There is no obligation to enter treatment and you can opt out at any time. In addition to telling others about your plans, consider sharing your goals and progress on social media or online forums. It can be a great way to connect with others who are on the same journey and find support and encouragement. Plus, we’re always introducing new features to optimize your in-app experience.

how to wean off of alcohol

It can also be a good idea for people who don’t want to, or can’t, attend any type of full detoxification program. Over time, this can help you slow down and make more intentional choices about how much you’re drinking. You can read all about mindful drinking in this article by a licensed therapist at Monument. Obviously quitting cold turkey from a 12-beer-a-day habit is going to be more stressful than tapering off slowly. But that does not mean home detox is effective, appropriate, or safe.

Weaning (or Tapering) Off Alcohol: What it Means

If you properly taper your alcohol use, you’re less likely to experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Gradually reducing the amount of alcohol you drink can help give your body the time it needs to adjust to the lack of alcohol. The amount of time it takes to taper off of alcohol can vary greatly from person to person. Some people can taper quickly and quit alcohol completely, while others may take longer. But deciding to cut back on drinking is much more important than the length of your alcohol taper.

  • Drinking excessively can have damaging effects on your health, both physical and mental, and it is important to get the support you need to overcome your addiction.
  • However, improper tapering could lead to relapse, overdose, and severe health consequences.
  • If you are interested in medical detox, contact one of our Vertava Health treatment specialists to find alcohol detox programs near you.
  • If you suddenly quit drinking, your body can struggle to catch up.
  • They can take you to the hospital or help you get medical support.

Let them know your plan, your progress, and how withdrawals are going for you. Behavioral therapies can help those struggling with alcohol abuse focus on avoiding old patterns and identify the root causes of addiction. Following successful completion of detox, an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation program may be recommended to allow further work toward recovery and relapse prevention. By Sarah Bence

Sarah Bence, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist and freelance writer.

After 3 Days Without Alcohol

Dietary guidelines recommend that if you drink, men limit daily drinking to two drinks or less per day and women limit their drinking to one drink or less per day. Consuming more than that can lead to liver damage and heart disease, and increase your risk for some cancers. Alcohol can stay in your system for several hours depending on how much you drink. Once it begins to leave your body, early symptoms of withdrawal begin.

The American Pregnancy Organization recommends you limit your caffeine intake to 200 milligrams a day (including food with caffeine). And children and adolescents should stay away from caffeine and other stimulants entirely. And you may be tempted to go back to drinking coffee or soda or may think about taking a headache medication with caffeine in it to make your symptoms disappear. Avoiding the withdrawal symptoms is one of the most common reasons why people continue their caffeine habit. It is very important that you estimate your BASELINE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION in terms of standard drinks in order for you to be able to set up a taper schedule. Just for reference a 12 ounce regular strength (5%) beer is one standard drink.

Stay Hydrated

For example, healthcare providers usually don’t take patients off antidepressants suddenly; rather, they gradually reduce the dosages. Tapering off alcohol involves gradually reducing the amount of alcohol you drink. Besides its positive health benefits, it can help you quit drinking after weeks or months.

how to wean off of alcohol

If you have wanted to quit drinking alcohol but were hesitant to do so because you feared that the withdrawal symptoms would be too severe, you are not alone. Many people are afraid that if they quit drinking, withdrawal symptoms could be difficult to manage, or even dangerous. Knowing what helps with alcohol withdrawal can make the experience less uncomfortable and risky.

Does an instance of alcohol withdrawal mean that I can never safely drink again?

You can use the guidelines to get an idea of how many standard drinks you’re used to. When you quit through tapering, you drink a little less each day until you’re able to have no alcohol at all. It can lower the severity of symptoms, and it can make you more likely to meet your goals. After prolonged alcohol use, your body can come to rely on alcohol for normal functioning, and suddenly going without it can cause potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. This phenomenon is often described as “alcohol dependence.” The most common more mild withdrawal symptoms include headaches, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.

  • Tapering can help minimize these symptoms, but you might still experience some of them while your body adjusts to the lack of alcohol.
  • Some people may relapse, or drink alcohol again, to relieve the symptoms.
  • It is important to be patient with yourself and celebrate your achievements along the way.
  • We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals.
  • The more caffeine you consume, the more likely you are to experience negative side effects, including neurologic and cardiac issues and even death.

Find a supportive friend or family member to be with you while you withdraw and support your new non-drinking lifestyle. Remember you are facing a difficult challenge during alcohol withdrawal, but you are not alone. There are many resources available to help, including peer support groups, counseling, therapy, and inpatient rehabilitation. When that person cuts out alcohol, there is a period when their brain hasn’t yet received the message and still overproduces the stimulating chemicals. With alcohol out of the equation, though, these chemicals cause withdrawal symptoms. It can be helpful to make a plan ahead of time for how to handle a relapse.

Setting Up A Taper Schedule

If you drink alcohol and are thinking about quitting, it is important to make sure you do so safely. One of the safest ways to quit drinking is through tapering, which involves slowly reducing your alcohol intake over time. However, it’s important to note that people with moderate to severe alcohol What is a Halfway House? What to Expect in Halfway Housing addictions may struggle with sticking to a taper schedule and relapse to heavier alcohol use. As many as 71% of people who go through alcohol detox experience symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. When someone stops drinking, they must decide whether to quit “cold turkey” or taper their alcohol use.

Detox doesn’t treat addiction, which is a disease characterized by compulsive behaviors, such as chronic alcohol use. As you navigate this question, it can be helpful to think about how you typically prefer to approach change. Metaphorically speaking, do you like to dip your toe in first, or cannonball right in? 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. Crystal Raypole has previously worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy.