How can you relieve alcohol cravings?

Alcoholism is the scourge of modern society. Addiction to alcoholic beverages makes a person forget about everything in the world: about relatives, friends, about work, and about himself. All that remains is an insane urge to get a new dose. Alcoholism is a serious illness that not only gradually kills the patient himself, but also destroys the lives of those around him. Therefore, relatives often wonder how they can help relieve their cravings for alcohol, what to do for this, where to turn.

Step one: understanding the problem

To get rid of alcohol addiction, it is necessary, first of all, to realize that there is a problem. Many patients do not understand their condition, very often you can hear: “I’m not an alcoholic, I’m quitting. If I want to, I’ll give it up. ” But in fact, they do not have such a desire, on the contrary, the craving for alcohol grows stronger day by day . Relatives get tired of fighting, cease to persuade and, in the end, decide to try to cure a person in secret from himself with the help of folk remedies at home. For some reason, some herbs are often added to food. The result is zero, and this is only in the best case, in the worst case – poisoning with these very herbs with getting to the hospital and all the ensuing consequences. 

No, in this way it will not be possible to overcome alcohol addiction. Success here depends to a large extent on the desire of the patient himself, on his understanding of the problem and the desire to be treated. This will require a serious conversation (most likely, more than one), which is best done in a sober period. It is necessary to set the patient up to the fact that the problem is serious, but solvable, that it is necessary to fight. No need for unnecessary accusations, you need motivation. Unfortunately, it will be possible to get rid of the irresistible desire to drink only when the patient himself wants it. And the main role of family and friends is to help him want to.

Step two: choice of method and treatment

At the moment, there is a whole scattering of a wide variety of ways to reduce cravings for alcohol. These are numerous folk remedies, and methods recognized by modern medicine, and completely exotic methods. It is quite difficult to understand all this diversity. But this is only at first glance. In fact, everything is very, very simple: in order to reduce the desire to drink alcohol, you need to contact a narcologist. There is nothing better than officially approved methods developed by doctors. All other means are noticeably inferior in their effectiveness. But what about traditional medicine? The thing is that the best methods invented by our people have long been absorbed by official medicine (only herbs have been replaced by tablets containing the same substances), and the rest of the methods have not justified themselves.

Treatment consists of two fundamental components: medicinal and psychological. Medicines, on the one hand, help relieve intoxication, and, on the other hand, develop negative conditioned reflexes to alcohol. But often the desire to drink is due, to a greater extent, to psychological dependence. Therefore, the second component of treatment is no less important, and in some cases it alone may be enough to get rid of alcohol addiction.

The coding technique is widespread. The patient is injected with a drug that is not compatible with alcohol; then he is told about the consequences of drinking alcohol during the action of this medication, after which a control test with alcohol is carried out (they are offered to drink a little).

There is also a form of hypnosis encoding. The good thing about the method is that, in fact, it is based more on psychology, and therefore has no side effects. However, the results in this case are short-term (as a rule, it is possible to remove the addiction to alcohol for a period of no more than two to three years), and the procedure has to be repeated. The outcome depends mainly on the patient himself, on the characteristics of his psyche, the degree of “suggestibility”. The likelihood of “failures” in this case is quite high.

However, drug treatment is most often recommended by narcologists. It gives a more consistent result, but takes much longer. Ideal if taking medications is combined with the work of the patient with a psychologist. In this case, it is much easier for a person suffering from alcoholism to overcome alcohol dependence.

A little about the drugs used

Drug therapy for alcoholism is carried out in three directions: the elimination of ethanol from the body, the formation of aversion to alcohol and the relief of the patient’s condition. Typically, they start with several infusions to lower blood alcohol levels by speeding up their elimination. Also for this purpose, diuretics, emetics and some other drugs can be used.

Then all the efforts of doctors are aimed at relieving physical dependence. The fight against withdrawal syndrome is being carried out. Medicines can help relieve many of the unpleasant symptoms. So, chlorpromazine helps to overcome alcoholic psychosis, haloperidol relieves delirium and hallucinations. Antiemetic and pain relieving drugs are widely used. The doctor selects their dosage strictly individually. They greatly facilitate the process of withdrawal from alcohol for the patient.

However, this is not enough. To overcome the urge to drink, it is necessary to form a negative conditioned reflex to alcohol. For this purpose, it is necessary to use drugs that cause extremely unpleasant symptoms. But this must be done without fail, because all of the above drugs only help to alleviate the condition, while these drugs treat the addiction itself.

An older method is to take emetics along with alcohol. For example, a patient is offered to drink a pill of apomorphine with a glass of vodka. This procedure is repeated many times over a long time. As a result, the patient develops a gag reflex to alcohol. And he quits drinking, because he does not want bouts of vomiting.

Modern drugs act based on the characteristics of ethanol metabolism in the body. Most of them inhibit enzymes that break down alcohol (alcohol dehydrogenase, etc.). As a result of their intake, the exchange of ethyl alcohol in the body is disrupted, and when alcohol is taken, symptoms of intoxication occur, which forces the patient to refuse alcohol.

Thus, in the treatment of alcohol dependence, a number of important rules must be observed:

  • it must be conscious,
  • voluntary,
  • should be done by professionals,
  • be comprehensive.

The role of the family in the fight against alcohol cannot be overestimated. Home treatment is not recommended, but this does not mean that family and friends cannot help. Their main role is to create the correct psychological environment for the patient.

Good results are obtained by undergoing a course of treatment in specialized centers, where patients not only receive drugs that reduce the craving for strong drinks, but also have the opportunity to work with a psychologist, engage in occupational therapy, etc. Fresh air, river, grass, forest are of secondary importance (they create a favorable emotional background). However, this is a long process, and not many take such measures. The task of relatives is to help the patient overcome his fears, to persuade him to visit such a center.

It is very important not to try to replace competent treatment with visits to healers and traditional healers. Leave them their herbs, they are useless. Only a good narcologist can help. Don’t expect the path to be easy. He will be full of difficulties and sometimes despair. However, it must be passed to the end . Alcoholism can be defeated, but only if the tandem “patient – doctor – relatives” is achieved, if mutual understanding is reached . And of course, you can’t do without a lot of patience. The reward is enormous – the patient will be able to return to normal life.

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