If you’re suffering from an addiction, it’s not always easy to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And it’s not always clear what the best route to sobriety is. But for many people, a fear of social stigma or other negative consequences prevents them from reaching out for help. Instead, they make attempts to quit their addiction by going cold turkey and struggle in solitude. But going through a cold turkey detox can be quite dangerous.
When you’re addicted to a substance, your body becomes dependent upon it. And that means suddenly stopping your intake of that substance can trigger some seriously debilitating effects. In some cases, those effects could be deadly. If you go through it alone, your odds of succeeding aren’t great – and you can end up doing more harm than good. To understand why, here’s an overview of all of the dangers of cold turkey detox.
How the Detox Process Works
When you want to start on the path to substance abuse recovery, the first necessary step is the detox process. This is when you allow your body to rid itself of the substance you’re addicted to and begin adjusting to living without it. And within hours of abstaining from the substance, you’ll begin to feel the first symptoms of withdrawal.
These may include insomnia, irritability, aches, pains, and strong cravings for the substance you’re trying to quit. It’s something that happens as a result of all kinds of addictions – be it drugs, alcohol, or even smoking. But for long-time drug or alcohol abusers, the withdrawal symptoms can get worse – much worse.
Dangerous Cold Turkey Detox Withdrawal Symptoms
If you make it through the early hours of withdrawal, that doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods. This is especially the case if you’re addicted to a particularly potent drug or are a heavy-drinking alcoholic. In those cases, you may end up suffering from more severe or even life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. These include:
- Rapid or Irregular Heart Rate
- High Fevers
- Delirium Tremens (Alcohol)
If any of the above symptoms were to happen to you while you were attempting a cold turkey detox, you may find yourself unable to summon help. And if they continue to escalate without prompt treatment, they can turn fatal in a hurry. The fact is, an unsupervised and unassisted detox is dangerous. And, as it turns out, it’s an unnecessary risk.
The Alternative to Cold Turkey Detox
No matter your addiction, a medically supervised detox is the safest way to begin your journey to recovery. With trained staff and licensed medical professionals by your side, you will have a much greater chance of getting through any withdrawal symptoms safely and successfully. And if you do experience any complications during your withdrawal, you’ll receive prompt and appropriate medical care. But those aren’t the only reasons that a supervised detox is a better option.
When you go through detox in a rehabilitation center setting, you will also have access to prescription medications that can ease the withdrawal symptoms you’re feeling. Depending on your circumstances, you may receive anti-anxiety medication, sleep aids, and pain medication as needed. And because the people taking care of you will have plenty of experience with patients experiencing withdrawal, they’ll know how to make you as comfortable as possible as you complete your detoxification.
The bottom line here is, cold turkey detox is difficult. And more than that – it’s dangerous. It offers you the hardest path to recovery from your addiction. And it also gives you the least chance of success. When you consider that there’s a readily available alternative, it’s a wonder that anybody tries a cold turkey detox at all. And if you’re already struggling with an addiction to begin with, the last thing you want is to try and do things the hard way. So, if you’re ready to break free of your addiction and you want to get the help you need to do it, don’t wait another moment. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day and are waiting to help you. So call 844-903-2111 and get yourself on the road to recovery right now.