The Dangers of Quitting Cold-Turkey
Without professional addiction treatment, people who quit opiates run the risk of serious complications. Opiate withdrawal can be painful and dangerous, which is why quitting cold turkey is rarely a successful approach to addressing opiate addiction. All the will power in the world can be squelched by the painful side effects of opiate withdrawal.
The Facts about Opiate Withdrawal
With regular opiate use, the brain becomes rewired so that the drug becomes your primary source of pleasure in life. All other thoughts and activities start to fall by the wayside, and seeking and using drugs becomes your life’s purpose.
All of this can happen within just a few days of regular use. And when you suddenly stop taking the drug, you're likely to encounter at least a few of these opiate withdrawal symptoms:
- Severe anxiety
- Body aches
- Difficulty sleeping
- Profuse sweating
- Severe nausea
- Chills and shivers
In addition to all of these symptoms, the biggest risk during the detox period is that you'll relapse. People who quit cold turkey usually start off feeling determined, but once withdrawal sets in, they’ll go to any length to get more of the drug.
Alternatives to Quitting Cold Turkey
If you want to begin the path toward recovery, consult with a doctor, methadone clinic or addiction treatment program before quitting an opiate drug. Medically assisted detox along with opiate replacement therapy and ongoing therapy have proven effective in helping people overcome their addiction to prescription drugs, heroin and other opiates.
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