The next AA? Welcome to Moderation Management, where abstinence from alcohol isn’t the answer Alcohol

Some pregnant women might think that moderation management is a way for them to consume alcohol. A history of relapsing is another indication that moderation management may or may not be the best solution. The severity of alcohol dependence will determine the risk of future relapses. Introducing alcohol after thirty days of abstinence allows MM members to increase MM awareness, telling people to practice caution when drinking. Moderation can also be the first step towards abstinence.

Understanding how external factors will support or impede your success can help you determine if moderation is something that feels achievable within your current lifestyle and circumstances, or if sobriety is a more realistic goal. It’s also important to know that you can change certain circumstances, and therapy can aid in helping you set boundaries that empower your progress.


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 alcohol abstinence vs moderation eliminating the sometimes daunting notion of zero-alcohol use, many find a moderation-based approach more attainable in their daily lives. While research shows long-term benefits to abstinence, this approach can leave out those who want to change their drinking habits but are not ready to abstain completely.

alcohol abstinence vs moderation

It is not difficult to imagine how alcoholism might be characterized in a similar way and how treatments could be calibrated to the appropriate stage of the illness. While there is a framework to MM, based on Kern’s book Responsible Drinking, it’s also a program that prides itself on flexibility and enabling people to find their own paths forward. Three out of the 10 people at the meeting I attended said they weren’t ready to do a 30 yet, but were planning shorter breaks. One man celebrated the fact that he’d taken one day off from smoking weed and drinking. He does both in moderation daily, and his concern was more about the frequency and the fact that he can never seem to take a day off than the amount of any particular substance consumed.

Set Attainable Goals

As a physician on the Monument platform, I speak with patients every day who are looking to change their drinking habits in order to improve their health and happiness. Once they’ve decided they want to make a change, a question many people find themselves asking is whether sobriety or moderation is a better option for them. Following that logic, it makes a lot of sense to me to include the idea of moderation as another option in the addiction treatment arsenal. 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. I’m a big supporter of the idea that improvements in quality of life, in addition to or instead of measures of abstinence, need to be incorporated broadly into addiction treatment research.

  • First, let’s dive into the difference between abstinence and moderation.
  • Also, withdrawal symptoms need to be carefully monitored when an individual dealing with alcoholism abstains from drinking.
  • It also emphasizes the importance of addressing it early for best results.
  • Because your desire is created by what you’re thinking about.

When you’re looking to drink in moderation, it’s a good idea to designate a few days as no-drinking days. Take some time to decide which days are OK to have a drink and which days are off-limits. They may have been “problem drinkers,” “heavy drinkers,” or “binge drinkers.” It is very important to note that this study specifically excluded people who had previously been admitted to alcohol or drug treatment as well as those who had symptoms of severe alcohol withdrawal at any point in their life . This means that the participants likely did not include some of the most severe alcoholic cases. If you have health problems related to alcohol, it may be unsafe to drink at all, period. Even moderate drinking can make these problems worse.

Attachment and Grief in Addiction and Recovery

But 61 percent of those who achieved remission without treatment continued drinking. Alcohol is a substance that can have significant withdrawal symptoms for a person who is physically dependent on it; therefore, it should never be stopped “cold turkey” without a professional medical detox protocol if dependence is present.

Considering a Dry January? How to Embrace Mindful Drinking – The New York Times

Considering a Dry January? How to Embrace Mindful Drinking.

Posted: Thu, 23 Dec 2021 08:00:00 GMT [source]

Current problems facing behavior therapists are discussed in light of their historical context. Simplicity of some of the behavioral assessments that do not take into consideration the different etiologic patterns of the disorder under evaluation is criticized.

How Much Alcohol Is Too Much? Explaining Health Guidelines

“Moderate consumption” is limited to one to two alcoholic drinks per day for healthy men and one alcoholic drink per day for healthy women. One drink is equivalent to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits. You don’t have to start your recovery journey alone. Treatment providers are available 24/7 to answer your questions about rehab, whether it’s for you or a loved one. Submit your number and receive a free call today from a treatment provider. Symptoms of withdrawal can include anxiety, confusion, heart palpitations, increased blood pressure, shaking and tremors, and insomnia.

What is the healthiest alcohol to drink?

However, if you are going to drink, having red wine in moderation is a healthier choice than other alcoholic drinks. This is due to its high levels of antioxidants called polyphenols, which have been linked to better heart and gut health.

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