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

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

  1. RingoBerry

    RingoBerry Senior Contributor

    I've quit smoking for a few months now and I'm just glad that I'm still on track. The only part I wish I did differently was actually cut back slowly and not shock myself from consuming almost two packs a day going to zero the next day. I had a horrible horrible time back then. I know some can be a little skeptic when people addicted to something says "I can do it - I'll cut back little by little until I'm able to stop". It is possible specially if they have someone who will help you draw the line every day.
  2. juno

    juno Community Champion

    When it comes to drugs and alcohol, slowly cutting back is not an option to quit. It means that they are not fully committed to quitting and they don't want to take on the difficult task. The reality is that with the intention to slowly cut back, their is no measure for what they are doing and they can continue to use to satisfy their needs.
  3. Miaka_M

    Miaka_M Active Contributor

    I really don't. When I was younger my uncle used to tell me that all the time about his smoking and his drinking, eventually I stopped believing him because he lied to me and himself. After that I've never believed those words alone, I have to see it to believe it. I'm pretty addicted to chocolate and no matter what I tell myself, I am always reunited with the tasty bar. With that being said, if I can't stay away from chocolate, I find it hard to believe that others are not in the same situation.
  4. Thestoryteller1

    Thestoryteller1 Active Contributor

    I think it depends are you heavily addicted or just getting into it somewhat. In my experience that matters. For example, when I was overdrinking coffee for like a year, and went on vacation and suddenly stopped (different environment). I started walking around like a zombie and had to get some coffee, or else I was almost falling asleep standing, I was that tired. So I just started cutting back slowly. I think gradual change, if possible, is better, because it allows your mind to adjust. Otherwise, you go all in, and then the first moment it gets hard, it's really easy to slip back...
    But if you're really addicted, then this is the only way, because otherwise you can use the cutting back to lie to yourself. And also because slowly cutting on coffee will not do that much more damage, while slowly cutting on alcohol may damage your life, health-wise, and in other ways...
  5. Christian

    Christian DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    Yea, the problem is that while "cutting back" can be effective for a short period of time, is that it is usually followed by an even bigger return to drinking or sneaking around smoking so as not to be held accountable to the promises made to slow down on whatever is being abused. If the individual is an alcoholic these patterns are usually repeated until they accept that a real change has to take place and start to implement things to make that change a reality. If they aren't an alcoholic or addict it should be easy to set aside these unhealthy habits if it is creating problems.
  6. drc52

    drc52 Active Contributor

    I think this is a great example of the importance of intention. Only when someone is fully committed will they actually be able to quit, a lot of people say that they will quit by cutting down because that's what other people want to hear. When they are ready to quit they will do it without cutting down.
  7. katherine25

    katherine25 Senior Contributor

    I have heard people say this soo many times and they never do!
  8. Femiluv

    Femiluv Active Contributor

    I don't believe in slowing cutting back because all the people in my life who said they would "slowly cut back" didn't actually do so. However, I do know that slowing cutting back is a much better way for many people to quit as opposed to just stopping cold turkey. But I have to admit, when I hear "slowly cutting back" I get a little skeptical.
  9. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    I don't know what to believe these days with people in general sometimes, far less those who are struggling with an addiction. Many years ago a friend told me he had actually stopped smoking until his daughter was talking to me one day and told me think again. She laughed at me for believing him and told me he was still smoking every morning before he went to work. This one had me well fooled.

    In the end he told me he quietly decided to stop of his own free will and I am guessing he's now completely off.

    Time and time again I have heard about the cutting back and time and time again I have found far from cutting back some end up using more. I still commend one or two who have at least succeeded for a while and have put up a real effort. In the end people have to really want to change and decide to quit for them. Too often they are just telling us what they feel we want to hear.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016
  10. JonnyMacdonald

    JonnyMacdonald Community Champion

    From personal experience and from observing others within the grips of addiction there is a huge difference between those who really want to stop the destructive behavior and those who just want to tell you they are. Addiction is very strong and it will make liars out of normally good people, so an addict will tell you anything so you stop giving them a hard time. Often I found (and I did this myself a lot) the "i'm cutting back" is just to pacify you. When we are ready to quit we are ready to quit and will tell you we are done with it and need help getting clean.
    But no matter what they say it's always very helpful for you to be there to support someone struggling with addiction.
  11. lulu

    lulu Active Contributor

    I have been told this alot in the past year and really thought It was happening in the bringing and now I truly see its not!
  12. mercshe

    mercshe Member

    I never tried to use cocaine in my life and even if I am challenge to have the coke for a worth million dollar, I wouldn't even dare to taste. It is ethical, I don't want to be branded as addict or the usual stigma for cocaine users. I never wanted to have a horrid face and disfigured body as well, they make you look thin and old. Drugs of any type cause damage to the brain even if taken once. Aside from that, your health will suffer. Cardiovascular problems may arise and organ problems because they fatally affect the vital organs of the body. Why would you sacrifice your body for a moment of "high"?It is never worth it.
  13. mercshe

    mercshe Member

    I can attest to this. My father drastically stopped smoking when he found his spiritual purpose. And when he learned from a evangelical Television show that destroying oneself is against the will of the Lord, he immediately stopped smoking, drinking and worldly vices all at once. We were very happy when he started to mission out the youths in our place about cessation of smoking and drinking. I realized that it is actually doable for anyone to drastically cease alcohol drinking and smoking. However, it still and always depends upon the WILLINGNESS and THE MOTIVATION to change and have a better life not just for himself, but for the people around him.
  14. portraitofjs

    portraitofjs Member

    "Slowly cutting back" without a dedicated taper plan is impossible. With a dedicated taper plan, it is still almost impossible. I do know heroin addicts who have tapered down from large doses to small doses of heroin, but they are few and far between. Most addicts simply cannot control their use if they have access to a substance - that's a hallmark of addiction: compulsive use, even when the consequences outweigh the benefits.
  15. Coolkidhere

    Coolkidhere Community Champion

    I actually am a firm believer in this concept of 'slowly cutting back'. I have learned from most people and also from research that this approach is the most appropriate instead of immediately stopping the addiction. When you slowly or gradually cut back the addicting substance like nicotine you will experience less frightening withdrawal symptoms.

    I have also heard that immediately stopping will only make you crave the cigarette more. Yes there are some people who had done the cold turkey and succeeded but they still crave the substance up to now. Though this concept is more for smoking addicts as drug addiction is not really my expertise.
  16. Zyni

    Zyni Community Champion

    This. It also depends on the person saying it, but I tend to lean toward what you wrote, Janie. I think most people probably mean it at the time and have good intentions, but as the old saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
    Winterybella likes this.
  17. harold

    harold Community Champion

    It is the wrong decision. Many addicts make such promises in ignorance. Just the fact that they can condescend to making such promises already tell you that they are already feeling defeated. It is better to let them know that they are choosing the wrong path. Addiction is something that one needs to resolve to put an end to and take drastic measures. It requires a strong resolve on the part of the addict and strong discipline. Many addicts who make such resolutions end up more addicted to the drugs than they had been before they took such decisions because they find out that they can't stop as planned, and end up convincing themselves that they cannot stop totally. Such promises only lead to self-deception.
  18. LindaSuzanne

    LindaSuzanne Active Contributor

    I am firmly of the opinion that you can never cut back. It really does have to be all or nothing. I smoked on and off from the age of 17 to 30. I gave it up when I became pregnant with my first child because I wanted him to have the best possibe chance in life. I didn't cut back, I just gave up completely because I really wanted to do it.

    I think this is the key to beating any addiction. The addict MUST be 100% serious about wanting to stop. It can never be a half hearted attempt.
  19. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    I think it shows a desire, which is the first step of any action plan. However, as the old saying says "Actions speak louder than words." If the person really is an addict, they are probably going to need more than a tapering off action.
    It is important for them to follow through with what they have set out to do, and making sure they have a plan of action is one of the things that you may be able to help them with. Maybe they need a rehab, detox, or outpatient therapy at the very least.
    Zyni likes this.
  20. bluedressed

    bluedressed Community Champion

    Yeah, I guess with drinking or smoking, acknowledging the problem and wanting it fixed is an important first step. A plan of action isn't a bad idea -- I wonder if there should be made rewards and consequences and signed like a pact to be held more serious in the face of those who like to slip away!