How to Safely Taper Off Alcohol Safely Quit Drinking

This may work for many people, but in practice each individual will respond best to a different pace, 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 tapering off alcohol high blood pressure, racing heart, or arrhythmias, slow your taper and seek assistance. 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.

tapering off alcohol

Challenges of Cutting Down on Alcohol Intake

Alcohol withdrawal delirium (AWD), commonly known as delirium tremens (DT), is the most serious symptom of alcohol withdrawal. There are specific medical treatments that will stop or reduce most of the symptoms you could experience if you quit cold turkey. Avoid taking prescription drugs that your doctor hasn’t prescribed to you.

How To Taper Off Alcohol: Key Strategies and Tips

  • Slowly, to reduce the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms, you will come off the medication with the goal being complete abstinence from alcohol.
  • The phrase cold turkey refers to abruptly stopping drug or alcohol use.
  • This form of tapering would likely involve medications to eliminate withdrawal symptoms.
  • Comprehensive care includes education on withdrawal, maintaining a low-stimulation environment, and nutritional support.
  • Eating a healthy diet while you are going through withdrawal may also help aid in digestion and energy levels.
  • Diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis are more frequent in individuals who chronically drink.

These can indicate a life threatening condition called delirium tremens. It’s important to seek urgent medical care if you experience any of these symptoms. Most people experience the most severe symptoms from about 36–72 hours after stopping drinking. Tapering off alcohol helps some people start their recovery journeys. It can also be a good idea for people who don’t want to, or can’t, attend any type of full detoxification program.

Pros and Cons of Tapering Off Alcohol Intake

Delirium tremens is also more common in people of older age, those with a history of seizures, and people with co-occurring illnesses or disorders. Symptoms of delirium tremens can develop within 48 hours and, in some cases, have fatal consequences without proper treatment. The best way to quit alcohol while avoiding unpleasant withdrawal symptoms is to ask for help. If you have decided that it is in your best interest to stop drinking, one option is to seek help from a family doctor or primary healthcare provider.

What are the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal?

That said, there are now several medications that can help reduce your cravings and make weaning off alcohol easier. Alcohol withdrawal is potentially fatal, especially for people with an alcohol addiction. Sometimes, they may experience seizures and delirium tremens (DTs). People who try tapering off alcohol won’t have the guided support of medical professionals that they would at inpatient treatment. In contrast, in-patient care can be more beneficial and less expensive in the long-term. Although you can use methods to taper off alcohol at home, the best way to taper is to talk to a doctor.

Understanding the Role of Alcohol Tapering in Treatment

If eligible, we will create a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. 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. Mild symptoms may appear similar to a hangover, but they last longer than 24 hours. Overall, do whatever you can to make yourself as comfortable as possible. If you’re sweating, place a cold towel on your forehead or on the back of your neck.

  • One of the primary challenges is managing withdrawal symptoms, which can range from mild discomfort to severe health risks.
  • You should talk to a doctor about the safest way to detox if you experience any withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking.
  • Alcohol can stay in your system for several hours depending on how much you drink.
  • Alcohol withdrawal can range from very mild symptoms to a severe form, known as delirium tremens.

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Before beginning a tapering schedule, speak with your doctor about the risks of detoxing at home. Tapering off alcohol may complicate other medical conditions or co-occurring mental health disorders. Getting curious about a life without alcohol is already an incredible step, and a healthier lifestyle is within reach. Most people with mild to moderate alcohol withdrawal don’t need treatment in a hospital.

tapering off alcohol

How To Safely Taper Off Alcohol

  • Another significant challenge is the psychological dependence on alcohol.
  • Even if you fail, there are still plenty of treatment options you can turn to.
  • Excessive drinking can weaken the immune system, increasing the body’s likelihood of developing an infection.

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