Along with teaching and telling stories, part of my goal here at All About Addiction is to get important information out to those who can benefit from it.
Most drug users who quit drug use "cold turkey" have to go through withdrawal of some sort. Withdrawal is never comfortable, but sometimes it can actually be dangerous. The list below outlines some drugs that should NEVER be quit suddenly without medical supervision. This is the reason why some rehab treatment is preceded by a medical detox period lasting anywhere from 2 days to a week or more.
Much of the danger in withdrawal from all of these drugs has to do with the body's response to the extreme changes in the chemical processes going on in the brain and the rest of the body. Alcohol, Benzos, and Opiates interference with the GABA system, the body's most common downregulator.
Withdrawal from these drugs is like trying to turn the heat up in a cold house with a broken thermostat and an out of control heater—it won't always lead to disaster, but it's a bad idea.
That's pretty much it. "Cold Turkey" withdrawal from cocaine, marijuana, crystal meth, ecstasy, GHB (never mix GHB with alcohol though!!!), and many other recreationally used drugs will not lead to death or anything near death in the vast majority of cases. While it may make you uncomfortable, and you may feel moody, constipated, dehydrated, hungry or nauseous, and a whole slew of other symptoms, the chances of someone actually dying from withdrawal are very small.
If you have any more specific questions regarding your case though, don't shy from asking me!
© 2010 Adi Jaffe, All Rights Reserved
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