The results suggest the importance of offering interventions with various treatment goals and that clients choosing CD as part of their sustained recovery would benefit from support in this process, both from peers and professionals. Abstinence is not the only solution for recovering from alcohol use disorders, but it is one of the most studied and successful methods for recovering from alcohol use disorders. Though programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and other well-known programs meant to aid in the recovery from alcohol use disorders and alcohol misuse require or encourage full abstinence, these are not the only solutions known to help people quit or control drinking.
I can’t even think of how many times I’ve heard the notion that complete, total, abstinence should be the only goal for all people who abuse drug or alcohol. This idea is so pervasive that most addiction treatment providers actually expel clients for relapsing, a notion that makes no sense to me especially if you believe in the idea that addiction is a chronic disease. In fact, even most research institutions and well-informed providers use total abstinence as the marker for addiction treatment success. In three Swedish projects, on recovery from SUD, 56 clients treated in 12-step programmes were interviewed approximately six months after treatment (Skogens and von Greiff, 2014, 2016; von Greiff and Skogens, 2014, 2017; Skogens et al., 2017). Clients were recruited via treatment units (outpatient and inpatient) in seven Swedish city areas.
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. By iteratively analysing and compiling these in an increasingly condensed form, themes were created at an aggregated level, following a process of going back and forth between transcripts and the emerging themes as described by Braun and Clarke (op. cit.). In the present article, descriptions of abstinence and CD and views on and use of the AA and the 12-step programme were analysed.
For example, most college students don’t want to give up drinking altogether. But if they have a problem with alcohol, taking a harm reduction approach could be a constructive way to help them take a look at the negative consequences of their behavior and motivate them to make positive changes. Most people who seek out moderation management (MM) have already tried and been unsuccessful at stopping drinking or cutting down on their use. Despite the reported relationship between severity and CD outcomes, many diagnosed alcoholics do control their drinking. Goodwin, Crane, & Guze (1971) found that controlled-drinking remission was four times as frequent as abstinence after eight years for untreated alcoholic felons who had “unequivocal histories of alcoholism”. Results from the 1989 Canadian National Alcohol and Drug Survey confirmed that those who resolve a drinking problem without treatment are more likely to become controlled drinkers.
Total Alcohol Abstinence vs. Moderation: Which One Wins in the End?
Such reductions are very often the goal of treatment and as such, show some possible promise for the treatment of individuals with alcohol abuse problems. Indeed, the participants in the study are what I would consider very heavy drinkers and are likely more representative of common drinking problem behavior than the https://ecosoberhouse.com/ really severe, chronic, poly-substance dependent patients that often present to residential treatment. Some clients expressed a need for other or complementary support from professionals, whereas others highlighted the importance of leaving the 12-step community to be able to work on other parts of their lives.
Abstinence from drinking is typically considered the traditional approach to treatment and is sometimes required in programs like Alcoholics Anonymous. Life-long abstinence from alcohol is often the end goal for many controlled drinking vs abstinence people who have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, but getting to this point can be challenging. Some people may never get the care they need to start this journey and as a result, will never achieve abstinence.