How Does Tapering Off Alcohol Work?

taper off alcohol

This can set you up for a safe and effective detox and put you in a good position to continue your recovery in rehab. Current NHS clinical guidance [18] requires that non-specialist healthcare staff ‘should be competent to identify harmful drinking (high-risk drinking) and alcohol dependence’ (p46). This includes having the skills to assess the need for an intervention or to provide an appropriate referral. If you’ve become dependent on alcohol, you may encounter alcohol withdrawal when you cut back or stop drinking. Withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and even life-threatening, particularly when you quit cold turkey after a long period of alcohol abuse.

Tapering Off vs. Cold Turkey

Weaning off alcohol involves gradually decreasing the amount of alcohol you drink. This can be done by reducing the number of drinks, increasing time between drinks or choosing a weaker drink with a lower alcohol content. Exploring, in writing, what you find difficult and when you most want to drink can help you notice patterns that offer more insight into your alcohol use. Comparing the emotions that come how to taper off alcohol at home up when you have a drink with the feelings you experience when abstaining also helps you recognize when drinking doesn’t fix the problems you’re trying to manage. Maybe you’ve never been interested in logging your innermost thoughts, but journaling can be a great tool to track your feelings as you work on quitting alcohol. Family and friends can provide encouragement and support when you stop drinking.

Decreased Risk of Alcohol-Related Death

  • This method can lessen withdrawal symptoms, allowing your body to adjust to decreased alcohol levels slowly.
  • Symptoms of delirium tremens can develop within 48 hours and, in some cases, have fatal consequences without proper treatment.
  • These medications are prescribed and managed by healthcare providers.
  • If you’re relying on internet searches to find potential treatment centers, make sure to ask these ten questions to find a licensed facility that can meet your needs.

Benzodiazepines can be administered in both fixed-schedule and symptom-triggered approaches depending on the patient’s severity of symptoms and risk factors. In conclusion, the journey of safely weaning yourself off alcohol is unique to each person. While tapering off alcohol can be an effective strategy, it’s crucial to seek the guidance of healthcare professionals and personalize the approach to suit individual needs. This way, the process of breaking free from alcohol dependency becomes safer and more achievable. Minor symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be overcome with rest and at-home remedies, and it is possible for some people to without supervision. However, individuals who suffer from alcohol addiction require professional rehab.

Types of Addiction Treatment Available

Once you’ve changed to a less alcoholic option, you can gradually reduce your drink amount. A direct taper means you continue to drink your regular drinks but slowly decrease the amount over time. Direct tapers are better if you prefer drinks that contain a low percentage of alcohol. Tapering can be an excellent way to prevent harmful withdrawal effects after ceasing alcohol intake. If you have a severe level of addiction or dependency, you may need a detox program. Talk to a medical professional to find the best detox option for you.

By Buddy TBuddy T is a writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. Because he is a member of a support group that stresses the importance of anonymity at the public level, he does not use his photograph or his real name on this website. Many insurance companies will help pay for some or all of your treatment costs. Generally, light to moderate drinkers should plan to taper for a week or more. By Sara Hoffman, PharmDHoffman is a Kansas-based clinical pharmacist with experience working in hospitals, specialty clinics, and community pharmacies.

Alcohol withdrawal usually lasts for a few days, but some effects may linger for months. Symptoms are most severe around day 34, and the total process can last for 2 to 10 days. But Dr. Streem knows that it can be hard to recognize signs of alcohol abuse in ourselves. Often, people with alcohol use disorder find that other people in their lives spot their addiction long before they do. For some drinkers, cutting down on the amount of alcohol they drink simply does not work. They may cut back for a short period of time, but soon find themselves back to drinking at their usual level.

taper off alcohol

How To Make an Alcohol Tapering Schedule

taper off alcohol

By the time you’re physically craving water, your body is already depleted of fluid. Soon after starting to nurse, you will notice that you feel thirsty more often. Many staff’s accounts suggested they did not consistently signpost patients with identified AUD to a service that could provide an assessment of need or provide further care. Using NPT to frame our interpretation, in the next section we aim to highlight current practice around these phenomena and identify areas that appeared to be key barriers to implementation.

taper off alcohol

Transition to treatment

  • Indeed, the transcripts indicated that there were times when the interviewers aligned themselves or discussed their own experiences in the interviews.
  • Every person has unique needs, and tapering off may not be an adequate solution to reduce or stop drinking.