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Addiction and Teenagers

Teenagers may be involved with legal or illegal drugs in various ways. Experimentation with drugs during adolescence is common. Unfortunately, teenagers often don’t see the link between their actions today and the consequences tomorrow. They also have a tendency to feel indestructible and immune to the problems that others experience.

Using alcohol and tobacco at a young age increases the risk of using other drugs later. Some teens will experiment and stop, or continue to use occasionally, without significant problems. Others will develop a dependency, moving on to more dangerous drugs and causing significant harm to themselves and possibly others.

Adolescence is a time for trying new things. Teens use drugs for many reasons, including curiosity, because it feels good, to reduce stress, to feel grown up or to fit in. It is difficult to know which teens will experiment and stop and which will develop serious problems.

Who is At Risk?

Teenagers at risk for developing serious alcohol and drug problems include those:
• with a family history of substance abuse
• who are depressed
• who have low self-esteem
• who feel like they don’t fit in or are out of the mainstream

Teenagers abuse a variety of drugs, legal and illegal.
• Alcohol 
• Tobacco: Teens who smoke are three times more likely than nonsmokers to use alcohol, eight times more likely to use marijuana, and 22 times more likely to use cocaine. Smoking is associated with a host of other risky behaviors, such as fighting and engaging in unprotected sex. 
• Prescribed medications 
• Inhalants: Known by such street names as huffing, sniffing and wanging, the dangerous habit of getting high by inhaling the fumes of common household products is estimated to claim the lives of more than a thousand children each year. Many other young people, including some first-time users, are left with serious respiratory problems and permanent brain damage. 
• Over-the-counter cough, cold, sleep, and diet medications (such as Corex, phencidyle,etc.) 
• Marijuana, hashish,bhang
• Stimulants: The possible long-term effects include tolerance and dependence, violence and aggression, malnutrition due to suppression of appetite. Crack, a powerfully addictive stimulant, is the term used for a smokeable form of cocaine. 
• Club drugs: This term refers to drugs being used by teens and young adults at all-night dance parties such as "raves" or "trances," dance clubs, and bars. MDMA (Ecstasy), GHB, Rohypnol (Rophies), ketamine, methamphetamine, and LSD are some of the club or party drugs gaining popularity. Because some club drugs are colorless, tasteless, and odorless, they can be added unobtrusively to beverages by individuals who want to intoxicate or sedate others. In recent years, there has been an increase in reports of club drugs used to commit sexual assaults. 
• Depressants: These are drugs used medicinally to relieve anxiety, irritability, tension. There is a high potential for abuse and, combined with alcohol, effects are heightened and risks are multiplied. 
• Heroin: Several sources indicate an increase in new, young users across the country who are being lured by inexpensive, high-purity heroin that can be sniffed or smoked instead of injected. Heroin has also been appearing in more affluent communities. 
• Steroids: Anabolic steroids are a group of powerful compounds closely related to the male sex hormone testosterone. 
The use of illegal drugs is increasing, especially among young teens. The average age of first marijuana use is 14, and alcohol use can start before age 12. The use of marijuana and alcohol in high school has become common.

Drug use is associated with a variety of negative consequences, including increased risk of serious drug use later in life, school failure, and poor judgment which may put teens at risk for accidents, violence, unplanned and unsafe sex, and suicide.

Warning Signs of Teen Substance Abuse

Physical
• fatigue 
• repeated health complaints 
• red and glazed eyes 
• lasting cough 
Emotional
• personality change 
• sudden mood changes 
• irritability 
• irresponsible behavior 
• low self-esteem 
• poor judgment 
• depression 
• general lack of interest 
Family
• starting arguments 
• negative attitude 
• breaking rules 
• withdrawing from family 
• secretiveness 
School
• decreased interest 
• negative attitude 
• drop in grades 
• many absences 
• truancy 
• discipline problems 
Social problems
• new friends who make poor decisions and are not interested in school or family activities 
• problems with the law 
• changes to less conventional styles in dress and music 
Some of the warning signs listed above can also be signs of other problems. Parents may recognize signs of trouble but should not be expected to make the diagnosis.
Consulting a physician to rule out physical causes of the warning signs is a good first step. This should often be followed or accompanied by a comprehensive evaluation by a psychiatrist or mental health professional.

Substance Abuse Treatment

Parents can help through early education about drugs, open communication, good role modeling, and early recognition if problems are developing. If there is any suspicion that there is a problem, parents must find the most appropriate intervention for their child.
The decision to get treatment for a child or adolescent is serious. Parents are encouraged to seek consultation from a mental health professional when making decisions about substance abuse treatment for children or adolescents.
Parents and families must be informed consumers and should be involved in their child's recovery. Here are some important things to consider: 
No single treatment is appropriate for all teens. 
It is important to match treatment settings, interventions, and services to each individual's particular problems and needs. This is critical to his or her ultimate success in returning to healthy functioning in the family, school, and society. 
Effective treatment must attend to the multiple needs of the individual -- not just the drug use. 
Any associated medical, psychological, social, and cognitive problem must be be addressed. 
Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical for treatment effectiveness and positive change. 
Each person is different and the amount of time in treatment will depend on his or her problems and needs. Research shows that for most individuals, the beginning of improvement begins at about 3 months into treatment. After this time, there is usually further progress toward recovery. Length of stay in a residential program can range from 8 to 18 months, depending upon the individual's willingness and commitment.

Counseling (individual and/or group) and other behavioral therapies are critical components of effective treatment. 
In therapy, teens look at issues of motivation, build skills to resist drug use, replace drug-using activities with constructive and rewarding behaviors, and improve problem-solving skills. Behavioral therapy also facilitates interpersonal relationships and the teen's ability to function in the home and community. 
Addicted or drug-abusing individuals with coexisting mental disorders should have both disorders treated in an integrated way. 
Because addictive disorders and mental disorders often occur in the same individual, individuals should be assessed and treated for the co-occurrence of the other type of disorder. 
Medical detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug use. 
Medical detoxification safely manages the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal associated with stopping drug use. While detoxification alone is rarely sufficient to help addicts achieve long-term abstinence, for some individuals it is a strongly indicated precursor to effective drug addiction treatment. 
Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective.
Strong motivation can facilitate the treatment process. Sanctions or enticements in the family, school setting, or juvenile justice system can increase significantly both treatment entry and retention rates and the success of drug treatment interventions.
Recovery from addiction can be a long-term process and frequently requires multiple episodes of treatment. 
As with other chronic illnesses, relapses to drug use can occur during or after successful treatment episodes. Addicted individuals may require prolonged treatment and multiple episodes of treatment to achieve long-term abstinence and fully restored functioning. Participation in self-help support programs during and following treatment often is helpful in maintaining abstinence. Parents should ask what aftercare treatment services are available for continued or future treatment.

Role of Homoeopathy in Addictions

Homeopathy is a non-toxic system of medicine that uses highly-diluted remedies to treat illness and relieve discomfort in a wide variety of health conditions. It is thought that homeopathic remedies are able to stimulate a person’s bodily systems to deal with stress and illness more efficiently. Research is currently being undertaken to understand how and why these remedies work on the mental and physical level. Specific homeopathic remedies may be helpful during the period of withdrawal from alcohol or drugs.
Holistic approaches to addiction and alcoholism can be of great assistance throughout the stages of recovery. From detoxification to reducing stress and improving mental and physical well being, holistic approaches play a vital role in regaining personal balance. 
For the recovering addict, holistic approaches should be accompanied by a professional treatment plan but can be effective well beyond the initial recovery phase. 
Recent scientific studies have demonstrated dramatically improved success rates with the addition of holistic treatment approaches.

ALCOHOLISM alcoholism
Alcoholism is a chronic, often progressive disease that can be fatal. The condition involves a preoccupation with alcohol and impaired control over alcohol intake. Alcoholism usually involves physical dependence on the drug alcohol, but genetic, psychological and social factors contribute to this addiction.

Alcoholism - Treatment & Homeopathic Medicines

#Nux vomica [Nux.v]
Nux is the great anti-alcoholic remedy. It corresponds to the tremor, to the nervous affection, to the headache, to the bad taste. It also corresponds to delirium tremens, where every little noise frightens and the victim finds no rest any place, springs up at night and has frightful visions. The tremor is marked with ugliness and irritability and gastric disturbance. 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 or any of the stages of alcoholism. Agaricus will sometimes control the characteristic tremor when Nux fails.

#Hyoscyamus [Hyos] 
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. Marked sexual excitement, desire to expose person and fear of poison. The vision are those of persecution, are \terrifying, and the patient makes efforts to escape. Constant insomnia is an excellent indication; outburst of laughter alerting with weeping may also occur. Dr. Butler says that for the production of sleep no remedy compares with Hyoscyamus in the tincture, five or ten drops in a half glass of water, and teaspoonful doses given half-hourly.

#Cannabis Indica [Cann.i] 
A very reliable remedy in acute alcoholism. Some violence, talkativeness and active mind; subjects crowd upon it, delusions and hallucination relate to exaggerated subjects time,space, etc.; face flushed, pupils dilated, perspires easily. Surprise is constantly expressed on the countenance.

#Opium [Op]
This is 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. The prevailing mental characteristic is terror,all hallucinations and illusions are fright and terror producing. It has visions of animals coming at him from every corner 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. Suicidal tendency constantly annoyed by bugs and vermin that he sees upon his person and unceasingly tries to brush them off. 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 where the prevailing attitude is fear. Fears darkness, ghosts, 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.Phosphorus sees faces peering at him from all parts of the room.Cimicifuga is useful in cases that are mentally depressed and tremor is a prominent symptom. The delirium is mild and the hallucinations of sight relate to small objects; there is persistent sleeplessness and physical restlessness. Avena sativa is a valuable remedy in alcoholism where the victim is nervous and sleepless almost to the point of delirium tremens. It is also a useful remedy in the opium and cocaine habits. Strophanthus has also been successfully used.

#Sulphuric acid [Sul-ac]
This is the remedy for chronic alcoholism. It corresponds to inebriates on their last, who are pale and shriveled and cold, whose stomach will not tolerate the slightest amount amount of food. They cannot drink water unless it be well whiskied. They area quick and hasty in everything, and have a great and constant craving for brandy. It comes in long after Nux vomica, perhaps after Keely and other cures have failed over and over again. It suits the sour breath and vomiting of alcoholic dyspepsia. It may be given low. "Should it produce a diarrhoea Pulsatilla is the proper antidote." (Dr. Luther Peck.) The constant craving for brandy reminds one of Sulphur, Nux vomica and Arsenicum, all of which have craving for spirituous liquors.

Tartar emetic 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. Delirium tremens will often be speedily relieved by Capsicum. Cantharis. Continual attempts to bite; sexual excitement; face pale, yellow, dysuria. Spiritus glandium quercus. Burnett recommended this remedy as an antidote to the affects of alcohol, and Dr.A.F.Schulz, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, reported to the writer that in his opinion it will frequently cause disgust for alcoholic beverages. He has had success from its use.

Homeopathic remedies to help recover from alcohol addiction include Nux vomica and especially Avena sativa used for detox and nervous system support. Other support remedies to consider are Opium and Quercus if it fits the case. Use daily in a low potency such as a 6c with a liver support remedy in mother tincture such as Chelidonium, Carduus marianus, Taraxacum or Hydrastis. Deeply suppressed emotions will probably need to be addressed as well. Think of Carcinosin, Aurum, Staphysagria, the Natrums, Lycopodium, Lachesis and Sepia. If there is a family tendency towards alcoholism look at the nosodes, especially Syphilinum. The important thing to remember is that recovery is a process, and treating alcoholism is rarely straightforward

Homoeopathic therapeutic books are enriched with medicines effective for alcoholism and tobacco smoking. As in all other cases a medicine that produces symptom/ disease in a healthy human being during trial, is effective for removing the symptom/ disease in the sick. This methodology was applied in this work, according to the principles of Homoeopathy. Addicted persons are motivated and their problems were studied and recorded. After a thorough analysis of the entire case a constitutional or symptomatic medicine was prescribed. For the first two or three weeks acute medicines like Calc. Phos 6X, Nat.Mur 3X for tobacco smoking and sterculia Q, Quercus Q, Capsicum Q for alcoholism were dispensed.

Result: From the second day onwards patients used to develop disgust for the addicted substances and gradually reduced to drink alcohol to meager and nil. Conclusion: Withdrawal symptoms are practically minimised. Loss of satisfaction and aversion for tobacco and alcohol are noticed along with return of appetite.

Materials and Methods: Homoeopathic and Bio-chemic medicines are purchased from reputed firms and their distributors. Acute medicines for one week was given for out patients and daily dose for in-patients. Sterculia Q, 10 drops (one dose) three times daily was given for alcoholics having no appetite and for others Quercus Q as above. Basic or symptomatological medicines according to Homoeopathic principles were given and thus differing in different patients. If improvement was noted placebo was given. The Biochemic medicines was selected by considering the Mental/emotional aspect of the patient. Nat.Mur 3X or 6X differs with Calc. Phos 3X or 6X with an aggregation of complaints if anybody console a patient. Tobacum 200 - one dose was prescribed to patients who had fresh desire after abstinence. In certain persons the higher potency was given,

Methods: The study was done in the following manner.
a) Distribution of cases and study according to type
1. Alcoholism.
2. Tobacco smoking.
3. Alcoholism & Tobacco smoking (combined)
b) Distribution of cases and study according to age and sex.
cl Distribution of cases and study according to nativity, i.e., urban/rural.
d) Distribution of cases and study according to religion.
e) Distribution of cases and study according to marital status.
f) Distribution of cases and study according to grade/group.
There are three groups for smoking tobacco. Those who smoke but below twenty cigarettes or beedies comes under Group I. Persons who smoke above twenty numbers but without any subjective and objective symptoms came under Group 11 and with subjective and objective symptoms came under Group 111. Similarly there are two groups for alcoholism. Those who are addicted but without complications are Group I and those having complications are grouped under Group II.

TABLE I. Smoking (Alone)
A) Distribution cases and study according to the age & sex.
No. Age Male Female Total

I. Below 20 13 13
2. 20-29 84 84
3. 30-39 92 92
4 40-49 86 3 89 
5. 50-59 41 2 43
6. 60 and above13 13
Grand Total 334
The highest number of patients (92) came between the age group of 30 - 39.

TABLE 11 B. Distribution and study according to nativity.
Urban Rural Grand Total
Male Female Total Male Female Total 
131 Nil 131 200 3 203 334
Out of 334 patients203 came from the rural side.

TABLE III C. Distribution and study according to the Religion
Hindu Christian Muslim Total
190 17 127 334

TABLE IV. D. Distribution and Study according the Marital Status.
Married Unmarried Total
233 95 334
TABLE V .E. Distribution and study according to the Group
1st Group 2nd Group 3rd Group Total
177 99. 58 334

TABLE VI.F. Result of treatment
Within two weeks After two weeks
% of success Drop out % of success Drop out
25% 14 25% 7 
50% 23 50% 7 
75% 27 75% 31 
100% 10 215 100% 17 17
Success rate within two weeks 62.18%
Success rats after two weeks 60.78%

TABLE VII. G.Old case reported 3-5 months after
Total No. of cases: 31
Results of treatment
Within two weeks After two weeks
% of success Drop out % of success Drop out
25% • 25% 
50% 50% 1 
75% 5 75% 13 
100% 2 10 100% 3 Nil

Success rate within 2 weeks: 33.3%
Success rate after 2 weeks; 80.95%

ALCOHOLISM (ALONE)

TABLE VIII
No. of cases: 39
A. Distribution of cases and study according to the age and Sex.
No. Age Male Female Total
1. Below 20 Nil - -
2. 20 - 29 1 - 1
3. 30 - 39 17 - 17
4. 40 - 49 10 - 10
5, 50- 59 8 1 9
G. 60 and above 2 - 2
Total 39

TABLE IX .B. Distribution of cases and study according to nativity
Urban Rural Total
11      28      39

TABLE X .C. Distribution of cases according to Religion
Hindu Muslim Christian Total
29 5 5 39

TABLE XI.D. Distribution of cases according to Marital Status
Married Unmarried Total
34 5 39

TABLE XII.E. Distribution of cases according to Group
Ist group 2nd group Total
25 14 39

TABLE XIII.F.Results of treatment: 
Results Within two weeks ; Results After two weeks .
% of success Drop out % of success Drop out
25% 25% 
30% 2 18 50% 
75% 75% 1 
100% 13 100% 4 Nil
Success rate within two weeks : 17.43%
Success rate after two weeks : 23.8%

TABLE XIV.Total No. 4.G. Old cases reported 3-5 months after
Results Within two weeks Results After two weeks
% of success Drop out % of success Drop out
25% 25% 1 
50% 50% 
75% 75% 
100% 100% 3 
Success rate after 2 weeks : 100%

ALCOHOLISM + SMOKING
TABLE XV
No. Age Male Female Total
1. Below 20 2 2
2. 20 29 58 58
3. 30 39 95 95
4. 40 49 93 93
5. 50 59 27 27
6. 60 and above 1 1
Grand Total 276

TABLE XVI.B. Distribution of cases and study according to Nativity
Urban Rural Total
151 125 276

TABLE XVII.C. Distribution of cases and study according to Religion
Hindu Christian Muslim Total
215 17 44 276

TABLE XVIII.D. Distribution of cases and study according to Marital status
Married Unmarried Total
222 54 276

TABLE XIX. E.Distribution of cases and study according to Group
Smoking Alcoholism
1st Group 2nd Group 3rd Group Total Ist Group 2nd Group Total
133 101 42 276 205 71 276

TABLE XX.F.Result of treatment of alcoholism & Smoking
within 2 weeks After 2 weeks
% of Relief Alcoholism Smoking Drop out % of Relief Alcoholism Smoking Drop out
25% 12 20 25% 9 15 
50% 15 17 50% 6 6 
75% 26 38 75% 9 20 
100% 47 15 140 100% 28 12 Nil
Total 100 90 140 52 53 

Success rate within 2 weeks : Alcoholism : 73.58%
Smoking : 66.17%
Success rate after 2 weeks : Alcoholism : 38.23%
Smoking : 33.97%

TABLE XXI.C. Old cases reported 3-5 months after
Total No. of cases : 49
within 2 weeks after 2 weeks
% of Relief Alcoholism Smoking Drop out % of Relief Alcoholism Smoking Drop out
25% 1 1 25% 2 12
50% 1 4 50% 2 3
75% 1 7 75% 9 11 Nil 
100% 11 3 100% 16 3 
Total 13 9 7 29 29 
Success rate within 2 weeks : Alcoholism : 30.95%
Smoking : 21.43%
Success rate after 2 weeks : Alcoholism : 69.05%
Smoking : 69.05%

Discussions:

Out of the 334 patients who have taken medicine for tobacco smoking alone 215 are drop out cases. The remaining 119 Patients ware observed. The success rate within two weeks was 62.18% and 60.76% after two weeks with a drop out of 17 patients. 31 patients reported 3- 5 months after abstinence with a drop out of 10 and a success rate of 33.3% within two weeks. The success rate after two weeks was 80.95% without a single drop out. The number of patients to whom medicine for alcoholism were given are 315 (39 consumes alcohol and 276 consumes alcohol and smoking tobacco) success rate was 71.43% within two weeks and 23.8% after two weeks with a drop out of 18 from 39. In the combined case the success rats was 73.52% in alcoholism and 66.17% in smoking wilhin two weeks. After two weeks the percentage of success was 38.23% in alcoholism and 38.97 in tobacco smoking with a total drop out of 140 from 276. 49 cases were reported 3 - 5 months after abstinence with 7 drop out having a success rate of 30.95% in alcoholism and 21.43% in smoking within two weeks and 69.05% each in alcoholism and smoking.

Staphisagaria was the drug for 84 persons addicted to smoking while 72 for Calc-phos, 47 for Nux Vomica, 20 for Natrummur and 13 for Lachesis Similarly, 29 cases of alcoholism were prescribed with Nuxvomica, 22 to Lachesis, and 21 to Staph. 33 cases of addiction to tobacco smoking was responded within one week to Calc Phos, 27 cases to Staphisagria 17 cases to Nuxvomica, 7 cases to Natrummur were also responded within 7 days. 18 cases of Alcoliolism was responded to Nuxvomica and 10 cases to Lachesis with in 7 days.

Out of the 334 patients who have taken medicine for tobacco smoking alone 215 are drop out cases. The remaining 119 Patients ware observed. The success rate within two weeks was 62.18% and 60.76% after two weeks with a drop out of 17 patients. 31 patients reported 3- 5 months after abstinence with a drop out of 10 and a success rate of 33.3% within two weeks. The success rate after two weeks was 80.95% without a single drop out. The number of patients to whom medicine for alcoholism were given are 315 (39 consumes alcohol and 276 consumes alcohol and smoking tobacco) success rate was 71.43% within two weeks and 23.8% after two weeks with a drop out of 18 from 39. In the combined case the success rats was 73.52% in alcoholism and 66.17% in smoking wilhin two weeks. After two weeks the percentage of success was 38.23% in alcoholism and 38.97 in tobacco smoking with a total drop out of 140 from 276. 49 cases were reported 3 - 5 months after abstinence with 7 drop out having a success rate of 30.95% in alcoholism and 21.43% in smoking within two weeks and 69.05% each in alcoholism and smoking. Staphisagaria was the drug for 84 persons addicted to smoking while 72 for Calc-phos, 47 for Nux Vomica, 20 for Natrummur and 13 for Lachesis Similarly, 29 cases of alcoholism were prescribed with Nuxvomica, 22 to Lachesis, and 21 to Staph. 33 cases of addiction to tobacco smoking was responded within one week to Calc Phos, 27 cases to Staphisagria 17 cases to Nuxvomica, 7 cases to Natrummur were also responded within 7 days. 18 cases of Alcoliolism was responded to Nuxvomica and 10 cases to Lachesis with in 7 days.

Reality Check: Homeopathy for Recovery
By Susy Goins

Anyone trying to beat alcoholism needs support. Homeopathy can give you support -- it can’t cure you, but it can help you through rough spots. (See sidebar.) Hie thee to a professional homeopath to help you through the trip.
A professional homeopath will sit down with you and talk to you about you. She will ask you a multitude of questions about your fears, likes/dislikes, patterns of behavior, and so on. A homeopath looks at not just your alcoholism but at the whole you. 

Recommendations for remedies are based on the symptoms you are currently experiencing. As your symptoms change, so will the remedies.
There are no recent books about treating alcoholism with homeopathy. The only one I have found mention of was written in the nineteenth century and may be available in reprint.

Remedies for support

After you make the decision to loosen alcohol’s grip on you, you can expect to go through three different stages: withdrawal, detoxification and recovery. Each stage has its own symptoms and each will have its own remedies.

Withdrawal 

The symptoms associated with withdrawal can be serious. See a professional homeopath (I know I’m repeating myself, and I probably will again). Roller coasters come to mind, with all their ups, downs, thrills and terrors.
Aconitum napellus helps with fear, anxiety and restlessness. Fear of death or of the dark, fear of not being able to beat alcohol can be palliated with Aconite. Consider Aconite when you get bent out of shape about having to stop.
Maybe your body has an all-over bruised feeling. In steps Arnica montana. Your whole body is acutely sensitive, you don’t want anyone touching you or near you, you want to be left alone. That’s when Arnica can help.
Chamomilla is useful for babies who are only improved when they are rocked. Chamomilla clients headed for recovery will frequently rock themselves for comfort. How frustrating is it to want something and then refuse it when that thing is offered? Over-sensitivity to light, noise, touch, the least draft or pain are classic Chamomilla symptoms.
Aurum metallica (gold) is used for depression -- extreme despair, suicidal tendencies, “nothing is worth it,” self-denigration.

Can’t settle down? Restless and agitated? Terrified that recovery will never happen? Look to Arsenicum album to help out. Arsenicum people need to have someone with them lest they do something to harm themselves. Obsessed with tidiness and order? Yup, check out Arsenicum.
Can’t stop talking? Don’t wan to be left alone for fear of the coming darkness? Stramonium is quite effective for alcoholics going through withdrawal. A pendulum of emotional outbursts of laughing or crying, singing or swearing are symptoms fit for Stramonium. Don’t forget about hallucinations involving insects or animals. Alcoholics in terror of water or shiny objects can benefit from Stramonium also.

Another excellent hallucination remedy is Belladonna. These hallucinations are the stuff nightmares are made of, with monsters and horrors galore. Belladonna clients may sing, dance, laugh and often moan. They are not connected to reality. A high fever, flushed face, dilated pupils and throbbing pain are the physical symptoms.
Nux vomica is for nervous, irritable, angry or impatient clients. During withdrawal they experience muscle spasms, the shakes and tics. 
Extremely angry people who have suppressed their feelings can get help from Staphysagria. These are the people who have been abused in a number of ways and are now enraged. They are acting out their anger in an explosive manner: throwing, breaking, slamming. Either women or men who have been abused may benefit from this remedy.
The symptoms of withdrawal are intense, to say the least. If a proper remedy is chosen, count on the symptoms getting worse before they get better. Therefore, higher potencies should be the domain of a professional homeopath. If higher potencies are used (200C, 1M or more), fewer doses are needed. If lower potencies are used, then they may be administered more frequently.

Detoxification 
Once you have fought and beaten the cravings for alcohol, your body must continue the healing process by detoxifying itself. Your liver has been working overtime during your addiction; now you need to help it return to a higher level of functioning. Herbs like Dandelion and Milk Thistle are great for general liver support. Homeopathic remedies, though, are more specific in their targets.

While Nux vomica is helpful during withdrawal, it can also help during the detox stage. Digestive problems, abdominal cramps and the need to move bowels that don’t happen are symptoms here. These are the Type A folks who have drive and are competitive and highly sensitive. Sometimes they are violent but are always sorry afterwards.
Staphysagria can have a tremendous healing power on liver and neurological function.
Arsenicum album works best for an enlarged liver. Dry heaves, morning vomiting, drinking cold drinks then vomiting, burning sensation in the belly and head and overall weakness and skepticism that anything will work are Arsenicum’s symptoms.
Lycopdium, a simple club moss, is for bloating and gas. Your appetite is on the roller coaster: sometimes you could eat everything in sight, other times the least amount is satisfying. Symptoms are worse from four to eight in the evening and after midnight.
The liver, especially if jaundice is involved, loves Chelidonium. If your liver pain extends up into the right shoulder blade, if your belly ache is better after eating or drinking scalding drink or by lying down on your left side with your legs pulled up, then consider Chelidonium.
Carduus marianus is indicated if lying on your left side aggravates your liver pain. Also if breathing deeply or any other motion bothers you, then look at Carduus.
Zincum focuses more on the nervous aspects of detox. Restlessness, the shakes, even convulsions can be helped. Look to Zincum if irritability, dullness, or depression are symptoms.
Ignatia is best for women who suffered some sort of love disaster that starting them drinking. Their depression will continue during the detox stage with lots of sighing. Ignatia women are emotionally very sensitive, offend easily and brood often.

Recovery 

I have no fast and sure remedies for recovery. Once an addict makes it this far into the healing process, he must work with a homeopath to finish up the healing process through constitutional or transformational healing. 

Homeopathy looks at the individual as on individual who is the sum of his or her total experience. Everything that has happened to you affects you. Homeopathy looks at you as you are now, helps you to resolve what’s bothering you -- and then moves on to the next challenge, and then the next one and so on. This is representative of one of the fundamental laws of homeopathy, “Direction of Cure.” (See the archives for my article about the Four Laws of Homeopathy.

Briefly, the direction of cure with homeopathy is 1) from head to toe, 2) inside to outside, 3) major organ to minor organ and 4) from last to first. So during alcohol recovery, you have dealt with the last issue to affect you: alcoholism. Now it’s time to deal with the second to last thing, the third to last and so on.

My best to you on your path of recovery. May you find yourself whole and joyful!
Specific remedies to be taken l/2-hourly, or more frequently if necessary, for up to 12 doses 
Hangover in morning, especially after drinking spirits, person 'burning the candle at both ends' Nux 30c 
Stomach pain after heavy drinking Capsicum 30c 
Social bingeing, person talks too much and hates tight clothing Lachesis 30c 
Person more depressed and irritable than usual near end of tether Avena 30c 
Person apprehensive, trembling, lethargic, sensitive to noise Zinc 30c 
Solitary, drinking, abnormal flatulence, nervous exhaustion Sulphur 30c 
Nausea and vomiting after drinking beer, tendency to profuse, stringy catarrh Kali bichrom. 30c