Therapy and mental health are essential to the moderation management process. The ability to control your drinking starts with your beliefs and commitment to making behavioral changes. For instance, a person who experiences withdrawal symptoms when abstaining from alcohol will have difficulty with controlled drinking. Moderation management might not work if the withdrawal symptoms require medical supervision. Moderation management programs are only for individuals who do not have an alcohol-dependent disorder. Reducing alcohol intake is more difficult for an alcoholic than for a person struggling with less severe problematic drinking episodes.

Is it better to stop drinking slowly?

If you're dependent on alcohol, it can be dangerous to stop drinking suddenly. Instead, you should try to reduce the amount you drink slowly, over a few weeks. This takes a bit of preparation, but it's much safer than stopping suddenly.

The program is most popular with alcohol abusers, but isn’t solely aligned with them. A review of 30 studies published in 2020 found that combining CBT with medical drug treatment for alcohol use disorders and substance abuse provided increased benefits. Moderation management programs give heavy drinkers an alternative to quitting drinking altogether. They help individuals reduce the frequency of drinking using a step-by-step process. This offers a level of flexibility you might not find in abstinence-based programs.

The Moderation Management Plan

So that’s the first thing that we’re taught that is wrong. And the second thing we’re taught that is wrong is that alcohol creates your desire. Listen, going to war with your desire for the rest of your life does not sound very fun to me. And that’s why this focus on restraint, that’s why so many people give into their desire because all they know how to do is to grit their teeth and say no, or give in and say yes. Whether you want to drink less or stop drinking, this podcast will help you change the habit from the inside out.

  • Because let me tell you this, I know what it’s like to abstain.
  • Whether you’re working towards sobriety or moderate alcohol intake, the most important thing is to keep going.
  • A permanent commitment means we are committed to a course of action for the future and we will do every thing in our power to fulfill and maintain that commitment.
  • The goal of Moderation Management’s philosophy is to teach MM members how to make better choices, instead of using a treatment program that isn’t right for them.
  • Psychotherapy can help you understand your struggles with alcohol.

Identifying some of the best practices that have worked for others gives MM members a better idea of the goals of moderation management. 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. The Moderation Management philosophy encourages individuals to develop their own solutions. They can set goals and boundaries that help them reduce or eliminate their drinking.

Abstinence or moderation? Choice by alcoholics☆

They partnered with California winemakers to create a wine using traditional methods, and then they removed the alcohol. There are signs to look for if you want to know if moderation management is right for you. Consider the cost and side effects related with your drinking, and ask yourself whether the Alcohol Management Program may be right for you. 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.

alcohol abstinence vs moderation

Psychotherapy can help you understand your struggles with alcohol. Mental health interventions like psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) can support anyone who wants to practice moderation or abstinence. A history of relapsing is another indication that moderation management may or may not be the best solution.

What happens to alcoholics?

It’s also important to remember that it’s not a permanent line between “moderate drinkers” and “abstainers.” You can always reevaluate your relationship with alcohol and revisit your goals. From a health perspective, complete abstinence is recommended for certain populations. This includes those managing liver disease, bipolar disorder, abnormal heart rhythms, or chronic pain. While sobriety can be achieved by anyone, it’s important to check in with your healthcare provider before making significant changes to your drinking patterns. For individuals with severe alcohol use disorder and possible physical alcohol dependence, quitting cold turkey can cause withdrawal symptoms that may be dangerous or even life-threatening.

Are moderate drinkers healthier than non drinkers?

Moderate Drinking and Longevity

For example, one study following more than 333,000 adults for about eight years found light-to-moderate drinkers were more than 20 percent less likely to die prematurely from all causes and from cardiovascular disease in particular than people who never drank at all.

One drink, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes, could be a 12-ounce (oz) beer, 8 oz of malt liquor, a 5-oz glass of wine, or a 1.5-oz shot of hard liquor like gin, rum, vodka, or whiskey. Some people aren’t fans of the modernized method and tout moderation as nothing more than an excuse to relapse. The biggest risk involved in moderation management is staying accountable. It isn’t uncommon for those practicing the MM method to hide their excess drinking or use their participation in the program as an excuse to drink more than they should be. It often aids in staving off concerns from others in their life, too.