Moderated Drinking: A Creative Strategy to Treat Alcoholism?

Future work would need to assess the effectiveness of this tool in the field without such interference. We encourage you to take the Alcohol Self-Assessment Tests on this website to start developing a better perspective on your drinking behavior and whether abstinence or moderation might be best for you. Keep in mind, however, that no self-assessment test or quiz can substitute for a face-to-face clinical evaluation by a treatment professional. Maintaining moderation in drinking means starting out with a specific goal. The specific goal will depend on the individual’s particular situation.

  • It creates awareness around their using in general, and may well signal to them that their alcohol or drug use is playing a larger role in their lives than they would care to admit.
  • There is a feeling of freedom that results from this commitment where one does not feel hopeless or without choices.
  • On the other hand, upon cutting back on drinking, many heavy drinkers experience improvements in sleep, cognitive function, weight loss, productivity, interpersonal relationships, energy, and overall mental health.
  • While it is legal for adults, it can still be dangerous, and many people do become dependent on this substance.
  • However, moderation doesn’t work for everyone who struggles with alcohol.

Drinking in moderation can teach individuals better drinking habits without eradicating alcohol from their lives. Moderate drinking can be achieved through keeping track of how much you drink, pacing yourself when you drink, avoiding drinking with heavy drinkers, and pinpointing your heavy drinking triggers. By eliminating the sometimes daunting notion of zero-alcohol use, many find a moderation-based approach more attainable in their daily lives. It involves the use of medications like naltrexone which help reduce alcohol cravings. They’re able to enjoy an occasional drink while still avoiding negative drinking behaviors and consequences. They looked at the standard model of research for moderate drinking studies – dividing people into never drinkers, moderate drinkers, and heavy drinkers – and found that moderate drinkers were the healthiest of the bunch.

What would a good Moderation Program involve?

Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics.

According to this view, lifelong abstinence is the one and only way to deal successfully with a drinking problem. Although moderation may be a good starting point for many drinkers, it alcohol abstinence vs moderation is not the best approach for everyone with a drinking problem. People with severe drinking problems generally find moderation difficult to maintain and often do better with abstinence.

Levels of Care in Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs

Research indicates that while the likelihood of avoiding heavy alcohol consumption is highest in abstinence-focused individuals, those with moderation objectives were also able to reduce their alcohol use. An individual’s ability to avoid excessive drinking is also influenced by other factors such as past alcohol consumption, as reflected by an alcohol use disorder diagnosis. Depending on the number of criteria met, an individual will be diagnosed with mild, moderate, or severe AUD. Individuals with severe AUD often find that in the long term, sobriety is the most achievable goal for them. Keeping alcohol in your life in a healthy way can be really challenging, especially for people who have exhibited more severe drinking habits and patterns. These health risks can be severe, and some even contribute to alcohol-related mortality rates.

There are various ways that individuals can take advantage of face-to-face gatherings, very much like what is offered by moderation management, or they can settle on online experiences that can fulfill the same need in a more adaptable way. On the site of the program, one can find aides that show how much alcohol is permissible as well as commentaries that allow individuals to examine their battles and find recognition for their accomplishments. 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. » Individuals who received moderation training substantially reduced their alcohol consumption on average by 50-70% and, as a result, significantly reduced health and social problems related to their drinking. Do you want to cut down on your drinking rather than give up alcohol completely? Dr. Washton offers personalized concierge care that can help you learn how to moderate your drinking within safer limits.

Is Moderating Drinking Possible for Alcoholics?

It’s fairly well-established that, if you look at society at large, people who drink a moderate amount are the healthiest in a number of ways. It is difficult for our Allies member to see her son struggling to make friends while at the same time using alcohol to overcome his social anxiety. By following the CRAFT principles of effective communication, she is able to step back and allow him to experience the negative consequences of his drinking, and to focus on rewarding his positive choices. This is easier said than done, but her loving support and commitment to CRAFT is guiding him in the right direction. This moderation management plan is designed so that the identity of any given person remains a secret, and participation in the scheme is not a requirement to continue for the rest of one’s life.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich John and his team believe their research shows that the lower life expectancy for those who do not drink alcohol compared with those who do can be due to other high risk factors. One of the best ways is to remember why you are making the commitment. The consequences of using should be remembered, not with a guilty conscience, but in a realistic portrayal of why you have chosen sobriety. Also to be remembered are the experiences and feelings that come from abstinence. First of all, as mentioned earlier, don’t make a commitment until you are firm in your path to sobriety. Second, realize a commitment to sobriety is not a commitment to be forever perfect.

Risks Of Moderate Drinking

Today, there is a solid push for help on the drug front that can help some difficult consumers in checking their liquor misuse in moderation management. Naltrexone has supported in repressing the ideal high numerous consumers get from liquor misuse, and accordingly, it causes numerous to lose the longing to look for it. » Follow-up studies as long as 8 years showed that the people who were most successful in maintaining moderate problem-free drinking were those with less severe alcohol problems at the start. Many of those starting off with more severe problems succeeded with moderation for a period of time, but eventually chose to abstain from alcohol completely. 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.

This team of researchers undertook to compare self-identified members of Moderation Management with self-identified members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). They looked at demographics—who attends AA versus who attends MM—as well as the relative severity of the drinking problems in the two groups. “Harm reduction” strategies, or moderation techniques, set more flexible goals in line with patient motivation. These goals differ from person to person and range from total abstinence to reduced alcohol consumption.