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. As mentioned above, we strongly recommend speaking with a doctor to ensure your plan is a safe one, and won’t cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

In fact, a few studies have demonstrated that long-acting barbiturates can ease withdrawal symptoms. However, controlled studies have not provided sufficient data to demonstrate that these agents can prevent seizures or DT’s. Furthermore, barbiturates have a narrow therapeutic index—that is, the difference between the minimum dose required for a therapeutic effect and the dose at which the agents become toxic is small. Before initiating any interventions, the first step in managing a patient’s withdrawal is to assess thoroughly the patient’s condition. This assessment should include an evaluation of the presence of coexisting medical and psychiatric conditions, the severity of the withdrawal symptoms, and the risk of withdrawal complications.

Is Quitting Alcohol Cold Turkey Dangerous?

Alcohol tapering is definitely possible, but the question of whether or not it works is not quite as straightforward. In the same way that everyone person is unique and their experience with addiction is going to be unique, the most effective method of recovery is also going to vary from person to person. Still, https://ecosoberhouse.com/ even if someone’s alcohol withdrawal experience does not include seizures of Delirium tremens, the more common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal still make for an overwhelmingly unpleasant experience. Substituting a prescription drug for alcohol should only happen with the help of a medical professional.

Is it better to cut down on alcohol before quitting?

Cutting down your drinking is also a positive goal, and it can even be the first step to quitting entirely. If you're ready to address your drinking, don't be afraid to reach out for help. It's much easier to make positive changes when you've got help and support from other people.

If you find that you are one of those drinkers 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. In medical detox, doctors and nurses provide around-the-clock care while helping you wean off alcohol. Medical detox is then followed by inpatient and outpatient rehab to help you maintain your sobriety over the long term, and medication-assisted treatment may be prescribed as medically appropriate. As a result, little information is available regarding the best way to taper. That said, some independent groups have stepped in, publishing sample tapering schedules to guide people who are trying to cut back on drinking. Another big factor in how long a taper lasts is alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol Tapering Schedule

You can talk to your doctor about medications that may help ease the process. 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. A popular way to taper off alcohol is to gradually reduce the number of drinks you consume over a period of time. For example, if you normally drink 6 glasses of wine each night, you can try reducing that to 5 glasses of wine a night.

When he’s not busy treating The Freedom Center’s clientele, you might find Kevin engaged in his other passion as an actor/director in the local theater community. Kevin’s expertise and experience as a Primary Therapist, paired with his natural talents and abilities as a speaker and an artist, have uniquely equipped him to reach our population and render top-notch care. Cheryl is a Clinical Social Worker licensed by the state of Maryland with over 30 years of experience in the field. She graduated from The University of Maryland with a master’s degree in social work.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Additionally, the post-detox treatment resources available at a professional treatment center can ease the transition to sober living and give you the tools you need to stay sober long-term. Choosing to taper off alcohol is an admirable decision and a step in the right direction. As with many self-detox methods, the risks and rewards go hand in hand when attempting to overcome an alcohol substance use disorder. But, with a little prior knowledge on how to taper off alcohol, adequate planning and professional consultation from a healthcare provider, it can certainly be done.

  • But making the difficult decision to cut back on drinking is much more important than the length of your alcohol taper.
  • Tapering gradually lowers the amount of alcohol that you use over time.
  • Treatment also may prevent increasing severity of withdrawal during subsequent withdrawal episodes and encourage the patient to enter alcoholism treatment for relapse prevention.
  • Vanessa is certified in addictions counseling by Maryland’s Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists, with credentials as a clinical supervisor.
  • This is because when you drink heavily for months or years, your body can start to depend on alcohol to function normally.

Many insurance companies will help pay for some or all of the treatment costs, which may be vital to recovery. Tapering is not recommended how to taper off alcohol for people with an alcohol use disorder (AUD). In this situation, tapering may lead to relapse, overdose, and serious health consequences.

If the drink of choice is liquor, it is difficult to measure amounts and easy to binge drink. If the drink is a mixed drink, it can contain sugar or other additives that should not be included in the taper and may worsen the effects of withdrawal symptoms. Minor symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can start as soon as six hours after the last drink of alcohol. While cirrhosis scars from excessive drinking are irreversible, quitting alcohol and leading a healthier lifestyle can help your liver heal from alcohol-related liver disease. 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.

Consequently, these agents should be used only in combination with benzodiazepines. In general, the use of beta-blockers for treating withdrawal should be considered primarily for patients with coexisting coronary artery disease. Antipsychotic medications such as haloperidol can treat hallucinations and agitation that are unresponsive to adequate doses of benzodiazepines. Because antipsychotic medications can increase the risk of seizures, however, these agents should be used only in combination with benzodiazepines. For example, other cross-tolerant medications, such as barbiturates, would be expected to relieve withdrawal symptoms and prevent withdrawal seizures and DT’s.

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