How to avoid benzo risks, including what to do if someone overdoses after using Xanax, Valium (diazepam) or temazepam or other depressant drugs like heroin and methadone. Get harm reduction advice on how to stay safe and healthy if you’re injecting. How to break an alcohol or drug habit, including how to how to form new habits and handle cravings. Alcohol also inhibits the glutamate receptor–which is the cause of staggering, slurring, and general interference with muscular coordination.

  • Therefore, seeking professional care to develop a customized tapering strategy is highly recommended.
  • Monitoring these symptoms closely and adjusting the tapering schedule is crucial.
  • When you call our team, you will speak to a Recovery Advocate who will answer any questions and perform a pre-assessment to determine your eligibility for treatment.
  • 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.

Saved Costs and Time

As long as safety precautions are taken, there’s no wrong way to begin a sobriety or moderation journey. This journey is often non-linear, and your goals can change over time. Take our short alcohol quiz to learn where you fall on the drinking spectrum and if you might benefit from quitting or cutting back on alcohol. The study also looked at changing how semaglutide doses are ramped up when patients begin taking the drug.

Can I Just Quit Alcohol Cold Turkey?

Because symptoms such as seizures and delirium tremens can be fatal, reducing alcohol consumption can be dangerous for some. It is therefore extremely important that you talk to your doctor before you start the process of weaning off alcohol. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can start as early as 6 hours after the last drink and can range from mild to severe, depending on the amount and duration of alcohol consumption. Only about 5% of people with alcohol withdrawal experience delirium tremens. Tapering off alcohol is a critical step for individuals dealing with alcohol dependence.

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  • Diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis are more frequent in individuals who chronically drink.
  • The tapering process is tailored to the individual’s needs, considering the severity of dependence and any comorbid conditions.
  • If your BASELINE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION is less than 20 drinks per day then we recommend reducing consumption by two standard drinks per day.
  • If you drink heavily, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be harsh, dangerous, and even fatal.

Tapering is also a strategy used by people with a substance or alcohol use disorder (AUD). However, improper tapering could lead to relapse, overdose, and severe health consequences. Tapering Top 5 Advantages of Staying in a Sober Living House off alcohol helps some people start their recovery journeys. It can also be a good idea for people who don’t want to, or can’t, attend any type of full detoxification program.

Whatever schedule is chosen, it’s important to commit so you can build upon your progress and avoid withdrawal symptoms as much as possible. You should always seek medical advice before attempting any kind of alcohol withdrawal. People with moderate to severe alcohol addiction may find an alcohol taper difficult to accomplish. If you have trouble controlling how much you drink or experience significant alcohol cravings, you may need professional help instead of trying to taper your alcohol use at home. An alcoholic can only safely reduce their alcohol consumption under medical supervision. Alcohol withdrawal can be deadly, especially for people with alcohol use disorder.

Loop in a Therapist or Addiction Specialist

More concerning is the prevalence of binge drinking and heavy alcohol use. In the same year, 28.3 million people had an alcohol use disorder (AUD). But if you’re living with alcohol use disorder, drinking is more than a habit. People with alcohol use disorder can’t stop drinking even when it causes problems, like emotional distress or physical harm to themselves or others. Or maybe it’s a pregnancy that made you realize it’s time to stop drinking. Or maybe you’re just looking to improve your health, wake up hangover-free and give your liver (and your heart and brain) a break.

how to slowly wean off alcohol

how to slowly wean off alcohol

Joining support groups can be immensely beneficial for individuals looking to quit drinking alcohol. Support groups provide a sense of community, understanding, and empathy. They offer a space where individuals can share their struggles, triumphs, and strategies for maintaining sobriety. Professionals, such as doctors, therapists, counselors, or addiction specialists, can provide valuable guidance and expertise tailored to your specific needs. They can help you develop a personalized treatment plan, address any underlying issues contributing to your alcohol use, and provide ongoing support. Many people struggle with alcohol addiction and want to quit but are unsure of how to do so safely.

Making changes to your drug and alcohol use

A person is free to increase the taper speed (e.g., lower by three drinks instead of two) as they see fit. The second situation involves counting the daily drinks and switching them to a beverage with lower alcohol content, such as beer. Switching to beer from hard liquor is safer because it is easier to control the amount of beer that is consumed and is harder to binge drink. Consuming a lighter alcoholic drink like beer also makes it easier for someone to stay hydrated throughout the taper. A direct taper means drinking the regular substance of choice but lowering the amount consumed daily.

If you’ve been drinking consistently for a long time, it’s a good idea to consider the safest way to stop when it’s time to cut back. However, weaning off alcohol isn’t always necessary for people who want to cut back or stop drinking. The most significant factor is whether or not you’ve become chemically dependent. When done under medical supervision, tapering off alcohol has few downsides. However, tapering can sometimes be unsafe if you attempt to do so on your own without a doctor’s knowledge. For example, if you start to suffer from alcohol withdrawal symptoms despite an attempt to taper, your symptoms may worsen before you have the chance to seek medical attention.