It becomes easy to talk yourself into drinking more, breaking your promise to yourself. A plan may be set up so that each day on the calendar how to taper off alcohol allows less and less drinking. Those who drink enormous amounts of alcohol each day can expect withdrawal symptoms to be worse.

Have a shot of whiskey, drink water for two hours, have another shot of whiskey. Rather than consuming back to back alcohol-filled drinks, you are replacing some with a non-alcoholic beverage. In this article, we’re taking a closer look at how to taper off alcohol to avoid withdrawal. Treatment for addiction takes many forms and depends on the needs of the individual. In accordance with the American Society of Addiction Medicine, we offer information on outcome-oriented treatment that adheres to an established continuum of care. In this section, you will find information and resources related to evidence-based treatment models, counseling and therapy and payment and insurance options.

Stay away from situations that involve alcohol.

Always start with a professional consultation with your doctor. Remember your motivation for cutting back and set realistic goals. Photo by Sven van Bellen on PexelsSet up a tapering schedule in advance . Decide how much you’ll reduce your drinking each day, and have a specific finish date.

What is considered a heavy drinker?

For men, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming 15 drinks or more per week. For women, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming 8 drinks or more per week.

If you try tapering off alcohol and find that you are struggling with withdrawal and relapse, it is a good idea to seek the assistance of a professional medical alcohol detox facility. The most recommended form of alcohol to use in tapering is beer due to its lower alcohol content. Consumption should be minimal; just enough to prevent withdrawal symptoms and gradually reducing the amount until you are no longer using alcohol. You should be able to taper off alcohol with a few days, 3 to 5 at the most. While you are tapering off alcohol, it is important that you stay hydrated.

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Each time you reduce something, like drinking, remember to replace that action with something positive. The people who support you in your mission are the ones who care about you. The people who mock your ideas or try to prevent you from getting sober should not be included in your support system. This means making healthy decisions about drinking behaviors. But we are talking about tapering off, which means you will be drinking. You must work with someone who can hold you accountable if you break your tapering off schedule or try to justify a continuance of drinking.

how much do you need to drink to to taper off alcohol

By removing all alcohol from your home, you are significantly reducing the temptation to drink in excess. This allows your body to break its dependency without causing alcohol withdrawal. This process can last several days, weeks, or months depending on your tolerance level, history of use, and other factors. However, achieving sobriety is a process that can take quite some time.

Practice Mindful Drinking

Yes, your tolerance to alcohol can diminish fairly quickly after you stop drinking. It will begin to diminish within days after your last drink. Relapse after a period of sobriety can be dangerous because your tolerance has gone down.

Cheryl is a Clinical Social Worker licensed by the state of Maryland with over 30 years of experience in the field. She graduated from The University of Maryland with a master’s degree in social work. As a licensed clinician, Cheryl stands ready to diagnose and treat a wide spectrum of mental, behavioral, and personality disorders that sometimes present alongside a substance use disorder. Her experience in behavioral health training, program development, and organizational leadership lead her to pursue a certification as a Project Management Professional in 2018. The Freedom Center Editorial team is made of up individuals who have struggled with addiction, loved ones who have helped family members through addiction, and professionals in addiction treatment.

Can people successfully use alcohol to taper off?

Mutual support groups like AA can provide a strong support network for those in addiction treatment for alcohol misuse. A medical professional must supervise anyone who experiences DTs when lowering alcohol intake. Tapering refers to gradually reducing the consumption of a substance to diminish the intensity of withdrawal symptoms. Being born and raised in Gaithersburg, Maryland, it was always a dream for James to start a program where he began his own recovery journey. 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. When you quit cold turkey without supervision, you’re more likely to relapse and binge drink, which increases the likelihood of overdose.

  • Alcohol addiction is a progressive disease that can cause you to become dependent on alcohol.
  • Minor symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can start as soon as six hours after the last drink of alcohol.
  • After being exposed to alcohol over a long period of time the GABA receptors stop responding as efficiently to the presence of GABA.
  • Paint, play board games, play a musical instrument, do woodworking — these and other activities are great alternatives to drinking.

For this reason, you should always talk to your doctor before attempting to quit drinking. When you quit alcohol after having developed alcohol dependence, your brain will be thrown into a chemical imbalance.