A chronic disease characterised by uncontrolled drinking and preoccupation with alcohol.
Alcoholism is the most severe form of alcohol abuse and involves the inability to manage drinking habits. It is also commonly referred to as alcohol use disorder.
Homeopathic remedies can help mitigate the side effects of alcoholism and assist in rehabilitation of alcoholics.
Nux Yomica. Nux is the great anti-alcoholic remedy. It corresponds to the tremor, to the nervous affections, to the headache, to the bad taste. It also corresponds to delirium tremens, where every little noise frightens and the victim finds no rest in any place, springs up at night and has frightful visions. It is the remedy for the acute results of a spree ; the morning big head is often large enough for the Nux cap, and the ” rich brown ” taste corresponds beautifully. It is a remedy to be given while the patient is still under the influence of liquor.
Hyoscyamus. When delirium tremens occurs this is usually one of the first remedies indicated. The delirium is constant and loquacious, rarely inflammatory enough for Belladonna or maniacal enough for Stramonium ; the pulse is small and quick and compressible, the skin is cold and clammy, the patient is tremulous and picks constantly at objects in the air. The visions are those of persecution, are terrifying, and the patient makes efforts to escape. Constant insomnia is an excellent indication; outburst of laughter alternating with weeping may also occur. Dr. Butler says that for the production of sleep no remedy compares to Hyoscyamus in the tincture, five or ten drops in a half glass of water, and teaspoonful doses given half-hourly.
Opium. This a remedy indicated in ” old sinners ” who have had the delirium tremens over and over again. There is a constant expression of fright or terror, they have visions of animals springing up everywhere, they see ghosts, the sleep is uneasy, the breathing is stertorous. It is especially indicated in those cases simulating apoplexy. Lachesis has visions of snakes and hideous objects. It has a choking sensation in throat which awakens suddenly from sleep.
Stramonium is suitable in habitual drunkards; it has visions of animals coming at him from every’ comer and he tries to escape. The face of Stramonium is bright red, not dark red as in Opium, Arsenic has visions of ghosts, with great weakness ; diseases from overuse of alcohol ; patients must have their accustomed drinks ; great tremulousness and nervous weakness. Belladonna^ too, has delirium with visions of rats, mice, etc., and so has Calcarea carbonica.
Belladonna is easily distinguished from Opium and Calcarea comes in as a last resort after Belladonna and Stramonium have ceased to do good. Aconite also has worked well in the acute mania of delirium tremens, with the same desire to escape found under Belladonna,
Ranunculus bulbosus given in the tincture has been found to be most calming in attacks of delirium tremens. It is undoubtedly one of our best remedies in the treatment of acute alcoholism. The writer has prescribed this remedy with good results.
Cimicifuga is useful in cases that are mentally depressed and tremor is a prominent symptom. The delirium is mild and the hallucinations relate to small objects ; there is per- sistent sleeplessness and physical restlessness.
Strophanthus has also been successfully used.
Sulphuric acid. This is the remedy for chronic alcoholism. It corresponds to inebriates on their last legs, who are pale and shriveled and cold, whose stomach will not tolerate the slightest amount of food. They cannot drink water unless it be well whiskied. They are quick and hasty in everything, and have a great and constant craving for brandy. It comes in long after Nux vomica perhaps after Keely cures have failed over and over again. It suits the sour breath and vomiting of alcoholic dyspepsia. The constant craving for brandy reminds one of Sulphur, Nux vomica and Arsenicum^ all of which have craving for spirituous liquors.
Antimonium tartaricum may be useful when mucous gastric derangement predominates, as after beer, with tendency to pneumonia, and accompanied by cool sweat.
Capsicum in ten drop doses of the tincture will stop the morning vomiting, sinking at the pit of the stomach and intense craving for alcohol in dipsomania, and promote the appetite. It reduces the agitation and tremor and induces calm sleep.