When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol and wishes to quit they may think about going ‘cold turkey’ instead of checking into a rehab. This person may believe that they will be okay when suddenly stopping their drug of choice; when the dreadful withdrawal symptoms appear, they will be able to get through them without any help. They may feel like they do not need to sit through a therapy session and be given advice by a professional. This confident mindset is common of those who may believe cold turkey is the best option; however, addiction is tough and breaking free from it is even tougher; therefore, is cold turkey the best decision or is treatment at a rehab a better choice? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of going cold turkey:
Discomfort During Cold Turkey: The withdrawal symptoms that an addict will likely experience can be so painful that they will start using again. Although each drug withdrawal will vary; many involve several hours, days, or even weeks of these symptoms. Going cold turkey means that a person will have to go through these symptoms without help.
Treatment at a Rehab: Although a rehab cannot magically make the withdrawal symptoms go away, they can provide support and assistance. Prescription medications, specialized therapy, and/or a detox may be provided to help lessen the withdrawal symptoms.
Support During Cold Turkey: Although a person may truly be ready to give up on their drug use, getting through the first few weeks is not easy. Emotions and thoughts will be scattered all over the place; these can cause unexpected feelings in which the person will need support in the form of sober friends or family who will know how to help and get them through this tough time.
Treatment at a Rehab: The professionals at the centre are experts not only in the subject of addiction, but also at giving support. Some may have been addicts in the past that became sober and now help other struggling addicts. Other are trained professionals with numerous years in the field. They have helped numerous people before and will know how to encourage people, how to listen, educate, and give advice. These people will be there for the addict throughout their stay at the centre and even after they have left.
Unexpected Symptoms During Cold Turkey: Although cold turkey may sometimes cause the person to feel like they are dying it is actually not too common. However, there are instances in which a person takes too much of a medication (because they believe will help their discomfort) or has an underlying medical problem in which causes them to put their life at risk. Or the person begins to feel odd or new sensations and does not know how to cope.
Unexpected Symptoms During Treatment at a Rehab: A rehab will have medical staff on hand to consistently keep an eye on each person at the centre. The health of the addict is monitored on a regular basis and at any time the person needs medical attention, the centre will take them to the hospital for further assessment.
Privacy During Cold Turkey: Many people considering cold turkey think of privacy as a big benefit. Although being alone in a room without anyone to bother them may sound nice and private, it is not the safest decision.
Privacy During Treatment at Rehab: Privacy is a major concern of most people choosing to go to rehab; therefore, a centre will take great care in making sure that no one outside the centre is able to find out who is getting treatment. At the same time, the person will be in a safe environment where they are closely monitored and taken care of.
The idea of going cold turkey may sound good to some people, but the reality of the situation is that most people cannot get through the entire withdrawal process or early recovery without professional help. The risk of relapsing during this period is very high because the fastest way to end the unpleasant symptoms is to use again. Although, the overall idea is not too bad and not impossible, it is in truth very difficult to expect healthy long lasting results.