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. Keep drinking at this reduced level for four days, then try to cut down by another 10%. And after cutting down slowly, you’ll find it much easier to stop drinking when you’re ready. Normally, we would recommend getting professional support before you try to cut down your drinking.
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 addicted to alcohol, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to recover without some form of addiction treatment. You may be able to detox at home and recover from alcoholism with the help of support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. However, medically supervised detox and professional rehab are more likely to help you maintain long-term sobriety.
Professional Help for Weaning off Alcohol
This balances out the effects of alcohol and makes your brain function more as it should while you have alcohol in your bloodstream. When we stop drinking, we remove the substance responsible for many of our mood cycles. As a result, Thiry says, many report improved relationships with family members, less risk-taking behavior, better energy and health, and the ability to work out.
If you mess up once or twice and drink more than you intended to, don’t be too discouraged. You can continue your taper the next day from whatever point you think is appropriate. I’d try to shoot for your original goal the following day if the physical withdrawals were subsiding. As long as you are trending downward overall, you’re doing well. Don’t just give up and drink a fifth because you had your 6 drinks before noon when you meant to have 6 drinks over the whole day.
How to Wean Off Alcohol & Safely Taper Drinking
This will help you figure out a baseline to start your taper. The idea is to religiously take this like medicine for the next week or two. As a general rule, if you’ve been drinking an average of 10 drinks or more a day every day for more than a couple of weeks, you will need to taper. If you’ve been binge drinking 15-20+ drinks a day for 2-3 days, you will need to taper. The numbers may be less for women, individuals with smaller bodies, and people who are underweight. A direct taper means drinking the regular substance of choice but lowering the amount that’s consumed every day.
Discussing these issues with a loved one can help you avoid relapse. These symptoms may start a few hours or a few days after your last drink of alcohol. Sometimes, symptoms may be severe enough to require medical treatment at a hospital or rehabilitation facility. But some people choose to manage alcohol withdrawal themselves. Here are suggestions for how to get through alcohol withdrawal at home. If you’ve been drinking heavily for a long time and think you might experience withdrawal symptoms, it’s best to talk with a medical professional before you begin a taper.
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous
In 2019 the Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Services Administration reported that 14.5 millions of americans suffered from Alcohol Use Disorder. Treatment is the best way to ensure long-term abstinence from alcohol. This is especially true if you are suffering from an alcohol use disorder. Addiction alters the chemical balance in a person’s brain, making it extremely difficult to quit drinking alcohol on one’s own.
My first recommendation is to seek professional help at an inpatient rehab facility, a dedicated detox center, or, in severe cases, the emergency room. If you or someone you know needs help detoxing from alcohol, The Recovery Village Ridgefield is here for you. Contact us today to speak with a representative and begin on the road to lasting addiction recovery. While the safest way to taper is with professional help in a detox facility, this may not be an option for everyone. A person may need to detox at home for many reasons, including cost or time.
If you must get drunk during your taper, do yourself a favor and just get buzzed, not completely trashed. If you’re lucky enough to have a supportive friend, a roommate, or a family member that lives with you who can assist, that is ideal. Tell them what you’re planning on doing, give them a copy of your planned taper schedule, and have them hold all the alcohol to portion out and give to you as needed. Ideally, pick someone who doesn’t also have a problem with alcohol. Note that in some states, doctors may commit individuals at risk of harming themselves to 72 hours of involuntary treatment for addiction. These states include, but are not limited to, California, Colorado, Delaware, DC, Florida, Maine, Mass, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
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. After several days of 5 glasses of wine, you can reduce that down to 4. Eventually, after a period of time, you will have tapered down to zero drinks. If you’re interested in medication-assisted treatment, medication to curb cravings can be a helpful tool for reducing your consumption.
A couple of different strategies for tapering alcohol exist. These include direct tapers, where you regularly decrease the amount of alcohol you consume, and substitution tapers, where how to taper off alcohol you replace alcohol with another substance. These strategies work in different ways to help you quit drinking, and one or the other may be appropriate for you based on your needs.