The first step to sobriety is to detox from all substance use. Detoxing is the process of ridding the body of all drugs. While it may appear to make sense for you to stop consuming alcohol and drugs as soon as you begin detox, doing so is actually quite dangerous. This is because quitting drugs cold turkey could shock your body’s system. This could cause you to experience severe withdrawal symptoms, or worse.
That’s why we here at Phoenix Rising Recovery suggest that all individuals taper their use of substances while detoxing. Tapering means to gradually minimize or discontinue your use of substances until you are no longer using any drugs.
It’s best to taper one’s use of substances at a medical detox facility or addiction treatment center that offers medical detox services, such as ours, rather than at home. This is because medical detox facilities and rehab centers with professional detox services contain doctors and medical staff. These doctors and medical professionals are always on standby to assist with anything during the detox process.
After completing detox, all individuals that want to maintain sobriety should attend professional addiction treatment. While detoxing at a detox facility or addiction treatment center may cost you more money than doing so by yourself at home, your life is worth the cost. To further prove the benefits of receiving professional detox services, we’ve listed 10 reasons below for why quitting drugs cold turkey is a bad idea.
1. It Could Cause Seizures
One reason why quitting drugs cold turkey is a bad idea is that doing so could cause your body to experience severe seizures. Many people experience severe seizures when quitting drugs cold turkey because their bodies are in shock.
The reason why the human body often goes into shock when a person suddenly quits all substance use is that the body is no longer receiving the substances that it’s been dependent on to function for an extended period of time. Tapering one’s drug use helps decrease the level of shock that the body goes into during detox. This, in turn, helps decrease the severity of any seizures that a person may experience during detox.
2. It Could Cause Heart Problems
Quitting drugs cold turkey can also cause the body to develop severe heart issues. This, once again, is partly due to the fact that the body is no longer receiving any of the substances that it was once dependent on and is thus, in shock.
Some of the heart issues that people often experience when quitting drugs cold turkey include irregular heart rhythms and rapid heartbeats. Quitting drugs cold turkey can even cause cardiac arrest.
3. It Could Cause Life-Threatening Withdrawal Symptoms
There are numerous other withdrawal symptoms that people often experience when detoxing from substances. These withdrawal symptoms can range from headaches to general aches and pains, to experiencing hallucinations, to constantly suffering from nausea and vomiting, insomnia, night sweats, delirium tremens, depression and anxiety, and more.
The severity and number of withdrawal symptoms that a person experiences during detox dramatically increases when quitting drugs cold turkey and detoxing at home. This is partly because quitting drugs cold turkey puts the body in shock. This is also partly because there are no doctors or medical staff to help detox patients better manage their withdrawal symptoms when detoxing from home. The increase in severity and number of withdrawal symptoms when quitting drugs cold turkey is often life-threatening.
4. It Doesn’t Allow You the Safety of Having Medical Supervision During Detox
Medical detox facilities tend to make patients taper their drug use. Thus, people that quit drugs cold turkey often do so alone at home. This is unsafe, as there are no doctors or medical teams supervising the detox process when a person chooses to quit drugs cold turkey alone at home. This means that if you experience any medical emergencies, such as life-threatening withdrawal symptoms while detoxing from home, there will be no one there to help you.
5. It Doesn’t Allow You to Have Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment
People receive medication-assisted treatment when doctors prescribe them medications to help them manage their withdrawal symptoms. Individuals can only receive medication-assisted treatment when detoxing at a medical detox facility or rehab center. Thus, individuals that choose to quit drugs cold turkey in the comfort of their own homes don’t get to receive medication-assisted treatment to help them manage withdrawal symptoms.
6. It Doesn’t Allow You to Get to the Root Issue of Your Substance Use Issues
Many people start using substances to cope with mental or emotional issues. Therefore, individuals that truly want to achieve and maintain sobriety need to deal with those mental and emotional issues on top of physically ridding their bodies of substances. Unfortunately, many people that quit drugs cold turkey do so alone at home and don’t bother to receive professional addiction treatment afterward to help treat the root issues of their addictions.
7. It Increases Your Chances of Relapsing and Not Being Able to Complete the Detox Process
Quitting drugs cold turkey alone at home makes the detox process much harder. This is because people that quit drugs cold turkey alone at home don’t receive any medical assistance. Therefore, it’s very common for people that quit drugs cold turkey alone at home to relapse and not be able to complete the detox process.
8. It Increases Your Chances of Drug Overdose
You’re way more likely to experience a drug overdose if you detox by quitting drugs cold turkey alone at home rather than at a medical detox facility or rehab center. This is because quitting drugs cold turkey causes the body to quickly lose tolerance to alcohol and drugs.
This, in turn, causes people that relapse after quitting drugs cold turkey to unknowingly take way more substances than their bodies can handle, thus causing them to overdose. Because people that quit drugs cold turkey relapse at high rates, the number of drug overdoses from people that quit drugs cold turkey is also high.
9. It Decreases the Chance That You’ll Receive Professional Addiction Treatment
If a person wants to both achieve and maintain sobriety, he or she needs to attend professional addiction treatment after completing detox. Unfortunately, people that quit drugs cold turkey on their own tend to not attend professional addiction treatment.
This is partly because people that quit drug use on their own aren’t referred to professional rehab centers like those who attend medical detox. Many people that quit drugs cold turkey on their own also try to save money by not receiving medical detox services or attending professional addiction treatment. This is an unwise decision though as such people often end up spending more money in the long run. This is because they don’t have the tools to be able to achieve and maintain sobriety and thus, relapse.
10. It Decreases the Chances of Achieving Long-Term Sobriety
As we just mentioned, people that quit drugs cold turkey on their own don’t receive the relapse prevention tools that are taught at professional addiction treatment centers. Therefore, the chances of a person that has quit drug use cold-turkey to achieve long-term sobriety are slim. Much slimmer than those of people who do receive medical detox services and professional addiction treatment.
Receive Medical Detox and Addiction Treatment At Phoenix Rising Recovery
Phoenix Rising Recovery is a renowned addiction treatment center that’s located in Palm Desert, California. Part of what makes us so successful when it comes to treating addiction is our drive to provide each and every patient with recovery options that treat their bodies and minds.
Here at Phoenix Rising Recovery, we also make it a priority to individualize each and every addiction treatment program. That way each patient can receive care that best suits his or her needs. Some of the individualized rehab programs that we offer include those just for men and women, rehab programs for first responders and veterans, and rehab programs for young adults.
We here at Phoenix Rising even offer a wide variety of rehab programs that are specialized by substance. Some of these substances include alcohol, benzodiazepines, opiates, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. Individuals with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders can even receive a wide variety of specialized dual diagnosis treatment programs here at Phoenix Rising Recovery.
Choose Sobriety Through Phoenix Rising
We even offer medical detox services and sober living homes. That way individuals can easily transition from detox to addiction treatment to addiction recovery. Plus, individuals with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders can even receive a wide variety of specialized dual diagnosis treatment programs.
To learn more about Phoenix Rising Recovery and the various different addiction treatment programs, therapies, and services that we offer, contact us. Our staff is more than willing to answer any questions that you may have.