Set up therapy, counseling and support groups, a plan for sober living, and follow-up medical evaluations. Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or sober living houses can https://rehabliving.net/ help you get connected with peers who are going through the same journey as you are. A final strategy to assist with an alcohol taper is to get a good network of peer support.
A sober life doesn’t have to mean more time at home as you try to block out triggers. It can mean more time for your other interests, and even new interests. More time to meet new people, catch up with old friends and try new things.
Challenges of Cutting Down Your Alcohol Intake
A standard (750 ml) bottle of wine at 12% alcohol contains 5 standard drinks. It is also very important when tapering off to fight dehydration and to replenish lost vitamins. If you go through a medical detox the people they may rehydrate you with an IV and may also give you vitamin shots.
- Avoid taking prescription drugs that your doctor hasn’t prescribed to you.
- Someone who has gone through alcohol withdrawal several times is more likely to experience severe withdrawal symptoms than someone going through it for the first time.
- Sometimes, they may experience seizures and delirium tremens (DTs).
- Then continue to taper down by reducing the amounts by two beers per day until you are down to zero.
- Making a schedule to slowly reduce your alcohol intake is a safe way to taper off the substance.
When they suddenly quit drinking, the brain continues its hyperactivity, but alcohol no longer suppresses the effects. This can cause seizures and delirium tremens, a severe form of withdrawal marked by tremors and hallucinations. If you taper off alcohol slowly or with medical supervision, the brain has time to adapt without causing severe side effects. Whether you’re a daily imbiber, heavy drinker, or frequent binge drinker, you’re likely to experience withdrawal symptoms when you quit. Unfortunately, there’s little to no evidence that tapering off reduces the effects of alcohol withdrawal, some of which can be severe or even life-threatening. Quitting with proper medical supervision may be more important than whether you stop gradually or all at once.
Rather than quitting drinking abruptly (or “cold turkey”), many professionals recommend gradually reducing your drinking (or tapering) over time. This can give your body the chance to adjust, helping you avoid the worst of withdrawal symptoms. When you quit drinking, you should also seek medical advice about any alcohol withdrawal symptoms you experience.
Weaning (or Tapering) Off Alcohol: What it Means
You can also talk with them about the symptoms you are experiencing, as well as if you are in any pain. This information helps your medical team determine which medicine will help alleviate your discomfort. Some people are apprehensive to quit drinking due to withdrawal symptoms, but alcohol detox is the first step in treating alcoholism. If your BASELINE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION is less than 20 drinks per day then we recommend reducing consumption by two standard drinks per day. Likewise if your average consumption is 6 standard drinks per day you can set a taper schedule of 4, 2, 0. Alcohol detox medications can make the process safer and more comfortable.
The main downside of cold turkey is how unpleasant and risky it can be. If you drink heavily, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be harsh, dangerous, and even fatal. For this reason, it’s generally best to avoid quitting abruptly, or at bare minimum speak with a doctor first and have someone looking out for you. If you suddenly quit drinking, your body can struggle to catch up. Because alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, quitting drinking can cause your body to have too much of an excitatory substance called glutamate as it tries to rebalance. This can trigger alcohol withdrawal symptoms, which can be dangerous in some cases.
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, contact us to learn more and get started with alcohol addiction treatment. If you find it difficult to cut down on your number of drinks per day, try making your drinks weaker by using less alcohol per drink. You may also find it easier to stick to your taper schedule if you avoid certain places and situations.
Preparing To Wean Off Alcohol
The chances of seizures and DTs are low if you’re tapering, but they happen even in controlled rehab environments. In this study on tapering with a benzo, about 1% of patients had a seizure after completing their taper. This does not, by any means, mean that you have a 1% chance of a seizure if you taper with alcohol according to the schedule above. The actual percentage could be significantly higher for tapering with alcohol.
The numbers may be less for women, individuals with smaller bodies, and people who are underweight. If you can get through a day with no physical withdrawal eco sober house boston symptoms, you probably won’t need to taper. If you get moderate tremors or start hallucinating six hours after your last drink, you probably need to taper.
After all, the point of a taper is to minimize alcohol withdrawal symptoms. If you begin to have withdrawal symptoms during your taper, this is a sign that your taper may be going too fast, and you need to slow it down. If you or a loved one is suffering from an alcohol use disorder, it can feel like being trapped in a tunnel with no way out. Our admissions specialists will help you find the facility and treatment program best suited to the recovery needs of you or your loved one. Our knowledgeable and compassionate team is available 24/7 to help get you or someone you care about into treatment and answer any questions or concerns you might have. We are dedicated to transforming the despair of addiction into a purposeful life of confidence, self-respect and happiness.
Creating an Alcohol Weaning Schedule
You may need to do a slower taper than someone else who was drinking the same amount as you. Remember, you can always slow your taper, drink more alcohol, or seek medical help if needed. Are you tapering because you physically depend on alcohol, or are you tapering because you want an excuse to drink longer?
Tapering can help minimize these symptoms, but you might still experience some of them while your body adjusts to the lack of alcohol. Similar to the first full day of detox, the most painful symptoms will continue into the second day. Hallucinations and panic attacks are common during this time as your body rids alcohol from its system. As you approach the end of the first 24 hours of detox, symptoms may become increasingly severe. Alongside the effects felt from the first 12 hours, additional symptoms may involve disorientation, hand tremors and seizures. A substitution taper can involve substituting a prescription drug for alcohol.
The time it takes to taper will depend on how long you’ve been drinking, how much you’ve been drinking and a variety of personal factors. Depending on how much you drink, tapering off alcohol can take one to several weeks. It’s best to reduce your drinking by a small amount each day to avoid the shock to your system.
Minimized Risk of Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
The amount of alcohol it takes to cause withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person. For this reason, you should always talk to your doctor before attempting to quit drinking. If your body is used to a certain amount of alcohol, you may feel certain effects when you stop. How you feel when you stop drinking is largely based on how often and how heavily you drink.