It can also involve substituting the drink of choice with another drink; for example, a person may taper off hard alcohol with beer. 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. Give your loved ones as much information as you can about your self-tapering strategy. Let them know your plan, your progress, and how withdrawals are going for you. Alcohol can stay in your system for several hours depending on how much you drink.
One of the safest ways to quit drinking is through tapering, which involves slowly reducing your alcohol intake over time. More serious alcohol withdrawal symptoms may require medical attention. If you have a friend or family member who knows that you’re trying to taper off alcohol, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. They can take you to the hospital or help you get medical support. It’s physically dangerous, and it may also cause emotional instability. Anxiety and depression are common alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Finding An Alcohol Rehab
Rather than quitting drinking abruptly (or “cold turkey”), many professionals recommend gradually reducing your drinking (or tapering) over time. This can give your body the chance to adjust, helping you avoid the worst of withdrawal symptoms. Tapering off alcohol is the gentlest approach to discontinuation. Alcohol addiction poses significant risks, and the optimal approach to mitigate these dangers involves abstaining from alcohol altogether. However, abruptly quitting alcohol (cold turkey) can be unsafe. Gradually reducing your alcohol consumption, a process known as tapering, can help prevent severe withdrawal symptoms.
- For this reason, you should always talk to your doctor before attempting to quit drinking.
- This is especially true if you are suffering from an alcohol use disorder.
- When you are drinking less than 10 units a day, you can try to stop drinking altogether.
- It can be a particularly helpful way to help you get a clearer understanding of your drinking habits and your relationship with alcohol.
- If you don’t like beers, drink beers (find ones with lower alcohol, some have high concentrations).
It includes a logging section you can use to keep track of your daily alcohol intake, along with some withdrawal warnings. The chances of seizures and DTs are low if you’re tapering, but they happen even in controlled rehab environments. In this study on tapering with a benzo, about 1% of patients had a seizure after completing their taper. This does not, by any means, mean that you have a 1% chance of a seizure if you taper with alcohol according to the schedule above.
Cons of Tapering off Alcohol
Expect to feel some discomfort, including anxiety, sweating or irritability. If you feel more severe symptoms, such as paranoia, increased pulse, or tremors sometimes called alcohol shakes, you should taper more slowly and consider seeking professional help. If you feel severe symptoms, such as hallucinations, rapid heartbeat or disorientation, call 911 immediately. “For psychologists, many of them are addiction-informed, and in their advertisements or on their websites, they will mention that specifically,” Dr. Lembke said. To get started, try searching a directory like Psychology Today or Inclusive Therapists, both of which have filters you can use to look for specific support around substance use.
Many who try the 31-day challenge find it becomes easier with time to adopt a low- or no-alcohol lifestyle as a result. Proper nutrition and hydration are essential components of medical detox. Nutritional support is provided to address any deficiencies and promote overall how to taper off alcohol health. Replacing alcoholic beverages with non-alcohol drinks is a great method of helping during a taper. By substituting alcoholic drinks for non-alcoholic drinks, you can still engage in most of your habit without getting the alcohol that makes it addictive.