Going Cold Turkey Could Unravel Your Recovery

BlogArticlesGoing Cold Turkey Could Unravel Your Recovery

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The cold turkey method, observed under new circumstances, does not seem like the way to go to end your addiction to drugs, alcohol or even smoking. The method has, in some cases, worked for addicts, but new research is telling us that for your overall mental health and well-being, this just isn’t the way to go. The biggest factor that affects addicts who are trying the cold turkey method is withdrawal. Withdrawal is a powerful force that can lead addicts who have received even the best of treatment back to their drug of choice and destroy most or all the progress they worked so hard for. When withdrawal gets worse and worse, addicts will begin to what is called “relapse” which is considered the beginning of the end for their new-found sobriety.

The thought process surrounding withdrawal and relapse aren’t just notions anymore. Scientists at McGill university and Bar Iian University have determined that a cold turkey style withdrawal from drugs results in the reprogramming of genes in the brain that lead addicts towards a more addictive personality.

Professor Moshe Szyf, at McGill’s Faculty of Medicine, said: ‘We inherit our genes from our parents and these genes remain fixed throughout our life and are passed on to our children.
‘We can do very little to change adverse genetics changes that we inherit. ‘In contrast, epigenetic marks such as DNA methylation act as switches and dimmers of genes – they can be switched on, off, or dimmed – by epigenetic drugs inhibiting DNA methylation and removing methyl marks from these genes.’

While the science behind the issue of going cold turkey is fascinating, it should be noted that if your desire to quit drugs, alcohol or tobacco has driven you towards the cold turkey method that you could experience serious symptoms that can have a lasting and detrimental effect on your body. Detoxing from alcohol, for instance can actually be life-threatening, which is why a treatment program including a medically supervised detox process is a much safer and more reliable option.

Just some of the nasty symptoms you may experience during an alcohol detox:

  • Anxiety
  • Convulsions
  • Delirium Tremens
  • Hallucinations
  • Heart Failure
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Shakiness


To preserve your mental health, wellness and physical health, don’t try the cold turkey method if you’re addicted to drugs or alcohol. When it comes to smoking the symptoms are far less severe, so if that’s the way you want to put out your cigarette for good, then go right ahead, but keep in mind the research discussed in this article as you may be headed for a big nicotine crash if your withdrawal takes over.

A licensed treatment center with well trained staff and medical supervision is the best way, currently available, to treat your addiction safely. Perhaps in the future when neuro-scientists develop new gene therapies and other high tech options, we will benefit, but for now you should treat your body and brain as well as possible and seek out the best treatment option for you.





Going Cold Turkey Could Unravel Your Recovery