How To Taper Off Alcohol Risks of Quitting Alcohol Cold Turkey

What’s most important is looking at your drinking habits and finding a way to cut back that works for you. Maybe you don’t think you depend on alcohol exactly, but you still wonder whether you might be drinking too much. But, as many in recovery will tell you, it is only the first chapter in a long process. As such, there is only limited guidance available about the best ways to taper. BetterHelp offers affordable mental health care via phone, video, or live-chat. Finally, there are many apps that can help you track your drinking, and seek either moderation or abstinence.

weaning yourself off alcohol

More on Substance Abuse and Addiction

  • Tapering off alcohol, rather than stopping all at once, is the most effective way to avoid serious withdrawal symptoms and other problems such as dehydration.
  • You’ve been conditioning your brain to work on alcohol, and over time, its structure has physically changed[2].
  • MAT should always be administered under the supervision of a healthcare professional who can prescribe the appropriate medication and monitor its effectiveness.

Sometimes, they may experience seizures and delirium tremens (DTs). Although you can use methods to taper off alcohol at home, the best way to taper is to talk to a doctor. They can monitor your intake and adjust it accordingly to reduce the risk of withdrawal symptoms. Talk to a medical professional if you have any concerns about tapering off alcohol. They can provide recommendations to help you avoid harmful side effects.

Timeline of Alcohol Withdrawal

  • This includes early symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, such as mild tremors and anxiety.
  • If alcohol is interfering with your health or your personal, financial, or professional life, consider quitting.
  • Whatever your reason to quit drinking, know that you’re doing yourself a favor.
  • It’s always best to consult a physician on the best strategy, especially if you drink heavily.
  • The alcohol withdrawal timeline varies, but the worst of the symptoms typically wear off after 72 hours.

Below I share some key information so you can determine if weaning off alcohol is right for you. The Recovery Village Ridgefield medical detox center in Vancouver, WA, is a fully staffed rehab facility designed to help you wean off alcohol in comfort. We offer 16 detox beds and around-the-clock medical care provided by a multidisciplinary team of addiction experts. Alcohol detox medications can make the process safer and more comfortable. They can also ensure your alcohol detox is successful by making it nigh impossible to relapse if symptoms get difficult.

Find a local drug and alcohol support service

  • 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.
  • Seizures can also occur within the first 24 to 48 hours, although these are less likely to occur in people with less severe alcohol dependency.
  • Ask your doctor whether any medications may help in the process.
  • Keep in mind the reasons you chose to cut back on or quit alcohol.
  • Alcohol impacts our sleep, relationships, weight, risk for serious chronic conditions and more.

It doesn’t mean you have to go to rehab (though that’s certainly an option). You can try support groups, therapy, psychiatrists, spiritual groups, and outpatient rehab services. I have a complete guide on Alternatives to Rehab, which has over a dozen different options to select from. During this taper, you may notice you’re feeling pretty good again. The first days were miserable, but now you’re a week in, you’re at the 5-6 drinks a day mark, and you feel fine. Your addicted brain may use this as an excuse to increase your dosage.

Managing Stress and Emotional Triggers

weaning yourself off alcohol

Stage 2: Moderate Withdrawal