“Cold turkey” refers to the abrupt cessation of a substance dependence and the resulting unpleasant experience, as opposed to gradually easing the process through reduction over time or by using replacement medication.
Sudden withdrawal from drugs such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates can be extremely dangerous, leading to potentially fatal seizures. For long-term alcoholics, going cold turkey can cause life-threatening delirium tremens, rendering this an inappropriate method for breaking an alcohol addiction.
In the case of opioid withdrawal, going “cold turkey” is extremely unpleasant but less dangerous. Life-threatening issues are unlikely unless one has a pre-existing medical condition. […]
“Cold turkey.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 20 June 2022, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_turkey.