Is It Possible, or Even Safe, for an Alcoholic to Quit Drinking “Cold Turkey”?

Question by J-WO: Is it possible, or even safe, for an alcoholic to quit drinking “cold turkey”?
I’ve finally acknowledged to myself that I have a drinking problem. I’m 46 and I started when I was 14, to kill the pain of an abusive father and VERY dysfunctional family life. I’ve let some close, good friends know so that they can support me. However, I noticed a couple days ago that I was becoming very irritable and nervous. It has only been a little over a week that I’ve stopped drinking. I didn’t drink every day, but sometimes I would go on “spurts” of drinking every day, and even started drinking in the morning. I also have gone on “binges” – becoming quite sick, vomiting, blacking out – the whole thing. Then I could go for a few days or even weeks , without it. However, lately I have experienced a lot of personal trauma – the break-up of a 7-year relationship, raising two teenagers, my job has been extra stressful, and of course facing the holidays. I have been handling it horribly, by drinking constantly. So, I made the decision that I truly need to quit. Alcoholism is in my family and I need to straighten up. But like I said, I found myself to be horribly shaky and grouchy a couple of days ago. So, I had one drink, a mixed drink. And I felt relief. I didn’t crave it as much and I remembered all too well the horrible experience and 2 day hangover I had a couple of weekends ago (which led to my decision to quit). I take Valium for anxiety, only as needed, but noticed on the information that came with it that it is also used to treat alcohol withdrawal. If I make an appointment with my doctor and tell him my problem, is it possible for him to adjust my dosage and handle my addiction that way? Or do I really have to attend AA meetings? I do have a strong support network and adding more meetings/appointments, etc. to my schedule would do me in. I’m a single mom and need to stop running everywhere every time I turn around. Any advice out there? Anyone been through the same thing and had success at it without attending any meetings?

Best answer:

Answer by flutterby
my brother in law finally quit cold turkey.

he was sent to a program that told him he had to start drinking again to do the program. it’s been 10 years and he is still sober.

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One Response to “Is It Possible, or Even Safe, for an Alcoholic to Quit Drinking “Cold Turkey”?”

  • Helen W.:

    You do NOT have to attend AA meetings to get sober. That is a myth which is reinforced by “reality” TV shows like “Intervention”, but it is not true. In fact, MOST people who quit drinking do so on without treatment or a “program”.

    Also, if you feel you need some social support, there are ways to get it without adopting the “AA way of life” as they call it…meetings all the time, labeling yourself as an alcoholic for the rest of your life, putting the meetings ahead of your family, believing that you can’t stay sober except through God’s power, etc.

    My own suggestion would be that you check out the SMART Recovery website, where they have lots of good tools for dealing with exactly the sort of situation that threw you off last week. What happened to you happens to most of us who’ve quit; it’s hard. But it’s not impossible. I quit drinking over 11 years ago and I can tell you that it’s worth the effort!