Saturday, May 25, 2024

How To Quit An Addiction Cold Turkey

Should You Quit Smoking Cold Turkey


Quitting smoking is hard. According to the CDC, quitting smoking often takes several attempts.1 Despite the fact that most adult smokers want to quit, fewer than one in ten smokers succeed in quitting smoking each year.2 Why is quitting smoking so hard? Quitting isnt tough because smokers lack willpower its because nicotine is extremely addictive, and withdrawal symptoms can be intense.3

To quit smoking cold turkey may seem like the easiest way to finally be done with cigarettes, especially for someone whos tried to quit smoking a few times already. But is white-knuckling it through withdrawal symptoms actually effective? Find out more information on the whether the cold turkey method would work for you below.

What Is The Best Way To Quit Cocaine

Inpatient therapies usually last from 30 days to 90 days depending on the situation. Most people enrolled in inpatient or residential rehabilitation programs continue their recovery with outpatient aftercare. Inpatient drug rehab programs often begin with a period of medical detoxification, where you are supervised while going through the withdrawal phase associated with quitting certain drugs.

Inpatient cocaine rehab may be useful if you need to remove yourself from a potentially hazardous environment that will increase the probability of relapse or if you have a severe addiction.

Research indicates that individuals who begin their recovery in an inpatient program have a lower probability of relapse in the vulnerable early stages of recovery. 1

Most of the formal counseling/therapy programs that address substance abuse or addiction use cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, which have scientific evidence to support their effectiveness. Twelve-step programs, such as Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous , do not directly use these techniques, though they may incorporate similar approaches. Twelve-step programs operate without required fees, whereas formal counseling/therapy programs require you to use your insurance or pay for the services out-of-pocket.

What Does Quitting Cold Turkey Mean And Why Is It So Hard

Quitting cold turkey simply means to stop using drugs abruptly and without help. Most cold turkey methods are attempted at home without outside intervention or medical assistance. Quitting cold turkey should not be confused with the addiction treatment known as detoxification. Detox allows you to slowly purge drugs from your system, usually in a safe, controlled environment.

The cold turkey method is so difficult for two main reasons cravings and withdrawal symptoms. If youre addicted to drugs, your body has developed an unhealthy physical and mental dependence on a particular substance. In fact, your body and brain begin to need those chemicals to maintain their equilibrium. If you abruptly quit, your body starts purging itself of those substances, attempting to return to its non-addicted state. This process produces intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms that can impact you physically, mentally and emotionally.

Also Check: How To Control Your Addiction

Not Learning Your Triggers

Addiction is much more than abstaining from heroin. Its about learning your triggers, as well as finding the root cause of your addiction. You may be able to find a short period of time where you are sober, but because you havent learned how to deal with your triggers, a relapse is almost guaranteed. This makes quitting heroin cold turkey at home extremely risky, because chances are, you are completely surrounded by your triggers. You also know exactly how and where to obtain heroin, and that fact often proves to be all too tempting for someone suffering from addiction.

Should I Quit Cold Turkey The Final Analysis

Pin on Quit Smoking

Quitting cold turkey is never a good idea. At the very least, it leads to severe withdrawal that can be physically and emotionally wrenching. At worst, it leads to death. Even if you dont look at it in terms of is cold turkey safe or is cold turkey dangerous, the approach does nothing to help you resolve the factors that may have led to the addictive behavior in the first place.

Going cold turkey assumes you can just stop abusing drugs and alcohol and be done with it. If it were that simple, there would be no such thing as addiction. The best way to quit and the only way that leads to long-term sobriety is to commit to a program that offers the medical, social and emotional support you need to put addiction behind you once and for all.

When youre ready to rid yourself of drugs and alcohol, dont do it alone call 12 Keys Recovery today and take your first step to a life without addiction.

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The Dangers Of Quitting Opioids Cold Turkey

Quitting heroin or prescription painkillers can increase both the severity and danger of withdrawal symptoms.

Severe gastrointestinal distress, marked by diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, can cause extreme dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Our body requires fluids and electrolytes to function properly without this, certain important systems within our body can begin to malfunction.

Another danger of withdrawal-induced vomiting is lung complications. Should a person vomit then inhale the vomit into their lungs they could develop aspiration pneumonia, a severe infection of the lungs.

According to MedlinePlus, this condition could cause:

  • abscesses within the lungs
  • respiratory failure
  • shock

If not promptly treated, this infection could spread to a persons blood and travel throughout the body causing even more dangers. In certain cases, this infection, and those complications which follow could become so severe that they become life-threatening.

What Is Opioid Withdrawal

Once a persons body has become physically dependent on a drug theres a good chance their body will react harshly to the drugs absence, often in painful and uncomfortable ways.

Symptoms of opioid withdrawal can become intense and debilitating without the proper, specialized treatment. Withdrawal can cause a person to have goosebumps, hence the name cold turkey. In addition to this it may also include:

  • abdominal cramping
  • teary eyes
  • yawning

In many cases, withdrawal associated with prescribed use isnt as severe as that which accompanies addiction. Despite this, even those who are physically dependent on prescribed use should still judiciously taper their dosage as per doctors orders.

For those who are addicted to heroin or prescription opioid painkillers, withdrawal should never be undergone without medical assistance. Attempting to do so can jeopardize a persons safety, their pursuit of sobriety, and in certain cases, their life.

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Understanding Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms

The effects of the drug typically last between one hour and three hours when the drug is smoked and longer if it is ingested in the form of edibles . Using the drug regularly can cause tolerance to form, which then means that a person will need to take more of it for it to work the same way.

Taking more and more marijuana at a time and using the drug regularly can cause drug dependence to form. Then, the brain cant keep its own natural chemistry balanced without marijuana. When the drug isnt active in the bloodstream, withdrawal symptoms can occur.

The Iranian Journal of Psychiatry publishes that 61 percent to 96 percent of cannabis users experienced some form of withdrawal symptoms when they stopped using the drug. The active ingredient in marijuana, THC , acts on the same reward system that opioids like heroin, cocaine, and alcohol do.

When marijuana processes out of the body, withdrawal can be both emotionally and physically uncomfortable. The most common side effects are irritability, sleep disturbances, insomnia, and cravings. Irregular heart rate and blood pressure as well as sweating, chills, and heightened body temperature can also occur. Anxiety, restlessness, headache, depression, anger, aggression, mood swings, tremors, stomach pain, and loss of appetite can all be side effects of marijuana withdrawal. A person struggling with marijuana withdrawal can also have memory lapses, concentration issues, dizziness, and trouble thinking clearly.

Crystal Meth Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline

How To Quit Heroin Cold Turkey – Heroin Withdrawal Treatment – Best Treatment For Heroin Addiction!

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition , crystal meth withdrawal symptoms can begin anywhere from a few hours to a few days after the most recent dose. 3

Theres no telling exactly how long these symptoms will last. It all depends on:

  • Your bodys physiology and your general level of health.
  • How often you used crystal meth.
  • The length of your addiction.
  • The amount of crystal meth you abused.

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What Is Quitting Alcohol Cold Turkey Like

About half of people with an alcohol use disorder have withdrawal symptoms when they quit drinking. These can range from mild to severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Their intensity depends on:

  • How long youve been drinking alcohol.
  • How much alcohol you drink regularly.
  • Your overall health.
  • Co-occurring medical conditions or psychological issues.

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a set of symptoms that people who engage in regular, heavy drinking experience when they quit alcohol. If this describes you, when you quit drinking cold turkey, you may have:

  • Delirium tremens
  • Sleep problems
  • Nightmares

If you detox in a treatment facility, medical professionals can ease these alcohol withdrawal symptoms. They can also attend to life-threatening emergencies like seizures and dehydration.

Reasons Why I Succeeded In Recovering From Porn

I am free! I havent used porn since April, 2011. Thats two years now that Ive been completely free from a crippling ED-causing porn addiction.

I think there are two main reasons I have been successful:

  • I eliminated habit triggers as much as possible.
  • From the start, I had a game plan for contingencies.
  • Here are 5 concrete tips for how I accomplished this:

    1. I replaced the porn habit.

    Many guys try to quit porn cold-turkey and find it near impossible. What many success stories have in common is that they replaced the habit with something else. This means when I got a craving to use porn, I would immediately start my contingency habit in my case, a seven minute custom workout routine I call it The Fapstronaut workout . At its most basic, it was simply 20 push ups followed by 30 sit ups. As the cravings became more and more sporadic , it turned into a longer/more fun workout .

    Because the porn habit is physical, its also important to choose a physical replacement habit. Until I write my own list, here is a link with some ideas for possible healthy replacement habits. I strongly recommend you choose a physical habit otherwise, your cravings arent likely to be satisfied.

    2. I wrote a daily journal.

    3. I had an accountability buddy.

    My support buddy Dave was the saving grace of my recovery process. By having someone to talk about the cravings, the feelings of doubt, and especially the celebration when you reach a goal, you are much more likely to succeed.

    About Brian

    Read Also: How Long Does It Take To Detox From Alcohol Addiction

    Concrete Tips For Porn Addiction Recovery

    Hi Tribers! I recently ran across a cool site: and started to chat with Brian, the creator. He was severely impacted by porn addiction and was able to overcome his addiction and get his life back on track. On his site I saw this article and I thought it would really help the Tribe out.

    Quit Using Alcohol Safely At Serenity House Detox Houston

    Quit Smoking With Treatments at Rehab Centers for ...

    When you are ready to quit drinking alcohol for good, you can feel confident with the help of Serenity House Detox Houston. Our evidence-based addiction treatment programs combine medications, support, and behavioral and holistic therapies. Call us today at to break free from the grip of alcohol addiction.

    Read Also: What Is In Alcohol That Makes It Addictive

    Is It Safe To Stop Drinking Cold Turkey

    When you struggle with alcohol addiction, especially advanced alcohol use disorder, quitting cold turkey is never recommended. While withdrawal is not life-threatening in itself, several complications can arise with potentially fatal outcomes. Side effects such as convulsions, seizures, gastric bleeding and cardiac arrhythmia are a few ways people can die when attempting to quit alcohol cold turkey.

    With The Right Support Cold Turkey Can Be Effective

    Some research suggests that when it comes to smoking, cold turkey can be a more effective method of quitting than gradual reduction. However, this depends on the amount of support a person receives while they are quitting.

    One found that abruptly quitting smoking is more likely to lead to lasting abstinence than gradually cutting down. It is important to note that the researchers provided support to study participants when they were trying to quit.

    An looked at people quitting smoking on their own without support. It found that only 35% of participants who tried to quit cold turkey without help were able to achieve prolonged abstinence for 612 months afterward.

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    Alternative Methods For Safe Marijuana Detox

    Cold-turkey detox can be uncomfortable and is not always the optimal option. Instead of just stopping using marijuana suddenly, a safer option can be to taper off the drug slowly. Tapering involves lowering the amount of marijuana used by a small amount every day.

    In this way, you can wean your brain and body off the drug slowly and allow it to balance itself in a more controlled fashion instead of just shocking it suddenly. Your brain can heal a little bit at a time over time, and then you can more easily stop using marijuana with fewer and less intense withdrawal symptoms.

    While tapering may help to reduce drug dependence and provide a kind of reset in the brain, it is difficult to do without professional assistance. People will often simply return to the original doses since they have continual access to the drug.

    The journal Addiction Science and Clinical Practice publish that moderation of marijuana use may be a choice, but in the long run, abstinence is best for reducing problematic use of the drug and the issues associated with it.

    Another viable option, and often considered the safest method, is medical detox.

    A detox program is often contained in a specialized facility where you can be monitored and supervised around the clock.

    Why Medically Supervised Detox Is Best


    Detox can be unpredictable. It may include a range of medical and psychological effects that will be difficult to manage on your own. Medical detox programs can determine your level of drug dependence. Theyll assess your current physical health as well as your medical and mental health history to determine how your body may react during addiction withdrawal. This information is critical to determining the safest medications, taper schedules, and approaches to the detox process.

    Also Check: How To Talk To An Addict In Denial

    How Can You Prepare

    The first thing to do once youve decided to quit is to call your doctor or healthcare provider. A medical professional can give you advice on the safest way to quit.

    Your doctor can recommend medications and rehabilitation programs that can help. For example, they can offer prescription drugs to ease the cravings that come with quitting smoking or opioid drugs.

    Also, let your friends and family know that youre planning to quit. They can help you through the process and distract you if youre tempted to start using again.

    Get rid of every temptation. If you smoke, throw out all cigarettes, lighters, and ashtrays. If you have alcohol use disorder, pour out all of the alcohol in your fridge and pantry. Take any unused medications to a police station or other authorized collection site.

    Also plan for cravings by have lots of distractions nearby. Snacks like carrot sticks and licorice can keep your hands and mouth occupied when you want a cigarette. A good movie might take your mind off the urge to use drugs.

    Finally, line up support. Seek help from a professional counselor or therapist. Or, join a 12-step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous .

    If you try to quit cold turkey, but the urge to use remains strong, reach out to a medical professional for help. You may need to be under the care of a supervised addiction recovery program.

    • a high fever

    Why Do People Relapse

    A significant part of recovery is setting yourself for long-lasting sobriety after the treatment program is over. We want to give you the confidence to continue recovery on your own. The most common reasons why people relapse is:

    • Not enough motivation
    • Not enough changes to environment or habits
    • Intense PAWS symptoms
    • Other contributing factors such as trauma, mental illness, etc. havent been adequately addressed and treated

    Read Also: How Long Does It Take To Stop An Addiction

    Types Of Cocaine Addiction Treatment

    Structured recovery programs allow you to benefit from both the professional training and treatment experience of others to assist them in their recovery. Structured treatment settings can include: 1

    • Inpatient or residential rehab programs offer a safe, supportive place to live while completing a recovery program. Inpatient cocaine treatment programs design a treatment plan for you that may include initial detox, individual and group therapy, medical monitoring and aftercare planning.
    • Outpatient rehab programs include many of the same services as inpatient programs but do not require you to live at the facility.
    • Individual counseling/therapy gives you access to an addiction treatment professional who helps you structure a program of recovery and address the inevitable issues that will occur.
    • Group counseling/therapy programs essentially perform the same functions as individual counseling/therapy programs do, but with the added benefit of interacting with others with varying levels of recovery to learn from, rely on and with whom to develop a positive support network. Group counseling programs can also consist of family counseling.
    • Twelve-step programs are social support groups , but also offer a structured program and boast very strong peer support during the recovery process.

    Visit the links below to find out more about insurance coverage levels for drug and alcohol rehab.

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