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Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by Rainman, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Most people who are alcoholics, when they join self-help groups of sorts, for example AA, they're informed that abstinence is the only way to overcome alcoholism and avoid uh . . . having a relapse. Since most people find giving up an addiction difficult, though they might give it [abstinence] a stab, should they have a relapse then their drinking only gets worse.

    Is it possible for an addict to learn to how to control their cravings so that instead of giving up on drinking [which they might find impossible, at first] they can start by cutting down on the amount of alcohol they consume and then finally only drink occasionally [in moderation].

    Your thoughts?
  2. Brem

    Brem Member

    It's very possible that an addict could cut the alcohol out by slowly quitting. Of course, many would say this is a bad idea because it's still considered drinking and for an addict it's a very hard thing to stop doing. Taking the process slow could very well work, but it's not always a guarantee. In order to succeed one really needs to push to get through it, because once an addict drinks, he/she will want to continue drinking.

    I do think people can quit on their own, but it's going to be extremely hard to achieve and it'll most likely be easier to relapse considering someone doing this is kind of on their own.
  3. Askani

    Askani Active Contributor

    I haven't seen anyone in my experience who is an alcoholic and not just a social drinker that was able to quit by cutting back or stepping down. I think it could be possible depending on the person, but that person would really have to have a great sense of resolve in order to accomplish it. I have worked with many functioning alcoholics and most are so far down in a hole of denial they couldn't stop if they wanted to even if they tapered off.
  4. Sarah

    Sarah Member

    It's hard to say really because everyone is different and what may work for one might not work for another. However I do think that ideally its best to just quit all together as there is less temptation to have another if you aren't having any at all. But I have seen in some cases that this is not possible because the addiction is so severe that it would be dangerous to just simply quit all together as the body would not respond well and it could end up having adverse affects.
  5. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

  6. jaray87

    jaray87 Member

    I abused alcohol for 6 months after I was laid off from my job and wasn't able to get a replacement job. It was a very tough period for everyone close to me - I had chosen to shut them all off and retreated to my day long of sulky, whiny attitude, hating everything in sight and had even shun my own son. I had tried to stop but the sight of beer made me relapsed. It was only after an episode that involved me shoving my son hard and seeing his reaction that made me quit immediately. I know it is HARD to quit period, whether slowly, or cold-turkey. I was fortunate enough to regain support from my family even after the way I treated them and was fortunate enough to keep my occupied every moment I wasn't drinking. So, if anyone out there says "Oh, it's so easy, I can give it up anytime", they are lying full-time addicts.
  7. jenbeau90

    jenbeau90 Member

    If you understand the problem that's the first step. After that it's all about self control (especially if you're going to indulge in the one beverage you're addicted to). I don't think it would be impossible, but you would definitely have to have some really strong willpower. You must also being willing to replace it with something. Those nights when you would be at the bar until close? Instead, play video games, or go out somewhere.
  8. 420nosmoke

    420nosmoke Member

    Quitting cold turkey sounds like the best way to quit for good, but it's not that simple. If a person is using really high quantities, like a fifth of liquor or more a day, quitting cold turkey would make them go into such severe withdrawals they could die. Also, the more severe the withdrawals, the more tempted one would be to have a drink again just to make the physical suffering stop. However I think a majority of alcoholics don't drink so much to the point where they'd be at the risk of death from withdrawals. They can probably just go through the withdrawals and come out fine. I think cutting down drinking to the point where withdrawals would be minimal is the best way. If someone really wants to quit, they will make the effort to do this, even if they know the tapering down process will take time. Often a "wake up" event, like getting a DUI or waking up in a strange place after blacking out can trigger the motivation to start the quitting process.
  9. Onionman

    Onionman Active Contributor

    When it comes to addiction, knowing what to do is rarely often the same as being able to do it. That's why support systems, whether that's professional help or your peer group are necessary parts of your recovery.

    Unfortunately, we're all human and will power, self control and motivation might not be enough by themselves.
  10. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I think this might be possible, but I believe that it probably isn't for most addicts since tasting a bit of the substance just makes their objectivity go haywire, meaning that they arrive at justifications of just pushing the limits. I believe that some types of addicted minds might be able to handle it this way but in my opinion those are probably just not as severe types of addiction to begin with.
  11. Juan

    Juan Active Contributor

    One of the key factors for quitting any addiction is self-control. but I also realized that it helps putting yourself in a positive position where your addiction wouldn't help at all. Engaging in a new activity, changing your social circle, starting a new job, something that really satisfies you and that wouldn't mix with your addiction.

    I was a "casual" smoker for many years, meaning that while I wouldn't be smoking packs a day, every social gathering I would have a couple of cigarettes Then I started smoking to release the tension, until it became a costume. What ended up saving me from becoming a full addict was finding the love of my life. She didn't like smoking, or any bad habit for that matter, so at first I started smoking behind her back. But when I decided that we should get married, I also decided to completely quit, since living with her was more important to me. Haven't had a cigarette ever since.

    I think people cling to addictions because they think it's the only way to deal with whatever happens in their lives, whether it's a big problem or simply boredom. Introducing a new positive activity in your life might help you cope with whatever problems you have, or simply keep you occupied enough.
  12. camsdad

    camsdad Member

    I tried this approach many times. I go a few months without drinking and everything would be so much better. I'd go out with my drinking friends one night and decide I'll just have a couple, but I'm an addict so it ends up being dangerous amounts more. I have also successfully cut back but it just lead me right back into my heavy drinking.
  13. valiantx

    valiantx Community Champion

    Ultimately, like all things one is and does in life, to stop addiction to alcoholism or any drugs will only happen when one no longer need or wish to do such a activity no more, or when one has minimized the malignant drug use to a moderation that no longer distract one to be able to live healthy and be successful. Such a change in life ain't easy, but everything in life isn't easy, and this is a good fact for if no human was ever challenged in their existence, no human would strive to do anything.

    Moreover, i believe, the ever growing alcoholism and excessive drug use happening now, is due to the fact that people now live in societies that have more abundance in goods to trade, sell, and buy. Life for humans has been made far much easier to survive now than the past - this in turn, diminishes people's will to create a life directly in line with their "true" self or [wo]man, thus people become more acceptable to doing things that stimulate their senses and challenge their minds, but all in effort to avoid or neglect being a self, opting instead for the pleasures of social abundance and convenience.

    A man and woman, is a self, who is responsible and liable for all of their actions, inactions, creations, and destructions - he/she, is not perfect, but what he/she wills to become and everything he/she does, is orientated towards perfection of self, which drugs are "ultimately" antithetical to self-development.
  14. GenevB

    GenevB Community Champion

    This is just stupid to try and quit an addiction slowly. This only means, at a deeper level, that you don't want to quit in the first place. You should cut it all out right from the ground. After a time, 2, 3 months maybe even a year, you can start slowly to drink again or whatever your addiction might be, this way you'll tell yourself you don't want to do that in the first place.
  15. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I think it is possible for an alcoholic to cut down drinking and eventually only drink on occasion. But that could be not true or not possible to everyone. We differ on personalities and some are not that determined compared to other. So cases varies as well as the solutions and outcomes when trying an approach.
  16. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    It really is up to the person. Some might be able to go cold turkey, some might want to ease of the gas pedal. It really depends on the individual and the level of addiction. Circumstances are different, so are the people and the variables that surround their everyday lives.
  17. Ronsa

    Ronsa Active Contributor

    It will not work this way. You must get the determination to stop drinking alcohol otherwise you are still addicted to it. Never trust your ability to self-control. My self-control is not good enough otherwise I would not get addicted to alcohol drinking in the past. It was a hard process but the determination is a must to be successful.
  18. Simkata

    Simkata Member

    No, I find it virtually impossible for someone to quit drinking just by abstinence. Especially when it's not the so called "social drinking"... When a person really has a problem with alcohol, he/she needs all the help he/she can get. However, what I have observed to be one of the most powerful factors when you want to cut an addiction is realization of WHY you need to stop it. What/who are you doing it for? Personal motivation that comes from within can go a long way in helping things get better. Surprisingly or not, research shows that people are most successful when overcoming an addiction for somebody they love (a friend, spouse, etc.) rather than for themselves... Even an activity could provoke you to make a change... Say you want to be a professional runner but you keep smoking. Sooner or later, the motivation and eagerness to engage in what you want could support you will and help you in this so difficult battle!

    Best regards