How to Wean Off Alcohol

“The recent nine months’ sobriety [has] done great good for my body. That said, I hope never to forget how much damage I felt in four days of drink.” “Anxiety, dizzy, no sleep, exhausted. Does anyone ever feel like an electric current sometimes runs through your body? But it’s getting better every day.” “Fortunately, not near the hell the first three [days] were. I am hoping that means I may finally sleep tonight. For me, the toughest parts are the vomiting (dry heaves), insomnia, and anxiety.” “The third day sober feels like I’m in a big black hole and under great pressure—hard to breathe, future feels bleak, lost an old trusted friend in alcohol, can’t find an alternative.” “The physical symptoms aren’t so bad, but my mind seems to be trying to figure out how I can have just one drink. I have plans to get some yard work done, so that will keep me busy.” “I quit two days ago and have just had the unfortunate experience of a seizure, as well as many visual and tactile hallucinations. Massive sweats and tremors.”

A taper can be especially helpful for those who find they cannot stop drinking without experiencing negative symptoms. You should only attempt an alcohol taper while under a doctor’s care. However, learning more about how an alcohol taper works can help you prepare to quit. “Last week, I was [on] holiday. Several times, I thought, ‘Well, I will have a drink tonight,” and then I remembered the pain, and it kept me straight.” In the fourth week of abstinence from alcohol, the benefits keep piling up, according to the reports of those who remained sober for more than three weeks.

Complicated Withdrawal

Benzodiazepines like Librium (chlordiazepoxide) and Ativan (lorazepam) may also help to prevent minor withdrawal symptoms from becoming more severe. Other drugs a healthcare provider might prescribe include anxiolytics , vitamins, and suboxone. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal relate proportionately to the level of alcohol intake and the duration of the person’s recent drinking habit. However, tapering can be dangerous if you have severe AUD, leading to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

  • If you’re living with alcohol use disorder, quitting drinking is important for your health.
  • Cold turkey is a common slang term for quitting alcohol (or any substance) all at once.
  • Before you start your detox, ensure you have enough alcohol on hand to last you a few days.
  • It can be helpful to make a plan ahead of time for how to handle a relapse.
  • It’s a good idea to talk with a medical professional before you begin a taper.

Ultimately, you need to decide to get sober for yourself, but if getting sober for someone else or something else motivates you in the beginning, it’s still a step in the right direction. Withdrawal is different for everyone; there really is no “normal” and it can be hard to predict an individual person’s experience. A person with delirium tremens needs to be hospitalized until the symptoms can be controlled. If left untreated, withdrawal can progress to complicated alcohol withdrawal. Educate your loved ones on dangerous symptoms, too, so they can look out for you and get you medical attention if you need it. Give your loved ones as much information as you can about your self-tapering strategy.

Consider Medically Assisted Detox

Treatment varies depending on the severity of withdrawal symptoms. People experiencing mild to moderate alcohol withdrawal symptoms often receive outpatient care—meaning there is no extended time spent in a hospital or facility. It’s recommended, however, that they have someone stay with them who can help during recovery. This condition most often occurs when someone who has long-term alcohol dependence stops drinking cold turkey.

If you’re cross-addicted to harder drugs like stimulants or opiates, you need to stop using those. Experience has shown me most people who continue using other hard substances simply get high and then continue drinking. If you’re making mixed drinks, only use half a shot instead of a full shot, and turn it into two drinks (still count both as one combined). It’s okay to have a little drink, set it down, leave it for fifteen minutes, and come back to it later. Just don’t convince yourself that you can be a normal drinker after stressfully forcing yourself to do this a few times. You can also take break days, where you drink the same amount as the previous day to sort of level yourself off.

Attend a 12-step Program or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

Because he is a member of a support group that stresses the importance of anonymity at the public level, he does not use his photograph or his real name on this website. Take the first step toward addiction treatment by contacting us today. When you’re drinking less than 10 units a day, you can try to stop drinking altogether. For example, if you normally drink 20 units a day, try reducing this to 18 units a day. Without changing your drinking habits, try keeping a drinking diary for one week.

They may have trouble relating to you and you could feel out-of-place talking to them about your problems. 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. Do anything and everything you can to distract yourself from drinking. Whether that’s watching TV, cooking dinner, cleaning the house, going for a walk, or taking a bath.

“Went from shaky to wanting to scream all day. I almost talked myself into ‘just one more’ several times, but somehow made it through.” “Last night was horrible. I was soaking wet with sweat, I jumped a few times in my sleep, and I had very vivid dreams.” “Shaking so bad I can hardly type, can barely stand up, can’t eat or sleep. Might be time for a trip to the ER.” If you’re self-tapering, I assume you don’t want to go to rehab. You can try out any of the things in my guide on Alternatives To Inpatient Drug Rehab.

  • Depending on how much you drink, tapering off alcohol can take one to several weeks.
  • Start by talking to a healthcare provider about the treatment options for alcohol dependence.
  • There are multiple health benefits you can experience when you start drinking less alcohol.
  • “Feeling much better. Very slight discomfort in the chest occasionally. No sweating. Disturbed sleep? Yes. But I guess in a few days, I should be fine.”