Quitting cold turkey means you stop using alcohol all at once without any period of adjustment or replacement therapy. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include nausea, vomiting, shaking, headaches, and insomnia. Benzodiazepines are the most common medications physicians use to taper alcohol and reduce withdrawal symptoms. Before a doctor begins a tapering plan with medications, they will assess the medical stability, including vital sign stability, and pattern of withdrawal symptoms in the patient. People tapering off alcohol may begin experiencing early withdrawal symptoms within 6 to 12 hours after their last drink. This may work for many people, but in practice each individual will respond best to a different pace, and each doctor will have their own recommendations.
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- Tapering alcohol may be uncomfortable, and there may be subconscious triggers that stimulate the desire to drink alcohol.
- This includes early symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, such as mild tremors and anxiety.
- Along with withdrawal symptoms, it may be even more difficult to cut back or taper your alcohol use if you suffer from an alcohol use disorder .
You can also get help by reaching out to a professional rehab facility directly, like The Recovery Village. We can leverage our resources and team to help you reduce and eventually end your alcohol use. Hard liquors, for example, contain higher alcohol-by-volume measures than other beverages. When attempting to taper off alcohol, it is recommended that an individual should substitute these stronger options for wine or beer — or at least hard liquor with a smaller proof. However, some groups have stepped in to try to bridge this gap and have published sample tapering schedules to help those trying to stop drinking. If it isn’t working for you, it’s possible that it’s time to think about your triggers, support networks, and everything else that can affect your relationship with alcohol.
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In addition, social pressures can make it hard to quit drinking, especially if your friends or family also drink heavily. Quitting drinking can feel very isolating, making how to taper off alcohol it even more difficult to do on your own at home without medical support. All of these withdrawal symptoms are common during acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome.
Dangerous for someone who is more likely to suffer serious withdrawal symptoms. Can be difficult to remain focused, chances of returning to previous drinking habits are high.
Can Tapering Down Alcohol Use Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms?
This lessens the severity of withdrawal symptoms, as there is not an abrupt or dramatic change. Tapering will normally create less severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms but will spread them out over a prolonged period. Essentially, tapering provides less intense withdrawal symptoms but over a longer amount of time. If you want to cut back your alcohol consumption or stop drinking alcohol altogether, tapering may help. Tapering is the process of gradually weaning off alcohol rather than quitting cold turkey.