After consuming alcohol habitually for an extended period of time, stopping is typically accompanied by a list of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the severity of the addiction, stopping abruptly may also cause dangerous and potentially life-threatening effects. A detox plan is necessary to make the transition to sobriety as safe and comfortable as possible. Though not easy, alcohol abusers can use natural home remedies to deal with withdrawal.
Before the introduction of rehab centers and medications, people used the tapering technique to overcome the habit. Start by drinking six to 12 ounces of beer or have one mixed drink every hour or every two hours. After two or three days, reduce this amount by half or extend the time between drinks to two or three hours. Continue tapering until you can safely go 24 to 48 hours without suffering ill effects.
Initially you have have little interest in food. Nausea may also keep you from eating too much. However, as habitual drinkers are often malnourished, eating the right foods is necessary to help the body recover. Snack on fresh fruits or vegetables. Berries curb sugar cravings and bananas, citrus fruits and melons balance electrolytes. Oats or oatmeal is a good way to control blood sugar. Include high protein sources that may include meat, poultry, fish, cheese, peanut butter or nuts. You may only be able to eat small quantities at any given time. That is fine as long as the calories consumed are nutrient dense. Avoid fast or processed foods.
Drink water throughout the day. Water not only helps flush toxins from the body but also reduces withdrawal symptoms. While naturally sweetened juices and sports drinks are acceptable, resist making them a major portion of your hydration efforts. Caffeinated beverages are also not beneficial. Caffeine can elevate vital signs, which are already heightened from anxiety and discomfort. The substance also adds to the problem if suffering from sleep disturbances.
Habitual alcohol consumption often depletes the body's vitamin B levels. Take a B-complex vitamin along with a good multiple vitamin daily to replenish deficiencies. The herb known as milk thistle protects the liver. Supplements made from the Kudzu plant are also historically known to protect the liver. Many former drinkers also attest to the fact that Kudzu products greatly reduce cravings. Both herbs also encourage the organ to repair itself. Try taking a Valerian supplement if anxious or having problems with sleep. Take OTC pain relievers as needed to help with muscular aches and pains.
Find a local support group and start attending meetings. Visiting with other people who have been down the road to recovery often provides a sense of relief while offering the encouragement needed to keep going. You will also likely gain a wealth of information. Family members and friends also serve as a great support system.