Or, you may find that quitting all at once is too drastic and decide to start by practicing harm reduction. You may be able to detox at home and still attend outpatient therapy or support group meetings. The brain compensates for the depressive effects of alcohol by increasing its activity.

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. With these things in mind, you need to weigh the pros and cons of tapering your alcohol use—ideally with someone you trust—to make a fully informed decision. “It’s not about expecting other people to kind of adapt to you all the time,” she said. If you’re worried about your ability to resist a drink when you’re out with your partner, planning ahead is crucial, Tang said.

What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Drinking Alcohol?

Alcohol withdrawal occurs when alcohol use is suddenly stopped, removing its suppressing effect. Your brain will still be hyperactive and take about a week to 10 days to readjust. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are related to the hyperactivity of your brain and will continue until your brain fully adjusts to the absence of alcohol.

how to taper off alcohol

We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers. Safe alcohol withdrawal is an important part of starting a recovery process. For this reason, you should not abruptly stop alcohol use after a long period of heavy use without medical supervision.

Consider professional support

Alcohol rehab helps you taper off alcohol, and it treats other side effects and causes of alcoholism. You should plan to taper for between three how to taper off alcohol and seven days depending on how much you’re used to drinking. Slowly reduce the amount of alcohol you consume each day until you reach sobriety.

If you choose to drink water make sure that you get enough salt for electrolyte balance so that you avoid water intoxication. This can equate to as much as a full bottle of beer or less than two tablespoons of whisky. It is important to measure your alcohol use in standard drinks while tapering to allow for an accurate comparison of how much you use from day to day. If the drink of choice is liquor, it is difficult to measure amounts and easy to binge drink. If it is a mixed drink, it can contain sugar or other additives that should not be included in the taper and may worsen the effects of withdrawal symptoms.

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