Consumption of more than two standard drinks per day increases the risk for health problems in many organ systems. Heavy repetitive drinking, as is seen in alcohol abuse and dependence, cuts short the life span by an estimated decade in both genders. Behavioral Effects, Tolerance, and Dependence The acute effects of a drug depend on many factors. These include the dose, the rate of increase in plasma, the concomitant presence of other drugs, and the past experience with the agent.. Deep but disturbed sleep can be seen at twice the legal intoxication level, and death can occur with levels between 0.30 and 0.40 g/dL. Tolerance is a complex phenomenon involving at least three types of compensatory mechanisms. (1) After 1-2 weeks of daily drinking, metabolic or pharmacokinetic tolerance can be seen, with up to a 30% increase in the rate of hepatic ethanol metabolism. This alteration disappears almost as rapidly as it develops. (2) Cellular or pharmaco dynamic tolerance develops through neuro chemical changes that maintain relatively normal physiologic functioning despite the presence of alcohol (3) Individuals learn to adapt their behavior so that they can function better than expected under influence of the drug (behavioral tolerance). The Effects of Ethanol on Organ Systems: Nervous System: Chronic high doses cause peripheral neuropathy in 5-15% of alcoholics similar to diabetes, patients experience bilateral limb numbness, tingling, and paresthesias, all of which are more pronounced distally. Approximately 1% of alcoholics develop cerebellar degeneration or atrophy. Very few alcoholics develop Wernicke’s (ophthalmoparesis, ataxia, and encephalopathy) and Korsakoff’s (retrograde and anterograde amnesia) syndromes. The Gastrointestinal System Esophagus and Stomach Alcohol intake can result in inflammation of the esophagus and stomach causing epigastric distress and gastrointestinal bleeding. Alcohol is one of the most common causes of hemorrhagic gastritis. Pancreas and Liver The incidence of acute pancreatitis is almost threefold higher in alcoholics than in the general population. Alcohol impairs gluconeogenesis in the liver, resulting in a fall in the amount of glucose produced from glycogen, increased lactate production, and decreased oxidation of fatty acids. This contributes to an increase in fat accumulation in liver cells. Cancer Drinking as few as 1.5 drinks per day increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer 1.4-fold. For both genders, four drinks per day increases the risk for oral and esophageal cancers approximately threefold and rectal cancers by a factor of 1.5; seven to eight or more drinks per day enhances approximately fivefold the risks for many cancers. Cardiovascular System: The consumption of three or more drinks per day results in a dose-dependent increase in blood pressure, which returns to normal within weeks of abstinence. Thus, heavy drinking is an important factor in mild to moderate hypertension. Chronic heavy drinkers have a sixfold increased risk for coronary artery disease as well as an increased risk for cardiomyopathy. Homoeopathic approach: Nux vomica: 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. 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. Marked sexual excitement, desire to expose person and fear of poison. Cannabis Indica : 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, face flushed, pupils dilated, perspires easily. Surprise is constantly expressed on the countenance. Opium : 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. Sulphuric acid : 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 of food. They cannot drink water unless it be well whiskied. 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