how to taper down alcohol

Further, mental health disorders like anxiety and depression are extremely common in those who struggle with drinking, and these disorders can make it even harder to stay sober. Dr. Streem suggests starting with the World Health Organization’s Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). It can be a particularly helpful way to help you get a clearer understanding of your drinking habits and your relationship with alcohol. It’s a 10-question screening test that gives you research-backed, personalized advice for quitting or reducing your intake of alcohol. These are offered to patients with moderate to severe Alcohol Use Disorder, having the goal of reducing alcohol consumption and achieving abstinence, and they can be used in acute withdrawal syndrome treatment. Maybe they don’t have peer support or maybe their alcohol addiction is too severe.

Symptoms timeline

  • After several days of 5 glasses of wine, you can reduce that down to 4.
  • Although with this method, it is important that the friend or family member is accessible when symptoms of withdrawals such as tremors return.
  • It is important in curbing the effects of anxiety and vigilance when it’s time for you to get some rest.
  • Many people with alcohol use disorder struggle with dehydration and nausea during withdrawal.
  • Patients who experience more severe alcohol withdrawal should receive pharmacotherapy to treat their symptoms and reduce their risk of seizures and delirium tremens.

The process begins with a thorough medical evaluation by healthcare professionals who assess your physical and psychological health, alcohol use history, and withdrawal risks. Alcohol addiction can be difficult and sometimes dangerous how to taper off alcohol at home to handle on your own. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, contact us to learn more and get started with alcohol addiction treatment. The severity of withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening.

how to taper down alcohol

Study strengths and limitations

how to taper down alcohol

Alcohol can also activate opioid receptors, the same receptors that bind with your body’s natural endorphins and narcotic drugs such as oxycodone and heroin. Opioid receptors dull pain, but they also cause the release of dopamine, a natural chemical tied to reward. All of these chemical activities caused by alcohol can make drinking feel good, which can train your brain to seek out alcohol compulsively, which leads to addiction. Alcohol is likely the most widely used recreational substance in the world. In the United States, most people will drink alcohol at least once. Its cultural acceptance has made it a common psychoactive substance in the United States.

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Tapering alcohol may be uncomfortable, and there may be subconscious triggers that stimulate the desire to drink alcohol. Stress is a common trigger that makes it hard to modify your alcohol intake. Finding a different, more healthy way to unload stress may go a long way in helping someone succeed in cutting back on their alcohol use. However, even the best-designed tapers can put you at risk for alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

Alcohol Withdrawal: How to Get Through It

They will be able to help you uncover the underlying causes of your drinking issues and properly diagnose any co-occurring mental health conditions that you may be suffering from. Read on to learn how to wean off alcohol, whether alcohol withdrawal can kill you, and other common questions about quitting drinking. Quitting alcohol can be extremely hard, especially without medical support.

How To Deal With Alcohol Withdrawal

This excess glutamate triggers alcohol withdrawal symptoms, which can sometimes be dangerous. If you’re living with alcohol use disorder, quitting drinking is important for your health. But quitting on your own can pose risks to your health and is unlikely to be successful. Rehabilitation facilities can help you on your path to sobriety by addressing alcohol withdrawal symptoms and becoming involved in sober living support groups, like AA. Medications are often used to manage the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal safely. Benzodiazepines, such as diazepam (Valium) or lorazepam (Ativan), are commonly prescribed to reduce withdrawal symptoms and prevent complications like seizures.

  • Antidepressant medications are not meant to be used for treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder unless there is evidence of a co-occurring disorder for which an antidepressant is an indicated treatment.
  • It was therefore agreed that applying the context and mechanisms domains could be valuable to show how contexts and mechanisms limit the implementation of the phenomena of interest.
  • Whether you decide to taper down your alcohol use or safely begin with abstinence, having a sobriety toolkit and support system will be the most important factor towards success in reaching your goals.
  • Tapering off alcohol involves gradually reducing the amount of alcohol you drink.
  • From there, you may need social support, consistent self-care, and new routines that can help redirect your mind.

What vitamins and supplements help with alcohol withdrawal?

What matters most is your ability to maintain an open, curious outlook as you learn what does and doesn’t work for you. Satisfying hobbies can distract you from wanting to drink, but they also help you relax — something everyone needs to do. If you turn to alcohol to manage emotional distress, the added overwhelm can prompt the urge to drink, making success seem even more out of reach. What’s most important is looking at your drinking habits and finding a way to cut back that works for you. From month-long sobriety challenges to the Sober Curious movement, more and more people are taking a closer look at the role alcohol plays in their lives. Educate your loved ones on dangerous symptoms, too, so they can look out for you and get you medical attention if you need it.

If you’re struggling with severe alcohol addiction, a medical detox program is your likely best option for tapering off alcohol safely. But if you still have control over your drinking and want to drink less, you may be able to self-taper. Generally speaking, alcohol home detox is neither the most effective nor the safest method of quitting alcohol.

Identifying a Standard Drink


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