The problem of new years resolutions is that they never last and quiting drinking isn’t just something you quit unless you are one of those rare people who quit and never look back. Alcohol is a drug that affects your brains chemistry. I have never realized how badly I was addicted till I tried quiting. My addiction overtook my whole life without me knowing about it. It takes years not weeks or months for the body to recover. Simply quiting for one month wont do anything. Your body will just go into withdrawal, the most symptomatic state there is after stopping. Symptoms according to webmd are:

  • Mild withdrawal symptoms may include:
    • Intense worry.
    • Nausea or vomiting.
    • Shakiness.
    • Sweating.
    • Feeling a little tense or edgy.
  • Severe withdrawal symptoms may include:
    • Being extremely confused, jumpy, or upset.
    • Feeling things on your body that are not there.
    • Seeing or hearing things that are not there.
    • Severe trembling.
  • Life-threatening symptoms of withdrawal are called delirium tremens (DTs). Symptoms of DTs include all of the symptoms listed above plus seizures. Untreated DTs can lead to death.

Why moderation(harm reduction) is a good start

Because you need to let go of all hopes and possibilities of ever drinking again(its a process) and moderation is the biggest excuse that people use to justify their relapse after a few weeks of alcohol abstinence. It is easy to stop drinking after the night of embarrassment and full blown hangover next morning but staying sober is where the challenge comes in. Giving yourself the chance of moderation will let you see how badly or not you are addicted. Maybe you are not alcoholic. Maybe you just indulge yourself too much? You will never know till you try the moderation. As for me I know moderation would not work because I tried it right before going to rehab. The reason is because I hate dealing with cravings/urges all the time, having discussions with myself of how much will I drink. I would just rather go through the massive pain for a few years and never look back. I like moderation because it leads to abstinence. So what does moderation looks like?

There is agreement in the scientific community about what defines “moderate drinking.” It’s no more than 3-4 standard drinks per drinking episode, no more than 9 drinks per week for women and 12-14 for men. Also, moderate drinking means limiting how fast you drink and, as a result, keeping your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) below .055 (.08 is the DWI limit in all states in the U.S.).

A standard drink is equal to

  • a 12 oz (355 ml.) beer with 5% alcohol (average for most U.S. beers).
  • A 5 oz. (150 ml.) glass of wine (12.5% alcohol).
  • 1.5 oz. (45 ml.) of 80 proof liquor (40% alcohol).-moderatedrinking.com

Moderation as the way to sobriety

Its okay to fail moderation. It will help you to face the realities of your current drinking issues. Its not the failing that counts but the whole experience. Plus drinking less then usually over time will actually help reduce the damage that its being done.

Becoming sober is about asking for help

Can you be bold and ask for help? Are you willing to go out of your comfort zone and attend any of the self help groups like alcoholics anonymous or smart meetings? Will you take your time and invest for the opportunity to speak with addiction counselor or therapist? Asking for help doesn’t mean you are weak, its just that you will need to make so many mental changes that it is best to have someone who will guide you through. I know the hardest part is making that phone call to set up an appointment or going to that first meeting but how badly do you want this? What is your biggest obstacle? Let me know in the comments or email me at anonymous(at)ialcoholrecovery.com

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