Anyone who is struggling with a debilitating drug or alcohol addiction and decides to put an end to it will need to make a crucial decision. He can either detox in a professional medical facility or quit cold turkey. Below, we look into the reasons for each decision and attempt to determine which is the better choice out of the two.
A Medical Facility
By checking in to a medical facility like a drug rehabilitation center or even a hospital, an addict will be proactively reaching out for help. Drug rehabilitation centers offer one on one counseling with professionals that will help the addict recover from his addiction through meaningful conversations. Sometimes therapists will even bring in family members to counseling sessions who have been negatively affected by their family member’s addiction. The goal of treatment with a professional therapist in a medical facility environment is to completely end the addiction. If the therapist can only convince the addict to return to “casual” drug or alcohol use, he will consider his work with that patient to be a failure.
Aside from working one on one with a professional, drug rehabilitation centers often provide the opportunity for addicts to experience group therapy. They’ll be able to socialize with fellow addicts who are experiencing the same withdrawal symptoms as themselves. It is oftentimes beneficial to share hobbies, experiences and interests with others that do not involve drugs and alcohol. Part of recovery includes being able to rebuild one’s life with new behaviors that do not center around substance abuse. Being in a professional environment with encouragement from therapists, counselors, doctors and even others going through the same struggle is the most prudent way to tackle and addiction and empower the addict to develop new relationships with people who do not abuse drugs and alcohol.
Overcoming a significant obstacle is always easier when you have the help of others. Keep in mind that medical facilities will have medical equipment on hand to treat individuals who are experiencing strong withdrawal reactions. If the addict is ever in need of an IV, a sedative or any other form of treatment, a medical facility will be the ideal place for treatment.
The Cold Turkey Route
Alternatively, addicts can choose to quit drugs and alcohol “cold turkey”, meaning that they stop using all at once. This is quite the risky way to go about ending an addiction, especially if it is done all alone, without the help of others. Serious drug and alcohol addicts are likely to undergo some serious health problems after going cold turkey. They run the risk of heart attacks, strokes, fevers, chills, aches and pains, poor sleep and much more. This happens because the body has to get used to operating without the assistance of the drugs or alcohol that the addict had been pumping into his body for years or longer.
Quitting cold turkey is also risky because it is usually a solo activity. Engaging in therapy in a professional drug rehabilitation center involves communicating with experienced therapists and oftentimes fellow addicts who are also struggling to recover. People who learn new behaviors from recovering addicts and have a sounding board to utilize during their lowest moments typically have a better chance of beating their addiction and continuing on with a sober life.
A Medical Facility Vs. Quitting Cold Turkey: Which Is Better?
The decision between quitting cold turkey and checking oneself into a medical facility should be a fairly easy one to make. A medical facility offers the solid social and medical support that addicts need to properly beat an addiction. Quitting cold turkey is a much more difficult and lonely route to recovery that results in success for very few people.