Alcohol Tapering Avoiding the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

Note that Disulfiram it is not a cure to alcoholism, and a full therapy must be used. Do not stop drinking entirely if you have previously experienced seizures (fits) or hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there) when you stop drinking. When you’re drinking less than 10 units a day, you can try to stop drinking altogether. 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. When the alcohol is completely taken away then this adrenaline and its cousins are left to run rampant in the brain.

Moreover, substituting one kind of beverage for another does not help you taper off alcohol if you consume the same number of standard drinks as you usually have. For example, one 12-ounce can of beer contains the same amount of alcohol as a 5-ounce glass of wine or a mixed drink containing 1.5 ounces of alcohol. Generally speaking, alcohol home detox is neither the most effective nor the safest method of quitting alcohol. However, it is inexpensive and may be suitable for someone whose job, relationships, and well-being are not in jeopardy. Tapering off is a standard medical practice for many other drugs.

The Benefit of Medical Detox for Tapering off Alcohol

Tapering your alcohol intake, or slowly decreasing it over time, can help you avoid severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms. For people with moderate to severe alcohol addiction, utilizing What is a Halfway House? What to Expect in Halfway Housing an alcohol detox center is always the safest option. Alcohol detox centers have professionals trained to recognize and treat complications caused by alcohol withdrawal.

  • During rehab, you will have the opportunity to participate in group therapy.
  • If you’re making mixed drinks, only use half a shot instead of a full shot, and turn it into two drinks (still count both as one combined).
  • It can be a particularly helpful way to help you get a clearer understanding of your drinking habits and your relationship with alcohol.
  • If alcohol is interfering with your health or your personal, financial, or professional life, consider quitting.
  • If your pulse exceeds 100, your blood pressure goes very high, or you have irregular heart beat then this means that you are tapering too fast and you need more beer.
  • When you quit drinking cold turkey, your body suffers from a cascade of changes caused by the sudden shift.

If you delve deeper into your own psychology to identify your consumption habits, you may find that the caffeine itself isn’t as important to you as the feeling of consuming it. “Any time you’re trying to manage stress with a substance, that’s something to pause and think about,” states Czerwony. The more caffeine you consume, the more likely you are to experience negative side effects, including neurologic and cardiac issues and even death. 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.

Effects of caffeine on your body

Whether you feel like you drink too much alcohol, or you have an alcohol abuse issue, quitting drinking cold turkey can be dangerous. Knowing how to safely taper off alcohol can make all the difference in how successful you are in quitting drinking. If you drink alcohol and are thinking about quitting, it is important to make sure you do so safely. One of the safest ways to quit drinking is through tapering, which involves slowly reducing your alcohol intake over time. If alcohol withdrawal is so dangerous, is tapering off alcohol necessary for everyone who drinks?

The best way to taper off alcohol is to find healthcare professionals who can assess one’s current intake. This will be the basis of the protocol to taper off the substance to increase the chances of success. Further, the severity of withdrawal symptoms can cause a person to resort back to drinking alcohol to relieve any symptoms. However, doing so without the guidance of a physician, can complicate tapering and ultimately delay when, if ever, sobriety is reached. The Recovery Village Ridgefield medical detox center in Vancouver, WA, is a fully staffed rehab facility designed to help you wean off alcohol in comfort. We offer 16 detox beds and around-the-clock medical care provided by a multidisciplinary team of addiction experts.

Self-Detox vs. Medical Detox

Alcohol causes serious changes in the brain, and prolonged symptoms such as sleep problems, mood changes and fatigue may take months to overcome, according to the U.S. When someone drinks alcohol for a prolonged period of time and then stops, the body reacts to its absence. This is alcohol withdrawal, and it causes uncomfortable physical and emotional symptoms. Although an at-home detox can be intense, there are ways to mitigate severe side effects. However, it’s important to contact medical professionals when an emergency occurs. Self-detox is an individualized approach without professional or medical support.

  • If you drink heavily on a regular basis, it can be dangerous to stop alcohol cold turkey.
  • If you encounter severe symptoms during your tapering off alcohol schedule, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
  • The HAMS tapering guide suggests dropping your consumption to 16 drinks the first day if you were drinking more than that, and then reducing your consumption by two drinks per day.
  • Emotionally, you may feel some anxiety or sadness about ending a chapter of your life and nervousness about the future.
  • Alcohol also inhibits the glutamate receptor–which is the cause of staggering, slurring, and general interference with muscular coordination.

If you’ve been drinking for a long time, tapering off can cause withdrawal symptoms. Getting professional help can mitigate harmful withdrawal symptoms and ensure success. However, even the best-designed tapers can put you at risk for alcohol withdrawal syndrome. For this reason, you should never start an alcohol taper before clearing with your doctor.

How do I taper off with other meds?

For those at risk for severe withdrawal symptoms, medically-supervised detox is often the safest choice for beginning their sobriety or moderation journey. Others may discover after consulting with a doctor that it’s safe for them to quit alcohol cold turkey if they choose to. 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. Because alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening in some cases, safety is crucial when you work towards sobriety.

Prolonged and excessive alcohol consumption can impact your brain, causing changes to the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. 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.

Additionally, the post-detox treatment resources available at a professional treatment center can ease the transition to sober living and give you the tools you need to stay sober long-term. People with moderate to severe alcohol addiction may find an alcohol taper difficult to accomplish. If you have trouble controlling how much you drink or experience significant alcohol cravings, you may need professional help instead of trying to taper your alcohol use at home. These include direct tapers, where you regularly decrease the amount of alcohol you consume, and substitution tapers, where you replace alcohol with another substance.

best way to taper off alcohol

Your addicted brain may use this as an excuse to increase your dosage. You may feel you’re in control of your addiction, and that it’s okay to have a cheat day and drink a little more. Easier said than done, but if you go down this path, you’ll be right back where you started. If you need to taper in the first place, you have already proven that you can’t drink like a normal person.

Tips to Safely Detox from Alcohol at Home

You can read all about mindful drinking in this article by a licensed therapist at Monument. When you quit alcohol cold turkey, you quit drinking completely and suddenly. Tapering helps people stop using alcohol and other substances in small and manageable steps.

best way to taper off alcohol

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