Sober living

Can Tapering Off Alcohol Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms?

“Went from shaky to wanting to scream all day. I almost talked myself into ‘just one more’ several times, but somehow made it through.” “Thankfully, I’m able to sleep, and the shakes come and go, but the anxiety and the dark places are tough.” “I am forgetful, have a hard time concentrating, and sometimes find it hard to formulate meaningful sentences.”

For example, one 12-ounce can of beer contains the same amount of alcohol as a 5-ounce glass of wine or a mixed drink containing 1.5 ounces of alcohol. People attempting to quit may turn to drinking again to prevent withdrawal symptoms. Inpatient treatment may be an expensive option in terms of time and money. Unlike inpatient treatment, tapering allows people to maintain their lifestyles while improving their drinking habits. Alcohol is the third-leading preventable cause of mortality in the United States, with approximately 95,000 people dying from alcohol-related causes each year. By gradually tapering off alcohol, you can lower your risk for alcohol-related accidents or death.

Aftercare: What To Do After Detox

When you suddenly stop drinking, your body is deprived of the effects of alcohol and requires time to adjust to functioning without it. Depending on how long you have used alcohol and how much you typically drink, the severity of these symptoms can range from mild to severe. Usually, alcohol withdrawal symptoms occur within 12–24 hours after stopping alcohol and can last 2–10 days.

This is a benefit that isn’t available to all who attempt to taper at home. Medicines can be used to reduce nausea, severe anxiety, other flu-like symptoms, and treat seizures. It is important to note that alcohol tapers are generally not recommended as the best way to stop using alcohol. Most healthcare professionals recommend a medically-assisted detox as the best way to get off alcohol.

You Have a High Risk of Addiction or Complications From Drinking

This is because drinking heavily over a long period can cause your body to become physically dependent on alcohol. With physical dependence, your body becomes used to the presence of alcohol in your system and begins to adapt accordingly. Tapering is the practice of slowly reducing the regular consumption of a substance like alcohol. Tapering can sometimes help a person avoid uncomfortable and sometimes deadly symptoms of withdrawal.

If you experience dangerous signs such as high blood pressure, racing heart, or arrhythmias, slow your taper and seek assistance. Depending on how much you drink, tapering off alcohol can take one to several weeks. It’s best to reduce your drinking by a small amount each day to avoid the shock to your system. So, if you normally have 6 beers a day, you could be done tapering within one week.

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