How to Detox from Alcohol at Home: A Comprehensive Guide

However, some groups have published tapering examples to assist those trying to quit drinking. Gradually reducing alcohol consumption can be achieved through a substitution taper. This can involve switching to a different alcoholic beverage or replacing alcohol with a prescription drug, but the latter should only be done under the guidance of a medical professional. 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.

  • For others, simply cutting back the number of drinks can bring on alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
  • It is important to be patient with yourself and celebrate your achievements along the way.
  • If you taper off alcohol slowly or with medical supervision, the brain has time to adapt without causing severe side effects.
  • Ria Health offers access to many of these tools, including prescription medications, recovery coaching, and online support groups—all through a HIPAA-compliant smartphone app.

Alcohol withdrawal can range from uncomfortable to life-threatening, so anyone considering stopping alcohol should speak with a medical professional to determine which method is best for them. This method works best with gradual reduction, as alcohol withdrawal symptoms can start within 12–24 hours after stopping drinking. Generally, alcohol-free days are better towards the end of a gradual reduction, not towards the beginning. When someone stops drinking, they must decide whether to quit “cold turkey” or taper their alcohol use. Quitting cold turkey involves suddenly stopping all alcohol use, while tapering involves slowly decreasing the amount of alcohol a person drinks daily.

Can Tapering Down Alcohol Use Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms?

Illegal stimulants like methamphetamine (“meth”) and MDMA (“ecstasy” or “molly”) cause a huge surge that messes with the reward circuits in your brain. If you’re pregnant, you’ll want to be even more careful with your caffeine. The American Pregnancy Organization recommends you limit your caffeine intake to 200 milligrams a day (including food with caffeine). And children and adolescents should stay away from caffeine and other stimulants entirely. And even people who are drinking safe amounts of caffeine may be doing so for unhealthy reasons. If you’re wondering how to quit caffeine (or tried in the past), you know you may experience a headache.

  • With kindling, the brain becomes increasingly sensitized to stopping alcohol.
  • Another option is to use a smartphone app or online tool that allows you to track your alcohol consumption more easily.
  • By looking at your medical history and alcohol intake, your doctor can determine whether you need to taper in a medical detox facility or can safely detox at home.
  • Discussing these issues with a loved one can help you avoid relapse.

This is why it is essential to determine your method of tapering and your tapering schedule with the supervision of a medical professional experienced in an alcohol addiction recovery treatment. However, when you Mortality and life expectancy of people with alcohol use disorder in Denmark, Finland and Sweden PMC quit drinking abruptly, your body’s chemical balance will be thrown off suddenly, leading to uncomfortable side effects. You will have an imbalance of excitatory and inhibitory chemicals in your nervous system.

Be aware of your triggers

Central nervous system depressants are a class of drugs that includes several prescription medications like benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and sedative-hypnotics. Depressants are so-called because they depress activity in the central nervous system. In other words, they slow down chemical communication in the brain and body. This is what causes many of the positive and negative effects of drinking, and it causes the effects of prescription depressants.

The brain compensates for the depressive effects of alcohol by increasing its activity. You don’t have to let the fear of alcohol withdrawal stop you from cutting back or quitting. You may decide to seek medical treatment for your withdrawal symptoms or decide to enter a professional detox or rehab center. A popular way to taper off alcohol is to gradually reduce the number of drinks you consume over a period of time.

How to Wean Off Alcohol Safely

Generally, light to moderate drinkers should plan to taper for a week or more. Start by estimating how much you drink on a daily basis—and be honest with yourself. It can help to make use of standard drink measurements, as mentioned above. Then come up with a reduction rate you think will be safe, and that you can stick to. When the alcohol is completely taken away then this adrenaline and its cousins are left to run rampant in the brain.

how to taper off alcohol safely

If you or a loved one is suffering from an alcohol use disorder, it can feel like being trapped in a tunnel with no way out. Our admissions specialists will help you find the facility and treatment program best suited to the recovery needs of you or your loved one. Our knowledgeable and compassionate team is available 24/7 to help get you or someone you care about into treatment and answer any questions or concerns you might have. Research has shown that professional help improves your ability to overcome an addiction to alcohol or cut back if you have found it difficult.

How to safely detox from alcohol at home

It’s always best to consult a physician on the best strategy, especially if you drink heavily. Some people are facing problems with their health or personal lives which require them to quit immediately. However, for many people with alcohol use disorder, tapering off alcohol is a far better experience than quitting abruptly.

The process begins with a thorough medical evaluation by healthcare professionals who assess your physical and psychological health, alcohol use history, and withdrawal risks. Unfortunately, your brain may be sensitized to withdrawal due to kindling, which can set you up for unexpectedly severe withdrawal symptoms. This method is safer than abruptly stopping alcohol consumption, especially when switching from hard liquor to beer. Drinking beer can also help maintain hydration throughout the taper.

The detoxification timeline varies based on the severity of the alcohol addiction. Whatever your reason to quit drinking, know that you’re doing yourself a favor. Alcohol impacts our sleep, relationships, weight, risk for serious chronic conditions and more. Or maybe it’s a pregnancy that made you realize it’s time to stop drinking. Or maybe you’re just looking to improve your health, wake up hangover-free and give your liver (and your heart) a break. Late symptoms begin between two and four days after the last drink, and they usually include changes in heart rate, breathing and blood pressure.

how to taper off alcohol safely

Instead, you should try to reduce the amount you drink slowly, over a few weeks. Our free and confidential services are open as usual and can help you detox safely. To successfully taper your alcohol use, finding what works best for you is important. Alcohol proof is the amount of alcohol found in distilled spirits or liquor. Smaller drinks with a higher percentage of alcohol are stronger than the same size drink containing a lower-proof liquor. Find an accountability partner or someone you can call to keep you on track when you want to drink.

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