How to Taper off Alcohol Safely and Effectively

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You’ve been conditioning your brain to work on alcohol, and over time, its structure has physically changed[2]. Overcoming this with sheer willpower is going How To Flush Alcohol Out Of Your System Fast?- Abbeycare to be difficult, but it can be done. However, if you don’t taper properly, you may experience withdrawal symptoms, especially if you have severe alcoholism.

  • Your friends and family may not be the best support system, unless they’re also recovering addicts/alcoholics.
  • 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).
  • About 10 percent of people experience more severe symptoms, such as fever, fast breathing, and heavy sweating.
  • The chance of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms increases if you’ve had them before, or if you’re older.
  • Others who suffer from severe Alcohol Dependence feel compelled to continue drink the morning after and may go on benders which can last anywhere from days to weeks to months.

There are two ways to taper off alcohol⁠—a direct or substitution taper. The success of these strategies will depend on how much you drink and what you drink. If you struggle to stop drinking, avoid places and situations that tempt you to drink alcohol. You may even ask your friends and family not to drink while around you.

How Long Does It Take to Taper off Alcohol?

If you try a slower taper, you risk dragging it out too long and decreasing your chances of quitting. If you do it too fast, you increase your chance of severe withdrawal. You may need to do a slower taper than someone else who was drinking the same amount as you. Remember, you can always slow your taper, drink more alcohol, or seek medical help if needed.

alcohol tapering schedule

Tapering is a more cost-effective method of stopping alcohol use, especially for those who do not have healthcare insurance or the resources needed to get a professional detox. People who have successfully tapered from alcohol before may be especially likely to benefit from this strategy. It can help you reach goals and can minimize some of the unpleasant and severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. If you’ve been drinking heavily for a long time and think you might experience withdrawal symptoms, it’s best to talk with a medical professional before you begin a taper. They can help you decide if tapering is the safest option for you. More serious alcohol withdrawal symptoms may require medical attention.

The Dangers of Mixing Hydroxyzine and Alcohol

No one ever puts a gun to your head and forces you to drink. Bottles of booze never jump off the shelf at the liquor store and come rolling up to your house and knock on your door and say “Drink me!” You are NEVER powerless over alcohol. You either choose to listen to that mental voice or you reject it. So recognize that voice which tells you to drink on an abstinence day as the ENEMY and CHOOSE to reject it. You should only attempt an alcohol taper while under a doctor’s care.

Pick a drink that goes down easy and has a high concentration of water so you don’t get too dehydrated. I would go with hard seltzers because they have a decent amount of water in them and I don’t really enjoy drinking them, so I drink them more slowly. Pick a drink with between 4.5% and 5% alcohol by volume (ABV). It’s important to understand what to look out for and what to expect. Some withdrawal is normal, and some symptoms can be potentially life-threatening. If you decide to taper with benzos, don’t mix them with alcohol.

Nutritional support

Planning and scheduling your boozing can help you to avoid having that big client walk out the door and go elsewhere because you reeked of booze from the night before. During this taper, you may notice you’re feeling pretty good again. The first days were miserable, but now you’re a week in, you’re at the 5-6 drinks a day mark, and you feel fine. 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.

  • Before you begin an alcohol taper, a little preparation can go a long way, especially when it involves handling your triggers and tracking how much you drink.
  • It provides the necessary medical expertise and support to ensure a safe and comfortable detoxification process.
  • On the other hand people who have liver damage and reverse tolerance metabolize alcohol more slowly than others.
  • It can also involve substituting the drink of choice with another drink; for example, a person may taper off hard alcohol with beer.

It is okay to be flexible enough to make allowance for special occasions and there is no reason to beat yourself up for not being perfect all the time. You can use your drinking chart for writing down your goals each week if you wish. Some people have success with a strategy which is almost the opposite of this–they decide to forgo their drink of choice and switch to a drink that they don’t really like. Because they are drinking something which they don’t like very much they find themselves drinking less per session and/or fewer days per week. Once your taper is complete, discard or immediately give away any remaining alcohol in your house and try to avoid high-risk environments such as bars, liquor stores, casinos, etc.

How Long Does It Take To Taper Off Alcohol Safely?

However, learning more about how an alcohol taper works can help you prepare to quit. Some individuals find church and reconnecting with God to be helpful. You could post about your experiences anonymously online in r/dryalcoholics, they’re a fairly open and supportive group of people. When I was down and super depressed, talking about my experiences on there helped get me through and made me feel less alone. If you’re cross-addicted to harder drugs like stimulants or opiates, you need to stop using those. Experience has shown me most people who continue using other hard substances simply get high and then continue drinking.

  • Whether that’s watching TV, cooking dinner, cleaning the house, going for a walk, or taking a bath.
  • This excessive glutamate level can lead to alcohol withdrawal symptoms, which can be dangerous.
  • Further, mental health disorders like anxiety and depression are extremely common in those who struggle with drinking, and these disorders can make it even harder to stay sober.
  • Don’t just give up and drink a fifth because you had your 6 drinks before noon when you meant to have 6 drinks over the whole day.
  • If you can’t resist the urge to drive once you start drinking, you may want to lock your car keys in a safe to make them less accessible before you down your first drink.

However, it’s important to note that people with moderate to severe alcohol addictions may struggle with sticking to a taper schedule and relapse to heavier alcohol use. The problem is that this can drag your taper out for several weeks or even months, depending on how slowly you’ve tapered and how much you’ve been drinking to start. I don’t think I could go through more than a couple weeks of tapering, but you do you. Cutting back or completely stopping alcohol consumption is challenging, even if you are not at the point of addiction.

Long-Term Abstinence

Based on your medical history, your doctor can advise you about the safety of the taper. Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or sober living houses can help you get connected with peers who are going through the same journey as you are. If you are seeking drug and alcohol related addiction rehab for yourself or a loved one, the sponsored hotline is a confidential and convenient solution.

alcohol tapering schedule