Abstinence versus moderation recovery pathways following resolution of a substance use problem: Prevalence, predictors, and relationship to psychosocial well-being in a U S. national sample

Newly sober, you now grasp that this is no longer out of your control. Most of the studies that measured abstinence found AA was significantly better than other interventions or no intervention. The review was published March 11 in Cochrane Database of Systematic Review. Cochrane requires its authors to undertake a rigorous process that ensures the studies represented in its summaries are high-quality and the review of evidence is unbiased.

sobriety vs abstinence

Stanford Medicine is an integrated academic health system comprising the Stanford School of Medicine and adult and pediatric health care delivery systems. Together, they harness the full potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education and clinical care for patients. Humphreys noted that the findings were consistent whether the study participants were young, elderly, male, female, veterans or civilians; the studies in the review were also conducted in five different countries. Alcoholics Anonymous, the worldwide fellowship of sobriety seekers, is the most effective path to abstinence, according to a comprehensive analysis conducted by a Stanford School of Medicine researcher and his collaborators.

Peer-to-peer support

However, CD is a widely accepted treatment goal in Australia, Britain and Norway (Luquines et al., 2011). The Swedish treatment system has been dominated by total abstinence as the goal, although treatment with CD as a goal exists (e.g., Agerberg, 2014; Berglund et al., 2019). These health risks can be severe, and some even contribute to alcohol-related mortality rates. On the other hand, upon cutting back on drinking, many heavy drinkers sober house experience improvements in sleep, cognitive function, weight loss, productivity, interpersonal relationships, energy, and overall mental health. Your specific health goals, health risks, and medical history may play a role in your choice to either moderate or abstain from alcohol. This is especially true if you suffer from specific health conditions or are cutting back to avoid increased risk of specific health consequences.

Depending on someone’s history with alcohol, the severity of their alcohol use disorder, their health goals, and other personal and social factors, moderation might mean any number of things. Moderating your drinking may mean cutting back to one beer a day, only having a glass of wine on special occasions, or even only going out twice a month instead of every weekend. Any of these could represent moderation, and it all depends on the individual. Established recovery programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous follow processes with various steps that are supposed to be completed linearly.

What Does Moderation Mean in Alcohol?

Treating dual diagnosis and co-occurring disorders is vital to help individuals struggling with addiction and mental health challenges. That’s why we take an integrated approach to help people recover from both challenges at the same time. It is important to note that the distinction between abstinence and sobriety does not imply that one approach is superior to the other. Each individual’s path to recovery is unique, and what matters most is finding a method that resonates with their personal needs and values. What works for one person may not work for another, and that is perfectly acceptable.

Yes, there will be good days and bad days, but there is always hope that life will continue to improve with the recovery tools and principles that are offered as a way out from under. Filling the void of addiction through recovery measures means using therapy, the 12-Steps, being of service and connecting to a Higher Power to create an environment of positivity and strength. Although work is involved, the personal growth that comes about is a beautiful transformation in recovery from drugs and alcohol.

Speak to an addiction recovery expert now

This organization strives to address female issues in a male-dominated world and provides an alternative to the AA philosophy of admission to powerlessness and submission to a “male” God. WFS emphasizes the potential for change women can make rather than focusing on powerlessness. WFS works cooperatively with AA and recognizes that some women benefit from working with both organizations. One may go to rehab, a detox center or engage a sober companion to start. The next recovery support program may be slightly more difficult to find.

Is sobriety a gift?

Instead of missing connections, you become more vulnerable and present to your life. In this way, sobriety teaches you to be present and thankful for the moment: a true gift, indeed.