Along with withdrawal symptoms, it may be even more difficult to cut back or taper your alcohol use if you suffer from an how to taper off alcohol alcohol use disorder . AUD makes it difficult to control alcohol use — it may seem like the alcohol is controlling you.
However, medical treatment is necessary to treat major symptoms of withdrawal. However, when you quit drinking abruptly, your body’s chemical balance will be thrown off suddenly, leading to uncomfortable side effects. You will have an imbalance of excitatory and inhibitory chemicals in your nervous system. This is why many of the alcohol withdrawal symptoms seem to be related to overstimulation, like shaky hands, racing thoughts, and insomnia.
Tips for Tapering Off Alcohol
Verywell Mind’s content is for informational and educational purposes only. Our website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Establishing new habits and routines, and dealing with the underlying causes of your drinking habits, are essential to lasting recovery. Alcohol also changes your brain chemistry, which can result in higher levels of anxiety and depression for the first several months. Finally, just because you’ve gotten past the withdrawal phase doesn’t mean you won’t continue to face psychological aspects of addiction—including alcohol cravings and drinking triggers. Photo by Sven van Bellen on PexelsSet up a tapering schedule in advance . Decide how much you’ll reduce your drinking each day, and have a specific finish date.
Quitting alcohol cold turkey, you can steadily reduce your consumption so that your body has time to gradually readjust to absence of alcohol. It’s important to note that stopping drinking can be dangerous and even life-threatening.
How To Taper Off Alcohol Safely | Tips & Strategies
Because alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening in some cases, safety is crucial when you work towards sobriety. Little scientific evidence exists regarding tapers, but medical detox has been proven to be asafe and effectiveway to quit drinking. 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. 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.
- If you are tapering yourself off alcohol for the first time, it can be helpful to know what symptoms to expect during the process.
- Try to limit yourself to drinking no more alcohol than necessary when you start tapering.
- This journey is often non-linear, and your goals can change over time.
- In the same way that everyone person is unique and their experience with addiction is going to be unique, the most effective method of recovery is also going to vary from person to person.
- Nanci Stockwell of Advanced Recovery Systems discusses the risks of detoxing at home and the benefits of detoxing from alcohol and other drugs in a safe environment.
- By tapering your alcohol consumption, you can get your life back on track.
Stay away from people who encourage you to drink beyond your drinking goal. Taking a break from alcohol can be a good way to begin drinking less. Keep a drinking diary.For at least three to four weeks, keep track of every time you have a drink.