Author: Gary Jackson

Quitting Drinking Cold Turkey: 7 Myths to Know

It leads to dangerous changes in the way your brain regulates your circulation and breathing. Discover strategies, support systems, and self-care techniques to overcome the compulsion. “The most important thing is the next step — getting counseling and medication to treat the underlying condition [as well as] a social network that is supportive of that goal,” he added.

quitting alcohol cold turkey

To adjust to alcohol’s sedative qualities, your brain’s chemistry goes into a state of hyperactivity so that it can continue functioning normally. When you suddenly quit, the absence of alcohol leaves a void that your brain is not ready to fill. This effect results in the dangerous and uncomfortable symptoms of quitting cold turkey. You don’t have to let the fear of alcohol withdrawal stop you from cutting back or quitting.

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It can also weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infections. Alcohol withdrawal that progresses to delirium tremens causes intense hallucinations, as well as severe confusion, disorientation, and agitation. It’s characterized by a frenzy of activity in the nervous system, and physical symptoms like high blood pressure, a fast pulse, fever, and sweating. If you try to quit cold turkey without any form of medical advice or assistance, the symptoms could become severe or dangerous.

BetterHelp can connect you to an addiction and mental health counselor. Various severe complications can result, including metabolic problems, cardiac issues, and delirium tremens (DTs). Discover effective strategies, set boundaries, and cultivate real-life connections for a healthier digital life. But, for those seeking long-term sobriety, withdrawals are just the beginning. In addition to the psychological aspects of alcohol addiction, the ailment also has significant short-term and long-term physiological impacts on the body. Carbamazepine works by slowing down electrical signals in the brain that can cause symptoms.

What Factors Impact Your Success With the Cold Turkey Method?

These medications work by either reducing cravings or blocking the effects of alcohol on the brain. They can be used alone or in combination with other treatments such as therapy or support groups. Alcohol can have a significant impact on both physical and mental health. While moderate alcohol consumption is generally considered safe, excessive drinking can lead to a range of health problems.

These symptoms typically start within a few days of stopping the drug and can last for several weeks. If you take a higher dose of escitalopram, your risk of experiencing withdrawal may be even greater upon discontinuing its use. It is recommended that individuals withdrawing from opioids be monitored several times a day to ensure that there are no complications, such as the development of seizures.

What are moderate to severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms?

Alcoholic ketoacidosis is similar to that faced by some people with type 1 diabetes mellitus. It develops due to alcohol’s effect on the pancreas’ ability to create insulin. While the progression of symptoms varies from one person to the next, the severity of symptoms can predict the risk of death. John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

quitting alcohol cold turkey

In a heavy, long-term alcohol drinker, the brain is regularly exposed to these depressant effects. Regular over-the-counter medicines can help with more benign parts of alcohol withdrawal syndrome, like headache and nausea. Both can stop if the blood becomes too acidic, which can occur after a seizure or following heavy alcohol consumption. If you or someone you know is experiencing any concerning physical or neurological signs while quitting cold turkey, call 911 immediately. In many cases, a brief time in detox can be the safest option so that medical staff is on hand in case of an emergency. The staff can also help with providing nutrition, hydration, and medications intravenously if you are experiencing significant nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea during your withdrawal.