Although it sounds appetizing, the term ‘cold turkey’ has nothing to do with food. Instead, it’s the process of abruptly and entirely discontinuing the use of addictive drugs or a regular pattern of conduct. Some say ‘cold turkey’ refers to the goosebumps and other skin reactions that may occur during withdrawal.

How Alcohol Works On Your Brain

If you want to know what happens to your brain when you suddenly quit drinking alcohol, drug detox doctors in White Marsh recommend understanding how it works on your brain. Alcohol’s sedative properties help you unwind and put away your worries, and it disrupts the brain’s normal communication mechanisms.

Even more concerning than the general slowing of bodily functions that occurs with excessive alcohol drinking is the potentially fatal slowing of the respiratory system. This danger multiplies if other drugs are consumed in addition to alcohol—this is called polysubstance use and it is extremely risky.

Additionally, alcohol stimulates the release of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain’s reward circuits. Dopamine is a chemical messenger that facilitates well-being, including joy, satisfaction, pleasure, and long-term memory formation. The brain adjusts to the presence of alcohol—and the resulting, near-consistent supply of dopamine—in proportion to how frequently it’s consumed. The brain’s natural processes operate improperly after abruptly stopping alcohol usage. This results in a lack of dopamine and other factors, contributing to the problems associated with quitting alcohol.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

An addiction doctor in White Marsh confirms that abstaining from alcohol for just 12 to 24 hours might bring on withdrawal symptoms. Those who are heavy or chronic drinkers may feel the effects of alcohol withdrawal considerably more quickly. Many alcoholics have learned to live in a way that allows them to maintain a constant blood alcohol level. Even in the initial few hours of sobriety, a drop in blood alcohol level might set off a chain reaction of unpleasant effects.

Mild Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

It may take as little as six hours for mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms to become noticeable. These signs and symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Although these signs and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be exceedingly unpleasant and even life-threatening, they are not the most hazardous. For example, at the beginning of alcohol detox, many people suffer the symptoms of sudden alcohol cessation (SAC), which are brought on by the body’s first shock at no longer having access to alcohol.

The more prolonged and severe an addiction, the more dire its consequences may be. This is the stage where alcohol withdrawal is most likely to result in death. Moreover, SAC comes with a list of some very severe consequences;

Therefore, doctors at Suboxone Treatment Centers in Maryland strongly suggest visiting a seeking professional help if decide to quit alcohol or any drug.

A woman needing alcohol addiction treatment in White Marsh.

Looking For Alcohol Addiction Treatment in White Marsh?

Quitting alcohol cold turkey is not recommended at all. If you or a loved one feels it’s time to get help, reach out to MD M.A.T.T., a suboxone treatment center in Maryland.

Contact us to schedule an appointment with our suboxone doctors in White Marsh for a healthier, drug- and alcohol-free life!