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Cold Turkey

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by recovered, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. recovered

    recovered Member

    Quitting cold turkey sounds like a brilliant idea when you are fed up and know you need to make a change however the difficulty of quitting is usually the psychological dependence. After about three days to a week your body no longer is physically dependent upon a substance but the way your brain has functioned for so long on the substance makes you think you need it. Gradually limiting how much you drink, getting down to a glass a day might make it easier to handle in the long run. When your body thinks it needs something there is danger in developing other bad habits or cross addiction.

    What has worked best for you or someone you know while quitting? Has anyone had success cold turkey?
  2. pineywood

    pineywood Community Champion

    There is not a simple answer to your question about the safety of quitting cold turkey. What I do know and it is well-documented that you can have both psychological and a physical reactions.

    Concerning your question about how has someone I know been successful? It all came down to their personal decision to begin exercising.

    All of their addicting behavior transferred to see how many miles they could run. Eventually their desire to achieve new goals became stronger then a desire to have a beer.

    Bottom line, it was not cold turkey.

    Truth be know, I wish I knew more people that stopped drinking using this method, instead of cycling through alcoholism.
  3. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Community Champion

    Personally, cold turkey was way too harsh for me. I tried a couple of times to just quit but it just never worked out so the only way for me to quit was to gradually reduce how much alcohol I was drinking everyday. Slowly, I started to feel the need to drink less and less, until I wasn't really enjoying drinking anymore. Of course, cravings were there but those were just "half of the road".
  4. sonia11

    sonia11 Senior Contributor

    It probably depends on the level of addiction and the person's overall health at the time of quitting. Someone who's in bad shape may not be able to physically handle cold turkey. However, for a lot of people it seems like this is a tough but good option. They get the cravings out of the way all at once, and a lot of people may not have the emotional willpower to just "cut back". It's all or nothing.
  5. BigSnoop

    BigSnoop Member

    I believe that it would be really impossible to quit drinking cold turkey. First of all even though alcohol does not usually tastes that well when I drink it I just feel like a different person and it just really feels good and I do not see myself stopping anytime soon because I have not put anybody's life in danger with my drinking, I just have a good time.
  6. stridee

    stridee Active Contributor

    Quitting cold turkey depends entirely upon the person's tolerance to handle alcohol. Some people could probably quit just like that while others may not be able to do so. I believe that every person has the ability and willpower to quit any addiction, but the effectiveness of their actions depend entirely upon how much effort they are willing to put into it. Going back to an addiction is easy to do, but it can definitely be controlled.
  7. henry

    henry Community Champion

    I've talked about this before, and my opinion is, that you have to treat your mind as well as your body. If your body no longer needs the stuff, but your mind keeps craving it, then you have to get some therapy. We usually use booze and drugs to escape from our problems, and if we don't fix them, we'll just keep on drinking. Finding methods to deal with your problems without taking any type of drugs is the way to go, in my opinion.
    recovered likes this.
  8. Smarty

    Smarty Active Contributor

    Hmmm.. that is an interesting question. Some experts say that quitting cold turkey is more effective, even though much harder. I know my dad tried to quit smoking gradually for a few years without success. Then one beautiful day he just said "Enough".. and he hasn't smoked in more than 10 years. I believe it all depends on whether the person is ready for it, whether he/she has the will. If they have it, any method will work.

    recovered likes this.
  9. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    Quitting alcohol cold turkey can be a recipe for physical and emotional disaster. When a person stops drinking alcohol suddenly, the consequences can be deadly. If you have a serious dependency on alcohol, sudden alcohol cessation can cause hallucinations, convulsions, and even heart seizure that may ultimately result in death. Here's an article with more about this:

    Going Cold Turkey? Why Self-Detox Is a Bad Idea and Potentially Dangerous

    I think the best way to quit any addiction to drugs or alcohol is under a doctor's supervision. Better safe than sorry.
  10. OhioTom76

    OhioTom76 Senior Contributor

    It's been mentioned on here many times before, but it's always worth stressing again - if you are a really heavy drinker, you should be careful about quitting cold turkey or having on and off periods of binge drinking then abruptly stopping for a few days, because it can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms such as seizures.

    I think one of the key things to do when suffering from the withdrawal symptoms such as feeling depressed, desperate, reactive and short-tempered, is to become more aware of yourself and these feeling and understand it's just the alcohol (more specifically the come down effects from it) that are causing those feelings. Things aren't anywhere near as bad as they may feel at the moment, your perception of everything is just skewed temporarily. Try to think forward and know that these feelings will eventually subside. Worse case scenario, try taking some naps throughout the day to sleep it off.

    I find it's best to try and avoid chatting with others, and lay low when going through this, because too much interaction with others can sometimes make you feel even more self conscious, or you may start worrying that everyone can see how strung out you are, and it may make you feel more ashamed of yourself.
  11. recovered

    recovered Member

    Thank you, I had no idea it could be that disastrous quitting cold turkey like that. I wish I had known that when my Uncle Tony was visiting. He had stage four kidney or liver failure from his addiction and his family tried to get him to quit cold turkey so many times. I wish he had gotten the help he needed sooner but I am glad he isn't in pain anymore.
  12. cpinatsi

    cpinatsi Senior Contributor

    I did manage to quit drinking cold turkey, which was very hard for me but in the end it worked.
    Whenever I tried to go slow it didn't really work and I always ended up drinking again, but I guess it all depends on the person.
  13. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    I do know of people that did do it by going cold turkey over night. From what I was told there was no special advice or trickery. They just simply stop doing it. I guess the best advice I can give anyone is to have the right motivation that is more powerful then whatever substance you are using at the time.
  14. Whiskers

    Whiskers Active Contributor

    I don't think that is possible. Any substance that the body is used to will take an amount of time to do away with. It depends on how deep one is into the habit as that could determine the duration it takes to quit.
  15. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    People often say that quitting cold turkey is the only way to quit an addiction but I don't think it is.

    For one, depending on the substance sometimes it can be dangerous to just quit, and can send your body into a state if shock for one thing. Secondly, it all depends on the individual aswell. Even if quitting cold turkey won't affect your body, it may have a psychological effects on you, and sometimes cutting down gradually is a better way to do it.
  16. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Quitting cold turkey can be the solution for those who have a drinking problem but haven't become alcoholics. There's a huge difference. An alcoholic can't function without alcohol and withdrawing it abruptly would be real bad for that person.

    It's why alcoholics need to cut back on drinking and once their bodies have adjusted to the "new norm" stop drinking completely.
  17. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    I quit cold turkey, but I had no other choice really. Last time I had a serious drink I ended up so darn sick! I had a hangover a few hours after drinking, I felt horrible for hours til I fell asleep. It was a horrible day that will remain burnt in my memory forever. Just to remember this I feel a bit disgusted when I think about drinking tequila ever again!
  18. TomEthi

    TomEthi Member

    I drink sometimes. It used to be bad, I used to be very heavy. A psychiatrist advised I slowly trickle off of it. Quitting cold turkey is a bad decision. You are far more prone to relapse this way. My doctor seconded this view. I admit it was difficult, but boy was it worth it. Cleared myself up and still dealing with it at times. But I'm very grateful for the progress I have made. I wish you the best of luck, friend.
  19. Mara

    Mara Community Champion

    Well, I quit smoking and went cold turkey, and it worked out for me. But when I was trying to quit alcohol, cold turkey is not the way to go for me. I needed to get the alcohol off of my system slowly. I guess it depends on the substance being abused and the constitution of the person, if going cold turkey will be effective or not.