Why Medical Detox is Better than Quitting Cold Turkey

Kudos! If you have decided that you want to quit using drugs then that kudos is for you. Quitting is a wonderful idea and ultimately one that will save your life. The first major obstacle to get past is withdrawal, a word no addict ever wants to think about. Withdrawal signifies sickness, pain, and the loss of what you once considered your closest friend.

There are two ways to quit drugs and alcohol, with professional help or cold turkey. The only good thing about cold turkey is the cost, which is essentially free. There is no better or safer way to quit any substance than in a professional setting. There is no reason to get sick using this approach.

In a professional setting the medical staff can offer you something to make sure you remain comfortable and they will monitor you to make sure you are not in any danger. What many people don’t realize is that withdrawal can be very dangerous and even lethal, especially from alcohol, benzos, and heroin.

The detox portion of getting off of drugs or alcohol is intimidating but it has to be done in order to start treatment. It is crucial to purge all of the toxins from the body. It cannot be stressed enough never try this at home, even if you have people close to you that vow to stay with you. The consequences are much too grave.

The truth is that you can do this but you have to have professional help to do so. The advances in addition treatment have made it possible that you don’t have to try this alone. This is too hard, the success rate is low, and you don’t have to. Why suffer through something if you don’t have to?

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  • As you can see from what I said elsewhere, I am against going cold turkey for severe alcohol withdrawals because it can kill you. However, I don't support medical detox without being supervised by professionals (I know some people like to do cheaper detox by buying those detox kits or having it administered by amateurs). If somebody has reached the point where he needs to ask himself this question, then I am afraid that his withdrawal is already severe and there is no better way other than detox under the watch of professionals.
  • Why not take advantage of medicine to trick your body to help slowly ween you off things? Yes you can go cold turkey, but it is incredibly hard especially with easily accessible things. I would talk with multiple health professionals (doctor, psychologist, natural medicine) to get different opinions on medical support that can be provided. 
  • I think that no one will disagree with that, detox is much better with medical help, we might not be prepared for what can happen with quitting cold turkey. Nothing like being helped by the professionals.
  • Wise words. Many people think detox is just a matter of stopping doing whatever it is that you were doing. Nothing caould be further from the truth. As you quite rightly point out, withdrawal symptoms from certain substances can be fatal. By going under medical supervision, you are also giving yourself the best chance of succeeding. 
  • Clearing whatever is in your system is just the start. If a person is not ready or capable to deal with the factors that started the abusive behavior they might relapse. This is especially dangerous with things like Heroin or Oxycodone. This is how many people end up OD'ing. 

    In almost all situations once the person is clean and no longer using they usually end up depressed. that in itself is reason to have professional help right from the start.
  • Even so, not everybody chooses medical detox. Anybody with a genuine addiction to alcohol should never consider going "cold turkey" at home. Detoxification from alcohol is a two-stage process. The main stage happens over a time of a couple of days. This beginning period is the most hazardous and can demonstrate lethal. 

    The second and more period of liquor detox happens over months, as the mind gradually starts to manage and resume ordinary working. There may be waiting indications amid the second period of liquor detox, yet they are not typically life-undermining. 

    People going through the first phase should be very well watched.
  • Not everybody chooses medical detox because most people don't want to assume addiction, there is still a big social stigma. More, many people also might not be able to afford it. 
  • for those that are seriously addicted, i do think a medical detox is necessary and helpful. many choose not to because of lack of funds... but there are detox places that offer free detox in various cities. it's worth calling the local mental health/addiction facilities and asking them for resources...ask them what your options are.

    reaching out for help is so important and knowing that people really want to help...they really do!

    overcoming addiction is possible...and detox is the first step (after admitting you are an addict)...

    if you're struggling with detox...with quitting...with symptoms...reach out for help....it's worth it!
  • I quit cold turkey 6 days ago after drinking heavily every day for 18 years, and I'm doing it at home by myself. For anyone considering this I can give you my experience up to this point. Send me a message. Or I can post it here if everyone wants to read it. May make you consider going with the medical detox.
  • I agree, detoxing from some substances may not be so bad, but others can be dangerous.  At the very least, a person should never be alone while going through detox from any substance that has the potential to be dangerous.  You need to have someone with you just in case things get bad and you need to go the ER. 

    I would think most insurance would cover at least some of the cost of medical detox, as it is a medical treatment.  If not, that's really something we need to speak up about so that everyone has access to treatment if they need it.
  • I was told a long time ago that the place where we will be moving, the kind of health care plan my husband has does cover detox help from a doctor.  We will see, I truly hope it still does. Because there is no way he'd ever pay extra for something like that, is like he doesn't care about his health. 
  • My daughter is doing this at home at this moment.  Her husband has taken total control of EVERYTHING!   I have no way of communicating with her.  I did get to go see her last night.  She looks awful-can't even sit up in bed-but she tells me that she won't go get help for a few days, because that is what he is telling her to do.    I am so worried about her!    
  • @hurtingmom... If your daughter is feeling that bad, I would suggest she go to a detox facility or the ER. I don't know what she's detoxing from, but she can be a lot more comfortable under medical supervision.

  • Hello all,

    Question, are there ways to detox at home? I dont think I am what would be considered a seriously addicted especially to any really harshly addictive drugs. Unless I am blind to it, not sure.... 

    I take modafinal everyday, I cant get up and go to work unless I take it, and if I dont take it, I fall into a serious depression. I also need to take colonapin to ease the anxiety it induces (but I've also had anxiety my entire life). On top of this, I drink more often than not, every night since the past few months I;ve drank every single night at least 2-3 drinks, sometime and entire bottle of wine... 5 vodka drinks, it depends. But that has become normal to me, which makes me nervous. The past few weeks I've been into doing a lot more cocaine as well, almost a few lines 5 out of 7 nights of the week. I do this at night after work sometimes to curb my appetite and lose weight. I see a trend starting. and its scaring me. I used to struggle with adderal addiction up until november of 2015. I dont have the desire for adderal bc I do know how badly that hurt my life and others. But I am scared if this is basically going down the same route. Any advice on how to handle this at home? I see a therapist, but she is unaware of most of this as of now. 

    Is there an at home detox routine I can do? not sure if this is a sillly question, I truly just feel super lost and am not sure how to handle this...
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