Addiction specialists have had several debates about whether alcoholics can enjoy drinking in moderation. Many experts and treatment programs emphasize that the best strategy to stay sober is to abstain from alcohol completely, but recent research has prompted professionals to re-evaluate the methods that alcoholics use to maintain sobriety. Some specialists believe that moderation may be an option that will allow people to have drinks without succumbing to addictive behaviors, but moderation management may still be an issue for many alcoholics.
Who Can Enjoy Moderate Amounts of Alcohol?
Problem drinkers are those who indulge in alcohol because they enjoy the emotional and physical effects. These people choose to drink alcohol, and they are not compulsively drinking. Since they are not dependent on alcohol, they may be able to benefit from selecting to have only one or two drinks on occasion rather than abstaining completely. However, once a person has become dependent on alcohol, the physiology of his brain changes. He may suffer from several side effects, including memory loss and a reduced ability to produce dopamine, which is a chemical that creates a feeling of happiness. When he is dependent on alcohol, a person cannot get the effects he craves with only one or two drinks, and even a small amount of alcohol may cause him to start abusing it once again.
Making Moderation Work
In order for a person to benefit from moderation management, he must have only minor issues with alcohol. He should not compulsively drink or drink heavily, and he will be more successful if he has strong social support. For these patients, a strategy that allows them to drink moderately may help them to resolve their drinking problems without requiring them to abstain from alcohol completely.
I. If you do not suffer from an addiction to alcohol, you may be able to have only one or two drinks at a time without becoming dependent on it. However, if your issues with alcohol are more severe, you will have a better chance at staying sober if you abstain from alcohol completely.
photo credit: christian.senger via photopin cc