Can Tapering Off Alcohol Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms?

Most doctors would rather save the beds in their psych wards for people who are actually suicidal and send you home. There are two ways to taper off alcohol⁠—a direct or substitution taper. The success of these strategies will depend on how much you drink and what you drink. If you struggle to stop drinking, avoid places and situations that tempt you to drink alcohol.

But some people choose to manage alcohol withdrawal themselves. Here are suggestions for how to get through alcohol withdrawal at home. Talk with a healthcare professional if you’re concerned you may experience detox symptoms when quitting drinking or cutting back. If you want to change your relationship with alcohol, it’s important to have an honest conversation with a doctor about your drinking habits before you start tapering off. They’ll be able to help you create a tapering schedule that won’t only raise your chance of success but also avoid severe symptoms.

Recognize Dangerous Withdrawal Symptoms

If you think you’re tapering too quickly, it’s okay to slow down. Just because you had 8 drinks instead of 6 one day doesn’t mean you’ve failed, especially if you still drank the same or less than the previous day. Maybe you just need to set more realistic goals for yourself and slow your taper.

Delirium tremens (DT) is a life-threatening condition that requires medical attention. If you experience nausea, seizures, and hallucinations, seek help. Making alcohol difficult to access can help you avoid temptation and increase the chances of a successful detox. The detoxification timeline varies based on the severity of the alcohol addiction.

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Consider writing them down and keeping notes on hand, so you have a physical reminder to look at when you need it to help motivate you to stay the course. Feeling at your best physically can boost resilience and emotional strength, equipping you to weather challenges that trigger the desire to drink. Finding or reaching out to other sober people can also help.

If you’re unable to reduce how much you drink, you may have a disease called alcoholism that requires professional addiction treatment. Alcohol rehab helps you taper off alcohol, and it treats other side effects and causes of alcoholism. If you want to stop smoking weed, it’s also important to remember that you don’t have to do it all on your own. Getting help from your healthcare provider or therapist can increase your chances of successfully quitting marijuana.

Alcohol Detox at Home

If you have a severe level of addiction or dependency, you may need a detox program. Talk to a medical professional to find the best detox option for you. However, even the best-designed tapers can put you at risk for alcohol withdrawal syndrome. For this reason, you should never start an alcohol taper before clearing with your doctor.

  • Dr. Streem suggests starting with the World Health Organization’s Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT).
  • Making alcohol difficult to access can help you avoid temptation and increase the chances of a successful detox.
  • Stay focused, stay determined, and know that a healthier and happier future awaits you.
  • You may decide to seek medical treatment for your withdrawal symptoms or decide to enter a professional detox or rehab center.
  • Seek support from loved ones or join support groups to stay motivated and share experiences.
  • Ideally, pick someone who doesn’t also have a problem with alcohol.

There are multiple health benefits you can experience when you start drinking less alcohol. The exact benefits will depend on how much alcohol you were drinking and on factors such as your genetics, overall health, and how your body responds. But drinking less is always a good choice for your body and health. Having a plan can help you stay on track and it can keep you safe. One of the keys to a successful taper is taking gradual steps that will cause as few side effects as possible. It’s common for the first symptoms to appear within a few hours after your last drink.