It’s long been believed that as an alcoholic it was necessary to completely abstain from all kinds of alcohol and in most cases, physicians and mental health professionals operate under that same theory today. The problem is that not everyone is able to completely give up alcohol though some are able to abstain to a certain degree.. They are able to moderate their behavior and to assure that they lower the amount that they take in, but they have great difficulty when they try to quite entirely. Even with the most state of the art counseling and medications, not everyone can quit drinking or even quit smoking.
Moderation therapy is something that has been used with some measure of success recently. It’s the way that many physicians and health care professionals are helping their alcoholic or addicted clients. It’s always been considered that stopping entirely is the only way to go, but most people have more success and find that it is more effective if they can simply moderate the behavior. They self limit their alcohol intake to 1 beer or 1 drink per day or 2 or 3.. and assure that they adhere to that strictly to prevent problems with their alcohol intake.
Who uses moderation management?
Bear in mind that nearly all of the people using Moderation Management as a methodology are people who are not full blown alcoholics, but some alcoholics are using the methodology. According to Adi Jaffe, Ph.D. in his article for Psychology Today, “Moderation management offers face-to-face and online meetings, a listserv, a forum, online alcohol drinking limit guidelines, a self-help book that can be ordered through the site , and an online calendar where users can report their drinking. The population of people who use MM is pretty well educated and is made up for the most part of problem drinkers rather than those meeting full-blown alcohol dependence criteria. The idea is to teach problem drinkers more responsible drinking habits so that they don’t devolve their habits into all out alcoholism.”
Abstinence or moderation
This is not to say, however, according to other experts, that abstinence is the only answer for alcoholism. It may also benefit from moderation management where that is the only path that the client is willing to accept.