program), these symptoms pass and the alcoholic is set free to begin the lifelong work of recovery.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Determine whether you have a drinking problem. If you realize that it is a problem, take steps to quit drinking - total abstinence is required to take control of your life and to regain your health. Find a counselor who specializes in alcohol addiction. Join a self-help group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which provides support and courage, and talk to your partner or friends. Eat a nutrient-rich diet, avoid sugar and saturated fats and take vitamin and mineral supplements.
IS DRINKING A PROBLEM?
Ask yourself the following questions. If the answer to any is yes, you need to take an honest look at how alcohol is affecting your health and relationships with others.
- Do you drink daily?
- Do you have difficulty stopping after you start drinking?
- Do you react to pressure and stress by pouring yourself a drink?
- Has your family suggested you curtail or stop drinking altogether?
- Do you have hangovers or frequent blackouts after drinking?
- Is it important that drinking always be part of your social activities?
- Do you ever "sneak a drink" before going out for an evening?
- Do you frequently argue with family and friends while drinking?
- Do you avoid calculating how much money you spend on alcohol?
MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Alcoholism
FREQUENT SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
While each case of alcohol abuse and alcoholism is in some ways unique to the individual, there are certain common features that can serve as warning signs.
- Increased tolerance to the effects of alcohol. Building up a tolerance to alcohol that requires "more of the same" to hit the same plateau of intoxication.
- When drinking, gulping drinks, ordering "doubles" or setups.
- Low tolerance for anxiety.
- Need for alcohol at the beginning of the day, or at times of stress.
- Not caring anymore about long-term hobbies, interests, and activities.
- Insomnia, nightmares.
- Habitual Monday-morning hangovers, and frequent absences from work.
- Not remembering commitments or conversations. Having blackouts.
- Preoccupation with obtaining alcohol, drinking alone or in secret. Hiding drinking from family and friends. Hiding alcohol at work, at home, or in the car.
- Feeling an overwhelming need for a drink.
- Ritualizing drinking at certain times, places, or events, and becoming agitated or annoyed if the ritual is changed or questioned.
- Irritability and agitation increasing as normal drinking time nears, especially if alcohol is not available or cannot be available due to work or social commitment.
- Getting intoxicated to feel normal.
- Guilt or irritability when others suggest drinking is excessive.
- Having problems with finances, social interaction, relationships, or employment.
- Having withdrawal symptoms when you cannot drink, such as sweating, shaking, or nausea.
- Frequent blackouts; memory loss; depression.
- Delirium tremens (tremors, hallucinations, confusion, sweating, rapid heartbeat). These occur most often with alcohol withdrawal.
- Liver disease (jaundice, internal bleeding, bloating).
- Neurological impairment (numbness and tingling in hands and feet, declining sexual interest and potency, confusion, coma).
- Congestive heart failure (shortness of breath, swelling of feet).
Alcohol dependency is not fully understood, but includes:
- Personality factors, especially dependency, anger, mania, depression or introversion.
- Family influences, especially alcoholic or divorced parents.
- Social and cultural pressure to drink.
- Abnormal metabolism of alcohol (perhaps).
The risk for alcohol dependency increases with:
- Genetic factors. Some ethnic groups have high alcoholism rates either for social or biological reasons.
- Use of recreational drugs.
- Crisis situations, including unemployment, frequent moves, or loss of friends or family.
- Inadequate, insecure and immature personality types.
- Environmental factors such as ready availability, afford-ability, and social acceptance of alcohol in the culture group, work group or social group.
Keep to safe limits of alcohol intake as recommended by medical authorities. Do not do "binge" drinking (e.g., on weekends or parties). Do not drink to get drunk. Drink slowly, never gulp alcoholic drinks. Do not drink on an empty stomach. Do not drink to relieve stress, anxiety, tension or depression. Counseling for people at risk of alcoholism, such as a family history of the disorder. Provide children with a loving, stable family environment. Use alcohol in moderation, if at all, to provide a healthy role model. Encourage a spouse, friends or co-worker to admit when an alcohol problem exists, and seek professional care.
Without treatment, alcoholism can lead to progressive brain and liver disease, job loss, divorce, possibly criminal behavior and incarceration, premature death. With abstinence (absence of alcohol or drugs), sobriety is a way of life. The change in lifestyle is difficult and relapses occur. If you are determined to give up alcohol, you can.
Chronic and progressive liver disease. Gastric erosion (raw area in stomach lining) with bleeding, stomach inflammation. Neuritis, tremors, seizures and brain impairment. Inflammation of the heart. Mental and physical damage to the fetus if a woman drinks during pregnancy. Family members of alcoholics may develop psychological symptoms requiring treatment and support groups such as Al-Anon.
DIAGNOSIS OF ALCOHOLISM
The NCADD SELF-TEST
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF ALCOHOLISM?
Here is a self-test to help you review the role alcohol plays in your life. These questions incorporate many common symptoms of alcoholism . This test is intended to help you determine if you or someone you know needs to find out more about alcoholism; It is not intended to be used to establish the diagnosis of alcoholism.
- Do you ever drink heavily when you are disappointed, under pressure or have had a quarrel with someone?
- Can you handle more alcohol now than when you first started to drink?
- Have you ever been unable to remember part of the previous evening, even though your friends said that you did not pass out?
- When drinking with other people, do you try to have a few extra drinks when others won't know about?
- Do you sometimes feel uncomfortable if alcohol is not available?
- Do you sometimes feel a little guilty about your drinking?
- Are you in more of a hurry to get your first drink of the day than you used to be?
- Has a family member or close friend ever expressed concern or complained about your drinking?
- Have you been having more memory 'blackouts' recently?
- Do you often want to continue drinking after your friends say they have had enough?
- Do you usually have a reason for the occasions when you drink heavily?
- When you are sober, do you sometimes regret things you did or said while drinking?
- Have you tried switching brands or drinks, or following different plans to control your drinking?
- Have you sometimes failed to keep promises you made to yourself about controlling or cutting down on your drinking?
- Have you ever had a DWI (driving while intoxicated) or DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol) violation, or any other legal problem related to your drinking?
- Do you try to avoid family or close friends while you are drinking?
- Are you having more financial, work, school and/or family problems as a result of your drinking?
- Has your health care provider ever advised you to cut down on your drinking?
- Do you eat very little or irregularly during the periods when you are drinking?
- Do you sometimes have the "shakes" in the morning and find that it helps to have a "little" drink, tranquilizer medication of some kind?
- Have you recently noticed that you can't drink as much as you used to?
- Do you sometimes stay drunk for several days at a time?
- After periods of drinking do you sometimes see or hear things that are not there?
- Have you ever gone to anyone for, help about your drinking?
- Do you ever feel depressed or anxious before, during or after of heavy drinking?
Any answer indicates that you may be a greater risk for alcoholism. More than one answer may indicate the presence of an alcohol-related problem or alcoholism, and the need for consultation with a alcoholism professional.
Alcoholism is a disease which there is impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with alcohol, continued use of alcohol in the face of adverse consequences and distorted thinking. Generally speaking, alcoholism is repeated drinking that causes trouble in the drinker's personal, professional, family or school life. When alcoholics drink, they cannot always predict when they will stop, how much they will drink or what the consequences of their drinking will be. Denial of the negative effects of alcohol in their lives is common among alcoholics and those close to them. There is no known cure for alcoholism. The disease can be arrested through complete abstinence from alcohol and other addictive drugs. Once abstinent, most alcoholics recover from the damage caused by their drinking. More than 1.5 million Americans are currently in recovery from their own alcoholism.
ALCOHOL ABUSE: HOW TO RECOGNIZE PROBLEM DRINKING
AM I DRINKING TOO MUCH?
YES, if you are:
- A woman who has more than 7 drinks* per week or more than 3 drinks per occasion.
- A man who has more than 14 drinks* per week or more than 4 drinks per occasion.
- Older than 65 years and having more than 7 drinks* per week or more than 3 drinks per occasion.
*--One drink = one 12-ounce bottle of beer (4.5 percent alcohol) or one 5-ounce glass of wine (12.9 percent alcohol) or 1.5 ounce of 80-proof distilled spirits.
AM I DRINKING HEAVILY?
YES, if you are:
- A woman who has more than 3 drinks every day or 21 drinks per week.
- A man who has more than 5 drinks every day or 35 drinks per week.
AM I TAKING RISKS WITH ALCOHOL?
YES, if you:
- Drink and drive, operate machinery or mix alcohol with medicine (over-the-counter and prescription medicine).
- Do not tell your surgeon, health care provider or pharmacist that you are a regular drinker.
- Are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant and drink at all (even small amounts of alcohol may hurt an unborn child).
- Drink alcohol while you are looking after small children.
HAS MY DRINKING BECOME A HABIT?
YES, if you drink regularly to:
- Relax, relieve anxiety or go to sleep.
- Be more comfortable in social situations.
- Avoid thinking about sad or unpleasant things.
- Socialize with other regular drinkers.
IS ALCOHOL TAKING OVER MY LIFE?
YES, if you:
- Ever worry about having enough alcohol for an evening or weekend.
- Hide alcohol or buy it at different stores so people will not know how much you are drinking.
- Switch from one kind of drink to another hoping that this will keep you from drinking too much or getting drunk.
- Try to get "extra" drinks at a social event or sneak drinks when others are not looking.
HAS DRINKING ALCOHOL BECOME A PROBLEM FOR ME?
YES, if you:
- Cannot stop drinking once you start.
- Have tried to stop drinking for a week or so but only quit for a few days.
- Fail to do what you should at work or at home because of drinking.
- Feel guilty after drinking.
- Find other people make comments to you about your drinking.
- Have a drink in the morning to get yourself going after drinking heavily the night before.
- Cannot remember what happened while you were drinking.
- Have hurt someone else as a result of your drinking.
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT DRINKING TOO MUCH?
Try to cut down to safe drinking levels: less than 7 drinks per week and less than 3 drinks per occasion for women and older people, and less than 14 drinks per week and less than 4 drinks per occasion for men.
HOW CAN I GET HELP FOR AN ALCOHOL PROBLEM?
If you feel you need help to cut down, you can contact:
- Your health care provider for advice, treatment or referral.
- Self-help support groups (see "Other Organizations").
- Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (see "Other Organizations"). Call for information about local treatment programs and to speak to someone about your alcohol problem.
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration
1 Choke Cherry Road
Rockville, MD 20857
1-877-SAMHSA-7 / 800-662-HELP
Women for Sobriety
P.O. Box 618, Quakertown, PA 18951
Office: 215-536-8026 / 800-333-1606
7304 Mentor Avenue, Suite F
Mentor, OH 44060
Office: 440-951-5357 / 866-951-5357
Adult Children of Alcoholics
P.O. Box 3216
Torrance, CA 90510 USA
Al-Anon and Alateen
Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc
1600 Corporate Landing Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23454-5617
Telephone: (757) 563-1600
Fax: (757) 563-1655
Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters (Canada) Inc.
275 Slater Street, Suite 900
Ottawa ON K1P 5H9
Telephone: (613) 723-8484
A.A. World Services, Inc., P.O. Box 459, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163
A.A. World Services, Inc., 11th Floor, 475 Riverside Drive at West 120th St., New York, NY 10115
National Association for Children of Alcoholics: www.nacoa.org
National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information: www.health.org
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: www.niaaa.nih.gov, 301-443-3860
TREATMENT FOR ALCOHOLISM
For successful treatment, the alcoholic must recognize the existence of the problem and be willing to grapple with it. No single form of treatment works for all alcoholics. Psychological, social, and physical treatments may be combined. Some patients may require detoxification (medical help in getting over the physical withdrawal symptoms when drinking is stopped). Sometimes requires inpatient care at a special treatment center. Keep appointments with health care providers and counselors. Join a local Alcoholics Anonymous group or other support group and attend meetings regularly. Reassess your lifestyle, friends, work, and family to identify and alter factors that encourage drinking.
Depending on the individual, treatment for alcoholism may involve one or more of the following:
- DETOXIFICATION & WITHDRAWAL: This usually takes four to seven days and will probably involve medications to prevent delirium tremens or withdrawal seizures. Alcoholics who stop drinking often experience withdrawal symptoms, especially during the first week or so that they abstain from alcohol. Insomnia, visual and auditory hallucinations, convulsions, acute anxiety, a rapid pulse, profuse perspiration, and fever can occur. With time and appropriate supervision, these symptoms pass and the alcoholic is set free to begin the lifelong work of recovery.
- MEDICAL ASSESSMENT & TREATMENT: This may entail examination and treatment for high blood pressure, liver disease, high blood sugar, and heart disease, among other problems.
- PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT / PSYCHIATRIC CARE: This includes counseling and therapy to get at the underlying problems that may have led to alcohol abuse.
- ACCEPTANCE / ABSTINENCE: It is necessary to accept the situation (admit that one is a problem drinker or an alcoholic) and desire to abstain in order to be cured.
- DRUG TREATMENT: A drug called disulfiram (Antabuse) may be used to cause an aversion reaction to the consumption of alcohol. Those on this drug experience nausea, vomiting, severe headaches, blurred vision, and sometimes an impending feeling of death if they take even a small sip of alcohol. Naltrexone (ReVia) is an opiate blocker and is used to block the alcohol "high" and reduce the urge to drink. This is usually administered as a 50 mg daily dose for 12 consecutive weeks. A new nonaddictive drug, acamprosate calcium (Campral), has been approved for treating those who want to remain alcohol-free after successfully stopping their drinking. Administered as two 355 mg capsules 3 times daily with meals, it effectively eliminates the discomfort caused by alcohol withdrawal. Acomprosate calcium is thought to act on the brain pathways directly to reduce withdrawal symptoms.
- AFTERCARE: This is continued care to manage relapses and assist with lifestyle changes.
PRESCRIPTION DRUGS FOR DETOX
Disulfiram (Antiabuse), may be prescribed to help alcoholics stay sober. The drug will causes several extremely unpleasant physical symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, severe headaches, blurred vision, and sometimes a feeling of impending death when alcohol is consumed, even with a small sip of alcohol. Abstinence from alcohol often results with the use of this drug.
The drug naltrexone (Trexan) blocks the pleasurable effects of endogenous opiods, opiate-like substances released by the brain in response to alcohol, and may help problem drinkers remain sober. People who took this drug are three times likelier than other patients to stick with their recovery programs. This drug is not suitable for people with liver disease.
Hyperbaric oxygen has been used successfully in the treatment of alcoholism.
Other medications to help control withdrawal symptoms may be prescribed.
Medications such as tranquilizers, phenobarbital, and over-the-counter pain remedies (acetaminophen found in Tylenol, Datril, and many other products) can form toxic combinations with alcohol. Combining alcohol with antihistamines can enhance depression of the central nervous system.
In recovery, it is best to avoid tranquilizers, as there is a danger of substituting one drug addiction for another. Sobriety should be drug-free.
ACTIVITY RECOMMENDATIONS & RESTRICTIONS
There are usually no restrictions. Discuss physical activities with the health care provider.
SUGGESTIONS FOR ALCOHOLISM RECOVERY
Avoid all alcohol. Total abstinence is an absolute requirement for regaining control over your life and your health. Even after years of sobriety, you cannot begin drinking again and expect to maintain control over it. As little as one sip of something containing alcohol can renew the drinking pattern. You must choose not to drink. This included all tinctures, products and medications containing alcohol. There is no such thing as social drinking to someone with alcoholism.
Seek help from a person or persons knowledgeable about this disorder. Alcoholics Anonymous has been useful in helping alcoholics achieve and maintain sobriety. Al-Anon and Alateen are similar groups that provides support for the friends and families of alcoholics. A strong support system can make behavioral changes much easier for everyone. The assistance and counseling services of these groups are available in nearly every city and town nationwide. Look in your local phone directory for the group nearest to you, or call your local mental health association for information.
Alcohol and substance abuse specialists sometimes recommend a supervised "intervention" to force an alcoholic into admitting the problem and entering treatment. Psychological techniques have been developed and refined over the past few years, which seems to have increased the success rate among alcoholics seeking to recover and remain sober. Such interventions are delicate situations and should be undertaken under the supervision of a trained professional. Check into local alcohol rehabilitation services available in your region, if you are interested in this type of approach to alcoholism.
Some programs, such as Moderation Management, are available to help problem drinkers (not true alcoholics) reduce their drinking without completely stopping. This program entails a 30-day abstinence period. After that, you may consume no more than 4 drinks a day and no more than 14 drinks per week (for women, no more than 3 per day and and no more than nine per week).
If possible, consult a nutritionally oriented health care provider to determine your specific nutritional needs.
Go on a ten-day live juice and cleansing fast to remove toxins from the body quickly.
Eat a nutrient-dense diet of fresh whole foods, organically grown if possible, and follow the nutritional supplement recommendations (see Supplements). The primary foods should be raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Eat several daily servings of dark green, yellow, or orange vegetables. The Vitamin A, Beta Carotene & Carotene Complex in these vegetables reduces the cravings for alcohol, and eases other complications of alcoholism, including hormonal imbalance, sexual dysfunction, and night blindness.
People in recovery from alcoholism are less likely to have seizures if their diets include adequate amounts of calories and protein. Dietary Protein is essential for the normal functioning of a brain enzyme that recycles acetylcholine, which is essential for transmitting messages from nerve to nerve in the brain.
Avoid saturated fats and fried foods, which put stress on the liver. For essential fatty acids, use Evening Primrose Oil supplements plus small amounts of cold-pressed organic vegetable oils.
Do not consume refined sugar or anything that contains it. Alcoholics often have disorders of sugar metabolism. People with a sweet tooth are at a greater risk for developing alcoholism. Studies have found that 62 percent of alcoholic men like the taste of a super sweet sugar solution, compared with 21 percent of those without a drinking problem. Animal studies show that a high sugar intake indicates a potential motivation to drink alcohol, but that actual alcoholism occurs only after many years of drinking.
Get plenty of quality rest, especially in the early weeks of recovery, to allow your body to cleanse and repair itself. Regular consumption of alcohol can interfere with normal sleeping patterns. It may take some time to re-establish normal sleep (as compared to passing out from alcohol excess(.
Avoid people, things, and places that are associated with drinking. Make new friendships with people who do not drink. Taking up a hobby, becoming involved in sports, and exercising promote self-esteem and provide a productive outlet for energy.
As much as possible, avoid stress. Cultivate patience; this will be needed for the long, slow road to recovery.
Do not take any drugs except for those prescribed by your health care provider. Recovering alcoholics should avoid the use of tranquilizers, because there is a risk of substituting one addiction for another. Sobriety should be drug-free.
If you suspect that someone you know may be abusing alcohol, encourage the person to seek professional care.
Depending on the individual, treatment for alcoholism may involve one or more of the following:
- Detoxification & Withdrawal: This usually takes 4 to 7 days and will probably involve medications to prevent delirium tremens or withdrawal seizures. alcoholics who stop drinking often experience withdrawal symptoms, especially during the first week or so that they abstain from alcohol. Insomnia, visual and auditory hallucinations, convulsions, acute anxiety, a rapid pulse, profuse perspiration, and fever can occur. With time and appropriate supervision, these symptoms will pass and the alcoholic is set free to begin a lifelong work of recovery.
- Medical Assessment & Treatment: This may entail examinations and treatment for high blood pressure, liver disease, high blood sugar, and heart disease, among other health problems.
- Psychological Support / Psychiatric Care: This includes counseling and therapy to get at the underlying problems that may have led to alcohol abuse.
- Acceptance / Abstinence: It is necessary to accept the situation (admit that one is a problem drinker or an alcoholic) and desire to abstain in order to be cured.
- Drug Treatment: A drug called disuliram (Antabuse) may be used to cause an aversion reaction to the consumption of alcohol. Those on this drug experience nausea, vomiting, severe headaches, blurred vision, and sometimes a feeling of impending feeling of death if they take even a small sip of alcohol. Naltrexone (ReVia) is an opiate blocker and is used to block the alcohol "high" and reduce the urge to drink. This is usually administered as a 50 mg daily dose for 12 consecutive weeks. A new non-addictive drug, acamprosate calcium (Campral), has been approved for treating those who want to remain alcohol-free after successfully stopping their drinking. Administered as two 355 mg capsules three times daily with meals, it effectively eliminates the discomfort cause by alcohol withdrawal. Acamprosate calcium is thought to act on the brain pathways directly to reduce withdrawal symptoms.
- Aftercare: This is continued care to manage relapse and assist with lifestyle changes.
Poor nutrition can enhance the adverse effects of ethanol. Alcoholics are at much greater risk of malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies than other people, since as much as 50 percent of their caloric intake may come from ethanol at the expense of nutritious foods. Alcoholics are commonly deficient in Folic Acid, and malabsorption due to pancreatic insufficiency is often a major problem.
Long-term alcohol abuse can promote a zinc-deficient state, most likely because of increased fecal and urinary losses. Zinc plays a vital role in a variety of enzyme systems in the body, as well as in DNA and RNA production. It also helps to regulate copper levels in the brain, reducing anxiousness and paranoia. A deficiency of zinc can result in anorexia, impaired senses of smell and taste, growth retardation, disorders of the reproduction system, and impaired wound healing and immune function. Pathological changes in the stomach occur due to zinc deficiency. Alcohol-related zinc deficiency accelerates the poisoning of cells that come into contact with alcohol by altering the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and nutrients. This leads to malabsorption problems, a depressed metabolism, and nutritional deficiencies.
A Department of Health and Human Services study showed that tobacco smokers and alcohol drinkers who regularly use high-alcohol mouthwash may be more likely than other people to get oral and pharyngeal (throat) cancers.
Alcohol is one of the most damaging substances to the stomach and the small intestine. It reduces the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine, and it is one of the few substances that can penetrate the lining of the stomach and cause damage. Gastric secretions increase with alcohol consumption, causing excess acidity and diluting digestive enzymes. This can lead to gastritis.
Chronic alcohol consumption alters red blood cell membranes and causes various other types of cells, including gastrointestinal cells, to lose their normal flexibility.
A recovering alcoholic who resumes drinking, even after years of sobriety, will damage his or her liver as though the drinking had never stopped in the first place.
The drug naltrexone (ReVia) blocks the pleasurable effects of endogenous opioids, opiate-like substances released by the brain in response to alcohol, and may help problem drinkers remain sober by reducing the craving for alcohol. In two separate studies conducted at the University of Pennsylvania and the Yale University School of Medicine, people who took this drug were three times likelier than other patients to stick with their recovery programs. However, this drug is not suitable for people with liver disease.
Alpha Lipoic Acid, a powerful antioxidant, has been used successfully to treat alcohol-induced liver damage. It aids in protecting the liver and pancreas from alcoholic damage.
In some countries, hyperbaric oxygen has been used successfully in the treatment of alcoholism.
MoonDragon's Health Therapy: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Binge drinking is a sign of severe alcoholism. The binge drinker will drink to the point of intoxication and stay that way for a few days, often without consuming many solid foods. The binge may end in vomiting, which is the body's way of getting rid of the excess alcohol, and then passing out. Frequently the person does not remember the events that happened during the binge. Binge drinkers consume larger quantities of alcohol on a regular basis and also experience more intoxication and alcohol-related problems than non-binge drinkers do. Binge drinking can cause dangerous cardiac arrhythmias.
Limiting one's drinking to beer or wine does not protect against alcoholism or damage from alcohol. Twelve ounces of beer or 5 ounces of wine is comparable in alcohol content to 1.25 ounces of 80-proof liquor (such as whiskey or vodka). Because it is more concentrated, straight liquor is absorbed into the bloodstream more quickly than beer and wine.
Some research has indicated that the children of teetotalers are actually at higher risk of becoming alcohol abusers even than children of alcoholics. This has been taken to mean that children reared in homes where alcohol is accepted as a social norm and not abused are less likely than others to become alcoholics. However, later research has found that children of alcoholics are more inclined than children of non-alcoholics to use drugs, including cocaine. These children are 400 times more likely to use drugs than those who do not have a family history of alcohol addiction. Studies conducted in Sweden revealed that majority of babies of alcoholics who were adopted by non-alcoholic families eventually grew up to become alcoholics, indicating a correlation between chemical dependency and genetics.
College students today are getting drunk more often and are drinking in order to become drunk. The number of students who drink to become intoxicated was two to three times as high today as it was two decades ago.
Researchers have found that children who were diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are more likely than their peers to report alcohol-related problems, as well as drug and tobacco addictions, later in life. This study was reported in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Youngsters with severe inattention problems were 5 times more likely than others to have used an illegal drugs other than alcohol or marijuana at an early age. This turned out to be a uniquely important variable even when the presence of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD) were considered. The Risk factor for inattention paralleled the importance of family history as a predictor.
Alcohol enters the bloodstream relatively quickly, as it can be absorbed through both the stomach and small intestine (unlike food, which is absorbed through the intestines only). It takes nearly one hour for the body to break down one unit of alcohol in the bloodstream (for older people, it can take longer). The more drinks are consumed in an hour, the higher the alcohol content of the blood. Blood alcohol levels of 400 mg/dL (milligrams per tenth of a liter) can be life-threatening. Once the alcohol is in the blood, there is nothing that can be done to hurry the process of removing it. The idea that cold showers, coffee, and/or eating can help you sober up is false.
Although some people fall asleep faster when drinking, alcohol depresses REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. REM is an essential part of the healthy sleep cycle and if disturbed, the result is usually a desire to sleep longer in the morning and a sluggish feeling that lasts throughout the day.
Hangovers could be caused by a combination of factors, including dehydration, overeating, and disturbed sleep. Even small amounts of alcohol can sometimes cause unpleasant side effects the next morning in some individuals. Usually, the best remedy includes rest and re-hydration. Drinking a large glass of water before retiring and another in the morning may help take the edge off "the morning after". Taking over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxin, or aspirin before hangover symptoms begin sometimes helps with the headaches; however, extreme caution must be used. When combined with alcohol, these medications may irritate your stomach and can even be toxic to the liver. This is why there is now a required warning label on over-the-counter painkillers, and medications that contain them, cautioning against using them if you consume more than 3 alcoholic drinks per day. Mixing alcohol with any medication is not recommended.
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hangover (Excessive Alcohol Use - Intoxication)
Medications such as tranquilizers, antidepressants, codeine, morphine, phenobarbital, and even some antibiotics can form toxic combinations with alcohol. Combining alcohol with antihistamines can enhance depression of the central nervous system. Combining alcohol with sleeping pills can be deadly.
PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD AVOID ALL ALCOHOL.
Alcohol has been shown to affect older adults differently than other people. It is more likely to hinder the absorption of nutrients, and it can also pose a danger if mixed with many medications taken to control age-related chronic illnesses. Unfortunately, alcoholism among elderly people is more common than one might think. It can go unnoticed or without intervention. Some people tend to think that older people have "earned the right to drink." The truth is, however, that elders have just as much right to recovery as anyone else.
Contrary to popular belief that alcohol heightens sexual arousal, it actually has the opposite effect - depression. It can cause sexual dysfunction in men and disrupt menstrual cycles in women.
Various studies have shown that, in small amounts, alcohol can have protective effects against certain vascular and cancerous diseases. The amount of alcohol shown to be protective has varied slightly from study to study. The accepted definition of moderate alcoholic intake according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture is one drink or less per day for women and two drinks or less per day for men (a "drink" being defined as 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor). Nobody is suggesting that non-drinkers begin drinking to protect their hearts. Instead, they suggest less risky options such as regular light exercise, not smoking, and decreasing the amount of saturated fat in the diet.
MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Pregnancy & Alcohol
Good nutrition is essential for those combating alcoholism. Even moderate consumption can rob the system of valuable vitamins and minerals. Anyone who drinks, or who may be recovering, needs to eat a healthful diet with lots of raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes. If possible, discuss your individual needs with a nutritionist. Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin C, Zinc and Magnesium should be taken to supplement the diet and to help repair a damaged liver.
Dietary supplements, while important for everyone, are especially vital for alcoholics. Alcoholics need to supplement all the known vitamins and minerals. Evidence has shown that some of the diseases associated with alcoholism can be avoided by improving the nutritional health of the body. The program outlined below is designed to help recovering alcoholics to improve their nutritional condition. There are also some supplements that help with the psychological aspects of recovery by decreasing the desire for alcohol. You should begin with a high-potency Multivitamin and Multimineral complex, and then add the nutrients listed that are not included in the complex.
Poor nutrition can enhance the adverse effects of ethanol. Alcoholics are at much greater risk of malnutrition than other people, since as much as 50 percent of their caloric intake may come from ethanol at the expense of other nutritious foods. Eat a normal, well balanced diet. Alcoholics are commonly deficient in Folic Acid, and malabsorption due to pancreatic insufficiency is often a major problem.
Long-term alcohol abuse can promote a zinc-deficiency, most likely because of increased fecal and urinary losses. Zinc plays a vital role in a variety of enzyme systems in the body, as well as in DNA and RNA production. A deficiency of zinc can result in anorexia, impaired senses of smell and taste, growth retardation, disorders of the reproductive system, and impaired wound healing and immune function. Pathological changes in the stomach occur due to zinc deficiency as well. Alcohol-related zinc deficiency accelerates the poisoning of cells that come into contact with alcohol by altering the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and nutrients. This leads to malabsorption problems and other nutritional deficiencies. Chronic alcohol intake often results in a depressed metabolism caused by zinc deficiency.
The nutrients and dietary suggestions below are recommended to correct probable alcohol-related deficiencies and damage. Unless otherwise stated, the dosages recommended below are for adults. For children between the ages of 12 and 17, reduce the dose to 3/4 of the recommended amount.
NUTRIENTS Supplement Suggested Dosage Comments Essential Free-Form Amino Acid Complex 500 mg each 3 times daily on empty stomach. Aids in withdrawal; needed for brain and liver function; necessary for regeneration of liver cells. Plus Extra
Start with 500 mg daily and slowly work up to 1,000 mg daily. Aids in withdrawal; needed for brain and liver function; necessary for regeneration of liver cells. Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) 750 mg once or twice daily, as needed. To calm the body and prevent anxiety and stress.
Gama-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an amino acid that acts as a Neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. GABA is a non-essential amino acid found mainly in the human brain and eyes. It is considered an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which means it regulates brain and nerve cell activity by inhibiting the number of neurons firing in the brain. GABA is referred to as the brain's natural calming agent. Together with niacinamide and inositol, it prevents anxiety and stress related messages from reaching the motor centers of the brain by occupying the receptor sites.
GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid) Amino Acid Supplement Products Plus
As directed on label. To calm the body and prevent anxiety and stress.
Inositol is fundemental for cell membranes and is necessary for proper functioning of nerves, brain and muscles in the body. It functions closely with vitamin B complex. It is primarily used in the treatment of liver problems, depression panic attacks and diabetes. It aids in the breakdown of fats, helps in the reduction of blood cholesterol levels and helps to prevent the thinning of hair. Neurotransmitters such as serotonin in the brain depend on Inositol to function properly. There appears to be some evidence that decreased levels of Inositol may have a role to play in people suffering from depression.
Inositol Supplement Products Glutathione 3,000 mg daily, on an empty stomach. Protects the liver and reduces craving for alcohol. Inhibits the formation of free radicals. Aids in red blood cell integrity and protects immune cells. Note: Do not substitute glutamic acid for glutathione. And
1,000 mg daily, on an empty stomach. Take with water or juice. Do not take with milk. Take with 25 mg vitamin B-6 and 100 mg vitamin C for better absorption. Protects glutathione, making it available to the liver. Vitamin B Complex As directed on label. Injections as prescribed by health care provider. To correct deficiencies. Injections (under health care provider's supervision) are best. If injections are not available use a quality B-Complex supplement.
Use a vitamin B complex supplement to help you boost your energy. The stress-B vitamins are important during every day stresses and a deficiency can cause a tired feeling. B vitamins relieve stress and depression.
Vitamin B-Complex Supplement Products Vitamin B-1
200 mg 3 times daily. Alcoholics often are deficient in B vitamins, especially B-1.
It is evident from the neurological disorders caused by thiamin deficiency that this vitamin plays a vital role in nerve function. It is unclear, however, just what that role is. Thiamin is found in both the nerves and brain.
Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin) Supplement Products And
500 mg once or twice daily, as needed. To calm the body and prevent anxiety and stress.
Vitamin B-3 Improves cerebral circulation. Caution: Do not take niacin if you have a liver disorder, gout, or high blood pressure. Niacin is also known as nicotinic acid. Niacin is an essential nutrient, positioned at the core of NAD/NADH and NADP/NADPH, which are major redox-active electron storage compounds. One or both of these redox pairs is involved in every major biochemical pathway. They participate in the trafficking of electrons as reducing equivalents, the electron packets that facilitate metabolism. Niacin is involved in the production of energy, detoxification and the normal regulation of blood sugar and cholesterol. As a dietary supplement, 1 capsule two or three times daily with meals, or as directed by a healthcare practitioner. Niacin can cause skin flushing and tingling (the niacin flush). Do not take large amounts of niacin (greater than 1.5 grams [1500 mg] per day) without first consulting a healthcare practitioner.
Vitamin B-3 (Niacinamide/Niacin) Supplement Products Pantothenic Acid
100 mg 3 times daily. Aids the body in alcohol detoxification. Needed to counteract stress. The most potent anti-stress vitamin. Plus Extra
As directed on label. Often deficient in alcoholics. Reduces water retention and helps to relieve anxiety, fear, and tension associated with recovery.
Vitamin B-6 is needed for normal brain function and to correct deficiencies. May help lift depression and is essential for healthy nervous system. B Vitamins must be replenished daily.
Vitamin B-6 Supplement Products Plus
Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9)
800 mcg daily or as recommended by health care provider. Folic acid is found to be deficient in people with depression. Women need 400 to 800 mcg daily for normal function and to prevent neural tube defects in a fetus if they become pregnant. Plus
1,000 mcg 3 times daily. If injections are not available use a sublingual form.
Vitamin B-12 is linked to the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Important in making myelin, the substance of which the sheaths covering the nerves are made.
Vitamin B-12 Supplement Products Very Important Alpha-Lipoic Acidc 100 mg 2 times daily. Aids in protecting the liver and pancreas from alcohol damage. A powerful antioxidant.
Alpha Lipoic Acid is central to recycling other antioxidants like Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and GSH glutathione. By sparing their destruction, Alpha Lipoate extends their antioxidant power. Being both water and fat soluble, lipoic acid is the universal antioxidant that can easily function in both cellular membranes and fluid media within and outside the cell.
Alpha Lipoic Acid Supplement Products Multienzyme Complex
As directed on label. Take Multi-Enzymes with meals. Take Proteolytic Enzymes between Meals. To aid digestion. Proteolytic enzymes are essential for assimilation of protein. Papaya Enzyme As directed on label. To relieve symptoms. Use chewable tablets form. Acid-Ease Take 2 UltraCaps 3 times daily at the beginning of meals. Acid-Ease may also be taken as needed between meals. A soothing plant-enzyme and herb formula for sensitive stomachs that aids in the breakdown and assimilation of foods.
Acid-Ease Digestive enzymes plus soothing herbs is a unique formula that provides digestive enzymes that help your system break down and absorb foods. Pure Plant Enzymes are combined with gamma oryzanol (found naturally in rice bran), slippery elm bark, and marshmallow root extract in a soothing supplement for even the most sensitive digestive systems.
Acid-Ease Enzyme Supplement Products Acidophilus 1 to 3 capsules with each meal. A digestive aid that helps maintain intestinal flora. Calcium 2,000 mg daily at bedtime. A vital mineral that has a sedative effect. Calcium, magnesium and potassium minerals have an alkalizing effect that binds up stomach acid. Take these together between meals. Use calcium carbonate or calcium chelate form. Magnesium 1,000 mg daily at bedtime. Works with calcium. Magnesium is depleted from the body with alcohol use. Evening Primrose Oil 1,000 mg 3 times daily, with meals. Used as a good source of essential fatty acids (EFAs). Pycnogenol or Grape Seed Extract 30 mg 3 times daily. Powerful antioxidants for the protection of the cells. Vitamin C
3,000 to 10,000 mg daily, in divided doses. Acts as a powerful antioxidant with healing potential, and promotes production of interferon, which helps the body to resist infection, to which alcoholics are generally more susceptible.
Bioflavonoids are not true vitamins in the strictest sense, sometimes being referred to as vitamin P, and may be found in herbal plants, fruits, nuts and bark; and because they cannot be manufactured by the body, they must be supplied through the diet. The letter ''P'' represents permeability factor, and it was given to this group of nutrients because they improve capillary strength and permeability. Citrus Bioflavonoids are a class of flavonoids that includes Rutin, Hesperidin, Quercitin, Eriodictyl and Citron, and they are essential for the absorption of vitamin C, which should be taken simultaneously, so they may act synergistically for maximum benefit. Citrus fruits are well known for providing ample amounts of vitamin C, but they also provide Citrus Bioflavonoids, which are located in the white material just beneath the peel of citrus fruits and may be found in grapefruits, lemons, tangerines, limes and oranges. Other sources of bioflavonoids include apricots, nuts, peppers, buckwheat, blackberries, black currants cherries, grapes, plums, prunes and rose hips. In addition, several herbs also provide bioflavonoids, including Chervil, Elderberry, Hawthorne Berry, Horsetail and Shepherd's Purse.
Vitamin C Supplement Products Bioflavonoid Supplement Products Hesperidin Bioflavonoid Supplement Products Quercetin Bioflavonoid Supplement Products Rutin Bioflavonoid Supplement Products Rutin 200 to 300 mg daily. Take with food. Rutin is a buckwheat-derived bioflavonoid antioxidant. Enhances vitamin C absorption.
Rutin is a bioflavonoid, and it provides essential support molecules for vitamin C absorption (and should, in fact, be taken at the same time to gain maximum benefit). Rutin supplementation prevents the breakdown of vitamin C in the body before it is metabolized and intensifies its beneficial immune-enhancing effects in the body. With regard to eye health, the bioflavonoid, Rutin, is said to improve capillary integrity and believed to help lower ocular pressure when used in conjunction with conventional drugs. (Bilberry extract is particularly rich in Rutin and can be beneficial in cases of diabetic retinopathy.) Rutin may be very helpful in combating cataracts, macular degeneration (the most common cause of blindness) and free radical damage to the retina. The antioxidant activity that fights free radical damage appears to play a role in the prevention of cataracts and other forms of visual impairment. Because Rutin improves capillary integrity (it works synergistically with vitamin C in this regard) by protecting and preserving the structure (permeability) and strength of those capillaries, this action is said to be of great help for capillary fragility (easy bruising and bleeding) and venous insufficiency (varicose veins and spider veins). Because Rutin strengthens capillaries, it may be helpful in reducing the symptoms of hemophilia. The bioflavonoid, Rutin, is thought to lessen symptoms associated with prolonged bleeding and help in cases of bleeding gums and hemorrhage.
Rutin Bioflavonoid Supplement Products Important Bifidus
As directed on label. Helps prevent candida infections from developing. For healthy intestinal health in Adults. Coenzyme A As directed on label. Facilitates the repair of RNA and DNA. Supports the immune system's detoxification of many dangerous substances. Can streamline metabolism, ease depression and fatigue, and increase energy. Works well with CoQ10.
Coenzyme A (CoA, CoASH, or HSCoA) is a coenzyme, notable for its role in the synthesis and oxidation of fatty acids, and the oxidation of pyruvate in the citric acid cycle. All sequenced genomes encode enzymes that use coenzyme A as a substrate, and around 4 percent of cellular enzymes use it (or a thioester, such as acetyl-CoA) as a substrate. It is adapted from cysteamine, pantothenate, and adenosine triphosphate.The nutrients supplied by Coenzyme-A product also help the cells efficiently deliver fuel from aerobic and anaerobic metabolism to the TCA cycle for energy release. Because the human body can rapidly absorb these nutrients, Coenzyme-A can be taken by an athlete shortly before a workout or sport performance to provide extra metabolic power when they need it the most.
Coenzyme A Supplement Products Inositol Hexaphosphate
As directed on label, on an empty stomach. Enhances natural killer cell (anti-cancer) activity. Lecithin Granules: 1 tablespoon 3 times daily, with meals.
Capsules: 1,200 mg 3 times daily, with meals.
Good for brain function and healthy cell membranes. Improves memory and protects nervous system cells. Works well as an antioxidant when taken with Vitamin E. A fat emulsifier. Helps correct fatty liver degeneration. May protect against cirrhosis.
Soy lecithin promotes liver cell regeneration and protects the liver from toxic damage. Take 1,500-3,000 mg daily. Note: Soy lecithin may cause mild diarrhea when first used.
Lecithin Supplement Products Liquid Kyolic Garlic
With Vitamin B-1
900 mg daily, enteric-coated tablets, 2 capsules 3 times daily, with meals. Or place 1 dropperful of Kyolic liquid in a 6 to 8 ounce glass of distilled water, add 5 drops of ConcenTrace mineral drops from Trace Mineral Research, and gradually sip the mixture. Do this 2 or 3 times daily. Protects liver and brain cells. Reduces stress. A powerful immunostimulant that also aids in digestion, endurance and strength.
Kyolic Garlic is a natural antibiotic and is good for candida infections. Caution: Garlic counteracts the effects of bifidus & lactobacillus cultures taken as digestive aids. Consult a health care provider before using garlic on a regular basis if you are on an anticoagulant drug such as warfarin (Coumadin). Discuss the use of garlic with your health care provider before having any type of surgery.
Kyolic Liquid Supplement Products Vitamin B-1 Supplement Products Vitamin B-6 Supplement Products Vitamin B-12 Supplements Products Multivitamin & Multimineral Complex As directed on label. All nutrients are needed because of malabsorption problems. With
200 mcg daily. Take separately from calcium. Important trace mineral that enhance immune function. See links in Multivitamin & Multimineral supplements. And
200 mcg daily. Important trace mineral that enhance immune function. Helpful Choline Complex
As directed on label. Effective combinations that reduce fatty liver changes, improving liver function. Dimethylglycine (DMG) 125 mg 3 times daily. Carries oxygen to the cells. Enhances utilization of oxygen by tissue.
DMG is a dietary supplement to support immune system, circulatory, cardiovascular, and neurological functions; muscle recovery and endurance. Dimethylglycine (DMG) is a nutrient that is found in the cells of both plants and animals. The human body produces DMG in very small amounts. Supplementing the diet with higher levels of DMG greatly improves the nutritional environment of the cell. Dimethylglycine has been found effective in supporting immune system function and better utilization of oxygen at the cellular level. They have been issued five U.S. Patents for N, N-Dimethylglycine's value and use in improving immunity and for benefiting cellular processes. DMG reduces lactic acid build up in the muscle thereby shortening recovery time after strenuous exercise and improving endurance. DMG can benefit everyone regardless of age or activity level. Aangamik DMG is the only pure DMG product that contains no fillers or binders and is therefore pure and non-allergenic. Aangamik DMG is a chewable tablet that is naturally pleasant-tasting. As a dietary supplement, dissolve in mouth or chew from one to three tablets twice daily.
DMG Supplement Products Flaxseed Oil As directed on label. Strengthens the brain's gray matter. L-Glutamine 500 mg twice daily, on an empty stomach. Take with water or juice. Do not take with milk. Take with 50 mg Vitamin B-6 and 100 mg Vitamin C for better absorption. An amino acid that helps to stop cravings and balance blood sugar.
L-Glutamine is an important amino acid and natural Growth Hormone Releaser that helps brain function, and may be used for combating effects of alcoholism, alleviating hypoglycemia, fatigue reduction, improving exercise endurance, benefiting the liver and intestines, maintaining a healthy gastrointestinal tract, and strengthening the immune system.
Glutamine Amino Acid Supplement Products Vitamin B-6 Supplement Products Vitamin C Supplement Products Lithium As prescribed by a health care provider. A trace mineral used to treat bipolar (manic) depression. Available by prescription only. Lithium orotate is an organic form of lithium that is sold in health food stores.
Lithium Orotate: Lithium has long been used for manic-depression. High doses depress dopamine release, flattening elevated moods; lower doses stimulate serotonin synthesis, producing an antidepressant effect. Lithium reputedly is also neuroprotective, suggesting its use in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It is thought to lower blood glucose levels and to have immune-enhancing and antiviral effects (especially against herpes simplex). Nieper used lithium orotate to treat depression, headaches, migraine, epilepsy, and alcoholism.
Lithium Supplement Products Raw Liver Extract As directed on label. A rich source of B vitamins, iron and other valuable nutrients and minerals that aids in repairing the liver and in preventing anemia. And
Raw Pancreas Glandular
As directed on label. Helps prevent pancreatic damage, beneficial for people with diabetes associated with alcoholism. S-Adenosylmethionine (SAM-e) As directed on label. Its antioxidant effects can improve the health of the liver. Caution: Do not use if you have manic-depressive disorder or take prescription antidepressants. Vitamin A
25,000 IU daily. If you are pregnant, do not exceed 10,000 IU daily.
400 IU daily.
To counteract deficiencies. These vitamins are poorly absorbed if the liver is damaged. Use emulsion forms for easier assimilation and greater safety at higher doses. Vitamin D helps the body to regulate the transport of calcium from the digestive system through the bloodstream to bone. It also assists in the retention of calcium and phosphorus. Plus
Carotenoid Complex (Betatene)
25,000 IU daily.
As directed on label.
An antioxidant and precursor of vitamin A. Needed by all cells for repair and rebuilding. Important antioxidant needed to maintain the health of the eyes. Vitamin E 200 to 1,200 IU daily. A powerful antioxidant. Improves circulation. Use d-alpha-tocopherol form. Zinc 50 mg daily. do not exceed a total of 100 mg daily from all supplements. Deficiency can cause pathological changes in the stomach similar to those caused by alcohol. This mineral may enhance the stomach's ability to process alcohol and help prevent the development of alcoholic lesions in the liver.
HELP THE LIVER REGENERATE
The liver is the only organ that can regenerate itself if damaged. The amino acid Carnitine is known to help prevent buildup of fats. Lecithin helps the organ emulsify and process fats and Cysteine aids in detoxification.
LIVER HERBAL SUPPORT
Certain herbs strengthen the liver. Milk Thistle, Turmeric, Dandelion, and Burdock can help protect the liver from injury and repair existing damage. All these herbs help promote bile flow and also protect against degeneration and cirrhosis. St. John's Wort may also provide a calming influence on the nerves. Kudzu, available at health food stores, is reported to help decrease the cravings of alcohol.
MILK THISTLE TEA
Milk Thistle products that support liver function with herbs and important nutrients are available from health food stores. You can also make a tea at home by boiling 1 teaspoon of crushed milk thistle seeds in 1 cup of water. Steep for 20 minutes, then strain. Drink 1 cup of the tea 3 times a day for 6 weeks.
RECOMMENDED LIVER SUPPORT PRODUCTS
Burdock Herbal Products Carnitine Amino Acid Supplement Products Cysteine Amino Acid Supplement Products Dandelion Herbal Products Kudzu Herbal Products Lecithin Supplement Products Milk Thistle (Silymarin) Herbal Products St. John's Wort Herbal Products Turmeric Herbal Products
NOTIFY YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER
If you or a family member has symptoms of alcoholism or any of the diseases often seen related with alcoholism, such as liver disease, diabetes, gastric problems and so forth.
Call 9-1-1 if you, a friend or a family member exhibits signs of alcohol poisoning. Alcohol toxicity can be life-threatening and fatal.
ALCOHOL RELATED LINKS
MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Alcoholism & Women
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Alcoholism
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hangover (Excessive Alcohol Use)
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Cirrhosis of the Liver
The Drink-o-Meter Test - How much Alcohol have you consumed?
Erowid's Alcohol Vault
SoberRecovery.com: Detox Programs & Helpful Information
NIAAA: College Drinking Prevention
Rational Recovery - Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, NonAA, Non 12 Step
Open-Mind.org: Alcoholism & Alcohol Abuse Resources Guide
OKCupid: The Alcoholism Test
ALCOHOLISM / ALCOHOL ABUSE SUPPLEMENTS & PRODUCTS
Information and nutritional supplements for help with alcoholism and alcohol abuse, a progressive, sometimes fatal disease that causes an incessant craving for, loss of control over, increased tolerance for and physical dependence upon alcohol.
Acid-Ease Supplement Products Acidophilus & Kyo-Dophilus Products AlcohLiver Fix Supplement Products Alfalfa Herbal Products Alive Multiple Nutrient Products Alpha Lipoic Acid Products Amino Acid Complex Products Aromatherapy Hangover Helper Scent Inhaler Arsenicum Album Homeopathic Products Bee Propolis Supplement Products Bee Royal Jelly Supplement Products Beta Carotene Products Bifidus Supplement Products Bioflavonoid Supplement Products Black Currant Herbal Products Branched Chain (BCAA) Complex Products Bromelain Pineapple Enzyme Products Burdock Herbal Products Calcium Supplement Products Carnitine Amino Acid Supplement Products Carotene Complex Supplement Products Choline Supplement Products Coenzyme A Supplement Products Colon Cleanse Supplement Products Crab Apple Essence Products Cysteine-NAC Supplement Products Dandelion Herbal Products DMAE Supplement Products DMG Supplement Products EFA - Essential Fatty Acid Complex Products EFA - Salmon Fish Oil Products Evening Primrose Oil Products Flaxseed Oil Herbal Products Folic Acid Supplement Products GABA Supplement Products Ginkgo Biloba Herbal Products Glutamine Supplement Products Glutathione Supplement Products Gorse Essence Supplement Product Grape Seed Herbal Products Herbal Detox Supplement Products Hesperidin Supplement Products Honey Products Inositol Supplement Products IP-6 Supplement Products Kudzu Herbal Products Kyo-Dophilus Supplement Products Kyolic EPA Oil Supplement Products
Kyolic Garlic Liquid Supplement Products Lecithin Supplement Products Lithium Supplement Products Liver Cleanse Detox Products Liver Glandular Products Magnesium Supplement Products Manganese Supplement Products Methionine Supplement Products Milk Thistle Herbal Products Multienzyme Supplement Products Multimineral Supplement Products Multivitamin Supplement Products Mushroom Complex Herbal Products Mushroom Maitake Herbal Products Mushroom Reishi Herbal Products Mushroom Shiitake Herbal Products Mustard Flower Essence Products NADH Supplement Products Olive Flower Essence Products Pancreas Glandular Products Pancreatin Supplement Products Papaya Supplement Products Phosphatidyl Serine (PS) Products Potassium Supplement Products Pycnogenol Supplement Products Quercetin Supplement Products Red Clover Herbal Products Rutin Supplement Products SAM-e Supplement Products Sarsaparilla Herbal Products Selenium Supplement Products Skullcap (Scullcap) Herbal Products Stevia Herbal Products St. John's Wort Herbal Products Turmeric Herbal Products Tyrosine Supplement Products Valerian Herbal Products Vitamin A Supplement Products Vitamin B-Complex Products Vitamin B-1 Supplement Products Vitamin B-3 Supplement Products Vitamin B-5 Supplement Products Vitamin B-6 Supplement Products Vitamin B-12 Supplement Products Vitamin C Supplement Products Vitamin D Supplement Products Vitamin E Supplement Products Zinc Supplement Products
QUALITY PRODUCTS & SUPPLEMENTS
FTC Advertising & Affilate Disclosure: This website has an affiliate relationship with certain merchants selling products and we recieve commissions from those sales to help support this website. Any products listed here are not listed by any rating system. We do not rate any product or post any feedback about products listed here. We leave this to the individual merchants to provide. We do not provide product prices or shopping carts since you do not order these products directly from us, but from the merchant providing the products. We only provide the link to that merchant webpage with all related product information and pricing. The products are listed here by merchant, product use, quantity size or volume, and for nutritional supplements - dosage per unit. All product descriptions are provided by the merchant or manufacturer and are not our descriptive review of the product. We do not endorse any specific product or attest to its effectiveness to treat any health condition or support nutritional requirements for any individual.
ALCOHLIVER FIX SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS
AlcohLiver Fix herbal supplement is made of extracts from Schisandra, White Peony, and Milk Thistle, this well-known formula is used in traditional Chinese medicine for its liver nurturing and restoring, detoxifying, virus inhibiting properties to maintain healthy liver and its functions,
CHINESE HERBS DIRECT PRODUCTS
Chinese Herbs Direct: AlcohLiver Fix, Yanggan, 100% Natural, Balanceuticals, 500 mg, 60 VCaps
TCM daily supplement used to detoxify and restore healthy liver functions.
HerbsPro: AlcohLiver Fix, Balanceuticals, 500 mg, 60 VCaps (74643)
HerbsPro: Alcohliver Fix, Balanceuticals, 60 Caps
A liver defender that uses the most advanced extraction skills. It extracts magnoliavine fruit, white peony root and milk thistle's ingredients. Its effect is obvious. It is safe to use. It is called the ace of the 21st century natural liver drug. As a dietary supplement, take 3 capsules 3 times daily 30 minutes before meal. Store in a cool and dry place out of the reach of children. Not for use by pregnant woman.
Nutrition Basics: Liver Formula Supplement Information
ALCOHOLISM SUPPORT SUPPLEMENTS & PRODUCTS
Amazon: Addiction Buster #2, Natural Herbal Addiction Treatment for Alcoholism, Prescription Drugs (Vicodin, Oxycodone, Ambien, Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, etc.) & Pornography
Addiction Buster #2 is an all natural herbal addiction treatment or therapy formula designed to help individuals with detox, cravings and withdrawal from alcoholism and addiction to prescription drugs, illicit or illegal drugs, and other addictive substances and behaviors. Addiction Buster #2 is the result of over 20 years of experience in helping thousands of alcoholics, drug addicts, those with addictive behaviors, and those who are have a chemical dependency or who are substance abusers. This natural addiction therapy works by increasing the brain's natural tranquilizer and is formulated to stop the long and short term cravings common in withdrawal from alcohol, drugs and addictive behaviors. This natural herbal addiction recovery formula is designed to specifically address addiction to the following addictive substances, symptoms and behaviors: Alcohol Withdrawal & Cravings, Prescription Drug Withdrawal & Dependency, Pain Medication Withdrawal & Dependency, Pornography & Sexual Addiction, Xanax Withdrawal & Dependency, Vicodin Withdrawal & Dependency, Oxycontin Withdrawal & Dependency, Methadone Withdrawal & Dependency, Klonopin Withdrawal & Dependency, Valium Withdrawal & Dependency, Suboxone Withdrawal & Dependency, Percocet Withdrawal & Dependency, Fentanyl Withdrawal & Dependency, Dilaudid Addiction, Heroin Withdrawal, Opiate Withdrawal, Anxiety Disorder, Pain Patch Addiction, This addiction therapy formula is based on medical science and is an all natural non-addictive formula that has been made in specific proportions to ensure the strongest therapeutic effect for helping alcoholics, drug addicts, and those struggling with addictive behaviors and diseases in overcoming and treating addiction and addictive disease or addictive behavior. This all natural addiction recovery formula works when the person experiencing strong cravings during withdrawal. This product is designed to be taken by itself or with our Addiction Buster Craving Aid.
Amazon: Declinol Maximum Strength Clinical Alcohol Cravings, 30-Day Kit
Clinical Strength is a 30-day supply of a clinical strength formulation originally designed for health care practioners and clinics but now is available for at home use. The Declinol Clinical 30 Day Kit consists of a 30-day supply of Clinical capsules and 2 Declinol Clinical Strength sprayers. Declinol Clinical Capsules have the maximum dose of cravings support ingredients to help you get to your target consumption goal quickly. In addition Declinol Clinical capsules contain the key vitamins that are depleted in people who consume excessive alcohol, so you can feel better quickly. Declinol Clinical Spray contains faster acting craving support along with other key natural ingredients to support your progress. When sprayed in the mouth, Declinol spray is quickly absorbed under your tongue (sub-lingual absorption). This absorption allows Declinol to work quickly and efficiently to assist in reducing your cravings and to help you feel better quickly. After reaching your target consumption goal, usually in 30 to 90 days, health practitioners recommend switching to either the Recovery-100 or Recovery-200 products each month thereafter to provide optimum nutrients and anti-craving compounds for your healing body and to minimize risk of relapse.
Amazon: Declinol Extra Strength Alcohol Cravings Kit, 60-Day Supply.
Declinol Extra Strength is a version of powerful ingredients condensed in capsule form. It contains a 60-day supply of dry active ingredients to support reduced your cravings for alcohol, but encapsulated for your convenience and ease-of-use. Declinol Extra Strength additionally contains a specific formulation of vitamins, mineral, and herbs designed to support your general health and wellness while ramping down your alcohol consumption.
Amazon: Declinol- Maximum Strength Clinical Alcohol Cravings, 60-Day Kit
Declinol Clinical Strength is a 60-day supply of a clinical strength formulation originally designed for health practitioners and clinics. Most people require a 60-day supply to reach their goal, and Dec 60 is a smart economical decision and a considerable cost savings over Dec 30 for those committed to reaching their goal. Declinol Clinical Capsules have the maximum dose of cravings support ingredients to help you get to your target consumption goal quickly. In addition Dec Clinical capsules contain the key vitamins that are depleted in people who consume excessive alcohol, so you can feel. Declinol Clinical Spray contains faster acting craving support along with other key natural ingredients to support your progress. When sprayed in the mouth, Declinol spray is quickly absorbed under your tongue (sub-lingual absorption). This absorption allows Declinol to work quickly and efficiently to assist in reducing your cravings and to help you feel better quickly. After reaching your target consumption goal, usually within 90 days or less, health practitioners recommend Declinol Maintain Results Kit each month thereafter to provide optimum vitamins, nutrients and anti-craving compounds for your healing body and to minimize risk of relapse.
Amazon: Declinol Regular Strength Alcohol Cravings Sprayer (With Refill)
Declinol Clinical Spray contains ingredients shown to help reduce alcohol cravings for those wanting support in lowering their alcohol consumption. Declinol also contains ingredients shown to support liver function and digestive functions that can be compromised in people that over-use alcohol. Most people who occasionally or continually over-use alcohol continue to do so because their bodies and brains get used to having alcohol and therefore cravings result when alcohol is not consumed. Declinol Clinical Spray contains ingredients shown to help reduce alcohol cravings and some of the effects of alcohol overuse, assisting the user in lowering alcohol consumption to reach their target goal. Use Declinol Spray on a regular basis per the instructions as needed until goal consumption is reached, and as needed prior to being in a social environment where alcoholic beverages will be consumed.
Amazon: Declinol- Extra Strength Alcohol Cravings Support Kit
Declinol Extra Strength contains a 30-day supply of the major active ingredient from a Clinical Strength formulation plus a robust combination of vitamins, mineral, and herbs designed to support your general health and wellness. Declinol Extra Strength is an excellent solution for those with a light drinking problem and for those who have had success in reducing their alcohol consumption, specifically those that are looking to maintain both their health and the success they have achieved.
Amazon: Stop Alcohol Addiction, Subliminal CD
This is a subliminal product with hundreds of positive affirmations recorded onto one relaxing CD. Although the words are not audible, they are there and they are powerful. The affirmations are masked by beautiful music and soothing ocean waves. Meanwhile, as you focus on something else, or just while relaxing, the subliminal affirmations take hold in your subconscious mind. The affirmations are powerful and designed to bring about safe, healthy and permanent changes in your life. With so many subliminal products on the market, be cautious to purchase only REAL subliminal recordings with NLP (NeuroLinguistic Programming) affirmations. Proper production, recording, scripting, and duplication are vital in creating such a powerful product.
Amazon: Stop Drinking Audio CD, Subliminal Persuasion Self Hypnosis
Most health care workers think that alcohol addiction cannot be cured. If drinking is a problem, then what is the cause? Drinking is often a symptom not a cause. Use Stop Drinking Self Hypnosis Subliminal Persuasion to quickly get to the cause; a cause which only the subconscious mind may know. Once known, the cause can be healed. Reprogram your subconscious mind, identify and eliminate the cause, and its symptoms can be eliminated too. This Stop Drinking self help tool can eliminate the cause of the problem.
Amazon: The Easy Way to Stop Drinking Take Control with Self Hypnosis & Subliminal Suggestion, 2 CD Set
2 CD Set - It has been found that people with addictive personalities have low Alpha activity within their brains; this means they have trouble relaxing, and turning off their thoughts. Also, those with low SMR levels have a tendency to self medicate. This very special cd is enhanced with binaural beat technology which will help to bring your brain waves down to an Alpha level, and increase SMR levels. In addition to the hypnotic and subliminal suggestions, the sound therapy techniques on this cd will also work to help free you of addictive behaviors. It is important for you to lay back, and try to relax into the process the best you can. As you do, you will gradually find the peace of mind that you actually crave! The therapeutic sounds on this cd have also been enhanced with healing Solfeggio and Earth Resonance frequencies to help bring your body and spirit back into balance. Dr. Jane Maati Smith C.Hyp. Msc.D. studied for her Bachelor of Arts degree at Arizona State University, and received an honorary Doctorate in Metaphysical Science and Spiritual Counseling. She is a graduate of the Hypnosis Motivation Institute, and studied with Dr. John Kappas. She is also a Qualified Mental Health Practitioner, a Vibrational Reiki Master and a Sound Energy Healer. This product is manufactured on demand using CD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.
Amazon: Quit Drinking Alcohol Now! Subliminal Cd Ocean Waves
This Subliminal CD is intended to help you achieve your goal using positive affirmations that are directed to your subconscious mind. Each subliminal recording targets your subconscious and contains positive reinforcement via spoken subliminal messages that are inaudible to the conscious. All you can consciously hear is the ocean wave track. Our subliminal CDs are created by certified hypnotherapists using binaural beats, brain wave entrainment and neurolinguistic programming (NLP).
Amazon: Alcohol Cessation Hypnosis CD: Overcome Alcoholism and Stop Drinking with Self Hypnosis
Overcome your alcohol addiction with this professionally-recorded hypnosis CD from Hypnotic World. We all know the side effects of drinking too much alcohol, and yet, as you drink regularly, it can seem a difficult habit to overcome. As we come to associate having a good time with enjoying a drink, there seems to be little incentive to stop drinking, or even to cut down on it. We become, at least mentally, addicted to alcohol, and start to depend on it to relieve our stress. Yet, the alcohol does not actually do this, and can make coping with stress or socializing even worse, as we're not tackling the source of that stress or lack of social confidence. This hypnosis CD helps you to overcome alcohol addiction by removing that desire to be in an alcohol-induced state. You will want to stay sober, and actually enjoy it, feeling fully aware and active. This audio hypnosis CD can be listened to at your computer, at bed-time or in your spare time. The CD was produced by an expert team including hypnotist Faith Waude, who has been helping thousands of clients since 1994 using hypnosis, and has trained upcoming hypnotists around the world, and Stephen Armstrong, who records Hypnotic World CDs to the highest quality.
AROMATHERAPY HANGOVER HELPER SCENT INHALER PRODUCTS
Hangover Helper Scent Inhaler is a natural hangover remedy. The pure essential oils were selected for their known hangover relief benefits to reduce the side effects of excessive alcohol consumption and debauchery.
Amazon: Hangover Helper Supplement Products
OTHER HANGOVER PRODUCTS
HerbsPro: Hangover Formula, Multi-Nutrient Complex, Source Naturals, 60 Tabs (6932)
Hangover Formula’s potent nutritional combination of antioxidants and herbs has been specially designed to replenish nutrients that may be lost due to excessive alcohol consumption. To use take 3 tablets shortly before drinking alcohol. Take 2 or 3 more before retiring if alcohol effects are felt. If hangover is experienced the next morning, take 3 more.
HerbsPro: Hangover Formula, Multi-Nutrient Complex, Source Naturals, 120 Tabs (6933)
Hangover Formula’s potent nutritional combination of antioxidants and herbs has been specially designed to replenish nutrients that may be lost due to excessive alcohol consumption. To use take 3 tablets shortly before drinking alcohol. Take 2 or 3 more before retiring if alcohol effects are felt. If hangover is experienced the next morning, take 3 more.
HerbsPro: Hangover Relief Homeopathic, King Bio Natural Medicines, 2 fl. oz. (88942)
Indications for Use: For fast relief of headaches, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to noise and light, foggy mindedness, apathy, irritability due to the over consumption of alcohol. Helps control the craving and desire to over consume alcohol. Ingredients include Arsenicum Album, Asarum Europaeum, Avena Sativa, Bryonia Alba, Capsicum Annuum, Carbo Vegetabilis, Carboneum Sulphuratum, Cinchona Officinalis, Gelsemium Sempervirens, Nux Vomica, Paullinia Sorbilis, and Sulphuricum Acidum. Each ingredient is in equal volumes of 10x, 30x, and LM1 potencies in a pure water base.
Amazon: Hangover Formula Supplement Products
Amazon: Hangover Relief Supplement Products
Amazon: Hangover Prevention Supplement Products
Amazon: Sprayology Party Relief Relieves Hangovers, 2 Pack
For use prior to consuming alcoholic beverages, every hour during consumption and thereafter. The therapeutic benefits of the ingredients described below are from clinical evidence reported in the major homeopathic materia medicas accepted throughout the world. Recommended for: those who want homeopathic relief from the side effects of alcohol consumption.
Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplement Information
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hangovers - Survival Tips
HERBAL DETOX SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS
HerbsPro: Herbal Detox (Red Clover Stillingia Compound), Herb Pharm, 1 fl. oz. (39419)
HerbsPro: Herbal Clean FIXX Detox, Totally Tropical, BNG Enterprises, 2 oz. (51125)
HerbsPro: Herbal Tonic, Cyclone Cider, 2 fl. oz. (14804)
HerbsPro: Herbal Detox (Red Clover Stillingia Compound), Herb Pharm, 4 fl. oz. (32202)
HerbsPro: Herbal Tonic, Cyclone Cider, 4 fl. oz. (14803)
Taken daily, this zesty tonic with the wake-up taste has been helping thousands maintain health and vitality. This pure, fast-acting and easy-to-assimilate tonic can help you feel your best, too. Here are some of its powerful, effective uses: Support of immune system. Daily promotion of health and circulation. Relief from minor colds, sore throats, coughs, congestion, and sluggishness. Protect from exposure to cold weather and climate changes. Throat tonic for singers and speakers. Cleansing programs for fasting and a morning flush. Cayenne Pepper is high in Vitamin C with stimulating, astringent properties that promotes circulation. Garlic is nature's antibiotic that supports the immune system. Onion is garlic's buffer that cleanses and stimulates. Horseradish Root is stimulating and cleansing. Ginger Root benefits intestines and stimulates digestion. Parsley is a natural diuretic and source of chlorophyll.
Amazon: Herbal Detox Supplement Products
Nutrition Basics: Blood Cleanse Supplement Information Nutrition Basics: Liver Formula Supplement Information
AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Allspice Leaf Oil Angelica Oil Anise Oil Baobab Oil Basil Oil Bay Laurel Oil Bay Oil Benzoin Oil Bergamot Oil Black Pepper Oil Chamomile (German) Oil Cajuput Oil Calamus Oil Camphor (White) Oil Caraway Oil Cardamom Oil Carrot Seed Oil Catnip Oil Cedarwood Oil Chamomile Oil Cinnamon Oil Citronella Oil Clary-Sage Oil Clove Oil Coriander Oil Cypress Oil Dill Oil Eucalyptus Oil Fennel Oil Fir Needle Oil Frankincense Oil Geranium Oil German Chamomile Oil Ginger Oil Grapefruit Oil Helichrysum Oil Hyssop Oil Iris-Root Oil Jasmine Oil Juniper Oil Labdanum Oil Lavender Oil Lemon-Balm Oil Lemongrass Oil Lemon Oil Lime Oil Longleaf-Pine Oil Mandarin Oil Marjoram Oil Mimosa Oil Myrrh Oil Myrtle Oil Neroli Oil Niaouli Oil Nutmeg Oil Orange Oil Oregano Oil Palmarosa Oil Patchouli Oil Peppermint Oil Peru-Balsam Oil Petitgrain Oil Pine-Long Leaf Oil Pine-Needle Oil Pine-Swiss Oil Rosemary Oil Rose Oil Rosewood Oil Sage Oil Sandalwood Oil Savory Oil Spearmint Oil Spikenard Oil Swiss-Pine Oil Tangerine Oil Tea-Tree Oil Thyme Oil Vanilla Oil Verbena Oil Vetiver Oil Violet Oil White-Camphor Oil Yarrow Oil Ylang-Ylang Oil Aromatherapy
Healing Baths For Colds
Using Essential Oils
AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Almond, Sweet Oil Apricot Kernel Oil Argan Oil Arnica Oil Avocado Oil Baobab Oil Black Cumin Oil Black Currant Oil Black Seed Oil Borage Seed Oil Calendula Oil Camelina Oil Castor Oil Coconut Oil Comfrey Oil Evening Primrose Oil Flaxseed Oil Grapeseed Oil Hazelnut Oil Hemp Seed Oil Jojoba Oil Kukui Nut Oil Macadamia Nut Oil Meadowfoam Seed Oil Mullein Oil Neem Oil Olive Oil Palm Oil Plantain Oil Plum Kernel Oil Poke Root Oil Pomegranate Seed Oil Pumpkin Seed Oil Rosehip Seed Oil Safflower Oil Sea Buckthorn Oil Sesame Seed Oil Shea Nut Oil Soybean Oil St. Johns Wort Oil Sunflower Oil Tamanu Oil Vitamin E Oil Wheat Germ Oil
HELPFUL RELATED MOONDRAGON NUTRITION BASICS LINKS
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction
NUTRITION BASICS ARTICLES
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute? MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water
RELATED MOONDRAGON HEALTH LINKS & INFORMATION
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1 MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2 MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Relaxation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index
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MOONDRAGON'S REALM - WEBSITE DIRECTORY
A website map to help you find what you are looking for on MoonDragon.org's Website. Available pages have been listed under appropriate directory headings.