How To Taper Off Alcohol Safety Tips & Strategies

Some people find that they do not want to return to alcohol use, while others try to find a happy medium for moderate consumption. Because tapering can be tricky and alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous, you should never start a taper before talking to your doctor. All of these withdrawal symptoms are common during acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

beer taper

Whatever method you use to taper down, your plan should also be approved and monitored by a healthcare profession to ensure your safety. Working with a physician on the Monument platform can help determine what timeline will work for you based on your past drinking habits and risk of withdrawal. Whatever schedule is chosen, it’s important to commit so you can build upon your progress and avoid withdrawal symptoms as much as possible. If you suddenly quit drinking, your brain can start to make more of an excitatory substance called glutamate. This excessive glutamate level can lead to alcohol withdrawal symptoms, which can be dangerous.

Tapering off Alcohol vs. Going Cold Turkey

Before beginning a tapering schedule, speak with your doctor about the risks of detoxing at home. Tapering off alcohol may complicate other medical conditions or co-occurring mental health disorders. 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. You should plan to taper for between three and seven days depending on how much you’re used to drinking. Slowly reduce the amount of alcohol you consume each day until you reach sobriety.

beer taper

When an individual has developed a substance use disorder or dependence on alcohol, stopping its use outright can seem virtually impossible. On top of this, quitting immediately — or “cold turkey” as many users and professionals call it — can be dangerous. Withdrawal symptoms are generally uncomfortable to deal with, but they can be fatal. To avoid or reduce the impact of the withdrawal symptoms, people struggling with alcohol may choose to progressively taper off alcohol rather than quit abruptly. The tapering down process can take place for the first several weeks or even months of the alcohol recovery timeline.

Derived forms of taper

Unfortunately, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can worsen quickly, and they can include agitation and hallucinations that make it more difficult to seek help. For this reason, it is best to seek medical advice on whether you should taper at home or under medical observation. The most recommended form of alcohol to use in tapering is beer due to its lower alcohol content. Consumption should be minimal; just enough to prevent withdrawal symptoms and gradually reducing the amount until you are no longer using alcohol. You should be able to taper off alcohol within a few days, 3 to 5 days at the most.

  • Alcohol withdrawal occurs when neurotransmitters that combat the effects of alcohol on the nervous system suddenly have nothing to counteract them.
  • Tapering can be a long process that takes weeks or even months to finish.
  • When you drink a lot over a long period, your brain reduces sensitivity to GABA.
  • However, individuals who suffer from alcohol addiction require professional rehab.
  • Seemed like they were written by sober people who never had to taper themselves or were never big alcoholics.
  • If you’re unable to reduce how much you drink, you may have a disease called alcoholism that requires professional addiction treatment.

This is a staggering number considering that many other drugs do not even have the possibility of lethal withdrawals. For this reason, experts advise that alcohol cessation be monitored safely with steady effort between oneself and a physician. Anyone wanting to stop using alcohol may benefit from tapering if they first consult with their doctor to ensure they are tapering safely. Tapering is a more cost-effective method of stopping alcohol use, especially for those who do not have healthcare insurance or the resources needed to get a professional detox. People who have successfully tapered from alcohol before may be especially likely to benefit from this strategy.

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