Tapering Off Alcohol: Does It Work? Is it Safe?
Content How Does Alcohol Use Disorder Develop? Withdrawal and Safety When Tapering Off Alcohol Alcohol and Metabolism Alcohol Taper Sample Schedules Substituting a prescription drug for alcohol should only happen with the help of a medical professional. No one should ever attempt a substitution taper with prescription medication unless their doctor specifically prescribed it for […]
Substituting a prescription drug for alcohol should only happen with the help of a medical professional. No one should ever attempt a substitution taper with prescription medication unless their doctor specifically prescribed it for that purpose in a medical detox program. These include direct tapers, where you regularly decrease the amount of alcohol you consume, and substitution tapers, where you replace alcohol with another substance. These strategies work in different ways to help you quit drinking, and one or the other may be appropriate for you based on your needs. Slowly decreasing the amount you drink over time can spare your body from withdrawal symptoms. This is because drinking heavily over a long period can cause your body to become physically dependent on alcohol.
- Sydney Tubbs is a driven and compassionate Operations Director at The Freedom Center.
- When you are physically dependent on a substance like alcohol, your body adapts accordingly.
- When he’s not busy treating The Freedom Center’s clientele, you might find Kevin engaged in his other passion as an actor/director in the local theater community.
- This is especially true of heavy drinkers who are surrounded by the triggers that encourage drinking and lack the support needed to encourage change.
If you drink heavily on a regular basis, it can be dangerous to stop alcohol cold turkey. For this reason, you should not suddenly quit drinking without talking to your doctor. The consequences of quitting alcohol cold turkey can be serious and lead to alcohol withdrawal syndrome, which can be fatal in severe cases. When you slowly taper your alcohol intake over time instead of quitting cold turkey, you reduce the likelihood of withdrawal symptoms. By weaning yourself from drinking, you give your brain the chance to adjust the amount of GABA it produces. The most recommended form of alcohol to use in tapering is beer due to its lower alcohol content.
How Does Alcohol Use Disorder Develop?
Contact us today to speak with a representative and begin on the road to lasting addiction recovery. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms consistent with DT, call 911. DT can be fatal, and a person going through them should have medical support in a hospital or rehab facility. Tapering off alcohol is a reasonable strategy for anyone who desires to stop drinking. A taper can be especially helpful for those who find they cannot stop drinking without experiencing negative symptoms.
- Cheryl is a Clinical Social Worker licensed by the state of Maryland with over 30 years of experience in the field.
- With a robust foundation in 12-step philosophy, Federico can not only educate the clients on the model, but also integrate the tried-and-true principles in a more personal, clinical setting.
- Working with a physician on the Monument platform can help determine what timeline will work for you based on your past drinking habits and risk of withdrawal.
- Max began his career in the addiction field working as a group facilitator and teacher, developing and delivering a successful faith-based curriculum in a long-term residential treatment setting.
While tapering off alcohol means you can still drink to some extent, it’s still important that you eliminate as much temptation as you can. By removing all alcohol from your home, you are significantly reducing the temptation to drink in excess. Tapering off alcohol is one of the safest ways to overcome alcoholism.
Withdrawal and Safety When Tapering Off Alcohol
In medical detox, you receive around-the-clock care from doctors and nurses to help prevent and treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms and their complications. This can set you up for a safe and effective detox and put you in a good position to continue your recovery in rehab. Sadly, the threat of severe withdrawal symptoms prevents millions of people from stopping their alcohol abuse. Individuals experience alcohol when they stop giving their bodies alcohol. Depending on the severity of alcohol dependence, symptoms may range from mild to moderate or severe. It is also important to note that the degree of symptoms will depend on how much alcohol you have been using, the frequency of use, and how long you have been drinking.
Is it too late to stop drinking?
It's never too late to stop drinking. The process can challenge your mind and body. When done safely, though, cutting alcohol out of your life can help make you a happy and healthier person. You can repair your body and avoid risks linked to drinking.
Some people try to reduce withdrawal symptoms by tapering off alcohol. This strategy gives your body more time to adjust to a lack of alcohol than quitting cold turkey, and you may experience fewer or less severe withdrawal symptoms. When coming off drugs or alcohol tapering is the best way to prevent severe withdrawal symptoms. Tapering is the act of gradually reducing alcohol use until completely abstinent. By creating a schedule to monitor your alcohol use you can see just how much of the substance you are drinking. The reason for weaning off alcohol instead of quitting cold turkey is to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
Alcohol and Metabolism
In essence, tapering is a detoxification process that is not being administered or observed by a doctor or medical staff. It is commonly a self-managed detox method which is usually less successful than a program at an alcohol detox center. If you’re struggling with severe alcohol addiction, a medical detox program is your likely best option for tapering off alcohol safely. But if you still have control over your drinking and want to drink less, you may be able to self-taper.
You’ll need to stick with gradual reduction every day and not revert to previous levels of consumption, otherwise it won’t work. If it’s too hard to control how much you drink each day, weaning might not be the right strategy. That said, there are now several medications that can help reduce your cravings and make weaning off alcohol easier. Over time, this can help sober house you slow down and make more intentional choices about how much you’re drinking. You can read all about mindful drinking in this article by a licensed therapist at Monument. This is dangerous because if you have unsuccessfully tried to stop drinking in the past with only mild withdrawal symptoms, you may assume you can handle another attempt on your own without help.
Likewise if your average consumption is 6 standard drinks per day you can set a taper schedule of 4, 2, 0. Throughout that process, he learned the importance of helping others and living by spiritual principles. Throughout his recovery, James has used his personal story to help make a difference in the lives of others.
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. All of these withdrawal symptoms are common during acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome. For example, depression could cause suicidal thoughts, and eating poorly can weaken your immune system.