It’s easy to start drinking or using other substances because it starts with just one use. That usage can quickly spiral out of control. When someone stops using a substance abruptly, that means they’re quitting “cold-turkey.” While this strategy might seem like the best idea when you want to put this behind you, quitting cold-turkey comes with a significant amount of risks. To learn about the risks, contact Sunflower Wellness Retreat at 855.730.8825.
Understanding the Appeal of Quitting Cold-Turkey
It isn’t uncommon for substance abusers to believe they can stop using if they avoid people, places, and substances. In doing so, they think they’re separating themselves from substance abuse. They want to start fresh by taking all reminders of substance abuse out of their lives.
This strategy is dangerous because:
- Your body is used to having the substance in it consistently
- You might experience harsher withdrawal symptoms
- There isn’t anyone available at a moment’s notice when you need support
- There aren’t any medications available to help make the symptoms more manageable
- If something goes wrong medically, you don’t have the supervision you need
Many substance abusers favor quitting cold-turkey because it means they can avoid the substance all-together. The idea of using a substance in moderation is unappealing, particularly for those who have difficulty controlling themselves.
Outlining the Risks
Because the nervous system adapts to some high-dependency drugs, quitting cold-turkey could be dangerous. When you remove a substance from your system abruptly, that could create several severe and potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms. That includes experiencing seizures or having heart problems.
If you want to stop using substances with less pronounced physical dependency, like amphetamines, cocaine, and nicotine, you could experience severe withdrawal symptoms. Not only does that make your life uncomfortable, but it also takes an emotional toll.
For example, if you stop using alcohol abruptly, you could experience the following withdrawal symptoms:
- Abdominal cramps
- Anxiety and depression
- Insomnia or other sleep issues
- Mood swings
- Muscle aches
- Nausea and vomiting
One risk factor that many may not realize is that, when you stop using a substance abruptly, that causes the body to lose tolerance to those substances. So, if you relapse, there’s a greater risk of overdosing. Those who quit cold-turkey also experience dehydration, which causes a severe imbalance in the electrolytes in your body.
Alternatives to Quitting Cold-Turkey
There are several alternatives to quitting cold-turkey. If you’re addicted to alcohol, you’ll need to go through alcohol detox at an alcohol addiction treatment. If you’re addicted to another substance, the same holds regarding detox and participating in a treatment center program.
Participating in these programs helps substance abusers avoid uncomfortable and sometimes painful withdrawal symptoms.
Examples of withdrawals you might experience if you abuse alcohol:
- Anxiety, depression, agitation, and irritability
- Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramping
- Disorientation, dizziness, and sensitivity to light and sound
- Short-term memory loss and difficulties concentrating or focusing
- Body aches, headache, insomnia, and fatigue
- Heightened body temperature and heavy sweating
- Increased heart rate and high blood pressure
Going through alcohol detox at an alcohol addiction treatment facility means you don’t have to experience those symptoms. If you do experience any withdrawals, they are to a lesser degree. Our professionals are on standby to manage your symptoms and address any health issues that might arise.
Avoid Quitting Cold-Turkey at Sunflower Wellness Retreat
You might be tired of using, but that doesn’t mean that quitting cold-turkey is a safe option. If you have questions about alternatives or about what happens during detox or treatment, now is the time to get those answers. We offer a range of addiction treatment programs, including:
- Alcohol addiction treatment
- Heroin addiction treatment
- Cocaine addiction treatment
- Opioid addiction treatment
- Benzo addiction treatment
Contact Sunflower Wellness Retreat at 855.730.8825 today to learn more about how to quit using substances safely.