How to Stop Drinking: 14 Tips for Success

A popular way to taper off alcohol is to gradually reduce the number of drinks you consume over a period of time. For example, if you normally drink 6 glasses of wine each night, you can try reducing that to 5 glasses of wine a night. After several days of 5 glasses of wine, you can reduce that down to 4. Eventually, after a period of time, you will have tapered down to zero drinks. If you’re interested in medication-assisted treatment, medication to curb cravings can be a helpful tool for reducing your consumption. If you’re addicted to alcohol, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to recover without some form of addiction treatment.

how to ween yourself off alcohol

Essentially, when an individual drinks, the brain amplifies certain activities to counterbalance the depressive effect alcohol has on it. When that numbing sensation disappears entirely, the brain is left dangerously overstimulated. Insomnia, anxiety and paranoia — the opposite effects of alcohol — are the expected results. Thus, a user will likely seek out alcohol again to rid themselves of the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Your doctor can help by prescribing medications for alcohol withdrawal that can alleviate or even stop some of your symptoms. Talk to your doctor or a drug treatment specialist about what to expect as you experience alcohol withdrawal.

Why a ‘Dry January’ Is Good for Your Health

It is sometimes possible to taper your alcohol use at home if your AUD isn’t severe. Although, you’ll need support if you want to successfully and safely taper at home. Although it is possible to taper your alcohol use alone, professionals highly advise that you seek medical attention.

  • It requires setting goals, committing to change, and seeking support from loved ones.
  • I know because I’ve done it and I’ve met others who have done it.
  • You need to make your own schedule and determine what’s best for you.
  • In the next sections, we will explore strategies for quitting drinking safely, coping with withdrawal symptoms, and maintaining sobriety.

Remember, doctors are (usually) intelligent people who spent over a decade studying medicine to help people. Everything you say is confidential and you’re paying them to HELP you. I’m not saying smoking weed all day is a healthy coping skill. But from a harm reduction standpoint, it’s much less likely to get you into trouble than alcohol, pills, or harder drugs. Don’t quit other lighter substances while you’re detoxing from alcohol. I’m specifically talking about things like weed, cigarettes, and vaping.

Identifying triggers

If you’re living with alcohol use disorder, treatment at a medical rehabilitation facility is your best option. Through therapy, support groups and medication, you’ll be supported on your path to recovery. Dr. Streem suggests starting with the World Health Organization’s Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). It can be a particularly helpful way to help you get a clearer understanding of your drinking habits and your relationship with alcohol. It’s a 10-question screening test that gives you research-backed, personalized advice for quitting or reducing your intake of alcohol.

how to ween yourself off alcohol

Some people may relapse, or drink alcohol again, to relieve the symptoms. You may not need to completely reinvent your life to quit drinking, but making a few changes in your surroundings to help avoid alcohol triggers can make a big difference. Self-detox is an individualized approach without professional or medical support. Because of this, it’s important to plan around the alcohol detoxification process carefully. Detoxing from drugs or alcohol without professional help is known as a self-detox. You can choose to taper your substance use or go “cold turkey.” In either case, you won’t have outside support or treatment.

How Long Does It Take To Taper Off Alcohol?

Deciding to quit drinking and following through isn’t just about willpower. Many other factors go into play with these difficult and trying scenarios. Tolerance, dependence, social habits, setting, the biology of the individual and more must all be considered. If attending a service isn’t possible, perhaps because you are isolating, you can use this advice on safely detoxing from alcohol at home. Eating a healthy diet while you are going through withdrawal may also help aid in digestion and energy levels. This may be helpful for combating withdrawal symptoms such as stomach upset and feelings of fatigue.

You then get a couple days where the drop is not as much to stabilize. Tapering is the process of gradually decreasing your consumption of a substance over time to lessen the withdrawal symptoms if you’re physically dependent. This is the same thing they’ll do if you go to a detox facility or hospital, except they’ll use medications instead of alcohol for the taper.

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