how to taper off alcohol is the act of gradually reducing alcohol use until completely abstinent. By creating a schedule to monitor your alcohol use you can see just how much of the substance you are drinking. The phrase cold turkey refers to abruptly stopping drug or alcohol use.

  • Hard liquors, for example, contain higher alcohol-by-volume measures than other beverages.
  • In fact, many in recovery report having psychological cravings years after they stopped drinking.
  • James now has the opportunity to do what he loves and help others achieve long-term recovery.
  • Over the years he grew into becoming an advocate for people in recovery or seeking recovery from substance use disorders.
  • Aside from unavoidable triggers, tapering off alcohol can also have side effects which can be difficult to manage at home.

If you feel more severe symptoms, such as paranoia, increased pulse, or tremors sometimes called alcohol shakes, you should taper more slowly and consider seeking professional help. If you feel severe symptoms, such as hallucinations, rapid heartbeat or disorientation, call 911 immediately.

Dangers of Stopping Alcohol Use Abruptly

Addiction alters the chemical balance in a person’s brain, making it extremely difficult to quit drinking alcohol on one’s own. Tapering off alcohol is the act of slowly reducing alcohol intake until a person becomes completely abstinent. Tapering off alcohol to reduces potential withdrawal symptoms and decreases the likelihood of a potentially fatal withdrawal from alcohol in individuals who consume alcohol on a regular basis.

We are ready to cheer you on as you continue down the road of recovery toward a healthier, happier you. The annual cost of excessive alcohol use to Oregon’s economy each year is $3.5 billion due to lost productivity, health care expenses, criminal justice costs, and motor vehicle crashes. That expense comes out to $2.08 per drink consumed by Oregonians. Drink slowly, and drink nonalcoholic beverages.Sip your drink slowly. In Journalism & Media Studies from Rutgers University and is a contributing content writer for AlcoholRehabHelp. Trained Emergency Physician who has practiced for 15 years and also had guided alcohol and drug addiction programs for the past 20 years. Light to moderate drinkers should plan to taper for a week or more.

Can Tapering Your Alcohol Intake Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms?

Tapering is the process of gradually weaning off alcohol rather than quitting cold turkey. Generally, alcohol withdrawal starts within eight hours of the last drink, but can occur anytime within the first several days after you stop drinking. In most cases, alcohol withdrawal symptoms peak after 24–72 hours but may continue for weeks. Chronic and excessive alcohol use disrupts the brain’s neurotransmitters. Alcohol will increase the effect of gamma amino butyric acid – the neurotransmitter in the central nervous system that creates feelings of peace and relaxation.

When I start drinking I can’t stop?

People with alcoholism — technically known as alcohol dependence — have lost reliable control of their alcohol use. It doesn't matter what kind of alcohol someone drinks or even how much: Alcohol-dependent people are often unable to stop drinking once they start.

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.