This is what causes you to feel light-headed or tipsy after multiple alcoholic drinks. Daily drinking can have serious consequences for a person’s health, both in the short- and long-term. Many of the effects of drinking every day can be reversed through early intervention. 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. However, some groups have stepped in to try to bridge this gap and have published sample tapering schedules to help those trying to stop drinking.
Sarah Bence, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist and freelance writer.
This may work for many people, but in practice each individual will respond best to a different pace, and each doctor will have their own recommendations. The risk of tapering too slowly is that you won’t https://ecosoberhouse.com/ stick with it, while the risk of tapering too fast is severe withdrawal. If you experience dangerous signs such as high blood pressure, racing heart, or arrhythmias, slow your taper and seek assistance.
The more you know, the better you’ll be able to find the right solution. But, perhaps most importantly, understand that setbacks happen and that progress takes time or may look different than imagined. It is all part of the process, and no one’s process is the same. Relapses happen during rehabilitation, but what’s important is how you move forward from it. You may want to talk with a loved one or therapist about why it happened and what you can do differently next time.
Alcohol withdrawal is common, but delirium tremens only occurs in 5% of people who have alcohol withdrawal. Delirium tremens is dangerous, killing as many as 1 out of every 20 people who develop its symptoms. It is usually difficult for people who drink to be completely honest about how much they’ve been drinking. You should report your drinking history straightforwardly to your doctor so you can be treated safely for withdrawal symptoms. The most dangerous form of alcohol withdrawal occurs in about 1 out of every 20 people who have withdrawal symptoms. This typically occurs after five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women.
However, when alcohol makes up part of your typical routine, drinking can become something of an automatic response, especially when you feel stressed or overwhelmed. Knowing why you drink is essential, says Cyndi Turner, LCSW, LSATP, MAC, a Virginia therapist specializing in addiction treatment and alcohol moderation. A medical professional must supervise anyone who experiences DTs when lowering alcohol intake.
If you are a woman or at risk of complications due to high blood pressure, you may want to consider tapering slower than this. Check out this medical article which provides further detail on withdrawal from alcohol. Find a reason to stay sober and keep that in mind as you go through this process. 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. It also can reduce the risk of relapse by not trying to attempt too much too soon, failing, and then going back to regularly using alcohol to cope with the feelings of failure.
If you’re struggling to stick to a taper or do not trust yourself to moderate your alcohol use, having strict supervision and support can help you meet your recovery goals. For those at risk for severe withdrawal symptoms, medically-supervised detox is often the safest choice for beginning their sobriety or moderation journey. Others may discover after consulting with a doctor that it’s safe for them to quit alcohol cold turkey if they choose to. However, they may still decide that tapering down feels most achievable for them.
It also lets you start working new habits and routines into your day to replace drinking, starting the transition. Rather than beginning your sober life drained and dazed from a week of feeling ill, you can already be getting on your feet. After prolonged alcohol use, your body can come to rely on alcohol for normal functioning, and suddenly going without it can cause potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. This phenomenon is often described as “alcohol dependence.” The most common more mild withdrawal symptoms include headaches, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.
You can use an app like AlcoTrack (Android) or DrinkControl (Apple) to keep a log of your daily drinking and see your progression. You can enter in the type of drinks you consume and when you drink them to determine the total amount of alcohol you consume each day. There is also the matter of the specific type of alcohol in question.
Regardless of when you choose to take a break, there are more and more socially condoned opportunities to see what it’s like to drink less alcohol. The health benefits wean off alcohol of even a month without alcohol may surprise you. If you’re thinking of cutting back, this can be a great way to test things out, or get started on your journey.
It is also available as a monthly injection (under the name Vivitrol), or as a daily pill. While it can be useful for some people to check into a residential rehab program, it can be incredibly disruptive to one’s daily life (not to mention expensive). On top of this, the rehab industry is under-regulated.3 While some programs may be very effective, others have a low success rate. Unless you are in need of medical supervision for alcohol detox, it’s understandable to want to avoid checking in to a clinic. In most cases, the longer you take to wean off the effects of alcohol, the less severe your withdrawal symptoms should be.
You can also take break days, where you drink the same amount as the previous day to sort of level yourself off. For example, if you notice your tremors are getting pretty bad three days in, drink the same amount you drank on the third day for the following day. Try not to do this for too many days, though, or you may get stuck at that point. It’s important to understand what to look out for and what to expect. Some withdrawal is normal, and some symptoms can be potentially life-threatening. From what I understand, most hospitals WILL give you 3-5 days worth of benzos to taper with at home.