As you navigate this question, it can be helpful to think about how you typically prefer to approach change. Metaphorically speaking, do you like to dip your toe in first, or cannonball right in?
That is why alcohol detox and alcohol withdrawal treatment is administered by medical professionals. Choosing to taper off alcohol is an admirable decision and a step in the right direction. As with many self-detox methods, the risks and rewards go hand in hand when attempting to overcome an alcohol substance use disorder. 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. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms range in severity depending on how extensive the misuse behavior was. The alcohol withdrawal symptom delirium tremens is estimated to kill up to 5% of those attempting to quit suddenly after chronic usage.
What is Tapering Off Alcohol?
The main downside of tapering off is that it requires discipline. You’ll need to stick with gradual reduction every day and not revert to previous levels of consumption, otherwise it won’t work. If it’s too hard to control how much you drink each day, weaning might not be the right strategy.
- This will be a better way to tackle an addiction to alcohol, and can reduce the likelihood of suffering from symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
- Substituting a prescription drug for alcohol should only happen with the help of a medical professional.
- But it can relieve some symptoms of alcohol withdrawal by helping you relax.
- An alcohol taper is the process of slowly reducing your alcohol intake.
- By creating a schedule to monitor your alcohol use you can see just how much of the substance you are drinking.
Antidepressant medications are not meant to be used for treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder unless there is evidence of a co-occurring disorder for which an antidepressant is an indicated treatment. A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain alcohol, use alcohol, or recover from its effects. Use a journal or drink-tracking app to record how many you’ve had, and decide on a minimum interval between drinks.
Can Tapering Your Alcohol Intake Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms?
In this section, you will find information and resources related to evidence-based treatment models, counseling and therapy and payment and insurance options. All content created by Alcohol Rehab Help is sourced from current scientific research and fact-checked by an addiction counseling expert. However, the information provided by Alcohol Rehab Help is not a substitute for professional treatment advice. A healthcare provider can evaluate your case and determine the treatment program that is most suitable for you. CBT treatment can help people with AUD explore the reasons for certain drinking habits and reinforce positive changes in behavior and decision-making processes. Here are some tips and strategies for how to taper off alcohol safely. You should not begin a tapering plan before talking to your doctor.
That said, some independent groups have stepped in, publishing sample tapering schedules to guide people who are trying to cut back on drinking. Another big factor in how long a taper lasts is alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
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For people who depend on opioids, benzodiazepines, or antidepressants, it is typical to slowly reduce someone’s dosage as opposed to immediately cutting them off completely. These include direct tapers, where you regularly decrease the amount of alcohol you consume, and substitution tapers, where you replace alcohol with another substance. These strategies work in different ways to help you quit drinking, and one or the other may be appropriate for you based on your needs. Slowly decreasing the amount you drink over time can spare your body from withdrawal symptoms.
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However, some groups have publishedtapering examplesto help assist those who are trying to quit drinking. Quitting alcohol cold turkey is not recommended and can be dangerous. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that leads to an increase in brain neurotransmitters that slow down your brain’s functions, such as gamma-aminobutyric acid . When you drink heavily over a long period of time, your brain and body adapt to expect this. Drug and alcohol addiction is a serious health condition that can destroy lives.