Sober living

Who Is Most Likely to Benefit from Moderation-focused Alcohol Treatment? Recovery Research Institute

Once you are able to control how much you drink, you may find that you’re better able to enjoy family gatherings, social events, and work events. 12-step programs alone do not usually address the underlying need that’s been suppressed through alcohol. Without addressing those needs, it’s like trying to cap an active volcano with a giant boulder. Sooner or later, the pressure will build up and the volcano will explode—or you will relapse.

By the time winter break rolled around, I was emaciated and had shingles. 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. The best course of action is the one that will work the best for you.

Alcohol Self-Assessment Quiz

Abstinence and moderation both have pros and cons; however, moderation would seem to be the more difficult option for one main reason. There are also support groups dedicated to abstinence, including the most famous support group of all, Alcoholics Anonymous. These kinds of groups become a source of support from people who understand, who are looking for solidarity and hope.

It is the most well-known program using moderation management as an alternative to abstinence. Living the teetotal life by abstaining from alcohol may not work for everyone. Moderation management programs allow responsible drinking while focusing on managing problematic episodes. 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 (NIAAA) publishes. Alcohol is the most frequently used addictive substance in America, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) further explains. The US Department of Health & Human Services recommends no mo than 2 drinks per day for men and only 1 drink per day for women.

What is “moderation management”?

The idea is that these medications take away the motivation to drink. Abstinence is easily defined as when you abstain or choose not to partake in a particular activity. For our present discussion, we’re specifically referring to abstinence in relation to alcohol and drug use. Even people who are really into it don’t go to meetings all the time. Some people can’t go to meetings at all because they don’t exist in a lot of places, they just follow the program online.

Is it OK to drink a beer a day?

Moderate alcohol use for healthy adults generally means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men. Examples of one drink include: Beer: 12 fluid ounces (355 milliliters) Wine: 5 fluid ounces (148 milliliters)

In 2013, 8,260 people died following the use of heroin in the United States.[7] Thus, moderation management can be dangerous when used to end certain drug habits. MM asks participants to take a realistic look at their drinking patterns and reasons for drinking. After evaluating drinking patterns and possible concerns related to alcohol consumption as well as gaining an understanding of what moderate drinking entails, a person may then decide if this program will work for them.

We can help you cut down or quit

Some might possibly be deceived into believing that because they live in countries where the use of wine or beer at meals is customary, it would be inconvenient or impossible to refrain from their use. True, it might be inconvenient, but it would seldom, if ever, be impossible. And what if there should be ridicule or misunderstanding of one’s motives for refusing intoxicants in places where the majority are using them without, perhaps, giving the question much thought and without apparent harm? Mrs. Eddy has said (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 451), “Christian Scientists must live under the constant pressure of the apostolic command to come out from the material world and be separate.”

Therefore man, expressing perfect Mind, reflects the attributes of this Mind, including satisfaction, contentment, completeness; hence there is no truth in the belief that man could have any unfulfilled desire. The belief, then, that there could be any satisfaction, pleasure, benefit, or advantage in the gratification of the appetite for tobacco or intoxicants is a false belief. And the obvious remedy for this belief is to comply with the admonition of St. Paul, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”—that Mind which is God, infinite good, in which are found perfect, sinless satisfaction, joy, and peace.

To advocate the moderate use of alcohol is equivalent to advocating temperate use of poison, for that, according to material belief, is what alcohol is—a poisonous, habit-forming drug. Those who advocate the moderate use of intoxicants might just as consistently advocate moderate stealing, moderate lying, or the moderate indulgence of any sin or vice as being justifiable. “Our findings add one piece to the growing evidence that low to moderate alcohol drinking should not be recommended for health reasons,” Dr. John said. This contradicts the idea that consuming low to moderate amounts of alcohol confers health benefits.

Why is moderation harder than abstinence?

Perhaps the biggest reason moderation is harder than abstinence is that one drink, or one joint, or whatever it is, immediately weakens your willpower. You only need a little bit of willpower to abstain, but after that first drink, not having a second requires exponentially greater willpower.

Not everyone who drinks alcohol will suffer from harmful consequences, however. Alcohol can be enjoyed responsibly by adults of the legal drinking age of 21. Problems can arise when alcohol is consumed in what are considered high-risk patterns of abuse and excessive use. While there is a framework to MM, based on Kern’s book Responsible Drinking, it’s also a program that prides itself on flexibility and enabling people to find their own paths forward.

How do you decide between sobriety or moderation?

The physiological and cognitive factors related to alcohol require appropriate treatment methods. Introducing alcohol after thirty days of abstinence allows MM members to increase MM awareness, telling people to practice caution when drinking. This helps drinkers who are resistant to cold turkey abstinence-based programs. This approach gives individuals the power of choice in determining how to address their heavy drinking. It also emphasizes the importance of addressing it early for best results. In its twenty-year history, Moderation Management has helped thousands of people through peer-run support groups.

alcohol abstinence vs moderation

Speak with a treatment provider and get your questions about rehab answered today. First, let’s dive into the difference between abstinence (AKA sobriety) and moderation. → Are not currently grappling with severe life problems such as divorce, job loss, bankruptcy, debilitating or life-threatening medical illness, death of a loved one, depression or other psychiatric illness, etc. 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.

It is important to note that moderation techniques work best with those concerned with their drinking habits but who are not diagnosed with an alcohol addiction. Scientific evidence does support the notion that people with severe drinking problems are NOT good candidates for moderation (controlled drinking) and generally do much better with abstinence. And it goes without saying that for anyone who has developed a really serious drinking problem, abstinence is by far the safest course. However, research also has shown that with proper help “problem drinkers” (non-alcoholics with less severe drinking problems) can and sometimes do successfully learn how to moderate their drinking and reliably keep it within safer limits. Rarely, if ever, do heavy drinkers choose to give up alcohol for good until they are convinced by their own experience that moderation is simply not attainable. 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. Many individuals with an alcohol use disorder that wish to change their drinking, however, have a goal of moderation – sometimes referred to as “harm reduction” – rather than complete abstinence. Indeed, moderation appears to be a viable pathway to alcohol use disorder remission for some.

During the study, Dr. John and his team examined data from a random sample of 4,028 German adults who had taken part in previous interviews. The original interviews included questions from a standardized AUD identification test and took place between 1996 and 1997. At the time, the participants were between the ages of 18 and 64 years. Setting up personal guidelines and expectations—and tracking results—can make maintaining moderation easier.

alcohol abstinence vs moderation

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