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There are many reasons drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers exist, and one of the most important is to help clients survive detox and withdrawal. While this may sound alarmist, it isn’t really. It’s quite possible to die from complications of withdrawal, especially if alcohol or opioids are involved. And even if you survive, this stage of the recovery process may make you very ill. The risks of quitting cold turkey are not worth it. For these reasons, detox programs are much safer options.

Quitting Cold Turkey: What’s the Worst That Can Happen?

Sadly, the most serious side effect of sudden withdrawal is death. Therefore, it’s vital to have access to professional medical care during this stage of recovery. With many drugs, your body builds up a tolerance. It becomes used to having daily access to the drug. When that suddenly ceases to happen, your brain and body may have difficulty adapting. Learn more about a few of the more serious drug withdrawal scenarios to help you get a clearer picture.

What Happens When You Suddenly Stop Taking Benzos?

Benzodiazepine drugs, or benzos, work on your central nervous system to calm anxiety, relieve seizures, lessen feelings of panic, or to help you relax enough to sleep. They’re among the most prescribed drugs in the world, yet taking them long-term can cause serious side-effects when you’re ready to stop. Your medical treatment professional will wean you off benzos over time. As a result, your body is able to adjust to the loss in stages. But if you decide that quitting cold turkey is a better option, bad things can happen, including:

  • Racing pulse
  • Crawling sensations on the skin
  • Hyperventilation
  • Extreme panic
  • Delirium
  • Grand mal seizures

Of these symptoms, the most serious is the grand mal seizure during which your body is thrown into powerful convulsions. It’s possible to hurt yourself very badly from a fall during a grand mal seizure. A severe seizure of this type may be life-threatening in other ways, as well.

What Are the Risks of Quitting Opioids Cold Turkey?

Opioids are powerful, disabling drugs that kill thousands of people every day. You can taper off these pills over time with normal side effects. When you decide to try quitting cold turkey, your body is thrown into chaos with side effects that may be fatal, including:

  • Dangerous rise in blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Seizures

Quitting cold turkey on drugs such as opioid painkillers can make you extremely ill. It may even be a fatal decision. Opt for professional opioid addiction treatment instead.

Quitting Cold Turkey: Alcohol

Lastly, alcohol is a drug from which you should never attempt to detox alone. The longer you’ve been using alcohol and the more drinks you have each day, the more difficult it becomes to withdraw. The side effects associated with alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures

If you’re alone when going through the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, you could harm yourself accidentally. Or the symptoms themselves could cause seizures, coma, and death. Quitting cold turkey is not worth the risks for most drugs. Seek help from an alcohol addiction rehab center instead.

The Detox Programs at Atlantic Recovery Center

The detox programs at Atlantic Recovery Center guide you gently through withdrawal, easing symptoms, and making the process much less uncomfortable. Clients receive round-the-clock monitoring and care. They may receive replacement medications to help mask the worst of the symptoms.

If you’re interested in learning more about addiction treatment programs available in the South Florida area, contact Atlantic Recovery Center today at 1-866-824-5193. We bring decades of combined experience to your treatment plan, giving you the best possible chance of recovery. Call us today.