An evidence-based approach is crucial, considering the individual’s drinking history, health status, and potential risks. By setting a structured plan, individuals can systematically decrease their alcohol intake, which may include cutting out one drink at a time at regular intervals. This approach not only reduces the physical symptoms of withdrawal but also allows for psychological preparation for a life without alcohol. Tapering can be a more manageable method of cessation for those who might find abrupt discontinuation overwhelming or medically unsafe.

How To Wean Yourself off Alcohol Safely

alcohol tapering schedule

There’s no set time frame for tapering off alcohol that works for everyone. Even if your situation seems like someone else’s, your body may respond differently to the tapering process. You may receive medication to ease withdrawal symptoms—such as anti-diarrheal medicines or over-the-counter pain relievers. A doctor may prescribe a benzodiazepine as part of the tapering process. All of these withdrawal symptoms are common during acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

alcohol tapering schedule

Withdrawal Effects

Glutamine is available as an over the counter dietary supplement. In a preliminary study with human subjects, Rogers et al (1957) administered 1,000 mg of glutamine to subjects who had reported alcohol problems. Subjects were instructed to take 400 mg of glutamine with breakfast, 400 with lunch, and 200 with dinner.

Increase Time Between Drinks

alcohol tapering schedule

The average person takes around an hour and a half to metabolize a single standard drink–for example one 12 oz beer. People who have a very high tolerance to alcohol can metabolize up to two standard drinks (28 g of alcohol) per hour. People who have a very low tolerance to alcohol might require two or three hours to metabolize a standard drink. Heavy drinkers who have increased tolerance also metabolize alcohol more rapidly than average. On the other hand people who have liver damage and reverse tolerance metabolize alcohol more slowly than others. The HAMS Taper Page has detailed instructions on how to set up a taper schedule.

  • From what I understand, most hospitals WILL give you 3-5 days worth of benzos to taper with at home.
  • This condition affects individuals and profoundly impacts their families and society, with social and economic costs.
  • Tapering off alcohol can be a reasonable strategy for anyone who desires to stop drinking.

No one should ever attempt a substitution taper with prescription medication unless their doctor specifically prescribed it for that purpose in a medical detox program. If the drink of choice is liquor, it is difficult to measure amounts and easy to binge drink. If it is a mixed drink, it can contain sugar or other additives that should not be included in the taper and may worsen the effects of withdrawal symptoms. Always remember that if the taper is not working for you or if you are having major withdrawal that it is safest to check into a medical detox because alcohol withdrawal can kill you. Some people may also find it easier to just taper off their alcohol use rather than jumping immediately into an abstinence day even if they do not have significant withdrawal symptoms.

Consider Medically Assisted Detox

Create a Plan

  • What you choose to drink can have a lot to do with how quickly you drink.
  • For one thing, it creates tangible goals for the person tapering to reach, helping to build their confidence in themselves and the belief that they can eventually stop drinking completely.