How To Taper Off Alcohol The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper

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Quitting cold turkey means you stop using alcohol all at once without any period of adjustment or replacement therapy. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include nausea, vomiting, shaking, headaches, and insomnia. 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 high blood pressure, racing heart, or arrhythmias, slow your taper and seek assistance. If you’ve decided to quit drinking, and tapering seems like the right approach, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to wean off alcohol—including useful strategies, how to create a tapering schedule, and how to stay safe throughout the process.

Does an instance of alcohol withdrawal mean that I can never safely drink again?

If you struggle with, the safest way to quit is under a doctor’s care. If you drink heavily, your doctor may recommend quitting with the help of a medical detox center. Inmedical detox, you receive around-the-clock care from doctors and nurses to help prevent and treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms and their complications. This can set you up for a safe and effective detox and put you in a good position to continue your recovery in rehab. Making a schedule to slowly reduce your alcohol intake is a safe way to taper off the substance. This will ensure that you are not quitting cold turkey which could result in severe and debilitating withdrawal symptoms or even death. Depending on how much alcohol you’ve been consuming, it can take days or over a week to gradually reduce your dose safely and get off alcohol.

How do I motivate myself to stop drinking?

  1. Set specific goals.
  2. Consider what motivates you.
  3. Alcohol and weight.
  4. Think about what you will miss.
  5. Communicate your intentions.
  6. Be aware of your triggers.
  7. Notice how you feel.
  8. Celebrate your successes.

It is incredibly important to talk to your healthcare provider about alcohol addiction treatment options. Going through a trusted treatment program for alcohol or substance abuse can help you navigate the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal over a slow, steady, and safe period.

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Max began his career in the addiction field working as a group facilitator and teacher, developing and delivering a successful faith-based curriculum in a long-term residential treatment setting. If you only drink two to three drinks per week, you can easily quit cold turkey without experiencing major withdrawal symptoms. However, tapering off may be the way to go if you drink heavily or have more than six drinks per week. This is why it’s always best to find some form of long-term support in sobriety. Support groups, from Alcoholics Anonymous to SMART Recovery, are one free way to find a community of people on the same journey. There are also a number of anti-craving medications to help you avoid drinking again, or even help with your tapering process.

These symptoms can last for several days or weeks depending on how much alcohol you drink regularly and the length of time you have been drinking excessively. While these symptoms are not life-threatening per se, they can be pretty uncomfortable. Providers may prescribe medications such as benzodiazepines to reduce the effects of alcohol withdrawal. Heavier drinkers can taper off faster with medical supervision, but the process can still take weeks or months. However, for people with an AUD, quitting cold turkey or tapering is not advisable.

How To Wean Yourself off Alcohol Safely

If you or someone around you has made alcohol the main focus, a conversation about how to stop drinking may be necessary. The question that arises is, is tapering off alcohol a better option than quitting drinking cold turkey? Continue reading to find out more about how to taper off alcohol and quitting drinking cold turkey vs quitting slowly. If you have been drinking heavily, reducing your alcohol consumption gradually can help you avoid severe withdrawal symptoms that can result in major health concerns and, in severe cases, death. The process of reducing alcohol consumption should begin with your baseline of use, since your taper schedule depends on how much you drink before you start decreasing your intake. To calculate your baseline, you need to know how many standard drinks you drink in a day. Generally, alcohol withdrawal starts within eight hours of the last drink, but can occur anytime within the first several days after you stop drinking.

It can be easier to adapt your body to drinking smaller amounts of alcohol with a substitution taper. You should only attempt an alcohol taper while under a doctor’s care. However, learning more about how an alcohol taper works can help you prepare to quit. For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the Addiction Group helpline is a private and convenient solution. Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by American Addiction Centers . Besides potential withdrawal symptoms, you may also face social pressure.

How much alcohol should I drink when tapering off?

In many cases, people with a moderate to severe alcohol use disorder may be advised to undergo medical detox, where they slowly rid the body of alcohol under medical supervision rather than a taper. If you’re struggling to stick to a taper or do not trust yourself to moderate your alcohol use, having strict supervision and support can help you meet your recovery goals.

What to do instead when you want to drink alcohol?

  • Ride a bicycle.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Meet a friend for lunch.
  • Read a book.
  • Play a board game.
  • Try a new nonalcoholic drink.
  • Attend an exercise class.
  • Organize old photos, albums or books.

For this reason, you should not suddenly quit drinking without talking to your doctor. The consequences of quitting alcohol cold turkey can be serious and lead to alcohol withdrawal syndrome, which can be fatal in severe cases. For others, simply cutting back the number of drinks can bring on alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome can lead to life-threatening health conditions and even death. Quitting alcohol cold turkey isn’t recommended for moderate drinkers and heavy drinkers. You will be at serious risk of withdrawal symptoms, which can even prove deadly for some who suffer from alcohol addiction.

Tapering or Weaning Off Alcohol

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. That said, there are now several medications that can help reduce your cravings and make weaning off alcohol easier.

While it is possible to manage alcohol detoxification without medical supervision, it is extremely dangerous and can be fatal. Along with increased direct risks to one’s health, tapering also results in a much higher relapse rate. Here we will examine the unique risks and methods that people have used to taper off alcohol.

Once the withdrawal process has been completed, the individual can begin therapy and education to help move towards recovery. This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the addiction, and seeking help is never a bad idea. There are safe methods of quitting alcohol without going cold turkey.

  • Others may discover after consulting with a doctor that it’s safe for them to quit alcohol cold turkey if they choose to.
  • Some people can just quit drinking alcohol cold turkey without having significant withdrawal symptoms.
  • While the safest way to taper is with professional help in a detox facility, this may not be an option for everyone.
  • An alcohol taper is the process of slowly reducing your alcohol intake.
  • Further, the severity of withdrawal symptoms can cause a person to resort back to drinking alcohol to relieve any symptoms.
  • Some symptoms/complications may go unrecognized/untreated without medical observation.