Without careful planning and observation, it’s possible to rush the tapering process, or taper too slowly which can lead to return to previous drinking habits. Because alcohol use disorder and depression often go hand in hand, detoxing from alcohol might exacerbate mood disorders. Withdrawal symptoms can make anxiety and depression feel worse. And, if you abused alcohol as a coping mechanism, you might feel lost without it. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can start as soon as just a few hours after you have had your last drink.

  • Metaphorically speaking, do you like to dip your toe in first, or cannonball right in?
  • If the drink is a mixed drink, it can contain sugar or other additives that should not be included in the taper and may worsen the effects of withdrawal symptoms.
  • It can also help reduce withdrawal symptoms, which can be severe.
  • The consequences of quitting alcohol cold turkey can be serious and lead to alcohol withdrawal syndrome, which can be fatal in severe cases.

In animal studies, CBD has been shown to be an effective tool against some of the characteristics of alcohol use disorder. Research demonstrates that CBD helps to reduce alcohol intake, motivation for alcohol and relapse. Detoxing from alcohol can seem daunting, but it is the first and arguably most important step in becoming sober. Alcohol detox can be uncomfortable or even dangerous, but with professional help can be a safe experience.

Is Weaning Off Alcohol Right For Me?

This can trigger alcohol withdrawal symptoms, which can be dangerous in some cases. The main neurotransmitter system involved in alcohol withdrawal is the GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) system. Simply put, GABA receptors cause a person to feel calm, relaxed or sleepy. This is why when people drink alcohol they will feel calm, relaxed, or sleepy.

how to taper off alcohol safely

This is especially true of heavy drinkers who are surrounded by the triggers that encourage drinking and lack the support needed to encourage change. Stopping alcohol use is the first step of the recovery journey, but staying sober for longer and longer periods is the goal. Getting professional treatment and long-term support are two of the most valuable strategies for avoiding relapse. Reframe is an evidence backed app to help people develop healthier drinking habits.

Avoiding the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

Having faced addiction in his own life, and having worked through recovery, James truly understands what it takes to get sober and stay sober. James now has the opportunity to do what he loves and help others achieve long-term recovery. Vince is a licensed social worker who treats clients recovering from substance use disorders. Vince received his bachelor’s degree in Family Science from The University of Maryland, and received his master’s degree in Social Work from The Catholic University of America. He provides individual therapy, group therapy, and assessments for clients in recovery from substance use and any related mental health issues.

People who have alcohol use disorder that goes undiagnosed may have an especially difficult time cutting back on their alcohol consumption. In many cases, people with a moderate to severe alcohol use disorder may be advised to undergo medical detox, where they slowly rid the body of alcohol under medical supervision rather than a taper. 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.

Why Should You Taper?

Safe alcohol withdrawal is an important part of starting a recovery process. For this reason, you should not abruptly stop alcohol use after a long period of heavy use without medical supervision. Instead, slowly cutting back on your drinking, or using an alcohol tapering schedule, is a safer method to become sober. Consultation with a medical professional or recovery coach is strongly recommended. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.

Tapering alcohol may be uncomfortable, and there may be subconscious triggers that stimulate the desire to drink alcohol. Stress is a common trigger that makes it hard to modify your alcohol intake. Finding a different, more healthy way to unload stress may go a long way in helping someone succeed in cutting back on their alcohol use. However, even the best-designed tapers can put you at risk for alcohol withdrawal syndrome. For this reason, you should never start an alcohol taper before clearing with your doctor.

All unique content created by the Addiction Group team is sourced from current scientific research and fact-checked by an addiction counseling expert before publication. However, the information provided by Addiction Group is not a substitute for professional treatment advice. If you are struggling to stop drinking, https://ecosoberhouse.com/ do your best to avoid places and situations that involve alcohol. You may even ask your family members and friends not to drink while they are around you. 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.

  • A 2019 survey found 7.4% of adult Oregonians reported having alcohol use disorder in the past year.
  • It can be very hard to quit drinking, and isn’t something that should be done alone.
  • Many insurance companies will help pay for some or all of the treatment costs, which may be vital to recovery.
  • For some drinkers, cutting down on the amount of alcohol they drink simply does not work.

Switch to a drink you like less, and only stock your house with that option. If you like liquor, for example, buy a case of a beer brand you don’t like the taste of. Treat how to taper off alcohol alcohol like your withdrawal medication, rather than something you look forward to. Ria Health offers several FDA-approved medications for alcohol use disorder.

To learn about how our substance abuse treatment programs address alcohol dependence and withdrawal management, please contact us today. The main difference between tapering and cold turkey is how fast you quit. Cold turkey is a common slang term for quitting alcohol all at once. Tapering or weaning means ramping down your alcohol use until you get to zero—or to a more moderate level of drinking that you prefer.