Using Moderation or Abstinence from Alcohol in Recovery

man thinking about moderation or abstinence from alcohol

Using Moderation or Abstinence from Alcohol in Recovery

Moderation or abstinence from alcohol plays a significant role in a person’s long lasting recovery.  Alcoholism and drug abuse remain a serious problem in the United States, and because these types of addiction affect such a wide variety of individuals, those of all ages, career paths and socioeconomic levels, it can be difficult to identify one approach that promises to benefit all addicts. However, research has shown that abstinence, or the practice of restraining oneself from indulging in something, namely drugs or alcohol, is the safest and surest way to keep from repeating past harmful behaviors. The unfortunate truth is that nearly anyone can fall victim to substance abuse and addiction, regardless of how stable they seem and how much money they earn, even high-powered business executives, and, for problem drinkers or drug users, learning how to abstain from these behaviors is the best route to recovery.

Importance of Moderation or Abstinence from Alcohol

Research shows that people who earn more than $75,000 per year drink more alcohol than any other economic group, and people with high-salary positions are also more likely to abuse drugs, like cocaine or prescription medications, compared to those with lower-paying jobs. It may seem counterintuitive for powerful business executives and Wall Street financiers to make up the top categories of drinkers and drug abusers, when we tend to associate substance abuse and addiction with poverty and homelessness, but research shows that, because high-powered executives have the money to buy drugs or alcohol whenever they want, and have a certain sense of entitlement that goes along with earning a high salary, they are also at a greater risk for addiction.

What Causes Addiction?

In most cases, addiction occurs when an individual becomes curious about recreational substance abuse, either because he sees someone else using drugs, or because abusing illicit drugs, to him, is a means of escape. This is particularly the case for business executives expected to perform well in a challenging business environment. However, the addiction comes about, seeking help from a professional substance abuse counselor is the best way to overcome that addiction. As impossible as it may seem for the addict and their loved ones, recovery from chemical dependency is an attainable goal, and with the right substance abuse program, users can break the cycle of addiction and return to their lives as healthy and productive members of society. And at residential addiction recovery facilities like Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, the key to helping an addict overcome his chemical dependency is abstinence.

Abstinence vs. Moderation in Addiction Recovery

“Abstinence” is a word those of us familiar with addiction recovery have heard used about the voluntary act of refraining from consuming http://brsrehab.com/addiction/alcohol-addiction/alcohol or using drugs altogether, in spite of a strong desire to do so. Abstinence is an important concept in the philosophy of addiction recovery, and abstaining from alcohol and drugs is considered the most effective way for recovering addicts to maintain their sobriety. Another popular term in the world of addiction recovery is “moderation,” which is the exercise of self-control or restraint in consuming alcohol or using drugs, which some believe is an effective method of managing a substance abuse problem. In other words, by drinking “just the right amount” of alcohol, or using “just the right amount” of a drug, an addict can maintain the feeling of pleasure his addiction gives him, without causing himself any serious harm.

Compared to abstinence, moderation is simply not an effective method of managing an addiction problem, largely because it is nearly impossible for an addict to judge how much is the “perfect” amount to consume and because the very nature of an addiction problem is the inability to control one’s impulses. While it may seem like the easier approach for an addict to gradually wean himself off of alcohol or drugs, rather than stopping their use all at once, the innate inability of an addict to control the substance abuse impulse that tells him to drink or use drugs in spite of the harmful effects of these actions, means that attempting to moderate one’s alcohol intake or drug use is simply not good enough.  To learn more about moderation or abstinence from alcohol, call our toll-free number today.


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