Psychology Today: Moderated Drinking: A Creative Strategy To Treat Alcoholism

From Psychology Today:

Complete sobriety might not always be a realistic solution for heavy drinkers.


  • Fear of needing to cope without alcohol can deter efforts to stop drinking.
  • Moderating alcohol use can allow someone to deal with both the drinking behavior and underlying issues that power their drinking.
  • Moderated drinking may empower some people to ultimately give up drinking entirely.

Over the past few decades, research has demonstrated that complete abstinence isn’t always the most effective approach for treating alcohol abuse. While total abstinence is necessary in some cases, in other cases people are able to reduce their drinking to moderate levels without needing to abstain totally. For people who have not been able to maintain sobriety through Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or other 12-step programs, they may wish to consider if moderation may be a more effective path for them to take.

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