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How to Reduce Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Learn how to reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms in this Howcast video featuring addictions specialist Paul J. Rinaldi, Ph.D.

Transcript

I often get calls from people who would like to stop drinking, but really are afraid of having withdrawal symptoms. When that happens, my main recommendation to them is that they come in and they see an addiction specialist to be evaluated. But I often get calls from people who aren't in my local area and may not have access to a medical professional. In that case, there are two ways of minimizing the problems that may be associated with alcohol withdrawal.

The main one, if you can see a physician, is to do so and you can be prescribed different medications that will be prescribed over the course, of usually 4-7 days that each day, the dose is lowered, until you're off the medication and then you'll be safe. And you'll be secure that you're not going to experience withdrawal symptoms. At least in it, you're certainly not going to experience any withdrawal symptoms that might be medically dangerous. When I say that, even when one gets off it, they may still experience some anxiety.

However, if people do not have access to a medical professional for whatever reason, then the way to withdraw from alcohol, is to taper down the amount of alcohol that you are drinking. So if you're drinking extremely heavily, you may want to, over the course of . . . depending on how much you're drinking, it may be over the course of a few days. It may be over the course of a few weeks. Each day, reduce the amount of alcohol that you're drinking and keep tapering it down until you're not drinking at all. By doing so, you will not necessarily have any withdrawal symptoms. If you don't do that, it's very dangerous and sometimes it seems like counter-intuitive, that you want to stop drinking, that well, I should just stop drinking. But in fact, I never want people to do that because that can be medically dangerous.

So again, you want to, each day, reduce the amount you're drinking until you've stopped, or get medication from a physician, which you taper down until that stops. And then you'll be safe and secure. So those are the two techniques that you can use to stop drinking and avoid any withdrawal symptoms.

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