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Best Way to Wean Off Alcohol [5 Tips to Help You Taper Your Drinking]

woman considering best way to wean off alcohol holding a beer

Whether you think you have a problem with alcohol or not, you may find yourself wanting cut back on your drinking. In attempting to do so, you may find that it is harder than you thought. And, if you are a heavy drinker, you may even experience some unpleasant side effects when you don’t drink at all. If this is the case, quitting alcohol cold turkey may not be an effective solution. Here, you will learn tips on how you can wean off alcohol. This process of tapering yourself down can help you to set realitic goals surrounding your alcohol use and avoid withdrawal.

Alcoholism, the excessive drinking of alcohol that could lead to significant physical and mental health problems, is a very common disorder in society. More than 3 million people suffer from this chronic disorder in the United States alone. While some never recover, there are others who took control of their alcohol abuse problem and never looked back. While there is treatment available for alcoholics, some drinkers may prefer to handle the problem themselves. Here, we will discuss self-diagnosing a problem with alcohol and implementing practices that can help to reduce drinking.

1. Evaluate Your Relationship With Alcohol

For starters, it is best to assess yourself and your current relationship with alcohol. Here are some of the questions you may want to consider asking yourself and possible answers:

  • How much of it are you consuming?
    • According to NPR.org, women who consume 8 or more drinks are considered excessive drinkers. Whereas men are considered excessive drinkers when they consume 15 or more drinks. A drink is defined by researchers as 5 ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer.
  • Why are you drinking alcohol?
    • What benefits come with abusing alcohol? Alcohol is used by many as a temporary remedy for emotional pain or to help overcome stressful situations. It is important to understand why one relies on alcohol in order to understand what to do to overcome it.
  • What makes alcohol a detriment?
    • Alcohol, when abused, can be a very toxic substance that can cause serious damage to one’s physical and mental health. Aside from the typical hangover that you get after a rough night of drinking, you could also experience digestive problems, memory loss, anxiety and depression.
  • What are the benefits of letting it go?
    • People who have let go of alcohol, completely or almost completely, have seen healthier hearts and livers. Furthermore, they have seen comfortable sleeping patterns and better decision making. Aside from personal health, they have seen improvements in the relationships they cultivate with their loved ones.

Despite knowing the underlying issue and what causes it, it is important to ensure that the road to recovery is not a rough, bumpy one. By implementing some best practices, you could ensure that you stay on track.

2. Find a Safe Space Away From Alcohol

When starting their journey, many believe that it’s a journey that they must pursue alone. However, that is simply not the case. Communities of people with similar goals are plentiful almost everywhere and are easier than ever to find, thanks to social media. An alcohol recovery community, like Alcoholics Anonymous, could help you find people that are in a similar position as you. It gives you an opportunity to share your story and confide in a group setting where everyone has one goal; to overcome their demons. 

Safe spaces could also include your own hobbies. If you allow another activity to consume your time, it gives you less time to drink or even consider drinking. Maybe you were once a very skilled artist, you could try to rediscover that passion for painting. Perhaps you used to play a sport back in high school, you could join a club or visit your local recreation center and return to it. The possibilities are endless.

Furthermore, you may also find it helpful to confide in a loved one. It could be a family member or a close friend(s). Explaining to a person who cares deeply about you could prove to be beneficial later in the journey, as well. You have a person who will not hesitate to keep you in check and at no cost.

woman utilizing hobbies as an outlet to wean off alcohol

3. Practice Drinking In Moderation

Suppose you find it difficult to completely let go of alcohol all at once. In that case, you may want to consider practicing moderation. Moderation is a form of self-restraint where you limit your consumption and continue to limit it as time passes. For example, if you consume 15 drinks a week, then the next week you try to consume 13 drinks. After that week, you will consume 10 drinks. Then, the next week, you bring It down to 8 drinks per week. You keep this cycle going until you eliminate the need for drinks. This is a useful method to slowly work towards your goals when you depend too much on alcohol to start. 

4. Take Care of Yourself

There is a lot more to being healthy than simply cutting out negative substances. For instance, your diet plays a huge role in determining your weight, metabolism, and even your immune system. Creating and following a diet plan helps you perform your daily activities better and feel better, overall.

Complementing a good diet with proper exercise will prove to be even better. Not only does exercise serve as a possible hobby, but it is also the best way to stay in shape and boost your immune system. Exercising also provides mental clarity and can be used as an alternative to help relieve stress.

wean off alcohol - exercise

5. Make a Plan to Taper Down

After your initial self-assessment, you should have a good understanding of why you resort to alcohol. By understanding your need for alcohol, you’re given the opportunity to find an alternative to help compensate for it. Reaching out to a loved one or rediscovering a hobby could help distract and resist the urge. Practicing moderation is a way of easing in when it seems impossible to let it all go. Following a diet and improving one’s physical health could help you feel more alive and well. Creating bonds and engaging with people who were/still are on the same road as you may help to remind your that you are not alone. Combining your initial approach with some of these other helpful practices could yield incredible results on your road to recovery and make the process much easier.

What If I Can't Wean Myself Off Alcohol?

If you have tried and failed to handle your drinking problem by tapering down or weaning yourself off alcohol, it may be time to consider professional help. A medically supervised detox program can help you physically and psychologically overcome the difficulties associated with quitting. In the comfort and privacy of an inpatient setting, therapists, doctors, and alcohol counselors will help you to get back to a healthy happy life. 

It is important to realize, that asking for help is not a moral failure or a sign of weakness. Rather, it is a sign of strength and humility. Don’t let your pride stop you from living the life you deserve. If you have any questions at all about how you can quit drinking or how 1 Solution Detox can help, give us a call. Our friendly admissions staff has helped thousands of people recover and have done it personally. Help is waiting, just make the call.