Moderated Drinking: A Creative Strategy to Treat Alcoholism?

Important features common to these groups include low program barriers (e.g., drop-in groups, few rules) and inclusiveness of clients with difficult presentations (Little & Franskoviak, 2010). Researchers have long posited that offering goal choice (i.e., non-abstinence and abstinence treatment options) controlled drinking vs abstinence may be key to engaging more individuals in SUD treatment, including those earlier in their addictions (Bujarski et al., 2013; Mann et al., 2017; Marlatt, Blume, & Parks, 2001; Sobell & Sobell, 1995). To date, however, there has been little empirical research directly testing this hypothesis.

However, there were no significant differences between groups on the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) psychiatric problems subscale and cravings for secondary drugs. Most participants had no change in the level of use or increased their use through the trial (68%) or transitioned from low (1-4 days a month) to high (5 or more days a month) frequency use. According to the predefined inclusion criteria, two authors (H.C.and S.W.) separately reviewed the list of papers retrieved through preliminarily screening titles and abstracts and full text with Endnote X7 to decide which could be included. Any controversial points were resolved with discussion after an independent review of the list of papers by another author (P.Z.). It’s not an easy road to lasting recovery, but with the right support and resources, it can definitely be a journey worth taking.

How to Get Help for Drug or Alcohol Misuse

Multivariable stepwise regressions estimating the probability of non-abstinent
recovery and average quality of life. Some of the abstainers reported experience of professional contacts, such as therapists or psychologists. These contacts had often complemented the support from AA but in some cases also complicated it as the IPs found that their previous SUD was related to other things that were not in line with the approach to addiction as a disease (e.g. IP19). While people metabolize alcohol differently, alcohol does have the potential to cause constipation.

  • About 26% of all U.S. treatment episodes end by individuals leaving the treatment program prior to treatment completion (SAMHSA, 2019b).
  • Moderated drinking could give you the space to address those issues you’ve been pushing aside.
  • The protocol followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA), and was registered on the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO).
  • In previous research, several indicators of whether CD is possible are mentioned (Klingemann and Rosenberg, 2009; Klingemann, 2016; Davis et al., 2017; Luquiens et al., 2011; Berglund et al., 2019).

For some, attending was just a routine, whereas others stressed that meetings were crucial to them for remaining abstinent and maintaining their recovery process. After transcribing the interviews, the material was analysed thematically (Braun and Clarke, 2006) by coding the interview passages according to what was brought up both manually and by using NVivo (a software package for qualitative data analysis). After relistening to the interviews and scrutinizing transcripts, the material was categorized and summarized by picking relevant parts from each transcript.

Alcohol Moderation Management Steps and Process

Individuals with fewer years of addiction and lower severity SUDs generally have the highest likelihood of achieving moderate, low-consequence substance use after treatment (Öjehagen & Berglund, 1989; Witkiewitz, 2008). Notably, these individuals are also most likely to endorse nonabstinence goals (Berglund et al., 2019; Dunn & Strain, 2013; Lozano et al., 2006; Lozano et al., 2015; Mowbray et al., 2013). In contrast, individuals with greater SUD severity, who are more likely to have abstinence goals, generally have the best outcomes when working toward abstinence (Witkiewitz, 2008).

Importantly, there has also been increasing acceptance of non-abstinence outcomes as a metric for assessing treatment effectiveness in SUD research, even at the highest levels of scientific leadership (Volkow, 2020). Many advocates of harm reduction believe the SUD treatment field is at a turning point in acceptance of nonabstinence approaches. Indeed, a prominent harm reduction psychotherapist and researcher, Rothschild, argues that the harm reduction approach represents a “third wave of addiction treatment” which follows, and is replacing, the moral and disease models (Rothschild, 2015a).

Does drinking alcohol cause constipation?

For example, someone might want to cut back on the amount they drink, or maybe slow down their rate of drinking. Another possible option is using medications such as naltrexone or disulfiram along with psychotherapy. You may be able to gradually decrease the amount you drink without needing to go for full abstinence from alcohol. 12-step programs alone do not usually address the underlying need that’s been suppressed through alcohol.

  • No treatment showed a significantly better effect than TAU or TAU plus PLC (Figure S11C and Table S12B).
  • Individuals with fewer years of addiction and lower severity SUDs generally have the highest likelihood of achieving moderate, low-consequence substance use after treatment (Öjehagen & Berglund, 1989; Witkiewitz, 2008).
  • Every patient requires an individualized type and dose of analgesic drug, starting with the lowest dose necessary to control pain.
  • This study supplemented a network comparison of intervention compliance to assess the patient’s ability to adhere to a specific intervention, using the risk ratio (RR) as the ES.
  • For example, offering nonabstinence treatment may provide a clearer path forward for those who are ambivalent about or unable to achieve abstinence, while such individuals would be more likely to drop out of abstinence-focused treatment.
  • Multiple versions of harm reduction psychotherapy for alcohol and drug use have been described in detail but not yet studied empirically.
  • They state it’s a “less-threatening first step toward a healthier lifestyle.” MM also claims that programs like theirs fuse moderation, or controlled drinking, with abstinence, are more effective than abstinence-only programs.