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Tapering off Alcohol: Is It Safe?

When you choose the taper method, you gradually reduce your alcohol intake over time, drinking a bit less each day. This approach can help minimize withdrawal symptoms and be less shocking to your system than abruptly quitting. It is, however, typically unsuccessful because it prolongs the entire process of stopping alcohol and requires strict discipline not to give in to the temptation of overusing alcohol.

alcohol tapering vs cold turkey

Certain CNS depressants produce life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, so much so that quitting “cold turkey” is not recommended. Rather, a medically supervised tapering method, where someone is gradually weaned off a substance through gradual cessation or medication, works best. If https://en.forexpamm.info/how-to-stop-drinking-out-of-boredom/ you start to experience significant withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking, a taper can provide a much safer method to detox from alcohol. Tapering can be done by using alcohol itself or various medications; however, can only be done safely under the supervision of a physician.

Benefits of Getting Professional Help for Tapering Off

If you’re worried about your drinking habits, and they might be affecting your health or destroying relationships with loved ones, consider seeking an alcohol treatment program. Nonetheless, quitting cold turkey might be the only way for people who don’t have an alcohol use disorder (AUD). In this case, having a strong support system, attending AA meetings, and talking with an addiction counselor is key to a successful detox process. It can help you reach goals and can minimize some of the unpleasant and severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Creating a tapering schedule you can stick with is a crucial part of weaning yourself off alcohol. The best schedule varies based on how much you drink each day and your overall health.

Her primary focus is to provide all clients with a safe, structured environment while coordinating their care. Alexandra understands addiction from both familial and personal standpoints, as she is active in her own recovery. Alexandra is a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend and has learned the value of recovery and succeeding in whatever she sets her mind to. Her innovative approach as Director of Operations gives her clients a safe and compassionate place at The Freedom Center to begin their recovery journey. Throughout that process, he learned the importance of helping others and living by spiritual principles. Throughout his recovery, James has used his personal story to help make a difference in the lives of others.

Common Withdrawal Symptoms

Experts establish a clear difference between alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. Each method has pros and cons, but regardless of which one you choose, you must have the knowledge and resources to make a quit attempt successful. If you’re trying to quit cold turkey and need help, please find professional help from an addiction rehab center. Even if you think either option sounds like something that could work for your situation, we still recommend talking to a doctor before proceeding. If you only drink two to three drinks per week, you can easily quit cold turkey without experiencing major withdrawal symptoms.

alcohol tapering vs cold turkey

As an integral part of The Freedom Center, Melissa’s multifaceted experience shines through her past work in various capacities. Her presence on this team highlights her dedication to crisis intervention and her ability to provide critical support during vulnerable times. Prior to her role in crisis intervention, Melissa worked extensively in the substance abuse and dual diagnoses treatment field. Above all, Melissa’s authenticity shines through her self-disclosure as someone in long-term recovery herself.

How to Wean Off Alcohol & Safely Taper Drinking

Monitoring you pulse and blood pressure can be a very good idea while you are tapering especially if you have high blood pressure. If your pulse exceeds 100, your blood pressure goes very high, or you have irregular heart beat then this means that you are tapering too fast and you need more beer. If your BASELINE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION is less than 20 drinks per day then we recommend reducing consumption by two standard drinks per day. For example, if you have been drinking an average of 12 drinks per day then your taper schedule can be 10 beers the first day, 8 the second, 6 the third, 4 the fourth, 2 the fifth and 0 the sixth day.

  • Typically, the withdrawal will begin quickly after your last drink, between six to 24 hours, and can last for days.
  • This is the first of a monthly advice column written by Annie Grace.
  • Eventually, after a period of time, you will have tapered down to zero drinks.
  • By looking at your medical history and alcohol intake, your doctor can determine whether you need to taper in a medical detox facility or can safely detox at home.
  • You can read all about mindful drinking in this article by a licensed therapist at Monument.
  • With a profound understanding of the complexities surrounding addiction, Sydney has dedicated her career to improving the lives of individuals struggling with substance abuse.

She graduated from The University of Maryland with a master’s degree in social work. As a licensed clinician, Cheryl stands ready to diagnose and treat a wide spectrum of mental, behavioral, and personality disorders that sometimes present alongside a substance use disorder. Shannon is a certified A.D.T. who has worked in different capacities at several rehabilitation centers in the state of Maryland. Shannon has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia in Political Science. Prior to entering the substance abuse and mental health field, Shannon was a Corporate Executive for 18 years.

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

Barbiturate medications include amobarbital (Amytal), methohexital (Brevital), pentobarbital (Nembutal), secobarbital (Seconal), and phenobarbital (Luminal). Barbiturates are generally prescribed for sleep and anxiety disorders, although phenobarbital is primarily prescribed to treat seizures, convulsions, skull Does A Purple Nose Indicate Alcoholism? pressure, and trauma. This highly potent, old-guard class of medicines derived from barbituric acid can produce distressing withdrawal symptoms. Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice.

Tapering and medication-assisted programs are offered in the acute treatment phase, where the substance(s) is safely removed via tapering and withdrawal symptoms are alleviated with medications. Though opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, heroin, and morphine do not produce life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, their ability to hijack the brain make it difficult to quit. They also produce painful and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that can compel someone to continue use. That’s why medically assisted detox via tapering works best with opioid addictions. If there is one substance people have successfully quit on their own, time and again, it’s cigarettes. In fact, cigarette cessation guidelines conclude that the best way to quit smoking is by abruptly stopping.

Rather than gradually tapering off the substance, you stop taking it immediately. If people have a less severe alcohol dependency, they could quit alcohol on their own. However, it still may be helpful to speak with a doctor or medical professional to access helpful guidance and resources. If you’ve been drinking for a long time, tapering off can cause withdrawal symptoms.

  • The thought of abstaining from alcohol completely can feel daunting, and in some cases, it can even be dangerous without medical supervision.
  • External triggers are people, places, things, or times that offer opportunities to drink and remind a person of alcohol.
  • If you are a heavy drinker, you may require a slower weaning rate to ensure you remain safe.
  • Although it is possible to taper your alcohol use alone, professionals highly advise that you seek medical attention.