Alcohol Tapering Avoiding the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

how to wing yourself off alcohol

Whether you’re sober curious, know for sure you’re ready to quit, or fall somewhere in between, Dr. Streem shares advice for how to stop drinking. If you’re living with alcohol use disorder (also known as alcoholism), you’ll likely benefit from additional medical interventions. This is why many people dependent on alcohol will choose to taper down their usage rather than stop drinking altogether. Someone will slowly diminish the amount they drink with the intention of avoiding the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal completely and will hopefully be able to avoid a relapse as well.

  • This is why it is important to stop regular, heavy drinking only under the supervision of medical staff.
  • When you quit through tapering, you drink a little less each day until you’re able to have no alcohol at all.
  • The amount of alcohol it takes to cause withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person.

Challenges of Cutting Down Your Alcohol Intake

You should talk to a doctor about the safest way to detox if you experience any withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking. When done under medical supervision, tapering off alcohol has few downsides. However, tapering can sometimes be unsafe if you attempt to do so on your own without a doctor’s knowledge. For example, if you start to suffer from alcohol withdrawal symptoms despite an attempt to taper, your symptoms may worsen before you have the chance to seek medical attention.

When to consult with a doctor or other healthcare professional

The key to successfully cutting down on alcohol is to find what works for you. A sample taper schedule involves calculating the number of drinks consumed per day. After this is calculated, make a schedule where you consume your normal amount on the first day and make regular reductions each day after. A substitution taper can involve substituting a prescription drug for alcohol. It can also involve substituting the drink of choice with another drink; for example, a person may taper off hard alcohol with beer. It is important to only attempt a taper while under a doctor’s care.

how to wing yourself off alcohol

What Is an Alcohol Taper?

how to wing yourself off alcohol

Tapering is meant to reduce the withdrawal symptoms from quitting alcohol, but this isn’t a guarantee. As mentioned above, many people will still experience some level of withdrawal, just to a lesser degree. This may work for many people, but in practice each individual will respond best to a different pace, how to taper off alcohol at home and each doctor will have their own recommendations. The risk of tapering too slowly is that you won’t stick with it, while the risk of tapering too fast is severe withdrawal. If you experience dangerous signs such as high blood pressure, racing heart, or arrhythmias, slow your taper and seek assistance.

If you’re keeping up with this average (or less), the damage from alcohol is most likely minimal. It can be hard to find (or even know) the balance of how much alcohol your body is able to handle. If you’re not sure if your drinking crosses a certain line or not, try measuring your alcohol intake. There has been some research conducted on how abstaining from alcohol detoxifies your liver over time. How long it takes to taper off your medicine depends on the type and dose of the opioid you’ve been taking and how long you’ve been taking it. You may need weeks, months or even longer to slowly and safely lower your dose and stop taking your opioid medicine.

how to wing yourself off alcohol

The right length for an opioid taper varies with each person and each medicine. Your healthcare professional works with you to create an opioid taper schedule that meets your medical needs while keeping risks to your health low. Your healthcare professional may prescribe opioids to help you get through a few days of severe pain after surgery or a serious injury. Opioid medicines also can play an important role in treating pain from cancer. Rarely, opioids may be used to treat long-term pain that’s not caused by cancer when other treatments have not worked. Talk therapy is an important part of treatment for alcohol use disorder, but Dr. Streem says just about anyone who is making a life change, like quitting drinking, can benefit from therapy.

  • When choosing an appropriate treatment facility, it is important to consider factors such as the cost of treatment, the location of the treatment center, and accepted insurance plans.
  • When those around you are in the know, it can help them know not to offer you drinks.
  • If you’re experiencing severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, be sure to talk to a healthcare provider.
  • Encouragement from family, friends, and others you trust can be an invaluable source of strength as you make this change in your life.
  • Quitting with proper medical supervision may be more important than whether you stop gradually or all at once.

Cold Turkey Method

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