Do you or a loved one have a problem with alcohol? You're not alone: 1 out of 12 Americans struggle with alcohol dependence.
If you or your loved one have reached the point where you're ready to rid yourself of your alcohol dependency you may be considering quitting alcohol cold turkey. While your desire to give up your dependency on alcohol is a good thing, quitting cold turkey is not only a bad idea ‑ it's dangerous.
If you have a dependency on alcohol and suddenly stop drinking altogether, you will suffer from withdrawal symptoms. Depending on your level of consumption and dependence, these symptoms can range from mild to life threatening. If you try to quit consuming alcohol cold turkey, the sudden alcohol withdrawal will make the symptoms that much worse.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms:
- Muscle Weakness
- Aggression or agitation toward others
- Appetite loss
- Rapid heart rate
- Mood swings
- Cognitive impairment
- Memory issues
These symptoms can be very severe if you have a strong dependence. Overcoming your alcohol addiction takes time and care. It's difficult to know how quickly to phase out your consumption of alcohol on your own, which is why you should contact an inpatient rehab facility and participate in a medically monitored detox program.
Here's how it works: You check yourself into a specialized facility where you'll receive care and help to phase out your alcohol consumption. Instead of having you quit cold turkey, the professionals will know how to taper off your consumption in a way that doesn't shock your body and create unnecessarily severe withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, medical professionals on staff at an inpatient rehabilitation facility will also be able to tend to any alcohol withdrawal symptoms that may arise during the detox process. In some cases, medications can be used to help you through withdrawal.
While in rehab, you'll be monitored to make sure everything is as it should be, and the environment is crafted to be calming and reassuring. It typically doesn't take long either. Rehab normally lasts about 5 to 7 days, but it can take longer for more severe cases. Getting help and going through rehab is a wise decision that you will be happy you made.