Supplements to Help DP Avoid Alcohol? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 06-14-2010, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
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This is hard to post about, but here goes...

We are expecting our first child in early September and getting DP to cut down on alcohol has been a constant and frustrating struggle. I am looking for suggestions on supplements or remedies that might help him curtail his tendency toward excess. I don't know that I would say he is an addictive personality, but rather he doesn't seem to have a moderating instinct. And he definitely uses alcohol to deal with stress. It has gotten to the point (off and on) where he is slurring and stumbling around a few nights a week, which is frustrating to say the least and scary imagining middle of the night emergency scenarios where I would basically be on my own. He seems committed to cutting down and has had success for a while then starts up again when he feels more in control and it starts all over.

He HATES pills and takes absolutely nothing med or supp-wise, but I think I could get him to take two or three a day for a couple of weeks at least, to see if things get better (things that could be added to water would be helpful too). I am looking for suggestions first I suppose to help him fight the urge rather than necessarily make up for the nutritional deficiencies he is probably dealing with due to excess alcohol over a long period. That can come later I think (though, I can imagine they may well be the same nutrients...).

The thoughts I have had are:

B complex
Amino acids (esp. l-glutamine)
Fish Oil
Magnesium

Any suggestions on getting the most help from 2-3 pills would be very much appreciated.
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#2 of 12 Old 06-14-2010, 11:26 PM
 
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(((hugs))) to you mama...this sounds like a frustrating, worrisome situation with your DP. i used to be a counselor at an inpatient substance abuse recovery center, so i have some expertise with this area (i'm also a licensed therapist). i wish i could tell you that there is some supplement that could help your DP cut down on drinking, but there are none that i know of. you might consider consulting a homeopath, as they'd be most likely to have a constitutional remedy to address the problem in a holistic manner. there are also nutritionists who specialize in helping folks balance their diets as they come off of alcohol (sugar can become an issue)

otherwise, i'd suggest he start attending AA meetings in your area BEFORE your baby arrives, and you might look into al-anon, which can be really helpful for someone like you, who loves a person who drinks. the arrival of a baby can be a really stressful time, so it'd be good if he could begin to get some perspective on his drinking before the babe arrives.
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#3 of 12 Old 06-15-2010, 10:46 AM
 
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There are definitely deficiencies that can cause addictions, and definitely deficiencies caused by drinking too much. The Health Recovery Center has info on their website and books which you can probably find at your library:

http://www.healthrecovery.com/HRC_2006/SevenWeeks.htm


They have some "formulas" that are very expensive, but would give a range of things to help in fewer pills.

Emily, cooking allergen free, knitting, reading, gardening Mom to 1 beautiful girl, born in the water on July 1, 2006 Wife to 1 handsome man since September 10, 2005
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#4 of 12 Old 06-15-2010, 04:22 PM
 
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Phenylalanine is supposed to reduce the urge to drink alcohol. Google for more info.
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#5 of 12 Old 06-19-2010, 11:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deditus View Post
There are definitely deficiencies that can cause addictions, and definitely deficiencies caused by drinking too much.



The orthomolecular nutrition people have addressed this:
http://www.doctoryourself.com/alcohol_protocol.html

Also customized amino acid formulas have also been very successful I've heard. This can also relate to blood sugar, eating high carb and also drinking raises insulin and sweeps out the beneficial neurotransmitters in the body (amino acids) such as seratonin and dopamine which play a role in how the body craves alcohol.

I would try to find a functional medicine dr. who works with Neuroscience labs:
http://www.neurogenesis.com/
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#6 of 12 Old 06-19-2010, 11:25 PM
 
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and lots of to you and
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#7 of 12 Old 06-19-2010, 11:54 PM
 
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Exercise reduces stress & also helps curb cravings. & finding something to replace the act of drinking alcohol. Or having a beer, then a seltzer, then a beer, then a seltzer, etc., can help reduce the overall amount that he'd end up drinking. He's got to realize that its a problem tho, in order to get off of the habit. Sorry you're dealing with that. Would he be willing to give himself limits? Like having 2 nights a month (or whatever) that he allows himself to drink & only buy 6 beers or some limited amount?

The supp's you listed were the ones I was thinking to suggest, but, really there's no magic pill, he's gotta want to cut down or quit. Does he know how much it affects you? His choice to get drunk a few times per week is causing you stress, maybe if he thinks about it from your perspective that could help too. Best luck to you guys, tough stuff for certain.

"When the external begins to define the internal, instead of the internal defining the external, one begins living as a mortal rather than as a universal being." ~ unknown
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#8 of 12 Old 06-20-2010, 09:49 AM
 
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I am so sorry you are dealing with this. It must be very stressful for you.

Is he doing this at home, alone? I can't remember...I hope i am wrong but it sounds like your husband may be an alcoholic. Maybe he is anxious about being a Father? If he can't cut back on his own you may be looking for other non homeopathic help.

There is a pill called Naltrexone that is used with a regimen called the Sinclair Method named after David Sinclair who wrote The Cure for Alchoholism. It has no known side effects. The method is used in Finland and other countries but rarely in the US. It has a 75% success rate compared with dismal results for AA. Not that AA doesn't work for some, it does. But as someone who has been there, done that with her DH, look the Sinclair Method up and file the info away for future reference.

I wish someone had told me about it earlier. We are hoping my DH is one of the 75% that it works for.

I wish you the best. It is a very hard position to be the partner of someone who drinks too much, especially with a new baby. Please be kind to yourself (and your DH. He doesn't want this either but can't control it) and remember that there is nothing you can do to change him. He has to decide on his own. You can give him information but he has to be the one to decide to use it. I second the Al Anon recommendation. I need to start going myself.
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#9 of 12 Old 06-20-2010, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks folks for all the really kind and thoughtful responses. There is a lot here and I am working my way through it. I have been doing a lot of nesting and in the past couple of days have been going through all the bathroom detritus and getting rid of the stuff we have phased out of our lives (NSAIDs, antacids and other similar) and came across a general amino supplement I bought for him when we were TTC (and never stayed on him to take). I think I may ask him to take that for a bit along with a B complex.

He absolutely does acknowledge that his behavior is a problem, having come from a family with alcoholism struggles. And he understands that I want to help him get it under control before it becomes something he has to stop altogether. He really has been working on it, and I just have to say that he has been so wonderful in every other respect during my pregnancy. He's read Ina May's books, gone to every Bradley class with me (including alone when I was out of the country), worked his butt off at work at a really challenging time and had made great strides there that will definitely pay off in the long term. He is loving and kind and supportive and positive and enthusiastic and excited about the baby and being a father and picking names and getting the house ready and I could go on. I know I probably sound defensive, but want to put this problem (and it definitely is) into context in our lives. For the cosmos if nothing else.

Anyway, thank you all again for the support.
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#10 of 12 Old 06-20-2010, 11:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abeliamama View Post
There is a pill called Naltrexone that is used with a regimen called the Sinclair Method named after David Sinclair who wrote The Cure for Alchoholism. It has no known side effects.
Let's not go overboard.
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#11 of 12 Old 06-20-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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Well, sorry, I guess that was a generalization on my part. What I should have written was that in most people in the doses prescribed in the Sinclair Method it does not. The liver damage is for much higher doses. All of this is described in detail in the book. Any drug has a long list of side effects in the accompanying literature but that doesn't keep most from taking an antidepressant, for example. And it would be a "last ditch" method after all natural alternatives were tried. The side effects are in reality for most no worse than the effects of heavy drinking. My DH has had no noticeable side effects.

The OP asked for supplements and natural alternatives so I apologize for giving unsolicited information. I have just been battling this with my DH for years and wanted to help with something I found after a long search.

And OP my DH is a wonderful, caring father and supportive partner too. Except when he is drinking. He would do anything to be able to stop. Being an alcoholic doesn't make someone a bad person. It makes them a person who cannot control their ability to drink in moderation.

I truly hope your partner can get it under control. Some can by sheer willpower. Some can't. My DH went years drinking too much but it wasn't really affecting our lives in a way I couldn't deal with. Then we had a bad year with an incredible amount of stress and something just went awry in him and he lost all ability to stop once he started drinking.

I wish you the best, OP, with your upcoming birth.
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#12 of 12 Old 06-20-2010, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bunny's mama View Post
otherwise, i'd suggest he start attending AA meetings in your area BEFORE your baby arrives, and you might look into al-anon, which can be really helpful for someone like you, who loves a person who drinks. the arrival of a baby can be a really stressful time, so it'd be good if he could begin to get some perspective on his drinking before the babe arrives.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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