How to Wean Off Alcohol Safely and Effectively

If you drink alcohol and are thinking about quitting, it is important to make sure you do so safely. One potential way to quit drinking is through tapering, which involves slowly reducing your alcohol intake over time. It depends on your individual metabolism and withdrawal symptoms. The purpose of alcohol tapering is typically to avoid some of the more dangerous symptoms of detox.

tapering off alcohol

Others struggle with insomnia and poor-quality sleep long after they quit drinking. Those who experience the most severe withdrawal symptoms, such as hallucinations and seizures, don’t begin to have those symptoms until days four or five. I’ve also heard of people successfully stopping by reducing their moderate drinking (8-10 a day) to 5-6 a day for a couple days, and then quitting entirely. Although I didn’t experience any seizures, I certainly wouldn’t recommend it. Tapering off alcohol is the act of slowly reducing alcohol intake until a person becomes completely abstinent. Tapering off alcohol to reduces potential withdrawal symptoms and decreases the likelihood of a potentially fatal withdrawal from alcohol in individuals who consume alcohol on a regular basis.

Avoiding the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

This can equate to as much as a full bottle of beer or less than two tablespoons of whisky. It is important to measure your alcohol use in standard drinks while tapering to allow for an accurate comparison of how much you use from day to day. The second situation involves counting the daily drinks and switching them to a beverage with lower alcohol content, such as beer.

  • Tapering off alcohol to reduces potential withdrawal symptoms and decreases the likelihood of a potentially fatal withdrawal from alcohol in individuals who consume alcohol on a regular basis.
  • The timeline for alcohol withdrawal will be different for each individual.
  • Whether you feel like you drink too much alcohol, or you have an alcohol abuse issue, quitting drinking cold turkey can be dangerous.
  • Weaning off alcohol gives your body chemistry a chance to adjust, reducing the shock to your system.
  • The exact timeline for alcohol withdrawal varies from person to person.
  • If the withdrawal symptoms persist for five days, many give in and take a drink to get some relief.

Medical professionals will often, however, recommend a professional detox in which withdrawal symptoms are treated instead of avoided so that you can get off of alcohol as quickly as possible. Quitting alcohol consumption affects drinkers’ sleep patterns differently. Some are able to return to normal sleep patterns after a few days.

Creating an Alcohol Weaning Schedule

The best schedule varies based on how much you drink each day and your overall health. As mentioned above, we strongly recommend speaking with a doctor to ensure your plan is a safe one, and won’t cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms. You don’t have to let the fear of alcohol withdrawal stop you from cutting back or quitting. You may decide to seek medical treatment for your withdrawal symptoms or decide to enter a professional detox or rehab center.

  • If you’re not sure if cold turkey or tapering is right for you, you can join the Monument Community to hear from others who have confronted similar questions.
  • Someone will slowly diminish the amount they drink with the intention of avoiding the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal completely and will hopefully be able to avoid a relapse as well.
  • This is because Delirium tremens is caused by hyperactivity in the nervous system, which is now without the depressant effects of alcohol and is instead going into overdrive.
  • By day eight of abstinence from alcohol, many begin to see the health advantages of quitting.
  • Weaning off alcohol can benefit people who drink moderately or have support systems.

However, for many people with alcohol use disorder, tapering off alcohol is a far better experience than quitting abruptly. People who try tapering off alcohol won’t have the guided support of medical professionals that they would at inpatient treatment. In contrast, in-patient care can be more beneficial and less expensive in the long-term. It can help you reach goals and can minimize some of the unpleasant and severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. If you want to change your relationship with alcohol, it’s important to have an honest conversation with a doctor about your drinking habits before you start tapering off.