Substituting a prescription drug for alcohol should only happen with the help of a medical professional. 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. These include direct tapers, where you regularly decrease the amount of alcohol you consume, and substitution tapers, where you replace alcohol with another substance.
What heals when you stop drinking?
Research shows that some of the damage caused to the brain, liver, cardiovascular system, and gut will slowly heal when you stop drinking. 2 After you get past the temporary though sometimes severe discomfort of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, you'll notice increasing improvements in your physical and mental health.
This means that if you quit drinking cold turkey, your brain will not have enough GABA. This can cause your brain to become hyper-excitable and leads to withdrawal symptoms. Many hospitals use the Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol protocol in order to assess the level of withdrawal present and therefore the amount of medication needed. The CIWA has also been shortened (now called the CIWA-Ar), while retaining its validity and reliability, to help assess patients more efficiently due to the life-threatening nature of alcohol withdrawal.
Additional Treatment Options for AUD
This may occur following a planned or unplanned decrease in alcohol intake. The underlying mechanism involves a decreased responsiveness of GABA receptors in the brain. The withdrawal process is typically followed using the Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol scale (CIWA-Ar).
From day one, Ria Health has offered support for the Sinclair Method—a medication-based approach to moderate drinking or abstinence with a 78 percent success rate. These are offered to patients with moderate to severe Alcohol Use Disorder, having the goal of reducing alcohol comsumption and achieving abstinence. Prefer Topiramate or Gabapentin if patients are intolerant to or have not responded to Naltrexone and Acamprosate.
More Tips from Ethos Recovery
With a Master’s Degree from Tufts School of Medicine and Emerson College in Health Communication, Laura has continued to find excitement and challenge in her chosen field. She is also the Board President, BarZero and Board Member of the Colorado Professional Liaison Association. The main downside of tapering off is that it requires discipline. You’ll need to stick with gradual reduction every day and not revert to previous levels of consumption, otherwise it won’t work.
A doctor may prescribe a benzodiazepine as part of the tapering process. The final step of tapering off alcohol is to define your alcohol-free days. By setting a specific day or time for a ‘beer-free’ day, you create a reminder of your commitment to sobriety. This allows your body to break its dependency without causing alcohol withdrawal. This process can last several days, weeks, or months depending on your tolerance level, history of use, and other factors. Tapering off alcohol is one of the safest ways to overcome alcoholism.
Why Does Alcohol Withdrawal Happen?
Another strategy for a successful taper is to drink just enough to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay. If you find it is difficult to prevent yourself from drinking too much and getting drunk, locking your alcohol up in a cabinet and giving your friend or family member the key can help. Although with this method, it is important that the friend or family member is accessible when symptoms of withdrawals such as tremors return.
For those at risk for severe withdrawal symptoms, medically-supervised detox is often the safest choice for beginning their sobriety or moderation journey. Others may discover after cure for alcohol withdrawal symptoms consulting with a doctor that it’s safe for them to quit alcohol cold turkey if they choose to. However, they may still decide that tapering down feels most achievable for them.
Sunshine Behavioral Health Facilities
If you are an average to moderate drinker – a couple drinks a night, several nights a week – then you may experience moderate withdrawal. On the other hand, if you engage in excessive alcohol use, you could experience severe alcohol withdrawal. For people with moderate to severe alcohol addiction, utilizing an alcohol detox center is https://ecosoberhouse.com/ always the safest option. Alcohol detox centers have professionals trained to recognize and treat complications caused by alcohol withdrawal. Because alcohol withdrawal symptoms can sometimes be unpredictable and may escalate quickly, having an on-site medical team that can quickly intervene is the safest way to quit heavy drinking.