Quitting Addictions Cold Turkey: Risks and Benefits of the Method

The term “cold turkey” is about as familiar as a rare Phoenician coin found in the sands of Beirut. Not many people know what this term—which originated in England—actually means. The expression is used to refer to the abrupt cessation of a habit or addictive behavior.

While it is an effective method of quitting addictive substances, the method is not at all without risks. This article explores the risks and benefits of the cold turkey method and gives you tips on how you can manage your addiction.

What is quitting cold Turkey?

Cold turkey refers to an abrupt cessation of addictive substances or behaviors, without any gradual tapering down of the addictive substance or behavior. The term has been adopted by clinical professionals to refer specifically to quitting of drug use without any medical assistance.

There are risks and benefits to quitting drug addictions cold turkey, however, it is generally not recommended unless absolutely necessary. There are other kinds of addictive behaviors that are not at all related to drug use, and pursuing the cold turkey method for those may not the best choice.

Quitting cold turkey is a plan individuals can pursue for eliminatingaddictive urges, like smoking, drinking, or shooting up any other form of drug.

Addiction is a disease

Experts believe that there is a genetic component to addiction, which makes some more susceptible to getting addicted than others. However, there are definitely lifestyle factors and environmental influences that can increase your risk of developing an addiction.

Addiction, therefore, is a disease that can be eliminated through professional care. There are many trusted and reliable rehab centers offering support across the United States, like theDelphi Health Group, which can offer you with a unique treatment plan.

How to describe an addiction?

Addictions are characterized by a compulsive behavior that continues even though you know it’s causing significant problems in your life. You might be able to restrain your behavior for a short period of time, but the addictive urge is too strong to be restrained indefinitely.

Addictions can affect different areas of the brain in different ways, depending on the substance or behavior involved. For example, opioids cause a surge in feel-good chemicals, such as dopamine, which can make them highly addictive. Nicotine also causes an increase in dopamine and changes the way certain areas of the brain function.

HowQuitting Cold Turkey Is Effective?

The biggest reason cold works so well is that it breaks the compulsive cycle of addiction. When you smoke cigarettes on a regular basis, your body and mind are conditioned to expect a dose of nicotine at certain times and in certain places.

Quitting cold breaks that cycle once and for all, which means you wouldn’t have to go through the constant compulsivity of urge and fulfillment.

It also means you don’t have to spend money on nicotine patches or other replacement products designed to make quitting easier.

Another benefit of quitting cold is that it’s simple as compared to the other methods. Many addicts find this appealing because it’s less intimidating than other methods.

Quitting Cold Turkey is Cheaper

Many people find that quitting addictions cold is by far the cheapest option. While there are a lot of programs out there that will help you quit, many of them cost a lot of money, and if you don’t have insurance to cover at least part the costs, quitting can get too expensive.

Quitting Cold Turkey Can be More Difficult, But Faster

Many people also find that quitting cold is much more difficult than other methods, but in the end, they are able to overcome the addiction faster as well. If you aren’t able to handle the withdrawal symptoms well, then you should consider going to a rehab or get medication. But if you could see yourself overcoming the initial withdrawals, then by all means go cold turkey.

The risks involved in quitting an addiction cold turkey Quitting an addiction is a long and difficult process. There are many methods that can be used to help with abstinence, but quitting cold is often the most effective.

Most people who quit addictions cold turkey do so without any professional support. They may face severe withdrawal symptoms, including vomiting and nausea, insomnia, tremors, dizziness, headaches, depression, and anxiety. Quitting cold turkey is also a significant health risk for some people because withdrawal symptoms may even be fatal.

Despite the risks mentioned above, however, there are obvious benefits to the method.


The decision to quit cold turkey can be risky, but the payoff can be enormous. In some cases, quitting cold turkey can be the best method for eliminating substance use from your life. However, because of the intense physical and psychological withdrawals associated with it, it’s strongly recommended that you detox withprofessional assistance. Quitting cold turkeywithout any support from medical professionals can, in some cases at least, have severe health consequences.

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