Alcohol is a socially accepted drug and has been for thousands of years. It is such an integral part of so many people's lives that we don't realise how big a presence it has.
When legislators make new policies and frame new initiatives against the increasing use of recreational drugs they disapprove of such as cannabis or so called Dance Drugs I imagine they then go to the bar and relax with an alcoholic drink afterwards – satisfied with their efforts to keep drugs off the streets.
The reason that this is odd is because Alcohol is more dangerous than almost any drug you could name.
Over-consumption of alcohol is one of the leading preventable causes of death worldwide.
Here is part of a table published in the Wiki showing Deaths In The US
When an expert and government advisor to the British government on the toxic effects of drugs stated plainly that alcohol was more dangerous than Cannabis this was deemed unacceptable to the British Government minister he reported to and for the cardinal sin of telling the truth he was sacked.
And I dare say the government Minister involved had a nice little drink afterwards.
Alcohol is a natural substance and we have been equipped by evolution to detoxify it. It is a toxin that is produced when fruits and grains or other carbohydrates rot.
This may happen on a fruit tree or even in our intestines!
There are many types of alcohol found in nature and the one so used in alcoholic drinks is ethanol also called ethyl or grain alcohol.
One of the main effects of alcoholic drinks is that alcohol sedates the analytical part of the brain and it is this part of the brain that is on overdrive all day long producing high levels of anxiety and worry in most of us.
Turning to alcohol provides some relief from the ceaseless yammering of the "monkey mind" and allows some relaxation and de-stressing. It is easy to see how this can become a dependency and an addiction.
And that is when society steps in with official "Drying Out" programmes and clinics.
These are run by government and by private clinics where those dependent on alcohol can go on a short term "alcohol fast" and receive some level of support as they go through the withdrawal symptoms.
Some support may be targeted at the feelings and emotions experienced as the alcohol is eliminated from the body; some support may help the body deal with the damaging effect of alcohol on the liver, intestines and other organs.
Oddly, this kind of supervised withdrawal program is often referred to as an "Alcohol Detox". Real detox is different – let me explain.
Real Detox From Alcohol
Real detoxification is the step by step biochemical process that goes on in the cells of your body after drinking alcohol.
Alcohol truly is a poison and so the body has to work hard to render it harmless. To do this involves some chemical magic or alchemy, because a toxic substance has to be transformed into a safe substance.
This magic goes on in every cell of the body but is mainly focussed on the liver which has the unwelcome job.
An enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase starts the task and this turns alcohol into a substance called an aldehyde.
Odd really because aldehydes are dangerous and cause damage in the body. A well known aldehyde is formaldehyde –used to preserve specimens in laboratories and museums.
The aldehyde is then transformed into an acid.
That sounds even more dangerous but the body knows what it's doing and after this piece of alchemy the ex-alcohol molecule has been thoroughly disarmed and can be expelled from the body safely.
That is real detox – explained with the least gobbledegook I could manage.
All this magic comes at a price. The magician needs rabbits and top hats and other props and the liver needs vitamins such as vitamin C, B complex and bioflavonoids as well as minerals such as magnesium, zinc and copper and amino acids.
Without these essential props the liver cannot detox the toxins it grapples with and gets damaged in the process and delivers substances perhaps even more dangerous than the original toxin.
To sum this up – without a whole slew of amino acids, vitamins and minerals the liver will be damaged in its work of detox.
Real detox is about nourishment– targeted nourishment for the liver and other organs that are doing the "heavy lifting".
Following a real detox programme takes several weeks as you go through a careful process of helping your body heal and repair. I've covered the whole process in my Detox book so I won't go over it again here.
What drives the taking of any drugs is a desire to feel better and the belief that the drugs will produce that better feeling. Anxiety can be tackled in many better ways and relaxation can be learned
When the compulsion to take the drug or alcohol is reduced and feelings of anxiety and tension handled in more creative ways a new dimension of freedom appears that is much more liberating than anaesthetising the most creative part of your brain and getting trapped in chemical dependency.
Detox from alcohol or any other drug is a special targetted process that takes several months to do safely and thoroughly. There are no quick fixes or overnight solutions, just the slow healing work of nature.
photo credits wiki