Twelve step programs work great if you’re an addict who successfully completed an inpatient rehab program or an intensive outpatient program and you’re focused on your aftercare recovery.
Alcohol Withdrawal: Cold Turkey Dangers
Is Quitting Cold Turkey Dangerous? With respect to Chronic Alcoholism, Yes. It can be deadly!
What It Means To Quit Cold Turkey
I’m sure most people are familiar with the term, but just to make sure we’re using the same definitions, it means that you would just stop. Just pull the band-aid off.
One day you’re drinking, and then the next day, you just don’t. You just quit!
It’s like, throw the cigarettes away, or throw the dope away, or throw the beer away, and just completely stop.
Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal
There can be side effects to quitting cold turkey, especially for heavy drinkers, who would be considered alcoholic.
When alcoholics quit cold turkey, the symptoms they might experience are:
- Shaking – Alcoholics can get the shakes real bad sometimes.
- Sweating – Even in a cold room.
- Nausea – You feel like you’re going to throw up, and sometimes you do.
- Real bad headaches.
- Rapid heartbeat.
- Blood pressure can go up as well.
- Is Quitting Cold Turkey Dangerous?
Cold turkey can be extremely dangerous.
Sometimes visual hallucinations can happen too, and also, you can smell things that aren’t there, hear things that aren’t there.
Hallucinations could last a couple of weeks. As a matter of fact, when I quit drinking, it had been maybe about a week or so after I quit, and I did it cold turkey.
I went into a treatment facility, an outpatient treatment facility, but I didn’t go through a detox.
I probably should done medical detox, because the withdrawal symptoms were intense.
I actually saw a whiskey bottle floating in the air, talking to me. It was so real. It was just like it was there, but part of me knew that it wasn’t real, so I didn’t tell anybody about that until later I understood how dangerous that was.
I’m sharing it now to let folks know that quitting cold turkey can be really dangerous.
Other more serious problems when quitting cold turkey are:
- Seizures and convulsions – these can be extremely dangerous.
- Delirium tremens (DM’s) – Symptoms of that include confusion, disorientation, more hallucinations, hyperactivity, and extreme cardiovascular disturbances.
There’s really no way to treat the DTs. You’ve just got be put in the hospital and watched and made comfortable until they pass, and hopefully, you won’t die from them.
You’ve just got to be put in the hospital and watched and made comfortable until they pass, and hopefully you won’t die from them.
Critical Advice for Chronic Alcoholics Looking To Quit
If you’re a heavy drinker and you’re going to quit, do it with the help of a doctor.
You really should, especially if you’re a heavy drinker, be detoxed and taken down safely.
Not to mention the fact that it makes the whole process a lot more comfortable and your health insurance will cover the cost.