Natural Correction of Alcoholism
And we have made of ourselves living cesspools,
and driven doctors to invent names for our diseases.
75,000 Americans die every year because of alcohol consumption.
8,000,000 teens use alcohol at least once per week.
4,600,000 have an alcohol abuse problem.
U.S. teenagers consumed 1,100,000,000 cans of beer in 1990.
Several facts make alcohol a powerful health problem:
1. It is pervasive in our society.
2. Alcohol harms the body and mind in many ways. It:
a. damages the liver
b. increases cancer risks, particularly in women
c. disturbs metabolism
d. interferes with proper nutrition
e. contributes to excess calories
f. alters behavior adversely and thereby increases relationship conflicts
g. distorts perception and coordination and thereby increases accidents
h. disturbs judgement and reduces inhibition and thus increases crime
i. causes severe birth defects when taken even in small quantities
j. decreases intellectual performance
k. interferes with work productivity
l. impairs sexual function
m. aggravates personality aberrations
. damages heart muscle
3. Exposure is repetitive for millions of people
4. Alcohol is addictive, particularly to that 10% of the population, which has a genetic, metabolic predisposition for alcoholism and those who suffer from addictive food allergy symptoms that perpetuate the craving.
5. It is a legal, accepted, highly-marketed product. The alcohol beverage industries spend 2 BILLION dollars every year promoting this form of health abuse.
Even if you are a non-drinker, your health is diminished and your life is put at risk by those around you who drink in excess. Health and auto insurance rates are higher for us all because of alcohol's impact on a certain segment of the population. Most violent crime is committed under the influence of alcohol. Every year 500,000 college students discontinue their academic training because of alcohol abuse. How many millions of broken homes are the result of alcohol abuse?
40% of all traffic accidents are alcohol related.
Drunk drivers kill 26,000 Americans per year.
Avoidance and Recovery Strategies
There are several groups of people who should have ZERO alcohol consumption:
1. pregnant women or those at risk of pregnancy
2. those diagnosed as having the disease of alcoholism
3. those with a family history of alcoholism
4. those who are noted to be problem drinkers by friends and family
5. those who have health problems which their doctors say will be aggravated by alcohol consumption
6. those who are taking medication which adversely interacts with alcohol
Others should restrict or eliminate alcohol consumption for general health enhancement even if they are not at apparent high risk. As little as one glass of wine per week can have deleterious health effects in apparently symptom-free women. Avoiding others who drink, and places of inebriation, also reduces risk of indirect harm---as does avoiding night time driving when more alcohol related accidents occur.
If you are trying to quit there are many different programs available. Most use some variation of Alcoholics Anonymous' 12 Step Program. The AA program is in every community, has a good track record, and is free. There are many medically supervised residential and out-patient programs which may be appropriate for those who have severe health problems and/or those who have insurance or the money to pay for these expensive treatment programs. Psychotherapy and behavior modification approaches are sometimes needed for long-term success. Cranial electrical stimulation has been proving to be an important adjunct to reduce craving and dependency in addition to improving brain biochemistry in people with substance abuse problems. Biofeedback has also proven to be an important adjunct to treatment.
One approach that everyone with an alcohol problem should incorporate into their recovery program is nutritional / biochemical enhancement. The four resources most helpful here are the books:
Beasley, Joseph, Wrong Diagnosis, Wrong Treatment: The Plight of the Alcoholic in America, Random House, 1987;
Blum, Kenneth with Payne, James, Alcohol and the Addictive Brain: New Hope for Alcoholics from Biogenic Research, Macmillan Free Press, 1991;
Ketcham, Katherine and Mueller, L. Ann, Eating Right to Live Sober, Madrona Publishers;
Larson, Joan, Alcoholism---The Biochemical Connection: A Biomedical Regimen for Recovery, Villard/Random House, 1992.
These authors discuss many biochemical and nutritional enhancement treatments that go hand-in-hand with spiritual and psychological approaches. Some of the key elements needed to correct many of these biochemical disturbances that perpetuate the addictive process are summarized below:
1. replenishing nutrient reserves and improving digestive efficiency
2. correcting low blood sugar calorie cravings and mood swings
3. identifying and correcting food allergy addictions that perpetuate cravings
4. restoring neurotransmitter balance with better amino acid nutrition
5. improving prostaglandin metabolism with needed fatty acids (Prostaglandins are hormones that seem to prevent alcohol toxicity and addiction.)