Abstinence Or Moderation: Is There A Correct Choice?

Shame and guilt over a slip-up can trigger full relapse. When people aiming for abstinence make a mistake, they may feel like quitting is impossible and give up entirely. You can have an occasional drink without feeling defeated and sliding deeper into a relapse. It’s easier to maintain your motivation and stay on the right track. You have experienced enough consequences in your life that no one needs to tell you that you are fed up with your addictive behavior. If you are just starting your recovery program it may take time to make a decision on a commitment to abstinence before it is really firm in your heart.

Moderation Management assumes that all behaviors can be changed and that alcohol use is a learned behavior for problem drinkers and not a disease. MM also assumes that there are varying degrees of alcohol abuse and alcohol-related problems, and a reasonable option for some individuals early in the development of their alcohol use disorder is to find a way to return to moderation. Using alcohol or other drugs in moderation may be challenging, and some individuals may find that they need to become involved in more stringent programs. What we know is that after one has developed a severe addiction, the simplest, easiest, safest and surest way to keep from repeating past behaviors is total abstinence.

Abstinence versus Moderation

As a result, he or she neglects other life responsibilities and makes the alcohol or drugs that center of life. Therefore, continued use is likely to only exacerbate the illness of addiction. These two approaches are far different from what I teach here on the podcast and what I teach my clients because neither one of these addresses your desire.

  • Combined with a consistent and aggressive disputing of urges to use, most find their messages to use either decrease to nothing or become infrequent and easily handled.
  • Like lukewarm beer, a lukewarm Christian doesn’t appeal to them much.
  • In some situations, moderation management can work, but it’s not for everyone.
  • Decide what works best for you when it comes to drinking.
  • Can you imagine a life of restraining yourself from alcohol?

This study by Kuerbis and colleagues investigated how individuals with different clinical profiles will respond to moderation-focused alcohol interventions. Every sort of sinful appetite or carnal desire is based upon this false belief of intelligence separate from God, but such a belief is utterly without foundation in Truth. There is in fact but one infinite, divine Mind, which must of necessity be man’s only real Mind, or intelligence. And that perfect https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/total-alcohol-abstinence-vs-moderation/ Mind, which made all and includes all, is satisfied, contented, complete. 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.

Prevention Starts with All: The Chris Herren Story

Visit our Self-Evaluation to take a better look at alcohol and your health. By Buddy T

Buddy T is an anonymous writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. Possibly, but one will benefit from being on guard for them, as they can reappear years later.

  • When considered as an entire sample of 84 individuals, participants evidenced significant reductions in all three outcomes over the 7 week intervention period (total drinks, drinking days, and drinks per drinking day).
  • It’s a completely separate decision from whether or not you desire alcohol.
  • Usually, this occurs when a man drinks five or more beverages, or a woman drinks four or more beverages, in a two-hour time span.
  • Shame and guilt over a slip-up can trigger full relapse.

It needs to be something that you are really committed to and not just something you would like to do. Stick with the program and let the decision build in your heart. Sara explained to her therapist that she didn’t think she could quit drinking altogether.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Moderation

All of those thoughts, most people are completely unconscious to. Wasn’t even clear to me that any of this thinking was happening, but of course it was. This really is everything when it comes to this work. However loud the music is playing, you just got to leave it there. It’s stuck, and you got to learn to live with it, or you have to try to find a lot of ways to escape the sound of it.

alcohol abstinence vs moderation

Attempts at moderation may not be worth the effort or the risk when considering the consequences. If your own life has been a mess because of your addictive behavior, why chance it? What has the empirical evidence in your own life been? Moderation Management may be a way for a person to ease into recovery, as it can seem initially less daunting than complete abstinence. An individual may be resistant to traditional treatment models, and MM may be a method of encouraging a loved one to receive some form of support and encouragement toward recovery. Again, proponents of MM understand that their program is not for everyone.

Abstinence vs. Moderation

It can provide a lower barrier of entry, giving family members and others a resource to help loved ones struggling with alcohol. When you quit drinking for thirty days, you can enjoy the health benefits of not drinking alcohol. Moderate drinking requires specific practices and beliefs.

Is it healthier to abstain from alcohol?

Having an alcoholic drink or two per day is not healthier than abstaining, study shows. An analysis of 107 studies found that, when it comes to lowering mortality risk, some drinking is not better than none.

We’re talking about abstinence versus moderation today because I get asked this question all the time. And if you have struggled with your drinking, you too have probably spent a lot of time thinking about which one you need to choose. When you say, for example, “No more drinking under any circumstances,” you know when you’ve violated that rule. If, on the other hand, you say, “Only moderate drinking from now on,” suddenly, you’re in murky waters.

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