Moderate Drinking - Naturally!

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Because withdrawal raises blood pressure there can be a danger of heart attack or stroke. The longer and harder a person has drunk alcohol--the more severe the withdrawal will be. Can people successfully use alcohol to taper off? An unqualified YES. People have been using alcohol to taper off from alcohol since the dawn of history.

Withdrawal medications are a recent invention. The idea that tapering cannot be done is a myth created by the alcohol treatment industry. How do I know if I need to taper off?

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If when you stop drinking your hands are visibly shaky, you begin to sweat a lot, you have a rapid or irregular pulse, or your blood pressure is very high then it is advisable to taper off alcohol and not quit cold turkey. You can taper off by using alcohol or by getting prescription meds from your doctor. A pulse of over beats per minute is a definite danger sign.

How do I use alcohol to taper off?

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Beer is the best form of alcohol to use when tapering off. If you attempt to taper off using wine or hard liquor you might just wind up getting drunk again because these have higher alcohol content than beer. Try to limit yourself to drinking no more alcohol than necessary when you start tapering. Drink just enough to keep the sweats and shakes at bay.

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Gradually reduce the consumption of beer as you continue to taper. If the withdrawal is not too extreme you should be tapered off in a day or so.

Some people may, however take longer--three days or even a week. If you start to feel withdrawal that is a sign that your taper is not done yet. It is also very important when tapering off to fight dehydration and to replenish lost vitamins. If you go through a medical detox the people they may rehydrate you with an IV and may also give you vitamin shots. If you are doing a self detox be sure to drink lots and lots of fluids and to take vitamin pills. We recommend Gatorade because it has balanced electrolytes.

If you choose to drink water make sure that you get enough salt for electrolyte balance so that you avoid water intoxication. How much alcohol should I drink when tapering off? 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. Males metabolize alcohol faster than females.

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The more you weigh the higher your tolerance. 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 first step in setting up a taper schedule is to estimate your daily baseline consumption of alcohol. You can find the definition of a standard drink here.

A ml bottle of 80 proof booze contains 17 standard drinks. A liter of 80 proof booze is 23 standard drinks. If you have been drinking 20 or more standard drinks a day then we recommend that on the first day of your taper you drink one beer per hour starting when you wake up in the morning for a total of 16 beers the first day. On the second day drink one beer every hour and a half for a total of ten beers. Then continue to taper down by reducing the amounts by two beers per day until you are down to zero.

For example, if you have been drinking an average of 12 drinks per day then your taper schedule can be 10 beers the first day, 8 the second, 6 the third, 4 the fourth, 2 the fifth and 0 the sixth day. Likewise if your average consumption is 6 standard drinks per day you can set a taper schedule of 4, 2, 0. Some people choose to taper more quickly by cutting the amounts in half--for example 20, 10 5, 2, 0. But if you start having major withdrawal symptoms like bad shakes or pulse over or high blood pressure you are tapering too fast and should slow it down.

Monitoring you pulse and blood pressure can be a very good idea while you are tapering especially if you have high blood pressure. If your pulse exceeds , 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. Only people who are tapering down from very large quantities of alcohol such as a liter of vodka per day will need to start drinking in the morning in order to taper. If you are tapering from smaller quantities and feel no withdrawal symptoms until afternoon or evening then you can wait until then to consume your taper beers.

Remember that you are not drinking for pleasure--you are drinking medicine--so only drink what is needed. Can you stop cold turkey? Many people who have been drinking smaller amounts or for shorter periods may find that they suffer no withdrawal symptoms or only minor withdrawal symptoms and that quitting cold turkey is far easier than tapering. 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.

Can You Taper Too Slowly? As long as you are progressively reducing the amount you are drinking you are tapering successfully, no matter how long it takes. However, some people find that if they attempt to taper too slowly they wind up rebounding back to baseline levels before they ever reach zero. If you are one of these people then you may want to try to speed your taper as much as you can within the bounds of safety.

Many people find that they can finish their taper in two or three days. How do I taper off with other meds? In some states such as Minnesota the doctor is required by law to commit anyone suffering from alcohol withdrawal to an inpatient detox facility for at least 72 hours. In other states the patient may be allowed to attend and outpatient detox program or the patient may be given a prescription for a benzodiazepine for use for self detox.

Typical detox regimens using these medications are as follows: Diazepam Valium ; 10 mg 3 or 4 times in first 24 hours, then 3 or 4 times daily as needed. Chlordiazepoxide Librium ; 50 mg every 6 hours for four doses, then 25 mg every 6 hours for eight doses.

If you do go to a doctor for alcohol withdrawal you may have a diagnosis of alcoholism on your medical records for the rest of your life. This can make it difficult to get medical insurance and sometimes even employment. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. These tips will help you cut back on drinking alcohol Are you concerned about your alcohol intake? Making a list of the reasons to curtail your drinking — such as feeling healthier, sleeping better, or improving your relationships — can motivate you.

Set a drinking goal. Set a limit on how much you will drink. You should keep your drinking below the recommended guidelines: no more than one standard drink per day for women and for men ages 65 and older, and no more than two standard drinks per day for men under These limits may be too high for people who have certain medical conditions or for some older adults. Your doctor can help you determine what's right for you. Keep a diary of your drinking. For three to four weeks, keep track of every time you have a drink.

Include information about what and how much you drank as well as where you were. Compare this to your goal. If you're having trouble sticking to your goal, discuss it with your doctor or another health professional. Don't keep alcohol in your house. Having no alcohol at home can help limit your drinking.

Drink slowly. Sip your drink. Drink soda, water, or juice after having an alcoholic beverage. Never drink on an empty stomach. Choose alcohol-free days. Decide not to drink a day or two each week. You may want to abstain for a week or a month to see how you feel physically and emotionally without alcohol in your life.

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Taking a break from alcohol can be a good way to start drinking less. Watch for peer pressure. Practice ways to say no politely. You do not have to drink just because others are, and you shouldn't feel obligated to accept every drink you're offered. Stay away from people who encourage you to drink. Keep busy. Take a walk, play sports, go out to eat, or catch a movie.

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