How Can A Medical Detox Save Your Life?
You may be ready to start a life of sobriety, and you believe that just stopping all substance use will be the best way. Sure, it may be tough, but you’ve heard that ‘cold turkey is the best break. The truth is that quitting substances ‘cold turkey’ can cause serious injury to your brain and body and even lead to death. A medical detox to get sober may literally save your life.
What Is Quitting Cold Turkey?
When you stop using whatever substance you’re struggling with, that’s called ‘going cold turkey.’ It’s abrupt. Instead of slowly weaning from a substance, you just quit altogether, and your body takes notice. In fact, the term ‘cold turkey’ comes from the goosebump-like skin many people start to notice a few days after they stop. Resembling what cold turkey in a refrigerator may look like, your skin is just a reflection of bigger issues that are going on inside.
What Happens To Your Body When You Go Cold Turkey?
When you decided to abstain from all substances, your body doesn’t realize what’s going on at first. It’s used to being fed, regularly and often at increasing doses, whatever substance you are struggling with.
Your body’s cravings have developed because your brain believes it ‘needs’ these substances, and stopping them abruptly throws your brain and body off. For those struggling with alcohol dependence, that can look like dehydration, abnormal heart rates, vomiting, and agitation.
For those struggling with heroin or opioids dependence and addiction, those things may also occur, and you may also experience fatigue, confusion, and tremors.
But while many may consider those withdrawal symptoms mild, other serious complications may occur and even be fatal.
Going Cold Turkey Could Kill You
Some people who stop using alcohol experience what is called Delirium tremens (DTs). This is a serious complication that can accompany the discontinuation of alcohol. It is most likely to happen within 6-48 hours after your last drink and begins with agitation, confusion, and hallucinations. Your blood pressure increases, you begin sweating profusely, and seizures begin.
DTs are a true medical emergency. If you suffer from DTs, you are at risk for a head injury, severe dehydration, heart attack, or stroke. You may even die from suffocation as you choke on your own vomit. Going cold turkey means that you may suffer with these DTs alone, and if not closely monitored, you could die.
When you go cold turkey and stop using heroin and other opioids, you’re also at risk of serious medical conditions that can lead to death. Approximately 48-72 hours after your last usage, your body starts revolting as it’s craving more. Because the physical withdrawal symptoms of opioids are so challenging for your brain and body, you may experience significant dehydration from diarrhea and vomiting. You can choke on your own vomit and suffocate. You may also struggle with the psychological symptoms (agitation and anxiety) that you may feel led to self-harm or suicide.
In any instance, choosing medical detox over going cold turkey can save your life.
What Is Medical Detox And Why Is It Safer Than Going Cold Turkey?
Medical detox is a safer option for you than just quitting. A medical detox won’t necessarily ‘cure’ your addiction, but that’s not the goal of medical detox. Medical detoxification offers a safe environment for you as you withdraw from drugs or alcohol. You’re under medical supervision. If it’s necessary, you can be given medication to help relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms. While the medicines can’t stop the withdrawal symptoms altogether, they can help reduce the severity. Being monitored closely also will mean that even as you struggle with withdrawal symptoms, medical intervention can step in if needed. When you go cold turkey on your own, that’s not an option.
Medical detox is helpful to achieve sobriety in that it will help relieve the acute symptoms of withdrawal as you cleanse your body of the substances. It does not address the root causes of addiction that you need to address to maintain sobriety. That’s why it’s important to undergo medical detox with therapeutic practices like Clear Life Recovery offers to achieve long-term sobriety.
Clear Life Recovery: Commitment You Can Count On
The detox, rehab, and aftercare you need to gain sobriety are what Clear Life Recovery specializes in. Our supervised medical detox helps give you the maximum safety you need during your detox process. You’ll additionally get a mixture of therapies, education, and support that is customized to you. We work to ensure your best chance of lasting sobriety. If you’re ready to take those first steps, we want to walk with you. Contact us today, and let’s talk about how we can get you on the path to your new life.