How to Stop Drinking Cold Turkey

How to Stop Drinking Cold Turkey

Learn from My Mistakes and Get Answers for Coming Off the Sauce

Being an alcoholic is an exhausting lifestyle. By the time I got to South Shores, I had tried quitting alcohol cold turkey multiple times. Because my alcohol dependence was so severe, I was never able to make it very far before I started drinking again.

Alcohol use disorder affects countless people and their families. Since drinking alcohol is such a socially acceptable thing, it can be even harder to stop when it is all around you. I wasn’t able to go out to any establishment where alcohol was being served without being triggered.

If you or a loved one are looking for solutions to getting sober, you are already likely familiar with how difficult it can be!

Trying to learn how to stop drinking cold turkey is admirable, but the process of alcohol detox is dangerous and very hard to do on your own.

Keep reading to learn from my trials (and errors!) and get guidance on how to find lasting sobriety along the way, as well as getting details on a proven option for support where I ended up getting help, at South Shores Detox in California.

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How Alcohol Dependence Controls You

There are different levels of alcohol addiction. There’s the chronic alcoholic who drinks from the time they wake up until they fall asleep. Then there is the “functioning” alcoholic. These are the people who engage in binge drinking and partying but still are able to hold down a job.

Alcohol dependence can get worse over time. The drinker that starts out with just a few can end up being a chronic alcoholic later in life. This is the situation that I found myself in. I drank a lot in college but was able to graduate and maintain a day job. Eventually, as I got into my thirties, I totally lost control of my drinking.

Knowing When To Seek Alcohol Addiction Treatment

It’s never too late to seek help. Alcohol dependence can be very tricky to overcome. There are serious withdrawal symptoms associated with alcoholism, so quitting alcohol is no easy task. With that said, I believe it is possible for anyone to get sober, especially with the help of a recovery center like South Shores.

In this journal, I will lay out how I did it, and how you can too. If there is a loved one in your life that you are trying to help quit alcohol, there are things that you can do to help push them in the right direction. Keep in mind, that there are physical and mental aspects to substance abuse, and it is ultimately up to the person with the issue to seek help.

How Hard Is It To Quit Alcohol Cold Turkey?

Quit Alcohol Cold Turkey

The term ‘cold turkey’ refers to people with addictions who try to quit on their own, without medical supervision or rehab. Alcohol withdrawal is one of the tougher forms of withdrawal to get through, and it can sometimes be fatal.

Medical professionals typically do not recommend trying to do this on your own. It’s possible, but there can be risks associated with it. Alcohol withdrawal is just as much a mental hurdle as it is a physical one. You need to have the right people around you to make it work.

Deciding To Stop Drinking Cold Turkey

The first time I tried to quit cold turkey, I was in agony. The alcohol withdrawal symptoms were all-consuming. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is actually one of the few types of withdrawal that can be fatal for those with serious addictions. Severe withdrawal symptoms are much more manageable when you have a care team around you.

There is no handbook when it comes to trying to stop drinking cold turkey. Everyone’s addiction is different, and it’s hard to say definitively what you need to do. What works for one addict won’t always work for another. Regardless, when you stop drinking alcohol, there will be hurdles to overcome.

What Are Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Like?

Within six to twelve hours after you stop drinking, common withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, shaking, headache, nausea, and cold sweats, just to name a few. After twelve hours, there can be more serious complications.

If your addiction is bad enough, you can suffer from seizures and hallucinations. This occurrence is known as delirium tremens, and is one of the more life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

When I quit drinking cold turkey, I had all of these alcohol withdrawal symptoms with the exception of delirium tremens. “DT’s” as they are known are more rare, but still possible if you are a chronic alcoholic. It’s because of these severe symptoms that many drinkers don’t last when they try to quit alcohol cold turkey. It’s just too much to overcome for most people.

When Your Drinking Habits Take Control

Drinking Habits Take Control

I used to be able to cut myself off after a certain amount of alcohol. When I was younger, I knew when to shut it down and go home. As I got older however, my alcohol dependence increased. It took more to get me inebriated. I would get mood swings if I had to stop drinking against my will.

Eventually, my attitude became a big problem. This is common with alcoholism. A lot of us become different people. Some people are happy drunks, and are all about just having a good time. For someone like me, I ended up getting nasty. I would say awful things that I would later regret.

Alcohol consumption lowers your inhibitions and makes you a bit looser. You don’t realize how you can come off to people who aren’t at your level. Your behavior when you are drunk can be very embarrassing, and not many people will want to be around you after a while.

My Ever-Worsening Withdrawal Symptoms from Alcohol

The longer and the more that I drank, the worse it would be to overcome the withdrawal symptoms. We’ve all heard of a bad hangover, but as alcohol use disorder continues, the heavier the withdrawals hit. I used to be able to quit drinking for several days and not be affected. Eventually, I wasn’t able to do it anymore. I had to keep drinking to avoid feeling lousy.

When you get to this point, it’s definitely noticeable to the people around you, even if you fail to notice it yourself. My family would talk to me about quitting alcohol, but I refused to entertain the idea. I wasn’t having severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms yet, but I was well on my way.

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When Alcohol Becomes the Priority: How to Stop Drinking Cold Turkey

Eventually, my alcohol abuse became my number one priority. My performance at work suffered, and I was given many chances to straighten up. It got to the point where I would consume alcohol on the job just to feel normal. By this point, I was a full-blown addict and couldn’t stop drinking without suffering from withdrawal symptoms.

To avoid the withdrawal process, I began drinking a beer or two in the morning before work. My employer finally caught on, and I was let go. Did this make me seek help? It did not. I fell into heavy drinking during the day, and ignored all my responsibilities. Not being able to pay rent, I lost my place and had to crash on friends couches.

Can You Stop Drinking Alcohol When You Lose Everything?

Since I had lost my job and house, I fell into a depression and my drinking worsened. I had nothing to look forward to other than cracking open that next beer. My mental health was in the gutter, and I was just coasting along with no plans for my future or care for my well-being. When you reach this point, nothing anyone says seems to help. You have to crawl out of it on your own.

I finally decided to try and quit drinking cold turkey, and it took every ounce of energy I had to do it. I got through the withdrawal simply by laying on the couch and sweating it out. The trouble is, I only lasted about a week before I went back to drinking. It was at this point that I realized I needed to be in a facility and do it the right way.

Does Quitting Alcohol Cold Turkey Even Work?

Consider a Treatment Facility

There are plenty of people who have quit cold turkey, but it’s often a losing battle. For those who have serious addictions, I want to make it clear that you should avoid trying this. If you are a casual drinker and don’t have the physical dependence yet, then you can definitely give it a shot.

If you have a long-standing addiction, you should seriously consider a treatment facility like South Shores Detox and Recovery. I had no idea how much easier it would be in my case. Let me be clear, however. Recovery from addiction isn’t easy, but it can be made easier when you go about it the correct way.

I finally made the decision to try detox when I ran out of approaches on my own. I had tried quitting by myself, and I just couldn’t make it work. Once you get past the withdrawal symptoms, you need to have a good head on your shoulders in order to not go right back to it. I always went right back to drinking because I couldn’t cope without it. I didn’t have any tools to navigate sobriety.

Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms Through Detox

When I got to South Shores, I was very much afraid of having to go through withdrawals again. Many addicts have a hard time quitting simply because of the initial withdrawal period. It can be so agonizing and uncomfortable that you would rather stay addicted than feel that amount of discomfort. Going to a medical detox facility was a big eye-opener for me.

Of course, my detox was rough, but the team at South Shores did everything in their power to guide me through it and avoid some of that discomfort. They provided emotional support throughout the process that was invaluable to my recovery. Getting sober is very much a solo process, but you do need a bit of help along the way.

When Mental Health and Substance Abuse Both Need Treatment

Because alcohol is a depressant, it can do a number on your mental health. When you are constantly giving your body a drug like alcohol, it increases dopamine production in your brain. You then need to continue drinking to keep these feelings going. Once you stop for even a short time, the fog of depression creeps in.

I was always in between periods of depression during my drinking days. Quitting alcohol abruptly made me fall into a low moods that would take forever to come out of. The only way out was to continue my drinking. It’s a cycle that is very tough to get out of. Making healthy decisions is made much more difficult with alcohol clouding your judgment.

A Healthy Lifestyle Is Key

Support Groups and Therapy

When you are taking care of your body, your mind will reap the rewards. I was amazed at how just taking care of myself a little bit changed my mood. I didn’t go back into my old negative thought patterns. I didn’t feel like I needed a drink or I would go crazy. I actually felt content for the first time in a long time.

When I left South Shores, I was nervous. I would be left to my own devices, and I didn’t want to make bad decisions. This is where support groups and therapy come in. I needed to hold myself accountable. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and support became the thing that kept me grounded.

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Get a Safe Detox: Embrace Sobriety at South Shores Today

We all have weak moments, especially in the world of recovery. No one gets sober and never has any issues after that. I still have times where I have the urge to drink. The difference is I have the right mindset to talk myself out of it. I know how destructive that one drink can be. Stopping drinking was one of the best things I ever did.

The only regret I have is that I didn’t do it sooner. I try not to dwell on that, because I know it would do me no good. I try to keep a positive attitude and not let my past weigh me down. This is how many people relapse. If you are ready to stop drinking, I would highly recommend South Shores as your one-stop shop for getting clean and sober. If you’re ready, it could be the best decision you ever make.