Why Quitting Cold Turkey Doesn’t Work

Second only to depression, alcohol dependence is one of the most common psychiatric disorders in the United States. As heavy drinkers continue to build tolerance to alcohol, they struggle in other aspects of life, such as their finances, career, health, and personal relationships. If an addict doesn’t regain control before it’s too late, an alcohol addiction can result in incarceration, sickness, or even death.

There are many misconceptions when it comes to the best way of treating an alcohol addiction. Those suffering might be under the impression that quitting cold turkey is all it takes to get clean, but Awakenings sober living for Women knows from a physiological standpoint, attempting to quit cold turkey is essentially setting yourself up for failure.

Studies show only 3-6% of people who quit cold turkey are successful, which leaves 94-97% still struggling. Why does this occur? Those 94-97% are experiencing mental, behavioral, and physical withdrawals that are too strong for the body to handle – which is why relapse occurs.

Alcohol is a depressant that prompts harsh chemical reactions in the brain and the body. To combat the depressive effect of alcohol, the body will increase the production of hormones and flood the body with chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and epinephrine to feel good. When a person suddenly stops drinking, the body attempts to compensate by once again flooding itself with abnormally high amounts of chemicals to maintain normal function. Once this rush is over, the body will have no choice but to face the withdrawal symptoms, which are extremely dangerous, and can result in death.

Quitting cold-turkey often presents other problems that could be dangerous to a person’s well-being. Massive changes in the body’s hormones trigger depression and suicidal notions. To combat these feelings, addicts typically turn to their substance of choice for quick relief.

Choosing to abruptly cease use of the substance cheats a person of the proper resources they need to stay clean. Individuals who quit cold-turkey often do not join support groups or seek addiction counseling for help. They are convinced that they can do it on their own, and thus try to until they fail.

Addictions take hold of many components in the body that make abrupt quitting both dangerous and extremely difficult to stick with. Therefore, successful detox and treatment from an alcohol addiction consider a person’s biological, physical, and mental standpoint.  Awakenings is a home that provides sober living for women in South Florida. The professionals at our facility know going “cold turkey” should never be considered when it comes to beating an addiction.  At Awakening’s sober living for Women, our goal is to provide a safe and comfortable environment for women to live a sober lifestyle, without being surrounded by temptations of drugs or alcohol. Our individualized programs can ensure a healthy, clean life with a positive support system that encourages sobriety.

 

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