Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline & Detox Treatment

One of the best ways to wean off alcohol is to find healthier alternatives to consume instead. It is essential to drink plenty of water throughout the day to remain hydrated and flush out any toxins from the body. Alternatively, you can also try drinking fresh fruit or vegetable juices, herbal tea, or non-alcoholic drinks like soda, energy drinks, or mocktails. For instance, many people binge drink on the weekend without drinking during the week. They may have a mild-to-moderate substance use problem without being chemically dependent.

should you wean off alcohol

Eating nutritious food, exercising, and getting enough sleep can help reduce some withdrawal symptoms, such as mood swings. If don’t have much of an appetite, you may want to take a multivitamin or drink a beverage high in electrolytes, such as a sports drink. If you take prescription medication, continue to take it as directed.

FAQ’s About Alcohol Detox and Withdrawal

There are specific medical treatments that will stop or reduce most of the symptoms you could experience if you quit cold turkey. There has been some research conducted on how abstaining from alcohol detoxifies your liver over time. In the short term, alcohol is processed through your liver in about an hour. Essentially, feeling “drunk” is when your liver becomes too overwhelmed to properly process alcohol, so it overflows temporarily into your bloodstream.

  • For this reason, you should never start an alcohol taper before clearing with your doctor.
  • The experience of withdrawing from alcohol can be uncomfortable and difficult.
  • AA is a worldwide organization that provides a safe and supportive environment for people who want to quit drinking.
  • You can attend meetings and connect with others who are also on the path to sobriety.
  • Nanci Stockwell of Advanced Recovery Systems discusses the risks of detoxing at home and the benefits of detoxing from alcohol and other drugs in a safe environment.

You can read all about mindful drinking in this article by a licensed therapist at Monument. For some drinkers, cutting down on the amount of alcohol they drink simply does not work. They may cut back for a short period of time, but they soon find themselves back to drinking at their usual level. This is especially true of heavy drinkers who are surrounded by the triggers that encourage drinking and lack the support needed to encourage change. 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.

Let’s talk about your recovery

You should start by determining how much alcohol you drink per day in terms of standard drinks. To learn about how our substance abuse treatment programs address alcohol dependence and withdrawal management, please contact us today. You may receive medication to ease withdrawal symptoms—such as anti-diarrheal medicines or over-the-counter pain relievers.

However, the self-control it takes to taper can be challenging for someone with an AUD. For that reason, it’s best to speak to a doctor or clinician when you’ve decided to stop drinking before you quit cold turkey. It’s physically dangerous, and it may also cause emotional instability. Discussing these issues with a loved one can help you avoid relapse. If you are a heavy or chronic drinker, it is important to get professional help to stop drinking. Your detox should be medically supervised in order to help minimize severe symptoms.

Common Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Gradually reducing the amount of alcohol you consume gives your body time to adjust to the changes. This can help prevent severe withdrawal symptoms and can also make it easier to maintain sobriety in the long term. By taking a gradual approach, you can learn how to manage cravings and develop healthy coping mechanisms that will support long-term recovery. Quitting cold turkey is likely to cause more intense withdrawal symptoms than if you taper off alcohol slowly.

Furthermore, spending time with family and friends who don’t consume alcohol can help avoid temptations and create healthier habits and social circles. Whether you’ve cut back on your intake significantly, gone a week without drinking, or reached a major milestone, take time to acknowledge and reward yourself for your hard work. This can help you stay positive and motivated throughout the weaning process, and ensure that you stay on track towards a healthier, happier lifestyle. Remember, weaning off alcohol is a process that takes time and effort. It is important to be patient with yourself and celebrate your achievements along the way.

When To Seek Help for Alcohol Addiction

You may find it helpful to keep a diary of your alcohol consumption, noting down the amount you drink each day or each week. The first step to weaning off alcohol is to set a plan that works for you. This involves determining How Long Does COVID-19 Brain Fog Last? how much alcohol you want to consume per day or per week and sticking to the plan. It is important to be realistic when creating your plan, as setting unrealistic goals may lead to failure and frustration.

  • The brain compensates for the depressive effects of alcohol by increasing its activity.
  • When people decide to quit drinking, their first instinct may be to quit cold turkey.
  • The amount of time it takes to detox from alcohol depends on several factors, including whether you’re detoxing at home or with medical supervision.
  • Just as what is a useful method for one person may not be for another, what is a safe method for someone may not be for someone else.
  • You should plan to taper for between three and seven days depending on how much you’re used to drinking.

While it was once something that you used socially or to have fun, you now need it to feel normal. AUD can be dangerous, especially when you drink heavily in one sitting, risking alcohol poisoning. But quitting alcohol after becoming dependent can also be dangerous. Some people avoid medically supervised rehab because they prefer natural remedies for alcohol withdrawal. Slowly tapering off alcohol is the safest way to naturally overcome alcohol withdrawal, and many at-home remedies can help you cope with mild withdrawal symptoms. However, medical treatment is necessary to treat major symptoms of withdrawal.

BetterHelp offers affordable mental health care via phone, video, or live-chat. Becky Krystal, a food reporter and recipe developer for The Post, wrote a useful guide on how to substitute for alcohol in foods. Unless you’re planning to set fire to the food, the alcohol typically is there to add flavor, which can be accomplished with easy substitutes. For red wine, try beef broth, unsweetened cranberry juice, tomato juice or even coffee. Apple cider can replace brandy, and rice vinegar can substitute for sake. If you’ve recently eaten coq au vin (a classic French stew of chicken braised in red wine and a little brandy), and you want to know how much alcohol ended up on your plate, do some simple math.

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