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Cutting Down . . .

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by Rainman, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Tapering off/weaning yourself off is one strategy some addicts use in their endeavor to beat their addictions. Most of the time however, I've noticed that those who used this strategy fail to embrace victory because they are unwilling to stop even when they cut down their drug use to levels where they could should stop using the drug.

    Maybe it does work for some people, I don't know . . .

    Do any of you think this strategy actually does work?
    Damien Lee likes this.
  2. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Well, we are different from one another anyway, so yes, I think this strategy might work for other people. However, instead of just tapering off the usage, why not just focus on quitting for good, right? It might also work for them, maybe even better.
  3. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    It could work for some but you would think it would only be a matter of time before they were back where they started if they didn't deal with the addiction. Everyone is different though so many some people can just back and be fine. I am interested to hear from those who have just cut back and not quit completely.
  4. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    It might work for those who aren't truly addicted, but for those who are, I think biochemistry takes over, and the addict has no control. This is really the basis of addiction. You no longer control the susbstance it controls you. So, those who suffer, may have a long road ahead of them.
  5. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    To be honest, I think a lot of the time, people kid themselves that they have cut down when really, they haven't. That's what I used to do too!

    The only real way forward is to quit completely. That's the only way you're going to be truly free.
  6. GettingBetter

    GettingBetter Senior Contributor

    Yeah, I don't really think this works. Of course everyone tries it but I think it's more a way to keep using when you want to quit but aren't quite ready. Though I understand for some alcoholics it is necessary to do some tapering or it can be dangerous, it seems like a slippery slope.

    Kgord makes a good point, once you are addicted you aren't really in control and cutting back isn't a realistic goal.
  7. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    I also don't think cutting down your drug use is effective enough if you want to get sober. I think that quitting cold turkey is better. Trying to quit drugs by lessening your dosage will just make the addict "miss" the drug even more to the point that he won't be able to completely quit using it.
  8. Robinsonkamau

    Robinsonkamau Member

    No its not like that you will die soon
  9. Steve Dawson

    Steve Dawson Community Champion

    I think there are many factors to consider here. It depends on the character of the person wishing to stop/cut down. The drug or substance being taken, and the level of dependency in the person. I certainly benefitted from cutting down on smoking for a week or so before I finally took the plunge and gave it up for ever, but I don't think it would ever be anything but a form of procrastination and slow-torture to a confirmed heroin addict. The largest factor has to be how addictive the drug in question is and how strong-willed the person is, but in order to give anything up, its best to get your mind committed to stopping it, and then just do it, ride out the cold-turkey and look forward to a time when you're free of addiction. Its too easy to procrastinate about 'cutting down' and just use it as a continual reason to postphone the time when you finally have to give it up completely.
    deanokat likes this.
  10. irishrose

    irishrose Community Champion

    If I knew someone who was attempting to quit using by tapering off, I would have a tendency to think that they are simply putting off quitting. However, I can see that there are some cases of physical dependency on the substance which may require slowly tapering off in order to quit effectively. It depends on the person quitting in question.
  11. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    I have a friend who quit smoking by buying a vaper and gradually lowering the nicotine concentration of the liquid. This worked for him, but didn't for me. So it can be done, but depends on how your brain reacts to it. I, for example, could not quit until I went cold turkey. I'd suggest that you try it and see if it works. You got nothing to lose.
  12. Robinsonkamau

    Robinsonkamau Member

    What about tobacco.I think that i can stop taking pure tobaccobut its too hard
  13. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    That method does work for some people, me bring one of them when it came to smoking. I found it to hard to quit cold turkey so just decreased gradually.

    Don't forget as well though that a lot of people are told not to just stop a drug altogether as that can also be dangerous.
  14. Robinsonkamau

    Robinsonkamau Member

    Some people think they are doing the best thing
  15. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Community Champion

    Well, this is the strategy that I used to recover from my substance use. Perhaps it's not the best method as I did lose sight and track of my goals at two critical points. It's hard to stay the course over longer periods of time. I think I would've recovered quicker if I pushed myself a bit harder at an earlier stage. Of course, it's not good to push oneself too hard either, as it's easy to fizzle out and relapse.
  16. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    I think tapering off does work for some people. It can help them slowly come to terms with giving up something they've been dependent on for a long time. Also, weaning off of a drug is absolutely necessary in some instances because stopping certain drugs "cold turkey" can cause serious withdrawal symptoms, some of which can be life threatening. So I think it all depends on the person, the situation, and the drug(s) involved. One thing is certain: There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to getting clean and sober. What works and is right for one person isn't necessarily right for another. Whatever helps someone find the road to recovery is the best method. Go with what works.
  17. Coolkidhere

    Coolkidhere Community Champion

    I do think tapering off can work for some people. For instance, there are people who gradually stopped smoking nicotine. They just lowered their consumption until they fully were able to quit it. Then there are people who quit cold turkey and just by that, able to stop the addiction. Again, it's a case to case basis. Thing might work for some, this might not work for others. The key is to find what works best for you and being strong willed enough to continue with the program you've chosen.
  18. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    I think if you can ween yourself off of something it helps. The most important thing is quitting. If you can resist the temptation to go back to an addiction the weening will work. I think the triggers are what you have watch out for.
    Any time something makes you want to go back to your addiction find ways to resist those thoughts.
  19. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I guess to me it depends on the severity of the addiction and also the drug in question. I've heard for certain things you're not just supposed to go cold turkey. In saying that though, I have no doubt that there are people who struggle with giving up completely because that concept of tapering off leaves the substance still there and still available to them.
  20. Jasmine2015

    Jasmine2015 Community Champion

    I think this strategy does work for some. I keep thinking about how for some drugs, this just might be the safer route. Though for some people this might not be good enough. I don't know of going cold turkey is any use either unless your truly determined to quit.
    deanokat likes this.