If you've been drinking alcohol on a regular basis for a long time, you might hear that it's dangerous or difficult to quit cold-turkey. A tapering process can help you to change your relationship with alcohol in a safe, sustainable way.
However, we want to note that tapering isn't for everyone! If this doesn't sound like the right strategy for you, that's okay. Listen to yourself and consider your options.
Today, we're going to discuss withdrawal and some ways that you can taper off your alcohol use.
Let's talk about one of the main struggles of cutting down or quitting drinking, withdrawal.
Regular drinking causes the body and brain to become dependent on alcohol over time. When the body no longer has alcohol, it reacts physically. This is normal! Some of the common symptoms include sweating, restlessness, cravings, and tremors.
When we stop drinking all at once, rather than tapering, these symptoms can be a stressful shock to the system. The discomfort can then cause some to give up completely and return to drinking. In tapering off, you may experience less stress and potentially fewer symptoms.
How to Taper Off Alcohol
- Identify how much you usually drink: In order to create a tapering system that works for you, you need to know how much you personally drink each day or week. Keep a log and figure out how much you drink.
- Create a plan: Design a schedule or calendar laying out how you'll gradually reduce number of drinks you consume over a period of time. For example, if you drink 7 glasses of wine a day, plan to cut back to 6 for several days, then cut down to 5 several days after that. You can also taper off by spacing out length of time between each drink.
- Try the plan and reevaluate: Start following it and see how it feels! After a week or so, reevaluate your plan. If you need to adjust it, adjust it. It's okay for this to be an evolving process.
Sometimes, tapering just isn't the right system. If it isn't working for you, it's possible that it's time to think about your triggers, support networks, and everything else that can affect your relationship with alcohol. Don't give up! There are so many other methods.
You've got this. We at Reframe have your back and are committed to being there for you every step of the way. Download the app today, and begin working toward a more fulfilling life.