Can Tapering Off Alcohol Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms?

However, it is absolutely essential to speak with a doctor about your situation before you try this. Detoxing at home works best for people who are trying to quit alcohol for the first time and are likely to only have mild withdrawal symptoms. In addition, social pressures can make it hard to quit drinking, especially if your friends or family also drink heavily. Quitting drinking can feel very isolating, making it even more difficult to do on your own at home without medical support.

  • If it’s louder or more severe, you should probably have a drink.
  • Even mild or moderate withdrawal can be dangerous for people with high blood pressure or bad hearts.
  • However, learning more about how an alcohol taper works can help you prepare to quit.
  • If you get moderate tremors or start hallucinating six hours after your last drink, you probably need to taper.

Medication to curb cravings can be a helpful tool for reducing your consumption. Choose drinks with a consistent ABV to make it easier, and either measure your drinks out or drink prepackaged servings . But, perhaps most importantly, understand that setbacks happen and that progress takes time or may look different than imagined.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

A doctor can supervise your tapering progress, helping you manage your cravings and prevent relapse. Overall, getting professional help can improve your chances for long-term sobriety. A substitution taper refers to switching strong liquor for an alternative that contains less alcohol, like beer. Once you’ve changed to a less alcoholic option, you can gradually reduce your drink amount.

  • 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.
  • What he has found to be most rewarding about working in the addictions treatment field is being able to help suffering addicts and alcoholics to realize their fullest potential.
  • Tapering off alcohol is a reasonable strategy for anyone who desires to stop drinking.
  • Take the first step toward addiction treatment by contacting us today.
  • By talking with your doctor or an addiction treatment specialist, together you can determine a safe tapering schedule that suits your needs.

When you drink heavily, your brain changes the amount of GABA it makes. The imbalance in GABA that occurs when you suddenly stop drinking is what causes withdrawal symptoms. By slowly reducing your drinking over time instead of stopping suddenly, you allow your brain to change its GABA production. If you’ve been drinking for a long time, tapering off can cause withdrawal symptoms.

Decreased Risk of Alcohol-Related Death

Ethos Structured Sober Living is an all male community in recovery located in the heart of West Los Angeles. Our primary purpose is to foster long-term sobriety through the cultivation of accountability, camaraderie, & character development. These goals can be only drinking socially, limiting yourself to so many cocktails a week, etc. Stay hydrated with sports drinks like Gatorade to replenish your electrolytes. Use distractions, have a trusted friend to talk to and keep a reminder of your reasons to quit in a place that’s easy to reach, such as a wallet or phone. Read all about mindful drinking in this article by a licensed therapist at Monument.

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. Long-term alcohol use can lead to developing an alcohol use disorder and physical dependence.

Common Withdrawal Symptoms

My first recommendation is to seek professional help at an inpatient rehab facility, a dedicated detox center, or, in severe cases, the emergency room. Withdrawal symptoms occur because the brain becomes used to the presence of alcohol, which is a central nervous system depressant. Alcohol’s effect on the brain changes how much gamma-aminobutyric acid is available to the brain, controlling how fast neurons fire. Alcohol, as well as some prescription drugs, prevents GABA from being reabsorbed rapidly, so neurons communicate more slowly. Without alcohol, there is not enough GABA to suppress neuron firing, which can lead to tension, anxiety, insomnia, and additional harmful symptoms.

tapering off alcohol at home

Stopping alcohol use can be difficult, but there are steps that you can take to make it safe and effective. The rationale is simply that you’re less likely to drink much of a beverage you don’t like. Limit yourself to one drink per hour, for example, or substitute a glass of water, how to taper off alcohol at home juice, or Gatorade between each alcoholic drink. Buddy T is an anonymous writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. Sitting and talking with others who share your struggle can help you feel supported.

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