Here’s Why Quitting Cold Turkey is a Flawed Philosophy

January 13, 2020 | detox

why quitting cold turkey is bad for alcohol and drug addiction

Suddenly stopping drugs or alcohol or going “cold turkey” can seem appealing to some. It may seem easier to just stop and go on with life as usual, however, it rarely works this way. 

For many, it can be an ineffective and dangerous endeavor. According to Psychology Today, unsupervised detox from alcohol, benzodiazepines, and opiates have the potential to be life-threatening. 

Here is why quitting cold turkey isn’t the best way, and what is.

why quitting cold turkey is bad for alcohol and drug addiction

Cold Turkey – It’s A Quick Fix.

Stopping drugs or alcohol may appear like the hardest part, but recovery encompasses so much more. Overcoming substance use disorder is about more than just getting sober. Rehabilitation addresses the behavioral causes of substance abuse and helps you plan for the future.  

Treatment is made up of medically supervised detox, behavioral therapy, group therapy and relapse prevention planning. Relapse prevention planning is a critical part of learning to live a life free of drugs and alcohol. When you try and quit cold turkey, you miss out on very important parts of treatment.

It’s Dangerous

For someone that is physically dependent on drugs or alcohol, stopping abruptly can have serious consequences. After taking an illicit substance for a long period of time or in large amounts the nervous system adapts to the drug. 

Suddenly taking the drug out of your system can have extremely uncomfortable or even life-threatening outcomes. 

Withdrawal symptoms, which are a hallmark of substance use disorder, can cause a number of physical and emotional symptoms like:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea 
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Depression

Some of the more serious effects of detox include:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Body aches and pains
  • Insomnia

These symptoms may last anywhere from a few days to a week or longer. Without supervision by medical professionals, a person can put themselves at risk of relapse, injury, infection, and even death. 

When properly cared for in a professional setting a person is safe and medical staff is on hand 24 hours per day. They will help to ensure that your detox is as safe and as comfortable as possible. 

You’re Less Likely to Stay Sober

As previously mentioned, withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable. Many of those who try to do it on their own end up giving in to the intense cravings. 

Most people start feeling very strong, but once withdrawal symptoms peak even the strongest becomes weak. Even if you don’t relapse during the withdrawal process, without relapse prevention planning and behavioral therapy odds are much higher than you’ll go back to drugs or alcohol.

Learning to deal with your triggers and the root cause of drug or alcohol abuse is vital. Sinking back into old patterns is a recipe for disaster. You need a supportive and stable environment to give yourself the best chance at sobriety.  

Remember, recovery is a journey and not something that can be done in a day or two.  If you want to quit using drugs or alcohol don’t put yourself at risk and try to do it on your own.  

Give yourself the best chance and contact us today and let us show you how we can help. From medically supervised detox to aftercare, we will be with you every step of the way. 

DayBreak is NOT just another drug rehab center – it is a treatment solution founded on the core principles of change. Relapse no longer needs to be a part of your story, call us when you are ready for a life rediscovered…844-447-3239