presumably anyone who drinks "too much" first considers moderation vs. stopping altogether. If self-directed moderation is not working, professional help might be sought (as the Big Book suggests, page 21). If after a serious attempt at moderation, it's not working, one could give up (as many do), or pursue abstinence. The decision is partly based on how much the heavy drinking is costing, because there is a range of costs.

Some people give up on changing, but then say they are moderating. The concept of moderation is not responsible for how some individuals misuse it.

The hope of moderation encourages people to take action sooner, rather than wait until something worse happens. One of the biggest problems with the term alcoholic is that many argue with it so much that they postpone making changes in their drinking until problems have become quite serious. Rather than addressing their problems they focus on whether the term fits. Better to take action.

If one decides to abstain, there are many routes to abstinence. Abstinence does not require someone to use the term alcoholic, to accept the idea of addiction as a disease, or to attend AA.

More Posts