How to Safely Taper Off Alcohol


When you taper your alcohol, you slowly reduce your alcohol intake over time. By gradually drinking less instead of stopping cold turkey, your body has a chance to adapt to smaller and less frequent drinks. In turn, your risk of undergoing alcohol withdrawal may be lower. If you’re struggling with severe alcohol addiction, a medical detox program is your likely best option for tapering off alcohol safely.

These symptoms can last for several days or weeks depending on how much alcohol you drink regularly and the length of time you have been drinking excessively. While these symptoms are not life-threatening per se, they can be pretty uncomfortable. There is also an intensive outpatient program that includes group therapy, individual counseling, and education about the disease of addiction.

Alcohol Treatment at Serenity Lane in Oregon

When we stop how to taper off alcohol all at once, rather than tapering, these symptoms can be a stressful shock to the system. The discomfort can then cause some to give up completely and return to drinking. In tapering off, you may experience less stress and potentially fewer symptoms. Ark Behavioral Health offers 100% confidential substance abuse assessment and treatment placement tailored to your individual needs. Here are some tips and strategies for how to taper off alcohol safely. Tapering off alcohol is not the most beneficial option for everyone. People who are severely dependent or addicted to alcohol should seek medical support for alcohol detox.

  • More serious alcohol withdrawal symptoms may require medical attention.
  • While this is a valiant effort and it can work for some people, an abrupt cessation of alcohol can be dangerous for those who have a long history of alcohol abuse and addiction.
  • However, when you quit drinking abruptly, your body’s chemical balance will be thrown off suddenly, leading to uncomfortable side effects.
  • Use distractions, have a trusted friend to talk to and keep a reminder of your reasons to quit in a place that’s easy to reach, such as a wallet or phone.

Providers may prescribe medications such as benzodiazepines to reduce the effects of alcohol withdrawal. Heavier drinkers can taper off faster with medical supervision, but the process can still take weeks or months. However, for people with an AUD, quitting cold turkey or tapering is not advisable. Concerns about tapering off alcohol should be discussed with a medical professional.

Does Alcohol Tapering Work?

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. This should, of course, still be done under the care and supervision of a medical professional at a treatment center specializing in medical detoxification.

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