Can you Stop Drug Addiction ‘Cold Turkey’?

can you stop addiction cold turkey

Can you Stop Drug Addiction ‘Cold Turkey’?

Drugs and alcohol can be a chronic addiction for many people and can you stop drug addiction ‘cold turkey’?  . Some people get addicted over the course of time, while others find themselves addicted within the first few tries of the drug. However you became an abuser, the time has come that you want to lead a clean and sober lifestyle and you’re seeking help. The question is bound to hit you, “Can I stop drug addiction cold turkey?”, and there are those that can do that. However, you should know the problems with the cold turkey method, better and healthier ways to quit, and your options on getting sober.

What Affects Risk Factors for Addiction

There are three things that affect people and the reason why some people can get addicted to a drug more quickly than others. These factors are:

  • Genes – A person’s biology highly affects their ability to become addicted to a substance. Their age, developmental stage, gender, chemical makeup, and any mental conditions can contribute to this risk factor.
  • Developmental Stage – Those who start drugs or alcohol use early in their lives have a higher chance of becoming addicted than those that start later in life.
  • Environment – This is a wide scope of factors including a person’s actual geographical environment to their social environment. Those with peer issues, such as abuse and stress can have a higher chance of developing a drug or alcohol problem than those that grew up with a stable home life.

Some Myths on Drug Treatment

There are many myths of drug treatment and drug treatment programs, many that are sworn to be true. These are some of the most commonly believed myths concerning drug addiction and its treatment options:

  • You must want to get treatment for it to work. This is a serious myth that keeps many users from getting treatment for their addictions. It couldn’t be further from the truth. A vast majority of people who go into drug treatment programs do not want treatment or help. However, they still can conquer their addictions when they are in a facility. This may not hold true for a cold turkey method of quitting, since to do so you truly must want to get help.
  • There is one great treatment for everyone. No, there isn’t, and this myth really can bother those that have tried one form of treatment and didn’t get the help they needed. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach that fits all people. Your treatment should be tailored to your own unique personality and situation for the best results. For cold turkey approaches, not only are you risking health issues but you can be horribly depressed if and when it doesn’t work for you.
  • You must hit rock bottom. Again, this is a horrible myth of drug addiction and treatment that many people believe. Many people can get help and kick their addiction without hitting rock bottom. Family pressure, work or employer motivation, or just a simple wake-up call can help many people seek treatment or wonder about trying the cold turkey method.

The Risks of the Cold Turkey Method

You may have known someone who has stopped an addiction cold turkey. You may be considering it yourself as a more cost-effective option. There are some very real risks involved with stopping any drug on your own without supervision or treatment program. Here are only a few of the risks involved with stopping cold turkey on drugs and alcohol:

  • Extreme withdrawal symptoms – If you are trying to stop the abuse of opiates, alcohol, or benzodiazepines there is the risk of extreme withdrawal symptoms. Some of these withdrawal symptoms can include vomiting, nausea, and excessive diarrhea. You may get confused and disoriented.
  • Life threatening health problems – Trying to stop the intake of drugs or alcohol without having a well-controlled step-down approach can create a variety of severe life-threatening health problems. Some of these situations that can arise include seizures, strokes, cardiovascular problems such as a heart attack, and delirium tremens.

A Healthier, Better Treatment Option

The best way to treat your drug and alcohol problem is to do it the healthy way, in a controlled environment. Once you have made the decision to go from abuser to clean and sober, the treatment can begin. Remember the items brought up in the myths; there is not one magic treatment good for everyone; you don’t have to want treatment for it to work, and you don’t have to be at rock bottom to begin to get sober. At this point, the healthy option is to go over your treatment options. Cold turkey is fraught with risks and can result in death. Detox and rehab facilities provide a medically secure and supervised treatment program. After finding a qualified treatment facility, go over the varied options for treatments. These can include:

  • Inpatient treatment – This is where the abuser will go into the drug rehabilitation facility and live there throughout their treatment.
  • Outpatient treatment – This is where the user will be seen in various settings and allowed to go home at the end of the treatment session.
  • Group therapy – In group therapy, the abuser is with a group of people that share his condition where they can explore their illness.
  • One-on-one therapy – This therapy allows the abuser to talk only with their therapy worker, no others will be in the session room.

Some patients may need a 28-day therapy and others may require longer to kick their addiction. Patients, along with their family, will be able to discuss the length of time required for the best sobriety prognosis.

Find Your Path; It’s Different For Everyone

Talk over your options with your friends and family; don’t go it alone. Remembering that you are your best advocate in your healthcare treatment. As doctors talk to you about your thoughts on sobriety, your drug of choice and your drug schedule, and your lifestyle choices, the leaders in the rehab facility will make strict choices on your treatment plan. If you have questions or concerns regarding this process, talk it over with your drug treatment facility.

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