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Is cold turkey the only 100% guarantee for quitting?

Discussion in 'Withdrawal Symptoms' started by primalclaws1974, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. primalclaws1974

    primalclaws1974 Senior Contributor

    Many people try to slow down on their habit, but don't give it up all together. Many won't go cold turkey, because they feel they literally cannot live without their drug. Some quote the fear of withdrawal symptoms. My question is, maybe drying out is the only way to ensure that quitting will stay in effect. Whether a person has withdrawal symptoms is not really what I am saying. Most will probably have some sort of physical effect, but it's highly unlikely it will kill them. What do you think?
  2. downsouth

    downsouth Active Contributor

    I would think that quitting cold turkey is probably one of the more difficult paths to take when trying to curb an addiction. Some people are able to do it but not many. Generally slowly and gradually reducing your intake of the chemical is the best thing. And of course if it is a really addictive substance, using chemical substitutes can help with the withdrawal and detox.
  3. Fern

    Fern Active Contributor

    Cold turkey can be effective, if within a treatment center or a controlled environment with medical help available and no way to get to the substance in question. I think when working on their own, people attempting to quit cold turkey become desperate and a danger to themselves and others the closer they get to breaking. If they can get past the worst, great because then it's done; Unfortunately many relapse in the critical withdraw period. I think slow withdraw where it never gets as dangerously bad is better for people trying to go it alone. It takes longer but but sometimes taking your time is better.
  4. rga1999

    rga1999 Member

    I believe that if you stop cold turkey, sometimes that is the reason for the relapse. Not everyone has the heart and will to stop cold turkey. If that was the case, then there wouldn't be rehab centers and what not. I think they need a real good system behind them that can assist in preventing relapse.
  5. downsouth

    downsouth Active Contributor

    My friend's dad was a regular pack a day smoker for 30 years. After repeated requests from his wife and son he finally decided to stop. He just quit cold turkey my friend said. I think it has been 3 years now since he has last had a cigarette. But while these stories are always good to hear they are not the norm for most addicts.
  6. angel_lou

    angel_lou Active Contributor

    I could not quit what I do cold turkey, no way. But there is a way to do it without feeling the withdrawal if you are willing and ready to do it properly. I find cutting down does not work, for me its either 100% abstinance or addiction.
  7. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    I think whatever works for the individual is the way to go. One way isn't really better than the other, because things work differently for different people.
  8. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    You have to be 100% ready to quit whatever you are doing in order to do it cold turkey. I quit smoking once that way and it was a very hard road. At the time, I was not committed and ended up starting a few months later. Now I am committed to stopping and ripped up my cigarettes yesterday. I have some aids to help me wean off of it and this time I am going to be successful.
  9. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    Like any other method, it works for some and it doesn't for others. I say it's best to just do whatever you can to have a better life and since all methods are very difficult then it might be best to pick the one that's suited for you to make it at least a bit easier. I have some family members who quit cold turkey on cigarettes and I think it's a method that requires a strong conviction on their part.
  10. downsouth

    downsouth Active Contributor

    Abstinence is the only 100% way of not getting pregnant or being susceptible to any STDs. Going cold turkey is not 100% in the slightest. There are those that are successful and those that go back. It definitely is not the treatment option of choice at most treatment centers.
  11. downsouth

    downsouth Active Contributor

    I wish you luck on this. They really are horrible for you. My brother got off it after 3 years. He used the patch and chewed gum. He had setbacks which frustrated all of us (most of all him) but if you are committed you will achieve your goal !
  12. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    Even if you have a slip up and end up taking your drug, or drinking your alcohol even once, you can't let it get you down and make you think that you do not have the willpower to quit. You just have to start again where you left off and keep going until you reach your goal in the end.
  13. juno

    juno Community Champion

    I think it depends on the person. It is more likely that a person will succeed in ending their addiction if they go cold turkey and completely give it up. It requires a lot of resilience. As for whether it will kill someone, I think it depends on the kind of addiction they have. It is easier to go cold turkey with cigarettes or alcohol, but other drugs are questionable.
  14. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Well yes this is true if there is a problem. The chemical addiction from alcohol or drugs needs, no has to be completely detoxed out of the body in order to prevent relapse. I think a person should have some kind of self control. Mine is more with junk food than alcohol or drugs. There are chemicals in the junk food so I get it. Being around it makes me feel like I just shouldn't have it around.
    Withdrawal can be brutal. I think focus and alternatives after complete detox is the only way. A replacement fix. Exercise, healthy foods, teas, herbs, whatever is necessary. There are natural herbs that instill altered state of mind and how you feel. They are really good for you too. I think that it is a deep seeded issue of sadism and self abuse. If there was abuse as a child they do it to themselves as an adult. I did this or I can't do that so I'm doing to slowly kill myself through this great time I can have. Makes no sense but thats what happens. So I do think THAT needs to be addressed. Sadism and self abuse is the destructive factor so if that is not cleared up. The detox or the cold turkey will fail. While I watch family members down prescription drugs and booze like thats ok. The underlying "I am not good enough to take care of myself. I hate my life I am looser. My father was right." attitude, under the breathe to themselves IS the driving factor for the repeated failures for sobriety. They want to hide from their inner reality and outer failures. Even if they are successful financially, they want to escape those unconscious doubts of being worth anything.
    So, it is much more than cold turkey, in my opinion. There is a relationship that an abuser has with why the problem is even there. It is a relationship that some will not let go of because it is home. "I need something, because I am not enough. If I let that go. I have nothing." Sad way to be.
    MarkM34 and RoseK like this.
  15. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    Sometimes going cold turkey can be dangerous. In particular, alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal can cause serious side effects, such as seizures. A doctor can advise on the most appropriate method of quitting though. With stopping smoking though, sometimes cold turkey is the best way to do it. After all, the nicotine leaves your body within 72 hours and all you are left with is psychological cravings.
  16. RoseK

    RoseK Active Contributor

    I think that being mindful is key to getting healthier. For me, whenever a craving hits that seems unbearable or when I want to keep drinking past my set limit, I am remind myself a few things:
    How my habit, unchecked has lead to dangerous situations in my past
    That even this feeling is temporaryReplacing the drink with a hot tea or ice cream (helps stimulate pleasure areas in brain)
    Reminder that my future goals are not compatible with being drunk (I can't focus properly)
    Not wanting to influence my boyfriend to join me in the habit
    Being around others in a soical setting where no one is drinking
    Talking about my thoughts and feelings openly when they hit

    I don't know if I will ever go cold turkey, but I am focusing on my wellbeing as well as ways to deal with stress..which is where I currently am.

  17. danzig

    danzig Member

    It is possible to quit something cold turkey, but can actually be quite dangerous. I had a family member who was trying to quit heroin, but he was such a heavy and regular user that his withdrawal symptoms almost killed him. He ended up being alright after being rushed to the hospital. He eventually weaned off the drugs and is currently living a very fulfilling life with his wife and two children. I guess what I'm trying to say is it can work for some, but entirely depends on the individual.
    MarkM34 likes this.
  18. ThatKidWithTheFace

    ThatKidWithTheFace Active Contributor

    It's hard, but I feel it is the best way. Unless we're talking about Opiate or Alcohol addiction, where the withdrawls can be life-threatening, of course. I've seen many people who claimed that they were "tapering down", but never truly quit. I, myself, have been guilty of this in the past.
  19. MarkM34

    MarkM34 Member

    If I was fighting an addition it's the route I would want to take. It's not easy to beat an addition but to be truly over an addiction and to learn from the experience I think it's the best way. I'm sure there are alternatives, but I think cold turkey is the best way for people to learn from their experience.

    That said it's a very personal thing and the most important thing is get better.
  20. petesede

    petesede Active Contributor

    Cold Turkey is great if you accept that fact that it might take a few attempts and you must lean what caused your failures. It doesn´t work for everyone because most people who are addicted will not be able to deal with a complete failure, which is why more moderate methods are used, because there is less risk of a complete soul-breaking failure.