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Tapering Off to Sobriety: How Much Cutback is Too Much Too Soon?

At Ethos Recovery, we know that overcoming alcoholism is a life-long journey. Our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and support you need to become a thriving recovering alcoholic. It can be difficult to say no to people, especially when they care about you.

This phenomenon is often described as “alcohol dependence.” The most common more mild withdrawal symptoms include headaches, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. As a Certified Professional Recovery Coach, I often speak with people who want to wean off alcohol. The thought of abstaining from alcohol completely can feel daunting, and in some cases, it can even be dangerous without medical supervision. Below I share some key information so you can determine if weaning off alcohol is right for you. In particular, it alters the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

Rev. James E. McDonald, C.S.C., Center for Student Well-Being

Data sources include IBM Watson Micromedex (updated 3 July 2023), Cerner Multum™ (updated 10 July 2023), ASHP (updated 10 July 2023) and others. If the alcohol is withdrawn suddenly, the brain is like an accelerated vehicle that has lost its brakes. Not surprisingly, most symptoms of withdrawal are symptoms that occur when the brain is overstimulated. The alcohol-targeted acupuncture cut down on cravings and withdrawal symptoms better than the sham treatment. If you are struggling to stop drinking alcohol on your own, you can find support online with peer-to-peer meetings, virtual therapy, and online outpatient treatment.

how to cut back on alcohol without withdrawal

Corey’s mission is to provide quality behavioral health care to local community members who reach out in need, regardless of their financial situation. Outside of The Freedom Center, Corey enjoys playing golf, hiking and most of all being the best father to his three young boys. When you quit cold turkey without supervision, you’re more likely to relapse and binge drink, which increases the likelihood of overdose. As you navigate this question, it can be helpful to think about how you typically prefer to approach change.

Will I lose weight if I stop drinking alcohol?

If you identify with any of the scenarios above, try the expert tips below for reducing your alcohol consumption (or even eliminating it altogether). 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.

  • When the alcohol level suddenly drops, your brain stays in this keyed up state.
  • They may cut back for a short period of time, but they soon find themselves back to drinking at their usual level.
  • This article briefly reviews the mechanisms, clinical features, and management of AW.
  • When this happens, it may be useful to have a strategy for dealing with potential drinking-related issues, such as knowing who to call for support or how to leave the situation early.

Get professional help from BetterHelp’s network of 30,000 licensed therapists. Get matched and schedule your first video, phone or live chat session in as little as 48 hours. She is currently a senior majoring in Public Health at Salisbury University.

How do I know if I need to cut back on alcohol?

Erin is grateful to be a part of the dedicated, caring and compassionate Freedom Center Team. In autumn and winter, the days get shorter, and skies are often cloudy, depriving us of natural sunlight and unleashing all sorts of mood disturbances in many people. This is often known as seasonal depression, winter depression, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD)…. Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss…from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

The most serious side effect of alcohol withdrawal is Delirium Tremens – also known as DT. If a patient presents with a rapid heartbeat, seizures, or high blood pressure, then they’re likely to 5 Tips to Consider When Choosing a Sober Living House be admitted to the hospital. That’s because it slows down the rate at which your brain functions. If you drink too much, too often, your brain and liver get used to having alcohol in the blood.

If you have a mild dependence on alcohol, you may be able to cut back on your own. But if you are moderately dependent, you may need to get some kind of support. The more of these signs you have and the more severe they are, the more dependent you’re likely to be.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can shift quickly and violently – you can experience minor symptoms to extremely severe side effects in a matter of hours. There are many alcohol treatment programs that focus on helping individuals overcome drinking problems, no matter how minor or how serious. Specialized rehab facilities offer many benefits to those struggling with alcohol addiction. For example, treatment providers will be able to help alleviate some of the most painful of withdrawal symptoms, as well as provide 24/7 support through the entire recovery process. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal typically improve within five days, though a small number of people may have prolonged symptoms. A person is more likely to experience severe withdrawal symptoms if they’ve abused drugs in conjunction with alcohol.

Recognizing your problem with alcohol and why you drink allows for a clear foundation before starting this journey. In addition, creating a list before venturing into this journey can become your biggest motivator. This allows you to keep track of your alcohol consumption, as well as identify patterns and triggers. This can also be an excellent tool for managing stress and emotions that lead to drinking.

how to cut back on alcohol without withdrawal

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