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The Risks of Quitting Cold-Turkey


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Millions of people are reported to have suffered from a prescription opioid addiction, and more than 600,000 suffer from heroin addiction. Though each of these conditions is distinctive, the numbers aren’t mutually exclusive; in fact, the significant push to prescribe more pain relievers to patients of all types over the past 20 to 30 years has increased the rate of patients turning to substances like heroin once it becomes difficult or impossible to obtain more opioid painkillers, leading to a need for a medical detox in some cases.

Luckily, a significant portion of patients addicted to opioids or heroin is currently seeking treatment in some form, whether that be a medical detox, therapy, a 12-step program, or some other method of beating addiction. For some, simply quitting cold turkey seems like the best option to reach success in getting clean.

At Liberty Bay Recovery, we understand the risks of quitting cold turkey and want to help you walk through the detox process on the road to sobriety. Reach out to one of our addiction specialists today by calling 866-824-5276.

What Is Quitting Cold Turkey?

Quitting cold turkey is a strict method that some people struggling with addiction will take to successfully reach sobriety. When an addict quits cold turkey, they put down the addictive substance for good all at once instead of weaning themselves off the substance over time.

The cold-turkey method of quitting can have mixed results for different people depending on the substance and how long they’ve been addicted. For example, the method may work perfectly well for a smoker who’s been addicted to nicotine for less than one year, as they likely won’t experience too many symptoms of withdrawal. These include:

  • Vomiting
  • Sweating 
  • Chills
  • Shaking
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Why Quitting Cold Turkey Can Be Appealing

Some patients seeking an at-home detox will choose to slowly wean themselves off of the addicting substance to avoid painful or damaging withdrawal symptoms. However, within an addiction, it can be difficult to enforce a moderate dose of a substance that you’re used to using without moderation.

Therefore, many patients struggling to beat addiction will find that weaning themselves off of a substance over time feels more difficult than simply quitting altogether. This is when many choose the route of quitting cold turkey and lean on their ability to control picking up the substance instead of only using it in a moderate dose.

What Are the Risks of At-Home Detox?

As mentioned above, a few unique risks are known to go along with quitting an addictive substance cold turkey, especially if you’ve been dependent on it for a long time. Though certain drugs like nicotine and cocaine are typically known to cause fewer withdrawal symptoms, a smooth withdrawal process is absolutely not guaranteed in any case.

Additionally, your body can become dependent on the effects of drugs, even if the substance use isn’t technically healthy. For this reason, it’s important to detox your body slowly in a controlled environment to cause as little shock as possible to your system. This means enlisting the help of a doctor or detox specialist within a rehab facility that can ease your withdrawal symptoms while helping you to stay clean. The following programs can help you develop the skills and relationships you need for a lasting recovery:

Detox on Your Terms at Liberty Bay Recovery Center

The journey to sobriety looks different for everyone. That’s why Liberty Bay Recovery offers several distinctive detox programs, with Portland, Maine as a beautiful and healing backdrop. Call 866-824-5276 to speak to a representative and learn more about Liberty Bay Recovery.

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