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Can Tapering Off Alcohol Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms?

By setting a structured plan, individuals can systematically decrease their alcohol intake, which may include cutting out one drink at a time at regular intervals. This approach not only reduces the physical symptoms of withdrawal but also allows for psychological preparation for a life without alcohol. Tapering can be a more manageable method of cessation for those who might find abrupt discontinuation overwhelming or https://edutechinsider.com/top-5-advantages-of-staying-in-a-sober-living-house/ medically unsafe. Alcohol tapering is a medically guided strategy for managing alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It involves gradually reducing alcohol intake to minimize the physical shock to the body that can occur with abrupt cessation, especially in those with alcohol dependence. It can be tempting to just “rip off the Band-Aid” when getting sober, but tapering off alcohol is often much safer—and much less stressful.

how to taper off alcohol at home

When to Seek Help

Use the NIAAA’s drink size calculator to determine the amount of alcohol in various drinks. Take the first step toward addiction treatment by contacting us today. Crystal Raypole has previously worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy. Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health. In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues.

What to Do if You Lapse or Relapse

  • By setting a structured plan, individuals can systematically decrease their alcohol intake, which may include cutting out one drink at a time at regular intervals.
  • In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues.
  • Obesity specialists recommend developing personalized plans with a doctor — tapering off the drugs, for example, while stepping up dietary counseling.

If you feel comfortable doing so, discuss your challenges with your primary healthcare professional. Finding a therapist can also be a great starting point if you’re uncomfortable opening up to your healthcare professional. You may not need to completely reinvent your life to quit drinking, but making a few changes in your surroundings to help avoid alcohol triggers can make a big difference. Whatever your reason to quit drinking, know that you’re doing yourself a favor. Alcohol impacts our sleep, relationships, weight, risk for serious chronic conditions and more. Or maybe it’s a pregnancy that made you realize it’s time to stop drinking.

  • These symptoms can range from mild discomfort to severe health issues, making the tapering process difficult without proper guidance and support.
  • Becoming more aware of your alcohol triggers and reasons for drinking can help you plan ways to help manage the urge to drink.
  • They may consider at-home detox because it makes the challenging situation seem easier to address.
  • Psychological symptoms can include irritability, anxiety and restlessness.
  • The reason for this is that alcohol withdrawal symptoms can quickly snowball and worsen.

Is it Better to Taper Off Alcohol or Quit “Cold Turkey?”

If withdrawal is so uncomfortable that you’re turning to drugs for comfort, you should contact your doctor or a rehab center to discuss medically supervised withdrawal. Most people recover from alcohol withdrawal within a week, but people with severe dependency may experience withdrawal for multiple weeks. Alcohol causes serious changes in the brain, and prolonged symptoms such as sleep problems, mood changes and fatigue may take months to overcome, according to the U.S.

  • Further, if you start to develop alcohol withdrawal symptoms during the taper, your doctor may instruct you to pause or slow the taper as a result.
  • But, with a little prior knowledge on how to taper off alcohol, adequate planning and professional consultation from a healthcare provider, it can certainly be done.
  • If you’re used to drinking less than 20 beers per day, HAMS recommends reducing your alcohol consumption by two beers per day until you achieve sobriety.

Chemsex: Staying Safe and Getting Back in Control

If The Recovery Village is not the right fit for you or your loved one, we will help refer you to a facility that is. At the end of the day, one of the most important tools you have at your disposal is self-compassion. Instead of criticizing yourself for having a hard time or slipping up and having a drink, remember that no one’s perfect. What matters most is your ability to maintain an open, curious outlook as you learn what does and doesn’t work for you.

  • Tapering off is a standard medical practice for many other drugs.
  • Detoxing at home usually takes longer because you should be cautious to avoid serious complications.
  • If you’re living with alcohol use disorder, treatment at a medical rehabilitation facility is your best option.
  • This is especially true of heavy drinkers who are surrounded by the triggers that encourage drinking and lack the support needed to encourage change.
  • For this reason, you should always talk to your doctor before attempting to quit drinking.

What happens to your body when you stop drinking?

Some people may relapse, or drink alcohol again, to relieve the symptoms. Before you decide to go through alcohol withdrawal, write yourself a letter and keep it nearby for quick reference. The letter’s content should be encouraging and remind you why you are going through the challenge of detox in the first place. Pull the letter Top 5 Advantages of Staying in a Sober Living House out and read it to yourself when you feel tempted. It’s even helpful to read it out loud, as this has been shown to help you retain the information more effectively. By entering an alcoholism treatment program, you’ll benefit from medical care that addresses alcohol withdrawal and any underlying co-occurring disorders you have.

how to taper off alcohol at home

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