how to taper off alcohol

This can cause seizures and delirium tremens, a severe form of withdrawal marked by tremors and hallucinations. If you taper off alcohol slowly or with medical supervision, the brain has time to adapt without causing severe side effects. When you taper your alcohol, you slowly reduce your alcohol intake over time. By gradually drinking less instead of stopping cold turkey, your body has a chance to adapt to smaller and less frequent drinks. In turn, your risk of undergoing alcohol withdrawal may be lower.

When to Seek Medical Attention

  • Weaning off alcohol involves gradually decreasing the amount of alcohol you drink.
  • It’s best to reduce your drinking by a small amount each day to avoid the shock to your system.
  • Serious symptoms caused by delirium tremens include hallucination and seizure.
  • Long-term alcohol use can lead to alcohol use disorder (AUD) and physical dependence.

Tapering can be a long process that takes weeks or even months to finish. Although it is possible to taper at home, having medical supervision and assistance can ensure a successful taper. BetterHelp can connect you to an addiction and mental health counselor.

how to taper off alcohol

How to Wean Off Alcohol Safely

how to taper off alcohol

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. People who have alcohol use disorder that goes undiagnosed may have an especially difficult time cutting back on their alcohol consumption. If you’re struggling to stick to a taper or do not trust yourself to moderate your alcohol use, having strict supervision and support can help you meet your recovery goals. For people who experience mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms, there are safe ways to detox at home. People who experience tremors, shakes or confusion when they quit drinking should consider medically supervised detox.

  • They can help you decide if it’s the safest way to start your recovery, and they can help you make a taper plan.
  • If you are tapering yourself off alcohol for the first time, it can be helpful to know what symptoms to expect during the process.
  • Even if you don’t succeed the first time, there are still plenty of treatment options you can turn to.

What happens to your body when you stop drinking?

Remember your motivation for cutting back and set realistic goals. It is important to note that alcohol tapers are generally not recommended as the best way to stop using alcohol. Most healthcare how to taper off alcohol at home professionals recommend a medically-assisted detox as the best way to get off alcohol. Once you know how much of a role alcohol plays in your life, you can figure out how to quit drinking.

  • On top of this, quitting immediately — or “cold turkey” as many users and professionals call it — can be dangerous.
  • “Once you have a sense of how much you’re drinking, it’s helpful to track how many drinks you’re having per day,” says Witkiewitz.
  • It’s important to get medical help even if you have mild symptoms of withdrawal, as it’s difficult to predict in the beginning how much worse the symptoms could get.

how to taper off alcohol

As such, there is only limited guidance available about the best ways to taper. Crystal Raypole has previously worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy. Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health. In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues. If you turn to alcohol to manage emotional distress, the added overwhelm can prompt the urge to drink, making success seem even more out of reach. Maybe you don’t think you depend on alcohol exactly, but you still wonder whether you might be drinking too much.

Rehab Resources

Physical Symptoms

how to taper off alcohol

What To Do After You Finish Tapering Off