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Because tapering can be tricky and alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous, you should never start a taper before talking to your doctor. It can take different people varying amounts of time to taper off alcohol. How long it takes depends on factors like how much you typically drink.

  • Seeking help as early as possible during the withdrawal process is the best way to stay safe as you cleanse your body of alcohol.
  • Avoiding alcohol can reduce your risk of alcohol-related liver diseases, inflammation, and cirrhosis, promoting long-term liver health.
  • For many other drugs, tapering is actually a standard treatment during medical detox.

Understanding the benefits of tapering off alcohol or leading a sober-curious lifestyle may help you make an informed decision about your alcohol usage. Your doctor can determine if tapering alcohol is safe for your unique situation and help you create a plan to quit drinking alcohol. If that is, in fact, the case, and they are going to experience the symptoms of withdrawal anyway, then it might be more helpful for them to undergo a more streamlined and straightforward detox process.

How Do You Taper Off Alcohol to Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms?

Seek medical assistance if your physical symptoms last for a week or longer. The symptoms you’re experiencing may not be the result of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol dependence and addiction are serious medical conditions.

The phrase cold turkey refers to abruptly stopping drug or alcohol use. Typically, when a person thinks about the word tapering they think of tapering off medications like opioids. With that being said, tapering is a lot safer than going cold turkey. Although going cold turkey on opioids is dangerous and can cause significant withdrawal symptoms, quitting alcohol cold turkey can be fatal. Because alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening in some cases, safety is crucial when you work towards sobriety. Little scientific evidence exists regarding tapers, but medical detox has been proven to be a safe and effective way to quit drinking.

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There’s no set time frame for tapering off alcohol that works for everyone. Even if your situation seems like someone else’s, your body may respond differently to the tapering process. You may receive medication to ease withdrawal symptoms—such as anti-diarrheal medicines or over-the-counter pain relievers. A doctor may prescribe a benzodiazepine as part of the tapering process. An effective tapering schedule may include cutting out one drink at a time at regular intervals.

As a Certified Professional Recovery Coach, I often speak with people who want to wean off alcohol. The thought of abstaining from alcohol completely can feel daunting, and in some cases, it can even be dangerous without medical supervision. Below I share some key information so you can determine if weaning off alcohol is right for you. Obviously quitting cold turkey from a 12-beer-a-day habit is going to be more stressful than tapering off slowly. But that does not mean home detox is effective, appropriate, or safe.

How To Wean Yourself off Alcohol Safely

While it is possible to manage alcohol detoxification without medical supervision, it is extremely dangerous and can be fatal. Along with increased direct risks to one’s health, tapering also results in a much higher relapse rate. Here we will examine the unique risks and methods that people have used to taper off alcohol. If you drink alcohol and are thinking about quitting, it is important to make sure you do so safely. One of the safest ways to quit drinking is through tapering, which involves slowly reducing your alcohol intake over time.

tapering off alcohol

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