Everything that I’m thinking about the drink and what it means to drink and what it means not to drink and how I believe I’m going to feel and how I will feel when I say no and what’s happening in my body once I start. We are taught that your desire is fixed, and what I mean by that, we are taught that if you love to drink, you will always love to drink.

  • I’m not saying that this is a decision that I’ve made for the rest of my life.
  • For cancer mortality, increased ORs existed for those with former alcohol or drug use disorders and for current daily smokers of 20 or more cigarettes per day.
  • Only about 9 percent of alcoholics in the United States are classified under the subtype of “chronic severe,” NIAAA publishes.
  • Understanding your relationship with alcohol is easier said than done, but there are some signs to look out for if you or a loved one are dealing with alcohol abuse.
  • Regardless of your path, working with a physician and therapist can provide answers, reassurance, and guidance throughout the process.
  • Filled with members at all points in our moderation journey, members share their experiences, offer insights, and encourage each other along the way.

The Sinclair method is an approach that involves taking either Revia or Vivitrol before people drink. These medications minimize the endorphin release in the brain that usually accompanies drinking. Because this makes drinking less pleasurable, people are less likely to crave alcohol. With the Sinclair Method, Revia or Vivitrol must be taken one hour before drinking alcohol. “Moderate consumption” is limited to one to two alcoholic drinks per day for healthy men and one alcoholic drink per day for healthy women.

Ep #182: Abstinence vs. Moderation

At the time of prohibition, the political climate of the United States was skewing heavily toward conservative religious morality in a strict and restrictive fashion. This dichotomy between cultural morals and the countercultural alcohol phenomenon, created a landscape that was perfectly suited to support one form of treatment for drug and alcohol dependency; the abstinence based approach. Nordström and Berglund, like Wallace et al. , selected high-prognosis patients who were socially stable. The Wallace et al. patients had a high level of abstinence; patients in Nordström and Berglund had a high level of controlled drinking. Social stability at intake was negatively related in Rychtarik et al. to consumption as a result either of abstinence or of limited intake. Apparently, social stability predicts that alcoholics will succeed better whether they choose abstinence or reduced drinking. But other research indicates that the pool of those who achieve remission can be expanded by having broader treatment goals.

alcohol abstinence vs moderation

They’re just looking for someone to say, hey, here’s the magic number. Just never have more than two drinks in a sitting and here’s how you do it. I don’t teach that because that is straight up diet culture. Trying to settle on some magic number that is right for you is the problem of moderation. How one glass of wine feels tonight, how it feels tomorrow, how it feels the next day, how it feels the next month, how it feels the next year is going to always be different. The focus is desire is fixed and you must restrain yourself, but it’s not fixed. Now listen, moderation has its own set of problems in my mind.

When to Choose Residential Treatment Options

When I first set about writing this article, many of the issues I was going to bring up had to do with research on alcohol relapse patterns, my own story, and other evidence I’ve already introduced on All About Addiction. NYC-based content strategist with over 3 years editing and writing in the recovery space. Strong believer in accessible, empathic, and fact-based communication.

Should I cut down or stop drinking?

Quitting is strongly advised if you: Have tried cutting down but cannot stay within the limits you set. Have had alcohol use disorder (AUD) or now have any symptoms. Have a physical or mental health condition that is caused or being worsened by drinking.

And then from there, creating your own unique path that’s right for you. I make a decision right now for me that alcohol doesn’t serve me. And if you don’t know https://ecosoberhouse.com/ how to do that right now, that’s okay. It’s something that you have to be committed to learning. And you know what, you should want to be in charge of yourself.

Abstinence Is Not the Only Option

Over 6 percent of the adult population in the United States struggled with an alcohol use disorder in 2015, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism publishes. Alcohol is the most frequently used addictive substance in America, the National Council alcohol abstinence vs moderation on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence further explains. A heavy drinker who is moderating their drinking will typically feel like they are breaking a bad habit. If the attempt doesn’t feel like dieting or exercise, it’s probably not an honest attempt.

  • Of the patients studied, 90 percent of total abstinence patients were still sober two and a half years after treatment.
  • It’s for those who like a do-it-yourself approach with very little structure.
  • His work has been published in leading professional journals and popular publications around the globe.
  • MM encourages people to take the month of January off from drinking.
  • You select your goal to either cut down or stop drinking altogether.

It also solved his ongoing dilemma of never knowing how much was too much. We decided to do a 30 together, and after two false starts – there was a party to go to! And a nice Italian dinner, which of course cannot go without wine – we are now 20 days in and feeling fine. It feels like something that might be very good to do once a year, in fact. MM encourages people to take the month of January off from drinking.