How To Taper Off Alcohol

Stopping alcohol use is the first step of the recovery journey, but staying sober for longer and longer periods is the goal. Getting professional treatment and long-term support are two of the most valuable strategies for avoiding relapse. Deciding to quit drinking and following through isn’t just about willpower. Many other factors go into play with these difficult and trying scenarios. Tolerance, dependence, social habits, setting, the biology of the individual and more must all be considered. This can sometimes cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, and these symptoms can make it hard to stick with your recovery plan.

Build a network of people you can go to when you need help, join a support group or see a therapist. “Alteration of glutamate/GABA balance dur[…]prospective analysis.” Alcohol and Alcoholism, October 2012. Shivani, Ramesh; Goldsmith, R. Jeffrey; Anthenelli, Robert M.

You Have a High Risk of Addiction or Complications From Drinking

This is because it takes about four days for antabuse to clear the system. Then she drinks and after she sobers back up goes back on the antabuse until she chooses to have another drinking day. Some people decide to add on abstinence day a week for the first month, two for the second month, three for the third, and so on until they reach their desired drinking plan. Some people decide to cut back on the amount they drink per session by eliminating one drink per session for the first week–two for the second week and so on. We call these approaches which involve changing a little bit at a time “baby stepping” or “gradualism”. Some people find that this is the best way to achieve their drinking goal whether the goal is cutting back on alcohol or even quitting entirely.

alcohol tapering schedule

A final strategy to assist with an alcohol taper is to get a good network of peer support. Following medical detox, individuals are typically encouraged to enter a comprehensive addiction treatment program, which may include therapy, counseling, and other therapeutic modalities. Glutamine has been found to reduce alcohol consumption in rats by 35% (Rogers et al, 1955). A number of people have also reported that glutamine has helped them to reduce their drinking. Glutamine is available as an over the counter dietary supplement.

How to safely taper off your alcohol consumption

Getting curious about a life without alcohol is already an incredible step, and a healthier lifestyle is within reach. This is a highly personal decision, which can be made through self-reflection, and with the support of a medical professional and your peers. Sober Sayings and Sober Quotes If it’s safe for you to quit cold turkey, you may find that cutting alcohol out entirely from the start helps you clearly uphold your boundaries. Or, you may find that quitting all at once is too drastic and decide to start by practicing harm reduction.

  • That is why alcohol detox and alcohol withdrawal treatment is administered by medical professionals.
  • Kudzu root has been found to significantly reduce alcohol consumption in both rat studies and human clinical trials (Benlhabib et al, 2004, Lukas et al 2005).
  • As we have said many times–all elements, tools and strategies of HAMS are optional and not all will work for everyone–you must choose what is right for you.
  • These side effects have led some people to discontinue Topamax treatment.

An effective tapering schedule may include cutting out one drink at a time at regular intervals. It might help to set goals and reward yourself when you reach them. It is very important that you estimate your BASELINE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION in terms of standard drinks in order for you to be able to set up a taper schedule. Just for reference a 12 ounce regular strength (5%) beer is one standard drink. A standard (750 ml) bottle of wine at 12% alcohol contains 5 standard drinks.

Alcohol Tapering Calculator

There are many other potential diseases that long-term alcohol use can cause, and it is important to stop using alcohol heavily if you are. A taper may help you to get off of alcohol; however, medical detox is typically recommended as the best way to stop using alcohol. It can be tempting to throw yourself into an alternative behavior or substance use in order to distract from the difficulties of recovery. If you notice an urge to use other substances, observe your feelings and consider talking to a counselor to help navigate the emotional impact of tapering your alcohol use. A substitution taper can involve substituting a prescription drug for alcohol. It can also involve substituting the drink of choice with another drink; for example, a person may taper off hard alcohol with beer.

This is the most commonly accepted method of stopping alcohol by the medical community. However, there are risks to this method, and someone stopping alcohol should receive medical monitoring and care if they are likely to experience moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms. Quitting cold turkey allows the shortest detox period and a rapid transition into the next recovery stages. For those at risk for severe withdrawal symptoms, medically-supervised detox is often the safest choice for beginning their sobriety or moderation journey.

How to Taper Off Alcohol

We want to give recovering addicts the tools to return to the outside world completely substance-free and successful. You may receive medication to ease withdrawal symptoms—such as anti-diarrheal medicines or over-the-counter pain relievers. A doctor may prescribe a benzodiazepine as part of the tapering process. All of these withdrawal symptoms are common during acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome. For example, depression could cause suicidal thoughts, and eating poorly can weaken your immune system.

The guidelines for tapering from alcohol are generalized; you may need to modify the tapering schedule if you have difficulties with the original plan. The risk of tapering too quickly is potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms, and the risk of tapering too slowly is a decreased probability of completing the taper. Reducing alcohol consumption should begin with determining your baseline of use since your taper schedule depends on how much you drink before you start decreasing your intake.