Cold Turkey vs Tapering: Which Is Better for Ceasing Drug Use?

Those wishing to quit an addiction to these substances should seek medical help immediately. A doctor will often treat a person’s chronic alcohol dependency with medically controlled detoxification. An individual will take sedating medications, which prevent withdrawal symptoms, as they stop consuming alcohol.

How To Make an Alcohol Tapering Schedule

alcohol tapering vs cold turkey

We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be Top 5 Advantages of Staying in a Sober Living House used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers. Exploring alternatives to the ‘quitting drinking cold turkey’ approach can provide safer and more effective pathways to overcoming alcohol dependence.

Find Effective, Evidence-Based Treatment in the Relay Program for Alcohol Addiction

  • Some people choose to taper more quickly by cutting the amounts in half–for example 20, 10 5, 2, 0.
  • However, this depends on the amount of support a person receives while they are quitting.
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  • For example, if you normally drink 6 glasses of wine each night, you can try reducing that to 5 glasses of wine a night.

Working with a medical professional to taper your alcohol consumption can help the likelihood and severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Instead of quitting alcohol cold turkey, you can steadily reduce your consumption so that your body has time to gradually readjust to absence of alcohol. It’s important to note that stopping drinking can be dangerous and even life-threatening. It’s vital to speak with a medical professional before you begin weaning off alcohol to ensure you have a plan to do so safely. Quitting alcohol abruptly without medical supervision can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms and potential complications. Gradual reduction or tapering and medical detoxification are safer alternatives that can support individuals in their journey toward sobriety.

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Cutting back or completely stopping alcohol consumption is challenging, even if you are not at the point of addiction. The support of medical professionals and psychologists can help you in this process. Educate yourself on potential withdrawal symptoms and have a support system in place. Evaluate the pros and cons of tapering and consider quitting with medical help instead of trying to do it yourself. This method can lead to withdrawal symptoms, especially if you’ve been a heavy drinker.

Quitting drugs cold turkey can carry similar dangerous risks with those involved in quitting severe alcohol addiction. This is because of how a person’s nervous system adapts to specific high dependency drugs. There are several health benefits to stopping smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking drugs. By going cold turkey, a person’s body can begin to recover immediately from the damage the substance was causing.

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On top of this, quitting immediately — or “cold turkey” as many users and professionals call it — can be dangerous. Withdrawal symptoms are generally uncomfortable to deal with, but they can be fatal. To avoid or reduce the impact of the withdrawal symptoms, people struggling with alcohol may choose to progressively taper off alcohol rather than quit abruptly. When you quit drinking cold turkey, your body suffers from a cascade of changes caused by the sudden shift.

Being free of the harmful substance sooner