Can Tapering Off Alcohol Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms?

taper off alcohol

If you encounter severe symptoms during your tapering off alcohol schedule, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Unless a person has a serious health condition or has experienced severe withdrawals before, they may not need more than a supportive environment to help them through alcohol withdrawal. However, in cases of severe symptoms like seizures and hallucinations, seeking medical care is crucial. Furthermore, in certain cases, a healthcare professional may suggest a benzodiazepine regimen to replace the body’s alcohol needs during tapering.

Seeking Professional Help

Diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis are more frequent in individuals who chronically drink. BetterHelp offers affordable mental health care via phone, video, or live-chat. One of the keys to a successful taper is taking gradual steps that will cause as few side effects as possible.

Evaluate Your Drinking Habits

The most severe form of alcohol withdrawal is known as delirium tremens, which develops in about 3 to 5% of people with severe alcohol addiction. Delirium tremens is also more common in people of older age, those how to taper off alcohol at home with a history of seizures, and people with co-occurring illnesses or disorders. Symptoms of delirium tremens can develop within 48 hours and, in some cases, have fatal consequences without proper treatment.

Who Can Benefit From Tapering Their Alcohol Intake

Talk with a healthcare professional if you’re concerned you may experience detox symptoms when quitting drinking or cutting back. If you find that you are a person who cannot taper their alcohol consumption consistently, or if you find that you begin to experience withdrawal symptoms by merely cutting back, don’t give up. You don’t have to let the fear of alcohol withdrawal stop you from cutting back or quitting. The main difference between tapering and quitting alcohol cold turkey is how fast you quit. Cold turkey is a common slang term for quitting alcohol (or any substance) all at once.

taper off alcohol

Treatment Programs

  • This is why it is essential to determine your method of tapering and your tapering schedule with the supervision of a medical professional experienced in an alcohol addiction recovery treatment.
  • However, individuals who suffer from alcohol addiction require professional rehab.
  • It does, however, result in any withdrawal symptoms that do occur being prolonged over the entire period of the taper.
  • 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.

Although going cold turkey on opioids is dangerous and can cause significant withdrawal symptoms, quitting alcohol cold turkey can be fatal. For those at risk for severe withdrawal symptoms, medically-supervised detox is often the safest choice for beginning their sobriety or moderation journey. Others may discover after consulting with a doctor that it’s safe for them to quit alcohol cold turkey if they choose to. However, they may still decide that tapering down feels most achievable for them. If you’re not sure if cold turkey or tapering is right for you, you can join the Monument Community to hear from others who have confronted similar questions.

  • This is because Delirium tremens is caused by hyperactivity in the nervous system, which is now without the depressant effects of alcohol and is instead going into overdrive.
  • The medications with the best efficacy and safety are the benzodiazepines, which enhance the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA on the brain.
  • The support of an alcohol detox program may help you wean off alcohol more quickly and with fewer unpleasant side effects.
  • It also lets you start working new habits and routines into your day to replace drinking, starting the transition.
  • The kindling effect is an important reason to approach quitting and seek professional guidance seriously.

Alcohol withdrawal can be fatal

taper off alcohol

This is dangerous because if you have unsuccessfully tried to stop drinking in the past with only mild withdrawal symptoms, you may assume you can handle another attempt on your own without help. Unfortunately, your brain may be sensitized to withdrawal due to kindling, which can set you up for unexpectedly severe withdrawal symptoms. In addition, social pressures can make it hard to quit drinking, especially if your friends or family also drink heavily.

taper off alcohol

You Have a High Risk of Addiction or Complications From Drinking

  • Thirst is your body’s way of telling you that you need to drink more, so do your best to pay attention to it.
  • Generally, alcohol-free days are better towards the end of a gradual reduction, not towards the beginning.
  • Before beginning a tapering schedule, speak with your doctor about the risks of detoxing at home.

Tapering is the process of gradually weaning off alcohol rather than quitting cold turkey. The long and the short of it is–tapering off alcohol with medical support can help you quit drinking. But could weaning yourself off alcohol help you stay sober for good?

Can Tapering Down Alcohol Use Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms?

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