go cold turkey

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go cold turkey

To stop doing or using something abruptly and completely. Most commonly said of drug, alcohol, or tobacco use, it can also refer to any bad habit. I tried quitting smoking for several years, using nicotine patches, gums, and even hypnotherapy. Eventually, I just had to go cold turkey and rely on my own willpower. I was eating way too much junk food and was gaining a lot of weight as a result. Finally, I just went cold turkey and stopped buying anything but healthy food.
See also: cold, turkey

go cold turkey

Inf. to stop (doing something) without tapering off. (Originally drug slang. Now concerned with breaking any habit.) I had to stop smoking, so I went cold turkey. It's awful! When heroin addicts go cold turkey, they get terribly sick.
See also: cold, turkey

go cold turkey

INFORMAL
1. If someone goes cold turkey, they suddenly stop taking drugs that they depend on. You can't just go cold turkey, because that's not how you successfully deal with addiction. Note: People use cold turkey to describe the experience of doing this. His book describes the 30-day cold turkey of a heroin addict.
2. If someone goes cold turkey, they suddenly stop having or doing something that they are used to. Unless you go cold turkey and leave your mobile phone at home, you will have no peace during your vacation. Note: People use cold turkey to describe the experience of doing this. Compulsive shopping is just like any other addiction and the recession means cold turkey for Judith Summers.
See also: cold, turkey

go cold turkey

suddenly and completely stop taking drugs.
The image is of one of the possible unpleasant side effects of this, involving bouts of shivering and sweating that cause goose flesh or goose pimples, a bumpy condition of the skin which resembles the flesh of a dead plucked turkey.
See also: cold, turkey