Abstinence Or Moderation: Is There A Correct Choice?

Conventional wisdom has insisted on complete abstinence for people who have drinking problems, but moderation may be better advice. The current issue of the Harvard Mental Health Newsletter reports that it may be best to recommend that men have up to two drinks per day and women, one drink per day. This is certainly a conservative definition of moderation for many drinkers, but an amount unlikely to cause ill health effects. The authors explain that individuals who are alcohol dependent will probably not be able to control the drinking to that extent, and therefore, may realize their alcohol dependence and seek help. Drinking in moderation can be an effective part of an alcohol treatment program, especially for younger patients.

We sale high quality 1:1 swiss replica watches uk shop,aaa fake watches uk for life. luxury brand is being deluged with opportunities,fast delivery!

These Hublot replica watches are among the first true Hublot replica to be made available.

Discover the super clone Audemars Piguet Replica Watches. Best fake AP watches on the market. The real Swiss-made parts and superclone movements.

alcohol abstinence vs moderation

For example, someone might want to cut back on the amount they drink, or maybe slow down their rate of drinking. Moderation offers a path to sobriety without completely eliminating drinking. Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink, or taking breaks from drinking alcohol, are ways to get your alcohol problem under control while providing space for you to address the issues that power your drinking. One way to evaluate whether you may be making risky choices with alcohol is to take this 10-question True/False evaluation to review your usual drinking practices. This short video includes some of the benefits you could experience just by drinking less alcohol and outlines some of the programs and resources available to you if you decide to manage your alcohol with the help of the AMP.

Does Drinking In Moderation Compare To Total Abstinence?

With the support of an expert Care Team, many people begin their journey by gradually reducing their weekly alcohol consumption. The idea of moderation and mindful drinking is also a great way for people who are asking themselves “should I stop drinking? Proactively cutting back on drinking can start to illuminate how drinking less can give you more, and create the mental clarity to identify your goals and values. There are no requirements for changing your relationship with alcohol and seeking treatment.

  • Without addressing those needs, it’s like trying to cap an active volcano with a giant boulder.
  • For some, their decision to cut back on or abstain from drinking is connected to a desire to be healthier, save money, or reestablish their views on their alcohol consumption.
  • If moderation is your chosen objective, then I would suggest you try it and see how you get on, you wont know if it’s possible until you commit to a structured approach, track your journey towards moderate drinking and review your progress.
  • When considered as an entire sample of 84 individuals, participants evidenced significant reductions in all three outcomes over the 7 week intervention period (total drinks, drinking days, and drinks per drinking day).

I can’t even think of how many times I’ve heard the notion that complete, total, abstinence should be the only goal for all people who abuse drug or alcohol. This idea is so pervasive that most addiction treatment providers actually expel clients for relapsing, a notion that makes no sense to me especially if you believe in the idea that addiction is a chronic disease. In fact, even most research institutions and well-informed providers use total abstinence as the marker for addiction treatment success. A lack of treatment alternatives for these people has led to a great deal of unnecessary suffering. They continue to engage in harmful drinking patterns and suffer increasingly severe consequences, not seeing a viable way out.

Alcohol Moderation Management Programs

In general, “more serious” consequences are not reversible, and call for an immediate and serious response like rehab, abstinence, and support groups. “Less serious” consequences might not be ideal, but they are generally repairable and reversible, and might give you more time and leeway to experiment with moderation to see if it might work for you. Adi Jaffe, Ph.D., is a lecturer at UCLA and the CEO of IGNTD, an online company that produces podcasts and educational programs on mental health and addiction. Most of the information collected was self-reported by the participants, which is known to be somewhat problematic, so the researchers also contacted significant others who were used to corroborate the drinking behavior reported by the participants. In case you’ve never heard of Moderation Management (MM), you should check out their website. Moderation management offers face-to-face and online meetings, a listserv, a forum, online alcohol drinking limit guidelines, a self-help book that can be ordered through the site, and an online calendar where users can report their drinking.

  • Whether you find support in the form of recovery meetings, online forums, or in therapy, finding a place to share and get support from other people will greatly increase your chances of success.
  • However, a thin line can divide when it’s appropriate to seek treatment or when moderation or abstinence is enough.
  • Alcohol addiction treatment programs can guide individuals through a safe and effective medical detox, followed by counseling that targets the reasons behind addiction.
  • To determine how much coverage you’ll receive, contact your health insurance provider along with the addiction treatment providers you’re interested in.

What’s more, they refuse to define themselves as “alcoholic/addict” or give in to pressure to attend AA meetings. More people than ever are recognizing the negative effects of drinking alcohol and re-evaluating how it shows up in their life. As a physician on the Monument platform, I speak with patients every day who are looking to change their drinking habits in order to improve their health and happiness. Once they’ve decided they want to make a change, a question many people find themselves asking is whether sobriety or moderation is a better option for them.

Substance Abuse Treatment for Executives and Professionals

It’s a healthy step in a positive direction, and is often achievable with medication. It involves the use of medications like naltrexone which help reduce alcohol cravings. They’re able to enjoy an occasional drink while still avoiding negative drinking behaviors and consequences. While the pandemic seems to have triggered substantial https://ecosoberhouse.com/ increases in alcohol consumption, and in alcohol abuse, this is true on a macro level. For some people, the pandemic created more opportunities for reducing drinking. More time at home may have contributed to less peer pressure to drink, less time in a “wet” culture, and lifestyle changes that might support a shift towards moderation.

alcohol abstinence vs moderation

The way I see it, our goal in treating addiction is to help a client improve their functioning, which is often being hampered by substance abuse but that is not necessarily completely dependent on it. And now there is even a treatment center focused on moderation as a treatment goal. Previous research suggests that people drinking alcohol in moderation live longer than those who do not consume it. Another, older study concludes that men who drink moderate amounts of alcohol have a higher life expectancy than individuals who drink alcohol occasionally or heavily. Earlier studies have shown an increased mortality risk in people who abstain from alcohol, compared with individuals who consume low to moderate alcohol amounts. However, the authors of the recent study chalk this up to risky behaviors that people abstaining from alcohol engaged in earlier in their lives.

Alcohol Moderation or Abstinence?

However, for heavy drinkers and those with an addiction, reducing the number of drinks they consume without supervised help can lead to unintentional alcohol withdrawal. Given our findings, I think it would be hard to argue that people who struggle with alcohol problems have to accept abstinence as their goal in treatment and in life. We are finding very good support for the notion that there is a place for moderation treatment and that, overall, seeking moderation results in outcomes that are at least as good as seeking abstinence. Moderation of your drug and alcohol use generally will only work if you have some control over your drug use and still have a strong self control. If you don’t have enough self control to stop when you need to, then moderation generally will devolve into unrestricted use.

Learning to drink in moderation can be the goal, or it can be a way station on the way to abstinence. Once you are able to allow yourself some alcohol in controlled circumstances, you may ultimately choose to give up drinking entirely. Limited social drinking is a realistic goal for some people who struggle with alcohol, and should definitely be considered by people who have not been able to successfully adhere to abstinence. The question should no longer be whether moderation treatment should be an option but rather what treatment offers the best outcomes for those seeking moderation. With the aid of medications like naltrexone and more, we can get substantial improvements in drinking behavior even if we don’t achieve abstinence. Conventional wisdom may have you believe that if you suffer with alcohol issues on any level then abstinence-based recovery is the only option since it is an incurable disease that will get worse over time.

All treatment plans are customized to meet your needs, and treatment for co-occurring disorders is available as well. Ask yourself what were the excuses you gave yourself to use and dispute them. If you do slip, the outcome does not have to be an experience without worth, it can be a powerful learning experience. Forgive yourself, learn from it and remember that a commitment applies to what we plan for the future. Abstinence may not be a realistic solution with some addictions, such as eating and in some cases sexual addictions.