For those who are addicted to alcohol and drugs, the idea of quitting cold turkey can feel attractive.  Many addicts think they are strong enough, smart enough, and determined enough to give up their habit on their own, without the hassle of inpatient rehab. Those feelings are certainly understandable, but there are many reasons why quitting heroin cold turkey approach is risky. In fact, quitting cold turkey could prove to be a bad idea.


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Sudden Withdrawal Can Create Unforeseen Health Problems

No matter what substance you have been using, when you quit cold turkey the withdrawal symptoms can start within a couple of hours, and if you are unprepared for their severity your safety, and your very life, could be at risk. Many addicts and alcoholics who try to quit cold turkey are surprised at just how difficult those withdrawal symptoms really are, and that unpreparedness will pave the way to failure. Even if your well-meaning friend has helped others quit cold turkey, every detox experience is unique, and the fact that someone else experienced only mild withdrawal symptoms is not a guarantee that things will play out the same way in your case. If you want to stay safe, you should abandon any thoughts of quitting cold turkey and seek out professional help instead.

You’re Not a Medical Expert

Detoxing from drugs and alcohol is a medical procedure, and it should not be left up to non-medical experts. The friend who offers to sit with you while you quit cold turkey may mean well, but unless they are a trained medic or physician, they do not have the resources necessary to keep you safe. It is important to understand that quitting drugs and alcohol is something that requires specific expertise, including medical training and in-depth knowledge of first aid and CPR. When you choose professional rehab instead of the do-it-yourself approach, you can enjoy that medical support and begin to heal in a safe and comfortable environment.

Concerns About Illegality Could Delay Needed Help

It is impossible to overlook the fact that being addicted to drugs is more than just a health problem – it is a legal challenge as well. If you get into trouble during your at-home detox, you and your friends may be reluctant to dial 911, and that delay could cost you your life. More than one drug addict has lost their life during an impromptu detox session, and the fact that emergency help is often delayed just makes the situation all the more dangerous.

Failing at Detox Will Make it Harder to Stop

When you are addicted to alcohol or drugs, every failed attempt at detox saps your confidence. Worse yet, every one of those cold turkey failures sets the stage for the next one, and all too many addicts and alcoholics have simply given up on sobriety. If you are serious about getting better, getting clean, and staying sober, it is best to skip the cold turkey approach to find a quality rehab instead. There are many alternatives to quitting drugs and alcohol cold turkey, and these other approaches are designed to keep you safe and as your body begins to heal. Breaking free of alcoholism and drug addiction is no easy task, nor is it something you can simply force your way through.   


Find an Inpatient Rehab Program Now

We are here to help you through every aspect of recovery. Call our admissions team to find the best for long-term recovery.

(866) 287-2877