This will help you replenish the vitamins you may have missed in the past. There are several drugs that doctors can prescribe for detoxification, and they are all reasonably safe if you take them as prescribed – though they all tend to make you feel drowsy as a side effect. It is possible to withdraw from alcohol, but it needs to be done safely and under medical supervision. Removing alcohol from your diet can also reduce your risk of developing acid reflux or stomach inflammation.
Is it safe to stop drinking all at once?
Heavy drinkers who suddenly decrease or stop drinking altogether may experience withdrawal symptoms. They are potentially dangerous and should be treated as a serious warning sign that you are drinking too much.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can occur as early as two hours after your last drink. Typically, symptoms will peak within the first 24 to 48 hours upon cessation. This is when you may experience the most uncomfortable of withdrawal symptoms, such as insomnia, rapid heartbeat, changes in blood pressure, sweating, tremors, and fever.
Define Your Alcohol-Free Days
Each drinking relapse is an opportunity to learn and recommit to sobriety, so you’ll be less likely to relapse in the future. Make meetings a priority – Join a recovery support group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and attend meetings regularly. Spending time with people who understand exactly what you’re going through can be very healing. You can also benefit from the shared experiences of the group members and learn what others have done to stay sober.
It may take six months to a year or more before you are able to start drinking again. With severe dependence, there’s a high risk of quickly going back to heavy drinking if you just try to cut back. Choosing to taper off alcohol is an admirable decision and a step in the right direction. As with many self-detox methods, the risks and rewards go hand in hand when attempting to overcome an alcohol substance use disorder. But, with a little prior knowledge on how to taper off alcohol, adequate planning and professional consultation from a healthcare provider, it can certainly be done.
Decrease the risk of heart disease
Keep in mind the reasons you chose to cut back on or quit alcohol. If you turn to alcohol to manage emotional distress, the added overwhelm can prompt the urge to drink, making success seem even more out of reach. Turner notes the importance of bringing along a trusted support person when attending events that involve alcohol.
Why can’t I just stop drinking?
There are a number of contributing factors when it comes to excessive alcohol use. Everything from withdrawal symptoms to brain chemistry to environmental factors can all play a role in someone not being able to put the bottle down.
If you drink alcohol heavily for weeks, months, or years, you may have both mental and physical problems when you stop or seriously cut back on how much you drink. Samantha is a compassionate therapist dedicated to helping individuals navigate their mental health challenges and find healing and recovery. Currently pursuing her advanced degree in psychology, Samantha’s personal journey of overcoming addiction fuels her passion for supporting others on their path to wellness. Samantha’s own journey of recovery serves as a powerful foundation for her therapeutic services. She approaches her work with empathy, understanding, and non-judgment, recognizing that everyone’s path to healing is unique.
What is Tapering Off Alcohol?
When you drink heavily, your brain changes the amount of GABA it makes. The imbalance in GABA that occurs when you suddenly stop drinking is what causes withdrawal symptoms. By slowly reducing your drinking over time instead of stopping suddenly, you allow your brain to change its GABA production.
You can talk to your doctor about medications that may help ease the process. If you’re worried about your drinking habits, and they might be affecting your health or destroying relationships with loved ones, consider seeking an alcohol treatment program. Depending on how much alcohol you drink to start with, the amount of time an alcohol weaning schedule takes may vary. For example, those who drink more heavily may need more time to taper than those who drink less alcohol. Further, if you start to develop alcohol withdrawal symptoms during the taper, your doctor may instruct you to pause or slow the taper as a result.
Tapering off gives your body time to adjust to living without the effects of alcohol by slowly reducing your intake over a period of days or weeks. It can be tempting to just “rip off the Band-Aid” when getting sober, but tapering off alcohol is often much safer—and much less stressful. Rather than quitting drinking abruptly (or “cold turkey”), many professionals recommend gradually reducing your drinking (or tapering) over time. This can give your body the chance to adjust, helping you avoid the worst of withdrawal symptoms.
Don’t be on your own if you can possibly avoid it, particularly for the first few days. If you choose this method to come off alcohol, you must never try and take the medication together with alcohol. You have to make a clear choice to change over onto the medicines sober house as prescribed. If you do mix these medications with alcohol, you can suffer very severe and unpleasant side effects. There is also a risk that you may become addicted to both alcohol and prescribed medication, with all the additional problems that involves.
Part of the process of learning how to taper off alcohol properly is knowing your limits. While you may crave a few drinks here and there, it’s important to remember that you are working towards complete sobriety. While many may choose to attempt the process alone, it’s highly advised that you undergo the process under the supervision of a trained medical team via either inpatient or outpatient treatment. That way, you can rest assured that your vitals are being monitored and you are taking the necessary steps to achieve a full recovery with very minor, if any, medical complications. However, achieving sobriety is a process that can take quite some time. To speed up the processes, many choose to try going “cold turkey,” aka, stop drinking and never pick up a glass again.