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According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction, more than 17 million people in the United States suffer from alcohol use disorder, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that nearly 40 million are involved in dangerous alcohol consumption. . drawings.
Stop Drinking Cold Turkey Dangerous
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a medical condition characterized by impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse health or social consequences. The term is now used to describe conditions that people may refer to as alcohol abuse, abuse or addiction.
Quitting Drinking Cold Turkey
Long-term alcohol use – especially when drinking heavily or excessively – can increase the risk of a variety of physical, mental, and neurological problems. These negative consequences include dementia, stroke, heart problems, various cancers, liver diseases, depression and anxiety, in addition to unintentional injuries such as car accidents or falls.
CDC figures show that approximately 95,000 deaths in the country each year are attributed to alcohol-related causes, making the substance the third preventable cause of death.
The risk of injury increases with the amount of alcohol you drink. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults only drink alcohol in moderation if they decide to drink alcohol.
This means limiting consumption to two drinks or less a day for men and one drink or less a day for women, but the guidelines also state that even drinking this amount can increase the overall risk of death from a variety of causes. Studies show that two in three adult alcoholics in the United States drink above moderate levels at least once a month.
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Given the potential harms of alcohol consumption, it’s not surprising that many people want to quit altogether.
Recent trends show that Americans are drinking less. The 2021 Gallup poll showed a 5% decrease in the number of American adults reporting drinking alcohol compared to 2019. The survey also showed that drinkers consumed, on average, less than before. .
Soft drink sales are booming and sober bars are opening in different parts of the country. Some celebrities have even taken action. For example, in 2020 Chrissy Teigen announced that she was sober.
Going “cold turkey” is a phrase that means stopping, rather than reducing, substance use. This approach can be overwhelming for someone with severe AUD and can cause severe, even life-threatening, withdrawal symptoms, so it may not be appropriate in some situations.
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However, people with manageable alcohol consumption may decide that this is an appropriate step to quit.
For people who drink a lot but don’t necessarily have the AUD and want to quit, there are some steps you can take to help them quit.
Peter Finn, a professor of psychology and psychiatry who runs the Nature Alcohol Research Laboratory at Indiana University, said.
If you’re thinking of going cold turkey, one of the first things you can do is plan ahead.
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“Decide what kinds of activities will replace your regular drinking, and then start those activities before you stop drinking completely,” Finn says. “The best choice is regular exercise and participation in activities that include a social atmosphere and participation.”
You can also make a list of all the pros of not drinking and the cons of continuing to drink. Constantly remind yourself of the advantages of stopping and all the disadvantages of continuing.
Finn said it’s also important to change the environment. Minimize exposure to drinking cues or situations and consider conditions surrounding drinking, such as stress.
A woman who thinks. Stress reduction techniques, such as meditation, can be helpful in the process of quitting alcohol. iStock
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“These symptoms and conditions will increase your urge to drink and drink in general – don’t drink alcohol at home, don’t go to bars,” she said. “Learn stress reduction techniques like meditation. Tell those closest to you to stop drinking alcohol. They will probably strongly support you.”
If you regularly find yourself in situations where others drink, it can help you decide which soft drink to drink and which to avoid. And it’s a good idea not to stay too long in a drinking place. “You should be ready,” Finn said.
Some people who stop drinking may experience cravings, which can take many forms and are common in people who quit, even among those without serious problems.
“It can appear physical and often manifests as irrational anxiety along with thoughts of drinking,” Finn explains. she said.
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When you are willing, you can: distract yourself by focusing on something else; Do exercises such as 10 push-ups or walking or walking; or relax and engage in mindfulness meditation.
Finally, it’s important to recognize that changing habits is difficult, will take effort, and you will experience some successes and failures, but you have to commit to keep going.
“Motivation changes from day to day and from hour to hour when a person starts to quit smoking. The important thing is to try to keep your motivation high,” Finn says.
Various factors such as how much a person drinks, how long they have been drinking, and their age will play a role in how the quitting process will progress.
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Finn said anyone who drinks a lot of alcohol on a daily basis should cut down on alcohol a little bit each week before quitting cold turkey and see if they experience withdrawal symptoms or discomfort such as anxiety, tremors, restlessness or sweating.
If the person is showing significant withdrawal symptoms, formal treatment should be sought. If only minor symptoms such as high anxiety are encountered, I can continue with the steps above.
A greedy man. People with severe alcohol use disorder should seek formal treatment and be evaluated by an addiction treatment specialist. iStock
“If a person experiences significant withdrawal or impairment in cognitive, emotional, relational, and occupational functioning, or significant tolerance—the core symptoms of alcohol dependence and binge drinking—then they should seek formal treatment and be evaluated by an addiction treatment specialist and a physician. Finn said.
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For someone who doesn’t have the AUD, Finn says it’s not dangerous at all to stop drinking cold turkey.
“It’s actually much healthier to quit drinking when you don’t have an alcohol use disorder,” he said.
According to Finn, you will experience a range of health benefits in the first few weeks and months after quitting smoking.
For example, liver function improves when people stop drinking. Even a very small daily intake can affect liver function.
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Quitting smoking will also lead to increased energy as well as gastrointestinal function, blood sugar regulation, sleep, mood and cognitive functions including memory and concentration.
Unless the person has an AUD, quitting doesn’t have any particularly bad side effects. Adverse effects tend to occur when a person has some degree of addiction.
However, if a person drinks to reduce anxiety, improve mood, or improve social interaction, anxiety may increase, mood may plummet, and social interaction may be difficult, but it only serves in conjunction with alcohol. “Furthermore, this may outweigh any minor adverse effects, as a person’s overall health will improve significantly after quitting smoking,” Finn said.
“The important thing is that the person does not have severe AUD – in such cases, by definition, the person will experience withdrawal symptoms.”
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For those with AUD, quitting cold turkey leads to severe and sometimes severe withdrawal characterized by tremors, tremors, and severe hallucinations, among other symptoms. People with alcohol dependence and any serious cases of AUD should seek medical advice and seek help from an addiction specialist.
Finn says people who quit daily drinking but don’t have a severe AUD can expect to feel better within 48 hours. Their mood and well-being will likely improve in about one to two weeks.
The benefits of quitting alcohol include better sleep, brighter skin, a healthy weight, better mental health, better memory and thinking, not to mention the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. long-term
Do you have a health problem? Have a question about addiction? Tell us about health@. We may seek expert advice and your story may be included. Alcoholism is a chronic disease that affects both the drinker and those around him. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that the number of adults with alcohol use disorder (AUD) in the United States is approximately 14 million. When?
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