Alcohol Tapering How to Taper Off Alcohol Safely

However, they may still decide that tapering down feels most achievable for them. If you’re not sure if cold turkey or tapering is right for you, you can join the Monument Community to hear from others who have confronted similar questions. Sadly, the threat of severe withdrawal symptoms prevents millions of people from stopping their alcohol abuse.

What is considered heavy drinker?

For men, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming 15 drinks or more per week. For women, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming 8 drinks or more per week.

However, with protracted withdrawal, symptoms may require ongoing medical treatment. The person may need medication-assisted treatment using a benzodiazepine like Valium, easing them off their brain’s need for GABA suppressants. Making how to taper off alcohol 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.

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It may take several attempts to reach your drinking goals. It requires ongoing effort to meet and to continue to achieve your drinking and health goals. Take notice of your feelings.Hard feelings like being worried, lonely, sad, or angry can lead to drinking to cope.

  • Stay hydrated and replenish lost vitamins by drinking water and taking supplements.
  • Consider talking to a counselor to help navigate the emotional impact of tapering your alcohol use.
  • Instead, get professional help to safely withdraw from alcohol.
  • If you have a BAC of 0.08, then it will take about 5.5 hours for your body to process and eliminate the alcohol you drank.
  • If you experience dangerous signs such as high blood pressure, racing heart, or arrhythmias, slow your taper and seek assistance.
  • Unfortunately, the brain does not respond fast enough to this new change in the environment.

Ideally, the alcohol limit you set will fall below the recommended guidelines. The recommended guidelines are no more than one standard drink per day for women and for men ages 65 and older, and no more than two standard drinks per day for men under 65. Aside from unavoidable triggers, tapering off alcohol can also have side effects which can be difficult to manage at home.

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Remember that you are not drinking for pleasure–you are drinking medicine–so only drink what is needed. 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 withdrawal may be a life-threatening issue, as acute withdrawal symptoms may lead to delirium tremens, which can be deadly. Depending on how long the person has struggled with AUD, how high their tolerance is, and how dependent they have become on alcohol, withdrawal symptoms may be mild or severe. Without help from an addiction specialist and medical supervision, attempting to detox from alcohol at home can be very dangerous and can lead to life-threatening symptoms. Your alcohol detox symptoms may merely be uncomfortable if you haven’t had a drinking problem for long.

  • Again, a medical professional can help you determine what’s the right fit for you based on your history and symptoms or problems.
  • If you are seeking drug and alcohol related addiction rehab for yourself or a loved one, the sponsored hotline is a confidential and convenient solution.
  • The phrase cold turkey refers to abruptly stopping drug or alcohol use.
  • However, individuals who suffer from alcohol addiction require professional rehab.

When a person decides to stop drinking, they must decide whether to stop “cold turkey” or taper their alcohol use. Quitting cold turkey involves suddenly stopping all alcohol use, while tapering involves slowly decreasing the amount of alcohol a person drinks each day. Tapers are commonly used in an attempt to reduce the chance of experiencing withdrawal or the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

Substitution Taper

Intoxicating beverages have been around since the Neolithic period which is a lot longer than modern medications. Throughout history alcohol has been used for a number of different issues, including tapering off to overcome alcohol use. All unique content created by the Addiction Group team is sourced from current scientific research and fact-checked by an addiction counseling expert before publication.

The circulatory system, which is made up of the heart, blood, and blood vessels, spreads alcohol throughout the body. Alcohol comes into contact with every major organ, including the heart. According to an abnormal psychology textbook, alcohol affects many parts of your body. After alcohol is consumed, it passes through the esophagus and into the stomach, where small amounts of alcohol are absorbed. Benefits of peer support groups in the treatment of addictions. A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain alcohol, use alcohol, or recover from its effects. We have taken the necessary precautions to minimize the risk of exposure and transmission of the Coronavirus to those in our treatment programs, allowing them to focus on their recovery.

Why You May Need to Taper Your Alcohol Use

Personal health, both physical and mental, as well as someone’s current drinking habits, should also be taken into account before deciding on anything. Early symptoms of alcohol withdrawal usually start about six hours after the last drink. Early symptoms include headache, sweating, tremors, vomiting and difficulty concentrating. Before beginning a tapering schedule, speak with your doctor about the risks of detoxing at home.

how long to taper off alcohol

The goal of tapering down is to make a gradual change while causing less stress on your body, both physically and emotionally. Withdrawal symptoms can vary in severity and depend on many factors, such as drinking history, metabolism, age, medical condition, what other substances or medication you take, and more. Because everyone’s body reacts differently, there’s not a lot of research that proves tapering can decrease the effects of alcohol withdrawal. Others report that it can cause symptoms to feel prolonged. Depending on how much alcohol you drink to start with, the amount of time an alcohol weaning schedule takes may vary. For example, those who drink more heavily may need more time to taper than those who drink less alcohol. Further, if you start to develop alcohol withdrawal symptoms during the taper, your doctor may instruct you to pause or slow the taper as a result.