Can You Drink in Moderation If You’re in Recovery?
When you’re in the thick of alcoholism, it’s easy to see the process as black and white. You’re either drinking, or you’re not drinking. However, when you enter the recovery process, it’s common to ask the question, “Now that I have a handle on my alcoholism, can I drink socially or can I drink in moderation?”
Alcoholism and recovery are unique to each person, so technically, the answer is different for everyone. That said, it’s certainly smart and safe to consider the possible risk factors for reintroducing moderate alcohol consumption into your life and discuss it with the experts at your Scottsdale alcohol rehab center.
One of the biggest and hardest parts of alcoholism is the aspect of uncontrollable drinking. Almost all alcoholics know the struggle of starting to drink, then being unable to stop. It’s important to remember this when considering trying to drink in moderation in recovery. Even though you may start with the intention of only having one or two drinks, it becomes a slippery slope. And you can easily fall prey to drinking high amounts uncontrollably. In addition, even the taste of alcohol can bring back bad memories of drinking and cause you to want to drink more.
Uncontrollable drinking is also a very dangerous possibility if you begin to feel the urge to drink, or a craving for alcohol. It can be difficult, but giving in to the urge can often lead to uncontrollable drinking and eventual relapse.
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Triggers and Temptations if You Drink in Moderation
Most urges to drink are triggered by being around just that: former triggers. Sure, it’s not easy to completely remove your drinking triggers from your life. Things such as work, family, finances, etc. are typically unavoidable. However, limiting your time spent around former triggers as much as possible can significantly decrease your urge to drink – thus, your urge to drink in moderation or at all.
Take a Look at Who You’re With
A great way to avoid triggers and continue on your recovery journey is to surround yourself with fellow recovering alcoholics. In a study done by the Journal of Substance Abuse, individuals reported benefiting and succeeding far more in recovery by being around other recovering alcoholics often than by being around people drinking often. Being around people who are drinking is tempting, because the alcohol is, literally and metaphorically, right in front of you. It can be impossible to ignore and make it incredibly hard to resist the urge to join in the drinking.
However, surrounding yourself with people who are on your same journey and abstaining from drinking as well can resist the urge to drink completely. It is not only empowering, but also distracting; it empowers you to feel like you can do it, and it distracts you from the thought of alcohol together. Meeting friends at a Scottsdale alcohol rehab and joining support groups in the community is a great way to surround yourself with people who are walking the same road as you.
Alcoholism Is An Illness
Even if you have all the self-control in the world, alcoholism is still an illness. And that means that for most people, it’s not necessarily as easy as simply deciding you can drink in moderation. Alcohol is addictive to those who suffer from alcoholism, meaning even if you have one or two drinks, it can have an addictive effect on your brain. In addition, recovery is a lifelong process. If you decide to try drinking in moderation while in recovery, remind yourself that you are opening yourself up to a new world of potential risks for relapse and that it might be best to avoid them.
Scottsdale Alcohol Rehab
Regardless of whether you choose to try drinking in moderation again or remain abstinent, our experts at Desert Cove Recovery are here to help. Your recovery is personal and unique to you, and the decision to change your life is up to you as well. If you’re interested in starting your recovery process or want more information, give us a call or visit our website at www.desertcove.com today.
Sources: Huckstadt, Alicia. “Locus of Control among Alcoholics, Recovering Alcoholics, and Non‐Alcoholics.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 19 Jan. 2007, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/nur.4770100105.  Rohsenow, D J, and P M Monti. “Does Urge to Drink Predict Relapse after Treatment?” Alcohol Research & Health: the Journal of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 1999, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6760369/.  Brooks, Alyssa T., et al. “A Qualitative Exploration of Social Support during Treatment for Severe Alcohol Use Disorder and Recovery.” Addictive Behaviors Reports, Elsevier, 18 Aug. 2017, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352853217300482.  “Recovering Alcoholic.” The Free Dictionary, Farlex, medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Recovering+alcoholic.