Is Moderation Possible If You Have A Drinking Problem?
Posted Sep 28 2008 7:17pm
If you suspect you have a drinking problem, chances are you may be falling into harmful drinking patterns. Recognizing these patterns early may mean the difference between returning to social drinking or eventually having no choice but to abstain altogether. Uncontrolled drinking will overtake you when you are not aware of the harmful effects alcohol is having on you. Sometimes the problem drinker is last one to realize it. If you are wise enough to question your motives for excessive drinking, you are one of the lucky ones only if you do something about your suspicions. Perhaps your drinking has caught the attention of someone close to you and they confront you about your behavior when drinking, or they’ve noticed you drinking more often than you have previously. How ever you are made aware of a potential drinking problem, be grateful it has come to your attention regardless of the circumstances involved. Taking the wake up call seriously can make a huge difference on your future.
When faced with the possibility of having to quit alcohol altogether, an excessive drinker may fall into denial and even anger that someone would have the nerve to suggest they were drinking too much. Instead of feeling betrayed, hurt or angry, try looking into the problem and do some research. Actually taking this approach to a potential alcohol problem will tell you quite a bit about yourself before you visit your first website or make your first phone call.
A natural reaction for a problem drinker when confronted by this kind of accusation is to deny, perhaps stop drinking for a few days or weeks to make a point, than start drinking again – and so the cycle goes. If you accept there may be a problem and start looking into what choices you have, you may be surprised by what you find.
Today many people who fear they may be heading into trouble with their drinking choose to moderate their drinking style by finding a program that allows controlled drinking through the use of medications. These medications such as Naltrexone, Topiramate among others are designed to give a problem drinker a fighting chance at controlling the compulsion to drink, to curb the difficult craving for alcohol which can be overwhelming.
These medications need to be prescribed by a medical professional and may cause some side effects, but for the most part appear to have a dramatic effect on some who’ve tried them. One person claimed to be drinking 1/6th the amount of alcohol per week on the anti craving medication than before he started his program. They no longer have the urge to continue drinking after one or two drinks compared to 5 or 6 per sitting previously.
Some claim that they believe they could stop drinking altogether with this alcohol anti craving medication.
It must be stressed that this is not a quick fix for controlling your drinking, by simply popping some pills. People who are involved in these treatment programs also receive consultative coaching which deals with the emotional side of a persons drinking. There is most certainly a reason for excessively drinking in the first place, and if one is serious about changing their drinking habits, long term success for moderating one’s drinking comes with some form of supportive coaching.
Even if you think you can control your drinking, that you don’t need a drink every day, certain stressors in your life may make it easier to pick up that first drink; it’s at this point where knowing when to stop becomes the issue. When taking this anti craving medication, another person claimed he just didn’t need to reach for his beverage nearly as often. Thus a 6 or 8 drink night turned into one or two drinks. Even those drinks were non effective, “like drinking orange juice!”
New alcohol anti craving medications combined with life coaching is an alternative for those who feel they aren’t ready to hear the words “My Name Is —- And I’m An Alcoholic” but are able to say “I’ve had enough and its time to do something about it”.
To set up an appointment with Michael Pearlman, M.D., Call 1 (866) 285-3400 toll-free or (617) 620-2230,