Q. Is Quitting Cold Turkey Dangerous?

A. Yes it can be deadly! 

I want to explain what "quitting cold turkey" means, and then the dangers associated with it. 

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.
  • Anxiety.
  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • Blood pressure can go up as well.

Is Quitting Cold Turkey Dangerous?

Quitting drinking 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 probably should have 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.

Delirium Tremens

If you are experiencing Delirium Tremens then Call 844-334-5711 and get medically Assisted Detox ASAP!

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 to sort of 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.

Anyway, that's why I always suggest, if you're a heavy drinker and you're going to quit, do it with the help of a doctor.

I'm not a doctor, I didn't go to medical school or anything like that. Nothing I say is medial advice, but all the doctors that I know who know what they're talking about say that, you really should, especially if you're a heavy drinker, be detoxed and taken down safely.

Not to mention the fact that it makes it a lot more comfortable, people tell me. I haven't gone through it, myself.

Anyway, I just wanted to talk to you a little bit about cold turkey, and how to quit drinking cold turkey, and some of the effects. Call the number below to find the best addiction detox and recovery centers in your area. You can speak to a recovery person over the phone about your situation and get help.

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Medical Detox - Local or Out-of-State.

Use your Insurance card and call 844-334-5711 or click the button below if you are on mobile. You'll be connected with a Detox coordinator who can place you into detox today. Live phone support is one click away. Start Detox.

or Dial 844-334-5711 for Live Detox Help