Abstinence versus Moderation in Addiction Treatment, Which Works Best?

Moderation Management vs. Total Abstinence Dilemma

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. It’s vital to discuss your goals with a physician to determine how to stop drinking alcohol safely. Treatment professionals can advise if supervised detox is required, and provide next steps tailored to your needs. To date, research examining associations among abstinent and non-abstinent substance use status and well-being, has focused primarily on treatment-seeking individuals with alcohol use disorder. Subsequently, the authors found that abstinence in this sample at three years did not predict better psychological functioning at ten years (Witkiewitz et al., 2020).

  • Choosing something truly important to you does not mean simply wanting to do something.
  • Another study found that people can reason from the strategy people adopt to how they think about the conflict.
  • Exercise is another key factor in recovery due to its numerous benefits such as stress reduction, improvement in mood and sleep patterns in addition to promoting overall wellbeing.

Eating Disorders Don’t Discriminate

The journey to changing your relationship with alcohol is about progress, not perfection. Whether you’re working towards sobriety or moderate alcohol intake, the most important thing is to keep going. Every day presents a new opportunity to define your goals and make progress towards them.

Benzodiazepines and Alcohol

Moderation Management vs. Total Abstinence Dilemma

These influences may include family dynamics, workplace culture, friendships, strained relationships, and lifestyle elements. “I feel the central benefit in prescribing moderation as a goal for the suitable problem drinker is that additional suffers may take up the chance to explore treatment who would otherwise be intimidated by total abstinence” said Heather. The consequences of using should be remembered, not with a guilty conscience, but controlled drinking vs abstinence in a realistic portrayal of why you have chosen sobriety. Also to be remembered are the experiences and feelings that come from abstinence. 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are popular support groups that advocate for abstinence as the cornerstone of addiction recovery. These programs offer a structured and supportive environment, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie among members.

The Link Between Addiction, Mental Illness, and Fame

Such was its popularity that SMART Recovery grew from 42 group meetings at the beginning to more than 2000 in North America alone today and now proliferating worldwide in 23 countries and counting. As always, it is important to be critical when seeking help, since the quality of counselors are not consistent. If you are not feeling supported, it may be helpful to seek out another practitioner. Their main benefit is lower costs, high accessibility through their mobile app, and the ability to switch counselors quickly and easily, until you find the right fit. The sample size used in the study also leaves something to be desired and I would hope that further research would examine these effects with a bigger cohort and a more variable participant group.

Moderation Management vs. Total Abstinence Dilemma

Depression and Addiction are Often Linked

How Successful Are Controlled Drinking Programmes?

Moderation Management vs. Total Abstinence Dilemma

Who Is Moderation-Based Treatment For?

  • This word “abstinence” can be an intimidating word to many, especially those in the early stages of recovery.
  • Remember that your journey is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another.
  • So, most people who could benefit from treatment are not seeking it out.
  • Forgive yourself, learn from it and remember that a commitment applies to what we plan for the future.
  • AA holds the individual as totally powerless against their drinking and any attempt at moderation is bound for failure.

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