Addiction Withdrawal: Is Quitting Drugs or Alcohol “Cold Turkey” Really Ever Safe?

The more you use a substance, including alcohol, the higher your tolerance becomes. You have an increased chance of undergoing symptoms of withdrawal. Your body and brain begin to experience being high or drunk as what is normal. This changes what your calm state is. When there is no alcohol or illicit substances available, your body goes into a hyperactive state. This leads your neurotransmitter system to work too hard. Thus, with most substances, especially alcohol, it is advised to quit over a span of days or weeks. It is encouraged that you reduce your use slowly over a short time span. By doing this, you can decrease the risks of associated-withdrawal symptoms.

Typical Withdrawal Symptoms Upon Substance Use Cessation

Illicit substances can lead to a wide array of possible withdrawal symptoms. Some of these are so dangerous that assisted detox may be needed for some people. Others are able to quit without supervision, depending on underlying physical and psychological difficulties they may have. Some substances, in particular, have hazardous withdrawal symptoms, such as benzodiazepines and alcohol.

Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol typically can be seen within 24-48 hours following decreased levels of alcohol in one’s blood. Some withdrawal symptoms that may be experienced include seizures, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hallucinations, irritability, and insomnia have occurred. Tremors and convulsions have also been noted; delirium tremens is observed in 5% of those admitted to a hospital for their detoxification. There is also the chance of rebound thrombocytosis.

Addiction Withdrawal: Is Quitting Drugs or Alcohol "Cold Turkey" Really Ever Safe?

Like alcohol, benzos are a depressant substance. There are a variety of withdrawal symptoms that pop up when you stop benzodiazepine use. There is a danger of possible seizures and psychotic episodes. Typical symptoms experienced by a benzo addict upon cessation are sleep problems, feeling easily agitated and grumpy, more tension than usual, nervousness, panic attacks, tremors of your hands, perspiring, trouble with attentiveness, dry heaving and queasiness, decreases in weight, heart palpitations, headaches, and muscular discomfort and rigidity. Within one to four days of quitting Valium, Xanax, or other benzodiazepines, you may notice “rebound” nervousness and sleep problems.

Heroin is in the opiate category. Quitting heroin “cold turkey” can increase the severity of your withdrawal symptoms. You may experience trouble staying still, extreme pain in bones and muscles, difficulty with sleep, diarrhea, throwing up, goosebumps that accompany cold flashes, uncontrollable jerking of your legs, and cravings.

Even stopping the use of cannabis can create a host of withdrawal symptoms. Increased nervousness and lack of appetite may be experienced. Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, as well as irritability, are often noted when one stops using marijuana. Cravings for more cannabis may also be experienced.

Help in Burns, Tennessee

Discovery Place of Burns, Tennessee offers many alternative treatment options to aid in helping you to achieve and maintain sobriety. We have a 30-day residential program, a long-term recovery program, a continuing care program, and a Family Matters Workshop. We also offer 12-Step recovery guides to aid you on your journey. Our trained professionals are standing by every minute of every day to help you. We are just a phone call away. Contact us today at 1-800-725-0922 to learn more about achieving sobriety from alcohol and other drugs.

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