Sober living

Tapering Off Alcohol How To Taper Wean Off Alcohol Safely

Ria Health offers several FDA-approved medications for alcohol use disorder. When combined with counseling, this approach is proven highly effective. Excessive drinking has numerous impacts on your body and mind, ranging from mild to severe. Learn which signs to look out for, and how to care for your well-being. Take the first step toward addiction treatment by contacting us today. Dependence is often accompanied by tolerance, which is when it takes more and more alcohol for you to achieve the same effects that you experienced when you first started.


Keep your refrigerator stocked with nutritious foods and drinks. Find support by asking your friends, family or self-help groups to assist you in staying sober. Stopping alcohol use can be difficult, but there are steps that you can take to make it safe and effective.

Physical Symptoms

As your body adapts to alcohol, it will change its natural chemical balance to include alcohol. Quitting will cause your body’s chemical balance to be thrown off suddenly, leading to withdrawal symptoms. You may receive medication to ease withdrawal symptoms—such as anti-diarrheal medicines or over-the-counter pain relievers. A doctor may prescribe a benzodiazepine as part of the tapering process. Avoid taking prescription drugs that your doctor hasn’t prescribed to you.

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Persistent withdrawal symptoms are fairly rare, she says, but they may last for a month or more. In 2019 the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrationreported that 14.5 millions of americans suffered from Alcohol Use Disorder. Treatment is the best way to ensure long-term abstinence from alcohol. This is especially true if you are suffering from an alcohol use disorder.

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Even if you think either option sounds like something that could work for your situation, we still recommend talking to a doctor before proceeding. As a rule of thumb, HAMS suggests reducing your consumption by two standard drinks per day until you reach zero.

  • Educate your loved ones on dangerous symptoms, too, so they can look out for you and get you medical attention if you need it.
  • It’s best to reduce your drinking by a small amount each day to avoid the shock to your system.
  • If you feel more severe symptoms, such as paranoia, increased pulse, or tremors sometimes called alcohol shakes, you should taper more slowly and consider seeking professional help.
  • If someone were to attempt to stop drinking alcohol without tapering off their use, this will then display symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
  • You might also take anti-seizure meds and antipsychotics, along with other drugs.

Making a plan for tapering alcohol is a crucial part of the process to ensure a healthy outcome. In most cases, the longer you take to wean off the effects of alcohol, the less severe your withdrawal symptoms should be. However, it can be challenging to stick with a long-term tapering schedule, so you have to find the right balance for you. The support of an alcohol detox program may help you wean off alcohol more quickly and with fewer unpleasant side effects.

Can Tapering or Weaning off Alcohol Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms?

One must always remember the importance of his or her environment. Users should places where recreational or binge drinking is likely to occur, such as clubs, sporting events, parties and more.


However, doing so without the guidance of a physician, can complicate tapering and ultimately delay when, if ever, sobriety is reached. Also, a severe type of alcohol withdrawal known as delirium tremens can occur between 4 to 72 hours of stopping alcohol use; without the proper supervision, DT can lead to permanent braind damage or death. Tapering off alcohol is the act of slowly reducing alcohol intake until a person becomes completely abstinent. Tapering off alcohol to reduces potential withdrawal symptoms and decreases the likelihood of a potentially fatal withdrawal from alcohol in individuals who consume alcohol on a regular basis. During medical detox, medical professionals obverse the side effects of withdrawal and can help provide the support and guidance you need to continue your recovery process.

Online Therapy Can Help

A medical professional must supervise anyone who experiences DTs when lowering alcohol intake. Tapering refers to gradually reducing the consumption of a substance to diminish the intensity of withdrawal symptoms. Aside from unavoidable triggers, tapering off alcohol can also have side effects which can be difficult to manage at home. Withdrawal symptoms occur because the brain becomes used to the presence of alcohol, which is a central nervous system depressant. Alcohol’s effect on the brain changes how much gamma-aminobutyric acid is available to the brain, controlling how fast neurons fire. Alcohol, as well as some prescription drugs, prevents GABA from being reabsorbed rapidly, so neurons communicate more slowly.

Is it better to stop drinking gradually?

If you're dependent on alcohol, it can be dangerous to stop drinking suddenly. Instead, you should try to reduce the amount you drink slowly, over a few weeks. This takes a bit of preparation, but it's much safer than stopping suddenly.

Don’t try to reduce your alcohol intake based on what feels right. If you’re used to drinking less than 20 beers per day, HAMS recommends reducing your alcohol consumption by two beers per day until you achieve sobriety. alcohol can be done safely, and it may be important for someone with a substance use problem. Chronic alcohol abuse can cause serious health problems, including heart and liver disease. An alcohol use disorder can also have an impact on your social, psychological, and financial health. This condition most often occurs when someone who has long-term alcohol dependence stops drinking cold turkey. But if heavy drinkers cut back on their average number of drinks too quickly, they may be at risk of life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

  • However, a portion of your liver cells die each time your liver has to process alcohol.
  • American Addiction Centers made the decision to close San Diego Addiction Treatment Center.
  • Even moderate amounts of alcohol can significantly impair driving performance and your ability to operate other machinery, whether or not you feel the effects of alcohol.
  • Symptoms of delirium tremens can develop within 48 hours and, in some cases, have fatal consequences without proper treatment.
  • Inmedical detox, doctors and nurses provide around-the-clock care while helping you wean off alcohol.