Should I Quit Alcohol Cold Turkey or Gradually Reduce My Drinking?

He received his medical degree in Mexico with further certification from Rutgers Medical School in New Jersey. Vanessa is certified in addictions counseling by Maryland’s Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists, with credentials as a clinical supervisor. She comes to The Freedom Center with over 14 years of direct experience in residential and outpatient treatment between the private and federal sectors.

Benefits of quitting cold turkey

In addition, to being a certified Addictions Counselor, Erin is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS), and a Registered Peer Supervisor (RPS). In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each approach and how to taper off alcohol so that you can decide which one is right for your situation. But, as many in recovery will tell you, it is only the first chapter in a long process. Start by estimating how much you drink on a daily basis—and be honest with yourself. It can help to make use of standard drink measurements, as mentioned above. Then come up with a reduction rate you think will be safe, and that you can stick to.

Understanding Alcohol Dependence: Is Cold Turkey the Right Approach?

It’s always best to consult a physician on the best strategy, especially if you drink heavily. When you quit alcohol cold turkey, you quit drinking completely and suddenly. Tapering helps people stop using alcohol and other substances in small and manageable steps.

  • So, if you normally have 6 beers a day, you could be done tapering within one week.
  • They peak in just under a week, but people experience improvement after that.
  • Educate yourself on potential withdrawal symptoms and have a support system in place.
  • For example, one 12-ounce can of beer contains the same amount of alcohol as a 5-ounce glass of wine or a mixed drink containing 1.5 ounces of alcohol.

Withdrawal and Safety When Tapering Off Alcohol

  • Cold turkey is a popular method for quitting smoking, but when it comes to quitting alcohol, it could be a risky choice.
  • Contact a rehab center near you to learn how to stop drinking alcohol cold turkey safely.
  • The exact benefits will depend on how much alcohol you were drinking and on factors such as your genetics, overall health, and how your body responds.

The most common research technique among those surveyed is an internet search (61%), followed by asking a doctor or medical professional (55%). If you’re relying on internet searches to find potential treatment centers, make sure to ask these ten questions to find a licensed Sober House facility that can meet your needs. 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.

  • They may also think if they cut the substance out entirely, they will feel less tempted to use it again while quitting.
  • Adopting supportive measures can significantly ease the transition for those who have decided to quit drinking cold turkey, ensuring a smoother recovery process.
  • Due to the risk of withdrawal symptoms like seizures, many people benefit from a stable environment provided by medical detox centers.

Director of Community Outreach

Currently enrolled in a master’s program for Social Work, he is committed to expanding his knowledge and providing comprehensive care. Inspired by his upbringing in Bolivia, marked by poverty, unaddressed mental health, and substance use, he brings a unique perspective to his role as a Primary Therapist at the Freedom Center. He tailors treatment plans to meet individual needs, fostering healing and growth. Outside of work, he finds solace in outdoor activities like hiking and woodworking. With his expertise, experience, and passion for helping others, David is an asset to the Freedom Center, empowering individuals on his recovery journey.

How Quitting Drinking Might Make You Look Younger

If your pulse exceeds 100, your blood pressure goes very high, or you have irregular heart beat then this means that you are tapering too fast and you need more beer. Ongoing support from professionals, family, or support groups is invaluable during recovery. Continuous counseling can provide individuals with the necessary tools to manage cravings, handle stress, and prevent relapse. Support groups offer a sense of community, understanding, and accountability, which can significantly contribute to long-term sobriety. Research has shown that professional help improves your ability to overcome an addiction to alcohol or cut back if you have found it difficult.

How to Wean Off Alcohol Safely

  • You’ll likely face the urge to drink more than you’ve planned each day, but there are some good tricks to help you delay that next serving and keep yourself honest.
  • This excessive glutamate level can lead to alcohol withdrawal symptoms, which can be dangerous.
  • Glutamate receptor rebound also appears to contribute to the withdrawal symptoms described above.
  • Overall, Haskell and colleagues have added to our limited understanding of the differences between women who choose to taper off of HT rather than quit cold turkey.
  • Here’s how to wean off alcohol—including useful strategies, how to create a tapering schedule, and how to stay safe throughout the process.
  • Armed with credentials as a Registered Peer Supervisor, Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, and Alcohol and Drug Trainee she has earned her place as a guiding light for individuals seeking hope and solace.

Some alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be so severe that they can lead to death. Contact a medical professional immediately if you notice any withdrawal symptoms. A popular way to taper off alcohol is to gradually reduce the number of drinks you consume over a period of time. For example, if you normally drink 6 glasses of wine each night, you can try reducing that to 5 glasses of wine a night.

alcohol tapering vs cold turkey

Medical detoxification programs provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals to undergo withdrawal while receiving medical care and monitoring. These programs typically occur in specialized facilities where healthcare professionals can administer medications to manage withdrawal symptoms, provide nutritional support, and offer counseling services. Little data is available about the safety and effectiveness of alcohol tapers. In contrast, robust evidence supports quitting alcohol while under medical supervision. If you struggle with drinking, the safest way to quit is under a doctor’s care. If you drink heavily, your doctor may recommend quitting with the help of a medical detox center.

After acute treatment, you will receive comprehensive therapy and counseling through clinical stabilization services and partial care. Marijuana, which is part hallucinogenic and part CNS depressant, can induce physical and emotional side effects that are relatively mild, such as irritability, anxiety, cravings, and disrupted sleep. Also, people can incur withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, restlessness, depression, tremors, decreased appetite, stomachaches, tension, and concentration issues.

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