Tapering Off Alcohol: Strategies, Challenges, and Effects

Research has shown that professional help improves your ability to overcome an addiction to alcohol or cut back if you have found it difficult. The most common research technique among those surveyed is an internet search (61%), followed by asking a doctor or medical professional (55%). If you’re relying on internet searches to find potential treatment centers, make sure to ask these ten questions to find a licensed facility that can meet your needs.

  • It can take huge effort and commitment to reduce your alcohol consumption to nothing.
  • It is sometimes possible to taper your alcohol use at home if your AUD isn’t severe.
  • Seeking help as early as possible during the withdrawal process is the best way to stay safe as you cleanse your body of alcohol.
  • Depending on how much alcohol you drink to start with, the amount of time an alcohol weaning schedule takes may vary.
  • Make sure you have access to medical care and social support.
  • Substituting a prescription drug for alcohol should only happen with the help of a medical professional.

If your symptoms worsen at any point, it is always safer to maintain a steady level of drinking and seek medical help than to push on with further reductions. And it’s always OK to pause your planned reductions while you regain a feeling of https://ecosoberhouse.com/ stability. A couple of different strategies for tapering alcohol exist. These include direct tapers, where you regularly decrease the amount of alcohol you consume, and substitution tapers, where you replace alcohol with another substance.

Do I Need to Taper?

If you decide to taper with benzos, don’t mix them with alcohol. Mixing alcohol with benzos is very dangerous and will land you in the hospital really fast. Using alcohol and marijuana in combination increases your risk of experiencing uncomfortable side effects due to increased absorption of THC. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids during this time as it will help rehydrate your body and get rid of toxins. Water, juice, broth, ice pops, and gelatin are good choices for hydration during the early stages of withdrawal. In order to change your drinking habits, your first step is to take a close look at your current behaviors and find patterns.

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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. These factors can make one person’s taper last longer than another person’s taper. If you regularly drink a handle of liquor (around 40 standard drinks) or more per day, please seek professional help.

Avoid Places or Situations that Involve Alcohol

Deciding to taper off alcohol is a slower process that requires planning, but it can decrease both the chase of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms and relapse. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are how to taper off alcohol at home not just caused by the complete absence of alcohol but by any big changes in the amount you drink. For example, you might be in a pattern of heavier drinking at the weekends than during the week.

how to taper off alcohol at home

You can use an app like AlcoTrack (Android) or DrinkControl (Apple) to keep a log of your daily drinking and see your progression. You can enter in the type of drinks you consume and when you drink them to determine the total amount of alcohol you consume each day. This will help you figure out a baseline to start your taper. The idea is to religiously take this like medicine for the next week or two. If you have questions about alcohol withdrawal treatment or home detox, call The Recovery Village to speak with a representative about how professional treatment can help you. Medical supervision ensures that care is immediately available if serious symptoms arise.

Reduce Your Number of Drinks Per Day

Tapering or weaning means ramping down your alcohol use until you get to zero—or to a more moderate level of drinking that you prefer. The alcohol content in specific beer, wine and liquor products differs. You can use the guidelines to get an idea of how many standard drinks you’re used to. Years of heavy drinking can significantly alter how the brain looks and works. Acamprosate, sold under the name Campral, is prescribed to help your brain begin to function normally again after you quit drinking. Research studies have also started to look into whether or not acamprosate helps reduce the symptoms of PAWS including insomnia, anxiety and restlessness.

  • If you want to change your relationship with alcohol, it’s important to have an honest conversation with a doctor about your drinking habits before you start tapering off.
  • The chances of seizures and DTs are low if you’re tapering, but they happen even in controlled rehab environments.
  • This might be a pretty safe way to taper, as long as you’re not decreasing by over 20-30% per step.
  • I couldn’t locate a study on people who tapered at home with alcohol, because it’s kind of hard to assess the topic, and no rehabs are detoxing people with alcohol.
  • I would go with hard seltzers because they have a decent amount of water in them and I don’t really enjoy drinking them, so I drink them more slowly.
  • Because detox is a medical intervention, you should always check the qualifications, experience and registration status of anyone who provides this service.

The idea of detoxing or tapering is to prevent the more severe withdrawal effects. You may still experience some of the less severe withdrawal symptoms. If you notice any severe withdrawal, you may need to slow your taper, drink alcohol immediately, or seek medical attention. If you’re living with alcohol use disorder, quitting drinking is important for your health.

Weaning (or Tapering) Off Alcohol: What it Means

This includes early symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, such as mild tremors and anxiety. The reason for this is that alcohol withdrawal symptoms can quickly snowball and worsen. Mild anxiety, for example, can turn into overwhelming agitation or even hallucinations. When symptoms become that serious, it can be difficult to seek help.

People attempting to quit may turn to drinking again to prevent withdrawal symptoms. However, it’s still possible to experience withdrawal symptoms. Inpatient treatment may be an expensive option in terms of time and money.