Quitting Alcohol Cold Turkey

In a world where social drinking is not only prevalent, but socially celebrated, the associated with alcohol often go unnoticed and underestimated. This can lead to the misconception that alcohol is relatively harmless and that excessive drinking can be easily stopped. However, quitting alcohol can be a daunting challenge, especially for those who have been heavy drinkers for an extended period. Without professional assistance, quitting alcohol cold turkey can be dangerous and even life threatening.  It is common for individuals to encounter medical complications during the withdrawal process. This is particularly critical for those with pre-existing health conditions, who should seek advice before attempting to quit alcohol cold turkey.

Long-term effects of alcohol

The enjoyment of alcohol does not come without its consequences.  Studies show that even acute to moderate consumption of alcohol can have lasting health effects.  

  1. Cancer: The National Cancer Institute states with a high degree of scientific agreement that alcohol consumption is linked to the development of various types of cancer. The Report on Carcinogens from the National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services identifies the consumption of alcoholic beverages as a confirmed human carcinogen.
  1. Liver Disease: Excessive alcohol consumption adversely affects the liver and can result in various liver issues and inflammations, including:
  • Steatosis, characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver.
  • Alcoholic hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver caused by alcohol abuse.
  • Fibrosis, the scarring of liver tissue due to prolonged alcohol consumption.
  • Cirrhosis, a severe and irreversible condition characterized by extensive scarring of the liver tissue.
  1. Heart Disease: Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol over an extended period or indulging excessively in a single occasion can harm the heart, leading to various issues such as:
  • Cardiomyopathy: This condition involves the stretching and weakening of the heart muscle.
  • Arrhythmias: Irregular heartbeats may occur due to alcohol abuse.
  • Stroke: Excessive alcohol intake can increase the risk of stroke.
  • High blood pressure: Prolonged heavy drinking can contribute to hypertension.

Quitting Alcohol Cold Turkey

Because alcohol does not have the same social stigma associated with hard drugs, many are unaware of the fact that alcohol has its own withdrawal process.  Quitting alcohol cold turkey can lead to serious illnesses and for some, even death. Here are some common alcohol withdrawal symptoms:

  1. Seizures:  Symptoms from quitting alcohol cold turkey can include seizures, commonly known as “rum fits,” which may arise 12 to 24 hours after stopping alcohol consumption. Approximately 50% of individuals who have encountered a withdrawal seizure may advance to delirium tremens.
  2. Delirium Tremens: Also known as “shaking frenzy,” is a sudden onset of confusion typically triggered by quitting alcohol cold turkey. This condition typically emerges three days into withdrawal and persists for two to three days. Physical symptoms may include trembling, shivering, irregular heartbeat, and sweating. 
  3. Cardiovascular Complications: While withdrawing from alcohol, studies have found that notable changes take place in the cardiovascular system, including reductions in heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, and total peripheral resistance. Additionally, the stroke index decreases while one is withdrawing from alcohol. 
  4. Additional Symptoms: Additional physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can include headaches, nausea, vomiting, sweating, fever, anxiety, and insomnia.

Why you should seek support when quitting alcohol.

It’s been well documented that those who seek support when navigating rough waters have a higher chance of long-term success.  This is especially true for those battling alcohol use disorder simply due to the isolating nature of the disease.  At the Addiction Recovery Institute of America, we know the importance of fostering a safe environment where individuals can experience a medically supervised alcohol detox. We also help provide therapy and counseling that can help you understand the role alcohol plays in your life while gaining tools to learn how to navigate life sober.

Ready to detox from alcohol in a safe and inclusive environment? 

At the Addiction Recovery Institute of America, our addiction treatment specialists provide expert care for individuals who are struggling with substance use disorders. Our goal is simple: to provide each of our clients with the tools they need to achieve long-term recovery. When you enroll in any one of the programs at ARIA, you are committing to sobriety, right here in West Palm Beach, Florida. 

We are dedicated to holding up our end of the bargain by designing individualized substance abuse treatment programs that serve each of our client’s individual needs. To get in contact, Call us at (844) 973 2611 or head over to our Contact Us page, fill out our information form and our representatives will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *