Going cold turkey does work for some alcoholics. However, people with an alcohol dependency will experience physical withdrawal symptoms if they quit drinking cold turkey. For many people these symptoms will be simply uncomfortable, but in severe cases they can be life-threatening. If you're a frequent, heavy, or long-term drinker, you should consult a health care professional before you quit cold turkey to avoid dangerous consequences.
Mild/moderate symptoms include hand tremors, nausea, sweating, confusion, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, and headache, among others.
Severe symptoms include seizures and convulsions, delirium tremens (a state of confusion and hallucinations), vomiting, and fever. These symptoms can be life-threatening and require medical attention.
Quitting cold turkey can be very hard for some people because even mild withdrawal symptoms can be quite unpleasant. It is possible and can work, but is best done under medical supervision. There are specific treatments available to make quitting safe and more comfortable for alcoholics.
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