Patient: I am drinking to the point that it is affecting my marriage. My husband has 2 years sober. Is tapering off an appropriate strategy for me? If I have about 12 drinks a day (spread throughout the day), could I do 9 tomorrow, 6 the next, then 3, then 1, and be done in a week? I could ask my husband to monitor. Inpatient is not an option due to children and work and I understand counseling or meetings would be necessary as well. What is your opinion?
Doctor: HelloThanks for using “Ask The Doctor” for posting your query.What you are planning is scientifically alright but logistically speaking there will always be a risk of drinking more than the thought of amount. This will destroy the whole withdrawal process. Ideally in a hospital setting, one stops alcohol abruptly and then starts the patient on a benzodiazepines and then gradually reduce them. The same can be tried on out patient basis as you are not a heave drinker. You may meet your doctor and he may start you on librium and then gradually withdraw youoff it.Further the doctor would also like to start you on either baclofen or naltrexone to prevent the relapses. The botton line is that what your planning is not going to do any harm and will help you in any ways. But its difficult to have a controlled drinking. Try it ones but if you fail do seek a doctors help.Do meet your doctor.Hope this helps,Wish you a good health.