How to Safely Taper Off Alcohol Alcohol Detox Programs

A popular way to taper off alcohol is to gradually reduce the number of drinks you consume over a period of time. For example, if you normally drink 6 glasses of wine each night, you can try reducing that to 5 glasses of wine a night. After several days of 5 glasses of wine, you can reduce that down to 4. Eventually, after a period of time, you will have tapered down to zero drinks.

how to taper off alcohol

Although the symptoms can vary for each person based on personal factors, many people share common experiences during this process. Medical detox programs for alcohol dependency commonly offer medications to ease the discomfort or pain of withdrawal. This is a benefit that isn’t available to all who attempt to taper at home. Medicines can be used to reduce nausea, severe anxiety, other flu-like symptoms, and treat seizures.

How To Taper off Alcohol Safely and Effectively

However, individuals who suffer from alcohol addiction require professional rehab. The purpose of tapering off alcohol is to avoid major withdrawal symptoms so you can achieve sobriety safely. 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. You may be able to detox at home and still attend outpatient therapy or support group meetings.

  • Often, people with alcohol use disorder find that other people in their lives spot their addiction long before they do.
  • If you do it too fast, you increase your chance of severe withdrawal.
  • These medications are prescribed and managed by healthcare providers.

There are two types of triggers that can set off a person’s urge to drink. External triggers are people, places, things, or times that offer opportunities to drink and remind a person of alcohol. Internal triggers are thoughts, emotions, or physical sensations that cause a person to drink. Being exposed to either form of a trigger can result in unwanted relapse. 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.

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Heavy drinking can lead to a reduction in the sensitivity of your brain to the amount of GABA produced. If you abruptly stop consuming alcohol, your brain may not have enough sensitivity to GABA, which can result in hyper-excitability and withdrawal symptoms. During this taper, you may notice you’re feeling pretty good again. The first days were miserable, but now you’re a week in, you’re at the 5-6 drinks a day mark, and you feel fine.

  • There are multiple health benefits you can experience when you start drinking less alcohol.
  • You could do one a day if you’re very weary of withdrawal symptoms, but you might drag it out unnecessarily.
  • Although uncommon, the most serious effect from alcohol withdrawal is delirium tremens.
  • By doing so, you’ll likely experience withdrawal symptoms like headache, nausea, tiredness, muscle pain, irritability and difficulty concentrating.
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