How to safely detox from alcohol at home

A rare but very serious syndrome called delirium tremens can occur during alcohol withdrawal. Also known as DTs, an estimated 2% of people with alcohol use disorder and less than 1% of the general population experience them. Obviously quitting cold turkey from a 12-beer-a-day habit is going to be more stressful than tapering off slowly. But that does not mean home detox is effective, appropriate, or safe. For example, healthcare providers usually don’t take patients off antidepressants suddenly; rather, they gradually reduce the dosages.

  • Tapering off alcohol may complicate other medical conditions or co-occurring mental health disorders.
  • Deciding to quit drinking and following through isn’t just about willpower.
  • If you are doing a self detox be sure to drink lots and lots of fluids and to take vitamin pills.
  • Tapering is the act of gradually reducing alcohol use until completely abstinent.
  • Dr. Streem suggests starting with the World Health Organization’s Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT).
  • Even if you fail, there are still plenty of treatment options you can turn to.

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Is it Better to Taper Off Alcohol or Quit “Cold Turkey?”

Alcohol tapering is definitely possible, but the question of whether or not it works is not quite as straightforward. In the same way that everyone person is unique and their experience with addiction is going to be unique, the most effective method of recovery is also going to vary from person to person. Stopping alcohol use is the first step of the recovery journey, but staying sober for longer and longer periods is the goal. Getting professional treatment and long-term support are two of the most valuable strategies for avoiding relapse. Medical supervision ensures that care is immediately available if serious symptoms arise. People who drink daily or almost every day should not be left alone for the first few days after stopping alcohol.

how to taper off alcohol

Some of the early withdrawal symptoms include headaches, anxiety, shaking, nausea and irritability. Withdrawal symptoms typically subside within approximately 1-2 weeks after starting detox; however, this could take longer depending on the severity of your AUD. From there, you will be able to focus on other aspects of the recovery process such as different activities, therapies, counseling sessions and support options. Some people are apprehensive to quit drinking due to withdrawal symptoms, but alcohol detox is the first step in treating alcoholism.

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People who have successfully tapered from alcohol before may be especially likely to benefit from this strategy. 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.

Keep drinking at this reduced level for four days, then try to cut down by another 10%. These are offered to patients with moderate to severe Alcohol Use Disorder, having the goal of reducing alcohol comsumption and achieving abstinence. Prefer Topiramate or Gabapentin if patients are intolerant to or have not responded to Naltrexone and Acamprosate. This is offered to patients with moderate to severe Alcohol Use Disorder, having the goal of achieving abstinence.

New guidelines on how to recognize and treat high-risk drinking

The withdrawal process can be dangerous, and its symptoms vary depending on the severity of alcohol use. Laying it all out in black and white can take time and some serious self-examination. Understanding your habits and your motivations to quit drinking can help you understand the change you’re making in your life and reinforce why it’s important. Moreover, substituting one kind of beverage for another does not help you taper off alcohol if you consume the same number of standard drinks as you usually have. For example, one 12-ounce can of beer contains the same amount of alcohol as a 5-ounce glass of wine or a mixed drink containing 1.5 ounces of alcohol.

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