Sometimes not having to stop makes it easier to do it. If quitting is your ultimate goal, starting with moderation may help you achieve it. And even if you don’t plan to quit, you may find that you lose interest in alcohol after practicing moderation. While the burden to deliver effective treatments falls on health care providers, individual factors can impact how well someone responds to these treatments. Among the most widely studied are how motivated and confident someone is in being able to reduce or quit drinking. Given the field’s historical emphasis on abstinence-based approaches, key individual factors to treatment outcome remain more of a mystery when it comes to moderation-focused treatment, sometimes called “harm reduction”.
Is moderate drinking better than abstinence?
When is abstinence a better choice? Although moderation may be a good starting point for many drinkers, it is not the best approach for everyone with a drinking problem. People with severe drinking problems generally find moderation difficult to maintain and often do better with abstinence.
The focus of moderation management is not to deter substance abusers from abstinence or draw them away from an already present commitment to such. Likewise, MM acts as a gateway to abstinence later on for a large number of participants. Many treatment facilities and support groups aim to help individuals achieve and maintain long-term sobriety through abstinence. Alcohol addiction treatment programs can guide individuals through a safe and effective medical detox, followed by counseling that targets the reasons behind addiction.
The influence of setting on drinking behaviors: The laboratory vs the barroom
“I’m not someone who drinks when they’re depressed, I drink when I’m up,” he said. “If I’m feeling good, I want to be out being social, and that means drinking.” The group offered some tips and tricks for sticking to the four-drink-a-night maximum, and for finding ways to be social without drinking. Treatment providers are available 24/7 to answer your questions about rehab, whether it’s for you or a loved one. Submit your number and receive a free call today from a treatment provider. Do you want to cut down on your drinking rather than give up alcohol completely? Dr. Washton offers personalized concierge care that can help you learn how to moderate your drinking within safer limits.
- We are dedicated to transforming the despair of addiction into a purposeful life of confidence, self-respect and happiness.
- The results indicate that alcoholics can stop drinking after having begun, and thus support the hope that a technology may be developed for teaching moderation as a treatment goal.
- Moderation management doesn’t work for individuals who are addicted to alcohol.
- Instead of drinking alcohol, plan out the non-alcoholic beverages you can order or make instead.
However, most alcohol treatment programs are designed for people with the most severe drinking problems. These health risks can be severe, and some even contribute to alcohol-related mortality rates. On the other hand, upon cutting back on drinking, many heavy drinkers experience improvements in sleep, cognitive function, weight loss, productivity, interpersonal relationships, energy, and overall mental health.
Techniques for Moderation
Planning exactly how you’ll say no—in a quick, polite, and convincing way—can make it easier for you to stick with your convictions and avoid a spiral of uncomfortable excuses. I spent the first semester of my sophomore year of college snorting speed. I also used marijuana to come down, drank excessively while high, and took a lot of ecstasy. By the time winter break rolled around, I was emaciated and had shingles. I went to my parents’ house and slept for two days straight. When he was 18, someone attacked my twin brother on the US marine corps base where he was stationed.
Kishline developed the Moderation Management program after consulting with alcohol addiction treatment professionals. The organization also supports members who choose abstinence when necessary. The moderation management philosophy highlights the importance of taking an individualized approach to a complex issue like alcohol consumption. It’s kind of like a more serious version of the Sober Curious movement.
We can help you cut down or quit
There is a feeling of freedom that results from this commitment where one does not feel hopeless or without choices. Combined with a consistent and aggressive disputing of urges to use, most find their messages to use either decrease to nothing or become infrequent and easily handled. It may not be easy to see now, but your life can be restored to where you are in control, your addiction and the urges will recede to an unpleasant memory.
Moderate drinking can be achieved through keeping track of how much you drink, pacing yourself when you drink, avoiding drinking with heavy drinkers, and pinpointing your heavy drinking triggers. By eliminating the sometimes daunting notion of zero-alcohol use, many find a moderation-based approach more attainable in their daily lives. While research shows long-term benefits to abstinence, this approach can leave out those who want to change their drinking habits but are not ready https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/alcohol-insomnia-causes-and-ways-to-eliminate/ to abstain completely. Many treatment facilities require that their “clients” remain substance-free, which may deter those wanting to adapt their relationship with alcohol. To evaluate this question, it’s important to recognize that alcohol use disorder (AUD) is diagnosed on a spectrum, and can be addressed in different ways depending on the individual. More people than ever are recognizing the negative effects of drinking alcohol and re-evaluating how it shows up in their life.
Make Silicon Beach Behavioral Health Your Way to Wellness
If you do slip, the outcome does not have to be an experience without worth, it can be a powerful learning experience. It does not mean that you alcohol abstinence vs moderation will repeat this behavior in the future. Forgive yourself, learn from it and remember that a commitment applies to what we plan for the future.