An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

Do You Believe Someone Who Says They'll "Slowly Cut Back"?

Discussion in 'Questions About Treatment' started by bluedressed, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. bluedressed

    bluedressed Community Champion

    I've heard it so many times, especially from alcoholics and smokers. Sometimes they talk about how they will stop on a specific date, but a lot of them just talk about "slowly cutting back", which seems to have no measure, just an intention of using less. A lot of the times, I get the feeling that, if they are not trying to fool me, they are at least fooling themselves. Is it because I'm too impatient? Or do you guys also find something unsatisfactory when a loved one agrees to finally get better, but what they do try is to simply disminish their consumption?
    BayouBilly likes this.
  2. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    That's a really good point that you are bringing up. To be honest, I don't believe people who tell me that they are cutting back. I am of the opinion that drastic measures work best, and that often some kind of "shock" treatment, such as breaking out of one's daily routine, changing one's environment or job, can do absolute wonders. "Cutting back" sounds to me like they are postponing things, and that they are not quite ready to let go of their addiction. But, nonetheless, recognizing the need to cut back is the beginning of a journey back to one's self.
  3. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    For one to quit drugs,you have to make a decision and act on it.Just merely issuing timelines and cutting back won't help the situation at all. They have to be honest with themselves and make bold and practical decisions.
  4. Janie

    Janie Active Contributor

    Yes and no. I believe their intention is good, but it's not a full commitment, so in the end they just end up back where they started.

    So I do believe they "think" they want to cut back, but I don't believe they're going to get very far. Really cutting back is for someone who doesn't have an addiction, and when someone says they'll cut back, it's also like they also don't want to realize the extent of their problem.
  5. LitoLawless

    LitoLawless Senior Contributor

    It all depends. I know when I was on the verge of quitting cigarettes I would tell my friends all the time that I was going to quit. I didn't ACTUALLY quit until telling my friends that for about six months. I knew that I was telling them more for me than them, and they knew it too. They were just waiting until I really stopped to tell me that they knew.
  6. ryan0039

    ryan0039 Active Contributor

    I think it's really hard to believe an addict who says they'll quiet at all if you know them well enough. The important thing is that you just keep pushing and being happy and proud of them every time they make it a day, a week, a month without it, even if you think they'll relapse again and when/if they do not hating them for it. But it's hard to honestly believe someone, especially when you know they've failed before.
  7. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I'd trust the person saying this depending on who is saying it. I know of a lot of people who take their word seriously even if they themselves are silly and jovial most of the time. I also know of people who are supposedly very serious and stern so you'd expect for them to be rigid when it comes to their own rules they flake out so easily. It's best to keep trusting people but it's imperative to choose the right ones.
  8. JulianWilliams

    JulianWilliams Active Contributor

    It's just a way for them to get out of actually doing something about their addiction. You need to decide to kick the addiction and start doing it right away not delaying it for some undetermined future date. What you're describing works as good as new year's resolutions. :)
  9. daregicide

    daregicide Member

    I wouldn't believe the person saying that they're cutting back unless they're allowing another person to help them do it in the process. Individually, it is very hard to cut back on anything that you're addicted to unless someone is keeping you on track.
  10. wahmed

    wahmed Active Contributor

    My husband says it about his cigarettes all the time. He does cut down quire considerably but then he will face a stessor and it will begin again.
  11. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    Unfortunately you are right it is true for most people. I think it's because some of them just aren't committed enough in their decision so their actions turn out to be half hearted attempts. It does work for some people though, like me. I have successfully cut down on cigarette consumption and I'm planning to cut down even more in this year, which hopefully will lead to quitting completely
  12. Jericho Mercado

    Jericho Mercado Active Contributor

    I am like your husband when it comes to cutting back. Fortunately when I hit a stressor, I have been able to help curb the craving my doing sit-ups or push-ups until it goes away.
  13. Thejamal

    Thejamal Active Contributor

    I think it depends on whether or not this is the first time you've heard this line or not. If it is the first time, I think you can at least give the person an opportunity to follow through on their promise. But if they've given you this line 3-4 times, then it doesn't sound like they're all that willing to change.

    I've had this experience with someone who owed me money as well. Said they'd pay me back in "installments" and never saw the money again. Just be careful with whom and how much you trust someone to quit something serious like drinking and smoking.
  14. deewanna

    deewanna Senior Contributor

    Diminishing the consumption does not work. And I am speaking from experience. Though it seems easier, even logical, but in the long run, you fall back to the normal dosage, in most cases even more.

    If you have decided to stop, then the best thing is to cut it off completely. Don’t play with it. There are plenty of steps to recovery, but reducing the consumption in hopes to cut it off gradually will not work in this case. It didn’t work for me and I have never seen anyone it has worked for.
  15. Matthodge1

    Matthodge1 Community Champion

    Many people say that and then they never truly do. It really just depends on the person, I suppose. It depends on their character.
  16. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    For someone trying to kick out their addictions, it's either they are not using drugs or they are still in the game, it can't go either way. There is no question of cutting back. It's either you're using or you are not.
  17. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I have a friend who has tried to quit smoking for what feels like the longest time. Every time, she starts off with the same diatribe - "I'm going to cut back first, so it's not like going cold turkey" - and as you may be able to tell by the sound of frustration in my post, she never ends up quitting. I feel like honestly, most times she lasts a week and then falls back into it. It's hard, because having quit myself I try to support her in every way I can. For myself I ended up just having to go cold turkey, because allowing myself to cut back was simply an excuse, a way out, that I still had that fallback to smoking if I needed it. Obviously it's different for everyone, some people can cut back and wean themselves off successfully. However in my experience, I haven't known anyone who has successfully gone down the cut back path personally.
  18. bluedressed

    bluedressed Community Champion

    Yes, it does sound like they are creating excuses for themselves and environments where they can feel good about their health (cutting back) while maintaining that they are giving themselves the right to it. *sigh*
  19. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Community Champion

    I personally think it's quite difficult for someone who says they will try to cut it slowly to be able to cut it at all. You know, it's either all the way not attempting to try it or it's indulging in it which may result in the need for more. This is the way alcohol actually works where your body will want more and more, especially, for people who are struggling with addictions whether drugs or alcohol, they are more susceptible to these things if they're exposed to it. The normal person who is disciplined and has self control, when they drink alcohol, they might drink a little and not feel the need to drink more because they have control over it, but the addicted person who has a past of overdoing whatever addiction it is, is more vulnerable if he is exposed to it even if it's a little amount. Not to judge quickly though, there have been some methods used to reduce nicotine usage in the past and that was through having bandages that you can slowly reduce in order to get used to it mentally and physically, however, these methods are done professionally and not taken by the hands of someone who is severely addicted, because it could harm them instead of do them good. So in conclusion, we can say that mostly, people shouldn't slowly cut back unless it is prescribed and done professionally with observation and testing for the right outcome.
  20. aimeep80

    aimeep80 Senior Contributor

    An addict can never "cut back" or limit themselves. This disease is progressive and there is no amount of control when the addict is actively using. The same goes for someone who smokes cigarettes. It is completely impossible for a person to just have one or two cigarettes when they are addicted to them. It may work for a day or two but the usage will go back to the same as it was before.