Further, if you start to develop alcohol withdrawal symptoms during the taper, your doctor may instruct you to pause or slow the taper as a result. These factors can make one person’s taper last longer than another person’s taper. Tapering gradually lowers the amount of alcohol that you use over time. This lessens the severity of withdrawal symptoms, as there is not an abrupt or dramatic change.
Call for an appointment with your provider if symptoms persist after treatment. You may have more severe withdrawal symptoms if you have certain other medical problems. The bottom line is that excessive alcohol intake can make you gain weight. Heavy drinking can lead to extra calories and obesity, not to mention cancer, liver disease, and other diseases.
How to Wean Off Alcohol Safely
Addiction experts have not conducted many studies on alcohol tapering. As a result, little information is available regarding the best way to taper. That said, some independent groups have stepped in, publishing sample tapering schedules to guide people who are trying to cut back on drinking. Weaning off alcohol gives your body chemistry a chance to adjust, reducing the shock to your system. 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.
Certain prescribed medications can treat alcohol withdrawal, allowing patients to focus on other aspects of recovery. Alcohol itself also would be expected to improve withdrawal symptoms, and alcoholic patients know that alcohol consumption can relieve their symptoms. Alcohol should not be used, however, to treat withdrawal for several reasons. First, using alcohol as a treatment would promote its acceptability to the alcoholic. Second, alcohol has known toxic effects (e.g., impairing the function of the liver, pancreas, and bone marrow) that are not shared by the safer benzodiazepines. Third, in one clinical study, alcohol was inferior to the benzodiazepine chlordiazepoxide.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
If it’s safe for you to quit cold turkey, you may find that cutting alcohol out entirely from the start helps you clearly uphold your boundaries. Or, you may find that quitting all at once is too drastic and decide https://curiousmindmagazine.com/selecting-the-most-suitable-sober-house-for-addiction-recovery/ to start by practicing harm reduction. 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.
As the alcohol wears off, these effects lead to common hangover symptoms, such as headache, nausea, and fatigue. The brain has tremendous capacity to heal, but it doesn’t heal quickly. In general, PAWS symptoms peak around four to eight weeks after quitting.
Mechanisms of Alcohol Withdrawal
Your doctor will evaluate your usual diet and check for vitamin deficiencies because poor nutrition is common when someone is dependent on alcohol. Alcohol withdrawal is easy to diagnose if you have typical symptoms that occur after you stop heavy, habitual drinking. If you have a past experience of withdrawal symptoms, you are likely to have them return if you start and stop heavy drinking again. There are no specific tests that can be used to diagnose alcohol withdrawal.
How do I know if I’m an alcoholic?
Impaired control over alcohol use
This might mean not being able to control how long a drinking session is, how much alcohol you consume when you do drink, how frequently you drink, being unable to stop drinking once you start, or drinking on inappropriate occasions or at inappropriate places.