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Alcohol Moderation Management: Programs and Steps to Control Drinking

Sara explained to her therapist that she didn’t think she could quit drinking altogether. When out for a nice dinner or attending a get-together, she still wanted the freedom of having a drink or two. Her counselor agreed that limiting her drinking could be a good solution and they set a goal for Sara to cut back her consumption to these special occasions only. Additionally, we offer exceptional continuing care so even after completing your programme; you’re never alone in this fight against alcohol addiction. Whether it’s through continued counselling or group meetings within the community -we’ll be there every step of the way- supporting you as much as needed so that recovery becomes less daunting and more hopeful.

  • You have already made the crucial first step of evaluating alcohol in your life.
  • Only 50% of those who focused on controlled consumption succeeded in controlling their drinking.
  • The Sinclair Method (TSM), which involves taking the drug naltrexone to relearn moderation, has a success rate of 78%.

Can an alcoholic ever drink again in moderation?

For some people, drinking in moderation can be a viable pathway to a healthier life. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the definition of moderate alcohol use differs for men and women. The ability to control drinking varies significantly from person to person and is influenced by a range of factors including genetics, environment, emotional state, and individual psychology. For people suffering from alcohol use disorders, trying to moderate drinking isn’t advised and total abstinence is always recommended. Understanding the psychological factors involved in controlled drinking is crucial too.

alcohol abstinence vs moderation

What is sobriety?

Experts now believe that even moderate drinking can lead to problems that increase the risk of early death from cancer and heart problems. Of the patients studied, 90% of total abstinence patients were still sober two and a half years after treatment. Only 50% of those who focused on controlled consumption succeeded in controlling their drinking. Simply put, those who want to learn to drink in moderation are less likely to achieve their goal, while those who set a goal of quitting drinking entirely see greater success. There is no wrong answer, no one-size-fits-all when it comes to cutting down or quitting.

alcohol abstinence vs moderation

How to Break the Cycle of Alcoholism, Abuse and Neglect

  • You could also get help to better manage your emotions, address past trauma, and understand how anxiety, depression, or other emotional difficulties have powered your alcohol abuse.
  • Research even suggests that fellowship can help more people achieve sobriety than therapy.
  • Moderation has been defined as low-risk drinking and according to Drink Aware  the current recommendation is 14 units for both men and women spread across three or more days.

Also interesting that, as the study authors point out,  all groups improved to varying degrees particularly in terms of fewer drinks per drinking day. Moderation has been defined as low-risk drinking and according to Drink Aware  the current recommendation is 14 units for both men and women spread across three or more days. This is approximately a bottle and a half of wine or 14 single measures of a spirit. Moderation Management is a well-known behavioural change program in the harm reduction field. It defines a moderate drinker as a person with the following characteristics. Previous research suggests that people drinking alcohol in moderation live longer than those who do not consume it.

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You’re not alone, and it’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to managing alcohol use. Alcohol moderation management is possible with medications like naltrexone, which can limit cravings. It doesn’t work for everyone—but for some it is the most effective and workable solution alcohol abstinence vs moderation to problem drinking. One of the best things about moderating your alcohol use is filling those times spent drinking or obtaining alcohol with fun hobbies and activities. By doing so, you may even identify any triggers that cause you to drink—for example, certain social situations, stress from work, or even boredom.

  • For some people, drinking in moderation can be a viable pathway to a healthier life.
  • You may be able to gradually decrease the amount you drink without needing to go for full abstinence from alcohol.
  • However, results of a new study from the University of Greifswald in Germany contradict the idea of drinking alcohol to protect health.
  • A key aspect of abstinence is understanding and navigating through the withdrawal process – a daunting task indeed but necessary for recovery.
  • Get in touch with our team to discuss whether moderation is a possibility for you.
  • Lastly, this being a study, it is very possible that participants were better motivated, more informed, and more likely to put in the effort required to use the moderatedrinking.org program.

For some people it’s an easy decision but for others, weighing up the gains and losses of each option can help. The psychological impact of controlled drinking can be quite profound as well. You might find yourself constantly preoccupied with thoughts about when you’ll have your next drink or whether you’re staying within your limits – this constant monitoring can create stress and mental exhaustion over time. 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.

Which Is Better: Alcohol Moderation or Abstinence?

It’s important to note, too, that not everyone considering these approaches has an alcohol use disorder (AUD). If you view yourself as someone who would like to cut back on how many drinks you have a week, then moderation may be best suited for you. However, if you find yourself struggling with regulating how much alcohol you drink in a day or week, an abstinence-based approach may be necessary for changing your drinking habits. The journey to changing your relationship with alcohol is about progress, not perfection.

  • Family involvement plays an integral role in our treatment process because we understand that addiction does not occur in isolation – it affects everyone who cares about you too.
  • No matter what journey you choose in your recovery, getting support so you don’t have to do it alone is essential.
  • This makes alcohol the third largest preventable cause of death in the country.
  • The key premise of any approach is that moderate drinking is a practical and reasonable goal for those people who face less severe drinking issues.

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