Choosing to taper off alcohol is an admirable decision and a step in the right direction. As with many self-detox methods, the risks and rewards go hand in hand when attempting to overcome an alcohol substance use disorder. But, with a little prior knowledge on how to taper off alcohol, adequate planning and professional consultation from a healthcare provider, it can certainly be done. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms range in severity depending on how extensive the misuse behavior was. The alcohol withdrawal symptom delirium tremens (DT) is estimated to kill up to 5% of those attempting to quit suddenly after chronic usage.
It also discusses various treatment options for alcohol withdrawal and how you can get help. Avoid taking prescription drugs that your doctor hasn’t prescribed to you. If withdrawal is so uncomfortable that you’re turning to drugs for comfort, you should contact your doctor or a rehab center to discuss how to taper off alcohol medically supervised withdrawal. When you are detoxing from alcohol at a rehab center, nurses and doctors monitor vital signs, provide adequate nourishment and treat complications if they occur. You should start by determining how much alcohol you drink per day in terms of standard drinks.
Weaning (or Tapering) Off Alcohol: What it Means
However, as the first day continues and hangover symptoms subside, actual alcohol withdrawal symptoms set in, especially for daily drinkers. Here’s how people reported their symptoms on day one after quitting alcohol. Creating a tapering schedule you can stick with is a crucial part of weaning yourself off alcohol. The best schedule varies based on how much you drink each day and your overall health. As mentioned above, we strongly recommend speaking with a doctor to ensure your plan is a safe one, and won’t cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Depending on how much you drink, tapering off alcohol can take one to several weeks.
- If you have a past experience of withdrawal symptoms, you are likely to have them return if you start and stop heavy drinking again.
- Crystal Raypole has previously worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy.
- If you’re unable to reduce how much you drink, you may have a disease called alcoholism that requires professional addiction treatment.
Once you have gone through withdrawal, you’ll also need a plan to remain alcohol-free. Start by talking to a healthcare provider about the treatment options for alcohol dependence. The https://ecosoberhouse.com/ exact timeline for alcohol withdrawal varies from person to person. It’s based on several factors, including how long, how much, and how regularly you have been drinking alcohol.
How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System?
Knowing why you drink is essential, says Cyndi Turner, LCSW, LSATP, MAC, a Virginia therapist specializing in addiction treatment and alcohol moderation. “For patients who are left with cirrhosis after severe injury to the liver from alcohol, even one drink of alcohol is toxic to the liver,” cautions Dr. Lindenmeyer. These symptoms generally appear 12 to 24 hours after your last drink. While these symptoms are more severe than Stage 1, they are not life-threatening. Tapering can help you overcome alcohol dependence, which is a side effect of chronic alcohol use that causes cravings and withdrawal.
“I quit two days ago and have just had the unfortunate experience of a seizure, as well as many visual and tactile hallucinations. Massive sweats and tremors.” Over time, your central nervous system adjusts to having alcohol around all the time. Your body works hard to keep your brain in a more awake state and to keep your nerves talking to one another. Research shows that most people believe that drinking can make them feel better. However, when alcohol makes up part of your typical routine, drinking can become something of an automatic response, especially when you feel stressed or overwhelmed. It’s possible to develop a better relationship with alcohol and make more mindful, informed choices about drinking without total sobriety.
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If you need to taper in the first place, you have already proven that you can’t drink like a normal person. Before you start your detox, ensure you have enough alcohol on hand to last you a few days. Always keep some extra alcohol available in the event you experience severe withdrawal symptoms.