Step 18- Essential Skills

gear for a digital scale

Why this step is important

Planning and implementing a taper requires knowing how to use different types of gear and tools depending on one’s chosen taper method, and how to make calculations of doses and cuts.

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Getting oriented

Pharmaceutical manufacturers generally do not provide sufficient options in drug forms and formulations to facilitate slow and responsible tapering off psychiatric drugs. Consequently, people who want to try to taper off psychiatric drugs in the most careful manner possible often have no choice but to attempt to alter their own drugs so that appropriately small cuts can be made. In this step, we show some of the key ways in which people in the lay withdrawal community have been adapting common techniques for working with drugs in order to facilitate their own tapers.

Below we identify the main, basic “skills” that people master in order to be able to implement each particular layperson taper method. Follow the links for detailed instructions and tips from the lay withdrawal community about each skill.

Skills checklist for using a digital scale to weigh powder from a crushed immediate-release tablet or poured-out powder or beads from a capsule

Skills checklist for counting beads from a beaded capsule

Skills checklist for using compounded capsules and/or liquid

  1. Using an adapter cap (for compounded liquid)
  2. Using syringes (for compounded liquid)
  3. Doing calculations for a taper (for additional diluting/cutting)
  4. Special tips for calculations and liquids (for compounded liquid)