Sober living

Abstinence Is Not the Only Option

Abstinence may not be a realistic solution with some addictions, such as eating and in some cases sexual addictions. Even in these instances commitment to moderation is an important factor for success. The researchers used a baseline assessment and then followups at 3, 6, and 12 months.

Why is abstinence better?

Abstinence can be a way to avoid the risks that come with sex — like pregnancy and STDs — until you're ready to prevent and/or handle them. Abstinence can also help you focus on other things in your life that are important to you, like friends, school, sports, activities, having fun, and planning for your future.

Although all these methods aim at reducing or curbing addiction, they have differences. Alcoholics Anonymous and other abstinence-based 12-step programs are the main form of treatment for alcoholism in the U.S. But many people are unable to stick with them and return to dependence on alcohol. Moderate or “controlled” drinking is a harm reduction approach tailored toward people with a drinking problem who do not exhibit the symptoms of physical dependence on alcohol. Participants assigned to the wait-list were informed by a research assistant at the initial telephone assessment that there would be a 6-week delay before the self-help workbook would be mailed, and these participants did not receive any therapist contact. All participants were followed-up 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-months after their initial interview at pretreatment.

Alcohol Moderation Management: Programs and Steps to Control Drinking

Nevertheless, a handful of studies have helped to shed light on this topic. To be successful at moderation or abstinence requires effort and a commitment to change. You also need to think about any health, psychological, or other conditions that would be made worse by drinking. If you’re abstinence vs moderation not sure of the best program for you, ask your healthcare provider or a substance abuse counselor for advice. Volunteer chronic alcoholics were given access to substantial quantities of alcohol in situations in which a behavioral contingency was attached to non-excessive drinking.

What are predatory behaviors in AA?

While there are only 12 official steps in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), the 13th step is a term used to describe the sexually predatory behavior of hitting on someone who is less than a year sober.

The 12-step approach of forbidding any substances under any conditions strikes many people as dogmatic, and in some cases is not feasible, but it is also a bright line. When it comes to finding the best approach to changing alcohol’s relationship in your life or deciding that there are more severe issues at hand, it’s important to remember that your journey is not a “one-size-fits-all.” There isn’t a singular treatment option that will suit everyone. While your relationship with alcohol is entirely personal, reflecting on outside influences can be helpful when considering the relative benefits of sobriety or moderation.

Abstinence versus Moderation Goals in Brief Motivational Treatment for Pathological Gambling

I have often worked with people set on moderating, only to go a month or two abstinent and then report that they have never felt better and have no desire to return to using their substance of choice. Since the follow-up period in this study was only 3 months post-intervention, differences between groups at future time points are unknown. A study with 3 years of follow-up showed that among patients in remission from alcohol use disorder (including abstinent, low risk, and risky drinkers), abstinent individuals were less likely to relapse. However, due to the Web-based nature of this intervention, VetChange requires a degree of self-management from participants in terms of completing the weekly modules and homework assignments.

The AMP is for anyone with mild to moderate alcohol problems who wants to eliminate the negative consequences of their drinking and improve their health by drinking less alcohol or none at all. This program is not for those who are severely dependent or alcoholic and require treatment services. Our clients include U-M faculty, staff, retirees, UMHS patients, and the general public. As authors point out, all groups improved to varying degrees particularly in terms of fewer drinks per drinking day, despite the fact that new skills to reduce or abstain were not an explicit part of any of the three treatments in the initial randomized trial. These individuals may be naturally finding ways in their environment to help them reduce or abstain (e.g., seeking social support), for example, or automatically using cognitive strategies to help them stick to limits on days they drink. We will help you decide whether moderation-based treatment or abstinence-based treatment is best for you.

Abstinence or moderation? Choice by alcoholics☆

The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result. If your addicted Loved One is talking about moderation, please give some consideration to the question. Sometimes we are surprised to find the solution (or part of it) in a place we hadn’t even thought of looking. When he was 18, someone attacked my twin brother on the US marine corps base where he was stationed.

We explain the benefits of not drinking at all and routinely encourage all new clients to start with a period of abstinence, even if their ultimate goal is moderation. When given a chance to try moderation with professional support and guidance, clients either learn how to drink moderately or they learn that moderation is not realistic for them and that it might be better to stop drinking entirely. Clients who choose abstinence after being unable to moderate consistently are often more motivated and personally invested in making abstinence work for them.

Summary of Abstinence vs. Moderation

They continue to engage in harmful drinking patterns and suffer increasingly severe consequences, not seeing a viable way out. The only treatments that work are the ones that our clients can truly embrace and put to good use with optimism about making positive changes. 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. While a single episode of binge drinking can lead to death — of the 38 million admitted binge drinkers, there were 2,200 deaths due to alcohol poisoning[6] — it’s far more likely that a person would die from a single use of hard, illicit substances like heroin.

abstinence vs moderation

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