Addiction is a complex problem of physical and psychological dependence that seems to affect only certain individuals who are vulnerable. For many people who are not vulnerable to addiction, it is possible for them to have minimal contact with drugs or alcohol without losing control and being unable to stop. Those who can moderate their alcohol intake and function as social drinkers or occasionally use drugs recreationally have no problem managing their substance use. For an addict though, the idea of moderating their drug use and trying to keep it at a minimum may seem like an appealing solution but it is rarely a possibility. That’s because the nature of addiction is to continue using a drug beyond all self-control, and a small amount is likely to trigger a binge for an addict. Moderation may be an option for people without addiction problems but an addict’s safest choice is complete abstinence.
Addiction and Moderation
Because people with addictions experience a lot of denial before they completely recover, they tend to have thoughts early on about how maybe they can simply cut down. The idea of quitting entirely seems impossible, especially if they have been using for a number of years. The addict might not mentally be ready to give up their addiction and so they make plans to moderate or manage their substance abuse. There could be a few individuals that are able to succeed in this goal but the majority will find that they end up losing control and start using as much as they always have. An addiction is essentially the inability to moderate behavior and by definition an addict cannot control how much or how little of a drug they consume. They will almost always use drugs or alcohol in excess no matter how true their intentions may be.
The Benefits of Sobriety
If anyone with an addiction tries the road of managing their drug use and fails, then it is best for them to look for some help with the tried and true method of total abstinence. The majority of the recovering community relies on detoxification followed by complete sobriety in a rehab program in order to see the best results. Even though moderation may sound easier to an addict that does not want to completely give up their lifestyle, there are plenty of important benefits to abstinence. Being sober can actually make it easier to manage cravings because having a little bit of a substance will only make you want more especially if you have an addiction. With abstinence you can avoid any type of withdrawal even on a minor scale and the cravings that normally accompany it.
Sobriety can also free up more mental energy and allow an addict to remain more focused all of the time so that they aren’t fighting internally about when and how much to drink. Since drinking or using drugs is no longer an option, more energy can be put into positive habits. Abstinence is also a better option in terms of good physical health and helps an addict avoid the ups and downs of relapse which can be taxing on the body. Managing your drug use might seem like a good idea that will help you ease off of a substance you are addicted to but it can be ineffective and lead to more problems in the future. The best way to quit an addiction is to abstain completely and go through a period of detoxification. This eliminates any kind of physical dependence and can help to minimize psychological dependence as well. Most addiction specialists would recommend sobriety over moderation for a more effective recovery.