The Dangers Of Quitting Alcohol Cold Turkey

The Dangers Of Quitting Alcohol Cold Turkey

When someone decides to stop drinking alcohol, a common approach is to quit by going cold turkey or abruptly stop without gradually weaning off the substance but this can be a dangerous and even a life-threatening action to take for some individuals.

You may think a radical cut to alcohol consumption is the quickest and most effective way to kick the habit, unaware that the reality of abruptly stopping alcohol intake can produce severe withdrawal symptoms that can put your health at risk as the body goes into a state of shock as it adjusts to the absence of a substance it was dependent on.

Some of these withdrawal symptoms include sweating, shaking, nausea, insomnia, or even seizures in severe cases which is why it is so important to understand the potential risks associated with quitting alcohol cold turkey and find professional help or addiction specialists who can advise you how to quit alcohol safely.

In the event you decide to attempt to go cold turkey, you should always have a strong support system to help you overcome withdrawal symptoms and to ensure your safety primarily and to lessen the chances of relapse.

Cold Turkey Withdrawal Symptoms

When the body is denied receiving its habitual intake of alcohol a series of changes happen in the brain causing an imbalance in the neurotransmitters and creating unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.  Most people associate alcohol withdrawal symptoms with the intense cravings experienced whilst not drinking but there are several physical and psychological symptoms some of which can be quite severe.

Some of the physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms include:

Quite often, withdrawal symptoms can result in some people experiencing seizures or cardiac arrests or should they already have an existing mental health condition, it can lead to further complications and increase their emotional stress.

According to statistics, using the cold turkey approach to quit alcohol addiction has a much higher chance of relapse as most people find themselves overwhelmed with the intensity of these symptoms and are likely to be unsuccessful in quitting the habit.

Factors Related To Alcohol Withdrawal

After quitting alcohol consumption, it is possible you don’t experience all of the withdrawal symptoms mentioned, this is because every person is different and depends on their factors which may include:

  • How long they have had alcohol use disorder
  • The amounts of alcohol regularly consumed
  • Overall mental and physical health status
  • Previous attempts to quit and alcohol withdrawal experiences
  • Genetics and family history of addiction 
  • Individual physiology
  • Polysubstance misuse

You may be surprised to learn that many people who have previously attempted to quit their drinking habit by using the cold turkey method and have experienced alcohol withdrawal, may be at more risk of having seizures. 

This is known as “kindling”, whereby someone’s alcohol withdrawal symptoms become worse every time they try to stop drinking. This function isn’t fully understood but it is believed it is caused by a person’s increased sensitivity to stress and link with neural pathways. Kindling can significantly increase the risk of dying during withdrawal stages and also elevate the chance of relapse.

Alternative To Quitting Alcohol Cold Turkey

Even if your alcohol withdrawal syndrome isn’t severe or potentially fatal, it is recommendable to seek medical help instead of attempting to quit drinking cold turkey on your own due to how distressing it can be and having to endure discomfort when it can be managed more effectively.

A medically assisted alcohol detox service is the most appropriate and effective procedure to treat addiction and eradicate all traces of the harmful substance from the body where withdrawal symptoms are monitored and addressed by medical professionals who can prescribe medication to assist with the unpleasantness and discomfort during the process.

This practice is the safest way to detox from alcohol and reduce the risk of any life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. 

Alcohol detox is the first phase of treating alcohol use disorder and substance addiction and is generally carried out as part of an inpatient treatment programme at a residential rehabilitation centre. During a medical detox, you can expect to receive a spectrum of treatment modalities and medical interventions to address any complications and monitor vital signs to ensure your comfort and safety.

This round-the-clock care and observation will help the patient to detox successfully and help them to make a seamless transition into the second phase of recovery which involves a specific alcohol addiction treatment programme.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment Programme

Alcohol rehab centres implement alcohol addiction treatment programmes to address the nature of addiction and include various structures and modalities to promote a sustainable recovery and provide the anchor to stabilise the effects of anyone who has struggled with long-term alcohol abuse.

Depending on your age, gender, general health and other personal characteristics, the severity of your alcohol addiction and whether there are other underlying physical or mental health issues, an assessment will be carried out and a personalised treatment programme will be designed to suit your specific needs and requirements and determine what action, therapy and support you will most benefit from.

Patients are proactive in making decisions and managing their symptoms by joining in with group and individual sessions and can participate in varied therapies or other modalities, knowing they have full support to make a full recovery and return to a life of sobriety.

To stop drinking cold turkey is never going to be the easy option, especially for someone who may experience severe withdrawal symptoms, and given the high risks involved, perhaps it should be avoided altogether.

Where To Find Medical Detox For Alcohol

Many private alcohol rehab centres provide facilities to detox from alcohol and have their unique ways of treating and managing alcohol use disorder. If you need to identify an alcohol-related problem or are not sure about the severity of consumption, you may find Alcoholics Anonymous have a wealth of useful advice and information that may help you understand more about addiction and where to find help.

Sivana Bali is a private residential rehab centre located on the beautiful island of Bali, Indonesia and has a wide spectrum of  treatment programmes to treat most substance addictions, such as:

We also offer a medically managed detox process and residential treatment as an inpatient at our five-star facility. We have a highly qualified medical team and dedicated staff who will ensure your stay with us will be comfortable and pleasant and where you can find the peace to reconnect with nature and restore balance to your inner being.

Bali may seem a million miles away, but with good flight connections to Denpasar airport and our centre only a few kilometres from there, it is becoming a better alternative to getting immediate treatment rather than waiting for months in most large cities. Sivana Bali has all the facilities and resources to address substance disorders at an affordable price but with all the luxuries one would expect.

Why don’t you call today? Our friendly staff will gladly offer you guidance and advice on our facilities and treatment programmes and will answer any questions or concerns you may have. You may find our services more accessible than you think.

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