How To Taper off Alcohol

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. Because alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening in some cases, safety is crucial when you work towards sobriety.

They can help you cope, make a treatment plan, prescribe medications and refer you to support programs. Alcohol withdrawal is a term used to describe the symptoms that occur after an individual suddenly stops drinking after prolonged and heavy exposure to alcohol. Dizziness is one of the more common withdrawal symptoms in alcohol addiction.

Alcohol use disorder

Improved insight into these issues will enable clinicians to improve the efficiency and quality of care for patients who are experiencing or are at risk for withdrawal. Despite this current understanding of the mechanisms underlying AW syndrome, some controversies still exist regarding the risk, complications, and clinical management of withdrawal. These controversies likely arise from the varied clinical manifestations of the syndrome in alcoholic patients and from the diverse settings in which these patients are encountered.

What is the first step to stop drinking?

The first step is often to consult your primary care doctor or GP. Your doctor can evaluate your drinking patterns, diagnose any co-occurring disorders, assess your overall health, and offer treatment referrals. They may even be able to prescribe medication to help you quit.

A person is more likely to experience severe withdrawal symptoms if they’ve abused drugs in conjunction with alcohol. An alcohol addiction is dangerous, and the best way to reduce the risks of drinking is to stop using alcohol. Tapering your alcohol intake, or slowly reducing it over time, can help you avoid severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Addiction Resources for Veterans

The main downside of cold turkey is how unpleasant and risky it can be. If you drink heavily, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be harsh, dangerous, and even fatal. For this reason, it’s generally best to avoid quitting abruptly, or at bare minimum speak with a doctor first and have someone looking out for you. When you slowly taper your alcohol intake over time instead of quitting cold turkey, you reduce the likelihood of withdrawal symptoms. By weaning yourself from drinking, you give your brain the chance to adjust the amount of GABA it produces.

  • So it’s worth chatting to your doctor if you need a little help getting started.
  • If you begin to experience any of these symptoms, please seek a physician’s care.
  • Her unwavering commitment to peer support, coupled with her own lived experience, fuels her drive to make a meaningful impact in the lives of those facing similar challenges.
  • Thus, a user will likely seek out alcohol again to rid themselves of the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
  • Because he is a member of a support group that stresses the importance of anonymity at the public level, he does not use his photograph or his real name on this website.

Sunnyside uses a psychology-based approach to help you drink more mindfully, no matter what your goal is. You’ll get a 100% custom plan, then daily texts to track your progress and help you stay on target. If you tend to drink too much whenever there is any alcohol in the house, get rid of it altogether,  the NIAAA recommends. Remind yourself of why you want to cut back, talk to a friend about it and distract yourself with a hobby or exercise, the NIAAA suggests.

Symptoms Of Alcohol Withdrawal

AA can be helpful for some people and also provides a very well-established peer support network if you need support. It seems to be more effective in conjunction with professional treatment. Sessions are usually once a week with a qualified professional, such as a psychologist.

  • Thus, a diagnosis of DT’s and AW seizures should be made only after other reasonable causes for these complications have been excluded.
  • Tapering is meant to reduce the withdrawal symptoms from quitting alcohol, but this isn’t a guarantee.
  • The Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol, revised (CIWA–Ar) (Sullivan et al. 1989; Foy et al. 1988).