Sober living

Why is Abstinence Easier than Moderation?

A moderation management program may be beneficial for a person who is not physically dependent on alcohol and does not suffer from significant withdrawal symptoms and cravings when alcohol wears off. Only about 9 percent of alcoholics in the United States are classified under the subtype alcohol abstinence vs moderation of “chronic severe,” NIAAA publishes. This group of individuals will need to abstain from drinking completely. Volunteer chronic alcoholics were given access to substantial quantities of alcohol in situations in which a behavioral contingency was attached to non-excessive drinking.

Is abstinence easier than moderation?

Still, if you want the easiest way to minimize the problems in your life, go for abstinence eventually. It actually is much easier to just give it up entirely than punish yourself trying to moderate or control your addictive behaviour.

Learn more about moderation with Ria Health, or find out how our program works. Moderation is an alternative that works better for some people. It involves the use of medications like naltrexone which help reduce alcohol cravings. People who drink in moderation stick to reasonable limits. They’re able to enjoy an occasional drink while still avoiding negative drinking behaviors and consequences.

Moderate drinking by chronic alcoholics: A schedule-dependent phenomenon

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. Knowing the warning signs can be critical in determining when to seek treatment. No matter which path you choose, you deserve resources and support.

  • And then once you are armed with the knowledge, then you get to decide what’s right for you.
  • Whether you want to drink less or stop drinking, this podcast will help you change the habit from the inside out.
  • Moderation management programs teach participants to set their own goals, which makes them more likely to reach them.
  • Most facilities, like inpatient rehabs, use a zero-tolerance approach, meaning that no use of any substance is allowed.
  • A person may decide that an abstinence-based program is better for them at this point.

It is also worth mentioning some baseline (i.e., pre-treatment) differences between the three groups to get a sense of the types of individuals in each group. 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.

How Much Does Alcohol Treatment Cost?

However, moderation could also be a way to wean yourself off a chemical or psychological dependence. The idea is that there will come a point where you’ll be able to retake control of your life. There are bountiful resources available to you if you are considering treatment, a support group, or even tips on how to moderate or abstain from alcohol. You have already made the crucial first step of evaluating alcohol in your life. Contacting a treatment provider can help you determine the next steps in your journey. Most facilities, like inpatient rehabs, use a zero-tolerance approach, meaning that no use of any substance is allowed.

alcohol abstinence vs moderation

This is especially true in light of the fact that moderate drinking might be good for health and intervention research shows us that changing behavior is possible. Join me today as I share my viewpoint on abstinence and moderation when it comes to changing the habit. Moderate drinking works together with MM to control and manage negative and destructive thoughts and behaviors, helping to modify them for positive change. After a period of abstinence and evaluation of drinking patterns, a person may be able to reintroduce moderate drinking occasionally. Alcohol moderation management programs may be primarily web-based, such as Moderate Drinking, or offer both in-person meetings and online support like Moderation Management. Rational Recovery, which centers on a singular approach to recovery with no support groups or regular meetings to attend, utilizes the Addictive Voice Recognition Technique.

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

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. I didn’t realize that there was this thing called the think-feel-act cycle that would explain why I had all the desire I had. It wasn’t because of how I was born or this belief that I had for a long time, “Oh, I must have an addictive personality.” It was simply because of the thoughts I was thinking.

It’s about listening to what someone else is saying is right for you, or admitting that you’re powerless and that you aren’t in control. Because once you start to do that, you start to see how your thinking is creating all this desire to drink and desire for more, and leading to deprivation and leading to judgment. And when you see that, all of a sudden, you have your path forward for how you can start to change those thoughts. Right now, all of that thinking is happening and it’s totally automatic.

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. They stabbed him 14 times through the neck, bashed his head in with a blunt object and then tossed him out of a second-story window.

Why I think that both these options of abstinence or moderation set you up for a lifetime of struggle. 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. This short video includes some of the benefits you could experience just by drinking less alcohol and outlines some of the programs and resources available to you if you decide to manage your alcohol with the help of the AMP. The program encourages you to focus on your substance abuse patterns.