Tapering is meant to reduce the withdrawal symptoms from quitting alcohol, but this isn’t a guarantee. As mentioned above, many people will still experience some level of withdrawal, just to a lesser degree. In the nomenclature of recovery studies, cannabis aided alcoholism recovery is referred to as “Marijuana Maintenance”. For starters, Marijuana Maintenance offers a relatively un-impactful solution to alcohol cravings, as addicts will smoke or ingest cannabis instead of taking a drink.

If you feel severe symptoms, such as hallucinations, rapid heartbeat or disorientation, call 911 immediately. The alcohol content in specific how to taper off alcohol beer, wine and liquor products differs. You can use the guidelines to get an idea of how many standard drinks you’re used to.

Long-Term Alcohol Use and Tapering

Tapering alcohol may be uncomfortable, and there may be subconscious triggers that stimulate the desire to drink alcohol. Stress is a common trigger that makes it hard to modify your alcohol intake. Finding a different, more healthy way to unload stress may go a long way in helping someone succeed in cutting back on their alcohol use. We are dedicated to transforming the despair of addiction into a purposeful life of confidence, self-respect and happiness.

how to taper off alcohol safely

Find a reason to stay sober and keep that in mind as you go through this process. Ultimately, you need to decide to get sober for yourself, but if getting sober for someone else or something else motivates you in the beginning, it’s still a step in the right direction. But, as many in recovery will https://ecosoberhouse.com/ tell you, it is only the first chapter in a long process. Alcohol also inhibits the glutamate receptor–which is the cause of staggering, slurring, and general interference with muscular coordination. Glutamate receptor rebound also appears to contribute to the withdrawal symptoms described above.

How do I know if I need to taper off?

Dr. Streem says that if your goal is to stop drinking altogether, you’re more likely to have success quitting all at once, rather than weaning off alcohol. But that advice changes if you’re living with alcohol use disorder. If you’re unable to reduce how much you drink, you may have a disease called alcoholism that requires professional addiction treatment. Alcohol rehab helps you taper off alcohol, and it treats other side effects and causes of alcoholism. You should plan to taper for between three and seven days depending on how much you’re used to drinking.

Ria Health offers access to many of these tools, including prescription medications, recovery coaching, and online support groups—all through a HIPAA-compliant smartphone app. We support both moderation and abstinence as goals and, although we cannot provide medical detox remotely, we can help you design an effective tapering schedule to reduce your drinking. You don’t have to let the fear of alcohol withdrawal stop you from cutting back or quitting. You may decide to seek medical treatment for your withdrawal symptoms or decide to enter a professional detox or rehab center. However, it’s important to note that people with moderate to severe alcohol addictions may struggle with sticking to a taper schedule and end up relapsing to heavier alcohol use.

Alcoholism is a pervasive chemical affliction. Marijuana, which is far more benign, could be used in treatment

For example, depression could cause suicidal thoughts, and eating poorly can weaken your immune system. Once your taper is complete, discard or immediately give away any remaining alcohol in your house and try to avoid high-risk environments such as bars, liquor stores, casinos, etc. The hardest thing will probably be to stop yourself from starting again. I’ll be honest, your chances of staying sober on your own are slim to none.

how to taper off alcohol safely

You could post about your experiences anonymously online in r/dryalcoholics, they’re a fairly open and supportive group of people. When I was down and super depressed, talking about my experiences on there helped get me through and made me feel less alone. I’m not saying smoking weed all day is a healthy coping skill.

Challenges of Tapering Off Alcohol

Your central nervous system adapts and tries to keep your body functioning normally, ramping up its activity over time to balance alcohol’s depressant effects. So as you drink more and your central nervous system adjusts to cope, you become physically dependent on alcohol. 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.

If you repeatedly cannot cut back on your drinking or otherwise cannot get lower than a certain point in the taper, this might not be the right method for you. If you notice severe hallucinations, extreme brain fog, the world slows down around you; you feel drunk when you’re not, you may have warning signs of delirium tremens (DTs). Always have one of your drinks late at night before you go to bed, to prevent this from happening while you’re sleeping.

Once they appear, acute symptoms may continue for around a week. It can take huge effort and commitment to reduce your alcohol consumption to nothing. So when you reach the end of tapering, you will likely feel relieved and proud. Even with the most ambitious reduction plan, it could be a couple of weeks before you bring your drinking entirely to a halt.

how to taper off alcohol safely

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. However, some groups have stepped in to try to bridge this gap and have published sample tapering schedules to help those trying to stop drinking. Deciding to quit drinking and following through isn’t just about willpower.

See if your insurance will cover treatment

At the end of the day, one of the most important tools you have at your disposal is self-compassion. Instead of criticizing yourself for having a hard time or slipping up and having a drink, remember that no one’s perfect. What matters most is your ability to maintain an open, curious outlook as you learn what does and doesn’t work for you. Satisfying hobbies can distract you from wanting to drink, but they also help you relax — something everyone needs to do.

  • 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 begin to have withdrawal symptoms during your taper, this is a sign that your taper may be going too fast and that you need to slow it down.
  • Once your taper is complete, discard or immediately give away any remaining alcohol in your house and try to avoid high-risk environments such as bars, liquor stores, casinos, etc.
  • Below I share some key information so you can determine if weaning off alcohol is right for you.

This journey is often non-linear, and your goals can change over time. When the alcohol is completely taken away then this adrenaline and its cousins are left to run rampant in the brain. This leads to raised blood pressure, raised pulse rate, rapid breathing, fever, hallucinations, seizures and D.T.s. Dosage, the users’ mental state and the location where the drug is consumed are a few other factors that can make mixing acid and alcohol even more dangerous.

How To Taper Off Alcohol Risks of Quitting Alcohol Cold Turkey

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