Can Tapering Off Alcohol Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms?

Maybe you’ve never been interested in logging your innermost thoughts, but journaling can be a great tool to track your feelings as you work on quitting alcohol. By avoiding alcohol, you’re taking a big step toward improving physical health. As you begin to notice those health benefits, you’ll likely feel more energized and inspired to keep up your progress. Research shows that most people believe that drinking can make them feel better. However, when alcohol makes up part of your typical routine, drinking can become something of an automatic response, especially when you feel stressed or overwhelmed.

The main difference between tapering and cold turkey is how fast you quit. Cold turkey is a common slang term for quitting alcohol (or any substance) 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. If you’ve decided to quit drinking, and tapering seems like the right approach, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to wean off alcohol—including useful strategies, how to create a tapering schedule, and how to stay safe throughout the process. The guidelines state that alcohol should be consumed in moderation — up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.

A tough question: When should an older driver stop driving?

You will know exactly how much and how often you consume alcohol. With this information, it’s time to explore what changes you want to make with alcohol and its place in your life. There is no one-size-fits-all in cutting down, and it’s up to you to decide what kind of limit you would like to set with alcohol. The main treatment type to help with alcohol issues is counseling. Counseling is suitable for any level of drinker who is trying to make changes.

However, try not to have too many firm expectations, as symptoms can continue for multiple weeks in some people. Alcohol withdrawal delirium (AWD), commonly known as delirium tremens (DT), is the most serious symptom of alcohol withdrawal. These symptoms generally appear 12 to 24 hours after your last drink. While these symptoms are more severe than Stage 1, they are not life-threatening. Small changes can make a big difference in reducing your problems related to your drinking. Another clue that can be an indication of an unhealthy relationship with alcohol is if you make “rules” around drinking.

Will I experience withdrawal symptoms if I stop drinking?

Even if you fail, there are still plenty of treatment options you can turn to. With these things in mind, you need to weigh the pros and cons of tapering your alcohol use—ideally with someone you trust—to make a fully informed decision. Quitting alcohol alone is harder for some than others, but there’s no need to go it alone. Consider writing them down and keeping notes on hand, so you have a physical reminder to look at when you need it to help motivate you to stay the course.

  • The Sinclair Method involves taking naltrexone before drinking.
  • Of those who do drink, the largest portion of young Europeans (defined as over the legal drinking age up to 39) drinks once a month (27%), while in the US, the biggest group drink once a week (25%).
  • In order to change your drinking habits, your first step is to take a close look at your current behaviors and find patterns.
  • By opening up about your relationship with alcohol, you might also encourage others to explore their own drinking habits.

Those with a wider circle of support have a better chance of staying sober. For those with alcohol use disorder, withdrawal is just the first (but very important) step on a long journey to recovery. These first few weeks are critical because they are when the risk of relapse is highest. For people who experience hallucinations as part of alcohol withdrawal, these may begin in the 12- to 24-hour time frame. There is no exact timeline for alcohol withdrawal, and individual factors, such as the level of dependence on alcohol, will influence it. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms range from mild but annoying to severe and life-threatening.