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Abstinence Vs Harm Reduction
August 26, 2020 - Written by wariye sakariye

‘Alcoholic’ is no longer a term even used by many reputable medical professionals because it is stigmatising and self perpetuating, and means nothing, because it is a term of self identification. There are several other methods with much higher efficacy, with brief intervention by a healthcare professional showing the strongest results.

alcohol abstinence vs moderation

I know that I wrestled with these questions for a long time because I literally thought they were the only two options for me. The reason why we’re fixated on abstinence and moderation is because most approaches out there that deal with drinking fall into one of these two camps. We’re talking about abstinence versus moderation https://ecosoberhouse.com/ 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. Welcome to the Take A Break podcast with Rachel Hart. If you’re an alcoholic or an addict, this is not the show for you.

But if you are someone who has a highly functioning life, doing very well, but just drinking a bit too much and wants to take a break, then welcome to the show. Why we’re Alcohol fixated on either abstinence or moderation when it comes to drinking. presumably anyone who drinks “too much” first considers moderation vs. stopping altogether.

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In fact, it required members to sign a pledge of total abstinence from all alcohol. The Church of England Temperance Society began as the Church of England Total Abstinence Society. However, two years later it changed its constitution. It then permitted members to consume any form of alcoholic beverage.

alcohol abstinence vs moderation

Importantly, even on drinking days, these participants reduced their blood alcohol content levels by almost 50 percent. When it comes to 12 step programs, the accepted orthodoxy is that abstinence is the only way; the mere Alcoholism in family systems mention of harm reduction or moderation will often draw attacks from 12 step proponents. Some treatment providers believe in the abstinence philosophy so strongly that they will actually expel addicts who relapse.

Summary Of Abstinence Vs Harm Reduction

Most people in the study reported that they drank at what was considered moderate or low-risk levels . Even at this level, there was a reduction in the amount of total brain tissue seen on brain scans. This held true for men and women when other risk factors, such as smoking, were considered. Their brains were compared against a reference model of average brain volume. It’s a well-known fact that drinking too much alcohol can have a serious impact on your health, including damaging your liver. For conditions such as liver cirrhosis, that’s usually more than 21 units of alcohol a week – around two bottles of wine a week or one and a half pints of beer a day. The UK’s Chief Medical Officer recommends that adults don’t drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week to keep the risk of health problems low.

alcohol abstinence vs moderation

One does feel that one is the only client and that the place is owned and run by a family, not an institution. Thilo Beck, their psychiatrist is a gem, he is probably the first psychiatrist by whom I really felt understood. Dr. Riedel who is their person for biochemical restoration is probably the most knowledgeable doctor I’ve ever met. I can’t mention every person individually, but I felt all of them would stand out in their respective fields. I also appreciated the flexibility in the treatment schedule to accommodate some need for private time and work. That really impressed me, as no other rehab I’ve been to even mentioned that a medical check-up would be a good idea.

These are individuals who know alcohol affects their personal and professional life directly, but they can’t stop drinking. A membership at Allies in Recovery brings you into contact with experts in the fields of recovery and treatment for drug and alcohol issues. Our learning platform introduces you to CRAFT and guides you through the best techniques for unblocking the situation. Together we will move your loved one towards recovery. Attempting to moderate his alcohol use had been important for her husband to try. It might have succeeded for him if he hadn’t introduced the painkillers.

Reducing Barriers To Starting To Change One’s Drinking

Thus the Rand study found a strong link between severity and outcome, but a far from ironclad one. Despite the reported relationship between severity and CD outcomes, many diagnosed alcoholics do control their drinking. Progress has been made in asking older people about their alcohol use within both public health and mental health policy. But this not yet happened for the detection of brain damage in people who drink alcohol. Giving equal importance to both our brain and our liver can help us stay in better health. As a society, we have the potential to take care of both these vital organs. The researchers in this latest study looked at 300 people between the ages of 39 and 45 to understand the effects of drinking on the brain.

alcohol abstinence vs moderation

You don’t have to live in a constant battle with these painful, nagging urges. 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. This is not to say one may not go thorough a period of “day at a time,” or “week at a time,” or even try a “harm reduction” approach. Still, if you want the easiest way to minimize the problems in your life, go for abstinence eventually.

Abstinence Vs Harm Reduction: Comparison Table

When it comes to moderation, since the definition of success and failure seems blurry at best, many of the statistics attached to the method are also unreliable. This arbitrary nature makes it much easier to claim success in harm reduction than abstinence. Holistic addiction treatment for alcoholism should be used. This method will address physical, mental, social, and spiritual dimensions. Polich, Armor, and alcohol abstinence vs moderation Braiker found that the most severely dependent alcoholics were the least likely to achieve nonproblem drinking at 4 years. However, a quarter or this group who achieved remission did so through nonproblem drinking. Furthermore, younger , single alcoholics were far more likely to relapse if they were abstinent at 18 months than if they were drinking without problems, even if they were highly alcohol-dependent.

  • As many addiction therapists would attest, this is an unrealistic expectation.
  • The argument between harm reduction and abstinence boils down to an individual’s needs.
  • The most common indictment against abstinence-based addiction recovery philosophies is their strict adherence to the 12-steps model, which focuses on faith-based addiction treatment.
  • It relies on a person who previously had difficulty controlling his or her drinking to suddenly develop self-control.
  • For a person who is a diagnosed alcoholic or a heavy drinker (more than 5 drinks on the same occasion on each of five or more days in a 30-day period), harm reduction may not be a realistic option.
  • Not all people are comfortable with the idea of praying or focusing on spirituality.

Harm reduction proponents argue that a moderation approach can help people assess and manage their drug and alcohol consumption perhaps before they become completely dependent or addicted. The Harm Reduction Therapy Centre in Oakland CA, co-founded by psychologist Patt Denning, advocates for an approach to counselling and addiction treatment that does not see abstinence as the end goal or only option.

“moderation”

Maintaining abstinence and focusing on building relapse prevention skills are vital strategies to sustain long-term sobriety. Once people start drinking again, it’s impossible to predict or even control how much alcohol you’ll end up consuming. The alcoholic, on the other hand, will not be able to quit despite consequences successfully. They will not likely be able to put down the drink for an extended period without professional intervention.

The point is that while there are billions of people who drink, and many millions of individuals who abuse alcohol, we seem to focus our thinking only on the smaller percentage who are truly dependent. Participants who used the Moderation Management website alone drank a little less in each of the followups and were able to raise their average percent abstinence from 16 percent to a little over 20 percent. They were also able to reduce their scores on instruments assessing problem associated with drinking alcohol and their overall drinking problem severity. All changes lasted throughout the 12 month study period.

These studies may indicate that two things may be associated with one another, but not necessarily that one causes the other. It may be that adults who are Alcohol detoxification in good health engage in more social activities and enjoy moderate amounts of alcohol, but that the alcohol has nothing to do with making them healthier.

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