They may cut back for a short period of time, but they soon find themselves back to drinking at their usual level. This is especially true of heavy drinkers who are surrounded by the triggers that encourage drinking and lack the support needed to encourage change. The first step is often to consult your primary care doctor or GP. Your doctor can evaluate your drinking patterns, diagnose any co-occurring disorders, assess your overall health, and offer treatment referrals. If your goal is to reduce your drinking, decide which days you will drink alcohol and how many drinks you will allow yourself per day. Try to commit to at least two days each week when you won’t drink at all.
You are already aware that it takes more alcohol to get the same buzz you used to get. As you build tolerance, you become quite skilled at acting relatively “normal” even though you may have a very high blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Students will engage in poor judgment or risky dangerous behaviors because they feel they are fine. In order to moderate use, temporary abstinence is the best way to get there.
Evaluating the costs and benefits of drinking
Moderate drinking is officially defined as 1 drink or less per day for women and 2 drinks or less per day for men. However, if a person already has alcohol use disorder, they can help prevent some of the withdrawal symptoms by speaking to a doctor about safe withdrawal. Although alcohol withdrawal can be a dangerous and painful process, it is a necessary step on the road to recovery.
If you feel comfortable doing so, discuss your challenges with your primary healthcare professional. Finding a therapist can also be a great starting point if you’re uncomfortable opening up to your healthcare professional. Exploring, in writing, what you find difficult and when you most want to drink can help you notice patterns that offer more insight into your alcohol use.
Reason #2: You’ll sleep better.
Alcohol is metabolized by the liver and an enzyme called dehydrogenases. However, when you drink in excess, the enzyme gets saturated and is metabolized by a different enzyme. Because the liver is a tolerant organ, he said positive changes can occur within weeks of going dry.
- If you are allowed to stay at home during your withdrawal from alcohol, you must have sufficient professional support.
- Contact a treatment provider today to find out what options are available to you.
- This allows you to keep track of your alcohol consumption, as well as identify patterns and triggers.
She is a member of the Board of Directors of Hello Sunday Morning. She is a Fellow of the Australian Association for Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy and was previously President. As such, there is only limited guidance available about the best ways to taper. By Buddy T
Buddy T is a writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach 5 Tips to Consider When Choosing a Sober Living House Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. Because he is a member of a support group that stresses the importance of anonymity at the public level, he does not use his photograph or his real name on this website. John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine.
Management of Alcohol Withdrawal
For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). You aren’t to blame for your loved one’s drinking problem and you can’t make them change. The person with the drinking problem needs to take responsibility for their actions. Don’t lie or cover things up to protect someone from the consequences of their drinking.