If you are reading this, you or a family member is likely questioning whether or not you or they are drinking alcohol in moderation or if it is a problem. Here’s what you need to know.

Questions to Ask When Considering Alcohol Consumption

Many situations and concerns can spark these questions:

  • Am I an alcoholic?
  • Do I drink too much?
  • Why is my husband mean to me only when he drinks?
  • Is it okay if I only drink on weekends, even if people tell me about things I did that I don’t remember?
  • Should I be worried if I cannot remember conversations after a night of drinking?
  • My liver function tests are elevated, and my doctor told me it’s because of alcohol.
  • I have a tremor if I stop drinking.
  • My sleep is disrupted after drinking.
  • I don’t get a buzz from wine anymore, and now I drink vodka.

The list goes on and on.

More like this: Alcohol Habit vs Addiction – How It Forms

Drinking Alcohol in Moderation, What Does That Mean?

There is no way that I can tell you whether you will be able to go from being a heavy, problematic drinker to being a moderate one. However, I can tell you many people with Alcohol Use Disorders (AUDs) would like to think so.

Moderation is difficult to achieve for most people with moderate to severe Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). However, some can achieve moderate drinking without it resulting in a full-blown relapse.

Firstly, I would say that some of the underlying issues, either through therapy or some other mechanism, that contributed to alcohol use in the first place need to be addressed:

  • Trauma
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress

Without any work or intervention, the chances of success in moderating drinking are much lower.

More like this: Alcohol Use Disorder: Easy to Meet Criteria

Naltrexone for Alcohol Use Disorders (AUDs)

Naltrexone is an FDA-approved medication for use in the treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder. It works by blocking endorphins; the pleasure molecules released when one drinks, giving them that initial positive feeling. Therefore, when a person takes Naltrexone, that initial pleasurable feeling from drinking is nonexistent. Therefore, some people do not even feel like or bother drinking.

More like this: Curbing the Cravings: Naltrexone and Addiction


A Sober Life Isn’t A Boring Life

This quote came across my Instagram feed recently. “Sobriety is anything but boring. So, sober life is boring? Yes, I was spoon-fed that lie by advertising, movies, television, and people since birth too! But, being present for every moment in life is not boring; it is fascinating!”

It hit me in all the right ways. It is so true that we have been conditioned to believe—especially when it comes to alcohol—that we need a buzz for anything to be fun or even to grieve.

Any major life event—whether happy or sad—will most likely involve alcohol. Even gatherings such as playdates, book clubs, funerals, and now, of course, Zoom calls involve alcohol (excluding work Zoom calls, I hope!)

Call me “sober-curious” or whatever, but I voluntarily gave up alcohol over 2 years ago. The lack of distraction, added time, clarity, not to mention money in my life has afforded me so many blessings. My relationships with family and friends have never been better. I can drive anywhere anytime without thinking twice. I can read and do puzzles with laser focus.

More like this: Who Am I Without Alcohol?

Detoxing from Alcohol with the Coleman Institute

Whether abstinence or moderation is your goal, medical detoxification from alcohol may be necessary for some people. This is VERY important to consider and discuss with your primary care doctor.

We at the Coleman Institute can also help you decide whether a medical detox is necessary before you stop or cut back on your drinking. Detoxing from alcohol on your own can be dangerous and even lethal so please do not go “cold turkey,” before consulting with a medical professional. If you have any questions, please schedule a callback with a Care Advocate to learn about the Coleman Method for detox today.

Deborah Reich, MD

More like this: Stop Drinking Alcohol: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself