Drinking in Moderation vs Abstinence

She was a hockey player and played goalie for several high level mens’ teams. Dr. Klenk also reads avidly and enjoys spending time with her children, playing music, hiking, and participating in cattle herding competitions across the country with her Border Collies. She lives on a working cattle ranch in Ohio with her family and is an active part of the farm in her spare time. Regardless of your path, working with a physician and therapist can provide answers, reassurance, and guidance throughout the process. You also don’t need to have a clear understanding of your goal to start making progress.

That seems a little callous, but it’s often the way we explore our own boundaries with alcohol and drugs and set our own limits. I had to understand that I’d exhausted every possible avenue to moderation before I chose abstinence in my recovery. And once I’d realized that moderation had failed me, over and over again, with disastrous consequences, it was easier to decide on abstinence. When it comes to individuals who struggle with excessive drinking, there is generally no singular correct option for managing this issue. For many, finding the right treatment and recovery options for them can be a difficult process; but it does not have to be. Whether practicing moderation or abstinence, implementing this lifestyle will require a plan.

The potential benefits of quitting, at least temporarily

The harm reduction, or moderation management models have proven much more successful than abstinence based treatment. The markers for success are quite different, and they take into consideration the spectrum of drug and alcohol abuse rather than using a “one size fits all’ approach. So many who are diagnosed with drug addiction or alcohol dependency are done so based on a set of behaviors, and a pattern of use. However, people go through phases https://ecosoberhouse.com/ of their lives, some with more stressors and outside influences and some with less. Inherently someone with a propensity to self soothe using drugs or alcohol will do so more frequently when outside stimuli are creating additional anxiety and stress. With all the money spent each and every year in the pursuit of treatment from drug addiction and alcohol dependence in the United States, providers would do well to offer a wider range of options.

  • I’ve realized that anytime I was out of control, I was bored and unhappy, and maybe more that anything, just creating a structure in my habits.
  • MM accepts that alcohol can create problems in a person’s life, but instead of admitting to powerlessness over the substance, individuals are empowered to learn how to manage and control their drinking.
  • Kern has been helping patients with moderation in a clinical setting for more than a decade, which entails a formal therapeutic protocol that includes using a Breathalyzer and closely monitoring patients’ progress.
  • Once the 30-day sobriety process is complete, individuals will begin to slowly ease back into drinking.
  • Withdrawal symptoms are present when alcohol consumption is stopped.
  • We explain the benefits of not drinking at all and routinely encourage all new clients to start with a period of abstinence, even if their ultimate goal is moderation.

Generally, moderation can be considered a level of involvement with an addictive behavior that has no significant costs. People sometimes mistake cutting back to a less harmful level of involvement as moderation alcohol abstinence vs moderation (e.g. “I used to drink a fifth a day, now I only drink about 10 beers”). Both harm-reduction and moderation approaches are valuable approaches to change, and it is important to distinguish between the two.

Is moderation management safe for alcoholics?

Let the United States move forward the cause of addiction treatment and begin to help countless people that have been lost by the wayside or disheartened because the common, “one size fits all approach” hasn’t helped them. Once the 30-day sobriety process is complete, individuals will begin to slowly ease back into drinking. This is meant to be a gradual and mindful process, in which the individual implements what they have learned during the previous steps into their normal routine. For some individuals, going straight into a 30-day period of abstinence may be too difficult right away.

  • Furthermore, younger , single alcoholics were far more likely to relapse if they were abstinent at 18 months than if they were drinking without problems, even if they were highly alcohol-dependent.
  • If the potential damage of a misstep in moderation efforts is unlikely to result in much more than an unproductive day off on the couch, that is much different than if a marriage or occupation is on the line.
  • While it can seem daunting to practice abstinence, limit your alcohol use, or seek treatment, you can find comfort in the fact that there is no definitive “correct” way to get where you want to be.
  • Among the 1% of Americans (2.8 million) who receive treatment for an alcohol use disorder each year, there are probably very few people with early-stage alcoholism.
  • A heavy drinker who is moderating their drinking will typically feel like they are breaking a bad habit.

I probably would fit the criteria for substance abuse, but not full-blown addiction. Had I not stopped for almost a dozen years, maybe, since addiction is a progressive, chronic disease. I don’t know that it matters, but I want to be clear that this all would have played out differently without the clarity that time brought me. Find Addiction Rehabs is not a medical provider or treatment facility and does not provide medical advice. Find Addiction Rehabs does not endorse any treatment facility or guarantee the quality of care provided, or the results to be achieved, by any treatment facility. The information provided by Find Addiction Rehabs is not a substitute for professional treatment advice.

Very Well Mind: Is Drinking In Moderation Possible for Alcoholics?

Surely produces its non-alcoholic wine using natural ingredients. They partnered with California winemakers to create a wine using traditional methods, and then they removed the alcohol. You have a network of friends, family, and others to support you. Face-to-face and online support MM meetings are available for members to receive and give support. Make a list of previous challenges, as well as the potential benefits of moderation.