Do Moderation Management programs work? Benefits & Risks Surely Non-Alcoholic Wine

At least based on these data, they are likely to make up a minor sub-set of individuals who seek moderation-focused treatment. It is also worth mentioning some baseline (i.e., pre-treatment) differences between the three groups to get a sense of the types of individuals in each group. Dr. John and his team conclude that their results show that people abstaining from alcohol will not usually have a higher mortality risk than those who consume low to moderate amounts. The researchers found that 447 (11.1%) participants had not consumed any alcohol in the 12 months before the interviews in 1996–1997.

  • In the beginning stages of drinking, the experience and effect can be subtle on schoolwork.
  • They help individuals reduce the frequency of drinking using a step-by-step process.

My brother, once he got out of the hospital, began combining alcohol with whatever drugs he could come by, in an effort to deal with the fact that he’d be spending the rest of his life as a quadriplegic. “I make plans for my non-drinking days so that I’m not thinking about it so much – I work out, I schedule late work meetings, so it’s not even a temptation,” a tall, thin older woman says. Later, she explains that there was a time not long ago when the idea of getting through any day without five or six drinks seemed impossible to her. Moderation or abstinence can be a viable tool for adapting ones’ relationship with alcohol when safely achieved. However, for heavy drinkers and those with an addiction, reducing the number of drinks they consume without supervised help can lead to unintentional alcohol withdrawal. No matter which path you choose, you deserve resources and support.

The role of reinforcement contingencies in chronic alcoholism: An experimental analysis of one case

Some individuals may opt to go with an abstinence-based program instead while others may decide that moderation will work for them. For some, their decision to cut back on or abstain from drinking is connected to a desire to be healthier, save money, or reestablish their views on their alcohol consumption. These are all valid reasons, and many can accomplish their goals without needing a treatment center.

Its founder, Audrey Kishline, felt her alcohol use was a problem, but not so much that she thought of it as a disease or chronic illness. Also, withdrawal symptoms need to be carefully monitored when an individual dealing with alcoholism abstains from drinking. The Moderation Management philosophy encourages individuals to develop their own solutions. They can set goals and boundaries that help them reduce or eliminate their drinking. The organization offers a supportive community for anyone looking to make positive behavioral changes related to their drinking habits. Participants can follow the steps of the program while having the support and accountability of others.

Techniques for Moderation

It was also empowering to hear about the very practical ways in which people had turned their lives around. Regardless of your path, working with a physician and therapist can provide answers, reassurance, and guidance throughout the process. You also don’t need to have a clear understanding of your goal to start making progress. Dr. Arnold Washton is licensed to practice in New York, New Jersey, and Florida. Dr. Loraine Washton is licensed to practice in New York and New Jersey.

alcohol abstinence vs moderation

There are proponents of another theory though, that one can control addiction through moderation management (MM) behaviors, and there is evidence to support this theory, too. Therapy and mental health are essential to the moderation management process. The ability to control your drinking starts with your beliefs and commitment to making behavioral changes. The initial 30-day abstinence period teaches participants how to navigate social settings and abstain from alcohol when coming face-to-face with common triggers. They use this time to develop boundaries and limits to support them as they move through the MM program. Moderation Management is a non-profit organization that helps members prevent the harm that excessive drinking can cause.

Tools for Abstinence

It can provide a lower barrier of entry, giving family members and others a resource to help loved ones struggling with alcohol. Treatment from a professional is an appropriate option for alcoholics. Anyone struggling with alcohol dependence or substance abuse should consult with a qualified professional such as a doctor or a therapist. MM members can then decide if moderation or abstinence is right for them. They can take a self-test to determine how severe their alcohol problems are and make an informed choice between moderation management vs. AA or other abstinence-based programs. Audrey Kishline founded Moderation Management in 1994 as an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other recovery programs.

Are non drinkers happier than drinkers?

Moderate drinkers and nondrinkers report similar rates of sadness, but both groups are slightly less likely than heavy drinkers to experience sadness. Still, while heavy drinkers and nondrinkers report similar levels of positive emotions, heavy drinkers report experiencing more negative emotions than nondrinkers.

It actually is much easier to just give it up entirely than punish yourself trying to moderate or control your addictive behavior. Studies have shown that regardless of the method employed to become sober, the number one factor for sobriety success is a permanent commitment to discontinue use permanently; a commitment to abstinence. Moderation management programs could potentially be helpful for those who do not struggle with alcohol dependence. They can provide methods and tools to promote responsible and safe alcohol consumption in moderation.

One drink is a trigger for more drinks.

A person is to write down when and how much they drink, as well as any issues that alcohol has caused in their lives. Individuals are to explore moderate drinking limits, which CBS News reports is no more than 1-9 standard drinks a week, to decide if maintaining these will be possible for them. Then, MM will ask that the individual stop drinking altogether for at least 30 days.

As part of the evaluation process, we help clients understand where they are in terms of the nature and severity of their alcohol problem and their chances of succeeding at moderation. 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. 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. Previous research suggests that people drinking alcohol in moderation live longer than those who do not consume it.