Quitting Alcohol Cold Turkey: Important Things To Know

Finding an excellent treatment center for alcohol addiction is one of the best steps for a successful recovery. Treatment professionals at a substance abuse facility can help you manage your pain with various medications. When it comes to drugs, only benzodiazepines have been shown to reduce the risk of fatal complications resulting from seizures and delirium tremens. Both can stop if the blood becomes too acidic, which can occur after a seizure or following heavy alcohol consumption.

  1. Creating a tapering schedule (rather than quit drinking cold turkey) could help to ease the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms and cravings you experience during alcohol detox.
  2. Naltrexone works by blocking the pleasurable effects of alcohol on the brain, which can help reduce cravings and make it easier to resist drinking.
  3. Symptoms of AWS often include shaking, headache, high blood pressure, anxiety, and tachycardia (increased heart rate).
  4. Unfortunately, addiction is a complex disease that cannot be overcome by willpower alone.
  5. As mentioned above, we strongly recommend speaking with a doctor to ensure your plan is a safe one, and won’t cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

This is especially true of heavy drinkers who are surrounded by the triggers that encourage drinking and lack the support needed to encourage change. Generally speaking, alcohol home detox is neither the most effective nor the safest method of quitting alcohol. However, it is inexpensive and may be suitable for someone whose job, relationships, focus: addiction: relapse prevention and the five rules of recovery pmc and well-being are not in jeopardy. The death of actor Nelsan Ellis this month is a reminder of the serious, and potentially fatal effects of alcohol withdrawal on the body. That equates to a significant number of years I was happy without drinking. Was it the alcohol making me happy, or the people whom I was drinking with?

To avoid or reduce the impact of the withdrawal symptoms, people struggling with alcohol may choose to progressively taper off alcohol rather than quit abruptly. Whether you’re a daily imbiber, heavy drinker, or frequent binge drinker, you’re likely to experience withdrawal symptoms when you quit. Unfortunately, there’s little to no evidence that tapering off reduces the effects of alcohol withdrawal, some of which can be severe or even life-threatening.

The Myth of Permanent Sobriety

Between 3% and 5%, though, will encounter a much more severe form of alcohol withdrawal called delirium tremens. Symptoms of the DTs include delirium, hallucinations, hallucinogens effects, addiction potential and treatment options and grand mal seizures. It’s crucial to work with a healthcare professional to develop a plan that’s tailored to your individual needs.

Sample Alcohol Tapering Schedule

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand. Let us know via We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek. Sales of non-alcoholic beers are spiking and sober-friendly bars are popping up in various locations across the country. In 2020, Chrissy Teigen announced that she was going sober, for example. Figures from the CDC show that around 95,000 deaths are attributed to alcohol-related causes every year in the country, making the substance the third-leading cause of preventable death.

What this important correlation means is that the more times you quit cold turkey, the more at risk you are to experience life-threatening symptoms. Remember, quitting alcohol is a courageous step towards a healthier, happier life. By taking the first step and seeking help and support, you can overcome the challenges of addiction and rediscover the joys of a fulfilling life. What’s important is that you don’t give up on yourself or your goals. With ongoing support and treatment, you can overcome the challenges of alcohol addiction and rediscover the joys of a healthy, fulfilling life.

In reality, involving friends, family, and professionals in the recovery process can be incredibly beneficial. It’s easy to see why some people believe that quitting alcohol cold turkey is the fastest way to get sober. After all, the idea of stopping drinking immediately and permanently can seem like a quick fix to a seemingly insurmountable problem. According to the NEJM (New England Journal of Medicine), about half of all alcohol-dependent individuals will experience withdrawal symptoms upon quitting.

How to Wean Off Alcohol Safely

Tapering helps people stop using alcohol and other substances in small and manageable steps. This can help your body adjust, and it can be easier to manage than quitting cold turkey. Many alcoholics try to quit drinking cold turkey (which means stopping use abruptly). This puts them at the risk of serious consequences, some of which are life-threatening.

However, many other symptoms, including sensitivity to light, confusion, and nausea, may also be present. However, there are exceptions that may require medical assistance. Anyone who has had a hangover has experienced these symptoms to some degree. During withdrawal, the functioning of the central nervous system attempts to readjust to the lack of alcohol. Through chronic usage, the body eventually becomes conditioned to the presence of alcohol and is able to adapt to it. In fact, experts say that any program for becoming sober should not be entered into lightly.

If you’re struggling with alcohol addiction or want to learn more about quitting cold turkey, there are many resources available online. One such resource is the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, which offers helpful tips and information on quitting drinking. The main downside of cold turkey is how unpleasant and risky it can be. If you drink heavily, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be harsh, dangerous, and even fatal. For this reason, it’s generally best to avoid quitting abruptly, or at bare minimum speak with a doctor first and have someone looking out for you. Giving up alcohol cold turkey when you have a moderate to severe addiction can be life threatening, and requires medical intervention in a clinical setting.