Alcohol abuse can take a large toll on the body, especially during withdrawal. While some users quit cold turkey, some opt to slowly taper off of alcohol as an alternative treatment. It's important for serious abusers to choose to wean rather than quit cold turkey, as alcohol withdrawal and be potentially fatal. It's for this reason, and many others, why it's important for people to go to rehab, specifically one that specializes in alcohol rehab.
By tapering, otherwise known as weaning, abusers gradually decrease the amount of alcohol they consume until it reaches a minimal amount. From there, users hope to quit for good. It's sometimes recommended for medications to be consumed while withdrawing to assist in the process.
You're most likely to experience serious alcohol withdrawal symptoms if you have:
- Abused alcohol several days in a row
- Consumed alcohol to the point of being drunk every night for a month or more
- Users who consumed small amounts throughout the day for a month or so
- People who've previously experienced alcohol withdrawal symptoms after abuse
How long does weaning take?
Weaning is successful as long as you follow the guidelines you set and progressively reduce the overall alcohol intake throughout your days. It's worth noting, however, that many abusers end up in the same old spot if they taper too slowly. It's vital to take tapering seriously, otherwise, it won't be a successful treatment. Doing it alone isn't easy. Going to an alcohol rehab for assistance is highly recommended.
A word of warning – the process of tapering can be hindered by a relapse, in essence restarting the clock. Furthermore, those in the process of weaning who choose to go back to drinking tend to consume far more alcohol than is needed to achieve the desired effect. This creates a dangerous level of intoxication, which can get even more dangerous if the individual chooses to get behind the wheel of a car without a Low Cost Interlock device installed.
What are the symptoms commonly experienced by alcohol withdrawal?
The medical world has classified alcohol withdrawal symptoms into three types: mild, moderate, and severe.
Mild alcohol withdrawal often happens within 24 hours of the last drink consumed. Common characteristics include the shakes, insomnia, anxiety/panic, twitching, excessive sweating, raised blood pressure and pulse, and an upset stomach.
Moderate alcohol withdrawal takes place within 24-36 hours after the last consumed drink. Some symptoms include intense anxiety/panic, tremors, insomnia, seizures, hallucinations, high blood pressure, and increased pulse.
Severe alcohol withdrawal, otherwise known as Delirium Tremens (D.T.s), occurs after 48 hours of alcohol consumption or decreased usage. Symptoms commonly experienced in this category include disorientation, agitation, hallucinations, shakes, racing heartbeat/pulse, fast breathing, fever, irregular heartbeat, excessive sweating, and increased blood pressure. One in five sufferers of D.T.s will die. This is why rehab is extremely important when ceasing alcohol use.
Can people actually taper off alcohol WITH alcohol?
Yes! People have been using alcohol to cease alcohol use for hundreds of years. Modern medications used to treat withdrawal symptoms are just now being supplied to the masses, which is why going to an alcohol rehabilitation center can make quitting alcohol easy. Most rehabs have questionnaire or interview sessions that will help analyse if you need their services.
How do I know if I need to go to a rehabilitation center?
If you're having trouble quitting alcohol yourself, or find life to be difficult to deal with on a regular basis, it might be best to contact a local rehabilitation center for alcohol abuse. By working with experienced people and receiving alcohol addiction treatment by professionals, quitting alcohol consumption has never been easier.
A dependence on alcohol doesn’t have to be a death sentence. However, if alcoholism is allowed to go on for too long, a premature death is almost assured. The potential for damage and destruction due to excessive alcohol consumption is just too great. Do what it takes to cut back now, and ultimately – hopefully – find the ability to quit for good.