Alcohol withdrawal syndrome: Symptoms, treatment, and detox time

By | January 22, 2022

Drastic changes in blood pressure and heart rate can also develop, which may lead to a stroke or heart attack. Chronic alcohol use can cause complex changes in their brain, including to the neurotransmitters dopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which affect excitement and a person’s sense of reward. Ethos Structured Sober Living is an all male community in recovery located in the heart of West Los Angeles.

  • Distance yourself from people who don’t support your efforts to stop drinking or respect the limits you’ve set.
  • However, it’s essential to set limits for yourself and stick to them.
  • Knowing why you drink is essential, says Cyndi Turner, LCSW, LSATP, MAC, a Virginia therapist specializing in addiction treatment and alcohol moderation.
  • In addition to physical symptoms, a person will likely experience some psychological side effects, such as alcohol cravings or anxiety.
  • Many rehabs and treatment centers now offer virtual programs that treat alcohol use disorder.

Tapering your alcohol intake, or slowly reducing it over time, can help you avoid severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms. In the end, it is very hard to avoid the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal if you have been drinking excessively for an extended period of time – whether that’s daily or binging several days a week. The only way to circumnavigate the worst of the symptoms is to cut down consumption gradually and do it under medical supervision. sober house Going cold turkey might work for some people, but it’s with this method that you’ll experience the worst of the symptoms. It’s a good idea to plan your withdrawal carefully, gathering the support you need to make it a success – thus setting yourself firmly on the path to recovery. These patients, as well as a substantial number of other people who stop drinking without seeking professional treatment, experience alcohol withdrawal (AW).

Overcoming Alcohol Addiction

While these symptoms are not life-threatening per se, they can be pretty uncomfortable. It can take different people varying amounts of time to taper off alcohol. How long it takes depends on factors like how much you typically drink. A person who drinks more alcohol will probably have a longer taper than a person who drinks less alcohol. Risky withdrawal symptoms are not limited to the above.3 Learn more about alcohol withdrawal here and, once again, speak to a doctor first.

how to cut back on alcohol without withdrawal

Finding a different, more healthy way to unload stress may go a long way in helping someone succeed in cutting back on their alcohol use. The amount of alcohol it takes to cause withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person. For this reason, you should always talk to your doctor before attempting to quit drinking. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually start within hours after you stop drinking, peak in a day or two, and improve within five days. But in some alcoholics, withdrawal is not just unpleasant—it can be life threatening. Recovering from alcohol addiction or heavy drinking is not a quick and easy process.

How Long Does it Take to Wean Off Alcohol?

On the other hand, when you eliminate or significantly reduce your alcohol intake, you give your brain and emotions the opportunity to heal and regulate. If a person slowly detoxes, they may be able to avoid the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. A doctor might also recommend certain dietary changes or supplements, such as vitamins B-1 (thiamin) and B-9 (folic acid), to help the body cope with the decreasing alcohol intake.

Is it possible for an alcoholic to cut back?

Do heavy drinkers cut back? Absolutely. Most heavy drinkers cut back even without treatment. One study using data from a large, general population sample of more than 22,000 U.S. adults who drank found 512 very heavy drinkers: The men consumed more than 7 drinks a day on average and the women four.

“Again, depends on what the baseline alcohol consumption is,” she said. Cirrhosis of the liver (liver disease) can occur over time in those who drink excessively. If you’re having difficulty sticking to your goal or just want some extra guidance, consider reaching out for professional support. You might run into obstacles along the way that tempt you to drink.

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